As of now, the Madame Alexander Doll Company launches its yearlong Centennial Celebration, commemorating its 100-year legacy of Madame Alexander dolls as part of American childhood. Madame Beatrice Alexander is a true American original and pioneer in American history. In 1923, she founded the Alexander Doll Company, which would revolutionize the doll industry. Today, her legacy lives on as the Madame Alexander brand continues to make inspiring dolls that reflect a diverse, evolving world and teach kindness to children.
With major brand activations throughout the year, the Centennial Celebration officially kicks off this month in Rochester, New York, with a Madame Alexander Centennial display, “100 Years of Madame Alexander,” at The Strong National Museum of Play, the world’s leading institution for the study and preservation of play. The display will showcase how the iconic brand has evolved over the past century to inspire children, collectors, and doll lovers worldwide.
“In 1923, Beatrice Alexander founded a company that she grew into more than a leading doll manufacturer. She created a lasting brand that’s continued to evolve for 100 years and that has influenced the toy industry and the way people play,” said Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, curator of dolls and toys at The Strong. “Today, the Madame Alexander Doll Company continues to create quality dolls, beloved by many, that inspire meaningful relationships and imaginative play.”
Celebrating the work of Madame Alexander, the Centennial display will be structured by decade, highlighting dolls from each period. It will feature more than 30 dolls, including a cloth Alice in Wonderland doll, a Jacqueline Kennedy doll, a pioneering fashion doll Cissy, classic Wendy collectibles, and many others.
“Back in 1923, Madame Alexander understood that doll play created kinder kids,” said David Morgenstern, Madame Alexander’s vice president. “Her mission was to create dolls that could be played with and loved, and because of Madame Alexander, for the first time, dolls were made both lifelike and durable. Madame Alexander revolutionized the doll industry, from the introduction of cloth baby dolls to her innovative use of plastics in dolls. With our Centennial Celebration, we celebrate the impact Madame Alexander dolls have made on American childhood over the last century.”
As a child, Madame Alexander spent time in her stepfather’s doll hospital. She saw the sadness of children surrendering their broken porcelain dolls for repair. Understanding that doll play created kinder kids and was important in child development, she made it her mission to create dolls that could be played with and loved.
● In 1923, she founded the Alexander Doll Company, which would revolutionize the doll industry.
● Soon after, she introduced cloth baby dolls to shelves across America.
● For the first time, dolls were made both lifelike and durable with her innovative use of plastics in dolls.
● Madame Alexander was the first to license characters from books, movies, and television.
● Madame Alexander dolls popularized “sleep eyes” and the first walking dolls.
● In 1955, she debuted Cissy, the first fashion doll in America — opening the world of doll play to older children.
● In recognition of all her creativity and innovations, Madame Alexander was inducted into the prestigious Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
For the last 100 years, Madame Alexander dolls have provided a continuum for parents to share their dolls with their children, starting with baby dolls and moving to collector dolls — all lovingly passed from generation to generation.
Madame Alexander Doll collectors and fans can join in on the Centennial Celebration throughout the year with these exclusive activations:
● A yearlong Madame Alexander Centennial curated exhibit at The Strong National Museum of Play
● Exclusive FAO Schwarz Centennial Celebration on March 9th, Madame Alexander’s birthday and in-store giveaways and promotions throughout the month of March
● An interactive Play Lab, featuring Madame Alexander Doll Collections, at The Strong National Museum of Play
● The release of exclusive Centennial Dolls throughout 2023
● Special online giveaways and Centennial Celebration consumer offers
● An online auction of an exclusive Centennial Madame Alexander Doll Collector’s Package