Diva Starz

Published August 10, 2016 by discontinuedtoylines

1Diva Starz were a series of fashion dolls released by Mattel in 2000. The dolls were robotic interactive dolls that came with interactive accessories and plastic clothes. Each doll is approximately 9 inches (28 cm) tall, and also had ethnic diversity. The main characters of the brand were Summer, Alexa, Tia and Nikki. The dolls were inspired by the Spice Girls, since the pop group had lots of diversity. The characters also had distinctive personalities. For example, Alexa was a stereotypical blonde who loves to shop and wears mostly pink clothes, Nikki was the tomboy who loves sports. Summer loves the outdoors and loves animals. As for Tia, She loves to create music and loves electronics like radios, CD players and digital planners.

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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.

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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”.

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In 2001, Mattel released the 2nd series. The 2nd wave dolls had new clothes and new phrases. New Fashion Packs were also released.

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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.

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In early 2002, The brand’s sales were starting to struggle, due to the introduction of MGA’s Bratz. Though Bratz were released in May of 2001. Though they didn’t become popular until the Christmas season of 2001. 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 line’s popularity fell drastically and after 3 lines for the fashion dolls, Mattel discontinued the Fashion Divas. The interactive dolls were still on shelves, but sales were still decreasing. Eventually Mattel discontinued the brand altogether 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

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)

 

 

My Scene

Published June 9, 2016 by discontinuedtoylines

1My Scene were a line of fashion dolls released by Mattel in 2002. The line originally consisted of 3 best friends that live in New York and they are named after different locations in New York City (except for Barbie). The three original dolls from the line were Barbie, Chelsea and Madison (also known as Westley in other countries) who have different ethnicities and personalities. The dolls were made to appeal to the tween market and were made to compete with MGA Entertainment’s Bratz.2

The first collection was released in 2002, and each doll came with 2 outfits and also came with a stand.

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The line became very popular when they launched. More dolls were eventually added to the series, starting with in 2003 with Nolee, and three male characters, Bryant, River, and Hudson. Delancey and Ellis premiered in the “Hanging Out” line, which debuted in late 2003. Mattel made a web series based on the line and also released a CD-ROM Game.
4The line then spawned a direct-to-DVD film called Jammin’ In Jamaica in 2003, the film was sold with the Jammin’ In Jamaica line. The film also aired on Nickelodeon.
5The brand then introduced Kenzie in 2004 in the Getting Ready line. And then another direct-to-DVD film came out with the Masquerade Madness line called Masquerade Madness.

The line garnered controversy, when on April 13, 2005, Mattel’s competing toy company, MGA Entertainment filed a lawsuit against My Scene, alleging duplication of its Bratz dolls, their multi-ethnic looks, fashions and packaging. The suit further accuses Mattel of “engaging in acts of unfair competition and intellectual property infringement intended to damage its market share, confuse consumers and trade on the company’s goodwill.” Mattel had previously sued MGA Entertainment, alleging that Bratz creator Carter Bryant was working for Mattel when he developed the idea for Bratz in 1999, and had taken the idea to MGA secretly. MGA developed the first-generation fashion dolls while obscuring Bryant’s involvement. The MGA toy makers sought 1 billion dollars in damages testifying that Mattel violated antitrust laws.

6.jpgThe first direct-to-DVD film to be released apart from the dolls was “My Scene Goes Hollywood”. The film was released on DVD in 2005. The film also featured Lindsay Lohan as herself. It spawned a line of the same name, and Mattel even produced a Lindsay Lohan doll for the line.

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The brand caused more controversy when Mattel announced The My Bling Bling line. The dolls were seen wearing more shorter outfits and knee length shoes with leggings. Most parents complained that the line was considered “too racy” for children. The line also introduced a new face mold that had the dolls with more detailed makeup and front-gazing eyes.

8Barbie was later discontinued as a character and was later replaced with another blonde doll  called Kennedy. She was introduced in the Fab Faces line. They made a few lines with her.9But in 2007. Mattel replaced Nolee with previous character, Delancey. But they reintroduced her with black hair instead of blonde hair. Sales started to decrease.

10.jpgMore controversy came with the brand when Mattel released the Growing Up Glam line. The plot of the doll is that the doll had a key in the back of the doll that not only made the doll taller, but made the doll grow breasts. Parents found the line to be too inappropriate for children. Even some people called them a modern version of Growing Up Skipper.

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Mattel later rebooted the web series, but with a new animation style and character designs. Most fans were negative towards the new webisodes. Mattel also introduced a new character called Nia. Sales of the line decrease even more, which resulted in Mattel releasing the final lines in the US before discontinuing them in 2008. Though they still produced them in other countries. Mattel released more lines in other countries, but sales were still low. Until Mattel discontinued them altogether in 2011, though the website didn’t close down until 2014.

The dolls have became very valuable towards collectors. The dolls from 2002-2004 have ranged in price, but the dolls from 2005-2011 became very expensive on Amazon and EBay.

(Updated on 6/7/2017)