Selection of Pippa Dolls – £850 at East Bristol Auctions.

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Dolls had already gone through a transition. The Pippa Dolls range launched in the 1970s by Palitoy was branded as a ‘pocket size fashion doll’, with lower production costs a bonus.

Using only three head moulds by an array of different coloured vinyls and hair styles, the Leicestershire firm was able to produce over 30 different Pippa and Friends, each around 6½in (16.5cm) high.

A collection of 10 Pippa Dolls was on offer at East Bristol Auctions (19% buyer’s premium) on July 23. These were unboxed and in good but used condition. However, estimated at £150- 250, they took £850 from a collector in the UK bidding online.

Selling well

East Bristol auctioneer Andrew Stowe said: “The vendor brought them in along with some Sindy items that they thought were of no value and was just checking before taking them to the tip. They were bowled over by our valuation and even more bowled over by the final hammer price. I’ve never really quite worked out why they’re so valuable but they always sell ridiculously well.”

Most Pippa Dolls sold recently at auction have been offered in small job lots although it is boxed rarities in fine condition that command the high prices. In May 2015 Teesside auction house Vectis offered an extensive selection in The Palitoy Employees Sale.

‘Tammie Pippa’s friend’, wearing jeans and blouse, in ‘mint condition in an excellent box’, made £2300 against an estimate of £40-60. A Pippa Doll in orange top and blue trousers sold for £1000 (estimate £40-60) and a ‘Pippa Bride’ took £400 (£40-60 guide).