I recently had a nice message from a reader called Leta who shared some information that she had found about Deluxe Reading dolls and I decided that I would share it as she wrote it. I hope you will all enjoy reading it.
My name is Leta (pronounced Lee-ta) Learn and I live in Iowa. I am 70 years old ( a widow) and have collected dolls and paper dolls most of my life. About 20 years ago I started researching and find it to be one of the most challenging, frustrating, and most rewarding hobbies I’ve ever had, especially if your working on doll identification.
I started collecting dolls and paper dolls almost as soon as I started walking because I love them so! When my husband died many years ago, I moved from a huge house in the country to a small house in town and could barely move without tripping over a doll, so I had to sell some of them. My grown children call them – “mom’s junk.” Aren’t they nice? Lol! I needed something to do to fill my time and began researching dolls. I had a Deluxe Reading Sweet Rosemary when I was a child and I think the memory of that may have started me researching Deluxe Reading.
In 2006, I wrote a (self-published and copyrighted) doll book titled EXCLUSIVELY DAWN which now lies in mothballs so to speak. I know two books were already published about the Topper Dawn doll but I wanted to dig deeper and find out things like why the scepter was eliminated from the Deluxe Beauty Pageant set. I discovered Dawn began with a different name and other wonderful things about Deluxe Reading/Topper dolls. There’s an American Character doll that was originally going to be produced by Deluxe Reading. The Candy Fashion Doll was used as a model for a lingerie company. After all these years, you can still get a Deluxe Reading Cinderella Jewelry Coach. I have a few salesman sample photos of dolls and toy sets.
I love the fact that you share information and photos because I love sharing also and like you, it’s sad to think all this information will be lost.
I happened to be looking at your Penny Brite and clones on your website and I can add 2 other versions of Penny Brite although they are not clones. Remco purchased what was left of the Deluxe Reading stock, repackaged the remaining Penny Brite dolls in a red and purple box, dropped the name Penny and sold her as Brite.
Marie Osmond acquired the Deluxe Reading patents and reproduced Penny as a Charisma doll and also in a Happily Ever After fantasy series.
I hope to include more photos and information from Leta in the future.