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The Baby-sitters Club

Main >> Hobbies & Interests >> Other Specialty Interests

 
The Baby-sitters Club

The Baby-sitters Club

by Ann M. Martin

Page by Jon Merrill
 

        Baby-sitters Club Companion

Click on above link for my complete guide on everything you ever wanted to know about the Baby-sitters Club.

NEW to this page in December 2003: Pictures of the Remco BSC doll pairs. Scroll down this page.

 

News - January 2001

SERIES ENDS FOR GOOD AFTER OVER 14 YEARS

The final Baby-sitters Club book came out in November 2000 and was a Friends Forever Special called "Graduation Day." The series began in August 1986 and numbered over 350 individual titles, including several spin-offs.

I started reading and collecting the series in spring 1989, easily relating to it due to my background of being a middle school teacher, Girl Scout leader, and fan club president for the Broadway show of Annie. During this time I also collected as much of the BSC-related memorabilia as I could find.

My feeling is that sales of the BSC books peaked about 1992 and dropped off after that, due to the popularity of more trendy series like Goosebumps and Animorphs. I was disappointed when the regular series ended with #131, replaced by a newer BSC series called Friends Forever in 1999. I felt that the new series was mediocre compared to the original series, plagued with trite subject matter and shoddy editing. Even kids I knew who are loyal BSC fans felt the same way about the Friends Forever series, and it never did take off, as the publishers had hoped. Scholastic even began publishing the books at a rate of only 6 per year instead of the one per month as had been the case for well over a decade. It became almost immediately obvious that, because of that, the series was on its way out, and that's exactly what happened in late 2000.

Beyond the books - Baby-sitters Club collectibles

**(NOTE:click on�Baby-sitters Club Companion� link above for more detailed information)**

The Kenner 12" dolls came out in 1998 and are Kristy, Stacey, Mallory, and Claudia. They are in green boxes and are the same size as Barbie dolls. (In the past, the BSC has tried 8" dolls and then 18" dolls, but it has been determined that Barbie-size dolls sell the best of any.) The Claudia and Stacey ones are the nicest; the Barbie-style height and figure somehow does not work with Kristy and Mallory and they look a little ridiculous. But the clothes on all of them are "correct" as depicted in the books, and this doll series is well worth collecting.

New collectibles acquired since the series ended: The press kit for the 1995 BSC movie (finally!), and a large pinback button advertising the movie. There are some nice shots from the movie at www.childstarlets.com. Go into "Picture Galleries" and search under L (first name search) for Larisa Oleynik. Also, I recently found the movie dubbed in French on eBay, and also one with Spanish subtitles.

BIG NEWS: I finally found the Mary Anne/Jenny set of Remco dolls from 1991. This means that all 7 definitely exist, something which had been disputed for years by fans because no one had ever seen the Mary Anne set anywhere. It is still believed that only 4 sets were done in 1992.

Peripheral BSC Collectibles

Calendars - 5 calendars issued, one each for the years 1990-1994. Student Planners - 3 issued, one each for the school years of 1990-91, 1991-92, and 1992-93. Baby-sitters Club Notebook, BSC Trivia and Puzzle Book, Baby-sitting Guide, Postcard Book, the Complete Guide to the Baby-sitters Club, and the Ann M. Martin Biography. Jigsaw Puzzles - Milton Bradley, 4 different. Set of 55 Topps Stickers/Trading Cards (very difficult to find). Board Games - Milton Bradley, one in 1990 and another in 1993. Dolls - discussed below.

Baby-sitters Club Dolls

There has been much confusion among collectors involving the BSC dolls, and it is hoped that the information on this page will help clear up a lot of this confusion.Click on the �Baby-sitters Club Companion� link above for more details.

In 1991 Remco put out several pairs of dolls involving each of the 7 baby-sittters, each with one of their baby-sitting charges as discussed in the books. The baby-sitters are about 8"; the charges are about 4". Thanks to a spectacular find this spring, described above, I now know that all 7 pairs do exist: Stacey/Charlotte, Jessi/Becca, Mallory/Claire, Claudia/Jamie, Kristy/Karen, Dawn/Jackie, and Mary Anne/Jenny).

Pictures of the 1991 dolls:

        1991 Stacey and Charlotte

        1991 Jessi and Becca

        1991 Mallory and Claire

        1991 Claudia and Jamie

        1991 Kristy and Karen

        1991 Dawn and Jackie

        1991 Mary Anne and Jenny

In 1992 Remco again issued the pairs of dolls but changed their design (see below) and mixed up some of the pairs from the previous year. Known to Baby-sitters Club collectors are: Kristy/Karen, Claudia/Jenny, Stacey/Charlotte, and Jessi/Becca. Again, described in the flyer were 3 other pairs: Mary Anne/Lucy, Dawn/Jackie, and Mallory/Claire. Probably these latter 3 were never made.

Pictures of the 1992 dolls:

        1992 Kristy and Karen

        1992 Claudia and Jenny

        1992 Stacey and Charlotte

        1992 Jessi and Becca

There are two ways to tell the difference between the 1991 dolls and the 1992 dolls. (1) Although the boxes are virtually identical in both years, the 1991 dolls always have a 930x product code number, and the 1992 dolls always have a 933x product code number. (2) The 1991 dolls have big heads and no necks, and the 1992 dolls have small heads and long, skinny, Barbie-style necks.

After the 1992 series had been out for a while, Remco issued a box of all 8 existing dolls--4 baby-sitters and 4 charges--all in party outfits. The fact that the 4 pairs in the party box exactly matched the 4 pairs known to exist in the 1992 series further suggested to me that the 3 other pairs were likely never manufactured.

Picture of the party set: (left to right, Kristy/Karen, Claudia/Jenny, Stacey/Charlotte, Jessi/Becca)

        1992 Party Set

In 1994 Kenner issued big dolls (18") of each of the 7 baby-sitters. These were widely available in Toys R Us most of that year but are scarce now, especially the Jessi doll, which recently sold for over $100 on eBay. Each doll was packaged with a small book and some accessories.

A Karen Brewer rag doll exists--about 10", made by Determined Productions in 1995. It comes with a doll-sized 6-page Little Sister book.

Dakin issued some BSC collectibles in 1992, which were fairly hard to find. I found a bunch of them in a Hallmark store in Rutland, Vermont. They are as follows: Pink tassled bookmark, purple tassled bookmark, pencil pack, memo box, address book, jumbo stickers, diary, and organizer.

At the time of the release of "The Baby-sitters Club" movie in 1995, Antioch issued similar collectibles. Only about 2/3 of these are known, but many of the existing ones can be found in Encore Books or Borders. There were: 4 varieties of tassled bookmarks, 2 different larger "gallery edition" bookmarks, 4 varieties of wallet cards, 2 varieties of pocket journals, 2 varieties of student planners, a doorknob hanger, a memo wipe-off board, a mini-journal, 2 varieties of diaries, a larger journal, 2 varieties of pocket address books, and a larger book-bound address book.