Sweet Rosemary Doll by Deluxe Reading

 Deluxe Reading  Comments Off on Sweet Rosemary Doll by Deluxe Reading
Apr 212016

Sweet Rosemary is one of the big glamour dolls Deluxe Reading made in the late 1950s, which were sold in grocery stores. Although she is a lady doll, she was made with a variety of head molds that are very childlike.

Body Construction
This doll is approximately 30″ tall, jointed at the neck only. She is all vinyl and her body is stuffed. She has short, curly blonde rooted hair and blue sleep eyes with brush lashes, with painted lashes below her eyes. She has pierced ears with drop pearl earrings. Her finger and toenails are unpainted. The same dolls were dressed in different outfits and sold as Darling Debbie, Beautiful Gail, Betty the Beautiful Bride, and Cinderella.

Sweet Rosemary wears a pink taffeta gown with rows and rows of pink and silver lace ruffles decorating the skirt. The same lace also frames the neckline and she wears matching detached sleeves. A deep pink velveteen cummerbund accents her waist, and a pearl choker encircles her throat. She also wears white cotton panties. The doll was also packaged with a pink plastic purse with goldtone chain strap. The bases of her high heeled shoes are gray plastic with white elastic straps across the instep, accented with a circle of rhinestones.

The large stuffed vinyl dolls have various markings.

Her original box is pictured below.

Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Pink Haired Sayco Doll

 Other Companies  Comments Off on Pink Haired Sayco Doll
Mar 182016

Dolls with pastel hair colors, especially pink, were popular in the late 1950s. Schoen & Yondorf, under the trade name Sayco, jumped on the trend with this pretty toddler.

Body Construction
She is 15″ tall, with a soft vinyl head and arms on a blow molded vinyl torso and legs. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. She has rooted pink hair in curls, with a circlet braid on top and bangs. Her blue sleep eyes have brush lashes and painted lashes below. She has single stroke painted brown eyebrows and orange-red lips.

She is marked “&#169: SAYCO DOLL CORP.” on the back of her head.

This doll wears a pink satin strapless gown with attached stole and overskirt of nylon with a satiny floral design. She has bouquets of pink flowers at the hem of the overskirt, at the bodice, and in her hair. Underneath, she wears a crinoline with a narrow strip of vinyl stitched to the hem, nylon panty, rayon socks and white vinyl Mary Jane shoes.

Copyright 2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

14″, 20″ and 25″ Toni Doll by American Character (1958-59)

 American Character  Comments Off on 14″, 20″ and 25″ Toni Doll by American Character (1958-59)
Jan 282016

American Character‘s Toni doll in 14″, 20″ and 25″ sizes is almost identical to their Sweet Sue Sophisticate. The two dolls were made using the same molds, but with slightly different face paint. Toni most often has painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye, while Sweet Sue Sophisticate has painted lashes below each eye. It should be noted that while this is the identifying feature, it is not a hard and fast rule. The company most likely used whatever dolls were on hand to fill their orders. Toni was marketed as a tie-in to the Toni home permanent made by the Gillette Co., and came in 14″, 20″ and 25″ sizes. Each doll was packaged with a Toni Playwave Kit consisting of a comb, brush, curlers and play-wave solution in squeeze bottle.

Toni Ballerina is a different doll, similar to Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot.

See also: 10″ Toni Doll10″ Toni Outfits

Body Construction
Toni is a walking doll, all vinyl and jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist and hips. Her shoulders are flange jointed, allowing them to move backward and forward only, held close to her body. Her waist and neck joints rotate, but do not tilt like Sweet Sue Sophisticate. Her rooted hair is good quality and was made in blonde, red and brunette shades. It is most often styled in a curly bob with bangs but varied occasionally according to the outfit she was dressed in. She has blue sleep eyes with brush lashes. A flirty-eyed version was also available, with the added feature of strung shoulder joints, allowing for greater posability.

The 14″ version of Toni is completely unmarked. The 20″ version has “AMERICAN © CHARACTER” in a circle on her back. The 25″ size has “AME. CHARACTER DOLL COR./©” on the back of her neck.

