Deluxe Reading

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Deluxe Reading was a toy manufacturer based in Elizabeth, New Jersey USA which produced toys under several brand names including: Deluxe Topper, Deluxe Toy Creations, Deluxe Reading, Topper Corp., Topper Toy Group, and Topper Toys. The Topper Toys brand was most used in print advertisement and television commercials (children's TV). It was founded and run by Henry Orenstein, a holocaust survivor.

For boys, the Johnny Lightning and Johnny Seven O.M.A toys were the most popular; for girls, the Dawn Doll. Deluxe Reading dolls were sold in the 1950s - 1970s through supermarkets and are often referred to as Grocery Store Dolls. They were an inexpensive alternative to department store dolls, although of similar quality. Another successful toy for girls was the "Dream Kitchen" (circa 1961) which consisted of four 12-inch-tall colorful kitchen appliances, a kitchen table and four chairs. This toy was unique in that the sink worked with water, the oven contained batteries which revolved a plastic turkey on a spit inside the oven, the refrigerator had pull-out shelves, and the dishwasher also worked with water. Also included were scores of food boxes, cleaning supplies, food replica items, plates, utensils and more. The box proclaimed that it held "176 pieces." The size of the set perfectly matched the size of Barbie, a toy doll which was wildly popular at that time. As of 2014, this kitchen toy set can be seen on sale (used) for up to $400.

They were also the first company to manufacture Sesame Street dolls officially licensed by Children's Television Workshop and Henson Associates, until the company's financial problems caused CTW and Henson to terminate the contract in January 1973.[1]

The toys were packaged in large, colorful boxes that could be easily seen atop grocery store shelves. The top shelf is typically unusable for typical grocery items and this sales gimmick was used by Deluxe Reading as a selling point to retail store owners. The large, electrically operated Crusader 101 toy car is an example of the marketing concept.

Notable toys[edit]

  • Baby Magic (Topper Toys)
  • Battlewagon (Deluxe Reading)
  • Candy Fashion (Deluxe Reading)
  • Charlie and Me (Topper Toys)
  • The Chief (Deluxe Reading)
  • Clock-A-Word Action Game (Topper Toys)
  • Crusader 101 (Deluxe Reading)
  • Dawn Doll (Topper Toys 1970)
  • Defender Dan (Deluxe Reading)
  • Ding-A-Ling Robots (Topper Toys 1970)
  • Dream Kitchen (Reading Deluxe circa 1961)
  • Fat Sam (Topper Toys)
  • Fingers Harry (Topper Toys)
  • Funny Face (Topper Toys)
  • Go COMA Swingers Dolls (Topper Toys)
  • Jimmy Jet (Deluxe Reading)
  • Johnny Astro (Topper Toys)
  • Johnny Eagle Guns (Topper Toys)
  • Johnny Express Trucks (Topper Toys)
  • Johnny Lightning (Topper Toys 1969)
  • Johnny Seven O.M.A. (Topper Toys 1964)
  • Johnny Spacemobile X-7 (Topper Toys)
  • Johnny Speed (Topper Toys)
  • Johnny Service (Topper Toys 1966)
  • Johnny Toymaker (Topper Toys)
  • Jimmy Jet (Deluxe Reading 1961)
  • Lil Miss Fussy (Topper Toys)
  • Lillie Doll
  • Motorized Monster Maker Kit (Topper Toys)
  • Mr Pierre (Topper Toys)
  • Multi-Pistol 09 (Topper Toys 1965)
  • Operation X-500 (Deluxe Reading 1960)
  • Penny Brite Doll (Topper Toys/Deluxe Reading 1963)
  • Playmobile Dashboard (Deluxe Reading 1961)
  • Secret Sam Spy Case (Topper Toys)
  • Sesame Street dolls (Topper Toys 1970-1973)
  • Silly Safari(Topper Toys)
  • Sixfinger (Topper Toys)
  • Super Helmet Seven (Topper Toys 1966)
  • Suzy Cute Doll (Topper Toys 1964)
  • Suzy Homemaker doll and accessories (Topper Toys)
  • Suzy Homemaker Super Safety Oven (Topper Toys)[2]
  • Tiger Joe Tank (Deluxe Reading)
  • The Tigers (Topper Toys 1966)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Brian Jay. Jim Henson : the biography. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0345526113
  2. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Suzy Homemaker Super Safety Oven". ToyTales.ca.