|Original Dawn dress|
Dawn's diminutive size also enabled smaller retailers such as drugstores and five and dime stores to carry and display the full line where they couldn't dedicate enough shelf space to fit the full line of Barbie dolls and accessories.
|2003 repro Dale|
Further, a girl could fit a dozen Dawn dolls and a large selection of the original 44 outfits in a compact case where a colony of Barbies and their paraphernalia would threaten to overrun the house.
Mattel fought back with the Rock Flowers dolls.
Topper, however, also used television advertising effectively and gained a strong foothold in the market.
I don't remember seeing Dawn commercials or Dawn displays in the stores when I was growing up but I did have a lot of fun with a set of Dawn paper dolls. It may be that Dawn was disappearing from the shelves by the time I became aware of her for unfortunately, her small size made it difficult for Topper to come up with enough new fashion ideas to keep girls interested.
|2003 repro Dale|
Having started with a Model Agency, then released dolls with "Dancing," "Flower Fantasy," and "Majorette" themes, as the company lurched towards bankruptcy in 1973 its designers were unable to invent fresh scenarios for the characters.
Starr Doll by JPI attempted to recapture this niche between 1994 and 1998 with a line of 7 dolls who were models for the Starr Model agency.
My original Dale and Dawn dolls became body donors for Little Kiddles who were members of my Barbie families but in 2006 I purchased this Toy-O-Rama reproduction Dale doll and several outfits at K-B Toys in Savannah, GA.
Sources accessed 1/17/2013
"Dawn Doll Archive"
"Dawn Dolls: Tiny Doll Stars of the 1970s"
"Dawn Doll by Topper: eBay Guides"
"Starr Doll by JPI Archive"