|vintage Lilli strips|
The Bild Lilli doll has side glancing eyes (ever so coy!), perfect lips, and a cute little curl in the center of her forehead. She was made with a variety of outfits for any occasion, but since the doll was not intended for children, the outfits were not always sold separately. Her hair was attached to a removable scalp held in place by a metal screw (see? definitely not a toy). She was usually blonde, but brunettes were also available. Lilli even came with a miniature copy of the Hamburg newspaper than ran her comic strip.
Eventually, the demand from mothers prompted the company to switch gears, and Lilli became a popular toy for girls. She had a house with furniture (sold separately, of course)! They even made a movie. And then, Ruth Handler, president of Mattel, went to Europe. She bought three dolls, gave one to her daughter Barbara, and kept the other two for product development. She tweaked the design, created a killer marketing campaign, and Barbie was born.
But still, a real, original Bild Lilli doll, especially one with the clear cylinder package and correct stand, is just as collectible as the first Barbie (and probably much harder to find). Even one without the package sold on eBay for $1400 in 2008.
*information obtained from: dollreference.com; bildlilli.com