Happi-Time Revlon Dolls sold by Sears (1957)

 Ideal  Comments Off on Happi-Time Revlon Dolls sold by Sears (1957)
Aug 052015

Scan from the 1957 Sears Christmas Book. Courtesy of WishbookWeb.

In their mail order catalogs, Sears sold many brand name dolls under their own “Happi-Time” label, including Ideal’s Revlon dolls in 1957. These dolls have a small Ideal tag sewn inside the dress (instead of the usual banner tag on the dress front), but otherwise are identical to regular Revlons. The Happi-Time dolls could be sold at a lower price point because they didn’t have to pay the licensing fee for the Revlon name. I have not seen one in the original box but they were likely just sent in a plain cardboard shipper. Both regular Revlons and Revlon Walkers were sold under the Happi-Time name.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Ideal’s Revlon Doll (1956-60)

 Ideal  Comments Off on Ideal’s Revlon Doll (1956-60)
Aug 032015

This scan from the 1956 Sears Christmas Book shows Ideal’s Revlon dolls sold at various price points, depending on the detailing of the outfit. The most expensive dolls had a real fur stole. See the links to the outfit pages (below) for more info.
Catalog photo courtesy of WishBookWeb.

Ideal’s Revlon dolls were introduced in late 1955 or 1956. Although usually referred to as “Miss Revlon” by collectors, it is important to note that the company always promoted the doll as simply “Ideal’s Revlon Doll.” Perhaps the misnomer came about later after the introduction of Little Miss Revlon in 1958. In any case, the Revlon dolls were beautifully made and inspired many copycats.

20″ Revlon Doll wears a reproduction “Kissing Pink” outfit.

Body Construction
The Revlon dolls were available in 15″, 18″, 20″, 22.5″ and an extremely rare 25″ size. All sizes of Revlon dolls are made of high quality rigid vinyl with softer vinyl heads. They are most commonly jointed at neck, shoulders, waist and hips (see variations below).

The dolls have good quality rooted hair in shades of platinum blonde, dark golden blonde, auburn and dark brunette. The golden blonde and auburn are by far the most common colors, and the dark brunette the rarest. The hair is styled into a mass of curls held back with pins and hairnet, or in a ponytail style, with bangs. The 15″ dolls, and a few of the larger dolls, have gold elastic headbands.

They have blue sleep eyes (or rarely green) with brush lashes, painted lashes beneath the eyes, and feathered brows. The least expensive dolls did not have pierced ears, but most did. All the dolls have red lips, finger and toenails.

Revlon dolls pictured in the 1958 Sears Christmas Book. This was the only year a Revlon doll with bendable knees was offered.
Catalog photo courtesy of WishBookWeb.

Revlon Variations
There were several variations on the standard Revlon doll produced.

  • In 1958, a doll with bendable legs was sold in a 20″ size. These were the only Revlon dolls sold in pants outfits. See photo above.
  • Toward the end of production, a 17″ doll (with the markings of an 18″) was made utilizing less expensive materials, in an effort to make the doll more competitive with Mattel’s Barbie. This doll came with various hairstyles, including a fluffy bubblecut hairstyle, sidepart without bangs, and an updo with spitcurl. She has a somewhat different face, often described as “pixieish,” with one-stroke eyebrows and unpainted toenails. She was sold in a variety of outfits that are completely different than the regular clothing line. She may have been sold by Ideal to other companies for resale, or made by other companies from Ideal molds. She was probably not sold under the “Revlon” name. A pink-haired version of this doll with bangs has been found with unusual brown eyes.
  • An 18″ pink-haired Revlon ballerina with softer vinyl arms and bendable elbows has also been found.
  • A Walking Revlon Doll in 18″ and 20″ sizes was advertised in 1957. This doll was sold in two different outfits under the Revlon name, and a third outfit under Sears’ Happi-Time label. See the Walking Revlon Doll and Happi-Time Revlon Doll pages for more info.
  • A few rare 20″ Revlons were made with leftover arms from Ideals’ Harriet Hubbard Ayer doll. These can be identified by their longer fingernails.
  • A prototype doll with bubble cut hairstyle is extremely rare.

Faces of two of the 17″ Revlon dolls.

Marking is according to size. The 15″ doll is marked “IDEAL DOLL” on the back of her neck and “IDEAL/15/n” on her back. The 18″, 20″, 22″ and 25″ dolls are all marked “IDEAL DOLL/VT-” followed by a number indicating the size, on the back of the neck. For example, the 18″ doll is marked “IDEAL DOLL/VT-18”. These sizes are also usually marked with the size under each arm and inside each thigh.

See the following pages for photos and descriptions of Revlon Doll outfits:

The earliest dolls were packaged in diamond-print boxes featuring the Ideal logo. Later, the dolls were packaged in the box pictured below. Toward the end of production, Revlon dolls were sold in black laced teddies, and were packaged in narrower boxes with plain gold covers.

18″ Revlon doll in flocked nylon “Cherries a la Mode” dress, showing the cover of her original box.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

See also:
Happi-Time Revlon Dolls Sold by Sears
Walking Revlon Doll
10″ Little Miss Revlon Doll

Learn More:

Collector’s Guide to
Ideal Dolls, 3rd ed.
by Judith Izen
Find it on eBay.

Revlon Dolls &
Their Lookalikes
by Kathy Barna
Find it on eBay
Dolls & Accessories of the 1950s
by Dian Zillner
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 1997-2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

World of Love TV Commercial

 Hasbro  Comments Off on World of Love TV Commercial
Jul 232015

Groovy ad from the early ’70s for Hasbro’s World of Love dolls. This is apparently from the first year of production, as Music and Adam are not mentioned.

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