Feb 132013
 
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Remco is one of the best known toy and doll companies of the vintage era. Their slogan “Every boy wants a Remco toy…and so do girls!” was widely advertised in television commercials. Some of their best known dolls are the Littlechap Family, Heidi and Jan, and the Finger Dings.

There is very little information available about the company itself. Founded by Sol Robbins, Remco was prolific during the 60s and early 70s, but the company invested a lot of money developing dolls that didn’t sell well. Remco filed for bankruptcy in 1971 and was acquired by Azrak-Hamway International, Inc., a toy company, a few years later. In 1997, Jakks Pacific acquired Remco from Azrak-Hamway International.

Most Remco dolls are well marked, aiding in identification. Click on a photo to view a larger version.


Among collectors, Remco is especially well-known for the Littlechap Family, a family of four fashion dolls with very well-made outfits. They are a little larger than Mattel’s Barbie, so they can’t wear her clothes. The scan at far left is from the 1963 Sears catalog. Judy Littlechap photo courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000.

Remco made two different types of dolls of the Beatles. The Mascot, dated 1964, is 30″ tall and all cloth. Visit the Beatles Mascot page for more information.
The other Beatles dolls Remco made are a set of 4 vinyl figures about 4.5″ tall. Each doll has the same body but the heads are different. They are dated 1964 as well. A set of dolls of the Dave Clark Five was also produced. Ringo photos courtesy of eBay seller art-in-mind.

As well as the pop group dolls, Remco made TV characters in doll form too. Pictured at far left are Uncle Fester, Lurch and Morticia from The Addams Family. Near left are Grandpa and Lilly from The Munsters. While the pop groups have unique heads on the same body, these characters have unique bodies too. Photos courtesy of eBay seller art-in-mind.


_outback (7K)
5″ Heidi and her “Japanese playmate” Jan were very popular in the mid-sixties. They came packaged in plastic pocketbook cases, and had many outfits and playsets. Besides the more common version that waves “Hi” when you push a button in her belly, there were also Winking and Growing versions of Heidi. A black version was made as well. Other dolls in the Pocketbook series include Heidi’s siblings Hildy, Herby and Billy; and friends Pip and Spunky. Jan was one of the few Asian-American play dolls available in the 1960s. Bar-B-Que play set photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.


Outfit for TV Jones doll by Remco TV Jones is a vinyl dog fashion doll. Like Heidi and Jan, he came packaged in a plastic case that was meant to look like a portable television set. He had four extra outfits that were sold separately. 1966. Photo at far left courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000.

For cat loving kids, TV Jones has a kitty companion named Pussy Meow. She has four extra outfits too, including a Schoolgirl Outfit, Secret Agent Outfit and Evening Gown. 1966.

Remco also made Mr. & Mrs. Mouse and their twins Elly and Andy. There was a plastic house for the family and playhouse for the twins. Other animal dolls Remco made are Hana Hippo, Ellie Elephant and Patsy Panda. They are hard to find.

Remco’s 1967 Little Orphan Annie rag doll measures 16″ tall. She seems to have been the only all-cloth doll they made. Photo courtesy of eBay seller king-auctions.

Baby Sister Grow a Tooth came out in 1969. She is 15″ tall and has a “Magic Bottle” and pacifier. Photo courtesy of Martin Auction Co.


_daisy (4K) _rose (4K) Finger Dings are 5.5″ finger puppets, introduced in 1969. They have a vinyl head, arms and torso without legs. They wear a sort of a leotard with an open back, and you put your fingers inside the leotard legs to make the dolls walk, dance, skate, etc. Besides the regular line of Finger Dings, there were also Finger Ding Animals and Flower Kids. Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
_spunky (5K) _kitty (5K)

Jumpsy doll by Remco Jumpsy doll by Remco Jumpsy is a mechanical doll who jumps rope. She is 15″ tall with a hard vinyl head and hard plastic body. Her hands are shaped to grip her jump rope (actually a long thin spring fitted to plastic handles). When her arms come down, she hops a bit and skips over the rope. Jumpsy has rooted blonde hair and wild looking painted blue eyes with spiky painted lashes. She wears a two piece blue playsuit. The shorts are not removable.

