Welcome to Joan's Revlon Doll Website
*Revlon Doll Overview - HOME PAGE
*Photos of My Revlon Dolls - PAGES 2 & 6
*The Ultimate List of Little Miss Revlon Outfits - PAGE 3
*Patterns to recreate like-original Revlon clothing - PAGE 5
*Doll & Hair cleaning - HOME PAGE
*Accessories closeups - PAGE 4
*Photos of Miss Revlon's Hairstyle - HOME PAGE (see bottom)
Doll Measurements & Vintage Patterns List for sewers - PAGE 5
revised September 2017 - see additions re: conditioning hair & LMR accessory palette to the
Click on Miss Revlon to see
my larger Revlon dolls
Click on Little Miss Revlon
to see my Little Miss Revlon
Thanks & Links:
Colleen Thompson - who has been an immense help with information & photos from her vast collection & base of knowledge re: LMRs
Sherry Kriesel - who has also been researching Little Miss Revlon over 20 years & who I consider a partner in the LMR portion of this site
Kathy Barna - Revlon Dolls and their Look-Alikes - a "must have" resource although hard to find - Amazon is probably your best option
Robert Tonner - who has generously given of his time & expertise in researching larger Revlons, especially rareties
Barb Walker's site "My Little Miss Revlons from the 50's" is back up after not being able to find it for a while
Judith Izen - Collector's Guide to Ideal Dolls, editions 1, 2 & 3 -- also a "must have" resource ---to order:
The following have graciously offered photos of dolls & outfits from their extensive collections so that this site can be a more complete
resource: Katherine Beier, Chris Carrick, Pat Derelanko, Gail Gavit, Sandy McGahey & Florence Roberts
LMR repro outfits & accessories: Susan Jehle http://www.theatticcouturier.com/outfits10.html
Please email me if you have questions or information to add to this material - firstname.lastname@example.org, Joan Hancock-Dow
REVLON DOLLS and OUTFITS
Revlon dolls were sold by Ideal from late 1956 thru 1960. It was a unique time in history, with a large increase in post WWII pre-teens (baby boomers), a strong
interest in fashion by females of all ages, a prosperous economy, the invention of vinyl & manmade products for doll hair, & an increase in acceptance of "full
figured" dolls. Charles Revson initially didn't want to sponsor a doll but later agreed when he realized how many pre-teen doll owners would soon be using
lipstick & makeup.
Sizes - Revlon first released 3 sizes - 18", 20" & 22". Then came the 10 ½" Little Miss Revlon doll in '57, the 15" doll ('58 & '59), & for a very brief time in
'58, the 25" doll. The 25" size dolls are extremely rare. Each size has its own unique appearance apart from its size, & the 18" doll even had 4 different face
Markings - On the neck - "IDEAL DOLL" then "VT" followed by the doll's height (10 1/2, 18, 20, 22, 25). There are also markings of just the height number
inside each arm & leg. The 15" was marked "IDEAL 15N" on the upper back.
Bodies - All dolls have head, shoulder (arm), leg & waist joints. A few dolls have knee joints. Limbs are attached to torsos with flange molded ends & waist
joints are strung. The little dolls are strung with one band from head through upper torso to hips whereas sometimes the larger dolls' heads are attached with
wood blocks & metal bolts. The larger dolls' joints have held up extremely well over time whereas almost all of the little dolls have needed or are needing to be
restrung. Limbs are hard plastic or vinyl & some are painted. Occasionally the upper torso of an LMR is painted. A very few dolls (18" & 20" only) have a
walking mechanism (see photo @ bottom of this page), with or without bendable knees (20" only). Rarely, some larger dolls have bendable elbows but we have
come to believe these were probably not made by Ideal (ie not genuine Revlon). One leg is usually longer than the other. Many believe this is so they can be
posed as if they are walking but recent findings indicate it just might have been a factor in the manufacturing process.
Heads - All dolls have vinyl heads with rooted, high quality saran hair that withstands washing & resetting quite well. All dolls have sleep eyes - most are blue
but other colors are also often found. LMR's eyelashes are molded + painted. Larger dolls' eyelashes are brush + painted. Ears are usually pierced (except
some of the later larger dolls). Hair color was generally blond, light brown or auburn, with occasional brunettes & ash blondes - these colors have often lost
their intensity over time. All dolls have bangs & hair length is usually shoulder length or longer. Very rarely, larger dolls have been found with short pixie
hair styles but usually when found this way, the hair has been cut. Larger dolls original hair styles usually have hair on either side of the face pulled up to the
crown & secured with a rubber band (standard for Queen of Diamonds dolls) & the rest falling in soft curls behind the ears; or pulled back behind the ears &
secured with u-shaped pins. A few had upswept hair styles. 5th Avenue dolls often have off center low ponytails. Little & 15" dolls had gold elastic head bands
pulling the hair back from the face. LMR's have either high short pony tails rolled into a bun, or short bobs, with a few having longer hair.
Makeup - All dolls had red painted lips, fingernails & toenails. Some of the Little dolls & 15" dolls have added cheek color (also known as "high color").
Price - American Character's Sweet Sue Sophisticate, & Madame Alexander's Cissy came out about the same time but Revlon sold a high quality doll that was
cheaper, so they were a huge hit immediately. Larger dolls sold for between $12.98 & $22.99, depending on doll size & expense of the outfit. Interestingly, the
bend knee doll was the least expensive, probably because the pants outfit was considered to be worth less. Little dolls sold for $2.98 in the basic underwear
outfit, or up to $8 dressed. There were also LMR gift sets, which included a doll & 4 outfits. Toward the end of production in '59, there were cheaper 17" & 19"
dolls released, that still had the VT 18 & 20 markings but were made with lower quality vinyl & had cheaper outfits & accessories. Some had no earring holes.
Some of this cheaper vinyl has now turned an orangey color.
The 15" dolls had fewer outfits, no hats, no stoles, no rhinestone jewelry, & different shoes than the crisscross elastic ones of the other larger dolls.
There were very few extra outfits sold for the larger dolls (mostly 18"), whereas there were hundreds sold for the 10 ½" size (approximately 100 known
numbers with many variations, many confirmed Ideal outfits with unknown style numbers & about 15 known numbers to unknown styles). The reason this list
is still in question, in spite of many researchers toiling on this project for years, is because Ideal kept records of what they produced but when they were sold to
CBS toys in 1983, the records were tossed. Also, many outfits were never tagged.
The Little Miss Revlon dolls were often sold in just bra, girdle, shoes, nylons, drop pearl earrings & hairnet, with outfits sold separately, but they were also
sold dressed, including shoes. Many of the dresses for all sizes have a drop waist.
25" dolls came in only 3 known outfits:
1)-yellow or grayish blue with black trim net & lace gown with matching stole
2)-pink strapless gown with many tiers of lace ruffles, blue ribbon tie above waist;
3)-navy tulle gown with white lace on bodice & lower skirt, ribbon tie around neck attached to front of dress
- on larger dolls: large streamers reading "Revlon Doll" on the outside coming from the waist seam - often torn off by original owners; occasionally tagged
with small labels inside
- on little dolls: small labels reading "Ideal" inside the garments, but some original outfits were never factory labeled. A few have outside labels like the larger
- little dolls had panty girdle, bra, drop pearl earrings, plastic open toe heels, nylons with back seams, & hairnet. Very few LMR original outfits included a
pearl necklace. LMR earrings often had hooked wires to keep them securely in the doll, so beware of potential damage to the ears if pulled out. Some of the
outfits included purses, hats, belts, petticoats, panties, scarves, & flowers.
- larger dolls usually had pink taffeta panties & petticoats, nylons with back seams, pearl necklaces (open chokers or longer/graduated with box clasps) &
pearl drop earrings (1 or 2 round pearls, or teardrop). All except `15" size Cherries A La Mode dolls came with straw cloche style hats. Most Queen of
Diamonds & Glamour dolls had rhinestone necklaces, rhinestone drop earrings (teardrop or round) a rhinestone ring on the left hand & some had rabbit fur
stoles. Snow Peach bride had teardrop pearl earrings, necklace & rhinestone ring.
- 18"-25" dolls almost always had black plastic heels with crisscross black elastic, except bride dolls that had white - this style is NEVER original for the 15"
& 10 ½"
- 10 ½" were open toe plastic - white, black, aqua, or red
- 15" were the most varied & hard to determine if they're original - black or white plastic with straight-across elastic strips; or all plastic similar to the LMR
shoes in white or black
OUTFITS FOR LARGER DOLLS (some named for Revlon lipstick colors)
- striped cotton dresses - pink, blue, yellow, lilac ¼" stripe; bright yellow, tan, aqua, red, or salmon 3/8" stripe
- cotton print cowl neck dresses w/ circle skirts & solid color nylon organza neck + trim
- linen dresses w/ black lines running through fabric, bow & flower @ waist - brick red, rose, yellow, lilac or gold
- woven cotton print dresses & removable knit short jacket w/ woven collar matching dress print - red/yellow or green/blue
- taffeta square neck dresses - salmon/pink, aqua, yellow, or blue
- red on white dotted swiss dresses w/ red trim
- heart dresses - pink or navy nylon; red, navy, or pink taffeta
"Queen of Diamonds"
- velveteen dresses + rabbit fur stole - red, kelly green, teal, or blue
- brocade dresses + rabbit fur stole- gold, pink, blue, green, red, or aqua
- red velveteen top with white satin skirt (or white nylon gauze skirt) dresses + rabbit stole
- gold lame bodice w/ cotton skirt dresses, w/ or w/o red or black velveteen coat + long gold scarf
- tiered lace dresses + rabbit stole - pink or blue
- chintz dresses w/ low neckline, white collar & plastic floral pin @ center front neck
"Cherries A La Mode"
- nylon print dresses - pink floral; pink, navy, light blue, or yellow cherries print
- pink or blue taffeta dress w/ white eyelet overdress
- solid color sleeveless taffeta dress
- pink square neck dress w/ green flocked swirls (this came w/ a clear hatbox)
- navy floral w/ square neck
"Snow Peach Bride" - floor length lace gown w/ long sleeves, lace overlay skirt & separate overlay ruffled panel in front, satin underskirt, sequin trim @ jewel
neckline & waist, net veil w/ lace edging, oval headdress w/ arrangement of orange blossoms & lace edge
"5th Avenue" - 8 versions of woven cotton pants, cotton knit body suits or tops, & some had unlined open velour jacket - were sold with 20" bendable knee dolls
"Snow Pink" - aqua square neck sleeveless taffeta dress w/ short tulle overskirt (for walkers)
"Evening Star" - gold taffeta dress + velveteen coat w/ fur trim (for walkers)
"Glamour Dolls" - various evening gowns for 22" & 25" dolls
"Delightful Organdy" - organdy dresses w/ white flocked flowers & lace + black ribbon @ waist - green, yellow, or pink
"Swirling Formal" - red or kelly green satin strapless top w/ white satin long skirt (from Montgomery Wards)
Gown - pale pink taffeta & lace gown identical to LMR #9160
Gown - taffeta with organza overskirt, organza built-in shawl sleeves, long velvet ribbon streamers from bodice - yellow, blue or pink
"Deb" - various formal gowns that were sold separately (for the later dolls that were sold in just their black lace teddies)
"Deb Basic Doll Chemise" (teddy)
"7R2" - Cotton print dress w/ solid color cowl neck, waistband and sleeve bands -light blue/pink, navy/pink, or red/gold.
