Thumbelina Dolls Sumner WA

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Golden Rule Bears
(253) 863-0280
1115 Main St Ste C
Sumner, WA
 
Game Crazy
(253) 845-5130
4227 S Meridian
Puyallup, WA
 
Game Trax
(253) 445-8021
3500 S Meridian Ste 420
Puyallup, WA
 
Designs for Dolls
(253) 445-4425
13609 95th Avenue Ct E
Puyallup, WA
 
The Advanced Distribution Answer Enterprises
(253) 219-7432
9721 74th Ave E
Puyallup, WA
 
Nifty Toy Novelty Company
(253) 826-2635
1117 Main St
Sumner, WA
 
Darleen's Dollhouse Shop
(253) 952-2031
511 117th Ave E
Edgewood, WA
 
Toys R US
(253) 848-1331
3551 9th St Sw
Puyallup, WA
 
Lazy D Dolls
(253) 841-0290
8815 128th St E
Puyallup, WA
 
Sierra Design Group
(253) 284-3095
5113 Pacific Hwy E Ste 14
Tacoma, WA
 

Thumbelina Family Reunion

Written by Debbie Garrett   

Photograph courtesy of Deb Tuttle, ebay seller betutt

One of my first childhood dolls was Thumbelina by Ideal. First produced in 1961-1962, the doll had a wooden knob in its back. When turned, it wriggled or squirmed like a restless infant. Although we were as opposite as day and night, Thumbelina was one of my constant childhood companions. 

As an adult collector, one of my first vintage play-doll acquisitions was another 1960s Thumbelina that I dyed brown. She became a nice stand-in for the original black, elusive 1960s doll that can command as much as four figures. Several other authentic, black versions, purchased on the secondary market during the 1990s, entered my collection. These were manufactured from 1971 through 1983 and possibly as late as 1985. Newborn Thumbelina was the most difficult to find and the most costly.

Only 9 inches tall, instead of a wooden knob, Newborn Thumbelina has a pull-string, which activates her wriggle-like-a-real baby movement. She wears her original outfit.

 From wooden knobs and pull strings to batteries, Thumbelina remained mechanical in 1976 with Wake Up Thumbelina. Aided by two D batteries and pressure applied to a lever on her back, Wake Up Thumbelina slowly raises her head, turns from side to side, puts her head back down, and finally rolls over on her back and holds out her arms to be picked up. The watercolor graphics on the box illustrate the doll’s movement and a little brown girl’s delight as a result of it.

A pair of 1983 Classic Thumbelina dolls use the 1960s head sculpt. They are identical except one has molded hair; the other’s is rooted. Both have a "Ma-Ma" mechanism. 

Thumbelina with rooted black hair and brown sleep eyes measures 20 inches.  Marked 1965 on the neck, the doll was made after 1982. Another rooted hair version with a yawning mouth wears a similar dress and has a 1983 box date. Both have "Ma-Ma" voice boxes.

At a mere 7 inches, Baby Thumbelina from 1982 is one of the smallest of the bunch.  She is not mechanical. Her box indicates a Dominican Republic manufacture for the doll while the outfit (a diaper) and carry-all were made in Haiti.

This molded hair version with painted eyes from 1982 has such a sweet face.   I found her a thrift store for the even sweeter price of $12. She is 20 inches, wears her original pink romper and white blouse, and has a working "Ma-Ma" device.

In 2003, Ashton-Drake (Collectiblestoday.com) teamed with Mattel to reproduce the 1960s black Thumbelina complete with wooden knob to control the wriggle mechanism.  The reproduced doll wears a blue romper and white blouse, a replica of the 1960s outfit.  She displays well with the dyed doll and Newborn Thumbelina.

 In addition to my original 1960s white doll, another Thumbel...

Click here to read the rest of this article from DOLLS magazine