Home Doll house Do you remember Miss Revlon? She was a doll in her day

Do you remember Miss Revlon? She was a doll in her day


This 18-inch Miss Revlon doll, found at a Goodwill store, is in good condition, but is missing her shoes, stockings and hat. SCOTT SIMMONS / FLORIDA WEEKLY

Product placement and advertising aimed at children can drive us crazy. But this is nothing new. Toys have been the gateway to adult products for decades.

You only have to go back to mid-century America to see marketing in full swing.

The Ideal Toy Co. created links between its products and the famous people and goods of the time.

In the 1930s, the company was known for its Shirley Temple dolls, created in the likeness of the child star. Dolls featuring singer actresses Deanna Durbin and Judy Garland followed.

Then the company signed a deal with a medical supply company and the Miss Curity nurse doll was born.

Permanent waves at home became all the rage, so in 1949 Ideal created the Toni doll in tandem with that company’s products, providing a permanent sugar-water solution for budding hairdressers to use on their dolls.

Miss Revlon, named after the cosmetics company, was born in 1956.

But she was different. His predecessors had all been on a child’s body.



What about Miss Revlon? Made from the latest vinyl, she sported a swivel waist, feet designed for high-heeled shoes and – dare we say it? — a female breast.

She came on the heels of a more expensive fashion doll, Cissy, introduced by Madame Alexander Co. in 1955.

But this 18-inch Miss Revlon is beautifully painted, from her face to her fingernails and toenails. Her rooted hair gently wraps around her face.

Although not the quality of a Madame Alexander dress, the flocked organdy fabric of her dress – it is the black Cherries a la Mode model – drapes well and there is a slip to match.

No well-dressed 50s woman would have left home without wearing stockings – this doll came complete with a pair of nylons, strappy black sandals and, to finish off the outfit, a straw hat.

These accessories are missing now – it will be quite easy to replace them.

In 1958, Ideal created Little Miss Revlon, which stands approximately 10.5 inches tall. These too were popular until the advent of Barbie in 1959. By 1960, Miss Revlon dolls no longer existed.

Ideal marketed other dolls such as Betsy Wetsy, Patty Playpal, Tammy, Thumbelina and Chrissy – whose hair could be styled short or long.

Ideal’s last big hit was the Rubik’s Cube before the company merged with others and eventually folded in 1997. ¦