Sexy Toy Make-Overs: Polly Pocket, Care Bears, and Barbie


by Lisa Wade, Cross-posted with permission from Sociological Images

We’ve enjoyed documenting the recent trend of sexifying toys, including Dora the ExplorerStrawberry Shortcake, Holly HobbieLisa Frank, Trolls, Cabbage Patch KidsMy Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, and Candy Land, and Lego (you can see them all together on our Sexy Toy Make-Overs Pinterest board).

Let’s start with Barbie because given how she’s the quintessential sexy toy, I think it’s surprising that she’s been made over.  I found evidence for the Barbie make-over at Feminist Philosophers.  They put up the image below showing how Barbie’s torso was changed in the 2000s to one that was slimmer and with a more arched back:







Cynical Idealism posted about the Care Bear make-over.  The toys have been made both thinner, more flirty, and less androgynous.

Care Bears Then:


Care Bears Now:



I learned about the Polly Pocket make-over at Feminist Fatale.  Whereas in the 1980s, Polly Pocket looked kind of like an infant and came with various accessories, today’s Polly Pocket is decidedly more Barbie-like.

1980s Polly Pocket:

Today’s Polly Pocket:

(source: Mattel)

So, there you have it! Three more sexy toy make-overs.


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



  1. […] Are toy manufacturers “sexifying” girls’ toys? See the evidence on Adios Barbie here. […]