Thursday, April 30, 2015

Polly Pocket by Mattel

Originally, this article was going to involve a short review of a gift I received from my husband at around Easter time (maybe you can guess what egg-like thing he bought me?).  However, the gift led to some questions, some investigating, a few purchases...and I ended up with these two cuties and a very different review than I started with:

Color change Polly Pocket (left, 2012) and rain coat Polly Pocket (right, 2011).
Let me back up and tell you the whole story, though.  My husband was traveling and found me the most awesome thing at the airport.  Take a look at this:

It's a giant, enormous, larger-than-life Kinder Surprise egg!  Ah!  He could not have found me a more perfect gift.  I have never seen a Kinder egg of this magnitude before.  

To illustrate its hugeness, here's Liv Hayden with the egg:

I mean, normal Kinder Surprise eggs are about the size of Hayden's head.  She can barely lift this thing!!

I like to show off what Hayden can do, though.  Notice how she is lifting this egg--all by herself.  No tricks.  What a great doll.

Anyway, I figured that it would be really fun to unwrap this ginormous egg at Easter time and make a short blog about it.

My husband is a clever guy, and so he specifically bought me a doll-themed Kinder egg...because I like dolls, and also because he predicted that I would want to share the surprise with all of you.  This is despite the fact that I am already filling our house with dolls.  Sigh.  He's a keeper.

He chose a Polly Pocket egg for me:

This was even more perfect than he intended, though, because I have been meaning to review Polly Pocket for ages.  I played with a few of these little dolls over at my niece's house (years ago now) and was impressed enough by them that I wanted to buy a few of my own to review...but have never gotten around to it.

Ok, but back to the egg: at first, I wasn't sure if it would be one large egg or a bunch of the standard-sized eggs enclosed within a larger package.  Either option would have been fine with me!  

The whole egg was wrapped in a foil cover that was cinched together and taped:

Huge Polly faces decorate the edges of the wrapper:

Here's one of the faces with the foil flattened out:

And here's what I found underneath the wrapper:

One large egg!
The egg was very well protected within a plastic shell.  It even had a small plastic stand at the bottom to hold the egg upright and protect it even more:

Even at this point, I wasn't sure if I would find one large toy inside this egg, or a bunch of smaller capsules.

It turned out to be one really big capsule!  Very exciting!!

The inside of the egg has a white chocolate coating.  I love white chocolate.
I could see another one of cartoon Polly's eyes peeking out from inside this huge capsule:

Here's everything that was inside the capsule--it's a full-sized Polly Pocket doll (in two pieces), and some vinyl accessories:

There were a few pieces of paper, too--one with a bunch of warnings about the choking hazards of these toys...

That's a sad-looking baby.
...and another fold-out leaflet that tells how to use all of Polly's accessories:

I didn't actually pay much attention to these directions when I first saw them...I was too anxious to see the doll!

Polly came with a stand and three clothing accessory items:

The stand is a flat pink plastic heart with a single footprint on the side.  Polly's left foot fits into the footprint, and this holds her upright (kind lost its grip after a while).

So...she's not an actual Polly Pocket doll, as those who are familiar with this brand probably noticed right away.  She stands 4 inches tall and is made entirely out of hard plastic.  Here she is with the two halves of her body attached:

She comes with a tee shirt, shorts and shoes outfit that is permanently attached to her body.

Her face is fairly similar in style to the box art (which is Mattel's official Polly Pocket design):

She has one point of articulation--her neck.  She can look from side to side.

Her hair is also hard plastic and is molded into a ponytail.  The hair is not painted, but rather made from its own piece of yellow plastic.  A seam can be seen where the hair attaches to the rest of the head (the hair is not removable, though):

Polly has huge painted blue eyes and a faint, dimpled smile:

Her eyebrows are almost at the very top of her head.

My doll's left eye has a bit of a paint defect:

Polly's outfit is also made out of separate pieces of colored plastic--not painted plastic.  She is wearing a cap-sleeved pink shirt and turquoise shorts.  The shorts are super-short and have a mysterious notch at the front:

This Polly came with three clothing items that are all made out of bendable vinyl and all look like hats:

It's actually hat, skirt, skirt.
There's a cute pink skirt with an oval pattern that reminds me of strawberry seeds (maybe that's just because of the abundance of time I've spent with Strawberry Shortcake stuff recently?).  The other skirt is purple with molded tiers:

The hat is all purple with a wide brim and a molded band:

The hat has a really strange hole cut out of the back.  At first glance I thought it was a jagged defect in the vinyl:

It's actually a hole to accommodate the irregularly-shaped ponytail.

