American Teen Dolls

(View the Slideshow for multiple pictures of each doll.)

Name: American Teen Dolls Anthoney, Dominique, Benjamin, and Tara

Made by and When: Dieter Mueller, 2001

Material: Vinyl and rigid plastic

Height: 10 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Anthoney has black rooted yarn locs pulled up in a ponytail. Dominique has straight black rooted hair worn in a low ponytail covered by a colorful headscarf. Benjamin has black rooted cornrows. Tara has multiple black rooted braids. Each doll has painted brown eyes and a closed mouth.

Clothes: Anthoney wears a sports jersey over a blue tee, short denim pants, blue and white sneakers; chain necklaces and bracelet and a blue headband complete his sports enthusiast look. Dominique is dressed stylishly in multicolored scarf, purple turtleneck, purple pleather jacket, acid-washed denim jeans, white sneakers, and gold hoop earrings.  She wears a ring on her right middle finger. Benjamin wears an American Teen black and red fleece hoodie, camouflage pants, and black boots. Tara wears a white halter top with an American flag logo; white-washed, bell-bottom denim jeans with rips at knees; white vinyl sneakers.  A silver chain bracelet, silver hoop earrings, and a red and white bandana headband are her accessories.  Tara has a tattoo around her navel.

Other: American Teen dolls are presented in personalized display-style boxes. They stand against a street-scene backdrop. The box has a removable cellophane cover. According to the packaging description, American Teen dolls “represent teens at a specific moment in their lives, when identities and self-expression are being explored.” Each one has a specific goal or desire, which proves a person (teens, specifically) should not be judged by their outward appearance.  Anthoney plans to travel after finishing high school.  He likes to surf and scuba dive.  He wants to learn bar tending. His locs represent his Jamaican heritage. Dominique is from East St. Louis, aspires to become a teacher, and is preparing to enter Dartmouth College on a scholarship.  After obtaining her degree, she plans to return to East St. Louis to give back to the community she has left for higher education. Benjamin is from Washington, D.C. He wants to start an Internet business but will first get an MBA to ensure his success. Tara, a school girl from Chicago, is a songwriter and loves to sing.  Tara’s sister-in-law, Rochelle, has a nail shop where Tara might work “next” summer.  Tara aspires to be a star.

The guys share the same head sculpts. The girls’ head sculpts are identical. They have fuller figures than traditional fashion dolls that were available in 2001. Their articulation is at the heads, shoulders, upper arms, and legs. The back of each doll’s box includes a narrative description for that doll, a picture of the doll in the box, a description of the American Teen dolls’ concept, and photos of all dolls that were in the series at the time these dolls were released.

“The American Teen Collectors’ Series celebrates cultural diversity, individual expression, and the acceptance of differences among people.”

The above passage is on the back of each doll’s box.

Slideshow (swipe or click to view all pictures.)

For email subscribers: If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email which will link you to the website to view all photos, slideshows, and/or associated videos for the installation.

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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