Dolly Review: Maru and Friends Maru

Earlier this month, I wrote a quick introduction to a 20″ doll line called Maru and Friends, in preparation for a Maru review.  Since then, I’ve played around with Maru quite a bit and I am finally ready to give you guys a full review!

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Her adorable little face was crafted by Dianna Effner.  The Maru and Friends line was a passion project of doll collector Maritza Gutierrez.  Her goal was to make a doll line that would more realistically represent the girls who were playing with them.  For an overview of the line, check out my earlier introduction post.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

American Girl vs Maru and Friends vs A Girl for All Time

American Girl vs Maru and Friends vs A Girl for All Time

Right off the bat, I was surprised by how Maru towered over other dolls within her price bracket.  At 20″ tall, she’s taller than both American Girl and A Girl for All Time.  She’s completely vinyl, which gives her body a nice weight to it. She feels substantial and well made, warranting the price tag of just over $120.00.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru has well working joints, possibly the best joints I’ve seen on a doll of this size.  Her neck tilts in all directions.  It holds its pose well and allows for a lot of movement.  Continuing down, her shoulders and hip are jointed.  They also hold their poses surprisingly well.   Unfortunately, Maru is missing the ever important elbow joint, so she can’t carry items as well as I would like.  Her arms do have a nice curved look to them, though.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru stands like a champ.  Even with her arms in various poses, she balances on her own.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Wigged, Maru has hair that is easy to style.  They even offer styling services through the company, much like American Girl.  In Maru’s case, she has nicely wigged dark brown hair that goes down her back and fringe/bangs.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

The thing I like most about Maru is her adorable, childlike face.  The inset, glass like eyes and ‘real’ eyelashes are two features that really make Maru’s eyes pop. The almond shape of her eyes looks really nice, too.  This doll definitely smiles with her eyes.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Her round face features full cheeks, a cute nose and mauve lips.  Maru has light coloring above her eye lids and light blushing on her cheeks.  Overall, her face is relatively clear of heavy make up.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru comes dressed in an outfit that has 9 pieces total, which is a lot considering what her competition comes with.  Accessories that American Girl would charge extra for, like Maru’s purse and hat, come packaged with Maru from the get go.

Maru and friends

Maru and friends

Her outfit itself includes a three quarter sleeve orange shirt, a striped orange vest, an orange scarf, a brown corduroy skirt, brown tights, white undies and brown boots.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

There’s so many pieces to this outfit, I’m amazed.  The number of separates shows that those behind Maru and Friends tried to put out a doll that was worth the price, which is a very good thing.  How is the quality of the clothing? It’s on par with other companies in the 20″ doll market and fits well.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Now, the one thing that bugs me a little?  I don’t know of any other doll that is similar enough in size to interchange outfits.  My American Girl’s stuffed torso is much wider than this vinyl Maru and A Girl for All Time is much shorter.  A reader messaged me about asking if she might fit Karito Kids clothing, but as I don’t own one of those, I don’t know for sure.  If anything, that might be the closest to this doll in height, but I have a feeling they might be thinner than Maru and Friends due to Karito’s fabric torso.  As others have commented on my introduction post and box opening, it is annoying when a doll is so specific in size that it can’t wear other doll line’s outfits.  I realize they want you to purchase Maru and Friends brand clothing, but still, it would be really, really nice if we could find a doll line that might be in line with this one, outfit wise.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru comes with a certificate of authenticity and a picture book.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru is a beautiful doll.  Her face is really captivating with the glossy brown almond eyes.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

I had a ton of fun photographing her for this review!

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

If I could suggest any improvements, they would be these: I would love to have seen elbow joints on her.  I think elbow joints would have opened her up to a lot more pose-ability.  Also, I would work on the website a bit to make sure the finalized dolls are the most prominent graphics.  For example, owner images of Tanya have different hair than the product page and Maru is shown wearing two different outfits on her product page, making it hard to tell what outfit you actually receive when you order.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Is Maru worth the cost?  Totally.  I will always be a fan of American Girl dolls, but they’re falling behind a bit when compared to dolls like A Girl for All Time and Maru and Friends.  For more information on Maru and Friends, check out their website.  You can also find them on Facebook or you can visit them in person if you live in the Florida area.

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends

What do you think of Maru from Maru and Friends? Leave your thoughts below!

*This doll was sent to me for a fair and honest review.  All opinions stated are my own.

July 22, 2014. Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 10 comments.

My Little Pony Customs- My Favorites

Not only do I collect dolls, but I, also, collect My Little Ponies.  Some of my favorite pieces in my collection are custom ponies I picked up from anime conventions and the internet.  I thought I’d spotlight those customs today!

You’ll notice many of the custom ponies in this post are G1′s.  Why?  Simply put, they’re my favorite generation of My Little Ponies.  I love their size and overall look.  I think they have more personality than the current My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic line, though some of the customs are nice.  (They’re still too small for me, though!)

Many of my customs are from the same artist, because I bought the majority of these at Anime Central a few years back.  So, without further ado, here’s  my small collection of My Little Pony customs.

Fruits Basket- Kyo

Fruits Basket- Kyo

I love my Kyo pony, based on the hot headed character from Fruits Basket.  He was one of my first My Little Pony customs.  He was customized by Marienoire and picked up at ACEN.

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

This Fruits Basket pony was gifted to me from a friend who was going through her collection.  There was no way I was going to pass up this cutie.  Her body has zodiac animals painted all over it, to represent the characters in Fruits Basket.  The onigiri represents the main character, Tohru. This custom was made by Marienoire and picked up at ACEN.

Playdate

Playdate

Playdate is a custom pony I picked up off eBay a few years ago.  The artist is unknown, as eBay won’t go back far enough for me to find their name.  I was drawn to this pony because of her fun hair!

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

These Hello Kitty custom ponies, again created by Marienoire, were gifts.  Unlike the first few featured here in the post, they’re G3 ponies. They make a cute family, don’t they?

Gargoyles Demona

Gargoyles Demona

Gargoyles is one of my favorite cartoons.  It’s up there with Jem and the Holograms and Avatar: The Last Airbender. (That makes me think– how awesome would an Avatar: The Last Airbender pony collection be?!) This pony is Demona themed and looks super cool.  She was painted by Marienoire and picked up at ACEN.

Katniss

The Hunger Games Katniss

This pony wasn’t created to be Katniss, but when I saw it, I thought it really spoke to the feisty character in The Hunger Games trilogy.  She’s a G3 pony, customized by an unknown artist.  Katniss was purchased on eBay.

Zebra

Zebra

I love this zebra!  She’s so cute.  My favorite part of this custom is the spiky mane.  Purchased at ACEN, this custom was, also, created by Marienoire.

Naruto and Sakura from Naruto

Naruto and Sakura from Naruto

If you’ve seen Naruto, you know who these two cuties are– Naruto and Sakura.  I can hear you asking, what about Sasuke? Sorry, I didn’t like Sasuke as much as these two.  These baby ponies were customized  by AnimeAmy and picked up (again) at ACEN.  One of the neatest elements on these guys are the headbands made of sculpey.  I, also, like that Naruto’s cutie mark is ramen noodles.

Polka Dot

Polka Dot

I couldn’t pass up this adorable custom when I saw it on eBay this past month.  Created by Emerring, this pony is appropriately named Polka Dot.  She’s a G3 pony covered in glow in the dark dots.  Pretty much everything about this pony spoke to me– the colors, the dots.  This was a great buy.

Trigun's Vash

Trigun’s Vash

If I had to choose a favorite custom, it would be this one, Vash, from the Trigun series.  Full disclosure, I’ve never actually watched Trigun, but I have always loved the look of Vash.  This pony, with his spiky hair, glasses and bright red body is as eye catching as the anime character.  Another thing I like about this custom is the use of a sitting pony body. Vash was customized by Marienoire and purchased at ACEN.

Do you have any custom ponies?  Do you have a favorite from my top ten?  Do you have a favorite pony artist?  Share your thoughts below!

July 7, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Introducing: Maru and Friends

Maru and Friends made its debut in 2008.  The doll line was the brainchild of  Maritza Gutierrez, a doll collector turned doll designer.  To help bring her vision to life, she enlisted world renowned doll sculptor Dianna Effner to give her dolls a realistic, childlike look. If you’ve been collecting long and have an eye for porcelain dolls, you most likely know that name, as it’s graced the insides of doll magazines for years!  (Her Expressions site has some interesting doll making tutorials you may want to check out!)

At 21″ tall, these dolls are similar in size (about 4″ taller) and price to A Girl for All Time and American Girl.  Maru and Friends are made of vinyl and have jointed shoulders and hips.  Their head tilts in all directions.

The line currently consists of five characters.  The character that brings the line together is Maru, a Latina doll.  When we meet Maru, she is traveling to America from her home country to live with her aunt and uncle.  At school, she meets other girls in similar, but different situations.

Maru and her Friends

Maru and her Friends

Maru’s friends include Tanya, Raven, Jamie and Savannah.  My favorite of her friends is Raven.  Savannah is, also, very cute, with her ginger hair.

Outfits for Maru and Friends

Outfits for Maru and Friends

Outfits for Maru and Friends

Outfits for Maru and Friends

Of course, a doll needs outfits.  Maru and Friends offers a nice variety of clothing for the line.  Outfits include the adorable bathing suit line, collectable outfits (like the Cozy Collection above) and cute ‘fashionista’ fashions (also pictured above).  The sweater set is adorable, isn’t it?  I, also, like the Rock Star look that Tanya is modeling in the pictures above.

Friends Forever Armoire

Friends Forever Armoire

Maru and Friends have some pretty cute furniture pieces, too.  The color scheme isn’t terribly exciting, they’re all stark white, but the sets look like they are well made.

Tea Table

Tea Table

Color would add a lot to these furniture pieces, but I like the look of them.  The bunk bed is my favorite.

Sleepover Fun Bunk Bed

Sleepover Fun Bunk Bed

Maru and Friends dolls are wigged and have hair that is easy to comb and style.  They even offer styling services!  Those in the Florida area can see these dolls in person at Aventura Mall, Town Center at Boca Raton and Coral Gables. Check the website for exact addresses or call the number below.

Maru and Friends Florida Locations

Maru and Friends Florida Locations

It looks like they host a good number of activities and even do tea parties!  If you can’t make the trip to Florida, don’t fear– you can order these dolls online, too.  For more information on Maru and Friends, check out their website or visit their facebook page.

Why am I writing about this company, other than the fact that the dolls look adorable?  Well, I received one for review and wanted to give you a little insight into the doll before posting a full overview of Maru. When she arrived,  I put together a box opening video!  It’s been live on my YouTube channel for a week or so now, but, in case you missed it, here’s your ‘first look’!

A full review is on the way, so stay tuned!  Until then, why not check out the Maru and Friends website and let me know what your favorite doll, outfit or furniture piece is!

*Photo credit: http://www.maruandfriends.com

July 6, 2014. Tags: , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: Monster High Freaky Fusion Avea Trotter

Hey, hey, hey, it’s time to review a new Monster High doll!  For the past few months, the internet has been abuzz about the Monster High Freaky Fusion line, which features monster hybrids.

Avea Trotter is one of three new characters introduced in Freaky Fusion. She’s part Centaur and part Harpy.  We’ve seen Harpy’s before in the Create a Monster line, but a Centaur?  That’s completely new and very exciting.  Of the three hybrids introduced in the new line, she was the one I was most looking forward to.  A doll with four legs who can stand on her own?  Sounds perfect! For the most part, she didn’t let me down.

Avia Trotter

Avea Trotter

Let’s start off with the big thing– Avea’s body.  Is it jointed and how well?  Avea’s light purple torso is very similar to what we’ve seen on other Monster High dolls.  Her arms have the exact same jointing we’ve seen on other dolls, in fact. A nice unique features on this doll is the rough scale like design on her arms.  Her hands are black, which makes her look like she’s wearing gloves.

Avia

Avea

The main difference in the torso is that Avea has a chest joint that allows her upper chest to move forward and backward and to tilt slightly left and right.  It’s not the best joint and doesn’t give as much movement as I would have liked.

Avia

Avea

I had expected there to be a joint somewhere where the torso meets the centaur body, but alas, she has none.

Avia

Avea

Because Avea is part Harpy, she has wings.  They are removable.

Avia

Avea

Her torso is attached to a dark purple horse-like body.  The four legs allow this doll to stand on her own, which is fantastic.  Jointing is a little sketchy when it comes to the legs.  The front legs have joints that go forwards and backwards at the hip and knee. She also has a joint right above her hoofs, hidden by the black leg warmers.

Avia- front legs

Avea- front legs

Her back legs have large joints at the hips that allow her legs to move backwards and slightly forwards.  There are no other joints on her hind legs.  Her hip and leg are decorated with pink skulls.

Avia

Avea

Avea has a tail, of course, filled with bright blue hair.

