Introduction to Madame Alexander Dolls:
Madame Alexander Dolls have been in constant production since 1923--that's 85 years, longer than Barbie dolls and far longer than today's popular Bratz dolls. Because of this longevity and also because of their reputation as a well-made collectible doll, Madame Alexander Dolls are extremely well-known in the United States although they are not mass-produced and distributed through larger sales outlets.
Founder and Years of Production of Madame Alexander Dolls:
Beatrice Alexander from Brooklyn, New York is the namesake and the founder of the Alexander Doll Company. Although the company was making dolls in one form or another since 1923, the cloth Madame Alexander doll created in 1929 is considered by many to be the official birth of the company. For many years, the dolls were produced in New York but today they are mostly produced in China. In 1995 The Alexander Doll Company was acquired in 1995 by the Kaizen Breakthrough Partnership LP, a private capital fund.
Dolls That Have Been Produced By Madame Alexander Dolls:
Famous dolls that have been produced by the Madame Alexander dolls include the Dionne Quintuplets, McGuffey Ana, Princess Elizabeth, Sonja Henie, Snow White, Cissy, Cissette, Wendy-Ann, Wendy, Huggums, Pussycat, and many others. Genres of dolls produced by the company include toddler dolls, fashion dolls (Cissy, Cissette) 8" Wendy dolls (including International dolls, storybook dolls and other themed dolls) and their very popular lines of baby dolls including Huggums and Pussycat.
Sizes of Madame Alexander Dolls:
The most popular Madame Alexander doll has been the 8" Wendy doll which has been produced since the 1950s. Their premium Cissy fashion dolls are 21" tall. The company has produced nearly every other size of doll in between, including 10" Cissette dolls, 12" Huggums baby dolls and many varieties of larger baby dolls.
The dolls started in cloth and quickly switched to composition. In the 1940s Madame Alexander followed the trend to hard plastic dolls and finally in the late 1950s dolls began production in hard and soft vinyl, which are the materials the dolls are made from today.
Prices And Secondary Market For Madame Alexander Dolls:
Pre-1960 Madame Alexander dolls in mint condition do very well on the secondary market, with many bringing hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, there was a glut of Madame Alexander dolls produced in the 1970s through the 1990s and many of these dolls can be found mint in box for under $40 on eBay and through doll dealers. Most collectors prefer the modern dolls (1960 to today) to be mint in their original box with tags; dolls without the box and tag often sell for 50% or less of the doll with the box and tag. Because so many of the dolls have the same face, they need their original clothing to retain value.
Marks on Madame Alexander Dolls:
Most Madame Alexander dolls are well marked on their heads with the exception of some of the composition dolls. Modern dolls tend to be marked ALEX or Alexander. Early dolls sometimes were marked with the name of the doll on the head, such as Princess Elizabeth, or with Mme. Alexander or Alexander Doll Company. Many other variations of marks exist; these are just examples.