Remco produced 3 members of the ’60s pop group The Monkees as dolls, with the same construction as the Finger Dings. Dolls in the likenesses of Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith have been found in plain cardboard boxes, indicating that these were probably sold through mail order rather than in stores. (Peter Tork, the fourth member of the Monkees, had quit the band by this time.) Davy’s name is misspelled “Davey” on the boxes. Davy and Mickey were also sold packaged together as Clever Finger Dolls with no mention of their names or the Monkees name. 3 dolls photo courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000. Clever Finger Dolls photo courtesy of eBay seller king-auctions.

Adventure Boy had the same contruction as the Finger Dings and the Monkees dolls. The dolls were sold in play sets including the Spacecraft pictured at left, Snowmobile and Motorcycle. He dates to 1970. Photo courtesy of eBay seller art-in-mind.

The song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” was a huge hit in the early 1970s. It began as a jingle for Coca-Cola and was then recorded for commercial release with the references to Coke removed. The multicultural theme of the song was something new at the time. Remco introduced their 18″ singing doll Mimi in 1973, capitalizing on the song’s popularity. She could sing it in six different languages and had an outfit for each language. Pictured above are her German, Israeli and Polish outfits. She also had Spanish, Scottish and Italian fashions. A black version of Mimi was also available. Photos courtesy of eBay seller art-in-mind.

A series of McDonaldland characters was produced in 1976. They included Ronald McDonald, the Grimace, the Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, Captain Crook, the Professor and Officer Big Mac. The dolls ranged from about 6″ to 8″ tall. The Grimace is plush with vinyl feet; the rest of the characters are posable vinyl with fabric costumes. A McDonaldland Playset was also available. Photo courtesy of eBay seller den268.

Baby This ‘n That came out in the late ’70s. She is a mechanical doll who moves her arms when you squeeze her toes. She comes with accessories to hold such as a spoon and straw. A new version was offered in 1990 as Sweet Baby This ‘n That. Photo courtesy of Martin Auction Co.

Remco’s I Dream of Jeannie doll came out in 1977. She was a tie-in to the animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, not the original show starring Barbara Eden. As such, she would be considered a character doll rather than a celebrity doll. She is 6.5″ tall and has her own fashions which were sold separately. She can also wear Dawn sized clothing. Photos courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was an animated children’s television series produced by comedian Bill Cosby. In 1985, Remco made dolls of four of the characters from the show: Fat Albert, Little Bill, Greg (pictured) and Hank. They have vinyl heads and cloth bodies and are 21″ tall. Photos courtesy of eBay seller den268.

The Baby Sitter’s Club dolls were produced in 1991. They were licensed from the best selling series of chapter books by Ann M. Martin. Each baby sitter doll was 9″ tall and sold together with a 4″ little girl doll. The sets were Kristy & Karen, Claudia & Jenny, Stacey & Charlotte, and Jessi & Becca. There was also a Deluxe Gift Set with all eight dolls. A couple of years later, the four baby sitters were produced by Kenner in 11″ and 18″ sizes. Photos courtesy of eBay seller den268.

