Whenever 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.