Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rare Toni

This toni is a very rare Toni.  This P-90 has brown eyes
 and platinum blonde hair. 
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Two Pre Toni's

The Pre Toni as they are called by collectors are dolls that were made using the Toni body and head molds that have a mohair wig.  The painting is softer and they are slightly prettier than a Toni.  They are hard to find and collectors love them.

 This Pre  Toni's had has a  haircut.  I have not replaced the wig as it does not look too bad and it is her original mohair wig.  She is on a P-90 body..   
This Pre Toni has her original wig.  She is very rare as redheads are very hard to find. She is on a P-91 body.  She is unmarked.  There is a disagreement among collectors if these unmarked dolls are actually Ideal dolls or were knock-offs.  It is argued that they are indeed Ideal and were the first of the dolls made using the P-90 series of bodies and the Toni head molds.    I have found no conclusive evidence either way.  They are among my favorites.  Note the soft coloring on both these dolls.   
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Ideal Toni Dolls

History of Ideal's Toni.

 One of the most popular dolls of the 1950's, Toni was made by the
Ideal Doll Company from 1948 to 1956. The first dolls were
introduced by actress June Haver (Who later married actor Fred
McMurray of TV's My Three Sons fame and many movies) just in time for
the Christmas season . Toni is marked on the upper back torso. The
marks are: P-90, for the 14", P-91, for the 15" up to P-94 for the
24". The dolls were designed by Benjamin Mitchtom, one of the owners
of the Ideal Doll Company. The doll is made of hard plastic which is
either styrene, acetate, or butyrate. The sizes are 14" to 24" with
half sizes also. Toni had a five piece straight leg body. In 1954 -
1956 there were Toni's made with a walker body. When
new the cost for the 14" was $10.00 up to $18.00 for the 24".
 Mr Mitchtom of Ideal joined with The Gillette Company maker of the Toni
Home permanent to promote the doll that could be given a home
permanent. Toni had a special nylon wig for that purpose. This also
makes Toni an advertising doll. A small sized Toni Home Permanent kit
came with the doll when new as did a hand tag on the wrist. There
are other dolls in the 50's that used the P-90 - P-94 bodies. A
different vinyl head was used for each of these. Toni's head was
always hard plastic. Some of these dolls using the Toni bodies with
vinyl heads are: Sara Ann, Mary Heartline, Miss Curity, Betsy
McCall, Ruth and Harriet Hubbard Ayer. Princess Mary used the five
piece walker body.
Toni came in many hair and eye colors. The most commonly found Toni
is the P-90 14" green eyed platinum blonde. The common eye colors
are green and blue with brown being extremely rare. The hair colors
are platinum, honey and golden blonde, auburn, light and dark brown, and black, with
red very hard to find. Toni had many dress styles and lots of
different fabrics were used with cotton being the most common, but 
taffeta and nylon were also used. Her shoes had a center snap on the
ankle strap. The socks were usually white cotton, but some were made
of rayon. The slip was a half slip made of white 100% cotton with a
small white lace trim that was also matched with the panties. The
slip was sewn into the waist of the dress. The clothing tags on the
Toni are not in good condition consider replacing them with
reproduction clothing.  Save the original clothes. There are copies
of the original Toni patterns. Look at pictures of Toni's in
original clothing and pay special attention to the patterns of the
prints and plaids and color combinations. Also look carefully at the
laces and trims that were used. You can find some close matches if
you shop carefully.
Mr Mitchtom was so proud of Toni he had some of the top fashion
designers of the day design gowns for her. These are very hard to
find. I have seen pictures of some these gowns and they are
Toni also came as a bride. She wore a long white dress with a long
veil. The fabrics and style of the dresses and veils vary depending
on the year made.
Ideal also made a doll that was a forerunner of the Toni that is
sometimes called a Toni. She is not a Toni. She has the P-90, and P-92 five
piece straight leg hard plastic body. She also had a hard plastic
head and Toni face with the paler flesh color that is associated with
the earlier Toni's. The real distinction is her wig is made of
mohair and she could not be given the Toni Home Permanent and is
therefore not a Toni.  Collectors call this doll the Pre-Toni.  Only the dolls with 
the nylon wigs that could be give the permanent are considered Toni's. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

More P-90 Dolls

A Toni collector who has researched and collected Toni and related dolls for many years sent the following information to the Ideal Toni Group on Yahoo Groups and with her permission I am passing on the information.  There is so much to learn about the dolls that we love and collect.

