Sunday, September 23, 2012

Who Am I? Doll ID Help Solicited

I received an email with images of a doll that I can only identify as a 1960s or possibly 1970s Black Barbie clone.  The email reads as follows:

Hi there! Could you please help me identify this doll? She is the same size as Barbie, she has a swivel head and TNT waist, and her lower back is marked "Hong Kong." She has bangs and a pony tail. If you have any idea what kind of doll she is please let me know. Thanks a million!

As I informed Tonya, because the doll is only marked "Hong Kong," it will be very difficult to connect her to a specific manufacturer and/or identify her by name.  I asked and she granted permission for me to share the images here in hopes that readers can offer more help identifying this vintage Black Barbie look-a-like. 

Please add a comment if you can help Tonya identify this doll.  Thanks in advance


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  1. I'm always interested in clones so I hope someone is able to identify this doll. In the 1970s there was a line of clones called Sandy. I never saw a black one but my grandmother bought me two white ones from Roses. This doll might be an earlier Sandy. I love the lace pant suit!

  2. She doesn't look like a Shillman doll or like Ideal's Mitzi or Uneeda's Suzette ....

    Her look makes me think 1960s - I think by the 1970s, the clone dolls had wider, larger eyes without that hard molded eyelid. Then again, who's to say that she wasn't created on an older mold that had been pirated - lost or stolen then re-used without permission Hmmm ... you're right Debbie. There are many dolls marked "Hong Kong." The dolls could have been distributed by several companies so without an original box, identification can't be verified.

    The closest I imagine she could get for a manufacturer is if someone saw the doll and recognized it. Maybe she could submit a photo of the doll to various [Baby] Boomer focused sites and off-line magazine.

    Good luck!

    I wouldn't say it is impossible to find out who this doll is, but unless someone recognizes the doll and/or the outfit, it will be difficult.

    1. D7ana, her fashion isn't original to her, so that probably won't help in her identification. (It's a Maddie Mod fashion, and as far as I know, no black Maddie Mod dolls were produced) I do hope someone will recognize her, as I'd like to know who she is, too! :o)

    2. D7ana,
      Thanks for your input.


      It helps to know her fashion is not original to her. There were AA Maddie Mod dolls made. I have a couple, but they are from the 1970s with their own unique face sculpts.


    3. Thanks for the additional information about the outfit not belonging to the doll, Barbradoll. As DBG writes, that is useful information. Also, Maddie Mod dolls have fuller, rounder faces and wider, no molded eye ridge.

  3. I have never seen her before. She is definitely a vintage look-a-like. I am going to do some research. I am curious.

  4. If Nancy Ann Storybook made a black version of Aline, this doll could be Aline based on images of the white version found on Flickr. Here's the link to the first.
    If the link does not work, the image URL is:

    Advance to the next two images which show the graphics on sides of the doll's box and describes it as having a TNT waist. The eyes look similar.

    I think Mattel added the TNT feature to Barbie during the 1970s, so the unknown doll is probably from that era.


    1. Well, I just found a link to a tiny image of NASB's AA/black Aline. She can be seen here.

      And a better image of another, possibly bubblecut version here.

      I did not realize NASB made fashion dolls.


    2. I have been thinking the eyelid is molded, but that's something else to consider. If it is painted - the doll's eyes are painted as if half shut, that would alter who she could be, too.

      I cannot make out whether the Aline doll has molded eyelids or painted ones. I think the former, but I could be wrong.

      The Aline doll might be a match, but I would seek another photo or few photos plus a way to compare the two dolls' features, markings, placement of markings, etc. before settling on the identification.

      Thanks for sharing this riddle, DBG.

  5. Okay, sorry to be offensive, but I am going there. Is there a way to see the doll's whole body NUDE. Sometimes, we have to see the specific twist waist cut - straight across or angled, etc. - to recognize the doll. Also helpful would be the feet, the hands, the legs - the entire body undressed. I recognize some people find naked dolls offensive, but for identification, we can't afford to be squeamish.

    Next, is there any marking on the back of the head, above the neck and below the doll's hair? That could also provide additional information like dates - or rule out dates. Even if a doll's head date is 1965 and the doll head mold could have been in production for years after, that would rule out earlier dates.

    Third, when and where did Tonya get this doll? Is she a childhood doll or was she obtained undressed from a thrift store, another collector's collection, etc. Those are additional questions that need answers so that we can focus better on who the doll could be and who she could not be.

    I took the liberty of copying the doll's face photo, inserting that photo into my Paint application and then inverting the color so that I could get a reverse image - what would the doll look like if she were "white" since most likely, a white version of this doll would have been produced first. Perhaps someone would recognize the white version. Oddly the doll's face came across as green. Weird, huh?

    It only highlight the features a little. I need to take it to black and white, but none of my image tweaking programs - MS Paint, Kodak Easyshare, or MS Office Picture Manager will do so. I can send you - Debbie - a copy of the adjusted photos I created or you can follow the suggestions I mentioned above. Let me know if you'd like the tweaked photos sent to you.

    I see molded eyelids which Mattel did on their early Barbies - 1959-1965 BUT the hairstyle - sides pulled back and straight hair suggests the influence of the 1966-67 TNT Barbie hair style. The twist waist could also be dated from 1966-on - the first Barbie TNT dolls had a box date of 1966 but an issue date of 1967. So those factors would suggest an earliest issue date as 1966.

    Hope that helps/contributes ...


    1. Thanks for your additional investigation and input D7ana. Although not to the extent that you took, I examined photos of the white version's face as well as the images of the black version that I located online before coming to my conclusion that Tonya's doll is Aline. After she shared the Flickr collector's confirmation on the ID, that pretty much settled it for me.

      Thanks for offering to send me the tweaked photos, but as indicated, I'm convinced this doll is Aline. She is identical (except for hairstyle) to doll shown here. NASB probably made a ponytail version (like Tonya's) and a bubblecut version or short-haired version like the one at the link.


    2. You're welcome. Glad that you identified the doll.

      My takeaway from this post and the investigations is that we could all use documentation of the bargain fashion dolls. I have a few that I will document that I would not have considered worth documenting before this search.

      Thanks again for sharing your research.

    3. I look forward to your clone documentation, D7ana. As I indicated in a separate post/comment, "All dolls have at least one story to tell and that's the one documenting their origin."

      Doll documentation is invaluable for those seeking this information.



Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!