Berry Happy Home Dollhouse
The Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home dollhouse came out in 1983. According to the original packaging, "This is where Strawberry Shortcake and Custard live. A "berry" beautiful five room house with a special selection of delightful furniture."
The house was designed for play with the Strawberry Shortcake dolls, which were sold separately. The dolls are 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) tall, so the house is quite large.
The dollhouse had a charming strawberry theme that was repeated in all of the rooms and furniture, and each room had its own name.
The dollhouse had a stucco-type finish on the outside and a trellis with strawberries, a real swing on the covered front porch, a mailbox that really opened, and a Dutch style front door.
On the second floor, there was a sun deck just outside of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Snuggly Bedroom. On the other side of the bedroom wall was the Berry Bubbly Bath. A fold-down stairway led from the second floor up to the Berry Merry Attic, where Strawberry Shortcake and her friends could stargaze with a telescope through a pink strawberry-shaped skylight.
Some of the furniture for the dollhouse was sold in Basic, Add-On and Deluxe sets. The Deluxe sets included all of the furniture from both the Basic and Add-On sets for a room.
Other rooms didn't have these set variations. The Deluxe Berry Fancy Fun Room furniture was never available in a Basic or Add-On set, and the Berry Merry Attic and Berry Bubbly Bath sets were only available as Add-Ons and didn't have Basic or Deluxe versions.
The furniture sets that were included with the dollhouse were the Basic Berry Snuggly Bedroom, the Deluxe Berry Cozy Kitchen, and the Add-On sets for the Berry Cheery Living Room, Berry Dainty Dining Room, and the Berry Bubbly Bath. Other sets could be purchased individually to complete the rooms.
The selection of items included in each set is interesting - many items that would seem essential for a room were not included. For example, the Basic dining room set didn't include a table and chairs. The Basic kitchen set came with a towel, but not a kitchen sink. The kitchen sink, which had a rack for the towel, was sold separately. This made it almost inevitable that additional sets would need to be purchased.
The retail price for the Berry Happy Home in 1983 was $125. Adjusting for inflation, that would be about $300 today. That made it a very expensive toy and one many children could only dream of having, especially when factoring in the additional furniture sets for each room - and, of course, the dolls.
The pink plastic on the dollhouse tends to turn orange with age and exposure to sunlight, so it's common to find the house with uneven discoloration. The plastic also becomes brittle with age. While it's possible to take the dollhouse apart, it wasn't designed for this and the original instructions say that once assembled, the house should not be disassembled. The scarcity of this dollhouse and its fragile construction make it one of the most collectible and highly sought-after Strawberry Shortcake toys.
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