Oct 052012
 
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In the early to mid-twentieth century, Effanbee made some of the world’s best and most popular composition dolls, including Grumpy, Bubbles, the Patsy family and Little Lady.

The company was started in 1910 by two businessmen who operated neighboring shops on Atlantic City’s boardwalk. Bernard Fleischaker and Hugo Baum began by selling toys and dolls; within a couple of years they were having doll heads made especially for them, and by the 1920s were making their own composition parts. Although the company was officially called Fleischaker and Baum, they began using the trademark EFFanBee (from the first letters of their last names) by 1915, and eventually that became the name of the company.

Read about rubber, hard plastic, and vinyl dolls by Effanbee here.

Click on a photo to view a larger version.

Effanbee Baby Grumpy Jr. doll Effanbee Baby Grumpy Jr. doll In the teens and early twenties, many Effanbee dolls were composition copies of popular German bisque head dolls, like Grumpy, who was produced in several sizes and variations. The doll at left is Baby Grumpy.

Coquette doll by Effanbee Coquette doll by Effanbee Coquette is another copy of a German bisque doll. The same doll was also sold as Naughty Marietta.

Effanbee Kid Body Composition doll Effanbee Kid Body Composition doll The kid bodied doll has a composition shoulder head, arms and lower legs. She dates from 1920. This is the type of doll that had been imported from Germany, and became unavailable during World War I.

Bubbles doll by Effanbee Bubbles doll by Effanbee Bubbles was a huge success for Effanbee beginning in 1926. Bubbles has an interesting composition shoulder plate that extends down under her arms. She was sold as a bent leg baby as well as a straight leg toddler. As with many early Effanbee dolls, a lot of variations exist. Bubbles was sculpted by Bernard Lipfert, who also designed Shirley Temple for Ideal, the Dionne Quintuplets for Madame Alexander, and Effanbee’s Patsy.

Patsy Ann doll by Effanbee Patsy Lou doll by Effanbee In 1928, Effanbee came out with a doll that was so original she would vault them to the forefront of the business. The doll was 14″ Patsy, and she was a sensation. Patsy was so popular that Effanbee introduced several other “family members” – similar dolls in different sizes, including 19″ Patsy Ann, pictured far left, and 22″ Patsy Lou, pictured near left. Patsy was extensively copied by other manufacturers. She also has a place in history as the first modern fashion doll, for whom extra outfits were sold.Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Skippy doll by Effanbee Skippy, a comic strip character created by Percy L. Crosby, was advertised as Patsy’s boy friend. At first he was made using Patsy’s body, but later versions have a cloth torso. Skippy was often sold in uniform, including as an aviator, baseball player, soldier and sailor.

Patsyette doll by Effanbee Wee Patsy dolls by Effanbee 9″ Patsyette (far left) & 6″ Wee Patsy are two of the smaller members of Patsy’s extended family. They were produced mostly as girls, but occasionally as boy-and-girl sets.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Patsy Babykin doll by Effanbee Patsy Patsy Babykin was the first all-composition baby in the Patsy line, in 1932. Prior to her introduction, there had been a cloth-bodied Patsy Baby available briefly. The all-compo version is marked Patsy Baby but was advertised and sold as Patsy Babykin.

Photos courtesy of Nancy McKee and Withington Auction, Inc.

Patsy Babyette doll by Effanbee Patsy Tinyette doll by Effanbee Patsy Babyette (far left) and Patsy Tinyette are the other babies in the Patsy family. Patsy Tinyette is marked Baby Tinyette but was never sold under that name by Effanbee. She was sold initially as a bent-leg baby, and later as a straight-leg toddler.

Tinyette photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Patricia doll by Effanbee Patricia, introduced in late 1934, was advertised as Patsy’s older sister. She is 15″ tall and has a different face from the other Patsy family girls. There were also dolls sold with Patsy marked heads and Patricia marked bodies; these are known as Patsy-Patricias by collectors.

Clippo the Clown marionette by Effanbee Clippo the Clown marionette by Effanbee Clippo the Clown (1937) is one of a series of marionettes designed by Virginia Austin. The others in the series are Emily Ann, Liza Lee and Lucifer. They have composition heads, hands and feet, with wooden body parts connected by cloth tape.

1625 Historical doll by Effanbee 1625 Historical doll by Effanbee The Historical Series of dolls are 14″ tall and represent different periods in American history. Pictured at left is the New York Settlement, 1625 doll. They were produced in 1939.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Effanbee Suzanne composition doll Effanbee Suzanne composition doll 14″ Suzanne (pictured) and 12″ Suzette are all-composition girl dolls made by Effanbee in the early 1940s. Suzette can have either painted eyes or sleep eyes. The same doll was also used for Effanbee’s Portrait Series.

