Friday, December 28, 2012

Mary Heartline - Another Doll Using The P-90 Series Of Bodies

Mary Hartline. Another doll of the golden era of dolls using the P-
90, 91, 92 and 94 body by the Ideal Doll Company. Considered one of
the early celebrity dolls, following Shirley Temple, Deanna Durban,
Judy Garland, etc.  The Ideal Company again used the Toni head mold
to create the Mary Heartline doll.  They added additional eye shadow
to the face which makes it easy to identify a Mary Heartline from a 
Tony when the original clothing is missing.
In Chicago is 1949, a television show debuted call "Super Circus".
 (I watched it many times).
It was a variety show that included many circus acts. I can remember
watching the show on Saturday mornings. The Hostess of the show was a
beautiful blonde called Mary Hartline, also called the "Pretty Princess of  TV"
 She introduced the acts on
the show. Mary was dressed in a red and white majorette outfit. Her
wholesome good looks made her an instant celebrity.
Super Circus became an instant success and in 1952 moved to New York
City. Jerry Colona joined the cast as host. There were many
imitation shows that followed. One such show had a Hostess named
Sally Starr. Sally Starr was also made into a doll, but did not
enjoy the success of the Mary Hartline doll made by the Ideal doll
In those days in the fifties most actress were washed up by the time
they reached the ripe old age of thirty-five. By age thirty-five
Mary Hartline had also become a victim. Mary chose to graciously
retire and marry millionaire Woolworth Donahue and moved to Palm
Beach, Florida. She wanted nothing to do with her past celebrity and
not wanting at a much older age to be compared with her youthful
image. It is not known what she did in her later years as the lived
a completely private life.
The Mary Hartline doll Manufactured by the Ideal Doll Company was
dressed in majorette style dresses with long sleeves and written in
white a band of musical bars and notes across the bottom of the
skirt. Above this is written "Mary Hartline". Across the front
bodice is a heart that has "Mary" written on it. She wore white
majorette boots. The majorette dresses came in red (the most
common), green, and navy blue with white writing. The dresses were
also less commonly made in white with the above colors used for the
writing. They were made of both cotton and satin. Mary Heartline dolls
were made in all the sizes of the P-90 body series.  There also was a seven 
and one half inch version.   Still today, the
Mary Hartline dolls are considered beautiful and quite collectible.
A nice addition to anyone's doll collection. 

If you have a Mary Hartline and her boots are yellowed or dirty,
polish them with a good grade shoe polish as you would your own shoes.


  1. I so love the Toni dolls but never quite understood why the Mary Heartline dolls were not made with a slightly more mature face and even a more curvy body. My Toni is a little girl and I would never let her wear eye-shadow or big girl clothes, LOL!
    Mary was wholesome and attractive, but definitely a young lady and not a child. Was economy the only reason for not making her in a different style? This is by no means a criticism of the doll, but an interested inquiry, so I hope not to have hurt anybody who has a treasured childhood Mary Heartline doll.Jenni

  2. It's nice to learn the history of dolls. Mary Hartline was way before my time, but I have seen them here & there. I think the Ideal Company made some of the prettiest dolls ever made.