Friday, May 14, 2010

Introducing the Sunshine fun family!

Well Mattel for some unknown reason went nuts and decided on the Sunshine Family Series 3 to completely make over all the dolls and even changed their name to" the Sunshine Fun Family". The African-American version was called "the Happy Fun Family". Mattel decided to change the whole Sunshine Family idea from slightly hippie, make it yourself, organic, handmade to a more materialistic 1980's idea. I guess they were going with the changing times but I really feel they ruined the dolls by doing this. Other must have felt this way too as the line of dolls ended soon after and Mattel went to a Barbie sized, looking doll line called ironically the Happy Family (the African-American version of the Sunshine Family was called the Happy Family).

This will be a longer post as I point out the changes made to the dolls. I hope all of this is informative to you. As a collector myself I need to learn these things to collect the correct pieces and series.



New box design and new name. Unfortunately this is the only box I have from any of the series. If you check out my very first post I have a photo of the original box for comparison.
On the box it says: "And now there are 4! Mom, Dad, big sister and baby brother having fun together!" The best thing about this series to me was that baby Sweets was now a little girl and there is another slightly different baby in the family.

Big change huh?

O.k. Steve has a new outfit and shoes and a Brady Bunch Dad Fro going on. Stephie has a new dress and shoes, longer hair (back to a more natural color) and eyeshadow and lipstick! Sweets is now a little girl. (I really love this doll) She has little orange shoes but they are super hard to find so mine is barefoot for now. And the new baby who is apparently a boy doesn't have a name and is a redhead. The baby's original outfit is a one piece jumper with a white top and brown shorts and kind of matches the dad's clothes.
Steve's curly fro.

Stephie has blue eyeshadow, eyelashes and lipstick.
The new baby is the same "Sweets" body just
with red hair.
Big Sister Sweets as she's known now has an outfit that coordinates with the mom's dress. Sweets as a little girl is hard to find and in her original outfit almost impossible. The ribbons in her hair are original too.
Mattel started offering different outfits sets for the Family at this time as shown on the back of the box. I do have some of them and will get to them at a later date. These sets were different than the DIY sets they previously offered for the original Sunshine Family that you had to finish making yourself. More to come on those later.

9 comments:

Janice Moore-Petty said...

Wow! Are all these dolls part of your personal collection? What fun!Jan of Cheeky Rose Boutique

Elisa said...

Hi,

I've looked all over online and found your blog. I just got a doll today at a flea market and think it's a Sunshine Family doll, but she's a redhead/light brunette.

Do you know her name and is she a Sunshine Family doll?

Check out a pic here.

Thanks!

sassypackrat said...

Hi Elisa,

The doll you have isn't a Sunshine Family Doll but the molds were used of those dolls by Mattel for a series of dolls for the Bi-centennial in 1976 called The STAR SPANGLED DOLLS.
The doll you have is the Southern Bell Rosa Lee Linden. The dolls were from different periods in American history. There was an Indian maiden, a Pioneer daughter, the Southern bell, a Pilgrim couple, a Colonial Girl, and a Jazz couple (using the Happy Family molds). I have all of these dolls in my collection. I'll be doing a blog post on this series and how it relates to the Sunshine Family soon. If you have any further questions I'll be happy to answer them if I can.
Jennifer

Elisa said...

Thanks so much for the ID, Jennifer! I take it she had a hat that I don't have, but that's okay, I love her anyway. I look forward to your post! :)

Anonymous said...

You can use the patriotic dolls as friends of the Sunshine dolls. They make great sisters for Steffie or some girls might want a brunette mom!
The pilgrim dad is blonde and makes a great pal for Steve Sunshine!

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