Pocket Rockers was a brand of mini cassette players introduced by Fisher-Price in 1988.
Aimed at kids and teens, Pocket Rockers were a way to listen to your music on the go. The players were the size of normal cassettes, but the tapes appeared to look like miniature 8-track tapes, however they had 2 songs preloaded on it. The tapes played songs from popular artists at the time like Tiffany, The Bangles, Bon Jovi, and Madonna.
Pocket Rockers were not only popular toys, but they were also a popular fashion trend because the tapes came with a belt clip that was meant to be worn. Because of their popularity, schools started to ban them.
However their popularity started to decrease and Fisher-Price discontinued them in 1991.
They are now sought after by collectors and the players and tapes go prices from $12-$60
MicroDancers were dancing figurines manufactured and released by TOMY in 2003. They are a spin-off of MicroPets. There were 6 dolls available when they were sold, they were called Gina, Elvie, Maria, Lela, Kassia and Jenny. The dolls can dance in 3 dance modes, Tap Mode, Game Mode and Showtime Mode. The dolls can dance and sing to their own songs, they can also dance to your own songs. The dolls were also modeled after popular celebrities at the time.
When they were first released, A launch party to promote the dolls took place in New York City on May 7, 2004 and they were promoted by pop singer Paula Abdul. The dolls were also advertised in the UK on kids network Nickelodeon.
Despite heavy promotion, the dolls didn’t become popular with the public and eventually TOMY discontinued MicroDancers in 2005, due to disappointing sales.
In 2013, TOMY brought back Microdancers for their 10th anniversary in the UK. but it’s unknown if TOMY still sells them or not and they seem to be discontinued once again.
The dolls are somewhat easy to find online and aren’t worth a lot.
Gotta Dance Girls! were a series of fashion dolls manufactured and released by Tiger Electronics in 2002. They were IR controlled toys that were made to dance. Each doll came with a IR controller. The dolls require 3 AAA batteries. There were 4 different dolls available when they were still sold, there was a Blonde, a Brunette, a Redhead and an African American.
The dolls can dance to 3 one minute songs and even dance to the owner’s music. The owner can also press Freeze Mode on the controller to let the dolls strike a pose. Each doll can dance to different music genres such as Pop, Dance, Latin and Hip Hop.
The dolls never earned popularity and they were discontinued in 2003 due to poor sales.
The dolls are hard to find on Amazon and EBay, but they do cost an amount of money when they are spotted. If there’s more information on these dolls, please remind in me the comments.
Diva Starz were a series of fashion dolls released by Mattel in 2000. The dolls were robotic dolls that came with interactive accessories and plastic clothes. The main characters of the brand were Summer, Alexa, Tia and Nikki.
The website that accompanied the brand launched a month before the dolls were released. The website had interactive games and also had webisodes. Mattel also released fashion packs for each individual doll. Mattel also released a CD-ROM Game based on the line.
When the dolls first came out, Mattel thought that the dolls would flop. However, they became very popular and were named “Mattel’s Hottest Girl Toy of 2000” and were a big hit with girls between the ages of 6-11. Mattel released mini versions of the dolls called “Mini Diva Starz”.
In 2001, Mattel released the 2nd wave Diva Starz dolls. The 2nd wave dolls had new clothes and new phrases. New Fashion Packs were also released.
A game based on the brand called “Diva Starz: Mall Mania” was released in November of 2001 for the Game Boy Color. The game received negative reviews from critics, Who criticized it for being too easy. McDonald’s Happy Meals toys were also released.
In early 2002, The brand’s sales were starting to struggle, due to the introduction of MGA Entertainment’s Bratz. Though Bratz were released in May of 2001, they didn’t become popular until the Christmas season of that year. As a result, Mattel released Fashion Diva Starz that year. While generally identical to the original dolls, these dolls have clothing made of fabric, and were thinner and had more accurate proportions. Also, the dolls would speak recorded phrases when a button on the top of their heads is pushed. Original character Summer was replaced with new character Miranda.
Unfortunately, The dolls’ popularity fell drastically and as a result, Mattel discontinued the brand in 2004.
The dolls became popular among collectors after they were discontinued. With most of the dolls mint in box ranging from $25-$220.
Hit 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.
The 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.
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, the product was 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.
Despite criticism, the popularity of Hit Clips continued, New music players with new designs and new colors were released that fall. A spin off called Kid Clips were also released.
More 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”.
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.
Tiger Electronics introduced Hit Clips Discs and Disc Players in 2003. However they 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 eventually lead to their 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.