Avia

Avea

Avea’s head is the same light purple as her torso.  Her eyes are decorated with lots of colors in a feather-like pattern,including a nice green and various pinks.  I’m a bit torn on my opinion of her eyes.  I like the bright colors and the feathery pattern, but it almost seems like too much is going on.  I really do like her dark purple lips, though.  They look great on the skin tones they chose for Avea.

Avia

Avea

One really nice feature on the head mold are Avea’s horse ears.  They’re so neat!  I love them.  They stand out a lot due to the hair style on this girl.  Speaking of styling, Avea has bright (and I mean bright) rooted hair in various blue tones.

Avia

Avea

The bright blue is a great contrast to the light and dark purple’s on the body.  The style is simple, just a high pony tail, but is rounded out with a cute steampunk’y style hat.

Avia

Avea

Avea is dressed in a very equestrian sort of way. Because she’s part centaur, the clothing only covers her torso. I must admit, I didn’t mess around with her clothing a lot.  Her wings are staying in really well at the moment and I didn’t want to ruin that.  She has a dark blue shirt, covered with a short sleeve pink equestrian style jacket.  Her belt is made of plastic and is molded to cover her horse body like reins.  Because she has hoof’s, shoes are not necessary, but she does wear some neat plastic leg warmers.

Avia

Avea

Finals thoughts?  There’s no denying she’s a neat doll, in terms of body type.  I think they cut some corners with the jointing in her back legs.  However, I love the fact that she can stand on her own. The color palette is vibrant and for the most part, I like it.

Avia

Avea

I really like the details on the wings and the colors they chose for them, too. The make up can be seen as being a bit over the top, but as I mentioned, I’m on the fence at the moment!  In a strange turn of events, after seeing all three of these new hybrids, she is no longer my favorite.  You’ll have to wait and see which of the remaining two is! Overall, though, I think Avea Trotter is a nice addition to the Monster High line.

What do you think of Avea Trotter? Share your thoughts below!

June 24, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Dolly Re-Root: Little Miss No Name

I’ve been re-rooting again!  I know, I know, I’ve re-rooted a ton of Little Miss No Names’ in the past, but they’re so much fun to re-root.  Plus, the usual recipient of my re-roots really likes Little Miss No Name.

For this re-root, I used a nylon brunette tone called ‘Devil’s Food’.  It took 5-6 hanks from Dollyhair.  My mom chose a dark brunette for this doll, because the last re-root was a light blonde.  I’ve dubbed these two as sisters with very polarizing hair colors!

Little Miss No Name Re-Root

Little Miss No Name Re-Root

The sisters together

The sisters together

I never tire of re-rooting Little Miss No Name heads.  I have one more in the wings getting a ginger sort of color, but I really want to try a fantasy color on these guys.  What fantasy color or colors do you think would work wonders on this doll?  Share your thoughts below!

June 23, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Re-Root, Category: Uncategorized. 3 comments.

World Doll Day Post- Favorite Non-Fashion Dolls

Happy World Doll Day!  I’ve been going back and forth on what to post to celebrate the occasion for the past week.  I finally settled on this.  I’ve reviewed many new dolls here on the blog and discussed a lot of Skipper dolls, but I have yet to introduce you to five of my favorite non-fashion dolls. These dolls were all gifts and will always hold a special place in my heart.  None of them are worth much in terms of second hand value, which is fine with me, as I don’t collect solely to re-sell, but all hold sentimental value.

Cabbage Patch Kid, Elizabeth Ann

Cabbage Patch Kid, Elizabeth Ann

The Cabbage Patch Kids came out in 1983, the same year I was born.  If you remember, the Cabbage Patch Kids were a big thing, especially during Christmas of 1983, where people literally ripped stores apart trying to get their hands on one. My father, during that time, worked multiple jobs, one of which was at Osco.  A perk of working at Osco (besides having enough money to pay the bills)?  Getting first dibs on Cabbage Patch Kids when they arrived.  Elizabeth Ann arrived during a shift, he claimed her and brought her home for his dear, sweet daughter– me– sometime in 1984.  While I have a handful of Cabbage Patch Kids, Elizabeth Ann is still my favorites. My dad going the extra mile to find one makes her special.  Elizabeth Ann was originally dressed in a dress, but has been wearing this Brownie outfit for a few years now.  You can see her legs and arms have a bit of wear, but that’s from being loved.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Appa Plush

Avatar: The Last Airbender 20: Appa Plush

Appa is a flying bison and was featured in the excellent cartoon Avatar: the Last Airbender (2005-2008).  If you haven’t watched Avatar, I suggest doing so!  The animation is fantastic and the storyline is friendly for all ages.  When this plush first appeared in the Nick store, I did what most 20 somethings do when they see something they want– post the link on my Mom’s Facebook.  My mom and I share links a lot and usually it doesn’t lead anywhere.  However, during one Christmas a few years ago, I was happily surprised to find this adorable 20″ stuffed Appa under the tree.  This Appa is the most huggable plushie I’ve ever seen and for this reason, whenever I’m feeling down, hugging this little guy makes me feel better.

