This version of Crissy, made by the Lilí Ledy Company in México is a copy of the Crissy doll that we have all come to know and love.
This Crissy is small! She is a mere 16 ¾ inches! Her body, arms and legs were clearly cast off of an original Ideal doll.
There are no mold markings anywhere on this doll to indicate that she was made by permission of Ideal. Take a look now, at her belly button area. The body mold was retooled to accommodate the mechanism that they created, as the original Ideal mech no longer fit properly. Look at this area around her belly button and note the filled in area:
Look at her mech, and the differences:
Above: it's easy to see the height difference in the US Crissy and the Lilí Ledy Crissy.
Ideal LOVED to participate in licensing agreements. If they didn’t have their own company set up in other cities, like Toronto, Sydney or London, they were never above licensing with others (like Takara, and even Estrela -which was more a merchandising agreement than a licensing agreement). This was a big money earning opportunity for them. In their final days, they probably wished that they had done it more. It was hard for them to keep their head above water even in the seventies. Licensing, no doubt, helped keep the company going.
Here are some Bella Crissy dolls found in my collection:
This Bella Crissy stands next to an original issue box from Lilí. On the bottom flap, it reads, "Hecha en Mexico por CIA. INDUSTRIAL DE NOVEDADES PLASTICAS Y METALICAS, S.A." Instead of the orange yarn handle that American collectors commonly see, this box has a thin, gold rope handle.
This pretty doll has hair that is quite reminiscent of the US doll's hair. The shade is very nearly identical in tone. Her foundation hair is rather long compared to her "sisters," shown further down. The bow on her dress is green flocked velvet, and the dress is smaller in size compared to the American version. It closes with Velcro. It is lined with pale peach woven cotton. Her panties are also made of the same fabric, trimmed in lace. She is missing her issue shoes, so some cute replacements have been provided for her.
Next, we will enjoy another version, wearing a pretty pink lace dress. She has very auburn hair. It’s very brassy. It has a nice texture to it. I bought her from a consignor, not the original owner, on eBay.
Her skin tone is rather pretty, however, her lips have faded.
Her feet are small. Crissy’s usual shoes are too big for her and she fits in Velvet’s shoes better. Lilí probably cast new shoes off of original Ideal shoes, with some alteration. See below for more information about Lilí Crissy's shoes.
Here eyes are gray, not black, like we are used to seeing in the U.S. Her white and pink outfit is a re-creation of her original Ideal orange lace outfit and is an unusual and hard to find version in México. Lino let us know that this is a very special piece. How lucky we are to have it in the archive! Under the white lace, one will find pink taffeta lining (and matching pink taffeta panties).
Her face has been completely remodeled. Note the ears. They are so different that it is clear that Lilí made a totally new head for their Bella Crissy:
On the top is an original Crissy's ear; on the bottom is Lilí's Crissy's ear.
I love how they modeled her mouth area:
They molded in recessed teeth, much like the American Mia doll has.
Her markings on the back of the neck:
I have circled the marks so they are easier to locate. In small letters, it says Muñeca and the slightly to the right and under that, it says LILI in caps.
Above one sees a picture of "Crissy" before her restoration process. She is quite a "looker" now!
It looked like she'd been dragging her sleeves in her Dulce de Leche' so I washed just her sleeves (quite a feat!) and here is her dress and panties drying, clothes-pinned to the chain of my ceiling fan!
I wash in Woolite and ice water to keep vintage clothing from fading and I like to dry them FAST to keep dyes from running. I also removed some elastic that someone had sewn onto the waist of her panties. The purist in me can't stand that. After I remove the offending "new" elastic, I then use plain white thread and sew running stitches into the spent elastic so that her panties can be tightened and gathered around the doll's waist. Incidentally, her panties, even if they were still "originally elasticized," are rather large for her and there is no elastic sewn into the leg openings:
I strand-tested her hair to make sure it wouldn't melt (see the restoration section of this site), and proceeded to restore the curl to her ponytail. I then tested her foundation hair for steam heat and it survived so I steamed her base hair into place.
The next Méxican issued Crissy in the CrissyAndBeth.com archives is this model that appears in the catalog gift set (scroll down to see the scan of this giftset as found in the catalog). She arrived in Atlanta, Georgia without the rest of her giftset but it's fantastic that she is still wearing her complete original issue outfit!
