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Sunday, August 21, 2016

On the My Child dolls

RagingMoon1987 again, and my trip down Nostalgia Road continues.  I've jumped from a trendy eighties toy that I loved, to a trendy eighties toy that I didn't care much for but like now, and now I'm jumping to a toy that was not particularly trendy at all!  Okay, I exaggerate; these dolls made it onto the #8 slot on this list for popular 80's toys.  This post is for the My Child dolls, soft baby dolls that Mattel produced in an attempt to compete with Coleco and the Cabbage Patch Kids.  I learned about these dolls from Doll Reader when I was about fifteen, and I've wanted one ever since.  Guess what?  Now I've got one!
This is Morgan, whom I found on Etsy.  She was surprisingly easy to get, for reasons that I'll soon reveal.  Like all My Child dolls, Morgan is made out of a soft, slightly fuzzy fabric that makes her extra cuddly.  Her head is vinyl on the inside with a covering of this fabric; most My Child dolls had this feature.  The few that didn't were called My Loving Baby.  They had plain vinyl heads and I don't care much for those.  They're cute, but not as cute as the ones that have fabric-over-vinyl heads.  Anywho, a fabric body means stitched features.  Stitched fingers...
...stitched toes...
...a stitched bellybutton...
...and a stitched backside.
Notice that Morgan has the My Child logo stamped on her bum.  This looks like yet another nod towards the Cabbage Patch Kids (they sport creator Xavier Roberts' signature on their butts), and only dolls created before a certain date have them.

Of note is Morgan's face.  Her eyes are brown, and her paint is a little faded, as you can see on the eyelashes below.  My Child dolls had these unique eyes that are concave rather than convex.  Even the My Loving Baby dolls had these!
Time for a tangent, one that will reveal to my readers just what a weirdo I am.  When I was a little kid, I loved concave things.  Spoons, elevator buttons, doorbells, anything that was smooth and rounded and dished inwards.  I loved the way these little dips and nooks would fit my tiny fingers.  Thus, these My Child dolls with their concave eyes would've been something I'd have loved.  I'd have wanted one of these over a Cabbage Patch Kid any day.  No offense to the Kids, of course!  But anyway, there's one of Moony's eccentricities revealed for readers to chew on.  It's an eccentricity that I've never outgrown; to this day I still love pushing buttons that have a concave surface.

Right then, back to the doll!  The idea behind the My Child dolls was to find a doll that looked a lot like the kid who wanted it.  Makes me wonder if this is where My Twinn got their idea.  Anywho, these dolls came in both genders with one of four eye colors, at least four hair colors, and...I think there were four skin tones.  You could get a doll that was pale, peachy, Hispanic, or African-American.  The African-American dolls were a little special in that they were the only dolls to get hair that was completely black; my Morgan's hair looks black in the pictures, but it's really a very dark brown.  Hispanics got a special attribute as well, being the only ones to get brown eyes that had orange highlights.

If I'd been a little kid around the time these dolls were available, I'd have been satisfied with Morgan.  She's pale and brunette like me, though our eyes don't match (mine are blue).  I can't understand though why these soft, warm babies could possibly take the backseat to a doll as homely and hard-headed as the Cabbage Patch Kid.  Seriously, Andrea and Val could give my Lalaloopsy dolls some serious competition in the "Dolls That Can Double as a War Club" category.  Not so with Morgan, or with the vinyl-headed My Loving Baby dolls either.  But seriously!  Both My Child and Cabbage Patch Kids have soft bodies with stitched details, both have well-made clothes, both have approachable expressions on their faces, both have a nice weight to them, weight that makes them perfect for sitting in a little kid's lap.  Heck, the My Child dolls even have something the Cabbage Patch Kids don't:  JOINTS!!!  Andrea and Val are pretty much glorified rag dolls.  They sit on a kid's lap or on the bed and look cute.  I guess if one wanted to nitpick Morgan could fall into the glorified rag doll category too, since she's dominantly cloth and stuffing.  However, the joints enable Morgan to do things my Cabbies can't.  She can sit...
...and tilt her head.
I particularly like the neck joint; I'd heard these dolls could turn their heads, but I didn't remember reading that they could tilt them as well.

Maybe Coleco's success over Mattel was because of this.  I know it's why I got Morgan for a reasonable price.  See the wrinkles?
Yep, Morgan's "skin" is a little loose.  This is extremely common among My Child dolls, especially those made in Taiwan like Morgan is.  It's a repairable problem, but maybe it's the reason why some kids didn't want these?  I don't know how long it took for this skin to get loose, after all.  It might have taken a long time or it might have occurred fairly quickly.  If the latter, maybe that's why these didn't sell as well?  But then again, kids aren't often bothered by flaws and imperfections like we collectors can be.  It is entirely possible that Morgan and her soft friends simply came at the wrong time.  There were plenty of other soft toys to choose from back then; in addition to Cabbage Patch Kids there were Popples and Fluppies, Care Bears and Pound Puppies, Strawberry Shortcake and Glo-Worm...LOL, I absolutely LOVED Glo-Worm!  I may have to talk about Glo-Worm in the future.  But yeah...it is entirely possible that these cute little dolls got lost in the swirling, sometimes confusing crowd of cutesy, trendy soft toys.

