Forever young, little miss Raggedy Ann turns 95 today. And wouldn’t you know it, she doesn’t look a day older than 1!
The beloved red-head was born back in 1915, when cartoonist, illustrator and storyteller Johnny Gruelle had the idea to draw a new face on an old doll as a gift for his daughter, Marcella. Not long after, Gruelle was awarded a patent for his hand-drawn, illustrated version of Raggedy Ann. In 1920 Raggedy Andy joined Ann and well, the rest is history.
The two become the worlds most beloved and enduring children’s characters of all time—inspiring dozens of books, television specials, animated features, films, and even a Broadway musical.
In honor of Raggedy Ann’s 95th birthday, Applause by Russ has created exclusive, vintage-inspired Raggedy Ann and Andy Anniversary dolls that pay tribute to the earliest Raggedy Ann books.
The new Raggedy Ann doll, with her rich, burnt-sienna red hair, white gloves, and outlined eyes, more closely resembles the 1930’s character from Raggedy Ann in the Deep, Deep Woods. Of course, she’s still got the features she’s so famous for, including the button eyes, yarn hair, triangle nose, rosy cheeks and candy cane striped tights—and most importantly, she’s still got her signature embroidered “I Love You” heart.
Stories have circulated for years that the original dolls had a candy heart sewn into them (like Raggedy Ann did in the books). The first manufacturer, the Volland Company, did sew a pressed-cardboard heart inside each doll, but no doll has yet to be found with a candy heart.
Fans and collectors have been going gaga over the 95th anniversary edition doll. We ♥ the new doll because she brings back fond childhood memories.
Did you have a Raggedy Ann doll when you were a child? If so, what memories does she bring back for you?