Saturday, October 25, 2014

Memory Lane: Glo Friends (and a Giveaway, too!)

I'm back!  Hope you guys had a great week!  I spent most of it fighting a cold and then passed my germs on to Hubby. :}  So far, no kiddos are sick.  Hopefully we'll keep it that way. ;)

It's been a while since I've done a "Memory Lane" post.  I thought it might be fun to take a look at another line from the 80s, the "Glo Friends".  

The Glo Friends were a line of glow-in-the-dark bugs and insects of various kinds that were released by Hasbro and Playskool.  There were miniature plastic Glo Friends as well as stuffed Glo Friends, accessories, books, and more.  There was even a Glo Friends TV show!  In fact, when I was looking these up, I recognized the theme song from the show from somewhere deep in my memory. ;)  

Ghost of the Doll has a wonderful page about Glo Friends on their website HERE, where you can learn more about the line and everything that was released. :)

The Glo Friends I remember the most were the ones in the Wendy's Kids Meals, released in 1988.  So naturally, I was thrilled when I found several baggies of unopened Wendy's toys at Goodwill last week, which included Glo Friends.    

Here they are!  The pink bug in the front was one I'd already found individually at a thrift store trip earlier this year.  All the others were at Goodwill.  The purple bug in the front was also in plastic, but I was impatient and opened him before taking this photo. ;)

Here's a closer look at one of the Glo Friends in the plastic package.

These ones were finger puppets, and there were twelve to collect.

Dated 1988 

The outside of the pamphlet that came with each fast food toy.

Can I just take a moment to say that I really miss the fast food toys of the 80s?  I mean, look at this amazingly detailed pamphlet!  I also love the fact that the toys themselves are of a quality that could be sold in stores.  Wendy's toys today are usually cheap plastic or paper/cardstock stuff.  McDonald's is slightly better quality-wise (especially with their TY lines and their mini Madame Alexander dolls and things like that).  I sure miss the Disney toys they used to have, though.  McDonald's just isn't the same without the toys from the latest Disney movie.  Can you imagine how fun it would have been to have Frozen toys or Tangled toys to collect?  

Okay, sorry...done getting distracted (for now at least).  Here is the little section of the pamphlet with instructions on how to make the Glo Friends glow.  These things really work well, by the way!  It doesn't take very long at all to charge them up.

Here are the pamphlet pictures of each of the Glo Friends:

Glo Butterfly

Glo Snugbug

Glo Snail

Glo Bopbug

Glo Cricket

Glo Grannybug

Glo Doodlebug (this is the only one we're missing)

Glo Bookbug

Glo Clutterbug

Glo Skunkbug

Glo Bashfulbug

Glo Bug (they must have gotten tired coming up with clever names by this point) ;) 

The backside of the pamphlet advertises the stuffed Gloworm from Playskool.  Anyone remember these?  I remember one of my Baby My Little Ponies came with a mini plastic Gloworm (he didn't glow in the dark).  You can see a picture of it on the Ghost of the Doll website link I shared above. :)

The pamphlet also includes an offer for a glow-in-the-dark Glo Friends poster.  I wonder if I could get one if I sent this in? ;)

Here's the whole group from my Goodwill run (with the addition of Bashfulbug, who was already in my collection).

Another look at the group...except for Skunkbug and Bookbug, who are hiding. ;)

While I'm thrilled to have almost all of the Wendy's Glo Friends, Bashfulbug is my very favorite.  I remember her from when I was little.  I never had her, but I remember her being my favorite then, too.  She's got a sweet little face and fun pink coloring.

Bashfulbug from the back.  As you can see, the white things she's holding in front are actually her wings.

Each Glo Friend has a hole in the bottom since they are finger puppets.  I'm not sure if the regular Glo Friends had this as well, or if just the Wendy's line were finger puppets.

As you can see from the picture, they are marked "Made in China [copyright mark] 1986 Playskool, Inc."  This makes me think that perhaps the store line of Glo Friends have the same hole, since the the Wendy's ones weren't released until 1988 but are marked 1986.

The hole is very roomy in the bottom.  I was able to get my pointer finger inside quite easily.

