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American Character

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Below are just some of the examples of the 50s early 60s Tiny Tears dolls.  I do not currently have any examples of the later versions. 

Tiny Tears was a very popular doll in the 1950s.  She had two tiny holes at the inside corner of her eyes that allowed her to cry real tears when her mommy squeezed her stomach after she had been fed.  I think I'd cry real tears too if someone did that to me after I ate!  The early dolls were made with rubber bodies, the later ones were all vinyl.  The rubber dolls are more desirable but rubber will eventually crack and break down.  It is important if you have a rubber doll, not to expose it to sunlight.  Keep it covered up as much as possible.


This doll is probably one of the earliest Tiny Tears.  She is also one of the smallest at only 11 1/2".  She has a hard plastic head that has hair molded into the plastic, then is painted over with brown.  Her body is all rubber.  The nude photo shows the natural discoloration of the rubber over time, while the plastic head stays the same.   If children weren't careful with their dolls, these dolls' heads would actually crack if dropped or abused.  Some people think that their dolls had porcelain heads but to the best of my knowledge, Tiny Tears were not made with porcelain nor composition heads.  They are probably remembering this example.  She is shown with her tiny plastic bubble pipe, a popular accessory.

One of the most precious and sought after, Tiny Tears with a soft, furry, caracul wig glued on hard plastic head, with a rubber body.  This 15" doll is wearing what I believe to be an original fancy organdy outfit. She even has plastic pants.
The two dolls above are both the 20" larger Tiny Tears.  The one on the left has the molded hair and the rubber body, while the one on the right is a later version, which the saran wig in rooted scull cap and she has an all vinyl body.    Their faces are almost identical.  The fingers are very detailed on both.   
The above doll is all vinyl.  She is resting in one of the accessories that could be purchased for Tiny, her own "logo" rocking cradle.  This doll is 15" tall and has the rock-a-bye eyes feature.  When you lay her down, her eyes remain open.  They close slowly as you rock her back and forth.  She also has a satin zippered bunting.  She has probably been stored in her bunting for many years as her vinyl body is like new, soft and very clean,  just like a real baby.  Her face has a somewhat orange-ish tone.  It is an early hard vinyl, with rooted scull cap wig of saran. 

This photo shows the difference in hair color between the honey blond and the more traditional tosca (strawberry blond).

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This doll is the later 50s early 60s model of all hard vinyl.  Similar to the one above, though she is 13" tall.  She is wearing her signature embroidered romper.  Unfortunately for her, most of her facial coloring has faded away.  However, she actually looks pretty good compared to some I've seen.  Because of their constantly having water in them, many of the dolls have developed a mottled discoloration of their faces and bodies.  The brunette Tiny Tears is considered harder to find, thus rarer, than the reddish blonde.



This is the smallest Tiny Tears measuring in at 11-1/2".  She is all vinyl like the one above but has the more common auburn inset wig of coarse saran.  She too has the rock-a-bye eyes, dating her from 1959-1961.  I found this little outfit separately.  Don't know if it is a true Tiny Tears outfit, but it is very characteristic of her style.  It has a cute little matching bib.


A popular feature, which was introduced in 1959, was her rock-a-bye eyes.  Most sleep eye dolls immediately close their eyes as soon as they are laid down.  Tiny Tears with the rock-a-bye eyes, when laid down, would keep her eyes open.  When she was gently moved back and forth as if to rock to sleep, she would slowly close her eyes.  


Night, night sweet Tiny Tears!

I did a doll study in Spring '01 on my main page, featuring Tiny Tears.  The article is stored on my "Dusty Shelf" with other past studies, where you can still read it.  For more information and examples, click here for the actual article. 

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