Dolls have been made to capitalize on celebrity success at least since the 1830s, when paper dolls resembling renowned Swedish ballet dancer Marie Taglioni were first produced. However, it was during the late 19th century, at the height of the Victorian Era, when the trend really took off.

During this time, dolls were made to commemorate major figures in European royalty—like Queen Victoria herself. Victoria’s likenesses often wore elaborate outfits designed to imitate her famous wedding attire or mourning clothes. In the United States, war heroes like William Thomas Sampson, presidents like William McKinley, and first ladies like Mary Lincoln Todd inspired their own dolls.

But the scene changed entirely when the Ideal Toy Company launched its Shirley Temple model in 1934, unwittingly creating a full-fledged industry of dolls modeled after celebrities. By 1938, more than six million dolls resembling the child actress had sold. Though movie stars became the favorite inspiration for celebrity dolls, the 1930s also marked the birth of the famous Dionne Quintuplets, who were reborn in doll form in 1936.

After Barbie grew to dominate the market in the 1960s, the ubiquitous teen model Twiggy became Mattel’s first foray into the Barbie-sized celebrity realm. In the 1970s, new dolls were made to imitate stars like Sonny and Cher, Farrah Fawcett and other Charlie’s Angels, Diana Ross, and Dolly Parton. Yet the best-selling celebrity dolls in history didn’t debut until 1997: The Spice Girls dolls skyrocketed to the number-one position with more than eleven million of the figures sold.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Dollreference.com

Dollreference.com

This densely packed index of antique and vintage dolls claims to offer over 10,000 images of dolls from the 1800s … [read review or visit site]

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Rhonda Wilson's collection of 1950s dolls, organized by name (Ginny and friends, Littlest Angel and friends, etc.) … [read review or visit site]

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylee's extensive collection of vintage dolls from the 1930s to 90s. Click the balloons to browse. Though Kaylee s… [read review or visit site]

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Audrey Hepburn Complete Outfit Estate SaleBritney Spears Doll 25200 Exclusive Pepsi Tv Commercial Outfit 2001 New Lot 4x 1996 Vintage Original Selena Doll In Unopened Box!80's Cher Bob Mackie 2007 Barbie DollFranklin Mint Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday Mr. President 16" Dress Ensemble NibCher By Bob Mackie! Barbie Collector 2009 Marilyn Monroe N4987 Nrfb3 Collectors Edition "barbie As Marilyn" Marilyn Monroe Barbie DollsMarilyn Monroe Collectors Doll New Inbox Estate Sale(2) Barbie Hollywood Legends Marilyn Monroe & Classique Starlite Dance DollsLot Of 4 Pop Celebrity Dolls (vanilla Ice, Two Ginger Spice And Shakira) NibMattel Barbie Doll Hollywood Legends *marilyn Monroe* Gentlemen Prefer BlondesBarbie Marilyn Monroe 50th Anniversary - Blonde Ambition - Pink LabelMattel Barbie Doll Hollywood Legends Hepburn *eliza Doolittle* My Fair Lady Franklin Mint Heirloom Dolls Marilyn Monroe "seven Year Itch" DollFull House Tv Series Dolls-3 Sets With Boxes- + Rare Bagged Joey-tiger Toys 1993Britney Spears 18 Inch Porcelain Doll - Sandra Bilotto Limited Edition Of 5000Mork And Mindy 9" Figures/dolls-robin William & Pam Dawber-mego 19791998 Audrey Hepburn Holly Golightly Barbie Doll Breakfast At Tiffany's Mattel NbTaylor Swift Doll - Pretty Melody - New In BoxMego Sonny & Cher Dolls Plus ClothesElizabeth Taylor Barbie Doll~gown/coat Repaint1988 Soft Sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids Doll Nursery Edition Baby Marilyn18" Peanut Animatronic Doll, Jeff Dunham, 20102001 Play Along Britney Spears DollTalking Walter Head Knocker Jeff Dunham Bobble Head Doll New In BoxFarrah Fawcett Barbie Doll 2010 Black Label Barbie Collector Mattel V7161 NrfbFull House Tv Show Michelle 15" Talking Doll 1990 New In BoxVintage Cher Doll New In Package Red Bathing Suit O.k. Toys Celebrity Figure N/rPolly Pocket 2000 Jungle Pets Tree House Set, Monkeys,giraffes,elephants,keeperMattel Barbie Doll *audrey Hepburn* Collection Breakfast At Tiffany's ParamountFarrah Fawcett Doll 1977 - Doll Is In Great Condition2001 Britney Spears Doll Pepsi Tv Commercial Outfit Play Along Nrfb MisbCher Barbie DollCharlie's Angels 3 Barbie Doll Set Jakks Pacific Girl Force 2000 1st Edition Charlie's Angels 3 Doll Set Jakks Pacific Girl Force 2000 2nd Edition Blue Box Mary-kate & Ashley Olsen Barbie Dolls Travel In Style (nib) The Olsen TwinsVintage 1970's Cher Good Earth Outfit Bob Mackie Mint On Orig Card Wow!!!Vintage Barbie Mego Cher DollPolice Woman, Dorothy & Madonna Vintage Celebrity Doll Lot Applause Non MattelElizabeth Taylor Barbie Doll Repaint Gown Black/goldVintage Cher Doll New In Package Yellow Bathing Suit O.k. Toys Celebrity FigureBeverly Hills 90210 Donna Martin Barbie DollMego 1977 Captain Daryl Dragon 12" Doll Of The Captain And TennilleVintage Cher Doll New In Package Blue Bathing Suit O.k. Toys Celebrity FigureBarbie Beverly Hills 90210 Brenda And Dylan Barbie Dolls New In BoxAudrey Hepburn Barbie DollPorcelain Marilyn Monroe Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Pink DressHot Looks Dolls From 80s, Set Of 5Mego Diana Ross Toni Tennille Dolls-great Celebrty Lot-as Is-damagedMarilyn Monroe Pink Dress "diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" Porcelain DollVintage Mego For Cher Farrah Diana Wonder Woman White Open Toe Heels Shoes Nice!Vintage Mattel Original Shakira Doll In Unopened Box!Lot 4 Galoob 1998 Spice Girls Band Dolls Sealed In Boxes **clean**Britney Spears Doll - 12" Doll - 1999 Britney BrandsVtg 1991 Mattel Beverly Hills 90210 Kelly Taylor Tv Show Doll In Box *nrfb NibVintage Charlie Chaplin Milton Bradley Bubbles Doll Orig Box 1972 Charlie's Back1970s Country Music Singer Dolly Parton 12" Doll, EegeeNib Mary Kate & Ashley Travel In Style Dolls Outfit Accessorie Passport To Paris1975 Mego 12" Cher Fashion Doll