Amazing doll about 16" tall and she still has NO VOICEBOX and her pull string hole has been sewed up. She used to say things like "Can you dig it?" and "I'm proud like you". She no longer has her original dress, I am selling her as found. She needs to have her voice box replaced, and I know a guy if you are interested, google "Mattel doll repair" and there is a person who has experience fixing these types of dolls. Sweet collectors item.
The Tamu doll was manufactured by a Los-Angeles-based African-American-owned company named Shindana Toys, which was formed in 1968. Its first doll was named Nancy, but she was not as popular as its second, Tamu (whose name translates into “sweet” in Swahili), which was selling for the first time around 1970. Click on doll above for a full view.
The company itself grew out of the 1965 Watts riots that engulfed South Central Los Angeles, and the founders wanted to help rebuild the neighborhood. Called Operation Bootstrap Inc., the company was founded by Louis S. Smith II and Robert Hall, with financial backing from Chase Manhattan Capital Corp., the Mattel Toy Co. and other companies, according to one account.
The 16-inch-tall Tamu had a cloth body and vinyl hands and head, with a black rooted afro. She came equipped with a pull string that compelled her to speak 18 short phrases. Little girls could hear what I now would describe as quaint 1970s black-speak: “Cool it baby,” “Can you dig it.” Other statements included “My name is Tamu” and “Tell me a Story.”
I found the doll and several made by Shindana – including the Rodney Allen Rippy and the J.J. Walker dolls – featured in ads in Ebony magazine. A 1974 ad noted that Tamu was the company’s most wanted talking doll, and a 1975 story about Christmas toys mentioned that the company made 17 dolls.
MORE ABOUT THE DOLL MAKER: Shindana Toys, a division of Operation Bootstrap, Inc., was a South Central Los Angeles, California cooperative toy company formed in 1968, one of many Operation Bootstrap initiatives undertaken following the 1965 Watts riots. Company proceeds supported businesses in the Watts area. Shindana (a Swahili word roughly meaning “to compete”) Toys was community-owned and founded by Louis S. Smith, II and Robert Hall. The latter was the company’s first CEO and President; though he was succeeded in both posts by Smith. The Chase Manhattan Bank, the Mattel Toy Company, Sears Roebuck & Co. and Equitable Life Assurance helped finance portions of the Shindana Toys operations.
From a shop on Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California, Doris Conner–an African American, entrepreneurial businesswoman–along with her daughters, Lynne and Tuesday Conner, created, designed, and manufactured many of the clothes worn by Shindana Dolls. They also manufactured the Flip Wilson and Redd Foxx dolls.
Shindana Toys was historically significant for being one of the first toy companies (if not the first) to market ethnically correct Black dolls. A goal of the company was to raise Black consciousness and improve self-image. In a 1970’s Los Angeles Associated Press article, company president, Louis Smith said, “We believe that only by learning to love oneself can one learn to love others"…Shindana believes that by marketing black dolls and games that both black and white children can learn to relate to at an early age, the company can foster the spirit of what Shindana is all about, love.”
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I now offer gift wrapping for a fee. Please contact me and tell me if you want Holiday, Birthday, blank colored paper, etc. I love to wrap and will make it look cute! I send small items like jewelry in a small gift box. I send wrapped dolls in recycled doll boxes, wrapped, then placed inside another box.
#1) Haunted Dolls are for Adult Collectors, not children. Please do not buy anything haunted for children. I will not sell to those under the age of 18
#2) Spirits are just like people. When you purchase a haunted doll from me, it is an adoption. Give it some time, and lots of love, and you will get back exactly what you put into the relationship. Your experience will depend on many factors, I suggest researching haunted dolls and the phenomena surrounding them to be sure you are ready for the commitment. I can not and will not guarantee that your doll will "perform" for you.
#3) I am not responsible for any paranormal activity you may experience when you invite a spirit into your home. Please research prior to adoption.
I can hold dolls, jewelry, or anything for up to 6 weeks on Reserve. I will have you put the item in your cart and I will change the first photo to a sign that says "Reserved" and I will put your name and the date on the title. If you need more time, or chance your mind, just email me. The most important factor, to me, is that the spirit and caregiver make the proper connection. If you are not feeling it, please UNRESERVE and give that spirit a chance to find the right connection.
No layaways or payment arrangements. We no longer do lay-away or payment arrangements as of 3/1/2017. However, we do reserve dolls for up to 6 weeks or longer, and we can also do custom orders
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EVALS: If you think your doll is haunted, please contact me to discuss it PRIOR to mailing them in. Once a doll has been sent to me, unless we have discussed an alternative option, I will sell the doll on my shop after the evaluation. All dolls sent to me are mine to keep, unless we discuss otherwise. If you want an evaluation and your doll sent back to you, please email me so I can make a custom listing for the return shipping to you.
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Under 4lbs will go First Class International, and over 4lbs will go Priority mail International. You are responsible for VAT and customs charges where applicable.
If your order was broken during shipping, or had some other flaw that I did not mention in the listing, please contact me and I will take care of that. I do not accept returns for haunted dolls, all sales are final. I will work with you on any other issue that you might have. Returns for items that do not fit (clothing) or if you just changed your mind, will incur a 10% restocking fee. Buyer pays the return shipping, with tracking. I am not responsible for lost packages you send to me.