Monday, July 9, 2018

Things Still Fall Apart

Shirley's Dollhouse-exclusive 1980s Sunday Best Ginny Boy and Girl

A look into a curio cabinet for "dressed-up" dolls to photograph, specifically Sunday Best Ginny Boy and Girl, led to the discovery of their limbs and heads being either loose or already fallen off as a result of hardening and breakage of the rubber bands used to attach their limbs.

A third Ginny was in the same fallen-apart state.  Initially, I thought Ginny at the Beach's head was only loose as illustrated above.

However, undressing Ginny at the Beach disclosed rubber bands that had held her head and arms in place had hardened and broken, too.

These three dolls and a host of other Dakin/Vogue Ginnys, as well as dolls by Effanbee, Horsman, Mattel (Barbie), and Alexander Dolls, had been purchased during the 1990s from Shirley's Dollhouse in Wheeling, Illinois.  I was a Shirley's Dollhouse gold-card holding, VIP member.  Many of dolls sold at Shirley's Dollhouse, like the three in this post, were collaborations between Effanbee, Horsman, Dakin/Vogue and Shirley Bertrand (the original owner of Shirley's Dollhouse).  Shirley's Dollhouse exclusives were inclusive of Black dolls, which is why I was a several-year telephone-ordering patron of the shop.

After removing the dismembered dolls' clothing, I photographed the three, labeled their identical bodies and, placed their clothing in separately labeled Ziploc bags.

Each doll was Saran-wrapped and, along with elastic cord, taken to the resident doll doctor where I was informed they would have an extensive wait.  June 24th was the date of discovery of their loose/fallen limbs and their triage for repair.

The doctor told no lie.  The dolls were not discharged until July 2nd when they were returned to me restrung and rewrapped in Saran wrap as illustrated above.

With newly placed stringing, the dolls were ready to be dressed.
Because I was not prepared for their release (not ready to redress them), I placed each doll inside the Ziploc bag that contained its clothing.

Repaired but not dressed
After a few additional days passed, I redressed them before returning them to the curio cabinet.

Sunday Best Boy, Sunday Best Girl, and Ginny at the Beach were introduced in 1988 and 1987 and were only available through Shirley's Dollhouse in Wheeling, Illinois.  They now have newly strung joints that should last another 30 or so years, at least.

Shirley Bertrand passed away in 2015.  It appears the brick and mortar doll shop, Shirley's Dollhouse, is under new ownership and there is also an eBay store.


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  1. Thank goodness they were at least repairable!

  2. My resident doll doctor has restrung so many 1980s/90s Ginny dolls that he makes jokes about their arms being held on only by their clothing. Such cute dolls, well worth repairing.


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