Composition Brother doll by Effanbee Composition Brother doll by Effanbee Brother and his companion, Sister, were wartime dolls that had composition heads with cotton floss wigs and cloth bodies. A larger girl doll was made with the same construction as well.

Butin-nose doll by Effanbee Butin-nose doll by Effanbee Butin-Nose, sometimes called Betty Butin-nose, is an 8″ all composition doll with molded hair. She was sold in various outfits as well as international costumes, and was sometimes sold in pairs as a boy and girl.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Composition Candy Kid doll by Effanbee Candy Kid from 1946 is a 14″ all-composition molded hair toddler, who may be dressed as a boy or girl. A black version was made as well. Candy Kids were also made in vinyl in the ’50s.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Composition Mickey doll by Effanbee Mickey had a composition head and hands, and a cloth body. Some dolls had compo legs as well. Mickey was made in various sizes and often had flirty eyes. The same doll was also sold under the names Tommy Tucker and Baby Bright Eyes. Mickey had a twin sister too, sometimes called Katie and sometimes Janie, who wore a matching outfit. In the ’60s Effanbee sold a vinyl Mickey, who was a completely different doll.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Little Lady dolls by Effanbee Little Lady dolls by Effanbee In 1935, the company entered into a contract with independent doll artist Dewees Cochran to design the American Children series of dolls. These dolls had hard rubber arms with separated fingers, with the rest of the doll made of composition. Effanbee continued this construction with their Little Lady (pictured left) dolls that sold through WWII.

Read about rubber, hard plastic, and vinyl dolls by Effanbee here.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sep 222012
 
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Half Pint is a sweet vinyl toddler doll who was a mainstay of Effanbee’s line for many years.

Half Pint doll by Effanbee

Half Pint #6228, circa 1970. Notice the spelling of her name on the tag.

Body Construction
Half Pint is an all-vinyl doll jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. She has rooted hair in various shades and an adorable closed mouth smile. Her most notable feature is her black pupilless side-glancing sleep eyes. The first year only white girl dolls were offered. Beginning in 1967, both boys and girls were sold in white and black versions, all made from the same head mold. Half Pint is usually seen as a girl doll.

Half Pint doll by Effanbee

Half Pint #6252 ballerina from 1975.

Markings
Half Pint is marked “EFFANBEE // 19©66″.

Clothing
Half Pint was sold in a few different outfits each year, mostly simple play clothes, party dresses and sleepwear. In 1970 she was offered in a gift set with extra clothes and accessories. Beginning in 1971, she was often part of Effanbee’s theme groupings, which featured several different dolls in their line wearing matching outfits.

Effanbee Half Pint doll

Packaging
For the first few years, Half Pint’s wrist tag spelled her name “Baby 1/2 Pint,” although the catalog always listed her as “Half Pint.” Her window box has changed over the years with the rest of Effanbee’s line. Initially she was sold in a pink box. For much of the ’70s, she had a box with a blue lid with pink and blue on the bottom. Later she was sold in a white box with a mustard-colored lid.

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Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Sep 172012
 
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Composition and cloth mama doll by Eegee

This mama doll by Eegee has a composition head and limbs with a cloth body. She has a human hair wig and likely dates from the 1920s.

This company, founded in 1917 by E. G. Goldberger, made a wide variety of dolls, including composition, hard plastic and vinyl. They used the trademark “EEGEE” early on. Their dolls were often knockoffs of the popular dolls of the day. In the 1930′s, they made the Shirley Temple-types Little Miss Movie and Miss Charming. In the ’50s, Susan Stroller was an alternative to Ideal’s Saucy Walker, while Eegee’s beautiful line of Little Debutante dolls competed with Ideal’s Revlon and Little Miss Revlon. The 28″ version was also sold as a Bride.

In the ’60s, Mattel’s Barbie, Skipper and Ken were the inspiration for Eegee’s Annette, Little Sister and Andy. Miss Babette was another Barbie clone. Tandy Talks was a cuter version of Mattel’s Chatty Cathy, complete with freckles. Shelley managed to copy two different dolls at the same time – she looked like Ideal’s Tammy, but had the “growing hair” feature of American Character’s Tressy.

Gemmette was a 15″ lady doll from 1963. She came in various hair colors and outfits, but always a long fancy gown. Eegee made Dolly Parton in doll form, in both 12″ and 17″ sizes. A number of ventriloquist dolls were produced over the years, including Lester, W. C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Bozo the Clown and Charlie McCarthy.

17.5″ Miss Sunbeam was an advertising doll for Sunbeam bread sold in 1959. She is all vinyl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Another product tie-in the company produced was the Kool-Aid Kid in 1989, a little girl wearing a red sweatshirt with her name on the front. She came in various hair colors, including a bright red.

