Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dolls Small To Tall

Babe Biddle in the Klub
I've been on an extended shopping spree for the past couple weeks, both in local thrift stores and online, getting the stores packed full for the upcoming holiday season. I love shopping and filling the stores gives me a chance to buy without depleting my savings (I hope). It's a little nerve-wracking because there's always the worry I will be stuck with unsellable inventory, but I reassure myself I know what I'm doing, I've been doing this for more than 15 years, I have a good eye, etcetera. And sure enough, two dolls I just listed already have bids on eBay and all of them have watchers. I don't think these are going to hang around for long, so you will probably want to head on over to Atelier Mandaline on eBay to get your preferred choice!

The Liddle Kiddles Klub house and carrying case from 1965

My parents visited over Labor Day weekend and my mom wanted to go to Ledford's in Lincolnton, NC so we headed to town. Everyone from here calls going to Lincolnton "Going to town" even though it's about a 45 minute drive. Ledford's is for sale by owner and I got all excited thinking I could maybe buy it and have a real store (they're famous in the area for fantastic fabric prices and re-upholstery) but the owner told me he wants half a million dollars for it. So... no brick and mortar happening anytime soon! A lot of people did take the retail plunge, I'm happy to say, and downtown Lincolnton is full of new shops. I could have spent half a million dollars right there! I confined myself to about $100 but picked up some great stuff for my shop. One fantastic find was a case full of Liddle Kiddles and similar dolls from the mid-1960s. My mom couldn't believe I bought this even when I showed her on eBay how some of these dolls sell for over $400 if they're new in their packages. I can actually remember standing in a store begging for the Kiddles packaged in pop bottles but my mom would never buy me one. She said they were trash. If only we had known then what we know now!

Making custom accessories

My Kiddles were not new in the package, alas, and not complete, so they are listed for much lower prices, with starting bids between $10 and $20. I did make some custom pieces for the two Storybook Kiddles, Liddle Biddle Peep and Liddle Red Riding Hiddle. I made Red a new felt hood since hers is missing and gave her a tiny storybook charm featuring her tale.

Red's custom pieces and original dress

Her hair is in its original set.

For Biddle Peep I made a new shepherd's crook from a pipe cleaner and embellished her bonnet to hide a spot I couldn't wash out. The original doll came with a giant sheep (in real life this sheep would have been the size of a Clydesdale) but I didn't make a replacement since I figure her sheep are supposed to be lost!

Peep's original outfit and comb with replaced crook

Her hair is in its original set.

Babe Biddle was evidently supposed to be some kind of drag racer chick, which I think is kind of odd since she wears a kerchief and gingham dress. She originally had a car and a red biker jacket, but those are missing. Otherwise she's in perfect shape.

Babe's original clothes and comb.

She has a faint dye transfer on her arm.

Her hair is in its original set.
The last doll in the case is a Kiddle competitor (Kompetitor?), one of the Uneeda Pee Wees. They don't have the detail the Kiddles have. The Kiddles have a wire armature and jointed head so they can pose, but the Pee Wees are "Frozen Charlotte" dolls with no joints. I don't know what this one is called. She wears a dress that looks like it's printed with Danish flags sort of. Her sandy blond hair is in its original side ponytail. I did have to mend her underpants by sewing them to her body since the snap pulled through but otherwise she's pretty perfect!

Uneeda Pee Wees doll, all original

Her hair is in its original set.
A big departure, literally, from the tiny 3 inch dolls is this tall drink of water, a 20 inch 14R bride doll by Allied Eastern Enterprises. These dolls were made as inexpensive knockoffs of the Revlon and Cissy fashion dolls of the 1950s. They were sold at dime stores and grocery stores, leading to their nickname, "grocery store dolls." Their costumes and accessories were still quite elaborate, although not made of as high quality fabrics as the brand name dolls. My mother remembers her Horsman Cindy doll, though a more expensive doll than a grocery store doll, had a dress that fell all apart even though she used Cindy as a display doll rather than a play doll. This red haired grocery store bride needed a little repair to the metallic silver lace overlay on her dress but has otherwise held up well. I had fun making her some real gold plated jewelry and replacing her corroded earring posts and styling her hair. I went for Maureen O'Hara's makeover style from The Parent Trap movie and think this lady is a true likeness! My eBay 10 day auction event is going on through September 19th. Each day I am listing new items at low starting bids, a celebration of and gift for all my eBay store followers: over 100 now! I am also listing new lovelies in my Etsy shop, including my handmade shell and Spanish moss angel and Madonna Christmas ornaments, so please stop by that shop too.

A Maureen O'Hara lookalike 

She was beginning to get green ear so I replaced her earring posts.

The new posts are made of real gold plated wire.

I also made a gold plated wedding band.

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