Even if you didn’t grow up in the 80s, you’ll still probably appreciate the cheesy awesomeness of this cartoon and TV show character branded children’s merchandise. These ads were featured in catalogs and urged 80s parents to buy their Americana darlings everything from Cabbage Patch Kid dolls to Garfield sheets. Everything was themed: if you were a little girl who watched Rainbow Brite, you obviously wanted to be the Rainbow Brite girl: ribbons, sheets, toys and all.
Rather frighteningly, the Rainbow Brite merchandise advert reads “Decorate your favorite little girl’s room with the world of Rainbow Brite. You’ll make her room a little brighter and her heart a little lighter.” Why on earth would a little girl’s heart be so heavy that she’d need to live in rainbow land? And what about the less favorite little girl? Does she get the scary Gremlin doll?
Everything – not just parties – had to be themed and God forbid they weren’t. If you had Care Bear sheets (with rich ruffles and disco-colored hearts) then you could have Care Bear wallpaper as well. If little girls and boys had a sleepover, you’d be a nobody without your Cabbage Patch or He-Man and the Masters of the Universe weekend bag.
They’re not all bad – some, like the Smurfs collection, is actually quite cute and not too hard on the eyes. I don’t mind Garfield either – in fact I never have – he’s got everything figured out: you have to be snotty to survive, and sleep and filling meals are a must.