Toy Stories (My Friend Mandy & My Friend Jenny)

My Friend Mandy
Christmas 1978: My Friend Mandy
I was four, and frankly a typical tom boy. My hair was cropped short. I usually played outside with my faithful canine companion Lucky. We were almost always dirty, and almost always in trouble. You’d be hard pressed to get me into a dress unless it was Sunday morning. You get the idea – I was not the girly-girl which doll manufacturers might consider their target audience.

However, my sweet Mama was determined to bring out the lace and sweetness and clean fingernails she had envisioned when first she heard, “It’s a Girl!” So, she looked around for the perfect doll, and found “My Friend Mandy”. Made by Fisher Price, and the first of the “My Friend” series, Mandy stood 16” tall. She had silky blond hair and lovely blue eyes. Mine came wearing a pink dress with tiny white polka dots. She had a white hat, tights and shoes. She was just wonderful. Even a rough and tumble tomboy like me couldn’t resist such a sweet doll. I loved her. I loved her hair which was easy to style. I loved her clothes. In addition to the outfit she came in, I received a little fur coat and hat and a big pile of home-made clothes (each “My Friend” doll came with free patterns and Mom had several outfits made for my doll).

Another bonus was that Mandy was machine washable, so when she and I came in from a long day climbing trees and chasing Lucky…she could be popped in the washer and was soon as good as new!

My Friend Jenny

Christmas 1979: My Friend Jenny

Jump ahead one year, and imagine my surprise when I opened a Christmas package which held a brunette version of Mandy. “My Friend Jenny” had hair as dark as mine, and big brown eyes. She was dressed in a fluffy white shirt, a brown jumper and a straw hat. She was the same size as Mandy and could share all of her outfits. She was a wonderful doll, and together she and Mandy remain my favorites thirty-plus years later.

Back when I first found out I was pregnant with our son, I was so convinced that our baby was going to be a girl, that I dug my Mandy and Jenny dolls out of storage. I ordered more outfits and also a pattern book to make even more myself. I enlisted my sweet Dad to make the gals a little wooden bed (He did a wonderful job - it even has clothing storage under the “mattress”). I made a little blanket and pillow for the bed. Then I decided I should also find the doll I never had as a child, but wanted: “My Friend Becky”.

My Friend Becky

So then there were three.

They are now back in storage of course, as I don’t think Little Guy would have much use for them. Maybe if we are ever blessed with a little girl, she’ll someday enjoy these dolls as much as I did. If not, I’ll someday find a different little girl to pass them too. Regardless, I love them and they are easily two of my fondest Christmas presents from childhood.

Maybe someday I'll track down Mikey and Nicky too, but for now these three make me happy.

I don't have pics of my own dolls for some reason (need to raid the old family albums or get my gals out of storage again).  The images you see within this post are from the following sites:

1 comment:

  1. I had Mandy and Jenny too. I got them later than you, so they came with different outfits. I never had Becky either. Need to see where my mom has them stashed...she's a doll collector. I had a lot of dolls growing up, but these were definitely favorites too!



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