Name:  Drowsy

Made by and When:  Mattel, 1964-1974

Material:  Vinyl head, stuffed cloth body, pull-string voice box within

Marks: (Head) 16 / ©1964 / MATTEL INC.; (front of body tag) A Quality Original By / MATTEL / Mattel, Inc. / Hawthorne, CA 90250 / MADE IN TAIWAN

Height: 15 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Brown rooted hair in a wispy pixie cut, brown painted half-open (drowsy) eyes with painted eyelashes in the corner of the eyes and in the lower eyelid area, closed mouth with pink lip color

Clothes: Sewn-on pink polka dot flannel romper with attached white eyelet trim at the sleeves and a detached white eyelet collar

Other: Drowsy is one of Mattel’s earliest talking dolls. The original dolls were produced from 1964-1974; however, the first Black Drowsy debuted in 1969 according to page 164 of Collectors Guide to Dolls of the 1960s and 1970s by Cindy Sabulis. The earliest versions (Black and White) had vinyl hands. The doll in this installation has cloth hands, was made in Taiwan, and is probably from 1974. (A Gallery photo courtesy of Telisa Spain illustrates a Drowsy with vinyl hands.)

Each time the pull string is pulled, Drowsy giggles, laughs, or says one of a few different phrases:

“Mommy, I’m sleepy.”
“I want another drink of water.”
“I want to stay up.”
“Mommy, come pick me up.”
“I go sleep now, night night.”
“Mommy loves baby.”
“Close your eyes, mommy.”

As the doll of different child actors, the 1969 version of Black Drowsy appeared in several episodes of Julia starring Diahann Carroll. Snapshots of scenes from these episodes are included below the gallery photos.


Drowsy with vinyl hands is illustrated below in a photo courtesy of Telisa Spain.

Screen captures are included of the first Black Drowsy when the doll was used as a doll prop on the Julia TV show starring Diahann Carroll.

In season 1, episode 29 of Julia, “The Doctor’s Dilemma,” Eleanor (Demetra Ann McHenry) arrives at Julia’s apartment holding Drowsy. This episode first aired on April 8, 1969.
In season 2, episode 4 of Julia, “Two’s a Family, Three’s a Crowd,” Corey thinks he’s getting a new sibling, a brother, but he finds out it’s a girl who arrives with her doll to spend the weekend. This episode aired on October 14, 1969.
“Magna Cum Lover” from Julia, season 3, episode 7 first aired on October 27, 1970. As she was leaving to go to work at the community center, Julia’s boyfriend Steve (played by Fred Williamson), his daughter, Kim; and her doll, Drowsy, arrive at Julia’s apartment.


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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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