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Ideal Thumbelina Dolls

Thumbelina is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and has inspired a wide range of Thumbelina doll models. These include some vintage models from the 60s and 70s and ones inspired by the Don Bruth produced animation film.

What are Thumbelina dolls?

Thumbelina dolls are toys that resemble a baby or a young toddler in appearance. Many different versions of this toy exist, but the vintage doll is made of vinyl with a cloth body dressed in baby clothes. The face is painted, and the head has rooted hair. The baby has a wind-up key in the back, and turning it makes the doll wiggle to mimic the motions of a baby. Pressing its chest makes it coo. Later versions of the doll featured a crying mechanism and wind-up keys for different actions depending on the doll type. The different specifics of these dolls are:

  • Original vintage baby doll manufacturer: The Ideal Toy Company manufactured these dolls.
  • Original vintage baby doll production run: These toys were produced between 1961 and the late 1970s.
  • Vintage Thumbelina baby doll spread: They focused heavily on a life-like appearance.
  • Build material: Most of these dolls are made of vinyl.
How many vintage Ideal baby doll types are available?
  • Vintage ideal size varieties: These dolls range between 9-20 inches in size. The tiny Thumbelina versions are the 9- and 14-inch versions, while the larger Thumbelina dolls are 16 and 19 inches in length.
  • Other vintage Thumbelina variations: Varieties include wake-up, snoozie, kissing, toddler, bye-bye, newborn, and tearful models. These models had names that matched certain behaviors. For example, the wake-up doll had eyes that would open when tilted at a specific angle. This emulated the look of "waking up" from a nap. A wake-up Thumbelina rolls over and lifts itself on its arms. The tearful model has a crying mechanism inside the doll.
How do you clean and care for the Thumbelina doll?

These dolls are vintage and need extra care to be restored and maintained. Here is what you can do:

  • To clean the hair, wet it with mild soap and water. Pat it dry after washing, and use a comb to brush. Pet combs work well for this as they slide into the hair easier. If the hair is too dry or brittle, apply some mineral oil on it with the comb.
  • Keep the doll away from direct sunlight.
  • Clean the skin lightly with baby wipes. Do not rub the face too harshly to avoid taking off the paint.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to brush off any dirt that might be stuck in the crevices of the doll like the nostrils, ears, and nails.
Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Ideal.
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