Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite had one goal in life – to bring color back to Rainbowland. Along with her friends, the Color Kids and the furry Sprite animals, a world of black and white stood no chance. Meanwhile, back in realityland, Rainbow Brite toys were quite popular in the 80s and spawned a sizable multimedia franchise that lasted well into the next century.

Rainbow Brite (like Strawberry Shortcake, incidentally) was copyrighted by Hallmark as a greeting card decoration. In 1983, Hallmark partnered with Mattel and created the original line of dolls, featuring soft bodies, a colorful mop of hair, and vinyl heads and hands. Rainbow-colored attire completed the look.

The Rainbow Brite story went like this: originally called Wisp, Rainbow Brite and her colorful team were fighting against the Dark One, who had turned the world into gloomy grey. Wisp had a pet Sprite named Twink, and she rode a white horse called Starlite. One day, while taking shelter from the rain inside a cave, she discovered the magic Color Belt, which gave her the power to save the Color Kids, each residing in one of the seven different corners of the land. These were Red Butler, Canary Yellow, Patty O’Green, La La Orange, Shy Violet, Indigo, Buddy Blue and Tickled Pink. Wisp set all of the Kids free, and was christened Rainbow Brite and named the protector of all of Rainbowland.

Rainbow’s sworn enemy, the villain who created the gloom, was Murky Dismal. He was a rotund little man with mustache and a green face – unmistakable signs of true evil. He carried a bag labeled “gloom”, in case you forgot his occupation. He even had a sidekick named Lurky, but they always failed to bring back the gloom when Rainbow Brite was on the job.

The original Rainbow Brite dolls, released in 1983. were ten inches tall. To mark the 20th anniversary of the toy in 2004, a larger 18″ version was released by Toy Play (Hallmark’s toy division) along with a number of small vinyl figures – all of which were desirable to both little girls and older collectors.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg. A Rainbow Brite feature film came out in 1985, called Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, and was followed by a popular animated television series in 1986. In each case, the crux of the story was the same – Rainbow pursued her one goal of bringing color to everywhere she went. And in the process, she made a lot of little 80s girls smile.

Were you bitten by the Rainbow Brite bug as a kid? If you played with these toys or were a fan of the Rainbow Brite cartoon and films, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your memories in our comments section below.

One Response to “Rainbow Brite”

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  1. SammyBrite says:

    Rainbow Brite is still my all time favorite cartoon. And I used to love the toys as a kid.

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