Collection Close Up: Polly Pocket, Part 1

Polly Pockets made their debut on toy shelves in 1989. The idea came about six years prior, in 1983, when inventor Chris Wiggs sought out to create a pocket friendly doll house for his daughter. He took a compact and created a tiny little doll house inside, complete with a doll. The idea eventually found its way to Bluebird Toys, who produced them until 1998.  I was the perfect age to really embrace the world of Polly Pocket and because of that, I have quite a few. This post is one of a few I’ll be doing showcasing my Polly Pocket collection.

Calling all riders! The Wayback Machine is ready to go! Where to, you ask? 1989! We’ll start our look back at Polly Pocket with Polly’s Flat. Polly’s Flat is housed in a circular purple compact. In later years, Polly’s compacts changed from being shapes to more realistic looking houses. However, in 1989, all of the Polly Pocket buildings were hidden within colorful compacts. Polly’s Flat included two figures: Polly and Tina (blonde with pig-tails).

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Polly’s Flat includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, balcony and bathroom.

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Next on our tour is Midge’s Play School. Midge’s Play School is in a square yellow compact. This was also released in an orange compact with different interior colors. This set comes with two figures: Midge and a baby.

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Midge’s Play School has a front yard filled with playground equipment, like a slide and sand area, a classroom,nursery, bedroom and bathroom.

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Before we head back to 2017, we have one more stop, Buttons’ Animal Hospital. Buttons’ Animal Hospital comes with three figures: Buttons, a dog and a cat.

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Buttons’ Animal Hospital has waiting room, kennel, front desk, exam room and a living space for Buttons.

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Watch the video here:

Keep your arms and legs in the machine as we depart 1989 and return to the present! It may be a little bumpy, since we’re going forward over 20 years. (Yes, Polly Pocket is that old.) And we’re back!

The Wayback Machine needs a bit of a rest before our next trip into Polly Pocket history, so in the meantime, why not share some of your own Polly Pocket memories! Do you have a favorite of the three sets shown in this post or a favorite in general? Let me know!

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February 20, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized.

7 Comments

  1. wendydirks replied:

    These are darling! I’ve never seen them before. In 1989 I had a 13 year old son, who definitely would not have been interested, so that’s probably why.

  2. edenlouise replied:

    Oh wow, I so loved this idea, a whole little house, or a whole little area that you could close into a compact, or a shape. But I never got up the courage to buy one. The reason? I am totally blind, and I didn’t know how much of that pocket world was going to consist of pictures only. Could a three roomed flat really be put into a compact in a way that I could touch and relate to? Wouldn’t most of it have to be just illustrated? I could be totally wrong, because to this day I don’t know the answer.

    Actually I didn’t come across Polly pockets until way after they’d first been invented, but I do remember two poignant instances of things which had fired my imagination and which turned out to be dependent on one being able to see. The first being Hornby’s Cassie doll, with her home consisting of rooms made of video cassette cases which slotted into a base and clipped together. Half the room had things that you could touch and interact with, but half was just a flat piece of pasteboard, a picture. How could I imagine Cassie sitting in a living room or walking out of balcony doors that just felt like a flat piece of cardboard? The other was the cyber pet! To everyone else, a wonderful thing to take care of, or a bleeping annoyance. To me, a flat, square thing with a glass screen, it meant nothing, and I was soooo disappointed!

    So while I love all kinds of toys and dolls, and a part of me, a big part, revels in the world of collectible dolls and children’s toys, I’m careful what I buy, and as yet I’ve never had the nerve to open that beautiful, glossy compact, the Princess’s castle, the hairdressing salon, all the magic that’s inside. I’d kind of rather imagine it all there waiting for me than know it’s a piece of paper with stickers on and a couple of little plastic figures.

  3. Monster Crafts replied:

    I used to love Polly Pocket and I had quite a few! I had the Magical Mansion, Grandma’s Cottage, the school, the burguer… I wish this line made a comeback, I will start collecting them again!

  4. Beth replied:

    I love Polly Pocket! I posted about mine on my blog here: http://dolltraume.blogspot.com/2016/09/polly-pocket-dollhouse.html

  5. Taswegian1957 replied:

    I was too old for these when they came out but it is a really cute idea and these little compacts are lovely.

  6. Tenko replied:

    I was a sucker for these when I was in elementary school. I liked how they actually fit into your pocket and was disappointed when the newer ones didn’t, unless you were wearing cargo pants. Apparently Mighty Max was the counterpart to these, but I didn’t know that until after the show had already ended, because I never saw any ads for it as opposed to Polly Pocket. I would’ve wanted those too if I knew they existed. My family has nicknamed me Vergil after the guru from that show/toy line.

  7. Molly replied:

    I love the original Polly pockets, I think my sisters and I had almost all of these!

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