Thursday, January 19, 2017

Doll-A-Day 2017 # 19 Jane West of The Best of the West by Marx

  Today's doll is Jane West, from Marx's Best of the West series of toys.

  Jane was introduced to the line in 1966, a year after it was introduced.
Even though I never owned any of this stuff as a kid, it's so familiar to me, and takes me back to my 60's childhood. The commercials were constantly shown during Saturday morning cartoons,and I think my cousins owned some of the figures. I definitely remember being around them.
 Jane was the wife of cowboy Johnny West, and the mother to their four children,Jay,Jamie, Janice, and Josie. (This family had a thing about 'J' names.)
Jane with son Jamie.

You can watch the commercial for the Best of the West HERE.

The Best of the West line was introduced to compete with Mattel's GI Joe. When Marx's line of military figures and their secret agent Mike Hazard (Read about my Mike Hazard HERE.) failed to do well against Joe, they decided they needed to go a whole other route, and they decided that route led to cowboys.
When I was a kid I always thought Johnny West was the kid.
The West line had horses,a wagon, a buffalo,a villain, Native Americans, and loads of accessories.

Jane stands 11" tall, and has a very jointed blue plastic body. The early 70's version of Jane has a salmon coloured body.

Jane's box claims 'she will pose for you 1001 ways', which I think puts an awful lot of pressure on Jane, and frankly, I just don't think she can live up to the claim.

  You can tell mine is not the first issue Jane, because, sorry to be blunt, but that one was much more homely than this version.

Original Jane. Poor Jane. She apparently made a trip to the frontier plastic surgeon and looked much different in later years.
Also, the first release Jane had brown soft accessories. They were changed to cream colour (Like these) later.

Because she's a female, Jane got lots of clothing changes, including a belt, three different hats, two different skirts,(fringed and unfringed) two different vests,(again, fringed and unfringed. You know sometimes you have those days where you feel fringier than others...),and 2 bolo ties.

Fringyness! Plus a bolo tie.The paper towel is so you can clearly see the vest, which kept rolling up on itself.

 Plus she also had girly accessories like a purse,a compact, and a lip stick! (In the old west? I thought only saloon girls wore 'paint' in those days!) The lipstick is particularly hard to find these days.
  Of course, she is a 'tough gal',so she also got a branding iron,spurs,a bullwhip, a gun belt,a Colt Peacemaker pistol, a Winchester rifle,a Derringer, a Bowie knife,and a strongbox.
Note the Bowie knife,strongbox, and branding iron.

But remember, she's female, so she also got a frying pan, a coffee pot, and a cup.(To be fair, I'm pretty sure Johnny came with this stuff too.)
That's a branding iron and a spur next to the coffee pot.
The thing I dislike about these figures is their molded on clothing. They must always wear the same pants, even though Jane came with a skirt.Even Jane's hair is molded.

Another thing is,sometimes the accessories were molded in some strange colours,or at the very least, in single colours,with no accent colours. At least the figures did come with lots of accessories though.
  These days the Marx figures have often become brittle with age.They develop cracks,especially around the joints. I once shattered poor Johnny West when he hit the floor after I tossed him to Emma and she failed to catch him.
  Tomorrow we'll see another member of the West family.

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