These Were Girls’ Favorite Dolls from the 1980’s
As a kid, the 1980s were a simpler time. You did not need the latest phone or any new apps, all you needed were a few basic toys and some good old imagination. Today we will be revisiting dolls from the 1980s that will make you feel nostalgic and grateful for the toys you had!
Cabbage Patch Kids
It is truly a mystery how Cabbage Patch Kids became such a popular doll to the kids in the ’80s. As the name suggests, Cabbage Patch Kids were kids that were born in a Cabbage Patch. They were created by a 21-year-old art student and were made using a special quilting technique. While you may take these dolls for granted now, back in the day there was a frenzy whenever a new Cabbage Patch Kid was released. Even now, there are vintage collectors who spend hundreds of dollars collecting all of the Cabbage Patch Kids that have been released over the years.
Minchhichi has a name that is equally difficult to spell and understand. What could Minchhichi mean? What exactly is a Minchhichi? Is it a human? A bear? A monkey? Regardless of the origins, it is undeniable how cute and fluffy they are. Mochhichi’s were not as popular as Barbie or Cabbage Patch Kids, but they have a dedicated fan base that persists even to this day. An original Monchhichi is actually quite affordable, and are still sold regularly on eBay and Amazon.
My Little Pony
As a young girl, owning a pony was a small dream that most of us never got to live out. However, My Little Pony dolls helped bridge that gap. These dolls consisted of beautiful ponies and magical powers, what’s not to love? Even if you only watched a few episodes of the animated series, you would be very tempted to buy your own My Little Pony dolls to create stories of your own.
Barbie is arguably the most popular doll on this list and that is for good reason. The Barbie dolls were a necessity for every girl in the ’80s. Barbie has had a long and rich history of appearing on TV, movies, and even video games. The brand is still continuing strong with an average of 1-2 Barbie movies being released every single year. While Barbie was one of your favorite dolls from the 1980s, a live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie has just been announced this year in 2019. Barbies are a nostalgic toy that is inseparable from our childhood, and from these recent announcements they seem to be here to stay.
Cupcake dolls were an interesting childhood toy that fused two of life’s greatest pleasures: sweets and toys. Cupcake Dolls looks nothing like a doll when they are closed. When closed, it is a plastic cupcake that could be used as a decoration at a bakery. However, if you open that cupcake the doll transforms into a doll that wears the cupcake frosting as a hat. For kids who enjoyed colorful sweets and toys, this was a great doll from the 1980s.
Jem and the Holograms
Jem and the Holograms were a wildly successful line of dolls that stemmed from their popular television show. The show revolved around Jerrica Benton, a music company owner who doubled as the pop star Jem. This series catapulted these dolls into fame and many kids considered the Jem and the Hologram dolls as one of their favorite dolls from the 1980s. In fact, Barbie was forced to release their own musical collection of toys to compete with the popularity of Jem. New toy lines like Barbie and The Rockers was released, but they could not capture the initial magic that Jem brought to kids in the ’80s.
When it comes to dolls, there is no doll smaller than the Polly Pockets. The advantage of having these small dolls was the fact that you could carry around their wardrobe, their house, their companions, and everything else in a very small pouch. Of course, the frustrating aspect of the Polly Pockets was that you seemed to lose a new Polly Pocket every week.
Strawberry Shortcake dolls actually were released one year before 1980, but their popularity persisted even until now. The most unique factor about the Strawberry Shortcake dolls was the fact that every doll had a distinct scent that matched their design. Collecting all of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls was a fun adventure that could leave your bed smelling like a fresh bakery. Like other dolls on this list, the Strawberry Shortcake cartoon that was released helped spread the popularity of these dolls even up until its cancellation in 2008.
My Pretty Ballerina Doll
My Pretty Ballerina Dolls were dolls that could dance to whatever music you provided. Unlike other dolls on this list, you needed batteries and the music that came along with it for the best experience. The My Pretty Ballerina Doll was for kids who did not want to use their imagination and instead enjoyed a beautiful dancing doll every night.
