HOME | Accessories | Vintage
Barbie | Lilli Lalka | Lilli Boogie
Bild-Lilli, the inspiration for the Barbie doll, began as a sexy cartoon character, created by Reinhard Beuthien in the early 50's. Bild-Lilli first appeared as a cartoon charcter in the German Bild newpaper on June 24, 1952. Bild-Lilli's adventures found immediate appeal with readers, especially the male readers,and it was decided to create a doll in Lilli's likeness.
The result was the Bild-Lilli doll, now much sought after by doll collectors. She was later to be the direct inspiration for the Barbie doll. With her hair in a high ponytail and exaggerated figure, the resemblance to the early Barbie doll is undeniable.
Bild Lilli Clothing
The chief designer of the clothes was Martha Maar. She designed a range of outfits for Lilli. Bild-Lilli outfits were also sold separately, including sports clothes, dresses and suits.
Lilli quickly gained popularity with little girls in Germany. Bild-Lilli dolls and their original outfits are now highly prized by collectors, and are expensive to buy, so it is important to know how to identify original Lilli clothing, if you are planning to buy an original.
There are original Lilli catalogs in existence as a useful record.
Linkshttp://www.squidoo.com/Dolls_Bild-Lilli Page about Lilli on Squidoo
Silke Knaak's Bild Lilli Forum
The forum is in German but questions in English are accepted. www.barbies.de
Link to Silke Knaak's Homepage - Author of the reference book on Bild-Lilli
Antike Puppen: Bild Lilli (de)
This 7.5 inch small Bild-Lilli sold on eBay on Aug-17-08 for US $1,400.00.
Max Weissbrodt, of the Hausser/Elastolin company in Neustadt/Coburg, Germany designed the first Lilli doll, an 11 1/2" doll, made of plastic (elastoline) coated with paint, with hand-painted painted features, the shoes were molded on as part of the leg. The Bild-Lilli doll was produced in two sizes, a smaller version of Lilli, 7 1/2" tall, could be suspended from the rear view mirror of a car, on a little swing. A special stand was designed to support the doll in a standing position, on a single metal bar that goes up the leg through a hole bottom of the foot. The first Barbie doll was also supported through a hole in the bottom of the feet.
On eBay Today
The New Bild-LilliThe German Bild newspaper recently revived the Lilli cartoon series, the new version of Lilli is called Lilly:
An identifying feature of the Lilli outfit is a specially made PRYM snap. The PRYM snaps were a special order for the Lilli factory, they are painted to match the outfit on the top snap, and there is heart type design engraved on the silver of the bottom snap
Bild-Lilli PRYM SNAPS Example:
Schwabinchen by 3M
Very similar outfits were made by the same company ( Drie-M) for a smaller doll called Schwabinchen ( made from 1962), her outfits have similar PRYM snaps. This 10.5 inch vinyl doll with rooted hair, is smaller than Lilli so the outfits are too small on 11.5 inch Lilli,the sleeves are too short, and the dress length is too short. Schwabinchen has the 3M mark on her back, - she does not look like Bild-Lilli, but some of Schwabinchen's outfits are very similar to Bild-Lilli's.
Schwabinchen Catalog Pictures
Schwabinchen, was sold outside of Germany, in Sweden and Holland, under the names of Betty, and Willy Wildebras - Willy has been found without the 3 M marking on the Back.
Babs: "Hong Kong Lilli"In the 1950's the Marx Toy Company of Hong-Kong licenced the Bild-Lilli design to produce a similar 11.5 inch doll that also had a range of separate outfits, This doll was produced from the 50's into the 1960's.and is quite similar to Bild-Lilli, but of cheaper plastic. This Marx doll is popularly referred to as "Hong Kong Lilly" or "Hong Kong Lilli". The construction is very similar to Bild-Lilli. Later,Fab-Lu Ltd., (Luften Ltd.-also known as Farber-Luft, Ltd) marketed a plastic fashion doll called Babs, based on Bild-Lilli, she was sold with a range of outfits and had a boyfriend and a younger sister, she made an inexpensive alternative to Barbie in the 60's. Babs mold and wig construction are similar to Bild-Lilli, making her more of a Bild Lilli clone, rather than a Barbie clone If you search for Bild-Lilli on eBay you may find some of the Hong Kong Lilly's or Babs dolls, listed as "Bild Lilli", these "Bild-Lilli type" dolls typically sell for under $200 dollars. An original Bild-Lilli in good condition is rare and rivals the No 1 Barbie in price range, so instead of splashing out on an original, some avid Bild-Lilli fans are known to repaint the cheaper Hong-Kong Lilli doll, (or even Barbie dolls), to resemble an original Bild-Lilli. However, an original Marx Lilli doll, or Babs, is highly collectible in her own right and her place in doll history is recognised by collectors of fashion dolls.