Crissy, also known as Beautiful Crissy, was originally a doll whose red hair would grow down to below her knees. The doll was first produced in 1969 and was popular until 1975, before being released again as Magic Hair Crissy for a brief time around 1977.
Originally billed as the doll with "hair that grows and grows," Crissy was a 17-1/2" doll resembling a young red-haired teenaged girl with a smiling, lovely face. The doll's particular gimmick was that, by pressing a button on her stomach and tugging on a particular lock of the doll's hair, children could cause that strand of hair to increase in length until (with the original doll) it reached almost down to the doll's feet. Subsequent models came with hair that came down only to about the doll's waist. Turning a knob on Crissy's back caused the hair to retract again.
Crissy (also known as Beautiful Crissy, which was how she was referred to on her packaging) was so popular that she begat entire line of growing-hair dolls: Baby Crissy, Velvet, Brandi, Mia, Harmony, and more. There were even variations on the basic Crissy model, such as Swirl-Curl Crissy and Movin' Groovin' Crissy.
Although very popular during the early 1970's, the later attempt to reintroduce Crissy as Magic Hair Crissy wasn't as successful as maker Ideal hoped, and the doll faded into obscurity by the early 1980's.
Vintage Crissy dolls can be found in abundance thanks to their popularity - played-with examples can be found cheaply with minimal effort. As with most prized vintage dolls, however, excellent-condition, boxed examples are difficult to come by and expensive when found.
The following is a fairly comprehensive list of the Crissy dolls (not counting Baby Crissy and other 'Crissy family' members):
Crissy - original, 1969
Crissy - 1st issue, in rarer yellow and orange dress
Crissy - 2nd issue, with hair that goes only to the waist, 1969-1972
Crissy - 3rd issue, 1970
Crissy - smaller version, at 15-1/2", 1972
Crissy, Black - 1969-1971
Crissy, Look-Around - Upper body moves when string is pulled, 1972
Crissy, Movin' Groovin' - same movement as above, 1971
Crissy, Twirly Beads (Black) - 1974
Crissy, Magic Hair - later version w/ wigs, no 'growing-hair' mechanism, 1977
Crissy, Australian version - 1970