Sweet Sue Teenage Doll by Dee an Cee

 Dee an Cee  Comments Off on Sweet Sue Teenage Doll by Dee an Cee
Mar 222016

When I bought the doll pictured above, I thought she was a very unusual Sweet Sue Sophisticate by American Character. Her pale strawberry blonde hair and arched eyebrows were different than any other I had seen. Her outfit didn’t look original – the quality certainly isn’t up to American Character’s usual standards. It wasn’t until I saw one mint in box on eBay that I found out who she really is – the Sweet Sue Teen Age Doll by Dee an Cee, and her outfit is her original one.

Body Construction
This doll is identical to the 20″ Sweet Sue Sophisticate in every way. It is my belief that she was in fact made by American Character, with slight differences in hair color and eyebrow paint to differentiate her from their own dolls, and sold nude to Dee and Cee. It is also possible that she was made by Dee and Cee from A.C. molds, but the quality and color of the vinyl, the way the lips are painted, the texture of the hair and her very presence say American Character to me.

She is jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and has a strung waist joint. Her finger- and toenails are painted red to match her lips. She has pierced ears with pearl drop earrings. Her blue sleep eyes have painted lashes underneath, and gray eyeshadow above.

This doll is unmarked, although there is a circle on her lower back where the American Character logo would have been.

Sweet Sue Teen Age Doll’s clothing was certainly not made by American Character. Her original dress is black velveteen with silver braid trim, with a pink satin underskirt topped with silver-threaded nylon. She has a pink fabric flower attached at the waist and her shoes are trimmed with flowers also. She also wears black taffeta panties. She may have had a ribbon around her waist originally. The dress closes in the back with two large white buttons.

Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

14″, 20″ and 25″ Toni Doll by American Character (1958-59)

 American Character  Comments Off on 14″, 20″ and 25″ Toni Doll by American Character (1958-59)
Jan 282016

American Character‘s Toni doll in 14″, 20″ and 25″ sizes is almost identical to their Sweet Sue Sophisticate. The two dolls were made using the same molds, but with slightly different face paint. Toni most often has painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye, while Sweet Sue Sophisticate has painted lashes below each eye. It should be noted that while this is the identifying feature, it is not a hard and fast rule. The company most likely used whatever dolls were on hand to fill their orders. Toni was marketed as a tie-in to the Toni home permanent made by the Gillette Co., and came in 14″, 20″ and 25″ sizes. Each doll was packaged with a Toni Playwave Kit consisting of a comb, brush, curlers and play-wave solution in squeeze bottle.

Toni Ballerina is a different doll, similar to Sweet Sue with Flexible Foot.

See also: 10″ Toni Doll10″ Toni Outfits

Body Construction
Toni is a walking doll, all vinyl and jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist and hips. Her shoulders are flange jointed, allowing them to move backward and forward only, held close to her body. Her waist and neck joints rotate, but do not tilt like Sweet Sue Sophisticate. Her rooted hair is good quality and was made in blonde, red and brunette shades. It is most often styled in a curly bob with bangs but varied occasionally according to the outfit she was dressed in. She has blue sleep eyes with brush lashes. A flirty-eyed version was also available, with the added feature of strung shoulder joints, allowing for greater posability.

The 14″ version of Toni is completely unmarked. The 20″ version has “AMERICAN © CHARACTER” in a circle on her back. The 25″ size has “AME. CHARACTER DOLL COR./©” on the back of her neck.

Toni was sold wearing outfits which were different from those of Sweet Sue Sophisticate. The larger sizes of Toni did not have as many outfits as their 10″ sister, but were available in a nice assortment of day, evening and bridal wear.
A stretch lace teddy identical to the one worn by the 10″ doll has been found in 20″ size; however, it is not known whether the larger size Toni was ever sold as a basic doll wearing it, or whether it was underwear for another outfit.

The earliest version of American Beauty is a ball gown with black bodice and full skirt of deep pink nylon tricot over taffeta; matching pink stole; combination marquisette slip and panties; hose; silver shoes with rhinestones; rhinestone or pearl earrings and pin. This doll’s hair is in a curly updo. All sizes. See photo above. A later version, available only in 20″ size, is a pale pink gown with a three-tiered lace skirt; pearl necklace and tiara. This doll has flirty eyes.

The earliest version of Bride is a short-sleeved wedding gown with lace bodice and two wide bands of lace on the tulle skirt; hooped petticoat; rounded satin cap with pearl edging and fingertip tulle veil; bouquet; lace-edged taffeta panties; hose; white shoes with rhinestones; solitaire ring; pearl earrings. All sizes. See photo above. (American Character’s Betsy McCall had an identical bridal outfit.) A later version, available in 20″ size only, is a long sleeved lace gown with micropleated underskirt.

Country Club is a sheer white blouse with elbow-length sleeves and big bow at neckline; multi-gored skirt has alternating panels of plain black and black-and-white checks; black beret; black shoes. This doll has a side-part hairstyle. All sizes. See photo above.

Dinner Date is a taffeta dress with dropped waist, bubble skirt accented with a velvet bow, attached stole; pillbox hat with tulle; evening bag. All sizes. Most commonly found in blue, but color variations exist. See brown version above. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Love in Bloom is a strapless party dress with stole, held in place by a wide belt. All sizes. See illustration below (from the Toni doll booklet.)

Romance with Mink Stole is a pale pink satin sheath dress with side slits with velvet ribbon accents; brown real mink stole; string of pearls; pearl earrings; pink shoes. 14″ and 20″ sizes only. See illustration above. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Sunday Best is a pale pink nylon blouse with a wide shawl collar and three rhinestones down the front of the bodice; skirt with cummerbund; hat of pale pink braid; purse. 20″ size only. 10″ Toni has a similar outfit.

Town and Country is a black and white striped taffeta dress, lined in red; long red and black felt vest with snap closure; matching hat; matching hatbox; black heels with rhinestone accents. 14″ and 20″ sizes only.

Toni was packaged in a box similar to that of the 10″ version, with 50’s graphics in pink and blue.

10″ Toni Doll Outfits by American Character

 American Character  Comments Off on 10″ Toni Doll Outfits by American Character
Dec 302015

See also: 10″ Toni Doll by American Character

1958 catalog photo of 10″ American Character Toni doll outfits.

The numbers below refer to the catalog photo above.

  1. Cheerleader is a green felt skirt with Toni written in white across the front; long-sleeved white knit top; green and white cap.
  2. Collegiate is an aqua corduroy skirt with white felt curved patch pockets; a white knit top with three-quarter sleeves; blue sash. See photo below. In 1960 this outfit was renamed Co-Ed. A later version of Collegiate is a sleeveless dress with red and white horizontal stripes on the bodice, black dropped waistband, white pleated skirt; black headband; red heels.

    Collegiate outfit for American Character’s 10″ Toni doll.

  3. TV Time is a black velveteen halter-top jumpsuit with elastic around at the waistline; short sleeved housecoat with rounded front hem.
  4. Surburbanite is a white vinyl coat with three red toggle closures; red corduroy hood; jumpsuit with red short sleeved bodice and red cordoroy pants; shoes. This outfit also came in a green variation. See photos below.

    Suburbanite outfit by American Character for their 10″ Toni doll.

    10″ Toni’s Suburbanite outfit has a one piece pantsuit under the coat. At right, the green toggle version of the coat with beige hood.

  5. Coat and Hat is a beige felt coat with two large pockets; red straw hat; white hankie with red edging; hose; red shoes. See photo below. The 1959 version is a black felt coat with white collar, cuffs and pockets; matching hat; black purse and heels.

  6. Sunday Stroll is a dress with black satin skirt, white bodice trimmed with silver glitter; blue felt coat with black velvet trim; black velvet hat with blue ribbon; hose; black shoes.

  7. Tea Time is a coral taffeta short-sleeved dress with white bands at neckline and sleeves and black braid near hem; wide black belt with coral ribbon tie; natural straw hat with black band; hose; black shoes.
  8. Charleston is a yellow and black checked dress; yellow sheer jacket.

  9. High Society is a dress with black velvet bodice, black and white taffeta bubble skirt, and white taffeta cowl collar; black velvet hair ribbon with flowers; hose; black heels. The 1959 version is also a bubble dress, but in pale pink taffeta with lace overlay.

  10. Stewardess is a short-sleeved blue cotton dress with white trim at the neck and sleeve edges, metal pin; matching hat with pin; black belt; black purse; black shoes.

    Stewardess outfit for 10″ Toni by American Character has matching metal “wings” pins on the dress and hat.

  11. Romance With Mink Stole is a pale pink satin gown with side slits, accented with rose velveteen bows; brown real mink stole; long string of pearls; hose; shoes. See photo below.

    Romance with Mink Stole for 10″ Toni doll, mint in box.
    Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

  12. Dinner Date is a blue taffeta dress with bubble skirt, cowl collar, large velvet bow at dropped waistline; brown real mink hat and muff; black heels with rhinestones. The fabric of the dress tends to fade to lavender. See photo below. The larger Toni dolls have a similar outfit.

  13. Bride is a white satin wedding gown with attached stole and tiers of tulle accented with bows; cap headpiece with long tulle veil; bouquet; hose; white shoes. See photo below.

  14. Cocktails is a dress with pale pink satin skirt, black velvet bodice, black lace overskirt, attached pink tulle stole; hose; black shoes. See photo below.

    Cocktails outfit by American Character for 10″ Toni doll.
    Photo courtesy of Franklin Lim-Liao.

  15. Bon Soir is a full-length nightie; lace-trimmed negligee; shoes with rhinestones. The 1959 version has a flowered negligee.
  16. Cha Cha is a black dress with full skirt, sheer white puffy embroidered sleeves and large bow at neckline, black headband with red accent, red heels. See photo below.

Additional outfits, probably from 1959 or 1960:

  • American Beauty is a gown with silver brocade bodice, two-tier deep pink nylon tricot skirt; matching nylon stole.

    Toni’s American Beauty outfit.
    Photo courtesy of Sandi Duncan.

  • At the Beach is a red sleeveless top with white trim; pedal pushers; fringed hat; bag; red heels.
  • Brunch Time is a black velveteen strapless jumpsuit; nylon print jacket with orange taffeta lining; hairband; black heels.
  • Shopping Time is a pale yellow dress with brown lace trim on bodice and skirt; brown straw hat; brown elastic strap heels with rhinestone accent.
  • Sunday Best is a long sleeved pale pink dress with satin collar and wide satin band at hem; pink straw hat. The larger Toni dolls have a similar outfit.
  • Tea Time is a short sleeved white cotton dress with narrow blue horizontal stripes, black loop trim; red straw hat; black belt; blue purse; heels.
  • (Name Unknown) – black velveteen pants; white long sleeved blouse with rhinestones and lace on front; rose ribbon sash at waist.

Learn More:

American Character Dolls
by Judith Izen
Find it on eBay.
Dolls & Accessories of the 1950s
by Dian Zillner
Find it on eBay.
The Doll & Teddy Bear Department
edited by Thomas W. Holland
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 1999-2015 by Zendelle Bouchard