Culture Magazine

Goodies from The Chicago Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds

By Ashley Brooke, Kewpie83 @KewpieDoll83

Twice a year my mother and I go to one of the most wonderful places on earth– The Chicago Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds.  The Chicago Toy Show has hundreds of vendors with antique to modern toys and dolls.  As you probably can guess, my mother and I go there for their doll room!  Inside the doll room, it’s easy to stumble upon early Madame Alexanders, Pink box Barbie’s, Patty Playpals– you name it and it’s probably there somewhere!

Every show is different.  Some shows have more of things than others.  For example, this show had a lot of pink box Barbie’s, a lot of cardboard Barbie play sets from back in the day and a lot of big baby and walking dolls.

I know many of you aren’t located in the Midwest USA,  so I thought I’d share with you a few things we saw at the show.  I’d like to thank all the vendors who allowed me to film their booths!!!  I really do appreciate it!

Not included in this video are the Star Wars character’s that came out to celebrate the shows 40th year.  This is the first time I’ve seen characters at the show.  They even had a radio station there, which is a first.

Star Wars characters from the Midwest Garrison at the show

Star Wars characters from the Midwest Garrison at the show

Star Wars characters from the Midwest Garrison at the show (and me!)

Star Wars characters from the Midwest Garrison at the show (and me!)

The Midwest Garrision at the Show

The Midwest Garrison at the Show

Now that you’ve seen a little of the show, I thought you guys might be interested in seeing what my mom and I picked up during this little trip to the Kane County fairgrounds.  So, without further ado, here’s the grand unveiling!!!

My first purchase was at a booth we stopped by early on that had a $1 bin.  In the bin, there were two Barbie puzzles (from the 80′s) that I grabbed.  One is Barbie and the Rocker themed and the other is wedding themed.  They’re not mint, but the price was right!

Mom's Purchase- A New Dress for Baby Face

Mom’s Purchase- A New Dress for Baby Face

My mother’s first eBay purchase was this Baby Face.  That was years ago!  Up until now, this Baby Face was wearing an outfit that was too large for her.  At this past show, she picked up a slightly more appropriate outfit for this cutie!  It fits her SO much better.

My Purchase- Skipper outfits

My Purchase- Skipper outfits

I try to feed my Skipper collection every time I go to the show.  This time, I ended up with two cute outfits for my dolls.  The one of the left is Ship Ahoy.  I have had my eye on this outfit for years, but never found it priced low enough for me to get it.  This outfit ended up costing me $50, which I think is pretty good, considering it came with the socks, shoes and toy boat!  (It’s only missing a few pieces, but since I can’t display extra’s, I don’t mind!)  It’s also a very clean outfit!  The outfit on the right is a mod outfit.  I haven’t dug into my Skipper price guide yet to see what outfit it is exactly.  It’s really cute, though, and was a steal at $15.

Mom's Purchase- Little Miss No Names with new outfits

Mom’s Purchase- Little Miss No Names with new outfits

My mom has loved Little Miss No Name‘s forever.  I’m not surprised at all that she ended up coming home with new ones!  These two needed a little TLC and will need a hair job (done by yours truly), but they cleaned up pretty well.  One of these two dolls, the vendor said, was standing in his music room for years.  He’d look over at her and think ‘wow, she’s a creepy doll.’  He brought her to the show on a whim and after a bit of negotiating, Little Miss No Name ended up in my mom’s bag!

The outfits came from the same vendor we found Baby Face’s outfit at. The seamstress worked for American Girl and when she retired, she brought patterns home with her and started a side business.  The seamstress passed away last year and her stock was bought by a lady selling at the show.

American Girl Outfit for my Amelia

My purchase- American Girl Outfit for my Amelia

My Amelia has been wanting a new outfit for a while.  The problem I’ve had, though, is that she’s not the most universal size and I have found very few outfits on sites like Etsy.  This American Girl outfit is a little big on her, but it looks great!  My mom found this in a bucket for $10.  The colors work really well with Amelia’s coloring and the brown boots match, too!

My purchase- A Skooter Case

My purchase- A Skooter Case

I have a good number of Skipper cases (none of which I can display due to space), but I’ve rarely seen a Skooter case.  This came from a vendor that was downsizing her collection.  You could tell she was trying to sell her items to people who would love them.  This case is in great shape and has the boxes on the inside.  And most importantly, the graphics are great!

Mom's Purchase- Baby Chrissy

Mom’s Purchase- Baby Crissy

My mom’s first purchase of the day was a steal.  This Baby Crissy was priced super nice and in great shape!  I think this AA Crissy might be even cuter than the white version!

My purchase- A 14

My purchase- A 14″ Madame Alexander Amy dressed as Alice in a tagged MA outfit


14″ Madame Alexander dressed as Alice

It seems like every winter show, I end up with a hard plastic Madame Alexander.  The hard plastic dolls are really the only dolls I collect from Madame Alexander, to be honest.  I’m not sure why, as it wasn’t influenced by my mom, because she only has one hard plastic Madame Alexander.  I just adore them, especially Maggie and Margaret faces.

One of the best things about this doll was her price.  She was half off the asking price, which you rarely see on Madame Alexanders!  Especially when an Alexander is clean, strung well and has good face paint!

I picked this girl up thinking she was a Madame Alexander Alice in Wonderland doll.  After doing a bit of research and only finding a Maggie face Alice, it was pretty clear that she wasn’t an Alice all of her long dolly life.  My mom saved the day by ID’ing her as a Little Women Amy, redressed in an Alice dress from a later release by Madame Alexander.  I’m thinking she’s from 1951 or so.  (Can I just mention here that I really don’t like how the Madame Alexander Price guides don’t include pictures?  It’s so hard to figure out who you have based on a one line description!!!)  That being said, if you have  seen a hard plastic Alice in Wonderland with a Margaret face that is around 14″ or you think this girl could be another Madame Alexander, let me know!!!!

My Mom's Loot

My Mom’s Loot

My Loot

My Loot

So, that was our Kane County Chicago Toy Show experience in a nut shell!  This trip proved to be quite an affordable one with lots of vendors offering deals.  I highly recommend you check out this show if you’re in the area!

What was your most recent toy show find?  Do you have a favorite toy show?  Do you have an item you actively search for at shows?  Share it in the comment area!

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