Since the 1920s, children and young adults have considered Madame Alexander to be one of the premiere doll manufacturers in the United States. Renowned for its many firsts in the doll-making world, Madame Alexander dolls are now sought after by avid collectors hoping to add those hard-to-find dolls to their roster. Not every one of these dolls is as sought after by collectors as some, and Madame Alexander dolls' values are highly dependent on a few, significant, factors.
Factors Used to Determine Madame Alexander Doll Values
Vintage Madame Alexander dolls' values are determined by assessing a set of criteria that takes into consideration each doll's:
- Condition of original clothing and accessories
- Presence of the attached wrist tag
In addition to the factors listed above, the principles of supply and demand and the current doll market also have an effect on the values of Madame Alexander dolls. Since many different Madame Alexander dolls were created using the same face molds and body styles, sometimes it's nearly impossible to distinguish a doll's original character without its original costume and accessories. Thus, dolls that come with their boxes, identifying tags, or original clothing can be authenticated much more easily and because of this, they're much more valuable to doll collectors. No matter the doll's condition, without the original clothing--and potentially the accessories as well--these dolls' values greatly diminish.
Ways to Measure Madame Alexander Dolls' Value
Value isn't a solitary thing; as is the case with most antiques and collectibles, there are several different ways to communicate and evaluate value. Some of the different ways to measure a Madame Alexander doll's value include:
- Retail value - This refers to the selling price of a secondary market doll in an antique or collectible shop. In the case of newly released Madame Alexander dolls, it's the selling price in a department store, toy store, or other type of retail outlet.
- Auction value - This is the actual selling price of a doll when it sells at an auction. This is also known as the open market value, or open market price.
- Fair market value - This is the price that both the buyer and seller agree upon. Both parties must be made aware of any information that is relevant to the sale of the doll.
- Wholesale value - This is generally 33-50% less than the retail value of a secondary market doll. It is also known as a dealer's price. For newly released Madame Alexander dolls, the wholesale price varies depending on the volume of the retailer's purchase.
- Estate value or tax value - This is determined by taking an average of the actual closing auction prices of the same doll, in the same condition.
- Insurance value - This is the cost of replacing the doll if it was stolen or destroyed.
Popular Madame Alexander Dolls' Prices at Auction
Given their extensive catalog of dolls, it's nearly impossible to keep up-to-date with what each of Madame Alexander's doll's current value is without months of dedicated research and evaluation. Thus, if you're just now dipping your toes into doll collecting or you've been a big fan of these dainty dolls for years, you should focus on the more popular, and thus more valuable, dolls in their historic roster.
Despite being around since the 1920s, the Madame Alexander dolls that consistently sell for the greatest amount of money are the ones released during the 1950s. Specifically, the various iterations of 'Cissy'--America's first fashion doll ever released-- - sell the quickest and for the highest amounts. Comparatively, Cissy dolls featuring all original parts and the added wardrobes are worth a few thousand dollars, and those that come with the original box normally sell for a bit more. Of course, Cissy dolls weren't the only ones produced during the 1950s, with other entertainment tie-in dolls and fashion dolls finding their way onto America's shelves. The more beloved the character or media tie-in, the more valuable the piece.
Here are some of the many 1950s Madame Alexander dolls that've recently sold online:
While still popular at the time, later vintage years of Madame Alexander dolls aren't as desired in the contemporary antiques market and also aren't sold for nearly as high of a price as those circa the 1950s. You can find a variety of dolls from the latter-half of the 20th century available online, and those in a relatively good condition, they usually sell for around $50, with lesser desirable dolls from the period selling for less.
These are some of the dolls from the 1970s-1990s that've recently sold online.
Gone With the Wind Dolls
One of Madame Alexander's most iconic tie-in series was its collection of Gone with the Wind dolls. First released in conjunction with the film's premiere, the company continued to manufacture new Gone with the Wind character dolls well into the 20th century. Thanks to the massive popularity of Gone with the Wind collectibles, these tie-in dolls can sell for close to $1,000 individually, though original dolls from the first 1930s run are worth much more than those from the 1980s and later.
Here are some of the many Gone with the Wind dolls from Madame Alexander that've recently sold online.
Madame Alexander Price and Identification Guides
If you want to know a little bit more about the dolls in your care and how much they might have once been, and currently are, worth, then you should look into getting one of the published price guides out there. You can find many excellent price guides for Madame Alexander dolls available online including:
- Madame Alexander Dolls: Price Guide by A. Glenn Mandeville and Benita Cohen Schwartz
- Madame Alexander 2010 Collector's Dolls Price Guide by Linda Crowsey
- Collector's Encyclopedia of Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965 by Linda Crowsey
- Madame Alexander Store Exclusives And Limited Editionsby Linda Crowsey
- Madame Alexander's Ladies of Fashion by Marjorie Uhl
Database of Madame Alexander Doll Values to Reference
Another valuable digital resource for Madame Alexander doll collectors is Doll Values, a simple to use database listing approximately 5,300 Madame Alexander dolls. To search for the current doll values, you simply input a keyword pertaining to the doll, its name, or part of the doll's box number.
Additional information that the database provides about each of these dolls includes:
- The doll's full name
- A brief description of the doll's costume
- The doll's style such as bent knee walker or straight leg
- The doll's year(s) of production
- The doll's size
- The material the doll is made of
- Estimated high and low values for the doll
- The doll's box number
- Images of the doll
Get Your Mantel All Dolled Up
Whether you're a serious doll collector or have a few treasured Madame Alexander vintage dolls from your childhood and want to expand your collection, being aware of current Madame Alexander doll values helps you shop wisely and intelligently for the next beautiful addition to your doll shelf.