1. Wee Wild Things
Released in 1987, Wee Wild Things were a cross between Sea Wees and Polly Pocket. Like Polly, each doll in the series brought her own play set and accessories.
2. Barnyard Commandos
These anthropomorphic action figures were released in 1989 to capitalize on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze, an accompanying syndicated animated series was also produced. Unfortunately for the Barnyard Commandos, neither the series nor the toys were a success and the line quickly disappeared from shelves.
3. Cool Shades
There is nothing more kids love play with more than sunglasses, amiright? Well, at least Cool Shades tried to be fun, with their zany mix and match designs. And really, any kid wearing these things was just asking to get made fun of on the playground.
Also, I’m not sure these shades would very protective for your eyes.
4. Sports and Flowers Themed Popples
OK, so Popples were certainly a hit toy, but when the toy line began to lose steam, Mattel decided to pump up the excitement level by giving them a themed makeover. (‘Cause I guess being a Popple wasn’t enough of a theme?)
These trippy celestial fairies, whose sole purpose is to deliver sweet dreams to the children of Earth, were created as a tie-in to the short-lived animated series of the same name.
6. Leon Neon Strips
Future rave kids of the ’90s had an early head start when this line was released in the late ’80s. While they seemed cool at the time, they were, in fact, just overpriced glow sticks.
Essentially they were just stuffed animals with posable arms — which, I guess according to this catalogue, was super cool if you lived in a house full of exposed piping.
This short-lived line was a magical mix of Play-Doh and Gak.
9. The Heart Family
Let’s be honest, Barbie is too busy loving her life to be weighed down with a family, so enter The Heart Family, Barbie’s friends, who apparently have no names (seriously, the dolls were named Dad, Mom, Girl, and Boy), to introduce a family unit to Barbie’s world. Also, the line came with a Grandpa and Grandma, just in case you thought Barbie’s world was lacking in elderly people.
10. Captain Power
A weird blend of both G.I. Joe and Star Wars, the line of action figures — which came with interactive VHS tapes (sold separately) — allowed you to play along with the animated sequences. It was a bit ahead of its time.
11. My Child
These slightly unsettling looking dolls were released as a competitor to the (equally as creepy) Cabbage Patch Kids. Unfortunately they never managed to catch on.
12. Wheeled Warriors
What made these toys so awesome? Interchangeable parts! Which basically allowed kids to custom design any badass car they wanted to.
After the success of M.U.S.C.L.E. (which was marketed towards boys), Mattel launched C.U.T.I.E., which they, of course, marketed towards girls. But the line never caught on the same way M.U.S.C.L.E. did and it was discontinued quickly.
These awesome anthropomorphic action figures represented two things we could never do – play with our food and have an epic food fight. Unfortunately this line was not associated with a cartoon, comic book, or movie, which caused it to fail to catch on with kids.