I owe my childhood Tuesday Taylor and Dodi dolls to my older sister, a nifty gimmick (well two in Tuesday’s case) and the power of good marketing.
Made by the Ideal Toy Corporation and released around 1976/77, Tuesday Taylor was a twelve inch version of the 18 inch tall, Tiffany Taylor doll. Ideal loved a hair-play doll – their Crissy family and friends dolls had grow-hair features – and Tiffany Taylor was no exception (though unrelated to Crissy). Tiffany had a rotating scalp, half rooted in blonde hair, half in brunette, allowing the doll’s hair colour to be changed with a twist. This groovy gimmick was translated to the new smaller version, renamed Tuesday Taylor. There were several issues of Tuesday Taylor, some with the rotating scalp and some without, but mine had an extra gimmick. She’s Suntan Tuesday Taylor, put her out in the sun and watch her tan. As soon as I saw her advertised and in person, I wanted her.
My sister bought Tuesday and her little sister Dodi for me and I think she was as fascinated by them as I was. Tuesday came in a stylish 70’s, white bikini and a groovy orange and yellow caftan and has white sandals and big gold sunglasses too. Dodi came in a cute little red floral bikini, and both dolls have ‘sun doodles,’ little stickers that you can stick on them, then once they’re tanned, they have decorative white patches. The dolls tan really well and every so often, I put them out in the sunlight to see if whatever magic made them tan still works. It does, and it still fascinates me.
Of course, I loved the idea of a doll with changeable hair too, but that aspect of the doll is problematic. I quickly learned, after two or three scalp twists that it took a lot of brushing or combing to get the hair to sit right once the scalp had been rotated, and the hair quickly started to frizz. I was a bit disappointed but being the sort of child that liked to look after her toys, I decided that Tuesday would remain a brunette – with a few blonde streaks at the back of her head, as there really wasn’t enough of either colour to cover the other. There were other things I loved about Tuesday too. Not only does she have bendable legs, but bendable arms and movable wrists too. This gave her much more flexibility than most of my Barbie dolls. She also has rooted eyelashes, something that most Barbie dolls had dispensed with.
Both Tuesday and Dodi have frizzy hair, so I gave them a quick treatment with the hair straighteners. Neither is perfect, but their hair is a lot smoother and shinier.
Being roughly the same height and build as Barbie, Tuesday was able to borrow from her wardrobe, although she did have a range of fashions of her own. I only had one of these as a child, blue pants and a yellow tee shirt with ‘Tuesday’ printed across the front. As far as I know, poor old Dodi didn’t have any extra fashions, so had to share with Skipper. In fact, poor old Dodi was short changed on several fronts. For a start, she wasn’t really a new doll. Her name, face mould, arms and body were recycled from Ideal’s Tammy dolls range from the 60’s. Tammy’s sister, Pepper, got a friend called Dodi in 1964 and Suntan Dodi is basically this doll with a 70’s re-vamp.
Suntan Dodi and Dodi (1964) from the Tammy range of dolls. Both use the same face, arm and body mould, although their legs look to be a little different.
There was another doll in the ‘Suntan’ range, Tuesday’s boyfriend Eric, and Tuesday also had a best friend, Taylor Jones. I don’t think either of these dolls were sold in Australia, but if they were, it must have been in limited numbers. I don’t recall ever seeing them. I’ve now added them to my collection and love them. Eric is a big doll, much bigger than Ken (and he weighs a ton!), and came wearing an orange one-piece swimsuit. Like Tuesday, he suntans, has bending arms and legs and moveable wrists. He’s blonde, with a somewhat goofy expression and every time I look at him I’m reminded of an old ad for Masseur sandals featuring Sven the masseuse. These dolls are prone to joint melt, and unfortunately my Eric has a bead of melt at his neck joint that I haven’t yet dealt with.
Taylor Jones, Suntan Eric, Suntan Dodi and Suntan Tuesday Taylor make a nice little collection.
Taylor Jones is really just a black version of Tuesday, with the same rotating scalp feature but this time with black and red hair. This was one doll I bought NRFB (never removed from the box) and – I still feel a bit guilty about it – opened. As much as I love rescuing pre-loved dolls, it’s so nice to get that childhood feeling of opening a new doll again, and have a pristine doll. Taylor came in an orange swimsuit with white trim and a matching white skirt with orange waistband, so she fits in nicely with the Suntan dolls. I have so far resisted the urge to spin her scalp, though I am curious to see her as a redhead. Her hair is so silky smooth though, I really don’t want to ruin that.
Suntan Tuesday Taylor and Taylor Jones share the same face and body moulds. Both are gorgeous dolls, but Taylor Jones is especially beautiful.
Tuesday had a couple of nifty structures released for her. One is the Summer/Winter Vacation House, a beach house that converts to a two story chalet and a Penthouse Apartment with a day-to-night feature. I’m not sure that they were sold here, though if they were, again, it was in limited numbers and I’m guessing they would have been expensive. Both look fabulous with lots of accessories and features, I would have loved these as kid (who am I kidding, I’d love these now!).
I loved these dolls as a child. They worked well with my Barbie dolls and now, form a nice little collection on their own. I also love the Suntan aspect. Growing up here in Australia, sun worship is almost a part of our culture. Although we now know something that Tuesday and friends didn’t. The importance of slip, slop, slap. Just where is her bottle of sunscreen?