BOAC and BEA Dolls

  BOAC, (British Overseas Airways Corporation), began in 1946, operating mainly long haul flights.

BEA, (British European Airlines), existed from 1946 until 1974, and operated both British domestic and European routes. 

The two airlines merged in 1974, to form BA (British Airways).

In common with some other doll manufacturers in the 1960s and early 1970s, Peggy Nisbet made a small range of dolls for both airlines.   In those days, flying off on a holiday to Spain was a huge adventure, and passengers were very keen to buy a souvenir of the flight - and this is how these two families of dolls was born!

BOAC Dolls

These dolls were produced as part of the "Jetsell" initiative - This was a Board of Trade promotion to the United States, that took place in April 1968.   The range consisted of 17 british characters, (though we can only trace 16 - all listed below), and only 1000 of each doll was produced.   These dolls may not have had a Peggy Nisbet model number, though we have some evidence to suggest that they may have included, (or been based on) dolls from the Tower Treasures "K" Series

Can you supply the name of the character missing from our list?   Is our list correct?

Pilot Steward Air Hostess Chinese Stewardess
Policeman Guardsman English Girl Indian Stewardess
Irish Boy Welsh Boy Scottish Dancer Boy Japanese Stewardess
Irish Girl Welsh Girl Scottish Dancer Girl Scots Piper

The gallery (below) is incomplete, having only six of the reported 17 characters available for a photo session; more pictures will be added as new members of the cabin crew fly in!

(We have also included two (rather poor) pictures of the box used for these dolls - Many collectors will recognise it)

BEA Dolls

As far as we can discover, the BEA dolls were made after the introduction of the BOAC range, and so would have been available after 1968.   The range of characters were mainly National Costume dolls.   We do not currently know how many were in the range, or who they were - Can you help fill in some gaps? 

We do know that our stewardess would have had a red duffel coat originally, but we guess she left it on an aeroplane somewhere . . .

We managed to find two pictures, (origin unknown), of the BEA Stewardess with her red duffel coat, which we have included on this slideshow

The doll pictures in the two galleries above will auto run as individual slide shows in their respective windows.

Press F5 (function key 5 on your keyboard), to re-start the slide shows.

Alternatively, you may control each slideshow manually – follow the steps below :

  • Place the cursor at the bottom of the window to access thumbnail and navigation control bar
  • Click on the “?” (question mark) symbol (bottom left hand side of the control bar) for a detailed explanation of the controls
  • See a full screen slideshow by clicking on the “Square with Arrow” symbol (2nd from right on the control bar)
  • Use the keyboard arrow keys to move forward and back through the slideshow, as desired
  • Use the “ESC” key to leave full screen mode


31st October 2015

New updates added - We have added a new page on the Isle of Wight dolls, which were produced for the Liliput doll Museum, on the Isle of Wight.   These dolls have mystified us for some time, but an opportunity to do some research through the archives, an email from Graham Munday, (owner of the Lilliput Doll Museum), and an email chat with author and Shallowpool Dolls expert sue Brewer, have allowed a partial reconstruction of their fascinating story.   There are still some gaps in our knowledge, so if you can fill in any of the missing details for us, please do get in touch!

19th September 2015

New updates added - Our thanks to correspondent David H, who has sent us two interesting pictures - The first is of a very rare Nisbet First Doll.   This is the doll that started Peggy Nisbet's dollmaking career, and you can read all about her on this page : dolls/special-collectors-sets-limited-and-signature-editions/SCE-P1953 Replica Edition of the First Nisbet Doll.  David's picture of his original first Nisbet is shown below the article on the replica doll, and below that, is shown a unique 18" porcelain doll that also shows the Queen in Coronation robes, and was used in displays and exhibitions.   This doll is also shown in the book, "The Peggy Nisbet Story".  Other updates added today are the BOAC and BEA dolls, Madam Tussaud Dolls, Wax Dolls, and a Porcelain statuette issued as a tribute to Peter Bull, which is shown under Dolls/Porcelain Dolls/Irish Dresden - Tribute to the Late Peter Bull

12th September 2015

New updates added - Apologies to all our visitors for the long delay in adding some updates and new information - we hope that the items listed below will be of interest!   Many kind thanks to numerous correspondents, for their kind offers of pictues and other information, to fill in the gaps in various galleries :  To Barbara T, for her stunning pictures of H/214 - Queen Elizabeth I, wearing a rubber crown.   Pictures appear in Historical Gallery 1, and in "Know your Nisbets/Headgear/Crowns".   Frank T sent two excellent pictures of Vera Evelyn Samuel, and you can see the pictures and read all about her here - "Porcelain Dolls/Doulton Nisbet".   Penny D has sent in some pictures of her magnificent early P/618 - Robbie Burns - See him in Portrait Dolls Gallery 1.   We have used another of Keith P's pictures in a new gallery just added - "Know your Nisbet/Body shape and pose".   Finally, we have added a new page on Walt Disney dolls, which may come as something of a surprise to many collectors, as the dolls are not typically Nisbet in appearance!


3rd January 2015


Exciting New updates added for 2015 - Correspondent Michael A contacted us last year to ask about his mother's "Beatles" Nisbet dolls - Collectors of long standing may have heard of this almost legendary set of dolls - Thanks to Michael, you can now learn all about them here : /dolls/the-dolls-that-never-were/the-beatles/   

A recent contact from author Ian Price, who writes for the "Fashion Dolls Quarterly" magazine, (, enquired about Nisbet's Christmas themed dolls - We were delighted to assist his researches in compiling this article on Peggy Nisbet's "Legends of Christmas" dolls.   Ian has very kindly allowed us to make a copy of this article available for download - Please go to the Downloads/Miscellaneous/ page, and click on the link to "Styling Santa", by Ian Price, to see the article.



Thank you for stopping by to browse, or for making contact with us - We hope the website will prove to be of use and interest to you!