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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shirley Temple Dolls - Program for June

Michelle gave a fascinating program on Shirley Temple dolls, and brought a table full that she had collected. Below is a summary:  

 Shirley Temple was discovered at the age of three by a film producer named Jack Hays, who saw her taking tap dancing lessons. He was excited to have her star in a series of short films. 
She later auditioned for "Stand Up and Cheer" and "Baby Take a Bow." After the success of these two movies and many, many others Ideal Novelty and Toy Company gained exclusive rights to manufacture dolls using her name. 

The first Shirley Temple dolls were marketed in fall of 1934, at that time, "Stand Up and Cheer" had just come out, and Shirley was just beginning to gain popularity. These dolls were made of composition. Because Ideal (the ONLY company licensed to sell the Shirley Temple doll) did not know how successful the dolls would be, the first dolls, the "prototype" doll, were not marked Shirley Temple, and were only marked on the inside of the head "(C) 1934 Ideal Novelty and Toy Co."(also might be marked just Ideal on the head), these dolls had chubbier cheeks than the Shirleys made later in production, probably because Shirley was so young, and chubby herself. These dolls are slightly more valuable than the later Shirley dolls.  Once Christmas of 1934 came, and Ideal saw how successful the Shirley doll would be, they got a patent on the Shirley Temple doll. For the first year of production, the name SHIRLEY TEMPLE was stamped on the doll along with a COP, which stood for Copyright Pending. Once Ideal got the copyright, the dolls said SHIRLEY TEMPLE on their head and back. The markings came as follows:
    1.SHIRLEY TEMPLE (in the shape of a half circle)
    2.SHIRLEY TEMPLE (in the shape of a half circle) IDEAL N.&T.Co. (inside the half circle, usually written IDEAL, straight across, on one line, and N.&T.Co. on the next), this mark also came with COP (C with the O and P inside it), to stand for Copyright Pending
    3.Shirley Temple
    SHIRLEY TEMPLE (just as written)
    4.Shirley Temple with IDEAL in a diamond below it, I have also seen just the Ideal in the diamond on the back of some Shirley dolls.

Many of Ideal dolls used the Shirley Temple body, and therefore just because a compo doll is marked SHIRLEY TEMPLE on her back does not mean that she is a Shirley Temple doll. Two Ideal dolls actually used the Shirley face mold as well, these were the compo Ideal Snow White doll, and the "Marama" doll, a cute doll with a brown complexion, long dark yarn hair, and painted eyes dressed in a hula skirt. These two dolls are also collected by some Shirley collectors because they were made with the Shirley mold and are slightly more valuable than if they had not been made with the Shirley mold.

In 1935-1936 came the Shirley Temple baby dolls. These dolls had a composition shoulder plate, head, legs, arms and a cloth body. Vinyl dolls were made from 1957-1963 during Shirley's popularity and during the Shirley Storybook Series on TV. They were made out of vinyl, with a smiling dimpled mouth and saran hair. In the 1970's Montgomery Ward came out with a Shirley doll. She was made of vinyl, with saran hair, curled in front and short in the back. In the 1980's the vinyl Shirley Dolls were made. They came in 8" and 12" sizes and in a variety of her movie costumes. These dolls have pale white skin supposedly because the actress Shirley Temple wanted them to look more like porcelain dolls. From 1986 to now, Danbury Mint makes Shirley Temple dolls. They are limited edition dolls with elaborate costumes.

Many parents in the 1930's could not afford to buy a Shirley Temple doll for their own children, because they were so expensive. So, many companies offered their own version of the Shirley Temple doll. Some of these dolls have the names: Miss Charming, Little Miss Movie, The Movie Queen and Little Sweetheart. These dolls are not marked.

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