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Sunshine Family Dolls by Mattel

Sunshine Family Dolls by Mattel

Denise Van Patten

Sunshine Family Dolls - An Introduction:

The Sunshine Family were produced in the mid 1970s--a difficult period for children's dolls because production of nearly all play dolls had recently shifted en masse to Asia, and many dolls suffered from low quality due to the manufacturers' quests for lower and lower prices. Although the Sunshine Family dolls and accessories did not have the highest quality, they were charming and entertained many late Baby Boomer and Gen-X children for hours. The dolls were heavily promoted on TV.

Years of Production of the Sunshine Family:

The Sunshine Family was in production from 1974 through 1978.

Company That Produced the Sunshine Family and Sunshine Family Members:

Mattel produced the Sunshine Family dolls. The basic set of dolls consisted of three dolls--Mom (Stephie), Dad (Steve) and a baby (Baby Sweets). Later produced doll sets had a little girl and a big brother, but no baby.

Material and Size:

The dolls were small in size--the adult dolls were 9 to 9.5 inches tall. All of the Sunshine Family dolls were made of soft, poseable vinyl.

Prices and Secondary Market for Sunshine Family Dolls:

Prices for Sunshine Family dolls are not terribly high--loose mint dolls (in a set) can be found for between $30 and $50. Dolls MIB (mint in box) rarely top $80. Collectors also avidly collect the Sunshine Family Home (a fold-out play home environment) and other accessories and the "Craft Kits;" evidently Mom and Dad Sunshine were grown-up hippies and very concerned about the environment, since many of their craft kits focused on recycling and similar topics.

Other Members of the Sunshine Family:

The Sunshine Family also had grandparents, available separately. The Sunshine Family was also produced as an historical line of dolls, including a Pioneer Girl, a Southern Belle, and an Indian Maiden.

Marks on Sunshine Family Dolls:

Dolls are marked on their backs: (c) 1973 / MATTEL, INC and on their heads (c) 1973 / MATTEL, INC. / TAIWAN.

Special Thank You:

A special thank you to reader Tracey M who gave me the correct spelling of the family names in our reader comments!

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