Middleton Dolls - An Introduction:
Lee Middleton Dolls are known for their incomparable baby dolls. Made in Belpre, Ohio until 2004 when the majority of production was moved overseas, the company was founded by the late Lee Middleton from Springfield, Ohio, a self-taught artist. The vinyl porcelain-feel dolls produced by this company revolutionized the modern doll industry.
Years of Production of Lee Middleton Dolls:
Lee Middleton started making dolls in her home in 1978. The vinyl dolls commenced production in 1984. The new soft-feel vinyl "Breath of Life" baby dolls began production in the second half of 2004.
Company That Produces Lee Middleton Dolls:
Lee Middleton Original Dolls produces the dolls; the original founder of the company, Lee Middleton, sadly died in 1997.
Material, Characteristics and Sizes of Lee Middleton Dolls:
All dolls today are made of high-quality vinyl. All dolls are hard vinyl, except the Breath of Life Babies, which are made with soft-to-the touch lifelike vinyl. The majority of dolls are 19" to 22" and are baby and toddler dolls, although the company also produces some taller standing children. Starting in 2003, the company also added a "Classic Miniatures" line, which are miniaturized versions of popular, previously produced dolls. The Classic Miniatures are 9" tall.
Lee Middleton Dolls Sculptors and Artists:
Current Lee Middleton Original Dolls artists include Reva Schick, Eva Helland, and Jane Pinkstaff.
Prices and Secondary Market For Lee Middleton Dolls:
Some of the earliest dolls designed by Lee herself have gone up in value on the secondary market, but the majority of the dolls have not had enough years to create a track record with collectors, and are available at retail. Overall, initial retail prices of the dolls were reduced in 2003.
More About Lee Middleton Dolls:
Lee Middleton Dolls have been synonymous with the best in baby dolls nearly since their inception. One of the last major doll companies to move production overseas, the dolls are treasured by collectors for their workmanship and their huggable, realistic baby designs. Most of the dolls have soft bodies, and the latest "Breath of Life Babies" also have soft, huggable vinyl and individually rooted baby hair that realistically mimics the hair on a very small infant.
The company also produces toddler dolls. The toddler dolls tend to have more vinyl, with less of the body of the doll being cloth. This enables the doll to wear a wider variety of clothing.
Collectors of Lee Middleton Dolls tend to be very devoted, often with entire rooms devoted to their adopted charges. The dolls also are given to children as a special doll (one that the child may well have to pass on to their children some day). The Treasured Child line of baby dolls is, in fact, made for children, and it features a posable body and a lower price point (suggested retail, $69.99). Certain stores throughout the United States have "adoption centers" for the limited edition baby dolls, where the collector or child can "choose" their baby from a "baby nursery" with a baby nurse in attendance.