Repairing & Restoring Dollikins

Tips on Repairing and Restoring Dollikins

These tips & hints have been put together by various Dollikin collectors as we try new things in the effort to repair or restore our dolls. More often than not, we find a Dollikin that needs some kind of repair to make her the beauty she once was.

How do I Identify a Dollikin?

Are there other Dolls in the Dollikin family?

What does Dollikin wear?

How do I repair my Dollikin?

Where can I find clothes, shoes & accessories for Dollikin?

How can I store my Dollikin?

How can I display my Dollikin?

Are there books, magazines or web sites that mention Dollikin?

If you have a 19 inch Dollikin by Uneeda from the at 1950's and early 1960's, you know that she is a high--maintenance gal. Here are some frequently asked questions:

I. How do I identify a Dollikin?

A. How is she marked? Uneeda 2S on the back of her head.

B. How tall is she? Most books state that she is 19 inches tall but some catalogs say she is 20 inches tall.

C. What is she made of? Her head is made of vinyl and her body is made of hard plastic.

D. Where is she jointed? She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles for a total of sixteen joints.

E. What colors does her hair come in? Her hair is black, brown, blond or red (strawberry blond).

F. How is her hair styled? There are a variety of styles including a bubble cut, long hair styled in a bun with a widow's peak, long hair with bangs styled in either a smooth ponytail or a very thick curly ponytail, side-parted bangs, and a short bob with a "duck's tail".

G. How is her face painted? In general, she has brown painted eyebrows, sleep eyes with brush type eyelashes, blue, amber, gray, or green eyes, tiny painted eyelashes under the eyes, cheek blush and a painted closed mouth. Some dolls have dark eye shadow at each corner of their eyes. There are three basic mouth types: a little scrunched up "Cissy" mouth, a fuller mouth with a pronounced "M" on the upper lip and a very full mouth with no "M". There are variations in lip color (coral, red, pink). Even though Uneeda used the same basic head mold, they must have had different masks like stencils) to apply the facial features, unless they were applied by hand. some , but not all of the dolls have pierced ears.

H. Are there any other variations between the dolls? There seem to be different hand sizes; the older dolls have larger hands with chubbier fingers.

I. Who is the Dollikin with only twelve joints? In 1958, The Belle Doll company made a doll named Twixie, the Twisting pixie. She is not jointed in the wrists or upper arms. The Valentine Company made a Dollikin clone called Mannikin which was very similar to Uneeda's Dollikin and even was dressed in a similar Japanese Print slacks suit. Upon close inspection, the print is slightly lighter in color and less bright than Uneedas and the dolls face is a different mold. She comes in a box that opens from the front like a two door dressing room. Here are some photos of this doll from Mary Kangas' collection The Mannikin Doll

J. Is there a Dollikin with only the standard joints? No, Uneeda used the same head mold for other fashion dolls.

II. Are there other Dolls in the Dollikin family?

There is a Baby Dollikin. She is 21 inches tall with a vinyl head and a hard plastic body that is jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. She is marked B. Uneeda Doll Co., Inc. She either has molded, painted hair or rooted hair, sleep eyes and a drink/wet mouth. She was made around 1960.

There is a smaller 15" version of the 19" Dollikin. She is considered rare as she does not turn up that often on the secondary market. I believe she was made for a very short time by Uneeda in 1958 and offered along with the 19" version, which probably became the more popular size for Dollikin and the 15" version was phased out. Here is a photo of her from the 1958 Montgomery Wards Christmas catalog. In 1958 Wards offered both sizes of Dollikin, the 15" and the 19" for sale.

There is a variation of the 19 inch Dollikin called Miss Twist. She was made around 1962 and wore a flapper type costume.

In 1969 and 1970, Uneeda made Dollikins in the same size as Barbie (11 1/2 inches) and Dawn (6 1/2 inches).

Here is a Little Miss Dollikin and the 12" version Action Dollikin.

W.T. Grant had a store exclusive of the 12" doll called Action Donna. The only differences were the markings on the box.

The 12" and 6" dolls came in variations of hair style and colors, brunette side ponytail and platinum side ponytail as well as long red, brunette and blonde hair. made by Uneeda.

Uneeda also made a series of outfits for the 11 1/2" size Dollkin. Here is the back of one of the outfit boxes showing the various styles.

III. What does Dollikin wear?

The following outfits have been documented as original outfits for the Uneeda Dollikin:

Above are two completely original Dollikins in mint in box condition. Note that there were two versions of the Dollikin box. I believe the larger display box with the gold lid and fold out cardboard end piece to be the earlier box. The blonde doll inside is wearing the original black velvet slacks set with cream blouse and original black elastic band shoes. A fold out brochure was also included that showed how to pose these dolls. The smaller blue box had a lift off lid with a clear cello window so you could see the doll in the box. Instead of a fold out brochure, now a card was included with the doll describing how to pose her. The brunette doll wears the original green/black checked print slacks set with red felt vest and cream colored blouse. Both boxes had a cardboard stool on which the doll was seated. There were also two other variations of boxed Dollikins, a special Ballerina box, the Mommy Dollikin box and the Miss Twist box shown above.

The above two photos show variations of the jumpsuit that came on the Mommy Dollikin doll. The most common version is the blue jumpsuit shown on the doll with the baby. The baby doll was only jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips and is wearing a similar outfit to the Mommy Dollikin. The Mommy Dollikin sometimes came with vinyl flat shoes.

This photo shows two variations of the plaid checked outfit - a red/black check version and a green/black check version. Dolls are NOT wearing original shoes. These outfits usually came with black elastic/red felt lined hi-heels.

This is a photo from the 1960 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog showing another checked slacks set as well as a version of the ballerina outfit.

