March 12, 2006

Mary Hoyer

Gigi has become the focus of my doll collecting and has become an ongoing obsession with me. I purchased my first Gigi about thirteen years ago and have been in love ever since. Let me give you a little background on the creation of this beauty, and you'll see why she's my favorite doll.

The first Hoyer doll was created in 1937, which was a 13" composition doll with double jointed body and painted eyes. The doll was first introduced on the back cover of "Juvenile Styles" in 1937 and was featured in the first book of doll patterns, "Mary's Dollies" in the same year.

In the late 40's, hard plastic was developed and Mary Hoyer created a 14" hard plastic doll, first strung and later, a walker. The walking mechanism proved to be troublesome and almost impossible to repair so this doll was discontinued. When the doll was discontinued, the walking mechanism was removed and the heads were used until the stock was depleted. The removal of this mechanism left two slits in the top of the head.

In the early fifties, an 18 inch Mary Hoyer doll was produced and given the name "Gigi". This doll was marked on the back, the same as the 14 inch dolls, even though unmarked dolls have been found as well. This doll was not heavily advertised and proved to be not as popular as the 14 inch doll. This doll was only produced as a strung doll. The Frisch Doll Company, who manufactured these dolls, also sold the same mold only unmarked, to other companies. They produced this doll as a walker as well as a strung doll. Royal Doll Company was one company that purchased these blank dolls and dressed them in their own clothing and wigged them with their own wigs. Unfortunately, uninformed dealers as well as collectors, are selling/purchasing these "walker dolls" as authentic Gigis, though unmarked. Needless to say, people are paying large amounts of money for these dolls, not knowing that the Hoyer company DID NOT make the Gigi as a walker. This information came directly from Mary Hoyer herself, her daughter Arlene, and her granddaugher, Mary Lynn Saunders.

People have approached me to buy their "walking Gigis" asking astronomical prices for them, thinking that they have a Gigi. I can't tell you how many "Gigi" dolls I've passed up because they were walkers. It's too bad that the people who are selling these dolls as Gigis and the people who are buying them, are paying these ourtrageous prices for "knock-offs" of the original.

In my years of collecting, I've come to spot an "authentic Mary Hoyer" a mile a way. Most the dolls that you will see on this page are fully marked and documented. Most are wearing original tagged clothing, but some are dressed in the fabulous stylish clothing of Sweet Sue, Madame Alexander, and other great fashions produced by other doll companies in that era. So sit back, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy your visit!!

Me & Mary Hoyer

On To The Dolls!