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  • Writer's pictureHeather Davis

Eight Vital Friends that Keep You Strong

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

Invented in 1983 as a small doll for his daughter Kate, Chris Wigg’s Polly Pocket was tiny and cartoon-like. By 1989, Polly was licensed and launched by Bluebird Toys in Swindon, England, complete with her own little home. During the 90’s, toy giant Mattel distributed the dolls until what is described as its hostile takeover of Bluebird in 1998.

Now, for a toy company, that doesn’t much sound like fun or games.

Under Mattel, Polly Pocket dolls grew larger, became more realistic-looking, and came with a whole host of new fashion accessories. These spin-off Fashion Polly! dolls c. 1999 could get dressed in a pinch with cute clothes made with a new flexible rubber material.

A later evolution of the Polly clothing clicked together with magnets. 4.4 million of the Polly Pocket ‘Quik Clik’ playsets were recalled in November 2006 because kids like to swallow magnets.

Meet the Octofriends.

Octofriends - Urban Natural Designs handcrafted artwork

These lady friends are friendly and confident.

Each with a unique style and personality, Polly and her friends Lila, Lea, Shani and Ana came with townhouses, scooters and with swim party accessories.

But life is about more than that. Let’s re-imagine these ladies for a new generation. These eight are less reality-TV housewives and more entrepreneur start-up crew, each playing an important positive role in each other’s life.

Through his research with the Gallup organization, in his book Tom Rath details what makes up a “vital” friend, someone you need in your life and who without, you’d feel the void. In Vital Friends: People You Can’t Afford to Live Without, Rath outlines the eight types of vital friends that make an ideal support team. Each plays a different role in helping support and motivate us to be our best.

The Builder is your motivator, your coach.

The Champion has your back, sings your praises and stands up for you.

The Collaborator is the friend with your same interests, possibly similar goals.

The Companion is the real friend that will be there no matter what, no matter when, no matter how.

The Connector gets you out around new people, new ideas, new resources

The Energizer turns up the fun and helps pick you up when you’re down

The Mind-Opener helps expose you to new ideas and avenues, and even a new way to look what hasn’t changed

The Navigator is your source of advice and guidance.

The Octofriends are a great reminder of these vital friends that help make us strong and keep us on track. They also help us remember the important roles we play for our own friend crew: whether that be holding someone accountable for sticking to their own goals, standing up for one another or yes, maybe even bail.


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