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My Vintage Doll Collection 1960s and 1970s

Updated on November 22, 2013

My Childhood Dolls

A few years ago, while packing to move, I stumbled across my childhood dolls. Memories of "baby doll contests" flooded my mind. I had actually won a few ribbons. However, to look at them now, one would never believe it. Battered by years of a little girl's love, has left them with missing hair, broken limb joints, stained clothing or no clothing at all.

This is not because I was rough with them or didn't care about them. It was just the opposite. I loved my dolls and I played with them everyday. In the 1960s and 1970s, kids didn't have a whole lot. My friends and I only had a few dolls each, and we played and explored our imaginations daily. We were mothers, doctors/nurses, teachers and barbers to our dolls. When we put all of our dolls together, we had nice sized classroom. And when we cut their hair, we didn't have the proper scissors.

When we outgrew the baby dolls, we moved onto Barbies. I only had one Barbie and one Ken. Eventually, I was lucky enough to get a Skipper. I even had a Barbie camper and pool. And I thought that was so extravagant!

As I grew out of my carefree days of youth, I could not bring myself to get rid of my beloved dolls. I packed them away, and they remained hidden in a box and tucked into a dark corner of the attic. I remember moving from my parents home into my own, and thinking how ugly a few of these dolls were; yet, I was still unable to part with them. So they were transferred to a different corner in a different attic.

I feel "old" just knowing that they are now considered "Vintage". I don't think any of them are rare, and even if they are, I don't think they would reel in much money. However, I feel as if I owe them some recognition for filling my growing up years with such happy adventures and memories. So, let me introduce you to my dolls of yesterday.

Warning

My daughter has labeled this lens as:

scary

creepy

and

disturbing

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

"Nancy"

1963 Horsman Dolls #BC116

"Nancy" was one of my very first dolls, and my all-time favorite. She is the doll in my intro photo. I had no luck finding much information about her on the internet. So, she was probably just an ordinary doll, not very popular, and without a name. I did find the "rare" black version of her on eBay with a starting bid of US $9.99.

However, she was not ordinary to me - and I loved her. She was under the Christmas tree in 1965, when I was just 1 1/2 years old. I named her "Nancy", but to-this-day, it is not known where I came up with that name. She was well played with, but she held up pretty well. She's just lucky she had painted-on hair (You'll understand, as you read further into my lens). She no longer has her original dress - I'm not even sure what it looked like. I did crochet a dress for her when I was 8 years old. The dress she is wearing in the photo is actually a dress that my daughter wore as an infant. I just couldn't photograph her in that pink and purple crocheted dress.

When packing to move, I also remember thinking about getting rid of the doll cradle. I'm sure glad I didn't.

When I think of my childhood dolls, Nancy pops into my mind first. OK - she's a keeper!

First Dolls

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Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

"Annie"

1960s Horsman Doll #87201 - 2480 - NEW 17 EYE

I don't remember exactly when I got "Annie", but she was also one of my very first dolls.

I have had no luck finding this doll on my internet searches. Only very few searches come up with her markings - but none of the dolls look like my "Annie". Although, I might not recognize a photo of her with hair. Poor thing - she was unfortunate to have visited a dreadful barber. Yes - that would be me. Luckily, I never became a hair stylist - it just wasn't my thing.

According to the few articles I found, I believe she is a "Snuggle Softee Baby Doll" from the 1960s. She has a soft cloth body. I think she would say, "Mommy" when you squeezed her belly.

She does not have her original clothes - except for her undershorts. The dress she is wearing in this photo is also a dress that my daughter wore as an infant.

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Real Live Lucy

1965 Ideal Toy #FL20-E-H33

Lucy was a Christmas gift - probably when I was 2.5 or 3.5 years old. I remember opening the box. She was so beautiful. She had a pretty little white dress which was trimmed in pink, and there was a big, blue felt dog on the front of her dress. I remember when the felt dog started to peel off her dress. It actually sort of disintegrated. Anyway, the dress didn't last much longer. Lucy may have been my only doll to actually have an extra set of clothes. These are the pants and top that she is wearing in the photo (definitely a style out of the 1960s).

She is all vinyl, definitely not a cuddly doll, but I did love her so. Her head also bobbles, although, I do not remember the significance or the purpose of this feature.

