How Ideal "Got the Word Out" About Their Toys

"Natural Born Archivists and Historians" love what they do and have a tendency to look high and low for anything and everything that has to do with their passion. This collector is no different.

Over the years, I have discovered that advertising ephemera is hard to find. "Why?" one may ask. Well think about it a minute. Did your mom keep all the Sunday papers? How long did she keep her magazines? Even if she was a "magazine-recipe-hoarder" normally she threw those old magazines out once they were worn out or after she clipped the recipe out.

Retail stores also had their own advertisements as did catalog chains. Within store circulars, one will find either photographs or line drawings of certain well-known products. You, my dear reader, are getting ready to find out where they got those graphics. Also, there is evidence that Ideal placed their own ads in major newspapers.

Additionally, the commercials that were played over and over again to young consumers instantly captured their little minds and imaginations! How could a little one not want a nicely-sized and beautiful doll with the most bewitching of theme songs, "Beautiful Crissy with beautiful hair.... that growwwwwwws!" The commercials made her so beguiling that she was the best seller of the entire line of Ideal growing hair dolls. If you would like to take a few moments to view these commercial, then click on this link.

As you have researched information on this site, you may have found the department store catalog pages. If so, perhaps you've noticed that some of the photos are the same in many different catalogs. You are also getting ready to find out why.

So all of this begs the question, "Did retailers save their advertising items?" Indeed, very few did so therefore, very few exist today.

But happily, some examples did manage to survive. We will share them with you now!

This "Sunday Funnies" advertisement (below) is from The Minneapolis Tribune, presumably from 1971, as that is when Mia and Kerry were introduced to the retail world. This ad was placed by Ideal. At the bottom of the ad is says, "AT THESE FINE STORES NOW!" and it lists J.C. Penney (back when they still had periods in their first initials), K-Mart, Kresge, Woolco, Woolworth, Sears Toy Stores (no longer in existance!), Bell Discount, Holiday Village (Fridley, Minnesota), Playworld, Target, and Wells.

Here is the full page but the following are close-ups.

Similar to this advertisement, if a retailer were to place an ad for any toys in their inventory, where did they get the drawings they used? They got them directly from Ideal. Shortly, you will see how these graphics were provided to the retailer.

For now, check out this partial ceiling banner! It would be an item hung in a department store. It appears to have been provided to the retailer by Ideal since it only advertises Ideal toys. Special thanks to C. Seevers for sharing!



Forgive the glare!

Since it appears some information is missing, one assumes that the other half didn't survive.

I have been corresponding with a former Ideal Toy Corporation salesman. I generally protect the privacy of my sources, but I will call him Jim. Here is some of the dialogue we've shared (and then we'll show you how Ideal provided the above-mentioned graphics):


Hi Jim!
The glossies came today! I am IN LOVE with them. Thank you ever so much for selling them. Rest assured that they are in the right hands and in the biggest Crissy collection in the world. One quick question: As a salesman, what did you use the glossies for? Thanks again!! Beth





Hmmm, interesting. I noticed on the glossies that it says, "When reproducing photograph, the following copyright notice must be used: 1973 IDEAL TOY CORPORATION."

Does that mean that major retailers could take the black and white photos and drawings and use them in their trade ads and sales catalogs (that went to the consumer)?

And how were these glossies distributed to the major retailers? Maybe at Toy Fair?

Sorry for the questions! I promise this is the last two I have (c:



Glossies were used "by" major retailers. (Actually any size retailer.) Yes, they reproduced the photos and line drawings in ads and catalogues. Given at toy fair, or usually upon request afterwards.


I actually was 99% sure that was what they were used for since I've seen things reproduced before that appeared in newspaper ads--- sometimes WITH the copyright info and sometimes they left it off.

Because it had the copyright info, I knew that Ideal actually provided the reproducables to the retailers. I have some old Sunday comics with ads for the Crissy family in them.

I just wanted to be 100% positive and thought coming directly from a former Ideal salesman, I'd get the exact answer. So grateful (c:


So there you have it. I hope that you enjoy these "glossies" that I have purchased for the archives.


This one is from 1973.

Here's Tiffany Taylor! This glossy is dated 1974.

Clothes too!

Here is the glossy given to retailers that featured the 1974 issue "Crissy with Twirly Beads." This glossy is dated 1974.

This 1974 glossy features "Velvet's Soft 'N Smart Fashions Assortment" that were never made. But you can see them on this site!

Sadly I don't have the glossy that would have been this one's mate. It would have featured Velvet (with the Swirly Daisies Hairdo Dangle).

JOY! I have a complete set for the 1974 "Cinnamon with Curly Ribbons" issue.

Remember, the 1974 line of Ideal Crissy family fashions were not produced. But it looks like Ideal had every intention of putting these fabulous fashions into production.

I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into the Ideal advertising world. When new items appear, I'll be sure to put them up here!

Back to Main Page

All text and photography, September, 2008, by Beth-Ellen Colvin