Friday, October 30, 2009

New additions to my collection

I have been too busy for many of my project dolls lately, so I haven't been posting here as much as I used to. However, I have been adding a lot of dolls to my collection.

In addition to fixing up "project dolls," I have a couple of boxes full of clothes that I enjoy finding dolls to wear. Just this week, I have found several nude dolls to dress. Here are a few of my newest additions.

The Ginger on the left is one I've featured before, #444 from 1956. The one in the center is new — a nude with perfect hair that I found and dressed in #226 from 1954/55. The one on the right is another I've had a while, but recently completed her outfit with hat, belt, and lavender socks. The accessories came in a boxed outfit and are correct for this dress.

From left to right: Cosmopolitan Ginger #444 from 1956, #226 from 1954/55, and #225 from 1954/55

This little sweetheart is a Ginger clone that I've dressed in one of my favorite clone outfits. I'm not sure who the doll is, or who the outfit belongs to. The dress closes with a Greek key snap, which was used by both Cosmopolitan and some of the companies that sold Ginger clones.

Platinum-haired Ginger clone in yellow outfit

Next we have a pretty little brunette I just got and dressed in #441 from 1954/55. Although I put the outfit together myself, all of it is correct except the bloomers (she has white taffeta fat pants on, but they should be the same navy waffle weave as the dress). The belt has torn before and is a bit short as a result, but is otherwise correct for the outfit.

Cosmopolitan Ginger in #441 from 1954/55

This one is probably my favorite of my new additions. She is wearing an outfit I've featured before: Ginger's sailor outfit, which I've since discovered is #333 from 1955. I found one for myself, then found the white belt and red ribbon necktie to go with it. The beanie is a lovely crocheted one made by Regitze to replace the original red felt beanie.

The doll has a broken walking post, which I might try to fix eventually, but for now I'm not too worried — she is lovely enough that I don't care if her head wobbles a little bit!

Cosmopolitan Ginger in #333 from 1955

The trunk used as a backdrop for these pictures is a new addition too, incidentally.

I am hoping that in the coming weeks I will have an opportunity to catch up on my project dolls. Stay tuned for some posts on hair restyling and seam split repair.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Doll cleaning and a mystery doll

It always amazes me how much you can transform some dolls with just a little cleaning. This doll — a little mystery doll that I haven't yet identified — was so dirty that it actually affected whether I liked her, and as a result I was planning on selling her. But then I decided to clean her up first, and guess what? It turns out I like her after all!

In this picture, you can see how dirty her face was before — and how clean and pretty a little doll cleaner made it. The darker half of her face is not in shadow or Photoshopped — it's dirty! Amazing, isn't it?

A doll with her face half cleaned

Now to explain the mystery. This little strung 8-inch toddler doll is clearly made using the same mold as the medium- and large-eyed Gingers and clones. She is also dressed exactly like Carol Sue, a strung clone that used the Ginger body. However, she is made of a much lighter plastic, her eyes are different, and she is stamped on her back with:

A 175
A.T.C.
MADE IN HONG KONG

Vintage 1950s toddler doll after cleaning

So who is she? I have no idea. Maybe someday I'll be able to find out. But at least she is clean now!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Waste not, want not

Even doll collectors can benefit from the wisdom of "Waste not, want not."

The other day I was trying to decide what to do with my extra Frontier Girl Ginger from my Disney dolls display. I have two of these dolls, but the other one is mint in box so I haven't displayed her before. However, she has blond braids just like my new Davy Crockett doll, so I decided to put her into the display.

I was planning to sell my extra Frontier Girl. I even took pictures and wrote out the description for the listing, but I started having major second thoughts. Even though this Ginger doll's hair is down, her face coloring is gorgeous. Really, her hair being down is her only flaw.

Cosmopolitan Ginger Frontier Girl with vivid face color

After some agonizing indecision over whether I ought to be selling her, it occurred to me that I have several Ginger outfits just waiting for a doll to wear them. Rather than selling this doll and then spending more on a new doll with mint hair, why not just redress her in one of them? Even if I decide to put a different doll in the dress later, at least I will get some more enjoyment out of her — and get a great outfit on a doll.

Cosmopolitan Ginger, redressed in outfit #441 from the 1957 catalog

I will keep her original Frontier Girl outfit, of course, in case I decide to redress her in it — or even sell her — at a later date. In the meantime, she looks darling in the outfit, and I am very happy with my decision!

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Rags to riches, part 1

My "Ginger as Davy Crockett" or "Pioneer Girl" (depending on which Cosmopolitan catalog you are looking at) is a true rags to riches story as far as dolls go, as I noted in my post about my 1950s Disney dolls display.

When I got her, I had no idea she would become one of my favorite dolls overnight. A friend of mine, who also collects Ginger dolls, sent me the auction on eBay (thanks, Regitze!). She didn't look like much, and wasn't identified as Ginger, but I decided to take a chance and bid on her anyway. I ended up winning her for $6.50.

My $6.50 Ginger doll, with messy hair and a dirty dress
Photo by hytenjr

When I got her, I was delighted to find that her hair is parted for pigtails. That made me happy because I can easily restyle pigtails. Ginger's hard rolled flip, though, is difficult to duplicate. I've done it once and will probably never try it again, it was so frustrating!

Restyling her hair was one of the doll projects I worked on a little more than a week ago. I was able to fairly easily repart the hair. I also found that the hair was still a little crimped from the original braids, which made it easier to rebraid it.

Cosmopolitan Ginger doll's hair after restyling in pigtails

Cosmopolitan Ginger doll's hair after restyling in pigtails

I also cleaned her up a little bit, as she had some play soil on her, especially on her face.

In my next post I'll talk about finding her an appropriate outfit to complete her transformation!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cosmopolitan Ginger sailor outfit

It's been far too long since I posted any pictures or stories of dolls. I've been busily getting back to collecting, though, so it's not for lack of material!

This outfit actually belongs to a friend of mine who has a Ginger dolls website, but she was kind enough to let me photograph my doll in it.

The outfit is a tagged Cosompolitan Ginger sailor outfit. Neither of us have seen any documentation on this outfit, so we don't know much about it. The hat is vintage Ginger or Pam and is our addition. The purse, socks, and shoes are mine.

Here are a few detailed pictures of the outfit. It has matching bloomers and bears the Jackson Heights tag, both of which I forgot to photograph.

Blue cotton sailor outfit with a red ribbon tie at the neck

Close-up of a painted lash Ginger wearing a undocumented sailor outfit

Blue cotton sailor dress, natural straw hat, white socks and shoes

Back view of a tagged Ginger sailor outfit

Vintage Ginger or Pam hat, natural straw with black satin ribbon trim, paired with a tagged blue Ginger sailor dress

Does anyone have any information on this little blue sailor dress? It is tagged Cosmopolitan Ginger, but we haven't seen any documentation on the outfit.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boxed Pam dress set for doll identification purposes

The same seller that had the boxed Pam shorts set on eBay this week also had a boxed Pam dress set. I got the seller's permission to post the photos for this one, too.

The dress is a pretty white print with multicolored diamonds on it, green loop trim, and a white painted Greek key snap to close it in the back. It came in the box with white socks, red vinyl Mary Janes, and a deep pink straw hat that might have been red once, trimmed with a white ribbon. The dress reminds me of one of the Cosmopolitan Ginger dresses, and the hat is identical to the hats found on many Ginger dolls.

The box number reads: "6/11 afternoon - 98" with the 98 crossed out and "49" handwritten next to it. I'm guessing that means I'm correct that this last number is the price, and this particular outfit was discounted.

Here are the pictures:

Fortune Pam's boxed afternoon dress - box reads ~One of Pam's smart outfits~

Fortune Pam's boxed afternoon dress

Fortune Pam's boxed afternoon dress

Fortune Pam's afternoon dress - box number 6/11 afternoon - 98
All photos by Teresa Lehmbeck, ebay: the2sisters


As I mentioned in my last post, Ginger clones were often used for Pam, which is why I thought Ginger collectors would like some identification for outfits like these.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Boxed Pam shorts set for doll identification help

Regular readers probably already know that I am an avid collector of Cosmopolitan Ginger and Ginger clones. One doll company that used Ginger clones was Fortune, which made Ninette and Pam.

This boxed Pam outfit was on eBay this week: a shorts outfit that is marked on the box as "6/12 shorts - 98". I asked the seller for permission to use the pictures here, because I think this is such a great opportunity for collectors to identify outfits.

The MIB, complete outfit consists of a white cotton waffle weave shirt with blue trim, like a tennis shirt, which closes in the back with a Greek key snap; a pair of matching blue shorts, also closing with a Greek key snap; white rayon socks; and white unmarked vinyl Mary Janes.

Fortune Pam boxed shorts set - blue box lid reads ~One of Pam's smart outfits~

Fortune Pam boxed shorts set

Fortune Pam boxed shorts set - white waffle weave shirt and blue shorts each close with a white-painted Greek key snap

Fortune Pam shorts set - box number 6/12 shorts - 98
All photos by Teresa Lehmbeck, ebay: the2sisters

Interestingly, the shorts appear to be the exact same ones as this MIB Fortune Pam (a Ginger clone with bending elbows and knees — scroll about halfway down the page). The outfit number on the MIB doll is "8/12 shorts - 198" (I'm guessing the 98 and 198 are the price).

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My favorite SLW Alexander-Kin

Here's another doll I'll showcase before I start listing dolls for sale: My favorite straight-leg walker Alexander-Kin. Also often known as Alex or Wendy, Alexander-Kins are Madame Alexander's 8-inch toddler doll, competition for Vogue Ginny and the others. I personally think this 1954 outfit is one of the cutest made by Madame Alexander during the mid-50s.

1954 Alexander-Kin by Madame Alexander

This doll is all original except for her socks, which I added after getting her. (The strap on her right shoe was broken by me, unfortunately — the shoes were brittle and shrunken after years of being on her feet without socks, and the strap broke when I tried to snap it over the sock. I was very upset about it. I wish I had know then that I could steam doll shoes to get some flexibility from them when they are like that!)

Madame Alexander Wendy/Alexander-Kin

Her shoes are the original fuzzy bottom Mary Janes, and her undies (which I did not photograph) are little bloomers made from the same checked taffeta as the dress. She also has gorgeous high-color blush on her cheeks.

Beautiful Alex face!

I decided to blog about her tonight because I watched a doll in the same outfit sell today on eBay for $365 — three times what I paid for my doll five years ago. Although this doll had red hair, which is more desirable than blond, it also had replacement shoes and undies. (The seller thought the white taffeta half slip and panties were original, but since I have the doll and know she should have matching bloomers, I believe they were replacements. Also they didn't look anything like any Alexander-Kin slip and undies I've ever seen.)

Now, don't get me wrong, this doll that sold on eBay was beautiful — but she was also incomplete. It was immensely satisfying seeing her sell for so much, and knowing I got a much better deal for a more complete doll, but it also demonstrates how fickle the doll market can be!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One of my favorite Gingers

I typically have a handful or more of what I call "project dolls." These are dolls that need something — or a lot of somethings — in order to make them complete.

This Ginger is an example, although I actually started with the outfit and not the doll. From the time I acquired the first piece of the outfit, to the time I finally found a doll to wear it, this project doll took about three years to complete.

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

Why do it that way? Well, for one thing it's often less expensive, as mint, complete dolls typically command a pretty penny. But my biggest reason is that I enjoy working with my project dolls. It gives me a mission, a list of things to watch for as I browse eBay, and often gives me my doll/shopping "fix" at a lesser price.

The pink dress and bloomers were the first pieces of this outfit that I acquired. That was back when I didn't realize the outfit was supposed to include a pinafore; after I learned that, I found the pinafore (untagged) by recognizing it in a picture of a lot of vintage 8-inch doll clothes. The hat I also found as a lot, and convinced the seller to sell it to me separately.

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

Finally I found the doll. This can sometimes be the hardest part for me, because I like to look for a really good deal. And that she was: I bought her for only $17, and all I had to do was rebraid her hair (the rubber bands had come out, but the hair was still parted and crimped from the braids, so it was easy to do). I even managed to find vintage pink ribbon that looks like original Ginger hair ribbons!

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

All said and done, I think I spent about $80 on this doll. It seems like a lot, but it seems to be a sought-after outfit: Pre-recession I saw a Ginger wearing this outfit, incomplete and not in as good condition, sell on eBay for considerably more. Regardless, spending time completing the outfit gave me many more hours of enjoyment than winning a single auction ever could have.

Note: This outfit is also Holiday Series #444, though evidently an earlier version of the other one I have. There is also a later outfit, which is pictured in another of my Ginger catalogues, which is (I think) orange with a white organdy apron and a different hat.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

My first Cosmopolitan Ginger

In a previous post, I mentioned that Cosmopolitan Ginger is one of my favorites of the 8-inch toddler dolls from the 1950s. Madame Alexander dolls are another of my favorites, but I'll discuss that in another post.

Ginger is one of my favorites for quite a few reasons: I like her face the best, she has cute outfits, and she's relatively affordable when compared to Ginny, Muffie, and Wendy/Alexander-kins. However, Ginger was also the very first doll I had from the 1950s, and the beginning of my doll collection.

Cosmopolitan Ginger separate coat #960

When my mom was working at Goodwill some year ago, she found a little 8-inch doll in one of the bins there. She pulled it out and brought it home. It was a little forlorn thing, with loose arms and Medusa hair, so she had it fixed at a local doll hospital and gave it to me for Christmas.

(As an aside here, I later realized that this doll hospital wasn't really worth its salt. It overcharged for restringing, something I discovered is actually amazingly easy to do yourself. The doll hospital also washed the doll's hair without restyling it, something else that I went back and fixed myself later on.)

The doll hospital didn't know what kind of doll she was, so I researched her on my own and discovered that she is a Cosmopolitan Ginger with small eyes. I started looking on eBay to find her appropriate clothes, and ended up finding her some friends as well. Here she is wearing the basic Ginger dress and a separate coat, #960:

Cosmopolitan Ginger separate coat #960

Cosmopolitan Ginger separate coat #960

With more than 30 Gingers and Ginger knock-offs in my collection now, I've realized that my first Ginger is either a knock-off or has a replacement wig: Although clearly vintage, her wig is unlike any other I've ever seen on a Ginger. It most closely resembles Jill's angel-cut wig, but there are some differences so I'm not sure.

Cosmopolitan Ginger separate coat #960

In any case, she is my first Ginger and will always be a part of my collection, no matter how little money she is worth in comparison.

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Some people's trash...

I found this darling little doll — a Cosmopolitan Ginger — just recently on eBay. She and another Ginger were offered nude as "fixer-uppers" for $22. Her problem? Her eyes don't open quite all the way.

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

I bought them without a second thought, and boy am I glad I did. The brunette's eyes don't appear to open all the way because of a factory flaw, where one eye is set a hair below the other. (In other words, one eye does open all the way.) Not a huge deal, especially when you consider her minty braids, original hair bows, and high-color cheeks.

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

The outfit is an original Ginger outfit that I have had sitting in a box, literally waiting for the perfect doll to wear it. I got the outfit over a year ago from Daisy, a well-known doll collector and dealer here in Colorado. The outfit is listed in the Ginger catalogue as Holiday Series #444.

Cosmopolitan Ginger - Holiday Series #444

I also have a box for the outfit, which probably adds somewhat to the value. (Too bad it's not a box for the doll!)

I still need to find socks and a hat to complete the outfit. I think the hat is the red one that you sometimes find with daisies, sometimes with red berries and green leaves. I haven't decided yet whether I'll actually replace the hat — I'd be afraid it would snag those perfect braids!

Ginger is one of my favorite toddler dolls from the 1950s (Madame Alexander's Wendy/Alexander-kins being my other favorite). Besides the fact that I like her facial expression the best, Ginger also has some adorable outfits, and is relatively affordable to collect. I'll tell the story of how I got started collecting Gingers, and showcase some of my favorite dolls, in future posts.

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