Raggedy Ann & Andy's big move
Toy collectors of the world, like myself, will lose a special place this year. The Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum located in Arcola, Il. is set to close by year’s end. The dolls, created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915, have had tremendous staying power. Their likeness has appeared on products ranging from nutcrackers to spinach cans to makeup kits. Raggedy Ann & Andy’s images have appeared on a myriad of marketing items, which was unheard of in its time. It predated licensing deals that have put Mickey Mouse’s face on everything from macaroni and cheese boxes to bed sheets.
Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, Johnny’s granddaughter, has spent the last ten years operating the museum. But she’s tired of it and now in her 60s wants to move on. Thankfully, she’s not boxing up the collection and moving it into storage. She’s donated much of the museum to the Strong National Museum of Play. So toy freaks can breathe a sigh of relief.