As you can tell, she had the same barber that Annie did. There's something else I must tell you about Lucy. She underwent an identity crisis, and eventually changed her name from Lucy to Luke. Yes - my other dolls needed a big brother, so she became my boy doll.

I can also tell you that "Real Live Lucy" was a more popular doll than Nancy or Annie. I found Lucy on many internet searches - and for sale on eBay, etsy, and other online shops.

I saw that she sold for US $34.50 and higher, with the original dress. She was also on eBay in her original dress and box, with the plastic still wrapped around her hair. She was posted for a price of US $499.00.

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Thumbelina

1968 Ideal Toy Corp #BTT9-N-124

Poor little Thumbelina - that barber got a hold of her also. I think I got her for my 5th birthday. She has a pull string on her back. After pulling it and letting go, she squirms - well, she used to. I sure did love this little doll also. I let her keep her name and called her "Belina" for short. And - she is still wearing her original clothes. Although, I don't believe she had any other outfits.

I did find her on the internet. She is listed as "Vintage Sister Thumbelina Doll". I saw her on eBay at a starting bid of US $22.23. I also saw her listed for US $39.41 and $41.72. However, those dolls were fortunate to have never visited the same barber as my little Thumbelina. I wish I would have never cut her hair. WHAT was I thinking?

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Velvet

1969 Ideal Toy #GH-15-H-357

I'm not sure if I got Velvet for Christmas or for my birthday. I think I was in the second grade when I got her (1971/1972). My friend (Robin) and I had just heard about this doll. Both of us wanted both Velvet and Chrissy. Velvet was the blonde and Chrissy had the red hair. I remember my mother saying that I didn't need two dolls, so I needed to decide which one I wanted the most. Robin's mother had said the same thing. I don't remember how we decided who got which doll, but I got Velvet and she got Chrissy.

Both Velvet and Chrissy's hair length could be altered. Just press the button on her belly and pull the hair out of her head. To make it short again, just turn the knob on her back, and her hair slowly receded back into her head. Let me just say that Velvet was very lucky that her hair could be easily changed from long to short - that way - she did not have to visit that awful barber.

Velvet, in her photo here, is wearing her original dress. Poor thing - like the rest of my dolls, she never had any extra clothing either.

I did find Velvet (and Chrissy) dolls on eBay listed at a starting bid of US $19.99. She was also listed for $24.99 and $29.99.

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Living Baby Tender Love

1970 Mattel Inc #140

Living Baby Tender Love is all soft-touch body. She has jointed limbs, so she is extremely flexible. She was one of the very first dolls that you could actually give her real water in her bottle, and then she would wet. Ohhh - it was very difficult convincing my parents to get this doll for me. But I finally got her when I was around 8 years old. My friend Robin was really jealous.

I named her Angel, and I really loved this doll. I played with her so much, that her left leg joint eventually broke. I patched her up with string and scotch tape. Well, that didn't hold for too long. My dad also tried fixing her leg by wiring it together, that held up a little longer. Still today, her leg easily falls off.

She no longer has her original dress. I really don't know what happened to all of their dresses. She does own one of my handmade crocheted outfits (pink and red). But, I just couldn't photograph her in that - so, she is also wearing a dress that belonged to my daughter.

I did find her on google searches. She was evidently popular. Mattel has an entire line of Living Baby Tender Love dolls. My doll, #140 is the only one with the jointed limbs. A few years after my wetting doll, Mattel released models that talked, kissed and hugged. Then, in 1973, Hasbro had to go one step further than Mattel, and they released Baby Alive - she could drink and eat - and go potty (#1 and #2). I never did get to see one of these dolls in action.

The 1970 Living Baby Tender Love #140 currently sells anywhere from US $54.99 to $125.00 on eBay and other sites.

Oh - by the way, I had given up my hair styling business, so Angel didn't have to suffer the humiliation.

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Lazy Dazy

1971 Ideal Toy #LB-12-307

I got Lazy Dazy when I was around 7 or 8 years old. It appears that Dazy may have gotten a trim before I quit the barber business.

