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Spectra was Spacy, Lacy and Out of this World
In 1987, the Mattel company decided to do something very interesting with their Barbie Doll molds. They added a metall! Not real metal, but a metalicized plastic. With this addition Spectra was born.
Spectra was the main character in a line of Shimeroons, which were for the most part ,standard 11 inch Barbie-sized dolls with metallic bodies, vibrantly colored hair and human-style faces.
According to the release:
Meet the Shimmerons! They’re five gleaming, beaming teenage friends from the Planet Shimmeron! What on Earth are they doing here? Well, Spectra wanted to discover why the Planet Earth is number one for teenage fun, and show you how fun is done on the Planet Shimmeron! So she gathered her lacy space friends together and brought them to Earth! Here on Earth, the Shimmerons are discovering skateboards, hot dogs, rock music and shopping malls! Wherever the Shimmerons go, they’re a glittering sensation! Their hair and skin shimmer and shine so bright, people stop to put on their sunglasses and famous fashion designers everywhere are trying to copy their space lace fashions. Introduce the Shimmerons to the latest trends on Earth. They’ll surprise you with their own Shimmeron space magic that’s out-of-this-world!
The line was not very popular, so only the initial set of characters were released without only one addon accessory. Although, because of their size, they can take advantage of anything from the Barbie universe.
In addition to some extra outfits, the one accessory they released was pretty amazing and demonstrated the potential of Spectra. It was the Buffatron Beauty Buffer & Space-age bed.
This bed, was specially designed for Shimeroons and met their needs for regular buffing of their metallic bodies. It is remarkable!
They released 5 Shimmeroons. Spectra, AstraGold, StylaBlue, Tom Comet and UltraViolet. Spectra also has an amazing space-age furry friend named, Spark. Spark is by far my favorite of the lot.
I feel like these toys rode the same metallic toy trend that saw the release of the SilverHawks, which was a cartoon and toyline released the same year. While they were not as popular as the SilverHawks, their fates were very similar. Both were interesting toylines that had a lot of potential, but sadly did not get the attention they deserved.
Sadly, while SilverHawks are well-remembered, Spectra and friends are more of a footnote. Outside of collectors, it is a more of a novelty. Looked at as only a faddish relic of the eighties. Unfortunately, most are not able to glimpse the lost potential in this remarkable, but small toyline.