After this Sunday’s My Little Pony Exhibit, I started thinking about all the other 90s and late 80s pastel toys we loved and grew up with. This was a golden era for girls’ toys, made in creamy dreamy colors and big eyes with twinkles. Whether its nostalgia or how well they fit with Japanese sweet fashion trends like fairy-kei and sweet lolita, many girls still love collecting these cuties today.
If you didn’t have Puppy (or Bunny or Kitty or Pony) Surprise as a child you might be kind of creeped out… The theme is that the little puppies or other baby animals come out of a velcroed pouch in Mom’s stomach. The ‘surprise’ is that the box doesn’t say how many baby pets you’ll get until you open the box. Some later editions revealed to your the baby animal’s gender only after you had opened the package, too. (For a trip down memory lane, watch this commercial. I love all these old commercials for girls’ toys!)
Today, they’re beloved collectibles for their pretty faces and ice cream pastel bodies.While some of their fur might not have kept as well as we’d have liked, their molded faces are still as sweet ever. Even Tabuchi, founder of the fairy-kei brand Spank!, has a few.
If My Little Ponies were roly-poly and fighting off the Rainbow of Darkness, Fashion Star Fillies were the long-legged supermodel ponies on the catwalk who were braiding their hair. These slightly larger horses were made by Kenner in the mid-1980s, and were made for dressing up. They wore everything from jazzercise wear to prom dresses to wedding gowns. But I think what we like most about them is their fanciful, beautiful pearly colors and oodles of easily-lost hairclips. I’m just going to let one thing sink in for a minute… as pretty as these ponies are, someone made them jazzercise wear. Jazzercise. Oh, 80s and 90s, we miss you, but we are kind of glad you’re gone.
Watch the commercial here! This weird retro music and their names, like Joelle – and the fact they wear garters – really highlights how strange this idea was. And gave girls really unrealistic expectations about horses.
Precious Places were actually a Fisher-Price product, meant for younger children. The figures are pretty simplistic, but the houses are the real gems of this toy line. Each set featured a small pastel dollhouse, such as a ballet studio, a stable, a wedding chapel, or a Victorian mansion. The lights all worked (with batteries hidden in the chimney) and the dolls could interact with the house through magnets in the accompanying magic wands. I still have my pink-and-yellow ballet studio (like the one picture on the bottom right) and it makes a lovely display on my dresser.
Precious Places has a really sweet commercial as well that shows how the magnetic keys work and really highlights the working electric lights that featured in the tiny houses.
Are you in love with collecting vintage 80s and 90s toys? Do you remember having any of these are a child?
If you want to read more about 80s and 90s toys, check out these sites:
✰Ghost of the Doll – a great resource for looking up old toys