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Scarey Ann List

by Gene Metcalf

 


SCAREY ANN LIST

 

Scarey Ann dolls were produced between 1923 and the early 1940s by four companies: the  Poppy Doll Company, Atascadero Wood Products, Atascadero Mill and Lumber Yard, and the Poppy Doll Company of Blue Rapids, Kansas. This list indicates the dolls that were made by each company. It shows all the dolls that are known to exist, either because examples have been found or because they appear in advertising copy. Yet, undoubtedly, many other dolls were also made which have not been found. Please contact me if you know of other dolls, or if you have dolls to sell.  Contact Gene Metcalf at: metcalew@miamioh.edu

 

Photos below were contributed by: 

Ron of antiquestoyscollectibles

Francie Owens

Joanne Cubbs

Kent Kenney

 

 

POPPY DOLL COMPANY
Atascadero, California. Produced dolls between 1923-1930.

 

Scarey Ann Girls 
Produced  from 1923-1930.

Scarey Ann girls (regular size)

The most common Scarey Ann dolls. Five inches tall, Most produced with black hair

 

  

Scarey Ann girl  (large size )

One known. Probably a store display. 10 inches tall. Shown in display cabinet at Atascadero Historical Society with Chinese dolls.

 

 

Scarey Ann girl  (small size)

One known. 2 inches tall. Courtesy of Sandy Gast.

 

  
 

Scarey Ann Family
These ten dolls are the only ones for which specific names are known since they were advertised together as a “Family.” Produced by the Poppy Doll Company between 1927-1930.

Ching Chang

Lever operates queue on back of head and hat.

 

  

Clown

Lever operates hat and nose.

 

  

Ducky Daddle

Lever operates hat and wings that flap. No examples have been found.

Image is taken from an advertisement for The Scarey Ann Family.

 

Mule

Pushing tail down makes ears move.

Two examples known.

 

Jack Tar

Lever operates hat and nose.

 

Pumpkin Head

Lever operates nose and top of pumpkin head.

 

  

Santa Claus

Lever operates hat and beard.

 

Scarey Hobo

Lever operates nose and hat.

 

  

St. Patrick

Pipe in mouth. Usually has shamrock in his articulated right arm. Lever operates hat and right arm. (This is the only Scarey figure that was sold with an articulated arm.

 

  

Witch

Lever operates hat and nose.

 

  

 

Miscellaneous Dolls
No advertisements are known for these dolls. Consequently, their names (with the exception of the “Picaninny” for whom a box has been found) are unknown. Produced by the Poppy Doll Company between 1927-1930.

Al Smith Donkey

In 1928 the Poppy Doll Company produced an Al Smith Donkey as a Democratic symbol for the November presidential election. Presumably the donkey was created from the mule already in production.

 

NEED IMAGE

Boy Scout

Lever operates hat. This is the only example known.

 

Chinese woman

Similar to other Scarey Ann girl dolls except the eyes are smaller. Lever operates hair which stands up.

 

Happy Hooligan

Represents the popular cartoon figure. Lever operates can on top of head.

 

Hoover Elephant

In 1928 the Poppy Doll Company produced a Hoover Elephant as a Republican symbol for the November presidential election. The elephant’s trunk moved up and down and its ears wagged when a lever was pushed. No example of this figure has been found.

 

NEED IMAGE

Indian

Multi-color hair at back of head. Lever operates hair which goes up and down.

 

  

Irishman

Similar to St. Patrick except his arm is not articulated. Lever operates hat. Only one example known

 

Picaninny

Many of these were made. They came in a variety of costumes. And versions.  Most had black hair, but a few had red hair.

 

  

Picaninny Black Farmer

Dressed in overalls. Expressive face with eyelashes.

 

Picaninny with Bolo Tie

 

Picaninny Advertising Figure

Scarey Ann dolls were often used for advertising. This doll was used by the owner of a grain storage business in Kansas. The sticker on the doll sought to allay farmers’ concerns about the prices they might receiver for their crops in a precarious market. It read: “Not Scared When Consigned to George E. Gano.”

