Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trick or Treat! – Doll Collecting

Maybe it's the cooler weather. Maybe it's that I'm beginning to feel "caught up". Whatever the reason, I decided to open a few more doll boxes to see what I could discover. And lo and behold, the words "Trick of Treat" jumped out at me as I opened one of the first boxes in my stack. How timely is that?

When I anticipate opening a doll box, I smile. When I opened the Trick or Treat doll box, I laughed. Not because the doll was funny, but because she was so darned cute! The bisque porcelain doll is named Melissa. Melissa was issued by the Danbury Mint as part of the Melissa collection by doll sculpture, Elke Hutchens in 1991.

She is dressed for Halloween's great adventure – Trick or Treat! Her hand-tailored costume is of a cat, which couldn't be more appropriate as I am a cat lover. She is ready to collect her treats with her little plastic pumpkin just like the one some of us used in our trick or treat days.

Others in the Melissa collection that are included on www.kfcollectibles.com are Melissa – Christmas Morning, and Melissa – Valentine's Day.

"Christmas Morning Melissa" - Danbury Mint – 1991 – Sculpted by Elke Hutchens


"Melissa" by Elke Hutchens is a charming and lovable collector doll of the Melissa collection created by the acclaimed doll sculptor, Elke Hutchens. This doll depicts a little girl all dressed up for Christmas morning. "Melissa's" head, arms and legs are crafted of fine bisque porcelain. Her hand-tailored holiday ensemble consists of a red and white striped Christmas nightie with a wide ruffle around the bottom that is lavishly decorated with lace, red satin ribbon inserts and embroidered floral appliqu├ęs. She also has a fleecy robe completely lined with white satin and trimmed with delicate lace. Her accessories include two candy canes, a tiny toy teddy bear, and a Christmas stocking.

"Be My Valentine Melissa" - Danbury Mint – 1991 – Sculpted by Elke Hutchens

"Be My Valentine Melissa" by Elke Hutchens is a charming and lovable collector doll of the Melissa collection created by the acclaimed doll sculptor, Elke Hutchens. This doll depicts a little girl all dressed up for Valentine's Day. "Be My Valentine Melissa's" head, arms and legs are crafted of fine bisque porcelain. Her hand-tailored ensemble consists of a pink dress with a white lace pinafore. She is lavishly decorated with lace, pink satin ribbon on her dress and in her hair. Her accessories include a heart shaped box of Valentine's Day candy which says "I love you daddy".

I hope you enjoyed Melissa's favorite holidays.

Trick or Treat!
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So-o-o Big Thumbelina Doll – Ideal Dolls – Doll Collecting

The daylight hours are becoming shorter and the nights are becoming cooler, a reminder that the summer season is nearing its end. As I reflect upon the season gone by, I think of visiting new and interesting places, meeting new people, and spending time with family and friends.
With a new season quickly approaching, it is time to share another experience with doll collecting via this blog.
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As I continue my doll collecting adventure, both from a collecting standing and a selling standpoint (http://www.kfcollectibles.com/), I am frequently approached by fellow doll owners or their family members to help identify a doll or determine the value of a doll they wish to sell. Recently, I was asked to take a look at some dolls that were given to our local women’s club, for the benefit of children.

One of the dolls, although a bit dirty and unkempt when we received her, was quite easy to fall in love with. It was also a fairly simple task to identify her, and therefore, find information about her. So, this blog introduces you to the So-o-o Big Thumbelina doll produced by the Ideal Toy Corp in 1983.



The So-o-o Big Thumbelina doll produced by the Ideal Toy Corp in 1983 was made in both a black and white version. The doll has a vinyl head, arms, and legs with a soft cloth body. She is 24” in length. She has rosy cheeks, beautiful brown glassine sleep eyes, and rooted hair. She was made with a mama voice box. She has straight black hair.






