Here’s a guest post from Carolyn Wainscott on the restoration of 1969’s much beloved Crissy doll. Please share your own Crissy doll memories with us in the comments!
Melinda, my youngest, was five in 1969 and there was only one thing she wanted for Christmas – Crissy, the doll with hair that grows. She watched Crissy commercials as little girls brushed her hair that grew all the way to her feet time after time during her cartoons after school and on Saturday mornings.
She watched Crissy’s hair grow as we sat eating popcorn watching “Rudolph”, “Frosty The Snowman” and “Charlie Brown” in the weeks before Christmas and when Melinda sets her head for something, that’s it. Nothing else would do. Can you see what intrigued that little 5 year old in this commercial I found on YouTube:
I scoured toy stores for weeks before Christmas for Crissy but there was none to be found. Word went out to everyone that we desperately needed a Crissy doll but when Christmas Eve came there was still no doll with hair that grows for Melinda. That afternoon my sister-in-law, Delores called to ask if I still needed a Crissy doll. She had found one hidden behind some things in the store – should she pick that up? So, Melinda got her beloved doll that year.
Melinda is a grandmother now but she is still my baby girl.
We both love dolls and I pick one up from time to time for her – just because. On occasion Crissy runs through my mind and a few weeks ago I ran across one in a antique mall in one of the vendor’s booths. She was hanging on a back wall. The manager retrieved her for me and sure enough it was Crissy doll with hair that grows. Her condition wasn’t too bad, The surface was okay, both eyelashes were there, her eyes needed redoing, she didn’t have her original clothing but I thought I could get the hair whipped into shape so she came home with me.
Here she is with the home made clothes she was wearing removed-see, condition not too bad
The button for the hair that grows works!
She was surface washed, her hair rinsed being careful not to let the water get into the inside of her head, the pigtail wasn’t washed. It was fairly nicely styled that I was going to try and work around.
Liquid fabric softener was rubbed into her hair, it took hours to comb and brush through, you can see the eyes need painting but they still open and close.
After brushing, Crissy’s hair was kind of pin curled and held in place with my little clips for days to help tame that mane
Now, what was Crissy going to do for clothes? I couldn’t put that blue dress back on her. I didn’t have any orange lace to make the dress and she would need shoes I had seen in a photo search. My great, grandson, Blake [age 9] suggested looking online for the clothing. We went to Ebay not thinking we could actually find her authentic clothing.
There were pages of Chrissy clothing, boots, shoes and dolls with original clothing with their boxes. I watched a pair of boots and a pair of shoes for a couple of days until they went over my price. I would still have to make the dress but that would be okay. Then a complete outfit of orange lace dress with matching shoes was posted and it was put on my watch list until a few minutes before the close of the auction. I don’t ever bid until just a few minutes before the close – don’t want to tip my hand and drive the price up too early. My bid was placed a couple of minutes before the close and I won.
Out of curiosity, there are several items in my Ebay Crissy watch list to see how high the bids go. I want to make sure I have gotten the best deal I guess-it’s all a game. So far purchasing Melinda’s Crissy in the antique mall [$18], restoring her condition then searching for her authentic clothing [$12.50] has been the best choice.
Here she is with hair styled, touched up makeup and her new outfit ready for Melinda almost 50 years after her first one.
This has been a new adventure for me but I enjoyed it a great deal and I hope Crissy brings Melinda joy.