Crissy doll is an American Fashion doll that was created by the Ideal Toy Corporation in 1968 and released to the public for sale after the New York Toy fair in 1969. One notable feature about the doll was the fact that her hair could grow. The doll was 18” tall and was the only doll in that size category that had the unique features she had at the time.
Chrissy’s hair could be extended either fully or partially by turning a knob on its back. Although Crissy’s auburn hair had a stationary foundation, there was an adjustable thick strand that could emerge through an opening at the top of her head which made it possible to adjust the hair to either short or long length.
Turning the knob on the doll’s back would retract the strand of hair into its torso. The retracting hair would be wound on a rod or spindle inside the doll. There was another button on the doll’s belly that released the ratchet lock that held the hair in place to allow you to pull the hair back if you wanted to. This gave the doll an appearance of growing hair which was its main selling point with the kids that could groom and style the hair during play.
Interestingly, the idea of a doll whose hair could grow wasn’t originally formed by Idea Toy Corporation, instead, the company had obtained patents for the mechanism from American Character Doll Company that had earlier developed the idea and had been applying it in their dolls since 1963. The concept was used for a pre-teen doll named Tessy and other dolls by the company. The invention of the mechanism is credited to Robert David, Francis Amici, and Richard Levine. The company closed down in 1968 and the concept was passed on to Ideal who used it in making Crissy.
Later years and the end of Crissy
The 1969 version of the doll had hairs that could grow to her feet, but in subsequent versions of the doll that were released beginning from 1970, the hair only grew to the doll’s waist. The 1970 version also had hair with better quality and a re-designed aqua mini dress. That same year, Ideal began to roll out companion dolls for Crissy beginning with a shorter cousin, a 15” doll which was named Velvet.
As the doll’s popularity soared and sales increased, Ideal leverage on the success of the dolls and modified it to have more functionality. The 1971 model which was called “Movin’Groovin’Crissy” came with a swivel jointed waist which made it more lifelike and more agile. The company also introduced a talking variant of the doll which was named “Talky Crissy.” New dolls were also added to the family as well.
In the following years, Ideal continued to innovate and added more modifications to the doll’s appearance and what it could do. Crissy was a major hit in the 70s until Ideal had to discontinue the line due to the company’s financial situation.