A “Gotta Have It” for little girls in 1966
March 14, 2023
Dolls. As a child, I loved dolls. And I had many of them. Not as many as I would have liked, and I was always angling to find a way to acquire more.
Enter this tiny doll, introduced by Mattel in 1966, which captured my imagination. The doll series: Liddle Kiddles.
A few days ago I mentioned to the hubby that I was considering writing about Liddle Kiddle dolls for this week’s post. He shook his head and said, “I’ve never heard of them.”
Well, all you Tuesday Newsday readers who are in the same category as the hubby, you are about to learn something new.
We turn to the nearly Infallible Wikipedia to find out more:
“Kiddles were made of soft vinyl with painted facial features and rooted, brushable hair. The first, second, and third series (called ‘bigger bodies’ by collectors) ranged from 2¾ inches to 3½ inches, while the Skediddle Kiddles were 4 inches tall and had a special mechanism inside the body which allowed them to walk, wave, and ride vehicles with the push of a child’s hand. The Kola and Kologne Kiddles were 2 inches, and the mini Jewelry Kiddles were 7⁄8–1+1⁄16 inches. (snip)
The bigger bodies (the first ten dolls) were designed to resemble typical neighborhood children at play. The name Liddle Kiddles was taken from the words ‘little kid’. Each of the first 24 dolls had detailed clothing and accessories that perfectly matched their theme and size. Wire skeletons inside the vinyl bodies enabled the dolls to be posed and re-posed realistically.
The first series of 9 Liddle Kiddle dolls plus 1 special doll set was available only through the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Catalog (SRCC). It was conceived in 1965 and released to toy shelves in 1966.”
No doubt I got my first Liddle Kiddle that year at Christmas. The SRCC was THE Holy Grail. Forget Google and Amazon, we would pour over the SRCC, creating our Christmas lists and dreaming of those things we hoped to see on Christmas morning.
My mother got the message and the adorable Liddle Diddle was under our tree. To be sure, I would have liked to have gotten every single one of the ten original dolls but, alas, there was only one.
The next year I received my second Liddle Kiddle, Peter Paniddle; part of the Storybook Kiddles series.
Since it was the 1960s and smart phones were not available for entertainment while eating our morning cereal and milk, we had to resort to reading the backs of cereal boxes. Clever product marketing people figured this out and kids everywhere were enticed to pressure their parents into buying more Post Super Sugar Crisp and Alphabits to earn the number of box tops needed to earn ‘free’ giveaways.
Which is how I more than doubled my Liddle Kiddle collection. Sort of. It took seven box tops to get one of three ‘knock off’ dolls being offered. These were StoryKins Doll sets: Cinderella – complete with a pumpkin carriage! Sleeping Beauty- she had her own pink canopy bed! And Goldilocks – with an adorable little bear!
Our family must have eaten a whole bunch of Post Cereal because I did get ALL three sets. I was a determined child.
The poor dolls – both the actual Liddle Kiddles and the StoryKins – were played with all the time. With the exception of the Snow White doll, none of the sets are complete and all are dingy, many with the wires which made it possible for their arms and legs to bend, protruding.
Now, if I was in need of a little cash, a quick look on Ebay reveals that some of these dolls are worth a fair bit. Take Peter Paniddle for instance. He came with the cutest green alligator and a tiny Barbie with Tinkerbelle wings. Just the Tinkerbelle alone sold on Ebay last month for fifty bucks! A set with the pieces I have (sans Peter’s shirt) went for $125.
A few years ago my brother found a couple of the StoryKins sets and a Liddle Kiddle doll and bought them for me. So now I have a second Cinderella and carriage, and a second Goldilocks and her bear, and a second Liddle Diddle. I see how this might work. A collector in search of a missing item from one of the sets has to buy several sets to make a complete one. It gets kinda pricey rather quickly.
For me, I love my dolls the way they are: some have pieces of their original clothing missing and now wear a child created shirt or dress. Goldilocks and Cinderella are both missing a shoe. Liddle Diddle’s crib is broken and her blanket is long gone.
Even so, there is a magic when I open the small bin which houses these childhood toys and a small part of me is transported back to those simpler times and I can enjoy my dolls once again.
A couple links: