Tutti was first released in 1966 as a younger sister for Barbie and Skipper. She was 6 1/4 inches tall and was made of soft bendable rubber over a wire armature so that she could be easily posed. Because of this wire Tutti was quite a fragile doll, sometimes the wires would break and she would lose her poseability and sometimes it would pierce the rubber and stick out of her . The soft vinyl is easy to slit too and I can imagine many dolls falling victim to stabbing and amputation by would be surgeons. It would have the same attraction as bubble wrap.
The first issue of Tutti wore a pink and white cotton sunsuit. Blonde Tutti is wearing it in the photograph. It also had white shoes which I am still trying to find. The second issue of Tutti wore a little pink floral dress which brunette Tutti is modelling for you.
I managed to find brunette Tutti and Todd online a few years ago and bought them because I had not often seen them at a good price. Later I bought blonde Tutti because she was in better condition and had her sunsuit and her hat.
My brunette Tutti has a bit of wire sticking out of the sole of her foot but luckily this does not impact on her looks. Another issue with these dolls was that they often became discoloured over time.The wire inside them sometimes caused them to go green the way that Barbie’s metal earrings did but they also had a tendency to fade. I have two Tutti’s and brunette Tutti has faded while blonde Tutti is in pretty good shape.
I am not sure how many Tutti outfits and accessories were available in Australia. Our older cousin and I both had Tutti, she had the blonde one and I had the brunette. I badly wanted the Tutti and Todd “Sundae Treat” set with the two dolls wearing little red and white striped outfits. I especially liked Todd’s blazer. I thought that set was so cute. What a pity it was never released as a separate outfit. In fact I don’t recall ever having any Tutti outfits and can’t for the life of me think what she wore when her sunsuit was in the wash or it was cold.
As I mentioned in a previous posts Naomi gave me some Tutti outfits for my birthday and I am currently planning a post to show them off which I hope will be done by next week.
Mattel must have liked the smaller sized dolls because as well as releasing Tutti’s twin brother Todd and several outfits they also issued several other small poseable dolls between 1966 and 1971.
Tutti and Todd’s friends were:
The first Chris had either blonde or brunette hair and brown eyes. I think she would have made a good little sister for Francie but I don’t know if that was who she was meant to be. She was just called friend of Tutti and Todd. She was made from 1967-71 for the US market but there are later foreign issue Chris dolls.
Buffy was based on the character played by Anissa Jones on “Family Affair” a hugely popular TV sitcom of the time. Buffy came with her doll Mrs Beasley. I am a little surprised that Mattel did not also make a Cindy Brady but perhaps one precocious little blonde girl was enough. Buffy was made from 1968-70
Three of the other dolls were part of an unrelated set of dolls called Pretty Pairs released in 1970. They all shared the same body type as Tutti and could wear her clothes. Each of them had a toy or pet of her own. Lori, a blonde had Rori her teddy bear, Angie, a brunette had a doll called Tangie and Nan, a curly-haired African-American had a doll called Fran.
Carla was also an African-American doll released in 1976.
I have included a link to a site I found with information and pictures of these little dolls which you might call the forerunners to Kelly and Friends. Tutti and Todd and their friends were discontinued in the USA after 1971 but they were still sold in Europe and Canada for several years after that.
Naomi’s Skipper book has a whole chapter on Tutti,Todd and friends which even has pictures of the European outfits. Perhaps this is the reason that Pedigree decided to release Betsy as a same size friend for the European Tutti and Todd.
Many of the pictures in this post are from the book “Skipper Identification and Value Guide” by Scott Arend, Karla Holzerland and Trina Kent published in 1998. It’s an excellent book for doll and clothing ID’s and may still be available online if you search.