Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Macy's

In November 1959, Shirley and her family arrived in New York City so that they could be on the opening float for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A vintage ad promoting the parade and Shirley’s appearance:

Here’s a previously posted photo from my collection showing Shirley and her three children on the float, waving jubilantly to the crowd:

Gene Rayburn was the host for the NBC telecast; the Ideal Toy Company and Lionel Trains were the sponsors for the show. November 26, 1959. Shirley came into view for the audience at home with “On the Good Ship Lollipop” playing in the background. Shirley and family were on the first float of the parade. The TV announcer breathlessly spoke:

Here comes the first float in the parade, straight out of Storybook Land, a glittering castle covered with the sparkle of snowflakes, reading from a book big enough to hold all the fairy tales ever told, by someone whose name and face is probably known everywhere in the world. One of the most famous and best loved of all the great movie stars, the little girl who was America’s favorite little princess, now grown up to be our Storybook Queen, Shirley Temple. So they could be together for this holiday, Shirley Temple’s children are here with her on that first trip to New York. That’s Susan, age 11, Charles Junior, age 7, and the youngest girl is Lori, age 5, and that fourth little girl is a Shirley Temple doll! They’ve had an exciting trip by jet plane from California, and there they are on a float down Broadway. Hi Shirley!

Recently I acquired this rare original color 35mm slide of Shirley from the parade (thanks to Melissa, aka “The Colonel,” for identifying the location as W. 37th and Broadway):

A closeup of the family; Susan’s arm blocks the head of her genuine Shirley Temple vinyl Playpal doll, which stood almost 3' tall. It was the tallest doll that the Ideal Toy company ever produced bearing Shirley’ childhood likeness.

Years later in 2015, a Playpal doll from Shirley’s own collection was sold by Theriault’s in the “Love, Shirley Temple” auction.

From the catalog description:

LARGE SHIRLEY TEMPLE PLAYPAL DOLL BY IDEAL IN PARTY DRESS Lot Number: 335 36" (91 cm.) The rosy-cheeked doll has sleep eyes, lashes, wide-smiling expression with sculpted teeth, gleaming lips, double-impressed dimples, original ringlet-curled coiffure, jointing at neck, shoulders, hips and with swivel wrists. Marked Ideal Doll/ST-35-38-2. The doll is wearing her original cream/aqua nylon dress with puffed sleeves, lace trim at collar and sleeves, and embroidered flowers on yoke, original undergarments, socks and shoes. The doll was presented in 1959 by Ideal. Realized Price: $2,500 Presale Estimate: 400+

Wouldn’t it have been great if this was the doll that Susan held in the parade? Unfortunately the doll Susan is holding wears a pink dress; this one is sporting a cream colored one. It’s still amazing that this one survived all these years in such great condition!

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

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