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Frequently Asked Questions About ~*~*~ G I N N Y ~*~*~
Our Favorite Toddler of the Century

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Transitional Strung with tri-colored eyes, bright cheek color, and pale lips. A real beauty!

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Q: I had several Ginny dolls when I was a child but I have lost track of them.  I have decided I want to start collecting them again.  Where do I start?
A: Collecting Ginnys, where do I begin! First, you'll wish you kept the ones you had when you have to start paying high prices to replenish your collection! Aside from that, there are Ginnys in all different conditions, thus, there are Ginnys for all collectors. If you decide that you want dolls that are all original, and very mint, be prepared to pay top dollar for them.  Otherwise, you might what to concentrate on accumulating a collection of "played with" Ginnys that you can redress in original tagged clothing, or perhaps make handmade outfits yourself.  It is up to you because it is your own collection.  You can occasionally find them at antique stores, check your "yellow pages" under DOLLS for any possible specialty doll shops that sell vintage or antique dolls.  They might have some but they might also know when a doll show will be in your area.  At doll shows you will find doll enthusiasts who sell lots of dolls.  Many times the prices of these dolls are reasonable because they are usually sold by collectors who do not have to pay shop overhead or mall commissions so the dolls tend to be less expensive.   Mint, or near mint dolls are still high though.  Lastly, and probably the easiest way to "shop" for Ginny, would be to check out the on-line auctions, eBay, etc.  I have links to several auction sites on my main site at http://www.dollinfo.com    Surfing through the auctions is like taking a stroll down the aisles of an antique mall.  You will find a wide variety of dolls offered. You need to be a registered user to bid, which is a very simple process to set up. Before long you will be able to accumulate a very nice collection. They don't have to be mint but try to purchase the best condition dolls you can. Also, my strong suggestion is to purchase one or two reference books to learn as much about Ginny as possible. This way you will be able to recognize good buys and become familiar with original outfits. If you have not seen already, I feature several great books on my site which can be purchased directly online. You can get to the reference books through my ginnydoll.com site at http://www.ginnydoll.com (or through my other site). If you decide to purchase any books on line, and you go to amazon.com through my site to do so, you will help support my site so I can keep it running on this server. I would greatly appreciate that. My number one suggestion on books would be the Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls by Judith Izen and Carol Stover. It is the most complete but also one of the priciest. Another one which would be a good starter book, with good info, is "America's Sweetheart" by A.Glenn Mandeville.

Q: What does it mean when someone says Ginny's brows and lashes have turned green?

A:  To the best of my knowledge there was a short time when Vogue used a paint that, when exposed to strong sunlight, would start to turn color.   At the time they produced these dolls though, no one knew that this would happen.   I am not sure if this paint was used for a very short time or if several were produced but have not all changed.  Some dolls seem to be affected more than others.   It is strongly suggested that if you have a painted lash doll that you do not expose them to long periods of direct sunlight.  When this change occurs, many people describe the color as having "greened".  Sometimes the change seems to be a bright yellowish color and other times it is sort of greenish/gray.  Some of the early transitional dolls actually had taupe (which isgreenlashcl.JPG (15381 bytes)sort of a grayish beige) but that is normal.  To the side is an example of a doll whose eye lashes and brows have changed color from what they were originally supposed to be.  If a Ginny's lashes have changed to a bright yellow, and she is a toe-head blonde, then it really doesn't detract too much and actually seems quite appropriate (When I was little, I was a toe-head with very light brows.  I'm glad my mom didn't toss me aside).  These little dolls need love too and can still be quite charming,  but they can never be considered mint dolls and should be priced accordingly.
Q: I frequently see these letters to describe Ginny, PLW, MLW, BKW, or MLSLW.  What does that mean, exactly?
A:  As with any popular doll, the manufacturer wants their products to be up to date and "modern" in order to keep buyers coming back. Vogue was no different.  Ginny went through several changes in the 50s.   In order for collectors to differentiate between the several styles of Ginnys, they developed a "language" they use to refer to each type.  The earliest Ginnys had eyes that were painted onto the plastic.  If you see PE in a description that refers to a Painted Eye doll.   Later when sleep eyes were used the early ones had painted or stenciled lashes and brows drawn on the plastic.   Therefore you will see PL for Painted Lash.   If the doll was Strung (in other words she did not have the walking mechanism yet),  she will always have painted lashes and brows so you may or may not see PL in that description.   Later the company produced the Molded Lash doll to alleviate the problems with the painted ones.  These dolls are referred to as ML.  When you see a W attached to either of these, that denotes that the doll was produced after 1954 and she is a Walker (her head moves from side to side when you move her legs).   She can either be a PLW or a MLW.  Sometimes you'll see an SL thrown in.  That categorizes the Straight Leg Walker as opposed to the later version, the BKW which is the Bent Knee Walker made after 1957.   Sound a little confusing?  You can see examples at both Ginny Faces and Ginny Body Styles.  For more doll acronyms you can visit my Dollese page at my main website, Kaylee's Doll Collection Connection.
