Sandra Sue Dolls by Richwood Toys (1948-58)

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Jan 052015
 
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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.

Clothing
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

Jan 232013
 
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Reliable Toy Co. of Canada had a long history in the doll business beginning in 1920. They made composition, hard plastic and vinyl dolls, including some knockoffs of popular American models. The company was more recently sold to Allied Plastic Products of Toronto and in 1995 doll production was discontinued.

Here are just a few of the many, many dolls made by Reliable over the years. Their dolls are generally well marked. Click on the small photo to see a larger version.

Composition
A variety of compo dolls were made including babies, toddlers, children and characters. Some were all composition and some had cloth bodies.

Shirley Temple
Reliable had the Canadian license to sell composition Shirley Temple dolls in the 1930s. Some appear to have been made using the Ideal molds, or perhaps they were made by Ideal and sold nude to Reliable, where they were dressed. The clothing has Reliable tags, but the dolls are just marked Shirley Temple. They were made in a variety of sizes.


This 20″ girl doll may be Sally Ann or Gloria. She has a composition shoulder head and limbs with a cloth body, tin sleep eyes, blonde mohair wig and open mouth with teeth.


Baby Bubbles doll by Reliable of Canada Baby Bubbles was made in a few different versions. In addition to the one pictured, who has a compo head, arms and legs on a cloth body and sleep eyes, there was also one with painted eyes and cloth legs. In the 1950s, there was a vinyl Baby Bubbles made. Photo courtesy of Cathy Chase.

Babykins
12″ tall with bent baby legs, all composition, made with blue painted eyes or sleep eyes, brown molded hair, closed mouth. The name was also used for later vinyl dolls.

Wettums is an all compo drink and wet baby, open mouth nurser. Visit the Wettums page for more info.

Koweeka (Smilie)
14″ composition Eskimo doll with painted brown eyes and molded hair, wears a white and black faux fur outfit with boots. Interesting box has an arctic design on the lid featuring an igloo. The same doll was also used by Clicquot Club as an advertising premium.

Maggie Muggins was a character in a popular children’s TV and radio show, created by Mary Grannan. The doll was produced in 1947 and is 14″ tall, all composition, with red mohair wig in braids, and painted freckles.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.


_kewptype (2K) Standing dolls are 8″ tall, jointed only at the shoulders, with large side-glancing eyes and mohair wig. May be dressed as a girl, in Indian costume, or military uniform

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police doll wears his official uniform. Go to the Mountie page for more info.

Hard Plastic
Dress Me Doll
7.5″ tall, hard plastic with wig of various colors, jointed at neck and shoulders only, sleep eyes, molded shoes, sold nude in plastic bag. Probably made in other sizes as well.

Toni
Another Ideal doll licensed by Reliable to sell in Canada. She is unmarked, but otherwise closely resembles the Ideal Toni.

Saucy Walker
Yet another Ideal license, she is marked Reliable, but otherwise resembles the Ideal version, including her flirty eyes. They also made Saucy with a vinyl head and hard plastic body.

Susie Stepps
This walking girl doll is all hard plastic, jointed at neck, shoulders and hips, with sleep eyes and synthetic wig. She has an open mouth with teeth and tongue and was made in several sizes.

Vinyl
Licenses from Ideal continued with Bonnie Braids, Betsy Wetsy and Patty Sue Playmate (Patti Playpal).

Sally Ann
17″ toddler doll with flexible, all-vinyl body jointed only at the neck, sleep eyes, curly strawberry blonde hair pulled back from her face. She wears a royal blue taffeta dress with attached apron in coordinating checked fabric, trimmed with lace, socks and white mary janes.

Scottish Lassie
16″ blonde doll with vinyl head, plastic body, sleep eyes, wears a Scottish ensemble including lace-trimmed white blouse, dark jacket, plaid kilt and scarf, tam with plaid trim, red socks, mary jane shoes. A ribbon attached to the jacket proclaims her a Souvenir of Canada.

Sleeping Beauty
This is a 10″ all-vinyl Little Miss Revlon type glamour doll. She has dark blond hair in curls with bangs, and wears a pale purple gown with darker bodice.

Miss Canada (1960)
Miss Canada is an 18″ vinyl glamour doll with curly auburn hair and a lacy sleeveless dress. She is jointed at the hips, shoulders and neck, and is marked “RELIABLE (in script)/CANADA” on her body.

