Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dolls as Therapy - Dolls as Art

"Marwencol" is a fascinating documentary about Mark Hogancamp, a brain injured man who uses Barbie dolls, G.I. Joes and other action figures to act out elaborate storylines in a miniature town he has created in his backyard. This award-winning film chronicles how the dolls provide both physical and emotional therapy in his recovery, as well as an artistic outlet for this creative and unique individual. Highly recommended.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shirley Temple's dolls

At an auction today I picked up a boxlot which included several photos of Shirley Temple. Some of the photos are of her holding a doll, so I thought I would share them with you. This first photo shows her with one of the rare Shirley Temple Baby dolls issued in 1935. The Baby has a composition head and limbs and a cloth body.


In the second photo, Shirley and her doll are both wearing the polka dotted dress from the film "Stand Up and Cheer." The dolls were sold in several different variations of this dress. The doll is made of composition with a mohair wig.


The pleated dress with glued-on daisies on the yoke was from the film "Curly Top." There was also a version with smaller embroidered flowers.



This photo shows Shirley holding a cloth sailor doll. Shirley amassed a huge collection of dolls, many of which were gifts from friends, admirers and film industry people. At one time her collection was displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It's always fun to see what dolls you can spot in her movies.



The striped cotton dress is also from "Curly Top." As with the other outfits Ideal made for the Shirley dolls, there were color variations. All of the Ideal Shirley Temple dolls were sold wearing a pin featuring a photo of Shirley.



The Ideal composition Shirley Temple dolls were the biggest selling dolls of the 1930s. The dolls were available in nine different sizes and sold in the millions. They remain very popular with collectors and command high prices if in excellent condition, or if wearing a rare outfit. Do you have a Shirley Temple doll in your collection?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vintage paper dolls

In January I bought a box full of vintage paper dolls at an auction, and really enjoyed going through and sorting them out so I could list them on eBay. Most of them were from the late 1930s and early 1940s. There were some movie stars, including two different sets of "Gone with the Wind" paper dolls. One of them, pictured below, featured dolls of every major character from the film with multiple outfits for each one. It was put out by Merrill Publishing Co. in 1940.



There was also a Deanna Durbin set, published by Merrill in 1941.



The '30s and '40s paper dolls had the most wonderful artwork. Look at this fabulous set of Polly Pepper Paper Dolls, published by Saalfield in 1936.






Military paper dolls were very popular during World War II. This is Navy Scouts, issued by Merrill in 1942.



Lots of newspapers had paper dolls, usually in the Sunday comics section. Many of them were fashionable ladies. This Halloween themed doll is so cool.



In trying to identify my dolls, I consulted several books by Mary Young. I also found Paper Goodies from Judy's Place, a great website for the vintage paper doll lover. Most of the paper dolls published now are for collectors, not for children, and there are many reproductions of vintage sets available.

I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and although paper dolls were still being produced then (lots of Barbie sets) the golden age was over. I never played with them as a kid, although I appreciate them now. What about you?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Minty Monday: TinyTeen Store Display

Uneeda's TinyTeen dolls from the late 1960s aren't widely collected, but they are really cute dolls which were sold in a variety of outfits, as you can see from this store display recently sold on eBay.




TinyTeens are 5" tall, all vinyl and jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. They have rooted hair and eyelashes. They are marked "U. D. Co. 1967 Hong Kong". The original series of 12 dolls came packaged on a pink oval bubble card. They have names like Party Time, Fun Time and Prom Time. Each doll holds an accessory, such as a camera, purse or phone. TinyTeen's shoes are very small and easily lost.



Uneeda also issued another series of 12 dolls, in rectangular blue packages, with different outfits and no accessory. This series is of lesser quality than the original set, and is harder to find.



TinyTeens are similar to Hasbro's Dolly Darlings and Mattel's Liddle Kiddles, and are often found together. A collection of '60s and '70s pocket size dolls, which might also include Remco's Heidi and Topper's Dawn, would be great fun to put together.

Photos courtesy of SpartanToys Vintage Toy Store.

Please note - Uneeda originally used the "TinyTeen" name in the late 1950s, for a 10.5" high heeled fashion doll similar to Ideal's Little Miss Revlon. The company recycled the name again in the mid-seventies for an 8" doll.