Jan 232013
 
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Reliable Toy Co. of Canada had a long history in the doll business beginning in 1920. They made composition, hard plastic and vinyl dolls, including some knockoffs of popular American models. The company was more recently sold to Allied Plastic Products of Toronto and in 1995 doll production was discontinued.

Here are just a few of the many, many dolls made by Reliable over the years. Their dolls are generally well marked. Click on the small photo to see a larger version.

Composition
A variety of compo dolls were made including babies, toddlers, children and characters. Some were all composition and some had cloth bodies.

Shirley Temple
Reliable had the Canadian license to sell composition Shirley Temple dolls in the 1930s. Some appear to have been made using the Ideal molds, or perhaps they were made by Ideal and sold nude to Reliable, where they were dressed. The clothing has Reliable tags, but the dolls are just marked Shirley Temple. They were made in a variety of sizes.


This 20″ girl doll may be Sally Ann or Gloria. She has a composition shoulder head and limbs with a cloth body, tin sleep eyes, blonde mohair wig and open mouth with teeth.


Baby Bubbles doll by Reliable of Canada Baby Bubbles was made in a few different versions. In addition to the one pictured, who has a compo head, arms and legs on a cloth body and sleep eyes, there was also one with painted eyes and cloth legs. In the 1950s, there was a vinyl Baby Bubbles made. Photo courtesy of Cathy Chase.

Babykins
12″ tall with bent baby legs, all composition, made with blue painted eyes or sleep eyes, brown molded hair, closed mouth. The name was also used for later vinyl dolls.

Wettums is an all compo drink and wet baby, open mouth nurser. Visit the Wettums page for more info.

Koweeka (Smilie)
14″ composition Eskimo doll with painted brown eyes and molded hair, wears a white and black faux fur outfit with boots. Interesting box has an arctic design on the lid featuring an igloo. The same doll was also used by Clicquot Club as an advertising premium.

Maggie Muggins was a character in a popular children’s TV and radio show, created by Mary Grannan. The doll was produced in 1947 and is 14″ tall, all composition, with red mohair wig in braids, and painted freckles.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.


_kewptype (2K) Standing dolls are 8″ tall, jointed only at the shoulders, with large side-glancing eyes and mohair wig. May be dressed as a girl, in Indian costume, or military uniform

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police doll wears his official uniform. Go to the Mountie page for more info.

Hard Plastic
Dress Me Doll
7.5″ tall, hard plastic with wig of various colors, jointed at neck and shoulders only, sleep eyes, molded shoes, sold nude in plastic bag. Probably made in other sizes as well.

Toni
Another Ideal doll licensed by Reliable to sell in Canada. She is unmarked, but otherwise closely resembles the Ideal Toni.

Saucy Walker
Yet another Ideal license, she is marked Reliable, but otherwise resembles the Ideal version, including her flirty eyes. They also made Saucy with a vinyl head and hard plastic body.

Susie Stepps
This walking girl doll is all hard plastic, jointed at neck, shoulders and hips, with sleep eyes and synthetic wig. She has an open mouth with teeth and tongue and was made in several sizes.

Vinyl
Licenses from Ideal continued with Bonnie Braids, Betsy Wetsy and Patty Sue Playmate (Patti Playpal).

Sally Ann
17″ toddler doll with flexible, all-vinyl body jointed only at the neck, sleep eyes, curly strawberry blonde hair pulled back from her face. She wears a royal blue taffeta dress with attached apron in coordinating checked fabric, trimmed with lace, socks and white mary janes.

Scottish Lassie
16″ blonde doll with vinyl head, plastic body, sleep eyes, wears a Scottish ensemble including lace-trimmed white blouse, dark jacket, plaid kilt and scarf, tam with plaid trim, red socks, mary jane shoes. A ribbon attached to the jacket proclaims her a Souvenir of Canada.

Sleeping Beauty
This is a 10″ all-vinyl Little Miss Revlon type glamour doll. She has dark blond hair in curls with bangs, and wears a pale purple gown with darker bodice.

Miss Canada (1960)
Miss Canada is an 18″ vinyl glamour doll with curly auburn hair and a lacy sleeveless dress. She is jointed at the hips, shoulders and neck, and is marked “RELIABLE (in script)/CANADA” on her body.

Bride (1960)
This doll is 17″ tall and has a one-piece Rigidsol body with vinyl head. Her brown eyes match her short brown hair and set her apart from the blue-eyed pack. She is marked “RELIABLE” on her head and “H-17″ on her back.



