May 232016
 
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Sweet Ann doll by Deluxe Reading has a sweet face. Her box has an illustration of her against a blue background. Photos courtesy of Francie Owens.

Sweet Ann and Sweet Gail are the same doll, only the color of their gown differentiates them. They were sold in grocery stores in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Body Construction
Sweet Ann and Sweet Gail are among Deluxe Reading’s larger glamour dolls at 30″ tall. They are made of rigid vinyl or hard plastic, with a softer vinyl head, jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips.

Markings
She is marked “AE251/3” or “AE251/4G” on the back of her neck.

Clothing
Sweet Ann wears her fabulous red gown with silver and white underskirt, with red mitts. The bright red satin fabric fades to a duller red or orange over time. Around her neck is a pearl choker, and she wears drop pearl earrings and a tiara of silver sequins. Sweet Gail wears the same style gown, except that it is royal blue instead of red. This blue has often faded to purple over time.

Packaging
Sweet Ann’s original box is pictured above. Sweet Gail’s is the same basic design, but the dress is blue and the background is red.

This doll has lost her jewelry, but her dress retains its vibrant red color.



Copyright 1998-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sweet Rosemary Doll by Deluxe Reading

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Apr 212016
 
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Sweet Rosemary is one of the big glamour dolls Deluxe Reading made in the late 1950s, which were sold in grocery stores. Although she is a lady doll, she was made with a variety of head molds that are very childlike.

Body Construction
This doll is approximately 30″ tall, jointed at the neck only. She is all vinyl and her body is stuffed. She has short, curly blonde rooted hair and blue sleep eyes with brush lashes, with painted lashes below her eyes. She has pierced ears with drop pearl earrings. Her finger and toenails are unpainted. The same dolls were dressed in different outfits and sold as Darling Debbie, Beautiful Gail, Betty the Beautiful Bride, and Cinderella.

Clothing
Sweet Rosemary wears a pink taffeta gown with rows and rows of pink and silver lace ruffles decorating the skirt. The same lace also frames the neckline and she wears matching detached sleeves. A deep pink velveteen cummerbund accents her waist, and a pearl choker encircles her throat. She also wears white cotton panties. The doll was also packaged with a pink plastic purse with goldtone chain strap. The bases of her high heeled shoes are gray plastic with white elastic straps across the instep, accented with a circle of rhinestones.

Markings
The large stuffed vinyl dolls have various markings.

Packaging
Her original box is pictured below.



Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Ballerina / Skater Doll by Deluxe Reading (1959-60)

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Mar 312016
 
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Deluxe Reading made several different high heeled dolls in the late fifties and early sixties. The Ballerina / Skater came with outfits for both activities to provide hours of fun for a little girl.

Body Construction
This doll is 20″ tall, with a soft vinyl head, rigid vinyl arms and torso, hard plastic legs and feet. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees and ankles. Her lower legs and ankles are strung, the rest of her joints are flanged. She is a walker. Her blue sleep eyes are framed by brush lashes, with three painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye. She has the typical “chipmunk-cheeked” face seen in many of Deluxe Reading’s dolls. Dolls with this body type came with either a bubblecut or ponytail hairstyle, in dark blonde and possibly other colors. She has no earring holes.

A similar doll, with the addition of jointed wrists, was also made by Deluxe Reading.

Deluxe Reading’s Ballerina / Skater doll has jointed ankles.

Markings
She is marked “21 HH” on the back of her head below the hairline.

Clothing
This doll was sold in the Sears catalog of 1959 as a Ballerina/Skater, wearing a long-sleeved ice skating costume with tights, skates and a scarf. She also came with a complete ballet outfit. In 1960, the ponytailed version was available as a Ballerina with Wardrobe. Her extra clothing included a leotard, rayon party dress, and cotton dress with jacket. The Ballerina/Skater was also described, but not pictured.

Scan from 1959 Sears Christmas Catalog, courtesy of Wishbook Web.

The doll in the photo at top wears a strapless dress with cotton bodice trimmed in gold braid and a taffeta print skirt. A flocked flower corsage is pinned to the bodice. This is very similar to another Deluxe Reading outfit also pictured in the 1960 Sears catalog. This may have been the party dress that came with the Ballerina doll, or perhaps this particular doll was sold as simply a fashion doll wearing this outfit. Her petticoat, hose and shoes may not be original.



Copyright 1999-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Aug 192013
 
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Little Miss Fussy doll by Topper Toys.

Notice the long nipple on Little Miss Fussy’s bottle.

Li’l Miss Fussy is a battery-operated baby doll who kicks and cries (more of squeak, actually) when she needs to be changed. The secret is in the long nipple of her special bottle, and the metal tabs on her diapers which insert into slots in her right side. She comes with two diapers – one has a triangular metal tab, and the other a rectangular tab. After her bottle is inserted and removed, she will kick her legs and make noise until the diaper is removed. You can then dress her in the other diaper and do it over again.

