Oct 052012
 
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In the early to mid-twentieth century, Effanbee made some of the world’s best and most popular composition dolls, including Grumpy, Bubbles, the Patsy family and Little Lady.

The company was started in 1910 by two businessmen who operated neighboring shops on Atlantic City’s boardwalk. Bernard Fleischaker and Hugo Baum began by selling toys and dolls; within a couple of years they were having doll heads made especially for them, and by the 1920s were making their own composition parts. Although the company was officially called Fleischaker and Baum, they began using the trademark EFFanBee (from the first letters of their last names) by 1915, and eventually that became the name of the company.

Read about rubber, hard plastic, and vinyl dolls by Effanbee here.

Click on a photo to view a larger version.

Effanbee Baby Grumpy Jr. doll Effanbee Baby Grumpy Jr. doll In the teens and early twenties, many Effanbee dolls were composition copies of popular German bisque head dolls, like Grumpy, who was produced in several sizes and variations. The doll at left is Baby Grumpy.

Coquette doll by Effanbee Coquette doll by Effanbee Coquette is another copy of a German bisque doll. The same doll was also sold as Naughty Marietta.

Effanbee Kid Body Composition doll Effanbee Kid Body Composition doll The kid bodied doll has a composition shoulder head, arms and lower legs. She dates from 1920. This is the type of doll that had been imported from Germany, and became unavailable during World War I.

Bubbles doll by Effanbee Bubbles doll by Effanbee Bubbles was a huge success for Effanbee beginning in 1926. Bubbles has an interesting composition shoulder plate that extends down under her arms. She was sold as a bent leg baby as well as a straight leg toddler. As with many early Effanbee dolls, a lot of variations exist. Bubbles was sculpted by Bernard Lipfert, who also designed Shirley Temple for Ideal, the Dionne Quintuplets for Madame Alexander, and Effanbee’s Patsy.

Patsy Ann doll by Effanbee Patsy Lou doll by Effanbee In 1928, Effanbee came out with a doll that was so original she would vault them to the forefront of the business. The doll was 14″ Patsy, and she was a sensation. Patsy was so popular that Effanbee introduced several other “family members” – similar dolls in different sizes, including 19″ Patsy Ann, pictured far left, and 22″ Patsy Lou, pictured near left. Patsy was extensively copied by other manufacturers. She also has a place in history as the first modern fashion doll, for whom extra outfits were sold.Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Skippy doll by Effanbee Skippy, a comic strip character created by Percy L. Crosby, was advertised as Patsy’s boy friend. At first he was made using Patsy’s body, but later versions have a cloth torso. Skippy was often sold in uniform, including as an aviator, baseball player, soldier and sailor.

Patsyette doll by Effanbee Wee Patsy dolls by Effanbee 9″ Patsyette (far left) & 6″ Wee Patsy are two of the smaller members of Patsy’s extended family. They were produced mostly as girls, but occasionally as boy-and-girl sets.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Patsy Babykin doll by Effanbee Patsy Patsy Babykin was the first all-composition baby in the Patsy line, in 1932. Prior to her introduction, there had been a cloth-bodied Patsy Baby available briefly. The all-compo version is marked Patsy Baby but was advertised and sold as Patsy Babykin.

Photos courtesy of Nancy McKee and Withington Auction, Inc.

Patsy Babyette doll by Effanbee Patsy Tinyette doll by Effanbee Patsy Babyette (far left) and Patsy Tinyette are the other babies in the Patsy family. Patsy Tinyette is marked Baby Tinyette but was never sold under that name by Effanbee. She was sold initially as a bent-leg baby, and later as a straight-leg toddler.

Tinyette photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Patricia doll by Effanbee Patricia, introduced in late 1934, was advertised as Patsy’s older sister. She is 15″ tall and has a different face from the other Patsy family girls. There were also dolls sold with Patsy marked heads and Patricia marked bodies; these are known as Patsy-Patricias by collectors.

Clippo the Clown marionette by Effanbee Clippo the Clown marionette by Effanbee Clippo the Clown (1937) is one of a series of marionettes designed by Virginia Austin. The others in the series are Emily Ann, Liza Lee and Lucifer. They have composition heads, hands and feet, with wooden body parts connected by cloth tape.

