Apple Valley Era
My Twinn was founded in 1993 in Agoura California by John Kurdika, an emergency room physician, and Lisa Driscoll, a former account executive for a children’s entertainment company. Dr. Kurdika learned through conversations with his young patients that they were attached to their dolls because “they looked like me” (Click on links in green!). He developed a doll-making technique and used his custom made figures as an emotional aid for sick children under his care. He believed that replica dolls helped to build a child’s confidence and self-esteem. With virtually no advertising the new company received more than 400 orders during the first three months of operation.
The banner image, shared by Cathi in Oregon, is a press photo dated December 13, 1994 showing one of the earliest known versions of the My Twinn doll, a 1991 dated sculpt by Pat Secrist. Click the green to see photos of Cathi in Oregon's very special Pat Secrist sculpt Twinn, which she named Rigel. If you know of any cousins of Rigel, please contact us, we would love to add their photos too. This original sculpt was joined by two by Vincent De Filippo, dated 1994, known by collectors as ‘Cookie’ and ‘Karen’, which became the size standard for My Twinn as we know them today. They had eight-piece white cloth covered stuffed bodies with vinyl appendages (bent leg) and the head was attached by a tie string. These dolls could sit and lie down but need a doll stand to stand in an upright position. These original dolls are referred to as having ‘Apple Valley’ bodies as can be seen on these Apple Valley Cookie facemold dolls also shared by Cathi in Oregon, and have characteristic pudgy toddler like limbs very different than the more slender limbs of the later non-poseable My Twinn dolls. They were modified by altering the hair, skin and eye colors with the option for freckles, birthmarks, pierced ears and eye glasses to resemble their owners. It is not known when the Pat Secrist "Rigel" sculpt was retired, but we do know they are extremely rare and are only known in the Apple Valley body type.
In 1995, Dr. Kurdika sold his business to the Flagship Group, Kenn Thiess and Lane Anderson, a privately held Colorado mail-order company. They licensed the technology to make a personalised doll from Dr. Kurdika and moved the fledgling My Twinn Company from California to Englewood, Colorado. The company became The Lifelike Company, Inc, doing business as The My Twinn Company. The new owners attended an event where a noted sculpture, Karl Quilter, was speaking on basic face shapes. The owners consulted Karl Quilter who identified a series of characteristic face shapes and features exhibited by 95% of children aged 3 to 12. Karl Quilter was asked to sculpt several of the face types he classified and the face molds known by collectors as Catherine, Kelsey, Kate, Rosemary/Caitlin and Mallory are attributed to his artistry.
The company selected 7 facemolds initially, all with different looks, and continued the original sculpts by Vincent De Fillippo. The new owners were excited to offer the customer a high quality keepsake doll custom-designed from a photograph, using ten facial characteristics: face shapes (rounded, oval, pear, rectangular, thinner rectangular, thinner heart, and wider heart) selected by a trained technician; skin tone; eye color; eyelash color; eyebrow color, thickness, and shape; hair color, cut, length, and style; and birthmarks, moles, and/or freckles resulting in a one of a kind doll closely resembling the child. U.S. Patent Nos. 6,071,171, 6,074,270, 6,099,378, and 6,244,926 assigned to The Lifelike Company were issued covering various aspects of the creation of these dolls. By altering these characteristics the company could create tens of thousands of unique configurations. (Click for a selection of My Twinn Color Charts and especially for the seamstresses, the range in body sizes of the poseable Twinn dolls over the years). This was a fundamentally different approach than that of American Girl where each face in the collection of 20 dolls offered by The Pleasant Company has the same basic shape, with 3 of the 20 dolls having different-shaped eyes and noses based on racial characteristics.
After placing an advertisement in People Magazine in 1995, My Twinn began receiving more than 2,000 orders a day for the custom doll. Christmas 1996 was the first large production year. The My Twinn website was up and running complementing catalog sales. My Twinn partnered with Fao Schwartz in 1996 (Click for catalog pages) and the dolls were offered through their catalog and flagship store. In 1997 they expanded the line to include the My Twinn Boy following a multitude of customer requests. In 1997 they also introduced the poseable dolls (click to compare with non-poseable), 23” dolls which could stand on their own and 'My Twinn Boy' dolls. They had a stuffed white fabric body with an imbedded articulated armature and vinyl limbs allowing a wide range of motion. The early years saw a substantial increase in sales and expansion of its product line, including the Classic Treasures, Friends based on the 23” doll, 14” Cuddlies, Loveable Sisters/Little Sisters (catalog photos of the same set have been labeled both ways) with their 14" Cuddlies, and 20” Babies, (later renamed Toddlers) when the infant Baby Dolls were introduced), Poseable Pets, and Keepsake/ Heirloom dolls.
