Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Whopping Huge 23" Madame Alexander Baby PUDDIN' Doll!

So, this little (or should I say HUGE!) cutie joined our family yesterday.  I think she is just about the sweetest baby I've ever seen, next to my own kids, of course!

She is a vintage Madame Alexander Puddin' doll from 1965 and measures a whopping 23" long!

I found her at the thrift store for $4.  I couldn't believe my good fortune!  I've always loved Madame Alexander baby dolls--they just have the sweetest faces.  And this Puddin' is no exception. 

She didn't have any clothes when I found her, so I promptly dug through my suitcase of vintage clothing and found a real baby dress, slip and bonnet to fit her.  The bonnet just barely fits...I will be looking for a bigger one for her the next time I'm at an antique mall or doll show.

Her soft, strawberry blond hair looks like it has never been played with.

I have never seen a Puddin' this big.  She measures a whopping 23" from head to toe.  All the research I've done on these dolls says that they only went up to 21".  Obviously, the Alexander doll company made bigger ones, but maybe not many?  Perhaps mine is a rather rare example of this large size?

I found a little dolly for her to hold.  I love all the soft pinks and whites together.

All the Puddin' dolls I've seen have had a little braid on one side of their head.  This one did not.  I suppose one could have been there at one point, but the hair looks too perfect for that to be so.  Another mystery?

I am absolutely thrilled with this baby.  I've been gravitating to smaller dolls lately for space issues (you can fit more dolls into a space if they are smaller, you know!), but sometimes a "life-sized" doll has such a presence that you just can't obtain from a smaller doll.  My daughter carried this doll all through the Goodwill, and bounced her on her hip as we walked out to the car.  All the cashiers and customers smiled. 

I would be curious to know if anybody else has seen a Puddin' doll this large before?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Effanbee Tonner 14" Party Pink PATSY Doll

My youngest is seven, and I am determined to make a life-long doll lover out of her!  (My oldest daughter lost interest in dolls once she became a teenager, and my middle daughter only ever liked stuffed animals.)  I use every major holiday as an excuse to add another cutie to her collection, in the hopes of holding her interest.  So far, so good.  This picture was taken on Easter, just after she had found her basket:

Do you see the darling little doll amidst the other goodies?

A closer shot

She really is just the cutest little thing ever!  This is an Effanbee Patsy doll, designed by Robert Tonner back in 2003.  I think her "official" name was Party Pink Patsy.

She is modeled after the composition Patsy dolls from the 1930's.

This little Patsy is made completely of strung vinyl.  Her right arm is bent and her left arm is straight, just like the original Patsys.

When I found her at a local doll show the day before Easter, I just knew she'd be the perfect addition to my daughter's Easter basket.   I have always been partial to pale blondes dressed in pink, and this sweetie is no exception.  There is just too much cuteness to resist!

Here she is, posing with an American Girl Angelina Ballerina Pram which I recently acquired through Ebay.  The baby in the pram is a Zapf Mini Baby Born doll.

I am very impressed with the quality of the pram.  The undercarriage and side handles are metal, the plastic is thick and sturdy, and the fabric hood actually opens and closes.  Originally, this pram came with a white satin pillow and blanket.  Since mine no longer had that, I substituted a pink satin, lace trimmed pillow I had lying around.  The Zapf baby is about 4" tall and fits well in the pram.  American Girl has made some wonderful accessories in the past, and this is one of them.  You can still find them readily available on Ebay in the $20-30 range.

This is such a great prop for dolls.

In case you don't know the story behind the Patsy doll, here's a brief history:  The Effanbee doll company first introduced the all composition Patsy doll back in 1928.  She was based on the very popular Armand Marseille "Just Me" bisque doll which had first been very popular in Europe.  The Vogue doll company decided to import these dolls and dress them to sell in the United States.

Here is an actual, antique "Just Me" doll with bisque head and composition body.  Can you see how similar her face is to my vinyl Patsy?

And here is a composition Patsy from the 1930's which Robert Tonner modeled his vinyl versions after.  They all have a cute, little rosebud mouth.

Isn't she just so sweet?

These dolls are no longer being made, but you can find them on Ebay or other online doll sites.  Their prices are all over the board, just depending on the seller.  I was able to purchase mine for just $35 at the doll show.  If you ever find one for a good price, don't hesitate to snap it up.  They are just too adorable, and you will smile every time you look at that sweet little face!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

14" Global Friends Doll AZIZA

So, I happened to be at the bank the other day, and as I was waiting for the teller to finish my transaction, I looked out the window and saw the Goodwill across the street.  This is not a Goodwill I normally go to, since they don't have a particular good doll selection.  They have a big toy aisle, but very few dolls.  Just about every time I've stopped in, I've been disappointed.  Well, not this time!  Since I had a few minutes before I needed to be home, I decided to just "run in real quick and check".  I'm so glad I did, because this is what I found:

AZIZA, a 14" Global Friends Doll!

I had never heard of these dolls before.  I didn't recognize her marks, but her face really reminded me of another doll, but I wasn't sure who.  I could tell by holding her that she was nice quality.  Her all vinyl body is heavy and smooth, she has inset eyes, and a nice wig.   Her original outfit looked to be complete and was nicely made with no Velcro--everything fastens with snaps.

Her little face is nicely sculpted with a sweet expression.  The more I looked at her, the more I couldn't get that nagging feeling out of my head that she reminded me of another doll!

The first thing I did upon arriving home was to look up "Global Friends" dolls on the internet.  There's not a lot of information, but I did find a couple of sites where I gleaned the following:

The first dolls came out in 1997.  I believe there were 13 different dolls, all made to represent different nationalities.  My Aziza represents a girl from Egypt.  I have since discovered that she is missing her headpiece.  This is what it looked like:

You could also buy extra accessories for these dolls...Aziza had a tent, among other things!

Here is an advertisement showing Gretchen (Germany), Mei Ling (China), Marissa (America), and Aku (Kenya)

And here are Aziza, Emily (East Coast, USA) Elizabeth (England) and Camina (Brazil)

There are five others I couldn't find an advertisement for:  Jody (America), Katrina (Russia), Clio (France),  Briana (Midwest America), and Mariko (Japan)

Apparently, McCall's even put out a pattern of clothing for these dolls:

And DOLL WORLD Magazine featured them on their front cover in October 1999:

I would really like to get a copy of this issue so that I can read the article. Ebay has one listed, but I'm debating whether or not I want it bad enough to pay the $7 plus $4.50 shipping they want for it.  I really like the cover doll...I believe this is Mariko.  I love Asian dolls!

Here is a back view of Aziza's costume.  It is nice quality and closes with snaps.

Side profile.  Her bangs didn't want to lay down.  I suppose her original headpiece solved that problem, but without it I guess I'll have to contend with flyaway hairs!

She has a heart embossed on her upper chest.

I started getting curious about how this doll might compare in size to another 14" doll I own--Hearts 4 Hearts Dell.  So here they are, side by side:

While they are the same height, you can see right away that Dell has a much larger head and her torso is much narrower. I was curious to see if Aziza could wear a dress that I made for Dell:

Looks pretty good from the front...

But the back is another issue!  Aziza is a full 1 1/2" larger in her chest measurement than Dell, so there was no way that dress was going to close!

These dolls are clearly marked on their upper backs

One thing I really like about these dolls is that their legs don't splay open too wide when put in a seated position, unlike the Hearts 4 Hearts girls:
Here you can see the huge difference in how their legs are articulated.

I finally stumbled across an article on the internet which solved the mystery of why these dolls look so familiar to is suggested that they were sculpted by Robert Tonner!  Tonner sculpted the Magic Attic Dolls, and I think the Global Friends look very similar.  Whether or not this is actually true I don't know for sure, but it does make perfect sense to me.

Here is a website where I found quite a bit of information about these dolls, in case you are interested in reading more:

I don't know what caused the demise of these dolls, or why I had never heard of them before.  Maybe it's because they were in direct competition with the American Girls, and we all know what a monopoly that AG has had on the doll community for quite some time!  Global Friends originally cost $59 a doll--quite a sum back in the 90's when an AG could be purchased for about $30 more.  And the AGs had so many accessories and clothing items available that most other dolls did not.  So maybe the timing just wasn't right for Global Friends.  However, I have noticed a trend recently towards smaller dolls, so maybe they are becoming more popular again?  I do like that they are a bit smaller and don't take up as much room. 

Global Friends can now only be purchased on the secondary market.  Ebay has a few, but not many.  I feel fortunate that I was able to find mine at Goodwill with a $4.99 price tag.  But now that I have her, I'd love to be able to find a few more examples of this cute little doll!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

8" Tonner Alice in Wonderland Doll

A few weeks ago, I attended a doll luncheon whose theme was "Falling Down the Rabbit Hole".   Imagine...a get-together with other doll lovers, centered entirely on Alice in Wonderland!  You didn't have to ask me twice if I wanted to attend, especially when I found out that the  souvenir all the attendees would receive was an 8" doll by Robert Tonner.  I love Tonner dolls, and I was sure I'd love this little Alice as well.  She did not disappoint:

8" of perfection from the top of her blond head to the soles of her cute, little Maryjane shoes.

I also found this adorable little hutch at Goodwill shortly after the luncheon...I thought it might be the perfect scale to use as a prop with little Alice.  It's plastic, but ornately modeled, so it really appealed to me.  The bottom doors are actually a drawer that pulls out, so one could store items down there if needed.  I just thought it would be a cute place to display the china Alice tea set (bottom shelf) that I picked up at Tuesday Morning a few months ago.

It's only three pieces--a plate, a cup & saucer (which are molded together),and a teapot with non-removable lid.  For some reason, I was having trouble getting my camera to keep all three items in focus, so this picture focuses on the plate...

...while this one focuses on the teapot:
Tuesday Morning used to get lots of great deals on dolls and collectible china sets like this one, but lately I don't find as much good stuff there anymore.

I think Alice looks right at home in front of this hutch.

This Alice has lovely, blue painted eyes and a silky, thick wig.   Her arms can lift out at the sides as well as up and down.  Another nice feature about this little cutie is that she has jointed knees!

"Oh, no!  Dinah, you are not to be up there!" 
(I think Alice's cat Dinah is usually portrayed as a dark colored kitten, but this little, china, Siamese cat was the only one I had available)

I love miniatures.  I bought this little kitty with my own money when I was a child.  My father built me a dollhouse, and I spent countless hours playing with it.  This little kitty was one of the "pets" in my dollhouse.

"No, Dinah, you mustn't!"

"You come down from there right now!"

Alice needed to drag over a chair in order to reach her naughty kitty!

Finally!  Safe in her lap at last.  Here you can see the way Alice's little knees can bend when she's sitting.

The week following the Alice luncheon, my doll club had our monthly meeting at a local tea house.  We all donned hats (provided by the restaurant!) and used our best manners (just kidding...I think we were all having too much fun for our own good!)  Here I am with my youngest, who got to come along on this excursion.

She brought along one of her favorite baby dolls, a vintage Corolle doll.

And I brought along Alice, who started to get into quite a bit of mischief, what with perching on things like teapots and the like.

She thought the sugar cubes looked tasty, and besides, one never knows if they might come in handy at a later date if she nibbled at one and it caused her to grow taller...

This little Alice is simply adorable.  I love her petite size, her serene expression, her bendable knees, and her detailed outfit.  She makes a delightful addition to my Alice collection.