Mar 312016

Deluxe Reading made several different high heeled dolls in the late fifties and early sixties. The Ballerina / Skater came with outfits for both activities to provide hours of fun for a little girl.

Body Construction
This doll is 20″ tall, with a soft vinyl head, rigid vinyl arms and torso, hard plastic legs and feet. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees and ankles. Her lower legs and ankles are strung, the rest of her joints are flanged. She is a walker. Her blue sleep eyes are framed by brush lashes, with three painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye. She has the typical “chipmunk-cheeked” face seen in many of Deluxe Reading’s dolls. Dolls with this body type came with either a bubblecut or ponytail hairstyle, in dark blonde and possibly other colors. She has no earring holes.

A similar doll, with the addition of jointed wrists, was also made by Deluxe Reading.

Deluxe Reading’s Ballerina / Skater doll has jointed ankles.

She is marked “21 HH” on the back of her head below the hairline.

This doll was sold in the Sears catalog of 1959 as a Ballerina/Skater, wearing a long-sleeved ice skating costume with tights, skates and a scarf. She also came with a complete ballet outfit. In 1960, the ponytailed version was available as a Ballerina with Wardrobe. Her extra clothing included a leotard, rayon party dress, and cotton dress with jacket. The Ballerina/Skater was also described, but not pictured.

Scan from 1959 Sears Christmas Catalog, courtesy of Wishbook Web.

The doll in the photo at top wears a strapless dress with cotton bodice trimmed in gold braid and a taffeta print skirt. A flocked flower corsage is pinned to the bodice. This is very similar to another Deluxe Reading outfit also pictured in the 1960 Sears catalog. This may have been the party dress that came with the Ballerina doll, or perhaps this particular doll was sold as simply a fashion doll wearing this outfit. Her petticoat, hose and shoes may not be original.

Copyright 1999-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

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