Gorbachev with State Emblem and 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.
The creator of this early set of dolls inset an enamel medal depicting the USSR state emblem originally adopted in 1923*. The faces are very nicely painted and tend towards the realistic. Gorbachev gets special treatment as the artist finishes his coat on the back and gives him shoes and gray and white hair. Brezhnev with medals, Khruschev with corn, Stalin with a pipe and Lenin with a red ribbon. There is no depiction of Boris Yeltsin in this set, as he had not yet arrived on the scene, and thus we can 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".
*Adopted on the 6th of July 1923 the emblem's crest is a red five-pointed star with golden border. Its escutcheon is the hammer and sickle, globe and the rising sun. Ears of wheat surround the emblem which is wrapped around a red ribbon with the state motto (Workers of the world, unite!) in all 15 languages of the Soviet Union.