Monday, August 24, 2015

Cheerios and What Makes Little Girls Giggle

I was forced to move these doll boxes from their normal front-corner-of-the-room location.  The two Wannabee dolls have been moved from their prior location and are now blocking the doorway.  The other dolls on the right also had to be moved.

My usual Monday through Saturday breakfast is a bowl of Cheerios with lactose-free milk.  The sugar and sodium content in Cheerios is low and I like the taste, which is why it is my chosen cereal staple.  On Sundays we eat a cooked breakfast, taking turns preparing it.  I dread my Sundays because that means I am forced to get out of bed and "make noise with some pots and pans" to prepare it.  I'd rather sleep in and have breakfast in bed prepared by my husband.

Last Friday, after preparing my quick weekday breakfast and a half cup of coffee (having recently reduced my caffeine intake in an effort to slowly wean myself from it), with my cereal bowl in one hand and coffee cup in another, I stepped down into the dark doll room/office.  Using the hand that held the cereal bowl and spoon, I attempted to turn on the light.  The plan was to begin my work day.  That plan was delayed by several minutes caused by a cereal-and-milk-filled spoon that flipped after bumping the wall. Some of the cereal landed on top of boxed dolls that line the wall below the light switch.  I had to stop and clean up the mess.

Several doll boxes (most have been removed in this photo) had lined the wall from the floor to just underneath the light switch (which is not visible in this photo).
There were only a few pieces of Cheerios visible on one or two of the boxes on top of the stack, but I wanted to make certain none had fallen behind the boxes.  This forced me to remove several standing dolls and doll boxes.  That is when I found her box.

The box that contained my missing in action  (MIA) Giggles by Ideal was one of the ones on the bottom of the previously stacked dolls in boxes.  Her box happened to be in the corner and was hidden by other boxes that were on top and in front of it.
Before finding her, I knew Giggles was either in the doll room or in a closet where a few other dolls are stored.  Exactly where she was had been a mystery for a few years until the spilled milk and Cheerios led me to her.
Giggles by Ideal has a box date of 1968.
Giggles arrived to my doll family during the late 1990s as a long sought-after doll.  After discovering her in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide Book II by Myla Perkins (Collector Books, 1995), I had to have her!  This was during my pre-Internet doll buying years when the hunt and find for dolls was more challenging.  It took some 2+ years to find my beloved Giggles.

My doll was featured in Judy Izen's Collector's Guide to Ideal Dolls Identification & Value Guide 2nd edition (Collector Books 1998).  Later, I included her in my first book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls (Hobby House Press, 2003), as illustrated below:



As described in my book, "Doll's head and eyes move from side to side when her arms are outstretched and brought together or separated, which causes her to giggle."  Standing 18 inches, she has a soft vinyl face, rigid vinyl body and brown rooted hair.  Her eyes move from side to side along with her head movement.

Giggles illustrates the length of her hair.

Her neon colored top and shorts have orange, yellow, pink, and green stripes of varying heights (top) and widths (shorts).  The year Giggles was released, 1968, I owned a blouse made from the exact same fabric as the doll's clothes.  See me wearing that top below in the next faded photo.  The little one with me is my sister.

My sister and I, circa 1968, are in our "groovy" colored bedroom.  She is seated on a bright orange ottoman that matches the orange in our matching bedspreads.   Her bed is on the other side of the room.  We were 6 and 12, respectively.

Based on her appearance in two published works, my Giggles is a popular little girl who went missing in action for about five years, which is the last time the doll room was given a thorough overhaul.  Her previous owner jotted, "Art's Toy Fair Gardena, Calif. 10/10/68" on her instruction booklet, presumably the date of her original purchase.
Giggles' instructions booklet -- excuse the poor lighting.

I am happy Giggles and I have reconnected.

After cleaning out the corner where she had been stored and returning some of the dolls to their respective locations, the decision has been made to sell a few.  Will Giggles be one of them?


Because of the obvious answer to the question at the top of her box, Who makes little girls giggle?  Giggles will not be one of the dolls seeking a new home.  I placed her back in the same corner, surrounded by other doll boxes.  However, her location has now been documented on the "Where they are" sheet of my doll inventory spreadsheet.  This ordeal coupled with the spreadsheet entry should help me remember her location.

 dbg


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21 comments:

  1. Now this is a vintage doll that's very, very high on my wish list (preferably still working!). It's so great that you have her and boxed too! I'm glad you found her back so you could post about her :-). This is such a cute, special doll, I understand that you want to keep her. Lovely!!! (can you tell I'm enthusiastic about Giggles LOL)

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    1. Hi Linda,

      Yes, I feel your enthusiasm. Giggles is truly a delight. I hope you are able to add one to your doll family soon.

      You can imagine my excitement when I read her for-sale ad in Collectors United after scouring the publication and circling the people I needed to call (long distance) to ask if the dolls they advertised were still available. I can imagine that I did not hesitate to call Giggles' seller and nervously waited as the phone rang and as I awaited the answer to my greeting and question: Hi, I am calling about your ad in Collectors United for black Giggles. Is the doll still available?

