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|A Sparkle Plenty doll is a vintage children’s doll based on the character Sparkle Plenty, which appeared in the celebrated comic strip Dick Tracy.
The character of Sparkle Plenty was introduced to the Dick Tracy comic strip in 1947, as the baby daughter of regular characters B.O Plenty and his wife Gravel Gertie.
Despite being depicted as old and ugly, their daughter Sparkle Plenty is described as the most beautiful baby in the country, and is quickly made famous after appearing in the fictional magazine Glance. Sparkle would soon go on to have a career as the world’s youngest ukulele player at the age of three.
The birth of the baby was also highly publicized in the real world, and articles on the character appeared regularly in newspapers and national magazines. The Ideal toy company produced a 15” doll of the character, featuring long blonde hair and a number of outfits, which was an instant best-seller for the company.
The Sparkle Plenty doll is a hugely popular and sought-after collectible, due to its celebrated release in 1947 and the fact that the character remained a central figure to the comic strip for many years, with the eventually grown-up Sparkle marrying Tracy’s adopted son Junior.
Mint condition boxed examples are highly rare, and can sell at auction for around $350. Even boxed examples with damaged parts and missing outfits can sell for around $100.
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