Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Doll-A-Day 2017 # 53: Daredevil Dexter

  Today's doll is one of my childhood dolls.He's Daredevil Dexter.
His price is still there:$1.87!

Dexter is from a series of dolls called Small Shots.

Small Shots were made by Mattel from 1971 to 1973.

Dexter is one of the first dolls,which were available in 1971.

Dexter measures 3" tall without his skates,and 3 1/2" including the skates.The skates are made of die-cast metal.
There were four dolls available separately, and two available with a playset called the Skate 'N Race Set.

The dolls were designed to be able to use the Hot Wheels race tracks.The back of the package also came with a ramp.

The dolls and skates are perfectly balanced and skate heavy,and won't tip,even while flying down the ramp.I've never actually tried Dexter on a Hot Wheels track.

In 1971 I was 8 or 9 (depending on when I bought him),but as I have said before, I was an obsessive compulsive, anal retentive person,even as a kid. I saved Dexter's package,(Well, it did say to on the package itself!),and took pretty good care of it all these years.Luckily I kept him in it,not only for his own good, but if he hadn't been in it I'm sure Mom would have thrown it away! Today a Dexter in his package sells for over $200! It helps that these dolls are collected by Hot Wheels enthusiasts as well as doll collectors.

 The dolls can actually be removed from the skates, and the clothes are removable too.

Small Shots were Mattel's attempt to attract girls to their Hot Wheels toys.You can watch the original Small Shots commercial (featuring Jodie Foster!) HERE

  In 1972 more dolls were released, with either a soap box scooter or a wagon.In 1973 dolls were released with twist waists. I've never seen any of the last line of dolls anywhere.I can't even find a picture of them online.The first series of dolls,and sometimes the second, seem to be the only ones anybody ever sees.That's kind of strange, because it would make sense for the last line of dolls to be produced in smaller numbers than the first.(That would be why there was a second and even third line, but not a fourth.)
  See you tomorrow for another doll.


  1. Advance apologies if I get a little long-winded with this comment...

    I have collected Hot Wheels for almost three decades, but hadn't heard of these (admittedly rather cute!) little guys and gals until last year. It's hard to find information on them! The best source I've found is "Hot Wheels: The Ultimate Redline Guide Companion, Identification and Values 1968-1977," by Jack Clark and Robert P. Wicker.

    Small Shots seem to be tough to find with their original clothes, and if I recall correctly, third parties also made clothes for them. The 1973 Small Shots are extremely difficult to find.

    Unfortunately, some Hong Kong-made Hot Wheels from 1971 suffer from inferior metal; these are known as "crumblers." Small Shots seem to be susceptible to this defect and/or fatigue cracks. I'd also advise buyers to make sure the wheels are complete (the outer caps are removable, and replacements for Small Shots wheels aren't available, as far as I know).

    Hopefully this has been helpful.

    1. Thanks so much for your information. My Dexter seems to be made of the heavy duty metal. I understand what you mean though. It's what my husband refers to as 'pot metal',made from the scrappy metal odds and ends and not very strong.The Farlex Fre Dictionary defines it as " An inexpensive alloy of poor quality, usually containing lead, used especially in making castings".I have come across a couple of other Small Shots dolls at yard sales,(Nifty Nan was one),but they are pretty rare to find.I'm not sure what you mean by outer wheel caps,as Dexter's wheels seem to be solid plastic. I hope you'll pop back and explain.

    2. The wheels are in two parts. There is the outer cap and the inner "hub" that the axle is attached to. It's actually pretty easy to see where the two pieces join in the photo where Dexter is looking into the camera. Though--as I stated earlier--the caps are removable, your best bet is to leave them attached.

      Did you add Nifty Nan to your collection? Reckless Richard in the one to really look out for!

    3. I guess I just thought it was supposed to look like double wheels. I have no intention of taking them apart. I was just curious. Unfortunately,Nan had to help pay a gas bill one winter! I can't even find a picture of Reckless Richard,which I suppose is due to his rarity!


Thanks in advance for your comments.