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Polly Pocket

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Polly Pocket
Inventor(s)Chris Wiggs
CountryUnited Kingdom
SloganFriends! Fun! Adventure! (2010-2017)
Tiny is Mighty! (2018–present)
Official website

Polly Pocket is a toy line of dolls and accessories first founded and designed by Chris Wiggs in 1983 and licensed by Bluebird Toys from 1989 until both entities/properties were acquired by Mattel in 1998.[1]


Polly Pocket was first designed by Chris Wiggs in 1983 for his daughter Kate. Using a makeup 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.[2] Mattel held a distribution arrangement with Bluebird Toys for Polly Pocket items in the early 1990s. In 1998, while production lulled/slowed down, Bluebird Toys endured multiple hostile takeover attempts until Mattel finally purchased both the brand and Bluebird Toys later that year. The sets made by Bluebird Toys are now valuable collectables.[3][4]

The original Polly Pocket toys were plastic cases that 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,[3] 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.[5]

A collection of rubber clothing and larger dolls produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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+34 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 the Barbie and Bratz brands, Polly Pocket has also expanded into a media franchise, consisting of DVD-exclusive animated films, books and a website, with the latter currently a section of/under the larger Mattel website.[6]

In 2002, Mattel stopped producing the smaller Polly Pocket playset range but continued to produce the larger fashion doll.[5]

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 playsets 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.[7] As defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the use of magnets in children's toys—and particularly the inclusion of two or more magnetic parts in such toys—has resulted in many significant injuries in children, and has been repeatedly flagged as hazardous by the commission, who have sued many companies over such toys and announced many recalls.[8]

Mattel relaunched Polly Pocket in 2010 by making further changes to the dolls, including increasing feet size, head size, and leg size, although the height remains approximately the same. However, fan reactions were mixed. It also introduced the Cutants, which are non-articulated figures of hybrid animals.

In 2012, Polly Pocket toys were discontinued in the U.S.[9] but remained available in Europe and South America. The brand dwindled, eventually only being sold in Brazil. The dolls would continue to be sold exclusively in Brazil until the brand's 2018 reboot.

On February 12, 2018, Garrett Sander announced on his Instagram page that Polly Pocket would be making a comeback, with a relaunch of the dolls.[10][11] The new toys are miniature dolls in playsets, like the original 1990s Polly Pocket, rather than the larger Fashion Polly.[12][11] 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.[13]

In addition to the reboot in 2018, Hot Topic and Unique Vintage clothing brands have created merchandise inspired by the vintage Polly Pocket brand including handbags, makeup and clothing items for adults.[14][15]



Web series[edit]

Mattel revived Polly Pocket in 2010 with two-season web serial programming, which is currently only available on YouTube. The first season of the first webseries was made using flash animation technology with the rest of the series using CGI. The web series maintained a pattern until it got a soft revival starting in 2013 having some characters removed and many other changes until the last season in 2017.

TV series[edit]

Mattel relaunched the brand for a second time in 2018 by collaborating with DHX Media (now WildBrain) on a new animated TV series which initially aired on Canadian television 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 is currently available for streaming on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Paramount+.[18][19]

Playset characters[edit]

Below is the list of recurring characters who appeared several early Polly Pocket playsets. This list does not include characters who only appear in one nor two playsets.

  • Polly Pocket: Originally with curly blonde/gold hair and a headband in different colors that usually matched her outfit, Polly Pocket was the mayor of Pollyville. Later, her design changed to feature a ponytail instead of the curly hair.
  • Tiny Tina: A doll with blonde pigtails.
  • Wee Willie: A boy doll with a blond bowlcut.
  • Midge: A strawberry blonde doll with a "Dutch boy" straight hair with bangs usually wearing overalls.
  • Little Lulu: Straight brown hair parted in the middle, usually wearing a playsuit or swimsuit. She is named after a comic character.
  • Pixie: Brown hair parted in the middle in flip style, usually wearing a long-sleeved top with a scoop neckline in different colors.
  • Titch: A boy doll with brown hair in a bowlcut, sometimes wears a hat.


Modern-day era[edit]

  • Shani: an African-American doll with curly dark hair.
  • Lila: a doll with brown pixie cut later red ponytail.
  • Todd: A boy with brown hair.
  • Lea: a doll with long red hair.
  • Ana: Dark-haired doll with curly hair.
  • Crissy: Short brown hair with bangs. In 2010, her ethnicity is Asian along her hair is long and jet black, but dyed with pink streaks.
  • Rick: A boy with blond hair.

Other toylines[edit]

Some similar toylines to Polly Pocket include Mighty Max by BlueBird as linked below. But a few other small scale sets that came out around the time of the original BlueBird compact Polly Pocket sets include Starcastle Kingdom by Treadmasters in 1995 [21] and Fairy Winkles were produced by Kenner in 1993–1995.[22] Small compact toys featuring Pokémon characters were created by Tomy and Nintendo in 1997 called "Pokémon Mate" which were a similar scale and style to the Polly Pocket toys.[23] Lastly, Bluebird Toys produced miniature Disney sets from 1997 to 1999.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Polly Pocket Movie: Everything You Need To Know". ELLE. 2023-07-28. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  2. ^ "Mattel is relaunching one of its classic toys". WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm. 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  3. ^ a b "Top 5 Tips on Purchasing Vintage Polly Pocket Dolls". eBay UK. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. ^ Castiglioni, Tara (5 January 2018). "Your Old Polly Pockets Might Be Worth A Load Of Money". Grazia Daily (formerly Debrief). Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Only Polly Pocket". Only Polly Pocket. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Discontinued Toy Lines - Polly Pocket". Discontinued Toy Lines. WordPress. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  7. ^ Staff, Scotsman (22 November 2006). "Toy recall over magnet hazard". The Scotsman. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2006.
  8. ^ "Magnets Information Center". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b "7 of the Most Valuable Polly Pocket Toys From the '90s and Beyond". Mental Floss. 2023-10-30. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  10. ^ Scotti, Ariel (14 February 2018). "This popular pocket-sized '90s toy is being rebooted". New York Daily News. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Mattel is relaunching one of its classic toys". WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm. 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  12. ^ Santoro, Alessia (21 February 2018). "Polly Pocket Is Relaunching, and We Can Practically Hear '90s Moms Yelling, "Take My Money!"". POPSUGAR Moms. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  13. ^ "New Polly Pocket Toy Fair 2018!". Polly Pocket. Mattel. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "Hot Topic Releases a Polly Pocket-Themed Collection". 15 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Polly Pocket Collection - Our Polly Pocket Collection".
  16. ^ "Polly Pocket Movie in the Works with Lena Dunham Writing & Directing, Lily Collins Starring for Mattel & MGM". 24 June 2021.
  17. ^ "The Polly Pocket Movie Is Coming, Starring Lily Collins". Teen Vogue. 2023-07-27. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  18. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (2019-06-13). "DHX & Mattel Greenlight 'Polly Pocket' Season 2, Universal Kids Picks Up First 2 Seasons". Deadline. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  19. ^ Pellegrini, Chiara (2018-10-24). "New Polly Pocket series from DHX Media and Mattel reaches 16 broadcasters internationally". Licensing Magazine. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  20. ^ http://www.onlypollypocket.com/ [bare URL]
  21. ^ "Starcastle :: Original Playsets | Ghost of the Doll".
  22. ^ "Fairy Winkles :: Fairy Pretties | Ghost of the Doll".
  23. ^ https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_mate [bare URL]