Hard Plastic Baby Dolls

This page is to show some of the baby dolls in my collection. Most of them are hard plastic dolls from the early 1960s. Some I know the manufacturers of, some I still need to research some more. Most of them came from Recycle (Tip) Shops,Op Shops or eBay. Some were found by my sister who is very good at spotting interesting dolls even though she doesn’t collect them herself.

20" baby doll Theresa

My First Big Baby Doll

First of all comes Theresa, she is a twenty inch unmarked baby doll with a hard plastic head, a soft plastic body and arms made of a thicker rubbery material. Theresa has blue sleep eyes and had hard plastic eyelashes, mostly gone now. she has an open mouth with a couple of tiny teeth and a little pink tongue which is attached to her eyes. She has molded hair which has been painted brown. Theresa is not in perfect condition and one day she will make the trip back to Adelaide to go to hospital.

Made in Hong Kong

20" Kader baby doll
Christopher II bought to replace my original doll

Christopher II was bought to replace my childhood doll which I gave away when I was in my early teens. Christopher is a twenty inch baby doll by the  Kader company and was made in Hong Kong. This type of doll was made in many sizes and the largest ones were sometimes found as mannequins in shops selling baby clothes.

Like Theresa he has a hard plastic head and a soft plastic body, sleep eyes and molded hair. His arms are the same plastic as his body and legs and he has jointed hands so that they can be turned. This seems to be a feature of the larger Kader babies. These dolls were not anatomically correct and a lot of them came dressed as girls. In fact my original one came in a pink onesie but as I already had a girl baby I made him a boy. Christopher II also arrived in a dress but as the Kader dolls are not what you could call pretty they often look better as boys. I knitted Christopher’s outfit myself.

Kader, which started operating in Hong Kong in 1948 made dolls which were sent all over the world. This was back when Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony. Another well-known doll making company in Hong Kong was Evergreen but there were numerous others making dolls for overseas companies just as China does today.

Next is a small doll who has no markings but was probably made in Hong Kong and another, dressed as a boy who is marked “Made in Hong Kong”.

Another baby doll who was probably made by Kader or Evergreen.
.
small baby boy doll
Mark, a smaller doll also probably made by Kader
Stevie
Stevie the Wild Life Warrior with an old book of Brooke Bonds Tea collector cards

Up next is Stevie who is also a twenty inch baby doll. I think Stevie looks like an Evergreen doll. Stevie arrived wearing a safari suit which I felt was a bit too 1970s for him but it did inspire me to name him Stevie after Steve Irwin.

  Reliable Canada

Margaret is another twenty inch (50cm) baby doll. The red outfit she is wearing arrived with Christopher II but as she is a young lady from Canada I felt that the red with white trim was appropriate for her. Margaret was made by the Reliable company who also made dolls under licence for Ideal during the 1960s. I have several Canadian Tammy dolls who will appear on another page.

Margaret is another twenty inch baby doll.
Margaret is another twenty inch baby doll.

I do have a few other baby dolls including the more recent Netta babies featured on another page, Baby Born, Baby So Beautiful and one or two others and I will write about on another page.

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20 comments

  1. If you like, I will see if I have any reference material for some of your dolls. I may have. Usually there are markings somewhere on the back of the doll. It may be words, just a symbol, or numbers. That’s the most accurate identifier. After that, it’s by face, size, materials, clothing, anything. I’ve managed to identify all my dolls, though some took quite a while to track down. Not everything is in a book. There were a LOT of small doll companies in the 1950s and 60s.

    Nice site 🙂 I always find dolls faces friendly.

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    • Thanks Marilyn, I would appreciate that. Thanks to you I know I have a Sweet Sue now. I have quite a few dolls who are unmarked but it’s fun to try and find out who made them. Not something I worried about when I was seven.

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  2. Hi l bought a black doll the body says made in hong kong no 4141 and is a softer plastic.
    The head is hard plastic.lam questioning if the head belongs to the body.l wish l could put a photo here.Her head looks a little bit like an Italian doll,open and closes eyes,with saran hair.

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    • Hi Juli, if it’s an old doll it’s possible that it might have had a head transplant but it’s also possible that it was made that way. A lot of my dolls are from the 1960s because I tend to like the type of doll I had as a child. In the 50s and 60s new materials were being used for dolls so they went from hard plastic to soft plastic to vinyl. It was common for manufacturers to use up old stock by making “transtition” dolls which had body parts made in different materials. I have some myself which have hard plastic heads and softer plastic or vinyl bodies. It’s always hard to research dolls that don’t have a makers name or mark on them. A lot of dolls were made in Hong Kong in the 1960s and 70s. If you have a picture of your doll posted on your own website or a site like Flickr or even Facebook perhaps you cold send me a link as I’d like to see her. I’m not an expert though, most of what I know has been picked up from books or other collectors online.