Copyright 2006-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

  69 Responses to “Dolls by Reliable Toy Co. of Canada”

  1. I have an 1960 mitzi fashion doll that is 18″ tall still in original package.

    • Wow – I have not heard of an 18″ Mitzi by Reliable, just the Barbie-size one. Does she have a slim teen body like the smaller version? Does she have painted or sleep eyes? Very cool!

  2. Hi I have a realiable doll that is stamped on the back of the head made in Canada and it says realibale above that. I was wondering about a price I could put on it to sell. Could you let me know how to price it. I can send you a picture also. Thank you, Cathy Schumaker

  3. I have a 36 inch toddler doll that bears the name “Reliable” on her shoulders. She is made of what appears to be hard plastic. She has a very pretty face but is too large and “cumbersome” to be a cuddly doll.
    Hair is brown and curly .
    She does not look like Shirley Temple or anyone else but I would love to find out more about her.
    Are you able to point me in the right direction, please?

    My thanks

    Mary (UK)

    • Hi Mary,
      after the success of Ideal’s 36″ Patti Playpal doll in 1960, many other doll companies made similar size dolls (called “companion dolls”) that could wear real children’s clothing. The first doll of this size Reliable made was Patty Sue Playmate in 1960. She appears to have been made from the Patti Playpal molds. However, this doll is not marked, so it’s more likely yours is either Saucy Walker (a name licensed from Ideal) or Mary Anne, who were both produced in 1961. These are the same doll, they have long hair and bangs. Mary Anne was reissued a few years later with shorter curly hair. There may have been others that Reliable made as well.

      • HI I have a Mary Anne, have been looking for her on the net for ages!

        She has Reliable 1 written on her neck. Has long brown hair, well played with!! She can with Pink Checked dress and black suede shoes.

        My parents bought her in Albury Australia circa 1961 when I was 6. I got her for Christmas. I have had her all this time and is the most precious doll I own.

        I have seen the short haired one, it was in a shop window in Wangaratta Vic Australia for many years modelling their clothes.

        I am very attached to my beautiful Mary

        Love to hear from you and others who have a Mary Anne.

        Sincerely Sherran Mitchell Australia.

  4. Thank you so much for your helpful and speedy reply.

    I have Googled all your suggestions and, sadly. my doll does not appear to be any of them.

    Is it possible to send along images for you to see, please? I have seen a head produced by Ideal that seems identical to my doll’s head. The body is clearly marked Reliable.Is it possible that my doll is a hybrid? :O)

    Thanks again

    Mary(UK)

  5. I have my mother in laws reliable doll porcelin head, arms and legs opensand shuts eyes and cloth boday. I know she is VERY old..just not sure how old she is..clothes are original but not in very good condition. I know Reliable made tons of dolls but curious about this one.I know you may need a picture and this can be arranged.
    thank you ahead for your time :)

    • Lynn, the earliest dolls Reliable sold had bisque (porcelain) heads, but they would have had composition arms and legs. They imported the heads from Germany and the limbs from the U.S. If you have one of these dolls, she would date to the early 1920s. Would love to see a photo. check your email and attach pics to your reply.

      • My wife, who will turn 70 this year, just received a box from her cousin in Canada that contains various dolls from my wifes childhood in Canada where she was born. I would like to send a few photos to you to try to track their history if I may. Thank you.

  6. Hi there,
    I have a reliable doll. She is still in the box. Stands about 17 inches and has blond hair. Her eyes open and close. She has a blue outfit. There is a number stamped on the back of the box- 690149. Do you know anything about this doll?

    • Joanne, it’s impossible to identify a doll by the numbers on the box. I have emailed you – if you can attach some photos to your reply, I will try to identify her.

  7. Just to say THANK YOU for identifying my Mary Anne doll. It’s nice to know she has a name and that someone cared enough to find out about her for me.

    Mary (UK)

  8. Hi,
    I have obtained this old doll 15″ looks like a boy, looks like porcelain head attached to cloth body, on the back of the head it is stamped, reliable made in canada.. When you press in the back it cries. Face is in the bad condition, mainly peeling of the porcelain material, so are the hands. Is it worth repairing, is it worth anything.
    thank you for your help.
    Lucy

    • Lucy, porcelain does not peel, so your doll’s head is probably made of composition, a material that was widely used in the first half of the 20th century. Many composition dolls have condition issues now, as it is sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Composition can be restored, but it is a labor intensive process and expensive. If your doll has sentimental value it might be worth it to you to restore, but if you are just looking to increase the value, it would likely cost more than the doll is worth.

