Composition Shirley Temple

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

The most popular personality doll of all time is Shirley Temple. Shirley Temple was the darling diminutive movie star of the 1930s who kept a nation smiling during the Depression. Millions of people went to see her movies and millions more bought the doll made in her likeness by the Ideal Toy Company of New York.


Composition Shirley Temple Doll History
Morris Michtom, founder of the Ideal Toy Company, with Shirley Temple circa 1935.

Source: April 2001 • Antique Doll Collector, Pages 26-30

Shirley Temple doll
Shirley Temple (1935) 13" in knife pleated organdy dress from movie "Curly Top." Notice the little ties that attached to Shirley's wrists. The dress came in several color variations: pink, blue, yellow. It also came in a star-burst variation. Courtesy Loretta and Keith McKenzie.

The first Shirley Temple doll was made in 1934 after Ideal obtained permission from the Temple family to make a composition Shirley Temple doll. This composition Shirley Temple doll was sold until 1939 and continues to delight collectors today. Since then there have been several other licensed versions of the Shirley doll by Ideal and several non-licensed imitation or "knock-off" Shirley Temple dolls by other manufacturers. The composition Shirley doll remains one of the most popular composition doll with collectors.