The beautiful Ideal Toni doll was made by Ideal Toy Company from 1949–1953. She was one of the most successful dolls ever made if you count popularity. The Ideal Toni came in several sizes, from 14″ to 23/24″. This allowed every little girl (or her parent) to choose the size doll they liked best.
Ideal made the Toni doll with many hair colors from platinum and golden blond to red, brown, or the rare black. Every little girl could have a Toni with hair was close to her own. Unlike so many fancy dolls of the era, little girls were encouraged to wash, comb and perm the hair on their Toni doll. Partially because the Toni Doll was part of a marketing campaign to advertise the Toni Home Permanent.
While the Ideal Toni doll did have a very sturdy and washable wig, it was still a glued on wig. An overly enthusiastic little girl could, over time, pull most of the hair out. I don’t recall if Ideal made Toni replacement wigs at the time, but other companies offered wigs that could be used as replacement wigs. However these wigs never came in the same trademark nylon that the original Toni wig was made of.
Today, you can buy beautiful replacement wigs for Toni dolls from companies like Dollspart. The fiber and colors are as close as you can get to the look and feel of the original Ideal nylon Toni wig. Also, the wig has the double-row stitching on the part just like the original Toni wig. This is the ONLY wig I recommend to people who have a Toni doll whose wig is missing or destroyed.
I used to restore these dolls and still enjoy sewing for them
In the 30 years I spent restoring dolls and teaching career training doll restoration, I restored many poor Toni dolls that had been damaged. Damage was from things like mildew, simple neglect, nail polish and other things little girls could think of to do to their dolls. Then these little girls grew up and wanted their beautiful Toni back. Here are before and after shots of one I restored: https://joannmorgan.com/seminars (Scroll down on the page to the section on learning doll repair and you will see poor Toni and her transformation).
As a doll clothing manufacturer, I consider the Toni Doll to be “ideal” to sew for because she looks good in everything! If you can say that “dolls” are photogenic I would definitely say she is. She is a joy to photograph in the Toni Doll Dresses I make for her. You can shop for Toni Doll Dresses here.