The dolls were originally manufactured by the Middleton Company. The popularity of My Twinn grew and production slowly began to be moved to Asia (by Early Lite) to meet the demand. At this time My Twinn commissioned the Asian manufacturer to sculpt more facemolds in the style of Karl Quilter based upon photographic models. My Twinn intended to expand into international markets and created the European face molds Wilma, Sharon, Vanessa and Wendi, and Asian face molds Kim,Tamsen, Lydia and Micale (Pearl and Berkeley are joining in the photo for comparison). Additional African America and Hispanic face molds were introduced at this time as well. It wasn't until much later, February 2012, that My Twinn began to ship globally, following increasing requests from international customers.
Collectors identify about 42 different facemolds from this period, with a few variants as certain face molds were repoured. For example, 'Pearl' was a later version of the 'Micale' face mold. 'Pearl' does not have the prominent eye fold of the 'Micale' face mold. Similarly, Berkeley is believed to have been a variant of the Tamsen face mold. The 'Ariel' facemold has several variants from the original including two that have been given their own names by collectors, Rose and Melissa. You can see photos of the different facemolds on our sister site Westport Dolls, as well as a Facemold Reference Chart with scalp and neck inscriptions to distinguish facemolds and variants.
Naming of the Face Molds
Many folks are curious how the facemold names came about. Many of the names in general use by collectors today were assigned by an early collector, Deb F., with many based on the names assigned to the 'Friend' dolls for sale by My Twinn on their website pages. My Twinn was not open with the collector community about the names and codes used internally by My Twinn for the face molds. One rationale was that they wanted to maintain the mystique of choosing a doll to match your child, and didn't want a separate set of names to distract from the one-of-a-kind uniqueness of their dolls. The collector community continued to name, distinguish and catalog the different face molds, including cross-references to the names and codes used internally by My Twinn as they were discovered. That effort is still under way and can be seen in the Facemold Reference Chart on our sister site, Westport Dolls. Additions and corrections are always welcome! Occasionally My Twinn will refer to one of their internal names on Facebook, and a quick cross-reference to the Facemold Reference Chart will give you the collector name.
It has been suggested by a retired employee that there were several face molds created during this period which were not selected for production. At least one pre-production doll from a non-production face mold named ‘Haley’ is known to be in existence from this time period. Connie Marshall has suggested that there are a very few 'prototypes' in existence that she recalls painting or being painted by other Denver artists. In June of 2010, a second doll believed to be a non-production facemold appeared. Read on to learn more about 'Natalie'. In March 2012, two new face molds appeared for sale on the 'Vintage Friends' page, Haley (remember the prototype!) and another of the missing prototypes/ non-production dolls, named 'Carolyn' by collectors after Carolyn from KY, the first collector to share her photos and statistics with the collector community. My Twinn has poured a limited number of these new face molds, as well as a limited number of several of the retired face molds. We have spoken with a representative of My Twinn about their discovery and plans for these dolls which you can read about in our 'Twinn Times,' which we hope will become a regular news conversation with My Twinn.
Back to the History
In 1998 My Twinn teamed with Toys “R” Us for the holiday season to feature the doll in catalogs and in store displays in over 150 selected Toys "R" Us stores. By 1999 My Twinn moved from the white fabric covering to a skin-toned fabric covering for the poseable body dolls. In August that year, they launched their first ‘Back-to-School’ catalog, an innovative way to get children excited about back-to-school shopping and grow sales before the holiday season. In November 1999, the dolls appeared on ''The Oprah Winfrey Show'' and were named to her popular shopping guide ''Oprah's Favorite Things.'' The doll artist Connie Marshall, painted the first Oprah dolls. . . . 4 for her, 2 child and 2 adult. Connie has shared that Oprah loved the dolls and sent an autographed photo in thanks to the Doll Hospital Supervisor at that time, Adele. Adele kept the photo on her desk for all to see. Connie also painted dolls for many other celebrities, including Rosie O'Donnell, Regis & Kathy Lee, Sally Jesse Raphael and Ralph Lauren, who loved the doll so much he ordered one for every member of his family. Connie's celebrity dolls were shown on several TV programs at the time. In August 2000, Make a Wish Foundation made Jessica's wish come true, a visit to the birth place of her treasured My Twinn doll. In Fall 2000 My Twinn continued to expand the line introducing the poseable plush dogs. By this time a wide selection of wardrobe, accessories and furniture were available. The dolls were also available at the My Twinn outlet store in Castlerock, CO and at seasonal 'Kiosks' in local malls.
