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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.
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Then & Now: Polly Pocket


THEN: The original Polly Pocket toy line from Bluebird Toys launched in 1989. A series of small plastic cases that folded open to form various micro-playsets, the tiny creations were known for their attention to detail and included a café, ski lodge, school, beach house, and restaurant.

Each playset contained one or more Polly Pocket figurines of less than an inch tall. The figurines had a joint allowing the doll to be bent in half at the waist, and a circular base used to secure the doll at particular locations in each playset.

Mattel acquired the line, and in 1998 redesigned it with dolls in larger form factors. Polly Pocket movies and books were also added to the marketing mix. The company went on to sell over 10 million compact playsets and dolls and refreshed the line in various sizes throughout the 2000s until eventually discontinuing it in North America in 2015.

NOW: With a new “Tiny is Mighty” tagline, Polly Pocket has been rebooted almost thirty years after its inception. The refreshed line features more than 20 collectibles, still micro-sized but slightly larger than the originals. The circular base docking system is replaced by a new “sticky-feet” technology that allows the dolls to be stuck in place on special surfaces in each playset.

The plastic cases have been modernized with some serious upgrades. Polly’s beach house has a speedboat and she can boogie down at a dance club after arriving in her very own limo.

The Polly Pocket blitz will continue in 2019, as Mattel has plans to roll-out an animated series focused on the adventures of Polly and her friends.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.