Category Archives: Retro Toy Corner

The Downfall Of The My Buddy Doll Thanks To A Good Guy Named Chucky

Without skipping a beat, 80s’ kids know that My Buddy jingle- and we also know without a doubt, THIS, without a doubt, is the true inspiration behind the Child’s Play franchise. Sure, the Cabbage Patch Kids as originally stated, served as some inspiration for good ol’ Chuck. But My Buddy was in itself, was inspired by the Xavier Roberts’ line. Also, looking at this pair side-by-side, it’s beyond obvious we know where he got his look from.

In the earlier part of the decade, Cabbage Patch Dolls rules the ugly doll market with a mighty fist; crushing any and all competitors that stood in their creepy, cabbage-dwelling way. Although considered non-gender specific, the dolls were mostly marketed towards little girls. The boys had their GI JOES and HE-MAN, and that seemed to be the way it just was. Up until Hasbro launched a market campaign with a doll, directly marketed to boys as, “A little boy’s special friend! Rough and tough, yet soft and cuddly.”

The My Buddy doll was officially stocked on store shelves in 1985 and actually sold fairly well – ranking in eighth place officially as the top-ten selling toys for that year. But it didn’t last long. And neither did his off-shoot Kid Sister either- which I TOTALLY HAD.

And intro the theme song that will probably be stuck in your head the rest of the day. In which case, was most certainly the biggest selling point of this doll.  It truly was the perfect combination for creating a memorable identity for a toy while cleverly referencing the doll’s name throughout the “earworm” so much so, all kids’ would remember the name My Buddy or Kid Sister when asking for an oversized bundle of plastic and stuffing with sewn-on clothing.

Then, 1988 happened and in comes Chucky to permanently bury that pussy My Buddy/ Kid Sister duo forever into the hallowed grounds of unwanted toys.

Now while, it has already been confirmed via Don Mancini himself that the Cabbage Patch Kids served as some sort of muse for Chucky, along with other things, (NOT that garbage Robert the Doll story that has been circulating for years); it wasn’t until fairly recently that Mancini himself admitted to there being an inspiration from My Buddy as well. This could be due to any possible lawsuits that could have come his way and towards the studios with such an admission. Which, of course, is fair enough. However, we all knew better anyway.

Hell, everything from the look itself, the fake toy box, all the way down to the commercials screamed this was a blatant killer copy-cat. Come on… Even in the original pitched script Chucky’s name was “Buddy”; which of course, was later actually utilized in the reboot of the franchise in 2019.

Now don’t get it twisted. I’m certainly not giving the guy (Mancini) any shit. I’m eternally grateful to have such a marvelous, witty, pint-sized horror maniac in the horror movie legends roster. But, let’s face facts. Chucky was directly inspired by My Buddy- who in turn, had a hand in the down-fall of the doll.

Just like with Freddy, every kid in the late 80s’ early 90s’ knew all about Chucky; and we closely associated the plastic terror with the My Buddy doll. My younger brother had a My Buddy doll prior to the movie coming out, as I did as well with his sister companion. However, shortly after seeing the movie, we got rid of those fuckin’ nightmare inducing wads of stuffing on the fact it resembled it TOO much; and it did give my brother several nightmares. He did NOT want that thing in his room anymore; and unfortunately, that same scenario rang true for many other kids as well. Whether it was the kids themselves, or parents making that association, the My Buddy toy line suffered. Hasbro subsidiary Playskool continued manufacturing the doll into the 1990s, while changing up his look a bit to distance the toy’s legacy away from the Child’s Play series. But, it didn’t have the effect the toymakers’ thought it would and My Buddy went completely off line in the 90s’ due to poor sales.

Prior to the upcoming Child’s Play series coming in October from SyFy, Chucky’s kill count sits at 74. Let’s just make it 75 because My Buddy deserves at least that.

Unearthed Video of Complete Walkthrough of Toys ‘R’ Us Circa 1991!

A few months ago, I shared a video I had discovered on the YouTubes of a short, but quite satisfying clip of footage shot inside a Toys ‘R’ Us shot in 1989. While it indeed induced sweet memories of running up and down the aisles searching for the prefect Ninja Turtle, it had us clamoring for more. Low and behold, the Gods of Geoffrey have bestowed the ultimate treasure for us nostalgic nuggets- a complete twenty-minute video walkthrough of the once gold mine of toys and games that will have you oozing nostalgia from your eye sockets!

The raw footage is filmed inside a Manhattan Toys’ R’ Us at Herald Center in New York the day before Thanksgiving, showcasing the Christmas season’s hottest toys and giving an inch on the dreaded Black Friday for most parents. It’s pretty amazing this video exists and it’s as if some random someone 30 years ago just picked up a video camcorder and started shooting knowing people like us today would be creaming our pants over this type of stuff. All I can think to say is, this person is a damn hero.

Brought to us courtesy of YouTube Channel btm0815ma, the reel highlights the best of the best and everything we can possibly remember from this now relic as children. We get a complete nostalgic gut-punch with WWF wrestling buddies and WCW figures, Ninja Turtles with Technodrome playsets, the universe of Barbie, and Lego sets of yesteryear! We also get to roam the bike aisles, (tell me I’m not the only asshole who rode those around the store) and I even caught a glimpse of those Universal Monsters PVC bendy figures!

Also, can we appreciate that the recorder spent a good amount of time in the World of Nintendo? Memories of taking those yellow tickets up to the counter to get your coveted game to take home to scream at that night was one of the greatest feelings in the early 90s’. We even get a shot of ballsy woman taking a Gameboy out of its original packaging to get a closer look at it!

Fantastic.

