“A fitness program for today’s young girl.”
In the afterglow of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Hasbro released Get in Shape, Girl!, a line of fitness-in-a-box sets aimed at young girls ages five and up.
The sets were primarily focused on aerobic activities, combining fitness and fashion accessories, all in a coordinated pink, purple, and light-blue colour palette. Each set came with an instructional poster and cassette tape that combined popular music and workout cues in beginner and advanced-level workouts. The cassette tapes were unique to each set, so the music could be mixed and matched across fitness activities.
In 1985, Hasbro hit the market with the following five Get In Shape, Girl! sets:
- Book & Tape: A 32-page workout book and 60-minute cassette tape with a total workout program. Children were encouraged to use Get In Shape, Girl! workout gear from other sets for these workouts.
- Workout Plus: included lightweight dumbbells, terry-cloth headband and pink leg warmers.
- Feat Beat: included a jump rope, ankle weights, and terry-cloth headband and wristbands.
- Rhythm & Ribbons: included a “satiny rhythmic ribbon” and workout routines influenced by rhythmic gymnastics.
- Ultimate Workout: included a 24-inch x 36-inch vinyl exercise mat, jump rope, terry-cloth headband and wristbands, exercise logbook, and tote bag.
With a new hit on its hands, Hasbro released additional Get In Shape, Girl! sets, including:
- Twist ‘n Twirl: combining fitness with baton twirling, this set included a hoop, pom-poms, glitter, and standard batons. On the fashion side, Twist ‘n Twirl also had sneaker pom-poms and ankle socks.
- Pump ‘n Run: offered two weights that could be filled with water or sand, a sun visor, and ankle socks.
- Workout Barre: included a barre that could be attached to any door 36 inches wide, leg warmers, a tutu, and terry-towel headband and wrist bands. A “workout in progress” sign was included for good measure.
- Bangle Bop: offered workouts using up to six lightweight workout bracelets that could also be used as fashion accessories.
EXERCISE PAYS OFF
As part of its full-court fitness marketing press, Hasbro secured an endorsement for Get In Shape, Girl! from 1986 Olympic gold medallist Mary Lou Retton.
The highly decorated Olympic gymnastics star visited four elementary schools as part of a contest sponsored by the company and even established the Mary Lou Retton/Get In Shape, Girl Fan Club. Three of the winning schools were required to submit the most workout points via premiums printed on Get In Shape, Girl! packaging, while a fourth school was chosen at random. Runner-up schools were awarded gymnastics equipment for their athletic departments.
Hasbro’s fitness fad lasted for about five years, then Get In Shape, Girl! disappeared from store shelves. While it is relatively easy to find sets on the secondary market, expect to pay a premium, especially if they are in lightly-used or unused condition.