Madame Alexander Victoria

Madame Alexander Victoria

I’ve written about my Madame Alexander Victoria before.  I received her in 1987 when my brother was born.  The special thing about Victoria is that not only do I have one, but my mom does, too!  She received her own Victoria when her brother was born in 1968. The tradition of giving a Victoria to those with siblings has continued with my cousins and, hopefully, will continue on for a long, long time.

Big Russ Troll

12″ Russ Troll

As a kid, my mother, brother, grandparents and uncles would frequent malls quite a bit.  One of those malls was Gurnee Mills.  Back in the 90′s, Gurnee Mills had one of the best kiosks ever– it was a Troll Kiosk.  Filled with trolls big and small, it was one of the highlights of going to Gurnee.  The thing that stood out most in the large kiosk were the 12″ Russ trolls. Dressed in all different outfits with different hair colors, these trolls were on my wish list throughout most of the 90′s!  Here’s one of the cuties that I received from that booth.  These large trolls will always be attached to memories of walking through Gurnee with my family.

West German Doll made by the Germany Toy Company GTC

West German Doll made by the Germany Toy Company (GTC)

I received this doll upon my grandmothers death.  My grandmother purchased this doll as an adult sometime in the 70′s.  I don’t have much information about this plastic doll, other than she’s 20″ tall, with a German Toy Company tag labeled West Germany.  My grandmother didn’t have many dolls, so I treasure this piece and am glad it could come home with me.

These five dolls may not be rare or in mint condition, but they are some of my favorite pieces.  The fact that they were given to me by people I love and that they hold memories make them special.

World Doll Day seems to be a great day to share the love of doll collecting with others, whether it’s giving a doll away to a stranger or to your best friend.  Just the art of giving a doll to another is a great thing and you never know– one day maybe the doll you gave someone will pop up on a blog just like this.

World Doll Day Logo

World Doll Day Logo

What dolls were you given that hold special sentimental value?  Share your story in the comment area. And have a very happy World Doll Day!

June 14, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 6 comments.

World Doll Day is Tomorrow!

World Doll Day Logo

World Doll Day Logo

World Doll Day is tomorrow, Saturday, June 14th!  Don’t know what World Doll Day is?  I blogged about it a few weeks ago. How do you plan on celebrating?  If your blog is doing something special, link to it in your comment.  Share your thoughts below!

June 13, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Puddle 2014

Saturday was Puddle, a convention that celebrates all things Pullip and friends.  Started in 2007 by fans of the doll line, Puddle is held yearly in the suburbs of Chicago and is attended by collectors from all over the United States.  While I’ve known about Puddle for a few years now, this year was the first year I attended.  Because there’s safety in numbers, I invited my mother along for the ride.  She’s the best convention partner around!

Our Puddle adventure started bright and early at around 8:30AM. Once we checked in, we both grabbed our goody bags that included things like original laminated art, candy, outfits, eye chips and other small things.

Goody Bag Dress

Goody Bag Dress

My bag included an outfit donated by Sewgrandmacathy in cute Hello Kitty fabric and my mom’s had a pair of dolly sized skinny jeans.  I don’t have a doll to model this yet, but will post a photo on my Facebook page when I do!

Inside the Convention Room...

Inside the Convention Room…

Inside the convention room were various tables. Of course, the center was filled with tables for attendees to sit at and display their dolls.  Mingling was very much encouraged throughout the convention.  As I’m not the best at socializing with strangers (I can’t help it, I’m a bit shy), I welcomed the initial ice breaker, which focused on us walking around with a sheet of paper getting signatures from people who had brought or done various Puddle/Pullip related things.  Upon completion, we received a raffle ticket for a chance to win outfits and other fun dolly items.

