1. Jem and the Holograms
What made this so great: Jem was the complete ‘80s package; it was a cartoon series, with catchy songs and soap opera–style story lines (that were full of some real backwards logic). But really all the show served as was a 30-minute commercial for Jem dolls and their many accessories.
Jem and the Holograms commercial:
2. She-Ra: Princess of Power
What made this so great: She-Ra: Princess of Power was a hugely successful cartoon spin-off of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The toy line differed in that it was really an action figure (She-Ra came complete with sword and shield) marketed toward girls.
She-Ra: Princess of Power commercial:
3. Barbie and the Rockers
What made this so great: This sub-line of Barbie dolls was an attempt to compete with the hugely popular Jem line. It included a tie-in direct-to-video movie titled Barbie and the Rockers: Out of This World.
Barbie and the Rockers commercial:
4. Punky Brewster
What made this so great: Punky was the total “cool kid” every child wanted to be! Having this doll made you that much closer to achieving that status.
Punky Brewster doll commercial:
5. Rainbow Brite
What made this so great: Like all great ‘80s toys, Rainbow Brite had a corresponding cartoon series. But much of her appeal was in her design: big, bold colors; yellow yarn hair; and a soft doll body, making her irresistible to preschool kids.
Rainbow Brite commercial:
6. My Little Pony
What made this so great: They were magical ponies! They were also appealing because they weren’t dolls but you could still comb their hair and buy them lots of accessories.
Of course, their legacy lives on in the heart of Bronies and on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
My Little Pony commercial:
7. Sylvanian Families/Calico Critters
What made this so great: Although this line was a bit more under the radar, Sylvanian Families had a huge following. Kids loved the appealing anthropomorphic designs of the figures and their detailed miniature world (lots of play sets and accessories).
Sylvanian Families/Calico Critters commercial:
8. Strawberry Shortcake
What made this so great: Originally introduced in the late 1970s by American Greetings, Strawberry Shortcake was an unstoppable marketing machine.
She had every area of merchandise covered: cereal, vitamins, clothes, lunch boxes, and, of course, cartoon series. But most kids will remember her dolls and their main appeal: that each doll smelled like her particular name.
Strawberry Shortcake commercial:
9. Sweet Secrets
What made this so great: Sweet Secrets were a bit like Transformers for girls. They looked like jewelry pendants or compacts and would transform into dolls and play sets.
Sweet Secrets commercial:
10. Cabbage Patch Kids
What made this so great: Arguably the most iconic of ‘80s toys were the Cabbage Patch Kids. Although they were originally marketed as gender neutral, girls were the primary owners of these dolls.