For a little girl, it’s a guarantee that her brother tried to break into her diary. If it was hidden, he would find it, and if it was locked, he would borrow dad’s tools from the garage and do a little amateur safecracking.
But a savvy sister could use her brother’s, um, brotherliness, to her advantage.
Knowing that boys don’t much care for frills, she could hide her valuables in frilly objects, and most of the time, breathe easy knowing that the repulsed little rascal wouldn’t go anywhere near.
The toy company Galoob was hip to this age-old sister wisdom, and in the mid-1980s, they offered girls the Sweet Secrets locket line.
To the passer-by, these were just a series of little plastic dolls that measured a mere few inches high and were shaped like children.
But, taking its lead from the Trojan Horse of yore, there was a secret compartment in the back.
When you opened the latch, there was a compartment you could hide your loot in, provided your loot was on the small side. Coins, jewellery, notes, the key to the diary your brother hadn’t busted open yet – this is where it went.
Sitting up there on your shelf, it just looked like another little girly object the typical brother had absolutely no interest in.
Don’t think the secrets stopped at lockets, though. With a feminine twist to the transforming toys trend, Galoob also produced a line of small adjustable toys that could shapeshift from jewellery (a necklace, a bracelet) to animals and back again: Tu Tu Toucan and Star Jumper (that’s a pony, for you Sweet Secret novices) to name just a pair.
As the logo on the box declared, “it’s an adorable transformable world”.