by Tommy Tutone
|Takara Compact Dolls|
"Who's That Doll"
|Takara is a Japanese company originally licensed by Mattel in the 1980's to produce Barbie dolls over in Japan for little girls there. Because of the huge influence of anime in that country, Barbie's standard features never did well, and Takara gained permission to manufacture a Barbie that would appeal more to their market, which included making the eyes larger and the nose and mouth much smaller. The Japanese Barbie, in fact, looks like she stepped out of a Miyazaki movie.
Eventually, Takara's licensing agreement with Mattel ended, and they opted not to renew it. Since they owned the designs for the Japanese version of Barbie, they decided to continue production, renaming her "Jenny". In addition to the slightly-shorter-than-Barbie doll, standing just under 11 inches in height, Takara also made a line of Compact Jenny dolls, which are only 6" tall, but they didn't start manufacturing these until the early 2000's. The taller Jenny doll has many friends, and all have names, including several male dolls. The Compact dolls do not have names, and are only known by a number and by the outfits they wear.
|In the photos above, you can see the difference in size between the Takara Compact doll and a Topper Dawn (or in this case, Gary) doll.
The Takara bodies are also similar in construction to the vintage Mattel RockFlower dolls, being made of a rubbery polymer with an internal wire skeleton, which allows them to bend and pose almost as much as a human. Unlike the RockFlowers, however, the Takara doll bodies have much more muscle definition sculpted into them. But just like the RockFlowers, too much bending can break the "skin" and cause the wires to poke through in places you don't want them to. And believe me, it doesn't take much bending to ruin an expensive, hard-to-find Takara Compact doll!
The dolls are marked on their feet, surprisingly. The right foot reads "Made in China" and the left foot "Takara" and a year the doll was released.
A caution: don't take off the male doll's shoes. It took me half an hour to get them back on again!
|Compact Dolls come packaged in clear, plastic tubes. However, it's very difficult to see the doll clearly this way, and I like to see my dolls on display. All my dolls are loose, except for the three larger, boxed dolls (the two bride dolls and the hula girl), and while I keep those three in their boxes, I have taken them out to photograph them for our purposes here.|
|Compact dolls are identified (incompletely) by "CD" numbers. I don't have numbers for all the dolls, and it has been difficult to find resources to tell me what they are. Those I have been able to identify are labeled with their numbers. If anyone knows what numbers the others have, please contact me: email@example.com. Thanks!|
Still in her tube
|CD-6 The Cowgirl|
|CD-9||CD-9 Pink version
(Unless someone tells me differently)
|CD-21||(A variation of CD-24 with blue sneakers and short brown hair)|
|CD-22 - Red bikini
I did some online research recently and discovered the number for this doll.
|CD-27 - Cheerleader|
|CD-DX-3 - Party Excellence|
|CD-DX-2 - June Bride|
|CD-DX-1 - Wedding Gown|
|Recently, I became aware of the existence of a Takara Compact clone from this site. She is known as "Slender Girl", and you can see one about half-way down the page.|
|Pink tube top
|Red jacket, black shorts
|While the larger Takara "Jenny" dolls all had names, including the males, the smaller dolls did not. Therefore, the only method of keeping them straight is by the "CD" numbers, or by describing their outfits. The latter method is not an exact science, and can lead to confusion. The five dolls shown above are the ones remaining in my collection (or that I have seen) for which I do not have "CD" numbers. If anyone knows what they are, please drop me a line: