Oct 162012
 
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Cowpokes dolls by Knickerbocker

This adorable pair of dolls are the Cowpokes by Knickerbocker, dated 1981. They were designed by Ruth Morehead, who also designed the Scarecrow Kids dolls.

Body Construction
The Cowpokes are 12″ tall and made of cloth, stuffed with polyester filling. They have acrylic yarn hair and printed features.

Markings
The dolls are not marked or tagged. The only tag is on the clothing.

Knickerbocker Cowpokes dolls tag

Clothing
The Cowpokes’ hats and boots are part of their body. The hat brims are glued in place. Their outfits are fastened with velcro and are removable. They are made to look like multiple pieces, but are actually all one piece. They have fine acrylic yarn fringe on the vest and skirt/pants.

Packaging
They came packaged individually in a box with a large cellophane window to display them.

See also:

  • Knickerbocker Main PageCopyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard
Oct 032012
 
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Canadian doll maker Earle Pullan Co., Ltd. began operations in 1945 and was in business until 1967. They began by making plush animals and games, and in 1947 they began producing composition dolls. During the 1950s, they went on to make dolls from stuffed rubber, cloth and vinyl. They made very few hard plastic dolls. Some of their dolls were copies of popular American dolls. Pullan dolls are well made and attractive.

Little Mr. Bad Boy doll by Earle Pullan

30″ Little Mr. Bad Boy doll by Earle Pullan. Photo courtesy of eBay seller Connectibles.

Dolls they produced include:

Dinky Drinky (1948)
10″ all composition drink and wet baby, jointed at shoulders and hips. Painted black side glancing eyes, molded hair.

Baby Twinkle (1948)
Composition toddler girl with a knee-length wavy blonde mohair wig. She is similar in design to Ideal’s Sparkle Plenty, except that doll had a hard plastic head, latex rubber body and wool yarn hair.

Little Lulu (1949)
14″ all cloth comic character doll was identical to the one produced by Georgene Novelties in the United States. Pullan also made a composition version of Little Lulu in 1951 and a vinyl version in 1959.

Coronation Doll (1953)
Celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, this all composition girl doll has an open mouth with teeth, and sleep eyes. She wears a long gown and sash, and “ermine” trimmed cape with matching hat.

Candy (1956)
17″ toddler has a one piece vinyl body with a wire armature inside so she can be posed. Wears a striped footie pajama with matching nightcap.

Mindy (1957)
15″ black vinyl girl doll, wired for posability, molded hair in braids. She appears to be identical to Dee an Cee’s Mandy doll.

Baby Tears (1957)
Drink-wet-and-cry baby doll in 14″ and 16″ sizes. Came with a layette.

Ballerina (1957)
This 17″ doll had brunette in a chignon style and wired legs for posability. She is unmarked.

Bride (1958)
17″ tall, with jointed hips, shoulders and neck. She has rooted blonde hair, blue sleep eyes, earrings and a lace-trimmed gown. She is marked “PULLAN”.

Mother and Family (1958)
This family of four dolls is similar to Effanbee’s Most Happy Family. The boy and girl dolls resemble Effanbee’s Mickey and Fluffy which were used in that set. In the Pullan version, the glamourous 21″ mother and 12″ daughter wear matching solid-color coats with white collars. Mother also wears a hat, pearl drop earrings and black elastic-strap high heels. Her daughter’s outfit has a hood. The 10″ son wears a matching suit with short pants. The 8″ baby doll wears a light-colored bunting. They are all unmarked.

Rags to Riches Doll (1958)
21″ tall, jointed only at neck and shoulders. She has long rooted reddish-brown hair worn in a ponytail with bangs, and blue sleep eyes with lashes. The book photograph shows her in a long gown; she may also have come with a “Rags” dress like the Deluxe Reading doll of the same name. She is marked “PULLAN” on the back of her neck; “A” on her back; “16” on the sole of her left foot; and “VH3-21″ on the sole of her right foot.

Oriental Princess (1958)
This 20″ doll appears to have been made as a knockoff of Uneeda’s Dollikin. She is jointed at the neck, waist, hips, shoulders, knees and ankles. Her long black hair is worn up in a roll and she has blue sleep eyes with brush lashes and painted lower lashes. The most telling trait is her outfit, which is very similar to Dollikin’s “Lotus Blossom” ensemble, a white pantsuit with long fan-print vest. She can be identified by the “PULLAN” mark on her head.

Beatnik Doll (1960)
21″ girl doll with long straight hair and bangs. She appears to have been made from the same head mold as Vogue’s Brikette doll.

Wendy Ann (1960)
35″ companion doll similar to Ideal’s Patti Playpal.

Little Mister Bad Boy (1961)
See photo above. Advertising doll for the Bad Boy Furniture Company wears a striped prisoner’s uniform. He was made in 16″ and 30″ sizes. At least one other company produced these dolls as well.

Bobby (1960s)
A popular all vinyl boy doll with molded hair, sold in various outfits in various sizes.

Miss Marjie (1965)
Similar to Eegee’s Shelley doll, she looked like Ideal’s Tammy but had the growing hair feature of American Character’s Tressy.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sep 052012
 
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I read somewhere that if you have three of something, you have a collection. Well I guess that makes me a collector of Raggedy Ann and Andy! Let me introduce you to my dolls.

Raggedy Ann and Andy illustration by Johnny Gruelle

Raggedy Ann and Andy sprang from the imagination of Johnny Gruelle, an artist and illustrator from Connecticut. His young daughter Marcella found an old faceless rag doll in the attic, and he gave it a face, and made up stories about the doll to entertain her. After Marcella died at age 13, he published the stories as a book. She had loved Raggedy Ann so much, he patented a design and had family members make dolls for sale. The first commercially produced Raggedy Ann and Andy were made by P.F. Volland in 1920. They have been continually in production by various companies ever since.

Sewing patterns to make your own Raggedy Ann and Andy have been available since 1940. Two of my Raggedy pairs are homemade. This pair is 18″ tall, with red yarn hair, black button eyes and appliqued noses. You’ll notice they don’t match exactly – Ann has plaid legs and corduroy shoes, while Andy’s legs are black and white striped, and his shoes are a different ribbed material.

Vintage homemade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls

My other homemade pair stands 20″ tall, with yellow yarn hair and embroidered features. They don’t quite match either! Ann has a nose and mouth to match her hair, while Andy’s are rose colored. His eyes have pupils and hers don’t. And although they both have striped legs, they are of different fabrics. Originally I had planned to keep just one pair; but I never could decide which pair I liked better.

Vintage homemade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls

My newest pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls arrived in the mail last week. These are the new dolls being produced by Aurora World, and they were kind enough to send me a sample. I was happy to see these latest versions still have the sweetness and charm that have made Raggedy Ann and Andy the best loved dolls of all time.

Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls by Aurora World.

I have very few memories of my childhood. But I do remember the very first doll I owned, Raggedy Ann. I’m sure she had been loved to death by the time she left me. So it’s fitting that now the circle is complete, and I have become, albeit accidentally, a collector of these iconic dolls.

What was the first doll you can remember having?

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dec 182011
 
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I came across this ad for Plain Jane, the Magic Light doll, in the December 1945 issue of House Beautiful magazine. The ad text reads:

“One of a group of adorable ‘sleepy-time’ dolls that glow in the dark. Pleasantly help children overcome the fear of darkness. Make charming ornaments, too! Simply place doll before an electric bulb for a few seconds, extinguish all lights, and it will glow in brilliant colors. It never fails to work and will glow thousands of times. Harmless, of course.
‘Plain Jane’ – illustrated – is a 17 in., soft, sturdy doll, dressed in durable cotton clothing, which can be washed and ironed repeatedly. $3.75 Postpaid. Sorry…no C.O.D.
A visit to our unique shop in Radio City…where hundreds of luminous articles are in display…will delight you!
Catalogue mailed on request.
Magic Light Shop, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 20, N.Y.”

I Googled “Magic Light Doll” and came up with this 11″ doll named “Lumia”. She sold for $275 in 2007. Of course, if you came across one of these dolls without the tag or box, you probably wouldn’t know it glowed in the dark. Anybody ever seen one of these in person?

Oct 162011
 
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Here’s something interesting I found last week. I don’t know much about him, but his guitar-shaped cardboard tag indicates he was made by Remco in 1964. He is missing the little booklet which came with him which featured photos of the Beatles. I think the term “mascot” means that he was sold as a decorative item for older kids, not a plaything for the little ones. He represents a generic Beatle rather than one of the individual members of the group. He looks most like Paul McCartney or George Harrison.

He is about 30″ tall and made of fabric and felt, with faux fur hair. Besides the guitar and booklet that he came with, he has no tags or other markings on him. His hands are like paws, with four felt fingers that look more like claws! Elastic straps on his hands enable him to hold the guitar. He seems to be a fairly rare item. The small Beatles dolls with vinyl heads made by Remco are a lot easier to find.

Beatles Official Mascot Doll by Remco