Mego's Candi Doll

In 1979, Mego, Inc. provided the toy buying public with a rather unique glamour doll known as Candi. This doll is 19" tall. There is a shorter, 11.5 inch counterpart. But since this site deals mostly with the mid-sized range of dolls, we are going to concentrate on the bigger version.

This doll had two amazing collections of clothing available, one in 1979 and the other in 1980. She also had refills available for purchase to keep her make-up bag full at all times. Not only could her make-up be changed but the doll's haircolor could be changed. Her hair also keeps a style nicely.

Immediately it is noticed that this doll, more often than not, has a very pale, faded face. Sometimes though, their faces remained nicely flesh-toned. Here is the reason: Plastics and vinyl manufacturers have known for years that the addition of the plasticizer, an ingredient that keeps the pigment in place and the vinyl pliable, will allow some formulations to absorb stains. Therefore, this doll has a very "weak" plasticizer, keeping her from absorbing the pigments that were found in the make-up products. Unfortunately, this also means that the pigment that was added to the doll's vinyl formula also faded rather quickly. These dolls have now reached their 30-year anniversary and they aren't faring very well!

(Left) Here is Candi in her box. She is the "newest" version, "Sparkle" Candi. The older one isn't a "sparkle" version and is shown below. The boxes typically do not wear well. They are made of a light weight cardboard that dings and sustains edgewear easily. This example has not been touched since boxed and still retains her packaging and enclosures. Note her facial skin tone. While it is shocking to see for the new collector, it is a natural progression for Candi. Trying to redye her face usually isn't effective. The examples in my archives have been left as they naturally are, though some still have a pretty complexion.

Her clothing collections are rather stylish and surprisingly well made for Mego, a company that came to be known to have toys with "issues," even though collectors just love Mego products to this day. Only one style of shoe was issued, either in flesh-tone or white. All outfits came with a pair of shoes with the exception of her red bathing suit and wrap sarong. Often, one will find the outfits on other dolls of the era.

(Right) Here is the back of the box showing three of her 1979 set of outfits. There were a total of six. The other three are shown on one of the sides of the box, while the other side provides an overview of the doll and her included accessories.

The photography on the sides of the box.

This is the older version of Candi before she "sparkled." The Sparkle version has a label that is pasted over the window indicating that she is a newer version. Otherwise, both boxes for either doll are the same. This MIP doll at left does not have a jar of glitter in her accessory package.

One also notes that this example has a prettier complexion than the Sparkle Candi shown above, and even though she is older. There usually is no rhyme or reason as to which doll one encounters will be faded. It's just a natural progression for Candi. This one will eventually fade too.

The next picture illustrates the items that came in the box: make-up applicators, make-up compact, make-up "mask" for easy application of Candi's make-up, her shoes, a jar of glitter (if she is the "sparkle" version), and hairpins.

Here she is in her box (and the first time to my knowledge that she has come out of it!). She really has a pretty face. It is not heavily made-up since the purpose was for the child to pretty up the doll. Her stand and paperwork are behind the inner cardboard enclosure.

Candi came with pretty specific instructions for making-up the doll's face and for coloring her hair.

Even hair style suggestions were included. A picture of other paperwork sold with Candi follows next.

One of the paper items is a pattern to cut out an infinite number of style capes to protect the doll and her clothing while she was getting glammed up!

This rather sturdy stand helped Candi stay up with she was poised to "strike a pose" in one of her spectacular outfits.

Most of the time glamour dolls didn't come with a stand. Crissy did not, but didn't need one since her shoes perfectly balanced her for standing (genius, by the way) and Tiffany Taylor didn't come with a stand either. Poor Aimee' was left on her own too.

So having a stand was a wonderful luxury for Candi!

Here are two refill packs for Candi's make-up. The front and the back is shown. Nice directions are illustrated on the back of the package.

Left: Here is the Canadian version of Candi, called Brandi. Mego utilized the services of "Grand Toys" of Montreal to distribute their toys in Canada and this is so marked on Brandi's box. It is unclear why the doll's name was changed for her Canadian distribution. The box has both French and English text.

All of the paperwork included in the box is just like Candi's paperwork but Brandi's is in French and English and anytime Candi's name would have appeared, Brandi shows up instead.

All other items, make-up, shoes, stand, etc. are identical to Candi's enclosures.

Behind the label on the compact, one can vaguely see that the word "Candi" shows up in raised letters, hiding the fact that the doll's name had been changed for her Canadian distribution.

Let's take a moment to look at the Color 'n Curl Candi Makeup Center next. If the 19" Candi was just too small to work with, younger hands could work on a near life-size Candi head!

Below: This is Lady Linda. A lesser known toy company bought up old stock of Candi dolls, repackaged her, renamed her, and sold them, probably to Five and Dime types of stores. Notice she has no shoes. Candi's shoes were packaged in her accessories bag. This bag was not included within Lady Linda's box. I get kind of a kick out of the descriptions on online auctions regarding this doll. Somewhere, someone has written that this doll was supposed to be Linda Evans from the TV show "Dynasty" and this misinformation has landed in auction postings. Another theory I've heard is that she is supposed to be Linda Gray from "Dallas." Hmmm, doesn't look a thing like her!

Lady Linda is very pretty! Mostly these dolls have nice skin tone. This is probably because she has lived in a baggie all of her life where oxidation is kept to a minimum. The hair is so thick and luxurious on Candi and that fact is very well illustrated on this close-up shot of Lady Linda.

The 1979 Outfits

Left: While not shown on the back of the 1979 carded outfits, this one is packaged in 1979 marked packaging. Consisting of a pink shirt and green shorts in sateen, it is not shown on the back of the card.

Notice these variations of two 1979 issued outfits. Left: Candi's sundress also comes in varying colors.
Right: Usually, this sarong was not sold with shoes, but ta-da! .... here it is WITH shoes!

All six of the 1979 outfits are shown on the back of the card. One outfit, the beige pantsuit, is not illustrated on this site in its MIP form. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see Candi modeling it.

The 1980 Outfits

Above left: Here is the red knit pantsuit. Above right: The back of the card shows the outfits from the 1980 collection. Seven of the eight outfits from this collection are shown on this page. Hopefully, we'll get the other one soon. This collection is very well thought-out and executed. For instance, the glitzy white mini dress is completed with a small, long strapped purse and white fishnet hose. The detail on that Asian-inspired lounging set is lovely. Even Candi's jeans have nice detailing as illustrated in the waistband and topstitching.

It is nice to see Candi all made up, dressed in some of her fashions and posing. Notice the various shades of facial vinyl, well-illustrating her propensity to fade. Remember, this is a natural progression for this doll and should not be considered a fault. After all, it's not her fault! Thanks for visiting!

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All text and photography, May, 2008, by Beth-Ellen Colvin