80s Characters From My Childhood Then And Now – What Happened?

rainbow brite ecard









You guys probably already know this, aside from being a stressed out mom, I’m a Gen X Lifestyle Expert, which means part of my job entails nostalgically recalling all the fun things that came out from the 70s, 80s, and 90s … and I do so with love and a somewhat sick obsession. Which is why I can’t understand why all the totally awesome characters that were popular with my generation needed to be glittered, glammed, and slutified for my kids.

Do you remember the innocence of Polly Pocket, how she just bent at her midsection? The chubby cheeks of a Rainbow Brite and her color gang? Of course you do, because that was what made them adorable and innocent, like we were (or claimed to be… Barbie and Ken had a lot of nude makeout sessions in my Barbie Dreamhouse).

They didn’t look like they were on their way to go clubbing with Ke$ha. They didn’t have curves and they certainly didn’t don body-hugging unitards that Miley would call too racy for an awards show performance.

I get it, I’ve seen how racy and slutty are in these days, hello MTV awards.  Look, my daughter is currently obsessed with Bratz, which are pretty much the sluttiest Barbie-esque dolls ever! Not only do they scream “No means yes,” their accessories include cocktails and cellphones, though it looks like some of them should come with an IUD instead … or at least a morning-after pill. To keep up with the sexified doll craze and the Disney stars gone porn, it seems the nostalgic characters of our youth are trying to enter the clubs scene, the kid’s club scene, that is.

Here’s proof:

1. Strawberry’s Milkshake Brings All The Boys to the Yard

Strawberry Shortcake 80s and today

 Strawberry has traded her Amish style “I churn my own butter” bonnet for a French beret, silky locks, and a svelte figure. I don’t know if Custard would recognize her.


2. Rainbow Brite Raids Nicki Minaj’s Closet

Rainbow Brite The 80s and Now


Remember Rainbow and her basically androgynous crew, the color kids? They were so cute and pinchable. Now they’re sexy, tatted up teens that you could pinch … if you wanna risk being arrested for statutory rape.

Plus, I’m pretty sure Nicki wore Rainbow’s outfit in Willow Smith’s “Fireball” video.


3. Polly Pocket Goes from Playdates to PromPolly Pocket

Once a cute little tchotchke, Polly and her friends are now decked out for the dance. In my day she was thinking, “Hmmm, vanilla or chocolate?” Now, she’s thinking, “It’s a night to remember.” (Really, it says it on the box. I’m kinda concerned that she’s carrying a condom in her clutch. Scratch that, I’m concerned she’s not.)


4. My Little Pony Gets ‘Plastic’ Surgery

my little pony then and now

Remember when those sweet Little Ponies were all doe-eyed and didn’t look so … anorexic? Between the obvious lipo, the tummy tuck, the attitude adjustment, and the eye-job, you’d think they were on an episode of The Swan. Frankly, I think they could use a cheeseburger. Where’s a Bronie when you need one?

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 12.59.00 PM

These are the newest “Ponies” — My daughter wants them all, shocker.


5. Lego Goes From Blockhead Brick to Brazen Babe

lego then and now


Yes, the one on the left is supposed to be a girl. I know, she looks more like Pat from SNL, but look how she’s grown. In 2012 Lego Friends was introduced to interest girls in playing with the “boyish” blocks. Wasn’t the fun of Legos the boxy charm? Is nothing sacred?




6. Holly Gets a New Hobby

holly hobbie

I don’t even remember Holly having a face (well, little more than a profile). That sweet country girl with her rag dress and her farmhouse animals in tow wasn’t much of a talker, but now she’s dealing with gossip, boys, and mean girls.

Well, good for her, I always worried she’d become a reclusive cat lady.


7. Monchhichi Goes to Rehab

monchhichi then and now

Let’s face it, Monchhichi’s had some bad habits … the constant thumb and toe sucking was cute, but revamp that oral fixation into a penchant for sucking down mini-bar-sized bottles of Jack and late nights with Amanda Bynes, and I may have to rethink my Gen X status. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

I have to be honest, I do think all the dolls got a lot cuter, some of those chicks were pretty schlumpy back in the day (but I was OK with that, I think we all were) … and nostalgically speaking, I’m rocking somewhere in a corner.

