Collection Close Up: Mattel’s My Child
Ready for a blast from the past? We’re going to venture back the 1980’s for this Collection Close Up and talk about My Child dolls! Made by Mattel, My Child dolls were around from 1985 through 1988.
They are known for their soft (felt like), adorable faces. According to websites, they were made to be ‘one of a kind’. Each came with their own serial number, making each one special. The serial number is located on a tag on the dolls torso. Some numbers were hand written (like on my doll), others were stamped (like all the rest of the dolls featured here). These numbers can come in handy, especially if you are trying to date your doll or figure out if it is made in Taiwan (1985) or China (1986-1988). My Child dolls were manufactured in a variety of hair and eye colors, as well as in both genders and multiple skin tones. Commercials like to point out the fact that they can stand (with shoes) on their own.
My Child dolls were only out for a few years in the US. Taking into consideration the fact that there was a whole slew of My Child dolls released solely outside the US (Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Italy, France and Canada) in 1987 and it should come as no shock that My Child dolls still command pretty high prices on auction sites.
My only My Child (serial number 3645L) was gifted to me in 1985 by my grandmother when I was about 2 years old. My mother says that my grandmother hunted around to find one that resembled me. At the same time, she also picked one up for my mother. Below is my My Child. She’s lost pretty much all of her delicate face coloring, which I might get fixed up one day. She’s still in her original outfit, minus the shoes. Her hair is currently in two braids. With brown eyes and hair, she does look like me! (While my expression in this photo below doesn’t exactly scream enthusiasm, I really did like the doll!)
My mom’s has ash blonde hair in curly pigtails (serial number: 1708HR). Her face coloring is much better than mine. This My Child seems to be wearing the ‘pink Floral outfit‘. Of the two of us, my mom is more of the My Child collector. She has four in her collection and I’m sure would jump at the chance for more.
Over the years, my mom has gathered a few more My Child’s and has even tried her hand at restoring a few of them. The My Child below was a gift from yours truly to my mom. This dolls serial number is 1646R2. I thought the short pale blonde hair was adorable and so far, she hasn’t needed any restoration done.
Like many dolls, sometimes you’ll come across some that are in less than perfect shape. With My Child’s the main problems seem to be face sagging and facial color fading (like their lips and eye lashes, similar to my doll pictured above). Thankfully, there are a lot of helpful sites online that talk about how to restore your doll! My mom has tried restoring two dolls so far with great results. See the first restoration attempt in the video below on this pale blonde My Child (serial number: 1136L)
Usually, restoration includes giving your dolls a ‘face lift’ by doing a blind stitch. A great reference for this is found on YouTube. Click here to see a playlist of tutorials. If you just need to re-do your My Child’s make up, you may want to look at these tutorials, also found on YouTube. (The first playlist also has a make up video.) Besides these, there are quite a few videos online about My Child care. It’s worth searching for the doll on YouTube and seeing what’s out there.
The doll above (serial number unknown) was picked up at the 2016 My Little Pony Fair. The seller said her mom was a collector of My Child and asked her to bring a few to the show. My mom spotted the one doll they brought and bought it. She gave her a face lift and ordered her an outfit online. In the end, she turned out looking so much better than she did before!
There are a few really amazing websites out there aimed at My Child. A few are below:
So, that’s a closer look at the My Child dolls in our collections. Do you have any My Child dolls? Share your thoughts in the comment area.