Little Friends Collection

Name:  Little Friends Collection Black Boy, Black Girl, and Native American Girl

Made by and When:  Shindana Toys, 1976-1978

Material:  Soft vinyl with bent baby legs

Marks: (Heads) K / SHINDANA TOYS ©1976; (paper tags on clothes) MADE IN / HONG KONG

Height: 13 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: The Black boy has sculpted and painted brown hair. The Black Girl and Native American Girl have black-rooted hair styled in two side pigtails and braids*, respectively. All have brown painted eyes and smiling, drink and wet mouths. The Native American doll’s hair was originally styled in two side pigtails.

Clothes: The Black boy wears a multicolored number 3 jersey and blue denim shorts. The Black Girl wears a red and white gingham top, red shorts, and white socks. A bottle, a comb, and a brush are included in the Black Girl’s unopened package. Missing her tan headband, the Native American Girl wears a tan faux suede dress that has a fringed hemline and gold rickrack trim at the neck and sleeves, and white panties and brown knee-length socks.

Other: “Dolls with a difference” is written on the front of the Black Girl’s box. The back of the box boasts that Shindana Toys, Inc., was the “manufacturer of the world’s most complete line of Black dolls and games; and now includes White, Asian and Hispanic dolls.” The top of the Black girl’s box lists the Little Friends Collection and stock numbers (at the time the girl was released) as:

                              BOY                      GIRL

BLACK                  4030                     4025

WHITE                  4040                     4035

ASIAN                   4010                     4005

HISPANIC             4020                     4015

A note to parents on the side of the Black girl’s box reads:

Dear Customer:

Doll play is important for children. They develop emotionally when they pretend. Through doll play, they express their feelings. They discover how it feels to be a mommy or daddy. Little Friends opens a whole new world for them. A realm of friendship. With Little Friends, they become more aware of the people around them. They can learn to appreciate the differences in people. Bringing home Little Friends is like bringing home classmates to share in a child’s life. Look for a whole new growing experience with the Little Friends Collection by Shindana Toys, Inc.


Gallery Photo 1, see description below.

Gallery photo 1 of the cover of the 1978 Shindana Catalog features three dolls from the Little Friends Collection, an Asian Girl, a Hispanic Girl, and a Native American Girl. The two other dolls are Shindana’s Jump ‘N Sweet and White Kim Jeans ‘N Things.

Gallery photo 2, see description below.

Gallery photo 2 of pages 2 and 3 of the 1978 Shindana Catalog illustrates the 13-inch Little Friends Collection from L-R as White Girl #4035, Black Girl #4015, Indian Girl #4060, Asian Girl #4005, and Hispanic Girl #4015. Note that in 1978, ethnic-group naming conventions were usually based on skin color or ethnic heritage. The term Indian was still being used to designate dolls and people of Native American descent.

See other Shindana doll installations or mentions here.


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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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