Here's Glo Butterfly, another childhood favorite.  I like Bashfulbug's facial expression a little better, but this one is still fun.

She's holding a star wand.

In the back she has big, pink wings with blue and white accents.

Glo Cricket was one I actually had as a kid.  I bought him at the AWANA store with my AWANA bucks. :)  I love his little accordion.  

Glo Cricket from the back.

Glo Skunkbug is another of my favorites.  I love the way he's holding his nose.  It must be tough to be so stinky you can't even stand your own odor. ;)

Glo Skunkbug from the back.

Glo Snail is a Glo Friend I remember seeing a lot.  I think a lot of my friends had him.

I like his swirly, purple shell design.

Glo Snugbug reminds me a lot of the Gloworm stuffed toy...with a few added arms and legs. ;)

Glo Snugbug from the back.

Glo Bookbug is another cutie, especially with his little book and pencil.  He looks ready to study or write a story. 

Glo Bookbug has kind of a beetle-like appearance from the back.

Here's a very appropriate bug for our house: Glo Clutterbug. ;)  He's actually another one I'd found earlier, so we have two in the house now (one for me and one for the girls).  Appropriately, it took us a while to find the first Clutterbug.  He was hiding in the girls' cluttered rooms. ;)

Clutterbug has white wings similar to Bashfulbug's.

Glo Bopbug appears to be a spider of some kind.

You can see his extra legs in the back.  In our house, the girls have decided he is the Grandpa bug. 

Here is Glo Grannybug (yes, she is married to Glo Bopbug in our house's headcanon).  After I'd gotten the first group of Glo Friends, my mom went back that same day to Goodwill to see if she could find Glo Grannybug, since she was one of the few I was missing.  She was able to find her in another baggie!  (Thanks, Mom!)

Glo Grannybug has a ladybug-like appearance from the back.

Here is Glo Bug.  After my mom found my Glo Grannybug, I was two bugs away from having all twelve in the series.  We knew that Glo Doodlebug was not there, but I thought I'd remembered seeing Glo Bug in one of the Goodwill bags.  I went back the next morning, and sure enough, there he was! :)  I really like his striped top.

Glo Bug from the back with his blue wings.  He almost reminds me of a bee.

I haven't found a good way to photograph glow-in-the-dark items in total darkness (any suggestions, fellow photographers?).  Just to give you an idea, though, this picture was taken in our partially darkened hallway after I'd held Glo Butterfly up to the light for less than a minute.  I'm sure if these were left under a bright light all day, they'd keep their glow for a long time.  

I let each of the girls choose two Glo Friends to keep, and the rest I put on my 80s and 90s toy shelves.  The girls enjoy having them as little night lights at night.  They glow really well at bedtime, but the glow fades by the middle of the night...which is probably a good thing.  (Be honest, how many of you as kids woke up and startled yourself with the random glow-in-the-dark thing you left in your bed?)

I'm not going to do as detailed of a rating for this post, but we give these little guys 5 out of 5 stars for fun and just plain cuteness. :)

Do any of you remember the Glo Friends?

I ended up with two duplicate Glo Friends (Glo Snugbug and Glo Snail), and I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway for anyone else feeling nostalgic after this post. ;)

Since this is a small giveaway, I'd like to keep it simple.  Here are the rules:

1. This giveaway is open to anyone, in or out of the USA. :)

2.  Anyone under the age of 18 needs permission to enter from a parent or guardian.  

3.  To enter, leave your name or username and your email address in the comments below.  Comments will NOT be published.  No one will see your personal information but me.  Only one entry per person, please.

4.  The giveaway is open to entries until Thursday, October 30th.  On Friday, October 31st, I will put the names of the entrants in a bowl and draw one name.  The winner will receive both Glo Friends.  I will email the winner, and he/she will have one week to get back to me with a mailing address.  If I haven't heard from the winner by Friday, November 7th, I will choose a new winner.

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)


mystrygirl87 said...

I'm almost positive I had the cricket when I was little! I was born in the late 80s and usually think of myself as a 90s kid, but that little guy just looks so familiar. My best friend also had one of the big stuffed Gloworms. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Smaller Places said...