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    • Hi Juli, I had a look, she’s a nice doll. I see what you mean about the Italian look. I think that is her original head myself. It looks in proportion. I wonder if she might have been made for the Italian market. I don’t know if any of the Italian doll manufactures went offshore to save on production costs. She does remind me a little of one of my Ratti dolls although mind is older I think. The other thing I wonder is what she was originally wearing? Perhaps she was a bride doll or a costume doll.She has nail polish. For me this is part of the fun of buying old dolls, trying to figure out who made them although sometimes with 50 year old dolls that’s almost impossible. If you are able to find out any more please let me know. I love a mystery doll but I love a solution too. 🙂

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  3. Hi Juli. I have a 68cm Evergreen doll with number 1027 on the back. it was given to my daughter in 1972 and I have been unable to find any information on it. She has her original hair but unfortunately it is breaking off so I will need to get a new wig, but apart form that she is complete. Do you have any information to share re maybe its value or where I can purchase a new wig and other accessories ie shoes stockings etc. I intend to sew her clothes.

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    • Hi Joan
      As you probably know Evergreen dolls were made in Hong Kong when it was still a British colony. Yours is quite a big one and it would be helpful to see a picture if you have one online anywhere. There is not a lot of information I can find about specific dolls from that company. I think they must have been the budget dolls of their day. Value is hard to estimate, condition is very important as many collectors like dolls in mint or near mint condition. If you would like to email me a photo of the doll at sadieinoz1957@gmail.com I’ll let you know if I come across any information.
      Regarding the wig; if you are in Australia I found this link:
      http://www.gumblossombabies.com/wigscategorized.php
      It explains how to measure the dolls head to get the right size too. If you live in a city there is a good chance there will be a “Dolls Hospital” which would also be able to sell you a wig and other accessories. Markets and eBay are also a good place to find shoes and stockings if you don’t want to make these yourself.If she has a chubby foot maybe baby shoes would fit too. If you are trying to restore her to her original condition at least you have the advantage of knowing what she looked like when she was new. A lot of mine I have no idea as I bought them at op shops etc. Please let me know how you get on.

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  4. Hi Juli. Thank you for the prompt response and the link for the wig. i live in Perth WA so will definitely use this site. I will send you a photo. apart from her hair condition she is in mint condition. I am not interested in selling her as I wish to restore it and give it back to my daughter who is not even aware is till have it! She is now 43. I was just hoping for some general information especially as she has a number on the back of the torso. thanks Joan

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    • Hi Joan, that will be lovely for your daughter to have her old doll back. Evergreen numbering doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. I have an Evergreen doll which is marked Evergreen Hong Kong and a number that looks like 200. I haven’t been able to find out what that means either. Without seeing it I’d guess that your daughters doll would be a similar size and look to the “Wendy Walker” and ” Patty Playpal” dolls made by Reliable and Ideal. So it should not be too hard to find appropriate shoes I hope.

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    • Hi Joan, I’ve just been looking at your doll photo. She’s a very pretty one. I did what I often do and searched eBay for other Evergreen dolls. I found one that looks to be the same size with the same markings on the back. It was dressed as a bride. Was your daughter’s doll a bride? If not I think that the 1027 may have been a batch number or something like that.
      Regards
      Vanda

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  5. Hi Joan it was the lovely Lady who haS This website that sent you the wig website,lam sorry l cant find her first name either.
    Kind regards Juli

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  6. Thankyou Vanda,l asked a question not long ago,thats probably were the conversation,
    has been continued from.Not a bad vintage 57 lam 56 lol Regards Juli

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  7. hi ladies. it is much nicer to know who emails are sent too so thank you for supplying your names. I will try and follow up on the suggestions made by Juli and will organize ordering the wigs form Vanda. I have another large doll which is many more years older than the ‘evergreen’, however, it has no markings on it at all. it is a walky doll with the head moving from side to side. I will get my husband to photograph it again and then I will post it and maybe someone will recognize it for me? many thanks-Joan

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    • Hi Joan. I haven’t tried that website myself so let me know how you go with it. A lot of the walking dolls from the 60s were not marked which is very frustrating. Some of the British companies that made them were Pedigree, Roddy and BND (British National Dolls.)
      Vanda

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