Shirley Temple Reliable Composition Doll


Mar 21, 2021
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Found this 20 inch full composition Reliable Doll-bought from the original owner's daughter, and was told it is a Shirley Temple Reliable doll. Only found the markings saying it is Reliable, no Shirley Temple markings. No tags on the dress indicating that it is a Shirley Temple dress either, though the owner said it's original as well. Definitely looks like a Shirley Temple casting, with some minor differences-mainly, that the eyes are not glass, but painted and blue instead of hazel. As well, I cannot identify the outfit as one modelled after Shirley. Very new to doll collecting so would love some guidance from you experts out there! Have a couple more doll-related inquiries but this is the one that has me the most stumped.


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Welcome to Tnet from Toronto Evelyn. :wave:

I’ve found a few toys in the farm fields here in Ontario over the years that were made by the Reliable Toy Company.

Reliable Toy was licensed by Ideal Toy in the U.S.A. to make the composition Shirley Temple doll in Canada for the Canadian market for a period of five years.
The doll wore a Reliable label on its dress.

Reliable Toy Company - Reliable Dolls
The company that became the Reliable Toy Company was founded in 1920, with the original name of the Canadian Statuary and Novelty Company. In the beginning, they made plush toys and small novelties in a 500 square foot room on Queen Street in Toronto, Ontario. The original partnership was dissolved in 1922, though operations continued at the same location, establishing a new company under the name Reliable Toy Company. At first the new company relied on importing doll heads from Germany and composition parts from the United States. In about 1922 they began making original dolls on their own.

With continued growth, the company was able to move to a larger building on King Street West where they occupied 3,000 square feet of space. In 1928, still growing, they moved again to Phoebe Street which gave them 13,000 square feet. The Reliable Toy Company bought the assets of their former competitor, Dominion Toy, in 1933, and thus had most of the doll market in Canada to themselves.

There's a doll museum here in Ontario you might want to consider contacting, as they may be able to help I.D. your doll...



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Hello from Winnipeg, Dave! Thank you for your insight. I looked at some old catalogues online and her outfit is identical to a Sally Ann 1948 doll-but they look to all have closed mouths, not open! The plot thickens.

Found her here:

Hi Evelyn, that's a great link you provided, thank you for this.
My wife was born in Winnipeg, but I don't hold that against her. :laughing7:

I've visited to your beautiful city a number of times on business, I used to have dinner regularly at The Keg downtown.
This was years ago, but The Keg I went to was close to Portage & Main, is the location on Garry Street a fairly new location?

Take care,

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I don't see dimples. Shirley was famous in no small part because of her dimples. I don't think it's a Shirley Temple doll.

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Cool about your wife, Dave! I actually didn't know that there was a Keg on Garry Street, so I guess it must be new :P hope you only had to visit in the summer months and not during one of our famous -40 winters.

Doubter-that's such a good point! I forgot to check for dimples, so just took a new picture in the daylight. It does look like there are dimples! And she has the open mouth with teeth like a Shirley. But her outfit is all Sally Ann. So confused!


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