The 3rd April 1986 was the first time we ever got to look inside Mr. Grimes’ Toy Factory, what we found would change children’s’ cartoons in the UK forever –The Raggy Dolls. Created by Melvyn Jacobson and written and voiced by Neil Innes, The Raggy Dolls would go onto run for nine series (112 episodes); with its final episode airing on 20th December 1994.
The Raggy Dolls followed the exploits of a bunch of dolls who are found to have a fault with them at the end of their factory production line and because of that fault they are thrown into the reject bin where they now live. While unobserved by human eyes, the dolls come to life and climb out of the reject bin to have adventures.
The Raggy Dolls consisted of:
- Sad Sack – A sample of a design that was deemed too expensive to mass-produce. He is the oldest doll in the Reject Bin.
- Dotty – Self appointed leader of the group and very bossy. She is so named because she accidentally had paint spilt on her hair and clothing. Dotty’s main catchphrase is: “Good thinking!”
- Hi-Fi – He was dropped during testing and as a result now has a stammer.
- Lucy – Her limbs are inadequately attached with nylon thread, her name being a pun on the word “loose”. She is shy and easily frightened, but always kind-hearted and loyal to her friends.
- Back-To-Front – A handyman whose head was sown on the wrong way round.
- Claude – Unlike his companions Claude has no faults apart from the fact he is French – he fell out of a box of dolls being shipped to France and was left behind so was placed in the reject bin.
- Princess – She should have been a beautiful princess doll, but the machine accidentally cut her hair and left her dress in rags.
- Ragamuffin – A wandering traveller doll who’d lost his owner and decided to spend his life taking in new sights and experiences.
The clear purpose of the series purpose being to encourage children to think positively about people who are different to themselves, as well as teaching kindness, tolerance and humility towards others.