My Doll Diary

Daily thoughts of an avid doll collector.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Search for the Elusive 558-NB

Where oh where can I find the elusive 558-NB? What is 558-NB you ask? Well, its a knitting/crochet leaflet that was advertised in the McCall's Needlework and Crafts Spring/Summer 1961 issue. There is a gorgeous full page color picture of what they call a "Glamourous Trouseau" of outfits designed for a 10 1/2 inch fashion doll. The doll modeling a crochet wedding gown in the photo is a blonde American Character Toni doll. She is the same size doll as the Little Miss Revlon's, Cissette's, etc. of that time period.

The McCall's Needlework and Craft magazines of the late 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's are great sources for wonderful doll knitting and crochet patterns. A little over a year ago I collected many of these magazines and serveral compilation issues containing the best of these patterns. Most often the instructions for the patterns were in the issue. However, there were several cases where special leaflets had to be ordered and paid for separately. Unfortunately, these leaflets are very hard to find. I have a feeling that this one is exceptionaly rare because at the time this pattern appeared, these 10 1/2 inch dolls were begining to be discontinued. The 11 1/2 inch Barbie doll had been introduced a couple of years early in 1959. Barbie was becoming the new fashion doll standard and these 10 1/2 inch dolls were on the way out. I suspect this fact limited the amount of orders for this leaflet.

I did send an e-mail the other day to someone who has a website that sold old leaflets from McCall's Needlework and Crafts. While I was doing an internet search about a year ago, I found a listing for the pattern pointing to that site, but by the time I got there, the leaflet was gone. Unfortunately she responded today saying she did have the leaflet, but sold it. She said she would let me know if she got another one someday. I thanked her for this, but all the while I wanted to ask "WHY DIDN'T YOU MAKE A COPY BEFORE SELLING IT???" She could have made a bundle on eBay just selling the copies! I do have to give this person credit for only selling originals on her website while so many others bend the copyright laws by selling copies of old patterns. Still, it means so much to vintage doll collectors to be able to re-create outfits from old out of print patterns. So I am thankful also to those who bend the rules for the sake of keeping a piece of history alive. Ah, such an ethical dillema it is.

So, I guess I will continue to search for the elusive 558-NB. I finally decided to put a saved search on eBay for it. I'm hoping some day I can report a success story. I did have one such success recently when it took 3 years on a saved eBay search for me to finally find an elusive "Snip 'n Tuck". What is "Snip 'n Tuck" you ask? Well, that is a story for another day. Let's just say, good things eventually come to those who patiently wait!