Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show - He-Man

This Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show Has The Power!

Since 1945 Mattel Toys has been bringing an amazing amount of happiness to children. For those of who grew up in the 80s however it was a very recognizable name. It is no surprise why Gallery 1988 decide to host a Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show!

Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show -

Image courtesy of Leilani Joy.

Now while in fact Barbie made her debut back in 1959, I think the doll had a heavy presence in the 80s too. If you take into account the many careers she was offered during that time. From fitness instructor to ice cream parlor owner as well as song writer and performer in fact. At least if we are to judge this TV commercial compilation that is!

[Via] Ads “R” Us

While I think it is safe to say that the Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show will feature more than a few pieces of art focusing on Barbie. It will in addition be featuring a lion’s share of artwork focusing on Masters of the Universe!

Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show - Cuyler Smith

Image courtesy of Cuyler Smith.


Image courtesy of Dan Mumford.

While I have more than a few fond as well as epic memories of my time with He-Man and the other Masters of the Universe toys. I likewise spent many Summers with my cousins playing Barbie. While they may have thought I was Sun Lovin’ Malibu Ken. I was in fact playing as Barney Hiller, the 7 million dollar rogue cyborg from The Six Million Dollar Man!


[Via] Soundtracks Archives

As has been abundantly noted the Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show will feature both Barbie and He-Man. However some of these artists with the show will also shine a spotlight on toys like the Magic 8 Ball!

Image courtesy of Cuddly Rigor Mortis.

Because of this I am hoping that we get some Cap’n Crunch insired artwork too.

[Via] Doctor Dreadful

The Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show begins on June 23rd.


For further information of course you should visit the Gallery 1988 official site. A big thanks to Germain Lussier of io9 for the heads up on this new exhibit. As well as providing the illustrations you see above!

In addition to this offering from the talented artists of Gallery 1988. You might wish to check out Clark Orr’s “Pop Culture Postage” artwork!

John Travolta 12″ Doll

(Sorry… “Action Figure”)

This licensed John Travolta doll was released by Chemtoy in 1977. This would have been in the middle of Travolta’s run as Vinnie Barbarino in the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, and the same year that Saturday Night Fever hit theaters.

One interesting thing about this toy is that the front of the box advertises that the doll can also wear clothes made for Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend) and Donnie (Marie’s brother). Funny, I can’t imagine John Travolta, Tony Manero, or Vinnie Barbarino wearing anything from Ken or Donnie’s wardrobe.

For those of you who are curious, the doll is not anatomically correct. Noticeably missing are any nostrils, which means there is no way to shove a rubber hose up Travolta’s nose.

Dream Glow Barbie

You can find Dream Glow Barbies and Kens on the web at pretty affordable prices. Affordable enough to make all your glow in the dark Barbie dreams come true. I was doing a search for something else, when I found this ad for the Dream Glow line and just like a dozen other Barbie tag lines, this one was stuck in my brain and I found myself singing along. How did they do that?

Oh well, what is interesting about this commercial is that they say right in the ad that they are using special fabric to enhance the glow effect for tv. I wonder how close the real dolls were when you got them home. Oh and just a reminder, if you love playing with your toys, nothing is better than playing with them all ghostly and barely visible in a pitch black room.

Island Fun Barbie

When I can sing along to the the entire theme song to Island Fun Barbie. It raises the question, “What kind of TV was I watching in the late 1980s?” I did watch a lot of Jem, but I cannot remember where this ad ran. Oh well.

I cannot say I ever got to play much with the Barbies, but Island Fun Barbie with her slightly frizzy (humid island appropriate) long hair, looks like she is having fun. Especially with that water fall filled lagoon that the girls in the video get to play with. If I had that, it would have made a great exotic base for Zartan and his Dreadnoks.

I do not think Island Fun Barbie was very popular. You can still get a vintage one in box at a reasonable price on Amazon.