Featuring a unique attention to details, Middleton Dolls are beloved by doll collectors across the globe. Starting with humble beginnings, this Ohio-based doll company took off in the late seventies through the eighties.
Born in Springfield, Ohio, Lee Middleton always appreciated arts and crafts, but her art education was limited growing up. Although she managed to take some mechanical drawing classes and a few art courses out of state, she was mostly self-taught.
Making extra money creating greeting cards, Middleton was inspired to create baby dolls in 1978. She wanted dolls that resembled her own children, and since they weren’t available, she decided to sculpt them herself. Her friends and family members were so impressed with her work that they asked her to create dolls resembling their own children. Fascinated by human anatomy, the dolls she would later create feature an uncanny likeness to actual babies and toddlers, even weighing about the same as humans.
Kingdom Doll Originals
Deeply devoted to her Christian faith, Middleton and her husband formed a doll company, Kingdom Doll Originals. Together, they traveled to doll shows and sold such a large inventory that doll shops and gift shops asked to sell her products. By 1980, she was no longer making dolls at her kitchen table and opened up a manufacturing facility.
Middleton Doll Company
By 1984, the company’s name changed to the Middleton Doll Company, and it started producing vinyl dolls instead of porcelain dolls. Porcelain was simply too expensive and time-consuming to make, and the company wanted to produce more affordable dolls. Despite the growing success of the business, the venture took its toll on the Middleton marriage, which ended in 1990.
Unique Characteristics of Middleton Dolls
With the exception of the “Breath of Life Babies,” most of the dolls were made using hard vinyl. Deeply devoted to her Christian faith, Lee Middleton included a small Bible with each doll. With an absence of unattractive wrinkles and skin creases typical of most baby dolls, Middleton baby dolls are considered to be quite beautiful. Appearing quite realistic, these dolls have been mistaken as real babies from time to time. Made in a variety of different skin tones, eye colors, and hair colors, Middleton Dolls are truly diverse.
The Legacy Continues On
Tragically, in 1997, Lee Middleton was fatally struck with a heart attack while working in her doll studio. Naturally, her coworkers were devastated, but they were able to find artists to replicate her vision. Canadian doll artist Reva Schick continued to propel this doll company to new heights.
If you are looking for a truly huggable collector’s item, you would fall in love with our Middleton Dolls at Samantha’s Collectible Dolls & Bears. Our selection includes Adoption Babies, Cuddle Babies, the Artist Studio collection, the Now Collection, Nursery Babies, and Playbabies. Now is the perfect time to buy one of these unique dolls because quite a few of them are on sale. Whether you are looking for collectible dolls for sale, collectible bears, or figurines, we feature an impressive selection at Samantha’s Collectible Dolls & Bears. Browse our doll store online to find the perfect gift for yourself, your kids, or your loved ones today.