The Vinyl Doll Era
Decoration   Decoration

By 1958, the doll industry had perfected the process for manufacturing vinyl dolls, and it produced some of the finest dolls in the decade that followed. Women's fashions were very elegant, and the time was perfect for the return of the fashion doll, which had not been popular since the nineteenth century.

That year, the Reliable Toy Company introduced Miss Canada, a 10.5-inch doll that had an extensive wardrobe, which could be bought separately. The Dee an Cee Company also produced a small fashion doll, called Toni. In 1959, Mattel Inc. introduced Barbie with a great deal of hype. It also came with a large wardrobe and accessories. Reliable responded with Mitzi, a Barbie look-alike, but it was not advertised on television like the Mattel doll. Miss Canada became available in larger sizes in 1959 and 1960.

Life-size walking dolls were a hit in 1960, but they were awkward to play with because they were so big. Large realistic babies were available for little mothers, including one whose eyes followed you. Dee an Cee obtained a licence from Mattel to produce Chatty Cathy, a talking doll, in Canada. She was an instant success and was followed by various members of her family.

As competition increased from other parts of the world, however, the quality of Canadian dolls gradually decreased and the industry began to decline.

Decoration   Decoration

Miss Canada

Reliable Toy Company, Toronto, Ontario
Original evening gown
CMC M-310


M-310 - Photo: H. Foster
M-360 - Photo: H. Foster Chatty Cathy

Dee an Cee Co., Toronto, Ontario
Original costume
Gift of Joe and Stuart Douglas, Manitoba
CMC M-360



Earle Pullan Co., Toronto, Ontario
Original costume
Gift of E. Strahlendorf, Hamilton, Ontario
CMC 998.25.2


998.25.2 - CD98-148-084
998.25.3 - CD98-148-086 Liv'n Luv

Mighty Star Company Ltd.,
Toronto, Ontario
Original quilted sleepers
Gift of E. Strahlendorf, Hamilton, Ontario
CMC 998.25.3


What is a Doll? | Inuit Dolls from Prehistory to Today | First Nations Dolls
Settlers' Dolls - Dolls Made at Home | Antique China and Parian Dolls
Antique Dolls Imported from Europe | Eaton's Beauty Dolls
The Birth of the Canadian Doll Industry | The Heyday of the Composition Doll
The Vinyl Doll Era | Canadian Original Doll Artists | Mechanical Dolls | Web Sites | Credits