Gorbachev with Men in Black 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.
An interesting early variation on the Gorby doll phenomenon of the late 1980s. The faces are painted realistically and the depictions are respectful. Each doll, from Gorbachev to Lenin, wears a black suit and a red tie, with the exception of Stalin. Perhaps he never wore a suit! Khrushchev gives the "thumbs-up" gesture, the rest have their hands near or in their pockets, with, again, Stalin being the exception. He is shown grasping his ever-present pipe. 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, 6½" tall down to 2".