Marks:
©1982/IDEAL TOY CORP/H380 (on head), cloth tag on side with stuffing marked “1983 CBS Toys”

The Ideal Toy Corporation Thumbelina Dolls:

Many of the most produced dolls are inspired by famous people and fairy tale characters. One such fairy tale character is Thumbelina. The Ideal Toy Corp created a variety of Thumbelina dolls. Although I don’t know all of them that were produced, I found 20 different Thumbelina dolls that were produced by Ideal Toy Corp from the years beginning 1961 through 1985. Several were made in both a black and white version of the doll.

Who is Thumbelina?

When I hear the name Thumbelina, I think of the tiny girl in the 1835 fairy tale by the Danish poet and author, Hans Christian Andersen. Some may also think about the Disney version of the movie “Thumbelina”. For more information about Hans Christian Andersen or Thumbelina, click on the links below.


Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Doll Collecting – Baseball Fever – Tommy On-Deck

Where does the time go? It's been a while since I've posted a new blog. It may be spring fever – it's just hard to stay inside. Or it may be travel fever – it's just hard to stay home.

The Game -Baseball

Whatever fever it is, one thing for sure is that many, many people have baseball fever. I'm sure my fellow Pennsylvanians are watching the Phillies and hoping they repeat their 2008 season as World Series champions.




It is at a young age when many boys and girls begin their baseball experience. It starts in the back yard, with mom or dad, playing catch. You put on your first baseball mitt, throw your first pitch, and bat your first ball. Then you wear your first baseball cap, dress in your their first baseball uniform, and before you know it, you're in your first Little League baseball game.

The Doll - Tommy - On Deck

To rekindle your baseball memories, artist Carole Jeane captured the essence in a doll named Tommy - On Deck. Tommy On-Deck is a porcelain collector doll issued by the Danbury Mint in 1994 and created by artist Carole Jeane. When I look at him, I have visions of my brothers in their young baseball days. I swear if I rolled up Tommy's pant leg, I'd see the same band-aids with which my youngest brother adorned his knees.


Tommy - On Deck is a typical boy ready to play baseball. He is dressed in light blue pants with a red, white & blue shirt, and sneakers. He wears his blue & white baseball helmet with pride as he sucks on his lollipop and leans on his bat, waiting for the words "Batter up!" Tommy's hair is brown and his eyes are blue/grey in color. On Deck measures approximately 19" in height in his standing position. Visit http://www.kfcollectibles.com for information about Tommy On-Deck.

The History - Baseball

Wikipedia tells us: The history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century, when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their own informal rules using improvised equipment. The popularity of the sport inspired the semi and fully professional baseball clubs in the 1860s. For more information about the game of baseball, here are a few websites you can visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_baseball_in_the_United_States

http://www.littleleague.org/worldseries/index.html

http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/index.jsp


Batters up!

Tommy and I will see you at the ball game!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doll Collecting - Dolls by Jerri – Heather

Each time I open a box that contains a doll that I haven't seen before, the anticipation begins and I can feel my lips begin to form a smile. Each doll is a treasure and I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt each time I decide which doll box I will open next. On a recent treasure hunt, I picked a white box that, although in good condition, was showing signs of age. On the box were the words "Dolls by Jerri®" and "A Quality Vinyl Doll Produced in U.S.A". I looked at the box and couldn't help wonder what tidbits to knowledge would be brought forth with its opening. And so, I opened the box and met Heather. The first couple of characteristics that struck me about Heather were her vibrant, bright blue eyes and her gorgeous long red hair. The clothes are quite beautiful, are made well, and show great attention to detail.

As I took pictures of Heather for www.kfcollectibles.com, I began to become curious about her. Before I met Heather, I had not heard of Dolls by Jerri. And as I started to research Heather, I became increasingly intrigued about the Dolls by Jerri story, and so decided to share information in a blog.

Heather (120108, doll #47) is an absolutely beautiful vinyl doll by Dolls by Jerri. Dolls by Jerri created original limited edition artist dolls. Jerri McCloud, who has been creating dolls since the early '70's, is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. Heather stands 20” tall and has a cloth body with vinyl head, arms, and legs. She has vibrant blue eyes, long eyelashes, long curly auburn hair. Imprinted in the back of her neck is 1201 Jerri 1993 ©. In addition, Jerri McCloud signed Heather with the date 5-6-95.

