According to wikipedia and other reliable sources, Golliwogs began to fall out of vogue in the 1960’s. Up until then, children were able to enjoy racially insensitive stories about Golliwogs by Enid Blyton and her three dark-skinned characters named ‘Golly’, ‘Woggie’ and ‘Nigger’. In Blyton’s much loved ‘Noddy’, the main protagonist helps out a Golliwog who then steals his car. But apparently the Golliwogs popularity and reputation were hurt not by Blyton’s sick penchant for racism but by the association with the word ‘wog’.
‘Wog’ has obscure origins but appears to have been used in history as a derogatory word aimed at any ‘non white’ person. Hence why these rag dolls are now referred to as ‘Golly Dolls’. And why they place at number four on Time Magazine’s Top 10 Dubious Toys List between the Breast-Feeding Baby and the Mentally Ill Straight-Jacketed Teddy Bear.
Given the scope of my [limited] research, it is a mystery to me why the small quaint fishing town of Strahan, Tasmania has, among its ‘well priced eateries’, gift stores that sell un-PC plush toys. According to my boyfriend, who fished the above Golly out of a basket from underneath more traditional native Australian plush toys, there was a choice of two pant/jacket combinations.
I can’t say I frequent toy or gift stores but I don’t think i’ve seen ever seen a Golliwog on the main land. Perhaps un-pc gifts are to Tasmania what pornography and fireworks are to Canberra? Nothing like discovering and utilising your niche market.