In 1983 Hallmark Cards released their newest franchise series, Rainbow Brite. Released first as a series of cards, Rainbow Brite's foray into animation would come the following year. The series was produced by DiC, who used the Japanese animation studio TMS Entertainment to bring the Hallmark character to life. The television show was a hit, yet only lasted for 13 episodes across two seasons. Two live-action specials (with a slightly horrifying Rainbow Brite mascot costume) would follow, as well as movies, which weren't as well received as the television show.

Much like other cartoons of the era, Rainbow Brite was created to sell merchandise geared towards children. Anything and everything that could be made for a child likely had a Rainbow Brite version. Mattel released a number of the original toys, which have become collectors pieces. Hallmark has rebooted the series a handful of times over the decades with updated looks, but nothing beats the original look. To celebrate 40 years of Rainbow Brite, The Loyal Subjects has released a line of toys and collectibles that are impossibly cute, and terrifically nostalgic!

The new line of toys includes fashion dolls, enamel pins, plush dolls, collectible figures, and more. These toys are based on the original toys that were first released in the 1980s, and TLS went out of its way to make sure even the packaging paid homage to their roots.

My favorite of the new line is the 12" plush doll with threaded hair. The original Rainbow Brite doll is one of the more coveted pieces for any collection, but the prices of the original doll without the box can range from $2 - $550, depending on the condition. Surprisingly, dolls in the box have sold for under $400 on eBay, even though most of us would consider a new-in-box vintage doll more desirable than a loose doll.

The 40th anniversary 12" doll is simply adorable. This is a great update to the original toy. The details on her face, costume, and shoes are fun, and I love that her original yarn hair was included. The doll also came with a sheet of stickers. There are some differences between the two dolls, but they are minor.

Alongside the plush doll is a new line of 3" collectible figures. These figures are reminiscent of the Hallmark PVC figures released in 1983, but the detail on these new figures is fantastic. It would be unfair to compare the two generations of figures, but it is worth noting that the original PVC figures are not as detailed as these new ones, but are still worth collecting if you're a Rainbow Brite fan. The original figures were made to be played with, but these new 3" figures would look great on your desk or in an overall collection. The Red Butler figure sports a great paint job, with detailing down to the freckles on his face.

The original PVC figures are fairly easy to find on eBay and typically go for under $50. The new 3" line features 10 different figures and includes Rainbow Brite and a few of the Color Kids and their friends.

The rest of the line includes Loungefly bags, clothing, and enamel pins -- perfect for adult collectors.

Rainbow Brite was one of my favorite cartoons in the late 1980s and early 1990s. My dad would rent the first movie, Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer for me every Friday from Blockbuster. I'm fully convinced that my early exposure to the cartoon is why I have a fondness for magical girl anime today. Seeing the original designs back on shelves for the 40th anniversary is wonderful. The Loyal Subjects handled this toy line extremely well, so if you're a fan of 80s cartoons and toys, don't sleep on this collection!