|Yvonne from the 1996 Target- exclusive Dolls of All Nations Collection (Second Edition)|
During the mid-1990s, Target released The Dolls of All Nations Collection. My newly acquired doll, Yvonne, is from the second edition of this collection. The dolls were Target exclusives, distributed by Dayton Hudson Corporation of Minneapolis, MN under the Unimax label. The box date is 1996.
I vividly recall shopping in Target during the time the first edition of this doll line was stocked on Target's shelves. Wanja, the doll that represents Kenya is part of the first series of Dolls of All Nations (1995). I purchased Wanja from Target the year of release. I never saw Yvonne in stock.
|Yvonne (Uganda) and Wanja (Kenya) from the Dolls of All Nations Collection, 1996 and 1995, respectively.|
Nearly 20 years after the doll was released, Yvonne was recently purchased for $7.99 plus shipping and arrived in never-removed-from-box state. The box shows shelf wear but Yvonne is perfect. This all vinyl doll stands 12 inches, has painted brown eyes, and black rooted hair styled in multiple braids with green ribbons braided through each. She wears a coral dress with African print belt, matching head wrap, multicolored beaded necklace, gold tone elasticized bracelet, and black sandals. A doll stand is also included.
The back of Yvonne's box reads:
1996 Hello, I am named Yvonne.
I come from Uganda.
It is one of the 52 nations on the
continent of Africa.
You will be pleased to know I speak your
language, English, and I also speak our
native language, Swahili.
Because our climate is tropical and warm, my country
is home to many flowers and forests.
We also have many colorful birds living near our rivers.
When my family travels in our long canoe to visit friends in
the next village, we see ostriches, flamingos and storks.
Monkeys swing from tree to tree along the river's edge.
It is as if they want to visit our friends too!
My family is perhaps bigger than yours.
It includes many cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
We live together in a village that is close to the coffee farm
we own. Each member of the family has a job to do.
It is my job to carry cooking pots to the river for washing.
I also make ngunza, a delicious thick sauce made
from cassava leaves, tomato paste and peanut butter.
Isn't my dress colorful?
It is the traditional dress of Ugandan women and girls.
It is called a busuti with a long, full skirt,
square neck and a cloth tied diagonally.
My friend, would you like to come in our canoe?
You can share my long bamboo pole
for pushing, and we will go to see
the hippopotamuses bathing in the
river with their babies.
(I wonder who wrote that blurb.)
While the Dolls of All Nations dolls resemble Swiss doll artist, Heidi Otts' Little Ones dolls (a high-end collectors doll line, also released in the late 1990s), Ott did not sculpt the Dolls of All Nations.
Ott did sculpt the 18-inch Faithful Friends dolls that were Target exclusives from 1997-1998. These traditionally dressed dolls were designed to compete with the original, historical American Girl dolls. When conducting research to prove or disprove recently circulated information that Ott sculpted the Dolls of All Nations dolls, I found that she did not. Under the heading, Background, in paragraph 7 of the online details of a lawsuit Ott brought against Target on July 29, 1999, Ott alleges that the dolls Target sold as Dolls of All Nations were knock offs of her Little Ones, proof of which is cited in the text, which can be read in its entirety here.