Q:I don't understand why some Ginnys go so high on the auctions when others don't and yet they are both old.  What is the difference.   What should I be looking for?
A: There are several factors that are considered when determining the value of a Ginny doll.  Age, condition, outfit, and desirability are the most important points.  Any combination of these factors weigh heavily, and play upon each other, to determine the doll's value:
AGE:  Generally, the older Ginny dolls command a higher price.  All Ginny dolls from the 50s are old but the most popular tend to be the Stung dolls of the early 50s, and of those, the transitionals are rarest.   A rarer transitional with less than perfect coloring may go for more than a nicer quality painted lash just because of the lesser availability of the transitional doll.
CONDITION:  The condition of the doll is probably the number one most important factor in determining the value of a doll.    For example, if you have a strung doll who's eyelashes have turned green and her hair is in poor condition, she will probably not go for as much as a slightly newer painted lash walker with excellent coloring and/or hair even though the strung is older.  
OUTFIT:  Ginny dolls with original tagged outfits usually go for more that dolls that are naked or in non-original clothing (unless the condition of the doll is somewhat poor).  Tagged clothing is more desirable than untagged but if an outfit is easily documented in reference books the missing tag will not affect the value too much.   Ginny dolls had several available outfits and naturally, some outfits are more desirable than others.  The popular styles will command a higher price than a lesser desirable outfit even though they were both made in the same year, both are in excellent condition, and with their tags.  Each year seems to have its favorites.  Some of the most popular styles are the ones from the 1951-1953 "named series".   Also, the more complete an outfit is (includes accessories such as hat, purse, correct shoes, parasol, if appropriate, etc.) the more value the Ginny will have. 
DESIRABILITY:  Lastly, this is a non definable value factor that runs across each of the categories because unless the item is desirable, the other factors really do not matter as much.  As an example, the Ginny dolls produced between 1963-1965 that have a vinyl head and a hard plastic bending knee body are much less plentiful, thus are truly rarer than the PLW Ginny dolls made in the heyday of production around 1954.  Yet, they do not command a very high value because collectors just do not find them as "cute".  The Tiny Miss "Pineapple" dress is more desirable than the  Whiz Kids "Lounging outfit," even though both were made the same year, in 1954.  Condition aside, desirability is the determining factor between these two outfits.
Q: What is meant by transitional?
ATo answer your question on transitional dolls: Up until 1950 all 8" dolls produced by Vogue Dolls, Inc. had painted eyes. Around 1950-52 the company started experimenting with different looks for their increasingly popular 8" doll. There are several variations on transface.JPG (19088 bytes)these dolls from different shades of body plastic to variations of facial coloring as well as the introduction of sleep eyes with several unusual eye colorings. Because nothing seems standardized during this period, the early 50s "transitional" dolls are highly sought after by serious collectors. Some examples of the variations found in transitional Ginny dolls are: some have pale bisque coloring while others are pinkish plastic or even flesh color, there are variations in the coloring on the hand painted (as opposed to stenciled) lashes and eyebrows which range from light brown52transface125.JPG (18006 bytes) to taupe and dark brown. The lip and check coloring ranges from very pale pink to bright pink. The variety of colors of the sleep eyes is another "red flag" of a transitional doll. There were two toned blues, brown-blue combinations, brownish red coloring which today is often referred to as "root-beer" colored, and even solid pupiless black. Some of these early colors proved to be unstable, especially the "root-beer" color and many have had the color "run" into the white portion producing a very strange eerie looking solid color. There were also differences in wigs from mohair to synthetics. All in all, the transitional Ginny poses quite a challenge for collectors who want an example of each type. After 1953 the company seemed to standardize the "Ginny look" which is what is commonly referred to as a "Strung Ginny". To see more samples of variations in Ginny's face go to http://www.ginnydoll.com and click on Ginny Faces.
