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Collectible Dolls | Ginny Dolls
Ginny Dolls have been beloved collectors' items for decades
Book on Doll Collecting | How to Determine Doll Values
A Brief History of Ginny Dolls
Those petite, well-crafted charmers known as Vogue Ginny Dolls celebrated their 90th birthday in 2012, and they are still the darlings of little girls and big-girl doll collectors across the world.
Jennie Adler Graves, a talented seamstress in Somerville Massachusetts, started selling her beautifully made doll clothes commercially (through a department store in Boston) after she realized the clothes were popular enough to attract customers and a following.
The first Ginny Dolls were imported from Germany and then dressed in Jennie Graves' clothing designs. For years, the dolls were popular, but after World War II, sales of the imported versions of the dolls declined, and in 1951, the 8-inch doll many people remember from the 1950s was introduced.
After a succession of new owners over the years (including Tonka Toys), Ginny Dolls are now manufactured again by the Vogue Doll Company, which is currently based in California.
Where Did Ginny's Name Come From?
Although Jennie Graves' first name is indeed a homonym for the name the dolls bear, the name Ginny was chosen to honor her daughter, Virginia. Within a few years, the firm's sales exceeded $2 million, and Ginny Dolls have been cherished treasures for young girls ever since.
Display Ginny Dolls with miniature furniture and accessories
Modern-Day Ginny Dolls
Ginny Dolls in recent years reflect both the 'little girl' image of the doll as well as modern-day activities and styles.
In the 1950s, little Ginny might be primly dressed in a fur coat and carry a muff, but dolls issues in this century can be dressed as mountain hikers or for other outdoor activities not seen in vintage issues.
But the addition of the newer themes hasn't tarnished the innocent look of Ginny Dolls. These dolls still look like little girls, and, refreshingly, they lack the overtones of sexuality that many toys and dolls for little girls now have.
You can give your young daughter a Ginny Doll and know that its clothes and accessories will always be "G" rated (how appropriate - G for Ginny!). They're well-made enough that she can dress the doll repeatedly without fear of having the clothes shred or fall apart.
However, if your interest is in collecting the dolls, you'll probably want to keep the original box intact and limit handling by curious little hands. It's up to you - these dolls are beloved toys for those little girls fortunate enough to own them, but they also have a value that more trendy dolls won't command.
Vogue Ginny Doll
How Much Ginny Dolls Cost and Where to Buy Them
The cost of a new Ginny Doll can vary from around $30-$50 for Dress Me dolls to much higher ($70 to $100 and up) for collector dolls dressed in themed outfits.
You can by clothes and outfits for the dolls for around $12 and up. Many outfits include accessories such as stuffed animals or other small items that complement the outfits.
The dolls are available at speciality shops, online and through collectors' groups, as well on Amazon and other sites.
Ginny Dolls are petite enough to fit well with various types of doll furniture, which can make it fun if you prefer to display your dolls rather than store them away for future selling or trading.
Early Ginny Dolls had a few different hair colors, but were not very diverse; you can now get Ginny Dolls of color.
Dolls kept in their original boxes increase in future value
How to Make Your Ginny Doll Collection More Valuable
If you decide to treat your Ginny Dolls as collectors' items, here are a few tips for making them more valuable in the future:
- Keep the original boxes and packing, and if possible, keep the doll in the box without cutting away the ties that keep it in place.
- Store the dolls in an area free of dust, moisture.
- Don't store the dolls in a hot attic! Excessive heat will dry out the material the doll is made of and will also damage the box and other fragile elements.
- If there are additional outfits or accessories for the version you've purchased, consider getting them as well. This will add to the value of your collectible.
- Photograph your collection - this will give you an archive record in the event you need to file an insurance claim, and you'll also have good photos to post online if you decide to sell items someday.
- Record your purchases on a spreadsheet (and store it in a few places, in case your computer fails you someday). This will remind you of the value when you purchased each item, and it will help you track the increase when you think of selling things.
Early Ginny Dolls were known for their tiny accessories, carefully tailored clothing, themed outfits, beautiful hair and eyelashes and excellent quality. Unlike other popular dolls of the 1950s and 1960s, the outstanding craftsmanship of the earliest Ginny Dolls has been retained over the years.
A well-preserved Ginny Doll can retain its value and increase its stock as a collectible item, and many dolls issued decades ago command a high price at collectors' events or on eBay.