Crissy School!

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The Crissy doll, patent number 3,698,134, was made by the Ideal Toy Corporation beginning in 1969. Crissy had an extended family. And their claim to fame is the ability to "grow" hair, as you probably already know! Were they, and have they ever been considered Barbie® competition? Heavens, no! Crissy and her family and friends stood on their own. They were larger, easier to dress, and had their own very unique clothing line and fabulous accessories. Their hair-growing abilities were often copied, but certainly never duplicated. There were no other dolls in this size category that did what she did and looked like she looked. The Ideal Toy Corporation's prototype department put alot of thought into this line of dolls. If Ideal wanted to compete (and they didn't need to), then certainly Crissy would have been only 11.5 inches tall with a ridiculously exaggerated figure. Why was the family's production run relatively short compared to the Barbie® line? From 1969 to 1974, the initial Crissy family production years, Ideal faired well enough to stay in production, but as the 70's went by, Ideal suffered substantial financial losses. They had to examine their costs in and costs out. Eventually, Crissy was no longer made, falling victim to those hard times.

The family includes two main sizes: 18" tall and 15" tall. The big girls are Crissy herself, Kerry, Brandi, and Tressy. The small girls are cousin Velvet, Mia, Dina, Cricket and Tara. Even smaller is Velvet's Little Sister, Cinnamon at only 12" tall.

All information and photos on this site are copyrighted and not available for reprint.

Basic Crissy Information by Year of Issue

Crissy in 1969

Crissy in 1969 Crissy in 1969
Above, Crissy in 1969, first issue: Included in the box with the doll, a cellophaned wrapped rat-tail hairbrush, directions, (some boxes had) a hairstyle guide, and a letter to mother. The doll was wrapped in orange tissue paper, but green tissue for the black doll.

A note about the rat-tail brush. Please be aware that it may have no markings at all on it. However, it might have the word IDEAL in an oval imprinted on the handle. Either way, it is correct. It was modeled after a very popular brush made in the 60s by a hair implement company, used to create those great "That Girl" teased and flipped hairstyles. Crissy's brush came in various colors. No certain color came with any certain doll.

The yarn handle was orange for the white version and purple for the black doll. Notice that one of the handles is actually orange nylon rope.

The very first Crissy is marked 1968 on her neck and 1969 on her bottom. She was made available for sale in 1969. The first part of this production year, the doll was sold with hair that extended down to the floor. The doll was available in a white (orange dress) and black (green dress) version. Each doll wore coordinating orange or green panties trimmed in white lace. The 1969 doll had a straight waist with no joint. All dolls in the pictures on this page are being shown in their original issue outfits.

Sears also had a 1969 exclusive issue that included the marabou gown, as shown below. To see the actual gowns, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Crissy in 1969 Crissy in 1969
Below, Crissy in 1969, second issue: Ideal soon began selling Crissy with hair that only grew to her tushy. They had to change the box, though all of the box inserts were the same. The hair to the floor dolls' boxes say: "With hair that grows right down to her toes." The box that shows pictures of Crissy with hair to her bum says: "With hair that grows and grows and grows" (see below).

Crissy in 1969 Crissy in 1969

Interestingly, Ideal produced a prototype box for the number one Crissy that never made it into production. Look closely at this rather small photo, as found in the Ideal buyer's catalogs. In the picture area, not only does Crissy appear with her hair fully extended to the floor, but also four of her earliest fashions were presented!

As we all know, the box turned out to have three smaller pictures of Crissy with her hair at varying lengths, with no pictures of her sold-separately clothing line.

Left: A photo of the early, 1969, prototype box.

These early outfits, as well as all of Crissy's fashions, can be viewed on the Crissy's Closet page.

Additionally, please view all of the educational links in the drop down menu on the main page where the reader will learn about a multitude of accessories for the Crissy family of dolls.

Whether you are looking for information on games, paper dolls, wigs, hair cair sets, clothing, cases, etc., it's all there for you.

Now let's continue....

Crissy in 1970

Crissy in 1970 Crissy in 1970

In 1970 and going forward, Crissy's hair only grew to her bum, as did all of her friends. Crissy is the only doll that was ever released with hair that grew to the floor. The 1970 issue wears an aqua mini-dress and matching panties trimmed in white lace. The photos on her box changed to illustrate what she was wearing. The black 1970 doll can either be wearing her 1969 apple green dress OR this new aqua dress. However, there is no new box that shows black Crissy in this new dress. She is only shown wearing the apple green dress. The 1970 issue doll, like her 1969 predecessor, had a straight waist with no joint. However, this production year, many of the dolls had a smooth, round knob instead of the flower knob. The collector will find both knob styles on all dolls though. The paper inserts for this year were the same as the previous year and a rat-tail brush was included. If the doll is not wrapped in tissue, she will be sold in a cellophane "body baggie." For the white Crissy, the tissue was aqua.