- Halter Sundress - black velvet halter-top dress w/ red or turquoise polished cotton skirt - also came in LMR size
- Taffeta dress with low cowl front & lace insert + hat - navy, green or pink - 18" & 20" size - untagged
- Square neck, taffeta, short sleeve dress w/ white lace trim in "V" formation from shoulders to waist - mauve or dusty green - 20" size only
- Brown cotton leaf print dress w/ brown fabric hat
- Paisley dress - pink or blue cotton w/ white collar - only 20" size has been seen
- Faille coat - aqua princess style with matching hat - in 20" & LMR sizes
- Mustard color 2 piece cotton print dress w/ black ric-rac - was sold to go with Deb doll
- Nylon Dress w/ floral embossing, white lace & black velvet ribbon trim - blue dress w/ white embossing or pink dress w/ blue embossing, low cut neckline,
built-in cap sleeves, ribbon/ white lace/rhinestones down center front of bodice, circle skirt, sewn-in petticoat; may have come with matching stretch girdle-only
18" size has been seen
Restoration (Cleaning Vinyl & Hard Plastic dolls)
-first of all, do as little as necessary -strong cleaning products can break down vinyl & spot removers can cause bleaching over time
- clean body with gentle detergent solution, or product made for vinyl dolls - don't immerse
- clean hair with gentle detergent, combing through gently & set with narrow rollers set vertically on doll's head - let air dry at least 24 hours, face down
conditioning with Twin Pines of Maine conditioner - I can't say enough good things about this product (& no I don't get a commission) - it has done miracles
with dry frizzy hair
- eyes- a drop of fine household oil then place doll face down (if mildew present, use alcohol first)
- green ear or other body spots- alcohol applied with Q-tip, followed by Remove-zit (Twin Pines of Maine) (or oxy 10 & sun, with only spot exposed)
- NOT ALL SPOTS CAN BE REMOVED SO TO BE SAFE, REPLACE ALL METAL JEWELRY WITH HIGH QUALITY GOLD FILLED & BEWARE OF
ANCHORED EAR WIRES - CUT THEM SO THEY DON'T TEAR EARS
Resources for replacement outfit parts
I get many requests for information on accurate-to-original replacement wearables for Revlon dolls.
Here are some of the sources I've used. I take no responsibility for their products nor do I receive any incentive for placing these
Ebay seller IDs:
larger doll shoes - Ebay sellers "dolliehawk" & "one..more..time"
A little about me & the history of this website:
I was born (1946) & raised in Minneapolis & have spent most of my life in that area. I was a psychiatric RN for 35 years.
I got my 18 inch Revlon in 1957. My mother & I sewed for her throughout my life. I didn't become a collector of Revlon dolls or researcher until the early
1990s when events converged to prompt an interest in antiques. I started collecting Barbies after finding an original RN uniform complete with accessories. I
discovered that 2 nurse colleagues were also doll collectors. We shared a love of Barbies for several years.
Around this time I also thought it would be fun to have a trunk set of reproduction outfits for my Revlon doll in "all" the original styles, not knowing how many
there actually were. I wound up with a lovely collection then the sewer I'd been using quit & didn't save her patterns. I realized that I needed to make my own
patterns, not only for myself but for the many nude or poorly dressed Revlon dolls I saw for sale on Ebay. I had already been making repro Barbie patio hats for
about 10 years & selling them on ebay. I started researching Revlon dolls by networking with collectors & dealers. It was frustrating that there was so much
mis-information about what outfits & dolls were genuine Ideal-made. Many genuine outfits were never tagged. Since there were already a few doll informational
websites, I thought I'd share what I'd learned with one of them. I offered. Nothing happened. So I finally realized that in order to get the information out there, I
had to do my own website. I bought a software package & dug in. I retired from nursing in 2003 & soon after got my website up & running. Right about the
same time Kathy Barna published her book "Revlon dolls & their look-alikes". She put me in touch with other people doing research on Revlon dolls & the
adventure picked up speed. Eventually collectors started to offer photos of dolls & outfits that I didn't have on my website so I no longer felt I had to own
everything pictured. Over the years I've made a point of meeting most of my contributors in person.
Around 2006 I applied to the United Federation of Doll Clubs for a scholarship/stipend to offset some of the costs incurred in research. I was turned down
because the only stipends available at that time were for antique or composition dolls. I wrote a letter to them pointing out that if they wanted to attract younger
members - especially baby boomers, they should really look at being more accepting/encouraging of collectors of dolls from that era. My letter had an impact -
they spoke to one of their benefactors (Becky Wallace) who donated the money to start a scholarship fund for "modern dolls". The next year (2007) I applied
again & won the first of these scholarships.
New information continues to surface, sometimes in an uncertain form, so, with the help of other collectors, we attempt to fit the pieces into the puzzle (ie was it
made by Ideal? is it tagged? was it sold by just one vendor? does it have a style #? did it come on a doll with a unique body? was it produced early or late during
the Revlon production period? how rare is it?)