  9. Hi Zendelle – we have a Reliable doll, which looks a lot like a Wettum, but it isn’t. Could you help us narrow down which model and the age? The head and arms up to the bicep are made out of a hard plastic like substance. The head has eyes which open as you lift, and the mouth is fixed open. The body is all cloth. Inside the body is like a squeaky toy. We can send pictures if that would help.

    Thank you for helping us narrow down history.

    • Nicola,
      the only doll in my reference book that fits that description is Baby Bunting, but there may have been others. It says Baby Bunting was made from 1935 at least through 1948. The head and arms are made of composition (like Wettums).

  10. Hi I have a reliable walking doll that was hanging in my
    Grandmothers house since I was a baby so 38 years ago
    She has black shoulder length hair and is in a red one piece jumpsuit
    With a blue collar and 1 white star on each lapel of the collar
    I would love to know her name and worth if possible.

    I can send pics if you like she is plastic and is 32inches

    Thanks for any info you can find on her!

    • Susan, it sounds like your doll is Lorrie Walker. I couldn’t find any sales results for Lorrie, but there is a 30″ Reliable walking doll on eBay right now, with an asking price of $24.99. Lorrie might command a higher price because of her black hair, which is an unusual color for a white doll.

  11. I have a Reliable (made in Canada) 9 inch black babydoll I rec’d around 1947 or 1948. It does not stand up but sits up. It is composition. would like to know if it is rare or what her value might be. thank you…patricia

    • Well I wouldn’t call them common, but they are not all that rare either. The value of composition dolls depends a lot on the condition. A doll like yours in very good condition with original or appropriate clothes might be worth $50 or so. If in poor condition, she might only bring a few dollars. Hopefully you took good care of her!

      • I also have two black Reliable dolls. Your reply to leads me to believe that my dolls are not very valuable but they only need new elastic and need dressing but I am loathed to just dump them. Do you think it would be worth getting new elastic and clothes for them and still made any sort of profit. I am 73 and I was given them in the early 1940s. I no longer have any need for them. Your suggestion would be appreciated. Regards Jan

        • Jan, you definitely should not just dump your dolls! They may not have a huge amount of monetary value, but there is somebody out there who will love them and care for them. Restringing the elastic is easy and the elastic cord doesn’t cost much. If they are baby dolls they don’t need much more than a flannel diaper with a safety pin to be presentable. The new owner will probably want to find just the right outfit anyway. Best of luck with your dolls.

  12. Hi there I have a 15″ Bride from reliable toy co. limited I was wondering what it would be worth?
    Thanks
    Ed

    • Hi Ed,
      Bride dolls in general do not command the highest prices, but her value would depend on a few factors. What material is she made from – composition, hard plastic or vinyl? What condition is she in? Does she have all her accessories – shoes, veil, bouquet? A composition bride doll by Reliable, complete and in excellent condition might be worth up to $75. A vinyl doll, played with and incomplete, would have a hard time finding a buyer at any price.

  13. Hello. I have found a Reliable 30″ made in Canada doll. She has sleep blue eyes, long brown curly hair. Can you help me identifying her. Many thanks, Natalie

  14. Hi, I have a 35 inch doll made by Reliable in Canada. She should be about a 1958-59 vintage. Her auburn hair is long with curly front bangs. She has sleepy eyes and a pursed closed coral mouth. She was purchased in Winnipeg ,Manitoba, Canada. I would like to know if she is a collectable and her approximate current value. Thank you.

    • Karen,
      the large so-called “companion dolls” like yours are definitely collectible, if in good condition. One sold last month on eBay for $100, plus shipping.

  15. Hi,
    I purchased a marked Reliable Canada black doll at a garage sale. She is 32″ tall, is wearing a blue sailor dress, white socks and blue shoes with white and red trim that match the dress. Her hair is in an afro, her eyes open and shut and she has a beautiful face with red lips. The owner could not remember if that was her original dress. She did rember that the doll is based on “Susie Steps”. Who is she and how much is she worth?
    Thank you

    • Irene, it doesn’t appear that Susie Stepps was made in that large size. Yours might be Lorrie Walker, who was 32″ tall, or perhaps the black version had a different name. She is not pictured in my book so I can’t say for sure. Companion-size black dolls generally sell for around $100 if in very good condition.