Q: My Ginny isn't walking right anymore.  Can she be fixed?
A: I know that the walking dolls are harder to fix than the ones that were made earlier, the strung dolls.  I've spoken to two people who do doll repair and both have said that it is very difficult to fix a walking mechanism.  I guess there are little teeth on a gear that get worn over time and that part needs to be remade.  My suggestion would be to look in your "yellow pages" under dolls, or doll hospitals, and see if there is anything listed in your area.  If not, possibly a few of the doll retailers in your area would know of someone who fixes dolls.  Another suggestion would be to contact someone at a local doll show. You can usually find out where doll shows will be in "antiques" newspapers (the free ones they give away at antique shops. They usually have a lot of advertisements in them.) Or if all else fails, contact the United Federation of Doll Clubs (I have a link on my site at http://www.dollinfo.com ) scroll down to the right side. Click on your area and it will list doll clubs. Many ladies that belong to clubs also do repair work.
Q: Did they ever make sewing patterns or knitting/crochet patterns for Ginny dolls?
A: I do know that there were some sewing patterns made for small 8" dolls but do not know if they were specific to Ginny. There was also a pattern (I think it was Simplicity but could have been Butterick) that featured patterns of little girl dresses that were modeled after Ginny doll outfits in 1958.  I recently saw a "Knit Kit" offered on eBay auctions that was made by the Vogue Doll Company.  It supplied instructions, buttons, and enough yarn to make 3 cardigan sweaters and 3 "cuddly" caps for Ginny, Ginnette, and Jill.  Since Jill was featured, my guess is that this was offered sometime after 1957.
Q: Sometimes I see discolorations or dark marks near Ginnys eyes.   What is that from?
A: Over the years that I have been collecting Ginny I have seen these brownish marksfacemarks150.jpg (24359 bytes) occasionally on some Ginnys and not others of the same year.  The lines are located just at the corner of the outside of the eyes.  It is my assumption that they may have been a stain made by the rubber band that was often placed on Ginny's head at the factory to keep her hairstyle in place while she was shipped to dealers throughout the country.   I have noticed it on both Painted Lash dolls as well as Molded Lash dolls.  Because it is a common problem among Ginnys, I do not let it interfere with the purchase of a doll if the doll has great coloring and is in excellent condition otherwise.    I plan on experimenting to see if I can remove this stain but at this time, I have not heard whether or not this stain can be removed.
Q: I used to have a Ginny doll in the 50's and would like to know if you know where I could find out about clothing for her and how much they are going for now?
A:   Luckily, because Ginny was designed to be played with and marketed with a multitude of separate outfits, it is not too difficult to find her vintage clothing today.   There are several sites on-line that sell Ginny "stuff".  The biggest, with constantly changing merchandise, is of course the auction site, eBay/Dolls & Figures.  I have several on-line auction sites linked on my site at http://www.dollinfo.com  .  You can also check the "Exclusively Ginny" Bulletin Board by scrolling down the right side of my main page (click on link above) and click on the message boards section.  As far as price, that varies with the desirability, condition, and completeness of the outfit so I cannot put an exact figure on it.  Check eBay's completed auctions to see what the items have sold for recently on-line as a gauge.  Some of the links in the center of my main site (click link above) also have for sale sections.  Surf around.   Also, the many reference books I have featured also have general price guidelines.   Go to http://www.ginnydoll.com to click on my Ginny references page to consider purchasing a reference book.
Q:  Can you tell me if it is true that GINGER dolls and Ginger clothes actually sell for a FRACTION of what GINNY dolls/clothes do?  I thought that they were interchangeable and priced the same.   Not so or so?
A:   Here again is where desirability plays a BIG factor in determining the value of an item.  Even though the Ginger doll, made by the Cosmopolitan Doll Company, was marketed along side Ginny during the 50s, she has not developed the following that the Ginny doll has received.  Thus, even though many of her outfits were very similar in style, accessorized similarly, and often of the same quality workmanship, her clothing does not sell as well.   If you are collecting Ginny dolls as an investment, then you would want her to be as original as possible.  Even though Ginger's clothes will fit Ginny, and probably look darling on her, they are not authentic to the doll.   As a seller, you have to be aware of these differences or you will be disappointed when, if you ask too high a price, you cannot sell your merchandise.
Q: I just purchased my first Ginny doll.   She is a brand new one.  Her hair is a little messed up from the net and being stored in the box. Do you know if you can comb her hair with the comb and brush that come with her, or, will that permanently destroy the style ?
