Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Doll-A-Day 270: Soft Dolls Week: Hap and Hope

  Well, the week started off with a bang...quite literally.Yesterday on our way to the post office, a high school boy suddenly stopped his car halfway through a yellow light and I couldn't stop on the rainy pavement, and, with my brake pedal down I still slammed into the back of his car. His dad is a policeman, and I hit him right in the Fraternal Order of Police disc on his license plate. The van is still driveable as far as we can tell. (We're doing it at least.)The insurance adjuster is coming to look at it today. I'm being held responsible, due to the fact that, in spite of the other driver stopping unexpectedly after going part of the way through the light, and the road being wet, I was behind him and theoretically should have been able to stop when he stopped in front of me. Luckily no one was hurt, and only the vehicles suffered damage.Whew! I still feel sick about it. The poor van is smashed in in the front and the other car has a smooshed rear end. Somehow, the van got the worst of the injuries.
  Today's soft doll is actually two.They're Hap and  Hope.
Hope is wearing her original outfit. Hap came in a coordinating outfit to hers, but at the moment he's wearing the pants belonging to the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" mouse, a shirt made from a cloth book cover, and a bow tie, made from a pre-made fabric bow and a couple of long twist ties. He belongs to my son Fuzzy, and this is an outfit he put together for him a while back! He also still bears the sticky mark of a band aid Fuzz put on his left hand many years ago.
Hap and Hope are soft rag dolls based on the artwork of Susan Perl.

They were made in 1979, by Determined Products .

I often see people selling Hope online as a Pippi Longstocking doll. She's not one, and now you know who she is.

Susan Perl was an artist who illustrated magazine articles, books, and the ever popular ads for children's clothes made by Health-Tex.

The Health-Tex campaign, using Susan Perl illustrations and the theme of  "The Handy Answers to Hard Questions Asked by Children in the Health-Tex Years", was so popular that it ran from 1966 until the early 80s. I assume it ended because Susan Perl died in 1983, at the age of 60.
'Health-tex' was short for 'healthy textiles', because that's what the clothes were supposedly made from.

When I was a kid I used to save the Health-Tex ads. Apparently I wasn't alone. Even adults used to write to Health-Tex requesting reprints of their ads with the Susan Perl artwork.

Oh the 70s. Look at those pants on the left, uh, and right...and in the middle...Actually, I had some like those in the middle...
 I didn't know they even made dolls of Susan Perl characters until we were doing a doll show when my son Fuzzy was tiny. I spotted Hope's 'brother',the red haired 'Hap' doll, in his box, all the way across the show.

When I checked him out I saw that he was a dour faced little red haired boy, just like Fuzzy, and that I recognized his face from the old Health-Tex ads.
This guy looks like Hap...except for the smile.
He was being sold with several extra outfits, still in their packages, including pajamas, a shorts and shirt outfit, and, as Fuzz called his favourite pants: 'hook up pants', (Overalls), with a doggie pocket. I bought him for Fuzz, and he was one of his special dolls, along with his Elephant, "Elephant", and a bear named "Stuffy".
Hap has a lot of attitude.

I didn't even know there was a Hope doll until I saw her online one day.

When I found Hope online she was also in her box and had her matching outfits to Hap's, including a red and white striped nightgown to coordinate with Hap's blue and white striped pajamas, a shorts outfit with a red shirt with kittens, to coordinate with Hap's blue shirt with puppies, and her own 'hook up dress', with a kitty pocket.

Hap has a matching green shirt with his picture on it, that says, "I'm Hap"...

...and his name on his jeans pocket.

Hope's shoe straps have snaps. Hap has slip on shoes in the same faux leather fabric.
 Hap and Hope are completely soft, old fashioned rag dolls. Their printed heads are also printed on the backs.

 They can't stand on their own. There's a lot of leaning and hanging on going on in these pictures.

Their arms and legs look very like Raggedy Ann and Andy's.

If they have struck your fancy,there are actually about 3 Hopes and two Haps on Ebay right now!(They're not mine, by the way.)
I had to have Hope for the same reason I have small figures from Hey Arnold, Chalk Zone, Jimmy Neutron, Arthur, and Toy Story: They represent my children's childhoods to me.

Happy memories.
  Tomorrow we'll look at another soft doll.


  1. Are these for sale? Hope in particular?

    1. Sorry no. The Hap is my son's childhood doll and I bought Hope to go with him. They occasionally show up on Ebay and other online auction sites.In fact, I checked, and there are two Hope's,a Hap,and a Hap outfit on Ebay right now.You have to search Susan Perl doll to find them though, because the one Hope doll isn't labelled Hope.Good luck.

    2. Ashley,or anyone else who is interested,I've heard from someone with 2 mint in box Haps for sale. I guess they are on Ebay right now:July 20,2017.


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