Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Happy Family

The Happy Family was Mattel's African-American version of the Sunshine Family. I give kudos to Mattel for really being the first to do this. And also to give them their own identity instead of just the black Sunshine Family. In the 1970's it was rare to have black versions of popular dolls. Barbie hadn't gone black yet in the early 1970's. The Happy Family came out in 1975 a year before the second series of the SF. This Happy Family consisted of Hal the dad, Hattie the mom and Baby Hon.

One thing I never understood was why Hal is wearing a tank top. Steve is wearing a turtle neck and a long sleeved shirt. I remember driving my mom crazy with questions like that. Odd. Well anyway Hattie is wearing a very colorful skirt and top. Baby Hon is wearing a little outfit when Baby Sweets at this time is still in a sleeper. Baby Sweets outfit for the 3rd Series is the same as Hon's but with a brown bottom. This 1st version is pretty common and easy to find.

The Happy Family used the exact same mold as the Sunshine Family. The only difference being the skin and eye color and the dark curly hair.The Happy Family also had a 2nd version. It is super rare and when they come up for auction is always pricey. The last complete set I saw recently went for around $70 and really I've seen them go for much more. I don't have a complete 2nd series, I only have Hal and Toddler Hon seen below.
 Toddler Hon is hard to find and I jumped for joy when I finally scored her! I found a photo on line somewhere to show you what the original set looks like, shown below. The baby in the 2nd series is just the same baby Hon so you can add anyone that you have. I do have more but I don't have that baby outfit. Hattie is also basically the same with a little color to her lips. She wears the same original shoes and the same hairstyle but her outfit is crazy hard to get!
I drove my mom nuts with begging for another Sunshine Family house so that the Happy Family could have their own house but she wouldn't go for it and said "They can all live together Jenny, what the big deal?" She never understood I wanted them to be neighbors and visit each others houses and stuff. Besides how do 4 adults, 2 babies and two sets of Grandparents live in a 4 room house when one of the rooms is a patio with 1 bed and 2 chairs? The Happy Family ended up living in Barbie's fold out townhouse but I always thought that Stephie was jealous of the Barbie furniture. ;0)

I'll post about the Grandparents next then I'll move on to the House and the kits and the other play sets. I hope you are enjoying my ramblings and please ask questions if you have any.

16 comments:

Pattee said...

I love the Sunshine family also!!!

Thanks for coming over to my blog and commenting on my doodles!

: ) Pattee

Tina aka forrestina vintage said...

The Happy Family are adorable--I only had the Sunshine Family...I believe it was the second edition by your photos. I just found 4 female Sunshine dolls at an estate sale. They are not part of the family. There is an American Indian girl (dark brunette), one that appears to be a Pioneer girl (brunette), one wears a blue and yellow satin evening gown (blonde ringlets), and one dressed like a Southern Belle (floral dress, big hat, red hair in ringlets). Do you know anything about these girls? The woman I purchased them from said she thought they were Bicentennial Dolls. Any info would be very much appreciated!

Thanks for all the info here on your blog...I enjoyed learning about The Families. :)

sassypackrat said...

Tina, yes the dolls you have are called the Star Spangled Dolls and they were made by Mattel for the bicentennial in 1976. The blond in the yellow and blue dress is the Colonial girl. I'll do a blog post soon of these dolls with pictures of all of them and more info soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming up with this site.. It is great.. HUGE Sunshine collector here! I even have the rare 2 story house! I really enjoy reading about my collection!
Jae

FONT LOVER said...

cute doll 0_0

keep up the good work!

Regina Frydman said...

Oh, look how cute they are! So much fun to see the Happy Family.

Anonymous said...

No disrepect to your mom, but obviously Hal & family are southerners (probably Louisiana where their ancestors the Harris' of New Orleans lived) while Steve & family are northerners (probably New England area as most of their ancestors were from Boston (the Thompsons), Plymouth (the Winthropes, & Philadelphia (the Stantons). It's pretty obvious when you think about it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Loved this set! I had a bicycle built for two with a basket for the baby!

AmyM said...

I had the series 1 Happy Family and a house. My mom made them additional clothes from McCalls pattern 4716.

maarnietvangrijs said...

You have a blog about de Sunshine Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, I'm so thrilled! I had the Happy Family when I was a kid, and I was just writing a post about father Happy, when I discovered your blog. So I made a link in my latest post. You can see my Hal overhere if you like:
http://maarnietvangrijs.blogspot.com/2011/12/retro-uit-eigen-speelgoedkast-mr.html

Thank you so much for sharing all this information about and pictures of the Sunshine and the Happy family!!

X Sacha (maarnietvangrijs)

maarnietvangrijs said...

p.s. And it's great to see Mrs.Happy again, because our dog ate mine......

Dollbby said...

I love This Dolls! Last Time I bought Hattie, but she had Destroyed hair :(

roroDolls said...

thanks for help in identifying my dolls (well, a bit)...
I got /by accident and really cheap!!/ family of four with baby accessories, dad is wearing denim working pants...
have to look up and read some more...

lauw Shu said...

www.thezerofinance.com

lauw Shu said...

www.thezerofinance.com

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