For the "Dolls" entry in my pop culture encyclopedia, From ABBA To Zoom, I randomly asked 100 women born between 1959 and 1971 to vote for their favorite childhood doll. This Top 10 list is the result:
2. Raggedy Ann
3. Mrs. Beasley
5. Chatty Cathy
6. Liddle Kiddles
7. Baby Alive
9. Holly Hobbie
10. Baby Tender Love
Above: Pediophobia is the fear of dolls. Be afraid, be very afraid.
#49 The Brady Bunch - Classic TV Toys 2004
#50 Kitty Karry-All - Ashton-Drake 2002
#29 Emerald the Enchanting Witch - Girls World 1972
#76 Sindy - Marx 1978
#77 Twiggy - Franklin Mint 2002
#78 Princess Diana - Franklin Mint 1998
"Flatsy - They're flat - and that's that!" Above center: A handful of Mini Flatsies; Above right: Spinderella Flatsy.
#47 Dolly Darlings - Hasbro 1965
#12 G.I. Joe - Hasbro 1964
#22 Rock Flowers - Mattel 1970
Above: One of my prized doll possessions is the Dolly Darlings Flying Nun Doll from 1967 and mint-in-the-box too!
Above: Diminutive Liddle Kiddles are my second favorite dolls as well as the second largest in my collection (or in Kiddle talk, "Kollection"); Below: Lucky Lockets, Kiddle Kolognes, and more!
Above left: I always brought Mrs. Beasley along with me when I did TV appearances and book signings to promote my book, From ABBA To Zoom; Above right: On the TV show Family Affair, Mrs. Beasley was Buffy's inseparable doll. These are a few of the Buffy and Mrs. Beasley dolls I collected.
Above: Mattel also made a popular Twiggy Barbie in 1967. The British teen supermodel was a friend of Barbie's younger and more MOD cousin Francie.
#3 Dawn - Topper 1970
#17 Swingy - Mattel 1969
#88 Holly Hobbie - Knickerbocker 1976
#89 Rainbow Brite - Hallmark 1983
#90 Cabbage Patch Doll - Coleco 1983
#7 Blythe - Kenner 1972
#101 Campus Cuties - Marx 1964
#57 Dolly Parton - Eegee 1978
#58 Flip Wilson/Geraldine - Shindana 1970
#59 Pee-Wee Herman - Matchbox 1987
#15 - Heidi Pocketbook Doll - Remco 1966
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#75 Petal People - Uneeda 1968
Above left: The original four Bratz: Sasha, Cloe, Yasmine, and Jade; Above right: Bratz Boyz. Below left: Bratz go Viva Las Vegas; Below right: The Bratz Drill Team.
#43 Jem - Hasbro 1986
#53 Beany & Cecil - Mattel 1962
G.I. Joe made a good alternate boyfriend for Barbie when Ken wasn't around. Here he is asking Whitney Barbie for a date. Does she accept? Of course, no doll can resist a war hero! (below left) and he's standing straight with Now Look Ken (below right) - and I'm sure Joe thinks this hippie needs a haircut.
#68 Tressy - American Character 1963
#69 PeeWees - Uneeda 1966
#28 The World of Love - Hasbro 1971
To go along with my fascination with Big Eye Dolls, such as Susie Sad Eyes, I have a Big Eye Art collection, led by the work of Margaret Keane (above center). It's a kitsch obsession, I know, I even turned the hallway of my former Kansas City home into a Keane gallery (below).
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#25 Tammy - Ideal 1962
#74 Finger Dings - Remco 1969
#87 Jordache Cheerleader - Mego 1981
#23 Paper Dolls - Various (e.g. Whitman, Saalfield) 1960s & 1970s
#65 Billy - Totem 1997
#70 The Go-Gos - Topper 1966
#8 Flatsy - Ideal 1969
Above, from left to right: Mattel's Small Talk doll line was very popular and I had quite a few of these cute pull-string talkers in the collection! Favorites of these were the Small Talk Arkansas Cheerleader from 1970; Storybook Small Talk Little Bo Peep, Cinderella, and Goldilocks from 1968; and Family Affair's Buffy and Mrs. Beasley from 1968.
