Sandra Sue Dolls by Richwood Toys (1948-58)

 Hard Plastic  Comments Off on Sandra Sue Dolls by Richwood Toys (1948-58)
Jan 052015

Sandra Sue dolls were made by Richwood Toys, which began as a cottage industry run by Ida Wood and her family in Larchmont, New York in the late 1940s. Once the business took off, they relocated to Maryland and were successful for several years. Although Sandra Sue is unmarked, once you become familiar with her look, she is not difficult to tell apart from other similar size hard plastic dolls. The orangeish eyebrows and eyelashes are her most recognizable feature.

Body Construction
The earliest dolls dressed by Mrs. Wood were inexpensive 7.5″ composition dolls with jointed arms and frozen legs. She soon switched to hard plastic dolls, first using dolls with similar body style to the composition ones, then going on to dolls with sleep eyes and jointed necks;. The fully jointed dolls most collectors know as Sandra Sue were produced beginning in 1952. These dolls had slim bodies and flat feet. A walking version was introduced soon after. The 8″ high heeled version of Sandra Sue debuted in 1955 or ’56.

The first Sandra Sue dolls had mohair wigs but these were changed to synthetic Saran fiber early on.

Sandra Sue has many outdoor outfits. Photos courtesy of American Beauty Dolls Shop.

Sandra Sue was sold in many different outfits, or in half slip, camisole, panties, shoes and socks. All outfits were also available to purchase separately. She also had a full line of wooden furniture.

Sandra Sue could be purchased in her underwear or fully dressed.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In addition to Sandra Sue, Richwood also produced a 14″ hard plastic girl doll called Cindy Lou, and Tina Sue, an 8″ vinyl baby.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

Miss Seventeen Doll by Marx (1961)

 Other Companies  Comments Off on Miss Seventeen Doll by Marx (1961)
Dec 092014

Miss Seventeen owes her good looks in large part to the German Bild Lili doll. Marx purchased the rights to use the Lili molds and developed Miss Seventeen from there. She is larger than Bild Lili, and every other 1960s fashion doll, sold in 15″ and 18″ sizes.

Body Construction
Miss Seventeen is all hard plastic, jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. See her body construction here. She has painted black and white eyes like the number one Barbie doll, a bright red heart shaped mouth, molded black button earrings, and high heel feet with holes in the soles. Her fine synthetic hair is rooted into a skullcap which is set into her head. She has been found with a variety of blonde and auburn hair colors, as well as jet black. Her hair is styled either into a bun on top of her head, or a ponytail.

Miss Seventeen doll by Marx.

Miss Seventeen is most often seen with a center part at the front and her hair up in a tight bun. See a side view here. See a back view here.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000.

She is marked on her lower back “U.S. Patent 2925684 British Patent 804566 Made in Hong Kong” Click here to see the marking.

Miss Seventeen was sold in a black one piece swim suit with her name in red on a white satin beauty queen style sash, a red cape lined in white, and red shoes. Her accessories are a gold plastic crown and a gold trophy with removable lid.

She has twelve extra boxed outfits, ranging from beach wear to evening wear to a wedding gown. Click here to see the back of the box with illustrations of all the outfits.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

She was packaged in a black box with her name in green script along with the words “A Beauty Queen.” See photo at top. She came with a black stand with a metal prong to fit into the holes in her feet, and a fashion booklet. Her separate outfits were packaged in gatefold “Fashion Books” that opened up to show a large illustration of the outfit with a paragraph setting the scene.

Learn More:

Collector’s Guide to Dolls
of the 1960s and 1970s
Volume 1
by Cindy Sabulis
Find it on eBay.
Glamour Dolls
of the 1950s & 1960s
by Polly & Pam Judd
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Little Women Dolls (Lissy) by Madame Alexander (1957-68)

 Alexander  Comments Off on Little Women Dolls (Lissy) by Madame Alexander (1957-68)
Dec 032014

Madame Alexander produced the Lissy-faced Little Women dolls from 1957 through 1968, representing the characters of the four March girls – Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy – and their mother Marmee – from the book by Louisa May Alcott. (Alexander spelled Marme with only one “e”.) Laurie (the boy next door) joined the group starting in 1967. Beginning in 1968, Little Women were produced using the Nancy Drew face mold, but in the catalogs, Laurie is still shown with the Lissy mold until 1972, when they started picturing him with the Nancy Drew mold as well. In 1993 there was a reissue of the four girls without Marmee or Laurie using the Lissy face.

Body Construction
In 1957 and ’58 the dolls had jointed knees and elbows; later versions had straight arms and legs. All were jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and made entirely of hard plastic with glued-on synthetic wigs. They have sleep eyes with molded lashes and are 11.5″ to 12″ tall. The dolls differ from the regular Lissy line in that they have flat feet. Beth, Jo, Marmee and Laurie are brunettes, while Meg has dark blonde hair and Amy a lighter blonde.