1625 Historical doll by Effanbee 1625 Historical doll by Effanbee The Historical Series of dolls are 14″ tall and represent different periods in American history. Pictured at left is the New York Settlement, 1625 doll. They were produced in 1939.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Effanbee Suzanne composition doll Effanbee Suzanne composition doll 14″ Suzanne (pictured) and 12″ Suzette are all-composition girl dolls made by Effanbee in the early 1940s. Suzette can have either painted eyes or sleep eyes. The same doll was also used for Effanbee’s Portrait Series.

Composition Brother doll by Effanbee Composition Brother doll by Effanbee Brother and his companion, Sister, were wartime dolls that had composition heads with cotton floss wigs and cloth bodies. A larger girl doll was made with the same construction as well.

Butin-nose doll by Effanbee Butin-nose doll by Effanbee Butin-Nose, sometimes called Betty Butin-nose, is an 8″ all composition doll with molded hair. She was sold in various outfits as well as international costumes, and was sometimes sold in pairs as a boy and girl.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Composition Candy Kid doll by Effanbee Candy Kid from 1946 is a 14″ all-composition molded hair toddler, who may be dressed as a boy or girl. A black version was made as well. Candy Kids were also made in vinyl in the ’50s.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Composition Mickey doll by Effanbee Mickey had a composition head and hands, and a cloth body. Some dolls had compo legs as well. Mickey was made in various sizes and often had flirty eyes. The same doll was also sold under the names Tommy Tucker and Baby Bright Eyes. Mickey had a twin sister too, sometimes called Katie and sometimes Janie, who wore a matching outfit. In the ’60s Effanbee sold a vinyl Mickey, who was a completely different doll.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Little Lady dolls by Effanbee Little Lady dolls by Effanbee In 1935, the company entered into a contract with independent doll artist Dewees Cochran to design the American Children series of dolls. These dolls had hard rubber arms with separated fingers, with the rest of the doll made of composition. Effanbee continued this construction with their Little Lady (pictured left) dolls that sold through WWII.

Read about rubber, hard plastic, and vinyl dolls by Effanbee here.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

  7 Responses to “Effanbee Composition Dolls”

  1. I have all 5 Dionne Quintuplet Effenbee Baby Tinyette Dolls in their original diapers and felt-like jackets with pink ties. They have movable heads, arms, and legs, and are in perfect condition. They are porcelain. They are in their orginial suitcase-type box with blanket, receiving blankets and extra diapers. Can you help me find out how much they are worth or recommend a trustworthy antique doll appraiser who can help me?

    • Brenda, your dolls are made from a material called composition, not porcelain. It is a mixture of sawdust, glue and other materials, that was poured into a mold and baked, then painted with enamels. For an accurate appraisal, an appraiser would need to see the dolls in person. Go to http://ufdc.org/home/regional-map/ and scroll down to find the contact information for the UFDC Regional Director for your area. They should be able to refer you to someone locally. Thanks for writing!

      • Thank you so much for this information. I apologize for the delay in my response…I just found your response today (9/8/13). I will email the representative for VA and see what she can do to help me get more information on my dolls. I really appreciate your help!
        Thanks Again,
        Brenda

  2. I have a toddler with mama crier doll. She is a composition doll with a cloth body. Can you tell me how I can know if she is an Effanbee?

    • Brandi, Effanbee dolls are generally well marked, either on the back of the head, or on the shoulder plate if she has one. If your doll is not marked, then she is unlikely to be an Effanbee.

  3. I have an old clown doll my mom gave me .the name Effanbee is on the back of his neck,with a date.Right now I can’t remember the date.But a collector in Columbus Ga. Told me it was worth a lot of money.But not around where we live.Its in very good shape. Its hard plastic with the shape of hair,but not made with hair.Its has a one peace like clown suit its white with pock a dots.We keep it in a case and been a while since I looked at it.I thought I remembered it salt Micky Effanbee.Could u please let me know something about it.Oh yea he has a little clown face with red cheeks.

    • Effanbee made several different clown dolls over the years. The 1961 Effanbee catalog showed an 11″ Mickey clown doll with a tall pointy hat. I have never seen one of these so I think he may be pretty rare. There was also an 8″ Mickey Clown doll made in the ’80s. If you get a chance to dig out the doll please post again and let me know what the date is, and the size.

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