Bride (1960)
This doll is 17″ tall and has a one-piece Rigidsol body with vinyl head. Her brown eyes match her short brown hair and set her apart from the blue-eyed pack. She is marked “RELIABLE” on her head and “H-17” on her back.



Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

Jan 212013
 
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Vintage Honey doll by Effanbee

Effanbee’s hard plastic Honey doll in one of her many day dresses.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

Honey was Effanbee’s flagship doll during the brief hard plastic era. She was sold in many variations, under a few different names and in numerous outfits. Honey is one of the classic dolls of the 1950s.

Beginning in 1949, Honey was offered in 13.5,” 16″ and 18″ sizes. She was sometimes called Honey Girl during this early period. These dolls are all hard plastic, jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. They have sleep eyes with brush lashes, and mohair wigs.

1950 Effanbee Honey Majorette doll

Effanbee’s Honey as a Majorette.
Scan from the 1950 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog.

In 1950, a 21″ size composition (not hard plastic) Honey was sold with flirty eyes and a human hair wig.

1950 composition Honey doll by Effanbee

This is the 21″ all composition version of Honey. She has flirty eyes and a human hair wig.
Scan from the 1950 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog.

In 1951, the Tintair Doll was introduced. This is Honey with platinum blonde Dynel hair meant to be “tinted” with special redhead and brunette hair coloring. The smallest size doll was now 14″ tall. All Honey dolls had synthetic hair after this point. The Saran Yarns Company used Honey in their ads promoting the many uses of their Saran fiber.

There was also a special series of 18″ Honey dolls in 1951 with couture outfits by the famous Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

In 1952, the Honey Walker doll was introduced. She has a walking mechanism which also turns her head, but is otherwise identical to the regular Honey. Both versions were produced through 1957.

In 1952, Honey portrayed both Cinderella and Prince Charming. He is the only male doll made using the Honey mold.

14

14″ Honey as Prince Charming, the companion to Cinderella.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

In 1954, 15″ Honey was offered in a carrying case or steamer trunk with extra outfits.

Honey got jointed knees and ankles in 1956. This doll is 20″ tall. The harder to find 15″ doll has jointed ankles, but not knees. She could wear high heels or ballerina shoes in addition to her regular flat Mary Janes and majorette boots. Honey sold in high heels was called Junior Miss, a Doll with Glamour.

In the last year of Honey’s production, 1957, she was offered as Honey Ballerina. She has vinyl arms which may or may not be jointed at the elbows.

Hard plastic Honey doll by Effanbee

Effanbee’s hard plastic Honey doll was sold in a variety of long gowns. Her hat may not be original.

See also:





Copyright 2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

Jan 162013
 
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Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls, Inc. is best known for their 4.5″ to 7″ bisque (and later, hard plastic) dolls, mostly of storybook characters, dressed in an endless variety of outfits and sold in polka dot boxes from the ’30s through the ’50s. But the company sold lots of other dolls, and this page is about them.

For details on the storybook dolls, see the Nancy Ann Storybook dolls page and the Nancy Ann Storybook series page.


_baby1 (1K) _aobaby (4K) The babies are some of the earliest dolls sold by the company. They were purchased from other companies and dressed by Nancy Ann. Many were made in Japan. These painted bisque babies are 3.5″ and 4.5″ tall.


_pink1 (3K) _pink2 (3K) After having great success with the Storybook Dolls for a number of years, in 1952, Nancy Ann branched out to other types of dolls with the Style Show series. These dolls are 18″ tall, all hard plastic with stunning outfits. These dolls are unmarked and difficult to identify unless wearing a documented outfit. They were only produced for a few years.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls


_red1 (4K) _yellow1 (2K) _face (4K) In 1953, the 8″ hard plastic toddler, Muffie, was introduced. She was similar to Vogue’s very popular Ginny doll. Muffie’s head was made of vinyl beginning in 1957 and she was produced into the 1960s. She had an extensive selection of extra outfits available.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.


_basic1 (4K) _basic2 (5K) Debbie was a slightly larger version of Muffie at 10.5″ tall. She was a hard plastic walking doll. Some Debbies were made with vinyl heads as well.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
_basic3 (4K) _debbie3902 (6K)
_green1 (2K) _mnafull (2K) _lmna1 (4K) _tagged (3K) 10.5″ Miss Nancy Ann was the company’s answer to Ideal’s popular Little Miss Revlon. An 8″ Little Miss Nancy Ann was also made. These dolls are all vinyl with mature figures and high heeled feet. They had extra boxed outfits available. For more information, go to the Miss Nancy Ann and Little Miss Nancy Ann pages.

