Name: Non-Barbie Fashion Dolls, Clones, and Competitors
General Description: Mattel’s Barbie remains the most popular mainstream fashion doll to date. Because of the doll’s popularity, other 11-1/2 to 12-inch fashion dolls are often incorrectly referred to as Barbie. To piggyback on Mattel’s sales success with Barbie, throughout the years, other doll makers have created playscale-size fashion dolls with similar characteristics (competitors) or dolls that actually look like the #1 Barbie or other sculpts Mattel has used for Barbie and friends (clones). Likewise, Ideal Toy Corporation’s Tammy dolls from the 1960s were often imitated by other companies. This installation includes a small sample of clones and competitors of Barbie and family, and Tammy made by different known and unknown manufacturers from the 1960s through the early 2000s. A slideshow of two to three images is included for manufacturers’ clones and competitors. Use the right arrow or the dots below the first image to advance the slide shows.
Material, Height, Hair, Eyes, Clothes: All dolls are made of vinyl and/or hollow plastic as described. Mego, Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes, Shillman, Totsy, Uneeda, and the dolls that are only marked MADE IN HONG KONG have hollow plastic bodies. They are 11-1/2 inches tall. All dolls have brown painted eyes either forward or side glancing. Where indicated, some have rooted eyelashes, a twist and turn waist, or jointed knees. Unless indicated, all dolls are redressed and some have had earrings added.
Chic Dolls, 2008, four Chic Boutique dolls, a Barbie competitor:
Marked ©2008 CHIC DOLLS/MADE IN CHINA (on the heads); CHIC/MADE IN CHINA (and the upper backs have a different stamped style number below “Made in China”). The heads are soft vinyl. The bodies and limbs are rigid hollow plastic. All have twist and turn waists. The doll on the far left has jointed knees, a tan complexion (possibly represents a Latina) and a different head sculpt than the others. The far-left doll has auburn rooted waist-length hair. The other three have black rooted waist-length hair. The brown painted eyes have painted upper and lower eyelashes and brown or black eyeliner. All are redressed. The second doll from the left has permanently placed stud earrings. The other dolls’ stud earrings were added. Walmart and even Macy’s has sold Chic Boutique dolls.
Geoffrey, Inc., 1999, Real Friends Tanisha (boxed and redressed), a Toys R Us-exclusive Barbie competitor:
The redressed doll is marked ©1998 Geoffrey, Inc. (on the head); MADE IN CHINA (upper back). Tanisha has a vinyl head and legs with bendable knees, rigid plastic arms and body with a twist and turn waist. The black hair is rooted; brown painted eyes, parted lips painted burgundy with molded painted teeth area. The boxed doll wears a tennis costume, has two tennis rackets, a tennis ball, red jacket, red sneakers, and a red visor enclosed in a baggie. An extra pair of black high heels are attached to the box liner. The back of the box includes images of other dolls in the collection. Tanisha is the only Black doll shown.
Lucky Ind. Co. Ltd., 1997 and 1999, Clearly Casual and Fashion Corner Zahara, Barbie competitors:
The Clearly Casual doll is marked 1994 LUCKY (on the head) and MADE IN CHINA (on the upper back). Fashion Corner Zahara is marked 1111 / 1994 LUCKY (on the head); the Lucky rabbit logo / ©1990 LUCKY DOLL IND. CO. LTD/MADE IN CHINA (on mid-to-lower back). The heads, arms, and legs are non-hollow vinyl with bendable knees and twist and turn waists. The bodies are rigid plastic. Both have black rooted hair. Clearly Casual has a ponytail with bangs; Zahara has knee-length straight hair with a center part. Both have brown painted eyes with painted upper and lower eyelashes, parted lips, burgundy lip color, painted teeth area, and the appearance of an overbite. Clothing is original; the shoes are replaced.
Mego, 1970, two Maddie Mod dolls, Barbie competitor:
Marked HONG KONG (on the heads); MEGO TOY CORP., MCMLXX / HONG KONG (on the upper backs). The heads and arms are soft, rubbery vinyl. The bodies and limbs are hollow plastic. Black rooted hair is styled in a bubble cut (on the left) and straight with bangs (on the right). Brown painted eyes have rooted upper eyelashes and heavy blue eyeshadow. They have chubby dimpled cheeks, smiling mouths, painted teeth, pink lip color. It is unknown if the doll on the left wears an original fashion; the shoes are replaced. The doll on the right is redressed in a Totsy tennis fashion and sneakers.
Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes, Inc., Boutique Fashion Doll, circa 1970s, a Barbie clone:
Marked MADE IN / HONG KONG (on the back). The head and arms are vinyl; the body and legs are hollow plastic. Has brown hair styled in a sparsely rooted low ponytail with bangs, black side-glancing eyes with heavy black eyeliner, and a closed mouth. Wears original orange short pants jumper belted at the waist with a black patent-leather belt, red high-heel shoes. This dark-tan-complexioned doll sold at Kmart originally for 96 cents.
Shillman circa 1960s-1970s, two Maxi Mods and Mini Mod, Barbie competitors:
Maxi Mod is marked M&S / SHILLMAN (on the head); MADE IN HONG KONG (on the upper back). Mini-Mod is marked M&S / SHILLMAN (on the head) and M. & S. SHILLMAN, INC / MADE IN HONG KONG (on the back). The heads are vinyl; the body and legs are hollow plastic. Maxi Mod in the lavender sweater dress has firmer plastic arms, body, and legs. The boxed Maxi Mod has rubbery vinyl arms, a firm plastic body and legs. Mini Mod’s head is vinyl, the body and limbs are hollow plastic. All three have twist and turn waists. Black rooted hair is styled in bubble cuts; brown painted eyes. Maxi Mod has rooted eyelashes. All have closed mouths. Maxi Mod in the lavender dress is redressed. The others wear their original yellow bathing suits.
Totsy, circa 1988, a Barbie competitor:
Marked TOTSY ©1988 (on the head), ©TOTSY / MADE IN CHINA (on the back). The head is firm vinyl. The arms are firm plastic. The body and legs are hollow plastic, has a twist and turn waist. Black rooted bubble cut, brown forward-looking eyes with painted upper and lower eyelashes and tan eyeshadow, pink lip color, painted teeth area. Wears original white bathing suit, no shoes.
Tov Toy, 1970s, Veronique, a Barbie clone:
Marked MADE IN / HONG KONG (on the upper back). Soft vinyl head, firm arms and body, hollow legs, twist and turn waist; black rooted hair, brown side-glancing eyes with heavy brown eye shadow, closed mouth. Wears original dark blue large-flowers-and-shapes-printed dress, white undies, and black mid-calf plastic boots. Sold in a plastic baggie with a cardboard label that reads Poupee Mannequin Veronique Tov Toy. This doll was purchased from a seller in The Netherlands.
Uneeda, 1990s, Barbie competitors:
Marked U.D. CO. INC. (on the heads); UNEED ADOLL CO. INC (on the upper backs). These two use the same head sculpt as Uneeda’s 1980s Streak ‘N Frost Miki (a White doll). Their names are unknown. They have firm vinyl heads and hollow plastic bodies and limbs. They both have black rooted hair. One doll’s hair is curly; the other doll wears a side ponytail with curly ends. Both have brown painted eyes, rooted upper eyelashes, painted upper and lower eyelashes, smiling open mouths with molded upper teeth. Both dolls are redressed.
Unknown Manufacturer, 1960s-1970s, Barbie competitors:
Marked MADE IN HONG KONG. The heads are firm vinyl. The arms are firm plastic. The body and legs are hollow plastic. Both have a twist and turn waist. Black rooted bubble cut hairstyles, brown painted eyes (the whites have faded or were never painted properly); closed mouths. Dressed in original bathing suits (purple and pink), released without shoes. These two have a black rubber band on their right wrist that possibly held a hangtag.
Unknown Manufacturer, 1970s, Grown Up Tammy competitor:
Marked HONG KONG on a raised rectangular piece of vinyl (on the head); MADE IN HONG KONG (on the upper back). The head is vinyl; the body and limbs are hollow plastic; has a twist and turn waist. Black rooted bubble cut hairstyle, brown painted side-glancing eyes, closed mouth with dark red lip color. The red sleeveless blouse with sailor collar, calico-print skirt, and brown belt might be original; the red high-heel shoes are replacements.
Unknown Manufacturer, 1990s, Teen Skipper competitor:
Unmarked. Soft vinyl head, rigid plastic body, firm vinyl arms and legs (not hollow) with bend-click knees, twist and turn waist. Long black rooted straight hair, brown painted eyes with upper painted eyelashes, parted lips are painted red with painted teeth area. Has permanently placed white stud earrings, otherwise is redressed.
Your comments are valued. Donations aid the initiative to preserve Black-doll history.
If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email, which links to the website to view all text and associated media. Please “like” and share this installation with your social media doll contacts. To subscribe, add your email address to the subscribe or sign-up field in the footer or right sidebar.