Even though I find myself often saying I no longer "collect" babies (with reference to dolls), on a rare occasion I find one that warms my heart enough to purchase. Such is the case with Henry by Kathy Hippensteel. As shown on a scan from a 1991 Truly Many Joys catalog above, TMJ was the distributor of Hippensteel's dolls in the 1990s.
|My Henry is shown in a close-up after his face and other vinyl surfaces were washed and rubbed with a few drops of Jojoba oil. His tightly curled hair was gently brushed to loosen and join the curls to form a short curly Afro.|
New for 1991, Henry, as the catalog describes, is a 19-inch vinyl doll with pellet-filled, posable body. My doll arrived two weeks ago dressed in his original burgundy romper, white socks, and white shoes, minus his straw hat. Even though it was apparent in his auction photos that his eyes and nostrils were crusty and his seller indicated he needed gentle cleansing, there was something about his facial expression that begged me to bring him "home." So I did, for a winning bid of $19.99 and shipping of $11 and change, a far cry from his original retail price of $178.00.
|Henry posed for these two photos and was left undressed overnight to allow the Jojoba oil to soak into his vinyl head, arms, and legs.|
|In the above photo, Henry has been dressed and given his first new playmate, a stuffed bear.|
|His original hang tag and distributor's tag were placed back on his left wrist.|
Over two decades before Henry arrived, based on an image in a doll advertisement, I purchased my first Hippensteel doll. Her name is Wheatsie. Unfortunately, I was never able to bond with the doll. Even after separating her tightly coiled synthetic curls and piercing her ears, the 15-inch Wheatsie never really appealed to me for a combination of reasons. The deer-in-headlights stare with eyes that seem too large for her face and a vinyl foot that kept falling off her cloth leg due to the poor construct are a few reasons I never liked the doll. Even with the foot repaired, I always regretted this purchase.
After Henry received his bath, was redressed, and given a plush companion, Wheatsie joined him. In love with Henry, I wondered if there was anything else I could do to help me like his sister.
|Wheatsie and Henry|
|Before snapping this photo, I had already used a portion of this lash for another doll before snipping another section off for one of Wheatsie's eyes and finally cutting more off the end for her other eye.|
"Cheek color," I thought. "She needs cheek color." So I gave her some.
|Using a makeup sponge and Maroon Bordeaux dry brush stencil paint (retrieved from my paint cabinet), I added a dab of color to Wheatsie cheeks and forehead area as well|