There have been a great many different dolls over the years that try to mimic the actions of a real baby, some more successfully than others. It’s a given that most dolls have the weighted eyes that shut when they are put in a lying down position, but there have been attempts at emulating the sounds of a baby crying, gurgling and burping, wetting its nappy and even nappy rash! However, by far the most popular of these many dolls must certainly be the Tiny Tears doll.
As the name suggests, Tiny Tears special feature was that she could be made to cry. This was achieved by feeding her with a bottle of water, and then placing a dummy in her mouth once she had drunk her fill. Pressing hard on her tummy (note to kids – this isn’t recommended with real babies) would cause tears to stream from her eyes. No wonder at it, as I don’t think I’d like being punched in the guts after I’d just finished feeding either. Water also emerged from her other end too, yielding a wet nappy.
The first iteration of the doll was released in 1965 by Palitoy and was 16 inches in height and made from vinyl. The following year a smaller 12 inch version was also released, called Teeny Tiny Tears. Tiny Tears was quite a realistic looking doll, although the shock of blonde hair she sported was rather more than the average baby might have. This original version didn’t actually cry though, and it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that this feature was added after a redesign of the face of the doll, which was made to have softer looking features than before.
During the 1980’s the doll went through a number of reconfigurations, though mostly these were related to the clothes which she wore. A white dress with either a pink or blue floral design with a bonnet and a pair of pants started off the decade, but eventually the bonnet was removed and the pants swapped for a nappy. By the end of the 1980’s the doll had also acquired eyes that could look from side to side. A version of the doll with brown hair was also made available.
Tiny Tears popularity has meant that the doll has come to represent the default design for a baby doll. If you were to describe the average toy baby doll you would probably end up describing something pretty similar to Tiny Tears.
The Tiny Tears name is still alive and well today, and is still available in various size configurations and different types of clothes. Accessories such as a pushchair designed for the size of the doll are also available, and she comes with further accessories such as a hairbrush and realistic looking nappies.