Collecting Dolls From The 1950S And 1960S

Collecting dolls from the 1950s and 1960s. A variety of dolls were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s. Take a step back through memory lane to re-visit these treasures.

The 1950s and the 1960s saw the introduction of a variety of dolls. Prior to that time, there were many baby dolls, collector dolls, but during that era the lid was taken off the doll box! Exciting new varieties, such as fashion dolls and talking dolls, were introduced to the delight of little girls throughout America.


In 1959, when country was in a post-war boom, and Baby Boomers were being born, a legend was created. Barbie, first introduced by Mattel in 1959, stole the hearts of school-age girls (and in many cases, their mothers, too!). The 11 1/2 inch doll was introduced sporting a pony tail and a black and white striped one-piece bathing suit. She arrived in high heels, with a figure any girl would want.

In true fashion doll style, girls could select from a variety of clothing, from career attire to evening wear. A famous gown, black "sequined-like," was called "Solo in the Spotlight." Recently, this outfit, in excellent condition sold at a doll show for around $100 (doll excluded).

Pony tail Barbie was followed by "Bubble hair" Barbie sporting a 1960s look. Soon she had friends and relatives, including Ken, Midge, Skipper (a smaller doll). Barbie playhouses and cars followed, and Barbie was launched. Forty years later she is still an icon.

Chatty Cathy

Chatty Cathy was a doll that appeared like a school aged girl. She had a string in the back of her neck which, when pulled, resulted in a sentence. She was all the rage and girls enjoyed brushing her hair, changing her clothes, and most of all, hearing her talk. With much use, her string eventually stopped working, silencing the poor doll, but she did last for years. Today, she is available in specialty catalogs.

Poor Pitiful Pearl

Poor Pitiful Pearl, made by Horsman, had two looks, the "before" and "after." In the first, she was dressed in a raggedy dress and babushka scarf around her head. Her sad face and eyes made little girls want to fix her up for "the party." Pearl also came with a pretty pink party dress and shoes, as well as a comb. With her new look, she appeared more ready for the party, but she still possessed those sad eyes and mouth. She was made of hard vinyl from head to toe, but in the 1980s a new version was created with a soft body.


Tressy was similar to Barbie, a fashion doll of sorts. However, she had a special magic all her own, and it is related to her name. If a button on her abdomen was pushed in while pulling her hair, it would grow! Then it could be tucked back in for a shorter hair look. This process of pulling the hair out and in provided entertainment for hours.

Mrs. Beasley

The famous show, "Family Affair" inspired the production of Mrs. Beasley, as she was the doll that appeared on television. She was made of hard vinyl and wore a blue and white polka dotted dress and spectacles on her eyes. She had round cheeks and that wonderful smile.

Poland Dolls

Made in Poland, these cloth-bodied and resin-faced dolls wore braids and "Heidi-type" dresses. They were very unique, wearing the colorful dresses and having different colored yarn hair, always in braids. They were available in department stores and were popular in their day.

Their legs were stamped with the word, "Poland."

Troll Dolls

Small trolls with that long fuzzy hair arrived in the 1960s, and gained popularity. There were the dolls, naked or dressed, and then accessories, such as rings were introduced. Trolls had the distinctive face of a -- troll!

Beatles Dolls

The four Beatles -- John, Paul, George and Ringo -- were immortalized into vinyl dolls, complete with the famous long hair and bangs. They each carried a guitar (drum for Ringo) and smiled their way into our hearts. These dolls are extinct, and valuable in mint condition.

If you are trying to locate the dolls, check vintage doll shops, Internet auctions (search by name of doll) or local Doll Shows. Doll collecting magazines and books list the values of these smiling treasures.

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