Buddy Lee, was an advertising mascot for Lee Jeans, during 1920 till 1962. Sales manager Chester Reynolds, later Lee's board president, came up with the idea of using a doll to "model" miniature versions of the company's clothes for store displays. The 12½-inch composition dolls first appeared in the windows of Dayton's flagship store on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, then were used at stores nationwide.
Lee encouraged stores to sell the dolls after the displays were taken down, and later provided the dolls for retail sale, including versions dressed as a cowboy, Coca-Cola deliveryman, railroad worker and gas station attendant. Starting in 1949, Buddy Lee was produced as a 13-inch hard plastic doll, along with a female version, Betty Lee.
The Buddy Lee dolls were discontinued in 1962 because they were no longer profitable. By then, Buddy Lee had become the second-highest-selling doll in the United States. On ebay you pay between 100,-- and 300,-- bucks for a doll. Nowadays  you will find Buddy Lee  displayed in the better jeans stores.

1 comment:

Doll Fraud Blog said...

There was no female doll ever made by the D. H. Lee company, Lee never made a Betty Lee doll in composition or hard plastic.

The composition dolls that look like Buddy, wigged, are Carnival dolls or made by a modern artist.