Then, we end the video with a thorough guided process of checking out and walking out into the streets of the city with a panoramic shot of the once beautiful Toys ‘R’ Us monument. It truly is, one of the coolest videos I’ve seen in a long time and proper high-fives to this Youtuber for unearthing this gem and sharing it to the world!

Enjoy as much as I did Nostalgic Nuggets!

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents: 1990’s Hottest Holiday Toys- With Commercials!

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA PRESENTS: 1990'S HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS!

Like the majority of us adults, some of my favorite memories as a kid were the magic of the holidays. Sitting around watching glorious Christmas specials. Grandma’s magnificent Italian seafood dinner spread consisting of Linguini with clams, Clams Oreganata, and the classic eight-hour gravy for the non-fish folks (like me) with mussels on the side. AND of course, all the goddamn wonderful Christmas toys.

1990 was a banner year for some of the hottest toys and games on the market that holiday season. As we’re all aware, many toys are derived from pop-culture entertainment and with such films like Beetlejuice, Batman, and the explosion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles warping our minds on the heels of their late ’89 and ’90 releases, companies like Mattel and Kenner were in no short supply of marketing campaigns for the 1990 Christmas catalogs.

In full disclosure, I never write about what I can’t either recollect from my own memories, or fill in from other family members so every damn thing on this list is something I or my brother either received for the holidays that oh-so-far-away-feeling of 30 years ago! So if there’s something you’d love to add to this list, by all means comment below and tell me about YOUR favorite Christmas toy from 1990!

My Pretty Ballerina

Credit: Popsugar

Oh man, I vividly remember receiving this dancing delight under the tree that year. My Pretty Ballerina was a beautifully made doll made by TYCO that twirled around in a circle and walked around on her tippy toes along to her cassette and dancer pole (heh) that came with each doll. Although she was stunning in her little pink tutu and fun to play with, she was NOT a doll to sleep with at night as I ALSO vividly recall nearly poking my damn eye out with that rose glued to her hand.

Red Ryder ain’t got shit on My Pretty Ballerina.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3rd Series)

Playmates and Croner weren’t messing around with the blockbuster release of the first TMNT that year and OF COURSE went balls deep in creating another line of figures for the holidays. This year in particular harvested a RIDICULOUSLY extraordinary amount of turtle merch, including Undercover Donatello there along with Samurai Leo, Surfer Michelangelo, and Space Cadet Raphael. Along with an abundance of vehicles and playsets, let’s highlight the radical Party Wagon in particular.

Beetlejuice Creepy Cruiser

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA PRESENTS: 1990'S HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS!

Oh man, that Kenner line of Beetlejuice toys were unbelievably fun to play with. The “Ghost with the Most” dominated holiday toy competitors in 1990 along with TMNT a year after the box-office theatrical release of the film. And with the various strange and unusual pieces you could buy adding on to your collection, it wasn’t hard to see why. While there were many options to choose from in the line, The Creepy Cruiser was the holy grail of Netherworld vehicles in 1990.

By the way, check out my Welcome Page– I still have my talking Beetlejuice Kenner doll in the original box! It’s no creepy cruiser, but let me just have this moment.

Internet Lurker

New Kids on the Block Action Figures

Blastfromthepasttoys

If you weren’t hangin’ tough with one or ALL FIVE of these Hasbro produced figures of the biggest band of 1990, you were nothing and may as well never leave your house again. Well, according to nine-year-old-girl logic anyway. And you better have that stage, mics, and the phone too. Also, having those interview cassettes that came with each doll pretty much drove your playground points up as well.

Batman Dark Knight Collection

Like Beetlejuice, yet another historical, nostalgic film of 89′ launched a toyline that exploded in 1990. The almighty Kenner was responsible for the glorious Batcave, Batmobile, and figures that some of us still treasure to this very day. I have to admit, when my brother got the Bat Jet and JokerCycle under the tree that year along with the Batcave he already had obtained for his birthday, I snatched that thing and was shooting that Joker face off at everything I possibly could-including my poor brother’s face, heh. Meh. I was a jerk big sister but weren’t we all!

WWF Action Figures

Listen, our household took wrestling very seriously. So much so we had a GARBAGE CAN full of these guys! Every single one was obtained and the answer is yes- we had the ring as well which made for some great Royal Rumbles. Hasbro marketed these guys well as we weren’t the only kids dashing to Toys R Us for the new Ultimate Warrior variant.

Dr. Mario

Nintendo still hot on the market along with the infamous Nintendo World Championships of 1990 throwing the company into legendary status with our generation, Dr. Mario was released for the NES just in time for everyone with a system to put one on their holiday list. The 215 stage game for the pre-med puzzle thinker was a Saturday well spent in my childhood!

And speaking of Nintendo…

Nintendo Game Boy

Ahh the good ol’ days when everyone was hooked on Dr. Mario and Tetris on the go with Game Boy! Technically, the 8-bit then sorcery phenomenon was released a year prior. However, it was still number one on a LOT of holiday lists that year and sales were booming; making last-minute parents run around like a dizzy ex-governor of California looking for one!

Lil’ Miss Magic Jewels

The Lil’ Miss line from Mattel ran from 1989-1993 with several different variants including a magic mermaid and the original Miss Makeup (which yes I totally owned). Along with this little jeweled treasure that I bet a lot of you forgot about! Bedazzling your doll and your own hair with that wand was all the rage at the beginning of the decade. However, pulling those Velcro jewels out of your ponytail hurt like HELL and would pull out your own hair if the jewels were to close to the roots.

Here’s to going bald in 1990!

Happy Holidays Nostalgic Nuggets! Comment below with your favorite toy or memory from that year! Or hell, any year! Let’s get a good nostalgic conversation going!