Apr 122013

Some of Uneeda’s most popular dolls with kids and collectors have been their pocket-size dolls including Pee Wees, Wishnik Trolls, Petal People and Tiny Teens. They are all vinyl and were produced beginning in the mid-sixties. The company acquired Mattel’s Liddle Kiddles name in the mid-90s and produced a new series of them.

Wishnik Troll by Uneeda

Wishnik Trolls are a knockoff of the Dam Trolls which became popular in Europe in the early sixties, and shortly afterward became a fad in America. The Wishniks have one piece bodies, jointed only at the neck. The two-headed version is most popular with collectors. The Wishniks were reissued in the ’80s and ’90s.

The original version of Petal People, made in 1964, have Pee Wees heads on Wishnik Troll bodies with flower costumes. In 1968 they came out with a 2.5″ tall doll packaged inside a plastic flower, planted in a small round flower pot. A Flower Shoppe with three of these Petal People was also available. The dolls were also renamed Pixie Petal People and sold in a much shorter flower with a square pot. Yet another version of Petal People were produced in the ’80s. These are more like the original ones, short and stocky, but they have molded hair and elvish looking eyes. There was also a Petal People paper doll.

Tiny Trix Poses are small vinyl dolls with rooted hair, wired arms and legs for posability. Each came packaged with an accessory such as a scooter, swing, or rocking horse. 1966.

PlumPees are chubby seated vinyl squeeze dolls in 6″ and 8″ sizes. They have molded hair and clothing. 1967.

Little Sophisticates are 8″ vinyl dolls with wired arms for posability. The most unusual feature about this doll is that their faces are painted to make it appear that their eyes are closed. They have rooted lashes beneath each eye. 6 dolls were made, with a variety of hair styles and colors, each sold in a different outfit. They are not hard to find, but you almost never see them in their original packaging. 1967. The name was used again in 1983 for an 8.5″ vinyl toddler with rooted hair and painted side glancing eyes.

Tiny Sophisticates are 6″ vinyl girls with rooted hair and painted eyes. May have long rooted eyelashes.

Pee Wees & Hee Wees by Uneeda Pee Wees chubby vinyl pocket size dressed girl dolls, have painted side glancing eyes and rooted hair. Sold in many different outfits. The original version came out in the mid ’60s. Hee Wees, “Tiny He-Men”, are boy versions with molded hair who wear uniforms such as baseball player, firefighter, etc. There were Pee Wees Babies as well. An updated version of the Pee Wees came out in 1976. Posin’ Pee Wees are dated 1984 and have different bodies. Pee Wees Cuties appeared in 1987. Photo courtesy of eBay seller art-in-mind.

Fun Time Tiny Teen doll by Uneeda Tiny Teen doll by Uneeda Tiny Teens are 5″ dressed dolls from 1967. They have cute little accessories. The Fun Time doll is pictured far left. The doll in the blue package is a later, unnamed version without the accessories. Read more about Tiny Teens here. In 1970 the same doll was repackaged again as Donna Fashion Doll. Photos courtesy of eBay seller franklin2000.

Kim, Miki and Dana are just 5″ tall but they have a growing hair feature. Kim had extra outfits available to purchase. You learn more about them here.

Tummy “The Pudgy Pixie” 9″ girl doll with protruding exposed midriff. Apparently this was supposed to be cute. Rooted hair, painted side-glancing eyes. 1973.

Minuette 8″ costume doll, rooted hair, painted eyes 1973.

Thum Things doll by Uneeda Thum Things doll by Uneeda Thum-Things dolls have three faces which rotate on their head. They have molded hair and are 4″ tall. They came in a variety of outfits and hair colors. 1973. Photos courtesy of ebay seller bouchy.

Grannykins is a 6″ grandmother doll with gray hair and painted on eyeglasses. She was available in a variety of matronly outfits.

I’m Hanthum is a 7″ thumb sucking boy doll with an oversized head and rooted hair. His sister is called I’m Lonethum. 1977.

Bootniks “The Cutest Doll in the West” looks like a Pee Wee, comes in a vinyl or plastic cowboy boot. 1981.

The International Collection is an 8″ vinyl girl doll with six different international outfits. 1981.

Kupples 8″ Bride and Groom packaged together, vinyl heads and cloth bodies. 1985.

Uneeda Liddle Kiddles doll Uneeda Liddle Kiddles doll Uneeda acquired the Liddle Kiddles name (which previously belonged to Mattel) and manufactured them in the ’90s. There are several series including Clip On, Strap On, Pretty Perfume, Lovely Locket and Bottle Baby. Photos courtesy of eBay seller den268.

Copyright 2013 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Dec 192012

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Mattel’s Barbie is the biggest selling doll of all time. But even if Barbie had never existed, Mattel’s other quality dolls like Chatty Cathy, Liddle Kiddles and My Child would have earned the company a place in doll history.

