Mary Hoyer Doll Co.

 Composition, Hard Plastic, Mary Hoyer, Sewing, Vinyl  Comments Off on Mary Hoyer Doll Co.
Oct 292012
 
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Vintage composition Mary Hoyer doll

Composition Mary Hoyer doll in crocheted outfit.
Photo copyright Withington Auction, Inc.

Click on a small photo to see a larger version.

Mary's Dollies knit and crochet patterns for Mary Hoyer dolls Before she started in the doll business, Mary Hoyer was a designer of knit and crochet patterns for children’s clothing. In the 1930’s, she opened her own yarn and craft shop in Reading, PA. Soon she added doll clothing and patterns to her inventory. To create a market for her doll designs, she purchased composition dolls from Ideal to sell along with the patterns. These dolls were 13″ tall with a double jointed torso known as a “body twist.” These early painted-eye dolls have Ideal markings. Photo courtesy of Nancy McKee.

Composition Mary Hoyer doll Composition Mary Hoyer doll When Ideal discontinued the style of doll she had been using, Mrs. Hoyer hired renowned doll designer Bernard Lipfert to sculpt a doll for her. Lipfert’s design, manufactured by the Fiberoid Doll Co., was slightly bigger at 14″ tall and also had painted eyes, but did not have the jointed torso. The earliest dolls are unmarked, but soon the Mary Hoyer logo in a circle was added to the back of the doll. Dolls with sleep eyes were also added to the lineup. The same model was used for both girl and boy dolls. Photos copyright Withington Auction, Inc.

Hard plastic Mary Hoyer doll Hard plastic Mary Hoyer doll In 1946 Mary Hoyer switched from composition to hard plastic dolls, using the same design. She continued to market her knit and crochet patterns, and sold finished outfits and sewing kits in her shop as well as by mail order. Photos courtesy of Nancy McKee.

Gigi by Mary Hoyer Doll Co. In the mid-fifties, Mary Hoyer decided to branch out by adding other dolls to her line. The first was Gigi, an 18″ hard plastic girl. She has the same markings as the 14″ doll, and several outfits available for her. Photo courtesy of Nancy McKee.

Vicky and Margie dolls by Mary Hoyer The company then decided to try vinyl dolls; they marketed high-heeled glamour dolls that were reportedly made for them by Ideal. The larger sizes were quickly discontinued, but they sold 10.5″ Vicky (similar to Ideal’s Little Miss Revlon) for a couple of years. The glamour dolls are unmarked and very difficult to identify. Margie, a 10″ vinyl toddler, and babies Cathy (10″) and Jamie (8″) were also offered.

The company had continued to sell its 14″ hard plastic doll throughout the fifties, but in the early sixties, they switched to a new vinyl doll called Becky. Mary Hoyer retired in 1972, but her company was resurrected in 1990 by her granddaughter, Mary Lynne Saunders. They continue today making high-quality play dolls for children and collectors. Mrs. Hoyer passed away in 2003 at the age of 101.

Copyright 2006-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dolls by Hasbro / Hassenfeld Bros.

 Advertising, Celebrity, Fashion, Hasbro, Vinyl  Comments Off on Dolls by Hasbro / Hassenfeld Bros.
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. See a cool vintage tv commercial for the World of Love dolls here.

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.

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Copyright 2006-2015 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
These include a rabbit, cat (dressed as Puss In Boots), monkey and pig, with a Patsyette type human body (e.g. hands instead of paws). The rabbit is 12″ tall because of the ears, others are 9″ to 9.5″.

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 are 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, plush or terry cloth 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.



Learn More:

cover
Collector’s Encyclopedia of
American Composition Dolls
1900-1950
by Ursula R. Mertz
Find it on eBay.
cover
Collector’s Encyclopedia of
American Composition Dolls
1900-1950, Volume II
by Ursula R. Mertz
Find it on eBay.
cover
Compo Dolls 1928-55
by Polly and Pam Judd
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2005-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dolls by Cosmopolitan Toy Corp.

 Cosmopolitan, Fashion, Hard Plastic, Vinyl  Comments Off on Dolls by Cosmopolitan Toy Corp.
Oct 192012
 
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Cosmopolitan is best known for their 8″ hard plastic Ginger doll, a competitor of Vogue’s Ginny. She was introduced in 1954. The hard plastic Gingers underwent several changes during the course of production, which makes identification a little tricky.

Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

Hard plastic Ginger wears outfit #883 from the 1955 North and South series.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

Collectors should also be aware that Cosmopolitan sold Ginger bodies to other companies. The book “Small Dolls of the ’40s and ’50s” by Carol J. Stover gives detailed information on the Ginger variations.


Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

Vinyl head Ginger wears outfit #444 from the 1955 Holiday Series.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

In 1957, they started making Ginger with a vinyl head. She also “grew up” with her new medium “cha cha” heels.


Miss Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

Miss Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

That same year they entered the glamour doll market with 10.5″ Miss Ginger. Like Ginger, she had many extra outfits available. All-vinyl Miss Ginger is very similar to Little Miss Revlon and Miss Nancy Ann.


Little Miss Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

Little Miss Ginger wears Special Bride outfit #71 from 1958.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

8″ Little Miss Ginger also has a grown-up figure and extra outfits. She is also all vinyl. She is very similar to Little Miss Nancy Ann.

Learn more: Little Miss Ginger page.


Baby Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan

Most Baby Ginger dolls have rooted hair. This is a rare molded hair version.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

8″ Baby Ginger is an all-vinyl drink and wet baby doll, similar to Vogue’s Ginnette. She, too, has an extensive wardrobe.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dolls by Beehler Arts / Virga / Ontario Plastics

 Beehler / Virga, Fashion, Hard Plastic  Comments Off on Dolls by Beehler Arts / Virga / Ontario Plastics
Oct 142012
 
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Chi Chi Schiaparellii doll by Virga

1957 Elsa Schiaparelli 12″ Virga Chi Chi Teen Fashion Doll in her original Studio Box. Photo courtesy of American Beauty Dolls.

Beehler Arts, Ltd. was based in New York City and marketed dolls during the 1950’s. According to the book “Hard Plastic Dolls” by Polly and Pam Judd, dolls marketed under the Beehler, Fortune and Virga names were all manufactured by Ontario Plastics. In “Hard Plastic Dolls, II”, the Judds report that Virga was a division of Beehler. The company also marketed dolls under the Kim label. All of these companies are best known for their 8″ Ginny type dolls, but small high-heeled glamour dolls were marketed under the Beehler Arts, Kim and Virga names as well.


Vintage Virga Lolly-pop doll

Virga Lolly-pop dolls came in various pastel hair colors. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Tornikoski. Check out her eBay listings.

See also:



Learn More:

cover
Small Dolls
of the 40s & 50s
by Carol Stover
Find it on eBay.
cover
Hard Plastic Dolls
by Polly and Pam Judd
Find it on eBay.
cover
Hard Plastic Dolls II
by Polly and Pam Judd
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2006-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard