90s

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Polly Pocket

Published June 27, 2017 by discontinuedtoylines

609adad020233e0c957bb66a8c1969c2Polly Pocket was a line of mini dolls and accessories released by Bluebird Toys in 1989.

Polly Pocket was first designed by Chris Wiggs in 1983 for his daughter. Using a powder compact, he fashioned a small house for the tiny doll.

Bluebird Toys licensed the concept and the first Polly Pocket toys appeared in stores.

The toys had big success in the UK and American toy company Mattel held a distribution arrangement with Bluebird Toys for Polly Pocket in the United States.

The compacts came with in different sizes and themes. From houses to pool partys.

Mighty Max Escapes From Skull DungeonThe line was so successful that two spin-offs called Lucy Locket and Mighty Max were released.

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In 1997, Bluebird Toys released a unique addition to the Polly Pocket brand with the “Magical Movin” playsets.

Despite the toys’ success, Bluebird Toys endured several hostile take-over attempts until Mattel finally purchased them in 1998.

1998-2That same year, Mattel relaunched the brand and changes were made. The dolls were given more of a life-like and teenage look.

0ce0f1d9edac061b5e6dc18648b82743A year later, Mattel introduced a spin-off called “Fashion Polly!”. The dolls from the line were 3 34 inches (9.5 cm) and they used unique “Polly Stretch” garments, created by Genie Toys, rubbery plastic clothes that could be put on the dolls and removed, instead of traditional cloth clothing. There were also some boy dolls available.

Due to the huge success of the Fashion Polly! line, Mattel rebranded them as Polly Pocket and they discontinued the compacts.

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In 2003, Mattel released another spin-off line called “Polly Place”.

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During that same year, A 20-minute movie simply called “Polly Pocket” also known as “Polly’s First Movie” was released. It was released as a box prize whenever you bought Kellogg’s cereal. A video game called “Polly Pocket: Super Splash Island” which was released for the GameBoy Advance was also released that same year.

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In 2004, Mattel introduced the “Quik Clik” Polly Pocket playsets. Instead of having rubbery clothes. The dolls had plastic clothes that would click together by magnets.

2_Cool_at_the_Pocket_PlazaThe next film that was released “Polly Pocket: 2 Cool At The Pocket Plaza” came out in 2005. It was packaged with the 2 Cool At the Pocket Plaza Polly and Pia doll pack.

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The third (and final) movie to be released was PollyWorld. The film was released direct-to-DVD on November 14, 2006.

On November 22th of that same year, 4.4 million Polly Pocket playsets were recalled by Mattel after children in the United States swallowed loose magnetic parts.

This effected Polly Pocket’s sales and as a result, the brand started losing popularity.

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In 2007, The “Sparklin’ Pets” line was introduced. This line was the first to introduce a new face and body mold on Polly and her friends. Some dolls from this line also had clothes made from real fabric.

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A year later, The “Designables” and “Pretty Packets” dolls were introduced and lasted until 2010. Polly Pocket dolls from this era also had another new face mold

However, by 2010. Polly Pocket was going through a makeover.

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Later that year, the new Polly Pocket dolls were released. The dolls were given more of a child-like appearance, changes include increasing feet size, head size and leg size, although the height remains approximately the same. Pets called “Cutants” were also added to the line. Webisodes were made to promote the new Polly dolls.

Despite negative reactions among fans, sales for the toy fairly increased.

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More changes were given for the line in 2011. The dolls were once again given a new face mold and the Cutants were removed. Sales started to struggle.

In 2012, Polly Pocket dolls were discontinued in the US, however the line was still being sold in Europe and South America.

The last Polly Pockets sets to be released were only released in Brazil. Mattel eventually discontinued the line in its entirety. No webisodes have been released since, dispite the fact the official website remains open.

The original Polly Pockets are popular collectors items and they go for expensive prices on eBay. As for the Polly Pocket lines from 1998-2015 they go for reasonable prices on eBay and Amazon.

A link to the official Polly Pocket website is here : http://play.pollypocket.com/en-us/

A link to the official Polly Pocket Youtube Channel is here : https://www.youtube.com/user/pollypocket/featured

 

 

 

Hit Clips

Published June 30, 2016 by discontinuedtoylines

1Hit Clips were digital music players released by Tiger Electronics in 1999. They were first distributed by Radio Disney, Lunchables and McDonald’s and they were promoted by popular artists like *NYSNC and Britney Spears.

2The toy was aimed at kids and teens, it resembled either a MP3 Player or a Boombox. They also had small micro chips that had a song preloaded on it and it played for 1 minute. The micro chips sometimes came with the music players, while others were sold separately. The music players also came in different colors.

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In it’s first year of release. Hit Clips earned Tiger Electronics approximately $80 million. Since Tiger Electronics had licensing agreements for Hit Clips with popular major record labels. Despite it’s popularity, Reactions to Hit Clips were mixed from the public. On Parents Talk: Through Children Eyes subsection, the product approved by 69% of readers and disapproved by 30% of readers. However, the product was panned by many of the readers in written reviews. Although the authenticity or the periodicity of this source was not confirmed many commentators stated that they would rather spend their money on an MP3 player or they already owned a boombox or a CD player.

4The popularity of Hit Clips continued, Artists like Madonna, Backstreet Boys, Smash Mouth, Aaron Carter and several others had licensing deals with Tiger Electronics and new music players with new designs and new colors were released that fall. A spin off called Kid Clips were also released.

5More licensing deals with record labels meant more song cartridges and accessories were released. Tiger Electronics even released music chips based on the popular cartoon ”The Simpsons”.

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However, the toy’s popularity started to decrease when Apple released their iPod in October of 2001, Since Hit Clips were made to be an alternative to Digital MP3 Players since they lacked portability and had a bulky design. The iPod had a 45.7 mm (1.8 in) hard drive and had a silk design. The iPod became extremely popular when they first launched. Hit Clips struggled to compete with the iPod.  Tiger Electronics released new micro chips and different music players. but sales were nothing compared to the iPod’s sales.

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Tiger Electronics introduced Hit Clips Discs and Disc Players in 2003. However it didn’t become as popular as the micro chips and music players. Due to the iPod’s gain of popularity at this point. Hit Clips were finally losing popularity. This suggests that the rise of MP3 tech along with other factors compounded to lead to Hit Clips demise.

Hit Clips are now very easy to find on Ebay and Amazon, however the music players and micro discs are pretty expensive, ranging from $4 to $250. Hit Clips became very iconic after they were discontinued.

 

Betty Spaghetty

Published June 22, 2016 by discontinuedtoylines

1Betty Spaghetty is a line of bendable dolls released by Ohio Art Company in 1998. The line focuses on a teenager called Betty Spaghetty, She is portrayed as a fun-loving teenager who is stereotypically obsessed with her looks. She also has best friends called Zoe and Hannah.  Her features include rubbery hair used to let children make various hairdos and changeable hands, feet, shoes, etc. The doll was invented and designed by Elonne Dantzer. The dolls were very popular during it’s launch and were praised for being unique and different compared to other fashion dolls at the time. Ohio Art launched the Betty Spaghetty website the next year and they produced more new characters.2The new characters that were introduced were Ally, (Betty’s younger sister.) Emily, (Hannah’s younger sister.) And Dakota, (Betty’s Pet horse). With the former being introduced in the ”My Little Sis Line” and the latter being introduced in the ”Horsin’ Around” line.

3Later in 1999. The line called Around The World introduced Betty’s pet dog called Jake. In the same line. 3 new characters were also introduced, Mandy from Hollywood (Who is Betty’s Cousin.) Olivia from New York and Tess from Australia.

5As the brand’s success continued. More lines and more characters were produced. Notable lines include the ”Pajama Party/ Slumber Party” set,  and the second wave of the ”Around The World” line that featured Lucy from London and Nikki from Paris.

 

4A new character called Katy was introduced in the ”My Baby Sis, Oh, Baby!” line. She was portrayed as Betty’s baby sister.

6McDonald’s have made toys for their Happy Meal’s based on the brand and they were produced in Europe and The US between 2001-2003. And Children’s Books were also produced for the line.

7The Music Company (TMC) teamed up with Ohio Art to release a Betty Spaghetty CD called Smash Hits in 2003. It was only released in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The album failed to chart.

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Two singles were released from the album. While “Aiyo Aiyo” peaked at #15 on Swedish Charts. “21st Century Girl” failed to chart.

8Mini versions of the toy called Betty Spaghetty : Mix N’ Minis were also released in 2003. After that, Ohio Art discontinued the line in 2004. The line was discontinued due to loss of popularity.

9In July of 2007, Ohio Art announced that the dolls would return, but with a new look. The website also relaunched. Later that year, the new Betty Spaghetty dolls were released. Dispite releasing multiple dolls during the year, Ohio Art discontinued the brand a year later due to lackluster sales.

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Australian toy company Moose Toys bought the rights to the toy in 2015. And in early 2016. Moose Toys unveiled the line at the 2016 Toy Fair in New York City. The new Betty Spaghetty dolls were released in August of 2016. The Betty Spaghetty website relaunched and they also have an official YouTube channel.

The original dolls became popular with collectors and are worth a lot of money new in box, ranging from $30 to $418 on Ebay and Amazon. The first reboot dolls don’t cost as much. Though they are worth money as well.

(Updated on 2/22/2017)