The dolls are around 35cm in height, with petite features and poseable limbs. The sales slogan was that every child could have a doll just like them. These highly collectible dolls have a large international fan-base.
The first dolls were made in Taiwan. Their features differ slightly from those made later in China. A rounder face, smaller belly button and longer toes are just some of the differences. Taiwanese dolls are also known for eyes which protrude from their face and, as they age, are more prone to facial "sagging" and make-up fading (but are less prone to felt pilling) than those made in China.
Between 1987 and 1988, Mattel brought out a vinyl faced doll called a "Loving Baby". These dolls had bodies made with the same soft fabric as a My Child, with similar skin-tones, posable legs and solid arm-joints and pink or blue torsos. A button on their back allowed them to hug. Their skin-tone was either pale or peachy, and they had red, brunette, ash-blond or blond hair. They came with one outfit, a two piece short and top set in either blue or pink.
Dolls came as boys or girls, with four different skin tones: American pale (with a green heart on the bottom), Australian/European peach, African-American and Hispanic.
Eye color varies too. All African-American and Hispanic dolls had brown eyes (Hispanic dolls eyes have orange rays above their pupils). The other dolls had blue, aqua, green or brown eyes. Occasionally a doll can be found with a factory "flaw" and their eye color can vary from the standard, for example hazel, lilac, blue-gray or blue-green. However, some people attribute this to aging rather than to a factory flaw.
There is also a variety of hair colors. The African-American dolls have black hair; Hispanics have brown hair, and the others had blond, ash-blond/two tone, brunette, red and (in the last year of production) strawberry-blond.
Hair styles varied as well. African-American girls all came with "curly pigtails" (two pigtails with a short fringe right around the head). Hispanic girls came with a v-part style (little bunches on either side of the head, and a full fringe). The other girls had top-knots (short hair with one small bunch on the side), double top-knot (short hair with a small bunch on either side), curly pigtails (similar to the African-American dolls), other variations of pigtails (double ribbons, ringlets), v-part (similar to the Hispanic girls), ringlets and their variations - side-part, mid-part and long ponytail, crimped and very long hair (nearly to dolls' ankles). Boys' hairstyles were either curly with no part or straight with a short part.
Other facial features differ between dolls. Eyelashes range in color from peachy-orange through to brown or dark (charcoal) with purple or gray color on eyelids. Cheek color is either pink or peachy-orange; lip color varies between pink and peach.
The dolls came with many different clothing outfits. Girl dolls had sailor dresses, pinafore outfits (with or without a little book and pocket bear), smocked party dresses, seersucker overall outfits, sleeper sets (with fluffy slippers and a teddy bear), ducky dresses, flare dresses, playtime/ABC dresses, Australian pinafores/jumpers, school dresses and many others. The boys had their own outfits; some of these are the sailor outfit, ducky overall outfit, vest and shorts outfit, sweater outfit. Other outfits were available separately.
Shoes were sold in 2 different styles, a Mary-Jane/t-bar style or a lace-up Oxford.
My Pets were also sold. They were puppies (blue and tan), bears (gray and brown), cats (yellow and pink) and rabbits (purple and white). With the same "My Child" eyes, they had an animal-style mouth, with fur covered bodies (their hands, soles of their feet and stomachs showing through).
Collectors look for many things when looking to purchase a doll. Certain facial features, eye and hair colors, styles and skin tone may affect a doll's desirability and so will influence the price. These dolls are now around 30 years old, and as they were designed as a children's toy, many are in "played-with" condition, which varies from slight pilling, eye scratches and other damage, stains, broken joints, "melted-eye syndrome" and hair-cuts.