Betsy Mccall

11 years ago

Betsy Mccall
Betsy Mccall

Snip, snip, snip with the scissors; around the base, along the curves and finally the last snip. The dolls, clad in colorful swimsuits, stood near by awaiting the final cut of their wardrobe. The hours invested in their story panned out while little fingers bent tabs to change attire.

Are you old enough to remember the joy of paper dolls? If not – all is not lost, paper dolls are still on the shelves of bookstores and super centers or available via the Internet. Although their numbers are not as great as they were in the pre fashion doll industry era …. They are still around. Many people value them beyond the playfulness associated with childhood but as the most desired collectible on the planet. Paper doll collecting needs very little room for storage only rivaled by stamp collecting for minimal space required. The dolls are an inexpensive pleasure that is not a lost art. Some publishing companies have even undertaken the replication of older dolls from by gone times making it possible to own even some of the most dated dolls affordably.

The two-dimensional figures accompanied by the best wardrobe for the time period was a considerable luxury during the 1700’s. Many of the outfitted dolls were designed for adult entertainment with stages included. By the mid 1800’s paper dolls were manufactured in Europe and the United States but were still considered a luxury until paper became more readily available and affordable. Magazines would even offer paper dolls within their pages. This practice appeared as recently as the 1990’s with Sue Shanahan creating a new, modern version of the beloved and wildly popular Betsy McCall.

The popularity of paper dolls was not lost on the marketing branches of several industries during the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. Some of the product leaders of the time that took advantage of this phenomenon were Pillsbury, Baker’s (chocolate), Singer (sewing machines), Clark’s (threads), Lyon’s and McLaughlin (both coffee). Later magazine advertisements that would use the dolls would include the sales of children’s clothing, fabrics, cars, nail polish and soaps.

These fabulous pieces of paper were not always colorful nor always of people. Some dolls required the addition of coloring which kept many children busy designing their own fashion couture. The dolls included inanimate objects and animals too. Popular dolls that were available over the past two hundred years included royalty, public leaders, movie stars, fantasy fairy tale style characters, family groups, stuffed animals and even cherubs.

During the 1940’s and 1950’s a new kind of marketing arrived in the comic book industry. Publishers took advantage of the love of the paper dolls and created complimentary dolls for some of the comics. The appeal went beyond drawing in a new customer base – girls. The publishers encouraged people to submit original ideas for the clothing / costume designs for the comic characters. The comic books would display the designer’s name with each outfit chosen. This ingenious strategy appears in the books through the 1950’s.

The public popularity waned during the 1960’s with the rise of the three dimensional fashion doll industry but that has not deterred many from creating and collecting paper dolls. A quick search of an online auction will prove this fact. Dig a little deeper and do a search at, or and you will find many very talented artists still creating beautiful pieces of art. The search will even provide you with many free resources for starting you paper doll collection.

Narcissa creates curriculum for use with the early childhood level student – Including preschool, kindergarten and special needs. Specializing in accessibility for the home school parents, daycare providers and classroom instructors via a download membership site (Peanut Butter Crunch) located at

Where can you buy Tiny Betsy Mccall Dolls in UK?

Is there anyone that can tell me where can i get a tiny betsy mccall doll in UK? (except e-bay)
Or has anyone bought a tiny betsy mccall in this website before?:

Thanks alot!

Hmm, never heard of those. You live in the UK??

Betsy McCall Clip Art and Sixties Retro Paper Dolls

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