My Three Sons premiered on September 29, 1960, and ran for 12 years. The latter half of the show saw many changes for widower Steve Douglas and his family–the show changed networks, switched from black and white to color, and re-located its setting from the Midwest to Southern California (a change prompted by a real-life change in production facilities).
One son married and departed, a new son joined the family through adoption, grandfather Bub left, and salty Uncle Charley took over as caretaker. In its last few years, the all-male cast got an estrogen infusion: Second son Rob married Katie and moved her into the family home; third son Chip eloped with Polly; and Steve married widow Barbara, who had a young daughter.
It’s not hard to imagine what Executive Producer Don Fedderson was thinking when he introduced Barbara’s daughter, Dodie. Family Affair‘s Buffy and her doll Mrs. Beasley were a merchandising gold mine. Collectibles like this coloring book and Dodie paper dolls–both printed by Saalfield–represented attempts to recapture the Buffy magic. Producers even gave Dodie a companion doll, Myrtle.
Dodie merchandising didn’t come close to matching the success of Buffy and Mrs. Beasley, though.
This coloring book features “Dodie’s Favorite Things to Do,” a theme that enabled Saalfield to use random toy and teddy bear pictures for about half the content.
Rob and Katie’s triplets are in almost as many pictures as Dodie.
The coloring book includes paper dolls of the triplets and Dodie.
Uncle Charley gets some ink in the coloring book (although it spells his name wrong).
The image below is the only one that comes directly from the show.
Oh my goodness, I had to laugh when I saw that picture of MacMurray and Dodie. She looks cute as a mushroom…but Fred doesn’t quite measure up to being an oak. But at least it’s better than him being a giant baby. Thanks for sharing this!
I always watched the show, but I don’t remember the coloring book at all. I guess I was lost in the Nancy Drew section of the store.
They didn’t produce much My Three Sons merchandise. Besides this coloring book, I’ve only seen some Dodie paper dolls and a very cool set of Remco dolls based on the triplets.