Oct 142012
 
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Pink Haired Ballerina by Belle Doll & Toy Corp.

Pink Haired Ballerina by Belle. View her full-length photo and her original box.

Not much is known about the Belle Doll & Toy Corp. They are most known for their glamour dolls: Twixie‘s posability was meant to capitalize on the popularity of Uneeda’s Dollikin; Margie and Marjorie are all-vinyl high-heeled dolls whose faces resemble Alexander’s Cissy; Little Miss Margie is similar to Ideal’s Little Miss Revlon. One thing that seems certain is that, while the company’s dolls were patterned after the successful dolls of other companies, they had a charm and personality of their own as well.

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Copyright 1999-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Oct 122012
 
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No history of vintage dolls could be written without Horsman. A native of New York City, E. I. Horsman began retailing toys and novelties imported from Germany in the mid-1800s. As the new century dawned, his company began producing its own cloth and composition dolls.
Click on a photo to see a larger version.

Babyland Rag Topsy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy doll by Horsman The Babyland Rag series of dolls ranged from 11″ to 30″ tall. They have hand painted faces and mitten style hands. Most of them, like this black doll called Topsy, are 14″ tall. They first appeared in Horsman’s 1893 catalog and were produced for over 30 years.
Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman The Babyland Rag Topsy-Turvy doll has two heads – a white doll called Betty, and the black doll, Topsy. The long skirt hides the head on the opposite end.
Babyland Rag lithographed girl doll by Horsman Babyland Rag lithographed boy doll by Horsman In 1907, Horsman began offering Babyland Rag dolls with lifelike lithographed faces. Another style with a three-dimensional molded face was outsourced to Albert Bruckner, a New Jersey dollmaker. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Composition Campbell Kid doll by Horsman Composition Campbell Kid doll by Horsman The composition Campbell Kid dolls, adapted from illustrations by Grace Drayton, were a huge seller for Horsman. The black doll is the earlier version from the 1910′s and ’20s with cloth body and compo hands. The white doll is the 1940s all-compo version. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Horsman Jackie Coogan composition doll Horsman Jackie Coogan composition doll Jackie Coogan was a child actor of the 1920s who starred in the film “The Kid” with Charlie Chaplin. Horsman made two different versions of him in composition. This version has Jackie’s well known pageboy hair style, the other one has just a standard head that was also used for other dolls.

Composition Baby Dimples by Horsman Baby Dimples was a big seller for Horsman starting in 1927. She is a bent-leg baby with a composition head and limbs, and cloth body. There was also a version with a celluloid head imported from Germany. A straight-leg all composition toddler version called simply Dimples.

Dolly Rosebudy by Horsman Dolly Rosebud by Horsman Dolly Rosebud, introduced in 1928, has a composition shoulder head and limbs, with a cloth torso and a human hair wig. She was made in multiple sizes from 14″ to 24″. This doll’s dress is tagged “HORSMAN DOLL MF’D in U.S.A.”

Flirty-eyed composition baby doll by Horsman Babies have always been a huge part of Horsman’s lineup. This flirty-eyed baby, advertised in the 1942 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog, has eyes that move from side to side as well as open and close.

Horsman Baby dolls in 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog These babies, advertised in the 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog, have hard plastic heads and softer vinyl bodies.

1950s Horsman Gold Medal Boy doll 1950s Horsman Gold Medal Boy doll Horsman used the name Gold Medal multiple times over the years. This Gold Medal Boy, also called Fairy Skin Boy was sold in the 1950s. He has a one piece body jointed only at the neck. There was a corresponding girl doll as well.
1950s Horsman Cindy glamour doll 1950s Horsman Cindy glamour doll High-heeled Cindy was a major part of Horsman’s lineup in the late fifties. She was available as a 15″ or 18″ doll with a stuffed vinyl body, jointed only at the neck and shoulders, with ball-jointed elbows; and as a 21″ doll with a rigid vinyl body, jointed at the hips as well. She was sold in various costumes, including as a bride and as a ballerina. She was also sold under other names including Bright Star.
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Vintage 10" Cindy glamour doll by Horsman There was a 10″ version of Cindy as well, similar to Ideal’s Little Miss Revlon doll. She was available in a variety of outfits and trunk sets.
Family Trio set of dolls by Horsman Horsman’s Family Trio Set includes a glamorous mother doll with two children. Read more about them on the Family Trio page.
Horsman Jackie doll Horsman’s Jackie was sold in the early ’60s to capitalize on the popularity of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Go to the Horsman Jackie page to learn more about her. Photo courtesy of John Medeiros.

Horsman Peggy Ann doll 1963 This doll in the 1963 Sears Toy book is unnamed, but she appears to be Horsman’s Peggy Ann, a vinyl sub-teen girl doll with a sweet smile. She was sold for several years, often in sets like this with extra outfits.
Miss Top Knot doll by Horsman This is Miss Top Knot from 1964. Read more about her here. Photo courtesy of Charlene Blank.

One of Horsman’s most popular vinyl dolls is Poor Pitiful Pearl, a homely doll who wears a floral dress with a bright red patch on the front, and a matching red head scarf. Originally produced by the Brookglad Corp. in the ’50s, Horsman began making Pearl in late 1963 in 18″ and later 11″ size, and brought her back again in the 1970s.

Action Bed by Horsman from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks Action Bed by Horsman from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks This Action Bed toy was a tie-in to the Disney film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” released in 1972. It includes a 6.5″ doll representing the character played by Angela Lansbury in the movie. A hard to find item, it is also sought after by Disney collectors. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Horsman began making ventriloquist dolls in the 1970s, and continued with its successful lines of play dolls. In the 1980s, the company struggled, but eventually found renewed success by focusing on niche markets and adding collector dolls to its lineup. Several of Horsman’s early composition dolls were reissued in vinyl versions. The new millennium brough new challenges, and today, the company now known as Horsman Ltd., manufactures fashion dolls for collectors exclusively.

Copyright 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 302012
 
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In 1972, Hasbro introduced Aimée, an 18″ doll with an unusual hair play feature. She has holes in her head, into which hairpieces and wigs with special plugs will fit. Besides the long cotton dress with gold braid trim that she was sold in, Aimée had six extra gowns that could be purchased, and six extra hairpieces.

Aimée was Hasbro’s response to the overwhelming popularity of Ideal’s Crissy family of dolls, who had a “growing hair” feature and a great mod wardrobe.

Hasbro’s 1972 doll catalog pictures prototypes of Aimée, her fashions and wigs. The actual dolls produced are a little bit different, her original outfit and box are completely different from the catalog photos.

To see lots more photos of dolls and outfits, visit the Aimée page on Beth Colvin’s wonderful Crissy website.

Aimee Doll in 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

Scan from 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

Aimee Doll in 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

Scan from 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

Aimee Doll in 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

Scan from 1972 Hasbro dolls catalog

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Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sep 242012
 
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Valentine Dolls, Inc. is best known for the many ballerina dolls they produced in the late fifties and early sixties, such as Doreena Ballerina. But the company also made other types of dolls, including the babies pictured below, scanned from an undated catalog.

Cuddle Love vintage baby doll by Valentine Dolls, Inc.

Vintage Darling Baby doll by Valentine Dolls, Inc.

Weep 'n Sleep baby doll by Valentine Dolls, Inc.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard