The Madeline dolls are based upon a 1938 children's book written by Ludwig Bemelmans about a little girl who attends a Catholic boarding school in Paris, France. In 1996, the Eden Toys company was granted the rights to create Madeline dolls based upon the books.
The first Madeline dolls were red-haired rag dolls, but soon Madeline appeared as a small 8 inch plastic doll similar to Tiny Betsy and Madame Alexander dolls. The two dolls pictured here have on plaid dressed, but the Madeline dolls have a modest wardrobe and often come in other outfits, so they can be considered fashion dolls. Characters like Pepito, Danielle, Nicole, Chloe, and Miss Clavel along with their clothing are also part of the series.
In 2002, Learning Curve bought the rights to Madeline dolls from Eden Toys LLC, changed the facial features and added new characters. Then they began adding mini skirts and other contemporary clothing to the line which caused the Bemelmans family to withdraw the license from Learning Curve in 2004. No full-sized Madeline dolls have been made since then although paper dolls and magnets have appeared since then from other companies.
The grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans continues to write Madeline books to this day.
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