Despite the incredibly ’80s artwork on display here, this Care Bears coloring book was part of an early ’90s relaunch of the brand. I don’t know too much about this iteration, but it’s obvious enough the characters had their tummy symbols and fur colors slightly changed, and apparently it introduced Proud Heart Bear, who is… um, I guess a Care Bear superpatriot? He’s got a heart-shaped American flag on his stomach. I wouldn’t think the Care Bears would pick a favorite nation when it came to their stated mission of Keeping Kids From Feeling Sad, but whadda I know? (Does make me wonder how he’d get along with Colbert, mind.)
The story inside has a heavy environmentalism bent that was common for the era. Hilariously, though, it segues into this pro-Earth message by opening with the Care Bears accidentally landing in freeway traffic. But, fear not, there are no Care Vehicular Homicides - the bears just end up complaining about the pollution coming from the cars and go from there.
In the 1990s, Hasbro tried to challenge Barbie’s dominance of the European doll market by licensing and redesigning Sindy, a pre-existing doll property. It didn’t go very well for them, but some… interesting specimens of the line showed up in German Toy Fair catalogs I bought off eBay, and I felt compelled to share.
Here, for instance, is “Rasta-Hair Sindy” - Sindy with blond dreadlocks - wearing a sweater that would cause seizures if she were capable of locomotion.
My god, this barbarian warlord’s hair is fabulous. He even comes with a comb!
More realistically, looking at this, I can kind of understand now why Mattel decided to market most of The Evil Horde villains separately from the main She-Ra: Princess of Power line in the ’80s. Seeing Ogra, Skull-Masked Barbarian Warlord in the standard Golden Girl packaging is a pretty incongruous sight. (I’m also not sure how many young lasses of the Reagan era would want to wear his dazzling diecast gemstone shield, but who am I to judge?)
… also also, “Dual of the Ancients”? Really, bio-writer?
Aaand the reason I scanned Trina Robbins’Robotech paper dolls to begin with… Lance “Lancer” Belmont, with optional Yellow Dancer outfit! For 1987, that is kind of incredible.
This is the last of the paper dolls in the book. If anyone wants to print any of the four out, dress them up and take photos, I’d love to see your efforts. (I’m not reimbursing anyone for ink, though!)