1. 1990s Holiday Barbie in her pink poinsettia dress. The Holiday Barbies debuted in 1988 and were still hot tickets in 1990. Other Barbies were noting included an unusual Bowling Champ Barbie and Stars N Stripes Barbie wearing a smart Sailor’s Uniform with a skirt.
2. Wendy Lawton Dolls. Lawton made her first doll in 1978, a portrait of her doll. She and her husband founded The Lawton Doll Company in 1983. By the 90s, Lawton was creating dolls for Ashton Drake Galleries, including a popular Little Women Series and literary dolls like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pollyanna. In 2002, Lawton went back to creating her own dolls in the United States. She is also a writer and has created dolls from her books, the Daughters of Faith series.
3. Robin Woods dolls: In 1989, even The LA Times wrote about the crowds that descended on Robin Woods when she showed up anywhere to sign her dolls. Literary and historical characters were her strong point, and even after she lost the rights to use her name on the dolls her company created, she went on in the early 90s to design for Madame Alexander as Alice Darling. She later designed dolls for other companies that appeared in big box stores. Some of the sculpts she used were done by Avigail Brahms; all were haunting with painted eyes and fantastic costumes. Her series depicting characters from the legends of King Arthur were worthy of even the finest collections.
4. Madame Alexander Gone With The Wind Characters and issues of classics including Little Woman Cissette Doll, and more GWTW Scarlett and other dolls. Founded in 1923 by Beatrice Behrman Alexander, the Alexander Doll Company has been going strong ever since. Originally, Madame Alexander made doll clothes and worked in her father’s doll hospital in New York City. Later, she started her own company, now under new owners. During the 90s, the Portrait series enjoyed a new run, as did various other characters from the traditional 8-inch line and Cissette dolls. Alexander expanded during the 80s and 90s to other types of dolls, including the Coppertone girl, Harley Davidson Dolls, more fashion doll lines, and movie lines like the Cissette doll representing the Psycho shower scene.
5. 1990 VIB Betsy Ross Bear and other VIB Bears: These 20-inch velour bears were the brainchild of a young mother with a background in literature who wanted a better teddy for her child. Barbara Isenberg and her brother Paul Levy founded the North American Bear Company in 1978. The Very Important Bears with names like William Shakesbear, Scarlett O’Beara, and Douglas Bearbanks were immediately popular with collectors and kids alike. The Hunch Bear of Notre Dame was an instant favorite, and only about 12 inches high. Ornaments of flocked plastic also appeared based on the bears. North American Bear is also the creator of Muffy Vanderbear and friends, and of animals like Cleo Catra, Mick Jaguar, and Donkey Hotey.
Bonus dolls you might find in the toy chest included Fun Time Polly Pocket Clock, Teletubbies, Mattel’s Stacie Happy Meal Gift Set, Crimp N Curl Cabbage Patch Kid, and Barbie’s Dream House.
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