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Sunday, 26 October 2014


Dolls may be the world’s oldest toys. Examples have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2000 BC.

Early in the sixteenth century, Dorothy became a fashionable name in Britain, remaining so for almost 200 years. Its popularity led people to shorten it to Dolly or Doll. It was not surprising that eventually children's playthings were also called by this well-liked name. The first documented instance is found as early as 1700.

The earliest records of dolls’ houses or “baby houses” date back to the 16th century.

In the US the first mass-produced dolls were marketed in 1800.

In 1903 Beatrix Potter designed and patented a Peter Rabbit doll – making Peter Rabbit the world’s oldest licensed character.

The first Raggedy Ann doll, based on Gruelle’s literary character, came out on June 28, 1917.

Queen Mary of England was gifted a 1:12 scale doll house in 1924. It had books that were especially written by writers for the library, bottles filled with the appropriate drinks in the wine cellar, working lights and model cars made by Rolls Royce. Even the toilets had working plumbing.

Troll dolls were invented in the 1950s by Danish fisherman Thomas Dam, who carved them out of wood and sold them door-to-door.

The Barbie Doll made her debut at the New York Toy Fair in March 1959 and took toy stores across the US by storm-more than 351,000 dolls were sold that year at $3 (£1.50) each.

Hasbro Toys introduced in 1964 GI Joe, an 11½-inch "action figure" that sold for $4.00. The doll was inspired by the 1945 Robert Mitchum movie, The Story of GI Joe.

Hasbro coined the term "Action Figure", to market their G.I. Joe toys to boys who would not play with "dolls."

Snake Eyes, one of the 16 original G.I. Joe action figures, was designed to save Hasbro money. As a ninja, the character was completely molded from black plastic, even given a mask to prevent detailing a face. The figure wasn't even painted, but became one of the most popular G.I. Joe figures.

Handmade, cloth-faced Cabbage Patch Kids were created by 21 year old art student Xavier Roberts 1978. Beginning in mid-1983, a less expensive, vinyl-faced version became available. More than 3 million were sold, that year.

The first ever Cabbage Patch Dolls arrived in the UK in 1983, each complete with their own “adoption papers”.

Source Daily Express

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