1997 32¢ Baby Coos
Classic American Dolls
Issue Date: July 28, 1997
City: Anaheim, CA
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 10.9 x 11.1
Featured at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, early baby dolls had cloth bodies that contained a squeak box to mimic crying. As technology changed the world in the years that followed, toymakers were eager to use these new inventions. Much time and effort went into developing unique “gimmicks,” that would catch the fancy of young consumers.
Developed in 1948 by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, Baby Coos was a glorified version of earlier baby dolls. Life-sized, it had a stuffed “magic skin” body (a special latex which felt like real skin), jointed arms, and sleep eyes. Inside the doll’s body, a reed-like arrangement, much like that found on a clarinet, allowed it to “sob” if patted too hard, “cry” when spanked, “squeal” when pinched, and “coo” when hugged.
A similar classic “look” characterizes baby dolls of this era, causing confusion for collectors and researchers alike. In fact, some collectors believe the doll on the 1997 postage stamp is actually “Plassie,” a similar Ideal doll. The patent number in the mark of the stamp doll is the same one which identifies “Plassie.”
The photo on the front, which comes from a 1939 article “How Dolls Are Made,” features components from three top-selling dolls of the day, including Ideal’s Shirley Temple.