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Vol. 5, Issue 2                                         September 2006

Doll Collecting News

by Debbie Garrett

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

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As reported in the May issue of The BDE, Jada by Helen Kish (pictured above left) is the big sister that Jessamyn (above right) will receive later this year.  Jada stands 7-1/2 inches and is wearing an outfit that matches that of her little sister's. At the time of publication, ordering for Jada is open only through US Mail via an order form from the Kish Collector's Society (KCS).   However there will be an order form for Jada in the next KCS Newsletter. She is a KCS doll, priced at $80. Those who preordered  Jessamyn should have received her by now.  My doll is pictured above, right.   


L-R Prototype and actual doll as seen at Doll and Teddy Bear Expo 2006, courtesy of Margaret Rogers, who loves her!

One of the 12 dolls in Master Piece Dolls' seventh special order program is Mandy by Monika Levenig.   According to their website, "Mandy is a beautiful AA little girl with an adorable face and mouth that shows two little teeth. She is 31" tall. Everyone loves Monika's standing little girls because they are so easy to redress. The arms are sculpted into the shoulderplate; the shoulderplate is 3/4 of her upper body length, and her legs are sculpted above the knees. Mandy is made from the hard vinyl that we use on all our vinyl dolls. The vinyl mixture is a very special blend from Germany that gives her a life like glow. Mandy wears a sweet pink and white check sleeveless dress accented with little flowers. The dress is done in tiers of ruffled fabric. She also wears pretty socks and coordinated shoes. She holds in her hand her little doggy. Her skin tone is flawless and a beautiful AA color. She has deep brown eyes and a dark brown wig with pretty pink accents in her pigtails. She comes with the wooden doll stand as well. Limited Edition 350 pieces."  Mandy is priced at $189, available on flex-pay through Master Piece Dolls' website.  The deadline to order through Master Piece Dolls is August 31, 2006.  Mandy will ship in November 2006.*  

L-R:  Dark and medium skin tone "created" Madame Alexander dolls from FAO Schwartz have brunette and light brown wigs.

  In conjunction with Madame Alexander, FAO Schwartz has added a doll factory to their website and in their New York store.  Both young and not-so-young doll collectors will delight in the five-step web experience of creating a very special vinyl doll.  An even grander doll creation experience, with more wig and accessory options, is available in person at the FAO Schwartz store.  Options include choice of skin tone, eye color, wig, hair color, outfits and shoes.  At the website, these choices are limited, but a variety of choices are available at the store.  Similar to the Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience, as each doll is created, a small heart is placed inside.  When the doll is created at the store, the customer is asked to make a wish before the heart is placed inside the doll.  The finished doll stands 9-1/2 inches tall.  The mold used for this doll is the same mold used for Madame Alexander's Zoe from the Hannah Pepper and Friends line. The total cost is $45 plus shipping or applicable taxes, if purchased in the store.  Clothing and shoe packs are sold separately online and in the store.  If you do not have an FAO Schwartz near you but would like to have all of the in-store doll creation options, FAO has personal shoppers at the NY Store. You may call (212) 644-9400, extension 4242 and ask for Tara or another personal shopper, who will assist you. (Thanks again, Margaret Rogers, for this valuable information!)*


Lee Middleton Pageant Dreams Dark, from the 2006 Fall collection, stands 24 inches.  She wears a satin dress with tulle overlays on her sleeves and full skirt with beading and sequin accents; pearl pierced earrings and pearl trimmed tiara. Limited edition of 192, retail $190.00.

Sunday's Best Toni® by Robert Tonner for Effanbee® is a 14-inch reproduction of the original doll, scheduled for Fall 2006 release, limited to 500, and retails for $84.99.  

From the "A Sister is a Hand to Hold" series by Julie Fischer, Tasha's 27-inch little sister, Talia is available to order from (Ashton-Drake).  Several collectors have already received their dolls and are quite pleased.  Retail $199.99.

From the Tonner 2006/2007 Fall/Holiday Collection, Check This Out! Esmé (above center)  has brunette rooted, tight curly hair and wears a tank and Capri pant ensemble with piqué jacket; includes shoes and display stand.  Retails for $99.99.


Several members of the WeLoveBlackDolls, Yahoo email doll discussion group, just returned from "The Doll and Teddy Bear Expo" held August 18-20 in Washington, DC. Each attendee described the show in the same terms: the Black dolls were limited... the selection was disappointing. One collector described Expo as typically being her favorite doll show because of her current doll focus -- One-of-a-kind dolls and silicones. Usually there is a wide variety of these dolls that appeal to her at Expo; however, this year she was not wowed by anything.

Despite the disappointing show, all WLBD attendees agreed that they enjoyed the camaraderie of being with one another again. One of the members said Expo is supposed to move from its usual Washington, DC location to Chicago, IL next year. Perhaps the change of venue to "Chi town," the "Windy City" will work well for everyone involved.

Below are photos from Expo shared by Renee-Hampton Dickerson, Margaret Rogers, and Vicky Williams. Thank you all and thank you, Dorothy Sullivan, for allowing me to share Vicky's photos of your Tawny Nix dolls.  

