Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Double Trouble

Toy Chest Tuesday is finally ready to begin. I enjoy this time of the week for many reasons. For one I get to actually remember some of the stuff that I have in my archival room. (This Toy Chest is one I could never forget owning though!) Secondly I realize that pretty much every toy I have owned from a child to the present day always has some sort of story attached to it. There are wonderful memories tied to every toy. Hopefully this will all aid me in my prevention of dementia when I gracefully turn 96 years young. I will more than likely have cybernetic parts keeping my raggedy body together, but I will be doing it in style.

Speaking of style, let's look at another stylish addition to the Princess of Power toyline from Mattel. This is not the first time a POP action doll has made an appearance on Toy Chest. The faithfull reader knows that many POP gals have already been colorfully discussed on this blog. Now the spotlight is ready to shine on Double Trouble, the glamorous double agent! Let's look at some photos!

Released in 1984 by Mattel, Double Trouble was a part of the 1st series of POP toys. She came on the standard Series 1 card, with She-Ra riding Swiftwind in the background. I still can't help but smile when I see this packaging. The shades of purples and pinks with some golds mixed in just made me so happy. I would go to Toysrus and just stare at the shelf display of all the POP characters. It was truly magical.

Anyways Double Trouble was the "green" character. Each POP character from the first wave had a specific color scheme. (i.e. Frosta had a lot of blue, She-Ra wore white, Castaspella had some yellows and oranges...) This was a theme for many toylines at the time, like Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite. The concept is also used for many toylines in the present. There is just something fun about each character wearing a specific color.

Other items that were packaged with Double Trouble included a removeable cape and skirt as well as the mini-comic titled Journey to Mizar. Unlike the other POP toys, Double Trouble did not have a great deal of rooted hair. She only came with a large ponytail. I can't help but wonder if Madonna stole Double Trouble's look for the Blonde Ambition tour. I really hope I'm not that only one that has ever thought that.

There was a reason though for Double Trouble's ponytail and unique green helmet. She had an action feature! If we flip the toy package over we can see exactly what made her such a big deal. Like Man-E-Faces from the Masters of the Universe toyline, Double Trouble was able to switch her face. By turning the dial on her back, Double Trouble could go from a sweet fresh faced Rebel, to a bold evil Horde-look. (I always enjoyed the evil face more than the goody-two-shoes one.)

The back of the package shows what the two faces look like. The "sweet" one has that dewy look, or maybe it's Maybelline. The "evil" face just has some bold unkempt eyebrows and heavy eye shadow. The artwork for the two heads was very cool. The drawings actually captured what the toy looked like. I would actually bust out my old Double Trouble to show real pictures of the two heads, but I fear switching her head would result in a catastrophic turn of events that would leave me entirely devastated. (And Double Trouble in real toy trouble.)

Either way the rest of the package featured the fantastic characters from Wave 1. Click here for a fun run down on this series. Again, the artwork was always fun. This toyline was truly magical and helped inspire a great deal of my imagination.

For some added factoid goodness, Double Trouble was a very unsual toy. She never appeared in the She-Ra cartoon and was only ever really mentioned in some of the Golden Books, mini-comics, and coloring books. This does not happen often for toylines. Usually a toyline that is based off of a cartoon or movie will feature toys that are in the show. Since Double Trouble never factored into the old cartoon, I have often wondered what her storyline would have been like. Hence why it was important for me to include her in my She-Ra fanfiction, Adora's Search for Honor. Being a double agent is not as glamorous as it seems. (If you haven't been reading the fanfiction yet, give it a shot. It isn't some great masterpiece of literary wonderment, but it is a lot of fun.)

One final little bit of information about Double Trouble and the POP toyline involves the reuse of parts. It is common knowledge that the reason the MOTU and POP toylines were so successful for Mattel was that most of the figures reused the same sculpted parts. For example, Double Trouble and Sweet Bee share the same leg and boot sculpts, they just have different paint jobs. Catra and Sweet Bee also share the same bodice. However, the reuse of shared parts was used far more with the MOTU toyline than with the POP toyline.

This is yet another reason why POP was such a special line. Each action doll was given special detail. Some parts may have been reused for different characters, but each toy had unique clothing and rooted hair to go with the painted faces and other sculpted parts. (No other POP gal dared to wear Frosta's thigh high boots, ok?) Double Trouble was also one of the more unique sculpts for the line. That green helmet was made just for her. (It was never reused for any other character.) This all may be old news for POP fans, but I just find it fascinating at the amount of work that was put into the POP toyline. POP may not have had as many figures as the MOTU line, but POP did have a lot of heart and quality. I hope to see more of that on display with the 4 Horsemen sculpting and designing more POP characters for the new Masters of the Universe Classics line!

So that is about it for this week's Toy Chest Tuesday! I hope you all enjoyed looking back on Double Trouble. I also realize I owe you all a Dorkette Book Club post from last week, I was a bit behind to say the least. I will deliver though. A new month is also approaching, so you all know what that means! (insert catchy theme song for a new Heroic Hottie) So keep it here!


  1. Double Trouble WAS one of the most interesting characters. In the mini comics it was funny to read how Catra didn't know that DT was someone else on the side of good--all that was different was her face Catra, what's wrong with you! LOL!!!

    She-Ra figures did have some of the best package art in the 80's, I think my favorite was the She-Ra on Swiftwind from the first series, I also liked the full head to toe drawing of the character on the back--I remember you said that you like the "head-shot?" Really nice art for toys.

    You have a room you keep the figures in, are they on shelves? Have any photos?

    Great Toy Chest!

  2. I know! The whole dual identity thing has always made me laugh, because it's so obvious! He-Man just has a nice tan, She-Ra's hair is longer than Adora's. lol Some folks on Eternia and Etheria need to hone their Nancy Drew skills.

    I also loved the full head to toe drawings of the characters too. I think those drawings were always so pretty. Adding the faces was alos interesting, because the cards could've just had one picture. But to have both was really neat and different.

    And yes, I do have a room. There are some shelves in the room, but I am far from finished getting everything set up. I will probably be getting everything finished by the time I'm 96. lol

    Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed!

  3. I so loved this doll from the She-Ra line, one of my favourites, I especially loved being able to change her face from good to evil depending on how I wanted my own storylines to go when I was acting them out, lol!

    1. I know! The whole changing face feature was like having two figures in one. There were so many possibilities for storylines and stuff. This was a really great toy.

  4. Too often actually, for various reasons, action figure characters don't make it into their associated animated series.
    In motu the reason was usually because a cartoon had finished production by the time the figure came out. that's why the horde ended up on She-ra, because he-man had wrapped- and that's how so many of us lil' boys ended up secretly watching a girls cartoon. In retrospect it is funny that such a gruesome bunch of villains ended up on show aimed at girls! I mean Hordak, Leech, mantenna and modulok are a pretty unsavory bunch. (grizzlor had all that fur you could brush so he fit in better)
    But one of the most mysterious examples of toy-series tie-ins that never were in history was the strange case of "Wyrm" a character in the Ninja turtles universe. Almost every time a turtle toy commercial showed an animated clip of a character it was taken from the TMNT cartoon, but the character Wyrm is shown briefly in animated form in his toy commercial -in a clip animated exactly in the same style as the show-but then that character never appeared on the cartoon. The animation was never seen again. And I really WANTED him on the cartoon too cuz he was bad ass. (he does appear in the Turtles comics that were put out by Archie, but he looks quite different in those.)To this day I wonder if that was animated just for the commercial or if their was a whole wyrm episode that got scrapped. I guess that's the kind of thing that only plagues the thoughts of a true dork.

    1. Yeah the bit about why the Horde ended up as the main villains for She-Ra was very interesting. The old BCI dvds really had a lot of great background details on the creation of the She-Ra cartoon.

      As for Wyrm, that is so interesting! I never knew that! But I know what you mean about those little odd things happening that go unexplained. It drives me nuts. And as for Wyrm, I do remember the toy. I never wanted him because I thought he was really gross. But looking back at it now, he is a pretty cool figure. TMNT always had really neat and strange looking toys.

  5. Double Trouble... ahhh, another one of my favorites from the POP line. Seriously, all of the 1st wave figures are so perfect it would be hard for me to pick a favorite (well, except that Catra is my favorite, LOL). Double Trouble was like this glittery glamorous gauzy emerald who could play both sides. But since she wasn't on the 'toon, and since I didn't have the minicomic she was featured in (mine came with Journey to Mizar probably, didn't they all?) I could never decide if she was supposed to be bad pretending to be good... or good pretending to be bad. Always seemed like Catra needed an ally, but then when Entrapta came along I felt a little sorry for Double Trouble. One thing I loved about her, besides all the green, was her cape because it was shorter than a regular cape and had that cool billowy style, almost like sleeves, and the fab collar.

    Side story: I'm pretty sure I got her for my birthday along with Two-Bad, the 2-headed dude from Masters. Sort of an odd pair to come packaged together in a present. Both had 2 personas... so it really was "double trouble!"

    1. I did like that she was this big emerald. Her cape was really fun. I liked the shortness of it too, as well as her skirt. I believe the Journey to Mizer came with all the Double Troubles, I don't know that she was featured in any other of the mini comics, but I do think she was in a UK comic? I'm not sure. I guess I should have looked that up more. I do know she was featured in some story books and coloring books. And I totally get you on which side she was on. I never really knew which side she needed to be on either. She was really a mysterious character. And that sounds like a cool birthday gift, Two-Bad and Double Trouble! Love it!

    2. DT is in the mini-comic that features Frosta. I can't recall the whole story, but I remember there being snow and DT using her bad face to trick Catra. Her helmet is also drawn differently... more like a round biker helmet. It's kinda neat that she wasn't on the show though, just makes her even more mysterious!!


    3. That is right! I was thinking she was in one of the minicomics, I just couldn't recall which one. I wish I had held on to my minicomics better, but they are missing. Whatever I have is still on card. I know He-Man.org is also a good site that compiles a great deal of She-Ra publications, like the minicomics. But yeah, Double Trouble is a super mysterious character.

    4. Eeek, you are going to have me in trouble. I am sooo wanting to get a Catra, a Casta, a Starburst She-Ra, and some of the others now... carded, I think. But prices are sooo freakin' high on them now. I recently saw a boxed Clawdeen on an old-toys website for $30! She was on there forever too - everytime I stopped by to look around there she was. Now that I'd love to buy her, I go check again and she's gone. Boohoo. Add that to my list of Toy Regrets. Oh well, you snooze you lose... that's what I get for taking a "catnap." Hehe.

    5. Oh I would have died to own a Clawdeen for 30 dollars. But in terms of the other characters, you just need to be patient. Sometimes they show up on ebay for a decent price. I mean I think I paid like 40-something for my Casta, and that was like a year ago? Maybe a year and a half. I mean in terms of what they used to cost, 40-something is obviously a lot, but it can be done. I wish you luck, and I apologize in advance for any trouble that you find yourself in! lol

  6. I'm pretty sure wyrm was created by Ryan Brown.A huge influence of mine-he was this guy who had the best job ever at Mirage studios-which was to come up with toy design ideas to submit to playmates. Bascially he got to come up with cool ideas for characters. He invented a lot of the crazy characters like Ray Fillet (or Man Ray as he is known in the comic books) and he was a big part of the TMNT Archie comics series-which if you never read it-was one of the best ever adaptions of a cartoon into a comic. ( funny thing being the cartoon was adapted from another comic to begin with , but kids couldn't read the darker mirage studios black and white titles.) He also invented "The Mighty Mutanimals" which was a team composed of man-ray, mondo gecko , wingnut and screw loose, leather head and some other characters he conceived of for the toy line. Mutanimals was one of my fave comic books of the early 90's. And speaking of dark, after their comic got canceled they were brought back as a backup series in the archie tmnt book where they were killed off! Still sad about that to this day. Especially considering originally the intent was to have a mutnaimals spin off cartoon series, but it never came to be. Actually on Ryan Brown's flikr there is a bunch of stuff from a character bible that would have been used for the show and the animation designs were awesome. Too bad it never came to be as I usually hated the way the tmnt cartoon used the action figure characters. ( so did Brown, as many of the characters he invented to be heroes, gecko wingnut etc. turned up on the show as villains!)
    and I guess wyrm would have been gross to a little girl-but to a boy he was awesome. And elusive! I still don't have him.

    1. Wow that is a lot of really neat information about the TMNT! I consider myself a fan, but I'm not like a super fan that would know all that. Very cool, and very sucky that they killed the Mutanimals off. Hopefully they could one day see a comeback. I mean I've been watching soaps since a wee wild one, so if I've learned anything, nothing ever truly stays dead. I also hope you'll find a Wyrm too! I hate it when things are elusive.