I finally ordered the Lil Pocahontas from the My Little Fairy Tale line, and it’s got more surprises than I expected. I already called it the black sheep of the toy line, not actually being based on a fairy tale; and I mentioned how it’s the playset that proves these toys were knockoffs of the Disney versions of said stories.
But then it arrives in the mail, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s almost half the size of the rest! Even the dolls are at a smaller scale than Goldilocks, one of the smallest of the regular MLF dolls. Really caught me off guard, and it makes the tiny detailing of this set all the more impressive.
The landscape is impressively detailed and nicely colored, with a waterfall and creek cutting through the middle, and two different buildings to explore. The Chief doll is still my favorite part, with his amazingly detailed face. Pocahontas herself is pretty derpy with her distorted balloon head. I think this set is also missing an animal, since the deluxe carded version comes with two different animals.
I mentioned in the Lovely Kitty article that there were several alternate versions of this particular Polly Pocket knockoff, using the same molds with different names and different paint jobs. The others are Pretty Pixies, Petite Princess, and Betty’s Club. I suspect Lovely Kitty was the first — her name is still featured on the Betty’s Club version of the tennis/yacht race set.
I’ll be updating this post as I make new discoveries.
The first variant I got is a Pretty Pixies beach house with an easter egg colorscheme. I’m happy that the umbrella was intact. I later picked up a Petite Princess version of the beach house with a grim blue-and-burgundy horror-movie-night palette, and a Betty’s Club mini-locket depicting some kind of tropical campsite infested with rabbits.
Also interesting to note is the doll variants. Lovely Kitty looks like an albino blow-up doll, but her twins are much better painted and resemble proper pigtailed girls molded in better plastic. I suspect these are the dolls that go with Betty’s Club, though, because ebay listings of complete Pretty Pixies sets show yet another variant of Kitty with red hair and navy blue outfit: derp-wise she appears to be a hybrid of the first two, with normal skin tone but badly drawn-on face.
Most interesting of all the dolls is the smaller, better-dressed, and non-articulated Kitty, of which two have already popped up on Polly facebook groups lately. Her base is the same shape as the others, which originally led me to believe she was none other than the titular Petite Princess. However, I recently discoverd that was not the case when I purchased a carded ‘Princess set with the same red-haired doll mentioned above. So the identity of this little gal is still a mystery. (EDIT: Mystery solved in this article.)
It does appear, however, that Petite Princess included makeup items to set her apart from her cousins. The size of the cards appears to vary drastically as well.
Further inspection reveals the cardback referring to the product as “Petite Miss”, making things even more confusing.
Betty’s Club also sports this odd anomaly. Even on the cards, all the sets are the same, so I’m not sure where this fifth set came from — clearly a redesign of the yacht races set that I have. It clearly says Betty’s Club on the outside of the compact.
EDIT 6/4/2019: It must be an early version, because a carded one just popped up with yet another toy line name, Claire’s Secret Locket. The doll for this set is very different as well: no pigtails, and no waist hinge, but clearly it’s what the pigtailed version is based on.
I recently discovered the company Hinstar produced a ton of weird little knockoff toy lines in the 80s or 90s, mostly in the form of 6-inch vinyl soldier toys. Apparently they also dabbled briefly in the mini-playset scene with Small World – Pocket Paradise.
No idea why this series of toys was given the Small World header, unless there were other mini-playsets by Hinstar (EDIT: there indeed were, such as Power Striker Rangers). What’s interesting is that they’re sort of a Polly Pocket / Mighty Max style toy, but with a bootleg Sanrio flavor: all the figures are cartoon animals, which I initially mistook for carnival prizes since all these toys are carnival themed.
They are indeed endearing in their shoddiness. I was sure this one came with a frog, but I was mistaken. The hippo is pretty darn cute though.
I got this one because it had a ton of figures and I liked the design of the collapsing ferris wheel. There is also a train set, an eatery/octopus merry-go-round, and another one I have yet to identify.
There are also two or three mini-playsets with wrist straps, one of which I managed to get carded. The card was partly popped off from age (see yellowed plastic in bubble) and held on with staples, so I removed the staples in order to take it out whenever I want. Despite having nearly a dozen of these little Sanrio knockoff characters now, I still don’t have Bizarro Keroppi!
I really, REALLY hope this thing is legit: that a toy company repurposed the mold for Vicious Volcano when the Flintstones movie came out in 1994 (one year before Sammy Steel was a thing), and made this cute little playset thing.
Presumably if it IS real, there were two, and half the figures are from the other set.
Even if it’s a custom job, it’s pretty badass. Haven’t been able to find the figures anywhere on their own, and I don’t know yet if I want to shell out what the seller is asking for it without knowing for sure where it came from (he WAS nice enough to let me use his photos, though).
EDIT: THEY’RE REAL! Just found a listing with carded sets being sold in France! Apparently Flintstones were extremely popular there.
There are a number of Mighty Max toy variants that collectors will want to be aware of, some much rarer than others. I don’t have a single one, so I had to borrow photos from ebay and other places once again in order to archive them here. Excuse the occasional bad photo, since I didn’t take these, and due to Photobucket deciding to flush itself down the crapper and yank away everyone’s off-site hosted pics, I had to borrow thumbnails in some cases.
Corpus (Series 2) got a pastel makeover to make it less scary, I guess. Now it looks like the worst easter egg ever.
Battle Conqueror got a weird death metal repaint, making him look strangely modern.
Ice Alien (Series 1) has a rarely seen cousin, the Fire Alien. I’m not sure if that’s what it said on the card, too, or if that’s just the nickname for this odd variant, which may have come with one of the UK multi-packs.
Wolfship 7 (Series 1) gets another gaudy color scheme that makes the original toys look positively subtle. Either that or these variant aliens are colorblind.
This is an official variant of Scorpion (Series 2), made to resemble as closely as possible a shitty custom paint job by a mong on the internet.
I hope to find better pics of this one: the red variant of Kronosaur (Series 1), which still looks ridiculous, but not quite as bad as the others.
Aurore graciously donated these beautiful photos of the rare blue Lockjaw (Series 2). Guess Big Blue smothered to death in his pretty pink coffin.
There’s also a super rare periwinkle Rhesus variant apparently, which I’ve never seen apart from this photo.
I’ve also seen variants listed of Arachnoid, Skull Dungeon, and Doom Dragon (Series 1). The Arachnoid variant has a near-imperceptibly browner case, and with the latter two I failed to see any difference from the originals. As far as I know, these are all the official variants. Anything else is probably a knockoff or a shit custom repaint.