Visit www.kfcollectibles.com for more information about Heather.

About Jerri McCloud and Dolls by Jerri (information obtained from Dolls by Jerri website http://www.dollsbyjerri.com/)
  • The creator of Dolls by Jerri is Jerri McCloud (Geraldine Gibson McCloud). She was born in Newton, N. J. and lived with her mother and father in Baltimore, Maryland, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A devastating automobile accident left Jerri and her sister orphaned at the tender ages of 4 and 5. The two sisters were shuffled from family to family until the two girls, Jerri then nine, settled in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Jerri attended Strayer Business College in Washington, D.C. Jerri met Jim McCloud in Washington, married, settled in North Carolina, and had two sons of her own. Before Jerri began making dolls, she owned a ceramic shop.
  • Dolls by Jerri is the oldest commercial porcelain doll company in the USA. . For many years, Dolls by Jerri was only known for porcelain. In 1990 after much consideration of their collectors, they agreed to produce vinyl dolls. This allowed the collector to have a Jerri doll at a much lower price. Also, if children were around, there was no danger of breakage.
  • Jerri McCloud has been creating dolls since the early '70's. She is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. The award she loves the most is having won the very first Doll Award ever, THE DOTY AWARD, in 1985 with Scottie--MANUFACTURER'S ARTIST DOLL AWARD. Scottie was the twin brother of Emily, 1984, that changed dolls forever! Emily with the first commercial doll that introduced real children images into dolls. She was a people doll, not a "doll doll". Jerri's definition of a "doll doll" is one that does not resemble a person, just a toy. From that point on, artists everywhere started creating dolls that had real children features as did Emily.
  • Dolls by Jerri has been based in Charlotte, NC since its inception. All dolls are produced in the United States of America, Charlotte, NC. Jerri and her husband Jim are committed to the best quality dolls available on the market today. She states, that without Jim running the business, Dolls by Jerri would not be here today.
  • Jerri does all the sculpting herself and paints the majority of dolls as well. The costumes are designed by Jerri and produced here in the United States as evidenced by the fine workmanship and the fullness of laces and fabrics.
  • Even though Jerri is past retirement age, her love for dolls continues to be the important factor in her business career. "By giving a person something to love, it is my hope they will share this love everywhere" states Jerri.
  • In the early spring of '97, Jerri was commissioned, by Donna Moore of Downi Creations, to produce a Doll with Down Syndrome. This turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences she has ever had. "
Although I had not heard of Jerri McCloud until recently, I was inspired by her story. Having faced tragedy in her early life, Jerri found a way to move beyond sadness to create beautiful dolls with love and meaning that provided happiness to many. Thank you, Jerri. You are truly a special inspiration.

As you can see, for me, the treasure hunt is more than just seeing a pretty doll, but it is the story behind the doll that is the most intriguing. There are such wonderful stories to share, and this doll did not fail me. If you have a doll made by Dolls by Jerri and wish to obtain the original sale price, a list is available on her website.

Thanks for visiting and

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Doll Collecting – Easter Bunnies, Easter Dolls

The weather is starting to warm, the trees and shrubs are starting to bud and my first daffodil has bloomed. Spring is such a refreshing season of the year as it truly demonstrates the rebirth of all things alive. With the coming of spring is the most important religious holiday for those who believe in Christianity. And that of course, is Easter!
The Good Shepherd

Easter 2009 is on April 12.

When I think of Easter, I am reminded of being a child and raising a child. I think of our many family traditions like coloring Easter eggs, Easter baskets full of candy, chocolate bunnies, and gifts, Easter egg hunts, dressing in our Sunday best for church and spending time with our families. I'll never forget the excitement of those new Easter bonnets, dresses, and a brand new shiny pair of patent leather shoes. And so, like many others, I look forward to Easter with fond memories.

For the doll collector, as with all holidays, Easter is an opportunity to show off those special dolls that help us depict Easter in their own special ways.


Some will decorate with a stuffed Easter bunny or two…….. (where did the Easter bunny come from anyway?)