  16. Hello, I have a 20″ Reliable doll still in box, never played with, been in cedar chest over 50 years. Blond hair with bangs and in pigtails with pink ribbons, eyes open and close, all limbs and head move. Bottom of box is marked ” 20B NEW-TEENAGE”. Can you tell me anything about this doll and what it might be worth? Thank you. Also, the legs are “powdering up” any idea how to clean or repair this?

    • Hi Deb, if you could post a picture on my Facebook page it would be helpful. If you don’t have access to a camera, can you give me some more details? Does she have flat feet or high heels? How is she dressed? The “powder” is mold. She needs to come out into the fresh air. If her legs are not stained from it, you should be able to clean it off without too much trouble. Don’t use bleach or anything too harsh. If you can get it off with soap and water on a damp cloth that would be best. Make sure she dries well, and leave her out of the box if possible.

  17. Regarding the mold,, i recently useIa sponge and mild dish soap to remove it and then buffed it a bit with a Mr. Clean magic sponge. I restored the plastic quite nicely.

  18. Hi, my gf and I have recently purchased a “Baby Jean” Reliable doll. It can me with clothes still secured in bottom part of box. Face has slight wear. Porcelain head, arms and legs. Looks pretty old. I would rate it 6.5-7 out of 10. Any idea on age and value? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Mark, Baby Jean is not porcelain, but is actually made of a material called composition. It is a mixture of sawdust, glue and other materials, poured into a mold and baked, then painted. She dates to the 1940s. Value is tricky to determine. I could not find any sold examples online to compare her to. Reliable baby dolls similar to Baby Jean sell in the range of $20 without the box and clothes. So the question is, how much value do the box and clothes add? The answer would depend on how nice a presentation they make. In general, doll collectors want pretty things in the best condition possible. Does she have a beautiful dress, perhaps with ruffles and lace, or is it just a plain shift? Does she have a layette, including diapers, blanket, etc? Does the box display attractively, or it is dirty and tattered? Does it have a label or tag with her name on it? All these factors can increase the value of a doll.

  19. I have a doll that was given to me when I was 10 years old in 1959. it is a reliable 1510 that is the markings on the back of the head it is a male 21 inches tall and is a soft rubber or latex material with eyelids that open and close. can you identify it for me?

    thanx Ella

  20. Hi I’ve been wondering about doll I’ve had since late 70′s, early 80′s. it’s stamped Reliable 1958. It has black glued on hair, flat feet, eyes that open/close, fixed legs and is wearing red cape and hood with white trim as well a gold skirt and lace bloomers. Any ideas what she could be and when she was made?

    Cindy

  21. i have an 1958 relially walking doll. she is 36 inches with auburn red hair,plastic face with blinking eyes.red lip close mouth. she has the engraved at the back of her neck.
    can send you a picture

  22. I have a vintage Maggie Muggins doll, box and CBC information sheet on her show called Maggie Muggins Time–it has never been played with– does anyone know the present day value of this doll–thanks –Sue green

    • I have not been able to find any sales records online of a Maggie Muggins doll to determine a value. Composition dolls like her can deteriorate over time, even if never played with, and condition is a big factor in determining the value of a doll. Is her composition still in good condition, or does she have cracks and crazing lines?

  23. I have a 30″ Reliable walker doll that I got in 1981. She is hard plastic, and has blue sleep eyes, long blonde hair without bangs, moveable arms and legs, and wears red overalls with a long sleeved blouse printed with flowers. Could you please help me identify her? Thank you!

  24. I have a reliable baby doll. It has a squecker inside of it. Solid soft plastic that a baby could squezze to hear it make the sound. It looks like a sleeper with attached hood that goes over the toys head. Very cherub like face. It was my grandfather’s at one time so I know it dates back to some time as he would be about 91 years old if he was still alive. I have not been able to find it on the Reliable site,

  25. I have just bought a reliable doll circa 1930 what I would like to know is how do you get chipped noses repaired.

  26. hi I have my moms doll that she received in 1927 and was wondering if you could help tell me who she is so I can get an age appropriate outfit for her to wear.
    I checked on the back of her and it says Reliable , Made in Canada
    She has a hard plastic head and limbs but a soft body. She also has movable eyes that are blue and would of had eyelashes . She has light brown hair that is just part of the plastic .
    She is in more of a baby position as when you lay her down her arms go to the side and left hand is in a fist with the right hand having the 2 middle fingers down but the others up
    she is approx 17inches tall
    thanks lynn

