Remember Herself the Elf?

Herself the Elf was a short-lived 1980s toyline created by American Greetings/Mattel and targeted at young girls. If your not familiar with the line, it was similar to Strawberry Shortcake or Rainbow Brite. It was a fairly well thought out release. In addition to a series of high quality dolls, they also released animated cartoons, books and records.

I spot the toys at flea markets and online from time to time and even in box they are pretty reasonable. The books on the other hand are a complete bargain. I have seen them online in decent shape available for just about the cost of shipping. The animated adventures of Herself have not been released on DVD yet, but if you have a trusted VCR still laying around, you can pick up a copy on VHS (although because of rarity, the price continues to climb).

Herself is oddly forgotten by people who grew up in the 1980s, which is a shame. It was a decently crafted toyline and in my opinion was certainly at least the equal of its contemporaries. I guess it just comes down to numbers and Herself was just one toy too many. Still some people like potato farm girl are helping to keep the memory of Herself alive.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Drahken

    I don’t think herself is so much “forgotten” as “never heard of”. I think it just never got the publicity that ones like strawberry shortcake & rainbow brite did. I think I vaguely recall girls in school mentioning herself the elf back in the day, but I never saw/heard of a cartoon, toys, greeting cards, nor anything else.

    I did however watch the herself special on youtube a few months back, it was pretty good for what it was.

  2. The Retroist

    @Drahken – You are right that might be a more apt way of describing Herself.

  3. I’ve heard of the franchise. Back then I thought the competition among Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite and Herself the Elf was interesting. All three are similarly themed franchises aimed at girls yet Herself the Elf lost that battle.

    I guess living in a world of pastries and desserts has more appeal. If I was a girl I know I’d pick Strawberry Shortcake over the other two.


    I just found a Herself the Elf bulletin board for $0.50 at my local thrift shop and knew it had to come home with me. I grew up listening to a Herself the Elf book on record over and over again, and adored my purple ruffly Herself nightgown. But I was also well aware that she was not as popular as her berry-themed cousins. My friends did not have Herself merch and I actually never saw the TV special until I looked it up on YouTube. Many thanks to bloggers like yourself for keeping Herself alive.

  5. Jennifer Myers

    I loved Herself the Elf when I was younger. Sadly when I outgrew her my movies and toys were passed down to my cousins and are gone 🙁

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