Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1938 Ideal Dopey Ventriloquist Composition Doll

The 1938 Ideal 20" Dopey ventriloquist doll has a composition head and hands (three fingers and a thumb as in the film). Painted eyes and features. Semi-soft body and legs made of cloth. The doll can stand by itself. His hinged mouth is operated by a drawstring at the back of the head and a pull ring. The ring is missing on both of the examples below, as are the original hat and belt that would have come with him in '38.

Original blue broadcloth suit with orange flannel coat. Brown shoes sewn on as part of body.

Hinged mouth.

Bald head with cord opening in back.

"Ideal Doll" imprint set below cord opening.

Composite hands. Cracking and chipping are not uncommon for dolls of this age.

Images via dogatdill and ryno0503.

In the 1938 wholesale catalog of L. Gould & Co. of Chicago (p.312), store owners could purchase a dozen of these ventriloquist dolls for $48.00. Dopey's original hat and belt are pictured.

We'll take a closer look at the other Ideal Snow White dolls in a future post.

And here's the Dopey ventriloquist doll again, this time in a 1939 retail catalog. Price $4.20 each.

Catalog pages via gdawg.


  1. How ironic that they made a ventriloquist dummy of a character who couldn't speak! What did the ventriloquist do, just sit there in silence and pull the cord to open and shut the mouth?