One of the most famous brands in the collectible doll industry is Madame Alexander. Considered by many to be a household name, this line of handcrafted dolls spans over 80 years as collector items. Samantha’s Collectible Dolls & Bears features a wide variety of Madame Alexander dolls in our inventory. Today, we would like to explore the history behind these high- end dolls.
Growing Up with Dolls
From an early age, Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman was surrounded by her beloved doll collection. In 1923, Madame Alexander established the Alexander Doll Company from the convenience of her kitchen table.
Early on in her career, Madame Alexander dolls were handcrafted entirely out of cloth material. During World War II, she made these dolls to stock the inventory of her father’s shop. Today, these all-cloth dolls are extremely valuable collector’s items.
Madame Alexander’s doll-making career took off when her customer expanded to include famous toy store FAO Schwarz. Inspired by famous movie star of the time, storybook characters, and international celebrities, her early dolls grew more and more successful.
Some of the characteristics of Madame Alexander dolls changed during the Great Depression, when she began manufacturing dolls made out of composition with delicately painted faces. The trademark appearance that her dolls are so well known for began around this time period. Madame Alexander was the first person to produce a doll based on a licensed character, which was Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind. She was also first person to produce dolls based off of living people, such as the young Queen Elizabeth, who was still a princess at the time.
In order to boost morale during World War II, Madame Alexander manufactured dolls representing the armed forces. Proving to be incredibly popular with the general public, these dolls most likely kept the company in business during the war. Following World War II, Madame Alexander aspired to manufacture an unbreakable doll. Although she was not successful in that, she did partner with the DuPont Corporation to create the first hard plastic doll. Her most popular doll of this time period was most likely the Margaret O’ Brien doll, modeled after a popular film star of the time.
Starting in 1953, Madame Alexander released the most well-known dolls ever produced: the Alexander-kins. Modeled after popular storybook characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, as well as international dolls wearing traditional folk costumes, these dolls were only about eight inches high. With a careful attention to detail and design, these dolls are a favorite of many doll collectors worldwide. The New York Fashion Academy took note of her attention to detail and awarded her four separate awards for her Alexander-kins.
Continuing to produce her line of high-quality dolls, Madame Alexander produced a line of Kennedy women dolls in the 1960s. Some of her more famous dolls in the 1970s included the Little Women dolls and her First Lady dolls. In 1988, Madame Alexander herself retired, but her doll company continued to produce high-end dolls after she sold it to private investors. Even today, the Madame Alexander continues to produce exquisite dolls to a worldwide clientele.
Are you interested in collecting Madame Alexander Dolls? Samantha’s Collectible Dolls & Bears features an extensive collection of Madame Alexander Dolls, such as the popular Alice in Wonderland doll. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Madame Alexander collection, we feature a wide variety of different collectible doll brands in our inventory, and we also include several collectible bear brands. Shop our collectible doll store today to discover a remarkable new treasure.
Meta: Learn about the history of famed collectible doll brand, Madame Alexander. Shop our selection of Madame Alexander dolls today at Samantha’s.