Monday, December 14, 2009

O K Kader doll

Until I moved to Australia, I had never heard of these hard plastic baby dolls that were manufactured in the 1950s through the 1990s in Asia. OK Kader had factories in Hong Kong and Thailand. The Thai factory closed in 1993 after a massive fire killed many workers. There were both black and caucasian versions of these dolls.

Kader dolls seem to be popular among collectors in Asia and the Pacific, and no wonder. They have sweet chubby faces and characteristics unique to Kader dolls: a "clacking" tongue and twist wrists. The tongue is attached to the eye mechanism, so when the doll's eyes close, the tongue retracts and moves side to side. Wrists can be twisted so that the doll's hands can be posed. Dolls have hard molded eyelashes. My doll also wears replacement lashes.

All Kader dolls come with molded hair, although mine is wearing a wig (dolls usually lose most of their hair paint). The dolls may have residual glue on their head seams. I've seen them range in size from 13 to 25 inches (although there may be dolls on either side of that figure.) My doll is a 20 inch doll from about 1960. She has two little teeth in her rosebud mouth. Her matinee jacket and pants probably are not original to her, although I usually see OK Kader dolls for sale wearing knitted baby clothes. Most of the dolls I've seen for sale on eBay are vintage dolls that date from the 1950s and 1960s. Newer dolls have hard vinyl heads.

If you are a collector of dolls from the 1950's, you might want to have a look around for an adorable OK Kader doll.


  1. Thanks for your helpful information. You have dressed your doll beautifully. We were researching our OK Kader doll before listing it on eBay, and your site provided us with good information!

  2. You're welcome, Patricia. I hope you get a good price for your doll. :)

  3. Hi! Thank you for sharing your information! Do you know how to find out the construction/materials used in the OK Kader dolls? My mother in law saved hers from her childhood and gave it to my daughter but I want to be sure it's safe for her to actually play with.

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Anonymous - Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information out there about what raw materials were used (ie: were paints toxic, etc) since the Kader factory no longer makes the dolls. (They now make plush toys and model trains). You might want to contact the Kader company directly, as they would most likely have a record of the materials used for the manufacture of the dolls: Best of luck in your research.

  5. I have a Kader doll that is still in her original dress, bonnet, under dress and diaper. She is far smaller than the size range you described however, being only about 7". She has the moveable tongue and eyes, plus the jointed wrists and I've had her since 1960. Any idea what she is worth (general ballpark?)

    1. Hi Anonymous. I'm can't certify what a doll's value would be, but when I want to get a good idea of a doll's worth, I usually watch auctions and sales for that particular doll, to see what she sells for. Obviously, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I did see a 7 inch doll for sale on eBay for $15, but since your doll has her original clothes, I would think it would sell for twice that amount.

  6. Hello, Can you tell me if Kader ever made a 10 inch hard plastic, molded hair, jointed wrist baby doll whose eyes do not move? Eyes are painted with blue pinwheel glass eyes set with no movement. I am wondering if they made this doll very early before the moving eyes and tongue.

  7. Thankyou for this useful blog. Mine is B3525 and am trying to date it.

  8. I understand that Kader dolls have the globe logo on the back with an OK inside the logo. Also the name Kader and Hong Kong. We have a doll with all the above details but not Hong Kong. It is a B3520. It belonged to my gran. Any idea why no Hong Kong reference?
    Thanks Ronnie.