When was the Beautiful Crissy doll officially available for sale?
Does she have a birthday or anniversary?

Yes! It is March 2, 1969 Read on!

So just how did collectors arrive at this date? Well, it's based on toy history. Every year, New York City hosts a trade show called Toy Fair. It is historically held in March. In 1969, the official dates were March 2 – 5, Sunday through Wednesday. I have an article in PDF version published by The New York Times that references these dates. I am unable to share it since the Times retains their copyrights on their work. It is not in the public domain. Public domain laws change frequently, but as the law is written now, it will be many years before it’s available for reprint without permission. While I purchased this copy of the article, it does not give me the right to re-publish it.

As you know by looking at her nape, Crissy’s head is copyrighted 1968. This means that they started working on this doll in 1968. Apparently then, they started with her facial modeling. Her body wasn’t finalized until later that year and the body copyright was granted in the knick of time, early 1969, so that they could take her to Toy Fair that year.

What is Toy Fair? And what happens there? I will quote the article, published March 4.

“There are only two shopping days left until Christmas – at least in terms of what toys will be in which stores.

“By tomorrow night, when the buyers will have completed their annual swarm through the exhibits of the toy fair here, the basic decisions will have been made.

“Parents, in their frantic pre-Christmas search, will find their choices governed by the selections made this week by store and wholesaler representatives, who attended the 66th American Toy Fair at four Manhattan locations.” The New York Times, © 1969

This quote illustrates to the reader what transpires. Store buyers and wholesalers are the only ones allowed into Toy Fair. It is almost odd that retail purchasers (parents) and children are not allowed. The buyer will pick up documentation, catalogs, product information flyers, and order forms; he or she will make notes on what is of interest. He or she will also get a chance to see early prototypes and commercials are shown (Crissy commercials were publicly aired from mid-August all the way through Christmas in 1969). The retailer may have the opportunity to pick up the prototype and “play” with it. He or she may also get to pick up samples to take away. By the time the retail buyer and the wholesaler have toured the entire engagement, he or she has decided what and how much to buy for their retail needs. Buyers, therefore, make the determination which toys will be chosen for retail sale for the coming year and it all starts at Toy Fair.

If the retailer/buyer is a subscriber to Playthings, a toy trade magazine, he or she probably has already been given a heads-up on what will be shown. This collector has a copy from August 1969, four months after Toy Fair.

It goes into detail how Ideal planned to stir up interest in their new doll. If the retailer/buyer hadn’t already ordered at or shortly after Toy Fair, he would have been smart to get that order in immediately! This two-page spread also alludes to the fact that she is a “high-ticket” 17 ½” doll that broke all kinds of sales records in June, just weeks after Toy Fair.

So in reality, Ideal worked pretty fast to get their new doll to Toy Fair, about nine weeks into the year. Just a bit later, pre-sales were breaking records. Ideal had indeed cornered the market on growing-hair dolls!

And now, Beautiful Crissy is gearing up to celebrate her 40th anniversary! It won’t be long! She debuted on March 2, 1969 and that is right around the corner!

Left: a close-up of the text found in the Playthings advertisement for Crissy.

Do you want to have a share in this fortieth anniversary celebration of the Crissy doll? Offer Crissy your Best Wishes here!
Go to Crissy Is 40, the Blogspot

On March 2, 2009, be sure to take a picture of yourself along with your favorite Crissy doll and post it. Make sure you have some cake frosting on your face (grin). Or maybe you'd like to set up a small diorama featuring Crissy, surrounded by her friends and family congratulating her on being 40! Be creative and use your imagination!

See ya on the blog!

Crissy and Beth

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© October, 2008, by Beth-Ellen Colvin