Fashion Doll Collectors Club Of Great Britain
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And Not Forgetting ........................

 

In this section we will be looking at the fashion dolls that have come and gone over the years., if you feel that after reading these articals you too have something to contribute regarding fashion dolls you once or maybe still own from your childhood we would love to here from you this could be in the form of a written artical with photographs of your collection or even just photographs with a heading of course giving a brief description, we will then compile a page just for collectors you can request futher details by using the contact link on the menu bar to your left we look forward to your feedback.   

Darci

In 1978, when club culture and dressing up to go out was the thing to do and disco dancing was at its height toy company Kenner introduced Darci - top fashion model and cover girl, this doll was of a very high quality for the time and she was 12"{30 cm} tall and fully poseable doll with wrist's that moved and bendable legs and arms, She also had luxuriant nylon hair that was fully rooted and very easy to set and style. Darci came as a blonde, and a brunette or even a redhead, she also had a wardrobe of the up to date fashions her lifestyle was that of one most people aspire to at the time, overall this doll was very stunning with a beautiful face that reminded me of Cheryl Ladd from the seventies hit drama Charlies Angels.

 

The buying public was bombarded with impressive store displays that was designed to capture your attention, you could say by looking at her that Darci was everything women wanted to be, Beautiful, glamorous, sophisticated, independant, talented, and athletic, she was also feminine, with a definate personality, There were also friends which were introduced for Darci these where Erica, Dana, Darci's black counterpart. Any collector of these lovely dolls could consider themselves lucky if they managed to save some of these dolls over the years, in fact you would be very lucky to be able to see any of these Darci dolls in Great Britain its a shame as these dolls are one of the best looking dolls around and this comes with the high quality in her construction and design.

 

Darci also had he very own wardrobe of very fashionable {for the time } clothes and each outfit came with a cover of a magazine such as New Woman, Brides Magazine, and Disco scene that featured Darci on the front cover. Additional to the line were the various accessories that enhanched her modelling life, there was also van that escorted her to her loction shoots, other accessories consisted of a studio with working lights in which she liked to pose in, and not forgetting the 70s Disco which appeared to be her sideline job all these props where designed by Darci and she even operated them as well.

 

Darci was considered by some, as being the perfect doll but she was sadly discontinude after just three years Darci suffered the same affliction as most contenders for Barbie and Sindy's crowns - she was not the correct size and did not fit into any of the Barbie and Sindy clothing.

Buying a Darci doll necessitated the expense of an entire wardrobe. During the late 70s early 80s most children had already been kitted out with either a Barbie or Sindy wardrobe or even both and this included the many accessories that became available so therefore many people decided against buying Darci. Kenner had hoped that when the doll was purchased the wardrobe would be purchased also but Kenner didn't bank on the financial situation of the early 80s or sensibilities of what people were prepared to allow and not allow when it came to purchasing dolls in this case Darci dolls. I feel Darci was ahead of her time, she might have been one of the all time great collectible fashion dolls if it was not for the time she came to being created  full circle she is now much sought after ikn fashion doll collecting circles, when I was growing up I never managed to see any Darci dolls on sale I don.t think she really made any impression over herein the United Kingdom she was mainly situated in the  United Stateson the whole and maybe the far east.

I though first became aware of her through an artical in a doll publication an was captivated from the start by her beauty,since then I have managed to find two of the dolls but still cannot find any outfits but I do intend to keep looking in earnist,to sum it all up Darci seems to of been one of these good idea at the time projects that just got marketed the wrong way and suffered for it but one things for sure she still lives on in our memories you cannot take that away.  

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Identification and price guide

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Here is something out of the ordinary for you to ponder over. Going through some of my old doll magazines I came across an artical on a doll that I had vaguely heard about but had never seen she was one of a plethora of dolls that emerged in the early sixties to give Barbie a run for her money.

Miss seventeen - otherwise known as MS as its easier to type, MS was originally created in 1961 and was based on the original Bild Lillie doll { a la Barbie } and was the creation of Louis Marx and Co,

and as with Barbie MS's appeal and the reason I originally took note was because of her beautiful wardrobe, marx commissioned the design team of the Fashion Institute of Technology  to create a wardrobe of typically American inspired outfits opposed the french inspired wardrobe of Barbie this approach to the design outdid Mattel in quality and the range of designs that became available.

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Miss Seventeen - A Beauty Queen ................

MS was also ahead of her time - she came in the following  sizes 18" and 15" and was made of hard plastic, the doll itself was somewhat badly made and had a face that would make the No1 Barbie look sweet this also makes me wonder what MS competitors would of looked like!!

She had glued on fluffy hair in either a pony tail style or she came with the scarce bun style in black brunette and red, the glue marks on her head being on her head were quite obvious, But if you only wanted the wardrobe you had to purchase the doll also, the original doll came in a black box and she was wearing a black one piece swimsuit  with a white sash with Miss Seventeen emblazoned on it, she also is seen wearing a yellow rosette and a red lined satin cape, red mules, and a medieval  looking glod moulded crown and trophy. The outfits came packaged in a black portfolio decorated with the 'Miss Seventeen' A Beauty Queen' logo, each outfit had a understated name such as 'On the town' 'Wedding Belle' and 

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'Date at the plaza' which belayed the style of the design, The outfits were shown illustrated on a fold out poster, which made me take an interest in this doll wel the outfits that is.

