Margaret O'Brien dolls
Margaret O'Brien dolls are vintage children’s dolls based on the famous 1940s child actor Margaret O'Brien.
Margaret O'Brien (1937 -) is an actress who found fame in Hollywood during the 1940s, and became one of the most popular child actors of all time. After he breakthrough role in the 1942 film ‘Journey for Margaret’, she went on to have roles in films such as Jayne Eyre (1943), The Canterville Ghost (1943) and Meet Me in St Louis (1944) for which she was awarded the Academy Juvenile Award.
Although her childhood fame did not translate into successful roles as an adult, she remains a working actor with television and film credits to her name throughout the past seven decades.
Madame Alexander Margaret O'Brien dolls
The range of Margaret O'Brien dolls was first released in 1946 by the Madame Alexander company. They came in a number of sizes, ranging from 14” to 21” tall, and all featured curled auburn hair in pigtails.
The first dolls produced from 1946-47 were composition dolls, but in 1948 the company teamed up with the Dupont Corporation in an effort to create the first truly unbreakable doll. The result was the 1948 Margaret O'Brien doll, the first to be made entirely from hard plastic. This advance in manufacturing techniques saw composition dolls fazed out of production and by the mid 1950s virtually all doll companies were producing models in hard plastic.
How much are Margaret O'Brien dolls worth?
As the dolls were based on a real actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood, they remain sought after for collectors. However, they can be difficult to track down in good condition with their original outfits.
Examples of the smallest 14” composition doll have been known to sell on auction sites such as eBay for up to $250 in their original clothing.
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