Wikipedia tells us that the Easter Bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Alsace and southwestern Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1600s. The first edible Easter Bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s and were made of pastry and sugar. The Easter Bunny was introduced to America by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. According to the tradition, children would build brightly colored nests, often out of caps and bonnets, in secluded areas of their homes. If they were good, the Easter bunny would bring them gifts and other goodies (sound familiar?)

Some will decorate with a special doll that reminds us of our childhood……. (I think I may have looked just like this on Easter morning!!)
"Hattie Holiday Easter" from the Effanbee Doll Corporation is dated 1978. She is 16" in height, made of plastic, has bluish/grey eyes that open and close with beautiful eye lashes and rooted long blond hair. This adorable freckle-faced little girl is dressed for church in her Easter dress and straw bonnet with silk flowers, lacy socks and black patent shoes. See http://www.kfcollectibles.com/ for more information about Hattie Holiday Easter.


Some will decorate with a doll or two that celebrates the true meaning of Easter……….


My favorite Easter decoration is a religious doll issued by The Ashton-Drake Galleries by artist Titus Tomescu in 1995. Of all of the dolls that were collected by my aunt, this collection is my favorite.

The doll pictured is called "The Good Shepherd". It is from the Messages of Hope collection, which also includes "Let the Little Children Come to Me", "Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock", and "Our Father, Who Art in Heaven". This collection is beautifully sculpted of porcelain, has beautiful detail and authentic clothing.

Another beautiful collection of porcelain religious portraiture by artist Titus Tomescu is entitled the Miracles of Jesus Collection. It includes "Water into Wine", "Multiplying the Loaves", "Walking on Water", "Calming the Sea", and Ascension Into Heaven.

Have you ever wondered why Easter falls on a different date each year?

Unlike Christmas, which is always on December 25, Easter falls on a different day each year. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox.

That's it for now and thanks for visiting my blog!



Friday, February 20, 2009

Research of Horsman Doll

One of the benefits of doll collecting and having a website is that it provides an opportunity to meet some really nice people along the way. I want to take a few moments to share a recent experience with you. On my website (http://www.kfcollectibles.com/), I've included a page with an article entitled Vintage Doll Collecting - Horsman Dolls From the Beginning to a Successful Vinyl Doll Manufacturer, by Connie Limon. The article prompted a question from a website visitor who was trying to identify the Horsman doll that she owns. I offered to do some research on her doll. I found, as she had found, that the trail to the identification of her doll was not easy. However it did prove to be possible.

Of course, the internet is a valuable resource of information; however, the internet alone did not answer our questions. The most valuable information obtained that enabled me to narrow down the research for this particular doll was found in a book entitled Horsman Dolls, The Vinyl Era, 1950 to Present, by Don Jensen. This book is an Identification and Value Guide and has hundreds of pictures of Horsman dolls with a little information about the dolls pictured. The information contained in the book allowed me to narrow down the research to just a couple of possibilities. The narrowed research made it easier to find more specific information on the internet that ultimately led us to the identity of the doll. I found that doing similar searches every few days actually reaped different results. This was due primarily because products change frequently on places like eBay and other e-commerce stores.

For all of you Horsman Doll collectors, if you don't already have it, I recommend adding this book to your collection. I've included a link on my website (http://www.kfcollectible.com/) on the Favorite Links page. By clicking on the link for the book on the website, you will be redirected to a website where you can purchase the book.

A Little about http://www.kfcollectibles.com/

The website for KFCollectibles was moved to a new site builder. The URL for the new website is the same (http://www.kfcollectibles.com/). The new site is accessible, but it is currently under construction and is expected to be completed before the end of February. Once completed, the product catalog will be more robust than in the previous site, which is meant to provide an easier shopping and checkout experience for the customer. Thank you for your patience!




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doll Collecting - The Jackie Doll

Happy New Year!

With the start of 2009, as in every new year, it is time to reflect upon the accomplishments of 2008, and to make plans and goals for the new year.

In January 2008, I never expected to start a business, develop a website or a blog on the internet, or on a personal level, become a golfer! But that is exactly what happened, and I must say, I have really enjoyed learning and attempting to master my newfound interests.

