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About the Author Greetings! This is me when I was 3. And, as you can see from the photo, I was very happy when playing with my dolls. Decades later, dolls still hold a fond place in my heart. I have created DollKind in order to publish my doll history research articles and to share my enjoyment of dolls with you.

  Guess the Mystery Doll image

Mystery Doll made of Styrofoam. Can you identify her?

Here's a mystery that's been puzzling my sister and I for several years. Do you remember the dolls whose heads are shown in the accompanying photograph? This photo represents the one and only reference I can find on the entire Internet to this style of dolls. It was given to me by an eBay seller, who only had the dolls' heads and didn't know what they were. Did these dolls have a name? Did you own one? Do you have photos? What do you remember about these once-popular mystery dolls?

What I know about this doll
These dolls were so common in the 1970's, it seemed like everybody had them. People stood them on dresser tops and mantels as decorations, as well as playing with them. I recall that the dolls were perhaps 16" high or so, maybe taller. They were made of a hard styrofoam that dented if you pressed on it, and there was a type of soft-to-the-touch paint coating the styrofoam. The features were painted, and the eyes of these dolls were extremely large, as you can see in the photo.

These were relatively inexpensive dolls, available for sale at local drug stores. My older sister remembers buying one at Thrifty's. They were dressed in costumes that I recall giving the impression of a cross between a Victorian lady and a Grand Ole Opry singer. Their dresses were not of very high quality, possibly made of nylon or another synthetic fabric, but they were deemed very pretty, just the same. They sometimes wore hats, and had very silky wigs, often with hanging sausage curls. I remember their hands were somewhat odd, having a fat part for the palm, and thin, needly parts for the fingers. The dolls stood upright, but I don't recall if they were jointed in any way.

My dim and haunting recollection of these dolls is now more than 20 years old. If I've gotten any of the details wrong, I'm hoping you can help me. Please, write to me and tell me what you remember about these styrofoam dolls. If you have photos, I would so love to publish them here on Dollkind.com. If you still own one of these dolls and can take photos or write out a full description of the doll for me, that would be such a help!

I know that the tiny, poor quality photo here is going to jog some memories for so many people. If you can help me solve the mystery of these dolls, I will be able to write a full feature here on them, and will gladly credit you as a contributor. Together, we can bring this faded memory back to life!

Update, Sept 2007: Reader, Holli, writes:
I am curious about the name as well, as I own a couple of them. Although, I don't have a specific name for these, I think they are made in Korea. I have some Korean friends who gave me a wedding couple one, standing in a glass box. I think they could pass as Oriental, but not sure. I actually would not mind collecting these again. I also remember they were always, always, at the state fair. You could either buy these around 20.00 + in the 70's or win them at the carnivals.

Thanks, Holli, for being the first to add a new clue to our doll mystery. I'd so appreciate hearing from anyone else, and if you've got a photo, I'd love to see it!

Update, Nov. 2007: MYSTERY SOLVED!
The dolls in the above photo are Bradley Dolls. Thanks to my gracious readers, I've now learned all about these vintage delights. Read my Bradley Doll article!