When illustrator and cartoonist Johnny Gruelle’s terminally ill daughter, Marcella, found a faded rag doll in her grandmother’s attic, he painted a new, smiling face on the toy. Naming it Raggedy Ann after two poems by his friend James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Orphan Annie,” he made up a series of stories around this character to entertain his only child, who loved to spend hours playing dolls.

After her death in 1916, Gruelle wrote and illustrated 25 storybooks based on those tales. Responding to the series’ popularity, in 1918, Gruelle and his family made several dozen dolls to sell with the books, and later that year, Gruelle licensed the publisher, the P.F. Volland Company, to manufacture the dolls based on his 1915 patent for an all-cloth doll with shoe-button eyes, a painted face, brown yarn hair, a dress, pantaloons, a pinafore, stripped legs, and black cloth shoes.

Soon after the dolls were sold, Gruelle received a package from a childhood playmate of his mother, who explained that their mothers had made a pair of boy-and-girl companion dolls for their two children. In the package, she had sent him Raggedy Ann’s “twin brother,” Andy, and soon the family started to license dolls of Raggedy Andy and other characters from the books, including Beloved Belindy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, as well as coloring books, puzzles, and games. All are hot collectors’ items today.

It is rumored that the original P.F. Volland dolls had a real candy heart, but after parents complained the candy was switched out with a cardboard heart. Mollye Goldman was the first, in 1935, to produce the dolls with an “I Love You” heart imprinted on the chest.


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Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

A Chicago toddler finds new way to stall bedtime
Chicago Parent, September 30th

And that's when the “fears” come in. What parent can resist a crying toddler/preschooler begging to be delivered from something that frightens them? We've all been afraid of the occasional childhood bogey – a ventriloquist dummy here, a Raggedy Ann...Read more

Annabelle's Tony Amendola Talks Possessed Dolls and Hauntings at the Biltmore
Miami New Times, September 30th

The story of Annabelle comes from a case study done by the Warrens in the 1970s involving a possessed Raggedy Ann doll. A dark spirit attached itself to the doll and began to haunt a young newlywed couple. In the film version, Amendola plays a faithful ...Read more

5 Horror Films Based on Terrifying Real Life Supernatural Events!
moviepilot.com, September 29th

Director James Wan redesigned Annabelle for the movie, mostly to avoid licensing issues, but also because Raggedy Ann dolls aren't scary...at all. The real story behind Annabelle is that she once belonged to a nursing student named Donna. Donna got the ...Read more

Nathan Lane and Partner Devlin Elliott Will Release NAUGHTY MABEL Picture ...
Broadway World, September 29th

In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, the Dork ...Read more

Fall: the time for traditions and a cup of tea … (please)
Grand Island Independent, September 27th

We also have some fun tea party books such as “My Very First Tea Party,” by Michal Sparks, “Fancy Nancy Tea Parties,” and “Tea for Two,” both by Jane O'Connor, “Tea Party Rules,” by Ame Dyckman, and “Raggedy Ann's Tea Party Book,” by Elizabeth ...Read more

Meet Annabelle, the big screen's newest terrifying doll
New York Post, September 27th

The real Annabelle — actually a Raggedy Ann doll — was bought in 1970 and supposedly terrorized a family, who later called in the Warrens for help. (They've chosen to remain anonymous all these years.) They claimed that the toy moved around the house ...Read more

The Raggedy Ann Salad
WTAQ (blog), September 16th

For some reason, the Raggedy Ann salad was my go-to. It was a a canned peach for a body, celery sticks for arms and legs, a hard boiled egg for a head, raisins for eyes and buttons, peanut nose, maraschino cherry slice for a mouth, and shredded cheese...Read more

Jan's Salt Dough (Raggedy Ann and Andy)
azcentral.com, August 27th

Put the salt and flour into a bowl,then add the water slowly to the dry mix. After a few minutes of kneading, you'll get a soft ball. Step #2: Cut the Dough Into Shapes. Roll out ball and form or cut it into shapes using pastry cutters or cookie molds...Read more