Sunday, August 7, 2011

Doll Land update: Toni has new stockings

Poor Toni - imagine how she has felt all these years, having to wear her roller skates with her feet bare.  Recently, eBay has come to the rescue and I found a seller who makes stockings that have the right amount of stretch for the older hard plastic dolls.

In the past, I suffered the frustration of stockings that just had a bit of elastic at the top (like a garter.) They are fine for vinyl legs, but not so for hard plastic, which has a much more slick surface. I finally figured out I had to search for stockings made for Cissy or Miss Revlon.

Voila stretchy stockings! Toni finally looks complete.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

American Character Sweet Sue

Sweet Sue is one of the few hard plastic dolls in my collection. She was made by American Character from 1948 to 1961. Sweet Sues range in size from 14 to 25 inches tall (depending on which Sweet Sue model you own.) The Life Size Sweet Sue is 31 inches tall.

Sweet Sue was another teen doll aimed towards older girls who had outgrown the baby doll stage. She came with beautiful dresses, some with special embroidery. Every outfit in Sweet Sue's wardrobe included a slip or petticoat, nylon stockings, and panties.In 1953, McCall issued a series of dress patterns especially for Sweet Sue.

There was a special bridal Sweet Sue (with a matching groom who wore a lamb's wool wig), but Sweet Sue in general, came with lots of beautiful clothing and accessories for little girls to play with. There was no particular novelty to the hard plastic Sweet Sue. She is a sturdy doll with a pretty face sculpture, blue sleep eyes, brush lashes, single stroke eyebrows and a synthetic or mohair wig. She is jointed at the arms, legs and neck and is a strung doll.

Later versions of Sweet Sue were made of vinyl. Vinyl opened up other possibilities for Sweet Sue, and she was given a flexible foot and ankle, neck and waist, which allowed her to wear high heels or flats as her "mommy" decided, and pose as a ballerina or sophisticated glamour queen.

For one year, 1957, a Sweet Sue Sophisticate was manufactured. This version of Sweet Sue was made of vinyl and had flange joints in her arms and legs, which meant that her arms and legs could not be posed away from her body. She was given a more mature figure, and could bend and twist at the neck and waist. Sweet Sue Sophisticates have rooted hair and are more valuable than then standard Sweet Sue, as she was manufactured for only one year. Sweet Sue Sophisticate also had a variety of outfits complete with a bra, panties, and stockings.

My Sweet Sue is an 18 inch hard plastic doll with strung joints and a synthetic wig, which makes her one of the earlier versions of the doll. She is wearing an original factory-made dress and replacement stockings and shoes. Her face paint is all original. She is unmarked (many Sweet Sues of all sizes are unmarked), but some are marked American Character Doll, Am. Char. Doll, Amer Char., A.C.  Sweet Sue is a great addition to your vintage American doll collection. Many are still in great condition and can be purchased for a reasonable price.