The Bonny Braids Doll, Created in The Chicago Tribune Comic Strip...
And Manufactured by The Ideal Toy Corporation, The Bonny Braids Doll
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The children of my generation anxiously awaited the arrival of the Sunday newspaper. After breakfast and after church, we sprawled the colorful comic section before us on the floor, ready to enter the world of Brenda Starr, Prince Valiant and...Dick Tracy.
The popular angle faced crime fighter had married the love of his life, Tess Trueheart. It wasn't long before they were expecting a baby.
Born in a squad car on May 21, 1951, Bonny Braids was introduced to the world. The newspaper was deluged by mail with name suggestions, but in the comic strip she was named by a nurse.
Because of the hair on both sides of her crown, the nurse found tiny ribbons to form the two tiny braids...thus Bonny Braids was christened.
Created from the Chicago Tribune comic strip, manufactured by Ideal Toy Corporation, the Bonny Braids doll is still one of the most sought after dolls in the world of collecting.
Bonny was gifted with the new "Vinylite" plastic head, an early vinyl which seeps a mysterious sticky substance with age. This is easily cared for and removed with a light grainy cleanser on a regular basis. Usually every year or so.
Her body is "magic skin, a thin latex rubber which is stuffed to make her ever so soft and cuddly. She also coos when squeezed.
Although the elements of her body are not the most resiliant, with proper care, Bonny Braids deals with the aging process quite well. Heat is her most destructive foe. The magic skin will darken, split and deteriorate and the seepage on the head will harden and darken.
Bonny Braids was a doll to be played with and she thrives with attentive care. She was one of my three favorite childhood dolls. Laundering her clothes and giving her the vinyl substance removal bath is just as rewarding as it was when I was a child.
Keep in mind, if you are purchasing a Bonny Braids doll, the darkening and brittling of the rubber skin is irreversible, so avoid adopting until you can locate one that is still pliable and not tanned beyond recognition. The "magic skin" does develop moon crater pock marks through time. I do not find this at all detracting as her clothing covers her body and the "skin" is still soft and pliable.
The Bonny Braids doll was distributed in a box covered with the birth comic strip panels and arrived with her toothbrush and a tube of Ipana toothpaste. The little darling has one tooth!
She is dressed in a long white organdy gown with a pink bed jacket. Her dress can also be found in pink. The tag is attached at the bodice seam.
Through the years my Bonny has acquired several other variations of the dress, not that they were original for her, she just needed more!
Many related Bonny Braids doll items can be found to display with her. Early 1950's comic strips, soap, puzzles, paper dolls and a blanket with her name overall just to name a few.
The blanket belonged to the very small version of the Bonny Braids dollwhich does not resemble the character nearly as well as the 13" version. There is also a puppet and a wind up crawling version of Bonny.
In 1953, Ideal introduced the toddler version of the Bonny Braids doll. She has the same type soft vinyl head with a hard plastic jointed walker body. Her braids are longer and she wears a print toddler dress.
eBay has a rather large set of listings of vintage Vinyl dolls for sale, if you are interested in a purchase, or to find values, if looking for values, it is necessary to register with eBay.
The last set of photos is of a competitor to the Bonny Braids doll. You can see the close resemblance, but this is not the authorized Chicago Tribune doll. For many years I have had a magazine page which advertises this doll, but after a long distance move, I have been unable to locate it.
Both dolls shown together for comparison.
Probably the best place to look for present "doll and accessories" value is on the Internet, primarily the auction sites--my favorite is eBay...the completed doll section of eBay is where you can browse the past 30 days of completed auctions of Bonny Braids dolls and accessories. On the left side, in the box named "Display", you can selsect "Active Items" to see the "Bonny Braids dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.
Also, if you have a doll or doll accessories you would like to find out about...eBay is the place to start...Dolls and Bears Category, just type in what you have in the search window just under "Dolls & Bears" on the left, and "Shazam", there appears a list of present, up for auction items--in the "Display" box on the left select "Completed Items", a new list will appear, displaying completed items going back for 30 days.
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eBay is a great wedsite for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, in order to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register.
Welcome to "Show and Tell" for early Bonny Braids Dolls!
We all love to share. If you have photos and information pertaining to this lovely very early Comic Strip daughter of Dick Tracy and Tess Trueheart, please fill in the form below to "Show and Tell" your favorite Bonny Braids Doll. We all have interest in how she was located, the use of materials in her clothing and anything else you would like to share with other avid collectors.
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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I had the original Bonnie Braids when I 10. This was my favorite doll of all..I have been looking for the original for years. I found one on eBay that …
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I am 67 years old and it is my desire to purchase a Bonny Braids Doll. I want the original version of the baby, in good shape. This may sound silly, …
Now that I'm past 70 years old I feel it is time to part with many of my cherished childhood dolls. Bonnie Braids is among those. She arrived to …
I was given a Bonnie Braids doll as a Xmas gift by my parents in the early 50's. I knew her origin from reading the comics in the newspaper. Time went …
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Dick Tracy , Tess Truheart Bonnie Braids, B.O. Plenty,Gravel Gertie and Sparkle Plenty Were my favorite comic strip. I am 75 years old now and I …
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When i was about 7'years old I wanted to take revenge on my little sister for something I can't even recall now. Sadly, I went way over the top by …
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Hi, I was born in 1953, my mom received a gift of a Bonnie Braids Doll that was for me. I was wondering if anyone can send a picture of what her original …
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My great aunt Bee had this doll in the middle of her bed. When I would come to visit her I would go straight for Bonnie Braids. I would play with her the …