The skirts fit into the notch in the front of Polly's shorts, like this:

And then the top of the body holds them in place:

Here's Polly with the strawberry skirt:

And with the purple skirt:

The strawberry skirt is my favorite.

As I was playing around with the clothes, I noticed that the hat had some areas of discoloration around the brim:

They look oddly like fingerprints....
For those of you who paid more attention to the directions than I did, you'll know already that this is because the hat has a color change feature!  It turns from purple to pink when it gets warm.  How fun!

I guess I have a cold room and warm fingers.

I held the hat right up against one of my lights and look at how pink it got!

This color goes really nicely with the strawberry outfit:

Then, I put the hat in the freezer for a bit, and turned it back to a deep blue-ish purple:

This color doesn't match the purple skirt as well:

After being in the freezer, the purple color was surprisingly resilient.  I couldn't get it to change back to pink with just the heat of my fingers anymore.

So, I used the lights to try and create a multi-colored hat:

Very fun to play with!

Just for size reference, here's the Polly Pocket doll alongside a Littlest Pet Shop Blythe and a McDonald's Happy Meal American Girl doll:

And here she is next to a Flowee doll that I got out of a normal-sized Kinder egg:

At this point, I started to wish that I had a regular Polly Pocket doll to compare to this toy.  I decided to postpone the review until I could run out to the store and grab a representative Polly from the current lineup.

On hold since Easter.
Well.  I was surprised to discover that Polly Pocket is gone from my local stores.  Gone.  There were none of them at Target or Toys R Us...not even a marked shelf where they used to be.  This struck me as noteworthy, especially since my Toys R Us still has Pinkie Cooper, Fairy Tale High and the occasional Liv doll on the shelves.  I asked Toys R Us about this, and they said they're out of stock of Polly Pocket and, "we do not have a specific date of when or if we will have this item."  Hm.

Where did they all go??  I didn't even notice when they left.

I did a flurry of internet research and was still a little confused.  Wikipedia does not list a discontinuation date (it's usually an up-to-date, reliable source), it says "1989--," but there are no Polly Pocket toys left in the Mattel store (and Polly Pocket isn't listed with the other brands on the store's website).

I did some online shopping at other places and had a hard time finding Polly this way, too.  Many of the toys are significantly marked up in price:

An extreme example (MSRP is $45).
The most recent dolls I could find for sale were from 2012.  All of this pointed me to the tentative conclusion that Polly Pocket might have been discontinued sometime around 2012.  All of a sudden, I was wondering if my Kinder egg had been sitting on the shelf since 2012 (is that a stomach ache I feel coming on..?!) but I checked and the date on that packaging says 2015.  Phew.  That's another clue, though!

Plagued by curiosity, I called Mattel.  I actually called a few times...and then online chatted with someone.  As it turns out, there were a few Polly Pocket products released in 2014.  The single dolls included BCY73 (Crissy), BCY74 (Lila) and BCY75 (Polly).  These (and more) are available in other countries, but I can't find them here in the U.S.  There were also at least two playsets in 2014: Polly Pocket Beach Blowout and Polly Pocket Playhouse.  I got the playset information from this online conversation (copied and pasted with name editing and annotation):

"Rachel" (Listening)
Rachel: Hi, my name is Rachel. How may I help you? 
EmilyHi Rachel, I am writing an article about Polly Pocket and notice she's really hard to find at the stores in my area. Has she been discontinued? 
Rachel: Polly Pocket is very popular still! She is still current and in production. (Aha!  This is progress.)
EmilyOh, ok! That's good. I wonder why she isn't at Toys R Us or Target anymore? Just waiting for new 2015 stock? 
Rachel: I see one set on (Rachel is doing my online shopping for me! Awesome.)
EmilyI saw that, too, (sadly, the set is from 2012...) but there's nothing at the actual stores. Used to be a lot! 
Rachel: The retailers might be stocking their shelves very soon. (Yay! Happy dance!)
EmilyOk, well I am very glad I chatted with you. I don't want to spread wrong information!! :) Thank you. 
Rachel: I see that we have a lot of different figures. Along with a few new play sets. We have Polly Pocket Beach Blowout and Polly Pocket Playhouse. 
EmilyI am excited to see those! I hope they will be at the Mattel shop soon. 
Rachel: I would keep checking the site.  (I see what you did there, Rachel.  Good sales plug.)
Rachel: Can I help you with anything else today? 
EmilyNope. Thank you again! 
Rachel: Thanks for contacting us. Have a great rest of your day!  (They are so friendly!)

So, there you have it. Still in production, I guess, but oddly hard to find.  And the two 2014 playsets mentioned in the conversation above are unavailable through and Amazon (with no re-stock date):

No longer available, or just out of stock??
Looks pretty fun, too (the one star review is actually positive).
Maybe this is typical for Polly?  Keep in mind that I have never paid too much attention to the stocking or release patterns of this brand before.  

Whatever is going on, thanks to Amazon and eBay I was able to find a few Polly dolls for just slightly more than what I suspect they originally cost.  The one I really wanted was this color change version of Polly, because she matches the color change theme of my Kinder Surprise doll:

Color change Polly Pocket from 2012.  I paid $9.99.
The box art matches the design on the Kinder Surprise egg wrapper.

Inside the blister pack, Polly and her accessories are mounted in a plastic holder: 

Everything pops out of the plastic really easily...except for a rectangle of cloth (meant to be a towel?) that is plastic-tied in place.  I just left it there.

This time I was paying attention to the product details: it looks like Polly has a streak of hair that turns pink when it gets cold:

This doll comes with an odd assortment of accessories, most of them pink.  She has a pink drink glass, a pink backpack, pink sunglasses, and a green animal friend that can sit in a pink...boat?  Leaf?  Sleigh?  Spoon?  Lillypad?  I'm not sure what that is:

I assume the little animal is some kind of reptile or amphibian.  Since Tangled came out in 2010, my money is on chameleon, although given the scale of Polly Pocket, that'd be a really big chameleon.  It could eat Polly's head in one gulp.  

This creature has a super-wide grin on its face, which is friendly, I guess...unless it's terrifying.  Not sure.

That stare makes me uncomfortable.
The creature fits right into the backpack.

And here's what it (she?) looks like out of the pack (coy...and a little hungry):

You look delicious, human.
She has amphibian feet but a reptile-like tail and face.  Maybe I was wrong and she's a salamander?  A newt?  Newt is fun to say.  

A newt.
She definitely looks like an amphibian with those feet...but that tail?  Perplexing. 

I had to do more research on this.  Apparently, the Polly Pocket line has some funny little pets called "Cutants."  These Cutants (like "mutants," but cute) are often a mix of an animal and a food (or some other object) and they can look a little strange.  They were sold both separately and as companions for the Polly Pocket dolls.  They're similar to Shopkins...but cuter (if you ask me).  They're also a little like Pokemon--especially the structure of their names.  There's a laptop/mouse duo that's great and a fishbowl fish that I love!  

However, I couldn't find a Cutant that looks like this green critter.  I guess I'll stick with calling it a mutant newt.  Rolls off the tongue.  Maybe the newt ate the Cutant??

Here's Polly herself: 

Unlike the dolls that I played with at my niece's house (who had soft vinyl clothing) this Polly has a cloth skirt.  She also has a large green plastic necklace with what look like feathers decorating it:

I prefer the super-bendable vinyl clothes that a lot of Polly dolls have, but this skirt is easy to get off--it just has a tiny square of velcro at the front.  The necklace has an opening at the back and is also easy to get off.

Polly has little green sandals on her feet:

Under the skirt, this doll has a pink bathing suit painted onto her body.  Because of the suit's collared neckline, it would also make a nice shirt for non-beach-themed outfits:

One of the things that impressed me greatly about the Polly dolls when I first played with them was their articulation.  This little 3.75 inch doll has better joints than many dolls five times her size.

Her head is ball-jointed to her torso so that she can look up, down, and all around.

Her shoulders are rotational hinges, so she can lift her arms up and away from her body... addition to spinning them around:

Her hips only move forwards and backwards, but they allow her to sit on the ground:

She can even balance (barefoot) in a nice natural walking pose:

The real Polly is shorter and has finer features than the Kinder Surprise doll.  Here are the two of them together:

I like the color change Polly's body design more than I like her face, but her face is appealing--especially for such a small doll.  I prefer this doll's face to the face on the Kinder Surprise Polly:

Her hair is yellow and molded.  It looks like it should be removable (that would be fun) but I can't get it to come off.

Polly's pink sunglasses don't fit under her hair--they sit on top of it (somewhat precariously) like this:

Polly's eyes are large and blue....with blue pupils.  There are a few small areas of smudged paint, but overall the eye color is bright and clear:

I might have to paint these pupils black...especially with the heavy black eyelashes.

