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Deluxe Reading Dolls

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Penny Brite Doll by Deluxe Reading

Penny Brite Doll by Deluxe Reading

Denise Van Patten

Deluxe Reading Dolls - About Deluxe Reading Dolls:

Deluxe Reading sold dolls from the late 1950s through the early 1970s under several trade names. The company was based in New Jersey, and was known for decent quality dolls available for budget prices. Many of the dolls were made to be impulse purchases at supermarkets and drug stores.

Dolls Produced by Deluxe Reading Dolls:

Dolls produced by Deluxe Reading include many "supermarket dolls" (such as Sweet Rosemary and Betty the Beautiful Bride), Penny Brite, Baby Magic, Suzy Homemaker, and Candy fashion dolls. Later, as part of Topper Toys, they produced the popular Dawn line of fashion dolls. Additionally, Deluxe Reading produced boys toys and Suzy Homemaker toy applicances.

Years of Production for Deluxe Reading Dolls:

Deluxe Reading produced dolls from the late 1950s through about 1971-1972, when the company went into bankruptcy. Later, some of the assets were purchased by Checerboard Toys, which produced a revived Dawn Doll for a few years in the 2000s. Charisma Dolls has also produced modern reporductions of the Candy fashion dolls and Penny Brite in the 2000s.

Materials and Characteristics of Deluxe Reading Dolls:

All of the Deluxe Reading Dolls were made of vinyl plastic. Some of the supermarket dolls were made with hard vinylheads on soft, stuffed, vinyl bodies. The bodies of these larger dolls have not held upw ell over time and many have necks on "sagging" necks when held upright.

Prices and Secondary Market for Deluxe Reading Dolls:

One of the highest value items on the secondary market that is produced by Deluxe Reading is the Deluxe Dream Kitchen. This kitchen set was Barbie sized and featured running water, and copius amounts of accessories. The set sells for at least $300 when found mint in box. Most of the Deluxe Reading dolls can be found for well under $100, and far under that if the item is not mint and original. Many items truly mint in box sell for betweenb $100 to $250.

Marks on Deluxe Reading Dolls:

Many Deluxe Reading dolls do not have marks and have been identified by collectors thanks to dolls that still have their original boxes and packaging. Other dolls, such as Penny Brite or Dawn, will be marked on the back of the bodies or head with a Deluxe Reading or Topper mark.

Deluxe Reading Dolls Purchased by Topper Toys:

Deluxe Reading sold toys under several names, and eventually was purchased by Topper Toys. Some of the brand names that you will find Deluxe Reading Toys sold under include Deluxe, Deluxe Premium, Reading, Deluxe Topper, Reading Deluxe, Topper Corp., Topper Toys and several additional variations of the Topper name.

Fond Memories of Deluxe Reading Dolls:

My mother simply couldn't resist picking up Deluxe Reading dolls when out shopping. There is a picture of me at the age of 1 or so with a very large doll that appears to be a Deluxe Reading supermarket doll. Later, I played with Penny Brite, Baby Magic and Dawn dolls, some of which were purchased at a local "five and dime." For Christmas and birthdays, I was likely to receive Barbie dolls, but Dawn dolls were inexpensive enough to sometimes be purchased 'just because" and I was also able to purchase outits and dolls easily with allowance money.

Many late baby boomers have similar, fond memories of Deluxe Reading and Topper dolls.

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