Meet the Mettis (and Nettas)

I treated myself to a new set up for photographing the dolls recently. It is a big white cube and a pair of small lights. Naturally I wanted to try it out so I decided that I would take some new photos of my Netta and Metti dolls.

I have several of these Australian made dolls in different sizes but today I’m just going to show you the smaller ones who are all about thirteen inches tall.

I wrote a page about Metti and Netta way back in May 2013. It must have been one of the first ones I ever wrote. You can read it here.  Sadly when I checked my links I found that the one to the  excellent article about Metti and Netta on Blogger’s “Vintage Cobweb” no longer works. I’ll have to see if I can source that information again. Luckily Michelle who ran that blog was kind enough to allow me to use some of her photos on my page.

To cut a long story short two former Metti employees formed Netta Australia after Metti closed down and made dolls in their own factory in Adelaide for many years. Netta still exists today but manufacturing has gone offshore. I am not sure if they still make the indigenous dolls  but they do make baby dolls and many of these are custom-made for educational purposes.

I have often come across Metti Bindi’s for sale referred to as boys. I always thought that they were girls but as they are not gender specific I guess they can be whatever you want them to be.

Metti Dolls

I have  four Metti dolls. One I bought still in her box and she is still wearing her original print dress and sandals. Actually I originally bought two of them for a very good price at a doll show here in Tasmania about 20 years ago but I sold one to an American collector I met through Yahoo groups who really liked the Metti dolls. I was happy to let her go as I had  the others and knew she would be well-loved.  One of the other Bindi’s still has her original outfit minus shoes but the other one just has a scrap of red material and really ought to get a new outfit one day. Picaninny, the little one is also wearing her original outfit.

Four dolls made by Metti Australia


The smaller and harder to find Picaninny doll.

Netta Dolls

Now the Netta dolls. I have four, one aboriginal and the other three white. They all have the same body type which is chubbier than the Metti dolls. As you can see the features on the dark skinned doll are quite different from her older Metti sisters. I bought her some time in the early 1990s I think and I’m fairly sure the dolls were still being made then. Katy, as I call the brunette was bought at a second hand shop that dealt in toys in Port Adelaide, that was a great shop.I was sad when it closed. Linda the brown-eyed blonde,  was bought from a lady in Kingston, Tasmania. She still had her original pink dress but the lady had put her in this lovely crocheted outfit so I kept her in it. The blonde, blue-eyed doll I think came from eBay.




By the way none of these dolls are really rare, you can usually find them on eBay Australia from about $A40 upwards depending on condition. Picaninny is a little bit harder to find as she wasn’t made for as long but she’s not impossible to get.



  1. A white cube and a couple of lights is a fantastic investment. You will get MUCH better pictures! I had something similar when I was selling dolls and other small stuff.

    I really like the little Abo dolls. Wonderful faces!


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