The Spectra Craze

by Alison Rasmussen

Halloween doll meet by alington
Halloween doll meet, a photo by alington on Flickr.
One of our fellow doll collectors came across this Mattel doll, AstraGold, at a thrift store for $1 and shared her bargain find at our last meet. As a child of the 1980s, I recognized this doll immediately, and it caused me to delve into research about my long-lost love of these dolls from Mattel's Spectra collection.

The original line was released in 1987, and was designed to compete with Jem (by Hasbro). Unfortunately, this line didn't sell as well as expected, and was discontinued less than a year after production.

It's theme: Lacy... Spacy... Out of this world!

The dolls have cleverly jointed bodies, if a little extreme, in addition to colorful (yellow, pink, green, purple and blue) hair and colorful facial screening. Their bodies are metallic hard plastic with soft vinyl heads.

Separate fashions were also available, along with several other accessories, including a body buffing station.

Because of the limited production numbers, the dolls are surprising difficult to find (especially in mint or NRFB condition). They can range from $40-55 for the more common dolls, and upwards of $315 for sets including the dog, Spark.

Finally, searching for Spectra dolls online has become more difficult in recent months, because of the addition of Spectra Vondergeist to Monster High's collection, also by Mattel.