During the bleak years of the Great Depression, the lovable Shirley Temple became a symbol of happiness and hope for audiences around the world.
The first Shirley Temple dolls were made in Composition by Ideal Toy Corporation starting in the mid 1930s through the 1940s. The doll has also been made in vinyl by Ideal and then in several porcelain collectible versions in the 1990s. Shirley Temple has also been a paper doll many, many times.
The best known company that has produced Shirley Temple dolls has been the Ideal Toy Corporation. Ideal produced the dolls from the 1930s until the company went out of business in the early 1970s. Danbury Mint has created most of the collectible porcelain versions of the doll.
Although Shirley Temple Dolls are widely available and were mass produced, the doll is very popular with collectors and therefore mint and complete 1930s composition Shirley Temple dolls, as well as dolls in rarer outfits can sell for many hundreds of dollars. Very, very mint dolls in their original boxes can easily top $1,000, as can rarer varieties like the Baby Shirley dolls. The 1957 vinyl Shirley Temple dolls sell for much more than the later early 1970s Shirley dolls.