Feb 212017

Mattel’s Sunshine Family showing the front and back of their original box. Photo courtesy of Franklin Lim-Liao.

The original Sunshine Family dolls sold by Mattel beginning in 1973 include dad Steve, mom Stephie, and their baby Sweets. 10? Steve and 9? Stephie have vinyl heads with inset plastic eyes and hard plastic jointed bodies. Sweets is all vinyl. Their outfits changed every year or so, but Steve generally has a knit shirt with dark pants, while Stephie wears a long flowered dress and usually an apron. Sweets has the same inset eyes but has a one piece vinyl body, and wears a one piece knit outfit.

Closeup of the Sunshine Family dolls by Mattel. Photo courtesy of Franklin Lim-Liao.

Closeup of Sweets doll from Mattel’s Sunshine Family. Photo courtesy of Franklin Lim-Liao.

Grandma and Grandpa were added in 1976 and could be purchased as a pair, or together with the rest of the family. The Sunshine Fun Family is an updated version that came out in 1979 and includes Steve and Stephie, Sweets (now a toddler) and a new baby brother. The black versions were called the Happy Family and Happy Fun Family.

Steve, Grandpa and Stephie from Mattel’s line of Sunshine Family dolls of the 1970s. Photo courtesy of eBay seller king-auctions.

The Happy Fun Family by Mattel is the updated version from 1979 with Sweets toddler and new baby brother. Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

The Sunshine Family had several playsets including a house with furniture, a nursery set for Sweets, craft kits and camping gear.

The Steve and Stephie dolls were also used for Mattel’s Americana-themed Star Spangled Dolls line including a Pilgrim Couple and Southern Belle.

Pioneer Daughter and Colonial Girl from the Star Spangled Dolls series by Mattel. These dolls utilized the Stephie molds. Photo courtesy of Sandy Blaine.

Copyright 2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

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