Susie Sad Eyes

Nessa
Submitted by Nessa May 26th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Even dolls were riding coattails of the popularity of Margaret Keane’s big-eyed waifs. This doll is “Susie Sad Eyes”, produced in 1972 and sold at Sears and maybe other department stores, too. I’ve wanted one for years and finally had the good fortune to find not one, but two! I dressed them myself, these aren’t their original outfits. The one on the right was probably a “Susie Slicker,” who was the same as Susie Sad Eyes but came wearing a raincoat and boots. There was also African-American version of Susie Sad Eyes who was sold as “Soul Sister.

9 Responses to “Susie Sad Eyes”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    I never even saw these in 1972 as I was too busy writing my first songs. I didn’t even like Keane at the time as the market got flooded so fast and I never like to be the last one in on a trend. Of course, I have reversed my feelings about Keane more recently: https://www.alleewillis.com/blog/2010/03/31/allee-willis-kitsch-o-the-day-%E2%80%93-the-only-thing-better-then-a-keane-painting-is-to-be-with-keane/

    These dolls are great. How perfect to find two of them. Hopefully they came from the same family and have been together these last almost 40 years. You did an excellent job on wardrobe, the candystriper especially. Did you have doll clothes lying around or did this demand a trip to the store?

    Oh, and how tall are they?

  2. Nessa

    Nessa

    Thank you!

    The clothes were taken from my big-plastic-tub-o’-doll-clothes which I have gradually been filling with yard sale cast-offs over the past decade or so.

    Susie is about seven and a half to seven and three quarters inches tall, depending on how far her head is jammed on to her neck, hehe.

    • Nessa

      Nessa

      Thanks! If you like this one, there’s another Keane-ish big-eyed doll known as “Little Miss No-Name”… and of course Blythe doll.

  3. Douglas Wood

    Douglas Wood

    These are so cool but I’d be afraid to have them in my house. They remind me of the big-eyed kids in “Village of the Damned” and the sequel, “Children of the Damned.” Very scary.

  4. Lila

    Lila

    Oh Nessa, your Susies are adorable, and obviously Google-worthy as I’ve just found them 7 months later.

    The one in the striped jumper is indeed Susie Slicker, she has a much healthier complexion than Susie Sad Eyes, who is recognizable by her paler face and greenish circles under her eyes.
    I got my first one at the dimestore with saved up milk money when I was 10 or so. That would have been around 1966. She was meant to look like a wan and gloomy little beatnik. Probably living on buns and coffee and staying up all night at poetry readings.

    Your SSE looks adorable in her dress and apron. I think the apron is from Steph, the Mattel Sunshine Family mom. One of my Susies has a flowered Steph dress that I shortened for her. Aside from length it’s a good fit.
    Wardrobe-wise the SSE body is pretty much the same size as Penny Brite and can wear her clothes. Vintage patterns for this size of doll are readily available online too as Penny Brite or Tiny Betsy McCall or 8″ doll patterns.

    I bet they’re happy at your house, you obviously know how to make a dolly feel welcome!

    There’s a big eyes Susie Sad Eyes clone called a ‘dress me’ doll that was sold at Lee Wards and other craft stores. Her face is much paler and of thinner looking plastic and her legs don’t move. Some people buy these and switch the inferior immobile legged body for a Penny Brite body, which results in a poseable big eyed doll plus a spare immobile body and a spare Penny Brite head to to heaven-knows-what with.