Betty Spaghetty Makes A Return in 2016

18 Jul

Artwork by Jordanswintart @ deviantart

Artwork by Jordanswintart @ deviantart

Betty Spaghetty is due to return this August, just in time for the fall quarter. The newer, re-vamped version has appeared at the Toy Fair and it seems a few people were able to share their findings on Youtube.

For those of you who don’t know who (or rather what) Betty Spaghetty is (probably those of you who were not ’90s kids), Betty Spaghetty was a line of bendable, stretchy dolls meant to look spaghetti-like, only with funky, colorful clothes and various facial expressions. It was a way to play on the fact that kids often ‘play with their food’. You know how kids add “faces” with different food items onto their sandwiches? Or maybe play “Godzilla” with their dinosaur crackers? Yeah, same concept, only this time manufactured into a toy line.

Elonne Dantzer was the genius who brought these dolls to life. Her real inspiration behind Betty Spaghetty was Lego toys. She wanted to create a “girls’ Lego” (before Lego Friends came to stores), playing on the fact that you can put Legos together and take them apart to create things. The character was meant to be “cartoonish” in style, with a very expressive face and bendable body, something little kids could really enjoy. She was originally supposed to be “Bendy Boop”, but after a test session with a little girl, she became who we know today.

Ms. Dantzer explains more about it at The Blade.

The Ohio Art Company, the company who took on the idea, first brought these dolls to stores in 1998. The main ‘Betty Spaghetty’ character was a blonde, perky teenager who loved fashion (Hey, this was the 1990’s, okay? You can only expect the stereotype), but she came with friends and a little sister. The dolls were rubbery, including the hair, which was fun for kids who loved to style hair. The hands and feet were removable. They had various accessories as well. In each box, Betty had a new facial expression, which was always my favorite part of the doll line.

Betty Spaghetty was discontinued in 2004. Back then, there was strong competition in the doll market (With a strong push by most toy manufacturers to appeal to the tween market at this time, Betty, targeted to kids as young as four, didn’t stand a chance).

Betty tried to make a comeback in 2007, but she had no luck with sales. I guess the world wasn’t ready for her return just yet. And of course, the internet didn’t create much of the sensations it does today.

Now, the dolls are slated to make another return. Let’s see what’s happening now.

My first thought was…Lalaloopsy Girls anyone?

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I watched the Toy Fair video, saw pictures of the dolls, watched the commercial, and visited the official website. I’m still certain that this revamp is a new product with the Betty Spaghetty brand stamped on it for press coverage.

First off, the new dolls are no longer created by Ohio Art. Moose Toys is now in charge. They created the Shopkins and there is a striking resemblance between the Shopkins and the new Betty dolls. I guess that’s why they took over the Spaghetty dolls. They’re a company known for putting “faces” on normal grocery items…

Now that there’s a new company involved, there are several differences between the original Betty Spaghetty and the newer dolls. The differences I see really take away the charm the brand once had. I have a problem with companies that try to revive something without really understanding the essence of what they are bringing back into the world.

There is only one pro that I see: Betty is more diverse in her presentation. And it’s not like the original Betty Spaghetty didn’t have many friends with different ethnic backgrounds and shades. But they were clearly sidekicks. Originally, blonde “Betty” got all the attention. Now, Betty is mostly customizable and she often has different hair colors, like blue hair. This relates to a wider audience.

Of course, I’m only looking from an early perspective. When they arrive on shelves, I may have better opinions about them.

The real problem is that not only am I unimpressed, I’m simply not feeling nostalgic with this release, either. So, who are they literally trying to appeal to here? I don’t understand who would want these dolls with so many other more interesting ones floating around and with the original Betty Spaghetty floating around on the second market.

These dolls just don’t feel “Betty” enough. They literally seem to be reaching with this comeback. Let me just run down the significant differences for you.

1) She’s Not Truly Bendable Anymore

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Yes, these dolls are not truly bendable. Even in the video above, the commercial, and several pictures, it seems like the presenters struggle to bend their arms and legs for an easy bendable pose. Betty Spaghetty is supposed to be tall and lanky and spaghetti-like. She’s supposed to be noodle-skinny. She was so thin, you could add beads to her arms and legs. These girls are short, with big heads and a body proportion that rivals Monster High, Ever After High, or the re-vamped Bratz dolls.

Really, the presenter showed no effort in demonstrating Betty’s bendable poses. It’s probably because that was the last thing considered when making this doll. They clearly wanted to emphasize the fact that these dolls have a ‘mix-and-match’ function. The only thing noodly about these girls is their rubber hair. Whoopie.

The arms and legs on these dolls only manage simple poses. The only thing familiar about the body is the rubbery feeling.

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 2) The Doll Clothing Lacks Funk

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Update: Originally, I wasn’t fond of the clothes because I thought they were boring. I mean, can you blame me? That Toy Fair did nothing to boost Betty’s reputation.

However, I’m not excited about the new dolls either. They aren’t as boring as they once looked, but they are still more boring than Betty originally was. They just lack funk.

The 1990s is over, I know. But I think the funky style suited Betty well. Betty Spaghetty dolls are supposed to be teenagers. These new dolls’ outfits look made for little girls. They’re colorful, but not cool. I absolutely dislike blonde Betty in a “princess” costume. Ugh.

These outfits are just too typical.

On the main website, it looks like they have 12 dolls released so far: Chef Betty, Cupcake Betty, Princess Betty, Fairy Betty, Popstar Betty, Cafe Lucy, Skate Lucy, Beach Zoey, Hula Zoey, Ballet Betty, Pink Ski Betty, and Blue Ski Betty.

A sister brand to the Shopkins for sure…

Though they revamped some of Betty’s older lines, like the ski line, it lacks all the flavor of the original. Blonde Betty herself is super “feminine” and is not the fashionista she once was.

They still don’t have tons of jewelry or the make-up that Betty had, which made all of her clothes pop, made her colorful, and even more FUNKY.

Betty always reminded me of Claudia from the Babysitters Club, if any of you all remember the series…Her style was just so original and cool.

The new Betty Spaghetty dolls aren’t ugly, just too sweet and childish for my tastes.

 

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Even the first revamp had a better selection. I’m sick that it didn’t take off the ground like it should’ve…Especially after seeing these new dolls.

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3) Their Faces Lack Expression

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Betty Spaghetty had many different facial expressions in every release. Sometimes she would look surprised or excited or happy, and other times she would look solemn or even scared. She seemed to have a little personality all her own. Her lips weren’t the only things that GAVE her personality. Her EYES even gave her personality.

The new dolls? Not so much. First off, they have noses. The original Betty was cartoonish, as intended, and didn’t have a nose on her roundish, shiny face. The new “Betty” seems like an attempt at a CGI cartoon.

The new dolls’ expressions are all pretty much the SAME. There seem to mostly be three types of faces: solemn smile, regular smile or chipper wide grin. The eyes are all the SAME. They lack color as well. Betty and her friends used to have individual expressions and often those expressions were related to the line they were released in. The new Betty dolls all look…the same.

They’re not wearing make-up, so they don’t have any extra art or color to their faces, aside from some blush to make their cheeks rosy. And it’s not bad to be fresh-faced, but the new dolls don’t look as funky, colorful, or creative as the original Betty.

Panda17188 @deviantart.com

Panda17188 @deviantart.com

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4) They Don’t Look Like Teenagers

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Betty Spaghetty was tall, wore makeup, and shopped. She looked like a teenager. Her clothing lines reflected a teenager. The new Betty Spaghetty dolls look like kids. I’m not going to say all teenagers should be tall and lanky, but the clothing and lines for the new Betty dolls (like the hula outfit, the inline skating one, etc) look like something a child would wear. At least bring back Betty’s essence. Being a teenager is far more glamorous for kids. Why? Because it’s something they can…IMAGINE. They can’t imagine being who they already are. That’s the problem with toys like this. They lack imagination. They lack vision. They lack creativity.

Do you really expect me to believe that “ballet-princess-fairy” Betty is a teenager? XD I don’t think so.

I know Betty Spaghetty was always directed to children 4 years old and older, but these dolls don’t seem ready for playtime no matter the age. The only things kids can do with these dolls are braid the hair and change the clothes. The accessories are not ugly, but most of them are common in any toy line. The bodies aren’t even bendable. It’s not like you can put beads on the arms. They are too thick and don’t bend. Boring. I can’t see any kids wanting to play with these toys for long.

5) Betty is not Really Blonde Anymore

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It looks like one blonde doll is still in the line as Betty, but according to the main website, there are TWO types of “Bettys”. One has blonde hair, the other has blue hair.

This is kind of confusing and I think this is bad. People will be looking for blonde Betty which will take away sales from the blue-haired doll. Why didn’t they give her a new name instead of making two Betty dolls? They have Lucy and Zoey. I just don’t understand why there needs to be two dolls named Betty.

The sad part is blue-haired Betty has better clothes than “princess-ballet-cupcake-chef” Betty. The new blonde Betty is girlish and childish, while blue-haired Betty is a “popstar” (though gag me with the fairy one) and takes on Betty’s “ski line”.

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I understand the diversity thing, but Betty was known as blonde. Even in the commercial, I saw blonde Betty getting the shine among the other dolls, but then at the end, I see the blue-haired doll…

Maybe they want Betty to have diverse hair colors? Which is cool and all, but the problem is the dolls’ facial expressions and skin are not that diverse. Most people will decifer the differences by hair color, and most people assume blonde Betty is Betty…

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It seems like companies are out to revive the 1990’s. Companies are out to revive old products in general because lately only popular brands sell well in the toy market (and just about every market today). But I feel if these companies lose the heart of the brand, there’s no way they can truly revive a product the way they wish.

Perhaps Moose recognized that Ohio Art had been unsuccessful with the original re-vamp and felt that they should try to design and market Betty dolls differently. But I doubt these will do any better.

I’m also considering the fact that Moose couldn’t make their new dolls like the original Betty. If Ohio Art still kept the copyrights to the original design or the original creator pulled the original designs, that would mean Moose had to start their designs from scratch and would have to make their Betty dolls look different. I feel that if they couldn’t get hold of the original designs, why make these dolls?

I think it’s just time to hang up on Betty Spaghetty. The new generation hardly plays with dolls, but the dolls they do enjoy have an even bigger brand name in the toy market with the proper marketing tools. If Moose Toys make Youtube videos for Betty like they do for Shopkins, maybe they will reap some success. It already seems set up for a CGI release or something like that. But I doubt it will stay popular for long.

Visit their website www.bettyspaghetty.com

As more information is revealed, I will be updating this article.

What are your thoughts readers? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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12 Responses to “Betty Spaghetty Makes A Return in 2016”

  1. discontinuedtoylines 2016/07/20 at 01:24 #

    Thanks for the review. I really disappointed with these new Betty Spaghetty dolls. They just look like generic bootlegs. I know these new ones will flop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • generationnext 2016/07/20 at 02:00 #

      Me too. They were not at all what I was expecting when I was thinking of Betty Spaghetty. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • discontinuedtoylines 2016/07/20 at 16:52 #

        No Problem. Your a great blogger. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • discontinuedtoylines 2016/08/07 at 20:59 #

        I have some new information on the 2016 Betty Spaghetty dolls. They just came out and there starting to get noticed… Here’s better photos of them :

        Also, they got rid of one of Betty’s best friends, Hannah from the original dolls and replaced her with Betty’s British Friend Lucy. Plus, Zoe (Also one of Betty’s friends) is now called Zoey…

        Can you do a “Further Thoughts” blog on this again. but with further thoughts.

        Plus, They now have a commercial and a youtube channel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo08E5m126E

        Like

      • generationnext 2016/08/08 at 10:16 #

        Thanks once again for the update!

        I will update my article with the new information.

        Like

      • generationnext 2016/08/08 at 10:54 #

        Have you visited the official website yet? What do you think of it?

        Like

      • discontinuedtoylines 2016/08/08 at 14:00 #

        Not too good…

        Your Thoughts?

        Like

      • generationnext 2016/08/08 at 15:12 #

        I revised my thoughts in the article just now.

        I agree with you. I believe they are a little more colorful than the photos from the Toy Fair (maybe they had bad lighting), but the style is just not “Betty”.

        Thanks for contributing to my blog and giving me the updates.

        Like

      • discontinuedtoylines 2016/08/08 at 15:35 #

        Your Welcome 🙂

        Like

  2. Makis Williams 2016/08/20 at 15:05 #

    Who cares about FUNK! Thier made for children you idiot.

    Like

    • generationnext 2016/08/20 at 15:20 #

      Yes, I’m aware they’re made for children. In the section under “They don’t Look Like Teenagers”, I mentioned that these dolls are directed to children 4 years old and up.

      Let’s actually observe the children today: They are far more sophisticated than this. If you’re a child, what would you buy? A Betty doll or an Ever After High doll? If children are buying Monster High, Ever After High, and Disney’s dolls (Descendants, Frozen, etc) at age 5, do you really think these dolls would be appealing to children? Do you think these dolls could really compete in the toy market, for THE NEXT 10 YEARS? There’s nothing unique or sophisticated about these dolls. The only thing that WAS unique about the dolls was the “funk”.

      Let’s also consider the fact that companies are trying to appeal to the “90s kids” and adult collectors. Who was the main demographic asking for these dolls to come back to shelves? The ’90s kids. Otherwise, why else would they have revived a familiar toy line from the 1990s? They want to bridge the gap between adults and kids. They want to appeal to parents so parents can be quick to buy the dolls for their own kids.

      However, in my opinion, neither kids nor adults would be impressed with these dolls.

      Who cares about funk? As a toy collector, I do. This is my review and I’m not impressed. If you don’t care about funk, great. But as for me…I’m one less customer and one less supporter of the new “Betty Spaghetty” dolls. My money counts and so does my voice.

      Betty was always for children, but she always related to a wider audience because of her unique style. This made the difference. This was why her popularity was able to transcend beyond the 1990s. The new dolls lack the same creativity and vision.

      Answer this: Why do YOU think the funk is unimportant? Do you honestly think these dolls are alright without it? Even if YOU were okay with them, let’s look outside of YOU. Do you think these dolls would sell from a business PERSPECTIVE? I’m interested in an intellectual discussion.

      “Funk” is just one thing of many things I mentioned in this article. There are many other problems I have with the doll, so I don’t think one comment about “funk” would make me a total idiot, as you didn’t seem to address the other problems I spotted.

      Anyway I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, even if you were rude about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Betty Lou 2016/08/25 at 16:18 #

    I actually found some of my old ones in a warehouse and gave them to my boyfriend’s daughter for a gift. She loved them! A little too well. They were still in the box so it included the little book of all the different types and she showed me one she liked. I told her they aren’t made anymore, but I’ll look into what I can find online. To my surprise I gave her about $200 worth of toys (3 different boxes). I found the 2007 ones and wasn’t too keen on those, and these are completely different. It does look like it’s made for a whole different age group, which I’m not a huge fan of either. I’m sure I could get my boyfriend’s daughter a new one and she’d play with it, but I think if I gave it to her outside of the box she wouldn’t be able to tell it’s the same doll family until she started playing with the hair or took it apart. The lack of bendyness is a large disappointment though.

    Liked by 1 person

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