Crissy in 1971

Crissy in 1971 Crissy in 1971

The new 1971 doll, Movin' Groovin' Crissy had a new body style. This one has a jointed waist that allowed her to twist and turn. New collectors and doll dealers often confuse her with Look Around Crissy (below) and vice versa. Movin' Groovin' Crissy (both black and white) wears an orange jersey midi-dress tied with a brown and orange rope sash. She also sports orange vinyl boots. She came with a brush, a hairstyle book and sometimes a booklet that featured her new 1971 outfits. This doll was sold in a "body baggie" within her box.

1971 Talky Crissy and 1972-73 Talky Crissy

Talky Crissy Talky Crissy

Above, Talky Crissy, 1971 (purple box) and Talky Crissy, 1972-73 (pink box)

NOTE: Typical Talky Crissy dolls have an unusual haircut. Her foundation hair usually is cut in a shag and looks nothing like the usual foundation style found on earlier dolls.

Talky Crissy, for her 1971 offering, was sold in a purple box that pictured her in her issue pink housecoat, with her hair in three different lengths. The illustration in the center of the box showed her wearing her original 1969 orange lace dress (Talky never wore that dress). The 1971 doll spoke 12 phrases:

"Hi, I'm Crissy!"
"Velvet talks too."
"Let's have a party!"
"I love you."
"Make my hair long."
"I've got a secret."
"My hair grows!"
"Brush my hair please."
"Make my hair short."
"I like to dress up!"
"Set my hair, please."
"Please dry my hair."

The earlier, 12-phrase Talky Crissy has a pullstring (at the end of which is a butterfly-shaped tab) that comes out of her left hip , and her housecoat has a buttonhole strategically placed to allow access to it.

The later Talky Crissy issues (72-73) were sold in a pink box with her picture on the front. This doll only spoke six phrases:

"What did you say?"
"I'll never tell."
"I don't think so."
"Why not?"
"I'll tell you tomorrow."
"That sounds like fun!"

There are a few dolls that say seven phrases. In addition to the previous phrases, these dolls also say "You're really good to me." There are two in this collector's archive.

This version of Talky Crissy has a pullstring situated at the base of her back . Her housecoat has the buttonhole placed over the pullstring on her back to accommodate its location.

Right away one will notice that the six phrase doll has nipples molded on her chest. None of the other Crissy issues had this unusual characteristic (see below).

Under her housecoat she wears matching panties trimmed in white lace at the leg openings. Included in the set with the twelve phrase doll were hair accessories, sealed in a large baggie: pink plastic curlers, velvet ribbons, yarn hair ties, bobby pins attached to end papers, and a rat-tail brush. Also in her box were the usual paper items. The 1971 version is generally found in a body baggie. The 1972-73 version came wrapped in white tissue paper but can also be found in a body baggie instead. As of this writing, no 1972-73 issue found in her pink box has hair accessories included. If you as a collector come across one, let me know!

Talky Crissy's shoes could be the usual bow-flat style or the new Mary Jane with a thin strap and slight wedge heel. They were typically carnation pink. Of the dolls illustrated above, the 12-phrase is wearing bow flats and the 6-phrase is wearing Mary Janes; this is generally the norm.

There is no black Talky Crissy.

Crissy in 1972

Crissy in 1972 Crissy in 1972

The 1972 Look Around Crissy had a softer make-up style and her foundation hair was a bit more wavy. The gimmick for 1972 was her ability to look around! Just pull her pullstring located on her back (it had a butterfly on the end of it just as Talky Crissy does ) and she would look around. She is jointed at the neck and waist and both moved back and forth in tandum after the string was pulled, thereby acuating the mechanism. She wears a long, plaid taffeta gown in jewel tones that gives her a bit of a holiday appeal. Her panties were made of the same fabric. Her shoes, in dark green, were either the usual bow-flats or they could be the new style, a Mary Jane with a thin strap and a slight wedge heel. Either way, they were the same color. This doll was also issued in a black version, wearing the same costume.

