Adding Diversity to my Doll Family


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 Diversity from Mattel

According to statistics, naturally Blonde women and Blond Men only comprise roughly 12% of the  USA population. This doesn't count all the bottle blond(e)s. So for whatever reason--Mattel in the past made way more blonde dolls than anything else. 

Since I do lots of thrift store shopping, my dolls in the beginning were mostly blond---especially because of the suburbs I shop in. So, last year I was on a hunt for varied ethnicity----and really watching for 'different dolls' to add to the HFIM family and my Chicago doll stories. I did find a few dolls in thrift stores, but mostly I had to purchase non-blondes, new or on sale.

I really must say---MATTEL has outdone themselves in portraying diversity in the dolls they have produced in the last few years. Really---anyone can find themselves represented (except for age) apparently there isn't a doll over 40. Even Iris Apfel was a bit 'young' in the face for an icon in her golden years, and I have a Happy Family Grandma doll!  Mattel, MORE old folks, please!!!

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This sweet girl, I found in a bag at a thrift store, it has taken many trims, solutions, and more cutting to get her hair under control. She has a small(petite) MTM body---so she was a win-win. She is still unnamed---I think she may become Mulan's undergraduate assistant in the Chinese Antiquities department of the Art Institute.  


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(L) "Lucy" Hernandez was a super buy online at Walmart before Christmas. I love her expression...she is very tall, and articulated. The girl next to her has the softest 'mohair' type hair, and I have named her Inez. She isn't articulated but has a sweet face.

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I added this yet unnamed, American Indian girl..another thrift purchase last Spring. Her hair is gorgeous with original braid, not articulated.

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Jazz Baby, I have named Colette...and she is articulated, plus everything and with three wigs. She is very skinny and has a real persona. Her storylines will be mysterious and fun! She was a birthday purchase online, last Spring.

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She's a Jazz singer----old style, or maybe not?

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Here is Isabel, a tall basketball player....articulated, love her. I'm sure she is a Mixed AA---which is even better. 

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Last year I searched for a very dark playline for this story-Phyllis Wheatley for Black History month. 
I've named her Faizah and she has been designated a new student at the school Chelsea goes to.

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This is a curvy playline, I've named Jacquie. She will have the beauty shop in the HOTEL. She's a playline, not articulated, which I hope I can remedy. Love her hair, she has an attitude and will be a great character. I can't wait to add to her makeup!


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Here, I grouped some of my newer dolls together. I have two Stephen dolls, left blue shirt is Jeff...Carly's boyfriend. The other in stripes is Dr. Jamal. I do love the different body types, although changing clothes can be a challenge. 

Once the hotel is done, I plan on some different sized basics sewing... and then sorting clothes for specific dolls. Jazz baby is a tall model muse and articulated---+ her persona will make her wardrobe a challenge. 



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The Stephen in stripes is Dr. Jamal He has the bendy leg body...so he is a bit different, then the other 'Stephen' mold and his hair is lighter.

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I just picked up this sweetie...new for $3.00...named KiKi! She's adorable.


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I do like that they have different body types. These are all playline which makes it hard to pose.
Left to R: Faizah, Jacquie, Dee-Dee(LOVE HER HAIR), and Nour (is also a new student at the School). Jacquie and Nour were rescues, but I had to buy Faizah and Dee-Dee new.

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Here are Jamal, Jeffrey, and unnamed NEW MTM, she has the same features as Faizah, but different hair.

There are so few articulated AA guy bodies floating around reasonable. This will be hard---they can't ALL look like Stephen!

I have found lots of  Mattel play-line guy heads, they just don't fit the older Mattel jointed or bendable bodies. They also don't fit Hasbro GI Joe bodies, or My Scene. This really makes swapping male bodies difficult, until Mattel freely starts to make more articulated male bodies, that aren't blond. I have a doll friend who says she has paint SPRAYED bodies to get the skin colors she wanted. She has a fabulous collection of AA dolls!

Have you had problems changing heads?
 Finding the types of dolls you want in your doll neighborhood?


Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. 

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8 comments:

  1. Great collection, and I like Colette the most. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much----they all have their own stories! Sandi

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  2. I have to laugh, found a 99¢ thrift store articulated body but wanted to change out the head... Asked my 30-something sons to remove her head... What a project!!! I said 'come on guys, brothers have been pulling the heads off of their sister's dolls forever!!!'. We did eventually make the swap:@) Dee Dee's hair is my favorite.

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    1. I know right---who knew, you can heat the heads up by putting a plastic bag over their head and dunking in hot water, or using a blowdryer just on the neck, but it is a basically a pull and twist thingy---but different heads and bodies sometimes don't match! I"m in a battle finding a body for a playline Ken...and it's not easy--rubbery heads are easier than than the hard plastic.

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  3. I so enjoyed seeing all of your dolls; I am so glad that I never started collecting Barbies as I want every one of them! I still have my only blonde bubble cut Barbie from early 60's! I always buy 1 or 2 blondes (especially) I find on sale for my biker minister to take with him on the annual toy run we have in Maine for Toys for Tots.

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    1. Oh, that is interesting, your biker minister...love that! ---I have a no.3...blonde from my childhood, which I share. I have a friend in Chicago--that gives dolls out for Halloween, so I think I'll give her my overflow! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. You have a wonderfully diverse collection! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by...and visiting my blog!

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Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.