Big thank you to Toy Wizards contributor Jonathan Alexandratos for pointing me toward this breathtaking 2019 Amazon Exclusive release!
Here at Toy Wizards, we don’t typically report on toys that are over a year old. But when said toy is an Amazon exclusive based on a vintage franchise that experienced a 30th anniversary release that slipped under our radar… yeah… that’s when exceptions need to be made. Especially since I promptly freakoutscreamed and purchased a copy for myself because sweet mother of science, I need to see this. I need to review it. I need to give it to my daughter to play with and see if she loves vintage re-releases.
Yeah, those Cupcake Dolls from the 90s that were reissued last year were a major cheap toy fail in my house.
Discussing Polly Pocket is especially important right now in a world where classic “boy toys” are experiencing a resurgence. And it’s doubly important to note that said “boy toys” (please note that I gender things with the biggest grain of salt because I on a personal level do not think that *toys* are exclusive to any one person’s body parts) are truly aimed at the adult male toy collector. Have you in your experience as a toy fan heard any (modern, right now, today) ten year old boys yelling about how they couldn’t get their Cobra Commander or Super Shredder? I haven’t.
Polly Pocket, using it as an example, is a “girls toy” franchise that has never (as far as I can tell) gone away. I’ve seen Polly get a little bigger and her face/accessories get a bit of an overhaul to appeal to modern sensibilities. This sort of modern overhaul is something that is fairly common with vintage “girls toys” that are pushed toward a modern crowd. Strawberry Shortcake recently got a 40th anniversary doll release done in the style of the original 80s toy. Hasbro will release the occasional anniversary or throwback style My Little Pony. Hallmark released a traditional style 12 inch plush Rainbow Brite, Twink, Starlite, and Tickled Pink dolls in 2017. So, while of course these efforts are appreciated, it’s not the same as releasing a toy *line* in the vintage style of these dolls.
Have you seen the attempted Rainbow Brite redesign of 2009? It was a yuck and a flop and a fail.
Let’s just add classic Barbie to this lineup as well. Sure, we might get OG Barbie reissues from the 60s, but you will never see her friends or original counterparts in these releases. The same with Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite– while we might see homages to these toys, their colorful friends will never be included. Did you see those nods to the 80s Care Bears popping up at Walmart? Sure, they’re like the originals…but it’s five characters. Want to see the Care Bear cousins or side characters again? I don’t think it will ever happen.
This is why He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Origins toy line exists, and why modern little girls get dolls based off Dreamworks She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
In my opinion, vintage girl’s toys cannot experience a proper resurgence because the female collector’s market is always being underestimated. I don’t think it’s always an issue of certain toy lines being tangled up in copyright hell. I think manufacturers are either too protective of their properties or larger companies don’t think there’s enough demand for a classic property. I will never see Ladylovely Locks again. I will never see a Spectra or a Maxie doll again. I will never see The Quints again. I will never see the Moon Dreamers again. I will never see Golden Girl again. And the only way we will continue to see any classic She-Ra dolls reissued is if it’s for The Power-Con and it’s angled toward… you guessed it… the adult male collector.
Although I have to hand it to Mattel for the Cave Club franchise– these are excellent and modern and still tap into the same vein as the toys I had as a kid. Perfectly executed, well done.
Of course, I believe modern children need to find their own way. I don’t need my children to play with the same toys I did, that’s silly. The late 80s/early 90s were a very special time in toys and that magic cannot be recreated. But if we’re existing in a world where these familiar franchises are still rocking shelves, how about some love for the source material instead of Strawberry Shortcake’s 4th face lift?
Therefore, circling back to this amazing Polly Pocket 30th anniversary set– why did this slip under our radar last year? You’re talking to an outlet that has its ear to the ground for tons of toy lines, especially vintage reissues or resurgences. The fact of the matter is… Amazon didn’t push it enough. Perhaps they didn’t think enough of us would care. But we do! We want our childhood toys just as much as the MOTU kids do, or the Playmates Turtle kids do. I would *love* to give my daughter a Little Miss Singing Mermaid or Little Miss Makeup doll. I would love for her to enjoy these toys as much as I did.
For 30 years, Polly Pocket has been bringing surprises and smiles to girls everywhere. To celebrate her 30th anniversary, a recreation of the 1989 Partytime Surprise Keepsake Compact is here! Lovingly recreated, this compact features all the intricate details and tiny surprises of the original while also adding a special celebration finish and keepsake gift box! There’s also a commemorative mini magazine, too. You’ll find charming partytime details like the living area with music setup, micro Polly doll on the spinning dance floor, tables and chairs for guests, presents and more surprises! This anniversary compact will delight Polly fans and help continue the adventure with Polly Pocket! Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.