I love your nostalgia posts! I'd never even heard of these -- apparently my younger sisters, who would have been the right age, weren't into this.

Presto said...

Oh I miss Disney toys at McDonald's! "Reusable lunch bags" at Subway just don't do it for me.

I remember commercials for Glow Worm, but I never had any of the toys. Never heard of the Glow Friends, but it looks like it was a fun line.

Adelaide R. said...

Hey! Guess what!? Today is my birthday (I'm now 14 :) And I got Madeline hatter!

RagingMoon1987 said...

I remember Glo Worm quite well. He was my companion during late-night thunderstorms.

beastsbelle said...

Sounds like a lot of us have memories of these! :) So glad you guys enjoyed the post. A lot of you who entered the giveaway talked about remembering these, too. I'm so glad I was able to take everyone back to their childhood. ;)

Happy birthday, Adelaide! Congrats on your Madeline Hatter. :)

Tam said...

I was way 'too old' for these when they came out, being 16, but I still love them. They are so cute, and of course, who doesn't love glow in the dark?! I am really familiar with them now from finding them at yard sales and thrift stores,but I didn't know they were Wendy's toys.You're right about the quality of fast food toys then, and even when my oldest was little. She got all the Disney toys for the latest movies, and shows like Animaniacs.(And so did I! And I was very disappointed that there was only the Subway bag and no toys for the latest Muppet movie!)I love the part in the instructions about "don't let your bug or your finger touch the light bulb": these days they'd be afraid to tell you hold it to the bulb, because if anybody burnt themselves they could get sued!

akasailorsea said...

I have the green guy in the nightcap and nightshirt! He's a plush with a plastic head, and used to play a song if you hugged his belly (the sound thing in him stopped working years ago.). I also never remembered him glowing. I know they still make them, but I don't know much about the line, or that they had Wendys toys. I was really excited to see him in the picture.

beastsbelle said...

Lol, Tam, I agree. No one would dare to tell kiddos to hold something up to a light bulb nowadays. :}

And yes, it's so sad about the lack of Disney fast food toys. I agree, a bag from Subway just isn't the same. ;)

How fun, akasailorsea! It's always fun seeing a toy from childhood for me. I'm glad I was able to bring that same joy to so many of my readers with this post. :)

Mark Patraw said...

I never had any of the Glo Friends, but I remember them and think that they're pretty neat. I see loose samples pop up in the local thrift stores every now and then (the last one I ran across was in pretty sorry shape though--grimy with lots of paint wear). I can also recall that at least one of my three younger sisters had that larger Glow Worm battery-powered light-up plush figure when we were kids.

Isn't it weird how significant quantities of bagged fast food toys end up in thrift stores, even vintage ones like these? There must be warehouses with unopened boxes of that kind of stuff that continuously get discovered and donated to secondhand shops. The closest St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store in my geographic area always has bagged fast food toys too (they've even got McDonald's Ty Teenie Beanie plush bears still on sealed blister cards!)

Now that you mention it, it is rather odd that there wasn't any fast food Tangled or Frozen merchandise (that I'm aware of), especially considering the long history Disney has with both McDonald's and Burger King. Perhaps Disney is trying to distance themselves from "unhealthy" food choices? Actually, now that I think about it, I do have a nice 3" Tangled Rapunzel cake topper figurine made by DecoPac, so there is some food-related stuff to collect:

DecoPac Tangled Rapunzel Cake Topper

Could you share a bit more about AWANA stores and how AWANA bucks worked? I've never heard of them before.

I've also experienced difficulty in photographing GITD figures. I once asked for advice on that matter at a toy forum I belong to, and the consensus I got was just to do it under low light conditions (dawn or dusk for example), but not complete darkness. If you watch TV commercials with GITD toys, it usually says, at the bottom of the screen, in small print, that special GITD paint was used, so, maybe you have to cheat like that to get good shots? I have tried shooting GITD photos in complete darkness, but that didn't work out very well at all. You can see the result of that experiment here if you're interested (scroll down to almost the bottom of the page and look for the one image with a black background):

Glow Bones Dinosaur Skeletons Review

GITD toys still sometimes startle me as an adult, especially when you have a toy that you weren't even aware glowed. More than once, I've turned off the lights at night, only to see a strange green light emanating from some corner of the room where it shouldn't, and that's usually how I find out that something I brought home from the thrift store recently is luminescent. I don't believe in ghosts, but I could see a person with an overactive imagination jumping to that conclusion!

beastsbelle said...

