History of Polly Pocket

Polly Pocket in beach scene

Knowing the history of Polly Pocket can help you better appreciate the famous toy that your daughter is crazy about - or perhaps you enjoyed yourself during the early 1990s. From its inception in tiny, compact form to today's line full of accessories and embellishments, Polly Pocket has brought hours of amusement to little girls all over the world.

The Start of Polly Pocket

Polly Pocket was invented in 1983 by Chris Wiggs, who was looking to create a toy for his daughter Kate, then young enough to enjoy the imaginative world of dolls. He had the idea to make a doll small enough to fit into a pocket, yet still have a whole world to play in. He used a powder compact to design a tiny house that the even smaller doll would fit inside.

Six years later, Polly Pocket was an officially licensed product of Bluebird Toys, which was based in Swindon, England. Little girls in 1989 were the first to purchase Polly and her tiny home.

The History of Polly Pocket Changes

While Bluebird Toys thrived off of the sale of Polly Pocket and her accessories, all of which continued to be tiny in stature, there were big changes on the horizon for this itty bitty doll. In the early 1990s, not long after Polly's debut, toy giant Mattel was contracted to distribute the doll line. After selling Polly for several years, Mattel ended up acquiring and purchasing Bluebird in 1998. Almost immediately, the look of Polly was changed. She was made larger, no longer fitting into her signature compact, and was given her own special series of collectible items.

Like other famous Mattel dolls such as Barbie, Polly was given a more realistic look, as opposed to the original Polly who had cartoon-like features. With this more mainstream doll style, Mattel rolled out Fashion Polly, which included favorite characters from the originally transformed Mattel line, while also adding special clothing made out of material similar to rubber. Even better, the toy manufacturer threw in magnetic hands and feet, so Polly was able to better attach to her world.

Polly Today

Polly continues to sell well with today's children. You can purchase her individually, but sets are much more popular. You can also buy clip-on clothes that are made out of a hard plastic and easily attach to the doll's figure, which still measures under four inches. Polly also has friends that can accompany her through Pollywood:

  • Lea
  • Shani
  • Lila
  • Rick
  • Steven

Polly's world has also extended beyond the doll line, and you can find her in various videos, books, and even her own website. You can expect to pay anywhere between twenty and fifty dollars for a Polly Pocket product, and many of the sets include an impressive number of items within the set. However, take caution when it's time to vacuum, because even though her presence in the toy world is large, the doll herself is still quite small.

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History of Polly Pocket