The company also produced some very original dolls. Puppetrina, introduced in 1963, was a 22″ vinyl doll whose arms and legs could be manipulated like a puppet. There was a Baby Puppetrina as well. Honey Munch from the ’70s was an unusual ventriloquist baby doll. Maskerade Magic dolls came with five different masks for the dolls to wear.

Eegee is still in business under the name of The Goldberger Company, making dolls and toys for very young children with a lifetime guarantee.

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Copyright 2006-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sep 162012
 
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Deluxe Reading, based in Elizabeth, NJ, was a major doll manufacturer active from the late fifties into the mid-seventies. The company was variously known as Deluxe, Deluxe Reading, Deluxe Toy Creations, Deluxe Premium Corp., Deluxe Topper, Topper Toys and Topper Corp. Many of their dolls were sold through grocery stores in boxes with colorful graphics. Some dolls that were marketed by Deluxe Reading were identical to dolls sold by other companies, including Arrow and Allied.

Baby Brite doll by Deluxe Reading

Baby Brite by Deluxe Reading

Baby Dolls

Suzy Cute is a 7″ baby with extra outfits and accessories, including a crib and playpen. 13″ Baby Brite (pictured above) will raise her arms to be picked up when you press the button in her tummy. Baby Magic nurses, cries and pouts. Tickles is a battery operated 20″ baby who laughs and cries. Baby Boo is another of Deluxe’s battery powered crying babies. 19″ Baby Catch-a-Ball wears metal bracelets that attract her magnetic ball. She has an unusual expression with tongue sticking out. Little Miss Fussyis a drink and wet doll that will whine until her diaper is changed. Several other mechanical babies were made in the late sixties.

 

Smarty Pants doll by Deluxe Reading

Smarty Pants

Girl dolls

Little Miss Fashion Doll, despite her name, is a little girl doll sold with four complete outfits, including a snow suit, pajama set, cowgirl costume and party dress. Suzy Smart is 24″ tall and is a battery operated talking doll with jointed knees. She came in a set with school desk and blackboard. Deluxe Beauty Parlor Doll is the same doll, without the talking mechanism. Suzy Homemaker is 22″ tall and had accessories including an ironing board and iron, and refrigerator. Some items were child size rather than doll size. 8″ Penny Brite was one of Deluxe’s biggest sellers. She came in a plastic case and had numerous extra outfits, as well as play sets and a car. Smarty Pants(pictured above) is a battery powered talker.

 


Candy Fashion doll by Deluxe Reading

Candy Fashion

Fashion & Glamour dolls

Deluxe’s 30″ high heeled glamour dolls include Darling Debbie, Sweet Rosemary, Sweet Ann and Betty the Beautiful Bride. These dolls have stuffed vinyl bodies and wear long fancy gowns. Bonnie Bride is an unusual doll who can “walk” down the aisle (on her rolling stand) and even throw the bouquet. 21″ Candy Fashion (pictured above) is one of Deluxe’s most beloved dolls. She was sold in a set with three dress forms and extra outfits. Candy has been reproduced by Charisma, but the new version is only 18″ tall. Deluxe Fashion Parade is another doll with extra outfits. She was available in 19″ and 25″ sizes. Gail of the West is a cowgirl doll. The Rags to Riches doll comes with both a “rich girl” and “poor girl” outfit. Pam and an unnamed Ballerina/Skater are two more of their high heeled glamour dolls.


Dawn doll by Topper Toys

Dawn in her first issue box.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Visit Lisa’s eBay store.

Dawn

6.5″ Dawnwas a big success in the early seventies, and was widely imitated. Her most common friends are Glori, Angie, Dale, Jessica and Longlocks. Dawn’s male friends include Gary, Van and Ron. They were sold in regular and dancing versions. There was a series of Model Agency friends and another series of Majorette friends. Dawn has many extra outfits and playsets, even a car. One problem for collectors is the “blue knees” these dolls get due to a chemical reaction between the vinyl of their legs and the metal joint inside. Dawn and some of her friends were reissued by Checkerboard Toys for a few years beginning in the late 1990s.

Novelty dolls

The Go-Gos are 6.5″ character dolls with vinyl limbs wired for posability. The include Private Ida (a detective), Brenda Brush (an artist) and Cool Cat (a folk singer with guitar). Eight different dolls were made.

Copyright Zendelle Bouchard 1997-2012

Sep 262011
 
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Here’s something a little different for you mint in box fans. A lot of vintage doll collectors who are familiar with vinyl and hard plastic dolls think these Ruth Gibbs dolls are antiques. Actually they were made in the 1940s in Flemington, New Jersey. They have china (glazed bisque) heads and limbs with a cloth body. They are commonly found in this 7″ size, but 10″ and 12″ dolls were made as well. Sets like Little Women and these Flower Girls can sometimes be found.