Nov 252012
 
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Vintage composition Dopey doll by Knickerbocker

Composition Dopey doll by Knickerbocker.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

The Knickerbocker Toy Co., founded in 1927, is undoubtedly best known for its Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, which it produced from the early 1960s through the 1980s. The company made many other cloth dolls during its long history, including Disney characters such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, cartoon characters such as Little Lulu, Little Orphan Annie and the Flintstones, and girl dolls with molded faces similar to the ones produced by Georgene and Mollye. The company also produced some wonderful composition dolls including the characters from the comic strip Blondie, Disney’s Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Holly Hobbie was a big seller for Knickerbocker in the 1970s, in both cloth and vinyl versions. Knickerbocker was bought out by Hasbro in 1983, but they continued to produce dolls under the Knickerbocker name, including the wonderful line of Magic Attic vinyl play dolls designed by Robert Tonner in the 1990s. In 2001, Marie Osmond and her husband purchased Knickerbocker and changed its name to Marian LLC. That company later became part of Charisma Brands.

This is a very partial list. Click on a small photo to see a larger version.

Composition Grumpy doll by Knickerbocker Composition Snow White doll by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker’s Snow White doll is all composition, with molded black hair. Her satin dress has a velveteen bodice. The 7 Dwarfs are dressed in velveteen outfits, and have mohair beards. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

Composition Pinocchio doll by Knickerbocker Composition Pinocchio doll by Knickerbocker Pinocchio‘s composition arms and legs are molded to look like jointed wood. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

Cloth 7 Dwarfs dolls by Knickerbocker The cloth versions of the 7 Dwarfs have velveteen outfits that are part of their bodies, and molded mask faces. The doll on the left may have a replaced beard. Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

1964 Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker 1964 Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker began producing Raggedy Ann and Andy in 1963. This pair dates to 1964. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.
Bedtime Raggedy Andy by Knickerbocker Bedtime Raggedy Ann by Knickerbocker Bedtime Raggedy Ann and Andy wear flannel pjs and nightie instead of their usual outfits. Their printed eyes are safer for babies. They were made starting in 1979. Photos courtesy of Paul Muhlbach. Check out his eBay listings.

Beloved Belindy doll by Knickerbocker Beloved Belindy is another character from the Raggedy Ann stories. The Knickerbocker version doesn’t resemble Johnny Gruelle’s original illustrations very much though. Photo courtesy of Paul Muhlbach. Check out his eBay listings.

Nancy cloth doll by Knickerbocker Nancy cloth doll by Knickerbocker In 1973, Knickerbocker made a series of miniature rag dolls of cartoon characters, including Nancy and Sluggo. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.
Miniature Fred Flintstone rag doll by Knickerbocker Miniature Pebbles Flintstone rag doll by Knickerbocker Flintstones characters Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were also part of the Miniature rag dolls series. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Floppy Sox doll by Knickerbocker The Floppy Sox dolls from 1974 are made to look like homemade sock dolls. There was a boy and girl doll made.

Holly Hobbie's friend Heather by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie's friend Heather by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie rag dolls by Knickerbocker Holly Hobbie and her friends were made in several sizes in the mid-70s. Vinyl versions were made too. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.
Cowpokes dolls by Knickerbocker The Cowpokes dolls, copyrighted 1981, are a cute Western-themed boy and girl. Read more on the Cowpokes page.

Star Trek Captain Kirk cloth doll by Knickerbocker Star Trek Mr. Spock doll by Knickerbocker Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from Star Trek were made in 1979, with vinyl heads and cloth bodies. No other characters from the series were made. Photos courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.

Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Peanuts character Snoopy and his sister Belle were made as 8″ all vinyl fashion dolls in the early ’80s, with extra outfits available. Snoopy was always accompanied by his little sidekick, Woodstock. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.
Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker Vinyl Snoopy doll by Knickerbocker The 5″ vinyl version of Snoopy (with Woodstock) has Astronaut, Chef and Sport playsets. Photos courtesy of Sandy Blaine. Check out her eBay listings.

Moppets Missy doll by Knickerbocker Baby Moppets Sugar Cones dolls by Knickerbocker Missy, Mindy and Mandy are the Moppets – small, all-vinyl dolls produced by Knickerbocker in 1981. All-vinyl Baby Moppets were made as well. The Sugar Cone Baby Moppets have vinyl heads and cloth bodies.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Dolly Pops by Knickerbocker Dolly Pops from the late ’70s – early ’80s are one piece plastic dolls with rooted hair. The dolls “pop” in and out of their playsets, and their one-piece plastic outfits “pop” on and off. Photos courtesy of Dennis Mah. Check out his eBay listings.

Annie Rag Doll by Knickerbocker World of Annie vinyl dolls by Knickerbocker Knickerbocker made Annie dolls as a tie-in to the 1982 movie starring Aileen Quinn as Annie and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks. Cloth and vinyl versions of Annie were made in multiple sizes; other characters from the film were made about 6″ tall in vinyl, and as 2.75″ miniatures.



Copyright 2006-2012 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
Including 12″ rabbit, 9.5″ cat dressed as Puss in Boots, Monkey, and probably others, with human-type bodies (e.g. hands instead of paws).

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
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 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.


Copyright 2005-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard