Sweet Secrets had a long and bountiful run during the amazing late-eighties, early-nineties era. It started small -- a few gemmed lockets that opened up to reveal a pocket sized friend inside. They were friends that kept themselves close by. With a string or a clip, Sweet Secrets quickly became hidden in a sparkling piece of jewelry.
It wasn't long before the craze spread, soon spawning off into everything from horses, pandas, and sea creatures. The original group of 3 dolls from 1985 faired so well that by 1986 Galoob produced 28 more items. They became combs, lipstick, blush, even school supplies. The empire rose with it's own jeweled villages filled with houses, pools, and beauty salons where the customers doubles as beauty products.
It was toys like Sweet Secrets that made a girl feel empowered. Sure Optimus Prime could transform, but Sweet Secrets transformed AND opened up to a compartment of make-up AND became a piece of jewelry. Old Opty P couldn't turn into ice if his life depended on it.
Tea parties were better when they involved wearing Sweet Secrets lockets. Sleepovers were better with Sweet Secrets makeovers. Polly Pocket should have averted her eyes in shame at their presence. Every plastic piece was not only precious but beautiful and fun as well. The only thing better than a tiny secret friends is a tiny secret friend with make-up and accessories.
One of the unfortunate pieces of Sweet Secrets history was despite their royal takeover of the girls' toy industry, they never spawned their own cartoon series. Girl exclusive shoes aren't as profitable as boy ones in the eyes of the networks. Sadly, even fantastic female toys like Sweet Secrets are overlooked for lesser testosterone backed action figures. Sweet Secrets certainly deserved a back to back TV spot with Mighty Max.
Popples or Purr-Tenders switched around with a tuck and a fold, but Sweet Secrets had way more hidden fun. They've often be referred to as "Transformers for girls," which is pretty true to the toy.
The basic Sweet Secrets doll had a round hollow body with a gem in the middle. Their head, arms, and feet would tuck into their bodies so they could be used as jewelry pieces. Each doll came with a barrette and a necklace attachment so you could accessorize as needed. Because of their portability they were a perfect toy to take on car rides or sneak along to boring church services. You had the perfect excuse, too. "No mommy, I'm not taking any toys with, that's just my barrette!" You just had to be careful not to fasten them too tightly, or you'd have a heck of a knot in your hair.
The creme de la creme of the Sweet Secrets world was the dollhouse. A lot of standard dollhouses don't feature things like stairs, but the Sweet Secrets had a staircase worthy of one of those hokey slow-motion descents -- the kind you'd see a Hollywood starlet walk down while greeting her prom date in a cheap summer blockbuster. Only in the Sweet Secrets world you didn't have to worry about the girl going off with the captain of the football team and leaving the sweet, lifetime plutonic guy friend behind. Why? Because there weren't any Sweet Secrets boys.
Sweet Secrets weren't all playsets and tiny bracelet buddies. There were Sweet Secrets plush purses, hats, jackets, and even fully-functional clocks and radios. It's lamentable a phenomenal toy line that lasted from nearly from 1984 to 1996 no longer cashes in at the memory bank. Everyone remembers that Jem was truly outrageous, and that nobody Cares like a Bear, but Sweet Secrets seem to have been buried in a hefty pile of smooze.
Okay, it's forgivable that not everyone remembers My Sweet 16 make-up or Rose Petal Place like I do. I still think that since Galoob was sold to Hasbro in 1998, they'd be doing a world of good to bring back Sweet Secrets. But, if I can at least get more people to overpay for them on eBay, I'll have done my job.