Golly is a character popular in the UK and was the advertising logo for the James Robertson preserve company from the 1920s until 2002. Golly badges & pins are especially popular, but the figure can also be found as dolls, on books, dinnerware, etc.

The earliest Golliwog is the hero in books of verse written by Bertha Upton in the 1890's, and illustrated by her daughter Florence Upton.


Sales of Golliwogs are booming again after years of being ostracised from the toy box.

Golliwogs bore the brunt of political correctness in the 1980s and 90s. Toy shops thought it non-PC to even sell one in the 1980s.

But now the toy is making a surprise comeback with a rebranding for the 21st century.

Toy manufacturers are working flat-out to meet demand for the doll as his popularity soars.

He fell foul of the censors in the 1980s for bullying Noddy. He was named and shamed as a "legacy of slavery" and his character dropped by publishers.

The Working Group Against Racism in Children's Resources added: "He embodies the mythical qualities often attributed to black people - superstition, large appetites, primitive simplicity and savagery."

Oliver Holmes, managing director of manufacturer Merry Thought, said: "We make 10,000 gollies a year and are currently working to full capacity. British orders now have to be placed months in advance and gollies are also a tremendous export winner in the States.

Golliwog value

What's it worth? Take a look at this Golliwog price guide: sold listings for a value indication.

Golliwog forum (10 comments)

Email: (will not be displayed)

Vikki Atkinson - July 27, 2017

i have a mid 19th century golliwog doll he has some wear and tear due to age i was wondering if there is anyone who is buying these vintage dolls tried to sell on ebay they wouuldnt except it they said it was offensive it is a Merrythought
►reply: That's really weird, there are many Golliwogs for sale right now on eBay.

Lynn - April 2, 2017

I have a gollywog doll from a late cousins estate. He is tall and extremely dapper. I've looked at images of gollies online and can't see any that compare to him ( in my opinion) LOLHe's in great condition - doesn't have a makers tag. Also a Merrythought smaller golly - great condition.
►reply: There were so many made! You can start a collection ;-)

Patricia Halliday - January 9, 2016

am collecting robertsons golly pin badges would appreciate it if you would consider me if anyone is selling.thankyou

Beverly - July 10, 2014

i have a gollywog what is it worth

Jane Parry - June 21, 2014

Hi there I love these Golly soft toys. Why do people think that they are rasist? I am looking for a massive Golly doll and they no longer sell them on Amazon. Hope you can shed some light. From Jane
►reply: No idea Jane! There are some for sale on eBay. Press the UK flag to search on eBay UK.

Julie Smith - May 28, 2013

I have 9 small Golliwogs for sale. They have Robertson on the base and they all have a different instrument they are holding. You can email me at:
"julie (ADD @ HERE) justaskjulie (DOT) com" for a picture.
►reply: If you have sold them, mail me again and I will remove your message.

Jan - December 7, 2010

I have 3 gollywog 1930's lapel pin badges for sale. one skateboarder, one bagpiper and one cyclist all good condition with rev. comm frederick street b'ham 1 on on the reverse anyone interested please contact [please send through this form] they are 80 yrs old.

Karen - October 31, 2010

I have a Golliwog made by Merry Thought in England, not sure when it was made, but I have had is since I was a child, and I am 41 now. Are they worth anything?
►reply: I have no idea Karen, it depends on state, wear & tear, etc. Best is to look on for example eBay to see what they fetch.

Ian Frost - September 27, 2010

I have recently come across a very old golliwog in my loft. traditional cloth, some of which has faded in colour, some stitching has come apart which has been repaired. how would i be able to find out how much it would be valued at? can attach a photo via email if that helps. thanks

Jackie - August 17, 2010

I have Robertsons bride and groom gollies I havn't seen them anywhere are they worth anything?