This past weekend, Megan, Natalie and I met up with my cousin Kris for a birthday weekend that has been in the works for three years. Megan and Kris have birthdays one day apart and three years ago they made a pact – for Megan’s 16th and Kris’ 30th birthdays we would go to New York for the weekend. We had a fabulous time shopping, going to see Matilda on Broadway and hanging out, but one of the highlights of the weekend for me happened right before we left Monday morning. We stopped in to visit The Madame Alexander Doll Company offices – what a treat!
The Madame Alexander Doll Company offices have moved and they are not open to the public, so our behind the scenes tour was extra special. In the entry way, they had a few neat treasures like this dollhouse that used to be on display at The Plaza as part of the Eloise showcase when they were making Eloise dolls. There was also a really neat chair that had actually belonged to Madame Alexander herself.
We first saw the Favorite Friends dolls inspired by Isaac Mizrahi at Toy Fair this year. These dolls should be available very soon on the MadameAlexander.com website and through specialty retailers. This one, called Glamour in Lace is my personal favorite.
The Isaac Mizrahi Wild about Leopard girl is turning heads and is a fan favorite already!
Cutie Girl’s outfit is just too much fun!
And Hooray Girl is ready to play! All of these dolls have the partial soft body (vinyl shoulder plate) like the other 18″ Favorite Friends dolls.
As we rounded the corner and headed back into the offices, we were greeted by themed displays of dolls – like this sweet 8″ trio of characters from the Wizard of Oz. The 8″ Madame Alexander dolls are considered collectible dolls now due to a change in the way safety testing is done. They used to be considered play dolls, but due to the tiny pieces used in much of their detail work, they have to be sold as collectibles now.
Most of the offices looked like mine – stacks of fabric, drawers of supplies, dolls everywhere in various stages of put togetherness and happy faces! They did have some things I don’t have – like a wall of face molds all labeled meticulously and drawers of doll parts – it was just so neat to see!
The Madame Alexander Doll Company has the license from Disney to produce 18″ versions of the extremely popular characters from Frozen. Because Disney considers The Madame Alexander Doll Company to be in the collectibles class, they require incredible detail in their interpretation of the designs. Here I am holding the new Elsa doll (available in November from MadameAlexander.com) and you can see the quality in the design of her dress. There is amazing depth to the detail and layering of the fabrics.
This is her gown from the back – really, photos do not do it justice – sooooo beautiful. All I can say is that these dolls are going to go FAST! Pre-order if you can.
Anna is equally adorable and the details in her costume are just stunning. She even has a blonde streak in her hair.
Anna’s face is just as cute as can be and I couldn’t resist getting a close up of those freckles!
Classic Madame Alexander collectibles – Rockette and Pan Am Stewardess in the showroom.
We visited with the ladies in the sewing department – one has worked there for 37 years (!!!), another for over 20, and one was relatively new. They had sewing machines of all kinds – dating back to the early 20s – and were hard at work. We also helped out in the design department – they are working on new packaging for one of their play baby doll lines and had about 8 different box designs they were working on. We were able to give our insights and contribute to a tedious process that you don’t necessarily think about when you go to pick a new doll off the shelf.
Another highlight was getting to play with the new 7″ line of dolls called Travel Friends. There are nine different dolls from 9 different countries – this is the Irish girl I chose (no surprise there). Each of us picked one so I will be doing a full review on them and some other goodies I brought home with me soon. The one thing about the new 7″ play dolls I love is that they are articulated! They have bendable knees and elbows which make them poseable and fun to play with.
It is always fun to get a glimpse into the process of creating a product, but in this case it was just so special. The Madame Alexander Doll Company is more than just a toy company – they are a part of American history and an important part of New York City, too.
Thank you so much to the entire team at The Madame Alexander Doll Company for making us feel so welcome and taking the time to showing us around! It was truly a memorable part of our weekend.