Little Ricky Doll
The Little Ricky Doll was a children’s doll based on the character of Little Ricky, the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the celebrated television show ‘I Love Lucy’.
In 1952 Lucille Ball and Desin Arnaz announced they were expecting their second child. The real-life pregnancy was written in the plot of I Love Lucy, and ball became only the second woman in television history to be genuinely pregnant at the same time as her onscreen character.
The episode in which Lucy gives birth, ‘Lucy Goes to the Hospital’, was even scheduled to appear on the same date that Ball gave birth to her son via Caesarean section – January 19, 1953.
The publicity surrounding the birth on both the show and in real life was huge, and to capitalise the doll manufacturer American Character produced a range of ‘Little Ricky’ dolls for children.
Range of dolls
The first doll was released in 1952, named simply the ‘I Love Lucy Baby’ doll. There were two versions, measuring 14 & 16" tall, both wearing long pink bathrobes and bonnets.
The second doll was released in 1952 and known as ‘Little Ricky’. It measured 21” tall and wore a yellow sun outfit with its name embroidered on the waist of the clothing.
The third Ricky doll was released in 1954 in two sizes, measuring 17 & 21" tall. The 1954 doll depicted a toddler rather than a baby, and had far longer, darker hair. It wore a short-legged romper suit with a chicken print, and has its name embroidered across the chest.
The fourth Ricky doll was released in 1955, and came in two sizes measuring 13 & 17" tall (both with flexible legs). The 1955 model was depicted as older again, and wore a pair of corduroy overalls and a striped shirt with the name embroidered on it.
Value of Little Ricky dolls
Little Ricky dolls are popular with collectors due to their association with the television show, which is regarded as one of the greatest in television history. Values depend on condition, but boxed versions can sell for more than $200, with unboxed examples in good condition priced at $60 - $100.
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