Toni was sold wearing outfits which were different from those of Sweet Sue Sophisticate. The larger sizes of Toni did not have as many outfits as their 10″ sister, but were available in a nice assortment of day, evening and bridal wear.
A stretch lace teddy identical to the one worn by the 10″ doll has been found in 20″ size; however, it is not known whether the larger size Toni was ever sold as a basic doll wearing it, or whether it was underwear for another outfit.

The earliest version of American Beauty is a ball gown with black bodice and full skirt of deep pink nylon tricot over taffeta; matching pink stole; combination marquisette slip and panties; hose; silver shoes with rhinestones; rhinestone or pearl earrings and pin. This doll’s hair is in a curly updo. All sizes. See photo above. A later version, available only in 20″ size, is a pale pink gown with a three-tiered lace skirt; pearl necklace and tiara. This doll has flirty eyes.

The earliest version of Bride is a short-sleeved wedding gown with lace bodice and two wide bands of lace on the tulle skirt; hooped petticoat; rounded satin cap with pearl edging and fingertip tulle veil; bouquet; lace-edged taffeta panties; hose; white shoes with rhinestones; solitaire ring; pearl earrings. All sizes. See photo above. (American Character’s Betsy McCall had an identical bridal outfit.) A later version, available in 20″ size only, is a long sleeved lace gown with micropleated underskirt.

Country Club is a sheer white blouse with elbow-length sleeves and big bow at neckline; multi-gored skirt has alternating panels of plain black and black-and-white checks; black beret; black shoes. This doll has a side-part hairstyle. All sizes. See photo above.

Dinner Date is a taffeta dress with dropped waist, bubble skirt accented with a velvet bow, attached stole; pillbox hat with tulle; evening bag. All sizes. Most commonly found in blue, but color variations exist. See brown version above. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Love in Bloom is a strapless party dress with stole, held in place by a wide belt. All sizes. See illustration below (from the Toni doll booklet.)

Romance with Mink Stole is a pale pink satin sheath dress with side slits with velvet ribbon accents; brown real mink stole; string of pearls; pearl earrings; pink shoes. 14″ and 20″ sizes only. See illustration above. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Sunday Best is a pale pink nylon blouse with a wide shawl collar and three rhinestones down the front of the bodice; skirt with cummerbund; hat of pale pink braid; purse. 20″ size only. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Town and Country is a black and white striped taffeta dress, lined in red; long red and black felt vest with snap closure; matching hat; matching hatbox; black heels with rhinestone accents. 14″ and 20″ sizes only.

Toni was packaged in a box similar to that of the 10″ version, with 50’s graphics in pink and blue.

Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot / Toni Ballerina Doll

 American Character  Comments Off on Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot / Toni Ballerina Doll
Dec 032015

American Character’s Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot has the same face as their Sweet Sue Sophisticate doll.

This version of American Character‘s Sweet Sue doll, described in their brochure as a “sub-teen,” bridges the gap between the hard plastic little girl version, and the mature all-vinyl Sweet Sue Sophisticate. Her jointed ankles enable her to wear medium heels, flats or toe shoes, although collectors should be aware that leaving the feet flexed into the highest position often causes them to split.

20″ Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot in Collegiate outfit.

Body Construction
Flexible Foot Sweet Sue is a walking doll with rigid vinyl torso, legs and arms, with a softer vinyl head and hard plastic feet. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips and ankles. Her arms are flange jointed and positioned very close to her body, with palms facing inward. The waist and neck joints are articulated to allow them to tilt as well as rotate. The most significant feature about this doll is her “sub-teen” bustline, much less developed than Sweet Sue Sophisticate.

She was made in 14″, 20″ and 25″ sizes, and is a walker. Her rooted hair, pulled back into a curly bob with bangs, is most often auburn, but is found in other shades as well. She has blue sleep eyes with brush lashes, and painted lashes underneath each eye. Her fingernails are polished to a light pink; her toenails are unpolished.

Toni Ballerina has the same sub-teen bustline and jointed ankles, but her hair is pulled into a bun at the back of her head, with wisps of hair framing her face.

Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot doll in American Beauty.

The 25″ size has “AME. CHARACTER DOLL COR./©” on the back of her neck. The 14″ and 20″ dolls are completely unmarked.

Flexible Foot Sweet Sue was available in a variety of outfits. Each doll came with a round plastic case carrying a black leotard, black satin ballet slippers, black vinyl flats and an extra pair of heels. Toni Ballerina carries the same accessory case, but without the “Sweet Sue” name across the front.

