Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunshine Family Series 1 and Some History

A little backround history of The Sunshine Family. These dolls were created by Mattel and were sold starting in 1974 until 1982. They were wonderful dolls who represented a simpler more laid back time when people made crafts and sewed their own clothes in the 1970's.

These dolls fit in perfectly with my childhood because my parents really did those things and encouraged me to make things too. My mother didn't approve of many toys but she found a way to buy these for me. (I only had one Malibu Barbie, Ken & Skipper-why would you need more was my mom's thinking).

The original name of The Sunshine Family Dolls was "The Good Earth Family". Glad they changed it cause I think Sunshine Family is just so much better!

The Sunshine Family consisted of father Steve, mother Stephie and blond baby Sweets.

Sunshine Family Original Series 1
The very first series edition of The Sunshine Family are very hard to find as they were only made a short time. Changes were made to the clothing and baby and then released as another Series 1.
Above is the Original Series 1.
In the original release, Steve had a looser turtle neck sweater and his pants had pockets. Stephie had a long sleeved ankle length dress with a long apron with pockets.
The biggest and rarest difference in the original series 1 is that baby Sweets was made from soft rubber and you could sqeeze and bend her. Also her outfit was made to come off easy for diaper changes. (all further series had a hard rubber Sweets body and a very hard to get off and then on again one piece outfit).

Sweets' outfit opened up in back.

Sweets was soft and you could squeeze her.

After I talk about the different Series of The Sunshine Family and The Happy Family, I'll move on the the great playsets and will show photos of the "Family" living their little lives. I'll also have a section on The Star Spangled Dolls which used the SF bodies and also all the fun clone dolls of the SF I've collected.
Hope you enjoyed what I have so far and please comment so I know someone's reading this, o.k.?

8 comments:

Mila said...

Очень интересные куколки!!))

Christine said...

This is great! I had the sf dolls and house too...wish my parents had kept them:) Thanks for the trip down memory lane:)

Children of Eve said...

I had and loved these! The Dad's led broke at the knee so I inserted a popscicle stick. We referred to him as "Old toothpick leg" after that. His face always reminds me of the boy who played Charlie in the Willy Wonka movie.

Eliza said...

This are the most loved toys from my childhood!!.. so many memories..
I love your blog!!!... It's almost as if you've read my mind!!.

THANK YOU!!!.. I almost cried!!
Eliza

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

this is wonderful--i am sure it was the first set that i had. they were my first dolls. i remember playing with them in mom and dads bedroom. i just loved baby sweets. i which i still had them . who knows what became of Stephanie, steven and baby Sweets. sob.

Hope said...

I am so glad I found this blog ! I thought I was the only one who remembered and loved these dolls. I had almost everything made for the sunshine family ( house, truck with piggyback shack craft store, pet house, grandparents, the design /craft/clothing kits, extra furniture and clothes for baby Sweets - whom I dearly loved ! ) but lost it all when an x insisted I sell them. I was young & dumb. I wish I had kept them !
A dear friend of my moms started me on the set with the original mom, dad and baby sweets, though I do not think I had the originals, because Sweets was the harder plastic and was SO hard to dress and change.
I am currently in the market to buy back the items I owned in the Sunshine Family world. I'm not rich, so I have to hunt for bargains, but I now have a set of the mom & dad & baby Sweets, the grandparents, and a set of Happy Family ( the black dolls ). I also have the vinyl case to the SSF dolls, the truck & piggyback shack, the vinyl house and just a piece or two of the furniture.

I remember every single piece to the house set ! I am amazed that so many ppl have no idea what the oragne roof support piece is for ! It not only supports the roof, but the 4 walls,too are held in place by this piece.

So happy to have found this site ! Look forward to exploring it fully !
thanks,
Hope, knoxville, TN

Chris said...

Great blog. I grew up in the '70s, but somehow missed the SF phenom. I do love the image of early post-hippie crafting family. As a thrifter/reseller, I just bought a SF truck/jeep. It doesn't have the back part or add-ons.

Jessica Mills said...

These were also my favorite, favorite dolls growing up. I am sure that they helped shape my world view...along with listening to John Denver and watching Grizzly Adams...and watching School House Rock :0) I wish that I still had my original toys. They were stored under the house for years, along with my Fisher Price Little People and some other classic treasures. Unfortunately, my dad likes to throw away other peoples things more than he likes to purge his own, so sometime over the years, they disappeared. :0( . My mom worked for Mattel in the 70s, and I often got leftover test toys. I had the Star Spangled collection too. I loved them all. Some years ago I acquired a Series 1 Sunshine Family, still new in their box. Sadly, they just live in my closet. I always thought to find more items and give them a respectable display...or find them all out of box so that I could actually handle them...But as yet, I have not. So once in a while, I take the box down and peer into the little time machine that it represents...and remember happy days from long ago. Your page is a fun journey down memory lane :0)