Synopsis of Toy
“The beautifully poseable 12 ½ inch doll.”
And Darci's height was important, you see, because when you’re going up against that certain other blonde best-selling doll, every little bit helps. It's Barbie's world—her poor doll competitors only live there. In a world with no Queen 'B', you can be assured that the perfectly lovely young Darci would have enjoyed greater sales and won a bunch more popularity contests. The Queen had, and still has, an unflinchingly tenacious grip on the doll spotlight.
Into the dark, monopolized waters of the late 1970’s toys-for-girls market then, Kenner dipped its foot with Darci. She was a bit taller and a bit more poseable than Barbs, thanks to bendable arms and the gymnast-like splits ability. Blonde, brunette and redhead Darcis were available, and Princess 'D' had two close friends to hang around with on the toy shelves: Erica and Dana. Each Darci doll's vocation was that of fashion model, and each came with a sexy but well-made outfit, a vinyl portfolio filled with three of her magazine covers, doll-posing instructions and a patented Darci stand, so that your lovely would always be perfectly poised. No wall-leaner, this one.
A bit later, Kenner brought us the Department Store Darcis, which were packed in special boxes to showcase Darci’s swanky formalwear. The Bionic Woman's “Red Dazzle” dress was even seen on one of these Department darlings—how’s that for friendly intra-toy company clothes swapping? In 1981, Kenner introduced the Fashion Fragrance Darci, and this doll came dressed in a bathing suit get-up with a wrap skirt and white mules, and of course, came with a little bottle of perfume that was included in the box.
The playsets that Darci frolicked in included a Perfect Pose Studio (replete with rotating modeling stand, a camera that the doll owner could peer through and of course, a moveable spotlight) and her very own Fabulous Disco (a pinball machine, a disco ball, and once again, a moveable spotlight). In her first year, Darci was lavishly advertised, and fancy store displays and print ads pitched her more as a real model than a toy doll—she was glamorously anthropomorphized in fashion spreads and couture runway shows.
Though sales were brisk in her inaugural year, Darci ultimately couldn’t stay afloat in that Barbie-saturated marketplace. The consolation is, today she’s widely adored in collector circles because of her craftsmanship, her quality wardrobe, and ironically, her limited run of production.
Release History of Toy1978 - Darci
1981 - Fashion Fragrance Darci