Meet Pedigree Penny

As I mentioned in my post about the Hobart Doll Show, Naomi recently found me another Pedigree Walker. I have always had a soft spot for these dolls although I only got Marilyn, my first one,  a couple of years ago.

This doll is a little smaller than Marilyn, she is a sixteen inch walker and Naomi found her at a Tip Shop. Tip Shops are shops which are often located at the site of a council rubbish dump. At one time when some people went to dump their rubbish they would fossick around for interesting things that others had left. Now of course that is not allowed because of OH&S regulations so Tip Shops became places that sold the things that still had some life in them.

I must say that I was surprised that anyone would take a Pedigree Walker to the dump if she wasn’t broken. Penny, as she has been christened, has a few issues but she has all her limbs and no cracks or chips. She is even marked Pedigree on the back of her neck. Australian Pedigree dolls are sometimes found unmarked so maybe Penny emigrated with some little girl in the 1950s or early 1960s.

Penny when she arrived.
Penny when she arrived.

Here is Penny as she was when Naomi gave her to me. She came up with the name and I like it so Penny she is.

Penny is made of hard plastic and has a large mama box in her back marked 16T. The mama doesn’t work but that’s not unusual in a doll of her age.  As I mentioned she has the Pedigree mark on the back of her neck.

Apart from the fact that she was filthy Penny’s biggest issues are her hair and her eyebrows. Penny once had a glued on wig but as you can see most of it is gone now. As she has a hard plastic head and a glued on wig I think she is probably more likely to be from the fifties before vinyl dolls had become common. It looks as if her hair was long, perhaps it was in plaits or bunches. It is a very coarse material and I haven’t tried to do anything with it.

Her original eyebrows had faded away and someone drew new ones with black marking pen. They were not quite where they should be which gave her a rather surprised look. Surprisingly Penny still has some of her original eyelashes although they look as if they have had a trim. Her flirty eyes still move too as does her walking mechanism.

Naomi said that Penny had been in the shop for some time and the shop assistant gave her a discount so Penny was a great bargain. She was very dirty of course having probably been in storage for a long time. Naomi thought at first that some of the brown stains on her face and arms might be nicotine but she discovered that they came off with dishwashing liquid and a bit of rubbing so it was only grime. She partially cleaned Penny’s face before giving her to me. On Sunday I carried on with the job.

Most of the marks came off Penny’s face except for a couple on her cheeks which seem to be some kind of glue residue and a stain on her forehead. I used dishwashing liquid first and then as I had some 9-1-1 left I used that to remove her eyebrows and try to remove the remaining stains. 9-1-1 seems to have a longer shelf life than Remove-Zit. Mine is about 18 months old but it still did the job on the eyebrows. The other marks might be more of a long-term job.

Here is Penny after I had removed the marking pen eyebrows and finished cleaning the worst of the grime off her face.
Here is Penny after I had removed the marking pen eyebrows and finished cleaning the worst of the grime off her face.

Now I have to decide how much further I can go fixing Penny myself. I’ve read that 9-1-1 will remove wig glue so I’m thinking that I could remove the rest of the wig as it is long past fixing. She’ll have to have a new one. She’ll also need a face repaint and I know that is beyond my capabilities. Luckily, while at the doll show we met Hobart’s doll doctors. Most capital cities have a dolls hospital of some kind but I was not aware that Hobart had one although when we first moved here I searched for one. I did find out later that there was a lady that did doll repairs but not until she was about to retire. Now however we have new people who work from home and I have their contact details so at some point Penny will go for some cosmetic surgery.

As you can see from the photo Penny’s dress had seen better days. It went straight in the bin. I did save her panties and washed them but they are not original so I haven’t decided whether it’s worth keeping them. I looked in my box of spare doll clothes and managed to find a knitted suit that more or less fits Penny. The skirt is a very good fit, the cardigan a little large. I found a baby’s bonnet in a similar colour so I put that on her as well to hide her bald head. Once she has been restored I will buy or make her an outfit of her own.

Penny in an outfit from my spare clothes box
Penny in an outfit from my spare clothes box
Penny looking a bit better already.
Penny looking a bit better already.

I found Penny a place on the doll display stand near Marilyn and Dinah the vinyl Pedigree girl I bought recently.

I’ll let you all know when she goes for her surgery.

Marilyn and Penny with Dinah in the background.
Marilyn and Penny with Dinah in the background.



  1. I could not believe it when I found her at the Tip Shop with a pile of junky modern dolls. I couldn’t believe it when I found out she had been there for months and months with no one wanting her. I said “Ok you are coming home with me and I know where you will find a loving home.” When ever I go to Vanda’s place she seems to smile at me. If she could speak I wonder what she would say.


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