Thursday, August 6, 2009
Walking dolls have been around a long time. A walking fashion "lady" doll was manufactured in Paris in 1737. The dolls had pinned hips. This style of walking mechanism didn't change for a long time, and composition dolls made in the 1920s through the 1940s can still be found manufactured with the same basic mechanism.
As new materials for doll-making were developed, so were new walking mechanisms, and Madame Alexander came out with her version of a walking doll in the early 1950s. Her name is Winnie and she has a face identical to Cissy, Madame Alexander's fashion doll. Winnie Walker is made of hard plastic and her wig is glued to her head. Her younger sister, Binnie, is made of vinyl and has rooted hair.
My Winnie is 14 inches tall and wears her original dress, shoes, and wig. The walking mechanism works by pushing the doll from behind, while at the same time shifting her weight from foot to foot. As she "walks," her head rotates a half turn back and forth.
I remember when my sister and I had walking dolls. We had fun and gave them bratty personalities. A case of art imitating life?