L-R  Ballerina by Pauline, another AA doll by Pauline, and Lil Bittie Anisa by Lorna Miller-Sands

A Goldie Wilson grouping of lovely dolls.  The one standing on the far left is my favorite... see her picture below.

Simply beautiful... and she has her very own doll, too!

 Kaya, an Expo  Master Piece Dolls giveaway 

Tawny Nix pair purchased by Dorothy Singleton - Congrats, Dorothy!

This little one by Elisabeth Pongratz was at The Toy Shoppe's table. Thank you, Vicki Williams for the photo and Phyllis Schlatter for the artist's identification. According to Phyllis, "They have a wonderful hand carved head and weighted cloth body."

Last, but certainly not least, a life-size African American Santa was at Expo priced at only $350. 



Reproduction Playpal:  After having reproduced the Caucasian Patti Playpal approximately three years ago, Ashton-Drake (AD) will reproduce the long-awaited African American version.  At IDEX Las Vegas this past July, the AA reproduction Patti Playpal was displayed at AD's table.  Unfortunately, AD would not allow photographs.  The doll is described as having longer bangs and hair and pink lip color. Otherwise, she appears very similar to the 1981 doll.  If you are a fan of the 36-inch Playpal dolls or would like to add your first doll to your collection, keep a watchful eye open for AD's reproduction Patti.   


Doll Publication:  Are you looking for a doll publication that is not overshadowed by advertisements... one that actually contains doll information?  According to their website, Doll Castle News "takes pride in publishing a magazine that is filled with information to read and minimal advertising."  I was sent a complimentary copy of the July/August issue.  While most photographs are in black and white, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite refreshing to read a doll magazine with entertaining, informative doll stories written by fellow doll collectors.  The editor, Dorita Alice, is quite receptive to reader requests, which is the reason she asked me if I would be interested in writing an article on Black dolls.  The September/October issue of  DCN, a bimonthly publication that has been around since the 1960s, will include an article on Black dolls that I wrote.  It is an article that I pray will open up the eyes of the doll manufacturing "powers that be."  To my knowledge, nothing like it has been written in a mainstream doll publication.  A link to their website for subscription information is provided on the Resources page of this issue of The BDE.  Single copies may be ordered for $5.25. Please buy a copy, read the article, and send feedback to Ms. Alice.


New Doll Club:  I had the pleasure of seeing doll artist, Goldie Wilson at the UFDC Convention this past July.  Goldie informed me of a newly formed doll club.  Jean Henderson of Expressions of Color is also a member.  Jean provided the following information about the club, which will be added to the FAQ page of The BDE.

Name: Maryland Society of Doll Collectors
Contact: Stacia Pate - 410-552-3367
Jean Henderson - 410-905-4804
Mailing Address: 787 Sussex Ct, Eldersburg MD 21784
President: Stacia Pate
Vice President: Debbie VonHendricks
Treasurer: Jean Henderson
Corresponding Secretary: Goldie Wilson
Recording Secretary: Linda Jackson

"Our club is comprised of diversely talented members who wish to share our knowledge and love of dolls. We were acknowledged at the UFDC annual convention that was held in July and we received a hearty "Welcome" at every event that we attended. The previous successes of our individual members with the UFDC have proven that we are ready to take on new challenges. We anxiously look forward to sharing our new dolling experiences with everyone.




Connecting People with Art by Evelyn G. Redcross and Mercer A. Redcross, III., publication date, Fall 2006  - The book focuses on the importance of African American art and also features my commentary on Black dolls as art.*

Helen Kish The Artist and Her Dolls by Louise Fecher is a comprehensive book about the artist and her work, which includes color photographs of most of Kish's dark-skinned dolls.  This book is available at 




September 16, 2006
Greater New York Black Memorabilia & Collectible Show
Crown Plaza Hotel Exhibit Center
2 Harmon Plaza Secaucus, New Jersey

October 7-8, 2006
Gaithersburg Antique & Collectible Extravaganza
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Gaithersburg, MD (I-270, Exit 11

November 25-26, 2006
Gaithersburg Antique & Collectible Blowout Sale!
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Gaithersburg, MD (I-270, Exit 11)

December 16-17th, 2006
15th Annual Dolls of Color Parade - A Black Doll Show-
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Gaithersburg, MD (I-270, Exit 11)

May 5, 2007
"Garden Tea Party with Bedine" Luncheon
11:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m.
Holiday Inn, Waldorf, Maryland
Sponsored by Southern Maryland Doll Club and Black-Eyed Susan Doll Club

Featuring Exclusive Berdine Creedy Favor
African-American Companion Doll Available (pictured below)

Cost $150 (Limited to 100 Participants - the doll is not included in this price)
$20 Cancellation Fee: No cancellations After April 1
$125 Companion Doll Reservation Limited to 70 

For Info Contact:

Lynn Buonviri
22200 Romanus Drive
Leonardtown, MD 20650



*Links to websites and items listed on this page can be found on the Resources page of this issue.

If you have Black-doll collecting news that you would like to share with the readers of  The Black Doll-E-Zine,  please contact, Deb at: