Popples was a series of fictional characters created by Those Characters From Cleveland (TCFC), a subsidiary company of American Greetings, and the plush toys were manufactured by Mattel. Produced in the 1980s, these toys resemble brightly colored teddy bears or marsupials (but with long tails with pom-poms on the tip), and have pouches on their backs that can be inverted, so they are in the pouches and resemble brightly colored balls.
At first there were only the nine original Popples : PC (Pretty Cool) Popple (large blue boy), Party Popple (large pink girl), Pancake (large dark magenta girl), Puzzle (medium orange boy), Prize (medium dark magenta girl), Puffball (medium white girl), Pretty Bit (small lavender girl), Potato Chip (small yellow girl) and Putter (small green boy). Then came the Rock Star Popples : Punkity (girl with microphone and star on her tummy) and Punkster (boy with guitar and lightning on his tummy) as well as the Popples Babies : Bibsy (white with purple and white hat, bib and booties with stars) and Cribsy (pink with blue and white striped hat, bib and bootises). The babies had rattles in their tails and came with a squeaking baby bottle. There were also the Pufflings which looked like little Popple pets (they were basically a ball of fluff with a face and tiny paws and tail coming out, they could flip inside out to look a bit like an anemone) and carried riddles and jokes on tags inside them. There were 6 different colors of Pufflings : Red, yellow, sky blue, purple, white and magenta. The Popples also had Sports Popples who turned into balls : Big Kick (soccer ball), Dunker (basketball), Touchdown (football), PC Pitcher (baseball), Net Set (tennis ball). The Sports Popples included Cuester, who turned into an 8-ball, but no known toys has been made of him. Same with Pitcher, no toy was made of the original Pitcher but they dressed PC in a baseball outfit to replace him. There were many other variants, such as Flower Popples (who would turn into flowers when you flipped them inside out), Pillow Popppes (who were wearing pajamas and turned into their own sleeping bag instead of a ball), Fruit Popples (who obviously turned into different fruits), as well as special editions or limited distributions such as the animal series with Popples that turned into a parrot, a dog, and a rabbit, or the Costume Popples who were wearing special clothes and turned into something related (example : a ballerina Popple that turns into a handbag).
Other than the stuffed animals, another Popple merchandise which was very popular were the small Pocket Popples. They were the same designs as the original Popples but they were small enough to fit in your pocket, with PVC faces, articulated arms and legs with some other fabric features such as their ears, tails and pocket (which still allowed them to hide in it)
A revival was attempted by Playmates Toys (who are also the current makers of toys featuring another American Greetings property, Strawberry Shortcake) in 2007, this rendition which currently only has four characters: HappyPopp, PrettyPopp, KissyPopp and MonsterPopp marketed under the name 'Popp n Giggles Popples' which contains a sound box that makes a popping sound followed by a giggle when the popple comes out of its pouch (or when you press down on the shoulders). Also released in 2007 was a version of Popples 'pufflings' called 'Popp n'mini message popples' which could record a 'message'.
Popples è una serie americana composta da 42 episodi suddivisi in due stagioni e basata sui giocattoli "Popples".
Il pilot della serie è un live-action che si intitola "Popples: The Movie (Two-Reel In Live-Action)" e che è stato realizzato con marionette e pupazzi.
Visto l'interessamento del pubblico è stata poi creata la prima stagione animata della serie nel 1986 e la seconda stagione nel 1987.
I Popples hanno una tasca sulla schiena nella quale possono nascondersi formando così una palla; il nome "Popple" prende spunto proprio dal rumore che i Popples emettono quando smettono di nascondersi nella tasca.
Una particolarità del cartone è che non esistono personaggi cattivi ma nonostante questo l'audience è sempre stato molto elevato.
Mentre stanno esplorando l'attico della loro casa, due fratellini (Bonnie e Billy) scoprono una vecchia scatola di giocattoli e dei piccoli amici che la abitano, i Popples.
La serie narra le loro avventure e i tentativi di mantenere segreta l'esistenza dei Popples soprattutto agli adulti.