Curiously, just as the Brazilian issued "Crecy" doll (see this page for further edification) this doll's side and nape foundation hair is glued into place. This makes styling the foundation hair difficult. Perhaps it was assumed that it would not need styling since it is "fixed" in place. However, this sweet little girl needed styling so the foundation hair was placed into its original position with a wire pick and a steamer after her shampoo.
Big improvement huh! She looks so much happier now!
Now about that beautiful Lilí Bella Crissy that you see above.... I saved the best for last:
This doll comes to you courtesy Lino Martín Lugo Córdova, as mentioned above. The choker is original to the doll. Lino has seen it on other Crissy dolls in México.
Here is a nice close-up shot showing the construction of the original choker.
Lino and I have created this nice comparison study of the Mexican Crissy shoes and the American Crissy shoes.
Lilí Crissy shoes, above.
American Crissy shoes, above. This would also illustrate the shoe size made by Toronto, London and Sydney Ideal.
The interior molding is a bit different on the Lilí shoe. Notice that it has striations molded inside that gives Crissy's foot a place to rest. Are they smaller than the US shoe? Why, yes they are! They are slightly more than 2.5 inches as you can see, where the US shoe is about 2.75 inches. As mentioned, the US shoe is too big for Lilí Crissy and it will fall off.
These detail shots show no other marks on the shoes. No, there is no R for right, nor a L for left, though in Spanish, that would be I for "Izquierdo" (left) and D for "Derecho" (right). Lino has such fabulous information!
And there is one other little "minor" detail... none of Ideal's usual mold-marks appear on these shoes.
The Lilí Ledy catalog opened to the pages that show "Crissy" and also the gift set that one could buy.
Here is the front cover.
And here is the back cover of this small catalog.
Thank you for stopping by and learning about this Crissy doll.
Now how about some more information about another growing hair doll from México? I am pleased to share with you "Bella Estrella Lilí" (Beautiful Star Lilí), a hair and make-up play doll from Lilí Ledy, 1980.
Unfortunately, the catalog does not illustrate the make-up and accessories that came with the doll.
Her hair grows,
to comb her hair the way you want, by pushing a button.
You can also put on make up to your like
with her Movie Star-make up set,
Translation by our friend Lino!
Lino also goes on to say:
"Note on the second line of Spanish text it says “the way you want.” The text uses feminine indefinite article in Spanish “UNA,” It means “You girl” or “You Woman.” It makes the reader experience a “sweet feeling” when reading that text in Spanish. And it also makes you part of the doll... nice $$Marketing$$, don’t you think?"
We totally agree with you, Lino!
Here she is, as she appears in the archive, next her pal Crissy. As you can see, she is the same height. She is made with the same body, arms and legs mold as the Lilí Ledy Crissy. She is marked Lilí Ledy on her neck and Hecho en México (made in México) on her back.
Here is a nice close-up shot of her face.
Her jumpsuit. This doll did not come with shoes, so these shoes are not original to the doll. She however, like Crissy dolls found all over the world (even though technically she is not part of the Crissy family), has feet that are molded to require shoes for her to stand. She is perfectly counterbalanced when wearing American Velvet doll shoes.
Lino also reports that the outfit is an authentic Lilí Ledy outfit for Bella Estrella. There were similar ones in different fabrics. He has seen white and yellow stripes in cotton, and pink and white stripes in cotton too. This jumpsuit is made in one of those fabrics that he considers the best Lilí Ledy used for all its doll line. We are very lucky to have this doll wearing this wonderful fabric!
When I purchased this doll, I had no idea who she was, nor if she was redressed or not. I cannot tell you just how privileged I feel to know Lino. His knowledge is a blessing to all doll collectors world-wide. Again, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for his generosity in providing to all of us collectors this valuable knowledge that we seek.
The following pictures were provided by Lino to show you what Bella Estrella looks like in her issue "Movie Star" outfit. He also mentions that the hair jewelry and the necklace in the picture below is not original to the doll but was put on her to replicate what she might have originally worn.
All text © June, 2006, by Beth-Ellen Colvin
Last update, May 25, 2016.
Photography is the property of Beth-Ellen Colvin. The photos of the Crissy in orange lace dress with the orange bow, the pictures of the choker, and the photos of the Lilí Ledy Crissy shoes, as well as other pictures as noted above, are the property of Lino Martín Lugo Córdova, and are being used by permission.