The next dolls out of the vintage box are three articulated dolls from 1969 -70. They are eleven and a half-inch Dollikin fashion dolls by Uneeda. One of these was Naomi’s childhood doll Lynne. She ended up with three of these dolls because Lynne disappeared at one stage and was feared lost forever. When she was in her teens a lot of Naomi’s toys ended up in the hands of destructive younger relatives or she was nagged to get rid of them by meddling aunties who thought that she was too old to keep all that stuff. Anyway Naomi bought herself another Dollikin who looked like Lynne and a brunette one to keep her company. Not long after that the original doll turned up again. She had not been given away after all. She is the one on the far right of the picture with her hair tied with plaited yarn.
The doll reference page which I looked up first described the fashion doll sized Dollikin rather dismissively as not being as rare or valuable as Uneeda’s earlier and larger Dollikin dolls.
The Uneeda Doll Company Inc made the Dollikin dolls from 1958 to the 1980s. The original dolls were 19-20″ fashion dolls with sleep eyes, rooted hair and sixteen points of articulation. You can read about these earlier dolls here. The fashion dolls that I’m going to talk about today have articulation at shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles.
Action Girl was the British take on Dollikin and was manufactured by Palitoy under licence. There are a few differences between the two in appearance. Action Girl did not have the little top ponytail like Dollikin and had side-glancing eyes with no eyelashes. She was a “sister doll” to Palitoy’s popular Action Man for boys and was marketed with her own range of fashions. Some were the same as Dollikin and some were unique to Action Girl. Action Girl was marketed as a mod girl who had lots of adventures somewhat like the character played by Diana Rigg in “The Avengers” which was a popular British TV show around that time.
Dollikin has centred blue eyes with long lashes like this one you can see below.
The difference between the Dollikin and Action Girl dolls and present day articulated dolls is that they are strung. Naturally at their ages the girls are a bit loose now so I was very careful in handling them. I’ve undressed one of the dolls so you can see the joints. I have no idea of the purpose of the belly button thing unless it is a central point for the stringing.
Dollikin is marked on her back “Dollikin, followed by the letter R in a circle, U.S. PAT#3010253, Other U.S and PAT PEND.” Her head is on a neck knob and she can rotate it from side to side and up and down a little bit.On the back of her neck she is marked “Uneeda Doll Co. Inc, MCMLXIX (That’s 1969 to save you looking it up) Made in Hong Kong” Her hair is long with a small ponytail at the top. They were released with various hair colours blonde, red and shades of brunette were common. Dollikin wore a one piece jumpsuit usually in pink, pale blue or yellow with a multicoloured sash but there were variations such as black or even floral.
According to the Vintage Doll Collector website the 1969 Dollikin was sold as “Fashion Dollikin” but in 1973 she was given a slightly different hair style and renamed “Action Dollikin”.
Uneeda also made a smaller version of Dollikin called Little Miss Dollikin. I have not seen one of these dolls nor have I seen Action Girl in the flesh. I’d quite like to get an Action Girl to hang with the Dollikins later on.
At the end of this post I’ve included some links as I usually do. I would particularly like to recommend “D is for Dollikin” an excellent reference to these dolls. I liked it so much I borrowed the title for this post from it.
http://ddahlia.tripod.com/ddollikin.html – D is for Dollikin