We often looking at our childhood fondly, and this can be attributed to some of the great toys we had access to.
Sure, technology nowadays allows children to enter a new world at the touch of a button, but some children wish for something a little more conventional, and dolls are a great plaything, companion or collectible.
The popularity of dolls has meant that several companies have unveiled dolls that look to bring new features into a competitive market.
Some may have failed in doing so, but there are also some creations that have cemented their place within the toy industry for years to come.
Cabbage Patch Kids
During the 1980’s, it wasn’t uncommon to see a series of toys released in conjunction with a television show.
Examples of this includes Masters of the Universe and M.A.S.K.
The introduction of the Cabbage Patch Kids was a novel one during the time, in that it was one of the few dolls that didn’t have a tie-in movie or television show.
This didn’t stop the dolls becoming popular.
Desperate parents trying to get their hands on the dolls during the 80’s could be compared to the Black Friday mayhem we see today.
A unique feature of the dolls is that each came with their own adoption papers and birth certificate, with more rare dolls being sought after years later.
The dolls have become valuable, often due to the many changeovers of the IP, and the rarity of certain dolls.
Coleco introduced the dolls in 1982 but filed for bankruptcy in 1988.
Mattel took the reins in 1994 before Play Along Dolls reintroduced them in 2004.
Trolls were the brainchild of a Danish woodworker who first came up with the concept Thomas Dam created the doll as a gift for his daughter and started selling them as Dam Dolls when her friends asked for them.
The original trolls were carved out of world and had woollen hair and glass eyes.
The Trolls the were initially released in North America where imitations, and Dam fought this, with full copyright privileges being given to him in 2004.
Trolls became a phenomenon in the 1960s and have continued to be a trend during the 70’s, 80’s. 90’s and noughties. Unfortunately, the modernised version “Trollz” failed to embrace the popularity of the original.
BEST Selling 1980s Toys
It’s hard to believe that the inspiration for Barbie was derived from paper dolls, but that’s exactly what inspired Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler to come with the iconic doll.
Barbie was created after Handler witnessed her daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls, and wanted to create something that was three-dimensional.
The end-result was a doll that came with numerous accessories and could turn her hand to almost any job role.
The shapely figure of Barbie did receive criticism as times changed, but changes were made to give a more realistic image of the modern woman.
Barbie even had a love interest in the guise of Ken Carson. As well as making waves in the toy industry, Barbie has been seen in a series of cartoons, video games and clothing ranges, and still remains popular today.
Lifelike Baby Dolls
These baby dolls that look very real are referred to as ‘Reborns’ and are so realistic its frightening.
See our article on the subtle differences between Reborn & Silicone models which are worth understanding before any purchase.
Doc McStuffins Toys
Dottie “Doc” McStuffins is a 6-year-old girl who cares for stuffed animals in her playhouse clinic.
The idea first started out as an animated series, which became very popular with young audiences.
So much so, that a doll based on the popular series was released in 2013 and was the first black doll to become popular with children of all races and made over $500 million upon its release.
As well as bringing out the nurturing side of children, the doll has also shown that children aren’t prejudice when it comes to the race of the doll, only the character the doll portrays.
G.I. Joe Toys
Hasbro saw just how popular dolls were and thought boys should be able to join in the fun. G.I. Joe was first created back in 1963 by Manhattan-based licensing agent, Stan Weston.
The name was derived from “Government-issue Joe” which was a term for regular soldiers.
A version was also released in the United Kingdom known as “Action Man” and was a licensed copy that implemented British culture.
The doll, or action figure as it was known at the time, was most famed for its articulation, something that was seen in other boy’s action figures.
Although G.I. Joe was introduced as a standard soldier, he has gone through several iterations over the years, with recent incarnations instilling science-fiction elements.
The toys series proved so popular that an animated series was released, which gained cult status in its own right, as well as two movies.