Other Remco dolls include:

  • Snugglebun – baby doll came with a lamp table with light up bottle warmer (1965)
  • Baby Walk Alone – mechanical walking doll, about 15″ tall (1966)
  • Tippy Tumbles a somersaulting doll that was a big hit; she was reissued by Ideal in 1977 (1968)
  • Bottle Babies – small vinyl dolls in clear plastic bottles (1967)
  • Ragmop – Cloth head and torso with vinyl limbs (1968)
  • Growing Sally has a torso that lengthens to make her taller. She comes with “little girl” wig and outfit and “grown up” wig and outfit. Extra clothing sets were available. There was a black version made. (1968)
  • Kewpie licensed from Cameo (1968)
  • Tumbling Tomboyaction oriented doll who came with a remote control go-cart (1969)
  • Baby Know-It-All in her Feeding Chair and Magic Slate – show her pictures on her Magic Slate and she reacts to them (1969)
  • Bunny Baby “A Tricky Whistle Doll” whose movements are activated by the sound of the whistle. She rides a Bunny Swing. (1969)
  • My Three Sons Triplets – 3 vinyl drink and wet babies, painted eyes and molded hair, tied into CBS TV series starring Fred MacMurray (circa 1969)
  • Li’l Baby Polly Puff comes with inflatable nursery furniture (1970)
  • Li’l Winking Herby Hippy, a 16″ doll with a winking mechanism
  • Sweet April, a crying baby doll with lots of extra outfits and furniture (1971)
  • Dune Buggy Baby has a plastic remote control dune buggy which you can decorate with stickers (1971)
  • Baby Laugh a Lot – very strange laughing doll. Sounds like something out of a creepy horror film. (1971)
  • Laurie Partridge, character played by Susan Dey on The Partridge Family, is 18″ tall with a teenage body and long straight brown hair. A good likeness, although the doll’s head is oversized compared to her body. (1973)
  • Look ‘n Love Dolly – Mechanical baby urns and nods her head (1978)
  • Hello Dolly – this 12″ talking doll came with a phone that plugged into her side – when you talk on the phone, her lips move and she “talks” along with you (1978)
  • Proud Family – Father, Mother and Baby. Mother can go through various stages of pregnancy (which the box refers to as “motherhood”) (1978)
  • Giggly Jigglies – “The Happiest Dolls in the World” 10″ tall, soft body with vinyl head/ molded hair “No batteries required” but what do they do? There was a pogo stick for them sold separately (1979)
  • Baby Cry & Dry – Drinks, wets, then cries and kicks her legs until you change her. Just like a real baby! 13.5″ long, rooted blonde hair in loose curls. Watch the TV commercial on YouTube. (1979)
  • Rainbow – a fashion doll who came with her own “Electronic Fashion Computer” to help you pick out her outfits (1979)
  • Pretty Penny Chatterbox – pull her braid and she says something. Her upper body is vinyl and her lower body is cloth. She sits in a stuffed chair. (1988)
  • Splashy and Her Floating Vanity – a bathtime fun doll

Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dec 192012
 
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Mattel’s Barbie is the biggest selling doll of all time. But even if Barbie had never existed, Mattel’s other quality dolls like Chatty Cathy, Liddle Kiddles and My Child would have earned the company a place in doll history.

Mattel got its start in 1945, when Elliott and Ruth Handler teamed up with their friend Harold “Matt” Matson. Initially they made picture frames; but Mr. Handler soon began making doll furniture from the scrap wood. Mr. Matson left the company early on, and the Handlers turned to the toy business full time. The company was one of the first toy firms to invest heavily in television advertising, sponsoring “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

Vintage Barbie and Ken dolls by Mattel

Scan from 1963 Sears Toy Book.

While Mattel had been selling doll furniture for several years, they didn’t actually make dolls until they debuted Barbie in 1959. While parents and toy buyers were skeptical at first, she was an immediately hit with little girls, who loved her long, slim grownup figure and fabulous wardrobe. Before long, Barbie had a boyfriend named Ken, a best friend named Midge and a little sister, Skipper.

Go to the Barbie section for more info.


Chatty Cathy doll by Mattel.

Chatty Cathy had extra outfits and accessories that could be purchased.
Scans from 1963 Sears Toy Book.

