Sonny & Cher Dolls

Sonny & Cher Dolls
In 1976 Sonny and Cher appeared to promote the dolls based on the characters they portrayed on their TV show.

The Sonny & Cher Dolls were a 12 ¼ inch celebrity dolls, in the likeness of Pop rock duo Sonny & Cher.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] The line was released by Mego Corporation in 1976. The release of these fashion dolls coincided with the popularity of The Sonny & Cher Show, prime time variety TV show.[10][11]

Contents

History

In May 1976, Mego launched a highly successful 12 ¼ inch celebrity doll line, to directly compete with Mattel's Barbie doll.[12][13] The first dolls were Sonny and Cher, with Bob Mackie designing an extensive wardrobe for Cher.[3][14] Mego held a 1,000 guest dinner dance at the Waldorf-Astoria to launch the dolls.[15]

After the great success of sales of dolls in 1976[10][11][16] (the Cher doll was the No. 1 selling doll in 1976),[17] in 1977 a full set only for Cher was released, which included a new wardrobe with new dress, a new doll and a set of interchangeable clothes. The range was closed in 1978 after the release of other toys for the series.

The Dolls

Before issuing, a preview of Sonny & Cher dolls was shown in the catalogue of the 1976. Both are very different, Sonny's face is serious, and the arms of Cher were bent at right angles. The final of the Sonny doll version was given a smile and the arms of Cher were put straight. Both dolls was after unveiled at The Mike Douglas Show.[13]

Mego produced three versions of the Cher doll. The first, packaged in an orange box, had extra long hair and wore a salmon-colored gown with a flared bottom. The second doll, Growing Hair Cher, came in a purple box and featured a "Key" that kids could use to change the length of Cher's hair. This doll wore a black and silver dress and black open-toed shoes. Growing Hair Cher's dress can be found with a number of subtle style variations, and she was packaged in two different types of boxes. The third Cher was more cheaply made, with a hollow plastic body without jointed hands. She was sold wearing a one piece swimsuit (yellow, blue or red). This doll, available in 1978, was packaged in a narrower orange box featuring what is commonly referred to as the cher "Gypsy" picture.

The Sonny doll came with a twelve-piece wardrobe, including a sparkling silver lame jumpsuit. Cher came with false eyelashes and in thirty-two different costumes designed by Bob Mackie.[10][15] Mackie's elaborate Barbie designs are now very popular with doll collectors. Mego released outfits in five different formats: Purple Box Designer Collection, Green Box Designer Collection, Boutique Collection (1977), Blue Carded fashions and Wards Exclusive Outfit Gift Sets.

Doll's Outfits

In 1977, the catalog Mego was provided with many items about Cher, especially on clothes Cher doll outfits were designed either from Bob Mackie originals or by Bob Mackie himself. They recreated some of Cher's iconic outfits from her TV variety shows like: the Laverne fit, the Indian Squaw fit (from Half Breed), the Foxy Lady fit and many others. Most of the clothes were sold separately or were contained in the two cabinets, along with shoes and pink hangers.[citation needed]

Other Toys

Besides the dolls, Mego produced some toys for the line of Sonny & Cher. Those were big in the late 1970s, the time of The Cher Show and The Sonny & Cher Show in 1977.

Many toys were available in the catalog of 1977. Two wardrobes, the first Cher's Dressing Room was a closet/backstage dressing room/carrying case for outfits. Like the "Dressing Room", the Cher Travel Trunk was a holding spot for the many outfits of the doll.[16] Mego in 1977 released also Cher's Infilatable Tent Set and the Sonny & Cher's Roadster. The red Roadster is convertible, while the box shows a picture of Sonny and Cher driving.[16] To re-create the stage for their show was released Cher Theatre in the Round. This was a revolving stage with four scenes: the main stage, Sonny's Pizzeria, and Cher's dressing room, this also came with piano, microphone stand and dressing table.[16] The Cher's Makeup Center was released in competition with The Barbie Makeup Center and came with curlers and face paint.[16] The last items of the catalog are Cher's Sing Along Phono a portable record player and the Cher's Fashion Jewelry.[16]

Collectables

The only defect of the dolls is their hair, which over time will ruin, and the eyelashes, which over time can lose. Today, the dolls and boxed outfits in mint condition sell for anywhere from $30 to $400 each. The dolls are now collectables and can be found on Ebay.[18]

