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Composition Toddler Dolls

Although the composition toddler dolls are far outnumbered by the little girl models made of composition, many fine designs for dolls with toddler bodies were made during the approx­imately 40 years of composition doll production.


BY DIAN ZILLNER. Photographs by Suzanne Silverthorn


Effanbee Walk Talk Sleep
Composition Effanbee Walk Talk Sleep Grumpy Doll with painted features and molded hair.

Source: November 1990 • Doll Reader , Pages 70-74

 

Bubbles Effanbee Doll Co.
13in (33cm) Bubbles made by the Effanbee Doll Co. beginning in 1926 in the toddler model. The doll has a composition shoulder head, full composition arms and legs and a cloth body. She has molded hair, an open mouth with teeth and tin sleep eyes. She is marked: "EFFANBEE//BUBBLES//COPYR. 1924//MADE JN U.S.A." She has been re-dressed.

Some of the earliest of these toddler dolls were made by the Effanbee Doll Co. during the 1920s. After Effanbee's successful marketing of the composi­tion Bubbles baby doll in 1924 and 1925, a new design of this doll was produced in 1926, perhaps to take advantage of the company's new slogan advertising dolls that "Walk -Talk -Sleep." The "new" Bubbles had toddler legs instead of the traditional curved baby legs so that she could also fit the "Walk" of the company's logo. Bubbles had a compo­sition shoulder head, full arms and legs and a cloth body. The hair was molded and she had sleep eyes. The company also used the same body construction on its Grumpy doll which had originally been placed on the market in 1912. The Grumpy doll was made in both black and white models. Grumpy had a frowning face, painted features and molded hair.




Effanbee Dolls Walk Talk Sleep Composition Black Doll
12in (31cm) black Baby Grumpy doll made by the Effanbee Doll Co. The doll has a composition shoulder head and full composition arms and legs, a cloth body, painted features and molded hair. She is marked in an oval on the back of her shoulder: "Effanbee//Dolls//Walk Talk Sleep."

Effanbee continued its interest in the toddler doll into the 1930s when the doll called Sugar Baby was developed. This doll was all composition with sleep eyes and came either wearing a wig or with molded hair. It was 16in (41cm) tall to 18in (46cm) tall.

The last great composition toddler made by the Effanbee Doll Co. was marketed in 1946 when the manufacture of composition dolls was nearing an end. The new doll was called the Candy Kid. The all composition dolls were dressed as either boys or girls and one popular model wore boxing gloves and shorts. The 1946 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog featured a 13in (33cm) tall doll with wardrobe in a traveling case that sold for $16.50. The doll had molded hair and sleep eyes.


Although the Alexander Doll Co. did not make as many great toddler dolls as other companies, it did have one line of toddlers that outsold any other dolls of this type.


 

 

Composition Effanbee Candy Kid Doll
13in (33cm) Candy Kid made by Effanbee Doll Co. in 1946. This toddler doll is all composition, jointed at the shoulders and hips and has molded hair and sleep eyes. The doll is marked on the back of the head and on its body: "EFFANBEE."

The dolls were modeled after the famous Dionne Quintuplets who had been born in Canada in 1934. From 1935 until 1939, these toddler dolls were manufactured in various sizes from 8in (20cm) to 16in (41cm) wearing many different outfits. The dolls were made of all composition and most of them wore wigs although some did have molded hair. The smaller dolls had painted eyes while the bigger dolls had sleep eyes. The dolls remained on the market until the Quints began to grow up and lost some of their public appeal.










Dionne Quintuplet toddler, Alexander Doll Co.
14in (36cm) Dionne Quintuplet toddler made by the Alexander Doll Co. during the mid 1930s. The all composition doll is jointed at the shoulders and hips, has sleep eyes and a mohair wig. She is marked "Alexander" on both her head and her back. She has been re-dressed.


Freundlich Novelty Corp. Baby Sandy doll
19in (48cm) Baby Sandy doll made by the Freundlich Novelty Corp. from 1939 to 1942. The doll was made to honor tiny movie star Sandra Henvville. The all composition doll is jointed at the shoulders and hips and has molded hair, sleep eyes and an open mouth with teeth. She is marked "Baby Sandy" on her head. She has been re-dressed in factory made toddler clothing from the 1940s era.

Another famous toddler was also used as a prototype for a doll maker. The Freundlich Novelty Corp. designed a Baby Sandy doll named after the tiny movie star Sandra Henville who had become popular so quickly from her short-lived movie career.

These toddler dolls were marketed from 1939 until Sandy's movie career was over in 1942. There were several different model made of the dolls in sizes from 8in (20cm) to 16in (41cm) tall. The smaller doll's eye were painted while the larger editions had sleep eyes. The dolls were all composi­tion with molded hair and originally came with a pin showing a picture of Baby Sandy.


