Every little girl of the 1960s knew that Liddle Kiddles made ideal babies for Barbie and her friends. They are often found among Barbie dolls in old childhood collections.
Above: Sweet Treat Kiddle Kones: Orange Ice, Frosty Mint, and Tutti-Frutti.
Below: Sweet Treat Kiddle Lollipops: Lolli-Mint, Lolli-Lemon, and Lolli-Grape.
From top to bottom, left to right: The enormous success of Mattel's Liddle Kiddles inspired other toy companies to issue miniature doll lines, including Ideal's Flatsy, Remco's Heidi, Topper's Dawn, Uneeda's PeeWees and Petal People, and Whitman's PeePul Pals.
Kiddle Kases & Playhouses
My earliest memory of Liddle Kiddles was when I was five, just starting first grade, in 1966. I was sick with the measles and my parents gave me both cowgirl Calamity Jiddle and fireman Bunson Bernie as "get well" presents. That's a photo of 5-year-old me (above) alongside my original Bunson Bernie and Calamity Jiddle dolls (I lost Calamity's black cowboy hat and white cowboy boots so many, many years ago).
"LIDDLE KIDDLES Introduced by Mattel Toys in 1966, these diminutive imps enchanted the imagination of children born at the tail-end of the Baby Boom and at the beginning of Generation X. Derived from the words "little kids," Liddle Kiddles were cute, doe-eyed miniature dolls (ranging in heights from one-inch to four-inches) with oversized heads on itty-bitty bodies. Reflecting what children might want to be when they grew up, each Kiddle came with a plastic play set and accessories ("Action toys with parts that move!"), along with a catchy name that matched its personality: fire chief Bunson Bernie, cowgirl Calamity Jiddle, nurse Florence Niddle, sailor Lola Liddle, auto driver Babe Biddle, tea-party hostess Greta Griddle, barbeque expert Sizzly Friddle, pop star Beat a Diddle, surfer Surfy Skiddle, snow-sledder Freezy Sliddle, air pilot Windy Fliddle, and fishing tomboy Kampy Kiddle.
Liddle Kiddles were an instant hit, and as their popularity grew, so did the variety. There were walking Skediddle Kiddles, wearable Lucky Locket Kiddles, and floral-scented Kiddle Kolognes. There were Kola Kiddles, Kiddle Lollipops, Kozmic Kiddles, Storybook Kiddles, Holiday Kiddles, Animiddle Kiddles, and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Kiddles! By the late 1960s, more than 200 different Kiddle items could be purchased, including coloring books, paper dolls, games, puzzles, vinyl playhouses, carry cases (or karry kases), and a lunch box. Kiddles kicked off the miniature-doll craze of the 1960s, inspiring toy lines like Hasbro's Dolly Darlings, Ideal's Flatsy, Remco's Heidi, Topper's Dawn, Uneeda's PeeWee, and Whitman's PeePul Pals. Although Liddle Kiddles skediddled out of toy stores when Mattel discontinued the line in 1971, they forever remain in the hearts of a generation that kollected them."
~ "Liddle Kiddles" excerpt from my book, From ABBA To Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century
The Kiddles Kollection
"I walk! Watch me move along!" Introduced in 1968, the Skediddle Kiddles dolls actually walked with the help of a Skediddler mechanism inserted in their backs.
Kiddle Paper Toys
Liddle Kiddles and me: It started with a childhood case of the measles...
Above and below: Liddle Kiddles Klub (1966) and Liddle Kiddles Kabin (1968) (I love the graphics!).
1969's Kiddles 'n Kars: Lenore Limousine, Teresa Touring Car, Henrietta Horseless Carriage and Rosemary Roadster.
Liddle Kiddles coloring books (above), sticker fun book and press-out book (below).
Above: An array of mini hat boxes, totes and overnighters.
Below: 1968's Kiddles Collectors Case and Showcase Plaque.
Above: Liddle Kiddles Talking Townhouse (1969)
Below: Classics Cape Cod (1967)
In the summer of 2012 I boxed up my Liddle Kiddle collection for the move to San Diego, California. Although they are presently tucked away in storage, they--like my Barbie collection, are the only dolls I'm not selling off. But unlike Barbie I don't collect Liddle Kiddles anymore.
Liddle Kiddles: A Collector's Pictorial
Kiddle Komedy Theatre starring the Kiddle Komedians, Dexter and DeeDee (1968).
All Liddle Kiddles photographs on this page are original to David Mansour and his doll collection. They are the copyright of ©David James Mansour and ©Behold the Valley of the Dolls.
Lucky Locket Kiddles
Above: The Liddle Kiddle collection as it once was displayed in my KC toy collection, circa 2011. Below: A "kollector" with his "kollection."
Kiddles! Kiddles! Who's got the Kiddles? I do!
Mattel's diminutive Liddle Kiddles are my second favorite dolls after Barbie as well as the second largest in my collection. And along with Barbie they are the dolls that define my childhood playtime of the 1960s!
"Wear me and be lucky!" Manufactured from 1967 to 1970, the Lucky Locket line were ticklishly small (two-inches tall) Liddle Kiddles, packaged inside plastic lockets encrusted with colorful jewels, that could be taken out for play. Little girls dangled these highly-versatile "good luck" lockets on a gold chain around the neck or wrist or wore them clipped on a belt, headband, purse, and so on. These are my favorite out of all the Liddle Kiddles in the Kollection!
The front (left) and back (right) of the 1968 Liddle Kiddles vinyl lunch box.
Above: Liddle Kiddles 3-Story House (1969)
Below: Snap-Happy Furniture to decorate the 3-Story House!
Above, from left to right: Surfy Skiddle, Wendy Fliddle, Freezy Sliddle, Howard "Biff" Boodle, and Liddle Diddle.
Below: Pretty Priddle (with the Liddle Kiddles Mini Hat Box) and Cinderiddle, Storybook Kiddle.
Liddle Kiddles A Counting Book Big Tell-a-Tale book (above) and Liddle Kiddles Golden Shape Book (below).
"Take me to your leader."
1969 Purple Gurple, Kozmic Kiddle
From left to right: Honeysuckle Kologne, Gardenia Kologne, Bluebell Kologne, and Rosebud Kologne.
In 1968, Mattel issued the Peanuts' Charlie Brown, Lucy Van Pelt and Snoopy as Skediddles too!
Liddle Kiddles paper doll boxes (above) and paper doll books (below).
"Meet the teeniest, tiniest Little Persons!"
~ Mattel Toys, 1966
Above: Jewelry Kiddles (1968), Santa Kiddle (1969), and Mini-Kiddles Pop-Ups (1968)
Below: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Kiddles (1969)
"Really smells sweet, just like her name!" Introduced in 1968, Kiddle Kolognes were two-inch tall dolls that came housed inside plastic perfume bottles. Each doll was scented with the floral-sweet fragrance of its name: Rosebud, Violet, Honeysuckle, Sweet Pea, Apple Blossom, Orange Blossom, Bluebell, Gardenia, and Lily of the Valley. Along with Lucky Locket Kiddles, these are probably the best-remembered of Mattel's enormously popular Liddle Kiddles line, and those who played with them can still recall their unique smell to this day (and to this day these dolls still hold their subtle smell). They inspired three other sweet-smelling Kiddle lines: Kola Kolognes and the Sweet Treat Kiddle Kones and Lollipops.
Liddle Kiddles by Paris Langford is a go-to identification and value guide for collectors of Kiddles. It's a tad dated since it was published in 1996 but still a valuable sorce nonetheless!
A kollection of four-inch Kiddles (left). Calamity Jiddle with Greta Griddle and Liddle DIddle (right).
Above: The complete line Kola Kiddles from 1968.
Below: Kleo Kola, Laffy Lemon and Shirley Strawberry.
Above: Liddle Kiddles Ranch House (1966).
Below: Liddle Kiddles Town (1966)
Liddle Kiddles frame-tray puzzles (above) and Liddle Kiddles Colorforms Dress-Up Kit and Play Fun Set (below).
The World of Liddle Kiddles View-Master (above) and Liddle Kiddles Electric Drawing Set (below).