I found a new website today. Well, not new, but new to me. Karen’s Toys sells a variety of toys and dolls from the 1960s to the present, but she specializes in ’70s and ’80s stuff like Dawn, Rockflowers, World of Love, Dinah-mite, Hugga Bunch, Glamour Gals, Rainbow Brite and more. I haven’t purchased anything from the site, so can’t give a recommendation, but it is certainly fun to look at.
I picked this item up at an auction last night. This cardboard wardrobe measures 18.5″ tall, 12″ wide and 6″ deep. It has double doors on the front, a wooden bar to hang the clothes from, and another wooden bar holding up the shelf above. The colors and the logo on the top indicate that it was made for Cosmopolitan’s Ginger doll, a hard plastic toddler introduced in 1954, who was a competitor to Vogue’s Ginny doll. I call it Ginger’s Mystery Closet because it is a mystery why an 8″ doll would have a wardrobe so huge. She has a wardrobe trunk that is in scale for her, about 9″ tall. Why would she need this behemoth? If you hung her little dresses on the rod, there would be several inches of empty space underneath. Any thoughts?
This is Jackie by Ideal. She is 15″ tall, all vinyl, and is quite rare. She was made in 1961, and according to Judith Izen’s book “Collector’s Guide to Ideal Dolls,” she was taken off the market after First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy objected to her name being used for the doll, although the doll looks nothing like her. The Jackie doll is very similar to Ideal’s Liz doll, who was also sold under the name Carol Brent in the Montgomery Ward catalog. The major difference is that Jackie has sleep eyes, while Liz/Carol’s eyes were painted.
Jackie is very high quality and is the epitome of a sophisticated fashion doll.
Tonight I happened to catch an episode of the new TLC reality series “Pawn Queens” about a pawn shop outside Chicago that is owned by two women and two men. The show focuses on the female partners in the business and the fact that they buy and sell “girl stuff” in the shop – not just the usual guns, electronics and other “big boy toys” that most other pawn shops specialize in. Among the items they purchased in this episode were a light-up wedding dress, a baby stroller that converts to a bicycle, and a vintage ponytail Barbie doll.
The owner of the Barbie doll said that it was “an original 1959” doll and asked for $4,500. Only a #1 Barbie would be worth that kind of money, because she was only made for a few months. The doll was obviously NOT a #1, #2 or even #3 Barbie, and had a massive case of green ear. Worth a couple hundred bucks, tops. One of the pawn shop ladies agreed that it was an “authentic” doll, and stunned me by countering with an offer of $3,000! I was yelling at the TV by this point.
Now came the drama. One of the male co-owners pulled one of the women aside and informed her that they didn’t have $3,000 on hand. She had to swallow her pride and ask the Barbie owner to come back in a few hours after they scraped up some cash. I was hoping for their sakes that they woman had second thoughts about selling her “valuable” doll and didn’t come back. Alas, she did return. One of the guys ran down to a gold buyer with some jewelry and got some money. I was still yelling at the TV, but Chicago being halfway across the country, they couldn’t hear me.
I can’t say this bodes well for either the series or the business. I am a huge fan of “Pawn Stars,” the History Channel show about a very successful family-run pawn shop in Las Vegas. While they make the occasional bad purchase on that show too, they routinely call in local experts to advise them on the authenticity and value of items that they don’t know enough about. The “Pawn Queens” better take a lesson, or they might end up having to hock their own jewelry to pay the bills.
The photo above shows what #1 or #2 Barbie should look like – notice her eyes are painted only in black and white. (Photo courtesy of Loving Dolls.) The doll in the photo below has blue eyes, like the one the “Pawn Queens” purchased. This doll is a #3 – but the doll on the show had a darker skin color, indicating it was a later model Barbie.
Effanbee’s composition Patsy was a real trendsetter. Debuting in the 1920’s, she was one of the first American made dolls who was truly modern. She reflected the big changes that were occurring in fashion and society – flappers, bobbed hair, short skirts for little girls. Patsy was a smash hit and Effanbee took the opportunity to put out a whole series of similar dolls in different sizes. Among them were Patsy Ann, Patsy Lou, Patsy Mae, Patsy Baby, and this little sweetheart, Patsyette. At 9″ tall, Patsyette was the perfect size for a little girl to take everywhere. This darling set in the original cardboard case holds a dressed doll and three extra outfits. Photo courtesy of Debbie’s Dolls.