Toni Family List
1.       ‘Pre-Toni’ ca. 1947-48, sold primarily through catalogs, such as Montgomery Ward; Sears, Roebuck & Co.; and Alden’s
2.       Toni - manufactured under license to Gillette, ca. 1949 – 1953 – all hard plastic, nylon wig only, 5 sizes
3.       Toni Walker - slimmer body type than Toni, referred to as having a sub-deb body. Each of the Toni walkers was ½-inch taller than its strung counterpart. All hard plastic, nylon wig only.
4.       Sara Ann - Toni’s successor. Made in same sizes as authentic Toni, but with saran wig and made from a different type of plastic (not painted). Retailed for about half the price of Toni.
5.       Sara Ann - Walker ??? It is questionable whether or not Sara Ann was ever made as a walker. Some sources say ‘yes’; others say ‘no’. I’ve never seen either a photo of a supposed Sara Ann Walker or an actual Sara Ann Walker doll..
6.       Betsy McCall - 1952 made under license with McCall Corp. 14 inch, P-90 ONLY. Strung doll only. Dark brunette saran wig; root-beer brown eyes. Other sizes were made by other companies later.
7.       Harriet Hubbard Ayer - 1953 - strung doll - hard plastic body and legs, vinyl head and arms, saran hair
8.       Miss Curity – P-90 (14 inches ONLY) - Strung doll - all hard plastic, blonde saran wig, heavy eye make-up. Nurse uniform. Ideal made a 7½-inch Miss Curity, but she is not considered a ‘Toni Family’ doll, as she was not made from the same parts as any Toni.
9.       Mary Hartline - 1952 - strung, P-91, P-94 all hard plastic platinum blonde side-part wig. Majorette costume in red (most common), royal blue, or green. As with Miss Curity, Ideal made a 7½-inch Mary Hartline, but she is not considered a ‘Toni Family’ doll, as she was not made from the same parts as any Toni.
10.   Mary Hartline - 1952 - walker, P-91, all hard plastic, platinum blonde side-part saran wig. Uncertain whether there was a P-94 Mary Hartline walker. The Mary Hartline walker is not listed in most books, but I have seen actual Mary Hartline walkers.
11.   Mary Hartline - 1954 - walker - vinyl head, rooted saran hair, white satin costume enhanced with gold heart motif
12.   Princess Mary –1953-56 - walker - hard plastic body, arms, & legs, stuffed vinyl head, saran hair
13.   Ruth - 1953-56 - strung - hard plastic body, arms, & legs, stuffed vinyl head, saran hair
NOTE: Ruth and Princess Mary are the same doll (same parts and head mold), except the Ruth is strung and Princess Mary is a (pin-hipped) walker.
14.   Ideal’s Walking Bride - 1955-56 - 14 inches - Vinyl head and body - Head marked W 90; body marked 90 W (NOT P-90 W). Not a true ‘Toni family’ member due to slightly different head and body molds, but books seem to group this doll with the Toni dolls.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Restoring Toni 1

Toni in 6 pieces.  The head of this Toni was one of a group of three heads I purchased.  The body was a separate purchase.  All the parts were very dirty.  I cleaned and repainted the body as it had lighter spots on it.  The face paint was very good and just required a good cleaning and the hair was washed.  The hair had been trimmed, so a trim was in order.  Since the hair was even, full and pretty, I decided not to replace the wig.  In the pictures below I am ready to string her.

