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Monday, September 21 2015 18:52

Review: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE 35th Birthday Collection by The Bridge Direct

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2015 Rock Father Holiday Wish GuideWhenever I discuss STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE here on the site, there always seems to be a preface that I've written about the residents of Berry Bitty City a lot over the past five years. Like STAR WARS, RAINBOW BRITE, JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS, CABBAGE PATCH KIDS, the CARE BEARS, et al, Strawberry Shortcake falls into that category of "classic characters" that are truly timeless. This year, she's celebrating her 35th Birthday, and the folks at The Bridge Direct are turning back the clock with some retro-reproductions of classic dolls, and they're keeping their modern series rolling as well, with some new releases perfect for the upcoming gifting season. In fact, I'm including all of the items featured right here in my annual Holiday Wish Guide!

The Rock Daughters

Timed with the release of STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: BERRY TALES on DVD, there's a new 6" doll two-pack available as a Toys "R" Us Exclusive (one that answers my call for a Huckleberry Pie figure - albeit "as Prince Charming"), and while we don't yet have that set, we did receive the all-new Strawberry Shortcake House & Cafe Playset, which is done in the perfect scale for those dolls - and all the rest of their just-released "Surprise Party" friends.

Cafe Playset

Being knee deep in the Holiday review season here at Rock Father HQ, this is an example of something that arrives and quickly jumps to the front of the queue, immediately capturing The Rock Daughters' interest - especially little Finley. She wanted this thing open so bad that she went to bed one night being told "tomorrow," and at 6am the following morning, she was whispering in my ear, "Daddy, can we open Strawberry Shortcake now?" Finn just loves figures and playsets, and this one is no exception. I've even spotted the Guardians of the Galaxy and Daniel Tiger paying Strawberry Shortcake a visit for a quick bite in her cafe, and the fact that her little cat "Cupcake" comes with it is just a bonus. There's a table with a couple of cups and a cake, some party balloons and a Strawberry doll, too - and it all folds up neatly into a nice little package.

Strawberry Shortcake Cafe

The retro dolls really captured my wife's interest, but what she's really been hoping for is something that no one's seemed to re-issue yet - a 1982 Baby Strawberry Shortcake originally produced by Kenner. What we have here are a pair of reproduction dolls that capture all the original details from the first crop released way back in 1980, and I remember these well - particularly the 6" doll that my sister once had. She's very similar, if not identical to the original - with her poofy hat, dress, leggings, shoes... and that unmistakable scent.

The Classic Rag Doll is soft and snuggly - a lot like a Raggedy Ann. Addie actually asked me about her hair - "What is this made of, Daddy?" - unfamiliar with the texture of real yarn when used in a toy.

Strawberry Shortcake Classic Rag Doll

Overall, these are fantastic additions to The Bridge Direct's growing assortment of Strawberry Shortcake items, but if I were to make one suggestion: Bring back Sour Grapes and Purple Pieman. I had both of those as a kid, and they were fun villains. 

The Strawberry Shortcake 6" Classic Doll is available as a Target-Exclusive right now (MSRP is just $9.99), while the Strawberry Shortcake Classic Rag Doll is available at both Barnes & Noble and Toys "R" Us stores (MSRP is $19.99). The Strawberry Shortcake House & Cafe Playset is available at Toys "R" Us stores (MSRP is $29.99). Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales is available on DVD now from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Want more STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE? Check out some of our past reviews:
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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