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 Baby-boom 2, French dolls 1960-1979

Exhibition from March 24 to September 22, 2012 / Extra time > January 5, 2013

The exhibit

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1971 Difrajo catalogue

After a first exhibit dedicated to Baby-boom dolls from 1946 to 1959 ->art39] held at the museum in 2010, the Musée de la Poupée-Paris presents from March 24 to January 5, 2013 : "Baby boom, 2" French dolls 1960-1979. This exhibit shows the main doll makers from that period like Bella, Gégé, Raynal, Clodrey, Petitcollin, Nobel, Convert, Laflex, Birgé… The various types of dolls are also detailed, such as fashion dolls, classic dolls, babies, and caricature silhouettes reflecting a “Flower Power” and “Pop” spirit.

About 200 dolls from the Odin collection will please the « X generation » that grew up with these dolls as well an increasing number of collectors of these relatively recent toys.

The doll makers :

The first part of the exhibit is dedicated to doll makers :

• Petitcollin, still active today and Nobel that they bought in 1963.
• Convert and Maréchal, at that time declining.
• Gégé and Raynal, historical makers of high quality products.
• Bella, the giant of the market, selling a wide range of toys at various prices that produced 8000 dolls/day in the Seventies.
• Clodrey, the rising trademark created in 1952 by the Réfabert family that also created Corolle in 1979.
• Laflex, with its original dolls like the "Pitchoun" line launched in 1955.
• Smaller marks like Ada, Baby France, Birgé, Capi, Caprice, CEJI, Clerc, Gama, Lima, Poupées Stella, Proplastex, Reine Degrais, Technigom…

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Petitcollin catalogue
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Convert catalogue

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Birgé ad
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Caprice ad
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Stella ad

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Proplastex ad
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Baby-France ad

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Ada doll
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Gama doll

Catalogues from doll makers and department stores, as well as postcards, advertising and other documents enable to situate these toys in their historical context.

Morphological types of dolls : classic dolls, babies, fashion dolls, caricature sihouettes.

The second part of the exhibit shows the various morphologies of the dolls from that generation : classic dolls, babies, fashion dolls, caricature silhouettes.

Classic dolls

still show smooth and reassuring faces but doll makers do not insist on faces anymore but on dolls functions. Dolls talk, sing, walk, pee, poo, cry, clap in their hands, their hair grow… They are usually battery powered. Competition is based on what dolls can do more than on their look and the richness of the material they are made of.

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Bella ad
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Raynal doll
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Capi doll

Baby-boom babies

become more realistic and also get various mechanisms.
Clodrey shakes the market by launching in 1965 « petit frère » a sexed baby. If it’s welcomed in Northern countries it’s on the contrary rejected in Latin countries which leads the mark to sell this baby with a covering outfit and an explicit description on the box.
Later, Bella and Gégé will also promote more consensual sexed babies.

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Petitcollin babies
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Petit frère by Clodrey
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Petit frère

Fashion dolls

are the novelty in the doll field, following the success of the Barbie doll created in 1959. The two main companies who produced fashion dolls in France are Bella and Gégé.
Bella sold 3 sizes of fashion dolls: Betsy and Leslie in large size. Cathie, in a medium size, had friends named Marion, Many and Jerry. Tressy, in the same size as Barbie, can be recognized by a growing lock of hair. She had a little sister, Snouky, and friends such as Bellita, Nancy…
Gégé sold Dolly, rival of Cathie from Bella. She had friends named Eric, Gilles and Aloa. Mily, was engaged with Jacky, who became her husband, and had a little sister named Baby.
Other less popular fashion dolls from that time are nevertheless collected today : Caprice from the firm from the same name, Sophie from Technigom, the rare Parisiennes by Kiraz from Birgé, Tadi Muz with its house and various accessories, Perle from Delavennat, associated to Gym Tonic, a show hosted by Véronique and Davina.

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Sylvette and Cathy by Bella
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Jacky, Mily, Baby by Gégé
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Kiraz doll by Birgé

Caricature silhouettes

are funny decorative characters made of wire structures and fabric like the Lima dolls by Ph. des Arcs, or toys like the funny "Pitchoun" by Laflex with their small mouths, their large hands with separated fingers, freckles, and laughing eyes or the famous Bécassine created by Reine Degrais and then produced by Technigom and Minerve.

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Lima silhouettes
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Bécassine made by Reine Degrais
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Laflex dolls

Baby-boom dolls style

Dolls are always a reflection of their time; dolls from that period inevitably wear outfits with acid colours with geometrical prints, tiny skirts with high boots, flared trousers… Hairstyle show French pleats, feathered haircut in blond and brunette but also more frequent red hair.

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Clodrey postcard
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Clodrey postcard
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Bella doll
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Bella doll
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Bella dolls
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Mily by Gégé catalogue
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Mily catalogue
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Mily catalogue

During that time, the doll production remained important in France but had to face competition from Italy, Spain and the United States. Small companies had to bow or become more aggressive and at the end of the 1970’s only a few giants remained on the market.

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Pimprennelle, Nicolas and Polux by Clodrey
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Le Journal de nounours

Bella, Gégé, Raynal and Clodrey could afford to be seen in mass media while most of their competitors had to put up with a more local market.

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The little girls from that generation are now mothers or young grand-mothers. We invite them to come enjoy the dolls from their childhood and share their memories with their family.

Some of the dolls of the exhibit are for sale from now on and available at the museum’s shop from January 8, 2013. See the blog of Samy Odin, director of the museum

Catalogue of the exhibit : "Baby-boom, 2" French dolls 1960-1979 by Samy Odin

The Cahier n°4 is the catalogue for the exhibit. It follows the Cahier n°2, dedicated to French dolls from the 40’s and 50’s. This book, filled with nostalgia, is also a guide for collectors interested in the French doll production from that era. About sixty doll makers are presented in the central part, organised as a dictionary. Models specific to every brand are presented with descriptions that will enable their identification and dating thanks to marks, logos, packaging and corresponding advertising.

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Available at the shop
and by mail.

number of pages : 80
size : 21 X 30 cm
Book only in French
price : 30€ TTC (+ shipping and handling)

Activities for adults

Activities related to the museum’s collections are given for adults :
• Doll appraisals

Activities for children

Activities for children given all year long :
• Workshops


Past exhibits-MUSEUM CLOSED FOR GOOD Dolls from the 80s Best friends Betting on Dolls Hollywood Stars as Dolls Héros de l’ORTF - la télévision française en jouets des années ’60 aux années ’80 Bécassine dévoile les Trésors de Loulotte Minuscules, the playful universe of pocket dolls Snow globes Barbie Rétro Chic Fashion dolls under Napoleon III ETHNICITIES - Dolls reflecting People Baby-boom 2, French dolls 1960-1979 Poupées ’Made in Italy’, 1880-1979 Jouets de garçons Images exquises Barbie® et Ken® jouent les stars de tous les temps Ken®, 50 ans d’un modèle masculin Baby-boom French dolls, 1946-1959 Le Minor dolls Le retour du Père Noël Nouvelles icônes, des poupées Pandores aux Sybarites Maisons de poupées, l’art de la miniature Rêve ta vie avec Barbie Par amour pour les poupées Poupées et jouets : l’éveil des 5 sens Les poupées des Petites Filles Modèles Les mille et une vies de Barbie Quel spectacle ! les arts du spectacle en poupées et jouets L’Europe des 25 en poupées régionales et folkloriques Boules de poils, le meilleur de la peluche française, 1876-2006 Dodo l’enfant do : poupons et baigneurs, 1855-2005 Arts ménagers pour poupées : la vie quotidienne en miniature Les poupées de La Semaine de Suzette fêtent leurs 100 ans Les poupées Raynal : 50 ans de luxe pour petites filles Barbie raconte 5000 ans d’histoire du costume Tendres doudous : poupées et animaux en tissu Personnages de contes : hommage à la création Poupees de poche : de Mignonnette à Polly Pocket


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