Betsy Wetsy is among America's most beloved dolls, but what's it worth today?
My 1960s Betsy Wetsy doll is in excellent condition, still functional, with original dress and bonnet. Her eyes still open. What is her value?
—C.K., Hawley, Minnesota
What’s it Worth?
Betsy Wetsy was an enduring product for New York’s Ideal Toy Co. Named for the daughter of Abraham Katz, who headed the company when the toy made its 1935 debut, Betsy Wetsy was America’s best-selling doll by 1950. The Toy Industry Association later named it one of the most creative toys of the 20th century.
The name alerted little girls immediately that Betsy performed more like a real baby than other dolls. Produced in many versions and sizes, she always had a drinker mouth, brilliant blue sleep-eyes with lashes, and jointed limbs. Variations included wavy molded vinyl hair (like your doll’s) and plugged hair in several different colors. By 1959, Betsy’s spread fingers and toes looked more lifelike, and the vinyl head and body were of better quality and stood up better to water. Accessories included bottles, a bathtub, layettes, clothing and clothing patterns.
Your sweet Betsy Wetsy is worth about $175.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)