Midge Dolls - An Introduction:
Barbie, introduced in 1959, was a runaway success, although many mothers thought she was too "sexy" to give to a child. And, that is where wholesome, best friend, Midge comes in. Midge was added to the Barbie line in 1963, and she is Barbie's best friend. She's got a very wholesome look, with freckles and pert, flipped hair that is red, blonde, or brunette. She's the gal that Barbie can go prom dress shopping with, she can be bridesmaid to Barbie's bride, pal around on picnics or at the big game.
Years of Production of Midge Dolls:
Midge was introduced in 1963, and was produced through 1967. She was then retired by Mattel and was not produced again until 1988--an absence of over 20 years in the market! Midge has been produced (with gaps in timing) since then; she has had various incarnations, including as a controversial pregnant doll (the infamous 2003 "Happy Family Midge"). Happy Family Midge had a magnetic stomach with baby Nikki inside! Alan was sold separately with 3-year old Ryan. The doll was controversial because some believed in promoted teenage pregnancy (Midge is only about 17, after all), because initially she was not sold wearing a wedding ring, and because Alan was sold separately. Happy Family Midge is also significant because she was the first Midge to ever be produced in an African American version.
Size of Midge Dolls:
Midge dolls are always 11.5 inches tall, just like Barbie, so Midge can share all of Barbie's clothing. The vintage Midge doll body was also the same size as Barbie's with the same dimensions. The only exception I know about was the McDonald's Happy Meal 1990 Wedding Day Midge which was roughly 4 inches tall (although the doll was not jointed).
Materials Used To Make Midge Dolls:
Midge is generally made of soft vinyl for the head and harder vinyl for the body. However, a Limited Edition Porcelain 30th Anniversary Midge Barbie Doll was produced in 1993. The porcelain Midge was a numbered limited edition, and she was dressed in 1963 Senior Prom fashion #951 (iconic vintage Barbie outfit, consisting of an ice blue and sea green satin gown with tulle overskirt, fur wrap, wrist corsage and lingerie (lingerie was not part of the original vintage outfit).
Company That Produces Midge Dolls:
Mattel, Inc., the maker of Barbie dolls, is the only company that has produced Midge dolls. There have been licensed products (coloring books, craft sets, etc) that have used Midge's likeness that have been licensed from Matel, Inc.
Popular Versions of Midge Dolls:
The very first Midge produced in 1963 had straight legs, and three colors of hair and 2-piece bathing suits. She was (and is) very popular today--she looks great in many of the vintage Barbie outfits, and several outfits were produced with Midge clearly in mind (see below). Other popular Midge versions include the vintage "American Girl" Midge (bendable legs, styled in Barbie's American Girl hairstyle), Happy Family Midge (see above), 1990 Midge from a Wedding Party gift set, and the reproduction Midge (and Alan) in the Campus Sweet Shop gift set from 2008. There was also a vintage reproduction of Midge in 1993, complete with a reproduction of #860 Senior Prom.
Midge Friends and Family:
Midge Hadley has a boyfriend, Alan Sherwood. She also has two children, Ryan and Nikki. Note that the Alan doll has had his name spelled both Allan (vintage dolls) and later and currently as Alan which is greatly confusing when searching online for Alan dolls, so please be aware and search for both). Also, A Grandma and Grandpa doll were also produced for the Happy Family doll line.
Midge did not have any vintage clothing specifically produced for her, but she fits all vintage Barbie clothing. She has, however, for some reason always been associated with the Senior Prom outfit (I think because it looks fantstic on her!).
Secondary Market Prices For Midge Dolls:
Midge has never sold for prices as high as Barbie. Most Midge dolls can be found for under $100 on eBay. The more expensive Midge dolls include the rare vintage Midge with teeth, the rare vintage Midge with no freckles, and the American Girl styled Midge. Also, pristine mint in box and never removed from box Midge dolls can sell for high prices, but the condition of those dolls is key.