Interesting Facts about Dolls

Little Baby Doll

Here are some interesting facts about dolls:

  • First toy advertised on the television was Mr. Potato Head.
  • One of the G.I. Joe prototypes was sold in a Heritage auction for $200,001 in 2003.
  • Some Blythe dolls can change color of their eyes with a pull of a string.
  • Greatest number of dolls, to this day, in one Matryoshka set is 72.
  • George Lerner invented Mr. Potato Head to entertain his younger sister.
  • First series of Mr. Potato Head had a real potato for a head which customer had to obtain.
  • Action figure G.I. Joe was inspired by a popular movie from 1945 called “The Story of G.I. Joe“.
  • One Barbie is sold somewhere in the world every three seconds.
  • Barbie has three sisters Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea.
  • First clothing that Barbie had when she appeared on the market was a black-and-white striped swimsuit.
  • The first Barbie doll sold in 1959 had a price of $3.
  • The first articulated dolls appeared somewhere around 200 BC.
  • Teddy Bear is named after President of the Unite States of America Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
  • Many dolls are predominantly toys but some of them are collector items and can reach very high prices.
  • Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  • Golliwogg doll was inspired by the children’s book “The Adventures of two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg” by Florence Kate Upton.
  • Both Barbie and Ken were named after the son and the daughter of their creator: Barbara and Kenneth.
  • First documented mention of bobblehead doll is in Nikolai Gogol's 1842 short story The Overcoat where is a description of a character neck that reads “like the necks of plaster cats which wag their heads”.
  • Blythe dolls were only sold for a one year when they first appeared. They became popular again in 27 years.
  • The most expensive doll in the world is L’Oiseleur (the Bird Trainer). Its price is $6.25 million.
  • Oldest Japanese traditional dolls date from 2000BC.
  • Reborn dolls are so realistic they have been mistaken for real children. There are known cases that the police smashed a window of the vehicle because they thought that an unconscious baby was in the vehicle when instead was a reborn doll.
  • First found rag dolls were Roman and dated from 300BC.
  • Modern European dolls were at first made to represent adults. Childlike dolls did not appear until 1850.
  • There are workshops, called “doll hospitals” specialized for repair and restoration of dolls. Oldest is in Lisbon, Portugal. It was founded in 1830.
  • Fear of dolls is called “pediophobia”.
  • European dolls had brown eyes until the Victorian era when Queen Victoria inspired blue eyes.
  • Mattel, manufacturer of Barbie, sued MCA Records, for whom band “Aqua” recorded song "Barbie Girl" because they allegedly violated the Barbie trademark. Mattel lost.
  • Barbie is no stranger to controversies. In 1963, Barbie came with an accessory book titled “How to Lose Weight” on the back of which was printed “Don’t eat”. In 1965, same book came together with accessory scales which were permanently set to 110lbs (55kg).