(3-23-2017) A Journey through Time With Ginny Dolls Or, What Did They Do To My Ginny Dolls?

 

Ginny Dolls were one of the most popular dolls in the 1950’s. (I certainly had a slew of them.) They have gone through many transitions from their inception, but for me the Ginny’s of the 1950’s are the best. I think they have the cutest faces and are the most durable. After all, they were made of hard plastic. Today, most of my Ginny dolls are “rescued.” (So, are most of my other dolls.)  I bought them naked and the older ones usually needed to be restrung. But, I had a lot of fun cleaning them up, restringing them and dressing them.  I have bought some original clothes for them, but my goal hasn’t been to become an avid collector, my goal is to share the fun of bringing new life into these wonderful dolls and maybe encouraging other people to enjoy them too.   My best advice is though; if you are going to rescue a doll, try to get one with shoes. Replacement shoes can be expensive!

The dolls made after 1972 to 1995 were not made in this country.  In 1995 the Vogue Dolls bought the doll line back.  If you rescue dolls from 1972 to 1995, they probably won’t be worth a lot in the future, but they still have hours of play left in them, provided you find ones in good shape.

Ginny Dolls were made in the U.S. by Vogue Dolls from 1948 to 1972.  As you will see from my pictures, the quality of the dolls went up and down, especially after 1972 sale of the Ginny line.  I my opinion, one of the best doll books out there about Vogue dolls is Collector’s Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls: Identification and Values. This book includes information about all the incarnations of Ginny Dolls, even when the line was no longer owned by Vogue. You can probably borrow a copy from your local library to get started. But, if you get serious about collecting Ginny Dolls, you probably want to buy it. The information below comes from that book.

Here is a review of the changes.

1948-1950   Painted Eyes

These 8 in. dolls had painted eyes.  These first dolls weren’t technically called Ginny Dolls. They were thought of as toddler aged dolls. Sorry I don’t have a picture.

Head marked: Vogue

Back marked: Vogue Doll

1954   Sleepy Eyes, Painted Lashes and Walkers

These dolls were made of hard plastic. They have painted lash, sleepy eyes, and are straight leg walker (See picture below)

(Walker—head moved side to side when the legs were moved back and forth.)

Head marked:  Vogue

Back marked: GINNY VOGUE DOLLS Inc. Pat. Pend. MADE IN USA

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Painted lashes and straight leg walkers (Above and below.) The dresses are original Ginny dresses.

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Notice in the first picture the legs are straight and stick out over the chair edge, but they have really cute faces.  Over the years, their painted lashes faded to yellow. You can see this in the second picture.

1955-1956  Molded Lashes is the New Innovation

The new innovation for these dolls were their sleepy eyes had molded eye lashes. They were made of hard plastic, and were straight legged walkers. (See pictures below.)

(Walker—head moved side to side when the legs were moved back and forth.)

Head marked: Vogue

Back marked: GINNY  VOGUE DOLLS INC. PAT NO. 2687594 MADE IN U.S.A.

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Molded lashes with straight legs and a walker mechanism. (Above and Below) The dress above will be a pattern I’ll be offering.

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These little sweethearts were loved and played with for hours.  As a child all of my dolls were straight leg walkers. Contrary to my current pictures, usually my dolls were having adventures, not shopping or having tea parties. They went after cattle rustlers, went pearl diving, defended against pirates, and were shipwrecked like Swiss Family Robinson.

1957-1962   Bent Knee Walker dolls is the New Innovation

These little 8 inch dolls had the new innovation that you could bend their knees and you could have them sit like a real person in a chair or kneel. (See picture below) Other than the usual brown or blue eyes, green eyes were available in 1960 and 1961.

Head marked: Vogue

Back marked:  GINNY  VOGUE DOLLS INC. PAT NO. 2687594 MADE IN U.S.A.

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You can’t see her green eyes very well, but this little girl has green eyes, so she was made in either 1960 or 1961.  As you can see her knees bend, so she can kneel. She also had a walker mechanism.

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These two girls also are bent knee walkers and you can see they sit nicely in chairs or on benches. The doll on the left is wearing a dress I will be offering a pattern for.

1963- 1965  Vinyl Head, Rooted Hair, Bent Knee, But No Walker

These little darlings are still cute. I’m sure the rooted hair was fun to play with, but the walking mechanism was left out.

Head marked: GINNY

Back marked:  GINNY  VOGUE DOLLS INC. PAT NO. 2687594 MADE IN U.S.A.

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These girls are still cute. As you can see their faces have a slight change. The dresses are ones I made and will be giving the pattern away for eventually.

1965-1972   All Vinyl, Rooted Hair, Straight Legs, No Walker

1972 was the last year that Ginny Dolls were made in the U.S.A.  The quality definitely was dropping. Her legs are straight and definitely no walker mechanism.

