The 1980’s was the decade where marketers really took off with cross-marketing; and no one was an easier or bigger mark then children. TV stations inundated kids with commercial after commercial of cool toys sandwiched in-between their favourite cartoons. But these toy ads were of the very same cartoons that the kids were watching! Perfect synchronicity! – The animated programs develop the story and the characters so when the kids do finally get the toys, they already have an incredible familiarity with the product. We’ve already taken a look at the best boys cartoons based on toys, but for this list we’ll look at the 12 most popular toy commercials (for GIRLS), as well as the intros to their accompanying animated series. For this entry, we’re looking strictly at “girls” toys based on cartoons / cartoons based on “girls” toys.
So here is…
The 10 Best ’80s Cartoons Based on GIRLS Toys! (In alphabetical order!)
#10. – CARE BEARS
Collect Them All! Made by Kenner toys, each cute and cuddly stuffed teddy bear had a unique emotion-based insignia on their torso. In the cartoon, they would use these symbols for a “Care Bear Stare” which would vanquish foes or change people’s moods. I could uses a constant Care Bear stare Mondays thru Fridays during work hours.
#9. – JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS
Sing it boys…you’re not fooling anyone, we all know that you know the entire lyrics to the show’s theme song. “Jem! Is truly outrageous…truly, truly, truly, outrageous…Jem!” Think of this Hasbro produced toy as Rockstar Barbie but with enemies adorned in punk attire named the Misfits. Distributed by Sunbow Productions.
#8. – MONCHICHI
I have ZERO knowledge of these cutesy-poo toys except for their lame name. Oh and they were a Japanese import licensed by Mattel in North America and the cartoon was distributed through Hanna-Barbera productions.
#7. – MY LITTLE PONY
First off, I’m not a “Brony” (middle-aged men that are into My Little Pony) because that’s just weird. But for little girls, what toy could be more perfect? A variety of pretty plastic ponies of different colours with different coloured hair that could be braided. I can completely see now why a grown man would want to…nope. Still can’t see it.
#6. – POPPLES
After the success of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, the Popples were produced because the creator was inspired after unrolling a pair of socks. With such a genius idea headed into production, given that it was the 1980’s, an accompanying cartoon was immediately greenlit.
#5. – RAINBOW BRITE
You’re an Executive at Hallmark Cards. Your competition, American Greeting Company, just hit the ball out of the park with Care Bears. So naturally, you develop your own colourful doll to enter into the toy market. Voila! Rainbow Brite. As the story goes a little girl is brought to a colourless land. She has to find the Sphere of Light in order to bring colour back to the bland land. She makes a bunch of friends, finds the Sphere and ends being in charge of all the colours in the universe. Winner winner rainbow coloured chicken dinner!
#4. – SHE-RA PRINCESS OF POWER
Mattel created a license to print money when they developed the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line for boys. So, why not scrape the bottom of the well and do it a second time, except this time we’ll cater it to girls – have it tie into the He-Man universe – and make the only male character look like a flamboyant Errol Flynn.
#3. – STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
This was probably the girl’s toy of choice in my elementary school when I was growing up. Everyone had’em. And they all smelt soooooo good! Aside from that, all I really remember about this toy and cartoon is the Peculiar Purple Pie Man or Porcupine Peak!
#2. – TEDDY RUXPIN
The cartoon was your average run-of-the-mill talking bear hanging out with old guys, fairies, and fantasy creatures. But the toy!! Oooowee was that sucker creepy! I’m pretty sure that Teddy Ruxpin probably inspired “Chucky” from the Child’s Play horror movie franchise.
#1. – WUZZLES
The Wuzzles was a Walt Disney television offering with toys produced by Hasbro that featured cuddly cute plush dolls that are hybrids of two different animals…like Bumblelion (part Bumblebee and part Lion). Yeah, try explaining “the birds and the bees” to the kids after watching this cartoon!