Name: Bessie

Made by and When: Sebino, 1977 (possibly released in 1978; the brochure has a copyright year of 1978).

Material: Vinyl

Marks: (Head) SEBINO ©77 / MADE IN ITALY (Upper Back) “Sebino Logo” / SEBINO

Height: 11-1/2 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black rooted hair styled in a bubble cut, brown painted eyes, closed mouth with faint deep red lip color.

Clothes/Accessories: Wears a two-piece multicolored striped fashion of gold string-tied crop top with a matching high-waist midi A-line skirt; no shoes for the high-heel feet. A Lucite doll stands that holds the doll’s legs and a brochure are the only accessories. The box has a cardstock flap with Bessie’s headshot image on the lower end; the flap is designed to be torn off to display the doll through the cellophane of the box if desired.

Other: Bessie is Sebino’s Black fashion doll counterpart to their White doll, Joy. Bessie has six points of articulation – neck, shoulders, waist, and upper legs. The neck is on a round knob that allows the head to rotate and hold several positions. Several illustrations of Joy, separately-sold accessories, and one page for Bessie are included in the accordion-fold brochure.

The Italian text on the front and back of the box, “questa si fa tutti i movimenti!” translates to “this one does all the moves!” The Italian text on Bessie’s page in the Joy brochure reads, “il fascino dell’esotismo in un modello di grande effetto,” which translates to “the charm of the exotic in a model of great effect.” Bessie’s unique, ethnically correct facial features are not shared with Joy.


Shown in the standing and seated positions, Bessie graces the back of the box.
One page in the Joy doll brochure features Bessie.


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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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