Rainbow Brite was a doll that exploded in popularity in a very small range of time. This was because the animated series was released in 1984, the movie was released in 1985, and several Rainbow Brite books were also released in this time period. It seemed like you saw Rainbow Brite everywhere because you weren’t limited to just dolls with Rainbow Brite. You could match with your dolls by wearing Rainbow Brite clothes, merchandise, and even furniture. It would be tough to imagine the dolls from the 1980s without mentioning the soft and colorful Rainbow Brite dolls.
Princess Magic Touch
Princess Magic Touch was equal parts fantastical and regal. These dolls were not as popular as other dolls on this list, possibly because there weren’t as many options for Princess Magic Touch dolls. However, while there were only six main dolls to choose from you still had a lot of room for customization. These Princess Magic Touch dolls comes with dresses, necklaces, underpants, shoes, wands, and even brushes. Customizing your Princess Magic Touch doll before playing with it was a great way to have a unique play experience.
Popples were colorful dolls that had long skinny tails with a fluffy ball at the end. They were based upon a television show of the same name. The popularity of Popples continues to this day, with Netflix releasing a show based on the Popples within the last few years. The unique selling point of the Popples dolls was the fact that each Popple could turn into a uniquely colored ball. Buying a popple and transforming it into a ball was a fond memory of several kids growing up in the 1980s.
Pound Puppies were puppies that just tugged at your heartstrings. As a kid, there is nothing more heartbreaking than a puppy without a home. By purchasing and playing a pound puppy, you got to feel as though you were providing the Pound Puppy with as much happiness as he/she was providing you. The Pound Puppies toy line was so popular that it spawned its own television show, television special, and movie.
Before Victoria’s Secret, there was Sweet Secrets. Sweet Secrets was a toy line that combined cute dolls and a special surprise. You got to choose whether your Sweet Secrets doll came with make-up, jewelry, or anything in between. If you owned a Sweet Secrets doll, you could justify carrying it with you everywhere because it wasn’t just a doll, it was a fashion accessory.
Tiny Blessing dolls are a rare line of toys that were made in the late 1980s. There were only eight main Tiny Blessing dolls ever released with a Tiny Blessing Friends and Tiny Blessing Sisters released shortly after. These dolls lived up to their name and were only three inches tall. The Tiny Blessing Dolls each came with a plastic accessory and all of them had hair that you could brush and style.
My Child Dolls
My Child Dolls were sold as dolls that were a bit more realistic than Cabbage Patch Kids. My Child Dolls didn’t focus on the backstory but focused more on the details that made a doll easier on the eyes. For example, the My Child Dolls came with softer and more lifelike hair. The My Child Dolls also had felt skin and faces that were much more realistic. With the poseable limbs, felt skin, and realistic hair, you can see why some kids in the 1980s preferred these realistic dolls over the other outlandish dolls on the market.
Pillow People dolls were dolls that were shaped like blankets. Just kidding. They were shaped like pillows and actually were a big hit. Many kids (and even adults) cuddle with their pillows at night despite the fact that it isn’t a doll. Pillow People were pillows that had stuffed hands, feet, and personality. The creators of this doll eventually also produced Pillow Animals which had the same idea except that the pillows were based on animals rather than people. A similar iteration of this idea is Pillow Pets: a doll that gained popularity in the early 2000s. Pillow Pets are also a very popular toy but it’s important to remember that the Pillow People did it first!
The Heart Family
Barbie’s are great for glitz and glamor, but sometimes you wanted to have a doll that felt more relatable. The Heart Family was a doll set that mirrored how normal families looked and operated. This doll tried to capture the feeling of being in a suburban family that just enjoyed each other’s company.
Poochie was an adorable doll that often came with her very own pair of sunglasses. The Poochie toy was not just a cool toy but doubled as a stamp. Having a doll that you know could be used to mark anything at any time is a lot of power for a young child. Poochie was a memorable toy for the kids who got her, but probably just as memorable for the parents who needed to clean the walls after the stamping was over.
The 1980s had hundreds of great dolls that we could not fully cover even if we wanted to. Did we miss some of your favorite dolls? If so, let us know below or shoot us an email. If we mentioned a doll that you completely forgot about, feel free to share that nostalgic feeling with your friends!