Just the mere memory of Liddle Kiddles is enough to put a big smile on the face of many girls today. Gleaning their title on a clever word play with the words "little kids", Liddle Kiddles are a wide variety of toy dolls that were first introduced to the towering toy marketplace by Mattel Corporation out of El Segundo, California in 1965.
The first issue Liddle Kiddles to invade toy stores across America in 1966 were 8" to 12" baby or fashion dolls that became so excessively popular that virtually every other competing toy manufacturer attempted to release their own "knock-off" version of the original in effort to capitalize on Mattel's astounding playtime profits. However, despite the relentless efforts of these competing companies to knock Liddle Kiddles out of the race, it seemed that nothing could hinder their journey onward and upward to the top.
As with most popular toys, over the years Liddle Kiddles went from its original simple design through a marketing metamorphosis to eventually include all kinds of different varieties and options. The original Liddle Kiddle doll was designed with a pliable and pose-able plastic wire skeleton and a soft vinyl material with uniquely painted facial artwork and a full head of silky hair that could be combed and styled. Referred to Liddle Kiddle collectors as "bigger boddies", the first three series' of Liddle Kiddles ranged from 3/4" to 3 1/2" in height. These dolls were specially designed to look just like common, ordinary children playing. They could also be accessorized with very intricately created clothing that was specially designed to fit perfectly with the size and dimensions of each "bigger bodied" doll. These first Kiddle toys gained such tremendous popularity with young girls that the birth of new Liddle Kiddle product lines seemed inevitable.
The huge success of these introductory toys resulted in several, more advanced Liddle Kiddles beginning to flood the marketplace and line the shelves of toy stores everywhere. One such option included a moveable model known as "Skediddle Kiddle" that was about 4" with clever machinery inside that enabled the doll to make a variety of life-like motions including walking, waving, and even riding a specially designed Kiddles vehicle! Other popular models included the mini Jewelry Kiddles (just 7/8" to 1 1/16" tall) and the Kola and Kologne Kiddles (2" in height). Though these dolls were also enormously popular, but due to their smaller size, their clothes were not removable and this series shipped with no wire skeleton.
Though all of the model options are popular with Kiddle collectors, those in most high-demand are the genesis design known as the "Prototype Kiddles". Prototype Kiddles are the original test toys used by the Mattel artists to pioneer and promote the product line to prospective buyers and toy shoppers. The bodies, colors, hair, and overall artistic design used to construct these Prototype Kiddles was much more unusual and distinct than the first official series product, making them increasingly more valuable for today's Liddle Kiddles collectors and connoisseurs.