Happy birthday ‘Little Debbie’

The 1985, 25th Anniversary Little Debbie doll is a sweetheart. Good luck finding this one on the secondary market. Photographed by Mary Jane Lamphier.

It is not too late to celebrate Little Debbie’s 60th birthday of being the McKee Foods logo. McKee Foods is celebrating ”America’s Sweet Hearts” birthday the entire year of 2020. Every two months 10 lucky winners are randomly selected to win gifts.

Little Debbie, the smiling little girl, dressed in a blue and white checked dress, has become an advertising icon. The trademark dates back to the 1960s when McKee Foods founder, O.D. McKee came up with the catchy name for their new family-pack cartons of snack cakes. He decided to use the name Little Debbie after his 4-year old granddaughter, Debbie.

The photo used for the logo with Little Debbie on it was inspired by photo of McKee’s granddaughter in her calico play cloths and her favorite cowgirl hat. The logo appears on every box of McKee Foods, snacks, and the various mediums of advertising.

McKee Foods advertising people started a tradition in 1985. They offered to the public a 25th Anniversary Little Debbie Doll, made by Horseman. The plastic school girl doll is 11.5 –inches tall and has blond synthetic hair. It is dressed in the traditional blue and white checked dress with a white apron and the white straw hat with the blue and white checked trim.

Another doll was offered in 1990. The limited edition Little Debbie was offered in celebration of the 30th year for the Little Debbie logo. The doll is made of fine porcelain bisque with natural tones and highlights. It stands 12- inches tall. Little Debbie has clear blue acrylic eyes. The dress is blue and white calico and the straw hat is trimmed with the same fabric. The Dynasty Doll Collection, winners of the prestigious Doll’s Magazine Award of Excellence, created the doll.

In the 1990s several Little Debbie Barbie Dolls were the prize. They wear the traditional Little Debbie calico dress and cowboy hats except for one that had checkered capris with a white blouse and blue jacket. The 40th anniversary, Little Debbie was also a Barbie Doll but this time she wears a sparkling blue, long gown and silver handbag and no hat.

In 2004 Little Debbie come out riding a Breyer Horse named “Pinto Pal Oatmeal Cream” for a new product promotion. The doll is dressed in denim blue bibs and a blue and white checked shirt, white boots and hat.

Another Little Debbie Doll premium was offered in 2013. It is an 8-inch Little Debbie made by the Madam Alexander doll company. The plastic doll has

A curly auburn wig and the blue and white calico dress with a white apron trimmed with lace.

McKee Foods has had many promotions other than dolls that collectors are interested in. In fact I have not seen any mention of a doll in this 60th birthday promotion. Go to www.littledebbie.com to sign up for the drawings and see what is offered. The most recent drawing was held Sept 1st and the next drawing will be on November 1.