I have been an avid collector of Precious Moments Company Dolls for many years. I absolutely love them and thought that writing this guide would help others and show some insight into the world of these Amazing Dolls!!!
A BRIEF HISTORY:
Sam Butcher is the creator of Precious Moments. They made their debut in 1978 and Butcher's PM porcelain figures fast became one of the top selling collectibles in the NATION!!
The Jonathan & David Company was the 1st company Butcher worked for as a commercial artist with his partner, Bill Biel. They introduced in 1985 the 1st 2 vinyl dolls , Jesus Loves Me Boy and Girl. The Jonathan & David Company produced 9 more PM vinyl dolls over a 3 year period before they closed their doors in 1988.
However, in 1986, 5" dolls were made exclusively for the Samuel J. Butcher Company. These dolls were distributed in the U.S by the Samson Company (which was operated by Butchers two sons, Jon & Phillip).
Today, Precious Moments Country Inc. of Carthage, Missouri is owned and operated by members of the family. They continue to create for the vinyl doll line. This company eventually changed its name to the company we now know today as the Precious Moments Company!!!
"Children of the World" was the 1st full set produced by PM Company and they featured dolls from several different nations. Another early set was called the "Preferred Dolls Retailers", which was a special line made available only to a certain group of retailers.
The "Classics" collection portrays beautifully crafted clothing made of lace, ribbons & lovely fabric. They were limited in production as well and sold well to retailers and collectors.
Precious Moments Company continues to manufacture these beautiful limited edition vinyl dolls, which are still one of the most highly sought after dolls on the market today!!!
THE ENTIRE PROCESS OF PRODUCING A SINGLE DOLL CAN TAKE ANYWHERE FROM 3 WEEKS TO 3 MONTHS, DEPENDING ON THE DIFFICULTY OF COSTUME AND THEMES.
MANY CHANGES HAVE OCCURED OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS. PRECIOUS MOMENTS COMPANY STARTED WITH ONLY 16" DOLLS. "CHILDREN OF THE WORLD" DOLLS WERE 9" IN SIZE INTRODUCED IN 1989. NOW THERE ARE EVEN 4" AND 7" VINYL DOLLS ON THE MARKET.
IDENTIFYING DOLL TAGS:
- JONATHAN & DAVID, INC PRODUCED ONLY 16" DOLLS. THE FRONT OF THE 1 3/4" x 3 1/4" WHITE TAG DEPICTS TWO ANGELS ON A CLOUD, "BUT LOVE GOES FOREVER." INSIDE THE TAG, YOU WILL FIND THE DOLLS NAME AND A MESSAGE TO THE COLLECTOR.
- IN 1989, PM COUNTRY, INC., CHANGED ALL THE WHITE TAGS TO MEASURE 2 5/8" x 3 1/4". THE BLUE MISSY AND PINK MISSY HAD A PICTURE OF A PM GIRL HOLDING A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS WITH "MISSY" ON THE FRONT OF IT. SHE CARRIED THE SAME MESSAGE ON THE INSIDE AS THE JONATHAN & DAVID DOLL TAGS.
- THE BRIDE DOLL "JESSI", INTRODUCED IN 1989, HAD A PICTURE OF A BRIDE AND JESSI ON THE FRONT OF THE TAG. SHE CARRIED THE SAME MESSAGE ON THE INSIDE AS THE JONATHAN & DAVID DOLL TAGS
- THE 2 1/8" x 2 3/4" WHITE TAG HAD THE GIRL WITH A GOOSE ON THE FRONT OF IT, BUT NO NAME.
- IN 1989, PM COUNTRY, INC,. INTRODUCED THE 9" DOLLS FOR THE ONGOING SERIES "CHILDREN OF THE WORLD". THEY WERE INTRODUCED WITHOUT TAGS, BUT IN 1991 THEY WERE GIVEN MINIATURE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD TAGS. IN 1993, THEY WERE GIVEN INDIVIDUAL SATCHEL TAGS WITH THEIR OWN NAME INSIDE.
- IN 1992, THE DOLLS BEGAN TO CARRY THE YEAR THEY WERE PRODUCED. THIS HELPS TO IDENTIFY CHILDREN OF THE WORLD DOLLS THAT HAVE BEEN IN PRODUCTION OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS. THE DATE IS IMPRINTED ON THE DOLL'S BACK, NECK OR HAIRLINE. PRIOR TO THIS TIME, IT READ "MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES, PRECIOUS MOMENTS, SAMUEL BUTCHER CO. USA"
- ALL DOLLS BEGAN TO HAVE THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL TAGS IN 1993. MANY TIMES THE DOLL TAG WILL GIVE YOU ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE DOLL.
- THE NATIVE AMERICAN DOLL COLLECTION TAG IS ALSO A CERTIFICATE THAT IS FOUND ON THE INSIDE TAG. AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS CERTIFICATE IS THE DOLL'S NUMBER IN THE PRODUCTION LINE.
