The Sunshine Family was made in the mid-1970's by Mattel. They were meant to represent a young family of that time period. The set consisted of the the "Mom" named Stephie, the "Dad" Steve, and baby girl "Sweets".
Dad was approximately 9 1/2" tall. Mom was 9" tall, and Sweets was 3 inches tall. The Sunshine family was first produced in 1974. The set pictured above is the 1976 version that apparently is more difficult to find. Earlier sets had Steve wearing khaki colored pants and a maroon turtleneck. Stephie wore a long navy floral print dress with a white apron (kind of "Little House on the Prarie" style, although these were meant to be present day dolls). Baby Sweets wore a yellow outfit. The version pictured above shows Steve in a red shirt and jeans, Stephie in a red striped long jumper dress, and Sweets unfortunately is missing her yellow playsuit.
Above is a photo of Stephie's jointed legs.
During the years the Sunshine Family was produced, later sets contained a grown up little girl and a new little baby. There was also a grandparent set. A black version of the Sunshine Family was also produced at the same time and was called the "Happy Family".
The Sunshine Family pictured above was my original set from my childhood. I can't remember exactly when I received it, but I would guess it to be around 1976 since this is the version from that year. I remember the dolls came with a little booklet which illustrated accessories you could make for the Sunshine Family using everyday household items like tissue boxes. Recycling was just starting to come into favor during this time and of course the Sunshine Family promoted the whole earth/environment loving theme. In other words, you could probably call them the "Granola Family". I almost imagined the Sunshine Family living in "gasp" a tent in the the woods. In an attempt to give the Sunshine Family a bit more of a luxurious lifestyle, yet still in keeping with the home made theme, I remember making a whole set of furniture for them out of Play-dough. You can imagine how attractive that furniture must have been, especially after it really dried up and started to crystalize. Anyway, I don't think the Sunshine Family complained, so it all worked out in the end.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Sunshine Family, here is a link to a great reference book that contains a great photo section on this set of dolls along with detailed descriptions of the various versions:
Thirty Years of Mattel Fashion Dolls : Identification & Value Guide 1967 Through 1997 by J. Michael Augustyniak
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