When Tiny Tears “isn’t Tiny Tears”

Advertising isn’t always “Truthful”…

I thought I might let you all in on a little secret I observed many years ago~

“Not Everything You See is What you Get”

This sweet little doll has its picture on the front of the mid-1950s American Character Tiny Tears retail box she is sitting in front of here. She was widely advertised on the “Miss Frances” television show as the “STAR PUPIL OF THE DING DONG SCHOOL.”

Only problem is… She is not Tiny Tears but instead she is LUCY’S BABY !

Look closely at the photo of “Tiny Tears” with Miss Frances and you will quickly discover as I did, that the baby advertised is an Imposter.

Here is a Super Rare I Love Lucy Baby produced by American Character in 1952 — only in production for a few months!! All of them are unmarked, so unless you are a collector and know how to identify her, she’s largely lost in the world of doll collecting.

She is 16″ high and was produced while Lucy was pregnant and was also used 
on the show in place of the real infant.

In 1953 when her baby, Little Ricky was born, American Character came out with the Ricky, Jr. doll and production of this baby doll was discontinued. An ad stated: “You will see Lucy and Desi play Poppy and Mommy with this wonderfully lifelike doll on the “I Love Lucy” TV Show – you will see Lucy feed it, diaper it, watch it cry real tears and pacify it…your little girl can do all these things with the “I Love Lucy Baby.” And this baby does indeed do all these things! This Lucy Baby has a hard plastic head and red molded hair (came in a caracul wig version as well); and an identical hands down rubber bodyjust like the Tiny Tears doll that was in production then too.

Oddly enough in THIS AD for Lucy’s Baby you will find the two photos of the doll with the Bubble Pipe and Bathing are actually TINY TEARS !

This prompts me to bring up a point about publishing “facts and information” about dolls (or anything for that matter), their clothing and accessories — where in good faith (or not) they are purported to be ‘original’. Words like ‘authentic’, ‘factory original’, ‘original <name of doll>’, or ‘<brand of doll manufacturer> original’ are used to describe, but these terms are subjective and sometimes ambiguous, especially to a novice doll collector. The ‘truth’ is often misunderstood, derived from assumptions and assertions, and/or distorted through time and interpretation. Anyone and everyone can make a mistake searching for authenticity when adding a special doll to a valued collection. New information is constantly enabling us to provide a clearer and more accurate picture of a doll’s history. It has been my passion to research the dolls that have become my specialty and present them as they once were — so many decades ago now — in the light of my own observations, twenty-five years experience, and shared knowledge from doll collectors and historians throughout the world.

Once a ‘factoid’ is published by a respected and reliable source it becomes ‘gospel’ and spreads like a wild fire throughout the doll community.

Next week’s post will highlight one of the most widely spread and popular misconceptions about the original clothing available for Tiny Tears… and what really got me started on my obsession for finding her clothing and accessories.

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