My Twinn Dolls

Name: My Twinn

Made by and When: My Twinn, copyright 1994-2003

Material: Vinyl heads, lower arms and legs from the knees down, and vinyl feet; stuffed cloth bodies with armature for posing and jointed ankles

Marks: Note that some of the heads have a copyright year, but the body tag (if present) is a better indicator of the year made and whether it is a Denver-assembled* or completely China-made My Twinn doll. Some of the original heads were still used after total production was moved to China. While the My Twinn company did name the dolls, the names used here are collector-assigned names for the different My Twinn head sculpts.

  • Beatriz – (a repoured head) ©1998/My Twinn®; ©2003 (on tag of body that was purchased from another collector)
  • Berkeley – (on head) ©1997/My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©2003
  • Cookie (dressed as a boy in green polo shirt and denim pants) – (on head) My Twinn®/an original sculpture by/Vincent J. DeFilippo; (on body tag) ©2008 (a My Twinn Friend purchase)
  • Danielle – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn; (on body tag) ©2001
  • Danika – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (large and small body tags) ©2001 (on large body tag; US and Canadian patent numbers (on small body tag)
  • Emma – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (large and small body tags) ©2001 (on large body tag; US and Canadian patent numbers (on small body tag)
  • Karen – (on head) ©1994/My Twinn®/an original sculpture by/Vincent J. DeFilippo; (on body tag) ©2001
  • Kissy Kate or Kate – (on head)/My Twinn®; (large and small body tags) ©2001 (on large body tag; US and Canadian patent numbers (on small body tag)
  • Lenora – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©1999
  • Lenora (wears dress with lime green bodice) – (on head) My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©2003 (a My Twinn Friend purchase)
  • Michelle – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (removed body tag)
  • Tasha boy – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (large and small body tags) ©2001 (on large body tag; US and Canadian patent numbers (on small body tag)
  • Tasha girl – (on head) ©1997/ My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©2001
  • Teresa – (on head) © My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©2001 (with glasses)
  • Teresa – (on head) © My Twinn®; (on body tag) ©2003 (wears WLBD T-shirt) (a custom purchase)

Height: 23 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Different colors, styles, and hair textures were used for the wigs. Eye colors are hazel and darker shades of brown. Most My Twinn dolls have closed mouths with a slight smile.

Clothes: The boys in this installation wear authentic tagged My Twinn clothing and shoes. The girls wear clothes handmade for My Twinn dolls and most wear infant-size shoes. Beatriz, Berkeley, Lenora (green bodice), Michelle, and WLBD Teresa wear authentic My Twinn shoes or sneakers. My Twinn sold an extensive variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories for their dolls.

Other: My Twinn created custom dolls based on customers’ specifications and usually based on a picture of a child submitted by an adult who desired to have a doll made in the child’s likeness – thus the name “My Twinn.”

The company made several doll styles. The dolls in this installation are all 23-inch posable dolls.

My Twinn originated in California but moved assembly to Colorado in 1994. *Assembly, facial painting, hairdressing, and other special touches remained in Denver by My Twinn artisans until 2003 when all production processes were outsourced to China.

The original Denver-assembled dolls are of far greater quality and are preferred by collectors. The dolls in this installation are a mixture of Denver-assembled and completely China-made My Twinns and My Twinn Friends from the Adopt-a-Friend and Vintage Friends lines.

“Friends” were dolls sold on the company’s website as companions for the custom My Twinn dolls made from various My Twinn doll components or discontinued components, respectively. Because custom-made My Twinns were more costly, many collectors purchased My Twinn Friends as a less costly way to acquire a one-of-a-kind My Twinn doll.

While assembly was still in the United States, during Christmas season 1999, My Twinn Dolls were included as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things.” The dolls earned this honor once again in 2007.

In 2004, several members of the now closed Yahoo email discussion group, WeLoveBlackDolls (WLBD), ordered from the My Twinn website a custom My Twinn doll with the same head sculpt (Teresa), the same complexion, wig style and color, and eye color specifications. Each member purchased My Twinn white socks and white canvas sneakers. A seamstress was commissioned to make identical white T-shirts and denim Capris for the dolls. “WLBD” was embroidered on the T-shirts. The doll served as the first annual club doll for the group. (See one of the doll’s photos in the gallery of this installation.)

My Twinn ceased operations on January 31, 2016. However, the 23-inch dolls remain popular among adult collectors. Facebook groups dedicated to collecting, discussing, and selling My Twinn dolls exist.

For detailed history about My Twinn Dolls, visit Logan’s Ladies.

Gallery

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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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