References

  1. ^ Frank Macomber (1976-11-20). "TV characters inspire toy makers". Luddington Daily News. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SPdOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=40sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7298,4232949&dq=sonny-%26-cher+. "Mego also is coming out with a variety of Sonny and Cher dolls, each with enough outfits to dress them differently every day of the week." 
  2. ^ Hilary Kay (1992). Rock & roll memorabilia: a history of rock mementos, with over 600 illustrations. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780671779313. http://books.google.com/books?id=4X_uAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Sonny+%26+Cher%22+%22Sonny+and+Cher%22+toys+OR+dolls&dq=%22Sonny+%26+Cher%22+%22Sonny+and+Cher%22+toys+OR+dolls&hl=en&ei=-VM3TtWyMKbisQKEpJ08&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ. "Sonny and Cher Dolls Jumping on the Barbie bandwagon, these 12-inch lookalike dolls of husband-and- wife hitmakers Sonny & Cher were marketed along with a "designer's collection" of separate outfits ..." 
  3. ^ a b "Sonny and Cher fans can have their favorites at home". Times Union. 1976-11-24. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sBtSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lzUNAAAAIBAJ&pg=5099,5021116&dq=sonny-%26-cher+. "Sonny and Cher fans can have their favorites at home, plus Cher's 32 costumes designed for her by Bob Mackie and priced from $2.99 to $4.99 each." 
  4. ^ "Saying goodbye to Sonny Bono". Boca Raton News. 1998-01-08. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oTxUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Oo4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4899,1843840&dq=sonny-%26-cher+. "Donna Berry held her Sonny and Cher dolls close as she talked about how she enjoyed watching the 1970s TV variety show featuring Bono and ex-wife Cher." 
  5. ^ "COLLECTIBLE DOLLS HAVE NEW FACES". Miami Herald. 2000-04-06. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=MH&s_site=miami&p_multi=MH&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB72D8E68BE4F0D&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. "Celebrity dolls are nothing new. You've got your Fonzie doll, your Sonny and Cher dolls, your Vanna White doll, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's." 
  6. ^ "Cher in freak crash with her number 1 fan". http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y4hWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U0ENAAAAIBAJ&pg=1094,1217314&dq=sonny-%26-cher+. 
  7. ^ Janet Maislin (1991-11-29). "Critic's Notebook; Is It Time, Already, To Put Rock In a Museum?". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/29/movies/critic-s-notebook-is-it-time-already-to-put-rock-in-a-museum.html. "At the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, an official Monkees tambourine and a pair of Sonny and Cher dolls are currently on exhibit, so a new program of rock-and-roll movies will fit right in." 
  8. ^ Neil Midgley (2008-07-25). "Last Night on Television: John Barrowman: the Making of Me (BBC1)". BBC News. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/3557153/Last-Night-on-Television-John-Barrowman-the-Making-of-Me-BBC1.html. "“You dressed me up in a bikini!” screeched Barrowman at his poor father, effortlessly conflating homosexuality with effeminacy. “That was on the QE2,” managed Barrowman senior by way of explanation. Barrowman junior then showed us his childhood closet, complete with Sonny and Cher dolls." 
  9. ^ "Osmond Mania: A Gay man's perspective". Seattle Gay News. 2007-11-23. http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews35_47/page31.cfm. "I would dress Marie in Cher's clothes and Donny in Sonny's and pretend Donny was in bed with Sonny, naked. I tried to put Marie's clothes on Cher, but it just didn't look right." 
  10. ^ a b c Bill Morgan. "The Cher Scrapbook - Sonny & Cher by Mary Anne Cassata". Citadel Press. http://www.tvtoys.com/library/sony_and_cher/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  11. ^ a b Kay, Hilary (1992). Rock & roll memorabilia:a history of rock mementos, with over 600 illustrations. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671779311. http://books.google.co.in/books?ei=TXY7TqeTK8jyrQfVkZD5Dw&ct=result&id=4X_uAAAAMAAJ&dq=sonny+%26+cher+dolls&q=+cher+dolls#search_anchor. 
  12. ^ (1 March 1976). People, Time (Magazine)
  13. ^ a b "Mego Catalog Library: 1976 Cher". Megomuseum.com. http://megomuseum.com/catalog/1976/cher1.shtml. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  14. ^ Heron, R. Lane. Much ado about dolls: a beginner's guide to doll collecting, p. 113 (Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1979) ("Mego has launched a million-dollar advertising campaign to promote these new offerings. The dolls were scheduled for the retail market in May, 1976. With the success of Sonny and Cher dolls, look for a Baby Bono doll in the near future.")
  15. ^ a b Stern, Sydney Ladensohn Stern & Ted Schoenhaus. Toyland: the high-stakes game of the toy industry, p. 235 (Contemporary Books, 1990)
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Mego Catalog Library: 1977 Cher". Megomuseum.com. http://megomuseum.com/catalog/1977/cher1.shtml. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  17. ^ Cherry, Rona (19 December 1976). Toying with a name, The New York Times ("This year's No. 1 selling doll, for example, is Cher, introduced by Mego at a suggested retail price of $6.94 to rival the famous Barbie ..."; article includes large picture of Cher doll)
  18. ^ McKenzie, Aline (2001-06-20). "Cher and Cher alike: Glittery Star Is Now A Doll". Star-News. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Pv5OAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QR8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5793,1105684&dq=mego+sonny-and-cher+dolls&hl=en. "A vintage Cher doll now goes for upward of $90 on eBay." 

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