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Official Article

Top 10 Retro Toys of 2013!

By: MissM

Originally the plan was for this article to be written before 2014, but with a move and the holidays, it will just have to appear a few days into 2014. (The year is still considered new though, right?) Before I begin, how is everyone? I hope the holidays have treated you all well.

 

One of the things I have always enjoyed about a new year is the time to reflect about all the cool toys that were released throughout the past year. Typically I enjoy discussing the new items, those cool toys that captivated my interest throughout the year. However, I am not just a collector of the here and now; I also actively collect those hidden gems from yesteryear. A great deal of retro toys enters into my collection every year, so here are my top ten choices making this random and slightly unnecessary list!

 

10. Gen13

 

2013 was the year that I finally got over my neurotic ways and began purchasing items in loose condition. It all started with this little find at my local comic store. Gen13 was a comic series that seemed really cool, but I never really read it when it was popular in the 90s. I was a fan of the overall look though, particularly with the Fairchild action figure. ToyFare magazine had shown some images of this figure which was enough for me to say, “Hmm, I would totally collect one of those!” She was originally released in 1998 but to have purchased this item all these years later proved to be wonderful; this toy only cost two dollars! I’ve always liked the color combination of her orange hair and green long sleeve body suit, though I can’t help but wonder if her legs ever get cold. Either way, this was a very fun retro purchase in 2013.

 

9. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs

 

A few months ago, Brian from Cool and Collected shared with everyone a rather large assortment of action figures for sale or trade that he had acquired. One such set of figures was from the Tyco line Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. In his set was the figure of Hannah Dundee, an item that I had mostly forgotten about. I remember seeing the male characters in stores, but I had never run across the Hannah figure. After finding out that the figure was part of the whole set, I set my eyes on other markets to see what a Hannah Dundee figure was going for these days. A quick jaunt to eBay and 99 cents later I was the proud owner of a mint Hannah Dundee. This line had just the right amount of cheese to make it fun and totally worthwhile.

 


8. MoonDreamers

 

Leave it to the 80s for a toy line to exist that melded dreams and space into one awesomely glow in the dark doll line by Hasbro. MoonDreamers was very short lived and sadly has been waiting patiently for a reboot. Since finding a mint MoonDreamer for a decent price is next to impossible, I finally jumped in and grabbed this Bitsy and Roary. Sure Bitsy is missing her shoes, and both were in need of some sprucing up, but that was part of the fun. I was beginning to really enjoy loose collecting at about the middle of the year.

 

7. Princess Tenko

 

I’ve been collecting a very long time. I’d rather not admit how long, but I will say this much: I don’t remember nor do I own everything ever made. While perusing the Internet in search for retro treasures, I stumbled upon the line of Mattel action dolls called Princess Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic. I vaguely recalled this line; however there was so much I just did not know. I had stumbled upon a line that was exciting and different, with familiar shades to other action doll lines.

 

This is Jana, the villain of the line and distant relative to Castaspella. Seriously, squint both eyes; that is PoP’s Castaspella. Anyways, over the summer I had a blast trying to find good deals on Princess Tenko items. Luckily there was not much of a demand for this line as I was fortunate enough to pick up a few items for a very little bit.

 

6. Shimmers

 

One of my most favorite toy lines growing up, Shimmers was like an early sparkly introduction to Greek Mythology. Or something. As with my other high maintenance tastes in collecting, Shimmers (released by Kenner) tends to be very rare, and very expensive. Not so with loose Shimmers. This toy was in very good condition, the coloring being the big selling point. I thoroughly enjoy the shimmery paint fading from yellow to hot pink.

 

5. Rose Petal Place

 

I know what you must be thinking at this point, “Miss M, another girl toy on this list?” I can’t help it. 2013 was a banner year for items from the pink aisle. Take for instance this doll from Rose Petal Place. Orchid is named after the flower. Like the other dolls, each character from Rose Petal Place had a scent and over all look that was associated with their corresponding flower. With a nostalgic nod to my past, this loose Orchid helped me remember why I enjoyed this line in the first place. (If I could, I’d totally rock this jump suit in real life.)

 

4. My Little Pony

 

My Little Pony had long captured my heart way before there was friendship and magic. The original Ponies were far more simple and ‘one note.’ Yet this simplicity had me intrigued. I really enjoyed collecting these and after finding these two at my comic store, I couldn’t resist. (I also was pleasantly surprised to find vintage Ponies at my comic store!) The green/teal pony is Medley and is the pre-cursor for Lyra Heartstrings from the newest Pony incarnation. The pink Pony is Heart Throb.

 

3. Pound Puppies

 

This item was a total shock. I’ll just be honest. Nose Marie was my favorite Pound Puppy and I had been on a lengthy search for this very miniature figure, and as luck would have it I found one! I would have been happy with a loose or new version, however, I was just happy to finally have found one! If you are a fan of Pound Puppy miniatures, scoop them up whenever you find them. They are extremely hard to come by in decent condition.

 

2. Princess of Power

 

It is often assumed that I own every She-Ra item made. While I do own a great deal, I am far from owning every single item. With my love for loose items running rampant in 2013, it was only a matter of time before a She-Ra related item made it to my home. Angella, mother to Glimmer, was one such figure I missed out on when I was younger so adding a loose one to my collection was a nice surprise for 2013. Of course, her wings are missing, but the overall look of the action doll is still in very nice condition.

 

1. Golden Girl

 

I went and did it. For years I had such a snobbish attitude regarding Golden Girl, the action doll line that competed with She-Ra in the mid 80’s by Galoob, but in 2013 I finally took the plunge and purchased some Golden Girl items! I’ve learned from the error of my ways and these action dolls are worth every penny. (By the by, get while the getting is good. These items can sometimes be found for very little still.) Wild One has the blond hair while also sporting some wild facial and body art. Moth Lady (my favorite) has crimped purple hair and insect wings! Needless to say, these two items have been my most favorite purchases of 2013. I have found a way to right my judgments on this line and I am looking forward to maybe adding a few more items to my collection eventually. They actually work rather well with the vintage Masters of the Universe toys in that they really capture that whole ‘warrior’ look as opposed to the fantasy elements of She-Ra. Both are entirely fun though and should be added to everyone’s collections!  

 

A great deal of events occurred in 2013, including the world of collecting. I overcame my own neurosis about collecting loose items and am the better for it. I have found that loose collecting can be more affordable than mint, and in some cases the items are practically in new condition. I look forward to what I find in the New Year. Please share some of the retro finds you scored over 2013! I always enjoy reading what other people are interested in or collecting. Happy New Year everyone.  

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