Recently I got lot of vintage Kellogg’s premium dolls on Craigslist. A premium doll is a type of advertising doll that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the product, but is offered to tempt you to buy the product so you can get the premium.
The Grown Up Doll was offered by Kellogg’s in 1958, advertised on the cereal boxes. For $2, plus 2 box tops from Rice Krispies or Raisin Bran, you got this 10 1/2″ doll with four outfits. She has a vinyl head with rooted hair and sleep eyes, and a hard plastic body with a walking mechanism.
She has high heel feet and is the same size as Little Miss Revlon, Jill and other glamour dolls of the same time period, but she doesn’t have the well developed bust line that most of those dolls do.
The Grown Up Doll came in the formal gown of flocked nylon over taffeta (shown at top) with a halter top that ties with pink ribbon, and a bouquet of flowers and ribbon at the waistline. The matching hat is just a football shaped piece, with braid trim around the edge, and an elastic chin strap.
She has three extra outfits that came with her. This taffeta afternoon dress with big hearts printed on it has matching panties. A pink cotton knit sweater has a black, white and red flannel skirt, matching beret, and white taffeta panty. This white taffeta top with black velvet bow goes with a pair of red and black striped corduroy pants. The black and silver braid is sewn to the waistline, but not in a way that would wrap around her waist, so I’m not quite sure if it’s just supposed to be tied in a bow or what.
For an extra $1 and another box top, you could get four more outfits – really a bargain! The party dress of floral nylon in candy pink. It has a pink taffeta panty. This blue pajama set is made of taffeta. It came with a cotton waffle embossed robe.
The Beach Togs outfit includes a red and white knit swimsuit (which won’t stay up, should have had a strap around her neck or something) and a white terrycloth jacket. A cute sundress is embossed to resemble seersucker. It has a matching panty too.
The lot came with three pairs of high heeled shoes – two pairs of white heels that can go with the evening gown or the afternoon dress, and a pair of red ones to go with the flannel skirt ensemble or the pants outfit. Also a pair of nylon stockings. I’m not sure if these came with the doll and original outfits, or with the extra outfit set.
I scanned this rare copy of the Cincinnati Doll Co. catalog from 1924. They offered several different models of the composition dolls which are often called “carnival Kewpies” by collectors. These are not real Kewpie dolls, and were also sold in stores as well as given as carnival prizes. Their doll lamps are interesting too. I saw one of these at an auction recently, but unfortunately didn’t win it. (Note to self: take pictures of stuff at auctions!) The company offered other items in addition to dolls, I am including those pages too.
This article was published in the December 25, 1956 issue of Look magazine, and shows the brand new (at that time) Poor Pitiful Pearl doll by Brookglad, in her original outfit and the extra dress that she came with. Her creator, William Steig, was very well known at that time as an illustrator and cartoonist, primarily for The New Yorker magazine. What especially interesting here is the illustration showing his original drawing of Pearl. The article states that there would be a Poor Pitiful Pearl book the following spring, but I can’t find any information to confirm that it was ever published. He began a second career illustrating children’s books in the late 1960s, and it’s this work for which he is best remembered today.
This 28″ doll has a hard plastic torso and legs with soft vinyl head and arms. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. She has an unusual construction in that her face and legs, with high heel feet, are obviously adult, while her flat-chested, pot-bellied torso and stubby arms are more like a child. She is a walking doll and her head turns.
She has blonde hair rooted in a short, curly style, vibrant blue sleep eyes with lashes, and painted lashes under each eye. Her lips are red, while her fingernails are more of a rosy peach color. Her toenails are unpainted.
She is marked “EEGEE” on the back of her neck.
Our blushing bride wears a satin, lace and tulle wedding gown which was available in a variety of styles. Her wired hoop petticoat is attached, and she also wears white taffeta panties, nylon hose and American Character style white heels. Her jewelry also varied, but would have included teardrop pearl earrings, a rhinestone engagement ring, and some type of neckace. She carries a small bouquet of white fabric flowers. Her tulle veil may be decorated with rhinestones, flowers, braid, netting or all of the above. The same doll was also sold in a street dress under the name Little Debutante.
Doreena Ballerina was advertised by Valentine in 1957. She has a vinyl head with sleep eyes and rooted hair; vinyl arms; hard plastic torso; and hard plastic legs with jointed knees and ankles, so she can wear flats, high heels or ballet slippers. She was available in a variety of ballet costumes, which are pictured in the brochure that came with her. Her special stand enables her to pose on her toes. An extra outfit was packaged with her, so she could change into street clothes.
Doreena was also sold with a 40 piece “Ballet Tour” gift set which included a stage set.