For a little story on Karen and Doug look at "Saturday nite in surburbia" in November of 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last call for Rich Toys dollhouses....

Two years ago I shared with you that 3 avid collectors of vintage dollhouses were collaborating on a book about Rich Manufacturing Co. dollhouses and other buildings they produced.  Patty, JoAnn and Rita have been successful in tracking down more than 100 variations of the models Rich Toys made between 1935 and 1961; however, there are still several houses that have appeared in catalogs or have been seen on auction sites they would like to include in their book.

Please  view the pictures and descriptions below, and if you have one, know someone who has one, or have seen one in an antique shop or museum, please contact Patty at or JoAnn at with the information.

Rich model #589...according to the 1940 Rich catalog, this was believed to be "the largest stock doll house on the market" at 38¾”  long.


Rich made a columned version of this brick house, but so far a non-columned example like the one shown in this 1958 advertisement hasn't been found.

This wonderful Tudor house, in shades of pale yellow and brown, has a single large gable in the front, flower boxes under the windows, and diamond shapes in the shutters. Several models with variations have been found, but not this one with the chimney stack moved to the right side of the house.

This early Tudor has "parentheses" around the door with wavy horizontal lines above. It's a smaller version in the same design series of the one listed above. Carol Morehead, on her My Realitty blog, has one pictured with shingles added, but so far the authors have been unable to contact her.


Rich model # 582.....this small Southern Colonial has a real metal balcony and four windows on the front. A very similar model with a front facing gable was found, but not this one with the straight balustrade. It is 27" wide.


The Morrison Historical Society provided this image from their files on Rich Industries. It may have been made around 1961 and was over 33" wide. Unlike the earlier big Southern Colonials, the columns on this one are squared.

If you can help in locating any of these wonderful vintage Rich Toys dollhouses, Patty or JoAnn  would be delighted to hear from you.  In the last few months, through playing "six degrees of separation" between buyers, sellers, and surfers on eBay, 2 wonderful models have been located....

Thank you Tracy and Sandy!

This wonderful 1930s Rich house was located when Janet contacted me through this blog. It was her childhood dollhouse and she is in the process of refurbishing it for her little granddaughter!

 Keep Looking!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Super Flaggs!!! or...revamping Flagg dolls from the 1940s

This is a guest post from my friend Jamie in Wisconsin. Being an art major, she is willing to tackle any dollhouse reconstruction and has even branched out into repairing vintage dolls to live in her little houses. She emailed me after revamping her Flagg doll family and it was so full of fun and good information that I convinced her to let me share it with you.

Here is her Flagg family....they look brand new!

Here is the revamped Flagg Family that I picked up for pennies last summer at an estate sale. They were in very sad condition with most of their painted features gone and also hair. Some were dressed, or barely dressed since the felted clothes were in poor shape and dirty.

Had to use hobby enamel paints for trains and cars that come in those little glass jars....Testors. Found out it needed Japan Drier added in order to dry. Dolls were set over cans on top of my old fashion hot water radiator to dry. It took some days I might add! 

The granny doll used to be a mean looking redhead, so overnight she became a blushing beauty in grey to match her handsome mustached hubby. I made both sweaters out of remnants of real sweaters. Grand Dad traded in his moth eaten sports jacket for a more comfortable grey wool cardigan that fits a retired gentleman. Gran was made a pink real cashmere sweater with tiny gold bead buttons.

Mom got her Easter dress with lace, along with daughters polka-dot spring outfit.

And Dad is sporting a new coat but has to go into surgery to correct his broken leg. Dr. Gorilla Glue says it's a quick fix. Dad's ailments mount as his arms unfortunately are inoperable and no longer go down to his sides. That wire in his right arm worked its’ way out over the years and he was told to just live with it. He just looks as if he is telling a fish story and showing how big his catch would have been.
Little brother is cozy in his wool sweater but is asking the lady who tailors to please make him a pair of jeans and perhaps a t-shirt to look more hip. The tailor apologizes for mistaking his taste.
Yours truly,
The Doll Doctor

  • I did use their pants as a pattern because of its very unusual shape.
  • The Dad’s jacket I traced off his body.
  • Sweaters…I looked at Etsy and put in doll clothes patterns and looked at how they cut jackets.
  • Grans blouse is pink lace wound on her upper body like I did restoring my Caco dolls. Super easy but the sweaters were more time consuming as I did a tiny blanket stitch around the edges so they wouldn't fray.
  • I really just winged it mostly.
Here are the materials I used to bring back my Flagg family.

Please note: only a few drops of the Japan Drier are needed in a small amount of paint to do the job. The colors black and brown took the longest to dry so one just has to be patient.

 If you have any questions or need more hints, I will let Jamie answer you! 

