Though the new family members (the parents, at least) were about the same size as Barbie and Ken dolls, fashion and luxury living was not their thing.
Instead, the cute little mom, dad and baby — Stephie, Steve and Sweets — did stuff like riding around on their tricycle built for three, and running a craft shack out of the back of their camper. (They probably also made their own granola, and told stories about when they were at Woodstock.)
Despite the dolls’ hippie roots, there was nothing “free-love” about the family’s wardrobe: Stephie typically wore a very conservative long flowery dress, white apron and flat sandals; while Steve was perpetually attired in a sweater, slacks, and brown work boots.
After the original toys achieved some success, the grandparents and some pets were introduced. Soon after that, the neighborhood welcomed “The Happy Family,” the SF’s Black counterparts — Hattie, Hal and baby Hon. Various other sets and family incarnations followed.
There were numerous playsets — the fabulous folding house, the farm, an add-on baby’s room, the van shown above, a craft shack and more — which you can see below.
Sure, the Age of Aquarius doll concept sounds a little hokey now — but believe me: I adored the fold-up house, and was the happiest 6-year-old on the planet when Santa delivered the van with “piggyback shack” one Christmas. (That’s me above, intensely working to assemble the truck.)
And on my next birthday, when I got the family’s tricycle kit, too? Nirvana had truly been achieved. – NJP
Like Hippie Barbie got married: The Sunshine Family wholesome dolls from the 70s
Things to do and things to make, Sunshine Family style
This unique idea starts with our wholesome family of back-to-nature dolls. Mommy and daddy and their little baby. Neighborly folks. With homey family activities for your child to share.
But there’s a lot more to The Sunshine Family idea! Because each family of dolls and each Sunshine Family accessory comes with its own things-to-make Idea Book.
Special little craft playbooks that show your child how to make a world of realistic things for her Sunshine Family dolls, just by using everyday odds and ends she’ll find around the house.
There are a lot of different Idea Books. And each one will spark hours of creative play for your child. She’ll discover the fun of making things for The Sunshine Family grandparents. And for their pets. And all kinds of handmade craft items to fill up the family Craft Store, too.
Then, day by day, she’ll be creating a world of her own, Sunshine Family-style. And that’s the whole, big, beautiful idea! From Mattel
The Sunshine Family Van with Piggyback Shack
A van full of fun sets out for the fair with crafts & things to make ‘n share. Belts & purses, flowerpots, too. There are so many things that you can do! There’s even an Idea Book of at-home projects from your own materials, too.
The Sunshine Family Home (dollhouse)
A 4-room home you help design & decorate! Kitchen/patio/bedroom/living room
Help the Sunshine Family dolls decorate their home
Add your ideas to these fun ones from the idea book!
- Grow lots of potato plants. Plant them in tiny paper cups. They’re good for outside or inside the house!
- Braid some yarn to make a braided rug!
- Glue empty cardboard matchboxes togther to make a dresser!
- Make a sofa out of a milk carton!
- Try a chair, too!
- Make an ice cream stick fence!
The Sunshine Family dolls: Craft Store playset
A big, friendly place… where you can help The Sunshine Family dolls make & sell crafts & share good times with friends & neighbors.
With spinning wheel that really spins! / With pottery wheel that really works!
Vintage Sunshine Family Farm kit (1970s)
Barrels of fun! Bushels of adventure! Friendly animals and so much to see and do!
Vintage Sunshine Family baby’s room playset
Sunshine Family Farm playsets: Barn, produce stand, truck
Milk the cow, hoe the garden on the Sunshine Family Farm
What you get: 2-story hardboard barn, working water pump, fencing, tools, winch, rooster, hen that lays eggs, cow that drinks and can be milked.
Sunshine Family produce truck: 17-inch long plastic pickup truck. Moveable wheels. 5 chipboard “produce” crates. Rake, shovel, hoe, pruner, clippers, decals for truck.
Musical rocking chair: Plastic. For dolls up to 12 inches tall. Turn knob, music plays while chair rocks.
Sunshine Family Produce Stand: Hardboard stand 13-1/2 inches high. 4 chipboard baskets of “produce,” gardening tools, 6 plastic pots. Plus packet of real seeds.
The Sunshine Family Surrey Cycle
Where one goes, happily they all go… on a tricycle built for three!
The Sunshine Family Backyard Picnic Project vintage 70s craft set
Several sets of The Sunshine Family dolls & vintage playsets
Photo from 2013 courtesy Mears Online Auctions
Introducing a whole new world of sunshine!
Say hello to The Sunshine Family. A unique new family of dolls whose world your children can share and create.
1. Mother, Dad and Baby have their own special house and furniture. But that’s only the beginning.
2. The dolls come with this book of “do it yourself” play suggestions. It shows your children how to make The Sunshine Family playthings and furniture with paste, string, scraps of fabric, crayons — and imagination.
3. They can, for instance, turn a milk carton into a table.
4. A berry basket becomes a crib, and a spool can become a planter.
5. Bit by bit, your children can create the Sunshine Family world. And as they do, they share the fun and excitement of their own family adventures.
The fun shines on and on.
This wholesome family loves their potato chips
This Christmas, Lay’s can make The Sunshine Family part of your Family
Get a $1.00 refund coupon for the dolls when you buy Lay’s Potato Chips.
The Sunshine Family fashions – Party time and at the beach
The Sunshine Fun Family fashion sets for the vintage dolls
Doll clothing & doll house: The Sunshine Fun Family has fun at a party — Has fun in cozy winter coverups — Has fun at the beach — Has fun playing sports
Vintage Sunshine Family idea book of things to make (1970s)
Recipe for clay (salt dough), make some pots, hanging planters, make a baby swing
The Sunshine Family in Germany
These dolls speak German, but live in exactly the same kind of mid-century American house!