Have you ever heard of a salesman’s sample? No, what is it? Well way before the internet, salespeople traveled to sell their companies products and needed a miniature version of what they were selling. The could not carry a huge item with them into different stores to sell the store owner their product. So they made smaller versions of the real deal with working doors and the store owner could see the colors and style in order to decide if he wanted to stock the item.
One of the favorite salesman samples was a Buddy Lee Doll. The dolls were dressed in everything from Lee Jeans to gas station uniforms and more. These were carried to large companies to show them exactly what material would be used, how they would be labeled and more. Popular with Gas and Oil Collectors are Buddy Lee dolls dressed in Texaco, Phillips 66 and Shell. These little guys were made to look exactly like the “Real Deal” even down to the small patches on their hats. From composition dolls to hard plastic, they are happy little guys with a round head and side glancing eyes. Due to uniforms going out of style, these were discontinued in 1962.
However, when they became a pricey collectible, they were reproduced in the 1990’s. Once you see an original you can quickly tell a reproduction from a mile away. The real vintage pieces can be priced from $350 for common uniforms to $700 for rarer ones.
Want to see more of the little guys for sale? Check out http://www.icollect247.com and use the search – buddy lee. The website only offers original pieces for sale and all are guaranteed old.
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