Thursday, August 28, 2014

Buttercup Trixie and Predecessors

Buttercup Trixie's first photo upon arrival
Buttercup Trixie by Effanbee (Tonner) is part of the Patsy family of dolls dating back to 1928.  Designed for Effanbee by Bernard Lipfert, a trained sculptor, most, if not all, Effanbee dolls, including the Patsy family, came with a metal gold tone beaded chain bracelet with a heart-shaped Effanbee charm.  The charm usually reads:  Effanbee Durable Dolls on one or both sides.  The opposite side might bear the doll's name. 

The metal charm bracelet accompanied the first of the new era Patsys in the mid-2000s.  This was eventually discontinued and replaced by a paper wrist tag.  The newer dolls were also given a facelift by Robert Tonner after he acquired the company in the mid-2000s.

A gold tone Effanbee beaded bracelet with metal charm is shown above along with the front and back of a heart-shaped paper wrist tag.   Use of the metal bracelet and charm dates back to vintage Effanbee dolls.  Some contemporary dolls (pre-Tonner acquisition) have both the metal bracelet and paper tag.


11-inch Patsy Jr. by Effanbee, all composition, circa early 1930s, still has her Effanbee gold tone, heart-shaped bracelet that bears her name on back, "Patsykin."
My earliest Black Patsy family doll, Patsy Jr., is from the early 1930s.  Patsy Jr. is a composition doll of 11 inches with three Topsy-style braids and otherwise black painted hair.  Other composition Black Patsy family members were also made.

In her book, Effanbee Dolls That Touch Your Heart (Collector Books 1983), Patricia R. Smith indicates brown-skin versions of the 9-inch Patsyette were made in 1931.  She further writes, "Effanbee made Patsy Baby-kin and Baby Grumpy into a black doll with three tufts of yarn hair."  According to Smith, this doll must be marked Effanbee in order to be authentic, as there were others made by other companies during this time.  Patsy Baby was added to the Patsy family after Amos and Ruby (of the Amos 'N Andy Show) "gave birth" to Amosandra during the1936 radio broadcast season.  Smith shares that listeners of the radio show showered the imaginary baby (Amosandra) with gifts, including dolls.

The white radio actress, Elinor Harriot, who portrayed Ruby during the 1930s broadcast of Amos 'N Andy can be seen here holding a large Black (non-Effanbee) doll and surrounded by a variety of other dolls.  Those with three tufts of hair in the photograph appear to be Effanbee's Patsy Baby-kin, also known as Patsy Baby. (These were some of the apparent gifts listeners sent in to welcome Amos and Ruby's new baby.)


In addition to Patsy Jr. and the Amosandra (Patsy Baby) and Patsyette dolls mentioned in Smith's book, Cynthia Lisa Ferguson, a fellow collector, shared that Effanbee also made the following Black Patsy family members:  14-inch Patsy, Skippy (boy),  Patsy Joan a 16-inch curly head mold, 19-inch Pasty Ann, 24- and 26-inch Pasty Lou, and 27-inch Patsy Ruth.  

All above dolls, except Grumpy, Champ, and the composition dog, are part of the original Effanbee Patsy family.  L-R:  Grumpy, a compo pooch, 14-inch Patsy in red hood, 24-inch Pasty Lou, Champ, Patsy Baby/Amosandra (seated), and 27-inch Patsy Ruth.  Photo courtesy of CLF Doll Collection

Using the original molds, during the 1980s and well into the early 2000s Effanbee began reproducing vinyl versions of their most popular Patsy family dolls.  Shown below are the reproduced Effanbee and Tonner-owned Effanbee Patsys that I own. Certainly, there are others, which are absent from my collection and therefore not included here.

1987 Shirley's Dollhouse-exclusive Black Patsy Boy and Patsy are all-rubber-like vinyl, 14 inch-dolls.
©1994 Patsy Joan is a 16-inch vinyl replica of the original 1949 composition doll.  Patsy Joan's firm and shiny vinyl was designed to simulate composition.  Her gold tone Effanbee charm, which she wears as a necklace, is hidden by her dress.

1996 Limited Edition Patsy Ornament is 3-1/2 inches tall, hand painted, and made of resin.


9-inch Patsyette Christmas Gift Box Set Grand Finale  is a 1998 vinyl replication of the original 1931 Patsyette that Smith recognized in her book.
9-inch, all-vinyl Patsyette (©1996) and Patysette Beach Time Basic (2005); Beach Time was made after Tonner took ownership of Effanbee.  Both dolls wear their gold tone Effanbee charms as necklaces.


5-inch Wee Patsy was reproduced in vinyl by Effanbee in 2000 and the first time as an African American.  These little ones did not come with a charm but do or did have heart-shaped paper Effanbee wrist tags.  The brown doll is missing her paper tag.


14-inch Porcelain Patsy is a year-2000 replica of the original 1928 doll.  (The original Black doll was made during the early 1930s in composition).  Porcelain Patsy is a skater, made in a limited edition of 1500.

Shortly after Tonner acquired Effanbee, the original Patsy molds were discontinued.  New head sculpts with wider faces and different body molds for all Patsy family dolls appeared in 2005 with copyright dates of 2004.

14-inch, all-vinyl Patsy Rosebud and Patsy Birthday Best ©2004 received new head and body sculpts by Tonner.  Both have rooted curly hair, paper wrist tags and gold tone Effanbee charm bracelets.

10-inch Lil' Rose (2004) and Sweet Surprise (2005) are new Patsy family members with new head sculpts.  Lil' Rose has vinyl head and arms and a hard plastic body.  Her hair is wigged.  Sweet Surprise is all vinyl with rooted hair. 

10-inch, all-vinyl Buttercup Trixie has a new Patsy head sculpt and body.  Her hair is a wigged Afro.   The elbows, wrists, and knees are jointed, a first for any Patsy family doll.

The newest Patsy family member is Buttercup Trixie, shown above after being liberated from her box.  Her hair has been styled and the ribbon repositioned. 

The little girl in this photo, has a similar hairstyle and dress as Buttercup Trixie.  The photo can be found when searching Google images for "Circassian girls."  It has also been pinned on Pinterest boards and used in blogs on Circassian girls.  During the late-1800s through early-1900s, the photographer, Charles Eisenmann is known to have photographed many "Circassian beauties."
Buttercup Trixie took two additional photos shown below:

The girls in yellow joined Trixie for a group photo. 
In this final photo, because the two display well together, Trixie posed with All-Natural Lizette (who is not a Patsy family member). Trixie holds a doll she claimed as her own, Sydney, from the Only Hearts Club line.
About the Newest Patsy-Family Member
Trixie is a 10-inch, honey skin-toned, all vinyl and hard plastic doll with jointed elbows, wrists, and knees.  She has large brown inset eyes with applied eyelashes.  Her wigged Afro had the pink ribbon sewn to the side.  I removed the stitch and repositioned the ribbon away from her face.   Trixie wears a pale yellow cotton, lace-trimmed dress with three pale pink roses at the neck.  The dress has an attached yellow satin lining.  Yellow lace tights with attached white panties and yellow faux leather shoes complete her outfit. 

Trixie also comes as a basic doll, ready for dressing.  Basic Trixie was shown as temporarily unavailable on the Tonner website at the time this post was composed.



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12 comments:

  1. Such a glorious collection of beauties you have. That last photo is just so sweet. They look perfect together.

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  2. Thanks, Muff. I love my Patsys. Buttercup Trixie definitely adds a ray of sunshine to the family.

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  3. Oh, I love Patsys. I had no idea there were so many different sizes.

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    1. I wasn't aware of the 20-something sizes until a few years ago, April. I would love to add those as well as the Patsy Baby-kin (Amosandra) to my collection.

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  4. Wow--such a wide array of Patsy' dolls--I had no idea! And all so sweet. That last photo is super cute. Trixie and Lizette look like sisters--the scale is just right. Perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Alison. I hope this Patsy family post was enlightening.

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  5. Trixie and Lizette look so adorable together!

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    1. Thank you, Roxanne. I agree. They were made for each one.

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      BTW, that Dolls magazine you received was from Dolls magazine, not Tonner. His dolls just happen to have a cover story on the September issue. I received a complimentary copy of that issue from Dolls this week, too. I wonder how they obtained your address since you have never subscribed. I, on the other hand, have subscribed off and on throughout my collecting years to both the digital and hard copy.

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  6. As soon as I looked and Trixie I thought of Lizette. They resemble each other so much. You have such a beautiful collection of Patsy dolls.

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  7. She indeed stole my heart. Those eye, the hair, the lips, all so enchanting. Love her and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all your Patsy dolls.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! Those eyes are enchanting, but it was those eyes that almost prevented me from purchasing her. In the online images, I thought her eyes were too big. She looks better to me in person, so much so that I am thinking about building her a little wardrobe. I saw some cute jumpers offered by an eBay seamstress that might just begin that wardrobe.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!