Blue Bird and Girl Scout Dolls

Name: Blue Bird Scout, Brownie Scout, Girl Scout, Girl Scout, Kayla Brownie Scout, Barbie (Nikki) Girl Scout

Made by and When: Effanbee and Avon 1963, 1965, 1965, and 1995, respectively; GSUSA/Adora 2013, and Mattel 2013

Material: Vinyl and cloth (GSUSA/Adora and Avon); vinyl (Effanbee and Mattel)

Marks: (Effanbee dolls’ heads) EFFANBEE 19©65; the Avon doll’s marks are unknown; GSUA/Adora Kayla and Nikki’s marks are not visible due to the dolls’ never-removed-from-box status.

Height: 8 inches (Effanbee), 11-1/2 inches (Mattel), 14 inches (Avon), and 18 inches (GSUSA/Adora)

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: The Effanbee dolls have black or brown rooted hair, painted brown eyes, and closed smiling mouths. The Avon doll has a black pageboy wig, brown stationary eyes, and a smiling closed mouth. Kayla by GSUSA/Adora has long black rooted hair, brown sleep eyes with attached eyelashes, and painted upper and lower eyelashes. She has a coy smile. Nikki has brown rooted hair styled in a side-swept ponytail, brown painted eyes, and a smiling mouth with painted teeth area.

Clothes: The Effanbee and Avon dolls wear replicas of scout uniforms worn during the years of their release, white underwear; white, brown, or green socks, and black or brown shoes as illustrated. Kayla wears a modern Brownie ensemble consisting of a blue shirt, white necktie, brown skort, leggings, sash, and beanie. On the sash are decals of the American flag, the Girl Scouts membership pin, troop number 312, and four Journey Awards. Kayla wears blue and white lace-up sneakers. Nikki wears a white blouse that has a pink collar and pink stitching, a green Girl Scout sash with screen-printed badges and pins, a green plastic hat, a white wrist watch, white stud earrings, pink denim Capris, and tan high-heel ankle boots. Nikki holds a white tote bag that has green handles.

Other: Effanbee used the same doll (Fluffy) for their scout dolls. The Avon doll holds a faux box of Girl Scout Cookies. Nikki holds three boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Kayla’s vinyl includes a vinyl breastplate. The back of Kayla’s box features other scout dolls by GSUSA/Adora where Kayla is shown as a Blue Bird Scout.

Founded in 1910, Camp Fire Girls of which Blue Bird Scouts were younger members, was a separate organization from Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts organization was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. “When Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in 1912, she founded it on the principle that it would be a space for ‘all girls.’ Black girls were proud to be a part of the third troop ever formed in 1913 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and in 1917, the first all-Black Girl Scout troops were established” (Meet the Black Women Who Desegregated Girls Scouts).

_________

Reference

“Meet the Black Women Who Desegregated Girl Scouts.” Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Blog, Girls Scouts of Western Ohio, 22 Feb. 2021, https://gswoblog.org/2021/02/22/meet-the-black-women-who-desegregated-girl-scouts/.

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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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