She looks sweet, cooks sweet, and smells sweet too!
No, I’m not describing what guys like about women.
This week, we’re digging through the plastic tote of your girly toys, and pulling out some of the much loved (by you) but probably forgotten collection of early 1990s dolls. By this point in time, your licensed characters are probably out of style and discontinued, but you’re still young enough to play with dolls, so you naturally are going to pay attention to whatever is being advertised as the “newest” doll out there.
I fell right into this category as the 1990s came around – I turned eight in 1990, and still played with dolls. I had a huge box of My Little Pony dolls that were now no longer the huge deal they were in 1986, when I started getting them for Christmas and Birthdays, but I wasn’t old enough to put the toys away for good yet.
In 1989, I had gotten a new doll that was unlike all of my licensed character dolls of the time – she was exactly like a character from those years, yet she had some differences. And even during her toy lifespan, she was different each time – a different year, a different version.
Meet Mattel’s answer to Strawberry Shortcake – Cherry Merry Muffin!
And yes, as her jingle implies, she “looks sweet, cooks sweet, and she smells sweet too!”
Wait till you see what her and her friends are cooking up in this 1990 commercial!
Cherry Merry Muffin arrived on the market in 1988, a toyline that was reminiscent of Strawberry Shortcake, who had seen its popularity dip by the mid 1980s (the last dolls were manufactured in 1985). She smelled like cherries, and her friends smelled like their respective fruit/sweet treat they were named for. The dolls went through three waves – the first wave in 1988, the second in 1989 (where my Cherry Merry Muffin dolls came from), and a third and final wave in 1990. This commercial features the second wave (it’s from 1990, but these are the 1989 toys), as well as a second wave accessory, the Pastry Cafe!
The dolls in each wave changed, with the exception of Cherry Merry Muffin. Chocolottie were kept after the first wave of toys, but the rest of the dolls were new. By the third wave, only Cherry Merry Muffin was left standing
I actually had Cherry Merry Muffin and Chocolottie, as well as an extra Cherry Merry Muffin given to me at my seventh birthday party. I kept both, since in my little world, Cherry needed a twin sister. I liked my Cherry Merry Muffin dolls – as someone who wasn’t really old enough for Strawberry Shortcake (I was about 2-3 years old when the toyline was discontinued), these dolls were fun. I remember their little muffin pans and the scent – I especially loved Chocolottie and her chocolate muffin delightfulness.
The second wave of dolls came with fascinator-type hats that turned into accessories for us girls. I don’t remember this detail as much as I remember the muffin pans and plastic muffins.
The theme changed each time, with wave one focusing on muffins, the second on cake, and the third on ice cream. By that wave, the characters had hair to match their respective clothing colors, and came with a coupon for a child-size ice cream cone with purchase of an adult size at Baskin-Robbins (the coupon expired in 1992, long after the line was discontinued).
As I said, these were Strawberry Shortcake for a group that may have been too young for Strawberry Shortcake in the 1980s. I loved these dolls, but they of course were forgotten about by the time I was too old to play with them. Strawberry Shortcake, as we all know, made a comeback in the early 2000s and still has her strawberry-scented self out there. I do have a Funko Pop of her (my first Strawberry Shortcake doll!), and I love that she is scented, but my Cherry Merry Muffin dolls – Cherry, Cherry the Clone, and Chocolottie – have been long gone, probably went to the donation bin in the mid-1990s.
Poor Cherry Merry Muffin – she looked sweet, cooked sweet, and smelled sweet, but she didn’t have staying power.
These days, Cherry and her friends (and all the playsets) enjoy a life on the secondhand market. A doll on eBay will net between $4 and $10 for an individual doll, while more than one will net closer to $20 (remember, the dolls changed every wave!). The playsets run the gamut of cost – I saw $9 on the low end, and as much as $198 for the wedding cake playset.
I’m not kidding.
It is super cute though.
There doesn’t seem to be any cartoons to promote the doll, since animated specials produced directly to market a toy were largely discontinued by this point, but it was nice to be able to have some creativity with play, and not try to model the play after the cartoon.
Plus, they smelled like baked goods. What’s not to love?!
Coming up tomorrow on Flashback Friday, another 90s doll that reminds us of Strawberry Shortcake, but fancier than Cherry Merry Muffin. I think I had this one too, but I’m not 100% sure.
Have a great Throwback Thursday!