Synopsis of Toy
When it comes to tub and pool toys, the boys have it made: they’ve got boats, submarines, and plastic action figures that can go in the water. What water-toy options do the girls have? They certainly wouldn’t want to get their Barbie dolls all wet. Choices were pretty slim until Sea Wees popped up on the toy shelves. These plastic mermaid toys were perfect pals for the pool or the bathtub, allowing girls to enjoy all the aquatic-toy fun the boys were having.
Kenner first introduced toy fans to the aquatic joys of Sea Wees in 1979. These four-inch mermaid dolls were made of solid plastic and had Barbie-like facial features. They also had long, silky hair. Sandy had blonde hair and a pink fin, Coral was red-haired with a turquoise fin, and Shelly had brown hair and a green fin. Each doll also came with a lily pad-shaped sponge and a comb to keep their hair tangle-free. These dolls did well and were soon repackaged to include a baby Sea Wee with each doll: Sandy got Baby Star, Shelly got Baby Sprite, and Coral got Baby Corkie. The babies were two inches tall and had molded plastic hair or a molded bonnet in place of real locks.
Since the initial Sea Wees Kenner were such an undersea hit, decided to expand the line by going tropical. The results were TropiGals, “The Sea Wees from the Tropics!” There were four TropiGals: Flora, Camille, Oceanna and Pearl. Pearl was doubly unique, because she was the first African-American Sea Wee. TropiGals came with a baby and a sponge just like the previous Sea Wees, but they also included two other nifty extras. They had removable hula skirts and unusual pets that were half-fish and half of another animal, like a cat or a bird.
The next phase in the Sea Wees line took a trip to the North Pole. The results were IcyGals, a new set of Sea Wees that were as cool as the Arctic itself. These new dolls had fur coats and stoles molded into their plastic design to keep them warm, as did their babies. They were also distinguished from previous Sea Wees by the colored streak running through their hair and by the fact that their tails turned to the side instead of pointing straight.
In 1984, Kenner issued the last original Sea Wees. Taking their inspiration from the world of dance, these Wees were known as Bubble Ballet Sea Wees. To fit in with the ballerina theme, these girls had skirts molded onto their plastic bodies and had their arms extended in a ballet pose. They also came with removable tutus, two-toned hair, and babies that had their own personal sponges. Before Kenner stopped making Sea Wees toys, they also put out some playsets. For instance, there was the Sea Wees ‘N’ Babies set, which had a pair of Sea Wees with two babies and sometimes two pets on a special sponge designed to hold them all. There was also the Vanity Shell, a Sea Wees carrying case that doubled as a vanity kit for its owner.
No Sea Wees have been made since 1984, but other mermaid-style toys have hit the market in their wake. For instance, the hit movie The Little Mermaid inspired plenty of tub-ready toys, and Mattel Toys has made a special Magical Mermaid Barbie for bathtub use. So take heart, girls. The Wees may be gone, but bath time can still be toy-friendly for you and all your little mermaid-loving pals.
Release History of Toy1979 - Sea Wees
Bubble Ballet Sea Wees