March 17, 2021
Dime Store Dolls are different from Barbie Clones. Both dolls were sold at Dime Stores which do not exist any longer. Dollar Stores still have Barbie Clones, but no longer carry Dime Store Dolls. These doll are not as tall as Fashion Dolls or Barbie Clones. They are not glamously proportioned and may be shorter and fatter. They are child dolls and not adult dolls. Dime Store Dolls may even have pot bellies. They were normally sold in plastic baggies with labels stapled to the top. They were meant to be impulse purchases. Dress Me Dolls are not considered Dime Store Dolls because these were sold in fabric and craft stores. Dress Me Dolls were sold with no outfit or maybe just plastic shoes because the concept was one would make clothes for the doll. But people bought them and seldom made clothes for them because they were not a very good size for making clothes. Most people would rather made clothes for a doll that was higher quality and larger. This is why it’s possible to find many unopened Dress Me Dolls on Ebay. Dime Store dolls had lower prices compared to standard dolls sold in Toy Stores. Dress Me Dolls and Barbie Clones also had the same low prices. Check out the dolls below from my collection with the price tags. Rainy Day Doll was a Dime Store Doll made by various companies. More Dime Store Dolls were made in the 70’s then any other decade because it was still cheap to make these plastic dolls imported from Hong Kong. In the 60’s plastic dolls were kind of new and in the 80’s Dime Stores were already being to disappearing with Woolworth going out of business in the USA.
Pee Wee Dolls were made by Uneeda. They were very cheap one piece molded dolls with mostly the same expression, but sometimes had colored hair. They would often be molded into sitting positions. But could also be standing. They were sold in small boxes mostly in the 60’s but were still produced in the 70’s. Doll Reference Website claims they started in 1965 and that they stopped in the 80’s. They could be babies or toddlers.
Uneeda also made Troll Doll Clones, called Wishnik Trolls. These were also sold in Dime Stores and 5 and 10 Cents Stores. Some Dime Store Dolls may be called Pee Wee Clones. Uneeda was not the only company making them, but they were likely the first company to make them. Russ was also a big producer of Troll Dolls. But Dam was the original company that sued to get their copyright back on Troll Dolls. The character Mimi on the Drew Carey Show had a collection of Troll Dolls on her desk. Original Troll dolls are no longer made but there are newer Troll dolls that look different based on the movie by Dreamworks. Older Trolls are sometimes customized with improved eyes and hair and resold.
To save money Dime Store Dolls did not have sleepy eyes, but I have found very a few with sleepy eyes. Those dolls are sometimes called Ginny Clones because Vogue Ginny was a popular mid priced doll, but Madame Alexander Dolls were high priced dolls. See my blog on Candy Spelling’s Dolls.
Souvenir Dolls were also cheap dolls that were sold at tourist destinations such as a doll in a Hawaiian Grass Skirt sold in Hawaii or a Circus Performer sold at the Circus. Souvenir dolls were made as early as the 20’s before plastic was invented out of cellulose. Special Dolls could be create to celebrate the World’s Fair and sold there. Often these dolls were made from the bodies of dolls that were normally on the market with a different outfit and different packaging.