Monday, June 7, 2010

A little wild west for Blue Monday

It is Monday and the weekend went by far too quickly. Oh well, at least I can still do something fun for a Monday by joining Sally @ Smiling Sally for her little party, Blue Monday. Last week for another themed party I showed some of my Barbie collection dressed in Red, yup, you guessed it, it was for Wednesday is Rednesday. Continuing on in that theme, I wanted to show a few more dolls today. But these are not Barbies.

Back in the 60's, the West was King. You had shows like Bonanza, Gunsmoke and my personal favorite, Wild Wild West with Robert Conrad. These shows helped inspire a line of dolls known as the Johnny West Line. The lead figure was Johnny West and his wife Jane West. Produced from 1965 - 75 by Louis Marx Co., the dolls were different than their counterpart Barbie and Ken. They were hard vinyl with jointed body parts and their clothing was permanent.

The blue shirt, pants and even boots, comprise the bodies of the dolls. Accessories included rubber skirts, vests, hats, and belts. Like Skipper to Barbie, Jane had Janice West. My brother had Johnny West and of course my sisters and I were always kidnapping him as a date to our Barbies.



This is a later styled Jane. The face on the original 1965 Jane doll was apparently a little too severe, so my 1968 version as seen here, has a softer look. My horse is also part of the Johnny West Line of toys; however, Jane couldn't wear her skirt and sit in the saddle at the same time. I didn't reflect much at the time about the significance of Jane's accessories but looking back now gives me pause. The
accessories included make-up kit, frying pan and coffee pot along with a gun and whip. She could do it all. Jane, Johnny and Janice can still be found and purchased through eBay with prices ranging from $10 to $70. I have never seen one at a regular lawnsale or flea market.

My other doll for today is my Dawn Doll. Produced in 1970-73, she was a pint size (6 inches) fashion doll with a glitzy wardrobe. I got her for my 1
oth birthday. Here she is wearing her original dress. Unfortunately, Topper Toys, the company that produced the doll, went bankrupt in 1973. You can still find these dolls at lawnsales and at fairly inexpensive prices.

My daughter played with my Dawn doll when she was younger and she loved the horse, but Jane and Janice remained packed away. Maybe it is time to let them go. Who knows ... they may be on display in the toy section of my new shop.

Hope that you all have a fun Monday and be sure to stop on over at Sally's to see what other blue is showing.

Got it at Goodwill
Sherrie

20 comments:

SmilingSally said...

Wow Sherrie, those dolls are in super condition! Happy Blue Monday.

jlshall said...

I was a little too old to get in on the Jane West and Dawn crazes, but I do remember them. You have a really great collection there - thanks for sharing all your photos.
Happy Blue Monday from Joy @ Joysweb!

Linda said...

I don't remember those dolls but of course I had Barbie! They look like fun and yes when the western was King!

Ann said...

Love the blue for the dolls. Bonanza was my favorite. Happy Blue Monday.

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I have never seen these kind of dolls before. That is so interesting and perfect for Blue Monday!

sissie said...

I bet these dolls were fun to play with. I like their permanent outfits.

hugs
Sissie

~~Carol~~ said...

Wasn't Robert Conrad dreamy in WWW? Sorry, you got me a little distracted! Those West dolls look really familiar to me, but I know I had that horse. And I loved playing with all of my Dawn dolls. Unfortunately I gave them to me niece when she was little, but I did get some more at the flea market, and my daughter liked playing with them too!

Jeanne said...

Your dolls are really a great vintage collection. I never saw the Johnny West dolls before. Love the History.
Dawn is great too. I do not have any dolls from my child hood. Sigh.

Thanks for your interesting info and post.

Hugs, Jeanne

Manang Kim said...

This is very cute dolls. Love it!


Blue Jar

dogsmom said...

Thanks for a great trip down memory lane. I was a bit disturbed about the girls blue legs, but we'll call them leggings.
I know we made straight legged dolls ride just as well as anyone else. Use that childhood imagination.
You know now I will be looking to see any for sale.

Kathy said...

Hey sis,

Of course I have all my Jane West dolls and the two girls - plus I have I think 4 horses - love the horses too! I'm just a cowgirl at heart I guess. Glad to see you showcasing them. I still have my Dawn doll too - I love that we both have our childhood dolls and toys! Jim West - yup, I agree - he was hot! Speaking of WWWest - I picked up some videos of some of the original shows on them at Goodwill a couple months ago! Can't wait to watch them when I have a few minutes. Does anyone remember the show where Jim West split his pants and they kept it in the show? It was a hoot! I saw an interview with him a few years ago - and he said the producers made him wear his pants that tight and he mentioned that show when the pants split and he kept on a fightin'!!! Good day to all. Thanks for reading my little sisters blog/website and your great comments. I believe she is on a true roll - a great thing with her new store about to open!
Love,
Kathy - big sis

rose said...

thanks for sharing about the dolls. i remember having a Dawn doll. Boy! that's along time ago. rose

Candy said...

Great galloping gals for a BLUE Monday post.
YEAH-HAW!

Protector of Vintage said...

Love the post! I still have my Dawn doll, her pink convertible and a few clothes. Fun memories!

Briarside Lane said...

hmmm... interesting post about these dolls. I have never heard of Johnny and Jane West. Thanks for posting them! ...Karen

思穎鄭宇柏 said...

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王周宏儒 said...

Use a book as a bee does flowers. ............................................................

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I have never heard of these dolls. They look like they are in great condition. I wish I had kept toys from my childhood. Thanks for sharing.

Angela said...

Did this bring back memories for me..I had that Jane doll..I completely forgot about her,,until now!!!!!

prashant said...

They look like fun and yes when the western was King!
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