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Allied Eastern

Allied Eastern

AE stands for Allied Eastern. It's my understanding that AE was actually a mold-making company that produced vinyl parts for other companies. I haven't come across anything that shows AE sold any dolls under their own name brand: there would have to be boxes or labels or something, (somewhere) to show that they sold finished product. We know the company existed because of all the dolls that are marked with AE on their neck or back. Companies who did work for others like this were called "Jobbers." Uneeda was also a jobber. They sold dolls under their own brand name but also made vinyl for other doll companies. I rather suspect that Sayco bought some of their parts from Uneeda, although I have nothing to support it other than the fact that many of the Sayco dolls look just like Uneeda dolls. Most likely Allied Eastern was based in New York because the doll industry was heavily entrenched in New York City. Most of the big doll companies were there, so it would make sense that their suppliers would be in New York as well. Allied Eastern may have provided finished, dressed dolls to department stores, too. Some of the big department stores sold dolls under their own brand but they did not manufacture them. During the early 1950's all the doll companies got their vinyl doll parts from the same manufacturers; because vinyl was very new technology, the equipment was expensive and the engineering required some expertise. So doll companies bought the vinyl parts from the mold-making company and then dressed the dolls in their own factories. Doll companies probably assembled the dolls too, unless special equipment was required. Some companies would place special orders so their company name could be stamped on the doll. But it wasn't long before the big doll companies got their own equipment of course, so they could make dolls with a unique, distinctive appearance that was entirely their own. Smaller doll companies just took what was offered by the jobber: they could mix and match parts to some degree. In 1962 a new-fangled molded foam body doll was introduced. It's obvious that every doll company purchased a doll from the same manufacturer; but they each selected a different head for the doll. The foam body and soft vinyl hands were the same. I don't know who manfactured the foam body dolls but it seems apparent they came from the same place. It would be interesting to know more about the "jobbers", because a lot of doll history would be unearthed if we knew more about them. The information here is mostly conjecture: it might be entirely true and then again it might not. I wish I could interview someone who was in the industry at the time. Plastic Molded Arts Company (or PMA) was another Jobber. They made hard plastic dolls primarily, especially the small Ginny clone dolls. They did sell some dolls under their own brand name as well.