Pedigree Head-Turning Walker

Photographs courtesy of Betty Ativie

Name: Unknown (looks similar to Pedigree’s Mandy Lou)

Made by and When: Pedigree, 1950s

Material:  Hard Plastic (cellulose acetate)

Marks: Neck is marked Pedigree England.

             Back is marked Made in England.

             Voice Box in back is marked 20 T.

Height: 20 inches tall

Hair/Eyes/Mouth:  Black short astrakhan wig with white lacy bow added/flirty sleep eyes with attached eyelashes/open-closed mouth (slightly parted painted red lips)

Clothes:  Redressed in a white and grey windowpane cotton dress, black tights, white slip and panties trimmed in lace, black vinyl Mary Jane shoes

Other: This doll looks very similar to Pedigree’s Mandy Lou; the cheeks, however, are less pronounced. It is possible that the head sculpt was revised when this doll was manufactured and that it is, in fact, Mandy Lou. Sometimes referred to as a “walkie-talkie” because of the ma-ma voice box and the head-turning walker feature, the doll’s head turns from side to side when the legs are moved in the walking position. This also activates the flirty eye (left-to-right) movement. During the 1950s and prior, Pedigree used very deep coloring for the dolls that represented people of African descent. This color was not as widely used in the United States for Black dolls unless they were derogatory caricatures of Black people.

Slideshow

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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