The clothing can be identified by the tag at the back of the neck. The outfits changed several times during the years the dolls were sold, and can be dated by the outfit. Not every outfit changed every year. This table of the outfits by year may not be completely accurate. The outfits were not always the same as pictured in the catalog. They were not pictured in the 1966 or ’68 catalogs. Click on a photo to see a larger image.

Amy Beth Jo Meg Marme
1957Catalog photo
Blue polished cotton dress, white pinafore with v-straps of embroidered trim Dark dress, print pinafore Print dress w/puff sleeves, green pinafore w/triple rick rack trim Dress w/print bodice, dark skirt
1958Catalog photo
Red dress w/white yoke & long sleeves, black trim Royal blue dress w/puff sleeves, blue and white striped pinafore Black and white check dress, apron with white straps, red skirt
1959Catalog photo
Aqua dress w/white polka dots, white sleeves w/aqua rick rack
1960Catalog photo
Aqua dress, print pinafore w/self ruffle at hem, aqua rick rack Deep pink dress w/white braid trim on collar and skirt Green dress, yellow half apron
1961Catalog photo
Dress w/puff sleeves, sheer white pinafore Lavender and white striped dress, white pinafore w/lace trim Same as previous year
1962Catalog photo
Same as previous year
1963-4Catalog photo
Same as previous year
1965Catalog photo
1967Catalog photo
Like 1958, except the red dress is a print

Copyright 2005-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard
Some photos courtesy of eBay sellers your-favorite-doll and luving_dolls.

Learn More:

Madame Alexander Dolls
On Review
by Marjorie V. Sturges Uhl
Find it on eBay.
Collector’s Encyclopedia of
Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965
by Linda Crowsey
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander Little People
by Marge Biggs
Find it on eBay.

1974 Eugene Dolls Catalog

 Other Companies  Comments Off on 1974 Eugene Dolls Catalog
Nov 252014
Eugene dolls are challenging to identify because they sometimes used the same name for different dolls, and sometimes different names for the same doll. The name in the catalog description does not always match the name shown on the box.
Click on the photo to see a larger version.
Drink and Wet Babies and Toddlers
17″ Baby Lorrie with rooted hair or molded hair, wrapped in blanket
18″ Baby Lorrie in dress, socks and shoes with rooted hair and painted eyes
23″ Cuddly Lorrie with rooted hair and sleep eyes, wrapped in blanket
20″ Honey-kins in pinafore dress with hair in ponytails
13″ Lovable Lorrie with sleep eyes and molded hair, wrapped in blanket
14″ Lil Daisy in dress with rooted hair and sleep eyes
17″ Happy Lorrie in gingham dress with apron and bonnet
“So Soft To Touch” New Born Infants
16″ Soft as a Cloud newborn, twin curl hair style
18″ soft newborn, assorted sweater and dress outfits
14″ Little Michelle, infant hair and sleep eyes
22″ Soft as a Cloud bent leg baby doll with rooted hair
13″ Lil Daisy, pixie character face with painted eyes, cloth body
20″ Baby-Like soft body doll
23″ baby (name?) Soft as a Cloud
18″ Floppy Soft toddler wears dress with large bow and matching bloomers
Dolls “Plus”
13″ Drink and Wet Baby in Cradle
13″ Drink and Wet Baby in Cradle wearing christening outfit
16″ Drink and Wet Baby in carry seat with molded or rooted hair
17″ Drink and Wet Baby in carry seat with molded or rooted hair
Baby Seat (no doll)
25″ Drink and Wet Baby with molded hair
25″ Drink and Wet Baby with rooted hair
Pair of 8″ Drink and Wet Dolls in Playpen with accessories
11″ Drink and Wet Baby in Cradle Carrier
Sweetheart Specials
23″ Baby Honeykins in lace trimmed dress with matching bloomers
25″ So Cuddlesome in gingham outfit with matching bonnet
16″ Lorrie and Her Crib drink and wet baby with rooted hair
18″ Floppy Soft toddler with carrot red hair and freckles. Boy or girl doll.
14″ Littlest Cream Puff soft all vinyl baby with painted eyes, molded or rooted hair
16″ Lil Cream Puff soft all vinyl baby with painted eyes
Terrific Features
16″ Lil Daisy toddler doll, ponytails
19″ Teen Age Bride, white wedding gown with veil and bouquet, long straight hair
18″ Baby Chit Chat pull string talking doll
24″ Baby Lorrie drink and wet walking doll
Mother and Daughter or Big ‘n Little Sister 19″ walker and 12″ toddler in matching dresses
32″ Lorrie Walk and Talk, companion size doll with pull string talking mechanism
14″ Lorrie’s Wardrobe Trunk soft vinyl molded hair baby with extra clothing
13″ Lorrie’s Wardrobe Trunk toddler doll with 2 extra dresses
11″ Drink and Wet baby in tray with accessories, rooted hair and sleep eyes
Petite Basics
8″ Drink and Wet Baby in carry seat
9″ Drink and Wet Baby wrapped in blanket, molded hair
10″ Drink and Wet Baby, rooted hair
8″ Drink and Wet molded hair baby in blanket, with pillow or cradle
11″ Little Joyce baby or toddler, rooted hair and sleep eyes
12″ Lorrie toddler, rooted long hair and painted eyes
9″ Missy toddler, rooted long hair and painted eyes
13″ Drink and Wet baby in carry seat
10″ Drink and Wet baby in carry seat
14″ Soft Body Newborn with rooted hair, wrapped in blanket
20″ Soft Body Newborn with infant hair and mama voice
16″ Life Like All Soft Vinyl Baby with painted eyes in panties
14″ Life Like All Soft Vinyl Baby with painted eyes in panties
“With It” Life Size Walkers
32″ Lorrie Walker with hair styling set
32″ Lorrie Stroller in teen age outfits
36″ Lorrie Walker in fashion outfits
28″ Lorrie Walker with hair styling set
19″ Lorrie Toddler fashion walker
24″ Lorrie Walker with hair styling set

Vintage Bisque and China Dolls

 Bisque & China, Reposted  Comments Off on Vintage Bisque and China Dolls
Nov 182014

Bisque and china dolls are both made of porcelain. Bisque is unglazed, while china has a shiny glazed finish. While the vast majority of bisque dolls that interest collectors would be classified as antique rather than vintage, there are quite a few bisque and china dolls that fit well into a vintage collection.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

At the start of the 20th century, the majority of bisque and china dolls were made in Germany. Most of these were similar to the dolls that had been produced there for decades. But early in the 20th century, bisque dolls began to appear that had a decidedly modern look. These were the Kewpies, and they were designed by American illustrator Rose O’Neill. George Borgfeldt & Co., an American distributor, hired sculptor Joseph Kallus to turn the Kewpies into three dimensional dolls, and outsourced their manufacture to Germany. The Kewpies and their wide-eyed “googly” look were all the rage, and they were copied by many other companies. The Kewpies have been made in every material possible, and are still popular today.

German firms continued to produce bisque dolls until World War II, when the factories were converted for use in the war effort. Some of these were German designs and others were produced, like the Kewpies, for American companies. The two dolls pictured are painted bisque – the color is not fired on and probably date from the 1920s. The doll above left is a doll house size. The one on the right is a “Betty Boop” type, more commonly made in Japan.

Many vintage bisque dolls were made in Japan during the ‘teens, twenties and thirties. If they are marked “Nippon”, like the boy in blue above, they were probably made between 1914 and 1921. Later dolls are marked “Japan.” Dolls marked “Occupied Japan,” like the baby in the center photo above, were made between 1945 and 1952.

Many Japanese all bisque dolls are jointed only at the shoulders, like the “Betty Boop” dolls pictured above. These have nothing to do with the cartoon character Betty Boop – it’s just a name that collectors use.

The Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls are American-made all bisque dolls. These were extremely popular and sold from 1936 into the 1950s, when the company switched to hard plastic. The doll pictured above is September’s Girl is Like a Storm, from the months of the year series. The Nancy Ann page and the NASB Dolls Series page have many more photos of these dolls.

China, or glazed porcelain dolls were also made in the USA. This two dolls pictured above are the Flower Girls set of Godey’s Little Lady dolls made by Ruth Gibbs of Flemington, NJ in the late forties.

There are many antique reproduction china head dolls that were made in the mid 20th century. Some were sold as kits, others were made by crafters in ceramics classes, and some were made by professional doll artists. This ad was scanned from the Spring/Summer 1958 issue of McCall’s Needlework and Crafts magazine.

Bisque was the medium of choice of many of the early doll artists. Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Meg from the Little Women series by Martha Thompson; Abigail Adams by Diana Lence Crosby; Nellie Bly by Lita Wilson and Muriel Kramer; and Miss Kentucky by Fawn Zeller. See more on the Artist Dolls page.

Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Most of the bisque or porcelain dolls produced in the second half of the 20th century were intended for adult collectors rather than children. This trend continues today. Pictured above is Marcella by Wendy Lawton.

Learn More:

Collecting Rose
O’Neill’s Kewpies
by David O’Neill &
Janet O’Neill Sullivan
Find it on eBay.
The American Doll Artist
Volume I
by Helen Bullard
Find it on eBay.
With Kewpish Love
by Florence Theriault
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard