Monday, July 15, 2013

Vintage Plastic Dolls of Nations Kewpie Barbie

 retro chalet kewpie dolls
Set of Kewpie dolls for sale at retrochalet on Etsy
Children everywhere have been enthralled with the idea of dolls. Most dolls are plastic. The ones above were made in Taiwan and China, circa 60s to 70s.   Before the cushy feel of rubbery plastic, dolls were molded much harder, out of a hard plastic that often would crack or break when they were dropped. Much like the little party favors of yesteryear, the dolls below were hard circa 1950's.

vintage hard plastic dolls
These dolls in the original case, are from stefbodie on Etsy
However, one did not seem to care, as they were bought in the five and dime store probably for less than $1, or used as carnival prizes.  These above would have surely been priced at .29 cents to .49 cents and would have been a nice little doll to keep your tiny one occupied.  Something like this would never be allowed today, due to the fact it would be way too easy to break the arms and legs, which were then held together with rubber bands and/or mere string,

doll of nations
This doll of nations states it's a display only, not a toy, available at VintageCliffs on Etsy
I distinctly remember wherever my grandmother went, she brought me back a doll "Of nations" they were called. Basically these dolls represented "the wives" of different nations, and were all dressed differently. They were meant to never play with she said, but to display proudly that you were such a recipient of some pretty little doll.  Each were molded hard plastic, some with joined arms and legs, others with only jointed arms, and very pretty glasslike (but plastic) sleepy eyes.  They were in gift shops all over, luring grannies like mine to buy them for their adorable grandchildren, or for themselves to collect in a curio.

rubber cupid doll
This rubber cupie doll on Etsy is frm LaVintageBy Miss PJ55
Rubber dolls like the one above were cute,  and often contained squeakies in them. Certainly these were more for the dogs than kids, because over time rubber was not used as much as molded or hard plastic.  Even so, where would we be without plastic dolls?  Plastic dolls are still being made today.

Without plastic, these would be the mere possiblities:

Carved Wood Doll
From Etsy shop ThisandThat4U is a wooden carved doll with cloth body!

Porcelain Doll
Vintage Porcelain Doll from Etsy shop Via Dei Navigli


german doll metal
German Minerva Doll from City Different on Etsy
So what do you think?   Just not the same as our loveable dolls of yesterday, being wood, metal, or porcelain, now is it?  If you think plastic is not essential in toy making, then how could you look Barbie in the face and tell her that her reign is over?

vintage barbie
Vintage Barbie wouldn't look the same in porcelain, would she? Courtesy of Dusty 061996 on Etsy!

What was your favorite plastic doll growing up?  Let me know!

You May also want to  visit my new Retro Chalet wordpress blog to keep up with my latest Retro Finds!
Retro Finds

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