Fashion dolls are dolls primarily designed to be dressed to reflect fashion trends. They are manufactured both as toys for children to play with and as collectibles for adult collectors. The dolls are usually modeled after teen girls or adult women, though child, male, and even some non-human variants exist. Contemporary fashion dolls are typically made of vinyl or another plastic, although 3D software versions exist.
Barbie was released by the American toy-company Mattel in 1959, and was followed by many similar vinyl fashion dolls intended as children's toys. The size of the Barbie, 11.5 inches (290 mm) set the standard often used by other manufacturers. But fashion dolls have been made in many different sizes varying from 10.5 inches (270 mm) to 36 inches (900 mm).
Costumers and seamstresses use fashion dolls as a canvas for their work. Customizers repaint faces, reroot hair, or do other alterations to the dolls themselves. Many of these works are one-of-a-kind. These artists are usually not connected to the original manufacturers and sell their work to collectors. Despite these setbacks, the fashion doll market continues to expand, introducing a number of toys-based dolls including Hasbro's Equestria Girls dolls, Mattel's Barbie, Ever After High, Monster High, MGA Entertainment's Bratz, Project Mc² and Arklu's Lottie Dolls that incorporate the use of fashion dolls and toys.
Before 19th century
Fashion dolls were commonly used throughout the courts in Europe in the 16th century to show the tactile qualities of fashion which could not be incorporated into paintings or described to tailors in words. A letter dated 1515 and sent by Federico Gonzaga on behalf of King Francis I of France to his mother Isabella d'Este asks her to send a fashion doll to the French court so that copies of her style might be made for the women of France. Mary, Queen of Scots had dolls as an adult in Scotland which were dressed by her tailors.
During the period of 1715–1785, Pandora dolls became more common and were manufactured and used by seamstresses, miliners, tailors and fashion merchants, and displayed in their shop windows and sent across borders to illustrate the latest fashion trends. Rose Bertin was among those fashion merchans who used them. The pandora dolls fell out of fashion in the late 18th-century, when illustrated fashion magazines became common after the publication of Cabinet des Modes, and were finnally banned by Napoleon I, who feared that they could be use to smuggle secret messages..
The earliest bisque dolls from French companies were fashion dolls. These dominated the market between approximately 1860 and 1890. They were made to represent grown up women and intended for children of affluent families to play with and dress in contemporary fashions. These dolls came from companies like Jumeau, Bru, Gaultier, Rohmer, Simone and Huret, though their heads were often manufactured in Germany. In the Passage Choiseul area of Paris an industry grew around making clothing and accessories for the dolls. Child like bisque dolls appeared in the mid-19th century and overtook the market towards the end of the century.
20th century and Modern age
Many fashion doll lines have been inspired by Barbie, or launched as alternatives to Barbie. Tammy was created by the Ideal Toy Company in 1962. Advertised as "The Doll You Love to Dress", Tammy was portrayed as a young American teenager, more "girl next door" than the cosmopolitan image of Barbie. Sindy was created by the British Pedigree Dolls & Toys company in 1963 as a rival to Barbie with a wholesome look.
American Character Doll Company released their "Tressy" fashion doll in 1963 to compete with Barbie. Tressy was first sold as an 11½" fashion doll, and, after being acquired by the Ideal Toy Company, by the late 60s was sold as a larger pre-teen doll. Tressy featured a long swatch of hair that could be pulled out of the top of the doll's head by pushing a button on the doll's midriff; that mechanism allowed children the ability to comb the hair in a variety of styles. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Ideal released several other large fashion dolls with hair with adjustable length.
Line of 12
In 2005, London artists Desmond Lingard and Charles Fegen, created Sybarites, 16" resin artist-dolls as fashion dolls for adult collectors. Paul Pham also creates 16" Numina dolls under the company name  for adult collectors.
Bratz were released in 2001, designed by Carter Bryant and manufactured by California toy company MGA Entertainment. They are distinguished by large heads with skinny bodies and lush, glossy lips.
In 2010 Mattel launched the Monster High doll line, based on fantasy and horror monsters. Subsequently, they launched a spinoff in 2013, titled Ever After High, inspired by fairytales. In 2016, both lines went through a massive reboot and were discontinued soon after. Also in 2016, Mattel launched an animal-themed line titled Enchantimals; it was originally a spinoff of Ever After High but became its own line soon after.
Asian fashion dolls are made by Asian manufacturers and primarily targeted to an Asian market. Blythe dolls with oversized heads and color changing eyes were originally made by American company Kenner but are now produced by Japanese company Takara. Another doll with an oversized head, Pullip, was created in 2003 in Korea. Japanese fashion dolls marketed to children include Licca (introduced in 1967) and Jenny (introduced in 1982) by Takara Tomy.
In the mid-1990s dolls like Gene Marshall from Ashton-Drake, Tyler Wentworth from Tonner and Alexandra Fairchild Ford from Madame Alexander appeared. They are between 15.5 and 16 inches (395 and 410 mm,) larger than other common fashion dolls. Integrity Toys expanded into the 16" size with their  line including characters such as Adele Makeda and Elsa Lin. These dolls are mostly marketed to adult collectors.
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