Diana Ross by Ideal...

...Did the doll almost look like this?!

Many Ideal Toy Corporation collectors who specialize in the Crissy family also have acquired a Diana Ross doll for their collections. This is probably because Ideal used the Crissy torso, arms and legs molds to cast the doll. The issued doll does not have growing hair like Crissy, however.

But what if the doll did grow hair? Would she then be a Crissy family doll? And would Crissy collectors like the doll as she was created more? This question arises due to the fact that many Ideal collectors really don't care for the doll. Her features are harsh and squared. She only vaguely represents the real person. It has been asked if the celebrity actually approved the final mold. Unless Miss Ross gets in touch with CrissyAndBeth.com, we may never know.

However, if the doll grew hair, would she be construed then, as a Crissy family doll? Perhaps that is why Ideal issued her without growing hair, so that the final product would stand apart from the growing hair doll product line.

Several years ago, a prototype doll head arrived here in Atlanta to join the Crissy archives. She lacked a body. But what she did have, is probably even better! What was that? Her face sculpt is just stunning! Framing her open/close eyes are lovely handpainted, full and lush eyelashes. Even her eyebrows, lips and teeth are painted by one of Ideal's prototype artists. What a lovely piece of artwork she is. But the "pièce de résistance" is the fact that this prototype head has a growing hair hole at the top her head! And her foundation hair was already rooted in a very tres' chic style.

To prove that it is a Diana prototype, I offer you this picture from a flyer dated 1969 from the Ideal Toy Corporation meant to provide toy buyers the opportunity to view the product before buying their supply for their store shelves:

As one can see, this prototype does not resemble the doll that was actually sold. She does look very much like this trade advertisement instead. This doll, shown above, does not have growing hair. Apparently, Ideal planned for two different dolls to be sold, one wearing an on-stage outfit and the other wearing an off-stage outfit. No doll was sold wearing the latter outfit.

Please take a look at the Diana Ross doll as she was issued.

And now, I proudly offer you this lovely recreation of what the Diana Ross may have looked like if Ideal had chosen to use this sculpt. Several fellow collectors encouraged me to "complete" the doll head so that we could see what Ideal's prototype department had in mind when this doll head was cast.

I used a black Crissy body, arms and legs to "finish" this doll. I had a package of black Yaki hair (used for extensions) on hand and used that to create her long ponytail. Then I dressed her in red silk. She wears black Crissy shoes under her palazzo pants, created from Simplicity 5276, © 1972 for the Crissy family of dolls. Her growing hair does indeed grow as it should.

A close-up of her gorgeous handpainted face.

Her foundation hair is rather full and lush, and has a side part on the left.
The hair over her left ear is longer than on the right and tucks nicely under her chin.
So chic!

Evidence of the artist's work are dabs and smudges of paint under her eyebrow and on her upper lip. I could remove it but it would have to be scraped off. I do not want to damage her beautiful "complexion" so I'll leave her as-is.

The inner eye area near the bridge of her nose is painted in an interesting fashion. The "whites" of her eyes are actually extended by painting onto the vinyl and then outlined in black. This gives the appearance of larger eyes than they actually are.

Other info: The markings are on the back of the head, under her hairline. The head is marked exactly as the Diana Ross doll, with a 1969 copyright date.

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All text & photos, © October, 2010, by Beth-Ellen Colvin