A LOOK BACK…
Text (c) M.A. Cassata
Images from the Internet
Originally published in Music and Collecting Magazine
Since the late 1960s there were many dolls, action figures and puppets produced in the image of various music personalities. Some of today’s hard to find and rare dolls/toys include The Monkees Finger Puppets (Remco, 1970) and The Beatles bobbing head noddler dolls (mid-to-late ’60s). An original mint in package set of The Beatles dolls, which were made of hard plastic and stood only four inches high, were intended to be birthday cake toppers. If you can find them today, they range from $300 to $400 a set. Other official Beatles-like dolls were plastic 8-inch figures from Remco (1964) and inflatable cartoon dolls (circa 1964-65). The Remco dolls were packaged individually and if found mint in box can fetch between $500 to $600 a set! The cartoon Beatles inflatable doll set will run a little less.
In recent years, contemporary Beatles action figurines (though not actually dolls) issued by McFarland commemorated the
Yellow Submarine film, and the Sergeant Pepper album.
An original set of The Monkees finger puppets that are five inches high will cost between $150-$200 mint in box. Though, at one point these earlier vintage dolls mentioned and others were originally intended for children to play with until recently where these items are mainly produced for the adult collector. Some of these dolls (vinyl, plastic and porcelain) did not sell well in large quantities at the time they were originally available on the market. However, as nostalgia grows stronger, some of these highly sought after dolls can be among the most expensive and desirable of items. Especially if you happen to big fan of the individual music artist or just a collector of pop and rock memorabilia in general. The temptation to own a doll is present and this is a good time to start collecting.
At the moment, there seems to be an abundance of pop/rock star dolls on the market. Stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and some lesser known teen Brit pop stars Five and S-Club 7 were produced in large quantities, but none as plentiful as various versions of the Spice Girls dolls. Many of these dolls are still available in major toy stores today, even if some have been elegated to bargain bins. Oh, the price of fame!
If you are looking for older and harder to find, but not impossible dolls from the ’70s or ’80s like Donny and Marie, Sonny & Cher, Diana Ross, Boy George or Michael Jackson, eBay is your best bet as well as checking out memorabilia shows or larger doll shops in your area.
So, who hasn’t been a little star struck at times over their favorite music star or waited in long line for an autograph? Many pop and rock stars seem bigger than life to us because we love their music, the songs they sing and more importantly, what they may represent to us on a personal level.
So, if you admire popular music artists and want to preserve them from past and present, owning dolls of some of these very special namesakes is a perfect way to compliment your collection.
Go ahead, you know you’ve loved Elton John’s songs since the ’70s and you are ready to take it one step further—honor him in your own way with his namesake doll. You’ll most likely find it on eBay for under $150.00. If you were a fan of Abba in the ’70s, you may not know there is a very rare and collectible set of dolls (Matchbox, 1978) that featured Frida, Benny, Anna and Bjorn dressed in classic stage clothes.
Collecting music celebrity dolls can be both fun and profitable. You don’t have to be a serious doll collector to enjoy the rewards either.
If you are into collecting the more popular vintage music dolls, then there’s Cher, Diana Ross, Captain and Tennelle, Kiss (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley), and Donny and Marie— all from the mid-70s and made by the Mego Toy Company. In recent years, Mattel has offered a number of music celebrity dolls including, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and (a new) Cher. The music legends outfits and appearances too are recreated right down to the last detail. You won’t be disappointed.
Considering the hundreds of celebrity dolls out on the market today and a large portion focusing on famed musicians and singers, there’s plenty to collect. Nearly every doll company these days is making celebrity-oriented dolls (whether licensed or made to resemble the given artist or not), but music star dolls seem to be on the rise since the 1990s with New Kids On the Block, Britney Spears, ’NSync, Leann Rimes, Elton John and others.
So, why do we like collecting these dolls? For starters, people collect celebrity dolls for a variety of reasons— some are drawn to the dolls because they admire the celebrity that particular doll portrays. For instance, the more serious Presley, Sinatra or even Kiss fans will want to add the dolls to their collection (although they do not collect any other kind of doll).
Then there are some doll collectors that specialize in the different versions (early and later versions of artists’ careers) of the Presley or Sinatra doll throughout the years. Other collectors of music celebrity dolls are simply not doll collectors at all, but collectors of pop and rock memorabilia, which includes musical groups— and the singing celebrity dolls, made of them.
Finally, then there are doll collectors that merely like the look of a doll, and want to obtain it, although they are not particularly motivated by the celebrity that the doll depicts.
Collecting celebrity dolls today is more popular today than it was over a decade ago because nearly all doll companies have created a celebrity doll or two. More so with music celebrity dolls. In fact, most of the dolls that are made today represent better resemblance of the person they are modeled after. Perhaps there are better grade doll sculptors in the last few years than there were three decades ago. For example, there were three issues of a popular Dolly Parton doll made by the Goldberger Company. The first version in 1978 had a pale complexion and face in most Parton fans opinion did not resemble the country singer at all. The second issue later came with a pinker toned skin and smaller head, wider hips, wearing the same original red and silver jumpsuit— but still lacked a clear resemblance to Parton. However, it wasn’t until the company’s third issue in 1990— a thinner version emerged in a black outfit that fans praised for its truer to life likeness.
When you are searching for that must-have music celebrity doll, keep in mind that not all are authentic (or licensed) and may only bear a resemblance. Prices will vary too depending on the popularity of the music star intended. Of course the more legendary music artists like Elton John and Cher (new Mattel version, not Mego) are more valuable opposed to the Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears or Aaron Carter dolls.
