Question: Everyone talks of Barbie as being the first doll of her type. This has always confused me because, in the mid-1950s, my doll of choice was "Jill" manufactured by Ideal. Only 10 inches tall, she looks just like Barbie and has her own clothes and furniture. Where can I learn more about Jill and her boyfriend (I call "Jack") manufactured by Vogue dolls? -- Chaunci Aeed, Phoenix, Ariz.Answer: Rather than being made by Ideal, the Jill doll was manufactured by Vogue, as was her boyfriend Jeff. Jill, which looks far less sophisticated and sexy than Barbie, was first manufactured between 1957 and 1960 and was made of hard plastic. In 1957 it was marked "JILL/VOGUE DOLLS/MADE IN U.S.A./1957" on the back, and from 1958 to 1960, was marked "JILL/VOGUE DOLLS INC./MADE IN U.S.A./1957 on the back with INC. added. In 1961, there was no Jill doll produced. A redesigned all-vinyl Jill was made from 1962 to 1963, and in 1965, all-vinyl Jill dolls were made as a series of six dressed in costumes from six different eras and are marked "VOGUE DOLLS INC." on the back.
Jeff was manufactured between 1958 and 1960, was made of all vinyl, and is marked "VOGUE DOLLS." A 344-page hard-cover book, with countless color photos that covers all the charming and adorable Jill and Jeff dolls with outfits, accessories, furniture, fashions and friends, is the "Collector's Encyclopedia Of Vogue Dolls -- Identification and Values" by Judith Izen and Carol Stover (Collector Books/502-898-6211) available for $33.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659. This book also pictures and prices the highly collectible Ginny dolls produced by Vogue.