 

  

Professor

Lever operates beard (similar to Santa Claus) and hat.

 

Sailor

Unlike Jack Tar, which was produced earlier in the “Scarey Ann Mechanical Family,” this sailor has a flat hat.

 

 

Prototypes
The following toys were never put into production by the Poppy Doll Company.

Mickey Mouse

In 1929, following a meeting with Walt Disney who had just released “Steamboat Willie, the Poppey Doll Company produced a Mickey Mouse prototype doll. Mickey’s head moved when the tail was pushed. Shortly after, the doll was lost. When later found it was taken to the Atascadero Historical Society where it was examined by Marjorie Mackey, the curator. Attached to the prototype was a tag that read “Pat. Applied for 1928-1930 Walter E. Disney.” Following this, the prototype disappeared again and its location is currently unknown.

 

Large Scarey Ann

Over 7 inches tall, this doll has painted hair and no arms, or interior mechanism to raise the hair if it had any. 

Photo courtesy Marie Hinson

 

Scarey Ann on a Platform

This object was purchased on Ebay in 2019. It consists of a Scarey Ann doll attached to flat eight sided, stand. Since the paint on the stand is identical to that on the doll, it must be assumed that the two were made together. This is the ONLY example of a scarey ann doll where the arms mechanically raise up in conjunction with the hair raising via the lever on the back.

 

  

 

Atascadero Wood Products Company  
When the Poppy Doll Company went out of business in 1930, the patent rights to Scarey Ann dolls were purchased by the Atascadero Wood Products Company. The dolls made by Atascadero Wood Products were similar to the dolls produced by the Poppy Doll Company except that the arms, legs and feet were not attached to the body before the doll was painted. Instead, they were painted separately, often in a different color than the body, and then attached to the torso of the doll. These dolls were produced between 1930-1932.

Scarey Ann

Only one doll made by Atascadero Wood Products has been found. The legs, arms, and feet, colored red and black, were painted separately from the body and then attached to the body after it had been painted.

 

 

Atascadero Mill and Lumber Yard   
Atascadero Mill and Lumber Yard purchased the Scarey Ann patent rights in 1933, on the demise of the Atascadero Wood Products Company. The dolls made by Atascadero Mill were slightly different than the dolls made by the Poppy Company, in that they had swinging arms attached to the body by a single nail, longer and narrower legs, and their interior mechanisms were simpler, enabling the head of each doll to move up and down on a wooden dowel. Also, some of them were painted with stencils. These dolls were likely produced dolls between 1933-1939.

Chinaman

The Chinaman, as all the other toys made by the Atascadero Mill and Lumber Yard were simplified versions of the dolls that had been produced by Poppy Doll Company. Instead of a spring mechanism to raise the hair or hats of the doll these dolls had a dowel which raised the head up off the shoulders of the figure. Also swinging arms, each attached by one nail

 

  

Clown

Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

 

  

Grandfather

Has a hair goatee attached to his chin.

Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

Photo by Francie Owens.

 

  

Grandmother

Presumably made to be a partner to the Grandfather. Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

 Photo by Francie Owens

 

Policeman

The buttons and belt appear to be done with a stencil. Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

 

Porter

The paint stripes on the front of the suit as well as the facial features appear to be done with a stencil. Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

 

Hobo

Head raises on a dowel. Arms attached with a nail and swing.

 

 

Poppy Doll Company,  Blue Rapids, Kansas
The dolls made in Kansas are identical to the ones first made in Atascadero by the Poppy Doll Company, except that their eyes are larger. It is likely that they were made by members of Dr Chin’s family who lived in Blue Rapids. Chinn, who developed the Scarey Ann doll in Atascadero, California, is known to have visited Blue Rapids often in the late 1930s and early 1940s. These dolls were produced in the early 1940s.

Scarey Ann