Wednesday, January 25, 2017

R&B Music Calendar Girl Jenny and Others

Recently acquired R&B Music Calendar Girl Jenny represents the month of October.

Made by Takara, Jenny dolls were initially created as Japan's version of Barbie to better appeal to the Japanese market. The dolls have a shorter height, ranging from 9- to 10-1/2 inches and were initially named Takara-Barbie.  After Takara ended their licensing agreement with Mattel in 1986, the dolls were renamed Jenny [].  Like Barbie, Jenny has had several different themes and has kept up with the latest fashion trends.

Representing R&B music, the tan-complexioned, 10-1/2-inch all-vinyl October Music Calendar Girl Jenny wears a silver lamé blouse with ruffled bodice and silver-bead buttons.  Her pants are a shimmery royal blue.  Black knee-high boots remain in a plastic bag attached to the box liner.  

Jenny's natural textured black hair is styled in an Afro with silver fabric headband.  She wears silver stud earrings.  One eye winks while the other is open. A red faux CD player with gray earphones is her only accessory. 

Seven of the 12 Music Calendar Girl Jenny dolls are illustrated on the back of R&B Jenny's box.  All 12 dolls can be seen here.

Released from April 2000 through March 2001, there are 12 Music Calendar Girl Jennys.  The other themes are Country, Hip Hop, Reggae (July), World Music, Classic, Argentine-tango, Religious, Jazz, Punk Rock, Folk, and Latin.  See larger images of all Music dolls here.  

Not a serial collector (one who must own all items in a series), I have no plans to collect all 12 dolls, but I would like to eventually add the Reggae Music Calendar Girl Jenny to my collection.  

According to barbiegirl dot com:
The Calendar Girls series began in 1996 with the Sweet Seventeen LifeCalendar girls and ran from April to March. This time frame was confusing to North American collectors. Then with the Birthday Cocktails series the timeframe changed from May to April. In 2001 there was no series and there was a shift of time again and the 2002 series started up in January and went to December. In 2004 there was some sort of controversy over the December doll and it was never produced. In 2005, no Calendar Girl series was announced…
 Each year a Premium Doll was available and if you collected all 12 dolls, you could purchase this special edition doll that was only available with the 12 coupons that were packaged with the monthly dolls.  []
Other Takara Jenny Dolls
Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny (2000), PhotoGenic Jenny (2000), and Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny (2001)

Other Jenny dolls with tan complexions from different series that I have owned for several years are shown above and below with a brief description.

Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny
9-1/2-inch Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny by Takara Toys was made in the year 2000.  Other dolls in this series were Gal Licca (a brunette) and Retro Girl (a blonde) as shown on the back of the box:
Black Licca is illustrated on the back of the box along with Gal Licca and Retro Girl

PhotoGenic Jenny
10-inch PhotoGenic Jenny with posable vinyl limbs by Takara Toys is also from the year 2000. While photographing this doll for this post, I noticed she has developed some white splotches on her vinyl, which, unfortunately, might be due to a breakdown in the materials.  She remains inside her sealed blister card.  The back of the box shows a blonde version in different poses.  

PhotoGenic Jenny has soft rubber legs and arms which are bendable, as the back of the box illustrates.

Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny
9-1/2-inch Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny by Takara Toys was released in 2001. Other dolls in this series, as illustrated on the back of the box below, include Gal Punk (a redhead), and a Rockin [sic] Girl (a brunette with long straight hair).

In what appears to be a Japanese-to-English translation, Neo Licca Gorgeous Gold Jenny is described in the lower left corner of the back of the box as follows:  "She is different from usual Licca.  She grown up a little bit and leads the fashion."

Internet-captured photo of Jenny's first African American boyfriend, Tom.

In addition to the above dolls, my first Jenny-line doll was actually Jenny's new boyfriend for 1992, Tom. This locs-wearing guy was the first African American male added to the line, and it is for this reason I desired him. Unfortunately, I never was able to bond with Tom.  This was due mostly to his too tall and too lean stature, his over-sized clothing that swallowed him, and the fact that very few playscale dolls interested me at that time.  Perhaps had I kept him long enough for one of the females to arrive, he would have been allowed to stay.  As it was at that time, early '90s, he just was not a very good fit for my collection.

View head shots and read about more Jenny and Friends here.

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  1. I've always wanted a Takara Barbie or Jenny ever since I learned that the Japanese version of Barbie was so different. Also I've always been fascinated by Japan and their doll culture. I love all your Jenny'sbut especially 'Music' with her Afro and wink. :) Now I'm intrigued to know what the controversy back in December 2004 was that caused the cancellation of the calendar doll that year!?

    1. Hi Julius,

      I'd like to know what the controversy was as well in 2004. Since publishing this post, I found and purchased the Reggae Calendar Girl, who should be here and able to share her story soon.


  2. Thank-you for telling us about these dolls. Because of my interest in Blythe, I'm sure I'll add other Takara dolls to my collection sooner or later. They would fit in, especially Licca since she and Blythe can share shoes and clothes. I do own a Jenny but she's not nearly as interesting as yours.
    I had no idea Takara had ever made an African American version of Licca or Jenny- with an afro no less!- and that surprised me a bit, since,despite being asked, there hasn't been an African American Blythe yet. All those I've seen were customs, which is great, but not quite the same.

    1. You're welcome, Maricha. It's always good to know when my posts are informative or otherwise enlighten readers.

      I too would love to have a brown-skinned Blythe. Most of the customs I have seen are are beautiful but quite costly and more than I would ever want to pay. I do have the tan Afro Blythe and one with straight hair, but a brown one would certainly enhance that two-doll collection.


  3. I am in awe! I have never seen any of these dolls except for Tom. I believe I saw him in a magazine, probably Barbie Bazaar. You have a totally awesome collection!! Thanks for sharing these dolls that I never knew even existed.

    1. Hi GG,

      Thanks, GG. I was fascinated by the Music Calendar Girls after seeing another collector's dolls. At the time she was missing two, I believe, but she swiftly found those. I actually had no plans to add any of the dolls to my collection, but I was searching eBay for something else when R&B Jenny popped up in the search results or as a "you might like" suggestion; and I did (like). Reggae Jenny arrived Saturday. I'll share photos of her soon.


  4. I love these dolls and have been on the hunt for Tom every since Ms. Leo shared hers. Such a great set of dolls.

    1. Hi Brini,

      Tom shows up from time to time on eBay, but he is usually quite pricey. I know I sold mine back in the early 2000s for around $75, which is probably what he is still commanding today.


  5. Congratulations on your new Jenny dolls, Debbie. I have the Reggae Jenny (I think ... she may be among the dolls still in storage). I didn't get the R&B one because I did not like the wink. (Shrug.)

    Georgia Girl may have seen the first Tim in an article by David Hammond. He wrote a lot of Jenny articles for various doll magazines.

    Looking forward to reading your comments on Reggae Jenny.

    1. Thanks, D7ana. I asked myself, "Why did they have to give her a wink?" when I saw her on eBay, but I wanted her anyway.

      It's great that you too have Reggae Jenny. My doll has had her photo shoot, but I probably won't get to comment on her until next week.



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