This is my Penny Brite from when I was a kid. I was forced to name her Penelope by my sister.
Penny was made by Topper/Deluxe Reading. (Topper was the parent company and they produced toys under a variety of names. Deluxe Reading was one of those.) As far as I can find out, she was produced from 1963 to 1970. She's approximately 8" tall. Supposedly she has bendable legs, and---SURPRISE!---bendable ARMS! I always knew she had bendable legs, but even though I've had a Penny nearly my whole life, I never realized her arms were supposed to be bendable until I read it recently. That's probably because her limbs are just about the most unposable poseable things I've ever come across! I can imagine all the kids across the country who owned a Penny Brite in the 60's, struggling to bend those arms and legs. They're basically the same construction as a Tutti doll: rubbery vinyl limbs with wire in the middle to make them hold a bend. Except that Penny's arms and legs are a lot firmer than Tutti's. In a way I guess that was a good thing, because I've never seen a Penny Brite with her wires poking through like a Tutti. (No kid could have possibly bent the arms or legs enough to wear them out!)
Penny came wearing a red and white dress with flower appliques, (These vary sometimes from dress to dress.), a red hair bow, (straight pinned into her head! Ouch!)and white shoes.
Her original 'box' was a plastic case with a blue bottom half, and a clear top. The handle folded down into the case to become a bar for hanging clothes. I remember mine, but Mom threw it away when I was a kid.
She was popular enough that Topper also produced a case, which came in various colours,quite a few outfits for her, and several playsets, including "Kitchen Dinette", "Bedroom Set", "Beauty Parlor", School Room", and "Travel Set".
|She should be wearing the school room outfit.Sorry about that.|
|She even had her own car! How old was this kid? She goes to elementary school, yet she runs a beauty parlor and drives a car. This is Travel Set.|
|"Penny Brite's world is everywhere..." Her world couldn't have been 'everywhere'. It apparently wasn't where we were.|
Penny has cute side glance eyes, molded dimples, and painted teeth.The variety in Penny Brite dolls is kind of surprising. They were obviously not hand painted, but variations in the darkness and sharpness of their eye paint,the brightness and amount of their lip paint as well as the differences in the prominence of the teeth and the way their hair lays, gives them different personalities.
|Middle Penny doesn't have any eyelashes.What happened there? Left side Penny has big, fluffy hair.Right side Penny has a unique center part.|
|No blush, blush, no lips. These girls do it their way!|
|"Hey, wanna be my sister?" Penny on the left, Pepper on the right.In case you forget that, it's written on her shirt.|
|Go away kid, you bother me...|
Everything that's popular gets copied, and Penny had her own clone doll in Miss Cindy by Cragstan. Miss Cindy even had her own fashion sets, and they weren't bad.
|'Teenage'? They don't look teenage to me.|
A lot of people must have fond memories of Penny.In 2007 she was reproduced by Charisma dolls.They made a Penny doll, and several of her vintage outfits.(Winter Princess now has SPANDEX pants!Say it isn't so!) They were cute, and close to the original. It just wasn't the same though. They were too perfect somehow. Or maybe just too expensive looking. (And actually expensive too!) They were also identical.That's something you definitely don't get with the old ones.They also went on to produce Penny as Tinkerbelle, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White.But I'll keep my old Penny. In fact, Ivy wanted a Penny when she was little, but she hated the new ones too. She got a vintage Penny instead.You can't repeat the charm of the original.