On the left in the picture above, the frequently mentioned "body baggie" is shown on the black version of Look Around Crissy. Under this doll's gown is a thin cardboard form that holds it out to keep it smooth during shipment.

To see information on Ideal's patent for the mechanism of this doll, go to this page. It will launch into a new window for your convenience. It's quite an interesting read! Our thanks to Bob Pope for sharing this link!

Crissy in 1973

Crissy in 1973 Crissy in 1973

Above, the 1973 Beautiful Crissy with Swirla-Curler, black or white. This unique doll was created with curly foundation hair. Her make-up was rather sparse too. Both dolls wear a one piece dress that is constructed to look like a blouse and jumper. She wears white sateen panties with lace at the leg openings. She is wearing the new style Mary Jane shoe in shiny red-orange, the same for both the black and white doll. The Swirla Curler device was inserted into her grow hole and then her ponytail (Ideal literature calls it a 'tail) was divided into five sections. Once the sections were dampened, wrapped around the posts, and allowed to dry, Crissy had beautiful curls! Included with her hair device was instructions on its use. Ideal probably gave this Crissy issue curly foundation hair to go with the "curly hair" that would result from using the Swirla Curler device. It's a neat concept! The doll has a straight waist but leftover inventory of Look Around Crissy bodies were used up on this doll. So one should not be surprised if they find an MIB example with the Look Around body.

Back of Box

The box is as pretty on the back as it is on the front.

Crissy in 1974

Crissy in 1974 Crissy in 1974

Above, 1974, Beautiful Crissy with Twirly Beads. This doll is identical to the Swirla-Curler doll in that she has the same hair and sparse make-up. Her dress however is a lovely pink and white checked sleeveless dress that goes down to her ankles. Under that she wears plain, white panties. Her shoes are the wedgie style Mary Janes in white, the same for both black and white dolls. Her hair gimmick was the new Twirly-Beads Hairdo Dangle. The pink and white dangles, molded to resemble beads, were attached to a cone that was inserted into her grow hole. Then the child would wrap the 'tail in and around the dangling beads to give her a new and unique style. So cute! This doll came in a white and a black version and was a straight waisted doll with no waist joint.

Crissy in 1977

Crissy in 1977 Crissy in 1977

The above were not very popular. The Magic Hair Crissy was released in 1977.

Her white platform mules and outfit were the same for both black and white dolls. She is "Crissy" in name only. She did not grow hair. Her hairpieces attached to her head by means of Velcro. She had Velcro dots positioned among her short base hair. There was a fall, a curly perm style, a fantasy style of ribbons, braids and flowers, and two curly braided dangles with white and pink beads on the ends.

Above: Pictures of the hair attachments for both the black and the white Magic Hair Crissy doll.

Magic Hair Crissy modeling the "fall" - a view from the back.

Crissy in the 80s

Crissy in 1982
Notice that one has lavender eyes and the other has brown eyes.
The doll on the right has been removed from her catalog box (far left).
She came in this box when purchased from a toy catalog.

The 1982 Country Fashion Crissy was sold in a black and white version but produced from the old Velvet doll molds from the early 70s. People often confuse her with a Velvet doll, even calling her a "rare" redhead Velvet. Please know that she is NOT a Velvet doll! Her hair functions differently. Instead of the button and knob mechanics, she has a pullstring ponytail. When one pulls the ring on the back, the string pulls on her 'tail and drags it into her body cavity making it appear shorter.

Her one-piece gingham country dress is constructed to look like it has a blouse underneath. She wears white t-strap shoes in the style of Velvet shoes and a straw, country-styled hat trimmed with a pale lavender ribbon.

Crissy in 1982 and 1983
The doll on the left has brown eyes. The doll on the right, lavender.

The 1982-83 Beautiful Crissy doll (above) was constructed the same as the Country Fashion Crissy with the former Velvet doll molds, and operated the same way. She was created in a black and a white version. Her dress was a cute white, sleeveless dress trimmed in pink and white lace. She has a pink ribbon sash. Under that she wears white panties. Her shoes are styled like Velvet's shoes, in white.

Curiously, both of the Crissy doll styles from the early 80's can have either dark brown "Crissy" eyes or she might have purple glassene eyes like the 1970's Velvet doll (illustrated in the above pictures). An additional oddity is that some "might" have a knob and pin to make their hair grow. Very, very few have this feature. It was probably an effort on Ideal's part, to use up old parts before the pullstring dolls were put into production.


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