Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Three Toms or the Cosmic Tom in Vinyl - Link Added

Will the REAL Tom, please stand?

Please note, all three young men remain standing. They are all TOM.

From left to right, we have the Original Tom from 1992. He is the first Tom. In the middle, we have Totoco - Chinese Tom also from 1992. At the end, on our right, we have Licca Club 67 Tom again from 1992. One character, three different complexions. How can this be?

1992. Takara issued a new, handsome boyfriend for Jenny, and they named him Tom. Tom is from Los Angeles. He break dances and gets into trouble. On the back of his box, he is shown pushing Jeff, Jenny's "Ken," back. Ooohh Tom the Bad Boy. Eh, but he's cute and how many Black males would I find produced in Takara's Jenny line. So I bought the original Tom.

Then I found out about Chinese Tom from a Japanese store called Totoco. Oh, how did that happen now? In the United States, we don't "change" races. Sure, Barbies are sold in various complexions and various races. But ... well, everyone KNOWS that ethnic Barbies are for marketing purposes. Sell Black Barbies to the African American market. Sell Latina Barbies to the Latino market. During the occasional "Blue Moon," Asian Barbies are produced. For whom? Oh, yes, for the Asian market.

Tom differs though because he is Tom for the same market - Asian children who play with dolls and possibly for collectors. The "Black" Tom and the "White" Tom are NOT described as such. They are just Tom. How?

My understanding is that, his eye print defines him. You shall know Tom by his eye print. And if you look at the three Toms, look at their eyes, they are all the same. Different colors, but basically the same eyes.

I brought Tom or the Toms forth today because his/their race(s) seem(s) so ... fluid? They remind me of Zorah Neale Hurson's "I belong to no race nor time" from How It Feels to Be Colored Me. Perhaps he is a Cosmic Tom?

Note: the description I wrote about Tom is from memory from Barbie Bazaar and Doll Reader magazine articles and from messages in Yahoo Jenny Groups (Casual Jenny and Biscuit's Club). If anyone thinks that my description in the paragraph that starts "1992" borders on plagiarism, please send a comment or e-mail me so that I can alter the text.


Black Doll Enthusiast said...

It is interesting that they are viewed as just Tom.

I had a version of the Tom on the left a few years ago that I *believe* I eventually sold. I know that I do still own Photogenic Jenny, Neo Licca and Black Licca.


D7ana said...

DBG, I thought the view that Tom was Tom regardless of his complexion or hair changes, interesting, too.

When I heard the Hurston quote about race, I thought of Tom. It "works" for Tom, for me in thinking about Tom.

wtsrudi said...

GREAT correlation of a beautiful quote and a COOL DOLL.... one of the BEST in the Jenny World!!!

D7ana said...

Thanks, Rudi! Tom is my FAVE Jenny boyfriend. I love his eyeprint; he has this challenging look that the other guys don't have. (Charles looks "stuck up" LOL; Shou looks "goofy.") Raph looks similar; I need to check to see what the difference is between them.

Niel Camhalla said...

"Tom differs though because he is Tom for the same market - Asian children who play with dolls and possibly for collectors. The "Black" Tom and the "White" Tom are NOT described as such. They are just Tom. How?"

If he is intended for the Asian market, I guess he has to reflect the range of Asian skin tone, which I think is good. I find his features feminine, though. But I won't mind having one of him. Hehehe.

D7ana said...

That's a good suggestion, Niel. That Takara Tom always is an Asian doll - just in different complexions. However, the first Tom was considered "Black" by David Hammond, author of several articles, and Western Jenny collectors. I will edit this post to include Mr. Hammond's article about Jenny's boyfriends.

That is not to say that Asian children having the first Tom considered him "Black" or that collectors cannot "change" a given figure's race. I certainly have done so at times ;-D

AilanthusAltissima said...

Cool doll. I don't have any Jennies so I am happy to learn she has a friend, Tom. Thanks for introducing me to a new doll!

D7ana said...

Always glad to share doll news, Kim! And Miss Jenny from Takara has LOTS of friends. Several boyfriends, too. LOL