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 272012
 
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Hasbro was started in Rhode Island in the 1920s by two brothers, Henry and Helal Hassenfeld, under the name Hassenfeld Brothers. They began making toys in the 1940s, and had their first big hit in 1952 with Mr. Potato Head. They branched out into dolls beginning in 1964 with G.I. Joe, although he was always called an “action figure” since the company figured boys wouldn’t play with a “doll.” The company officially changed its name to Hasbro in 1968.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

Cutie Clothes by Hasbro As early as 1958, Hasbro stuck its toe into the doll market waters with Cutie Clothes, a series of clothing kits to dress 8″ to 10.5″ glamour dolls. Go to the Cutie Clothes page for more information.

GI Joe Adventure Team figure by Hasbro The G.I. Joe series of action figures has been continuously produced in one form or another since 1964. Originally representing fighting men of the various branches of the U.S. Armed Services, it has been expanded over the years to included some celebrities and fantasy figures. Pictured at left is a 12″ figure from the 1970’s Adventure Team series. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Little Miss No Name from 1965 is a 15″ pathetic girl doll dressed in rags, complete with plastic tear on her cheek. She was part of the mid-sixties fad for big-eyed waifs.

Peteena Poodle doll by Hasbro Peteena is an 11″ poodle fashion doll with additional outfits. Visit the Peteena page for all the details.

Dolly Darlings by Hasbro Dolly Darlings made from 1965-67 are 4″ dolls with molded hair. They came packaged in round plastic hatbox-type cases with accessories. A couple of years later, Dolly Darlings had rooted hair and were packaged in cardboard boxes with cello fronts or on bubble cards. Many different dolls were issued. Four different play rooms were also sold. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

The Flying Nun is a Dolly Darling dressed to represent Sally Field’s character Sister Bertrille from the popular 1960’s TV show.

That Kid! from 1967 is an unusual 21.5″ mechanical boy doll with a slingshot.

Flower Darlings (1968) are 3.5″ tall, came inside plastic flower pins. These dolls have the same head molds as Dolly Darlings but with smaller bodies.

Storykins (1969). These dolls were knockoffs of Mattel’s Liddle Kiddles, and represented characters from fairy tales including Snow white, Rumplestilskin and Cinderella. They came packaged with furniture and accessories. 2″ to 3.5″ tall.

World of Love dolls by Hasbro World of Love dolls by Hasbro World of Love dolls were made in 1971-72. With names like Love, Flower and Peace, these dolls embodied the best qualities of the youth culture of the late sixties and early seventies. They are 9″ tall and had many extra outfits, a carrying case and a few playsets. There are five girl dolls plus Adam, a boy with molded hair.

Miss Breck is an advertising doll for Breck Shampoo made from the same mold as World of Love.

Candy Babies dolls by Hasbro Candy Babies have vinyl heads and hands, and cloth bodies filled with foam and plastic pellets. They were advertising tie-ins to popular candies including Good ‘n Plenty and Baby Ruth.

Leggy Kate doll by Hasbro Leggy doll outfit by Hasbro Leggy (1973) These 10″ dolls are easy to identify. Most of their length is legs! Four different dolls were made. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.
Aimee doll by Hasbro Aimée is an 18″ doll with extra available hairpieces and fashions. Visit the Aimée page to learn more.

Sweet Cookie doll by Hasbro Sweet Cookie doll by Hasbro Sweet Cookie (1972) is an 18″ girl doll. She came in black or white versions with cooking accessories.

Romper Room Softies – 10″ cloth dolls tied in with the children’s TV show.

Flutter-byes – 1973 – Tiny 1.5″ dolls with wild colored hair and wings. They look like little flying trolls.

Farrah Fawcett doll from the Charlie's Angels series by Hasbro Charlie's Angels doll clothing by Hasbro Charlie’s Angels first produced in 1977 are 8.5″ dolls representing the three main characters from the TV show. Extra fashions were sold. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Video doll from the Jem Series by Hasbro Rio doll from the Jem Series by Hasbro Hasbro’s Jem line of 12″ dolls, produced from 1985 to 1987, were created to tie in with an animated children’s television series. The show, which ran from ’85 to ’88, had an interesting rock and roll/science fiction storyline with many characters. Pictured at left are Video, a minor character in the series, and Rio, the boyfriend of main character Jerrica Benton and her rock star alter ego Jem. Video photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings. Rio photo courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.

Maxie doll by Hasbro Maxie is a 11.5″ Barbie type fashion doll representing a high school girl with friends, a boyfriend and high school-themed playsets. She was sold from 1988 to 1990. Like Jem, Maxie was also made into a cartoon show, called “Maxie’s World.” Photo courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.

C.O.P.S. 'n Crooks action figure by Hasbro C.O.P.S. 'n Crooks action figure by Hasbro C.O.P.S. ‘n Crooks is a series of futuristic cops-and-robbers themed action figures. They were made in late ’80s, and, like Jem and Maxie, also tied in to a cartoon series. (Am I sensing a theme here?)

Hasbro has always focused more on their toys and games than their dolls (with the exception of G.I. Joe), and their acquisitions of Playskool, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, Kenner and Tonka in the 1980s and ’90s continued that trend. Today they are the largest toy company in the world. Hasbro is currently selling a new version of Kenner’s Blythe doll from the 1970s. Integrity Toys began making a new line of Jem dolls for adult collectors in 2012.

