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Effanbee Patsy Dolls Part I



The EFFandBEE Doll Company is one of America's oldest doll producers. Bernard E. Fleischaker (the F) and Hugh Baum, (the B) formed the company in 1910. Effanbee is still producing high quality dolls. The most loved of all are the ones made in composition, and these dolls are still highly valued and sought after today. Of course, the most popular of all the Effanbee dolls is Patsy!! Most of my information came from John Axe's book, "The Best of John Axe Collectible and Modern Dolls!

In 1928, Effanbee introduced a trend setting doll that has become possibly the most famous American doll of all time, that wasn't a celebrity doll. Patsy was one of the first composition dolls to resemble a real little girl with bobbed hair and short skirts. She was also the first doll to have extensive wardrobes and accessories. She was designed by Bernard Lipfert who also created Shirley Temple, the Dionne Quints, Sonja Henie, Toni, and many other popular dolls.

This little girl was the first American doll who was joined by a large series of companion dolls.

There were earlier versions of Effanbee dolls that looked like Patsy, but had crude bodies, or cloth bodies, made around 1924.

These faces were the ones that were used to make the Patsy we know and love today.This is Patsy Babyette. 9" with caracul wig on. Replaced clothing.

Patsy had a pretty shakey beginning. There was an Effanbee doll first introduced in the December issue of Playthings magazine, called Mimi, the doll who had what people were looking for. This new doll was trademarked by Effanbee as Mi-Mi. In January of 1928, Effanbee displayed the same ad, only now the doll was called Patsy, the doll who had what children were really looking for. She was trademarked in October of 1928 as Patsy. Most Patsy dolls were produced and sold until about 1950.



"Effanbee also had an Aunt Patsy that toured the country promoting their dolls. In addition, they formed a Patsy Doll Club and gave out free pinback membership buttons to children who wrote in or bought a Patsy doll.

The death of Hugo Baum in 1940 and the loss of income during the war years threw Effanbee into a decline. in 1946,Effanbee was sold to Norma Electric. They reissued a 1946 Patsy and later a new 17" Patsy Joan. Since that time the company changed hands several more times, until it was bought by Stanley and Irene Wahlberg, the present owners. Limited editions of Patsy Ann and Skippy were issued during the 1970s, Patsy reappeared in vinyl in the 1980s, and the Wahlbergs reissued Patsy Joan in 1996, and 1997 they issued a new group of Patsy, Skippy, and Wee Patsy dolls in vinyl painted to look like the old composition ones. these are already becoming collectibles."

There were some knockoffs on Patsy too, I'm sure because of the popularity she was gaining with little girls everywhere. A lawsuit ensued against the Maxine Doll Company by Effanbee for coming out with a doll named Mitzi in 1928 who looked too much like Patsy. The Maxine Doll Company countersued for the right to produce Mitzi, and won, but the lawsuit was later overturned, so Effanbee had the exclusive rights to the trademark of Patsy, with her features, characteristics, and general appearance.

Most of the Patsy dolls are fully-jointed composition and have painted features and painted molded hair, tiny closed mouths, and the bent right arm.

This is Patsy Tinyette Baby, replaced clothing and is 6 1/2".

The earlier Patsys, after 1924, and before 1928, had stationary shoulder plate head, full composition arms, full composition legs or lower composition legs only.

The hair was molded and painted or unpainted hair covered with a human hair wig.

The eyes were blue painted or blue tin sleep eyes, and the mouth was closed or open with teeth.

The mark on these early Patsys was:

Effanbee Patsy Copyr. Doll,


Effanbee Patsy.

The Patsys made after 1928 had molded, painted hair, with or without a molded headband, in several shades of red, and also dark auburn or brown. The eyes on these later dolls were painted brown. They still did them in blue, but very rarely. Side glancing is more common than centered eyes. On the shoulders of the doll were the marks:


This is the version with the headband and the head is unmarked. The 1933 more common version without the molded headband is marked on the head:


and the shoulders:


Within a couple of years the rest of the Patsy family came into being. There were Patsys in every size imaginable. Many of the leading manufacturers during those days tried to compete with Patsy's success, so there were numerous copies of her, but only one real Patsy!!!




    Patsy was called "Lovable Imp" and "Hit of the Year" when she was introduced in 1928. She took the country by storm and would be an outstanding success for Effanbee.

Patsy is 13-1/2" tall and is made of composition with painted hair, eyes and features. She has a tiltable head (many earlier dolls had solid shoulder heads) and moveable limbs.

Her first clothing was said to be an organdy short dress with lace trim at the neck and sleeves and a full length lace-trimmed undergarment (combination suit), cotton socks, slippers and she wore a ribbon on her head.

Here is a close-up picture of her face and head:

Patsy's first retail catalog appearance occurred in the 1929 Montgomery Wards catalog. As was previously discussed, F&B encountered many problems with look-a-like Patsy dolls being made and sold on the market. Warnings were issued to manufacturers and buyers were urged not to purchase imitations.

Eventually F&B began to realize that they would never be able to stop all the look-a- likes so their advertising began to boast "Nationally advertised PATSY is the most widely imitated doll." Today a collection of Patsy dolls that contain many look-a-likes makes an important historical statement.

Patsy originally sold for $2.95. Clothing which included a combination suit (sunsuit) and a voille dress sold for 89 cents.

A special edition Patsy was issued for the 1936 Texas centenial.

For some reason Patsy was made with a cloth torso and an unmarked compo shoulder plate. The separate turning head is marked, however.

In 1946, F&B reissued Patsy. Her arms were redesigned with rather mitten-like hands. A very few Patsy dolls in the 1940's were made with sleep-eyes rather than painted eyes. A small number of black dolls were made as well:

As well as the rare Chinese Patsy:

These reissued dolls were the final models of F&B Patsy dolls in composition form.


In 1932, the publishing firm of Samuel Gabriel & Sons, published under license, "Patsy for Keeps".

The story was written by Esther Merriam Ames with pictures by Arnold Lorne Hicks.

It was sold as a "put together" books for children. Sort of like a sticker activity book.

This is a hard to find book.

In 1936 F&B licensed an unidentified firm to market a line of Patsy and family greeting cards.

Another Patsy book entitled "Patsy Ann - Her Happy Times" was published by Rand McNally under an F&B license. This very collectible children's book takes Patsy Ann through a year's worth of activities.

Other Patsy products produced under F&B license were paper dolls, playsets, craft kits, etc. All of which were immensely popular with young readers of the day and more importantly served as a wonderful advertising tool for reaching potential customers.

Bibliography: Moyer, Patsy, "Modern Collectible Dolls" Vol. I & 11, Collector Books, 1997 & 1998 Schoonmaker, Patricia N., "Patsy Doll Encyclopedia" Vol. 1, Hobby House Press, 1992. Schoonmaker, Patricia N. "Patsy Doll Family Encyclopedia" Volume II, Hobby House Press, 1998 Smith, Patricia R., "Effanbee - Dolls That Touch Your Heart", Collector Books, 1983.