One of the oldest doll makers in the United States is Valentine Doll, Inc., famous for its vinyl and hard plastic ballet flats in the 1950s. The company was founded by John Landers who also founded the Debbie Toy Company with partner Shelly Greenburg. The latter was known for its line of vinyl baby and doll products. Most of the Valentine’s Day dolls were only sold through mail order catalogs. The company had also supplied products for Sear under their toy line called Happi Time.
Some of the dolls that Valentine marketed were mostly dressed in a ballerina tutu. Here is a list of the Valentine’s Day dolls that were popular from the 1950s to 1960s:
Marked with 11VW on the back, this doll is made with a hard plastic body and measures 10.5 inches tall. It is also similar to the doll marketed by Sear in the Happi Time doll line. The doll has hair rooted on her vinyl head and has articulated shoulders, neck, hips, waist and knees. Wearing a tutu with rubber ballet shoes, the doll also came with a plastic stand in which she will rotate to make her ballet dance.
2) Small mannequin (1958)
Still made with a hard plastic body, marked 11VW and measured 10.5 inches, this doll was available in different styles and colors. It featured a vinyl head with rooted hair, sleeping eyes, and articulated body parts. The design was similar to Uneeda’s Dollikin dolls.
3) LuAnn Simms (1950s)
The 14 inch tall doll is made of hard plastic and featured a closed mouth, sleeping eyes and mohair wig. The Roberta and Horsman companies also had their own versions of LuAnn Simms.
4) Doreena and Concertina
Both dolls measure 20 inches and have hair rooted on their vinyl head. The dolls featured sleeping eyes and articulated plastic bodies. The Concertina doll also has a music box that played the Swan Lake song “Dance, Ballerina Dance” as Doreena arrives with a wardrobe set in addition to her tutu. Both are also indicated with the abbreviation “20HH”.
5) Queen for a day
Also marked “20HH”, this doll stands 20 inches tall which features sleeping blue eyes and a rooted vinyl head. She is wearing a white ball gown with a red velvet cape and a tiara.
These are just a few of the Valentine’s Day dolls that have become popular and are now sought-after vintage pieces. Ballerina dolls can be purchased from auction sites and at doll conventions which can be expensive due to their rarity.