Jan 022013

Wake Up Thumbelina is a baby doll made by Ideal in 1976. She was the last of the moving Thumbelina dolls made by Ideal, continuing the line that had begun in 1961 with the original Thumbelina. The earlier versions moved by means of a pull string; but Wake Up Thumbelina requires 2 D-cell batteries. When you press the switch in her back, she raises her head and arms, and turns over.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal

Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Body Construction
Wake Up Thumbelina is 18″ long, and has a vinyl head with rooted hair and painted eyes. She has a very unusual body construction with hard plastic torso and arms, and stuffed cloth legs which are part of her sewn-on outfit. She is jointed at the neck and shoulders. She has a battery compartment in her rear end with the switch in her back. She was sold as a white doll with blonde hair and blue eyes, or a black doll with brunette hair and brown eyes.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal

Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

She is marked “©1976 // IDEAL TOY CORP. // WB-18-H-251″ on the back of her head and “©1976 // IDEAL [in an oval] // HOLLIS N.Y. 11423″ on her upper back.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal

Photo courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

Wake Up Thumbelina wears a one-piece non-removable sleeper. The white top is a nylon knit, with the yellow bottom part of synthetic flannel. The legs of the sleeper are soft stuffed to form the doll’s legs. The “trap door” in back accesses the battery compartment. A pink ribbon in her hair matches the pink ribbon on the front of her outfit.

Wake Up Thumbelina doll by Ideal

She was sold in a cardboard box with all over graphics illustrating and describing her movements. She came with a sheet of operating instructions.

Copyright 2013 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Dec 082012

12" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

This 1958 12″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll with extra outfits was sold in a box resembling a TV set, tying in to Shirley Temple Black’s children’s television show.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

17" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

17″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll wears a cotton dress which may have been a Sears exclusive. This size was made from 1959 to 1963.
Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Ideal made their first vinyl versions of the Shirley Temple doll from 1958-63. They had rooted blonde hair with Shirley’s famous curls and hazel sleep eyes. Some of the larger dolls had “twinkle eyes,” also known as flirty eyes, which could move from side to side as well as open and close. The 12″ version had lots of extra clothes that could be purchased; the 15″, 17″, 19″ and very rare 26″ sizes were sold in a variety of outfits but no clothing was sold separately. Most of these outfits were not from Shirley’s movies, but reflected typical little girl fashions of the period. 1950s Shirley Temple dolls came wearing a plastic pin of her name in script. The 15″ version was reissued in 1972 as a Montgomery Ward exclusive.

15" vinyl reissue Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

15″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll reissued in 1972 for Montgomery Ward was available in this outfit only.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out her eBay listings.

The Shirley Temple Playpal doll sold only in 1960 is 36″ tall and has the same blow-molded jointed vinyl body as Patti Playpal, with a Shirley Temple head. She most often wears a nylon dress but was also available in a Heidi outfit.

In 1973, a new 16.5″ vinyl version of the Shirley Temple doll was sold wearing her red and white polka dotted “Stand Up and Cheer” outfit. There were four additional outfits sold separately. This doll was available through 1975.

In 1982-3, Ideal made 8″ and 12″ versions of Shirley Temple with pale vinyl resembling porcelain. With this Collector’s Edition series, they returned to dressing Shirley in outfits from her 1930’s film roles. In 1984-5, a 16″ Shirley was made, available in three different costumes.

1984 16" vinyl Shirley Temple doll by Ideal Toy Corp.

16″ vinyl Shirley Temple doll, the final version made by Ideal, wearing outfit from her 1934 film “Stand Up and Cheer!”

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard.