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

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. 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. 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. Smarty Pants(pictured above) is a battery powered talker.

 


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 Lisa Hanson. Visit Lisa’s eBay store.

Dawn

6.5″ Dawnwas 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 1997-2012

  21 Responses to “Deluxe Reading / Topper Toys”

  1. Where would I find the Introducing the Deluxe Doll sheet that went into the Gail of the Golden West Doll who is a 24″ tall doll back in the 50″s. I have been looking all over for it – can’t; find it anywhere.
    gailborneman@yahoo.com

    • I don’t know of anywhere you can get the sheet alone – your best bet would be to contact someone who has the doll complete with the sheet and perhaps get a photocopy. If you need an original, you might have to buy another doll that has one, keep the sheet and sell the doll! They come up periodically on eBay. You should try the Deluxe Doll House if you haven’t already.

  2. I would like to know where I can get a list of all the 30″ Reading Dolls that were made.

  3. I have a black doll about 14 1/2″ – 15″ drink and wet,sleepy eyes,
    with AE 1505 on her neck but I cannot find that doll anywhere to see who she is. i know ae is allied eastern but i cant find ae 1505. she is wearing red felt dress, red bow and baby bottle on her wrist w/red ribbon and a cloth diaper. please help.i have been searching for days. thank you

    • Marks on vintage and modern dolls are not as useful for identification purposes as marks on other collectibles, like pottery for example. The doll reference books just don’t catalog them that way. It’s much easier to identify a doll by looking at her. Please check your email and attach pics to your reply, and I might be able to help.

  4. I was looking for a Little Red Riding Hood doll made by Deluxe Toy Creations from the year 1954. She was 23″ tall and came with a cape and basket, also her hair was washable. If anyone has any info please let me know. Thanks

    • Red Riding Hood by Deluxe Reading is hard to find in good condition. She has one of those stuffed rubber bodies that disintegrates over time. I’m sure a lot of them were thrown away over the years. If you are looking to purchase one, your best bet to find one would be to search eBay and then, click on the “Save” link at the top of the page. That way they will email you whenever a new one is listed. Thanks for writing.

  5. I have a doll that is about 3 ft tall and has never been taken out of box it has a colonial type scenery behind it in box she has on pink tier dress and pink pearls on and a beaded pocketbook the date on box is 1957 and was from deluxe premiere corp can send a picture I want to know how much she might be worth

    • Your doll is Sweet Rosemary and that box is a store display. The doll is fairly common, but the display is rare. I was not able to find a sold example to give you a price, but my guess is, at least $200. Maybe someone else that has bought or sold one will comment and let us know. Thanks for writing.

  6. Hello can you tell me please where I can find a tickles doll I have been searching for a while now.I had one when I was younger but sadly my mum made me give it away I was devastated at the time.I am desperate to find one .

  7. I have a 1964, Deluxe Reading “Crusader 101″ Battery operated convertible. I am ;looking for a nice box with insert and instructions. Will pay top $$$ dollar $$$ for a very nice example!! Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Chris

  8. I have a 1954 Deluxe Reading Little Red Riding Hood doll still in its packaging that I am interested in selling.

    • Deb, Little Red Riding Hood is one of those dolls whose stuffed latex body tends to disintegrate over time. The best way to sell her would be to someone who can look at her in person. If you’re not comfortable advertising her on Craigslist or in local classifieds, you could find a dealer at a doll show in your area (check out dollshowusa.com), contact a local auctioneer (find them at auctionzip.com) or take her to an antique shop in your area – most of them buy as well as sell. Hope you can find her a good home!

  9. In about 1966-67 I had a Deluxe Reading Beauty Salon doll. As I remember my doll came in a large box with a cellophane covering. I also remember my doll coming with a sink. I know there was a Suzy Homemaker version but were there more than one version of the other one?

    I would love any information you could provide to me.

    Thanks.

    • Tracy, Deluxe Reading/Topper made at least four different beauty parlor sets that I know of. The Suzy Homemaker set comes with the 22″ doll, the salon chair, hair dryer, wigs and hairpieces with styling accessories. Another one, which was just called “Deluxe Beauty Parlor” had a similar chair and hairdryer, but more accessories including a manicure set, but no wigs. The doll for that set was a 25″ toddler doll like Suzy Smart, but without the talking feature. Neither one of those sets came with a sink. The other two beauty parlor sets were much smaller, made for 8″ Penny Brite and 6.5″ Dawn dolls. They both came with sinks that you could actually run water through. They were basically the same set, but in different colors. Here are some Dawn Beauty Parlors on eBay.

  10. I have a 6 inch deluxe reading doll. I think that she was made in 1965. She is dressed like a spy and carries a brief case. She has black long hair and is wearing a brown dress with a black belt. She also has a pointed brown hat. She is very pretty. She also is earing brown boots. Do you know who she is? Thanks for listening.

    • Grace, her name is Private Ida. She is one of the Go-Go dolls, there were eight in the series, all different characters. One was an artist, one was a tomboy (with a black eye!), one was a nightclub singer. They are pretty cool!

  11. I have a Deluxe doll, that I believe is Darling Debbie, but not certain. She has 251 A-E on her neck, then to the side of that is 43. No markings on her torso, but 41 and another indented mark I can’t read on her foot. Her hair is reddish and her eyes are green, and her fingernails are very faded, but red. Whatever clothes she originally had, I no longer have. My grandmother gave this to me in the early 60′s, probably from the 50′s. I never played with her, but have moved her from house to house through the years, so her skin is dirty, though it looks like I could clean it easily (and will, when I find the best way – will try soapy water first). She had pierced ears. Hair is good but a little flattened in back from laying down, though probably could comb out in time. Lips are still very red and eyes work well. She is basically in very good condition. Wondered if you knew if she was Darling Debbie or someone else, and what would her approx. value be, as is? Thank you!!

    • Polly Ann, Deluxe used the same doll for Darling Debbie, Sweet Rosemary, Sweet Gail and Cinderella. They had various markings so the markings do not identify the doll. What defines one doll from another is the dress. Darling Debbie wears a blue gown, Sweet Rosemary a pink gown, Cinderella wears a pink and gold lame gown, Sweet Gail wears a short blue dress. Betty the Beautiful Bride is also the same doll, but her ears are not pierced. For more information and photos of all these dolls, visit the Deluxe Doll House site. For tips to figuring out your doll’s value, read my post, “How Much is My Doll Worth?”

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