Gorbachev with Communist Leaders. Most of the the early "Gorby" (an mildly affectionate name for "Gorbachev") dolls were made by talented amateurs in the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev transformed the USSR by unleashing a pair of political, and cultural, waves. The first was "Гласность" (Glasnost, i.e, openness) and "Перестройка" (Perestroika, i.e., rebuilding). These shock waves led to unrestrained freedom of expression.
Many of the early Gorby dolls of the late 1980s were wild caricatures with elongated and unpleasant features. A respectful caricature, such as this one, was not as often as one would think. Gorby dolls were hot items for tourists and, while the early dolls were fully handpainted, not all the painters were good artists. This set has Gorbachev in a brown suit, the Communist flag and a CCCP lapel pin. Brezhnev's weakness for undeserved medals are depicted pinned to his chest and a copy of his book on the "Virgin Lands Campaign". Khrushchev wears a yellow Ukrainian tunic and a black shoe symbolizes his UN rant. Stalin has a lit pipe and red star on his ever-present military fatigues and, as usual, tiny Lenin gets the red ribbon. The absence of Boris Yeltsin in this set, who arrived on the scene in 1991, helps date this set prior to 1991. More interesting than the "mass-produced" tourist dolls and far more interesting than today's silk-screened and decal versions. Very good condition. Moscow, 5 nest, 7" tall down to 2". 1 only.