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Toni Is Now A Doll 2

A New Toni
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The Other Toni Heads 3

These are the other two Toni heads with bodies after  restringing. 
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A Beautiful Toni 4

A Beautiful Doll. The brunette after being dressed.
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Toni Dressed As A Bride 5

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Two More Toni's Restored 6

The other two Toni heads after stringing.
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Another Beautiful Toni 7

This is the second Toni I restored.  The blonde Toni is gone.  I made the mistake of letting my daughter see her. 
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ideal P-90 Series Hard Plastic Bodies

The P-90 Ideal Body. The P-90 thru P-93 series of hard plastic doll
bodies are best known as the body of the Ideal Toni Doll, a very
popular doll from 1947 thru 1956. The Toni doll had a five piece
strung hard plastic body with a head all made of hard plastic. The
Toni is among the most collectible dolls of today.
The Ideal Toy Company sought to cash in on the popularity of these
dolls and the popularity of the new vinyl dolls, issued many dolls
using the P-90 series of bodies with vinyl heads.
Beginning in 1951, Ideal introduced "All Plastic Girl Doll". Using
the P-90 body and a vinyl head, mohair wig and sleep eyes. She was
attired in a dress, hat and front snap shoes. Also during this time period Ideal 
introduced an all  hard plastic doll using the Toni head mold on the P-90
body mold. This doll was named Sara Ann.  The only way to identify Sara
Ann is she has a saran wig, instead of the Nylon wig that Toni used.  Ideal
could sell this doll with out paying the expensive royalties to the Gillette
company for the Toni name.  
In 1952 and 1953, Ideal introduced "Betsy McCall" based on the famous
McCall's Magazine Paper Doll by the same name. Also a fourteen-inch
doll with the p-90 hard plastic body. Betsy had a vinyl head with a
glued on dark brown saran wig and brown eyes. Betsy's face was
sculpted by the famous doll sculptor Max Lipert. Her original price
was $7.95. Betsy was also issued in a twenty-inch version with
flirty brown eyes.
In 1953, came the introduction of "Ruth" a less expensive doll. The
reason Ruth cost less is that Ideal did not have to pay royalties for
a brand name. Ruth came on P-90. 92 and 93 bodies and had a vinyl
head with rooted hair. She wore a party dress and came with a set of
In 1955 and 56 Ideal introduced Princess Mary still using the P-90
set of bodies and a stuffed vinyl head with rooted brown saran hair.
Princess Mary was made in three sizes and also as a walker using the
P-90W bodies. Most of these dolls came dressed in a long rayon gown
with an attached slip. A few also came in play dresses.
Several of Ideals dolls considered to be all hard plastic have been
found with vinyl heads and rooted hair. These possibly being made at
the 1955-56 end of run of these dolls. The most notable dolls that
have been found are Toni and Mary Heartline. These dolls are
considered to be very rare.

Below are pictures of Sara Ann and Princess Mary, both of which I have in my
Toni collection. 

Dolls on Ideal P-90 Bodies

Sara Ann, an all hard plastic doll using the P-90 body and Toni head mold.  The only difference between Sara Ann and a Toni is Sara Ann has a wig made of saran instead of Nylon that the Toni wig is made of.

Princess Mary also uses the P-90 hard plastic doll body and the Toni head mold.  The only difference between Princess Mary and Toni is that Princess Mary has a vinyl head.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012


Today is the second Saturday In June.  This is the day that is celebrated as World Doll Day.  In my celebration of the day, I am posting pictures of many of my dolls.  I have a varied collection as you will see.  This is only a portion of my dolls.  I hope you enjoy seeing many of my dolls.

My Antique Dolls

Some of my antique dollsPosted by Picasa

Some Of My Antique Reproductions

More dolls I have made.
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Meet My Bleuettes

I love my Bleuettes.Posted by Picasa

A few of My Toni's

Ideal Toni Dolls
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Beautiful Doll Faces

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