....and she tells me this story is to be continued

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let's take a tour of a 1950s Rich Toys rancher

This ranch style dollhouse was made by Rich Toy Company circa 1950.
It has four, open plan living/dining room,
and a bedroom which includes an en suite bathroom.

An additional play area for the young owner is the large front porch
that is open on two sides.

This is the right side of the house...let's go inside.

The front door opens directly into what is currently being used as a dining room.

This large L-shaped area is being utilized as three separate venues....
dining room, living room and television area.

The space to the right of the dining room is set up as an area to watch television.


Behind the television area is the living room.
It is located in the front of the house and used mainly for entertaining.

The modular set in the living area was made by Strombecker in the late 1930s. 
  With the exception of the kitchen hutch, all of the furniture
 in this rancher was made by Strombecker,

This house comes with a wood-burning fireplace
and enough area in front of it to sit and enjoy its' warmth.

Are those hand-rolled?

The small galley style kitchen is found to the left of the dining area.
It has enough space to hold the three main appliances
and a hutch for dishes and food items.

But it is still large enough to prepare a meal and wide enough for floor seating.

This is the left side of the house. The bedroom opens directly off of the living room.
One has to assume the roof would need to be lifted off to play in this area.
The roof is quite heavy, so that would mean a parent would need to be involved.

The bedroom is a nice size and includes an en suite bathroom.

Even with twin beds the room is not crowded.

The bathroom is quite large and even has room for a clothes hamper.

Fake florescent lighting is included to light the sink area.

You've seen the front and sides of the house, now here is the back.

and here is the house as seen from above with the roof taken off.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of this mid-century dollhouse.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Le chalet de caisses à savon

This is my little soapbox cottage. 
This lovely little box came to me with two small swan-shaped soaps,
looking  like it should hold a treasure...and now it does.  

On one side I placed a small porch with climbing roses....
 then added cascading flowers....

and windows on each side.
This is the home of Gabrielle and Gaston Dubois.
Gabrielle is very proud of her bedroom suite...a wedding gift from Gaston.
Gaston's pet name for Gabrielle is grincheux chat. Can you guess why?

Gaston is ready for supper,
but he forgets they do not have a kitchen
(a fact that makes Gabrielle very happy).
Sometimes after supper Gaston takes a snooze on the sofa
while Gabrielle cleans away the take-out meal.

And other times they sit on the sofa and canoodle....

because they have no TV.
Other times they sit in their comfy chairs in their bedroom and read.
And sometimes Gaston falls asleep.

What a sweet little cottage that Gabrielle and Gaston live in.

To the Dubois we bid adieu!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Add-A-Room Doll House from Tootsietoy

I love finding vintage toy catalogs even if they are reproductions. Yesterday's mail brought  a reproduction of a Tootsietoy wholesale catalog from 1933. Of course it was mostly filled  with little trucks and cars, but the best page of all was the one showing this little cardboard house. It is actually 5 individual room boxes that came free with the purchase of a full room set of furniture from their 1930 line. A little girl or boy could build a complete house if they were able to convince their parents to buy each room.
Dowst Manufacturing Co. called this the Add-A-Room Doll House. The catalog explains that  it was made of heavy container board in contrasting colors to the furniture and was included FREE with each set of Tootsietoy Doll House Furniture. 
Here is the little house. No mention if part of the roof was include with each room box. 

The living room with the furniture set......and an explanation of what came in the set. I wonder if the front porch was included with the living room.

The dining room was placed behind the living room and shared the large door opening. The door on the south side led into the kitchen.

I have the maple dining set but don't think I have seen it in green.
From the shape of the walls and placement of doors and windows, I think the kitchen must have opened on the west into the dining room and on the north to the bath.
 My set is a mixture of the two colors available. Lad-a-stool....haven't heard that term before.
The bathroom was placed between the kitchen at the back of the house and the bedroom at the front.
 A green or orchid bathroom....wouldn't todays buyers on House Hunters have something to say about that!
The lovely bedroom with three long windows facing the front of the house, and  openings to both the living room and the bathroom.

The music room....those red pianos are gorgeous. I wish I had one. Evidently there was sufficient room in the living area to house the grand piano as there is no indication an Add-a-room was included with the music room.

Dowst listed 3 items of "good news" at the front of this catalog, the first one being that the Add-a-Room doll house was free with the purchase of each set of Tootsietoy furniture.  
The other two items of good news were
  • Furniture is now made of new alloy with tensile strength five times that of the old..yet lighter. (that was good news I'm sure)
  • Finished in harmonious colors----packed in colorful box with pilfer proof display feature. (oh my, sticky fingers back in 1933 also)
and finished with "Order a stock today ...  watch them walk off the counter!"
I wonder if any of these adorable little houses still exist today....