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Kewpie Dolls

Updated on October 6, 2010

The Kewpie doll dates back to 1909, when it first appeared in cartoons in Ladies Home Journal. The doll's original design is still around today, produced by Jesco, which is based in California.

I think the Kewpie bears an eery resemblance to the famed Dancing Baby.

How Kewpies ended the depression

A tortured tale

This is a great riff:

"In 1918 Kallus received the first of many copyrights on his own doll designs. His first character doll was Baby Bundie. ...Instead, Kallus trained for fire observation during World War I.

From 1919 to 1921 Kallus was President of the Mutual Doll Co., a firm that made composition Kewpies; Baby Bundie dolls; and Bo- Fair, Dollie and Vanitie, who had specially designed socket joints. Kallus resigned from Mutual in 1921.

In 1922 Kallus established the Cameo Doll Co., which lasted in one form or another until 1982 when Kallus assigned all his properties to Jesco, Inc...

The Cameo Doll Products Company was located in Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania, from 1933 until 1968, when the molds for dolls were taken over by the Strombecker Corporation of Chicago.

THIS IS THE BEST PART: In 1933 Kallus was summoned to Washington by President Franklin Roosevelt as a representative of small industrial firms in Pennsylvania. He consulted with the President to suggest the most feasible methods of bringing the depression economy back to normal production.


My new book!

Yes, it's vaguely Kewpie related

Here's the cover. By the way, that's not a Jesco Kewpie on the cover. Only Jesco makes the official Kewpie, so look for that if you're a collector.

The first non-scientific poll ever of Kewpie popularity

What do you think of Kewpies?

See results

Reader Feedback

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    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I got my 1000 squidlike on this lens. Thanks for the opportunity.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I always thought they were weird looking. But weird items tend to be popular throughout the decades.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 6 years ago from USA

      Frankly, they're a little strange looking.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 10 years ago from USA

      One of my favorite little dolls.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 10 years ago

      Check out a pic of my kitten named Kewpie in my lens: animals-mans-best-friends!

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 10 years ago

      I love Kewpie doll, and named my kitten Kewpie. I started collecting them and got some on e-bay. My mom used to collect some years ago.

    • profile image

      fifilaroach 10 years ago

      check out our cool kewpie doll t-shirts and gifts!

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 10 years ago from Montreal

      Interesting that they're still making them almost 100 years later!

      Dog Lover Cafe

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      res888 10 years ago

      Kewpie! The first place I ever saw this doll was on a Japanese squeeze-bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise. To this day, their's is the face I see when I think about a Kewpie doll. And according to their website, they've been selling mayo to the Japanese since 1925!

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Kewpie! The first one I ever saw was on a Japanese mayonnaise squeeze-bottle. To this day, their's is the face I see when I think about Kewpie. And according to their website, they've been making and selling it in Japan since 1925!

    • profile image

      MrLewisSmile LM 11 years ago

      What a scary looking doll!

    • profile image

      janebid 11 years ago

      It was kind of spooky coming across this lens as I was just explaining to my hubby how my mum did that "kewpie doll" thing with my hair when I was a bub. He had never heard of a Kewpie doll. Now I can educate him better thanks to your lens.