Good golly Miss Molly! Molly McIntire is one of the original three dolls introduced in 1986 by Pleasant Company. Molly was the least popular of the three characters when they debuted and not as many sold. Because of this, 1986 Molly’s are harder to come by than Samantha and Kirsten dolls. My Molly collection consists of four dolls and two of them are the most prized pieces of my collection.
The original dolls started with white, muslin cloth bodies but were changed to tan during 1990-91 with the release of Felicity. Felicity’s colonial dresses needed a lower neckline and the bright white muslin wouldn’t look right. Some Samantha dolls transitioned to tan as early as 1989.
Out of all of my dolls (and that’s a lot 😂), my two 1987 Molly’s are the most prized dolls of my collection. Let’s start with my signed sweetheart. ❤️ Pleasant Rowland, the founder of Pleasant Company, signed and numbered 2,500 of each Kirsten, Samantha and Molly dolls. Back then, you could purchase a signed doll for an extra $20. White bodied dolls were only signed in 1986-87. Pleasant Rowland did sign other dolls in the 1990’s, but we’ll save that for another day.
I collect on a budget, so immaculate signed dolls are out of my price range. This girl was in very rough condition when I bought her on eBay. It took patience and love to restore her to almost new condition. She is stunning with her gray eyes and sweet pink cheeks. She is everything a Molly doll should be (but I’m slightly biased 😉).
My other prized ’87 Molly is completely different from my signed ’87. In 1987 the Pleasant Company dolls went through numerous changes. The most unique change was here-and-gone at the end of ‘87. It was only in Molly and Kirsten dolls, not Samantha’s. The eyes have a faraway gaze and always look upward. I call it the Princess Di look, because they look at you under their lashes. I have to put the camera in her “line of vision” to get a good pic, because she’ll never look directly at you. 😉 In these dolls, you can see the whites at the bottom of the eye and their irises are smaller than other years. They have a dreamy gaze that pulls you in, and an innocent sweetness that you can’t resist. These girls also tend to have very thick, blunt bangs.
My other two Molly dolls are a 1989 white body and a mid-90’s tan body. Both of these two have solid gray eyes. The ‘87 dolls have a graduated white around the pupils. Molly’s from ‘89 have a peachy complexion vs the pink complexion in the earlier girls.
The mid-90’s girl has a thicker torso than the white bodied dolls, her neck strings are more cord-like than the flat strings of the white bodies. Neck strings hold the dolls head on and if cut, can make it harder to tighten or remove the head for repair. (I had to replace the neck strings on my signed girl during restoration because they had been cut off.)
My ‘89 has quite the personality! 😉 For some reason she leans no matter how many times I rearrange her stuffing and always looks as if she’s having fun. 😊 Wherever she is standing on display, she’s always leaning into someone else’s buisness. 😂
After Mattel bought Pleasant Company in 1998, things started to change. Over the years the dolls became much thinner and acquired body tags. Their neck stamp changed from Pleasant Company to American Girl. I had two Mattel Molly’s but one had to move on when I bought my signed girl and the other has been customized into a historical doll.
American Girl announced Molly’s archival in June 2013. Her entire collection and best friend Emily Bennett were officially retired on January 1, 2014. In the spring of 2018, there was a leak that Molly would be re-released as part of the BeForever line. Unfortunately, only a mini Molly doll came out. I hope that Molly will be back in production soon and available for a new generation of girls to love!
Molly is a favorite in my collection. She grabs my heart with those glasses and little brown braids. She was part of the American Girl collection for 27 years and she’ll never leave our hearts.