The Mommy Doll Cues Kids on the New Reality: Mother's Place Is Wherever She Wants to Be!

updated 08/07/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Time was, a mommy was a mommy was a mommy. A Betty Crocker-June Cleaver kind of gal in an apron baking cookies. Well, the moms they are a-changin'. Just ask Cindy Stern, 34, mother of two, and Sue Ogden, 34, mother of three. In May the two former schoolteachers shipped off the first of their new Mommy Dolls—25-inch toys designed to march boldly, and properly accessorized, where no dolls have marched before.

Clutching her traditionally clad infant, the Mommy Doll can be spotted in four variations: "Off to Work," a briefcase-toting yuppie; "On the Run," a jogging suburbanite; "Around the Town," an errand-running mom; and "Bed at Last," a sleepy-time mom in flannel nightie.

Flannel nightie? "It's not another Barbie doll," stresses Stern, who came up with the idea one day as she watched her kids play with her homemade mother-and-child rag dolls in their Manhattan apartment. After some preliminary calls, she met with Ogden, a Wilmington, Del., homemaker who was already an established doll-clothing designer.

Ogden and Stern chose Mommy's face after poring over thousands of magazine ads. "There is still one image, one classic image of Mom out there," says Ogden, "and she's usually selling medicines."

The initial run of Mommy Dolls, a collector's edition of 1,000 priced between $165 and $195, is available from CJ Designs in New York. "Most women who come in say, 'That's me,' " says a Columbus, Ga., doll-shop owner. By next year the women—who have recruited husbands Eric Stern, 39, an accountant, and Tom Ogden, 33, a computer salesman, for advice and labor—hope to produce a mass market Mommy that would sell for about $50. The lower-priced doll would feature the same sporty accessories, ranging from car keys and newspaper to baby carrier. Though some might charge that Mommy Doll's fast-track duds promote a new maternal stereotype, Stern says, "We don't make any judgments about going off to work or being a mom who stays at home." The doll-making duo also have plans for Black and Asian Mommys, as well as a highly specialized Christmas Mommy. And yes, there will one day be a Daddy Doll.

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