Forgotten Dolls

an encyclopedia of dolls and doll collecting

Paper dolls -- a classic retro toy


paper dolls

Paper dolls are a classic vintage toy with a huge appeal to collectors. Styled after movie stars, famous individuals, or sweet and sassy fictional characters paper dolls were a toy that transfixed young children worldwide. Paper dolls usually came equipped with their own wardrobe of tabbed clothing and accessories.

These delightful dolls quickly sparked a magical world of imagination and melted the hearts of those who owned them. The dolls would occupy a child for hours, and when play time was done, the dolls and their accessories would be stored away in cardboard boxes till the next time that they could be taken out for play.

A brief history of paper dolls

The very first paper dolls may have been those created through the Japanese art of origami. This traditional art of paper folding has been around since about 800 CE. Both puppets and animal characters were fashioned by origami. These would of course been played with, thus making them the first paper dolls.

Antique paper dolls dating to the 1780ss can still be found in museums. The largest US producer of paper dolls (McLoughlin Brothers) was opened in the early 1800s and remains in existence today.

Are paper dolls rare?

Paper dolls have become a highly collectible item. After being played-with by young girls for virtually as long as paper has existed, the dolls and their outfits experienced a lot of wear, and tear throughout their existence. This makes finding intact books or even pages of vintage paper dolls difficult.

If you happen to stumble upon some paper dolls while digging through the attic or cleaning out the garage, treat them with the tender loving care that they deserve. They are a rare find indeed.

Tealmermaid's Treasure Grotto