Made by and When: Jolly Toys, 1969
Material: Vinyl heads and arms with rigid plastic bodies
Marks: Doll on the left: J / T / JOLLY TOYS INC. / 19©69 / 16 (The doll’s hair covers a number that is above J / T.)
Doll on the right: 17 / J / T / JOLLY TOYS INC. / 19©69 / 14
Height: 18 inches
Hair, Eyes, Mouths: Short black-rooted hair, brown sleep eyes, drinking mouths
Clothes: These two dolls are redressed in period-appropriate clothing. A photo of an all-original Linda is included in the gallery below.
Other: Jolly Toys made Black and White dolls during the 1960s and possibly well into the 1970s. Linda is one of their ethnically correct Black dolls. The dolls’ features more appropriately represent a Black child. The doll on the right has a fuller face and softer vinyl was used for the face and arms. Both 15- and 18-inch versions have been documented.
According to Black Dolls 1820-1991 an Identification and Value Guide by Myla Perkins, Linda is “said to be the first doll made commercially in the U.S. to represent the black race with ethnic features. However, Shindana dolls had an earlier copyright date. Some of Remco’s Brown Eye dolls also had an earlier copyright date and Ideal’s Saralee doll’s copyright date was even earlier.
An all-original, still-boxed Linda that resembles the doll in the red and white dress is shown in a Pinterest pin below.
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