An important tip when trying to find authentic pre-1974 Madame Alexander dolls is to ensure that the doll is still in its original packing, with the tags and the doll's original clothing. Original dolls also have Alexander markings on their back or head, and the doll character's name is usually sewn into a seam of its clothes.
Madame Alexander dolls made in the 1940s made the change from fabric to hard plastic, and in the 1950s, this gave way to hard and soft vinyl dolls. Those looking to collect authentic pre-1974 dolls must look for the "mint in box" description, which means that the doll is in its original box with tags and has its original clothing. Dolls without any of these are of significantly lesser value.
Madame Alexander dolls have distinct markings on their heads. Older dolls carried the name of the character, such as Princess Elizabeth, Cissy or Nina Ballerina, or they were marked as the Alexander Doll Company. Dolls made more recently are just marked Alexander. Madame Alexander dolls began their operations in 1923 with their earliest cloth dolls. This makes them decades older than contemporary popular doll brands such as Barbie. Beatrice Alexander from New York is the founder and namesake of the company.