Category: Antique Dolls

Everybody’s Talkin’ Barbie! 

The big news in toys back in 1968 was the release of a talking Barbie! This had been on the drawing board for several years — Mattel’s 20-inch Chatty Cathy from the early ’60s could say several different phrases. But it was hard to adapt the talking mechanism — a miniature record player, complete with speaker — to fit inside Barbie’s 11.5-inch body.

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Antique Q&A: Kling & Co. All-Bisque

I found a pair of little all-bisque dolls at an antique shop. They are about 4 inches tall and are marked 31-10, no maker’s name. The seller didn’t know anything about them except that they were in a box of vintage handkerchiefs at a house sale. None of my doll club members could identify them. Can you help me?

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House of Nisbet: Snapshots Back in Time

House of Nisbet Dolls got its start in 1952 with a doll commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and grew to encompass a wide range of dolls, many celebrating British royals and other celebrities, along with traditional British costumes and traditions. Founded by British businesswoman Peggy Nisbet (1909-1995), the company grew to become one of Britain’s largest doll manufacturers. As Britain prepares to crown King Charles III May 6, after the death of Elizabeth II in September, a look back at Nisbet dolls reveals how they served as a chronicle of the changing tastes and tempos of their times and of their British roots.

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Curious Collector: 1960s Madame Alexander Renoir

I had a chance to buy two 14-inch Madame Alexander vinyl and hard plastic dolls mint in the box. The dolls are identical, both are tagged “Renoir,” and both are in marked boxes with the name Renoir on them. However they have different wrist tags and illustrations of Madame Alexander that are slightly different. Do you have any information on these variations?

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1950s Ginger: The Darling of the Doll World

Nearly every American doll company around in the 1950s tried to capitalize on the stellar success of Ginny, Vogue’s charming 8-inch toddler doll. Ginny reigned as queen, but Cosmopolitan promoted 8-inch Ginger as “the darling of the doll world” because she was also made from high-quality plastic and wonderfully dressed. Today, Ginger has finally come into her own among collectors after taking a back seat to Ginny for many years.

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