Jan 022013
 
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Wake Up Thumbelina is a baby doll made by Ideal in 1976. She was the last of the moving Thumbelina dolls made by Ideal, continuing the line that had begun in 1961 with the original Thumbelina. The earlier versions moved by means of a pull string; but Wake Up Thumbelina requires 2 D-cell batteries. When you press the switch in her back, she raises her head and arms, and turns over.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal


Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Body Construction
Wake Up Thumbelina is 18″ long, and has a vinyl head with rooted hair and painted eyes. She has a very unusual body construction with hard plastic torso and arms, and stuffed cloth legs which are part of her sewn-on outfit. She is jointed at the neck and shoulders. She has a battery compartment in her rear end with the switch in her back. She was sold as a white doll with blonde hair and blue eyes, or a black doll with brunette hair and brown eyes.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal


Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Markings
She is marked “©1976 // IDEAL TOY CORP. // WB-18-H-251″ on the back of her head and “©1976 // IDEAL [in an oval] // HOLLIS N.Y. 11423″ on her upper back.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal


Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Clothing
Wake Up Thumbelina wears a one-piece non-removable sleeper. The white top is a nylon knit, with the yellow bottom part of synthetic flannel. The legs of the sleeper are soft stuffed to form the doll’s legs. The “trap door” in back accesses the battery compartment. A pink ribbon in her hair matches the pink ribbon on the front of her outfit.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal

Packaging
She was sold in a cardboard box with all over graphics illustrating and describing her movements. She came with a sheet of operating instructions.



Copyright 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.

See also:





Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dec 082012
 
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12" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

This 1958 12″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll with extra outfits was sold in a box resembling a TV set, tying in to Shirley Temple Black’s children’s television show.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

17" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

17″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll wears a cotton dress which may have been a Sears exclusive. This size was made from 1959 to 1963.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Ideal made their first vinyl versions of the Shirley Temple doll from 1958-63. They had rooted blonde hair with Shirley’s famous curls and hazel sleep eyes. Some of the larger dolls had “twinkle eyes,” also known as flirty eyes, which could move from side to side as well as open and close. The 12″ version had lots of extra clothes that could be purchased; the 15″, 17″, 19″ and very rare 26″ sizes were sold in a variety of outfits but no clothing was sold separately. Most of these outfits were not from Shirley’s movies, but reflected typical little girl fashions of the period. 1950s Shirley Temple dolls came wearing a plastic pin of her name in script. The 15″ version was reissued in 1972 as a Montgomery Ward exclusive.

15" vinyl reissue Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

15″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll reissued in 1972 for Montgomery Ward was available in this outfit only.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

The Shirley Temple Playpal doll sold only in 1960 is 36″ tall and has the same blow-molded jointed vinyl body as Patti Playpal, with a Shirley Temple head. She most often wears a nylon dress but was also available in a Heidi outfit.

In 1973, a new 16.5″ vinyl version of the Shirley Temple doll was sold wearing her red and white polka dotted “Stand Up and Cheer” outfit. There were four additional outfits sold separately. This doll was available through 1975.

In 1982-3, Ideal made 8″ and 12″ versions of Shirley Temple with pale vinyl resembling porcelain. With this Collector’s Edition series, they returned to dressing Shirley in outfits from her 1930’s film roles. In 1984-5, a 16″ Shirley was made, available in three different costumes.

1984 16" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

16″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll, the final version made by Ideal, wearing outfit from her 1934 film “Stand Up and Cheer!”







Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Nov 302012
 
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I am posting these pictures in hopes that someone will know more about this doll. She is 24″ tall with a vinyl head with rooted hair and sleep eyes, and a one-piece stuffed vinyl body, with feet shaped to wear high heels. She was originally purchased in a supermarket like many of the Deluxe Reading dolls; but her distinctive face closely resembles Taffy by Arranbee and Patricia Walker by Effanbee. However, both of those dolls had jointed hard plastic bodies. If you know anything about this doll, please post a comment below.

Unknown lady doll with stuffed vinyl body

Photo courtesy of Wendy Jamrus

Unknown lady doll with stuffed vinyl body

Photo courtesy of Wendy Jamrus





Copyright 2012 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