In the late fifties, Miss Abbott became ill with cancer and the company struggled to keep up production. She died in 1964, and her partner, Mr. Rowland, who was also ill, was unable to keep the company afloat. Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls closed its doors in 1965. The assets of the company were sold to Albert Bourla, who produced a series of Muffie Around the World dolls in 1967. Aline, a low-quality Barbie-type doll, and her little sister Missie were produced during the ’70s. Mr. Bourla owned the company for nearly forty years before selling it (on eBay!) to the current owners, Claudette Buehler and Delene Budd. The company has undergone a renaissance with a new sculpt by Dianna Effner in the tradition of the original Storybook dolls.





Copyright 2004-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Jan 162013
 
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Six Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls

Clockwise from top left— Goose Girl, Dainty Dolly Pink and Blue, See-Saw Marjorie Daw, Flossie Came From Dublin Town, Over The Hills To Grandma’s House, and There Was a Maiden Bright and Gay.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

This page is about the small bisque and hard plastic Storybook character dolls produced by Nancy Ann Dressed Dolls and Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls, Inc. from 1936 through the 1950s. For info about the company’s other dolls, go to the Muffie, Style Show and Other Dolls by Nancy Ann page.

Nancy Ann Abbott (real name Rowena Haskin) was born in 1901 in California and worked as an actress and dress designer in Hollywood before opening a book lending shop in San Francisco in 1935. In her shop, she also offered dolls for sale that she dressed herself in the evenings. Prior to this, dolls had been just a hobby, but when they proved popular, she was inspired to leave the bookshop to start her own doll company, Nancy Ann Dressed Dolls. In 1937, Les Rowland joined her firm as a partner, bringing to it his financial and selling skills, and they were off and running.

The first dolls were made in Japan and dressed here. Later on, the company had its own production facility. The first dolls made in the USA were marked “Judy Ann”. By the mid-40s, the company was called Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls.

Nancy Ann Storybook Doll marked

Early Nancy Ann Storybook Doll marked “JUDY ANN” wearing her original dress.

Nancy Ann Storybook character dolls only came in a few variations of size and body construction; instead they are identified by the outfit they are wearing, and many of the outfits look very similar. A doll without her original box or wrist tag can be very difficult to identify. Most of the dolls were produced as Caucasian girls; boys and African-American girls are much less common. The same molds were used for both genders and races.

Body Construction
The Storybook dolls were produced in bisque from 1936 to 1948, when they changed to hard plastic. They are mostly 5.5″ tall, but can range from 4.5″ to 7″ tall. They may or may not be jointed at the hips or neck; all dolls are jointed at the shoulders. Most dolls have glued-on mohair wigs; a very few dolls have painted hair. Many of the hard plastic dolls have sleep eyes, but all the bisque dolls and some hard plastic have painted eyes. For more information see the Nancy Ann Dolls website.

Vintage Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls

Clockwise from top left: Here I am Little Joan, To Market To Market,
I’m Going A-Milking, Little Betty Blue, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not and Mistress Mary.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Markings
Most dolls are marked on their back, but the markings may be faint if the mold had been used for a long period of time. A variety of marks were used. Most of the marks include the words “Story Book” but some of the earlier dolls are marked “Made in Japan” or “Judy Ann.” For more information see the Nancy Ann Dolls website.

Series
Most Storybook dolls were produced as part of a series. Go to the Series List for individual doll photos.

Six Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls

From the Dolls of the Month Series – Clockwise from top left: A Shower Girl for April, A Very Independent Lady for July, A November Lass To Cheer, A Breezy Girl and Arch To Worship Me Thru March,
A February Fairy Girl For Ice and Snow, A Rosebud Girl to Love me Thru the June Days .
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Packaging
Most dolls were packaged in white boxes with large pink, red, silver or blue polka dots. Some of the earlier boxes had different backgrounds or graphics. The hard plastic dolls have “Nancy Ann Storybook Doll” written in between the dots. Beginning in 1941, each doll had a gold foil wrist tag bearing her name. Prior to that, gold stickers were attached to the doll’s outfit.



Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard