Best of the West

Janice West

The "Best of the West" dolls were made by Marx from the late 1960's through the mid-1970's. They were more like action figures rather than dolls. The main character in the series was Johnny West. He had a horse called Thunderbolt. His wife was Jane, son Jamie and daughter Josie. Jane had a sister named Janice. There was also an Indian Chief Geronimo with his horse Comanche and a General Custer doll, along with several other dolls, all in the western theme. I think these dolls were more geared towards boys, however, the inclusion of the female characters made them somewhat appealing to girls.

Janice West

The photo above is of my very own Janice West from my childhood. She is approximately 9 inches tall (a bit shorter than her big sister Jane who had blond hair). She is made of plastic with painted hair and features. She has jointed arms and legs. Janice is marked "Louis Marx & Co., copyright MCMLXVII" in a circle on her back.

Janice West Accessories Janice West

Janice's clothes and accessories were made of a soft rubber-like plastic. Here is a closeup of her accessories along with a close-up of her in her kerchief. Janice's body was molded to appear as if she is wearing a western shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots when she it not wearing her other clothing.

My Best of the West Memories

I distinctly remember the commericials for the "Best of the West" series of dolls during the early 1970's. It seemed like the commercial ran constantly during the television shows I watched when I came home from school. When I received the Sears Christmas catalog in the fall of 1973, the "Best of the West" series was in there. I think the TV subliminally sent me messages to purchase one of these dolls. Its the only way I can figure out that I would a boy's type of action figure. I liked Janice the "best", so I asked my parents to get her for me. I think I may have received her shortly thereafter for my birthday. I did like her, but I remember being a bit disappointed with her limited clothing options. I also was upset that her hair paint would peel off if you happened to scratch it by accident. I managed to keep most of her hairpaint on, but it was difficult to do especially when changing between her hat and kerchief. All in all though, she was a pretty nice doll, and seems to have held up quite well over the years. Janice is a little lonely so I may have to someday find her a boyfriend, or maybe she'll end up as a squaw for "Ferocious Chief Geronimo". We'll have to see what happens.....

This page last updated 21-April-2002

Copyright 2002 - - all photos are property of this website and may not be used without permision

All dolls on this website are part of a personal collection and are not available for sale.

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