‘Kins’ is the name given to the beautiful 8 inch dolls made by The Alexander Doll Company starting in early 1953. The ‘Kins’ were a departure from Madame Alexander as they were made from a hard heavy and durable plastic instead of her usual composite. Although the material had changed, Madame Alexander’s strict demand for high quality certain did not and it showed in these dolls.
As with all things Madame Alexander did these dolls evolved and innovated rather quickly. In just their second year of production the dolls became straight leg walkers. Two years later, in 1956, the dolls evolved again to include jointed knees. The new more versatile legs allowed the dolls to pose as never before, to kneel and of course sit.
The body of the dolls was not the only thing to change over the years. Madame Alexander like variety and she made sure her dolls never became boring. Each year the ‘Kins’ were dressed in a wondrous array of new dresses that kept the line fresh and unique. The line was also sold at different accessory levels. Some models included only the basics like the doll, panties, shoes and socks with outfits sold separately. Others were complete boxed sets with a fully dressed doll included.
Unfortunately not every doll in the line grew and evolved. The ‘Quiz-Kins’ were only made in 1953 and never returned. The distinguishing feature of a ‘Quiz-Kin’ was the two pushbuttons on the back. One button would make the doll nod yeas and the other no. Despite their relative rarity and unique the Quiz-Kins are not generally as valuable as the regular Alexander-Kins are. To my understanding this is due the Quiz-Kins generally being sold with very plain and basic clothing.
Identifying Your Alexander-Kin
Although the ‘Kins’ are still produced today and are now exported globally the most valuable ones are of course the original vintage models. Here are some tips to help you identify your doll.
“Alex” or “Alexander”
From 1953 to 1976 the Kins had “ALEX” written on their backs, after that the full name “Alexander” appeared.
Dolls that came already dress had a three digit number (i.e. #123) on their box. Boxes that had four digits (i.e.0123) were for boxed outfits. It is not uncommon to see a doll and a box with serial numbers that do not match. This is generally because dolls were often displayed in a window and when sold placed back in a box, not necessarily the box they originally came in.
This is a trademark feature of the Quiz-Kins. The buttons control head movement and these dolls were only produced in 1953.
Straight Leg Walkers
Straight leg walkers were introduced in 1954 and 1955. If you doll was a walking feature but no joint at the knee it was made in either 1954 or 1955.
Jointed knees were introduced in 1956. If your doll has a joint in the knee area it can be no older than 1956.
Fuzzy Sole Shoes
Dolls with shoes that had a fuzzy sole were from 1953 to 1958. Be careful when using this method to date a doll as shoes are the most commonly replaced or lost item and could mislead you as to the dolls true age.
Alexander-Kin Doll Values
It would be impossible for us to list the value of every Alexander-Kin doll but they generally Kins range from $400 – $2000 with the vast majority between $600 and $1000. As with most dolls a large percentage of the value is determined by the outfit that the doll is wearing.
If you send us the right information we may be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your dolls value. Pictures really help!