MANTHINK: The 5 Greatest Girl Toy Lines Ever

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on July 31, 2013

in Nerd Culture

This is the first edition of a new feature called MANTHINK. Every time MANTHINK is referenced it will be in all caps, because as a great old friend once said: “Caps lock is cruise control for awesome”.

So what is MANTHINK? Based on past experiences it will be one of two things:

  • A “new recurring feature” that never recurs due to lack of interest (you are our focus group) -OR, at best-
  • A column that pops up on an irregular basis, highlighting the way men perceive things that we might not necessarily have the knowledge or experience to comment authoritatively on.

I can promise you this: every MANTHINK feature will be accompanied by a female perspective, to determine how far off base the men’s thinking was.

For the debut of MANTHINK, we are honored to welcome the perspective of blogger, creator and certified female Mandy Curtis (@mandyannecurtis). Mandy’s blog, Chocolate & Cream Cake, has more nerd news and obsessions than you can gobble in one day, so visit now and hit subscribe, so you can consume in healthy doses.

On with the MANTHINK!

We had 10 men individually rank what they perceive as the 5 greatest girl toy lines ever. We collected the lists, scored each entry 1-5 and established a composite ranking.

Toy lines that recieved votes but did not make the Top 5:

  • She-Ra
  • Jem
  • Polly Pocket
  • Rainbow Brite
  • The Littlest Pet Shop
  • EZ Bake Oven
  • Galoob’s Golden Girl

She-Ra presented an odd “girl toy anomaly”, since she was a memorable toy line that was spun off of a popular boys’ line and targeted at girls, so you would think it would have an unfair advantage in the eyes of boys, er MEN. She-Ra and her supporting cast are the only “girls” toys that are integral parts of a current “boys” toy line (aimed at adult collectors).

We’ll leave the in-depth analysis of the MANTHINK to Mandy, and you can read her reaction after the list. Here’s what we came up with:

  1. My Little Pony
  2. Barbie
  3. Care Bears
  4. Strawberry Shortcake
  5. Cabbage Patch Kids

While Barbie had the most #1 votes (7/10), My Little Pony was the only toy line that made all 10 panelists’ Top 5, which gave MLP the edge. In fact, not one panelist ranked MLP lower than #3. After tallying the scores, only 1 point separated Barbie and My Little Pony, and there was a considerable gap between them and #3, the Care Bears.

Here’s what Mandy had to say:

Y’all are pretty spot on when it comes to the top five, at least in the sense of the most well-known toys. Personally, I was more a “toddler of the 80s” than a true child (born in 1983), but can distinctly remember having something from all five of the toy lines mentioned.

Out of the five, my favorite were probably Barbies and My Little Ponies (MLPs); they were the easiest to create long, involved stories with (I was an only child and therefore needed to imagine my own friends a lot of the time), and, regardless of the fact that they totally weren’t to scale, my Barbies often went on rides on my MLPs. Something I also enjoyed about both MLPs and Strawberry Shortcake toys was that many of them were scratch-and-sniff. Did they smell great? Of course not. But it was an awesome gimmick.

My favorite 80s toy not on your list was the Popple. To this day, I curse the Great Purge of the Late 90s when I decided I was too old for stuffed animals and got rid of most of my childhood friends. I also played with a whole lot of LEGOs—my parents still have scars on the bottom of their feet to prove it—and will never believe that they’re “for boys.”

I now feel the need to go on an Ebay spree. I blame you.

Most importantly, pop on Twitter and tell @mandyannecurtis and @underscoopfire what YOUTHINK are the top girls toy lines ever.


Want more MANTHINK? Hit the comments and let us know which topic you’d like our undoubtedly short-sighted opinion on!

Hail Mary July 31, 2013 at 12:37 am

What does it say about the differences between males and females that there were only a total of 12 girls’ toylines that we could come up with, while if we made a list of top 5 boys’ toylines the list would probably be at least twice as long? Do we have shorter attention spans? Never mind, of course we do.

Howard Decker July 31, 2013 at 10:08 am

That’s an interesting point. Although, depending on the age of the men you asked, I bet there wouldn’t be more than 10 total responses. There were TONS of great toy lines growing up, but how many of them would we legitimately call Top5? GI Joe, Transformers, MOTU, MASK, Star Wars, TMNT would be on a lot of lists, and then the second tier like Thundercats, LJN WWF, Centurions, Inhumanoids, COPS, etc. I think some people would put those lesser known ones in their Top5 just to be different, but GI Joe, TF, MOTU are virtual locks for the top 5.

Dex (@Dex1138) July 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

I’d say Star Wars is a virtual lock for #1. It gave us 3.75″ figures.
But then, I’m a fanboy 😀

Kevin Hellions July 31, 2013 at 8:22 am

MANTHINK: How men think certain female things work, and a woman explaining how wrong we are. Make up, periods, the female orgasm!

Howard Decker July 31, 2013 at 10:04 am

As I agree that we have no idea how any of those things work, I think MAN don’t want to THINK about it, so we perpetually play the blissfully ignorant card.

Bianchi79 July 31, 2013 at 9:48 am

yep, this could be my favorite new thing. Keep ’em coming! Soap operas? Medical dramas? Romance novels?

Dex (@Dex1138) July 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

Or go in the total opposite direction and try to create a woman’s Top 5 list of “man” things…er, wait…”manly” things. No, that still sounds dirty.

What I mean is a topic like “best action movie”, “wrestlers”, stuff you’d normally think are more male biased.

Mandy July 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

It could be called MAN(dy)THINK! I like this idea.

Also: Giving my opinion on action movies would be right up my alley. I am a HUGE fan.

Colt July 31, 2013 at 11:22 am


Mandy July 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Apparently, I married a neanderthal. <3

Howard Decker July 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

All married women do!

Mandy July 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thanks so much for having me (and for the glowing intro)! I look forward to future MANTHINK posts and would love to take part again—I have ALL OF THE OPINIONS and never shy away from sharing them. 😉

Count_Marzo July 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

She-Ra, Jem, and Ponies are my girly 1, 2, and 3! 😀

In all seriousness, Barbie is and always will be number 1. She is the reason Mattel® is the greatest toy company on earth. 😉

Howard Decker July 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

You are very wise Marzo. You will definitely be on future MANTHINK panels.

Jay (@JCorduroy) July 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm

This was a blast to participate in – can’t wait for the future of MANTHINK!

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