Who was your fave character back then?

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XO- Jenny From the Blog

Other Fun Pieces:

40 Things Gen Xers Did Growing Up That Our Kids Will Never Need to Do

50 Like Totally Random Things I Remember as Like a Child of the 80s

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21 thoughts on “80s Characters From My Childhood Then And Now – What Happened?

  1. Ashley

    It’s not that they “became slutty,” it’s that more and more companies are conforming to society’s sick idea that females are to be sexualized and objectified no matter how young they are.

  2. sparkling74

    IT’s outrageous! The ponies don’t even look like ponies anymore! And Holly Hobbie? PArt of why I hated her was that she didn’t have a face but these new characters are now just making fun of her by calling her outfit “dress up”!

  3. Carpool Goddess

    OMG, that’s hysterical! The before and after shots are shocking. All. Sexed.Up. FYI, I had a clothes-free Barbie house and motor-home, my Barbie got around 😉
    P.S. Thanks for all the blog lovin’! xoxo

  4. Woman_on_Pause

    I miss fashion plates. Those things were the best!! I had quite the eye for fashion when I was 8. Troll dolls, Magic 8 balls (Always the same question, will I EVER GET KISSED??), Simon that needy bastard, and it isn’t a toy but I miss Tang. I may be the only one.

  5. Kelly Fox

    Eye opening before and after shots! I mainly played with stuffed animals. Let’s hope they leave those alone… otherwise it could get really horrifying.

  6. Kelly Fox

    And speaking of ridiculous modern-day toys, have you seen the Monster High dolls? My daughter is currently obsessed with them. I keep asking her if they’re going to attack her Barbies. She’s not amused.

  7. Traveling Pics

    I’m almost 33 and I like the new designs of all these characters (exception: the human pony dolls). BTW, if you really want to get scared, just look at the Bratz toy line, THAT is creepy and freaking sexualized!!
    Well, I have a little complain about the Legos for girls: its too gender-traditional. I’ve seen the themes of the playsets and you just can find doll houses, beauty parlors, gardens… the usual. You don’t see a computer, a cool car, a mithycal animal or a space ship.
    Polly Pocket is even worse in this aspect.
    I have a nice collection of Polly Pockets 🙁
    But I make them travel across space in my Playmobil Space ship 🙂
    with my G4 ponies 🙁
    Mixing toys rocks 🙂

  8. MARK

    I think the only change in character is the attitude in judging a thing. Childhood everything is childish activity and judging matters from others view. But now i can think & decide by myself. I can make and also destroy anything.

  9. JustBetsy

    Well that explains the outfits I’ve been seeing at cosplay events–I wondered why so many teens were doing variations of Rainbo Brite and My Little Pony–shows how long it’s been since I looked at toy catalogs.

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  14. link

    Amazing things listed here. I’m prepared to search your post. Thanks a ton that i’m waiting for effect a person. Will you you need to lower me a e-mail?

  15. Shannah

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that they have been “sexed up” but I’m not a fan of the changes (Though I do love the monster high dolls a previous poster does not)

    The beloved characters are being changed to fit with today’s animation, and the cutesy stuff of childhood is gone. Why, even Care Bears and Littlest Petshop have had makeovers. We should also talk content, the way the characters treat each other is different as well. I am hoping to get my hands on all my old favorites and introduce those to my daughter. I feel cartoons back in the day were more wholesome in theme as well as appearance, and lord knows they grow up fast enough anyway.

  16. Jennyl

    I get it…I’m old!! But seriously I think these new takes an the old toys are messed up!! I liked growing up with some innocence. I had (ok still have) a Holly Hobbie lunch box and that Little House on the Prarie, I can churn butter and still have fun vibe was great as a kid. We ran around the neighborhood playing with weird stuff we found and never thought too much about what we looked like. Ahh youth!! I miss it and those cute normal sized ponies.

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