The period up through 2001 is referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of My Twinn. (Click the green link for a selection articles from this time). While heads were cast, and cheeks and lips were painted generically in China (without reference to the child's photo), the final insertion of eyes, facial painting enhancements (and repainting if lips and cheeks did not match the child), hairstyling and assembly was completed in Denver. The vinyl was of a very high quality and prized for its porcelain-like appearance. The depth and color of the eyes were very realistic and wigs were lush. Dolls from this period are highly collectible. There is variation among quality of eyebrow and facial painting from this period, however. In 1998 to reduce cost the Chinese vendor mixed the brow colors together and began painting all of the brows with the resulting greyish paint, regardless of hair color. My Twinn stepped in, fixed the color issue and had Gayla Burnley prepare examples of generic brows, as templates for the Chinese doll artists to mimic resulting in consistent quality brows. Dolls painted by several Denver My Twinn doll production artists from this era, namely Kim Olsen and Gayla Burnley and especially the doll hospital artists Connie Marshall and Carol Ferrin, are particularly sought after by collectors. (For examples of their work click the green links). We are always interested in adding examples of the doll artists' work, including the examples of several other My Twinn doll hospital artists including Brandon Hovet, Raul Valadez and Sue McCullough. (Please contact us if you would like to contribute photos). In 2000, however, production and cost demands caused My Twinn management to begin bringing the Chinese practices into the Denver plant. Quality of facial painting declined, repaint requests out-paced the capacity of the doll hospital artists and returns began piling up. There is some suggestion that Denver management hid the quality issues that were mounting with the production changes from the owners until it was too late.
Historically the holiday season accounted for about 80% of My Twinn sales. The tragic events of September 11 had a devastating impact on holiday 2001 sales. Holiday catalogs were mailed out for delivery on September 10. Although achieving revenues of $26.7 million in 2001, the company lost millions in anticipated revenues from the holiday season that year. Over the next two years the My Twinn Company shifted manufacturing completely to China in a strategy to reduce production costs to help recoup the losses from the 2001 holiday season. In 2002 they opened a retail store in Denver for the holidays. The 'Classic Treasures', a series of non-poseable dolls in a numbered, limited edition of 50, were sold during this time, according to a former employee as a way to sell off the remaining stock of non-poseable bodies. Unfortunately, with the cost cutting measures and manufacturing shift they lost control of production quality. Although many of the Asian doll artists produced beautiful work including realistically rendered eyebrows, issues arose with eye, wig, vinyl and assembly quality. Vinyl colors and finish were not consisitent from lot to lot with some lots having a shiny appearance and/or off colors. Part of the cost cutting measures were to be able to reduce the cost of the dolls to reach more consumers. You can see this from the pricing of the dolls for the 2003 Holiday season.
Some dolls from this period are slightly smaller in scale than certain of their Denver counterparts. However, the real features distinguishing the China era dolls are the undated necks/molds, quality of the vinyl, eyes and wigs. The lack of date markings that were present on their Denver counterparts indicate they were poured from new, undated molds. (Note a few Denver Era facemolds were never dated. For details refer to the Facemold Reference Chart at Westport Dolls).
It was rumored that new molds were cast from the inside of the original dolls heads (due to loss of access to the original molds due to non-payment of bills) resulting in the smaller scale heads, but this is not possible as the insides of the heads lack facial details. In actuality, the new molds would have to have been cast using a dolls head as a model (or positive) and the resulting cast (or negative space) would then be made into the new mold. Since vinyl shrinks when it cools, all vinyl doll heads would necessarily be smaller than their original molds. So a new mold cast from a doll head would be smaller than the original mold, and the resulting dolls heads poured from these molds would thus be smaller yet. This is the most concise explanation to date of the smaller, undated China heads, and we can thank Frankie for the clarification... and Connie Marshall for the confirmation that this is exactly what happened!