Another factor in to determine the value of a certain doll is the number of dolls that were originally produced. For instance, if the manufacturer made a limited number, the doll’s value would be much higher. As most doll collectors know, there is no other category of more difficult to accurately price than dolls— and music celebrity dolls are no exception. The prices listed below are intended to be a guide best used not to value the dolls at set prices.
As music celebrity doll collecting continues to gain momentum with each new doll that hits the market. Not only do these dolls inspire, but are a delightful reawakening of a more carefree and innocent time in our lives. For many collectors, these sentimental namesake dolls will always hold a special place in our hearts— whirlwind of musical memories and all.
Some of Today’s Most Highly Collectible Music Celebrity Dolls and Price Guide (in alphabetical order by first name)
Christina Aguilera (Yaboom, 2000), 12” MIB $40.00
Sonny Bono, (Mego 1976), 12 ½”. MIB $150.00
Brandy (Mattel, 1999), 11 ½”. MIB 25.00
Brandy (Mattel, 2000), 11 ½”. MIB $20.00
Captain of Captain and Tennille, Daryl Dragon (Mego, 1977), 12 ½”. MIB $125.00
Captain of Captain and Tennille, Toni Tennille (Mego, 1977), 12 ½”. MIB $125.00
Aaron Carter, (Play Along, 2001), 12”. MIB $19.00
Cher, (Mego, 1976), 12 1/2″ . MIB $125.00
Cher, Growing Hair (Mego, 1976), 12 ½”. MIB $125.00
Boy George, (L.J. N., 1984), 12”. MIB $150.00
Andy Gibb, (Ideal, 1979), 7 ½”. $30.00
Vanilla Ice, Robert Van Winkle, (T-HQ, 1991), 12″. MIB $50.00
Michael Jackson, (L.J. N., 1984), 12″. MIB $75.00
Elton John (Yaboom, 2000), 12″. MIB $95.00
Kiss, Gene Simmons (Mego, 1978), 12 ½”. MIB $350.00
Kiss, Paul Stanley (Mego, 1978), 12 ½”. MIB $350.00
Kiss, Ace Frehley (Mego, 1978), 12 1/2″. MIB $350.00
Kiss, Peter Criss (Mego, 1978), 12 ½”. MIB $350.00
New Kids On the Block, Jordan Knight, (Hasbro, 1990), 12”. MIB $50.00
New Kids On the Block, Danny Wood, (Hasbro, 1990), 12”. MIB $50.00
New Kids On the Block, Donnie Wahlberg, (Hasbro, 1990), 12”. MIB $50.00
New Kids On the Block, Joey McIntyre, (Hasbro, 1990), 12”. MIB $50.00
’NSync, Chris Kirkpatrick, marionette, (All Entertainment, 2000), 6 ½”. $15.00
’NSync, Chris Kirkpatrick, marionette, (Living Toyz, 2000), 11 1/2″. $25.00
’NSync, JC Chasez, marionette, (All Entertainment, 200), 6 ½”. $15.00
’NSync, JC Chasez, marionette, (Living Toyz, 2000), 11 ½”. $25.00
’NSync, Joey Fantone, marionette, (All Entertainment, 2000), 6 ½”. $15.00
’NSync, Joey Fantone, marionette, (Living Toyz, 2000), 11 ½”. $25.00
’N Sync, Lance Bass, marionette, (All Entertainment, 2000), 6 ½’. $15.00
’N Sync, Lance Bass, marionette, (Living Toyz, 2000), 11 ½”. $25.00
’NSync, Justin Timberlake, marionette, (All Entertainment, 2000), 6 ½”. $15.00
’NSync, Justin Timberlake, marionette, (Living Toyz, 2000), 11 ½”. $25.00
Donny Osmond, (Mattel, 1976), 12/ ½”. MIB $85.00
Jimmy Osmond (Mattel, 1976), 10”. MIB $85.00
Marie Osmond, (Mattel, 1976), 12/ ½”. MIB $85.00
Dolly Parton, (Goldberger, 1978), 11 ½”. $50.00
Dolly Parton second issue (Goldberger, 1980), 11 ½” $50.00
Dolly Parton third issue (Goldberger, 1984), 11 ½” .$50.00
Elvis Presley, Teen Idol version (Hasbro, 1993). 12”. MIB $50.00
Elvis Presley, (World Doll, 1984). 18 ½”. MIB $150.00
Leann Rimes, (Exclusive Premiere, 1998), 9”. MIB $30.00
Diana Ross, (Mego, 1977), 12 ½”. MIB $150.00
Selena, (Arm Enterprise, 1996), 11 ½”. MIB $85.00
Britney Spears (Yaboom, 1999), 12”. MIB $20.00
Britney Spears (Play Along, 1999), 12”. MIB $20.00
Spice Girls, Emma Bunton as “Baby Spice”, (Galoob, 1997). 11 ½”. MIB $40.00
Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell as “Ginger Spice”, (Galoob, 1997). 11 ½”. MIB $40.00
Spice Girls, Victoria Adams as “Posh Spice”, (Galoob, 1997). 11 1/2Ó. MIB $40.00
Spice Girls, Melanie Brown as “Scary Spice”, (Galoob, 1997). 11 ½”. MIB $40.00
Spice Girls, Melanie Chisholm as “Sporty Spice”, (Galoob, 1997). 11 ½”. MIB $40.00
Randy Travis (Exclusive Premiere, 1998), 9”. MIB $30.00