One of the oldest doll manufacturers in the US is Valentine doll, Inc., famous for its hard plastic and vinyl dancing dolls in the 1950s. The company was founded by John Landers, who also established Debbie Toy Company with partner Shelly Greenburg. The latter was known for its line of baby products and vinyl dolls. Most Valentine’s dolls were sold only through mail-order catalogues. The company had also supplied products for Sear under his toy line called Happi Time.
Some of the dolls marketed by Valentine were mostly dressed in ballerina tutu. Here is a list of the Valentine dolls that were popular from the 1950s to the 1960s:
Marked 11VW on her back, this doll is made of hard plastic and stands 10.5 inches tall. It is also similar to the doll marketed by Sear in the Happi Time doll line. The doll has rooted hair on her vinyl head and has articulated shoulders, neck, hips, waist and knees. Wearing a tutu with rubber ballet shoes, the doll also comes with a plastic stand that she’ll spin on to do her ballet dance.
2) Little doll (1958)
Still made of hard plastic body, marked 11VW and measuring 10.5 inches, this doll comes in different styles and colors. It featured a vinyl head with rooted hair, sleepy eyes, and articulated body parts. The design was similar to Uneeda’s Dollikin dolls.
3) Lu Ann Simms (1950s)
The 14-inch tall doll is made of hard plastic and has a closed mouth, sleepy eyes and a mohair wig. The Roberta and Horsman companies also had their versions of LuAnn Simms.
4) Doreena and Concertina
Both dolls are 20 inches tall and have rooted hair on their vinyl heads. The dolls featured sleepy eyes and plastic bodies with hard joints. Concertina doll also has a music box that plays the song “Dance, Ballerina Dance” from Swan Lake, while Doreena comes with an outfit set in addition to her tutu. Both are also indicated by the “20HH” marking.
5) Queen for a day
Also marked “20HH,” this doll stands 20-inches tall and features sleeping blue eyes and a rooted vinyl head. She wears a white ball gown with a red velvet cape and a tiara.
These are just a few of the Valentine dolls that became popular and are now highly sought after vintage pieces. Ballerina dolls can be purchased at auction sites and at doll conventions which can be expensive due to their rarity.