Little Miss Fussy doll by Topper Toys

Little Miss Fussy has slots in her right side where the tabs on her diapers fit.

Body Construction
Li’l Miss Fussy is 18″ long, with a rigid vinyl head and arms, blow molded vinyl bent legs, and hard plastic torso. She has blonde hair styled with curls on top, and blue eyes with brush lashes that do not close. She has an adorable face. She needs 2 “D” cell batteries to operate.

Her diapers close with snaps on the side. Next to the snap on the right side, is the special metal tab that fits into the doll’s body.

Clothing
Li’l Miss Fussy wears a pink cotton dress trimmed with synthetic lace and pink satin bow, her diaper of woven fabric, and terry cloth booties.

Markings
She is marked “K 29 // DELUXE TOPPER // 19(copyright symbol)67” on the back of her head.

Little Miss Fussy doll by Topper Toys

Packaging
Li’l Miss Fussy’s box has a clear color photo of her on the front. It states “As Seen on TV” so a commercial must have been made.



Copyright 2013 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sep 162012
 
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Deluxe Reading, based in Elizabeth, NJ, was a major doll manufacturer active from the late fifties into the mid-seventies. The company was variously known as Deluxe, Deluxe Reading, Deluxe Toy Creations, Deluxe Premium Corp., Deluxe Topper, Topper Toys and Topper Corp. Many of their dolls were sold through grocery stores in boxes with colorful graphics. Some dolls that were marketed by Deluxe Reading were identical to dolls sold by other companies, including Arrow and Allied.

Baby Brite doll by Deluxe Reading

Baby Brite by Deluxe Reading

Baby Dolls

Suzy Cute is a 7″ baby with extra outfits and accessories, including a crib and playpen. 13″ Baby Brite (pictured above) will raise her arms to be picked up when you press the button in her tummy. Baby Magic nurses, cries and pouts. Tickles is a battery operated 20″ baby who laughs and cries. Baby Boo is another of Deluxe’s battery powered crying babies. 19″ Baby Catch-a-Ball wears metal bracelets that attract her magnetic ball. She has an unusual expression with tongue sticking out. Little Miss Fussyis a drink and wet doll that will whine until her diaper is changed. Several other mechanical babies were made in the late sixties.

 

Smarty Pants doll by Deluxe Reading

Smarty Pants is a battery powered talker.

Girl dolls

Little Miss Fashion Doll, despite her name, is a little girl doll sold with four complete outfits, including a snow suit, pajama set, cowgirl costume and party dress. Suzy Smart is 24″ tall and is a battery operated talking doll with jointed knees. She came in a set with school desk and blackboard. Deluxe Beauty Parlor Doll is the same doll, without the talking mechanism.


8″ Penny Brite was one of Deluxe’s biggest sellers. She came in a plastic case and had numerous extra outfits, as well as play sets and a car. She is shown with the desk and blackboard from her School Room set.


Suzy Homemaker is 22″ tall and had accessories including an ironing board and iron, and refrigerator. Some items were child size rather than doll size.


Candy Fashion doll by Deluxe Reading

Candy Fashion

Fashion & Glamour dolls

Deluxe’s 30″ high heeled glamour dolls include Darling Debbie, Sweet Rosemary, Sweet Ann and Betty the Beautiful Bride. These dolls have stuffed vinyl bodies and wear long fancy gowns. Bonnie Bride is an unusual doll who can “walk” down the aisle (on her rolling stand) and even throw the bouquet. 21″ Candy Fashion (pictured above) is one of Deluxe’s most beloved dolls. She was sold in a set with three dress forms and extra outfits. Candy has been reproduced by Charisma, but the new version is only 18″ tall. Deluxe Fashion Parade is another doll with extra outfits. She was available in 19″ and 25″ sizes. Gail of the West is a cowgirl doll. The Rags to Riches doll comes with both a “rich girl” and “poor girl” outfit. Pam and an unnamed Ballerina / Skater are two more of their high heeled glamour dolls.


Dawn doll by Topper Toys

Dawn in her first issue box. Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Dawn

6.5″ Dawn was a big success in the early seventies, and was widely imitated. Her most common friends are Glori, Angie, Dale, Jessica and Longlocks. Dawn’s male friends include Gary, Van and Ron. They were sold in regular and dancing versions. There was a series of Model Agency friends and another series of Majorette friends. Dawn has many extra outfits and playsets, even a car. One problem for collectors is the “blue knees” these dolls get due to a chemical reaction between the vinyl of their legs and the metal joint inside. Dawn and some of her friends were reissued by Checkerboard Toys for a few years beginning in the late 1990s.

Novelty dolls

The Go-Gos are 6.5″ character dolls with vinyl limbs wired for posability. The include Private Ida (a detective), Brenda Brush (an artist) and Cool Cat (a folk singer with guitar). Eight different dolls were made.

Copyright Zendelle Bouchard 1997-2016