Soviet Leader Nesting Dolls – In the Collection

There’s a pretty big collectors market out there for Russian Nesting (Babushka or Matryoshka) Dolls. And, if you search, a surprising number of them are various versions of a “Soviet Leaders” theme. I have no idea if this is a done in a mocking, jesting, or approving tone. Nor do I know why the particular public figures are chosen to be featured (in a fairly unflattering way). The previous owner of my set also told me that it was made in the Czech Republic (perhaps when there was also a “slovakia” attached), and any significance that has is lost on my American post-1990s brain.

The dolls themselves are fairly basic: the carving is unfinished (with a few burr,s here and there) on the inside and the paint is there but far from a masterpiece. I’m not quite sure who all of the people caricature-ized are, but after a little bit of research I believe from smallest to largest they are: Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin (Who potentially breaks the pattern by being president of Russia and not a Soviet Premier {He does have a Russian Federation flag that would indicate it’s him though}). And if I’m correct, they’re all roughly in chronological order, and some pretty important figures for Russians (though I personally don’t know much about Khrushchev). My absolute favorite has to be little itty-bitty Lenin. And slightly-bigger Stalin is pretty funny too.

I like to think that this is some form of political slight. I certainly would take it as such if they made me part of a Babushka doll set. That’s a joke I could get behind, but I’m willing to bet it’s both something meant to insult and endear, like bobble-heads of American Presidents. And like those, who doesn’t want a traditional Russian toy of traditional Russians looking traditionally silly on their shelf?

Table Topics Family 23 #45-46


1. What’s the first thing you’d do if you were president?

2 What’s your favorite outfit?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. Get stuck in congressional gridlock and never get anything done, quit, then learn how to play golf.

2. I don’t have a favorite outfit, I just wear whatever is clean that goes together.

Speak Your Mind 197 #981-985


1. Do you know anyone who has ever fallen through ice into a pond, lake, or river?

2. Are you as tall as your grandfather?

3. What is a good thing to do for a 16th birthday?

4. If you had been old enough to vote, would you have voted for the current president of the U.S.?

5. What hair color do you like best on a guy?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. No, not through ice.

2. I’m not as tall as my mother’s father, and I don’t know about my father’s father.

3. Do nothing.

4. No, not at all.

5. I like brown hair on everybody.


Speak Your Mind 45 #221-225


1. Do you ever read Ann Landers?

2. Do you think it would be fun to be a teacher?

3. How old was your mother when you were born?

4. Who is the first President of the United States that you can remember?

5. Has a baby calf ever sucked on your fingers?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. No I have never read anything by her.

2. Not really, actually no, it would not be.

3. She was 41 years old.

4. George Washington.

5. No, I can’t say one has.