When Rainbow Brite hit the scene back in 1983 it took hold. Created by none other than Gary Glissmeyer, Cheryl Cozad, and Dan Drake of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Rainbow Brite had dolls and toys, produced by Mattel. In addition to the images of the more popular characters being found on clothing, bedding, and other media.
The sales of Rainbow Brite merchandise also led to an animated series in 1984. With Warner Bros. releasing the feature-length animated movie Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer to theaters in 1985. An adventure that leads R.B. and the Color Kids to attempt to thwart a Winter on Earth. A supernatural and never-ending cold brought on by Stormy, the opposite of our heroine.
There is of course a lot of songs included in the film. Naturally.
With all of this popularity it only stands to reason that fast food giants of the time would jump in. Incredibly popular places like Taco Bell for example. Instead of focusing on offering R.B. dolls they wisely chose to sell Sprites. The hardworking and lovable companions to R.B. and the Color Kids.
Check out these great 8-bit images from artist Jude Buffum in 2009. “Care Bear Carnage” sees Teddy Ruxpin having his heart ripped out by Care Bear Tenderheart whilst “Rainbow Bloodbath” has Rainbow Brite ‘finishing’ Strawberry Shortcake!
Be sure to check out the artist website where you’ll find a wealth of other 8-bit art!
As it is Easter time, I thought I’d have a quick look around for some retro-inspired Easter Eggs. This was the first thing that caught my eye!
The 1984 Smurf Wrap-an-Egg package encourages you to decorate 12 eggs in ‘just seconds’! It’s easy to do, there’s no fuss and no messy paints or dyes! So that’s a win for everyone, right?
Looking at the instructions, I’m pretty sure the children needed to be supervised for this task as you were required to dip the wrapper-on-egg combo into boiling water for 3 seconds. Once you were done, you would be the proud owner of some hard-boiled eggs with Smurf Wrappers atop… actually, I’m starting to think this was a raw deal for those craving a sweet treat!
There were also Rainbow Brite and Peanuts versions too:
The quintessential 80s hero was a loner, right? Well, almost. Sure there were lone wolves like Rambo, Stringfellow Hawk, and Chuck Norris in any Chuck Norris movie, but lots of 80s heroes had companions. This was especially true in the toy realm as many toy figures came with companion figures. Here are a few examples.
Rainbow Brite & Twink. I never owned a Rainbow Brite. I’m not sure I ever even saw one in the flesh (er, stuffing?). But as I understood it, each Rainbow Brite character came with a color-coordinated sprite like Rainbow’s Twink.
Strawberry Shortcake & Custard. I never owned any Strawberry Shortcake character, but I did see a few, and I know that each came with an animal friend. Custard the Cat belonged to Strawberry.
Sectaurs. Now here is something I could get into. Each Sectaur warrior had an insect symbiote. Some were large enough to ride (or fly) on, but others were smaller, like Zak and Bitaur.
Other World. Bendable action figures from Arco. They not only had glow in the dark weapons, but the hero Ronin came with two companions, Jipps and Mogs (I think Mogs was actually an enemy, but he was little and cute, so who cares).