- This article refers to a line of toys. For the flat, slitted transparent bags used to hold documents, see Punched pocket.
Polly Pocket is a toy line of dolls and accessories. The name "Pocket" originates from the fact that many of the original Polly Pocket dolls came in pocket-size cases. The Fashion Polly dolls sold by Mattel are significantly different from those originally created and sold by Bluebird Toys.
Polly Pocket was first designed by Chris Wiggs in 1983 for his daughter Kate Wiggs. Using a powder compact, he fashioned a small house for the tiny doll. Bluebird Toys of Swindon, England licensed the concept and the first Polly Pocket toys appeared in stores in 1989. Mattel held a distribution arrangement with Bluebird Toys for Polly Pocket items in the early-1990s. In 1998, while production lulled, Bluebird Toys endured multiple hostile take-over attempts until Mattel finally purchased them later that year. The sets made by Bluebird Toys are now valuable collectables.
The original Polly Pocket toys were plastic cases which opened to form a dollhouse or other playset with Polly Pocket figurines less than an inch tall. The dolls folded in the middle, like the case, and had circular bases which slotted into holes in the case interior, allowing them to stand securely at particular points in the house. This was particularly useful for moving points in the case. Because the dolls were so small, sometimes they came enclosed in pendants or large rings instead of the more typical playset cases.
In 1998, Mattel redesigned Polly Pocket. The new doll was larger, with a more lifelike appearance than the original dolls. She had a straight ponytail, rather than the curly bob hairstyle used previously. The following year, Mattel also introduced 'Fashion Polly!', which used the same characters from the new Polly Pocket (Polly, Lea, Shani, Lila, etc.), but they came in the form of 3 3⁄4 inches (9.5 cm) plastic jointed dolls. They gave a new spin on fashion dolls; instead of traditional cloth clothing, Polly Pockets used unique "Polly Stretch" garments, created by Genie Toys, rubbery plastic clothes that could be put on the dolls and removed. There are also some boy dolls (Rick, Steven, etc.) Like Barbie and Bratz dolls, they also star in Polly Pocket movies, books, and sites.
In 2002, Mattel stopped producing the smaller Polly Pocket playset range but continued to produce the larger fashion doll.
In 2004, Mattel introduced the Polly Pocket "Quik Clik" line. Instead of having rubbery clothes, the dolls had plastic clothes that would click together by magnets. On November 22, 2006, 4.4 million Polly Pocket play sets were recalled by Mattel after children in the United States swallowed loose magnetic parts. Affected toys had been sold around the world for three years prior.
For the 2010 relaunch, Mattel made further changes to the Polly dolls, including increasing feet size, head size and leg size, although the height remains approximately the same. However, fan reactions were mixed.
In 2012, Polly Pocket toys were discontinued in the USA, but remained available in Europe and South America. The brand dwindled, eventually only being sold in Brazil. By 2015, Polly Pocket was completely discontinued by Mattel in North America.
On February 12, 2018, Garrett Sander announced on his Instagram page that Polly Pocket would be making a comeback. The new toys are miniature dolls in playsets, like the original 1990s Polly Pocket, rather than the larger Fashion Polly. However, they are slightly larger than the original 1990s version. Rather than slotting into holes in the case, the new Polly is made of a flexible plastic that sticks to certain surfaces, but also bends so she can sit in a chair.
Below are the list of characters who appeared in the Polly Pocket series:
- Polly Pocket - the title character with light tone skin, blonde hair and light blue eyes. She is described to be very confident, cool, friendly, optimistic, adventurous, resourceful, and loyal. She loves having fun, adventures, and, importantly, friends. She has many hobbies, such as roller-skating, water-skiing, snowboarding, shopping, playing music, and singing. Polly has a fun-and-cool fashion style.
- Shani - dark tone skin, dark brown hair and brown eyes. She is described to be intelligent and creative. Shani is a technical genius who loves taking things apart to see how they work, as well as a proficient inventor. She loves gadgets, such as MP3 players and headphones. Shani has an urban fashion style.
- Lila - pale tone skin, brown hair and light purple eyes, and later strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, then a redhead and green eyes. She is described to be sweet and fashionable. Lila is a fashionista who loves to go shopping for the latest styles, trends and accessories. She is also best friends with Crissy, as well as a talented dancer. Lila's fashion style is glam. In the 2018 reboot, her last name is Draper.
- Lea - tan tone skin with freckles, orange hair and light green eyes, and later red hair and blue eyes. She is described to be athletic and giggly. Lea is an athlete who enjoys many sports, like skiing and soccer. She is also an animal lover. Lea's fashion style is girly.
- Voiced by Natalie Walters (2003-2006) and Erin Fitzgerald (2011-2015).
- Crissy (Originally called Ana) - pale tone skin, black hair and blue eyes, and later olive tone skin, black hair with a magenta streak, and brown eyes. She is described to be stylish and outspoken, and hates it when her looks are messed up. Crissy is an aspiring fashion designer who is always full of many artistic, fashionable ideas and she'd love to be a rock star. She has many hobbies, such as roller-skating, snowboarding, practising sports, shopping, singing and playing music. Crissy has a fun-and-cool artsy fashion style.
- Rick - light tone skin, blonde hair and light blue eyes, like Polly, and has a crush on her. He enjoys playing pranks, skateboarding, and likes being his own rock star. Like Crissy, Polly and Shani, he has his own fashion style.
- Todd (Originally called Steven) - light tone skin, dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. Rick’s best friend and follower.
- Voiced by Matt Hill.
- Kerstie - light tone skin, dark brown hair and blue eyes. She is described to be humorous and enthusiastic. Kerstie is a talented cook who is proficient and somewhat familiar with old and new recipes. She also likes telling her friends about her adventures.
- Voiced by Debi Derryberry.
- Electronic Polly Pocket
- Polly Pocket: Super Splash Island
- Polly Pocket: Lunar Eclipse (2003)
- Polly Pocket 2: Cool at the Pocket Plaza (2005)
- PollyWorld (2006)
Web and TV series
In 2010 a web-animated series based on Polly Pocket dolls was released, primarily to promote the reboot of the franchise in that same year. The first season was made in flash animation and other CGI. In 2013, the webisodes were given a significant makeover on character designs, however the voices stayed the same. The series was cancelled after the line was discontinued in 2015.
To accompany the 2018 relaunch, a cartoon titled Polly Pocket aired on Family Channel on July 8, 2018. The series featured a young girl named Polly who has a magical locket that allows her and her friends to shrink down to a tiny size. The series was produced and distributed by DHX Media and Mattel.
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- The Scotsman, 22 November 2006. "Toy recall over magnet hazard Archived 2007-11-16 at the Wayback Machine". Accessed 8 January 2006.
- "This popular pocket-sized '90s toy is being rebooted - nydailynews.com".
- "This popular pocket-sized '90s toy is being rebooted". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
- Santoro, Alessia. "Polly Pocket Is Relaunching, and We Can Practically Hear '90s Moms Yelling, "Take My Money!"". POPSUGAR Moms. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- "New Polly Pocket Toy Fair 2018!". Youtube. 2018-02-21. Retrieved 02/04/2018. Check date values in: