My Dolls’ Pet Peeves

As I wander the Pattycake Doll Company’s warehouse, checking inventory, unpacking new arrivals, or rearranging the dolls for pick-pack efficiencies, I often hear the dolls whispering to each other, telling each other the tales of their journeys and adventures before coming to our warehouse.

And in one section, we have the dolls that have been returned. Dolls that we can’t sell as new anymore, but that are in good enough condition to be donated to children’s charities and women’s shelters, where despite their minor imperfections, they will soon be ‘loved to pieces’ by their new ‘mommies and daddies.’

I was working near that section recently when I happened to hear the most interesting conversation among the returned dolls. They were discussing their Pet Peeves. I bet you didn’t even know that dolls did had pet peeves – I sure didn’t. But as the true doll lovers that I am sure you are… this is The Doll Blog after all… I thought I would pass along this fascinating information.

Some of the dolls in The Pattycake Doll warehouse

Some of the dolls in The Pattycake Doll warehouse

One of the first things I learned is that dolls hate to have their eyes poked at! You should have heard them complaining about it. Especially the dolls with sleeping eyes. And I have to agree, I wouldn’t want little kids poking at my eyes or pulling up my eyelids to see if I were awake or asleep either.

A lot of the dolls were also complaining about the little kids picking and plucking at their eyelashes. Even pulling them off! Yikes! How painful must that be?

The next most common pet peeve was being undressed and dragged around the house in their undies. Not only was it embarrassing, but a lot of the dolls had put a lot of thought and effort into their clothes. To have them summarily pulled off and thrown around… quite often lost for good, well. Those dolls just didn’t care for that at all.

Another solution to the 'naked' doll.

Another solution to the ‘naked’ doll.

Just as embarrassing was having their little mommies redo their make-up, usually with indelible markers or pens… I know that more and more people are accepting of facial tattoos, but the dolls don’t like it. Not one bit.

There were others… being carried around upside down by their ankles, having their hair cut by amateur hairdressers – or worse pulled out altogether, having strange things shoved into their mouths etc.

But the one thing universally agreed upon by all the dolls in the warehouse was being replaced. To be loved for months and then tossed into the bottom of the toy box and forgotten… that makes dolls so sad.

Just thought you should know.

Giving Charity and Dolls

43 Dolls for the Harpo Productions show.

43 Dolls for the Oprah’s Harpo Productions show.

Hundreds of years ago a philosopher named Maimonides taught that there were eight steps of giving charity, each one higher than the next.**

What does all of this have to do with Dolls?

Harpo Productions, (Oprah Winfrey’s company) needed 43 dolls for a TV show they were doing. I asked them what they were going to do with the dolls after the show? When they acknowledged that they hadn’t really thought about it, I suggested they donate them to the Toy Industry Foundation, and thought nothing more of it. As many of our customers know, The Pattycake Doll Company donates 10% of all of our profits to children’s charities -(meaning 10% of the profits from our sale to Oprah would eventually be donated as well.)

Last week we received an ‘alert’ from Twitter that @pattycakedoll had been mentioned in a tweet along with @teamharpo. Those dolls had just been handed out by TIF to children whose parents are in the US Military at a TIF giveaway at Langley Air Force Base.

Here’s that link:

Embedded image permalink

Giving dolls as charity is not at all unusual. We get calls year round from people who are going ‘on a mission’ to Africa or Haiti or somewhere similar and want to take some dolls with them ‘for kids in the orphanage.’ At Christmas time we sell hundreds of dolls to people who have plucked a ‘wish’ card off of a Giving Tree or for Toys for Tots. And of course Pattycake Doll donates dolls ourselves from our excess inventory or ‘damaged box’ products and the like.

Has God blessed you with bounty? Think Dolls!

** Maimonides Eight Levels

  • The bottom step was when you gave charity, but were mealy mouthed about it. The person who you gave to “was just lazy, they probably wouldn’t appreciate it, you only did it because you had to,” that kind of thing
  • A step up was giving without complaint, but giving way too little. Like giving one dollar to a family that has thousands of dollars in medical bills.
  • A step up from that was to give gladly, but only after being asked to help.
  • Better yet was to give before being asked… to realize the need and want to help.
  • The next level was to give, not knowing who is receiving, so that the recipient doesn’t become embarrassed by your gift.
  • Better than that, Maimonides thought, would be to give anonymously. You know who is getting it, but they don’t know it’s you who is giving.
  • The next best is when neither of you know… Maimonides described this as giving for the sake of goodness. You don’t need to know who, you don’t need to know why, you just want to share your bounty with someone less fortunate.
  • The top step, the purest form of charity was to make it possible for a person to not need charity… for example instead of a donation of food or money or clothes, you gave a scholarship so that they could learn a skill and become self-supporting, or actually gave a person a job.


5 ‘In-between’ Uses for Dolls

While preparing my posts ‘5 Traditional uses for dolls,’ and ‘5 Non-traditional uses for dolls,‘ I had set aside a few of my ideas as they were neither ‘traditional’ nor ‘non-traditional’ uses for dolls. They were somewhere in between. Everybody would accept them as traditional, but they were not the first thing that would come to mind as a ‘use’ for dolls.

For your amusement I hereby present my new list of 5 ‘in-between’ uses for dolls:

1: Holiday Decor. Quick – name a famous Christmas character doll!

  • The Grinch?
  • Rudolph?
  • Max the Dog?
  • Cindy Lou-hoo?

And the winner is…. The Nutcracker!


Now don’t poo-poo me… by every definition, this is a doll!

2: As cultural and friendship gifts from one nation to another. One example is the Japanese friendship dolls discussed in this post here, but there are many more.

One of the 1927  Japanese Friendship Dolls

One of the 1927 Japanese Friendship Dolls


3: As the heroes and heroines in literature, television and movies. Perhaps the most famous dolls in literature are Raggedy Ann and Andy

Classic Raggedy Ann And Raggedy Andy Dolls

Classic Raggedy Ann And Raggedy Andy Dolls

4: Ventriloquist’s Dummy and Puppet shows.

When I was a child in the 50’s Howdy Doody was the number one TV show, and Howdy Doody dolls and puppets were everywhere! Ventriloquist’s Dummies and Puppet Shows are still a staple of children’s entertainment… just think Sesame Street!

Howdy Doody still sold today on Amazon

Howdy Doody still sold today on Amazon

5: Isn’t this nothing more than a big Fashion Doll? The Department Store mannequin?


The cure for naked dolls Part II

I have never wanted to be a psychiatrist, never interested me much, but I have to admit I wish I knew a little bit more about why people get so upset over certain things.

Anatomically correct dolls upset a lot of people. So do naked dolls – even naked dolls that basically have sacks of cloth for a body.

As discussed last week, there are a few easy fixes for naked dolls: helping them – Good old fashioned down on the floor play time – to dress their dolls, or having a few extra outfits to put on their dolls.

Here’s another simple fix: Buy dolls that can’t be made naked.

Biracial Baby Bath Doll

Biracial Baby Bath Doll

Like this BathTime™ baby doll from Adora. Her cloth sack body has a ‘bathing suit’ print on it. Even if your daughter removes the robe, the doll is still ‘dressed.’ There are a lot of doll companies who do this.

Like Zoe’s Owls? Remove her dress, and you get a one piece doll with a colorful stripe print. Is she technically ‘naked?’ Yes. Does she look like a ‘naked doll?’ Of course not.

Another solution to the 'naked' doll.

Another solution to the ‘naked’ doll.

But still, children love to dress and undress dolls. Two of the best selling dolls are Barbie and American Girl Dolls… and all their fashions. But those are for older children, and we’re talking here about the naked baby dolls that your toddlers are dragging around the house. So here’s another solution… dolls that can never end up naked!

The cure for naked dolls.

Too many naked dolls in your house?

Three year old child running around gleefully shouting “nakey, nakey, nakey?”

'Naked 'Children's dolls

Do her dolls all look like this?!?

Do you know why?

  1. She is too young to dress her dolls, but not too young to undress them.
  2. You have taught her to change her clothes for cleanliness, but don’t have any extra ‘doll clothes’ for her to put on her dolls.
  3. She is playing with her older sister’s fashion dolls. (see #1 above)


Learn to dress doll

A learn to dress Pirate Puppy with button, zip etc.

  1. Get her a learn to dress doll.
  2. Spend more time ‘playing dolls’ with her and teach her to dress them.
  3. Buy doll clothes for her dolls that have removable outfits.
Doll clothes for 18" dolls

18″ Doll clothes for 18″ dolls