Tiny Chatty Baby and Charmin’ Chatty by Mattel
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In the early 1960s, even though Barbie ruled the doll world, Mattel had several other top selling dolls as well. The company had a hit with Chatty Cathy and her extended family, which included Chatty Baby and Tiny Chatty Baby in both white and black versions. These dolls are pull-string talkers that say a finite number of phrases. They also introduced Charmin’ Chatty, who talks by means of miniature records inserted into the doll.
View Chatty family dolls on ebay!
The Chatty dolls were so popular that Mattel went on to make many other talking dolls in the ’60s and ’70s. Most of these were pull-string talkers.


Talking dolls by Mattel.

Three talking dolls by Mattel. L to R: Talking Little Bo Peep, Patootie the Clown and Trish.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Swingy, Baby Go Bye-Bye and Baby Walk 'n Play by Mattel.

L to R: Swingy, Baby Go Bye-Bye and Baby Walk ‘n Play.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Mattel’s dolls didn’t just talk, they moved! Mechanical dolls such as Baby First Step, Swingy and Dancerina have been a big part of Mattel’s lineup over the years.


Liddle Kiddles dolls by Mattel.

Liddle Kiddles dolls by Mattel.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In the mid- to late sixties Liddle Kiddles were the rage. These tiny dolls were sold in different series such as Storybook Kiddles, Skididdle Kiddles, Lucky Locket Kiddles, etc., and ranged from less than an inch tall to four inches tall.
View Liddle Kiddles on ebay!


Rock Flowers dolls by Mattel

Rock Flowers dolls by Mattel.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller den268.

In the early ’70s, Mattel introduced the 6.5″ Rock Flowers dolls. Topper’s Dawn doll had started a trend for the smaller size fashion dolls, but instead of being fashion models, the Rock Flowers girls were pop stars. Each doll came with a thick plastic record that could actually be played on a regular record player. Separate fashions in record-shaped packages were sold too.

The pop star theme is one that Mattel would return to every few years for a new line of Barbie dolls.

Mattel made a number of dolls in the likeness of popular celebrities in the 20th century, from supermodel Twiggy in 1967 to the characters from the film and TV show Clueless in 1997. Many of these were fashion dolls with their own unique wardrobes.


Julia and Marie Osmond dolls by Mattel.

Julia doll in the likeness of actress Diahann Carroll was made in talking and non-talking versions. Donny and Marie Osmond dolls were very popular in the late 70s when they had their own television variety show. Little brother Jimmy is a harder doll to find. Julia, Donny and Marie had extra outfits you could buy. Marie was also sold in a 30″ version with sewing patterns.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

The Sunshine Family and Happy Family dolls in the mid-70s were fashion dolls with a family focus. In the ’80s, Mattel returned to the family theme with the Heart Family dolls. But family values soon took a back seat to fantasy and adventure with Mattel’s two popular action figure series, Masters of the Universe (for boys) and Princess of Power (for girls). The toys tied in with weekly cartoon series. But even action figures were no match for the power of Barbie, who continued as the world’s best-selling doll.


Moon Mystic & Frosta dolls by Mattel

Two of Mattel’s fantasy-themed dolls: 11.5″ Moon Mystic doll from the Guardian Goddess series and 5.5″ Frosta from the Princess of Power series.

Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Baby dolls have been a part of Mattel’s lineup since the sixties. In 1986, they introduced the adorable My Child dolls, which have become a favorite with collectors, particularly in Australia. My Child dolls have an articulated cloth body and cloth-covered head with rooted hair. They were produced with a variety of skin tones, hair and eye colors until 1988.
View My Child dolls on ebay!


My Child dolls by Mattel.

My Child dolls by Mattel.

Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Mattel continues today as a powerhouse in the toy business, with Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Monster High and Fisher Price among its brands. They also have a large line of licensed Disney dolls.

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Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Nov 252012
 
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Vintage composition Dopey doll by Knickerbocker

Composition Dopey doll by Knickerbocker.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

The Knickerbocker Toy Co., founded in 1927, is undoubtedly best known for its Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, which it produced from the early 1960s through the 1980s. The company made many other cloth dolls during its long history, including Disney characters such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, cartoon characters such as Little Lulu, Little Orphan Annie and the Flintstones, and girl dolls with molded faces similar to the ones produced by Georgene and Mollye. The company also produced some wonderful composition dolls including the characters from the comic strip Blondie, Disney’s Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Holly Hobbie was a big seller for Knickerbocker in the 1970s, in both cloth and vinyl versions. Knickerbocker was bought out by Hasbro in 1983, but they continued to produce dolls under the Knickerbocker name, including the wonderful line of Magic Attic vinyl play dolls designed by Robert Tonner in the 1990s. In 2001, Marie Osmond and her husband purchased Knickerbocker and changed its name to Marian LLC. That company later became part of Charisma Brands.

This is a very partial list. Click on a small photo to see a larger version.

Composition Grumpy doll by Knickerbocker Composition Snow White doll by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker’s Snow White doll is all composition, with molded black hair. Her satin dress has a velveteen bodice. The 7 Dwarfs are dressed in velveteen outfits, and have mohair beards. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

Composition Pinocchio doll by Knickerbocker Composition Pinocchio doll by Knickerbocker Pinocchio‘s composition arms and legs are molded to look like jointed wood. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

Cloth 7 Dwarfs dolls by Knickerbocker The cloth versions of the 7 Dwarfs have velveteen outfits that are part of their bodies, and molded mask faces. The doll on the left may have a replaced beard. Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

1964 Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker began producing Raggedy Ann and Andy in 1963. This pair dates to 1964. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.
Bedtime Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker Bedtime Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker Bedtime Raggedy Ann and Andy wear flannel pjs and nightie instead of their usual outfits. Their printed eyes are safer for babies. They were made starting in 1979. Photos courtesy of Paul Muhlbach. Check out his eBay listings.

Beloved Belindy doll by Knickerbocker Beloved Belindy is another character from the Raggedy Ann stories. The Knickerbocker version doesn’t resemble Johnny Gruelle’s original illustrations very much though. Photo courtesy of Paul Muhlbach. Check out his eBay listings.

Nancy cloth doll by Knickerbocker Nancy cloth doll by Knickerbocker In 1973, Knickerbocker made a series of miniature rag dolls of cartoon characters, including Nancy and Sluggo. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.
Miniature Fred Flintstone rag doll by Knickerbocker Miniature Pebbles Flintstone rag doll by Knickerbocker Flintstones characters Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were also part of the Miniature rag dolls series. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Floppy Sox doll by Knickerbocker The Floppy Sox dolls from 1974 are made to look like homemade sock dolls. There was a boy and girl doll made.

Holly Hobbie's friend Heather by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie's friend Heather by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie rag dolls by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie and her friends were made in several sizes in the mid-70s. Vinyl versions were made too. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.
Cowpokes dolls by Knickerbocker The Cowpokes dolls, copyrighted 1981, are a cute Western-themed boy and girl. Read more on the Cowpokes page.

Star Trek Captain Kirk cloth doll by Knickerbocker Star Trek Mr. Spock doll by Knickerbocker Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from Star Trek were made in 1979, with vinyl heads and cloth bodies. No other characters from the series were made. Photos courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.

Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Peanuts character Snoopy and his sister Belle were made as 8″ all vinyl fashion dolls in the early ’80s, with extra outfits available. Snoopy was always accompanied by his little sidekick, Woodstock. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.
Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker The 5″ vinyl version of Snoopy (with Woodstock) has Astronaut, Chef and Sport playsets. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.

Moppets Missy doll by Knickerbocker Baby Moppets Sugar Cones dolls by Knickerbocker Missy, Mindy and Mandy are the Moppets – small, all-vinyl dolls produced by Knickerbocker in 1981. All-vinyl Baby Moppets were made as well. The Sugar Cone Baby Moppets have vinyl heads and cloth bodies.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Dolly Pops by Knickerbocker Dolly Pops from the late ’70s – early ’80s are one piece plastic dolls with rooted hair. The dolls “pop” in and out of their playsets, and their one-piece plastic outfits “pop” on and off. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Annie Rag Doll by Knickerbocker World of Annie vinyl dolls by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker made Annie dolls as a tie-in to the 1982 movie starring Aileen Quinn as Annie and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks. Cloth and vinyl versions of Annie were made in multiple sizes; other characters from the film were made about 6″ tall in vinyl, and as 2.75″ miniatures.



Copyright 2006-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Nov 122012
 
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Kenner Products was founded in 1947 by the Steiner brothers in Cincinnati, Ohio, and quickly became successful with their toys. Their success continued through the fifties and sixties, with introductions like the Easy Bake Oven and Spirograph. The company was purchased by General Mills in 1967. In the ’70s, Kenner got into the doll business. They continued to make dolls throughout the decade, but by the 1980′s were concentrating more on action figures, including the Star Wars line, which was their biggest success story. In 1985, General Mills spun off Kenner and Parker Brothers into a new company, called Kenner Parker Toys. Two years later it was acquired by the Tonka Corporation, which split Kenner Products and Parker Brothers back into separate divisions. In 1991, Kenner became part of the world’s largest toy company when Tonka was purchased by Hasbro. They continued to produce high quality dolls during this period. In 2000, Hasbro shut down the Kenner division and merged its product lines together. Although they still produce some of Kenner’s products, including Baby Alive, the Kenner name is no longer used.

These are some of the dolls and action figures made by Kenner. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

Gabbigale is an 18″ talking doll with a battery-operated recording mechanism. When you raise her arm, pull the string and talk to her, she records what you say. When you lower her arm and pull the string, she repeats it back to you. Copyright 1972.
Photo courtesy of Martin Auction Co.

Baby Alive was hugely successful for Kenner. While there are many drink-and-wet baby dolls, Baby Alive is the rare “eat-and-poop” model. She is battery operated with a chewing mechanism. She was sold throughout the ’70s and a new version was produced in 1990. There were both black and white models made. Baby Alive is still being made in an updated version by Hasbro.

Crumpet, copyrighted in 1970, is a 19″ pullstring, battery operated mechanical doll who pours tea and serves cookies. She has long straight blonde hair and blue sleep eyes, and was sold complete with her table and tea set.

Madcap Molly, advertised in 1971, is an unusual wind-up walking doll described as “the do-it-all dolly.” She is 12″ tall and came packaged with a shopping cart, scooter and skis. Molly’s construction is hard to describe: her head, arms and legs are flat plastic while her torso is more three-dimensional.

Garden Gal is a series of three dolls: blonde Skye, Brunette Meadow, and Willow, a redhead. They came packaged with flower seeds, two plastic pots, peat discs and watering can. The dolls, from 1972, have white molded boots on their feet.

Betty Crocker was a lithographed cloth advertising doll sold with baking utensils. She is 13″ tall with huge brown eyes, and her gingham dress and white apron with the Betty Crocker logo are removable. She has brown yarn pigtails in addition to her fabric hair. Dated 1974.

Vintage Blythe doll by Kenner Vintage Blythe doll by Kenner Blythe was introduced in 1972. She is a very unusual 11″ fashion doll with an oversized hard plastic head. By pulling the string at the back of her head, her eyes will close, and reopen a different color! Her eyes can be blue, green, brown and pink by turns. Blythe came with a variety of hair colors, either with bangs or in a side part style. Her vinyl body is the same or similar to that used for Hasbro’s World of Love dolls. Many extra outfits were sold for Blythe, and there were wigs in wild colors available too. In the past few years Blythe has become very popular, particularly with Japanese collectors, and Blythe dolls have been reproduced by Ashton-Drake and by Takara in Japan.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
Vintage Blythe doll by Kenner Vintage Blythe doll by Kenner

Vintage Jenny Jones & Baby John dolls by Kenner Jenny Jones and Baby John are a mother and baby set of dolls produced in 1973. Jenny is 9″ tall and her drink-and-wet baby is 2.5″. They were sold with a crib and accessories. There were also separate outfits and nursery furniture available for them.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Vintage Dusty doll by Kenner Vintage Dusty doll by Kenner Dusty has been called one of the ugliest fashion dolls ever made. While this may be unfair, it’s safe to say that she is not a “girly” doll. Her niche was that she was an active sports-minded girl, busy with tennis, golf, skiing, swimming and other fun activities. Dusty has platinum blonde hair in a shag cut, a tan complexion and a big smile. She is 11.5″ tall and jointed at the waist. Most dolls have bendable arms and jointed wrists, but there were some dolls made with straight arms. These were sold for $1.99 with the trade-in of any old doll. Dusty had separate outfits available for many different sports. She also had a black friend named Skye. While Dusty and Skye are the same height as Mattel’s Barbie, they have a stockier build, and Barbie’s clothes will not fit them.
Vintage Dusty and Skye dolls by Kenner
Vintage Dusty and Skye dolls by Kenner

Nancy Nonsense is an 18″ pullstring talking doll from 1974. She has blonde hair in pigtails and painted blue eyes with lashes.

Baby Yawnie is a 14″ baby doll from 1974 with a stuffed cloth body; when you squeeze her hand she yawns and closes her eyes by means of a bellows mechanism. Black and white versions were made.

Steve Scout (white doll) and Bob Scout (black doll) from 1974 are 9″ action figures that wear official Boy Scouts of American uniforms. There were several Adventure Sets and accessories sold for them.
Photo courtesy of Martin Auction Co.

Vintage Bionic Woman doll by Kenner The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman were popular TV shows in the ’70s, and Kenner’s dolls of the main characters, Steve Austin played by Lee Majors, and Jaime Summers, played by Lindsay Wagner, were big hits. The company also produced dolls of Oscar Goldman (Steve Austin’s boss), Maskatron (his robot enemy) and Fembot (Jaime Summer’s robot enemy), as well as playsets and extra outfits for Steve and Jaime.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Stretch Armstrong doll by Kenner Stretch Armstrong doll by Kenner Stretch Armstrong is unique. He is 15″ tall, but has a latex rubber body that can be stretched to several times its size. Inside is a gel made from corn syrup that helps keep the stretched-out shape for a short time. He was first issued in 1976, but was reissued in the ’90s with his dog, Fetch.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

1977 Star Wars Chewbacca action figure by Kenner Vintage Star Wars 1977 Stormtrooper action figure by Kenner Kenner had the first license to make Star Wars action figures, which they did from 1977 to 1985, and in doing so, popularized the 3.75″ figure which became an industry standard. They made over 100 unique figures and sold more than 300 million of them worldwide. Pictured at left are the Stormtrooper and Chewbacca from 1977.

Photos courtesy of eBay seller king-auctions.

Vintage Darci doll by Kenner Vintage Darci doll by Kenner Darci is a 12.5″ fashion doll from the late ’70s with a fashion model theme. She had two friends, Dana and Erica, and many extra outfits. Although Darci is beautiful and well-made, the fact that she couldn’t share clothes with Mattel’s more popular Barbie doll, spelled her doom. Darci was made as a blonde, brunette and redhead. She has jointed wrists, which are unusual in a doll of this size.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
Vintage Darci doll outfit by Kenner Vintage Darci doll Perfect Pose Studio by Kenner

An International Velvet doll was produced in 1979 as a tie-in to the movie starring Tatum O’Neal. Ms. O’Neal is pictured on the box, but her name is not mentioned and the doll doesn’t resemble her. The doll wears white riding breeches and an ascot, with a black jacket, boots and hat. She is 11″ tall with long blonde hair.

