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