The Tiny Tears doll was very popular and in the 1950s made by American Character Doll Company in the US and in the UK by Palitoy (one of Britain's largest doll manufacturers) from 1965. This revolutionary doll 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 crying and shedding 'real' tears and wetting her nappy, the limbs were secured 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 made from vinyl. The rubber dolls are more desirable and collectible but rubber will eventually crack and break down. If you have a rubber doll, don't expose it to sunlight and keep it covered up as much as possible.

Tiny Tears doll

If children weren't carefully playing with their dolls, the heads of these dolls 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, but 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.

Tiny Tears value and price guide

What's your 'Tiny Tears' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):

Item Title Date sold Price
Mib 1957 American Character Tiny Tear S Feb 2019 $ 895,00
American Character Original Doll And Apr 2019 $ 595,00
1950s Mint In Box Complete Rubber Body Apr 2019 $ 525,00
Am Char Doll Rattle Effanbee Dy Dee Doll May 2019 $ 280,00
Nmib 1958 1959 American Character Tiny Feb 2019 $ 385,00

Take a look at all sold Tiny Tears items on eBay for a value indication. If you're not sure what you have, you can post your question below.

Books

Do you want to dive into the fascinating world of collectibles, and want to learn about value and identification? Discover more with these price guides on Amazon.

Tiny Tears forum (1 comment)

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Sarah - December 13, 2014

Can any one help me I am trying to find the 1959 tiny rears doll with blond short hair and a blue and white dress, my mum had one when she was younger she left it on the bus one day and haven't seen it since and I would love to surprise her with the doll she lost all them years back.