A comment about size. Head size varies slightly even among Denver dolls of the same facemold in addition to differences between facemolds and between the different eras. We know that different recipes of vinyl shrink on cooling to different degrees so that is another factor that contributes to differences in head sizes. It is my speculation that the original Denver facemolds were a bit more petite because they were originally intended for the more petite non-poseable bodies. Similarly there is quite a variation in body size and appendage size to the degree that certain My Twinn brand clothes and shoes will not fit certain My Twinn dolls. What we do know is My Twinn used several different manufacturers and replaced molds as they wore out. The result is a collector's dream... almost endless variety!
Back to the China Era story:
During this period the Lifelike Company ran into financial difficulty and began to lose vendors. Apparently they lost access to certain molds for creating the vinyl faces due to unpaid bills. U.S. shipping companies stopped shipping due to non-payment. My Twinn turned to China Post shipping by sea which added months to delivery times. Dolls shipped from China were sprayed with a mildewicide and some retained an odor resulting in complaints and returns. China's postal authority couldn't handle the order flow. Production, shipping and order processing could not meet the demand in time for Christmas leaving orders unsatisfied. During this time the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission charged the Lifelike Company for sales of the purple satin pajamas and rosebud nightgown which did not meet the children’s sleepwear standards for flammability. The company settled the lawsuit receiving a cease and desist order for those items but no fine or recall. This was a significant publicity blow compounding the problems the business faced with the China production and shipping issues.
In the entire 12-month period of 2002, the Denver office of the Better Business Bureau received 300 complaints about My Twinn. However, in December 2003, nearly 2,100 complaints were filed. During this time period the company lost access to the molds for creating the vinyl faces due to unpaid bills. More than 700 complaints were filed with the Colorado Attorney General in 2003 for paid orders where dolls were never delivered. The result was the filing of involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation proceedings December, 19 2003 against the Lifelike Company, maker of the My Twinn dolls.
In October 2004, The Parent Company relaunched My Twinn after purchase of the assets from bankruptcy that summer for $1.06 million. The operations were moved from Colorado to the Etoys (also owned by The Parent Company) facility in Virginia thus the distinction ‘Virginia Era’. Although the vinyl doll heads were still poured and airbrushed in China, assembly and detailing including eyelashes, eyes, wigs and freckles to customize the dolls were now moved back to the U.S. Unfortunately, the move to Virginia left the experienced doll artists back in Denver. The selection of facemolds and options for customization were scaled back with only 15 of the original 42 facemolds available (Click for catalog details!). From left to right beginning with the top step in their 'Class of 2004' photo we have examples of the facemolds offered in 2004, Virginia girls unless noted otherwise: Wendi (Denver), Berkeley, Audrey, Kate, Madison (Denver), Catherine(Denver), Teresa (Denver), Emma, Denika, Lenora, Ariel (Denver), Tasha, Danielle (Denver), Micale (Denver) and Rosemary (Denver). Micale and Rosemary were placed on the bottom step as there are reports that these facemolds were retired after the 2004 catalog offering and there is a question whether they have been poured in Virginia vinyl. In a further change from the Denver era where the facemold for a custom doll was chosen by a My Twinn technician, customers were required to select from the 15 available facemolds. This was later reversed back to the original method of selection by a My Twinn technician. Vinyl, eye and hair colors were also scaled back, Denver vendors were no longer used, and consistency of the vinyl colors from lot to lot remained an issue. Eyebrows were largely stenciled losing a further, and significant, degree of individualism. In 2005 My Twinn continued exploring the strategy of expanding internationally, however logistics issues because of the individualized nature of each doll delayed expansion.
Customer Service and the Doll Hospital were also moved to Virginia. Customers who had experience with the ‘Golden Era’ Denver dolls were disappointed with the quality of the facial painting, eyes, eyelashes and vinyl of the new dolls. The reservoir of ‘Friends’ dolls which retailed in the $100 to $170 range and were not returnable reportedly included returns, teaching dolls finished by trainees, and dolls with flaws. A cottage industry of independent doll artists arose to address the weaknesses in quality control and customer service, including Westport Dolls. It is amazing the difference higher quality eyes and subtle enhancements to facial painting can make to bring out the beauty in these dolls. Connie Marshall, formerly of My Twinn in the Denver Era, Rachel Bernhard, and Peggy Foggio and Bao are a few of the doll artists that are active today. The repaint artist Laurie Capps worked with the Twinns for a number of years, creating wonderful fantasy dolls and dolls with character. While she is not actively painting Twinns at the moment, her dolls appear on eBay occasionally or through the sale pages of the OurTwinns Yahoo Group.
