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    

1977 Mego Jaclyn Smith Doll 12inch Doll Sealed In Original Box Charlie's AngelsUnopened Bob Mackie Cher Doll - Barbie Black Label CollectionLot Of 2 Dolls Mattel 1978 Tv's Star Women Kate Jackson & Cheryl Ladd Dolls Barbie Collector Farrah Fawcett Doll Nrfb Charlie's Angels2001 Play Along Video Performance Collection Britney Spears Doll Mip Rare!!!Nrfb Barbie Collector To Catch A Thief Grace Kelly DollAudrey Hepburn As Sabrina Doll. Never Removed From Box. Box Included.Jeff Dunham - The Little Jeff Ventriloquist DummyVintage 1975 Mego Brand Cher Fashion Action Figure Doll Bob Mackie Sonny And &Original 1976 Mego "sonny And Cher" Dolls All Original & Nr!!2001 Play Along Video Performance Collection Britney Spears Doll Mip Rare!!!Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Mattel Doll - Mib - 2000Mattel 1978 Donny & Marie Osmond Dolls And Jimmy Osmond 2 Lot Boxed 3 Dolls Marilyn Monroe Mattel Doll Timeless Treasures Collector Edition Mint In BoxCollector Edition 1997 Barbie As Marilyn Monroe From "gentleman Prefer Blondes" Hollywood Premiere 2000 Barbie Doll Marilyn Monroe NibAudrey Hepburn Barbie In Breakfast At Tiffanys Mattel Barbie Cher Lot Of 3 Nrfb Bob Mackie Indian,turn Back Time,boa All NrfbExquisite Franklin Mint Unforgettable Marilyn Monroe Seated Porcelain DollMarilyn Monroe Mini Sculpture Photoplay Adwards. By S.adalidBritney Spears Rare Pink Sequin Awards Doll Very Rare Doll!Franklin Mint Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday Mr. PresidentGemmy Rodney Dangerfield Animated Figure 18" 11 Minutes Standup 2003Cher Timeless Treasures Doll By Mattel - Nib -bob MackieBfmc Silkstone Barbie Grace Kelly Romance Doll In Sheath Dress Only Spa Getaway Silkstone Fashion Model Barbie Doll Plus Hepburn Lisette ChinoiserieJeff Dunham's Achmed - The Dead Terrorist Ventriloquist Dummy Pro Mode... No VatAudrey Hepburn Collection Holly Golightly In Breakfast At Tiffany's Doll Black2 Marilyn Monroe Doll Outfits/franklin Mint From "gentlemen Prefer Blondes"Cher Barbie Doll Turn Back Time Bob Mackie Designed 2007 Black Label K7903 NrfbBarbie Marilyn Monroe Blonde Ambition Pink LabelVintage 1977 Mego Captain And Tennille- Toni Tennille 12 Inch Doll Sealed Selena Quintanilla Original Grammy Limited Edition 1997 White Dress DollMarilyn Monroe Barbies Set Of 3 Vintage Barbie Ken Farrah Fawcett And Friends Dolls And Cloths Lot 1966 1968Vintage 1977 Mego Toni Tennille 12" Doll In Original BoxTimeless Treasures Frank Sinatra "2000" Collector Doll, The Recording Years....2002 Dean Martin Animated Singing Doll Works1998 Audrey Hepburn "the Cat Mask Outfit" From Breakfast At Tiffany's, Nrf-box!!"britney Spears" -live! In Concert - Doll By Play Along 1999Dolly Parton 1996 Doll Goldberger New In Box Red DressCher Doll Turn Back Time Barbie Bob Mackie 2007 Black Label Nrfb Grace Kelly Rear Window Barbie Doll Mattel Pink Label 2011Rare 1970s Wonder Woman Doll - Vintage Lynda Carter Dc Comics Retro 13"Celebrity Pink Label Collection Titanic 2007 Barbie Doll1970's Mattel Donnie& Marie Dolls In Box Vintage Childrens ToysVintage Farrah Fawcett 12" Doll BarbieJeff Dunham Puppet "jose Jalapeno On A Stick" Plush Toy 13" I Keel You Brand1997 Barbie As Marilyn Monroe The Seven Year Itch Barbie Doll Mattel Mib NrfbLol Surprise Babies Doll Leading Baby Retired, Marilyn MonroeBarbie Doll 1997 Marilyn Monroe Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Mattel Mint In BoxGoldberger 1982 Princess Diana And Prince Charles Royal Wedding Doll Set Iob6 Pr. Of Vintage Squishy Barbie Doll Boots~5 Lace Up Mattel/1 Cher, Wonder WomanPrincess Diana Collectible Porcelain Doll 20" W/100 Page BookletBarbie As Marilyn Monroe The Seven Year Itch 1997 Doll As IsKellog's Doll Calico Lassie Ellie Mae Doll Tammy Style By Unique 1960'sVintage 1991 Mattel Mc Hammer And Boom Box Set 1089 Nib1996 Dolly Parton Goldberger Doll Limited EditionBob Mackie Doll Cher Dolls (bp3012618)New Titanic The Official Portrait Rose Doll 1998 Dewitt Bukater Motion Picture