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Official Article

Attack of the Warrior Women!

By: MissM

It is no surprise that I am obsessed with She-Ra. Anyone who has talked or read something by me knows within a few moments that I am obsessed with the Princess of Power. I am actually beyond obsessed, it all borderlines on a serious dorky problem. However, the problem has only become worse. For all my love for She-Ra and her friends of the Great Rebellion, I have also expanded my horizons and included another fabled toy line of kick butt warrior women: Golden Girl. Not to be confused with the Golden Girls television sitcom, Golden Girl was a separate entity. (Though wouldn't it have been a mess if there had been a secret spin off with Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia clad with swords and armor? I would have watched.)

 

Ya see retro fans, once upon a toy time there were two toy lines consisting of beautiful and strong warrior women found in the pink aisle. Galoob was behind Golden Girl while Mattel shattered the pink aisle with She-Ra. I don’t think there has ever been a time before or after this magical moment in toy history. It was the mid 80’s and though there is some debate about which toy line debuted first, there’s no denying that each line was completely special in its own way.

 

She-Ra emphasized that special mixture of glamour and strength to send the message of fun and empowerment. It lasted for a pretty good while, but let’s look at a commercial to get a feel for this line: 


The action dolls had rooted hair and flashy clothing that could be removed. The power element is obviously evident, but so is the notion that friendship is important and that sometimes girls can be catty towards each other. There was certainly a divergent train of thought from She-Ra’s presence in the cartoon versus the theme and feel of the toy line. It all makes for a special slice of kooky awesomeness.

 

Here is another She-Ra toy commercial that expresses the fun and beauty of the line:

 

Unlike, say, Castle Grayskull, the Crystal Castle was the kind of play set for epic battles with a bit of the home life for She-Ra. The overall look of the Crystal Castle was something magical though, regardless of what purpose the owner had for it.

 

With an idea of what the She-Ra toy line was trying to convey through commercial, let us look back at Golden Girl!

 

This commercial has a completely different theme to it. While the girls are trying to decide what they want to accomplish and be, the main girl of the commercial is only interested in being Golden Girl. I personally adore this because I feel like that was me as a kid, more interested in the toys than achieving something in a sports related arena. My goodness I reek of dorkette. Either way the toy line has a marked difference from the marketing of She-Ra. There is more of an emphasis on the good versus evil element with the cast of action dolls.

Good versus evil though truly shines through in this next Golden Girl commercial that plays more like the beginning of some cool 80’s music video:

 

I adore this commercial. It isn’t until the very end that you even realize it is a “sweet” girl’s toy line. (I also enjoy that catchy theme song.) There is so much mystery and adventure surrounding Golden Girl. Who are these characters? What do they want? What world are they living on? There are no answers as Golden Girl had no cartoon tie in. It was all left up to one’s imagination.

 

Sadly it was probably the lack of a cartoon or any other media support that tarnished the Golden Girl line while She-Ra triumphed for a few years. I clearly recall both of these lines and it is obvious that my love for She-Ra has shined through after all this time, but I have only recently begun to see the positives of Golden Girl. I used to view Golden Girl as a knock off of She-Ra, a silly toy line that should be treated as something less than. I was completely foolish in my thoughts.

 

What I’ve come to learn though is that the existence of Golden Girl and She-Ra are not meant to be a competition for who was released first or which one was better. They are both full of something fun that has not been repeated since. (I do realize that Xena comes pretty close, but I can’t honestly recall a time where there were two female warrior lines based off of fantasy and adventure aimed towards girls.) I have a soft spot for both of these lines, and while I have certainly owned my fair share of She-Ra items, I have recently begun picking up some Golden Girl items here and there. It has been a rather interesting experience to say the least, and one that I hope to expand upon in future articles. I simply wanted to share this piece on She-Ra and Golden Girl. (Have no fear; I won’t always be posting about She-Ra!)

 

Does anyone else recall these two lines in stores or even owning them? Please share your memories and thoughts! I also thank the folks who posted these videos on YouTube. The She-Ra commercials came courtesy    of Ghost of the Doll while the two Golden Girl commercials came from xntryk1 and adabd

   

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Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 02, 2014 at 11:58 PM

Awesome article. I totally remember Golden Girls. I was a fan of the G.L.O.W. TV show, so they always caught my eye as having a similar glittery 80's glamour and power. What I remember is that She-Ra could always be found at Toys R Us, but I only ever saw Golden Girls in the toy aisle of the local drug store. They never quite made it to the big stage in my area, I never even knew they had commericials, but then again, I wasn't watching much My Little Pony back then.

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 08, 2013 at 02:44 AM

I just now noticed in the first Golden Girl commercial that they show some of the male figures right at the end. They actually look kind of cool, from what I could tell.

MissM Posted on Nov 08, 2013 at 01:38 AM

Yeah, a cartoon would have possibly helped Golden Girl. (I even think there may have been an attempt, but I don't know if anything was ever officially produced.) I remember as a kid looking at this line and only thinking, "Gee, what's with the pretend She-Ra line?" She-Ra was fortunate to be a spin off of He-Man, it stretched that whole fantasy universe out that much longer.

Golden Girl did have some male characters, but they weren't a part of any commercial that I have ever found. Both lines existed in such a strange time for toy collecting though! Glad you enjoyed reading this!

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 07, 2013 at 04:47 PM

It was just a fact of marketing toys back then that, if you didn't get a half hour cartoon to go along with your product, it had far less a chance to succeed.

I don't remember anything about the Golden Girls. Though, I can see from the commercials the reason for that. She-Ra was a spin off of He-Man, which had a huge following with boys. So, as a boy, you were far more likely to know about She-Ra (and in many cases, buy some of the figures). Also, She-Ra had several supporting male characters, and even her arch nemesis was male.

With Golden Girls, it appears the entire cast was female. I'm guessing this tied her success to being able to defeat other Mattel lines like Barbie. Not the competition you want for your toy line.

Great read Miss M.! Thanks for this.

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