I've thought about the huge amount of bagged fast food toys in thrift stores too, Mark. Maybe you're right. Maybe there are warehouse discoveries that get sent right along to the thrift stores. It's always fun to find old fast food toys I remember from childhood. :)

Several years ago, Disney announced that they would no longer be releasing toys for McDonald's Happy Meals. I don't remember the exact year, but I remember it was when people were starting to get a lot more health conscious, and before McDonald's started adding more healthy options to their Happy Meals (back in the good old days when you got a big serving of fries with your Happy Meal). ;) I've often hoped that Disney would renew their contract now that McDonald's is making an effort to include more healthy options, but it hasn't happened yet. :(

AWANA is a program that many churches in the area use for the children ages preschool through 5th grade. It usually takes place on Wednesday nights, and stands for "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed". (This is based on 2 Timothy 2:15 in the Bible: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." Which basically means that as believers, we are to study God's word and make ourselves available to God to be used by Him, familiar enough with His Word, the Bible, that we can accurately share its message to those around us.)

At AWANA, the kids usually learn Bible verses, sing songs, play games, and participate in other similar activities. Things like bringing your Bible, learning verses, bringing friends, and wearing your AWANA shirt allow you to earn "AWANA bucks" that can be spent on store night. The leaders find fun little goodies for the store that the kids can choose from. Back when I was in AWANA, the Glo Friends were among the store "inventory". ;)

I personally preferred Vacation Bible School to AWANA as a child (basically because I was non-athletic and didn't enjoy the mandatory game time), but it was a great way to learn Bible verses and have fun with my friends from school.

Okay, sorry, that was probably waaayy more of an explanation than you wanted! ;)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has difficulty photographing GITD toys. I'd like to play around with it more and see if I can end up with better results.

Thanks for the links, by the way. :) I have that very same Toothless toy that you have in the photo with your Rapunzel figure. :)

Lol, I'm not into things that unexpectedly glow. I don't believe in ghosts either, but I do have a pretty active imagination (as do my girls). I like knowing ahead of time if something is going to suddenly be glowing from the corner of the room. ;)

Mark Patraw said...

Thank you for the explanation of AWANA, it was something completely different than what I was imagining (in my mind, I was guessing that maybe it was a store chain that you have in your geographic area that I don't). I don't know of any churches here that do AWANA, or, if they do, I've never heard about it. Anyway, it sounds like something that children would find enjoyable.

That is sad that Disney doesn't want to do fast food premiums anymore. Like you said, McD's has made an effort to be more health-conscious with their stuff in recent years (apple slices in Kid's Meals, etc.), so maybe Disney will reconsider. Given Frozen's popularity, those toys would have moved a LOT of Happy Meals!

beastsbelle said...

Manta, I got your entry. :)

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Mark. AWANA has been around for as long as I can remember here. :) It is very enjoyable for the kiddos. My girls love it! :)

I can't even tell you how disappointed I was when I heard the news about no more Disney Happy Meals. In high school, I used to call around to all of the different McDonald's stores in my area to finish my Toy Story and other Disney collections.

Oh man, Frozen Happy Meal toys would have been sold out in days, especially any Elsa toys! ;)

megha kuruvilla said...

I found your blog while searching for glo friends. Such sweet memories. Thank you for the detailed post... At least I could show my 4 year old what I've been searching for him.
Do you know if we still get this somewhere? I've been desperately searching to buy one for my little one...

beastsbelle said...

Hi Megha! Nice to meet you. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. I had a lot of fun remembering these guys too. ;)

The Glo Friends I found were just one of those "right place at the right time" finds. I would suggest checking eBay, and keep an eye out at your local thrift stores and collectible shops. You never know when they might turn up!

If I get any leads on where to find these again, I'll leave another comment here. :)