AI have not personally combed any of the new Ginny's hair but I do not see why a gentle combing (perhaps of just the outer most hair) would hurt the style. If you gently need to reshape the curls, I would use my finger or perhaps try and mold it around a drinking straw and then slip the straw out.
Q: I am trying to accumulate a doll for each member of my  family.  My name is Ginny and I was born in 1966 so  I am looking for a Ginny doll produced in 1966.   Please let me know if you  can offer me any guidance.
A:  It will be a bit of a challenge only because most of the reference books lump the Ginnys made from 1965-1972 all together. These were the last ones to be made in the USA. After that, Ginny was produced in Hong Kong. Most of the Ginnys made in 1966 were either in a series called, "Far Away Lands," wearing costumes of several different countries, or "Fairytale Lands," wearing outfits depicting popular fairy tales such as Red Riding Hood, Bo Peep, etc. There were a few plain little girls in regular outfits also made but it is hard to find information on the specific outfits. In 1966 the Ginny was all vinyl (no hard plastic body) Her hair should probably be short in a bob, instead of long, if she is a little girl rather than costumed doll. Her head should be marked Ginny and her body Ginny/Vogue dolls, Inc. If she still has her wrist tag it should say Made in the U.S.A. Medford, Mass. Since the Fairytale and Far Away Lands series were released each year from 65-72, sometime the outfit varied from year to year (i.e. there were slight variations in the costume design) Unless you have a reference book showing these, it will probably be hard to compare and know exactly if this doll was from 66 or 67, etc. I guess what I am saying is that it is going to be hard to be exact. Sorry I couldn't be more definite.
Q: A lot of the descriptions on eBay say stuff like,"could use some hair styling", etc.  Is it possible to fix their hair without putting on a new wig once it has been mussed up? Can you clean, comb and reset them? Are there special products which should be used?
A: It all depends on what kind of condition the hair is in. Some are pretty far gone and need a replacement wig but many others can be washed, combed, and curled and will look quite nice. After all, Ginny was made to be played with right? You can shampoo their hair while it is still on their heads, try not to get any water in her eyes because it might ruin the eye mechanism. If you do, after you are finished with her, lay her on her face for a while so the water will drain out. I would probably try and spray "no more tangles" on it first and use a pick or comb to very gently comb out any tangles. Then while it is still wet, if it is long and has a seam down the back of the wig then it should be in braids, otherwise you might try curling it into a flip. I use a regular drinking straw. I cut it into sections to simulate rollers and secure them with bobby pins. When it is dry take them out and comb the curls around your finger to shape them. You might need to experiment a little to get the right look. Some people spray the hair to set it but be careful not to get hairspray on her plastic. If you do wipe if off right away or she will get sticky and dirty. If you haven't gone to my main page at http://www.dollinfo.com I have a link to a section called "the beauty shop" where I have posted several doll care tips. Some of them are what I just described to you but there may be some other ginny pointers there you might want to check out.  Even though the mint dolls are beautiful, I think half the fun of collecting Ginny is in dressing her and finding the right things for her (or have a wardrobe of several outfits for one doll, to change with the seasons).  If her hair is just too far gone then you will probably have to buy her a new wig. They are sold on ebay from time to time, you just have to watch for them.
Q:  I have looked all over for a solution to my problem.  I have a Ginny type doll. Over 40 years ago a little friend cut her hair off. I am looking for a wig to put on her. Where do they sell doll wigs? I don't need a doll hospital. 
A: There are some sites on the web that sell doll wigs. If you check some of the links on my page (the big heart that says "doll show.com," and down below, "auntiedot.com", "doll universe," etc.) you might find some there. You can get back there by clicking on http://www.dollinfo.com    Another solution would be to purchase a real fixer-up parts doll that is the same size as yours and take the wig off that one and put it on yours. I have a real hard time putting a new wig on an old doll because the materials that they are made of now are different. Also, you might want to try a doll hospital. They sometimes sell wigs separately. 
QDo you sell any of the Ginny's on your site?
AMost of the dolls I show on my site are from my personal collection and are not for sale.  However, I've opened my on-line store, "Kaylee's Korner Doll Shoppe" where I have a few Ginny's listed for sale, plus some original clothes, and furniture.   My goal is to update my inventory routinely so check back often.  Click on the link above to drop by and visit. 

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