    • Lynn, hard plastic dolls were not made until the 1940s. Your doll is most likely made of composition, a combination of sawdust and glue and other ingredients that is poured into a mold and baked, then finished with enamel paints. Unfortunately the book I have does not have much information on Reliable dolls of the 1920s, but if you are trying to dress your doll appropriately, you could take a look at other baby dolls of the same time period. Effanbee’s Bubbles was a very popular doll in the ’20s. Here is a complete outfit on eBay:
      Bubbles Outfit. Most baby dolls would have worn something similar, a simple dress of cotton batiste with lace trim, a slip and panty or diaper underneath, a bonnet and booties. The booties were often knitted or flannel. The doll may have not had a slip, but had a sweater or jacket over the dress. Here is another example with just a dress and bonnet: 1929 baby doll. Doll dresses in that era usually just closed in the back with a safety pin – no snaps or buttons.

      • thanks for the info . If you look on ebay under

        1950 or 60′s Vintage Doll by Reliable Toy Co. Canada – 17. 5″ Tall
        that is the doll I have of my moms except fair skinned and light brown painted hair. I know my moms is older as her mother died in 1927 and she was given this doll prior to that. Does that help at all with more info on the doll?
        I will keep looking for the vintage cloths , thanks for your advice
        Lynn

  27. I have the only anatomically correct baby boy doll made by Reliable Toy Co.. The woman who was their designer lived with my family and she designed him, and they manufactured a sample of this boy doll in the 1960s. Management thought that it was too risque to be manufactured so they did not put it into production. She gave it to me and I’ve kept it ever since. My mother worked for the company from the 1950s to the 1970s (I think it was the ’70s or late 60s) and knows a lot about Reliable Toy. I worked there during the summer when I was a student. Can anyone tell me if this boy doll might have some special value.

    • Sharon, the only way of determining the value of an object is by looking at what similar items have sold for, so it is nearly impossible to know what a one-of-a-kind item is worth. Many factors could come into play, including the number of collectors of Reliable dolls; the number of collectors of anatomically correct boy dolls; and the attractiveness of the doll. If you would like to sell the doll, you should contact an auctioneer in Canada who has experience with dolls. But whether you sell him or keep him, I hope that you will consider contacting Doll News about publishing an article on him. He should be documented while he is still in the possession of those who know his history.

  28. I have what I think is the 1940 cuddlekins doll. The plaster has cracked on his face. Should I get him fixed or is it better to leave him. Also I was wondering what is the best way to store him.

    • Composition dolls can be repaired but it is a time consuming procedure, so it would cost more than his monetary value. If he has sentimental value and you want to improve his appearance, than why not. Composition dolls should be stored where temperature and humidity are stable – not in a hot attic or a damp basement. If you are not going to display him, he should be wrapped in acid free tissue or in white cotton fabric that has been laundered without harsh chemicals.

  29. I have a jack and the beanstalk by reliable toy company still in the original box and in great condtion

  30. I have a 34″ doll purchased n New Zealand 1960-1961 and she is unmarked. She needs some new parts (mainly a head and the mumma voice box from her back). The doll hospital in here in Sydney, Australia cannot help as they have no parts for her. They suggested she may be a Reliable doll (Patty Sue Playmate) as she is unmarked. Do you have any suggestions please?

    • Alison, I don’t think Patty Sue Playmate had a cryer, and I don’t know of any other dolls that size, from that era, who did. Perhaps she might be a British doll? If the cryer is the same one used in smaller size dolls you might be able to get one from a different doll, and many of the larger dolls were made using the same or similar head molds. Since there is no source for new parts for old dolls, the only way to get what you need would be to cannibalize other dolls (which is what doll hospitals do). Sorry I can’t be more help. You might try contacting someone in the UK to see if her origins might be there.

      • Thanks for responding.
        The doll hospital here say she is quite unusal from the dolls they have seen before in that her neck is quite long and her head fitting is just a ridge that pops onto the body.
        They also said that her cryer (their’s are all too big for her) is in an unusal place being quite high up between her shoulders as opposed to lower down her back.
        She is a walker (not strung).
        Do you know what other compalnion sized dolls were unmarked as she has absolutely nothing on her to identify her.
        Alison

        • P.S. the long neck is actually part of the doll body and the head pops on just under the chin. Alison

        • There have been many, many companion size dolls made since the early ’60s, but impossible to say which ones might have been unmarked, since there is no good database of doll marks. IMO your best bet for finding out who she might be would be to connect with doll collectors in NZ who may have information as to what dolls were available there during that time.

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