See also:


Copyright 2006-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Oct 252012
 
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Ralph Freundlich started in the doll business in New York City during the 1920’s and in 1934 relocated his manufacturing operations to Clinton, MA. The company made composition dolls including mama dolls, celebrity dolls, storybook characters and military dolls. Their products were mostly cheaper quality but have personality. Most of their dolls are unmarked. After a fire destroyed the factory, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1945 and their assets were sold.

“Doll Collectors Manual 1967″ published by the Doll Collectors of America, Inc., has a wonderful collection of photos of manufacturing operations taken by Richard Merrill at the Clinton plant in 1938. Anyone interested in how composition dolls were made would appreciate seeing them. This book out of print but often available from online sources.

Note: these dolls are all unmarked, with the exception of Baby Sandy. Click on a small photo to see a larger version.

Baby Dolls
Several different models made, with painted hair and eyes, including 12″ Baby Bunting in oval box, 8″ or 12″ Nursing Doll in trunk, 9.5″ baby with basket, bedding and scale.

14" Little Orphan Annie doll by Freundlich Little Orphan Annie was made in at least three different sizes by Freundlich. The 14″ version pictured at left looks a bit different than the smaller dolls. Go to the Little Orphan Annie page to learn more. Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Feather Weight Doll
28″ tall, composition head, forearms and lower legs, stuffed cloth body, sold in assorted dresses with matching bonnets and panties.

Baby Sandy doll by Freundlich Baby Sandy doll by Freundlich Baby Sandy
This doll is the easiest Freundlich doll to identify, marked “BABY SANDY” on the back of the head. Made in 8″, 12″ and 16″ sizes, it is an all-composition portrait doll of the ’30s child star Sandra Henville. Made with either sleep eyes or painted eyes, molded hair. Baby Sandy is usually a toddler doll, but there was also a bent-leg baby version. Right photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Goldy-Locks
Composition head with big blue side-glancing eyes, blonde mohair wig in ringlet curls, pink plush body.

Trixbe
11″ Patsy type girl doll, all composition, has bent right arm and straight left arm, third and fourth fingers molded together, molded short bob hairstyle, unmarked. Both white and black versions were sold.

General Douglas MacArthur doll by Freundlich General Douglas MacArthur doll by Freundlich General Douglas MacArthur
18″ portrait doll of the World War II hero has a molded hat, military uniform, right arm bent to salute. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Military dolls
15″ All composition dolls with molded hair and hats, dressed as Soldier, Sailor, WAAC and WAVE. All came with shield-shaped paper tags pinned to the clothing.

Animal dolls
Including 12″ rabbit, 9.5″ cat dressed as Puss in Boots, Monkey, and probably others, with human-type bodies (e.g. hands instead of paws).

Pinocchio
16″ doll with compo head and body, wooden limbs, brightly painted with red hair, blue eyes, pointy nose. Wears orange pants, green jacket with orange collar and cuffs.

Red Riding Hood set of dolls by Freundlich Red Riding Hood set
Each 9.5″ tall, simple cotton clothing, no shoes, sold in a lithographed schoolhouse box.

Three Little Pigs set
10″ pigs (each identical except for the colors of their plaid dresses), 9.5″ wolf has a different head mold than the Riding Hood wolf, with shorter snout. Sold in a boxed set.

Goo-Goo Eye Dolls
14″, 19″ and 27″ dolls with composition heads and stuffed cloth bodies. Flat celluloid eyes with moving pupils. Hair ribbon or hat stapled to head, printed fabric body. Available in white and black versions.
15″ Topsy and Eva Goo-Goo dolls were more elaborate with flesh-colored bodies, separate outfits and wigs.

Ventriloquist dolls and marionettes
A variety of ventriloquist dolls were made, including 14″ Dummy Clown and 20″ Dummy Dan, with composition heads and arms, cloth body and legs, large painted side-glancing eyes, moving jaws. 12″ Charlie McCarthy-type is all compo, jointed only at the jaw. 17″ Marionettes have compo head, hands and feet, wooden dowels for legs and moving jaws.

Dummy Don
All composition, 10″ tall, similar to Dummy Dan but without the jointed jaw.


Copyright 2005-2012 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.
See also:

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

Mar 112012
 
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At an auction today I picked up a boxlot which included several photos of Shirley Temple. Some of the photos are of her holding a doll, so I thought I would share them with you. This first photo shows her with one of the rare Shirley Temple Baby dolls issued in 1935. The Baby has a composition head and limbs and a cloth body.

In the second photo, Shirley and her doll are both wearing the polka dotted dress from the film “Stand Up and Cheer.” The dolls were sold in several different variations of this dress. The doll is made of composition with a mohair wig.
The pleated dress with glued-on daisies on the yoke was from the film “Curly Top.” There was also a version with smaller embroidered flowers.
This photo shows Shirley holding a cloth sailor doll. Shirley amassed a huge collection of dolls, many of which were gifts from friends, admirers and film industry people. At one time her collection was displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It’s always fun to see what dolls you can spot in her movies.
The striped cotton dress is also from “Curly Top.” As with the other outfits Ideal made for the Shirley dolls, there were color variations. All of the Ideal Shirley Temple dolls were sold wearing a pin featuring a photo of Shirley.
The Ideal composition Shirley Temple dolls were the biggest selling dolls of the 1930s. The dolls were available in nine different sizes and sold in the millions. They remain very popular with collectors and command high prices if in excellent condition, or if wearing a rare outfit. Do you have a Shirley Temple doll in your collection?