Today, in January of 2009, as I think about plans and goals for this year, I simply want to build upon what I started last year, become closer to mastering something (I’m sure it won’t be golf, but if it is you’ll see me on the tour!), and put my newly learned knowledge to work.
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January 2009 brings the inauguration of the new president. Hmmmm. Who was it that said “Behind every great man is a great woman?” Well nobody knows for certain, but with that in mind, let’s look at a great woman who was behind one of the great presidents of our time. I just happen to have in my inventory of collector dolls, one “presidential” doll that I can share in honor of the inauguration. It is “The Jackie Doll”, created by The Franklin Mint. I am sure you can quickly guess that she is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy. In this blog, not only do I have the opportunity to share a collector doll, but also to share a little bit of history.
In honor and memory of Jackie, there are countless collector dolls that have been issued. One such collector doll is simply called “The Jackie Doll”. Issued in 1997 by the Franklin Mint, her clothing and accessories are referred to as The Indian State Visit White Satin Gown Ensemble. The ensemble is an authentic replica of an actual ensemble worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at the State Banquet in India during her visit in March, 1962. The original white satin dress was designed by Oleg Cassini. Accessories include a matching satin stole, her three-strand faux-pearl necklace with matching earrings, white slippers, and a gold lame clutch bag.
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The history lesson: Source is the The White House website.

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy (Mrs. John F. Kennedy): 1929-1994

The inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961 brought to the White House and to the heart of the nation a beautiful young wife and the first young children of a President in half a century. She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, daughter of John Vernon Bouvier III and his wife, Janet Lee. Her early years were divided between New York City and East Hampton, Long Island, where she learned to ride almost as soon as she could walk. She was educated at the best of private schools; she wrote poems and stories, drew illustrations for them, and studied ballet. Her mother, who had obtained a divorce, married Hugh D. Auchincloss in 1942 and brought her two girls to "Merrywood," his home near Washington, D.C., with summers spent at his estate in Newport, Rhode Island. Jacqueline was dubbed "the Debutante of the Year" for the 1947-1948 season, but her social success did not keep her from continuing her education. As a Vassar student she traveled extensively, and she spent her junior year in France before graduating from George Washington University. These experiences left her with a great empathy for people of foreign countries, especially the French.

In Washington she took a job as "inquiring photographer" for a local newspaper. Her path soon crossed that of Senator Kennedy, who had the reputation of being the most eligible bachelor in the capital. Their romance progressed slowly and privately, but their wedding at Newport in 1953 attracted nationwide publicity.

With marriage "Jackie" had to adapt herself to the new role of wife to one of the country's most energetic political figures. Her own public appearances were highly successful, but limited in number. After the sadness of a miscarriage and the stillbirth of a daughter, Caroline Bouvier was born in 1957; John Jr. was born between the election of 1960 and Inauguration Day. Patrick Bouvier, born prematurely on August 7, 1963, died two days later.

To the role of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy brought beauty, intelligence, and cultivated taste. Her interest in the arts, publicized by press and television, inspired an attention to culture never before evident at a national level. She devoted much time and study to making the White House a museum of American history and decorative arts as well as a family residence of elegance and charm. But she defined her major role as "to take care of the President" and added that "if you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."

Mrs. Kennedy's gallant courage during the tragedy of her husband's assassination won her the admiration of the world. Thereafter it seemed the public would never allow her the privacy she desired for herself and her children. She moved to New York City; and in 1968 she married the wealthy Greek businessman, Aristotle Onassis, 23 years her senior, who died in March 1975. From 1978 until her death in 1994, Mrs. Onassis worked in New York City as an editor for Doubleday. At her funeral her son described three of her attributes: "love of words, the bonds of home and family, and her spirit of adventure."

For more information about Jacqueline and other great first ladies, click on the links below:
http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=36
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Biographies+and+Profiles/Biographies/Jacqueline+Bouvier+Kennedy+First+Lady+1961-1963.htm

Thank you for visiting my blog. Don't forget to visit http://www.kfcollectibles.com/ to see other beautiful collectible dolls!