Mattel got its start in 1945, when Elliott and Ruth Handler teamed up with their friend Harold “Matt” Matson. Initially they made picture frames; but Mr. Handler soon began making doll furniture from the scrap wood. Mr. Matson left the company early on, and the Handlers turned to the toy business full time. The company was one of the first toy firms to invest heavily in television advertising, sponsoring “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

Vintage Barbie and Ken dolls by Mattel

Scan from 1963 Sears Toy Book.

While Mattel had been selling doll furniture for several years, they didn’t actually make dolls until they debuted Barbie in 1959. While parents and toy buyers were skeptical at first, she was an immediately hit with little girls, who loved her long, slim grownup figure and fabulous wardrobe. Before long, Barbie had a boyfriend named Ken, a best friend named Midge and a little sister, Skipper.

Go to the Barbie section for more info.

Chatty Cathy doll by Mattel.

Chatty Cathy had extra outfits and accessories that could be purchased.
Scans from 1963 Sears Toy Book.

Tiny Chatty Baby and Charmin’ Chatty by Mattel
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In the early 1960s, even though Barbie ruled the doll world, Mattel had several other top selling dolls as well. The company had a hit with Chatty Cathy and her extended family, which included Chatty Baby and Tiny Chatty Baby in both white and black versions. These dolls are pull-string talkers that say a finite number of phrases. They also introduced Charmin’ Chatty, who talks by means of miniature records inserted into the doll.
View Chatty family dolls on ebay!
The Chatty dolls were so popular that Mattel went on to make many other talking dolls in the ’60s and ’70s. Most of these were pull-string talkers.

Talking dolls by Mattel.

Three talking dolls by Mattel. L to R: Talking Little Bo Peep, Patootie the Clown and Trish.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Swingy, Baby Go Bye-Bye and Baby Walk 'n Play by Mattel.

L to R: Swingy, Baby Go Bye-Bye and Baby Walk ‘n Play.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Mattel’s dolls didn’t just talk, they moved! Mechanical dolls such as Baby First Step, Swingy and Dancerina have been a big part of Mattel’s lineup over the years.

Liddle Kiddles dolls by Mattel.

Liddle Kiddles dolls by Mattel.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In the mid- to late sixties Liddle Kiddles were the rage. These tiny dolls were sold in different series such as Storybook Kiddles, Skididdle Kiddles, Lucky Locket Kiddles, etc., and ranged from less than an inch tall to four inches tall.
View Liddle Kiddles on ebay!

Rock Flowers dolls by Mattel

Rock Flowers dolls by Mattel.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller den268.

In the early ’70s, Mattel introduced the 6.5″ Rock Flowers dolls. Topper’s Dawn doll had started a trend for the smaller size fashion dolls, but instead of being fashion models, the Rock Flowers girls were pop stars. Each doll came with a thick plastic record that could actually be played on a regular record player. Separate fashions in record-shaped packages were sold too.

The pop star theme is one that Mattel would return to every few years for a new line of Barbie dolls.

Mattel made a number of dolls in the likeness of popular celebrities in the 20th century, from supermodel Twiggy in 1967 to the characters from the film and TV show Clueless in 1997. Many of these were fashion dolls with their own unique wardrobes.

Julia and Marie Osmond dolls by Mattel.

Julia doll in the likeness of actress Diahann Carroll was made in talking and non-talking versions. Donny and Marie Osmond dolls were very popular in the late 70s when they had their own television variety show. Little brother Jimmy is a harder doll to find. Julia, Donny and Marie had extra outfits you could buy. Marie was also sold in a 30″ version with sewing patterns.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.

The Sunshine Family and Happy Family dolls in the mid-70s were fashion dolls with a family focus. In the ’80s, Mattel returned to the family theme with the Heart Family dolls. But family values soon took a back seat to fantasy and adventure with Mattel’s two popular action figure series, Masters of the Universe (for boys) and Princess of Power (for girls). The toys tied in with weekly cartoon series. But even action figures were no match for the power of Barbie, who continued as the world’s best-selling doll.

Moon Mystic & Frosta dolls by Mattel

Two of Mattel’s fantasy-themed dolls: 11.5″ Moon Mystic doll from the Guardian Goddess series and 5.5″ Frosta from the Princess of Power series.

Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Baby dolls have been a part of Mattel’s lineup since the sixties. In 1986, they introduced the adorable My Child dolls, which have become a favorite with collectors, particularly in Australia. My Child dolls have an articulated cloth body and cloth-covered head with rooted hair. They were produced with a variety of skin tones, hair and eye colors until 1988.
View My Child dolls on ebay!

My Child dolls by Mattel.

My Child dolls by Mattel.

Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Mattel continues today as a powerhouse in the toy business, with Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Monster High and Fisher Price among its brands. They also have a large line of licensed Disney dolls.

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Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard