This is my baby. I got her for Christmas of 1968.
And here she is on the day.
She's wearing her original clothes; a blouse and tights. She has lost the flower applique that was on her yellow ribbon,and she was apparently wearing one of those beaded Baby ID bracelets. That's possibly around here somewhere. I know I still have the one from my Tiny Thumbelina.The outfits on all of the Newborn Thumbelina's are pretty similar: the same blouse, with maybe a couple of different ribbon colours,(occasionally white but usually yellow), and hot pink,pink, yellow, orange,or chartreuse tights.
|Zooming in didn't help much. I guess my dad wasn't much of a photographer. It's not something he did a lot of.|
My sister named her for some unknown reason. She called her Cocoa, and I went with it. I was 6. Most of the names I thought of were still so weird and convoluted I had a hard time remembering them, so it's just as well.
Newborn Thumbelina only came in the 9" size. I had had two other Thumbelinas, the large 18 or 20" doll, and the smaller, 14" Tiny Thumbelina. By the time I received Cocoa I was a single Thumb owner. My first Thumbelina had been relegated to the trash pile in the woods near the house years before I got Cocoa.(That's where unburnable trash went in those days, as we had no trash pickup out in the country.) I don't know why my mom threw her away, but I can still clearly remember her on top of the trash pile. She had white hair and I begged my mom to let me get her down.My second Thumb (That's what we called her.) is still here, in my closet usually. She's the kind with the plastic knob you crank to make her move 'like a real baby'.Of course, my mom threw her knob away. Anything that wasn't attached and looked useless or broken was history if Mom found it.I didn't leave Thumb's knob in her back because I used to play with it as other things. It was frequently a sucker.(Don't ask me why.) Newborn Thumbelinas didn't have a knob. They were all modern, with pullstrings in their backs.
Her arms and legs are vinyl, like her head. Her body is cloth, and very soft.Most of her mechanism is in her head.
Cocoa's hair is still in amazingly good condition.
It's a smoother hair that doesn't get crispy and break off like Tiny Thumbelina's.(My sister made Thumb a wig from one of Mom's old stockings and some yellow yarn. Her heart was in the right place, but it looks like a thatched roof and never stayed on very well.I still have it though.
Cocoa still works. Not as well as she did before I let Unsentimental Niece play with her for a while. When her string is pulled she moves her head slowly, (accompanied by a mechanical whirring sound that would set any real baby bawling.)
Like most people who collect, I don't usually leave something good behind when I find it at a yard sale or thrift store, even if it isn't something I want for myself. At a yard sale a few years ago I found a blonde Newborn Thumb and bought her for a quarter or whatever. I took her apart, cleaned her, put her back together. She worked. I sold her to a lady who told me this story: When she was a little girl she had seen the blonde Newborn Thumbelina in a store while out shopping with her dad. She wanted her badly. Christmas was coming,but things were hard for them at the time, and there were a lot of kids in her family. She knew she would never get the doll, but she still wanted her. Here it was, almost Christmas, and she had spotted my sale and it all came out again. Now she could give herself what she had wanted for so long. She was so happy. When she told me this, before I had mailed the doll, I wrapped Thumby in Christmas paper and put a tag on her; "To **** From Santa". She sent me an email when she received her in the mail. She said she had put her under the tree just like that and wasn't going to open her until Christmas morning. She was so excited. It was so nice to make someone so happy. That's one of my favourite stories.