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American Character Dolls


Simon The Degree Whimsie Doll by American Character

Simon The Degree Whimsie Doll by American Character

Denise Van Patten

American Character Dolls - About American Character Dolls:

American Character Dolls is a doll company from the heyday of American doll manufacturing--the mid 20th Century. The company produced many "better quality" dolls and had its dolls frequently knocked off by competitors (although the company wasn't above doing a little knocking-off of their own). The dolls from American Character spanned composition and hard plastic dolls, and also produced some vinyl dolls toward the end of the company's lifespan.

Dolls Produced by American Character:

Composition dolls produced by American Character include Mama Dolls, Campell Kids, and Toodles. During the hard-plastic era, Sweet Sue, Betsy McCall, and Tiny Tears were amont their most popuar dolls. Vinyl dolls included the fashion doll Tressy, Hedda Get-Bedda, Toni, Ricky Jr. and and the fun and original Whimsies.

Years of Production for American Character Dolls:

American Character dolls produced dolls from 1918 until 1968.

Materials and Characteristics of American Character Dolls:

As mentioned, since American Character dolls produced dolls for 50 years during the early to mid-20th Century, they produced composition dolls, hard plastic dolls and vinyl dolls.

Prices and Secondary Market for American Character Dolls:

Prices for Amercian Character dolls aren't bringing what they used to, even from three or four short years ago. Today, it takes a completely mint and original doll to break the $200 mark. The most active collecting for American Character dolls is of the Betsy McCall hard plastic doll from the 1950s.

Marks on American Character Dolls:

The very early marks on American Character composition dolls can be quite confusing...early American Character composition dolls are makred "PETITE" or "A petite doll." Later dolls can be marked, more conventionally, "AM CHAR or "AMER CHAR DOLL". The later hard plastic and vinyl dolls are marked "American Character" in a circle, usually on the back of the head, sometimes with the copyright date, or "American Charactetr Doll Corp. Some dolls, including the Tiny Tears dolls, can not be marked at all or marked simply with a patent number.

What Happened To American Character Dolls?:

Overseas production and Barbie happened to American Character Dolls. After a successful run manufacturing and selling American Character Dolls all the way through the 1950s, Barbie dolls took off in the early 1960s. Although American Character Dolls came out with their own teenage fashion doll Tressy (with hair that grew from the top of her head!) she couldn't successfully compete with Barbie. That, as well as competition from doll companies that successfully manufactured their dolls cheaper overseas, caused American Character Dolls to shut their doors in 1968.
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