Posted in Dolls

by Ruby Lane

If you love baby dolls, Betsy McCall, Sweet Sue, or Tiny Tears, then you love dolls by the American Character Doll Company.  American Character was in business from 1919 to 1968, and trademarked the name “Petite” found embossed on many of the early composition dolls from the 20s.  They were known for mama dolls and baby dolls including one Bye-Lo look alike done in composition. This doll is called Baby Petite and is so marked. Other babies were Teenie Weenie and Happy Tot. Early Campbell Kids were also marked with “Petite” or a variation thereof.

Tagged Mama Doll Petite by American Character

Tagged Mama Doll Petite by American Character

Happy Tot Composition Baby Doll ~ American Character Doll

Happy Tot Composition Baby Doll ~ American Character Doll

Factory Original American Character Sweet Sue w Box, 2 Hangtags

Factory Original American Character Sweet Sue w Box, 2 Hangtags

Sweet Sue 18” tall doll by American Character as Alice In Wonderland

Sweet Sue 18” tall doll by American Character as Alice In Wonderland

Many of their dolls were made of composition, or with composition heads and limbs, but later dolls were also made of hard plastic and vinyl.  One of their trademark dolls was Sweet Sue, a lovely debutante type doll that came in different sizes and had a varied wardrobe.

Sweet Sue Dolls on the Dolls Lane

Sweet Sue Dolls on the Dolls Lane

1953 Vintage 21

1953 Vintage 21″ Little Ricky Jr Doll by American Character

1927 brought a doll in honor of Charles Lindbergh, who would later collect automatons, and who was a best friend of Sam Pryor, the former VP of TWA whose doll collection inspired the Disney attraction, “It’s a Small World.” Other American Character celebrity doll include Lucille Ball (1952) from I Love Lucy, a rare doll with a mask face and cloth body, and a 3-year production of Little Ricky, based on Ball’s son, Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Another iconic doll for the company was Betsy McCall, made in various styles and sizes with wardrobes meant to emulate the famous paper doll who lived among the pages of McCall’s magazine.

Betsy McCall by American Character

Betsy McCall by American Character

Tiny Tears Dolls on Ruby Lane
Tiny Tears Ruby Lane Blog

In 1968, Ideal bought American Character molds, and continued with Tiny Tears. They used the growing hair idea of Tressy on their own Ideal Crissy family dolls.

American Character made trendy and beautiful dolls for nearly 50 years that have found their way into many collections of vintage dolls, as well as doll museums and antique stores.

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