Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gotz Toddler Cutie: Restoring a Modern Doll

A lot of modern dolls in need of restoration.

Maxy Aquina by Gotz after cleaning.

The doll lot with new clothing.

A recent consignment sale yielded the group of dolls shown above. Some research told me these were Mattel Teen Trends Deondra, Gotz Maxy Aquina, and Effanbee Twinkie. The first two dolls are modern, produced within the last 10-15 years most likely. The Effanbee doll is a vintage baby doll from 1968. I saw the Effanbee baby from across the room and could see it was an classic baby doll of high quality. When I walked over to the table I immediately recognized the Gotz doll and grabbed her (this is the type of sale where you have to elbow your way to the deals and NEVER let go of something you might want to buy!). This particular Gotz face reminds me of the children's book illustrations by Eloise Wilkin. Her sweet children adorned, it seemed, about 50% percent of the Golden Books published between 1950 and 1970. Garth Williams had the other 50%! I loved the We Help Mommy and Daddy books she illustrated, as well as Where Did Baby Go? This little girl, or rather the girl this doll resembles, was the child of a friend of hers and Eloise used her as a model from babyhood. I couldn't resist putting the retro Dr. Denton sleeper on her, since it looks so 50s with its little rump flap! The sleeper came on the Effanbee baby but it seemed to modern for her. I'm doing her in a more classic style. Keep watching for that one!

My youngest sister always wore Dr. Denton sleepers. Hers were mostly yellow. She was the cutest baby, the only tow-head among us, and with her fluffy white baby hair and round dark eyes she looked like some kind of baby duckling or chick in her yellow sleeper. This sleeper was not original to the Effanbee baby; it was made by Horsman doll company in 1988, probably the height of Dr. Denton fever. Do they even make that brand any more?

This baby was in pretty good shape. Her hair needed a good styling, and she had a lot of general grime. She was a well-loved doll! And why not...she's beautifully made! Doing the research to identify her I found she is water-proof and can be bathed. Despite that she has working sleep eyes. She's jointed and beautifully-sculpted. She looks like a real toddler! Her hair is wonderful and thick. I cleaned her vinyl body all over with a Mr. Clean Eraser, avoiding her face where it is painted. She already had a rub in her lip paint so I went over it in artist's acrylics, safe for play, and now she looks great. If her hair had been really dirty I could have cleaned it with liquid fabric softener and then conditioned it with monoi oil, but inn this case just brushing was sufficient.

Another nice thing about this doll is that she can wear the Bitty Baby and Bitty Twin clothes and shoes, all except Bitty Baby's hats because she has too much hair. To finish her restoration I made a pair of panties for her to wear under her original outfit, a pair of vintage shoes, and a swimsuit. I gave her the sleeper, and a new baby duck toy for the bath or pool.

This was a nice restoration. It wasn't terribly challenging but the result is adorable! My daughter loved helping me brush her hair and take the photos, too. Next up is the vintage baby. Baby dolls are a change for me, but I've enjoyed doing these. It reminded me of the year my daughter got her Bitty Baby and loved her baby dolls. She's moving on to older dolls and now our youngest son loves the babies. He likes to pretend to feed and diaper them. Since he's my third I know the baby phase  doesn't last very long, especially with boys, and I'm determined to enjoy it!

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