‘Kins’ is the name given to the beautiful 8 inch dolls manufactured by The Alexander doll Company beginning in early 1953. The ‘Kins’ were a departure from Madame Alexander as they were made of a hard, heavy and durable plastic in instead of its usual compound. . Although the material had changed, Madame Alexander’s strict demand for high quality did not and it showed in these dolls.
As with all things Madame Alexander made, these dolls evolved and innovated quite quickly. In only their second year of production, the dolls became straight-legged walkers. Two years later, in 1956, the dolls evolved again to include jointed knees. New, more versatile legs allowed the dolls to pose like never before, kneeling and, of course, sitting.
The body of the dolls was not the only thing that changed over the years. Madame Alexander likes variety and she made sure her dolls never got boring. Each year the ‘Kins’ dressed up in a wonderful array of new dresses that kept the line fresh and unique. The line was also sold in different levels of accessories. Some models included only the basics such as the doll, panties, shoes and socks and the outfits were sold separately. Others were complete boxed sets with a fully clothed doll included.
Unfortunately, not all of the dolls in the line have grown and evolved. The ‘Quiz-Kins’ were only made in 1953 and never returned. The distinguishing feature of a ‘Quiz-Kin’ was the two buttons on the back. One button would make the doll nod and the other would not. Despite their relative rarity and uniqueness, Quiz-Kins are generally not as valuable as regular Alexander-Kins. As I understand it, this is because Quiz-Kins are generally sold with very plain, basic clothing.
Identifying your Alexander-Kin
Although ‘Kins’ are still produced today and are now exported all over the world, the most valuable are of course the original vintage models. Here are some tips to help you identify his doll.
“Alex” or “Alexander”
From 1953 to 1976, the Kins had “ALEX” written across their back, after that the full name “Alexander” appeared.
Dolls that came already dressed had a three-digit number (ie #123) on their box. The boxes that had four digits (ie 0123) were for boxed sets. It’s not uncommon to see a doll and box with mismatched serial numbers. This is usually because the dolls were often displayed in a window, and when sold, they were put back in a box, not necessarily the box they originally came in.
This is a trademark feature of Quiz-Kins. The buttons control the movement of the head and these dolls were only produced in 1953.
straight leg walkers
Straight-legged walkers were introduced in 1954 and 1955. If your doll had a walking feature but had no knee joint, it was made in 1954 or 1955.
Articulated knees were introduced in 1956. If your doll has a joint in the knee area, it can’t be older than 1956.
fuzzy sole shoes
Dolls with shoes that had a furry sole date from 1953 to 1958. Be careful when using this method of dating a doll, as shoes are the most frequently lost or replaced item and could confuse you as to the true dolls age
Alexander-Kin doll Values
It would be impossible for us to list the value of each Alexander-Kin doll, but Kins generally range from $400 to $2000, with the vast majority between $600 and $1000. As with most dolls, a large percentage of the Value is determined by the outfit the doll is wearing.
If you provide us with the correct information, we may be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the value of your dolls. Pictures really help!