The mouth paint is crooked on my doll, so the white band of Polly's teeth has slipped down to cover part of her lower lip:

From a distance, this paint defect makes it look like Polly's mouth is closed but her lower lip is reflecting light.

The last thing I did was test out the color change feature on this doll.  If the hair is under my hot lights, it's pure yellow.  After I put it in the freezer, a pink streak appears in the bangs:

This streak looks good right out of the freezer, but it tends to fade in some areas and not others--making the hair look accidentally stained when it's at room temperature.  

I like the color change hat from the Kinder Surprise egg better.  It's a much more impressive transformation, and having an accessory that changes color adds a new dimension to the mixing and matching of outfits.

Here's Polly carrying her little...friend:

I might just grab a nibble of you hair, here, Polly.
And here's one last picture of her with her pupils darkened (which I didn't attempt until the very end of the review!):

She looks a little scared.  I think we know why.
I could have ended the review here, but with a brand like this it's really hard to look at just one doll.  Polly Pocket was first introduced in the late 1980s (back then the dolls were much smaller and were made by the Bluebird company).  I didn't even begin to cover the range of dolls that have been produced for the past 26 years.  

I was curious to see at least one other manifestation of Polly Pocket--preferably one with soft vinyl clothing.  Another relatively inexpensive doll that I found was this one:

There's no name for this doll on her box, so I'll call her "Raincoat Polly."  I jumped on this particular Polly because she was $9.99, and also because she clearly has a different type of hair (rooted) from the doll I just showed you.  She also has the bendy vinyl clothes I was craving.

Raincoat Polly came in a blister package very similar to the color change doll.  The back of this box has a nice graphic of all the current (as of 2011) Polly Pocket characters:

I love that there are TWO redheads.
I'll admit something about purchasing this doll if you promise not to call me crazy.  Ok?  Alright.  So, when I fear that a doll line is being discontinued (and sometimes even when I don't...) I have the bad habit of buying an extra doll to keep mint in its box.  It's weird, I know.  My husband knows it with even more certainty.

But anyway, during my online shopping trip, I figured I'd grab an extra Polly to keep around in her box...just in case.  I am actually glad I did this, though, because check out the difference between the two Raincoat Polly dolls I bought:

Spot the glaring flaw!

Do you see the problem?  I didn't see it right away.  I'll give you a second to look again and see if you can find the difference.

Ok, now, here's a large picture of the first doll:

Looks good, right?
And the second:

Holey hairline, Batman!
Well, they both have cute faces (with their teeth in the right place), but the first doll has hair that is SO.  MUCH.  BETTER.  At least around the hairline.  The first doll has meticulously-rooted tiny hair plugs.  The second doll has big hair plugs with huge gaps in between.  What on earth?  How does that even happen?  I suppose the hair kind-of looks wet with this rooting pattern...which fits the raincoat theme.

I decided to open the doll with the bad hair--you know, so that I could leave the good one safely in her box.  (Stop it!  You said you wouldn't call me crazy).

It was really simple to de-box this doll.  Most of her accessories just tumbled out of the plastic when I opened the package.  She did have a single tiny plastic tie at the back of her head, but it was easy to break.

She comes wearing a raincoat and boots and has six additional accessories:

All of the accessories are clothes except for this little yellow duck:

Seems safer than the newt.
This Polly has very long blonde hair.  It's cut fairly well in back and lays flat...although the doll is so tiny, the hair is hard to brush.  The fiber feels very soft and smooth, though.  I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Polly is wearing cute yellow rain boots, but I noticed while I was getting her to stand that her feet point inwards more than the other Polly's feet do.  Here's the other Polly wearing the boots--see how her feet point straight forward and Raincoat Polly is pigeon-toed?

Here are the bare feet together--with Raincoat Polly on the left:

Raincoat Polly, Color Change Polly.
Raincoat Polly's face is painted exactly the same way as the color change Polly, with blue eyes (blue pupils) and an open-mouthed smile:

This doll's teeth are in the correct position, and it makes a big difference:

She has a cute profile with a tiny button nose and an un-contoured eye region:

The rooting of the hair is pretty good at the back of the head--keeping in mind the size of this doll.  If her hairline had denser plugs, the hair would be astonishingly good overall.

In fact, the hairline is rooted really well at the sides, it's just at the very top that there's a problem:

I prefer the rooted hair to the molded hair--even with the imperfect rooting job. 

The raincoat has a slit all of the way down the back, so it's easy to get off.  Underneath the coat, this doll has only yellow molded underpants:

Other than the different molded clothing, this Polly has the same body as the color change doll, with five points of articulation.

