KEWPIE – HISTORY OF KEWPIE DOLLS
The very cute and popular Kewpie Dolls which were a huge hit around the world in the 1950’s are making a massive comeback in popularity today.
With prices starting from only $24.95 for the Kewpie miniatures and the very popular 20cm versions around $69.95 they certainly are affordable gifts for family and friends.
If you have a loved one who was a child of the 50’s & 60’s they would have grown up loving these cute and quirky dolls and would be delighted to be reintroduced to these fond memories from their childhood.
American doll and toy maker Charisma has released a new collection of these very appealing dolls recreated as they were in years past.
Around 40 designs are now being imported into Australia by Mark Jones Designs and are available Nana’s Teddies & Toys in Blaxland.
Porcelain, Vinyl and Composition models are available in a range of sizes from 20cm to 52cm.
They are just adorable with their trademark topknot hairstyle and large mischievous eyes.
According to the online encyclopaedia WIKIPEDIA the history of the Kewpie doll goes back to the early 1900’s.
“Kewpie dolls and figurines are based on illustrations by Rose O’Neill that appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1909. These illustrations, which incorporated words and pictures with the recurring Kewpie characters, are considered to be early versions of the comic strip medium. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s. They were first made out of bisque and then celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.”
“Their name, often shortened to “Kewpies”, in fact is derived from “Cupid”, the Roman god.
The early dolls, especially signed or celluloid, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World’s Fair contained a Kewpie doll.”
“Many other articles were made using their images, like coloring and poem books, cups, plates, curios, etc. The incredible success of these characters made their creator rich and famous. It’s a rare example of a woman making it in the media business at such an early date. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.