Women in the military, women in uniform, and women in related fields, or references to them, appear in only a few areas in the realm of collectibles. My fifteen years as a "junque" dealer in the northeast, and my television program on collectibles, immersed me in the fascinating world of ephemera, toys, comic characters, dolls and the fun stuff, as well as antiquarian books and documents.
Unfortunately a lot of military collectibles "got away from me" so to speak. (Loosely translated - I sold them.) And now with the blurred vision of hindsight I view what's left of my collection wishing more of it had been saved. And wishing I had some of the things that are shown for you here - no they're not available - but it's fun to make the connection beween military women and some scarce collectibles.
|Wonder Woman began in Sensation Comics in 1942, the creation of a psychiatrist, Dr. William Moulton Marsden. Her mysterious background was not revealed until later but she adopted the identity of Lt Diana Prince, a military nurse.|
© D.C. Comics
|Wonder Woman as the Lt. is shown here with Major Steve Trevor, the man she rescued when he crashed near her secret Amazon island, and though her uniform is certainly questionable, the caduceus is visible on her hat. |
© D.C. Comics
Few dolls exist with military themes other than G.I. Joe - but believe it or not there was a G.I. Nurse doll in that series. The doll was produced in 1967 and did not fare well - it has since become quite a collectors item.
The doll shown at the very top of this page is unusual in that it features a woman disguised as a knight. It depicts Eleanor of Aquitaine, 12th Century French queen, ready to accompany her husband, Louis VII on a Crusade. This valuable contemporary doll was made in 1980 by Margaret Finch, New Rochelle, N.Y., a member of NIADA, the National Institute of American Doll Artists.
In 1943 the Freundlich Novelty Corp. in New York City made these composition dolls with molded caps supposedly a WAC and a WAVE. Their tags said so - but their uniforms were pretty far off. Interestingly they had a bust line long before Barbie. For the times these dolls were very well done and they are quite collectible today. Freundlich also made a General Douglas MacArthur doll.
In the realm of modern dolls the Madam Alexander Company
makes a series of military women dolls - one for each service,
eight inches high, and each with a flag of their respective branch.
© Madam Alexander Co.
|The Precious Moments folks have come up with a series|
of women in uniform dolls, some in dress uniforms,
and this one in her "camouflage"outfit.
© Precious Moments
This G.I. Jane figure is dressed in authentic shirt, pants, boots, "Fritz" helmet, beret, and equipped with Alice Gear, pouches, two canteens with holders, M-16A2 rifle and dog tags. She joins the G.I. Joe Classic Collection Modern Assortment as a salute to the 82nd Airborne. © Hasbro
Also from the G.I.Joe Collection a female U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot dressed in a jumpsuit, SRU-21/P survival vest, helmet with communications link, satcom link and dog tags, armed with a 9 MM Beretta. © Hasbro
In the '90s Mattel put Barbie in uniform with
"Boot Camp Barbie" and "Paratrooper Barbie".
These dolls were only sold
on military installations.
There was also "Desert Storm Barbie"
and "Astronaut Barbie".
Paper dolls were popular in the '30s and '40s and during WWII they included women in uniform. The one on the left is the 1942 "Bild-A-Set" box of ten cardboard dolls with 25 uniform changes plus civilian clothes.
On the right is a 1943 Whitman WACS and WAVES set of four paper dolls with uniforms and party clothes.
Also on this web site you will find other "collectibles connections" for military women. You'll find sheet music at - Music and military posters at - WWII posters . One of the bright spots in collecting is finding a message on the edge of the paper doll box that says "A Salute to Miss America" - makes one think that the real Miss Americas are all of the young women who continue to volunteer to serve their country in uniform.
Please note: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is displayed without profit or payment for those who have expressed an interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. Nothing on this site is for sale nor is it a commercial venture of any kind - it is a one person page for, and about military women - by one retired military woman.
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