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Vintage Ginny Doll

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aprilsmall.JPG (28542 bytes)For several decades Vogue's Ginny has remained a very popular doll, both with little girls and collectors, alike.  Ginny has gone through many changes throughout her long existence and was at the height of her popularity in the 50s.  Now, as a collectible, the early 50s Ginnys (particularly the painted eye and strung) are the most sought after of them all.

Luckily, because of her current popularity, there is an abundance of information available about her in reference books and on websites.  So to those already knowledgeable this may seem a little redundant, but briefly;

Ginny was made by Vogue Dolls which was a company founded by Jennie Graves in the mid 20s. What we typically call the Ginny doll began in the 1950s.  Previous to that, conniesmall.JPG (46954 bytes)Vogue created a composition doll called Toddles which was an 8" toddler with painted eyes dressed in various costumes (She is often referred to as a compo Ginny).  The name "Ginny" was first used in 1950 on one model, but by 1951, all Vogue 8 inch dolls were referred to as "Ginny".  Between 50-53 the dolls were made of hard plastic and had sleep eyes with painted lashes.  Unfortunately the paint used on the brows and lashes had a reaction to sunlight and many examples have faded or turned a "greenish" hue.  Most had dynel wigs but some had a caracul "poodle cut" wig.  These dolls were strung with rubberbands, resulting in head, arms, and legs being posable.  

One of the key features promoted for Ginny were her various outfits which increased her "play value."  In 1954 a walking mechanism was added.  Her crayonsmall.JPG (27490 bytes)head could now move side-to-side when her legs were moved. More outfits were designed for the line. To update the doll, plastic molded lashes were added in '55 along with lots of accessories and a furniture line.  By '57 Ginny was made with bendable knees giving her added play value, along with the introduction of a whole family of dolls to complement her.

Since most of the little girls who played with Ginny were now themselves becoming "pre-teens" in the early sixties, their interestes were expanding to include the exciting world of a teenager.  Ginny's popularity waned in the sixties with the introduction of  Mattel's Barbie, a new teenage fashion doll.  Dispite Barbie's popularity Ginny remained in production throughout the ginwhalesml.JPG (20179 bytes)sixties, changing to an all vinyl doll and eventually being manufactured outside of the United States.

Over the years Vogue dolls became a subsidiary of several different companies.   Ginny continued to be manufactured but her look and quality varied with each new owner.  Lesney Toys completely redesigned Ginny with a skinnier body.  Gone was the "toddler look" that Ginny was noted for.  Their target market was the daughters of the previous ginshopcl125.JPG (18366 bytes)generation "Ginny moms", but this new style never reached the popularity expected.  Eventually Lesney sold to the Meritus company which brought back the toddler image.  Collectors were probably more interested in her, for sentimental reasons, than were little girls.   Ginny's ownership was again changed, this time by Dakin who was eager to promote this little treasure.  They produced versions in both a hard plastic line as well as the vinyl.  Ginny is currently owned by the new Vogue Doll Co.  Their focus is on excellent quality clothing, bringing back the high quality designs and craftmanship that the original Vogue Doll company was noted for. They have sparked a new interest in both collector and children, with specialty dolls and a Ginny Doll Club.  

sassoonsmall.JPG (14872 bytes)As collectors we must be thankful of the foresight of Jennie Graves.  First, all of the Ginny dolls are marked in some way on their heads and/or bodies making it easier to identify them.  There were many competitors during Ginny's height of popularity but if the doll is not marked with either Vogue or Ginny, then it is not a Ginny.   Secondly, another plus is that almost all of the 100's of outfits designed for the dolls are marked with a Vogue label.  The label design changed over the years, allowing collectors better accuracy in dating outfits.

As mentioned earlier, due to Ginny's popularity there have been many reference books published about her, detailing her history, as well as highlighting her ginsweetsmall.JPG (21210 bytes)fabulous wardrobe.  Even if you find an outfit which is missing its tag, you will be able to document it in one of these books.  Below are references I used for this article.   If you are interested in finding out more about Ginny, the first two references below are available on my bookshelf page as featured books.  There you can link to to order one or two for yourself!  Also, return to the main page where Kaylee's Korner of Collectible Dolls has more photos of Ginny in my personal collection.

Ginny America's Sweetheart, by A. Glenn Mandeville
The Vogue Doll Encyclopedia, by Judith Izen and Carol Stover
That Doll, Ginny by Jeanne DuChateau Niswonger (out of print)

To link to a doll study on Vogue Toddles click here

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DISCLAIMER: These web pages are meant for personal enjoyment and collector educational purposes only.  Any opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect that of the companies that are represented within these pages.   Information is presented based on personal experience or information gathered in current or out of print reference materials.  In all cases, I have tried to document references to the best of my ability.  Ginny is a trademark of the Vogue Doll Company, Inc.  This website is not owned, operated by, or affiliated with the Vogue Doll Company.  Vogue Doll Company makes no representations or warranties about the content of this website.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.