The Sea Wees are 4″ mermaid dolls with a copyright date of 1979. They have one piece bodies, jointed only at the neck, and long rooted hair. Pets and babies were made for them.

Vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll by Kenner Vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll outfits by Kenner Strawberry Shortcake and her many friends have been made by a few different companies under license from American Greetings. The first doll versions were made by Kenner in the 1980s. The most common are 5.5″ vinyl scented dolls. They had extra outfits and accessories. A 16″ rag doll version was made as well. She has yarn hair and her bonnet is attached to her head. In the ’90s Strawberry Shortcake was made by Toy Headquarters, Inc. The line is now produced by Hasbro.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
Butter Cookie doll by Kenner Vintage Baby Strawberry Shortcake doll by Kenner

Vintage Glamour Gals Loni doll by Kenner Glamour Gals is a series of 4″ fashion dolls with non-removable clothing, made in the early 1980s. There were several different dolls sold in a variety of outfits. In addition to the regular line, there was also a line of dolls wearing jewelry, and a line that came with accessories. They also had a Showplace Case, a car, and even a cruise ship.

Photo courtesy of eBay seller king-auctions.

Vintage Indiana Jones doll by Kenner Vintage Raiders of the Lost Ark Belloq action figure by Kenner After the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” came out, Kenner had the first license to make tie-in toys. This Indiana Jones doll is 12″ tall. He can be considered a celebrity doll as well, because the box features a photo of actor Harrison Ford. They also made a line of 3.75″ action figures which included several characters from the film, including Belloq, pictured at left.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Rose Petal Place dolls, made in the mid-80s, are 6″ doll with a fantasy flower theme.

Hugga Bunch, copyright 1985, was a strange line of plush toddler dolls, like a cross between a doll and a stuffed animal. They came with smaller baby dolls for them to hug.

Always Sisters doll outfit by Kenner Always Sisters dolls by Kenner Always Sisters are three families of three sisters each. There is a blonde family, a brunette family and a redhead family, with each having a 14″ baby sister, an 18″ middle sister and a 22″ oldest sister. They have vinyl heads and hands with cloth covered posable bodies. Each doll was sold separately, and they had extra outfits.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Special Blessings from 1988 are a line of Christian-themed dolls with hands in praying position. They have vinyl heads, soft cloth bodies and big painted eyes that glance upward.

Hey Vern It’s Ernest! is a talking doll Kenner made in 1989, in the likeness of fictional character Ernest P. Worrell, as portrayed by actor Jim Varney. Ernest’s career began in television commercials, then he got his own series and starred in several feature films as well. The doll is 16″ tall and is a pull string talker.

A talking Beetlejuice doll was made that same year, in the likeness of actor Michael Keaton.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch was a 1990s tie-in to the popular TV show starring Melissa Joan Hart. She is a 10″ fashion-type doll, and was sold along with her cat, a rabbit and hat, and book of magic spells. There was also a Bedtime Sabrina, who according to the packaging, could “magically levitate” from her bed.

Babysitters Club, from 1993, is a line of 18″ dolls that tied in to the popular series of chapter books for girls.

Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

Oct 302012
 
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3 of the 7 Dwarfs - Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy - all cloth, 1938

Three of the Seven Dwarfs – Sneezy, Sleepy and Happy, all cloth, 12″ tall, 1938.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

The Ideal Toy Corporation had a long and illustrious career in the doll business, beginning in the early years of the 20th century and continuing into the 1980s. They produced dolls in composition, cloth, rubber, hard plastic and vinyl. The industry’s best designers, including Bernard Lipfert, Joseph Kallus, and Neil Estern, worked for Ideal at various times. Fortunately for collectors, most Ideal dolls are marked. For more information on the company’s history, read Judith Izen’s wonderful book, “Collector’s Guide to Ideal Dolls.”

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Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard