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The 50's HARD PLASTIC 8" Dolls - Strung and Walkers: Part I

Presented by Janlee48

*This information is based on personal observation, reference books, and with great appreciation to Carol Stover!
She has done some wonderful research which she bases on MIB dolls.

I am sure you all know about the "big three" companies which produced 8" hard plastic dolls of the 50's, but I will list them anyway.
           1.Vogue made Ginny
           2. Madame Alexander made Wendy, Wendy-Kins, Wendy Ann, Alexander-Kins, & Little Genius
           3. Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls made Muffie and Lori Ann.

However, there were many companies who made dolls to compete with these dolls which are frequently referred to as "Ginny Clones". There is a wide range of quality and desirability in the unmarked look-a-likes! There are some features which can help you determine whether you are looking at a Pam, Lucy, Ginger, Roberta, or, starting with the easiest one, - Ginny by VOGUE

If I had even a $1 for every time I have seen "unmarked Ginny" in a listing, I could afford to purchase some really nice mint Ginnys myself! They were always marked with either Vogue, Ginny, or a combination of both words (and later patent number) on the back of the head, back of the body, or both. So, do not be fooled by that one! Since there are so many great books on Ginnys, I'm just going to show you a pic of the various types of Ginnys and get on to other dolls.

From left to right they are: Strung Ginny, Painted Lash Walker, Molded Lash Walker, Bent Knee Molded Lash Walker, and a vinyl head Ginny which was made with the same body as the Bent Knee Walker (however, the "walker" mechanism doesn't work on these dolls).
    ***Please note the tilt on the head of the Strung Ginny. They are the only ones who should be able to do this! If you see a walker Ginny with a tilted head, there's something wrong.

NANCY ANN - Muffie & Lori Ann - some are marked, some not! Strung and walkers.
Muffie's head seams go behind the ear so the ear is one piece and undivided. Muffie has a sweet face with chubbier cheeks than Ginny. Once you see a few, you will easily be able to ID them. They should have lush, full wigs. Usually the side part seam is over the right eye. Sometimes, the thread used to stitch the wig seam does not match the hair color. They also came in a braided style and a center part with a low ponytail tied in the back. In 1956, Muffie also came in a vinyl head with rooted hair model.

Lori Ann is a mystery to me! Most I have seen for sale as Lori Anns have vinyl heads. However, in reference books, they also had HP heads and look just like a Muffie to me! One version had molded painted hair instead of a wig.

Here are a few of my Muffies to show you the different hairstyles

and some of Francie's just to make you drool!

GINGER unmarked - by Cosmopolitan
People usually recognize Ginger by her large eyes. However, there are Gingers with small and medium eyes! A better indicator for identification is the armhook. Gingers have toes not molded shoes. The ones made by Cosmopolitan are usually of better quality than those made in later years by other companies after the mold was sold. It is not uncommon for Ginger eyes to "stick", and this does not really have much effect on pricing.
    ***Some of the dolls created by other companies using the Ginger mold are quite lovely and interesting. One such example is the Happi Time Doll which was marketed by Sears. It combined the Pam/Lucy head with a Ginger bent knee, jointed elbow body. Bev has one MIB.

***** "Special Gingers" ***** which command higher prices!
Terri Lee Company purchased the large eye, molded lash Ginger from Cosmopolitan in order to market a Brownie and Girl Scout doll to go with the Terri Lee dolls. Not only are these outfits tagged "Terri Lee" (even the panties!), but the dolls themselves are of particularly nice quality with brunette or blond wigs in a very curly style (to mimic the Terri Lee hair style). Cosmopolitan also sold its own version of the Scout dolls so the tags are extremely important for identification purposes. Several Ginger outfits were Disney copyrighted fashions and are collectible with both doll and Disney collectors.

MARKED GINGER - the only marked Ginger is the vinyl head walker with rooted hair.
This doll is not as desirable at this time as the hard plastic version. It often tends to look odd as the eyes can look cock eyed, and one will stick while the other works. An interesting version of the vinyl head Ginger has a medium high heel foot. They are called "Ginger Grows Up with a Cha Cha Heel". They have a more attractive face, and I think may become more collectible in the future as they represent the transition from toddler style body to a fashion style in response to the success of the Barbie doll.

The many faces of Ginger - here are four of my Gingers:

Left is a painted lash walker; center is a small eye molded lash walker; and the Scouts are the Terri Lee versions.

The 50's HARD PLASTIC 8" Dolls - Strung and Walkers: Part II