Madame Alexander Dolls is one of the most improved lines of dolls of the past few years. The company has recaptured the fine, detailed costuming that has made their dolls some of the most popular for most of the past 80 years. Additionally, they have explored innovative price points and packaging as well as new licensing opportunities, without losing touch with their tried and true lines including the ever popular Madame Alexander baby dolls and Wendy dolls. Here is my review of the 2006 line.
2006 Madame Alexander Baby Dolls
Baby dolls are one of the best selling lines of Madame Alexander dolls. The company has tried some new faces in the past few years, and they continue to make appealing babies that are just right for smaller hands to hold, yet which also have much nicer clothing, vinyl and sculpting than big box store baby dolls. New for 2006 is a very sweet line of Days of the Week Huggums, sculpted by well-known designer Susan Wakeen. These re the smaller sized Huggums, and will retail for $59.99. Also new this year are baby gift sets, which include baby care items such as bibs, onesies, diapers, bottles, feeding plates and blankets. My one serious criticism of the baby dolls from Madame Alexander this year is that they are severely lacking boy baby dolls. I know that girl babies, especially in pink, are the best sellers, but there are many reasons why customers also want the occasional boy baby.
2006 Madame Alexander Storyland Dolls
Storyland dolls are another enduring theme for Madame Alexander. Storyland encompasses dolls which are characters from known books, such as Alice and Wonderland and Robin Hood, as well as dolls from Nursery Rhymes such as Hey diddle Diddle. This year, there is a new Alice in Wonderland, and an adorable March Hare. Other standouts include Heidi, Peter and the Wolf, and Robin Hood and Maid Marion. I also enjoyed seeing the Miss Mary Mack in the line this year (remember Miss Mary Mack..Mack...Mack...all dressed in black.... from you playground days?). I wasn't as impressed with the new Snow White (the dress always looks about the same...but then, that's Snow White) and the light lavender Tinker Bell. Overall, however, there are many strong choices for the storybook collectors and gift givers.
2006 Madame Alexander Cissy Dolls
The big news in Cissy this year is that she is being given back to the retailers. This ends a strange (and, for collectors and store owners alike, frustrating) experiment in direct sale of the Cissy dolls from the company to consumers. During this period, there was no way for a doll collector to see the dolls in person before purchasing, without being to attend a doll show like IDEX. In 2006, Cissy goes back tot he retailers. The stand out Cissy dolls this year are, in my opinion, the retro style Retro Revival Jacqui, the Scene Stealer Cissy (also retro in mood) and the very first ever made flat footed Cissy. Cissy in Twilight by Tim Alberts is also stunning, and should be for suggested retail of $549.95. The dolls are very limited this year, ranging in editions from 75 pieces to 200 pieces.