cute commercial and the promise of a cherry-scented doll won my toddler heart. When asked what I wanted for Christmas that year, my response was prompt: "I wanna Cherry Merry Muffin doll!" Obviously I ended up with my doll, and nearly three decades later, I still have her! I even yanked her out of the throw-away pile one time, loudly insisting that she stay even though her hair was matted and her clothes were dusty.
The best thing about digging around for information about an old doll is that you discover all sorts of neat stuff that you didn't know beforehand. When I started doing research for this post I thought that Cherry Merry Muffin was just a cute little one-off. Wrong answer. Lose all your money, go directly to jail. I loved the commercial when I was a little kid, but I obviously didn't remember all of it or I would've remembered that Cherry enjoyed several waves, and each wave had a different theme with new friends. My doll dates from the cake-themed second wave, which was released in 1989. Anywho, Cherry was very much like both Strawberry Shortcake and the Cupcakes in that she was cute little doll that...well, she didn't really do anything. She just looked cute and smelled nice. My doll has most of her pieces, though she's missing her comb...and maybe some underpants??? I can't remember what this doll had on underneath, or even if she had anything. She's got everything else though, including this hat.
Beri Blue, Cherry still had vestiges of her original scent before I washed her. Now she smells softly of Dawn and conditioner, which is nice enough, but I think I preferred her smelling faintly of cherries. The hair bounced back very well, though. I'll have to give Cherry a longer stay in THE PLASTIC BAG OF DOOM before I'm fully satisfied, but this will do for now. As to the overall look, Cherry's hair is thick and is done up in crimps that were so popular during the late eighties and early nineties. She originally came with the front portion tied up, so I redid that.
Cherry has an expression similar to Beri's, with an open-toothed, wide-eyed, apple-cheeked grin. She's a smidge wall-eyed as well.
As with many dolls of her era, Cherry is dressed in an outfit that is sparkly, pink, very cute, and maybe a bit over the top.
on the tulle instead.
Being a little girl doll, Cherry has a little girl doll body.
I haven't tinkered around with clothes sharing much here, because there isn't really a lot that Cherry can share with her like-sized friends. Penny Brite is too skinny, Suzy Cute is too chunky in the torso, and Lime Chiffon is just too small altogether. So at the moment I'm at a complete loss for extra outfits unless I want to dig around on eBay for some things.
I've said everything I can think of, so time to wrap it up.
*Scented doll, therefore she might aggravate allergies. I've only recently learned that scented dolls can do this, even though I should've known it all along.
*Face is generically pretty and can look mean from some angles
*Hair tangles easily
*Can't wear other dolls' clothes
*Can't easily hold her tray of muffins
*Hair tangles easily, but can be untangled easily
*Theme is child-friendly and matches well with several other dolls of the era
*Outfit is cute and well-made
*The smell, when the doll was new, was not terribly overpowering. Some scented dolls can be rather cloying, but this gal was not.
*Shoes won't get lost
*Accessories are/were relevant to the theme, instead of being random bits and bobs of crap.
Cherry Merry Muffin lacks the charm that the Strawberry Shortcake line had, but she is a very cute doll in her own right. I had to nitpick a little to find things wrong with her, but she does have issues. My main problem with this doll is probably a result of her age and improper storage in the past: her skirt won't lie flat. This is likely something that I can fix with a warm, damp cloth and a hair dryer, so no sweat. My favorite thing about this doll, both now and when I was little, is that her shoes can't fall off. Sure, they're pink and don't go with everything, but when a doll belongs to a small child those molded-on shoes are a godsend. Removable shoes can be easily lost and worse, they can be a choking hazard if the doll in question is geared toward small children. I knew better than to put things in my mouth at the age of two, but not every kid does. So if this were a doll of today I'd recommend her to a kid in a heartbeat. Would I recommend her to a collector though? Well...not unless said collector owned one as a kid, or if said collector just likes Cherry's cute face. This is strictly a toy, collectible only to nostalgia lovers or fans of Strawberry Shortcake and toys of the eighties or nineties. That being said, I'm glad I still have mine. I didn't keep too many of my toys from that era, but this is one I did keep and I'm very happy I did.
For reasons that should be obvious, I originally wanted to have a three-part series on these sweet-smelling foodstuff dolls, but...well, life happened. For grins, here's Lime, Cherry, and Beri all together.
Lucy Lemon from the Jelly Bean line??? I just can't get over my current fascination with yellow! By the way (tangent alert!), the Cherry Merry Muffin line did not have a lime-flavored character, probably for reasons I can understand. Lime is a good flavor for lots of treats, but I doubt it would work too well in muffins or cake unless one wanted to use the zest. A lime-flavored character might have worked out well in the ice cream wave, but I guess Mattel didn't think about that. The Strawberry Shortcake line did have a cherry-flavored character though; she was Cherry Cuddler, one of the babies, and she was adorable. Beri's line of Cupcakes had a cherry-flavored character as well; her name was...(pauses to consult Google)...Cherry Chip. Her pink is a much more garish shade than Cherry Merry Muffin's is. It's just now occurring to me...if I had all three cherry-themed dolls, I'd have three dolls from three different lines with the same first name! Lordy, glad I didn't do that!
As a final little tidbit, Tam at PLANET OF THE DOLLS has a review up about her own Cherry Merry Muffin, which is a first-wave doll. Tam was quite a bit older than I was during the eighties and doesn't have the same nostalgic feelings for Cherry that I do, thus her doll will not be staying with her. Still, her post is worthy of a read. It's not biased with childhood sentiment like mine is.