Collector’s Profile – Pamela Briggs

It’s fun to meet other Toni doll lovers even if it is just online. I asked Pamela Briggs about a photo she posted and she shared her childhood memories of a Toni doll that sparked her collecting later in life.

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Pamela Briggs gathered all her Toni dolls for a group photo.

I was the youngest, so I played with my sisters’ hand-me-down dolls. I made a family of four of them. The youngest (but actually oldest) was a Toni, as my mom told me at the time. She’d belonged to my oldest sister and had a sparse blonde wig. But I thought she was the nicest of all. I liked her face, and how she could pose. The others were vinyl, and though I didn’t know it then, they were two grocery store dolls and a Miss Revlon. I still have them.

My oldest sister took the Toni back, and when I started to collect dolls I really wanted a Toni of my own. I found one with black hair and an enormous bag of clothes at a DAV charity store. As I continued to collect other kinds of dolls, I was still attracted to Tonis, so my new family grew!

It turns out we have something in common besides dolls. I was a career librarian (Ohio, Maryland, Texas) for 30 years. Pamela said, “I worked in a library for 18 years, and wish I still did!”

Redheaded Toni Dolls

Redheads or auburn hair? Whatever you want to call it, there don’t seem to be as many of these Toni dolls as there are the blondes and brunettes. Some are a strawberry blonde, which is really a deep gold with hints of red. That’s what my own Toni doll is.

Here are a few real redheaded Toni dolls that I found on eBay. I’m not a seller (just featuring these for your enjoyment).

auburn haired Toni doll from eBay
gone_4_good has this sweet-faced, auburn-haired Toni doll for sale on eBay
Ideal Toni Doll P93 Red Hair 21 1949 Vintage eBay carols789
This P93 Ideal Toni doll, vintage 1949, was offered on eBay by seller carols789
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A redheaded Toni doll with a hat and cute polka-dot dress. Seller information: turbomission on eBay

If you have a Toni doll hankering to be a redhead, you can get a new red wig for her. Seller information: kawaiipalacedollshop 

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Merry Christmas from Toni

It’s Christmas Eve, so Toni donned her holiday apparel. Actually, it isn’t much different from her Thanksgiving outfit since it’s based on the same glittery gold scarf for the skirt and draping at the shoulders.

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Merry Christmas from Toni doll

The bodice of her holiday dress is a wide flocked ribbon in red. For an accessory, she carries an old-fashioned lantern accented with a sprig of greenery.

More views of Toni’s holiday photoshoot:

You can see her 2018 Christmas outfit in a previous blog post.

Her Grandmother’s Toni Doll

Kristen contacted me to tell me about the Toni doll she has. “My grandmother gifted this doll to me when I decided to go to college for fashion. She said this doll gave her so much hope and inspiration and she hoped it would do the same for me. Unfortunately, as much as I love the doll and the meaning behind it, I feel like it deserves to go to a good home, to be shown off, and to be loved just as much as she loved it growing up.”

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This was my grandmother’s first and favorite doll. She was so excited when she received it as a birthday present because it looked just like her as a little girl. She made sure to take very good care of the doll because she had never received a gift so precious. She received many beautiful outfits for her Toni doll, some made by her mother. The outfits include a Band Majorette, a gorgeous blue coat with matching bonnet, as well as various floral dresses. She even has roller skates– which were hard to photograph but they are cute!

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This is one of the most adorable mommy-made costumes that I’ve seen. The hat and dress adorned with sequins and the little baton must have been a delight to the little girl receiving this majorette costume for her Toni doll.

Ultimately, this Toni doll owner would do best to post her doll on eBay to reach the widest audience. I offered to feature it here to get her started. Her doll and the outfits are adorable, but I’m not personally a collector. I have my doll that I love and am quite satisfied with just having one at this point. Doll collectors, on the other hand, very happily acquire more and more dolls to have one of each type or a better example than what they already have.

The vintage outfits are delightful. I see on eBay individual outfits for Toni priced at $10 to $30 each for older ones (without a doll). Of course, the condition of the clothing and uniqueness affects the pricing. Dressmakers creating new dresses for Toni dolls often charge around $30 each.

Slideshow of Her Toni Doll Outfits

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Anyone interested in the doll can contact kristin.borchardt@yahoo.com. She would like $275 for the doll and outfits. Her hope is that the doll will go to someone who “will value it and take care of it.”

More Pictures of the Doll

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Toni’s Thanksgiving

My Toni doll likes to dress up for holidays and get her picture taken. Since she didn’t have a pilgrim outfit, I had to improvise on something that would look good in an autumn setting.

Toni doll in gold outfit with Pilgrims
Toni in her autumn finery with 2 Pilgrims in their traditional attire.

After she saw how severe the traditional Pilgrim clothing was, she was glad to opt for something a little more glamorous. I had a gold scarf that draped nicely, so I teamed it up with a wide ribbon with autumn flowers on it.

If that a hijab? It could be considered that, or it could be a mantilla like those popular in 1942 for evening wear or for brides. Mantillas were of lace or chiffon and draped over the head and sometimes the shoulders.

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The subtle glimmer of gold in her head and shoulders wrap shows off her strawberry blonde hair.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Toni’s Halloween

I wanted to make a witch costume for Toni to wear for a Halloween contest. Our Dolls of the 50’s and 60’s has contests before each holiday. The doll lovers in that Facebook group look forward to opportunities to dress up their dolls for a holiday-themed photo shoot.

The Halloween contest ends tonight, so I needed to hustle my Toni into some sort of outfit and start snapping pictures. Here are the results. I need to decide which one features her the best and submit it to the Facebook group.

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I’m thinking one of the photos with the large ghost and the pumpkin will work best. I’ll call it “Toni Meets a Ghost.”

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If you have a doll from the 1950s or 1960s, there are still a few hours to take your photos and submit them by email. Here are the guidelines, “Let’s start planning our photoshoots for the Halloween Contest. Submit photos to Ddean333@gmail.com with Halloween Contest in the subject line by October 24. Do not post them to the group’s timeline. We will vote on Sunday, October 27. Winner will be the banner until Nov 1.”

Toni’s Bad Hair Day

It shouldn’t surprise us that some Toni dolls are a mess after generations of being played with and possibly decades of being stuffed into a box. After all, if a little girl has access to scissors, chances are she will attempt a hair cut on her dolly. It’s pretty amazing that so many Toni dolls look so good after fifty or sixty years have passed.

Browsing around on eBay, I noted a number of dolls having bad hair days. Sometimes an alert collector can spot a super bargain and snap up a Toni that merely needs a shampoo and a little TLC.

Here are some hair “styles” recently seen on eBay. I’m not intending to shame any of the sellers. I’m sure they are busy people and may not have time to give the doll a spa day before listing it for sale. If you wish to find the doll on eBay to buy it, the seller’s name will help you find it.

The three dolls on the left still have long hair so a shampoo and light comb-out might be all that they need. The one in the purple dress seems to have her hair well-back from her forehead though. Perhaps she had bangs at one time and those are gone.

Two of the dolls on the right have suffered from haircuts but still might look fine after the application of some shampoo and conditioner.

The most unfortunate of the dolls is the blond in the middle who seems to have been scalped. I predict that a complete wig replacement is needed to set her right.