Friday, January 22, 2010

Winky Dolls

The search for the origin of the 'scuba dolls' or 'winky dolls' continues. A friend of mine found two more similar dolls on eBay. One has slightly different ears than the ones I have. It must mean that this character has been in production for a while and has gone through a small style development. Unfortunately those sellers can't tell anything about the background either (but thanks anyway Cathelijne!). My pal Leendert found a inflatable one. This doll was made in Japan and looks a lot younger style-wise than it's vinyl siblings.
Browsing the internet in search of information is fun but takes loads of time. So my next step will be to write an email to Cressi -see former post. They have a nice history summary on their website, from the start of the company in the 1930's to present. Even interesting for those who don't dive. With a archive like that they can perhaps point me in the right direction.

15 comments:

  1. Just wanted to say that I had one of the inflatable winkies. They were a big fad late 1950s.

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  2. Hi, I have just found your article and thought I would like to add a bit about Winky Dolls. I have a traditional doll collection and a side collection of about 40 Winky dolls, most of which I have bought on Ebay from all over the world. The latest one, being an inflatable one as per your photo. This has been the hardest to track down, as inflatable ones have a habit of becoming easily punctured and then thrown out. Having said that the person I bought mine from still has two more currently for sale on Ebay (search item 200445215407), but it is now officially my most expensive winky. My dolls are almost entirely made of the thin, soft plastic and Made in Hong Kong and range in height from 2 inches (5cm)to 10 inches (25cm). The inflatable is about 12 inches tall. I have 2 made from the thicker rubbery vinyl and one of these is marked, Made in Japan (the other is unmarked). I have a few that are brown skinned, instead of black and one only, that is actually white. I also have a few monkeys with winky eyes and for some reason all of these have had their eyes glued in upside down. My first winkys were obtained as sideshow treats as a child, but I have none of these left and started searching on Ebay as a bit of a nostalgia thing after finding one in a charity store.

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  3. Dear friend i have one you can see in mi blog, but i dont have any information about origin of this doll, and for what was be used like a publiciotaru reclam by cressi sub !! I hope in the future you will obtain more information about (sorry for my bad english)
    http://losviajesdelcapitanhaddock.blogspot.com/2010/06/muneca-buceadora-marca-cressi-sub.html

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  4. I have a Winky doll like the one on the first photo. Mine wears a red, white dotted, plastic hula skirt.
    My first Winky was bought for me at a fair in the early 60s, inflatable.
    The one I have now, I bought it on a flea market in Berlin/Germany two years ago.
    And I would love to see the Winky collection!

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  5. OMG! I dont believe this! I was just thinking about my Winky doll, which was purchased for me for Christmas when I was a little girl. We bought it in Woolworths & it was then called a" Hugabuga baby", it was a cross between the two shown in the pics....Does anyone else no it by this name?

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  6. My Winky collection which has grown since this photo
    http://plangon.webs.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=90124203

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  7. As a little child in the 1950s I lived in the far East and we had dozens of winky dolls. Our favourites being the ones that smoked cigarettes. They always came with a little hula skirt on, this was spot glued so lost very quickly. The quality was poor and they got damaged so easily that they were seen as disposable things for Christmas stockings back then.
    THey came in sizes ranging from a couple of inches tall to about 18 inches tall. THe hand sized ones were most popular as the bigger ones collapsed too readily.
    I have photographs of myself as a child playing with them.

    MY brothers used to shoot my winkys with their air guns!

    Of course these days they would be considered offensive if sold but they were to us a simple little cheap plaything.

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  8. These were produced by Takara toys. "Dakko-Chan" was their logo and mascot from their beginnings as a company in 1955. If you use a proxy service and this Japanese search you can find many of them:

    http://auctions.search.yahoo.co.jp/search?n=100&ei=UTF-8&p=ダッコちゃん&oq=&auccat=0&mode=1&tab_ex=commerce&slider=0

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  9. Hello from Finland. Nice to find the Winky-information! I still got mine (a very similar to pic.1)from the childhood 50 years ago. It was one of my favorite toys, "my best friend". I took him with me every day to the daycare (I hate the place); in wintertime dressed in orange knitings riding on a mini sled (just to take the maximum out of the long&slow walk to the daycarer ;) ). Later he got a wife & 2 children (bought in the local bookstore). Actually found them again some days ago conected to a moving.

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  10. I remeber the inflatable ones as Hugabugs, we had a fad for them at school and used to walk about with them attached to our arms. I never associated them with real people of any race, presuming they were sort of aliens.

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  11. Thanks, everyone! I already found my answer a while back. Here's the follow-up; http://femtasia.blogspot.com/2010/02/dakkochan.html

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  12. I HAD ONE OF THESE,DO YOU REMEMBER THEM 1960ISH!!

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  13. There's a Winky doll in the 1961 Japanese movie, "Sexy Line" directed by Teruo Ishii. It has significance in the plot, and is clearly visible in several scenes.

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  14. I have one still in the bag, it is the one with the pink skirt. I do believe I have two still in the bag but have to dig through my stuff to find it. The doll I have was manufactured by The Holiday Line Inc. which I haven't been able to find any information on. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one that had one.

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