This photo shows one version of the ballerina outfit. This outfit should come with long glove-like sleeves that snap at the wrists, as well as full cream colored tights and rubber ballet slippers with long fabric ties.

This photo shows the most commonly found Dollikin outfit, the Japanese Pant set. It consists of a cream colored long sleeve body suit with matching slacks and a long sleeveless vest that has a colorful Japanese print. The doll should have pearl drop earrings and the cream colored hi-heels with elastic bands.

Here is another original Dollikin outfit, a turquoise jumpsuit that comes with the flat shoes.

All original Uneeda outfits should have large round "donut-type" snap fasteners that have the letters SK LIKITS RAU engraved on the inner silver fastener. This is a good way to try to identify outfits that are on your doll.

IV. How do I repair my Dollikin?

Stringing Diagram

Explanation of Stringing Diagram

A. Warped hip For a warped hip, remove the leg (just cut the elastic and put the metal hook in a safe place for use later. Boil a pot of water and dip the offending hip in the boiling water for several seconds and see if you can reform the plastic. You probably will not be able to. Dip again and hold longer. Try again. Keep increasing the time in the water until the plastic is pliable enough to reshape. Keep the butt- piece handy so you can try your work in the hip. Once the new hip has cooled, restring the leg using doll elastic.

B. My Dollikin has green stains near her ears. What can be done about that? Twin Pines sells a product called Remove-zit. Just follow the instructions and be very patient and the green can be removed.

C. Can Remove-zit be used on the hard plastic part of Dollikin? No, it removes the coloring. Remove-zit works best on vinyl.

D. My Dollikin's hair is ruined. What can I do? Rerooting Instructions:

E. My Dollikin has one or more loose joints. How do I fix that? To tighten wrist joints:

F. My Dollikin has a crack or a chip. Is there a way to fix this? Using acrylic sculpting products for doll repair:

G. My Dollikin's facial features are faded. Can she be repainted? ---repaint advice--Coming Soon!

H. My Dollikin has cloudy eyes. Is there any way to fix that? " Some cloudy eyes are caused by mold or mildew on the surface and they can be cleaned off with a gentle swabbing with a q-tip and some mild detergent like dishwashing soap solution, or (my fave) Formula 911 doll cleaner from Twin Pines. You should try not to get moisture into the eye socket." Others are caused by moisture getting inside the plastic of the eye, and using a blow dryer very close to the eye for a few minutes at a time until it clears up (without melting the eyelashes) works wonders." - per collector, Kari Gluski. Another collector, Phyllis Peterman, suggests WD-40. " I cured many a Doll's cloudy eye with "WD-40".(also works for sticky eyes) I spray in both sides of the eye and then tip her forward so the liquid can run out. I also try not to let it run on her face too much. It seems to get behind the eye and clears some of my dolls of the "cloud" problem." "I use sewing machine oil on my dolls with cloudy eyes-it seems to do the trick and it's easy to clean up-if you get a little on their face you can take a QTip dipped in alcohol to clean it off, followed by a wipe with a damp cloth. It doesn't smell, and it's easier to control thantrying to spray WD-40. Other people on the list use the ol' hair dryer trick, and I've done that as well-it clears out moisture. You just gotta be careful with the doll's hair and head-don't hold the dryer too close or run it too long. I think most people dry a little, let the doll cool down, then dry a little more,repeating the process until the eyes are clear." - per Vicki, another collector. I don't know the long term effects of using this method and none of the above methods is "risk free", so try them at your own risk. They have worked for some and could work for you.

I. I'd rather not try to fix my Dollikin myself. Where could I get her repaired?

V. Where can I find clothes, shoes and accessories for Dollikin?

JuJu's Dolly Mall has shoes that fit Dollikin. If the catalog says that something will fit Cissy, it should work for Dollikin.

Madam Alexander is selling "shoe packs" for their new Cissy dolls and these fit Dollikin very well. The shoe pack that is available now has 6 pairs, leopard fur high heels, pink rhinestone high heel slides, silver rhinestone ribbon tie high heels, black suede high heels, red suede high heels with rosette trim and gold cork wedgie sandels. There will be a new shoe pack released this year with 6 different pairs. These retail for $59.95 where Madam Alexander dolls are sold.

Sewing for Dollikin If you plan to sew for your Dollikin there are a few good vintage patterns you can look for from 1958. The Simplicity #2293 for 18" dolls like Cissy and Dollikin is a good one. Others are Simplicity #2745 and #3252 for 18" dolls. Also, the new Simplicity patterns for 15 1/2" fashion dolls, like Gene and Tyler can be enlarged by 20 - 25% to fit Dollikin.

VI. How can I store my Dollikin?

Check your craft/fabric store for the cases for the 18" Springfield Collections Dolls. This is an inexpensive cardboard trunk that will work for Dollikin.

VII. How can I display my Dollikin?

American Girl accessories work very nicely for use with Dollikin.

VIII. Are there books, magazine articles or web sites that mention Dollikin?

A. _Hard Plastic Dolls_ by Polly and Pam Judd, published by Hobby House Press, Inc., 1 Corporate Drive, Grantsville, MD 21536 (1-800-554-1447)

B. _Glamour Dolls_ by Polly and Pam Judd, Hobby House Press

C. "Dollikin, An Unexplored Treasure" by Laura Meisner in the September 1995 issue of Doll Reader.

D. "Pose This?" by Marcia Calder-Cohen in the August 1998 issue of Dolls magazine.

E. Links to other Dollikin sites on the Web

Val's Dollikin Collection Lots's of history and catalog photos as well.

Fashionable Ladies: the online encyclopedia of Glamour Dolls 1955-1964