In an era when girls toys were pink and feminine and boys toys were guns and trucks, this classic line of action figures tried to break the mold and aim for both target markets.
Easily one of the best and well made action figure lines of the 1980’s to hit the toy stores without the aid of an in-production cartoon series to boost sales, Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones by Galoob was, in reality, a step up in quality to that of Mattel’s She-Ra line – yet failed miserably in comparison of sales.
With both lines aimed at the young female market, Golden Girl and She-ra were created to counteract the dominance of the girly Barbie line and offer girls a chance to play with their brothers when He-Man and Greyskull Castle were brought out to play. Both featured strong, blonde, caped women in charge, a bevvy of sidekicks and a desire to kick some evil guy butt.
But…when comparing the two lines, especially in this day and age, Golden Girl easily beats out the Princess of Power.
Golden Girl tells the tale of ‘Golden Girl’ and her gemstone guardians, whose main aim was to protect the citizens of Argonia from the evil Dragon Queen.
Each Golden Girl figure came displayed in a windowed box with stunning artwork, a reversible cape, an awesome and heavy die-cast metal shield, a weapon with belt, headdress piece and of course, a comb so you can re-set Golden Girls do’ after a nasty battle in the sandpit.
In all, there were 11 figures released in the line – Golden Girl and her cohort of do-gooders including Jade, Onyx, Rubee, Saphire, and Prince Korma while Dragon Queen brought along Moth Lady, Ogra, Vultura and Wild One.
The figures themselves were taller than She-Ra, more body proportionate, had bendable legs and actually seemed more in-place, aesthetically, with he-man than his sister ever did. The paint aps on each figure were impressive for the market, especially that of Dragon Queen and Vultura who both featured an impressively evil face-up and made the line feel a bit more edgier. Even with the addition of a castle playset, two horses, a chariot, coloring books, board game and three series of fashions, Galoob and Golden Girl lost in the battle of female heroines and the line was sadly pulled from shelves only after a year.
What seemed to be one of Galoob and Golden Girls biggest problems was it’s lack of direction in target market when in the 80’s boys played with He-man and girls played with Barbies and there was no grey area. While it was clear She-Ra – with all her pinkness and femininity was aimed at girls, Golden Girl’s look was (as noted above) edgier and somewhat more masculine and it alienated the female market while the figures rooted hair and toy combs was passed on by the boys (you’ll remember while He-Man characters Teela and Evil-Lyn was given figures, both featured basic screenings and molded hair)
Check out the original Golden Girl announcement advert here
Before the line’s cancellation, there was talk of a second series of figures which included some amazing designs and playset concepts including Dymonda, Spidra, Turquoise, Dragon Queen’s Throne, and Centura.
The figures, which were sold for a few bucks back in the 80’s, can today, fetch well over $50 for a carded figure, more for the horse and chariot and even more for a boxed play set. For a line that was some-what confusing as to which gender it was aimed at and that lasted only a year (1984-85), it has now found itself a market with adult collectors who appreciate the grittier design of these vintage action figures.
Check out some very old adverts below!