A New Doll Project


One of the dolls who has been patiently waiting for new clothes for a long time is this walking doll.

Mystery walking, talking doll.
Mystery walking, talking doll.

It is at least a couple of years now since I got her and I can’t remember now if I bought her or my sister did. I think what happened was that she spotted the doll in her local Op Shop and took me to see her. I bought her for the grand sum of $5 and took her home on the bus. She was dressed in much too large children’s clothing and had a few issues but I liked her face and she has some interesting features. This is how she looked when I got her.

Op Shop Walking Doll
Op Shop Walking Doll

I am still trying to work out exactly what doll she is. I’ve not found a picture of one exactly like her. She is about twenty inches tall and made of hard plastic. I estimate her to be from the mid 1960s but that’s a bit of a guess. She is marked “Made in Japan” on her back and has the number 11 on the back of her neck just below her hairline.

I know she is not a Chatty Cathy, I don’t think she is a Mattel doll actually. She just doesn’t have a Mattel look to her to me. I did think that she might be an Ideal doll. She reminds me a little of Goody Two Shoes although her face is different from the ones I found online.

Her legs are attached with large metal joints and all her various openings have large, Phillips Head screws. She’s almost like a robot in doll form. I’ve never named her but thinking about this I think I’ll call her Roberta from now on.

Here is a close up of her face.
Here is a close up of her face.

 

Although she doesn’t work now she is a battery operated walking, talking doll. She has a couple of large compartment’s in her back.One large one that looks like it is meant for two “D” sized batteries and one small which might take a single “C” sized one.  There is a knob on her back which may have been for a pull string and an on/off switch. On her chest she has a large, intrusive looking lever.  Her feet are large and the shoes seem to be permanently attached to her feet. The underside looks as if something else might have been attached, perhaps just soles or perhaps something like skates. I don’t know.

This is her back view.
This is her back view.
Speaker on her front.
Speaker on her front.
Her feet close up.
Her feet close up.

 

Roberta’s body has been taped together so it has probably either split or been opened at some time in the past. This is one of the issues that I need to look at although I’m not sure if I want to repair the splits myself. I may soak the tape off and see what happens. It will take an expert to get her walking and talking again though.

My project will be to gussy her up a bit with a hair do and a new outfit.  I’ve tried different dresses on her in the past but because of her extremely large hips she is hard to fit. I’ll probably have to make something for her but I haven’t decided what. I’d also like to find out a bit more about her so I can dress her in something appropriate to her era.

Naturally I’d be thrilled to bits if anyone can tell me a bit more about Roberta. When I’ve smartened her up I’ll post about her again.

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4 comments

  1. I sympathise with Roberta and the hips, LOL. I have no idea what doll she is but my best friend was given a big walker in about 1959. She had a wig glued on and she was wearing traditional Japanese or Chinese clothes. Her Uncle(my friend not the doll!) was a chef on the Uk Australia liners and brought her back to UK as a gift. We were told he had bought her in Japan or China. I don’t think she had anything under her shoes though but she did not walk all that well. Hope someone has some info for you. Loma.

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  2. I was checking out your site due to its was looking for the name of my doll as a child. She has the same face as this doll and I believe they could be the same. I thought you might be interested. What I can remember she was bought from a jumble sale early seventies she walked can’t remember if she talked their was some damage even then but loved her just the same.
    The tube part on her back was for a dog that walked with her tube fitted from dog to doll and when you pumped up her hand they walked together in don’t remember a lot more. Though it might help, I still have her now.

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    • That is interesting. I have a smaller doll with a dog which is the same as you described. She’s called Penny Puppy Walker. She has the littlle dog attached to a tube and a pump too. I don’t know if my Roberta is maybe a larger version of the same. I’d never thought of comparing their faces but I will now to see if there is any similarity. Thanks for the information.

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