Meet Madame Alexander: The Mother of Modern Doll Play
We’re often asked if Madame Alexander is a real person. Not only was she real, she was an iconic figure in the world of toys and was as unique as the dolls she created. As a pioneering businesswoman and exquisite doll designer, Madame Alexander shaped the doll industry with her revolutionary innovations and vibrant vision. She embodied a bold spirit and classic sense of style that she poured into each and every doll created for the Madame Alexander Doll Company. Because she viewed dolls as valuable learning tools that could teach children empathy, compassion and responsibility, Madame was passionate about making high-quality dolls that could be played with and loved.
Madame Earned Her Place in the Hearts of Children—and in History
Madame Alexander is responsible for creating the type of doll play we know today. Madame’s earliest contribution was inspired by her time spent as a young girl in her stepfather’s doll hospital, where she saw many beautiful porcelain dolls in constant repair. During a time when breakable, porcelain dolls were the standard, she fashioned a cloth doll that was meant to be both beautiful and played with. But that was just the beginning. Madame brought to life literary characters and notable people in a way not previously done before. An era of toy industry firsts carries her legacy into modern play.
MADAME ALEXANDER’S INDUSTRY FIRSTS:
1923 – Replaced typical porcelain with cloth to encourage play, then went on to innovate with materials throughout her career
1930s – Created the first toys with officially licensed tie-ins to entertainment properties: Alice in Wonderland, Gone with the Wind, and Little Women among them
1930s – Popularized “sleep eyes”—the innovation that allows dolls to close their eyes
1937 – Created the first doll of a young Queen Elizabeth to commemorate her father’s coronation
1942 – Introduced Jeannie, one of the industry’s first walking dolls
1947 – Created the first plastic face mold, changing the doll industry forever!
1955 – Debuted Cissy, the first fashion doll in America
Madame Alexander was Creating a Better World, Not Just Better Dolls
Madame believed in furthering compassion, empathy and meaningful relationships through doll play and creativity. Drawing on classic literature and a variety of cultures, Madame created dolls that took people of all ages to new places of love and understanding. With the soul of an artist and the imagination of an inventor, she spent a lifetime crafting beautiful dolls that still inspire passion in collectors and expand children’s imaginations. The Madame Alexander Doll Company honors her vision today with the purpose of inspiring a better tomorrow.
Empowering Girls through Madame Alexander’s Legacy
Born more than a century ago, Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman is still a role model for girls today. Founding her company in 1923, Madame Alexander set out to create her own success through unmatched quality and ambition. As the daughter of two immigrants, Madame defied expectations and stereotypes to become a successful businesswoman in a world filled with businessmen. Her passion for literature, art and culture, combined with her love of dolls earned her numerous awards over her lifetime. Not only was she dedicated to her craft, she was also a dedicated mother who envisioned a better future for all women.
After nearly 100 years in business, the Madame Alexander Doll Company is devoted to carrying on Madame’s mission of creating beautiful, quality dolls that deliver invaluable play experiences for children and inspire passion in collectors.