Thursday, December 4, 2014

In Search of Ol' Lanky Long Part 2

I mentioned yesterday how I was having a hard time finding a Lanky Long doll on Ebay (as pictured in the above ad that ran in the Journal on November 4, 1954).

I described him in all sorts of ways in the Ebay Search box (a rag doll, a pixie, an elf, a vintage rag doll, etc.) but all I could come up were those ubiquitous 1950s Christmas elves with the bendable legs and arms.

But then I had an inspiration – and added the word "dance" to my description. That's when I came up with a listing for a Pinocchio Dance With Me Doll – but it's unmistakably Ol' Lanky Long himself.

Here are the photos, courtesy of Ebay.

Looking at the ad and the photos, I think Ol' Lanky Long is just a wee bit creepy, with his frozen, "eager to please" grin and unblinking eyes. It's easy to imagine this doll figuring prominently (and menacingly) in a Twilight Zone episode.

Here's the link to the Lanky Long doll on Ebay, if you're in the market for a doll to use as a punching bag/dance partner.

Once I began to search online for him as a Pinocchio doll, they seemed to start coming out of the woodwork. There was hatless one on Etsy (below), but he was sold.

There was also one on (below). Someone even went to the trouble to make him a Disneyfied Pinocchio hat – but we all know what's really supposed to be on his noggin.
I don't think very many Lanky Long dolls survive to this day. Maybe that's because more children chose to abuse him rather than fall in love with him – and he wasn't as unbreakable as originally thought.

Not interested in a faux-Pinocchio doll as a dance partner? How about an ersatz Bugs Bunny-lookalike?

A Lanky Long Update (December 31, 2014)
Shortly after my original Lanky Long post, the webmaster of the Oberlin In The Past Facebook contacted me, swearing that one of her brothers had an identical Pinocchio doll back in the 1950s. She was determined to try and find a photo of it to send me.
Well, she did! The hilarious subject line of her email with the photo attached was "I told you my brother had one of those weird dolls." She explained, "This is a badly deteriorating photo of my father and siblings that I ran across yesterday. I looked back on your blog to see if that doll matched the "Pinocchio" one. You can't miss that widow's peak."
Here's the photo, from 1954. As you can see, Lanky's (I mean Pinocchio's) hat didn't last very long!
Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Thank YOU for sharing and for fixing up that old photo!



I had one with black feet and I remember touching his nose a little too hard and dented it!! Daddy to the rescue with a little round Bandaid for his booboo. ;o) I did enjoy dancing with him...and on Daddy's feet, too!