Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throwback Thursdays: Hugga Bunch

Aren't they adorable?  Just wait, they'll get creepy in a moment.  (And if you already think they look creepy, they're going to get creepier).  The Hugga Bunch dolls were a franchise started in 1985 by Kenner and Hallmark Cards.  Each fuzzy, candy-colored doll came with a smaller doll, called a "huglet," which they would, well, hug.  The dolls had velcro on their hands (hey, it was the 80s; velcro was still a big deal) so they could "hug" the smaller doll or even each other, I guess.

Please note the shiny material on the dolls' dresses.  The velcro could catch on this fabric and then leave nasty snag marks when you ripped it away (as I often did).  My mother noticed this imperfection and made an angry phone call to the manufacturer.  Soon I had a second set of Hugga Bunch dolls.  You didn't think I came by my habit of Strongly Worded Letters all by myself, did you?

Because Hallmark Cards was involved, they made a Hallmark family "made for TV" movie of the Hugga Bunch called The Hugga Bunch.  Apparently the title/marketing department had no cash to come up with a better name as the entire movie was produced for $1.4 million, "making it the most expensive TV special ever produced at that time."  Presumably most of the money was spent on "special effects," as it earned one Primetime Emmy for "Outstanding Visual Effects."

 Yep, that's where all the money went.  To animate creepy toy puppets to talk to a girl through her mirror (which she later travels through into HuggaLand).
It gets worse.

They are apparently Cardinals fans.  And will watch you no matter where you go in the room.

Now she's going back home, through the television, to join her Poltergeist brethren.

Don't worry, though.  We're always watching you.


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