Alrighty, I think I've pounded my point into the wood enough.  My Child dolls weren't as big as Cabbage Patch Kids, though they were every bit as nice.  On to the next subject, the subject that I always and inevitably bring up when I drag a new doll into the house.  Yep, we're going to talk about clothes.  Morgan came with a complete outfit, consisting of a white embroidered dress, white bloomers, white socks, and white shoes.  She even has little yellow hair ribbons buried in those curls!
Most of Morgan's clothing is pretty cut and dried.  Her shoes and socks are plain white items, and her ribbons are made of sateen that's lost its shine over the years, but her dress is worthy of further scrutiny.  It's got puffy sleeves and a circle skirt, typical of dolly dresses...
...and the collar is rounded, also commonly seen on doll dresses.  It doesn't want to lie flat.
The waistband, sleeves, and collar are trimmed with blue piping, and the hem of the skirt is edged with white picot lace.
My favorite part of this dress is the embroidery.  My grandmother embroiders and I've dabbled in it myself, so this is a handcraft that I'm fond of.  The bodice of Morgan's dress has a yellow duck with some water stitched below it and some pink flowers on either side.
I've lived around marshes all my life, and I had no idea pink flowers grew there.  Maybe my ignorance has something to do with the fact that my family was more likely to drive through the local marshes during winter, when there were lots of geese.  Anywho, the duck and flower motif is echoed in the pocket on Morgan's skirt, though there's only one bunch of pink flowers.
The sleeve cuffs each have two flower clusters.
I wonder if the pink flowers are phlox?  Phlox apparently love water; back in April of 2011 we got more rain than we usually do, and the phlox were EVERYWHERE.  I think I'll call these flowers phlox.  Not that it really matters; I just want to put a name to them because I like them.

Okay, I said I wasn't going to make a big deal out of the shoes and socks, but I lied.  Here they are.
The shoes are made of fairly solid vinyl, and they make it possible for Morgan to balance on her own.  Without these I could get her into a standing position, but she wouldn't stay that way without being propped up.  The socks are trimmed with white lace, similar to Andrea's socks.

Under her dress Morgan wears a pair of white bloomers.  The legs have white picot lace like the skirt does.
My Child dolls also came with diapers, but Morgan doesn't have hers.  That may explain why her bloomers are a little baggy...or it may be because the elastic stretched out.  No diaper is no biggie for this little gal, though.  Diapers are paper, and paper doesn't exactly last forever.  Some nice new dresses would please me, and here is where Etsy will be next to zero help.  There ARE nice dresses on Etsy...for more than what I paid for Morgan!  So I call upon you, my loyal readers, to help me with this one.  Doe any of you, any at all, know what might fit my Morgan?  Would Build-A-Bear work, or Cabbage Patch Preemie clothes?  If you know anything then your assistance will be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, I'm going to settle Morgan in with the rest of my soft dolls.


**UPDATE, 12/13/2016**  Miss Emily recently did a couple of reviews on a Mattel doll that was apparently very popular in the nineties.  The doll line was called "Magic Nursery" and came in several sizes.  If you look closely at Miss Emily's dolls you'll see that her dolls' shoes are a similar shape to my Morgan's shoes.  I wonder if this means the Magic Nursery toddlers could share clothes with the My Child dolls?  I may have to look into that.


  1. Thank you for the link! I wish I remember when the skin on my doll's face started sagging. But I think you're right that the My Child Dolls just got lost in the shuffle at the time. I like them far more than Cabbage Patch, but there was a mania about the CP dolls! Your doll looks very much like mine, except for her eye color. I hope you can find more clothes for her.

    1. Too bad yours got lost! That seems to happen a lot, doesn't it? We get big and our toys slowly disappear; sometimes we give 'em away, sometimes they're stolen or destroyed or thrown away...it never fails. What color were your little girl's eyes?

    2. Oh no, I still have mine, the one I blogged about. My doll's eyes are green. My eyes are hazel, so she does look quite a bit like me. :) Sorry for the mix-up.

    3. Oh duh, I used that post as a resource for my own! How quickly I forget! What a beauty your little poppet is! She and Morgan could almost be twinkies.

  2. Good grief these are so much cuter than the Cabbage Patch dolls!

    1. They are! I like Cabbies too as my previous post will attest, but these have them beat hands down. The toy market can be monstrously fickle at times.

  3. Hi there!
    I've never seen these dolls before, but I have to say, she has a cutest little button nose I have ever seen. :)

    1. I'd never heard of them either until I read about them in a magazine. I adore their little faces. I hope you get to see one IRL, because they're very pleasant to touch. Very fuzzy and warm.