During the 19th century dolls' heads were often made of porcelain and combined with a body of leather, cloth, wood, or composite materials, like papier-mâché or composition, a mix of pulp, sawdust, glue and similar materials. With the advent of polymer and plastic materials in the 20th century, doll making largely shifted to these materials. The low cost, ease of manufacture and durability of plastic materials meant new types of dolls could be mass produced at a lower price. The earliest materials were rubber and celluloid. From the mid-20th century soft vinyl became the dominant material, in particular for children's dolls. Beginning in the 20th century, both porcelain and plastic dolls are made directly for the adult collectors market. Synthetic resins like polyurethane resemble porcelain in texture and are used for collectible dolls.
Colloquially the terms porcelain doll, bisque doll and china doll are sometimes used interchangeably. But collectors make a distinction between china dolls, made of glazed porcelain, and bisque dolls, made of unglazed bisque porcelain. A typical antique china doll has a white glazed porcelain head with painted molded hair and a body made of cloth or leather. The name comes from china being used to refer to the material porcelain. They were mass produced in Germany, peaking in popularity between 1840 and 1890, and selling in the millions. Parian dolls were also made in Germany, from around 1860 to 1880. They are made of white porcelain similar to china dolls but the head is not dipped in glaze and has a matte finish. Bisque dolls are characterized by their realistic, skin-like matte finish. They had their peak of popularity between 1860 and 1900 with French and German dolls. Antique German and French bisque dolls from the 19th century were often made as children's playthings, but contemporary bisque dolls are predominantly made directly for the collectors market.
Up through the middle of the 19th century, European dolls were predminantly made to represent grown-ups. Childlike dolls and the later ubiquitous baby doll did not appear until around 1850. But by the late century baby and childlike dolls had overtaken the market. Realistic, lifelike wax dolls were popular in Victorian England.
Paper dolls are cut out of paper, with separate clothes that are usually held onto the dolls by folding tabs. They often reflect contemporary styles, and 19th century ballerina paper dolls were among the earliest celebrity dolls. The 1930s Shirley Temple doll sold millions and were one of the most successful celebrity dolls. Small celluloid Kewpie dolls, based on illustrations by Rose O'Neill, were popular in the early 20th century. Madame Alexander created the first collectible doll based on a licensed character – Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind.
Contemporary dollhouses have their roots in European baby house display cases from the 17th century. Early dollhouses were all handmade, but following the Industrial Revolution and World War II, they were increasingly mass produced and became more affordable. Children's dollhouses have during the 20th century been made of tin litho, plastic, and wood. Contemporary houses for adult collectors are typically made of wood.
The earliest modern stuffed toys were made in 1880. They differ from earlier rag dolls in that they are made of plush furlike fabric and commonly portray animals rather than humans. Teddy bears first appeared in 1902-1903.
Black dolls have been designed to resemble dark-skinned persons varying from stereotypical to more accurate portrayals. Rag dolls made by American slaves served as playthings for slave children. Golliwogg was a children's book rag doll character in the late 19th century which was widely reproduced as a toy. The doll has very black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips, and frizzy hair, and has been described as an anti-black caricature. Early mass-produced black dolls were typically dark versions of their white counterparts. The earliest American black dolls with realistic African facial features were made in the 1960s.
Fashion dolls are primarily designed to be dressed to reflect fashion trends and are usually modeled after teen girls or adult women. The earliest fashion dolls were French bisque dolls from the mid-19th century. Contemporary fashion dolls are typically made of vinyl. Barbie from the American toy company Mattel dominated the market from her inception in 1959. Bratz was the first doll to challenge Barbie's dominance, reaching forty percent of the market in 2006.
Plastic action figures, often representing superheroes, are particularly popular among boys. Fashion dolls and action figures are often part of a media franchise which may include films, TV, video games and other related merchandise. Bobblehead dolls are collectible plastic dolls with heads connected to the body by a spring or hook in such a way that the head bobbles. They often portray baseball players or other athletes.
With the introduction of computers and the Internet, virtual and online dolls appeared. These are often similar to traditional paper dolls and enable users to design virtual dolls and drag and drop clothes onto dolls or images of actual people to play dress up. These include KiSS, Stardoll and Dollz.
Also with the advent of the Internet, collectible dolls are customized and sold or displayed online. Reborn dolls are vinyl dolls that has been customized to resemble a human baby with as much realism as possible. They are often sold online through sites like eBay. Asian ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) are cast in synthetic resin in a style that has been described as both realistic and influenced by anime. Asian BJDs and Asian fashion dolls like Pullip and Blythe are often customized and photographed. The photos are shared in online communities.
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Famous quotes containing the words era and/or industrial:
“This, my first [bicycle] had an intrinsic beauty. And it opened for me an era of all but flying, which roads emptily crossing the airy, gold-gorsy Common enhanced. Nothing since has equalled that birdlike freedom.”
—Elizabeth Bowen (18991973)
“... men and women are not yet free.... The slavery of greed endures. Little child workers, the hope of the future, are sacrificed to industry. Young men are sent out by the billion to die for profits.... We must destroy industrial slavery and build industrial democracy.... The people everywhere must come into possession of the earth [second, third, and fourth ellipses in source].”
—Sara Bard Field (18821974)