      A huge sigh of relief was probably released after the seller said, "yes," and then we worked out the specifics of payment to include shipping based on my location. Boy... those were the pre-Internet doll buying days.

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  2. What a great doll to have - and in the box as well!

    Those fallen Cheerios must have been the spilled cereal of fate since they led you to her hiding spot! ;)

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    1. Thanks, jSarie!

      I am never am happy to spill anything but I am happy about the "spilled cereal of fate."

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  3. I know how it is to find something that you have been looking for a long while, oh so well. I was looking for my Top Model Nikki for almost a year. I found her in a basket of dolls that I "know" that I looked through several times. I planned to do a big hair post and obviously placed her there to be one of the dolls that I would do a photo shoot of. The other day, my niece was visiting and we talked about her upcoming baby shower. As she talked, she started to "mess with" my dolls. She caught my immediate attention when I saw her pull one out by the head. The first doll that she pulled out of the basket was TM Nikki. I was like where did you get her from. My niece who is pregnant and sarcastic (lately) stated "duh Vickey didn't you just see me pull her out "this" basket. I was super happy to have found my lost TM Nikki. After I got over the excitement of finding my doll, I chastised my niece for pulling my doll out by her hair. Lol!

    Cheerios and Special K are my favorite cereals. :-) I love them both equally.

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    1. I'm so glad you (or your niece) found Top Model Nikki, GG. Doesn't it just drive you crazy to misplace a doll? We both know this is a sign of too many dolls, but do we really care? I do sort of, and do plan to find new homes for those that are no longer endearing, slowly but surely.

      I like Special K, too and Shredded Wheat, bite size, (not sugar coated though). I eat it dry and often as a snack.

      :-)

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    2. Georgia Girl, that is too funny. I've learned not to spend too much time looking for things I've lost. I rarely ever find them when I'm looking for them I just wait for them to show up, and they always do.

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  4. I've always had a soft spot for Ideal dolls (Chrisie & Shirley Temple for example) however I did need to look up Giggles because I did have in my mind a Caucasian doll that is close to psychotic that also laughed...what I did discover in my search is that Giggles as AA can sell upwards of $500 to $2000 MIB... Going to prove that most often buying the things we love vs. buying for investment or profit, most often has the highest dividend! :D

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    1. I am curious, were you able to find the giggling psychotic doll?

      The black version of Ideal's Giggles can command a pretty penny; however, I didn't realize the dolls were selling for as much as $2000. Was this an actual selling or asking price?

      Buying for investment can be iffy, but every once in a while, a jackpot hit on the resale market occurs.

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    2. Julian,

      Is Remco's Baby Laugh A Lot the creepy laughing doll that you had in mind? See a video here..

      That doll is creepy!

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    3. Yes that's it!!! Man that thing is just not right?! :D

      I think the higher price point was asking so you would probably want to insure her closer to the $700-$1,000 I'm thinking.

      Whenever I've looked at home and contents insurance (wow this topic just got boring?!) whenever the lady on the phone asks what I think my belongings are worth I always under value things because I get all shy & awkward trying to think of my doll & toy collections and yet when I'm on EBay or the like and I look at some of the prices if I had to replace some of them I get a little bolder because I do realise that some of them to replace would be expensive!

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    4. I can't imagine any child wanting or liking after it arrived, Baby Laugh A Lot. That doll gives me the creeps. There is a Youtube video of one with a weak battery. The laughter of that one is quite disturbing.

      Even though I do not consider my doll purchases an investment, it is always good to know when their current market value far exceeds my original cost. I saw the one black Giggles on eBay where the seller is asking $1600. It is been on there for a while. For that one I think the seller is being a wee bit hopeful.


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    5. I debox so many I'm pretty aware that much of my collection has lost aspects of its monetary value, but I just can't keep 'em in there! :)

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    6. For the past five or six years I have been a deboxing queen. In my collecting infancy my focus was on acquiring vintage, pristine (preferably) mint in box or never removed from box dolls of my preferred genre and to allow them to remain housed in their original packaging. These days I enjoy them now and don't think twice about discarding a box. I love dolls, not boxes.

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  5. Cheerios save the day! Happy to see you found Giggles. I would want to see her smiling face every day. You can't help but smile when you see her. I had to "giggle" at your comment about making Sunday breakfast. That's nice that you guys take turns.

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    1. They did (Cheerios) save the day. I think it was more the spilled milk than anything. I definitely did not want the lingering smell of sour milk left behind.

      This Sunday is my Sunday and I'm not looking forward to it. It must be nice to be our son who always gets to have Sunday breakfast served in bed.

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  6. She looks so precious! Definitely a keeper.

    I love my daily cereal of Publix bran flakes with almond milk and 1/3 banana. You'd think I'd get sick of it day in, day out, but I don't. For a while I tried to just have it weekdays and on the weekend would cook breakfast - what a hassle, and not as delicious.

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    1. Unlike other meals, I think breakfast becomes pretty routine for most people.

      Cooking any meal is a hassle for me. I only do it out of necessity.

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  7. Where was I when you wrote the post about Cheerios and finding Giggles? Never mind. She is adorable. I'm glad you are keeping her.
    Arlette

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