That said, 2007 was an encouraging year. The My Twinn Doll was named to Oprah’s “Favorite Things List” for the second time in Fall of 2007. The My Twinn Baby Doll received the Outstanding Products of 2007 award from iParenting. In 2007 the company also launched a new Asian facemold 'Cai' and revived three of the previously retired facemolds, Beth, Karen and Helen.
2008 saw the introduction of ‘My Twinn My World’, a free interactive ‘playworld’ blending games and fashion and geared to tech-savvy girls aged 3-12. In August 2008, The Parent Company entered into a contract to utilize the FiftyOne global ecommerce solution from E4X, Inc to extend My Twinn internationally in 34 countries, including Canada and most of Europe for its 2008 holiday sales season. My Twinn teamed with Cosco, Amazon.com and QVC for the holiday 2008 season. Despite all of these positives, the economic downturn of fall 2008 took its toll. Following a dismal holiday season, The Parent Company filed for bankruptcy in December 2008.
New Virginia Era
At the bankruptcy auction in February 2009, TPC Acquisitions LLC from Rahway, N.J., purchased My Twinn for more than $2 million. The company moved down the road to a smaller facility in Chatham, VA and has retained the former staff and functions. The business model appears to have remained pretty much the same. In addition to the Custom Dolls and Baby Doll, the current company has a selection of ‘Friends’ and ‘Vintage Friends’ for sale on their website as well as clothing, furniture, pets and accessories. The term 'vintage' was being used by My Twinn to distinguish dolls having a characteristic (vinyl, eyes, facemold, etc.) that is no longer available and includes dolls from the Virginia and China Eras and less frequently a Denver headed doll appears. 'Vintage' by this definition does not necessarily mean a retired facemold.
However, in spring of 2010 the company took advantage of the slow period for the business and posted a large number of 'Vintage Collector Friends' on the website. These were priced for the collector's market with prices as high as $329 ($369, July 2011) for what MT perceived to be the rarer dolls. My Twinn indicated that many of these were constructed from retired facemold completed heads found in the warehouse, that they completed with new bodies. Click for more information including My Twinn's definition of the 'Vintage Friend' dolls.
The toddlers and cuddlies are not currently produced although a toddler occasionally pops up on the Vintage Friends page. These are really great play dolls for young children and you may still find a few in new condition on eBay.
My Twinn teamed with Target, Amazon.com and QVC for the holiday 2009 season and as of summer 2010 is experimenting with eBay sales. The jury is out on customer service and quality, however, they appear to be making strides in the area of customer service. As of spring 2011 the word on the street is that customer service continues to improve. Way to go MT! There is better communication with the new 'chat' feature on their website and with their Facebook page. I was told by Customer Service that they are checking 'Friend Dolls' for obvious flaws before sale and repairing ones that slip through the review process. Only time will tell whether the current company and these beautiful, high quality collectible dolls will survive in the current economic climate.
Fall of 2011 saw the fun addition of the BFF Dolls, a limited selection of face molds of the 23" dolls that can be created using a fun virtual doll creator online through the My Twinn website. We had a lot of fun playing around with the doll creator and I'm sure your children will as well.
A fun way of seeing the evolution of the My Twinn Company is through their catalog covers, which, thanks to retired Denver My Twinn doll artist Connie Marshall, you can see here by clicking the link for the particular year (or following the embedded links from year to year): 1996 to 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 to 2011.
A Few Thoughts on Collecting
My Twinn dolls from the Denver Golden Age remain highly collectible. They are dated by the date of their body tag, not the date on the back of the neck that some face molds have. The very early non-poseable Cookie bodies may not have a body tag. The neck date helps to identify the mold, but not necessarily the Era or type of vinyl used. Rarity of the facemold, artistry of the original facial painting, rarity of the vinyl and eye color, body type, age (as measured by the body date) and condition contribute to the value of the doll as well as whether the doll was modeled after a real child.
