Edison Talking Doll Fetches $25,100

A Rare Flop for Edison, Hot Commodity for Doll Collectors

November 19, 2012
By James Massey

(Source: WhatSellsBest.com) - An extremely rare Thomas Edison Talking Doll has fetched $25,100 on eBay. A pretty good price for an item many considered to be a huge flop (for Edison), back in the day.

The seller stated (in the eBay listing) that they had purchased the doll at an auction, which was selling the contents of a midwest Phonograph Museum.

They also described the dolls condition as being exceptional, stating; "Due to the amazing condition of the doll we assume that the she has undergone a complete professional restoration at some time." The talking mechanism (minus the cylinder) was also intact.

Why's It Rare?

According to historians, Edison invented the talking doll in 1877. He then spent several years developing the doll before introducing it to the marketplace in 1890. Unfortunately for Edison, the doll was a huge flop.

Apparently the hand-cranked mechanism was too fragile to be used by children. This often led to them breaking and being returned.

On the Science Channel in an 'Oddities' episode which featured an Edison Talking Doll (video below) it was stated that only a few hundred were sold before the doll was discontinued. Because of this, originals in good condition with the talking mechanism, are extremely rare.

The $25,000 price, places the Edison Doll among some of the top earning dolls we've followed on eBay thus far. (See: Ten Top Dolls previously sold on eBay)

Video: Edison Doll Story & History (Science Channel 'Oddities' Episode - 2011)

Auction Data & Statistics

The Edison Doll received 81 bids from 14 bidders over the course of 10 days. The opening bid on November 8th, was $99. The final bid was $25,100. The eBay view-counter recorded over 1,300 visitors to the listing. The auction ended on Sunday, November 18 (2012), at 5:01pm Pacific Standard Time.

For more information and close-up photos of the doll see; **eBay auction listing; #230879180702 (auction links may expire after 90 days).

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** eBay auction links generally expire within 90 days of auctions end

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