#1 Barbie - Mattel 1959
#51 Raggedy Ann & Andy - Knickerbocker 1963
Barbie, forever the #1 doll in my life, but who are the next 100?
I present to you, in ranking order, My Top 100 Dolls...
#82 Best of the West - Marx 1965
#83 Evel Knievel - Ideal 1973
#74 Tippy Tumbles - Ideal 1977
#52 Dressy Bessy & Dapper Dan - Playskool 1970
#14 The Sunshine Family - Mattel 1973
#44 Maxie - Hasbro 1988
#19 Big Jim - Mattel 1973
#71 The Six Million Dollar Man - Kenner 1974
#72 The Bionic Woman - Kenner 1976
#2 Liddle Kiddles - Mattel 1966
Martha and the Swingys!
Above: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Doctor Dolittle, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks are all favorite movies from my childhood but Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is my #1 favorite (and still my #1 favorite movie today). Alas, there were no Willy Wonka dolls produced when the movie was released in 1971. Below: However In 2016, I was happy as a kid in a candy store with the release of Funko's line of Willy Wonka Pop! figures and Vinyl Sugar's Willy Wonka figure.
#36 Spice Girls - Galoob 1997
#5 - Mrs Beasley - Mattel 1967
#24 Charlie's Angels - Hasbro 1977
#31 Dream Pets - Dakin 1961
#42 Dusty - Kenner 1974
#21 Trolls - Uneeda 1963
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#48 Monsieur Z - Integrity Toy 2005
#9 Dancerina - Mattel 1968
#96 Sugar Planet - MGA Entertainment 2002
#6 Little Miss No Name - Hasbro 1965
Above: Mattel also produced a 30" Marie Osmond Modeling Doll in 1976. That's my cat Misty checking her tallness out!
#20 100 Little Dolls - 100 Doll Co. 1970s
#30 PeePul Pals - Whitman 1967
#91 New Kids on the Block - Hasbro 1990
#46 Baby First Step - Mattel 1964
#54 Sister Belle - Mattel 1961
#55 Scooba-Doo - Mattel 1965
#56 Mork from Ork - Mattel 1979
#11 Marilyn Monroe - World Doll 1983
#73 Valerie - Mattel 1971
#92 Darci - Kenner 1978
#93 Dazzle - Mattel 1981
#94 Dollikin - Uneeda 1970
#45 Starr - Mattel 1980
Although Barbie is the doll who captures my heart there were other dolls I loved as a kid growing up in the 1960s and 1970s! I was sandwiched between two sisters, plus had many girl friends, so growing up I became familiar with the doll lines that were popular in the era (Liddle Kiddles, Crissy, Dawn, and Flatsy were favorites). These dolls, along with Barbies, would become the object of desire for me to collect as an adult.
#64 Living Dead Dolls - Mezco 2000
Above: I wasn't interested in collecting baby dolls except for Drowsy and Baby Tender Love. I think these two stirred up nostalgia in me because they were favorites of my kid sister Kim, and unquestionably are classic childhood dolls for women born on the Baby Boom and Gen-X cusp (1959-70).
#26 Shirley Temple - Ideal 1972
#27 Giggles - Ideal 1967
Above: In the late-1960s, early-1970s every child star of a popular TV show had her doll: Buffy and Mrs. Beasley of FamilyAffair, Dodie and Myrtle of My Three Sons, and Cindy Brady and Kitty Karry-All of The Brady Bunch.
Above, from left to right: Along with Hasbro's original Charlie's Angels dolls I have a Kate Jackson by Mattel 1978, a Farrah Fawcett by Mego 1977, and a Cheryl Ladd (who replaced Farrah after she left the show) by Hasbro 1977. Farrah was my #1 idol when I was a teenager in the late-1970s. I still have her iconic red swimsuit poster, purchased when I was 14, and it hangs over my office desk today (below left). You can only imagine how thrilled I was when Mattel came out with a Farrah Barbie based on the poster (below right).
