Established in 1925, the Mary Hoyer doll Manufacturing Company began as a craft store in Reading Pennsylvania. The founder, Mary Hoyer, initially made knitwear for children and babies. Later, she used a model doll to knit and crochet dresses with her pattern book. The dolls were initially supplied by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company with their rotating waist and torso. Therefore, the first dolls were labeled with the Ideal brand. However, the doll‘s clothing was labeled Hoyer.
In 1937, Mary hired Bernard Lipfert’s doll-making expertise to create her own line of dolls. The dolls were made of composition materials, sleepy eyes or painted eyes, real upper eyelashes but the lower part is painted, and a closed mouth. Models were also made by Fiberoid doll Products Co.. The dolls were then embossed labeled “The Mary Hoyer doll“.
In late 1946, Hoyer dolls sported a hard plastic material that was marked “Original Mary Hoyer doll Made in USA.” This newer version had a mohair wig, sleeping blue eyes with lids, a closed mouth, and still with real upper lashes and painted lower ones.
In 1937, the company began manufacturing its boy doll, which stood 14 inches tall and had a full composition body that sometimes came in prince costumes. The hard plastic version arrived around 1946 and also sported an articulated body, sleeping eyes, short mohair wig, and a closed mouth. The boy doll was also produced in limited numbers, so it is priced slightly higher than common female dolls. This also makes her one of the most sought after dolls by collectors.
Another character released in the 1950s by Hoyer was the Gigi doll. She came in two size varieties, 14 inches and 18 inches tall. She had a jointed rope body that was also made of hard plastic. The doll featured a hair wig, sleepy eyes, a closed mouth, and also a hard plastic head.
In 1957, the 10.5-inch Vicky doll was introduced and came with a twisted waist, rooted hair, high-heeled feet, and a jointed hard plastic fashion body. The doll was actually Uneeda’s Suzette doll, so it has the Uneeda doll Company mark on the neck, as it was supplied by them. She then repackaged herself and dressed in Hoyer’s clothing creations.
The Mary Hoyer doll Company went out of business in the 1970s, but then recently relaunched with its new creations. The new doll editions are priced from $56 to $229. The dolls also come with a line of accessories and clothing and surprisingly, a line of beautifully crafted wigs of different colors and hairstyles.