Friday, April 8, 2011

Yesteryear's Playthings

Back in the day I was a major fan of paper dolls. I must have spent hours carefully and patiently cutting them out. Anyone else remember the monthly Betsey McCall paper dolls that were in the back of the magazine? Heck, does anyone else even remember McCall's magazine these days! I always went right for those, of course, but they also had an offer that you could send away for -- Betsey and a nice assortment of clothing, with Betsey offered on a heavier card stock, instead of the flimsy magazine paper. Oh how I haunted the mailbox until those came. My all-time favorites though, were ballerina paper dolls with gorgeous costumes from Russian ballets -- oh, the care and precision those needed. Many years later, I ran across what appeared to be a re-print of those very dolls -- perhaps through Dover publishing? I'll have to see if they are still around -- and yes, I would cut them out again.

The dolls pictured above are 'allegedly' Round About Dolls from the 1930's -- waaaay before my time, so stop your snickering! They certainly have a 30's vibe, but I doubt that they are all the same type. The two that look alike have both a front and back view, and are printed paper over a light wood. The middle doll is front view only, and is cardboard. Sharp eyes (click for bigger, if needed) may notice that one of them has the initials "AH" pencilled in on the front -- perhaps the little girl who once played with them? I have a couple more that are in better shape, and those I framed in a shadowbox and have displayed in the sewing room. I smile every time I see them.

And how about some clothes for the little lovelies?

Obviously cut out by some shaky, younger fingers -- the fashions have a front and a back, connected on the shoulders.

Hope you've enjoyed this mini-stroll down Memory Lane!

Edited to add: Sorry folks -- It's BETSY McCall, not Betsey.


Brenda said...

So cute! Yes, I can see why they make you smile.

Mine were made more of a cardboard type material with a slick, shiny front that their clothes kind of clung to.
What good memories.

Karen said...

Or, how about the ones that had little metal slivers that you taped on the clothes, which then stuck to the thick cardboard dolls with magnets inside? Probably before your time though Brenda!

Margaret said...

One of my favorite things about visiting my grandmother's house was her subscription to McCalls, and those paper dolls! Of course my sister and I would quarrel over who got them.

Karen said...

I'm betting on you, Margaret! Fortunately Little Karen didn't have to share with anyone.