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Collectible Dolls | Ginny Dolls

Updated on April 21, 2015
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about cooking, hobbies, and many other topics. She has published hundreds of articles online and in newspapers and magazines.

Ginny Dolls have been beloved collectors' items for decades

This little charmer's outfit has exquisite detailing.
This little charmer's outfit has exquisite detailing. | Source

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

The bears shown here are from a miniatures store.
The bears shown here are from a miniatures store. | Source

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.

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

This version of the Ginny Doll, complete with a matching teddy bear, is called "Flower Time."
This version of the Ginny Doll, complete with a matching teddy bear, is called "Flower Time." | Source

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.

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Jenn - what a treasure you've been given! I'd suggest eBay, Amazon (they may have a way to sell collectors' items), the Ginny Doll 'club' for collectors and even the company that makes the dolls. You certainly have a task ahead in figuring out what all you have, but once you do some research. I think you'll find you've inherited an amazing collection! Best of luck!

  • profile image

    Jenn 3 years ago

    I have just inherited a collection of about 100 dolls my grandma collected in the 80s there are a lot of Ginny and effanbee dolls in their boxes... Too many to keep and idea where I can find values and sell them?

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I'd love to find someone who could 'outfit' these little doll babies! They're so cute, and so beautifully made! Thanks, Watergeek!

  • watergeek profile image

    watergeek 5 years ago

    Years ago I used to have a coworker who sewed clothes for these dolls. She did it as a hobby, but she was very good. Your photos show them well and are attractive in themselves.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, Billy - I would truly love to read your doll blogs! You should write about that sometime. I think there's a hub lurking in that experience!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I know, why am I reading this doll hub? Well, about six months ago I wrote blog posts for a doll company. I laughed when I first got the assignment...what do I know about dolls? But I managed to fake my way through fairly well.

    Very interesting hub my friend; have a great and PIPO weekend.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Lovelovemeloveme - you're right, these do have that antique charm about them! They also have styles with more contemporary clothing, but as with you, I am fond of the sweet vintage look. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Lovelovemeloveme profile image

    Lovelovemeloveme 5 years ago from Cindee's Land

    HI marcy - they're very antique looking which appeals to me since they have the whole Collectable look to them. i think a lot of ppl will enjoy collecting these dolls since they're very affordable.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Habee - yeah, these can run into some money! But gosh, they're just precious. I appreciate you comments here!

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

    Interesting info. My best friend collects dolls, so I'll point her to your hub. I'm sure my granddaughters will love it, too, but if they see it, I'll have to buy them some more dolls! lol

    Voted up!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    If you get one of these dolls, you'll fall in love with them! They were more widely known when they first came out, but are still popular among collectors, I think. I love cute things, and I always loved dolls, so I got a few in recent years. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  • Mmargie1966 profile image

    Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

    I have never heard of Ginny Dolls! Where have I been? They are beautiful little dolls, however. I can see why they are so loved.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Sen.Sush23 - I feel the same way about the sex-symbol dolls we see now. The original Barbie was grown-up and 'shapley' (overly so), but not dressed in seductive clothing. I worry about the psychological impact on children from the dolls they see today. Thanks for your comments!

  • sen.sush23 profile image

    Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

    Marcy, that was a little bit of interesting history on dolls. I am a sucker for history of dolls and toys- though as being a bit tomboyish never played around with toys too much. From the picture alongside, I think I had possessed these dolls, 2 of them, one about 4-5 inches and another bigger one- but I cannot be sure. My time is much later than the World War II; so I doubt. However, I do miss those girly dolls and have never really gifted anyone the sexy dolls they now make. If I could get my hands on any of these old babies I would definitely love to collect a couple. Thanks for the hub, voted up and sharing.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, gosh - I know what you mean about 'old dolls' not always being warm and cuddly to look at! I probably would not collect the ones that look really cracked and worn, but I often wonder what little girl might have once held and loved those forgotten toys. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lee!

  • Lee Tea profile image

    Lee Tea 5 years ago from Erie, PA

    I have to laugh - honestly old dolls really creep me out. So I never would've sought out this info on the history and business of these dolls had it not been published in a well-written and very informative hub on my feed. Thanks for your knowledge and for taking the time to write, you've expanded my perspective.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Lovelovemeloveme - I hope you look into these dolls, they're the most darling little things in the world. I had one as a kid, and just had to get a few as an adult to indulge myself in the cuteness. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Lovelovemeloveme profile image

    Lovelovemeloveme 5 years ago from Cindee's Land

    oh i love dolls. they're pretty cute for the price range they're going for. thanks for the hub.