The little yellow rain boots really help this doll balance on her own.  They're also very easy to use--with their super-bendable vinyl and slits down the back.  They even have little treads on the bottom!

Polly also comes with two shirts, a skirt, and a pair of shorts:

These shirts do not have slits all of the way down the back, so in order to get them on the doll, her head has to be removed:

Where's that newt...
The head pops right off and is easy to put back on.  Here you can see the extra plastic grips inside of the head:

The vinyl clothes are so flexible that they stretch well enough to be pulled on over the doll's missing head--just like fabric clothes:

Here's Polly with the polka dot shirt and yellow shorts:

The shirt looks great with her eyes:

The shorts restrict the movement of her hips a bit, though, and she can no longer sit on the ground without her arms to help her balance:

Here she is in both of the yellow pieces--this actually looks nicer than I though it would.  She looks very sunny and happy!

One of Polly's clothing accessories is a blue fisherman-style hat:

This doesn't fit over her head very well, though.  It can be balanced on her head like this:

The yellow umbrella shirt also looks nice with the blue tiered skirt:

And here's the last combination--probably my least favorite--the polka-dotted shirt with the blue skirt:

It's really fun to have so many mix-and match outfit pieces come with the doll.  I can imagine kids amassing huge wardrobes for their Polly Pocket very little expense.  I can also imagine fashion games that stretch on for hours.  

I gather that the clothing has caused trouble as a choking hazard over the years, though.  I suspect that these small, gummy-textured items are way too tempting for some really little kids.  I would be super, extra cautious about having this toy in the house with any child under four...and also with small dogs (or mutant newts) who eat everything.

Chewy and delicious.
One last comparison I thought to make was to my mini Disney Store Elsa doll.  Delightfully, Polly Pocket is just the right size to be a child to these Disney minis:

Here are my three versions of Polly all together:

The Kinder Surprise Polly looks the most like the cartoon Polly to me, but I prefer the smaller eyes and warmer smiles of the regular dolls.

The rooted-hair Polly amazes me.  She has all of the detail and articulation of many 12-inch play dolls...but she is SO little.

Even though the Kinder Surprise Polly isn't my favorite, I love her because she was a special gift, and also because without her I might never have gotten around to looking at the standard Polly dolls.

For this last shot, Color Change Polly borrowed Raincoat Polly's skirt.  Because of the molded collar on her swimsuit, it's hard for the raincoat doll to wear the shirts, but she can easily share the shorts and skirt:

Bottom line?  I can't say too much with this very limited look at the Polly Pocket line, but I can say a few things with certainty.  First of all, I dramatically prefer the soft vinyl clothing of the raincoat Polly doll to the molded swimsuit and cloth skirt of the color change doll.  While I respect the danger associated with the tiny pieces of gummy-like clothing, I think this style offers a huge amount of mix-and-match fashion fun for kids who are old enough to keep track of the pieces and not eat them (or feed them to newts).  I also prefer the rooted hair of the raincoat Polly, although (again) perhaps this style is better suited to older children.  To me, the color change feature of the vinyl-haired Polly doesn't make up for her shortcomings.  While her pink streak of hair looks neat right out of the freezer, it becomes faded and uneven at room shown in these last few pictures.  In fact, Polly's color change hair is overshadowed by the awesome color-changing hat of the Kinder Surprise toy. 

All of these dolls are a far cry from the first Polly Pocket dolls made by Bluebird back in the 1980s.  I suspect that fans of those early Polly dolls might not appreciate the increase in size and change in appearance of these newer characters.  I have never owned a Polly Pocket doll before, so I don't feel any loss at their metamorphosis.  In fact, I feel a lot of affection for these new dolls.  They're very cute and have a wonderful level of detail.  I really hope that the brand sticks around--I'd love to seek out Lila and Lea (the redheads) and see how many other rooted-hair dolls have been available through the years.  Even more than that, though, writing this short-ish review has made me want to go back in time and explore the entire history of Polly Pocket and all of her varied incarnations, perhaps grabbing one (or two!) of each version along the way for a closer look...but that might cross the crazy line.  I'll run the idea past my husband and get back to you.


  1. Wow, these Polly Pockets are completely different than the ones I had when I was younger. I wouldn't have even guessed it was the same brand. I much prefer the one I used to have. I think they had more detail put in and were more realistic.

