To All The Dolls I’ve Loved Before–Swingy!

**When reading the title line, you have to imagine Willie Nelson Singing!**

With Christmas approaching, I thought it would be a good time to start a new feature I’m going to have here on the blog from time to time.  In my lifetime I’ve had a lot of different dolls.  I thought it would be fun to write about several of them.  Some I asked for, a few were gifts, but at some point in time they all made an impact on me in some way.  And that is why I decided to start with Swingy…

I think I was 5 or 6 when I got Swingy.  She was made by Mattel and the big “thing” that she did was dance.  She even came with her own cardboard record! (remember those?!?!)  It was really a clever idea, especially for the swinging 60’s era, and the doll itself was really very cute.  This is what my Swingy doll looked like:

swingy
Photo from Pinterest, Unknown

 

I do remember that I asked for Swingy, this wasn’t one of those dolls that someone thought I would like, I truly did want her. I was very excited to see that Santa had brought her, and couldn’t wait to try her out. Of course, she needed batteries, so after digging around to find some (this was one thing that my mom was terrible at planning for!) we managed to get her dancing. She did her thing…and then one little problem…her head fell off!!!

Fortunately I was a pretty well adjusted kid and this didn’t give me nightmares or anything, just a huge feeling of disappointment that my brand new doll wasn’t right. 😦 But then it actually became a source of laughter for me and my older sister, we would put her head back on and let her dance until it fell off. If we had been a few years older, we might have been taking bets on how long it would have stayed on. Yeah, we were a little sick, but I have to say, it was funny as all get out.

After the holiday was over with and the novelty of a doll whose head fell off wore off, we boxed her up and shipped her off to California to the Mattel headquarters.  This was back before the days of “easy store returns”.  Several months went by and then a package arrived-it wasn’t the same Swingy but a brand new one in a different outfit-cool!  We had kept her outfit when we shipped her back, so I now had Swingy with two outfits, yes!  And this one worked just fine, her head didn’t fall off, and she danced and danced and danced for a couple of years until something happened and the dancing mechanism broke.  It didn’t bother me though, I think by that point I had grown tired of the dancing doll and I just played with her as a regular doll.  My mother did learn somewhere along the way that there were quite a few defective Swingy dolls that Christmas, I wonder how many of them resulted in screaming little girls instead of ones who laughed like me. :/

Now when I see the commercials each year for the new dolls coming out and all of the things they do, I always think back to Swingy.  I often wonder if they revived her if she would sell as well as she did back then?

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4 thoughts on “To All The Dolls I’ve Loved Before–Swingy!

  1. Oh! I’m gonna enjoy this feature! As well as my modern-day 18 inch dolls, I’m a toy collector and have many vintage dolls in my collection. (you’ve seen some of them on the blog!) I was in love w/ dolls that “did stuff” If it cried, walked, talked, sang, danced or whatever, I probably owned it! but I have to tell you, I would have been traumatized if the heads fell off of any of them! The first doll I clearly remember asking for was a “Baby Catch A Ball” by Deluxe Reading (Topper) Toys. As the name says, she could play catch w/ you. But of course it didn’t work as well as it did on TV. It did sometimes, but that ball had to land just in her hands for her to throw it back. Anyway, I look forward to more of your vintage doll posts!

    • I don’t remember that doll but she sounds interesting! I’m glad to hear that you are looking forward to these, considering the idea was inspired by the conversation you and I had a while back about Chrissy and Velvet. The bad part is once I remembered them and a few others, the list just kept going and going.

  2. My mother in law tells a story about her first beautiful porcelain doll that she received one Christmas as a little girl. She was completely heartbroken when the vibration from a nearby train caused her to fall off a table overnight and totally smash her face/head. Her mother took the baby doll for repair but the head could not be matched so the doll was turned into a bride doll with a new head. She kept her baby shoes though. My mother in law has kept her in a drawer ever since (my MIL is nearly 80) not wanting to look at her but sharing that story with all of us “girls.” I’m glad you’re replacement went off better! Luckily, I never lost my dolls but we did loose all our stuffed animals one summer when my dad was home alone and he had thrown them all in the old playpen in the basement and they got fleas! We didn’t even have a pet! He threw them all out and flea bombed the house before we came home from my grandparents. Thankfully, our favorites had gone with us. The things we remember…

    • How sad about your mother in law’s doll. 😦 And even worse about your stuffed animals! When I was little I had a Steiff teddy bear which would be worth a small fortune if I still had it. Unfortunately I kept getting repeat cases of pneumonia and when my mom found out that anything stuffed could be contaminated, out went the pillows to the burn pile and my bear along with them. Waaaaa!

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