For realsies

Dawn: More Than a Premium Dishwashing Liquid August 7, 2012


I never really understood why, as a young girl, I never had a Barbie doll.  Shocking, I know. Instead, I had the Dawn doll (it’s a thing).  Now I get it. If you follow the link on the image, you will find yourself in a retro blog that sports more vintage Dawn propaganda. It’s cool.

Dawn dolls not only were, as you can see for yourself, the MOST beautiful freaking dolls in the world—they were also approximately half the size of the better-known Barbie.  This insured that the little girl caste system would remain intact and there would be no mixing of the two worlds without implied inferiority, silky hair or not.  If Dawn or any of her posse tried to rock that pink Malibu car, they would have slid off the seats and been ticketed by the California Highway Patrol for some sort of minimum driving height violation. No amount of low budget fringe or elephant bell bottom pants would have made a difference.

See the dress Dawn is wearing, with the snappy little belt? I had that dress on a doll.  I can feel the raspy golden belt all these years later.  It is not a fond memory.  You try tying that metallic cord in a bow for a smaller-than-Barbie fashion doll with swivel hips.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not resentful about my Barbie-less childhood.  Did it contribute to my later, non-conformist years? I like to think so.  As a woman on the petite side, I thank Dawn for the enduring sense that I am taller than I appear in photographs.  And I totally understand my mom’s financial dilemma.  Even though the benevolent God saw to it that I was to be a mother of sons, one of them racks up some pricey totals on the Legos on his Amazon Wish List, and I have, on occasion, fallen for the temptation of the bigger, knock-off “Bill-duh-Bricks” set.  Let’s just say he won’t be passing those on to my grandchildren.

From my minutes-long research on the fate of the Dawn line of fashion dolls, I learned that the company folded shortly after their reign, despite their alleged popularity, which accounts for the fact that I have never met one human being who shows the slightest glimmer of recognition upon hearing the phrase, “Dawn doll.”  If I still had mine, I would likely have to insure them in the sixty-seven cent-per-doll range, in preparation for my opulent retirement.  Guess I should continue teaching the cat synchronized swimming.  I know that she is getting good at it, because my inflatable floaty is punctured from all the practice.


7 Responses to “Dawn: More Than a Premium Dishwashing Liquid”

  1. javaj240 Says:

    I not only had THAT Dawn dool, I had them all. And I had that really cool ’60s flower power jumpsuit outfit (which really made the black doll’s eyes “pop”). And the stand for putting her on top of my 45s (I loved how the hair on the blonde one would just fly at 45 RPM). Do you remember that? OMG. I have mentioned Dawn dolls to any number of my friends over the years and they just look at me quizzically. Thanks for the post. Love it!

    One more thing… how do you feel about Colorforms?

    • peachyteachy Says:

      You are my long lost twin sister. I had Yellow Submarine Colorforms (unless I hallucinated that in some weird osmosistic trip as a child) AND Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ones. I have a vague memory of dolls whipping around on the turntable but not sure I had special equipment for that. How about 45s on cereeal boxes? The Archies–“Sugar Sugar.” How appropriate!

      • javaj240 Says:

        LOL. I am pretty sure I had Yellow Submarine color forms, too. I have some weird recollection of The Cat in the Hat ones or maybe they were Grinch ones, I don’t know. But I think the Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang ones cntained that weird helmet with the spike on top!

        The Dawn dolls came with a plastic stand that fit into the 45 somehow. And each doll, I think, had her own 45 (which may have been sold separately).

        And yes, I remember the 45s on the cereal box. I remember my sister being a big fan of “Sugar, Sugar”!

  2. […] collaborated with mine to determine which toys to buy for their darling girlchildren.  See Dawn doll stuff if you care […]

  3. Angie Z. Says:

    No glimmer of recognition coming from over here either. I feel sort of sad about that too, seeing that I’m also a shortie and would’ve appreciated knowing Barbie’s stumpy illegitimate cousin.

  4. Kathi Says:

    Still have my Dawn dolls, along with their apartment and beauty parlor! I’m sentimentally nostalgic about them❤

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