Grandparents have a knack for giving kids the most uncanny looking dolls ever. Whether they're made of porcelain or stuffed, there's nothing like the weird experience of having a twee vintage doll remind you of your meemaw. If you've found your way here, then it's possible you have a funny and lanky felt friend with an Annalee tag that you're thinking of parting with, or maybe you're a collector wondering about your dolls' values. Thankfully for you, there are people who love these mid-century creations, and they're willing to pay a pretty penny for any of these most valuable Annalee dolls.
Most Valuable Annalee Dolls to Check for in Your Closets
|Most Valuable Annalee Dolls||Estimated Value|
|Dickens Christmas Set||$500-$800|
|Oversized Political Characters||$500|
|Large Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus||$250-$350|
|Display Easter Bunny||$500-$1,000|
Since 1934, Annalee dolls have been enchanting little kids around the United States. Crafting a cheap, stuffed felt alternative to porcelain and bisque dolls popular a decade before the Depression, Annalee Thorndike took a vibrant and creative approach to her self-named kiddie toys. Despite being a Depression-era passion project, Annalee's endeavor continues today, and the company she and her husband built hasn't stopped creating new doll designs.
Yet, the newest additions to the Annalee family aren't the childhood playthings stuffed into a box in your closet, and they aren't the most valuable. Hopefully, it turns out that you can get a little compensation for the nightmares you got from having these dolls watch over you as a kid.
Dickens Christmas Set
It's well known in the collector community that Christmas-related goods always find a home. In the 1990s, Annalee released a Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol inspired set of dolls, including a wicked-looking ghost of Christmas future. Individually, the dolls are worth a fair amount at about $100 each, but partial sets can fetch anywhere between $500-$800. For example, a dapper Scrooge is selling on Ruby Lane for $99, and everyone's favorite Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim are listed for $95.
Pro Tip - To get the most for these dolls, make sure they've got their original display cloches, as these are the real money-makers from the Dickens series.
Oversized Political Characters
Most Annalee dolls are around 12 inches tall, with some individual designs created in oversized formats. These can go up to 2-4 feet tall in some cases, and collectors really love these child-sized stuffed toys. One rare example is a 1971 duo of a political donkey wearing a candy striped tie and red, white, and blue ball cap, and a matching political elephant. Ringing in at 40 inches tall, the donkey's open braying mouth would stop you in your tracks. Currently, each lists for $479 online.
Large Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus
People love the various Annalee Christmas collections that've come out over the years, and this large duo from 1980 is just as well loved. Equipped with wooden stands to help them stay upright, this Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus would make the perfect addition to anyone's holiday decor. Santa Claus has his pipe and Mrs. Claus her white muff, and they share a look that all long-time couples know well. Just one of the many valuable holiday Annalee dolls, the duo is worth about $250-$350. For instance, one set with their wooden stands intact lists on Etsy for $349.
Annalee's vintage oversized reindeer is a sight of felt and sewed craftsmanship that any fabric worker will admire. Annalee's large, standalone reindeer comes with a mistletoe in its ear, and a saddlebag filled with gifts for good girls and boys. With a patchwork charm that looks like your craftiest friend could've made him at home for you, this reindeer would still work in modern homes' holiday scenes. Only, you've got to be willing to shell out about $200-$300 for it; you can find a really well-kept one listed for $295.
Store Display Easter Bunny
Another oversized (an intimidating 4' 3" tall) Annalee doll to keep on the lookout for is this really cute Easter bunny figurine. Standing upright with a red base, the bunny in its pink top and bloomers holds a picnic basket in one hand and a placemat in the other. You don't find store displays from even as late as the 1980s like this one too often, so they're usually listed accordingly. While price points fluctuate, they're worth at least $500 in good condition, and possibly as much as $1,000 to the right collector. For instance, one eBay seller has it listed for $1,399.99.
Are Annalee Dolls Worth Any Money?
The bottom line for vintage Annalee Dolls is that most of them will sell for anywhere between $25-$100, with a few rare examples selling in the upper hundreds and even rarer cases, low thousands. Older Annalee dolls from the 1930s are hard to find in unloved and pristine condition, so they'll always fetch a bit more than your average well-loved ones from the '80s and '90s.
Oversized Annalees are also where it's at when it comes to value. The larger, the better if you're trying to make a profit off of these dolls with elongated limbs and painted faces. If you're not sure how old your Annalee doll is, the company has a great resource on their website that you can use to date your doll using the different tags that they've attached over the years.
Are Annalee Dolls Really Collectible?
Generally, Annalee collectors tend to be a niche group of older adults who find joy in seeing the familiar designs from their childhood. While there's not as big of a collector community as there was a few decades ago, the remaining collectors are just as dedicated to finding new and old dolls alike. Sue Coffee is the leading collector and expert on retired Annalee dolls, and she runs her own website full of collector resources and an ever-changing catalog full of dolls you can buy.
Best Places to Sell Your Annalee Dolls
Finding someone local to buy your Annalee dolls for the right price can be a really hard thing to do - that's what the internet's for! There are all sorts of places for you to sell your Annalee dolls online, including eBay, Etsy, and Ruby Lane.
Tips for Keeping Your Annalee Dolls in Tip-Top Condition
Maybe you're not ready to sell your Annalee dolls yet, but if you ever want to in the future, it's super important that you store and clean your dolls properly. The last thing you want to do is leave one sitting out just in your dog's eyeline. Annalee Dolls suggests that the best place to store your dolls is in acid-free archival boxes in a room with a stable climate (no big temperature fluctuations) and no moisture.
To make sure that you won't come to an unexpected mold situation the next time you open them up, you should always clean your dolls before putting them in storage. The company suggests that you never submerge your dolls in water or harsh chemicals, but that they're perfectly safe to clean with a warm, wet cloth or cotton swab. For the very worst spills and stains, you can use the teeniest amount of mild detergent. Make sure you dry your dolls well before fluffing their outfits back up and storing them.
Not Every Doll Should Be Played With
Just like Antiques Roadshow might have explained to you as a kid, there's a real value in not playing with your childhood toys as they might end up being worth something someday. And if you're lucky, that big felt Christmas elf or holiday figurine from Annalee will buy you a plane ticket to a vacation of your choice.