Dale and Van by Topper

Name: Dale and Van (Friends of 1970s Dawn)

Made by and When: Topper, 1970 (Dale); Van was released with the second set of dolls circa 1971.

Material: Soft vinyl with rigid plastic bodies

Marks: Dale on the left is marked on the head 4/H62. Van’s head is unmarked. Dale on the right is marked on the head 4/H32. Both Dales’ lower backs are marked ©1970/TOPPER CORP/HONG KONG/H. Van’s lower back is marked ©1970/TOPPER CORP/HONG KONG/P.

Height: Dale is 6-1/2 inches; Van is 7 inches tall.

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Dales: Rooted black hair styled in a bubble cut, brown painted eyes slightly glance to the side that have applied upper eyelashes and painted lower eyelashes, closed mouths with painted pale pink lips. Van has a molded black Afro and sideburns, brown painted eyes, and a closed mouth with pink lips.

Clothes: All dolls are dressed in their original clothes. Dale in the olive-green fashion has a removable multicolored jacket. The one-piece pants have bell bottoms and a halter top that snaps closed in the back. The Dale in the silver brocade and pink gown wears white flat vinyl shoes. The top of the gown is halter style with a snap closure at the back of the neck. Van wears a football uniform with the #10 on the red jersey which is worn over a red plastic shoulder pad. A yellow helmet, yellow pants, and yellow vinyl shoes complete his uniform.

Other: Dale and Van are friends of Topper’s popular 1970 doll, Dawn. Van is Dale’s boyfriend. The dolls were released wearing a variety of fashions. Dale could wear Dawn’s clothes.

When Van’s left arm is moved back and forth, his head moves in tandem. Dale has flexible legs and a jointed waist. Van’s waist is jointed but is fused in place.

Topper discontinued making these dolls in 1973. In 2001, Checkerboard released a 30th anniversary limited-edition commemorative issue of Dale, and they added another Black friend of Dawn named Denise. Read more about Dawn’s Black friends, Dawn paper dolls, and the commemorative dolls here. Read the Dawn Wiki here.



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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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