Marx and Mattel had a bit of a court battle over there dolls look and who borrowed what from Bild Lilli and who was entitled to use it, the case was dismissed after 2 years with no outright winners.

But what did do MS harm was as with most dolls not being the regulation eleven and a half inches was her height and unwillingness not to bend - literally with the times and her quality I find a bigger doll more likely to get damaged and with MS she was no exception the plastic was very brittle and she was often found chipped particulary with the fingers, and she is held together with elastic cord and when the cord rots she literally goes to pieces,her wardrobe also has not faired well over the years andits nea impossible to find outfits in there original condition, it might be due to the chemical reaction with the vinyl that her lovely wardrobe came in, it has also been know for the swimsuit to fall apart if removed from the doll . 

As is the norm MS has all the right qualifications for being highly collectible and her size is quite fashionable at the moment also, personally I have never seen one but would surely welcome the opportunity to do so I would also welcome the chance to view the outfits as the ones on the poster look very nice, therefore I,m appealing for any MS collectors out there to get in contact with me and share your information with me and the Fashion Doll Collectors Club Of Great Britain as we feel that this doll deserves more attention as she seems to of been pushed to the sidelines,you can contact me by following the contact link on the menu bar to your left  I look forward to some feedback with regards to 'Miss Seventeen.' What we really do require is a very comprehensive catalogue of vintage fashion dolls this is a project we are currently working on but for some reason there does not seem to be to much information around regarding these dolls, also I would like to get my hands on some of the original marketing material catalogues etc if you can assist me with this your assistance will be welcomed with open arms and I,m sure in the future the material you assited with will help many more Miss Seventeen curios find out more about this lost treasure, from the early 1960s ...........................

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Brenda Starr - Reporter ..............................

Here is a doll that has been around for ages or rather her persona has, there have been three different versions so far, the dolls history goes back even further in to when Brenda Starr first appeared as a cartoon character otherwise known as ' Brenda Starr Reporter'..........................

 

Dale Messick created Brenda Starr as a cartoon character and was officially premiered on June 30th 1940 in the Chicago Tribune, Dale {real name Dalia} had to change her name to be taken more seriously by the editors in the male orientated world of cuthroat journalism - Brenda could be an extension of Dales owns chracter and personality some might say. Brenda was a fiesty go getter, 23 years old with strong influences from the likes of Rita Hayworth and 40's Socialite Brenda Frasier. Brenda had impeccable  fashion taste always dressed in the up to minute styles with her flaming red hair perfectly coifed, She is the reporter on The Flash newspaper and is continually hot on the trail of an exclusive hot scoop as she jets off around the globe on her latest assignments with her friends joining in the fun.

Brenda represents the new heroine for the time this being the war years 1940's independent ,an equal amongst her fellow reporters stopping at nothing to get the best scoop she was the original danger know fear girl the original action girl but with a strong sense of style to match her good looks................................................

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The Dolls

There have been three dolls issued as far as I can assertain as well as movies and a television series

 

The first doll was issued by Madame Alexander in 1964 as 12" hard plastic doll and not surprisingly she looks a bit like Cissy, The second issue was by Effanbee Doll Company in November 1999 and was a 16" vinyl fashion doll and this doll looked a bit like actress Brooke Shields who infact was the last actress to play her in the movie, this doll came withy a slightly oversized head and a sweet face that includied dimples and masses of curly red hair.

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There were four dolls in styles representing the v1940's era,

Brenda Starr reporter doll, in a teal green suit with matching hat and bag, plus a copy of the 'Flash ' newspaper.

Brenda Starr in a peignoir, complete with silk undies.

Brenda Starr in a red ball gown covered in gold stars.

Also released was a limited edition of 1000Brenda Starr in pink and black evening gown with real diamond jewelry

New dolls followed in 2000 and in 2001 with additional outfits being issued for the dolls also in 2001 male doll Basil St John was introduced.

The dolls were packaged in graphically illustrated cartoons from the original cartoon strip,      {For your information the comic strip is still going today }

 

In 2002 following various problems Effanbee was bought out by The Robert Tonner Doll Company,

who continude to produce the third version of the Brenda Starr undr the Effanbee label, keeping Brendas trademark red hair and dimples and she had the same body as Tyler Wenrworth but she had a new face scultp, But sadly on August 8th 2007 Tonner annouced that Brenda Starr was to come to end of the line she was to be know longer produced, {We have included a link above explaining this decision in full we hope that you will agree with us that this was a very sad day in the fashion doll world} Maybe one day someone will take it upon themselves to give her a new lease of life with this we would like you to share your thoughts with us on this subject by contacting us with your views and your thoughts on Brenda Starr oneday making a return after all its people like us that can force this issue at the end of the day, we keep our fingers crossed.   

 

 

 

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Farewell To Brenda Starr

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Comic Strip History

Brenda Starr Movie

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