Effanbee was started in 1910 by two businessmen who operated neighboring shops on Atlantic City's boardwalk. Bernard Fleischaker and Hugo Baum began by selling toys and dolls; within a couple of years they were having doll heads made especially for them, and by the 1920s were making their own composition parts. Although the company was officially called Fleischaker and Baum, they began using the trademark EFFanBee (from the first letters of their last names) by 1915, and eventually that became the name of the company.
Click here to read about Effanbee's composition dolls.Click on a small photo to view a larger version.
|Rubber dolls became popular in the '30s and Effanbee's Dy-Dee baby was another big seller. The dolls pictured have a hard rubber head with applied soft rubber ears, and a soft rubber body. These have not alwasy survived in good condition.|
|In 1946, Effanbee was sold to Noma Electric Corp. The new owners continued making composition dolls for a few more years before switching over to hard plastic beginning in 1949. During this period, hard plastic Honey debuted and became the company's top seller. Click here to go to the Honey page.|
|Most Happy Family is a set of four dolls including a high-heeled Mother, with reduced-size versions of Mickey, Fluffy and Tiny Tubber as her children. This set was produced in two different sizes and was also copied by other companies.|
|Girl Scout and Brownie Scout dolls were made in 8" and 16" sizes in the 1960s.|
|">||Half Pint is a sweet toddler doll. Read more about her here.|
|13" Butterball, introduced in 1969, came with either molded or rooted hair, as a black or white doll. She was produced into the 1980s.|
In the '70's, the company began to look toward the collector market and devised a new business strategy in which the dolls were catalogued in "collections" wearing matching outfits. For example, the Strawberry Patch Collection of 1972 advertised seven different dolls, all dressed in pink and white gingham check outfits with a strawberry print. 1974's Carousel Collection featured six different dolls wearing white dresses trimmed with strips of bright multicolored diagonal stripes. Every year there was a bridal collection as well as a sleepwear collection. In 1976, Effanbee introduced a standard basic doll that was used for many different historical and storybook characters, both male and female. The dolls were initially 11" tall, but in later years, 15" and 18" basic dolls joined the lineup. These dolls were offered alongside the baby and child dolls, and in some cases were part of the same collections.
In recent years, many of Effanbee's classic dolls have been reissed in vinyl. Effanbee exists today as part of the Tonner Doll Company.
Sources for this page include:
- "Effanbee: A Collector's Encyclopedia, 1949 thru 1983" by John Axe
- "Dolls & Accessories of the 1930s and 1940s" by Dian Zillner
- "Collector's Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls 1900-1950" by Ursula R. Mertz
Copyright 2006-13 by Zendelle Bouchard.