  2. Newt really IS fun to say. :) Great review! These dolls are adorable, and I'm especially impressed by the detail of the last one! The whole get up is just CUTE. I do have a question though...a few months ago we were given a bunch of used toys from my co-worker and it came with this tiny little amusement park set with these tiny 1 inch (or so) tall figures that were fused as the feet, but had articulation at the waist level. I thought they were Polly Pockets. I think I thought Polly Pockets were teeny tiny...when did the get so much bigger? Maybe I am totally wrong?
    PS: Hayden looks fabulous in that red wig!

    1. Unless it was an imitation brand, those are probably Polly Pockets too. I forget when exactly they changed over, but I think it was around 2000 when these larger and more doll-like Polly Pockets replaced the tiny little dolls, who came with their own houses and parks and things. If you want brand confirmation, there are photographic databases online for all of the Polly Pocket releases from the 80's and 90's. :)

  3. PPS: And I think every single one of us reading your blog completely unders the "mint in box" thing. We're all crazy together! :)

  4. If you end up reviewing some of the older Polly Pockets, I definitely suggest the mid-90's Disney compacts. They were so fun when I was younger (and probably would still be now)!

  5. Your reviews continue to impress me so much.Thanks for your meticulous and fun presentations.
    If you think these Polly Pockets have good articulation wait till you find those who are also jointed at the elbows and knees AND have rooted hair.Awesome!
    I agree with you that these gummy clothes gave the most styling options but you have to be careful how you store them -they can stick together,tear at the drop of a hat or lose their shape so that option has drawbacks.
    Also,I've noticed that girls start and are done with playing with dolls much earlier than in previous generations- now it seems they're 3 to 7 or 8 compared to being 6 to 12 in the past- I'll bet most of that fashionable feature would be lost on them.

  6. I don't really care for Polly Pockets* (I prefer dolls with cloth clothes), but it Cutant are awsome! I don't know about now, but they were fairly easy to find here in Poland. I have penguin, who is tv.

    *Ok, there is one Polly that I would want. It's Lea dressed it bee costume form Cutant line. Reason I want her is because she look like bee girl from music video of 'No Rain' by Blind Melon.

  7. Thanks Emily! I've always liked PP and have some of the Bluebird sets. I collect Barbies and they are doll collectors too so they have PP on their shelves, both large and small :-) Oh...and you don't have to explain that "mint in box" thing. We're collectors so we understand completely!

  8. I had a lot of the original tiny polly pockets as a kid! The new style reminds me a lot of another toy I loved back then - Melanie's Mall?? They are also tiny dolls with rooted hair, their clothes are fabric though. Perhaps something else you might be interested in! :) Anyway, great review as always. I love reading what you have to say even on dolls I'm not personally interested in!

  9. Oh if you think that these polly's are small you should see my Grangma's orignal ones. They are literally the size of youe pinkie nail. They even came with their own small houses that as her name states fit in your pocket -GEM :{)

  10. Mr. BTEG and I picked up some Kinder Schokolade eggs in Germany when we were there 15 years ago. They're very fun. I wonder if we still have any of the little toys somewhere? I know some of them went to Mr. BTEG's young nephew.

    My girls had some Polly Pockets in the 2000s. They loved all the clothes, and the little, teeny, tiny shoes. I have a Disney Belle/Polly Pocket of my own, but some of her dresses have torn, and that's without being used as a play doll.

  11. Polly Pocket was really fun although I have to admit I stopped paying attention to her after 2007 (when I had a period of several years with no interest in dolls)

    It's worth trying to find some of the other older stuff (even if it's 2nd hand). There were some fun colour change ones that worked with water and some that had magnetic clothing. There are also some that have wigs. Their hair is moulded on in a small bun and then the wigs are vinyl like the clothing. They have a bunch of colours and accessories to add to the wigs. It's really cool. My only problem with Polly is how easily the vinyl clothing ages and rips.

  12. I had the Polly Pocket Fab-Tastic Mall playset when I was about 5, (I'm 11 now) and it was one of my most played with toys! It was awesome.
    Always loved PP, it's a shame they are so hard to find now.

  13. Why WHy WHY am I jealous of Polly Pocket's swimsuit? It's not even real, but it would be so cute if it was! I'd like it more with red though. I like how red looks with gold. Also, the cartoon versions of Polly Pocket and her friends are so dang cute I can't stand it! >ω<

    1. That doll's bathing suit reminds me of a couple leotards on the Discount Dance site, the "Misha" High Neck Zip Front Tank Leotard by Mariia, and the Mock Turtleneck Leotard by Bal Togs (which has a red option). I, uh, buy leotards to wear as bathing suits....

  14. My younger sister and I were obsessed with Polly years ago. That was back before the heads DIDN'T come off of the dolls. A couple of years, I don't remember when, Polly and her friends used magnets to wear their clothes and wigs and stuff. Mattel apparently recalled those toys though, but we had several. Originally ALL Polly Pockets used rubbery clothes.

    My favorite set was Rick's Magic Show (B7082) that involved magnets to perform magic bunny tricks. There were lots of tiny pieces and the gimmic was pretty cute. Rick himself had the rubber clothes, and he had cute bunny companions. I can't find a whole lot of it on the internet but if it were still available I'd heavily suggest that set to you c:

  15. The Fruit Surprise toys are the best ones!

  16. I loved polly pockets! I used to have a lot of them, but then ran out of space. They used to have a line of magnetic stuff. Polly pocket dolls would have magnets for clothes/accessories and the playsets had magnets too! BUt that was all recalled around 2006 because the magnets could fall out, kids eat them and get stuck in the intestines. I still had 2 cool polly pocket cars and at least 30 figures. I played with those girls all day. I don't really like the new polly pockets, and the stuff is really hard to find in stores now with the other hundreds of different toy brands out there. I still have my mermaid polly pocket doll and my glittery horse/figure from the glitter line. The mermaid actually has color changing snowflakes on her tail.

  17. I think the one with rooted hair is my fave! I still prefer the tiny versions though - I can never resist picking up polly pocket compacts when I see them at car boot sales, etc. I had loads of them as a kid, but I always wanted *more*. :)

  18. That Kinder surprise egg is every kind of awesome.

    Of course, I'm going to hint for a full history of Polly Pocket because I thought I remembered them being quite different!

    My favorite of your three is probably swimsuit Polly -- I like her expression, and that swimsuit collar is definitely a source of envy.

  19. This has nothing to do with Polly Pocket, but have you seen the Master Piece Cinderella doll? She's a bit expensive for me, but I think she's lovely.

  20. Yay! This was a fun review to read because my daughter also got a Polly Pocket Easter Egg this year. It was different to yours though because it came in boxed packaging and the dolly was also a bit different. We didn't get the colour changing hat. As an aside, the plastic capsule inside was yellow like a yolk just like the regular sized Kinder Eggs. We were so excited to see that it was a huge version of the well loved egg surprise. The boys got one too and theirs had a cool Batman figure in it. I am going to look out for Polly Pocket here in the UK. I feel like I have seen them around but haven't paid much interest. I think that I had one when I was a kid but she wasn't a favourite of mine.

    I have just spent ages hunting down all the separate parts of our Polly Pocket because my daughter spotted her on your review :D I think that she will get a lot of play time today.

  21. Polly Pockets were a big part of my childhood, it's so nice to see them here! The sets have changed a bit since I played with them, (all of mine, I think, were from 2005-2006) but I was able to find one set I owned, a mermaid with dancing seals that was, if I remember correctly, able to connect to several other sets. I believe there was a sort of spinning gear function that made various things happen across the sets once they were connected. (Here's the set I had, in case you were curious: Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I like the ones I had better than the current sets. :)
    As a side note, did you come across this while looking for sets? I remember being devastated, I had one of these sets and loved it.

  22. You're so lucky you got a Kinder egg. They're soon illegal to bring into the US. My daughter desperately wants one.

    I'm such a purist with some things. The new Pollies are cute, but they're just not Polly Pocket. The whole schtick was that you could fit her whole home in your pocket. I'd love to see some reviews of the original, though they are extremely rare to find in box.

    1. Oooh! There are about 40 on eBay right now! I need to go buy a few right now.

  23. So it's not just my Toys R Us that has stopped selling Polly Pockets! The last time I saw a set was a couple of years ago in the clearance section of my TRU...

    I remember one of the large Polly Pocket sets I had was the "Polly Pocket Designer Mall" (made in 2003), and I loved it because the doll it came with really DID have interchangeable hair!
    (I wish I hadn't gotten rid of it)
    The older Polly Pocket dolls were broader, with tiny feet and a swivel waist, (like a little miniature Barbie) I think that the new ones look very spindly compared to before...but I do like their large feet because it helps them to stand.