#13 Tiffany Taylor - Ideal 1974
#79 Crumpet - Kenner 1971
#80 Little Sophisticates - Uneeda 1967
Above: Rah! Rah! Sis, Boom, Bah! Another themed doll obsession I had during the active collecting years was with cheerleaders. I couldn't get enough of these spirited dolls and kept a large collection displayed on a shelf in the KC Toy Room. Below, from left to right: Three favorites among the cheerleaders included a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader by Royal House of Dolls from 1982, Texaco Cheerleader from 1972, and a Kilgore Rangerette from Horsman 1990.
#16 Susie Sad Eyes - Fun-World 1966
#60 Truly Scrumptious - Mattel 1969
#61 Doctor Dolittle - Mattel 1968
#62 Mary Poppins - Horsman 1965
#100 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Stuffins 1999
#63 Bedknobs and Broomsticks - Horsman 1971
Above, from left to right: Other members of Crissy and Velvet's family of "grow hair" dolls included a black version of Velvet, sun-tanned Californians Brandi and Dina, and brunette Mia.
#67 Poppin' Fresh & Poppie - Pillsbury 1972
"'What an incredible deal!' - That's what kids must have thought after coming across the ad in the Archie comic books for '100 Little Dolls' for only $1.00. Just think, baby dolls, nurse dolls, dancing dolls, foreign dolls, clown dolls, cowboy dolls, Indian dolls, bride dolls, and so many more--100 different types for a penny a doll! After sending their hard-earned allowance dollar, plus fifty cents for postage and handling, they waited for more than six weeks for the dolls to arrive, only to be disappointed once they opened the package. You see, the ad was misleading--it didn't mention the 100 dolls' size or color. In actuality they were only two inches high and made of pink-colored styrene plastic and hard synthetic rubber, and you got only thirty different types--the rest were duplicates."
~ Excerpt from David Mansour's From ABBA To Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century
It should be noted that Marilyn Monroe is my #1 idol. Other Marilyn dolls in the collection include a telephone doll (her dress blows up when the phone rings) by Telemania 2001 (above left), a Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Marilyn Barbie by Mattel 1997 (above center), and Marilyn fashion dolls by Tri-Star 1992 and DSI 1994 (above right).
#97 Zodiac Girlz - 3 Muses 2003
#98 Lisa Frank Fab Friends - Play Along 2002
#99 Sky Dancers - Galoob 1995
#35 Donny & Marie - Mattel 1976
#95 Lollipop Girls - Unimax 2002
#84 Elly Mae Clampett - Unique 1962
#85 Samantha Stephens - Exclusive Toy Products 1997
#86 Jeannie - Trendmasters 1996
#40 Baby Small Talk - Mattel 1967
#37 Cher - Mego 1976
#38 Brooke Shields - LJN 1982
#39 Michael Jackson - LJN 1984
#18 Chatty Cathy - Mattel 1960
This is a tribute to the other dolls in my collection. I honor them with a fun Top 101 list. (Yes, 101 - 100 dolls, along with Barbie who tops the list at #1!) The dolls are ranked by personal opinion, favorites of my childhood and favorites to collect. Obviously most are generational-influenced, from the 1960s and 1970s (I was born on the cusp of the Baby Boom and Gen-X). There's not as many dolls post-Generation X (Winx Club and Monster High won't be found here), but you will see some I liked as an adult collector (e.g. Bratz and celebrity dolls, like Marilyn Monroe and the Spice Girls). I also included action figures, such as G.I. Joe and Big Jim (I know they're not considered "dolls" but come on). All 101 dolls on the list are illustrated by pictures of how they once stood in my collection in Kansas City or were recently photographed in my studio in San Diego. I hope you find your favorite doll(s) here and I hope this brings happy memories of yesteryears' playtime.
#33 Drowsy - Mattel 1965
#34 Baby Tender Love - Mattel 1969
#10 Bratz - MGA Entertainment 2000
#81 Laurie Partridge - Remco 1973
#66 Go-Go Girl Drink Mixer - Poynter Products 1969
#4 Crissy & Velvet - Ideal 1969
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#41 Honey Hill Bunch - Mattel 1976
#32 Diva Starz - Mattel 2000