“Kins” is the name given to the beautiful 8 inch dolls made by The Alexander Doll Company since the beginning of 1953. The “Kins” were a departure from Madame Alexander as they were made of a hard, heavy and durable plastic instead of the its usual composite. Although the material had changed, Madame Alexander’s strict demand for high quality was not certain and it showed in these dolls.
As with all things Madame Alexander, these dolls evolved and innovated rather quickly. Only in their second year of production did the dolls become straight-legged walkers. Two years later, in 1956, dolls again evolved to include jointed knees. The new, more versatile legs allowed the dolls to pose like never before, kneel and of course sit down.
Doll bodies haven’t been the only thing to change over the years. Madame Alexander likes variety and she made sure her dolls never got boring. Each year the “relatives” were dressed in a wonderful range of new clothes that kept the line fresh and unique. The line was also sold at different levels of accessories. Some models only included the basics like doll, panties, shoes and socks with clothes sold separately. Others were complete caskets with a fully clothed doll included.
Unfortunately not all dolls in the line have grown and evolved. The “Quiz-Kins” were only released in 1953 and were never returned. The distinguishing feature of a “Quiz-Kin” were the two buttons on the back. One button would cause the doll to nod and the other would not. Despite their relative rarity and uniqueness, Quiz-Kin are generally not as valuable as regular Alexander-Kin are. As I understand it, this is due to the fact that Quiz-Kin are generally sold with very simple and basic clothing.
Identify your Alexander-Kin
Although the “Kins” are still produced today and are now exported all over the world, the most valuable are obviously the original vintage models. Here are some tips to help you identify your doll.
“Alessio “or” Alessandro “
From 1953 to 1976 the Kins had “ALEX” written on their back, after which the full name “Alexander” appeared.
The dolls that arrived already dressed had a three-digit number (i.e. # 123) on their box. The boxes that had four digits (ie0123) were for tinned clothes. It is not uncommon to see a doll and a box with serial numbers that do not match. This is generally due to the fact that dolls were often displayed in a window and when sold stored in a box, not necessarily in the box they originally arrived in.
This is a feature of Quiz-Kins. The buttons control the movement of the head and these dolls were only produced in 1953.
Straight leg walkers
Straight leg walkers were introduced in 1954 and 1955. If your doll was a walking feature but not a knee joint, it was made in 1954 or 1955.
Articulated knees were introduced in 1956. If your doll has a joint in the knee area, it cannot be older than 1956.
Shoes with blurry sole
Dolls with shoes that had a fuzzy sole were from 1953 to 1958. Be careful when using this method of dating a doll as shoes are the most commonly replaced or lost item and could mislead the doll’s true age.
Values of the Alexander-Kin doll
It would be impossible for us to list the value of each Alexander-Kin doll, but Kin generally range from $ 400 to $ 2000 with the vast majority between $ 600 and $ 1000. As with most dolls, a large percentage of the value is determined by the dress the doll wears.
If you send us the right information, we may be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the value of your dolls. The pictures really help!
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