Crissy Doll from Ideal (1969)

Company: Ideal | Release date: 1969 | Where to purchase: eBay

Released in 1969 from Ideal, the Crissy Doll was a big and bold entry into the fashion doll scene, with the unique (at the time) ability to “grow” hair.

Crissy stood approximately 18-inches tall and had a thick strand of adjustable hair in the top of her head. Children could lengthen Crissy’s auburn locks down to to floor-length by pulling on her hair, or shorten it by turning a nob on her back to “rewind” it. The mechanism to manipulate the length of Crissy’s hair was unique enough that Ideal secured a patent on it in 1972.

Ideal shipped Crissy with a set of instructions, a rat-tail hairbrush, and a hair-style guide. Some dolls were also shipped with a “Letter to Mother” that outlined to parents how the doll should be cared for to ensure long-term play value.

Ideal provided a complementary line of clothing and fashion accessories for Crissy that could be purchased separately. Crissy also had an extended family: Kerry, Brandy, and Tessy each stood 18-inches tall and featured the same adjustable hair. Smaller 15-inch tall friends included cousin Velvet, Mia, Dina, Cricket, and Tara.

The popularity of the Crissy line allowed Ideal to release several versions, including “Movin… Groovin… Crissy,” which had a turn-able waist; Talky Crissy, which spoke twelve unique phrases; and, Beautiful Crissy with a Swirla-curler that provided even more hair-styling options.

Crissy disappeared from store shelves in 1974, in large part due to Ideal’s financial difficulties. The entire line remains popular with collectors, with several hard-to-find versions of the doll commanding hefty prices at various auction sites.

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