1949 Toni Doll Advertisements

Lovely New Toni Dolls

The TONI DOLL has nylon washable hair that can be washed, curled and combed. She is 14″ high and comes complete with a set of 12 plastic curlers, 72 end tissues, creme shampoo, and a bottle of Toni Play Wave solution.

Along with the ads for tricycles, coloring books, Lionel train sets, and a junior tea set that filled a whole page newspaper advertisement, there was Toni. It was 1949 and she had one small corner of that page filled with toys.

Dressed in a ruffled dress and shoes and socks, she poses as though ready to take a step. The price was $9.98.

1949 toni ad
The Post-Register (Idaho Falls, Idaho) 09 Nov 1949, Wed • Page 16

Another advertisement appeared about that same time. It features more prominently the Toni products to use in styling the doll’s hair. This ad says, “It’s fun to shampoo and curl the New Toni doll’s magic nylon hair.” It even shows three alternate hairstyles to inspire the recipient.

The 14-inch doll is $9.98 and in addition, there’s the 16-inch doll for $11.98. This seller gives the option to have the doll ordered through the mail.

1949 toni doll advertisement
El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) 28 Nov 1949, Mon • Page 17

I’m not sure what advertising whiz thought moms and little girls would be impressed by how much nylon it took to make Toni’s wig. More intriguing, I’m sure, is the description of the Play-Wave kit and her clothing.

There’s enough Nylon in Toni’s wig to make 7 pairs of 15 Denier Nylon stockings. Toni has her very own little “Play-Wave” kit with curlers, papers, shampoo and harmless solution. She’s a dimple-cheeked beauty with her bolero sun-dress designed exclusively for her, lace-edged panties, slip, white shoes and socks. Toni is made of sturdy plastic with movable arms and legs.

I found several dolls on eBay dressed in this bolero dress so you can see the colors of it. This one is offered by eBay seller, viviandoll.

toni doll in bolero dress from ebay viviandoll
A P-90 Toni doll in her original bolero dress.

2 thoughts on “1949 Toni Doll Advertisements

  1. In 1949, $9.98 was probably an expensive price for a doll. It was the baby boom generation, and dolls were a great business to get into. I was born in 1952 but do not remember ever seeing a Toni doll. I know people then were fascinated by new materials being developed so maybe that’s why the emphasis on “nylon” was considered a good advertising strategy.


    1. Best play doll ever. I still have mine with her original dress from 1950. I now collect mostly antiques but my Toni will always have my heart. Most of my Tonis I have today have their original clothes and are mint or near mint. Such a lovely face she has – and such beautiful hair! I try not to buy any more because of space unless if course one pops up that is just too hard to resist!


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