Her accessory case includes a black cotton leotard and 3 pairs of shoes. Click here to see the contents of the accessory case.

  • Bride is a white satin wedding gown with nylon tricot puffed sleeve treatment and ruching all around the middle of the skirt. Underneath she wears a full hoop petticoat, medium white heels, white taffeta panties, nylon hose. She wears pearl drop earrings, and 20″ and 25″ sizes also came with a rhinestone engagement ring. Click here to see a rare variation. Note the doll has the Toni face paint and a bridal gown made from the Cocktail dress pattern. Photo courtesy of Nancy McKee.
  • Collegiate is a white nylon blouse with pale blue polka dots and a large bow at the neckline; aqua accordian-pleated cotton skirt; white nylon taffeta slip with tulle ruffle at hemline; white taffeta panties; hose; black medium heels with rhinestone accent; velvet ribbon headband. See photo above. This outfit was also available in a red version.
  • Lindy Hop is a print blouse with felt jumper; petticoat; panties; hose; black medium heels with rhinestone accent.
  • Sunday Best is sheer white nylon dress, shading to blue at the hem, with puffed sleeves, two or three rows of white embroidery in a paisley pattern at hem, wide sash at waist; blue underdress; blue straw hat with flower; white medium heels with rhinestone accent or mary jane shoes with floral decoration; white taffeta panties; nylon hose or ankle socks.

    14″ Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot in Sunday Best outfit.
    Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

  • Birthday Party is a sheer white nylon dress with pink and blue embroidery, with the name “Sweet Sue” embroidered into the pattern; attached satin sash; fancy taffeta slip; white medium heels with rhinestones; white taffeta panties and nylon hose.
  • American Beauty is a full skirted ballgown of pale pink nylon, shading to deep pink at the hem. The dress is actually in two pieces with the bodice of the dress attached to the petticoat, and a separate skirt of gathered flounces that ties with a ribbon in the back. Under all she wears a hoop skirt. She has a nylon tricot stole attached at the front of the bodice that goes over her shoulders and is held in place with satin ribbon. White taffeta panties and nylon hose. See photo above.
  • As Toni Ballerina, she wears a pale pink ballet tutu with floral accent, and ballet slippers. See below.

Toni Ballerina doll illustration from an American Character booklet.

Learn More:

American Character Dolls
by Judith Izen
Find it on eBay.
Dolls & Accessories of the 1950s
by Dian Zillner
Find it on eBay.
The Doll & Teddy Bear Department
edited by Thomas W. Holland
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 1997-2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

Collette Doll by Cragstan Industries (Early 1960s)

 Fashion  Comments Off on Collette Doll by Cragstan Industries (Early 1960s)
Sep 252015

Collette by Cragstan Industries is an unusual doll mannequin whose body pops apart to fit her clothing pieces onto her. There is no date on the box or doll, but the patent (2964873) was granted in 1960, so she was likely manufactured in 1961 or ’62. American Character made a similar doll called Popi, but she has fewer joints than Collette.

Cragstan Industries was better known for the mechanical toys and novelties they imported, but they did sell some dolls, which were made in Hong Kong. The company had offices in New York City and a warehouse in Bayonne, NJ. They began in business as Craig-Stanton Sales Corp. in 1954. By 1961 they were doing business under the name Cragstan Industries. The company dissolved in 1988.

Body Construction
Collette She measures 9 1/4″ tall, and is all vinyl with pop-apart jointed at her neck (two places), shoulders, mid-bust and waist. Her hips are also jointed, but the legs are not removable. The two pieces of her torso are molded in black to make it appear that she is wearing a strapless teddy or swimsuit. The lower edge of her neck piece is beaded to look like she is wearing a necklace. She has painted blue side-glancing eyes, and a dark blonde wig pulled back into a bun. See back view.

Collette comes with a sheet of fabric with her outfit pieces printed in multiple colors. She can be “dressed” by cutting out and positioning the clothing pieces to make six different outfits, as shown on the front of the box. Some of the pieces can also be mixed and matched to make variations. Collette comes wearing black flat shoes.

Collette’s box opens up to display her on a stage. A four page insert included with her explains the process of dressing her. See page 1page 2page 3page 4.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard.