And do we ever have dolls to choose! My able-bodied designer - also known as my "elf" - came into a phenomenal collection of Annalee dolls.
"We worked very hard to find a company that could manufacture our dolls to the quality level coming from Meredith, which we did. However, we always had the goal of bringing the manufacturing of Annalee Dolls back home to New Hampshire. After a positive response with our seven-piece Christmas, Home for the Holidays line, we have decided to take the next step. In March, we will be launching our early season, Home for the Holidays Assembled in America collection! It will consist of about 18 styles including Spring and Easter, Patriotic and Everyday designs! Our goal is to see if you, the folks who enjoy our products, would like to see us continue to expand this offering. Whenever you see the American flag heart symbol next to a design in our catalog, it means that it has been Assembled in America! We hope you will decide to make these pieces part of your seasonal gift giving and decorating traditions."
Now, the story gets interesting...in 1941, she met Charles "Chip" Thorndike, a Harvard graduate. They married and moved to Meredith, New Hampshire, where they raised a family and opened Thorndike's Eggs and Auto Parts (I am not making that up! Fix the wipers and scramble an egg?).
Her dolls did sell...the faces do pull you in...you really are forced to stare back! From Santas to mice to bunnies and the beloved "Logo Kids," these felt-and-wire characters all meet their creator's stated goal: "To make people smile!"
Annalee Dolls came into the spotlight again when, in 1975, a New Hampshire state legislator gave President Gerald Ford a selection of dolls to decorate the White House Christmas tree. In 1990, Annalee Dolls became the headgear sponsor for Christopher Pederson, a member of the United States Ski Team. The Annalee logo was placed on all of his headgear, and, in exchange, the company sold a special "Victory Ski Doll" of which five percent of the sales went to the ski team.