One table featured free issues of Dolls Magazine, recent and not so recent!  Dolls Magazine even offered attendees a free digital subscription to the magazine.  While I have my issues with doll magazines of today, I am not one to pass up a free issue or two.

Dealers Tables

Dealers Tables

The area that I was most excited to see was the row of dealers table at the end of the room.  You all know this by now, I love shopping, especially at conventions.  As Puddle is a smaller fan gathering of under 100 people, I didn’t expect to see lots of dealers.  My assumption was right.  There were just under 10 dealers selling their wares.  I was happily surprised by the vendors that did attend Puddle, though.  I was able to pick up some super cute outfits that were not only Pullip friendly, but Hujoo and Makie friendly, as well!  Ironically, while I came in thinking I would enhance my Pullip collection, I mostly enhanced my other 1/6 sized dolls closets!

As far as activities went, the morning portion of the convention was mostly mingling, shopping and trading, ice breakers and group photos.  The afternoon activities included an open customizing Q and A and a variety of contests.  My mom and I only stayed through lunch, because we had to get back home to take care of something, but the morning turned out to be pretty fun!  I met a lot of nice people and had the shock of a lifetime when someone asked me if I was on YouTube.  It turned out she was a YouTube subscriber of mine!  Small world, right?

And the dolls people brought?  First off, there were so many!  Attendees literally brought suitcases of dolls to show off on their table.  I’m positive the dolls outnumbered the attendees!  And there weren’t just stock dolls!  The majority of what I saw were custom dolls.   There was a huge variety of types and sizes of Pullips, Taeyangs, Dals, etc on display.  Like my mom and I, people brought other non Pullip dolls, too.  I saw many Blythes and surprisingly, I found some of them really cute! (I’m not a huge Blythe fan…)  Here are some of the dolls that came to Puddle.

Group Shot- Left

Group Shot- Left

Group Shot Middle

Group Shot Middle

Group Shot- Right

Group Shot- Right

Here are some of my favorite dolls collectors brought to Pullip.

I love the Taeyang in this shot!

I love the Taeyang in this shot!

The two middle Pullips are adorable!

The two middle Pullips are adorable!

This Doctor Who themed Pullip is on the Victorique stock body I reviewed a while back!

This Doctor Who themed Pullip is a customized Victorique!  I reviewed one of those a while back!

How cute is Harry Potter?!

How cute is Harry Potter?!

Another cute rainbow themed custom

Another cute rainbow themed custom

This girl is adorable.  The bob, the eyes, the jacket-- so cute!

This girl is adorable. The bob, the eyes, the jacket– so cute!

Jedi Knights are always cool.

Jedi Knights are always cool.

This girl was just so different than the rest. Her freckles are great!

This girl was just so different than the rest. Her freckles are great!

Puddle's theme was rainbows.  This dress turned out amazing, do you think?

Puddle’s theme was rainbows. This dress turned out amazing, do you think?

I love the purple wig and the make up free face on this Pullip!

I love the purple wig and the make up free face on this Pullip!

Hello Kitty.  So cute!

Hello Kitty. So cute!

And there were two very large displays that need to be featured here.

Large display of adorableness.

Large display of adorableness.

Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids, need I say more?  This was by far the coolest collection brought to Puddle.

Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids, need I say more? This was by far the coolest collection brought to Puddle.

So, the question I’m sure your asking, what did she buy?!  I went into Puddle thinking I would pick up a Make It Own or My Select set to customize my own doll or even get a head start on my next Once Upon a Time based doll.  Unfortunately, none of the vendors had those sets.  The backup plan was to find someone selling nude dolls at a price that warranted customizing them.  Following suit, no one had affordable stock bodies for me. Two disappointing strikes. In the end, I decided to focus on outfitting my dolls, because most of the vendors were selling clothing and at affordable prices, to boot! (Azone was selling, but while I love the look of their 1/6 scale figures, I can’t pay over $100 for them.)

My Makie in her new Sailor Moon cosplay

My Makie in her new Sailor Moon cosplay

I brought my Makie along, because, while I love the doll itself, the outfits from MakieLab’s need work.  My first purchase at Puddle was an adorable Sailor Moon themed outfit for Siena, my Makie.  Being a two piece outfit, I didn’t have to worry about Siena’s strange torso.  The top fit really well, too, as it’s not supposed to be skin tight.  This outfit was made by Quamara of Quaint Quintessence.