So what is the value of one of the all Denver dolls with a rare retired face mold? Many collectors will respond ‘priceless’, however a peek at the auctions will give you a real world idea. In January 2010, a 2001 Bernetta in excellent condition sold on eBay for $698.88, in a buyers market. In April 2010 a new auction record was set with an eBay sale of a 1999 Josie for $1,226, exceeding the mid-1990's auction record believed to be $899 for an Asian Twinn, a Kim or Tamsen (my source doesn't recall which). Josies and Bernettas have historically sold in the $700-800 range. Prices in the $500 and up range are common for the rare retired facemolds even in the current market. Even hybrid dolls with the rarer facemolds (expected to be Denver vinyl) but with new bodies (not Denver), were being snapped up from the Vintage Friends page of the current website as soon as they are listed, at prices as high as $250, eventhough they often have the lesser quality eyes and generic faceups. The auction market has changed quite a bit with MT's spring 2010 change to 'Vintage Collector Dolls' as discussed above. With many pages of these retired Denver hybrids now available, at prices from $89-$369 depending on facemold, the prices of many facemolds at auction have been in decline. MT has reduced their prices as well for these dolls over the past couple months. Once these Denver hybrids are gone they are gone, however, and prices would be expected to rebound.
As of the date of this update (September 2012), frequently discounted prices of 'Friend' and 'Vintage Friend' dolls by My Twinn have continued to keep auction prices of My Twinn dolls relatively low. Now is a great time to begin a collection! Like I said before, once these Denver hybrids are gone they are gone and prices would be expected to rebound.
Denver dolls aren't the only dolls sought by collectors. A My Twinn doll from any of the eras in pristine condition which has beautiful facial painting or a unique look will be valued. China Era dolls, while dismissed by some collectors, are collected by others for their unique, wide-eyed look and brow artistry. With eye and wig upgrades these become beautiful dolls with a unique look because of the slightly smaller mold sizes. Likewise, the Virginia Era dolls have their own unique look and eye upgrades and facial painting go far in enhancing their beauty.
As of December 2009, the following face molds are thought to be retired (from left to right beginning with the top step): Kelsey, Wilma, Sharon, Beatriz, Mallory, Michelle, Kim, Lydia, Nora, Jessica, Tamsen and Lois, Bernetta, Clementine (Brazil), Josie (Russian), Madalene, Whitney, the Ariel varients Melissa and Rose. It is an open question as to whether the Rosemary/Caitlin and Micale face molds are retired. My Twinn has indicated that they have no present plans to introduce the prototypes Natalie, Haley and/or Caroline into production or re-pour and of the retired face molds beyond the limited re-pours discussed in our 'Twinn Times.'
Need help identifying your My Twinn Doll?
A Few Thoughts on Purchasing a Play Doll
These dolls are fantastic play dolls. They are beautiful, durable and with the exceptional poseability they can get into all kinds of 'trouble'. My daughter received her first My Twinn doll in 1999 and that doll saw alot of play. Last year my daughter cleaned her up (she was covered with fingernail polish and grime from her active play life) and she is good as new. Hard to believe after ten years but then again these dolls are made to become keepsakes. Her doll spent much time in the My Twinn wheel chair with her arm and leg in casts or bandaged with supplies from the home first aid kit. Equal time was spent dressed to the nines in full make-up. Children may find many of the My Twinn brand clothing difficult to dress their dolls in alone and the velcro closures can easily pull the fabric bodies... so there is an excuse for mom to play. Tugging on arms to remove tight clothing may disconnect the vinyl arm from the armature so care should be taken. The clothes we make for Westport Dolls are designed for ease of dressing.
If you have an older child who is interested in design these dolls make the perfect model. The soft body makes it easy to drape and pin their designs and with a few scraps of fabric or a pile of out grown clothing they can easily test out their own designs before they attempt to sew them to wear themself. Older children will enjoy making photo and video stories as well with their dolls.
So what should you look for when shopping for a play doll? A doll that you find appealing, whether or not it is a look-alike doll. If you are purchasing a new doll from My Twinn, you may wish to have the eyes replaced and facial painting enhanced after-market to achieve the life-like quality of the Denver Era dolls. If you are purchasing a used doll, buy from a reputable doll restorer or look for a doll with a body tag date 2002 or earlier which guarantees Denver quality. There are Denver quality dolls from 2003 but there are also 'China dolls' from this period with the poor quality vinyl and eyes. You are likely to be unhappy with your purchase unless you know what to look for in the 2003 and later dolls. Look for a doll with a sound body and beware of dolls from smokey environments as the smokey smell is difficult to remove. Used dolls may be thoroughly cleaned and wigs are easily replaced if the hair is beyond salvaging. Eye changes are more challenging, especially with the China Era vinyl. The cloth bodies may be machine washed (although temporary decapitation is required ...Ouch!) It is important that the arm, leg and ankle attachments are sound as they can require involved repairs which may be better dealt with by replacing the body at a not insignificant cost. Whether new or previously loved, we're sure you will enjoy your My Twinn doll.