Monday, September 28, 2009

Shirley Temple's Doll History

Shirley Temple Dolls
A doll that has made it so far into our popular culture that even people who could not identify any other vintage mid-20th century doll can easily identify a Shirley Temple doll--and, also tell you that it can be worth lots of money.
Shirley Temple dolls have been made in many variations, but the most popular and lasting version has been as a composition doll, first made when Shirley Temple was a star.

The first Shirley Temple dolls were made in Composition by Ideal Toy Corporation starting in the mid 1930s through the 1940s. The doll has also been made in vinyl versions by Ideal and then in several porcelain collectible versions in the 1990s. Shirley Temple has also been a paper doll many, many times.

The dolls have been produced from the 1930s through today, with several gaps in production in the 1960s and 1970s.

You can find Shirley dolls as small as 11 inches in composition and 12 inches in vinyl, and as large as 27 inches in composition and 36 inches in vinyl. Many sizes in between have also been made.

The best known company that has produced Shirley Temple dolls has been the Ideal Toy Corporation. Ideal produced the dolls from the 1930s until the company went out of business in the early 1970s. Danbury Mint has created most of the collectible porcelain versions of the doll.

The twentieth century and its multimedia created the current culture and cult of celebrity, in which we still live today. Shirley Temple is an early example of this cult--made world famous by her movies, she was a merchandising dream. Considering that TV wasn't available to promote mass market dolls when the doll was released, it was phenomenal how many of these dolls were sold.

Although Shirley Temple dolls are widely available and were mass produced, the doll is very popular with collectors and therefore mint and complete 1930s composition Shirley Temple dolls, as well as dolls in rarer outfits can sell for many hundreds of dollars. Very, very mint dolls in their original boxes can easily top $1,000, as can rarer varieties like the Baby Shirley dolls. The 1957 vinyl Shirley Temple dolls sell for much more than the later early 1970s Shirley dolls. The 1982 re-release Shirley Temple vinyl dolls generally sell for less than $50, even mint in box.
One of my favorite Dolls, I hope everyone enjoys this weeks History of the Beautiful and never forgotten Shirley Temple, Thank you for reading my Blog.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Big Selection of Dolls Listed on my Ebay

Good Morning everyone, just dropping a little note to let everyone know that I have listed a beautiful selection of 8" & 12" Kewpies from Effanbee and a couple of reproduction ginny's on my Ebay, stop by and check them out, Thank you & God Bless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ginny's History

Ginny Dolls
Hard-plastic, vintage Ginny dolls from the late 1940s through the 1950s were favorite dolls of little girls, and today they are a hot, sought-after collectible. Although the doll lost her way in the late 1960s through the 1980s (much like Barbie!) today the dolls are again favored by little girls as well as collectors.

Ginny was created by the founder of the Vogue Doll Company, Jennie H. Graves, from Sommerville, MA. The business was originally a "cottage industry" business run out of Mrs. Graves house. She sold a variety of bisque, composition and hard plastic dolls through the 1930s and 1940s, for which Ms. Graves designed most of the clothing, In 1948, she decided to create an 8" plastic play doll, and Ginny was born!

One of the novel things about the new Ginny doll was that the clothing was available separately from the doll. The original Vogue dolls retailed for only $1.98, ready to dress in underwear and shoes, and outfits retailed from $1.00 to $2.98. Mrs. Graves designed most of the clothing, and the wonderful detailed outfits--including hats, purses, and snap-shoes--added immeasurably to the doll's popularity.

The doll remained hugely popular throughout the 1950s, and was carried by major department stores such as Gimbels. A succession of models were produced--first, a painted eye doll. Then, a strung sleep-eye doll. A straight leg walker followed, followed by a straight leg walker with molded (not painted) lashes, The final design of the doll before the head became vinyl was a Bent Knee Walker.

In 1960, Ginny was produced with a vinyl (not hard plastic) head, and many believe that to be the "beginning of the end" for Ginny.

Mrs. Graves daughter, Virginia Graves Carlson, took over the company until 1966. Besides the change to a vinyl head, The Vogue Doll Company also came up against two large problems in the 1960s. First, the philosophy of the company was to NOT advertise on TV. Second, there was Barbie, who was capturing the hearts and play time of little girls everywhere. So, Ginny's profile with little girls became smaller, and it became harder to compete with dolls such as Barbie who were all over the children's television airwaves. An interesting fact is that in 1958-1958, Ruth Handler of Mattel had negotiated with Mrs. Graves to buy Vogue! Negotiations were unsuccessful, but had they been successful, doll history might have changed and Barbie might never have even existed!

Control of the company went to Mrs. Carlson's brother-in-law, where it stayed until 1972, at which time the company was sold to Tonka Company which then produced the doll in Hong Kong (the fist time the doll wasn't produced in the USA). Several more management changes ensued, including a sale to Dakin n 1986. The quality of the doll design and costuming suffered during this period.

Finally, in 1995, well-known doll maker Wendy Lawton and several associates bought the rights to Ginny and the Vogue Dolls name, and Ginny as a quality doll was back! Wendy has been Ginny's design director ever since. The dolls became all hard-plastic again, and the costuming inspired by the original Graves designs of the 50s. The painting was revamped to look more like the original doll, as was the wigging. Many feel that the new company has recaptured the spirit and look of the original Ginny! Collections of the new Ginny have included a Century collection with dolls dressed to represent each century, as well as a School Days collection. Separate outfits are available, and these dolls have become very popular and admired once again--Ginny has come full circle!
Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog and for being part of my Life, God Bless You All.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Featuring this week Betsy McCall

Betsy McCall dolls have been made in many sizes, Here is some history on this Beauty.
The first Betsy McCall, made by Ideal starting in 1952, was 14" The popular vintage American Character dolls made starting in 1957 were 8" but sizes of Betsy McCall have been made as large as 36" and also in 20" and other sizes. The modern Betsy McCall dolls made by the Robert Tonner Company are made in 8", 14" and 29" inches tall.

Betsy McCall actually started out as a paper doll in the ladies magazine, McCall’s, in 1951. She was an immediate hit, and soon after in 1952 Ideal acquired the rights to make a 14” inch tall Betsy McCall doll. Then American Character followed with their 8" doll in 1957. Both Ideal and American Character produced Play-Pal size Betsy McCalls. Other companies that produced vintage versions of Betsy McCall include Horsman and Uneeda. Tonner Dolls, Inc. have been making Betsy McCall dolls since the 1990s.

Vintage Betsy McCall Dolls were produced from 1951 through 1963, and the modern Betsy McCall dolls have been produced since the late 1990s.

The classic 8" 1950s Betsy McCall dolls were made of hard vinyl, a few of the larger Betsy McCall dolls were made of a softer vinyl. The modern Tonner Betsy McCall dolls are also made of a hard vinyl.

The most popular vintage Betsy McCall Dolls are the 8" American Character dolls, Those dolls in played with condition can easily be found for $150 to $200 on the Internet. Mint 8" 1950s Betsy McCall dolls in desirable outfits can easily bring $300 to $500 in Internet auctions. The 14" Betsy McCall dolls by Ideal are not as popular and can generally be found for under $200. Other American Character Betsy dolls are also desirable. The secondary market for Tonner Betsy McCall dolls is still young.

Betsy McCall is a quintessential American doll. She is a favorite with baby boomer collectors who remember her fondly from the 1950s, both as a paper doll and as a play doll, and she is also now finding a new following of both old and young fans through her production by the Tonner Doll Company.

Betsy McCall is a doll known for having a wonderful wardrobe, and especially the 8" vintage and modern dolls have many outfits available.
Hope everyone enjoys this weeks issue, Thank you again for reading my Blog and being part of my Fan group,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This week Kewpies

The Birth of Kewpies
In 1909, Illustrator and artist Rose O’Neill had a dream about plump little creatures she called Kewpies, short for Cupid. “Cupid gets you into trouble and the Kewpies get you out, explained O’Neill. The purpose of these creatures is to perform good deeds in a funny way. They were often seen battling injustice or promoting women's suffrage, and they always made the reader laugh.

Kewpie first appeared as illustrations in the December issue of Woman’s Home Companion, and was an immediate success. “Kewpie Pages,” which consisted of entire pages of the drawings accompanied by a short story or prose, became regular features in popular women’s magazines. These cheerful cherubs were soon easily recognized and well loved by many Americans, and their antics and adventures brought smiles to the faces of many.

As the drawings became more familiar, O'Neill created Kewpie Kutouts. These paper dolls had both a front and a back side, and were accompanied by short stories. O’Neill next created comic pages, which were printed in several newspapers. She also wrote books which included segments from former Kewpie pages, along with new materials.

Shortly thereafter, Rose began receiving letters from children asking for a Kewpie they could hold. After numerous prototypes, the Kewpie doll was born in 1913. These first dolls had straight posture with their arms at their sides. They were made from bisque or china and celluloid. As the Kewpies grew in popularity, so did the different kinds, sizes and materials of the dolls. Kewpie dolls were made in different positions, and came with a variety of outfits and accessories.

Today, Kewpies continue to capture the hearts of both young and young at heart collectors.
Thank you very much for following & reading my Blog, hope everyone enjoys this weeks History of the Beautiful Kewpie Doll, Blessings to all.