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Ideal
"Crissy Family" Dolls
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The first Crissy "growing hair" doll was introduced in 1969 by Ideal Toys.  She was a beautiful 18" redhead with black pupil less eyes.  Her hair could flow all the way down to her ankles, or with a twist of a knob on her back, her tresses would magically "feed" into her head, allowing her owner to determine just what length and style Crissy would dawn on any given day.  By the end of the first year of her production, for reasons unknown, her hair was changed to only grow down to just above her knees.  This length continued throughout production and became the standard on all the "family" members.   
Because of her popularity, Ideal began marketing several "friends" in a series of dolls throughout the 70s.  These friends are either 18" like Crissy, or shorter versions, 15" or 12".  They also introduced separate clothing and accessories for all the dolls.  Dolls, outfits,  and accessories were heavily marketed through catalogs like Sears, Montgomery Ward, and JC Penney.  Because these dolls were fashion conscious girls, they wore the latest, trendiest, outfits.  Their classic mod and hippie styles of the 70s, add to the interest of collecting these dolls and make these dolls historical representatives of a crazy fashion era gone by.  
  
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There were many versions of Crissy and her friends, such as the basic doll, Moovin' Groovin', Talky's, Look Around, Swirla-curler, etc.   Because I am not an avid collector of these dolls, I do not have an example of each and every one.  However, I wanted to include those I've found on this page to help collectors identify, by name, the dolls in the series (those missing are noted).  Basically their facial expressions stayed the same, the variation was in their bodies and clothing.  To find out more about these fabulous Ideal dolls there are whole websites devoted to them, plus some great reference books show lots of examples and give doll care tips.  For further information, please see the reference at the bottom of this page.

         

 


18" Crissy
 


Crissy (black version)

 

 



15" Velvet
 
(Crissy's younger cousin)

 



12" Velvet's Little Sister, 
Cinnamon

 
 
 18" Brandi
 
15" Dina
 

 


18" Kerry

 


15" Mia

 
  Dolls not shown, 18" Tressy, 15" Cricket, 15" Tara (black only), Black Velvet  
     
 

This was another popular doll by Ideal with the same grow hair feature as the fashion dolls.  She is called Lifesize Baby Crissy and is the size of a 9 month old baby (24").  She was introduced in 1972 and re-released in 1980 as an identical doll but with a different outfit.  She was made in both a white and an African American version (not shown).  Traditionally she came in a pink baby dress but occasionally she can be found in the lavender as shown.  The lavender was the standard color for the black baby.  Baby Crissy was never sold with shoes.

 
 

Her hair grows long and is actually longer than in looks in photo because I just took the rollers out of her hair. That is one of the fun parts of having these dolls is playing with their hair. It curls easily.  She does not have a turning knob. Instead Baby Crissy has a pull ring attached to a string. She is often found on the secondary market wearing real baby clothes.

(You can see a variation of this doll below)

   

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Just a few of the variations of the Crissy dolls:

Both early Crissy dolls in their original clothing.  The black version has the hair all the way down to her ankles.  She is quite rare.  The redhead has the hair length that Ideal decided to use on all of their subsequent dolls.  
 

 

Three versions of Crissy, from left to right, original Beautiful Crissy ("70) in orange lace mini dress, Movin' Groovin' Crissy ('71) in orange satiny midi-dress with boots, and Look Around Crissy ('72) (also sometimes called Christmas Crissy because of the plaid fabric) in her plaid taffeta gown. 

    

 

 

Another version released in 1973.   I recently acquired this Beautiful "Swirla-curler" Crissy in her original dress.  She is missing her orange shoes and the special plastic "swirler" piece that would allow you to style her hair in multiple curls.

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Cinnamon ('73), Velvet's little sister, sports a beautiful ponytail of gorgeous soft red hair.

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Box styles varied over the years, these represent one style of box.

Brandi ('72) and Dina ('72) were the typical "California Girls" with their  sun-tanned appearance.  Brandi was even a little wild with her tiny heart shaped "tattoo" on her cheek. (Hard to see in photo at right)  She, along with the smaller Dina, were the only two to have painted eyes instead of inset eyes.  Both were made for just a few years.

 

This is a 1982 version called Beautiful Crissy.  Yes, just like the original name but Ideal used a Velvet face/body but put Crissy's red hair.  Not sure why they decided to do this but the coloring is rather complimentary.

 

 


Grouping of the 15" dolls.  From left to right, Velvet, Mia, Velvet (African American), and Dina.

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Kerry is a stunning 18" beautiful blonde.  The back view shows her winding knob that controls the length of her hair.

 

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Ideal reissued Baby Crissy in 1981.  She was made from the exact same mold as the popular 70s doll, however she came in different clothing.  The re-issue doll was most often found in a white romper.  

Here is a variation of Baby Crissy made in 1981 when the doll was reissued.  This pink checked dress is considered very rare and was only found in this tri-colored box.  Many thanks to site visitor, Joe, for sharing this photo with us.


If you are interested in learning more about the history of Ideal Crissy dolls, I recommend a couple of books.   Crissy Doll and Her Friends by Beth Gunther is an excellent reference book on these dolls and offers lots of photos of their extended wardrobe, including tips on how to take care of your Crissy.  Also Carla Marie Cross has written The Crissy Doll Encyclopedia which also offers extensive information on these dolls.  To find out more about these books, here is a link to my "Bookshelf " page  where you can read more about them.  You can purchase these books on-line through my affiliation with Amazon if you so choose.

 

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