  24. That's one awesome and huge Kinder Egg Emily, congrats! ^^ And thank you for reviewing it alongside two other Polly dolls - you opened my eyes (and wallet, lol :D ).
    I loved to play with the teeny tiny Polly Pocket compact houses with my sister when we were young - I still love those compacts, but I didn't have any interest in the bigger (well, in comparison to original Polly :D ), newer dolls - until now. I didn't even know there are some that have rooted hair and such nice articulation for their size! After a little local online search I have just BINned my first "big" Polly (Kerstie and Candy Oink. The seller had two sets available, and the other one was the colour change one you have. I do love amphibians and I even used to have newts as pets as a teen, they are seriously adorable, but this little guy (or, well, just the faceup) creeps me out, so that set stayed with the seller), I wasn't able to resist that blue bobby cut. I can't wait to get her :)

    I believe the rooted Polly you have opened is actually missing her first row of hair that usually has more thickly rooted plugs, hence the sparse rooting. Even her forehead looks wider to me (though given the tiny size than might only be my imagination).

    1. I agree! I think that first row of plugs is missing on the flawed Polly. Also not sure how they did that, but since it was probably done by a machine, I imagine it would be easy for any little kink in the system to cause a hitch and make it skip a row. And since it's really subtle looking, I think it'd be easy for quality control to overlook it. :P

      Hope your new doll arrives soon! I did an image search and that Kerstie is adorable! :)

  25. I actually own a 2004 Polly Pocket with articulated knees. I have one of the only ones left and it is very special to me. ;)

  26. Sorry, I haven't been reading the reviews in awhile. I've been absorbed with other stuff!

    I loved this review, although I was kind of disappointed to hear Polly Pocket seems to be hard to find! Hopefully they're just working on better quality for future production. We can hope, right?

    I actually have one of those pigeon-toed dolls. I knew, when I first saw the bigger Polly Pockets, that I wanted one, but I was feeling extremely picky. I looked over a bunch, a few years ago, and either liked the hair, but didn't like the clothes, or vice versa. I also prefer the rooted hair, although some of the plastic ones look pretty cute (I love Lea with pigtails.) I decided against a bunch, off and on, whenever I looked through that part of the toy section.

    So when I saw this Polly Pocket Lila some years ago, I snapped her up, and I'm so glad I did! I didn't care about the ketchup theme, but I loved her face, hair, and clothes. The accessories weren't the best, compared to some of the others (same goes for her Cutant), but she was exactly the doll I didn't know I was looking for. My Lila's hair is a bit shorter and less full than in the picture here, but she's still great. She has purple eyes, although it's hard to tell in this picture, and somehow that was the perfect combination. <3

    I'm kind of wishing I'd gotten the version of Lila with the Chermunkola. Cuter Cutant and clothing, but same hair and eyes. I wouldn't give up the one I have though.

    I really do hope they come out with more Polly Pocket dolls. I always wanted a few more, but I never had that instant "MUST HAVE" sensation any time after finding my first redheaded Lila. As picky as I was then, I seriously doubt I'd have the patience to search online for an older doll that inspires me like that. :P :)

    Also, last time I left a comment, I suggested GI Joe for a potential review, and I am now reading through the reviews I'd missed, so I don't know if you already found out, but it seems like the big Joes have mostly been discontinued! There are some really expensive outliers, that are strictly collector dolls, and that seems to be it. Ah well. I know there are some really nice male dolls out there, so it's not a huge deal. I was simply surprised. I'm not sure why, since I know discontinuation happens all the time. XD

  27. You should definitely check out the ones from the early 2000s, before the overhaul. They have much more realistic looking faces, and all their clothing is rubber (except for the ones with magnets).

  28. This site is a good guide to modern Polly up to 2008.

    In 2009 the look shifted. The face changed to have big cartoon eyes and the legs were the same as the 2011 doll. In mid 2011 the face changed to its current look but the legs didn't change right away. I personally was a fan of the 2009 style dolls as well as the Cutants during their short run before being replaced with "normal" animals. Tho I like all the different Polly pets the earlier and later dolls do not appeal to me.

    Unfortunately Polly's popularity in the US seems to have waned but she is still a bit more popular overseas . To get the later Cutants I needed I ended up having to trade ponies for em with someone in Germany.

  29. Great Review! I really love all of the pieces that come with the raincoat doll. And you're right, when I was little I had the old Polly and the amount of clothes I had for these dolls surpassed any other brand. Another commenter mentioned more articulation on some dolls and I do have one with articulated elbows, so that would be fun to check out. I think she comes from a beach/swim themed line? Before that phase I think the originals were tiny, my aunt gave me some from way back when they were about a centemeter or two tall and came in little cases that doubled as playlets.

  30. I used to collect this style of Polly Pockets. They had way cuter eyes when they started them in 2009. Here is a link to a picture showing the difference between the two. www.

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    2. Sorry try