Sometime in the year 1920, Raggedy Andy was introduced to the world in the form of Raggedy Andy Stories. His sister, Raggedy Ann, came on the scene about 5 years earlier, so Raggedy Andy has always been considered a bit of a sequel, forever in his sister’s shadow. Even his Wikipedia page redirects to that of his sister. I’m sure I wasn’t aware of his subordination as a child, but somehow my radar for underdogs drew me to Andy, even though both my dolls came as a set.
Truth be known, I was never into dolls that much. I was a tomboy through and through, and would much rather play with Tonka trucks and chemistry sets than with some silly doll (with the notable exception of Barbie.) But I do remember my two Raggedies.
They were very old school and cheaply made. Their clothing and features were simply printed on the cloth and they were then sewn together and stuffed, and had a bit of yarn for hair. This makes me wonder if my mother bought the printed cloth and made them for me. She did love to sew.
I remember staring at them and not quite knowing what to do with them. I don’t think I was introduced to any of the many books that described their adventures. That surprises me, in retrospect, as my mother was an avid reader and passed the love of reading on to all of us.
I remember being fascinated that their stuffed legs had a sewn seam in the middle, to indicate where their knees were, and therefore the legs could bend. I was also intrigued by the point where the yarn was attached to the head, and that their heads were basically flat, stuffed disks. It seems I was more interested in the dolls’ construction than I was in the dolls themselves.
I wish I could report that I got many years of fun and use from these dolls, but I think I lost interest in them relatively quickly. I don’t know what became of them. I know they didn’t move with me to Florida when I was ten years old. They most likely met some anticlimactic end, as is the way with all but the most beloved of children’s toys.
But despite my benign and youthful neglect, I thought it was appropriate to take a moment to wish Raggedy Andy a happy 100th birthday sometime this year. That truly is a milestone.