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Polly Pocket Collectibles Large and Small

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Polly Pocket Doll Size Comparison

Original Bluebird Toy Polly Pocket Doll's compared to later Mattel Polly Pocket 'Fashion' doll.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Large and Small Polly Pocket Ranges:

Polly Pocket is the trade name of two very different types of collectible toys featuring similar characters. The most current Polly Pocket is a series of dolls by Mattel, roughly 3 - 3/14 inches in height, with slip on stretch plastic clothing. These dolls have minimal jointing, and some have rooted saran hair. The original Polly Pocket dolls which entered the market in 1989, were very different from the ones currently on the market. The original Polly Pockets were only 1 inch tall (25mm), made of hard plastic with minimal jointing, and were sold by the Bluebird Toy Company in England. Bluebird was bought out by Mattel in 1998 and the Polly Pocket line was redesigned to a larger size and more 'fashion doll' appearance. With new regulations for toy choking hazards in many countries, Polly Pocket dolls have been redesigned several times to adjust the head and limb size.

Rough Scale Sizes of Polly Pocket Dolls:

For miniatures, the Bluebird Polly Pocket line at 25 mm or 1 inch, is roughly the scale height of common gaming figures. At one inch in height, the original hard plastic blue bird figures can be used for four foot tall children in 1:48 scale. The newer Mattel Polly Pocket figures, including the Disney line, are an odd size, representing 6- 7 foot tall figures in 1: 24 scale, or close to five foot figures in 3/4 inch (1:16 scale). The slightly small size for 1:16 scale makes these figures and furnishings useful for many modern scale scenes in modern toy houses, including those made by Brinca Dada, or older Lumby dolls houses.

Availability of Bluebird or 'Vintage' Polly Pocket Dolls and Sets:

The original Bluebird Polly Pocket Dolls and Sets are widely traded on sites like Ebay as "Bluebird Polly Pocket", and are often found at yard sales or collector toy shows where their prices are low enough to allow them to be adapted for smaller scale scenes. Some Bluebird Polly Pocket items were produced for use as McDonalds Kids Meal toys as well.

The Bluebird Polly Pockets were mainly sold as locket or clamshell playsets and later in house and cottage style playsets and are most valuable in full sets with all appropriate accessories. Many of the clamshell / compact sets featured moving parts, swivel chairs for the dolls, or theme related activities (balls that go over nets for example), as well as loose accessories for which fit the base of the dolls (skies etc.). If purchasing original Polly Pocket sets as collectibles, check to see that all accessories are included and that all activity parts function.

According to the Only Polly Pocket website, Mattel did issues some later reproductions of popular Bluebird Polly Pocket sets including the 1989 Wedding set,and Partytime Surprise, the 1990 Water Fun Park, and the 1993 Ballerina compact.

There are a number of farm, zoo and pet animals in the Bluebird Polly Pocket line as well. Some are flocked, while others are hard plastic. Some doll figures in the Bluebird line are available with partial 'real' hair.

Rough Introduction Dates of Bluebird Polly Pocket Sets:

Originally the tiny Bluebird Polly Pocket Dolls were sold as themed sets in plastic clamshell compacts or lockets, they were also sold as parts of hair slides, ear rings, clear domed lockets, pencil boxes, pencil toppers, rings, watches, money boxes, soap dishes and stamp sets. Here are some of the introduction dates for some of the main playsets.

  • 1991 Pullout playhouse similar to a make up case were introduced to the line in 1991
  • 1992 "Pop Ups" (lipstick tube style cases) were available in 1992
  • 1993 were the first playhouse style cases and light up cases
  • 1994 saw the introduction of larger house sets and light up houses to the line
  • 1995 Disney themed sets were introduced to the Bluebird Polly Pocket line along with a new 'book' style case. Earrings and bracelet compacts were available.
  • 1998 A range of unusual items were introduced, including a camera, mobile phone, and flashlight flashlight. Takeover of Bluebird toys by Mattel in 1998 resulted in the redesign of the Polly Pocket doll to feature an older looking, "fashion" variant of Polly and coincided with the introduction of the 3 1/2 inch 'fashion Polly' figures with their stretchable, removable clothing, which featured similar older featured dolls.

Online References and Photos:

Only Polly Pocket has great lists of playsets and photos of dolls and sets for id purposes. They also produce a collectors guidebook to the Bluebird dolls and later similar scale Mattel Polly Pockets. They have a reference section on their site outlining how to clean, repair and refinish the dolls and accessories.

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