Stuff We Miss: The Possibilities Were Endless

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If you ever wanted to be a fashion designer when you grew up, maybe you had one of these Fashion Plates sets by Tomy Toys.

With these totally awesome plates featuring raised outlines of outfit pieces, you could create a closet full of looks by combining different plates, placing a blank sheet of paper over top, and bring the unique image to life by running with crayons or colored pencils. You could spend a whole afternoon pretending to be Diane Von Furstenberg or even a designer for Tommy Hilfiger cranking out the hottest designs with everyday, childhood tools. The world of fashion seemed to be at the tip of your crayon…

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And it got better. You could design outfits for the cutest guy group of the early 90s -the New Kids on the Block!

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If Joey, Jonathan, Jordan and the others didn’t float your boat, thank goodness you could design for Steve Urkel himself.

Did you have one of these creative toys? What did you want to be when you grew up?


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  1. Avatar
    Brittany 02/17/2010 at 11:42 am #

    I must have the NKOTB one! That is awesome!

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    Erin (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 11:43 am #

    I wasn’t lucky enough to have the New Kids or Urkel plates, but spent many an afternoon with a box of colored pencils and the original Fashion Plates. Love this post!

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    Jess (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 11:49 am #

    I think i still have (parts of) mine! Wow. Thanks for the flashback.

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    chelsea 02/17/2010 at 11:52 am #

    i LOVED fashion plates. I had Barbie ones when I was younger. It had everything from princess outfits to business lady outfits to swimwear. Cute!

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    hannah 02/17/2010 at 12:00 pm #

    I had one of these! Amazing. I believe at that time though I was telling everybody that I wanted to be a singer/dancer/actor when I grew up. I am miserable at all three in my adult life (unless super crazy bum shaking qualifies as dancing, that I can do).

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    Heather 02/17/2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I LOVED Fashion Plates when I was younger!

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    Katie 02/17/2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I never had those, but I had those paper dolls that came with a bunch of fabric and trimmings and stuff and you could make their outfits. I always preferred just drawing the outfits, though.

    Can you still get these somewhere?

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    Nola 02/17/2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Oh the memories!!! I also had the barbie ones <3
    Hours and hours of young fashion fun!

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    samantha 02/17/2010 at 12:09 pm #

    I had the Barbie one and the Holly Hobbie one.
    I bought my 6 year old daughter the Project Runway one this year for Christmas. She was like me, used all the paper the 1st day.

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    Alyson 02/17/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Just looking at the pictures of the Fashion Plates bring back the smell of crayon for me. I loved my fashion plates and remembered when I received them for Christmas one year. Best toy ever. Thank you for this reminder of childhood!

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    sophie 02/17/2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Ha! I totally had the original fashion plates. Grew up to be a graphic designer so I guess I wasn’t too far off. :o)

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    Catherine 02/17/2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Oooh, the thrill of Fashion Plates. I finally got a set:

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    Grete 02/17/2010 at 12:18 pm #

    ahh! I used to play with fashion plates at my grandma’s house for HOURS! I definitely wanted to be a fashion designer…I’m afraid my drawing skills didnt progress much past those crayons haha

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    Abigail 02/17/2010 at 12:19 pm #

    I had Barbie ones! It was impossible to color them as neatly as they looked on the box. 🙁

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    Kristin 02/17/2010 at 12:20 pm #

    these were some of my favorite toys, hands down! Thank you so much for this little stroll down memory lane!

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    Angela (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Samantha- I did not know there were Project Runway Fashion Plates! Amazing! A must have at any age for sure.

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    Turi (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh my gosh – I had those first fashion plates and they were my favorite thing ever. I wonder if they’re still in a closet in my parents’ basement. I need to find them!

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    Kathy 02/17/2010 at 1:20 pm #

    The song just got stuck in my head, “With fashion plates you can be a designer, a fashion plates fashion designer!!”

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    the clothing menu 02/17/2010 at 1:29 pm #

    haha – this is awesome! i had one of these, but toally forgot about them until seeing this post. that’s a flashback!

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    Christina K. 02/17/2010 at 1:31 pm #

    i had this! and i totally forgot about it until reading this post! wow….back in the day… haha.

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    CassiBluebird 02/17/2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Oh my did I love these! I always wanted to be a fashion designer or Stylist when I grew up. Now Im a stylist and store manager. Not too far off. haha. My older sister and I used to “sketch up some clothes” and then show our mom and ask her who’s was better. She refused to pick. haha.

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    Diana 02/17/2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Wow! This brings back serious memories for me. I’ve got to look for this on Ebay!

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    Lee-Ann 02/17/2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Oh I LOVED my fashion plates! In fact, my mother just dug them out of the attic for my little girl to play with when she visits. So glad mom saved them – and glad to see others who love them too!

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    Brittany 02/17/2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Diana–good luck on eBay. If you’re going for the new kids on the block one…..$300. No kidding. Yikes!

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    Morgan 02/17/2010 at 2:56 pm #

    No joke, I sell these at my work now. Mind you, we don’t have New Kids On The Block (sigh), but it’s still pretty great to know that kid’s stores still carry them. 🙂

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    Emily 02/17/2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I actually still have mine somewhere, but now my little sister uses them. They were Barbie though, and we all know how fashionable she is.

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    Heather C 02/17/2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Fashion plates are probably the reason why today I am a fashion designer! It was my favorite toy!

  28. Avatar
    Michelle P (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I love this!!! This was my first exposure to fashion, and how fun & creative it could be. Now, I need one again!

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    Rachel 02/17/2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Oh, my gosh!!!! I used to have a Barbie one! I had totally forgotten about it! It used to be my favorite toy! 🙂

  30. Avatar
    Ash 02/17/2010 at 4:19 pm #

    OMG – I totally had the original AND the NKOTB versions. I may even still have the finished versions of what I did somewhere…

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    Kristen Renee 02/17/2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Agreeing with Abigail — the set my sister and I had never had the designs come out as great as the ones on the box. I might need those Project Runway ones… I am so addicted to that show!

  32. Avatar
    Mary 02/17/2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I love this too! I think BB Dakota should make these from their long, thin-legged drawings the sometimes send attached to a piece of their clothing! I’d buy that for SURE!

  33. Avatar
    Angela (ModCloth) 02/17/2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Heather C- Isn’t that cool to have been inspired by what is considered by some just a “toy?” You’re most likely right about the Fashion Plates instilling the fashion and creativity in you early on and it’s a good thing they did!

    We need more creative “toys” like this today.

  34. Avatar
    rhea 02/17/2010 at 7:29 pm #

    I had the Barbie one! I wish I never got rid of it, where ever that was and whenever that was!

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    Jill 02/17/2010 at 7:35 pm #

    OMG I had that first kit and drew HUNDREDS of outfits… I drew my inspiration from Betty & Veronica, mostly.

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    Ann 02/17/2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I totally had one of these and LOVED it! Thanks for reminding me about them!

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    Becky 02/17/2010 at 11:53 pm #

    I did have the Fashion Plates! (And I’d completely forgotten about it until this post reminded me!) I can’t help but think that it inspired my early attempts at designing fashion for myself…my one and only Barbie doll spent way more time as a mannequin for me to concoct designs from my mom’s fabric scraps on!

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    Tammy 02/18/2010 at 2:16 am #

    I totally forgot that I had those! Haha, thanks for the reminder 🙂

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    Emily 02/18/2010 at 2:32 am #

    I still have the Barbie version that I played with when I was younger. Loved that you could mix and match.

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    jocasta02 02/18/2010 at 9:47 am #

    OMG I forgot how totally amazing this was!!!

  41. Avatar
    Christina 02/18/2010 at 11:36 am #

    OMG! I had a Fashion Plates set too! Toys and arts & crafts stuff was so much better in the 90s!

  42. Avatar
    Michelle 02/18/2010 at 11:43 am #

    I had one and it was one of my favorite toys!!

  43. Avatar
    Cristina D. 02/18/2010 at 12:09 pm #

    I had the fashion plates, I wish I still had them!!!! Man, they were great!

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    Christine 02/18/2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Hours of fun with the old school Fashion Plates when I was a kid. Loved them so much I bought an updated version for my daughter.

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    Kristiana 02/18/2010 at 5:08 pm #

    WOOOW! I want this, even though I’m not 10 anymore :D!

  46. Avatar
    Aire (ModCloth) 02/18/2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I loveeeed these!!!!! Great stuff we miss!!

  47. Avatar
    jennifer 02/18/2010 at 11:24 pm #

    I had the Barbie one!! I forgot all about that thing, it was so cool!

  48. Avatar
    Lauren 02/19/2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I had the original and the barbie one!

  49. Avatar
    Jennifer 02/19/2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I had forgotten all about this! I had the Barbie one and it was one of my favourite toys, even though I could never colour it in as neat as it was on the box. Thanks for reminding me about how awesome Fashion Plates were!

  50. Avatar
    maryb 02/19/2010 at 9:46 pm #

    OMG!!!!!!!! I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THESE!! I LOOOOOOOOVED THESE THINGS! thank you thank you thank you for bringing this up. i was just talking about oldie things with my friends. LOL this will totally bring it back. =P

  51. Avatar
    maryam 02/20/2010 at 8:36 am #


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    Rachael Aislynn 02/20/2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I that exact one of Fashion Plates. Actually, did you guys steal it?!

  53. Avatar
    julia 02/22/2010 at 5:08 pm #

    I miss this sooo much! I was sooo mad when my mom gave it to my younger cousin without my permission!

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    Ashley 02/25/2010 at 2:58 pm #

    My original Fashion Plates. It was the only time in my life I had any sense of style before I found this site. Although I was a child model (Very VERY briefly. My grandmother tailor made all my clothes though, so when I wasn’t posing professionally, I was ALWAYS in front of HER camera.) I wore all the clothes she made for me to school, until she couldn’t make them anymore. That’s when lost my sense of fashion and became a plain jeans and T kinda gal. Being raised by grandma, I loved old fashioned things, and would use my Fashion Plates to make vintage looking clothing. Thank God for Mod Cloth, my sense of style has returned and I can look fabulously old school. 🙂

  55. Avatar
    Becca Boo 02/25/2010 at 3:50 pm #

    I loved those! Awww memories!

  56. Avatar
    Laurie A 02/28/2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I had the original set of Fashion Plates. They were particularly helpful in providing surface texture. But I vastly preferred making my own drawings. At the time, when I was age 10-11, I very much wanted to be a fashion designer. I’m more interested in interior design now. I haven’t really learned to sew yet,

  57. Avatar
    Kelly 03/16/2010 at 2:35 pm #

    OMG I loved this. It brought back memories 🙂

  58. Avatar
    jenni 06/01/2010 at 8:59 pm #

    I always wanted this! I think it is the one thing I wanted that I didn’t get in the 80s.

    I’m dying for someone to post the commercial on youtube!

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