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Takara Jenny

Jenny (ジェニー Jenī?) is a 10½ inch fashion doll produced by Japanese toy company Takara since 1982. The doll was originally known as the Takara Barbie, but became "Jenny" in 1986 after Takara ended their licensing agreement with Mattel.[1] The differences between the Takara Barbie and the Western Barbie are that Takara Barbie was altered to suit Japanese preferences. Takara Barbie is shorter, her eyes are less round, the mouth is closed, and the doll's figure is less mature than the Western Barbie's. Takara Barbie did not sell very well, and sold better after she was renamed to Jenny.[2] Like her Western counterpart, Jenny wears a large variety of outfits, which often include street fashion, school uniforms, kimonos,[3] and other uniquely Japanese costumes, such as "Bullet-Train Stewardess Jenny".[4] Today the Jenny doll is a sentimental favorite doll in Japan, but she is much less popular than Licca-chan, Mattel's Barbie or MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls.[5]



Prior to 1986, the doll was known as Takara Barbie. In 1986 Takara ended their licensing agreement with Mattel, and, as they owned the rights over the Takara Barbie's design, came up with a new name for the doll.[6] The explanation given for the name change was that Jenny was the name of a character Barbie portrayed in a play, also titled Jenny. The play was a success and Barbie had become so associated with her character's name that she decided to change it to Jenny.[7]. Jenny's boyfriend was renamed from "Takara Ken" to "Jeff".[6]

See also


  1. ^ jenny
  2. ^ Allison, Anne (2000). "A Challenge to Hollywood? Japanese Character Goods Hit the US". Japanese Studies (Routledge) 20 (1): 67–88. doi:10.1080/10371390050009075. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Takara Jenny Dolls
  5. ^ Takara Jenny Dolls direct from Japan!
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Introducing Takara's Jenny" by David Hammon, Barbie Bazaar, January/February 1995 Issue

Further reading

  • "Kawaii! JeNny". Newtype USA 6 (12) 12. December 2007. ISSN 1541-4817.


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