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Vinyl Dolls – Description
Vinyl dolls have heads made of polyvinyl chloride; a plastic also known as PVC. Most have vinyl bodies, but vinyl heads have also been used with hard plastic and cloth bodies. Dolls are frequently misidentified as rubber.
The degree of flexibility in the vinyl material is determined by the amount of plasticizer used in manufacturing. Dolls or parts with very little flexibility are described as being made of rigid vinyl or hard vinyl. When a lot of plasticizer is used, the material is defined as soft vinyl.
Vinyl Dolls – History
In 1949, the Ideal Toy Company became the first manufacturer to use vinyl to make dolls.
Their first vinyl dolls had molded hair or glued-on wigs. However, manufacturers developed a process for rooting hair directly into the scalp within a few years. In fact, the early years of production, those with hard plastic or cloth bodies were produced.
But other doll makers soon followed Ideal’s lead and began producing dolls. In the late 1950s, vinyl was the predominant material used by the american doll industry in the U.S.A.
Furthermonre, Ideal was once again at the forefront of technology when they adopted the blow-molding process to produce the 35-inch Patti Playpal in 1959. The Playpal dolls were the first life-size toddler dolls that were lightweight enough for a child to carry.
Moreover, vinyl’s low cost and ease of manufacture make it a desirable working material for doll companies. The realism, warmth, sturdiness, and washability make it desirable to children and parents as well. It remains the most widely-used material in doll manufacturing today.
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