Lazy Dazy was - well, how do I say it - she was just lazy. She just couldn't sit up and stay awake. Her body is separated into two sections. The lower half is a hard, cup-like piece that holds sand. It is slightly angled on the bottom. The upper part is basically soft, hollow and floppy. You turn Dazy upside-down and gently pat her bottom until all the sand fills up the hollow cavity. Then just sit her upright and watch. As the sand slowly empties back into the bottom part of her body, she leans to the side and eventually lies down on her side and closes her eyes.

It appears that my Lazy Dazy also has a lazy eye.

I found a few of these dolls on eBay, listed around an average of US $15.30.

Shop Amazon for New Clothes for Your Vintage Dolls

Are your vintage dolls wearing old, dirty, stained, and ragged clothes? Or no clothes at all? Don't you think it's about time to buy them a little something new, and put them out on display?

What About You

Do you still have your childhood dolls?

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Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Barbie and Friends

As I said in my introduction, I outgrew my baby dolls, and they were replaced with Barbies and other action figure dolls. I remember my first Barbie - well actually - she was the first and only Barbie I owned. I eventually got a Ken doll and a Skipper doll - so now my collection was complete. I still marvel at the number of Barbie dolls that girls today own.

I always thought my Barbie family was rich. They owned a dressing case, a few extra outfits, a camper and a POOL!!!

That camper has been through a lot. I was the first of my friends to own the camper, eventually, one or two of my other friends also got a camper. We would get together outside and pack all of our Barbies in the campers, and drive them through dirt, grass, and up & down hills. Sometimes, our brothers would join us with their GI-Joe dolls. That always ended in them wanting to start a fight between GI-Joe and Ken. Yes - we definitely played with our toys. We never thought once about keeping them safe in a box somewhere so we could make a profit off of them one day by selling them on eBay, etc.

I have looked on eBay at the campers - there are a few in decent condition, but most of them are well played with like mine. They have been posted anywhere from US $48.00 to $98,00.

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Barbie's Pool

And here is Barbie's 1973 Pool Set. And - Yes - I still have the box. I was the only one of my friends to own the pool. My friends and I had so much fun having "cookouts" and swimming parties. That was until the boys would crash our party with their GI-Joes.

Between my friends and I, we owned the pool, camper, car, kitchen set, the cardboard dream house, and the airplane (which was really like a carrying case that opened up into half a plane). I am sure I am forgetting a few things, but we thought we had it all.

I'v seen the Barbie Pool sell anywhere from US $15.00 to $35.00

Photo by Mel-Kav
Photo by Mel-Kav

Dawn Dolls

Dawn dolls were small 6.5 inch plastic dolls produced by Topper between 1970 and 1973. Apparently, Dawn doll sales surpassed Barbie sales for a brief period of time. However, these cute little dolls were discontinued when Topper went out of business in 1973.

These are the three I own. I pretended they were Barbie's children. I still have the plastic stands to keep them upright. My little Dawn dolls had several different outfits and accessories, little hangers, the model busts to keep their clothes on, etc.

Dawn Dolls and accessories can be found on eBay in a large range of prices (from US $.99 to $135.00). I just had to laugh when I was looking at what eBay had to offer - someone was selling 12 pairs of Dawn doll underwear for $5.50. That is just a little too weird for me!

Josie West

From the Johnny West Series

In 1965, Marx Toys came out with a line of action figures called the "Johnny West Series", in effort to compete with Hasbro's GI-Joe series. Josie West was introduced in 1967, although, I did not own one until the early 1970s. She was the daughter of Johnny West. My brothers had Johnny West, Thunderbolt (Johnny's horse) and Chief Cherokee, amongst other accessories. Josie quickly became friends with my Barbie family, even though she was quite different.

Hasbro eventually expanded their line with "The Best of the West" collection. My brothers collected these. They had Fort Apache - of course, I also enjoyed playing with the fort and the new action figures.

Check Out These Links - Doll Collecting

I had other dolls that I thought I had saved, but could not find when packing to move. These dolls were Little Kiddles, Flatsy Dolls, etc. They were basically rubber. And I have a faint recollection of having to get rid of melted rubber globs, which were once my little rubber dolls. It does get really hot up in an attic when summer days exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check them out here:

So - what do you think of my collection? I know they are old and beat-up, but I don't know if I will ever part with them. They hold so many memories of an innocent and carefree childhood from so long ago.

