Before there was Happy Family Grandpa in 2003, before
there was the Mad Men Rodger Sterling doll, there was
Heart Family Grandpa.
He was the first 12" male doll in the
Barbie/Mattel line with gray hair. He was not the first doll
with gray hair. The first Happy Family Grandparents(1976)
had a gray haired but they were 9 1/2 " African American
dolls. Strangely enough when Mattel did a new line of
family dolls, they reused the name Happy Family for this
new 12 " dolls. I use the phrase Barbie/Mattel
because the Heart Family was not said to be Barbies but
"friends" of Barbie. These dolls did use the Barbie bodies,
some of the accessories, and clothes.
The Heart Family dolls were produced from 1985 till 1990.
They featured a father, mother and two children. The
parents and children were produced in both Caucasian and
African American dolls. There was a full line of items
produced for these doll including many kinds
of fashions, a house, car, playground, bike,school and they
even went to Disneyland! It was an extensive line.
In 1987 the Heart Family Grandparents were added.
These doll are the predecessors to the Happy Family dolls
of 2003. A grandpa face mold was produced for this dolls
with wrinkles molded in , not painted in. The head mold of
the grandfather was later used for Davy Crockett doll with
the hair changed to brown. Above he is in his original outfit
of purple and white shirt with a purple tie, gray pants. He
also has a white sweater. (I can't find it.) FYI out of all of
the heart family dolls the grandmother is the hardest to find.
Unlike the Happy family dolls of 2003, the Heart Family
grandparent dolls were only produced in Caucasian dolls.
I have redress my doll and his is nowliving in dolly world as
Joseph Russo manager/owner of the local Home Depot.
His is married and has a son.