- THE LINDSAY AND DUSTIN DOLL TAGS HAVE THE PICTURE OF THE REAL CHILDREN ON THEM. THESE DOLLS WERE AVAILABLE ONLY AT THE CHAPEL, AND WERE MADE FOR THE 1995 CHRISTMAS COLLECTORS WEEKEND.
- THE GARDEN OF FRIENDS SERIES HAS A "WATERING CAN" TAG, STATING 1ST, 2ND OR 3RD GENERATION. THE TAG GIVES THE MONTH, DOLL'S NAME, AND THE SAYING.
- THE FOLLOWING ANIMALS WEAR A WHITE OVAL PLASTIC TAG EMBOSSED IN GOLD:
-CHARLIE BEAR, LETTY BEAR, LANDON BEAR,
EDMOND BEAR, EYVETTE BEAR, GRANT BEAR
- THE PRECIOUS PALS WERE INTRODUCED IN 1997, THEY HAVE A 1" x 1" BLUE & WHITE TAG. INSIDE THE TAG IS A POEM AND ON THE BACK STATES THEIR NAME AND ITEM NUMBER.
- GIL THE FISH IS A SPECIAL PRECIOUS MOMENTS PAL GIVEN TO COLLECTORS WHO REGISTERED FOR THE 1997 LICENSEE EVENT IN JULY/AUGUST 1997. HE WAS LIMITED TO 1,750 AND WAS COMPLETELY DISTRIBUTED. GIL HAS A 1" x 2" WHITE & BLUE TAG WITH HIS POEM ON THE BACK.
REMEMBER THAT THESE LOVELY DOLLS WERE MADE TO BE TOYS FOR CHILDREN. SO THEY CAN CERTAINLY HANDLE ENOUGH WEAR TO BE PUT ON DISPLAY. TAKE THEM DOWN OUT OF THEIR BOXES AND BAGS AND SHOW THEM OFF!!
VINYL DOLL BODY PARTS GET DIRTY JUST FROM HANDLING. TRY CLEANING THE SPOTS WITH MILD SOAP AND WATER. PEN MARKS OR PERMANENT INK CAN SOMETIMES BE REMOVED EASILY WITH A PENCILS ERASER. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, PUT A DAB OF POLISH REMOVER ON A COTTON SWAB. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL AROUND THE DOLLS EYES.
DOLLS CLOTHES CAN BE HAND WASHED IF NEEDED. DELICATE MATERIAL CAN BE SPOT WASHED WITH A GOOD SPOT REMOVER. PERIODICALLY USE YOUR HAIR DRYER TO REMOVE ANY LIGHT DUST. USE THE DRYER ON AIR ONLY.
MOST DOLLS WERE PRODUCED WITH ROOTED HAIR, SO GENTLY BRUSH OR COMB THE HAIR WITH VENTED BRUSH OR COMB OR USE A PICK. YOU MAY WASH IT IN A MILD SHAMPOO (BABY SHAMPOO IS THE BEST) AND STYLE IT WITH PIN CURLS. USING A PICK WIll INCREASE THE HEIGHT AND RESTORE THE CURLS.
DISPLAY YOUR DOLLS IN A CABINET, UNDER GLASS OR IN PLASTIC DOMES ON DOLL STANDS. KEEP THEM AWAY FROM STRONG SUNLIGHT AND REALLY BRIGHT LIGHTS. TRY NOT TO USE STRONG LIGHTS IN CURIO CABINETS, AS THE STRONG LIGHT WILL IN TIME FADE THEIR CLOTHES.
TIPS OF BUYING THESE DOLLS ON EBAY:
THERE ARE TONS OF WONDERFUL PRECIOUS MOMENTS DOLLS ON EBAY!!! SO IF YOU ARE NEW TO COLLECTING THESE GORGEOUS DOLLS, OR ALREADY HAVE A COLLECTION STARTED, HERE ARE A FEW HELPFUL HINTS FOR BUYING THEM ON THE SECONDARY MARKET:
- ASK ABOUT FADED HAIR OR CLOTHING?
- ASK TO MAKE SURE ALL THE FABRIC IS INTACT AND ALL THE SAME COLOR (INCLUDING UNDER THE ARMS)?
- ASK ABOUT THE HAIR UNDER HATS TO SEE IF IT IS ALL STILL WELL ROOTED AND IF IT IS ALL THE SAME SHADE?
- MAKE SURE TO ASK ABOUT TAGS BEING ATTACHED AND IF DOLL COMES WITH CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY?
- ASK IF DOLL HAS ANY ODD ODORS OR COMES FROM A SMOKE/PET-FREE HOME (ODORS ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO GET OUT OF THE HAIR AND CLOTHING OF THESE DOLLS)
I HOPE THIS GUIDE HAS PROVIDED SOME KNOWLEDGE ON THESE TRULY PRECIOUS DOLLS!!! IF SO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RATE YOUR READING!!!!
HAVE A BLESSED EBAY DAY!!!!!!!