Vol 1, Issue 1                               February 2002
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Doll Collecting News

Index ||| Welcome ||| About the Editors ||| Collecting News ||| Profile of a Collector ||| Profile of an Artist ||| Doll in the Spotlight! ||| Doll Care Basics ||| Resources ||| FAQ ||| Closing Words

Two new dolls that have already hit the doll scene are:

Special Appearance Violet Waters and Swingtime Serenade Violet. The Violet Waters doll is the only doll of color in the Gene doll line produced by Ashton-Drake Galleries. Collectors were enticed by the mystique that involved Violet's long-awaited appearance. They were enticed even more by the fact that for months before the doll made her debut, the only picture available was a rear shot of half of the doll's body and one arm! This was a great marketing tactic by Ashton-Drake. Another tactic used, which prompted sight-unseen pre-orders of the doll, was the same-day debut and retirement of Special Appearance Violet Waters! Special Appearance Violet is a gorgeous, sophisticated and elegant-looking doll. Her arrival was well worth the wait. Swingtime Serenade Violet is holding her own ranking amongst Black-doll collectors and diehard Gene doll enthusiasts. The 2002 Debut Line and a wealth of other Violet Waters information was found by this writer at the following site.

Jan McLean graced Black-doll collectors with two versions of her first vinyl AA doll last year -- Grace seated and Grace standing. The proposed July, then August 2001 release of this delightful, vinyl, caramel-colored doll with auburn hair and hazel eyes was delayed and had collectors in a frenzy. By the time of her late fall 2001 arrival, available quantities had almost been exhausted. Those who pre-ordered either or both versions of McLean's Grace were relieved they had done so. has a decent offering of African American dolls. Performing a periodic check of their site, searching for African American dolls usually results in some interesting finds.

If you do not mind using online auctions as a doll-buying source, the auction sites at,, and are often useful. Watch for online auction tips that will be included in a future issue of Black Doll-E-zine.

African American Silkstone Lingerie Barbie ® is scheduled to make an appearance this year. After producing a total of four dolls in the Silkstone Lingerie Barbie®series, an AA doll will finally be included. Along with being the first AA doll in this series, AA Silkstone Barbie® is also the first AA Barbie® with the vintage Barbie® face mold. Collectors are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this doll, which is certain to be a top-seller this year.

Membership registration to the Barbie® Collectibles Club (BCC) is now free and can be done online at their web site. The BCC doll can also be ordered online by anyone who joins their club. This year's AA club doll is their second AA club doll and is available via online ordering at their web site.

As a buyer's incentive other doll manufacturers have clubs that offer perks for joining. One such manufacturer is Lee Middleton Dolls. The breakdown of their club membership perks is as follows:

For just $50.00 a year for new members, or $45.00 for renewals, you will receive the following:

2002 Club Membership Gift - Trunk with 8", adorable baby (available in dark skin tone and light).
The opportunity to purchase the Members-Only Doll, "Baby & Me". This doll is adorable! (Also available dark skin and light.)
A subscription to LM Family Album quarterly newsletter.
Your personalized Club Membership Card.
Custom-designed Club Pin.
Current Doll Catalogs.
Access to the exclusive club area on the LM web site.

For more information, about the LM Club, visit: Lee Middleton Collctors' Club

To find out if other manufacturers or artists, offer clubs and dolls as perks, visit their websites and inquire.

Coming soon: Angel Love™ babies, offered by Spellbound Dolls™, designed by Sandra Billoto. They are 30-inch, all-vinyl dolls that will be available in several different ethnicities. Lee Lee and May May are Asian. Letticia, Jacko, and Bianca have dark skin and represent African American or black dolls. Chico, a lighter brown, is Hispanic. Bonn Bonn and Allie are both Caucasian. They are all so very adorable! Pictures of the Angel Love™ babies can be viewed at the Spellbound Dolls™ website. This writer is anxiously awaiting their arrival!

IDEX 2002™  is over and the first pictures have made their way online.  From Janunary 24th through the 27th, some of the worlds finest artists displayed their newest creations for the year 2002, in San Francisco, California.  Collectors have been ooo-ing and ah-ing over dolls, and fashions, from Robert Tonner (Esme), The Alexander Doll Company (Paris), and Jan McLean.  Follow this link to see some of the latest from  IDEX 2002™.  (Photos courtesy of Reba) 

2002 TOY FAIR™ According to their website, "The American International Toy Fair™ is the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 2,000 manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from 30 countries will showcase their toys and" DOLLS!

"The next American International TOY FAIR™ takes place Sunday - Thursday, February 10-14, 2002, in New York City at showroom locations in the Toy District and at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center."

We are anxiously awaiting the unveiling of new Black dolls for the 2002 market and will report on our findings in the next issue of Black Doll-E-Zine.

Black-Doll Trivia

  • Black dolls have been mass produced since the beginning of the twentieth century. American manufacturers produced the first commercial Black rag dolls as well as stuffed and plastic black dolls.
  • Leo Moss dolls (1890s - 1930s) were created by the artist in the likeness of his family and friends. Most Moss dolls will have his signature teardrop(s) on their cheeks. It has been written that the tears were added to Moss's dolls after his wife left him. Another source indicates that when a child cried while he was creating a doll in its likeness, the tears were added.
  • Barbie® was introduced by Mattel® in 1958; however, it was not until 1967, when a Black doll was added to the line. Black Francie®, whose actual name was "Colored Francie®", was the first AA doll included in the Barbie® family.
  • In the United States, Beatrice Wright dolls were the first dolls created by a Black-owned toy company. All B. Wright dolls had true-to-life facial features and were not just white dolls "colored" brown.
  • The Shindana Toy Company was the first major Black-owned toy company. Shindana dolls were also not just white dolls "colored".
  • From her first vinyl series, "Barefoot Children", Annette Himstedt's 26-inch Fatou was made for the American market in 1986. For its category, Fatou was the Winner of the 1987 Dolls of Excellence Award.

    Watch for more doll updates in the next issue of Black Doll-E-Zine. If you have Black-doll news/trivia to share, please e-mail us.

    To contact us: (Zee) (Deb)

    Disclaimer: Other than our own, we are not affiliated with any of the web sites, manufacturers, their registered trademarks or trademarks nor any of their affiliates mentioned in this newsletter. We do, however, greatly appreciate the information they provide.

Violet Waters - Special Appearance
from Ashton-Drake Galleries

Violet Waters - Swingtime Serenade
from Ashton-Drake Galleries

Grace seated by Jan McLean

Grace standing by Jan McLean