Hasbro was started in Rhode Island in the 1920s by two brothers, Henry and Helal Hassenfeld, under the name Hassenfeld Brothers. They began making toys in the 1940s, and had their first big hit in 1952 with Mr. Potato Head. They branched out into dolls beginning in 1964 with G.I. Joe, although he was always called an “action figure” since the company figured boys wouldn’t play with a “doll.” The company officially changed its name to Hasbro in 1968.
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|As early as 1958, Hasbro stuck its toe into the doll market waters with Cutie Clothes, a series of clothing kits to dress 8″ to 10.5″ glamour dolls. Go to the Cutie Clothes page for more information.|
|The G.I. Joe series of action figures has been continuously produced in one form or another since 1964. Originally representing fighting men of the various branches of the U.S. Armed Services, it has been expanded over the years to included some celebrities and fantasy figures. Pictured at left is a 12″ figure from the 1970′s Adventure Team series. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.|
Little Miss No Name from 1965 is a 15″ pathetic girl doll dressed in rags, complete with plastic tear on her cheek. She was part of the mid-sixties fad for big-eyed waifs.
|Peteena is an 11″ poodle fashion doll with additional outfits. Visit the Peteena page for all the details.|
|Dolly Darlings made from 1965-67 are 4″ dolls with molded hair. They came packaged in round plastic hatbox-type cases with accessories. A couple of years later, Dolly Darlings had rooted hair and were packaged in cardboard boxes with cello fronts or on bubble cards. Many different dolls were issued. Four different play rooms were also sold. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.|
The Flying Nun is a Dolly Darling dressed to represent Sally Field’s character Sister Bertrille from the popular 1960′s TV show.
That Kid! from 1967 is an unusual 21.5″ mechanical boy doll with a slingshot.
Flower Darlings (1968) are 3.5″ tall, came inside plastic flower pins. These dolls have the same head molds as Dolly Darlings but with smaller bodies.
Storykins (1969). These dolls were knockoffs of Mattel’s Liddle Kiddles, and represented characters from fairy tales including Snow white, Rumplestilskin and Cinderella. They came packaged with furniture and accessories. 2″ to 3.5″ tall.
|Candy Babies have vinyl heads and hands, and cloth bodies filled with foam and plastic pellets. They were advertising tie-ins to popular candies including Good ‘n Plenty and Baby Ruth.|
|Leggy (1973) These 10″ dolls are easy to identify. Most of their length is legs! Four different dolls were made. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.|
|Aimée is an 18″ doll with extra available hairpieces and fashions. Visit the Aimée page to learn more.|
|Sweet Cookie (1972) is an 18″ girl doll. She came in black or white versions with cooking accessories.|
Romper Room Softies – 10″ cloth dolls tied in with the children’s TV show.
|Charlie’s Angels first produced in 1977 are 8.5″ dolls representing the three main characters from the TV show. Extra fashions were sold. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.|
|Hasbro’s Jem line of 12″ dolls, produced from 1985 to 1987, were created to tie in with an animated children’s television series. The show, which ran from ’85 to ’88, had an interesting rock and roll/science fiction storyline with many characters. Pictured at left are Video, a minor character in the series, and Rio, the boyfriend of main character Jerrica Benton and her rock star alter ego Jem. Video photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings. Rio photo courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.|
|Maxie is a 11.5″ Barbie type fashion doll representing a high school girl with friends, a boyfriend and high school-themed playsets. She was sold from 1988 to 1990. Like Jem, Maxie was also made into a cartoon show, called “Maxie’s World.” Photo courtesy of King Auctions. Check out their eBay listings.|
|C.O.P.S. ‘n Crooks is a series of futuristic cops-and-robbers themed action figures. They were made in late ’80s, and, like Jem and Maxie, also tied in to a cartoon series. (Am I sensing a theme here?)|
Hasbro has always focused more on their toys and games than their dolls (with the exception of G.I. Joe), and their acquisitions of Playskool, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, Kenner and Tonka in the 1980s and ’90s continued that trend. Today they are the largest toy company in the world. Hasbro is currently selling a new version of Kenner’s Blythe doll from the 1970s. Integrity Toys began making a new line of Jem dolls for adult collectors in 2012.
to GI Joe
by Vincent Santelmo
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Copyright 2006-2012 by Zendelle Bouchard