Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Temple Tuesday: 1972 Vinyl Shirley

I still remember the first time I saw Ideal’s 1972 vinyl doll. It was sitting high on top of the shelf in the local hardware store's Toy Shop. The display was a cardboard stage that was a promotional item by Ideal. I thought it looked just like Shirley. Shiny sandy blonde curls, the dimples, the smile, the instantly recognizable polka dot dress from “Stand Up and Cheer”…it was Shirley come to life in 17 inches of peach-colored vinyl.

I even thought the box was cool; LOTS of photos of Shirley all around it!

There was also an alternate dress that was a modern riff on the “Stand Up and Cheer” outfit. Screw that...I wanted it to look just like the one in the 1934 movie!

After the 1972/73 doll was released, Ideal also produced four outfits (sold separately of course!) that were “inspired” by some of Shirley’s most famous movie roles.

“Inspired” is somewhat accurate, as these outfits not only strayed far from the original designs but they looked pretty cheap, too. The best of the bunch was probably “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”:

“Captain January” wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t have the arm patch (can you hear the pennies saved on that one?). “Heidi” wasn’t awful from the front:

…but it sure was a mess in the back. BTW: this doll has been “enhanced” with a petticoat and hose, unlike the original outfit which only had short socks. Shoes weren’t included either. All outfits were expected to share the same pair of red vinyl shoes that came with the “Stand Up and Cheer” doll.

The hair on these dolls was the equivalent of a mullet. Business in front…

party in the back. No Shirley-style curls and bare hair plugs...this poor thing needs some rogaine and a curling iron.

The amount of hair on the back of the head varied. Some were close to bald, some had a bigger afro. I actually had one of mine restyled by Kathy Johnson, who magically turned the messy mass into Shirley curls!

The prize for the worst outfit of the quartet goes to “The Little Colonel.” Missing at least two ruffles and made out of the cheapest polyester possible, you can almost smell the steam coming off of this one.

When Ideal closed shop, Dollspart Supply started selling parts for the 1972 doll. You could buy a whole set and make your own 1972 Shirley Temple Ideal vinyl doll. Sort of…

No eyelashes, cheaply painted (no blushing), and even less hair on the head (could that be?!?), you would have to be pretty desperate to buy one of these nude dolls and go to the hassle of putting it together.

See more Shirley Temple doll photos at my main website.