The doll was loosely based on the character Tammy portrayed by Debbie Reynolds in the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor. Tammy was produced in three versions: the first with straight legs, the second released in 1964 with bendable legs, and the final version released in 1965 being an older-looking doll titled Grown Up Tammy. (This doll was also released in an African-American version.) Dolls released by Ideal that comprised Tammy's Family included Mom, Dad, brothers Ted and Pete, and sister Pepper. Other Tammy's Family companion dolls included Dodi, Salty, Misty and Montgomery Ward's exclusive Patty and Bud, Tammy's boyfriend produced in small numbers near the time when Ideal ceased production of all Tammy Family dolls.
In 1965, Tammy's popularity started to wane and she was discontinued early the next year. Although production of the Tammy doll was fairly brief, the doll inspired the United Kingdom's best selling teenage doll, Sindy. Sindy was released in 1963, one year after Tammy, and manufacturer Pedigree Toys obtained permission to use Tammy's tag line, The Doll You Love To Dress.