Action Figure Overview: Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones (Galoob, 1984)
|Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones (Galoob, 1984)|
Mattel released the original Masters of the Universe toys in 1982. Although they were popular upon their release, the final push that turned the franchise into one of the biggest in history was the Filmation cartoon "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" which debuted in September of 1983. For the next few years, He-Man was absolutely unstoppable! His popularity led to many imitators. Other toy companies were manufacturing buff, squatting, almost nude 5.5" action figures in the sword & sorcery style that walked very close to the line of trademark infringement. Because professional wrestling was also popular at the time and many of the wrestlers were running around in nothing but shorts and boots just like He-Man, there were also many different lines of wrestling action figures produced in a similar style as well. It was really no surprise. When 12" G.I. Joe was the top selling toy in the 1960s, there were a multitude of similar military action figures on the toy store shelves. Mego's 8" Super Heroes, Planet of the Apes, and Star Trek lines led to a slew of 8" imitators. The popularity of the 3.75" Star Wars figures in the late 1970s and early 1980s changed the standard format of figures to 3.75" and led to the creation of dozens of space-themed action figures. However, one unexpected action figure line to arrive on the heels of He-Man was Galoob's 'Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones.' The line was unique because it was a sword & sorcery line geared towards girls!
|Golden Girl protects the Kingdom of Argonia (Galoob, 1984)|
Golden Girl's story is a relatively simple one. She and her fellow Guardians of the Gemstones had great strength and were skilled warriors due to the power of the precious gemstones they guarded. Their goal was to protect the kingdom of Argonia and keep the gemstones safe from the forces of evil. Her allies in this task were Prince Kroma, Saphire, Rubee, Jade, & Onyx. Although Golden Girl presumably faces other enemies, the toy line and books dealt only with the evil Dragon Queen and her minions Vultura, Moth Lady, Wild One, and Ogra.
|He-Man (Mattel, 1982) - Golden Girl (Galoob, 1984) - She-Ra (Mattel, 1985)|
At about 6", the Golden Girl figures were slightly taller than the female Masters of the Universe characters Teela and Evil-Lyn, but they were clearly designed with Masters of the Universe as their main influence. There is a very common and understandable misconception that Golden Girl was a knock-off of Mattel's Princess of Power (She-Ra) line of action figures. However, the Princess of Power toy line and cartoon didn't hit the scene until 1985, a year after Golden Girl's debut. Princess of Power was unique at the time because it was not at all common for the manufacturer of a boy's toy line to create a parallel line for girl's, but Golden Girl was even more strange because it was practically a parallel girl's line yet it was parallel to another company's franchise!
|Golden Girl with her cape, crown, sword, belt, and shield (comb not pictures)|
The Golden Girl figures were similar in design to both the female Masters of the Universe Characters and the Princess of Power figures. They had a good bit of articulation at the hip like Teela and Evil-Lyn, but they had brushable hair like She-Ra and her crew. In addition to movement at the neck, shoulders and hips, the Golden Girl figures could also bend at the knee. Each figure came with a comb, a fabric cape, a shield made of metal, a crown or helmet of some kind, and a weapon. All of the figures except for the two male characters also came with a belt.
|Golden Girl with all of her accessories: crown, shield, belt, sword, comb, & cape (Galoob, 1984)|
Golden Girl had a silver sword and a gold, metal shield shaped like a bird with a white gem in the center. Her belt and crown were both gold, but over the years, many of the belts and crowns have turned from gold to a blue/green color making them look tarnished. Her cape was typically white and gold, but I've heard that there is a variation which was partially blue. Many of the figures' capes had a metallic sheen to them which hasn't held up well over the years.
|As with most vintage action figure, many Golden Girl figures are found missing their accessories|
Although Galoob tried to go all out with the Golden Girl line by creating a multitude of products (11 figures, 27 outfit sets, 4 tents, 2 horses and chariots, 1 palace playset, numerous books, a board game, a calendar, child size Halloween costume, pretend play weapons, a coloring book, and a Colorforms set), it was no match for the Princess of Power. Action figures in the 1980s seemed to need a cartoon or movie to build enough momentum to sell in the kind of quantities that would allow for multiple waves of figures. From what I understand, there may have been a Golden Girl cartoon in the planning stages, but if that's true, it never materialized. There was also a second Golden Girl wave planned and one of the figures reportedly even made it to retail in Europe complete with a wave two box, but sales of wave one simply weren't good enough to keep the line afloat.
|Golden Girl with her sword in her belt|
Did you know about Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones as a kid? Did you collect them in the 1980s? Do you collect them now? Tell me below in the comments!
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