One of the most famous doll de­signs made in composition also hap­pens to be in the shape of a toddler doll. Although the variety of Rose O'Neill Kewpie dolls can provide a collection all by themselves, the composition Kewpie is designed with a short stocky body which places this doll in the tod­dler category.


Kewpie doll designed by Rose O'Neill
13in (33cm) all composition Kewpie doll designed by Rose O'Neill. This doll was made by the Cameo Doll Co. in the 1940s. She is jointed at her shoulders and hips and has molded hair and painted features. Her dress may be original.

She was made by the Cameo Doll Company for many years in both a black and a white model. Both the 1945 and the 1947 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Christmas catalogs list the dolls in the 13in (33cm) size priced from $1.65 to $2.57. The dolls are jointed at the shoulders and hips, have molded hair and painted features. The same company also made another f toddler when Rose O'Neill's Scooamoust/es was produced from composition in sizes from 8in (20cm) to 16in (41cm) tall. The last great Rose O'Neill Cameo composition toddler was made in 1946 when the Giggles doll was produced. The doll is all composition with painted eyes and molded hair with a bun in the back. Both the Scootles and the Giggles composition dolls fetch top dollar in today's doll market when they are in original condition.


Composition toddler Horsman Jo Jo doll
13in (33cm) Jo Jo made by the E. I. Horsman Co. in 1937. She is all composition with a mohair wig and sleep eyes. She is jointed at the shoulders and hips and wears her original cotton print dress and one-piece underwear. She is marked "Horsman Jo Jo" on the back of her neck.

The E. I. Horsman Co. probably produced more different designs of tod­dler dolls than any other company. Many of these dolls were unmarked but a few still survive in their original boxes. The Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog for 1945 listed a 16in (41cm) tall Horsman toddler doll with sleep eyes and painted hair priced at $5.50. The doll is similar to all of the unmarked toddler dolls that were ad­vertised in the toy catalogs throughout the 1940s.


A Horsman toddler with a better design was marketed in 1937. The doll was called Jo Jo and was 13in (33cm) tall and came with a wig or with molded hair. The dolls were dressed either as boys or girls and some had tin sleep eyes.







Dream Baby, Arranbee Doll Co
11in (28cm) Dream Baby made by Arranbee Doll Co. The all composition toddler has molded hair, painted eyes and open mouth. He is marked "Dream Baby" on both his head and his body. He is a product of the 1940s and has been re-dressed.

Several other doll companies made toddler dolls over the years including the Arranbee Doll Co. Although the trade name, Dream Baby, is usually associated with baby dolls, the com­pany did manufacture a toddler doll with the Dream Baby mark on its back. The doll is all composition with molded hair and painted eyes. As a doll design it is not of great merit as is the design which produced the toddler doll made by the American Character Doll Co. called Puggy. This 12in (31cm) tall doll was first manufactured in 1928 and is made of all composition. He has molded hair, painted eyes and is marked "A Petite Doll." He has an unusual quizzical pouty expression and is one of the most expensive of the tod­dler dolls when found in excellent con­dition.



Unmarked composition toddler doll
16in (41cm) unmarked all composition toddler doll jointed at the shoulders and hips. This boy doll has molded hair and painted eyes. He wears his original cotton suit and bonnet and dates from the mid 1940s.

Although there are lots of composi­tion toddler dolls still available to to­day's collectors, many of them are of the non-descript unmarked variety that were shown in the toy sections of the Christmas catalogs all through the 1940s.

Illustration on the right shows a large 16in (41cm) tall all original composition boy with painted eyes and molded hair. He may be the same doll shown in the Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog for 1945 priced at $2.10.













Unmarked all composition toddler doll
16in (41cm) unmarked all composition toddler doll jointed at the shoulders and hips. She is all original and dates from the 1940s. Her dress and bonnet are of light blue dotted Swiss with pink trim.

The toddler doll shown in Illustra­tion on the left is a much nicer example but she is also unmarked. The doll has a wig, sleep eyes and wears her original clothing. Collectors should not pass up these dolls when they are all original because these inexpensive dolls made it possible for many little girls to own dolls who would never have had that opportunity if the doll market had only consisted of the more expensive Alex­ander and Effanbee models.

The more desirable composition toddler dolls continue to rise in price with the toddlers from the major doll companies bringing $200 and up when dressed in original clothing. Because fewer toddler dolls were made, it seems likely that this trend will continue. It is not hard for a modern doll collector to become interested in toddler dolls after seeing a Candy Kid, Scootles or Dionne Quint doll in original condition. Maybe that is what has happened at doll shows and auctions and that explains why the prices continue to soar.

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