Deluxe Reading Company was the manufacturer of the Dawn dolls but the company was known for its several names. It was based in Elizabethtown, New Jersey and started operations in the 1950s. Their toys could be under the brand Deluxe Topper, Reading Deluxe, Topper Corp., Topper Toy Group, Deluxe Toy Creations, Topper Toys. The latter was their preferred brand mark and was used mostly in their television commercials. One of the most popular toy dolls that Topper produced was the Dawn doll series. These were manufactured from 1970 to 1973.
The Dawn doll series was the most noteworthy as it topped the sales for a certain period after it was launched that it even surpassed Mattel's sales for Barbie. The dolls measured around 6 inches tall and became a top competition for Barbie around this period. However, Topper Toys closed their business in 1973 and the production of Dawn dolls went to a halt.
Yet Deluxe Reading had launched several dolls prior to Dawn and their creations were called "Grocery Store Dolls" since they are marketed differently from the common department store dolls. These were displayed on the topmost grocery store shelves and were inexpensive alternatives to most popular dolls available at that time. Neverheless, the quality of these dolls was good and was comparable to the quality of department store dolls.
To get acquainted to Deluxe Reading's doll creations, here are some of the saleable items that are now considered as vintage collectibles:
1) Little Red Riding Hood (1955) – This is made of vinyl head and stuffed body made of kapok. It stands 23 inches tall and comes with rooted blonde braided hair. It also has a set of blue sleep eyes with teeth showing in its open mouth. The doll comes with her red hood, a book, and a basket.
2) Nancy Nurse (1957) – Nancy is a 24-inch tall vinyl doll with bendable arms and legs. It has washable short rooted hair and she wears a white nurse's uniform, white stockings, white vinyl shoes, and a navy cape.
3) Candy Fashion Dolls (1958 to 1965) – These dolls measure either 20 or 24 inches tall and are made of vinyl with a fully joined body including its knees and elbows. When it was first put on the grocery shelves, the doll came with a set of wardrobe and accessories for those who are fond of changing doll's clothes.
4) Dawn and Friends (1970 to 1973) – This is the most popular doll series introduced by the company and some of the characters include Dale, Angie, Long Locks, Gloria, Jessica, Van, Gary, and Ron.