Tiny Tears was a very popular doll, in the 1950s made by American Character Doll Company in the US and in the UK by Palitoy from 1965. Palitoy was one of Britain's largest doll manufacturers, and this revolutionary doll they made won (three times!) the 'Toy of the Year' award. But what was the difference between this particular doll and thousands of other dolls on the market? Besides shedding 'real' tears and wetting her nappy, the limbs were fastened with rotational joints, causing her to fall naturally into a floppy, babylike position when she was held.
The early dolls were made with rubber bodies, the later ones were all vinyl. The rubber dolls are more desirable but rubber will eventually crack and break down. It is important if you have a rubber doll, not to expose it to sunlight. Keep it covered up as much as possible.
If children weren't careful with their dolls, these dolls' heads would actually crack if dropped or abused.
A popular feature, which was introduced in 1959, was her rock-a-bye eyes. Most sleep eye dolls immediately close their eyes as soon as they are laid down. Tiny Tears with the rock-a-bye eyes, when laid down, would keep her eyes open. When she was gently moved back and forth as if to rock to sleep, she would slowly close her eyes.
The first Palitoy Tiny Tears doll from 1965 was 16" high with fine pale blonde hair and blue sleeping eyes. The back of her neck was marked 'Made in England 16D'. She had delicate features, a small, pursed mouth, wore a turquoise or pink gingham romper and came with a bib, bottle and a dummy. This doll proved so popular that a year later Palitoy produced a smaller version, Teeny Tiny Tears, just 12" high. Shortly after, Palitoy became part of the American company, General Mills Inc., who decided to keep the Palitoy name. Sometimes today collectors come across a baby doll similar to Tiny Tears but with a smiling face. This is Baby Flopsy, issued around the same time and advertised as being able to wear Teeny Tiny Tears outfits. She was sold wearing just a nappy.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Tiny Tears price guide: sold listings for a value indication.