Ideal and Madame Alexander were head-on competitors in the height of the large fashion doll craze. Alexander had a home run with Cissy from her introduction in 1955 thru her last year in 1962. Ideal was more focused on the masses, with doll-hit after hit. Introduced in 1956, the 10-1/2” Little Miss Revlon lasted until 1960. Ideal's Revlon doll was eventually offered in five sizes, featured in Sears and other mass retailers and was a leader in a newly introduced all-vinyl doll with saran for its rooted hair.
What made the biggest impact was Ideal's tie-in with Revlon Cosmetics, itself the upstart company competing with the giants Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Revlon was more interested in capturing the young and modern daughters rather than their mothers. The Revlon doll was a great vehicle to transition young girls into the newly coined teen agers - the new goldmine of the beauty business.
Ideal introduced their Revlon doll with a vinyl head, flanged body and rooted saran hair that was truly washable and style-able. The featured 20” Revlon doll here, 1958 #3675, is quite a stunning doll with her asymmetrical platinum pony tail, high cheek color and a red/gold print skirt that was also used for Cissy by Madame Alexander.
The Ideal Revlon doll was meant for serious child play vs Alexander’s more expensive Cissy - her beautiful finishes in hard plastic that could crack, beautiful saran wigs theoretically were not washable and her stunning, but often fragile clothing. Both companies produced a wonderful product for their particular market - both made significant contributions to the manufacturing of dolls at this groundbreaking era.
Ideal however was very clever to assimilate themselves into the lives and culture of the new baby boomers using the glamor of Revlon, the cloths for the Revlon doll were directly inspired by the advertising campaigns of the Revlon's three top selling nail and lip colors: Kissing Pink, Cherries a la Mode and Queen of Diamonds.