Modern Babies – Baby So Beautiful and Galoob Baby Face


Baby So Beautiful and Dee Dee
Baby So Beautiful and So Delightful Dee Dee

These two cuties are neighbours on the doll shelf and apart from being two of the more modern of my dolls the thing that they have in common is that they were both acquired from collectors in the USA who I met online. I think that one of the nice things about our hobby, especially amongst the people who frequent Thrift Stores, markets and garage sales, is that they are often happy to help out a fellow collector by doing a swap or selling a doll without looking for a big profit.

I had not seen either of these dolls prior to becoming a collector but I took to both of them immediately I saw photos of them online.

Let’s talk about the BabyFace dolls first.

Baby Face

According to the website BabyFaceDolls.com the creator of the Baby Face doll line is Mel Birnkrant. His idea was to create dolls with emotional expressions, he added jointed limbs to make them more poseable. In 1990, in partnership with Kiscom Toys, he licensed his Baby Face doll designs to the Lewis Galoob Toy Company. Thirty six different dolls, all with names starting with “So” were produced over the next two years before Galoob discontinued them while they were still at the height of their popularity. They were bought both as children’s toys and by collectors. You can read more about how the Baby Faces were created in an article entitled “How Baby Face Was Born”. It is very long,  practically a book, but entertaining as it is tells the story of how the dolls were created, the problems in getting them on the market and why  they were withdrawn. If you want to cut to the chase and get straight to how Baby Face was created start at part 11 but it’s really interesting to read about Mel Birnkrant’s early career in his own words so I’d recommend reading the whole thing if you have the time.

I just like them because I think their faces are very cute, faces are important to me. I think my doll is So Delightful Dee Dee from the first series of dolls. I seem to remember that’s what the person I bought her from told me too. I like the jointed limbs, I think they do add to her charm.

So Delightful Dee Dee, I am not sure if this is her original outfit but it is a Baby Face one.
So Delightful Dee Dee, I am not sure if this is her original outfit but it is a Baby Face one. I think it might be from So Surprised Suzie.
Baby Face just make you smile.
Baby Face just make you smile.

 Baby So Beautiful

Baby So Beautiful by Playmates were produced from 1995 to 1996 and designed by J Shackleford. Like the Baby Face dolls Baby So Beautiful was made with many different hair and eye colours. Mine looks like her eyes are two different colours in the photo but really they are both light brown.  I do like the wispy hair which to me looks more realistic. I’ve looked at a few photos of other dolls and I see that not all of them have this. Some have wigs with quite long, thick hair which means they don’t look as much like babies.

My Baby So Beautiful
My Baby So Beautiful

I haven’t been able to find a lot of information about them on the internet so far but I wonder if that J Shackleford may be the cloth doll artist Jan Shackleford. 

There is another J Shackleford in the toy industry, Judy Shackleford who worked for Mattel in the 1980s. I couldn’t find out what she was doing at the time that BSB was created but she seems to have been involved in a different area of toy production. If anyone knows perhaps they could drop me a line.

 

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13 comments

    • Hi Bruce, as I mentioned I don’t know a great deal about Baby Face but I would guess that if yours has two different shades it was a factory fault and probably quite rare. I hope some other collectors might be able to tell us more.

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      • I am a serious collector of Baby Face dolls. I currently have 35 different ones and lack 3 of having the entire MASS PRODUCED collection. I have yet to see one with 2 different eye colors. This could have been a mishap at the factory or a former owner changing eye colors. I have not yet tackled that but may do so in the future. I have restrung several of my dolls and they turned out great! My next thing is to dye them or change from white to AA. I will do any experimenting with “extra” dolls and not my collected ones.

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      • Thanks for your input Virginia. They are cute dolls and one day when I’ve made a bit more space I wouldn’t mind getting a couple more myself. Very clever of you to restring them and a good policy to experiment on the spares.

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      • Hi Angela
        You could try selling your doll online through sites such as eBay, etsy etc, there are also Facebook groups that specialise in selling dolls. Whatever method you choose give an accurate description of your doll taking care to include information about any makers name, doll marks etc and any flaws the doll might have. Include some nice sharp photos so that people can get a good look at her. I know that when I am buying dolls online I don’t even consider ones that don’t have a good photo. If you are lucky enough to have a doll club in your area that might be another option too as they may have a newsletter.

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    • Hi Donna, thanks for the comment and the link. I owned Amazing Amy for a while, a younger version of Amanda I think. I am afraid I did not like her though. She was always asking for medicine which I found creepy and the words please and thank you were not in her vocabulary. I found her a bit irritating but the technology was clever.

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  1. Hi does any body know where I can I find the model number of my baby so beautiful doll all I know is she is limited edition called garden party

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