Simpich Dolls are a range of collectible dolls produced in the United States.
Brief history and description
Simpich Character Dolls Ltd. was founded by Bob and Jan Simpich in 1952, producing ‘Americana’ figurines and dolls from their workshop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their inspiration drawn from several sources, amongst them pop culture, history and mythology.
The duo stated they first began their business because they couldn’t afford the toys available to buy in shops, and wanted to make an alternative; their first dolls were created using strictly ‘found’ materials, though their production strategy soon changed to suit increasing demand.
In 2007, the workshop was closed as after 54 years, doll makers Bob and Jan Simpich decided to retire, and in doing so prevented their company from outsourcing production to another location, instead preserving the tradition of every Simpich doll originating from their very own workshop in Colorado.
Guide for collectors
The Simpich workshop has since been transformed into a museum of their work, which includes a specialist shop where collectors would be able to find a wealth of specialized items which may be of interest, as well as the doll consignment service, offering an extensive list of dolls available for sale.
The list is available at http:/simpich.com/consignment.html and is frequently updated. The museum also features puppet shows created by the Simpich’s son, David Simpich.
Amongst collectors, the Simpich Christmas dolls, most notably their Santa figurines and carol singing scenes, are those with the most enduring popularity and have proven to sell for high prices at auction.
The average cost of a second-hand Simpich doll, dependant on age and condition, is likely to start at around $100-150. For bargains, collectors would be advised to check not only with the Simpich’s own consignment service, but also with online auctioneers such as eBay, where they may be able to find rare dolls and great deals, including dolls for sale far below their general retail value.
Notable auction sales
The highest price paid for a Simpich doll was the 3rd November 2007 auction of four simpich Christmas themed figurines, comprising two santas, one elf and a Jack Frost doll. The collection sold for $1,900 at Richard Opfer Auctioneering, Inc., far exceeding their estimate of $75-125, and cementing the enduring appeal of these charmingly rendered dolls.
Similarly, the same auction included additional surprises, including the sale of eighteen Simpich elf dolls for the sum of $1,700, and six Simpich character dolls (a man playing a flute, a man holding a lantern, a singing woman, police officer, singing man, and a man with a child on his shoulder) far exceeding their $50-100 estimate by fetching $1,500.
At the lower end of the price scale, the auction also included the sale of six character dolls for $450, which included a dog, a woman carrying a tray of food, a boy with a paper and crutch, an old woman and an old man.
DuMouchelles also sold two Simpich character dolls for $100 on 14th January 2011, and Tom Harris Auctions sold three Simpich elves for $60 on 5th February 2005.