Saturday, November 1, 2014

Wendy's Coney Island Outing

I've had a pile of dolls needing repair on my table for weeks now. Band, guests, and travels kept me from them, but this one didn't need too much in the way of repair so I was able to knock her out tonight.

A straight leg walker Wendy Kins from around 1954

The ALEX mark

This doll came in a lot of some of the filthiest dolls I've seen, and that's saying something! The previous owner got them from her aunt and dressed them in "close" she bought and then labeled each one with the brand and era. It was helpful. If only she hadn't also glued their original shoes to doll stands, super-glued her own human hair to a Jill doll's head, and let them get so dirty it appeared they may have been buried! Actually, what most likely occurred is the poor person died and her dolls were thrown in a barn or basement or attic or who knows where until the estate was liquidated.

Once I'd quadruple-cleaned little Wendy-Kins I could see there isn't much wrong with her under all the grime. She has a few scratches and marks from play, but nothing terrible. Her joints are stained from the dirt and I couldn't get them all the way clean. Her hip joints don't meet at the very tip tops. This is not a seam split but a factory flaw. You can tell from the rounded edges of the plastic inside the opening. If they were split seams they'd be sharper as though they were broken (which split seams are). I re-strung Wendy, styled her hair, and touched up a little paint rub on her lower lip and re-traced the outer edge of her right eyebrow, which was almost entirely faded.

There's a mark on her waist.

Her arm has some scratches.

These seams weren't fully closed; a factory flaw.

She has a rare brunette triple-stitched wig.

My research indicates this Wendy-Kins is one of the first straight leg walker dolls, produced in 1954 or 1955. She has the tanned skin and dark lip paint of the first non-walkers but is a walker. She has no painted eyelashes below her eyes. I looked this up and it turns out the Wendy-Kins were made without lower lashes, but rarely. She also has a rare brunette wig. Her eyes are a pale green and work well. She's just a really adorable and unusual doll! A great find!

Wendy buys a hot dog.

Wendy's purse really opens!

I found a beautiful and pretty much perfect Little Genius dress from the same era. This matches a Betsy McCall sun suit, also from the 1950s, and a modern plastic doll purse I had. This discovery inspired a whole scenario:

Wendy is beside herself with excitement, because today Mother promised to take her on the train out to Coney Island! Wendy chooses her blue and white striped sun suit and matching sinamay hat to wear on the beach. Over that she puts on her matching blue and white dress. She wears her lace-trimmed Alexander slip underneath to make the skirt stand out. Mother helps her button up the back of her dress. Wendy puts on her socks and shoes.

"Don't forget your purse, Wendy-Kins," says Mother. "You can carry your train ticket in there so you don't lose it." Wendy runs to get her purse and her allowance, in case she sees something she wants to buy in the shops.

The train station is full of hustle and bustle. Wendy finds lots to see out the windows. It's all so interesting, Wendy doesn't even remember to think about lunch. She doesn't remember, that is, until they arrive at Coney Island and a delicious scent wafts over from the hot dog stand. "Oh, Nathan's hot dogs!" Mother exclaims. "These are my favorite! They're famous." Wendy and mother buy their hot dogs and sit down on a bench by the water to eat them. "These are my favorite too!" says Wendy.

Wendy and Mother are very hot from sitting in the sun. Wendy is glad she brought her hat. They decide to change into their swim suits to go bathing in the ocean. Wendy takes off her clothes, except for her sun suit. She folds her clothes up neatly and puts them in Mother's beach bag. "Oh Wendy," sighs Mother, "Your bangs just want to part in the middle all the time." Mother brushes Wendy's bangs back into place.

They head for the beach and Wendy has a wonderful time splashing in the waves all afternoon. She has such a good time she doesn't even fuss when Mother says it's time to go. They get dressed and board the train, and before she knows it, the train is pulling into their station. "You fell asleep, Wendy-Kins!" laughs Mother. Wendy is so happy she doesn't even remember to look in the shops. What does that matter, though? Some things, money can't buy.

You can buy Wendy-Kins and all her clothes and accessories shown here, however! Just visit my store:

Wendy wears a tiny Betsy McCall sun suit.

Her new hat is trimmed with vintage trims.

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