This modular dolls house burst onto the scene in the mid-sixties, bringing with it the fashions and language of architecture and interior design.
Jennys Home was produced in association with Homes and Gardens Magazine. It launched in November 1965 through a colour-printed centrefold in that publication.
Fittingly, collectible accessory sets were also described in terms of do-it-yourself decorating. ‘Girls!’ shouts the packaging, ‘wall-to-wall carpets and curtain material!’, ‘wonderful furniture’, and ‘four changes of colour scheme all blending in with Jennys Home’. By association with modernity, choice and luxury, Jenny’s plain plastic box became utterly desirable.
Jennys Home bucked the prevailing trend for painted wooden dolls’ houses in the form of detached mansions and villas. Instead, each room is a simple plastic box, with large windows, moulded panelling on the front and stone-cladding on the sides. These rooms could be linked together side by side, or stacked to create flexible, modular housing.
Suggested configurations included ‘bedsitter and kitchen’, ‘luxurious six-roomed bungalow’ and ‘apartment block with penthouse flat’, all increasingly familiar housing forms in mid twentieth century Britain.
Jennys Home was made by Spot-On, a subsidiary of the Tri-ang brand. It was produced in the firm’s Belfast factory, where die-cast cars were also made. The plastic pieces used the new technique of injection moulding.
Jennys Home furniture was brighter and more modern than previous ranges. It is small too, produced at 1/16th scale. The full range of accessories included modern lounge sets with televisions, fitted kitchens, and three-piece bathroom suites. But traditional dolls’ house items like the piano persisted. ‘Jenny’ herself came in blonde and brunette versions, and her parents and baby brother could also be collected.
Two generous donations make up the V&A Museum of Childhood’s tower block. Given by Angela Davidson and Karen Curtis.