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Fisher-Price Family of Dolls

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Most people think of preschool toys, or infant furniture, when you mention the name Fisher-Price but  the company has actually made several dolls over the years.  For the most part their dolls are geared for the younger child.  So keeping safety in mind, the dolls are usually made of soft vinyl and cloth with  minimal removable clothing.  

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To the best of my knowledge, Fisher-Price began making a line of dolls in 1974.  Because they have only been producing dolls for a little over twenty five years, there isn't a lot of information about them in collectible doll reference books, yet.  However, they do have a following with some collectors and are starting to be found with increased frequency on some of the auction sites.  

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Fisher-Price stressed in their advertising that their first dolls were soft and huggable.  It was left to the child's imagination to have the dolls "do something".  No buttons to press, no strings to pull, and no batteries.  I guess they were countering the popularity of the dolls of the 60s, who seemed to get more and more elaborate with moveable parts and talking mechanisms.   Fisher-Price issued the Soft Girls (although they did introduce a boy, Joey, within a year) in the mid-70s.  Their darling faces smiled back at their little "parents" and when they were ready for bed, all that needed to be done was to remove a simple piece of clothing, their pajamas were "built-in".  

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Probably the most popular line of Fisher-Price dolls were the "My Friend" series.  "My Friend Mandy" was the first in the series in 1977.  She was produced in several variations, and with six different friends, well into the 80s.  These dolls, geared for the slightly older child, were packaged in several different outfits, with separate outfits available for purchase, as well as, doll clothing patterns to make them their own clothes.  Fisher-Price dolls were meant to be played with.  They were completely machine washable, making it easy to keep them looking and smelling their best.  They had a lot of hair which could be styled with rollers (instructions were included).

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Very late 70s/early 80s brought more traditional looking baby dolls such as My Baby Beth and Baby Soft Sounds.  They had cloth bodies but head, arms and legs were vinyl.  The company continued to introduce new "My Friends" dolls (an African American girl named Nicky was marketed in 1984), as well as make slight changes to their existing ones.  Fisher-Price was pretty good about tagging their dolls which makes it somewhat easy for collectors to identify them today.  However, they tended to reuse discontinued doll numbers so one may have two different type of dolls with the same number.  As an example, Jenny in 1974 was tagged #201, in 1982 that number was assigned to Susie Soft Sounds.  Most of Fisher-Price's doll clothing was tagged as well.  

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All in all, these dolls are quite precious and it is fun to collect them because, since they are not that old yet, it is quite possible that they can still be found at garage sales and thrift stores at very reasonable prices.  

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To help you identify your Fisher-Price dolls, I have lots of examples on my website.  I have made a whole section devoted to them, though I certainly don't have them all.  You can link to it below or if you are browsing through the decades of dolls, you'll find them under Favorite 70's Dolls.  

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My Baby Beth

Click here to enter
Fisher-Price Dolls section
 of Favorite 70's Dolls

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References:
Modern Collector's Dolls, Series II & VI., Pat Smith (out of print)


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