I promise, this is literally the very last time I will ever this strongly break my self-imposed rule about posting regarding my toy collecting habit. (Because when the doll I ordered arrives (probably tomorrow or Tuesday) I’m going to prematurely start my toy collecting photo blog. But today I didn’t feel up to that.) But I had to tell someone about this, and it’s too long to wait until next Friday! (And my family members either are bored by or outright disapproving of my toy collecting.)
I was driving home from my volunteer session at the museum, and decided I wanted to hit the antique mall near my house. I get there about, I dunno, maybe an hour before they close? Maybe less? I start looking through the stuff, mostly focusing on the cases, rather than the areas filled with larger items like furniture. In the very first aisle of cases, I do a double take, and immediately have to repress a squeal. Because I saw this:
For those of you who don’t volunteer/work at a toy museum (and/or collect vintage toys), let me explain. This is a Liddle Kiddle, part of a (disgustingly named) doll line produced by Mattel in the 1960s. Mid-to-late 1960s, I think. I looked all this stuff up not too long ago, but I’ve forgotten the details. Anyway, the museum has a pretty nice collection of them, including one I particularly fell in love with: an ultra-mini doll inside a plastic broach.
And now you begin to see why I was so excited to see this little cutie in the antique mall. (I should have put a penny or something in the photo as a size measure. The broach is about 2 inches long, though. Roughly speaking.) Now, this one isn’t the same as the one in the museum: that one has more peacock-like colors, blues and greens and purples. But this one is still super-adorable, and apart from a little bit of scratching on the clear plastic case (and a tiny bit of flyaway hair inside the case) she’s in really supreme condition. So while a search online may well show that I paid too much for her, I don’t even care. It was a price I was willing to pay, and I’m really thrilled to have her, and that’s what’s important, right?
Turned out that antique mall had a bunch of stuff I’d seen at the museum. I saw a number of dolls either very like ones in our collection (our, she says, as if she had any proprietary claim over it) or ones that I’ve seen pictures of online while trying to research different dolls in the collection.
Particularly of note were two things I saw, other than the doll I actually bought. (Three, if you count the standard size Liddle Kiddle I may go back and get tomorrow or the next day. (She’s about the size of the broach.)) One, a doll I saw photos of online just this afternoon while trying to research a different doll that I thought might have been by the Ideal Toy Co., though I’m no longer sure. Anyway, the doll I saw at the antique mall is called a Crissy, and she’s a red-headed doll from I think it said 1967? 18″ tall, which is not a scale I’m terribly fond of, but she has a charming face and this wonderfully mod outfit. (On a modern doll, I’d put “mod” in quotes, since retro-mod isn’t the same as the real thing, but if she’s from 1967, then she is the real thing!) I couldn’t see the price on her, but a different Ideal doll of the same scale in the same case was a very reasonable price, so I may go back for her later on. (If the “the store is closing in ten minutes” announcement hadn’t gone up, I’d probably have asked someone to let me into the case to check her price, but…as it was, I just went up front and paid for the Liddle Kiddle I’d sent up to the counter with one of the employees straight away. (Fortunately, there had been one at the end of the aisle when I saw her, so it was a very quick thing!))
The other thing wasn’t a doll, but a cast-iron bank from 1896. It features William Tell aiming his crossbow at the apple on his son’s (though it looks more like a little girl) head as the kid stands up against a tower. The way it works is that you load the coin onto the crossbow, and it’s fired at the apple, knocking it down as the coin goes through the slot into the tower, which is the actual bank part. It is super cool. When I was cataloging the box it was in at the museum, we all spent a while playing with it, ’cause it still works. Naturally, I had immediately looked it up online, and found–to my dismay–that they tend to go for like $3-4,ooo, and even the not-very-good-replicas that were made much later (late 20th century, I think?) were several hundred. (I may be wrong about the price of the replicas. Mostly, I just remember that they were kind of awful.) So, technically, the one at the antique mall was a real bargain, because it was only a bit under $2,000. However, that’s still a very large sum of money, and there’s no freakin’ way I was going to spend that kind of money. But man, is that bank awesome! (Though the one at the antique mall was missing a lot more paint than the one at the museum. Which may be why it cost less than the others I had seen online.)
The only thing I didn’t see that I really wanted was a gigantic marble. There’s one in the museum’s collection that’s about two inches in diameter, an it’s totally sweet. I posted a picture of it a while back, in fact. I still want to find one of those somewhere. Still not sure where to look, though.