Vintage Midge Dolls
Midge Hadley was introduced as Barbie's best friend in 1963 to counter criticism that Barbie was too mature for a children's doll. Unlike Barbie's sculpted features, Midge's face was fuller and gentler with a sprinkling of freckles across her nose.
Midge's fashionable flipped hair was available in three different colors: brunette, blond and red. There were a small portion of Midge dolls made without freckles and some that showed teeth. These models are extremely rare and very collectible today.
The original Midge had straight arms and legs, and came in a two-piece swimming suit. The color varied depending on the doll's hair color. She was made 11 ½ inches tall, just like Barbie, and a major selling point was the fact that Midge and Barbie could share clothing. (article continues below)
Vintage 1960s Midge Doll Clothes
Midge got a boyfriend in 1964 with the creation of Allan Sherwood, Ken's buddy. In 1965, Midge came out with bendable legs and a shorter, bobbed hairstyle and a one-piece striped swimsuit. In 1967, Midge was removed from the market.
In 1988, California Dream Midge was introduced as part of a new beach line. In 1989, she became Cool Times Midge… in 1990, she was All Stars Midge and The Beat Midge. Her continuing popularity brought back Allan and in 1991 they were part of a wedding line.
An interesting variation is all the Midge dolls before Wedding Day Midge had freckles, while those after that did not until Hawaii Midge was released in 1999. A special reproduction model was released in 1993 for Midge's 30th anniversary that featured her in a Senior Prom dress.
In 1992, the married dolls were featured in a pamphlet showing them with twin babies, but the company never produced them. But in 2003, she and Allan were once again redesigned as a family unit in the Happy Family line.
This new version came in both European American and African American types. Allan was packaged with toddler Ryan, and Midge was packaged pregnant with baby Nikki. The removable belly revealed the infant, which led Midge into controversy.
Some parents and the entire Walmart Corporation declared this inappropriate for children. They claimed it promoted teen pregnancy. While the original pregnant Midge did not sport a wedding ring, this was soon remedied. Another criticism was she was packaged separately from Allan. Later, a new non-pregnant version of Midge was created especially for Walmart.
This new version, while still not including Allan, did include a cardboard cutout of Allan and Ryan in her box. The Happy Family line expanded to include a backyard swimming pool, a talking house, a market and a playground.
Around Nikki's first birthday, pregnant Midge was once again in the stores. The child was not given a name this time or a specific gender.
Each person opening her box would be surprised to find out what the baby was. The Happy Family line also grew to include Midge's parents, known as Grandpa and Grandma. A group of neighborhood children as also been added to attend Nikki's birthday party.
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Allan Sherwood was the first buddy doll created for Ken. The vintage Allan doll first came on the market in 1964. His creation mirrored the creation of Barbie's pal, Midge. Allan was advertised as Midge's boyfriend as well.
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