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This little girl is still cute, but she isn’t the quality of the previous generations.(She is wearing the dress he was bought wearing.) This particular doll spent close to 40 years in a drawer, out of the light and in household temperatures, yet her vinyl head still faded and so did her eye color. I bought this doll for my mom in the mid to late 60’s. It was a joke because when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she said, “A good little girl.”  So, I bought this doll and put the doll in her Christmas stocking. I told her, “She’ll never do anything wrong!” Mom laughed and after a while the doll was put away in a drawer of the china cupboard.  I pulled her out a few years ago and her head and eyes had faded even though no light had touched her in years and she had constant household temperatures.

1972-1977    The Tonka Years

These dolls got a new look. These dolls were mostly sold a Far-Away-Lands dolls.  You can usually find these dolls pretty inexpensively and are great to make clothes for and “modernize.” At least they really look like people.

Head Marked: Ginny

Back Marked;  VOGUE DOLLS 1972  MADE IN HONG KONG 3

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These little cutie pies were rescued and cleaned up by me. (I’ll be giving away the patterns for the dresses soon. They were Far-Away-Lands dolls. Their bodies are jointed at the shoulders and hips and their head can be turned. They have a slightly chubbier body than the earlier American made ones. (Above and Below.)

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The Lesney Years 1977 to 1982

Ginny had always been either a toddler or a kindergartner, but the Lesney organizations decided to make her in one version a more skinny and make her between the ages of 5 to 8 years old. So, came the advent of what collectors now call the skinny Ginny.  They started out with sleepy eyes, but then they were cheapened to have painted eyes.  You can find Skinny Ginnys on Ebay all the time at reasonable prices and they still have a lot of wonderful play time left in them.

The Far-Away Land series still had the older style heads and bodies, but these also went to a painted eye version in 1980.

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This is one of the early Skinny Ginnys.  She has sleepy eyes.  She is sweet, but isn’t the Ginny I knew and loved as a child. (She is wearing an original dress.)

Far-Away Lands

1977-1979  (Sleepy eyes with cubby body)

Head Mark: GINNY

Back Mark: VOGUE DOLLS 1972  MADE IN HONG KONG 3

Far-Away Lands

1980-1981 (Painted eyes and chubby body)

Head Mark: VOGUE DOLLS  GINNY TM 1977

Back Mark: VOGUE DOLLS 1972 or 1977  MADE IN HONG KONG

 

Skinny Ginny—The World of Ginny and Ginny Goes Sasson

1978 to 1982  (They started out with sleepy eyes, but ended with painted eyes)

Head Mark: GINNY  VOGUE DOLLS 1977

Back Mark: 1978 vogue dolls MOONACHIE NJ  MADE IN HONG KONG

 

 

The Meritus Years—1984-1986

They actually tried to bring Ginny back—She has sleepy eyes again!

They made both vinyl and porcelain jointed Ginnys.

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This little cutie looks like her face is a different color than her body, but it is the light. She really is all the same color. (Sorry, next time I’ll work on the lighting.) I’ll be giving away this pattern soon.

Vinyl

Head Mark: GINNY

Back Mark: VOGUE DOLLS (star logo) M.I.I 1984  Hong Kong

Porcelain

Head Mark: None

Back Mark: VOGUE DOLLS (star logo) M.I.I 1984 TAIWAN

The R. Dakin Company Years  1986-1995

The R. Dakin Company made these dolls is both vinyl and hard plastic. They had sleepy eyes and jointed bodies.

Vinyl

Back only marked: VOUGE DOLLS  1984 R. DAKIN INC. MADE IN CHINA

Hard Plastic

Back only marked: VOUGE DOLLS  1984 R. DAKIN and Co.  MADE IN CHINA

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These two lovely ladies are part of the vinyl series from Dakin. You can find quite a few of these in good shape and sometimes in their original boxes. The dress on the right is one I made.

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This little aviator is made of hard plastic. This dolls jacket is made of real suede. I’m very impressed with the quality of this doll.

The Vogue Doll Company, Inc.  1995 to present

See the new Ginny Dolls here.

Vogue Co.

The only store I could find on the web that sells the new dolls is

Dollsville

From 1948 to now Ginny dolls have brought hours of love and fun! But, I still love the 1950’s  dolls best.

Here is a test Ginny dress pattern. I’ll try to copy it myself and see if it still works.

pdf-Ginny dress longer skirt blue dress w white trim

 

3 Comments

  1. Patricia

    What a wonderful, wonderful trip down memory lane and thank you for such an excellent reference!! Your photos, clothing and staging are incredible and the dolls are pure “sweethearts!” Your personal stories really made them come to life. Thanks again!

  2. Pat Pratt

    Hi Patricia,
    Enjoye your blog. My daugter, who is now in her 40s, loved the Ginnies and so I had one of each manufactures for her when she was in elementary school. Starting with the composition Toddles PE doll. You may want to look into them
    Hope you will enjoy your new Sweet Sue who is getting packed up right now.

  3. DollandCraftAdventures

    Pat,
    Glad you enjoyed the blog!
    I thought about getting a composition Toddles, but I just haven’t found one at a good price. Also, I was born in 1952, so the composition ones were just before my time. But, I’ll keep watching for one. Really the collection isn’t complete without one.

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