Thanks to eBay and Goodwill, I've ended up with quite a few toys from my childhood. I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts on some of these special finds. My hope is that you, my readers, will either rediscover a long-lost beloved toy or be introduced to toys from another era. I'm going to try to do at least two of these posts per month. Ready for the first "walk down memory lane"? ;)
For today, we'll start with a toy that I had nearly forgotten until I ended up on an eBay rabbit trail about a month ago: Mattel C.U.T.I.E. dolls. :)
The Mattel C.U.T.I.E. dolls were introduced in 1986 as a girl's alternative to the popular M.U.S.C.L.E. men figures already in production (which you can see and read about HERE). C.U.T.I.E. stands for "Coolest Ultra Tiny Individuals on Earth". The figures stand at about two inches tall and are solid-colored plastic (in trendy 80s colors, of course). ;)
The C.U.T.I.E.s were released in small packages of four figures, like the ones pictured in this post, and in large packages of ten figures. The large packages each had a theme to them, and there were five themes that I'm aware of:
1. "Gym Dollies" featured full-figured women in workout clothes lifting weights and exercising.
2. "Lovey Doveys" were all dancers or singers or moms...very feminine and sweet.
3. "Tiny Trendies" were just what they sounded like, figures wearing "cool" fashions of the times (some of which are pretty hilarious now).
4. "Rockity Rollers" featured rock star-type women performing on musical instruments...some of them featured mohawks and other wild styles.
5. "Bitsy Babies" were all cute little babies and toddlers. They were a larger scale than the other C.U.T.I.E.s, making them look like an invasion of giant babies. ;)
The smaller packages did not have themes, but featured random figures from each of the five categories. Interestingly enough, according to what I found on eBay, each individual figure in the ten packs was always the same color from pack to pack, but figures with the same mold in the smaller packs were different colors.
I don't even remember how I stumbled across these again, but when I did, I instantly remembered having them as a girl. When I found a few packages for a reasonable price on eBay, I knew I had to have some for my 80s and 90s toy collection. :)
Here is one of the individual packs from the front...
...and the back. From the price tag, it looks like this originally retailed for $1.99.
An explanation of the C.U.T.I.E. line.
You could send in this part of the box for a free C.U.T.I.E.s poster.
More package details:
So here's a close look at one of the cuties. She is one of the "Tiny Trendies", and her name is "Rani Rad". Yeah. It was the 80s. :} In the ten pack, she was yellowish orange instead of purple.
Here's a view from the back.
And this is the guy that I saw by accident online and went, "Oh my goodness, I had that guy!!" And then the search began. ;) My mom must have gotten me one of the four packs, because I don't remember having very many of these, and mine was purple like this one, while his color in the ten pack was a red orange. (Plus, Mom wouldn't have been into getting me figurines with mohawks, and there was at least one in the ten pack he came in.) ;) He is also a "Tiny Trendies", and his name is "B. Cool". Since I didn't have the big set, I didn't know his name (and I wouldn't have liked it, anyway), so I always called him Jeff.
A back view of "Jeff".
He stands nicely on his own.
I ended up with two sets from eBay, one to keep in the package and one to open. The little gym gal in the front (whose name, I discovered, is "Sweaty Betty") is a little random. As near as I can tell, that's the way she's supposed to be, but it sure doesn't look like a proper way to weight train. ;) There was also at least one figure that didn't stand up like she was supposed to (the pink guitar player in the back).
Unfortunately, while the M.U.S.C.L.E. men were very popular, the C.U.T.I.E.s were not so successful. As a result, not many people know about them. I always thought they were fun, though. I had a weakness for small toys I could take along with me everywhere. :) And the nice thing about them being fairly unknown is that they're very reasonably priced on eBay, which is great for collectors on a budget like me. ;)
While doing some research on these, I found a YouTube video that has pictures and names for every single C.U.T.I.E. figure made. I thought you might enjoy seeing them all, so I went ahead and linked it HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this first look at toys of the past. Did any of you have C.U.T.I.E.s? Is there another 80s or 90s toy you'd like to reminisce about? Let me know in the comments! :)