I would love to hear about your favorite dolls, if you owned any of the same dolls I did, if you still have your dolls, or if you just want to say hello!

Share Your Thoughts and Comments

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    • profile image

      Joanne 2 years ago

      I had a Living Baby Tender Love that "Santa" brought the Christmas when I was four (I think). She was one of my favorites and I kept her until she started falling apart. I just bid on one on ebay...I cannot wait to put my baby dress (that my Dad bought for me 47 yrs ago) on her. AND yes I still play with dolls!!!

    • nikahexplorer profile image

      nikahexplorer 3 years ago

      Your lens remind me my childhood.

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 3 years ago

      I have a few of my dolls and stuffed animals. They are in remarkably good shape for the most part. Your memories were great!

    • tysam lm profile image

      tysam lm 3 years ago

      Nice lens! I have some of my old baby dolls in a box above the garage... have carted them from house to house over many years.. maybe it's about time I open it up again and bring back the memories! :)

      Congrats on your LOTD

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      What a wonderful collection! CONGRATS on LotD!!!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      One nice LotD. Two for me it was a stuffed dog. And no I can't find it Three if you count my Lego sets I still have those.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 3 years ago

      Congratulations!! a lovely doll collection.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      I had a teddy bear. Does that count?

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      My sister would like seeing these. She has so many dolls. What a great collection. It's nice to see that you have been able to keep them. Way to go on LotD.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 3 years ago

      It is amazing that you still have all of these and I love your daughters opinion of the page...lol

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Wow -- congrats on LotD. Well done, as is this lens! I never really got into Barbie dolls (although my daughter had a couple), but I remember some of my baby dolls. Somewhere along the line (age 9 or 10 perhaps) I got very interested in twins and thought I'd like to have twins when I grew up to be a mommy. Anyway, one Christmas I got twin boy and girl dolls that were small - perhaps 12" tall. The following year I got twin boy/girl dolls that were the size of newborn babies and I LOVED those. I kept them for years. Then I grew up, left for college, met my hubby and married and during those years my folks sold their home and moved to a mobile home and got rid of ALL the stuff in their attic, including those dolls. I wish I'd taken them with me when I first left home because I ended up with a daughter and it would have been fun to pass them on to her. BTW, I didn't end up with twins for children -- had boy - girl - boy instead - all several years apart. LOL.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD mel-kav! I have been to this page before, I did not see I left a message. I have 2 dolls from the 1950s that I got when I was 6 and 8. I lost all the Barbies some time in one of my moves. My 3 daughters and lots of kids I babysat played with all the dolls we had. I will do a story/lens on it this year. Great lens!

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      When I was a kid in the 50's, life size dolls were very popular. Just love mine. Great lens!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Your daughter is too funny and I think just to really creep her out that you ought to fill up that cradle with your baby dolls and give it a prominent place in the family living area. I didn't play with dolls other than a Raggedy Ann and Andy, and oh, how I wish I still had that pair! I was a tomboy and much preferred the great outdoor games.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      oh my goodness, this page is a step back into my childhood! my two favorite dolls (other than Barbie) were Tubsy & Shirley - Tubsy, splashing in the bathtub and Shirley was a walking doll, (how's that for high tech, lol) - Congrats on Lens of the Day!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Congratulations on LOTD. I never kept any of my dolls, but I particularly remember one because it was such a wonderful Christmas surprise; a Cinderella doll that was as tall as I was. Beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      bjfoxglove 3 years ago

      This is a really cool lens!!!

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 3 years ago from Montreal

      Great lens. I had four dolls from my childhood, still have 3 of them. Played with the neighbor's barbies. I started a small collection of porcelain dolls. Only one left now.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I was here in Dec. and am happy to see this lens was nominated...nicely done!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      I love dolls and still have one of my Mom's dolls (mom is now 92, so the doll is almost that old!) and my Tiny Tears doll from the 50's. Plus, I have one of my daughter's and granddaughter's dolls...so 4 generations of dolls. Thanks for sharing your doll collection. Congratulations on LotD! :)

    • profile image

      angelatvs 3 years ago

      Great lens! I only saved a few of my favorites, now I wish I had saved them all!

    • EveStanley LM profile image

      EveStanley LM 3 years ago

      Great lens!It's a pity I lost my dolls a year or two ago. Thank you for bringing back memories!

    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 3 years ago

      This brings back memories! I played with many of these dolls as a child.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 3 years ago

      Wow, you have quite a collection. I still remember my first doll, but I think my parents gave all of my dolls away to their friends' younger kids :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Back to read through this precious lens again and congratulate you on your Lens of the Day honors today!

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      My MIL had one heck of a doll collection and until she started that hobby, I was not interested in them. Now I have a few of her dolls and I will give them to my Granddaughters, they still are not my favorite plaything, I was more into the cars and hands on dirty, messy and downright boy's toys. I happen to have been a barber just like you to my dolls!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I agree with your daughter this was a pretty scary lens. However I do remember most of these dolls from my growing up years. I never had GI Joe dolls or anything like that train sets and race cars were more my scene! Welld one on the LOTD!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      What a wonderful collection and how awesome that you held on to your babies, even if some of them were "ugly" to your adult eyes. Congratulations on lotd!

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Congratulations Eileen for LotD!!!!! Well deserved!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on Lens of the Day! And the dolls are cheering!

    • profile image

      AnuradhaM 3 years ago

      Aww.. a number of cute dolls there. I loved your Velvet the most. Quiet an interesting lens. Loved it.

    • Vickie Moses profile image

      Vickie Moses 3 years ago

      I love your lens! I still have my very first doll. I was only four years old when Santa gave her to me for Christmas. She is a very old doll.

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 3 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      Vintage dolls are awesome! I have my Barbie and some old vintage clothes there were made for here. Oh My I do remember the Barbie Van I use to have. I adored it. GREAT Lens!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 3 years ago from USA

      Super lens!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      This was so much fun. I wish I knew what happened to my dolls. I had them stored at my mother's house. I think my sister took off with them. I know they would have been worth quite a bit, as they were in pristine condition with all original clothing. I love a doll lens that can make you laugh out loud more than once. That's quite a feat. :-) *My sister's dolls must have had the same barber.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      you have very nice collection, i used to play with barbie dolls with my sister, and dress them up, hey barbie wanna go for a ride? hahahha funny moments with the middle 90s song barbie girl by aqua. well done mel

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Great collection! I still have a few of mine as well :) I loved your Thumbelina doll especially!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      These vintage dolls are very pretty to look at :)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Love your collection! My own favorite doll was a German Schildkrot (turtle) porcelain with hair and another one that didn't have real hair. Both were accidentally given to the Goodwill with all my childhood books.

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 4 years ago

      Really interesting, kind of wishing I had kept a few of my own now.

    • profile image

      candace-peters-crew 4 years ago

      I loved it! I still have my first doll, Carlene, and she had a cloth face so she was filthy and beat up looking. My sister bought me another one on ebay a few years ago that I guess had never been as well loved :)

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I can't stop coming back... this is great stuff. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Annie's haircut is just fine. As a matter of fact, it's timeless. I mean, have you seen some of the haircuts today, on humans? (haha)

      I love Lucy's (Luke's) little outfit - it's a classic.

      I didn't own Thumbelina, Velvet, Little Baby Tender Love or Lazy Dazy, but I remember watching the commercials on Saturday mornings. (Didn't you just love those Saturday-morning commercials?

      You know, I'm a big fan of Antiques Roadshow on PBS, and the value of some of these vintage dolls and doll furniture is mind boggling. So don't ever get rid of your doll cradle because it might be worth more than you think.

      Oh I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing.

    • Tasha North profile image

      Tasha North 4 years ago

      I also had one of those, huge one with frilly red dress,my grandmother use to keep it for me

    • invest90 profile image

      invest90 4 years ago

      I still have my first doll. I was pumpkin head (real name) and it is still stilling on my dining room shelf along with my grandmothers doll and wardrobe.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love your collection! I wish I had been encouraged to keep my dolls, though I honestly don't remember them. I was more of a book person even as a young child.

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I came back to read the parts i had to skim this morning... ahaha. Love this!

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      OMG...I laughed so hard I'm sure the neighbors heard... "It appears that Dazy may have gotten a trim before I quit the barber business." Fun lens!