I am constantly surprised my how many toys and cartoons from the eighties that were aimed primarily at little girls actually started off life as a series of Hallmark greetings cards. Â The Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake are both good examples, and another is Rainbow Brite.
Rainbow Brite first appeared on a card in 1984, and that same year she also featured in her first animated film entitled Peril in the Pits. Â In 1985 the theatrical release Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer came out, and then in 1986 the little multicoloured one got a regular cartoon TV series of 13 episodes.
The backstory to Ms. Brite’s adventures was that a little orphan girl named Wisp was whisked away by a magical force to a place called the Colorless World. Â She befriends a Sprite called Twink, a funny little fluffy fellow, and a horse called Starlite with a rainbow colored tail and mane.
Wisp is tasked with bringing colour back to the world in which she finds herself, and to do this she must free the seven Color Kids, who are Red Butler, Lala Orange, Canary Yellow, Patty O’Green, Buddy Blue, Indigo and Shy Violet. Â As you can see there was a Color Kid for every colour of the rainbow, and each had their own personal Sprite friend.
Also needed to make the world a brighter place was the Color Belt, which needed Star Sprinkles of different colours to work. Â These were created by the Sprites of the Color Kids mining Color Crystals from the Color Caves.
The colour had been bleached from the world by the King of Shadows, who Wisp finally defeated with the help of the Color Belt and the Color Kids, restoring all the colours. Â The magical force that took Wisp then renames her Rainbow Brite, and she is now in charge of Rainbowland, looking after the Color Kids and making sure that colours on Earth are kept safe.
As you can see, it was all very sweet and perfect fodder for the average little girl, what with the cuddly sprites, a flying horse and all the pretty colours.
A range of brightly coloured toys also appeared, with plush dolls of Rainbow Brite and her fluffy companion Twink. Â Other dolls and action figures were created for Starlite and the Color Kids and their companion Sprites.
Thanks to Mary Shaw for the image accompanying this post. Â She has a whole load more on her Rainbow Brite web page.