Wistful Wednesday -The Raggy Dolls

My auntie bought us a video tape of a few episodes of ‘The Raggy Dolls’ when we were little. It was made in the 80’s just slightly before my time, but I loved the video and watched it over and over. I once saw a guy in Belfast with a Raggy Dolls hoodie, and I wish I asked him where he got it…I suspect he ironed on a transfer but I *really* want one! EDIT: I think I found them here.

So, recently I was trawling eBay and other places looking for merch, when I decided to look up the theme song and it all came flooding back in that strange way nostalgia feels. I realised how affirming and reassuring the lyrics and message of this cartoon were – not like some of the thoughtless cartons that my little brother is glued to while eating his lunch roll. Wikipedia tells me: The series was designed to help children think positively about physical handicaps, as well as teaching kindness, tolerance and humility towards others.

“Join Back-To-Front, Sad Sack and the rest of the discarded dolls from Mr Grimes’ Toy Factory who have been cast aside to the reject bin as a result of their different manufacturing faults. Here, when no one is looking, these special toys come to life, embarking on a series of adventures where their differences are overcome and their so-called disabilities put to good use.”80’s Cartoons

Here’s a list of the characters, thanks again Wikipedia- does it jog your memory? Aw I loved this!

  • Sad Sack, a sample of a design that was deemed too expensive to mass-produce; his appearance is somewhat different from that of the others. He is the oldest in the Reject Bin. As his name suggests, he is very gloomy and cynical, but he still values his friendship with the other dolls.
  • Dotty, who had paint spilt on her hair and clothing. She likes to be the leader of the group, and is often very bossy. Her catchphrase is “Good thinking!”
  • Hi-Fi, who was dropped while being tested. He therefore talks with a stammer.
  • Lucy, whose limbs were poorly attached with nylon thread. She is shy and easily frightened, but is very kind-hearted and loyal to her friends. She speaks with a Northern accent.
  • Back-To-Front, a laid-back handyman doll with a backward-facing head. His catchphrase is “No problem!”.
  • Claude, who fell out of a box of dolls to be shipped to France; he speaks with a French accent, and sometimes alternates between speaking English and French.
  • Princess, whose manufacturer ran out of material and used odds and ends to finish her off; her voice is characterised by H-adding. She’s the youngest of the seven, as proven in the intro.
  • Ragamuffin, introduced in the fifth series, a wandering traveller doll who’d lost his owner and decided to spend his life taking in new sights and experiences.[1]

This give me awesome Halloween costume ideas…

Here is the theme tune if you want a little listen:

And the lovely lyrics (from here):

Opening theme tune lyrics:
It’s not much of a life when you’re just a pretty face,
Just to be whoever you are is no disgrace,
Don’t be scared if you don’t fit in…
Look who’s in the reject bin!
It’s the Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Dolls like you and me,
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!)
M ade imperfectly!
So if you got a bump on your nose or a lump on your toes, do not despair,
Be like the Raggy Dolls, and say I just don’t care,
‘Cause Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Are happy just to be,
Raggy Dolls, Raggy Dolls,
Dolls like you and me!

Closing theme tune lyrics:
It’s not much of a life when you’re just a pretty face,
Just to be whoever you are is no disgrace,
Look around and you will find,
People of every kind!
Like the Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Dolls like you and me,
Raggy Dolls (Raggy Dolls!),
Raggy Dolls made imperfectly,
So if you’re not at ease with your knobbly knees and your fingers are all thumbs,
Stand on your two left feet and join our raggy doll chums!
‘Cause raggy dolls, raggy dolls
Are happy just to be,
Raggy dolls, raggy dolls,
Dolls like you and me!




Author: Fiona


One thought on “Wistful Wednesday -The Raggy Dolls”

  1. That is sweet! This is my first time hearing of Raggy Dolls, but I do very much relate to the feelings you’ve described on this Wednesday, which is also a Wistful Wednesday. I suspect it’s just the rain, reminding me of my rainy hometown . . .

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