Joanne

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Friday, 31 March 2017

VINTAGE JOANNE WALKER DOLL. ATLAS PLASTICS. AUSTRALIA.

If you love dolls then you cannot go past the all Australian Joanne Walker Doll produced by Atlas Plastics from 1949 to the mid 1950’s.  Atlas Plastics were previously Hutchens Brothers who had their business in Nolan Street, South Melbourne.

Hutchens Brothers quite often advertised positions for girls to make doll clothes and towards the later part of 1949 positions for artistic girls to paint doll faces and girls wanted for interesting congenial work were advertised in the name of Atlas Plastics rather than Hutchens Brothers. In the 1950’s Atlas Plastics were looking for women to assemble their dolls.

Joanne was not only sold in specialised toy stores but also department stores and newsagents.

In 1950 Atlas Plastics donated a walking, talking (this would be a Ma Ma doll), sleeping, winking doll called Joanne to an organisation helping to raise funds for the 3DB Sporting Globe Appeal as seen in the Sporting Globe, Melbourne, 23 December 1950.

Was this walking, talking, winking Joanne a one off?

In 1953 a 31 inch Joanne doll was advertised with hair in a choice of blonde or brunette. She weighed 3 1/2 pounds and cost £8 /13 / 6.

In 1953 a 30 inch Joanne walker doll was advertised as having a Ma Ma voice. She cost £8 /19/6.

In 1954 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as wearing a taffeta dress with nylon hair that could be washed. The cost to buy her was £8 / 10/- a pricey doll.

The Joanne dolls started out as hard plastic dolls that were spray painted, the Joanne dolls to follow were thin plastic. It’s very easy to tell them apart. The earlier sprayed dolls have a different colouring, the paint is flat and dullish to look at, although a nice soft brown in comparison to the unpainted thin plastic dolls that have a shine to them, especially noticeable on their face

I don’t have a preference for either type of Joanne doll; they’re all lovely to me.

These dolls came with open and closed mouths.

In 1950 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as a walking, sleeping doll.
Some were advertised without a name. The price for her was 6 guineas. Back in 1950 you could buy a 40 piece dinner set for less.

In 1954 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as having three choices of hair colour; blonde, brunette and red.
In 1954 according to one ad Joanne was the doll ”everyone was talking about.”
In 1955 a 28 inch Joanne doll was described as being ”practically indestructible” she was dressed in a taffeta dress with bonnet and nylon hair that could be shampooed. Cost £6 / 15/.
IMG_2743
The same year Myer had the above doll for sale.

In 1956 a 30 inch Joanne was advertised wearing an organdie dress and straw hat. Her nylon hair could be washed. The cost £6 /15/.

It seems that Myer were probably the last stockists actively advertising Joanne in 1956 with the doll being advertised as ”while stocks last’ — by the end of that year she no longer appeared. This doll is the one you find with the organdie dress and straw hat.
Over time many of these dolls split at various parts of the seam, my dolly is in lovely condition though and she displays beautifully.
Myer advertised Joanne in a 27 and 28 inch for sale in the same year wearing an organdie dress and straw hat. The price for her was the same as the 30 inch above.
A very big thank you to Witchesweb  for this great article

About lindandsam

Linda is a poet and writer. As a mature aged student, she completed a Bachelor of Creative Writing and is now a postgraduate student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Published in the USC Storyboard, 2015. Self-published ‘Where is Gedhum Choekyi Nyima?’ For the Tibetan Children’s Village, Dharamsala, 1997. She lives in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and shares her life with her partner and their four-legged fur babies Hugo and Tashi-la..

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