Dawn Dolls - An Introduction:
Dawn Dolls were a late baby-boomer favorite. They made their debut in 1970, and they were favored by little girls who were happy to have a small mod, hip alternative to Barbie. The moms of those littler girls were thrilled to have an inexpensive alternative. The dolls and clothing weren't terribly well made, but they were charming and the clothes were brightly colored and glittery and there was a world of accessories, play sets and clothes available.
Years of Production of Dawn Dolls:
Dawn dolls were initially produced from 1970 to 1973 only, although store stock remained on shelves after that. The dolls were revived as both a toy and as collector reproduction in the late 1990s through 2003.
Companies That Produced Dawn Dolls:
Topper Corp. produced Dawn Dolls from 1970 until their bankruptcy in 1973. Checkerboard Toys produced the later Dawn dolls from the late 1990s until they ceased operation in 2003, a victim of the difficult post-9/11 collectibles market.
Material , Size and Characteristics:
Dawn dolls were made of soft vinyl, They were jointed at their necks, hips and shoulders, and their knees had a bending mechanism which allowed posing of the knees. Their waists twisted for posing. All Dawn dolls are 6" tall (the male dolls are slightly taller). The dolls have painted eyes and "real" eyelashes.
Prices and Secondary Market for Dawn Dolls:
There is a healthy market for Dawn Dolls with many later baby boomers collecting them. However, the dolls are still in endless supply and prices reflect this. Very few dolls will set collectors back over $100--only pristine, mint examples, rarer Flower Fantasy and Modeling Agency dolls and rarer outfits. Most items can be had, even mint in box or NRFB, for under $60.
Marks on Dawn Dolls:
Most Dawn dolls are marked (c)1970 // TOPPER CORP // HONG KONG // on the dolls bottoms, with a letter following, plus a sequence of numbers at the back of the head. Some very rare early dolls are just marked "Japan."
Other Dawn Characters:
Dawn was the main doll of an entire line of dolls (just as Barbie is). Dawn's friends included Gloria (red hair) Angie (black hair) Fale (African American) Gary (male), plus Jessica, Longlocks and others.
Varieties of Dolls:
There were basic Dawn Dolls (no special features) but also Dancing Dawn dolls, Head to Toe dolls (with wigs for hair play), Flower Fantasy dolls, and at the end of the original Dawn era, Model Agency dolls including new characters Denise, Dinah, Melanie and others.