Doctor Whooves Cosplay (modeled by my Makie)

Doctor Whooves Cosplay (modeled by my Makie)

Doctor Whooves (back)

Doctor Whooves (back)

Twilight Sparkle cosplay (modeled by Hujoo)

Twilight Sparkle cosplay (modeled by Hujoo)

Twilight Sparkle Cosplay (back)

Twilight Sparkle Cosplay (back)

Quamara had a ton of cute pop culture’y pieces at her booth, including two piece sets (a hoodie and skirt) themed around My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Of course, I couldn’t pass those up.  I picked up Twilight Sparkle and Doctor Whooves.  The great thing about these is that, like the Sailor Moon outfit and my Makie, these outfits fit my Hujoo!

Re-Ment

Re-Ment

Because I can never pass them up, I picked up four Re-Ment mystery boxes from Sakura’s Blossoms.  I’m a sucker for miniature food items, even though I don’t have a doll house to really display a lot of the pieces I own.  (The fact that Anime Central had ziltch when it came to Re-Ment aided in me buying these at Puddle!)

Coat (modeled by Bobobie Sprite)

Coat (modeled by Bobobie Sprite)

My mom picked up an awesome MSD sized jacket for her Bobobie from Kaleidoscope Coats, a newer vendor to hit the dolly market. These coats are super neat and almost otherworldly.

Coat (modeled by DIM Fantasia)

Coat (modeled by DIM Fantasia)

I picked up a cool earthy jacket that cuts off at the waist.  Currently, Breena, my Doll In Mind Fantasia is wearing it, though she needs a new skirt or pants to match it!

Catwoman and future Regina Mills/Evil Queen custom

Catwoman and future Regina Mills/Evil Queen custom

The last thing I picked up is the piece I went back and forth on most.  I went into the day thinking that I wouldn’t pick up any stock dolls.  However, Shifty Lizard was at the convention, which made things a little more difficult.  I truly wasn’t going to buy anything from their booth, because their prices were high, but then I saw a discounted Catwoman Pullip. The doll was being sold at a discount because the goggles were loose in the package.   What really caught my eye was the doll under the outfit.  The stock doll immediately reminded me of Regina/The Evil Queen.  In the end, I picked her up in hopes to add to my Once Upon a Time custom collection.

My mom made out pretty well in the swap/buy/trade portion of the morning, picking up a handful of wigs at 3 bucks a pop!

I must admit, I did expect more wig and shoe options on the vendor floor and I definitely expected more nicely priced nude dolls or a Make It Own set or two.  However, I am happy with the majority of what I picked up, especially in regards to the outfits!  My dolly budget is, of course, blown for the month, which means I will most likely see every single new Monster High or Ever After High dolls released recently on store shelves!

Group Photo

Group Photo

More importantly, I had a fun time interacting with other doll collectors!  It’s always interesting (in a good way) to be around others who like the same things you do and can relate to the hobby based things you might do!  Overall, I’m glad I finally got to attend Puddle.  It was a fun way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait till next year!

For more photos, check out my Facebook page.  You’ll see table photos galore over there!

My mom's MIO Isul and my custom Emma Swan

My mom’s MIO Isul and my custom Emma Swan

Did you attend Puddle or another local doll con recently?  What did you think?  Did you buy anything fun? Share your thoughts below!

June 11, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Picture Heavy Posts and Impulse Buys, Category: Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Dolly Review: Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse Toddler Doll

For months now, I’ve seen the Disney Classic Friends toddler doll on store shelves.  I finally decided to pick her up.  There are two variations of this doll out so far.  One focuses on Winnie the Pooh and the other, the one I picked, focuses on Mickey Mouse.  I was drawn to this particular doll because of her bright outfit and cute pigtails!

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends are made by Tollytots, a division of Jakks Pacific.  You may know the Tollytots name from the My First Disney Princess line. Disney Classic Friends are 15″ tall.

Disney Classic Friends Winnie the Pooh

Disney Classic Friends Winnie the Pooh

She has some jointing, though not as much as I would like.  Her arms go up and down and do tilt out a small bit. Her legs are limited to moving up and  down. Because of this, I find it hard to make this girl stand on her own.  I wish I could just tilt her legs out a bit to widen her stance.  She has no joints on her elbows, wrists, knees or ankles.  Mickey Mouse’s head can turn left and right, but does not tilt up or down.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Speaking of her head, she has a head full of rooted reddish/brown hair.  The prototype doll has hair that looks a lot more ginger than the doll we see in stores.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse Prototype

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse Prototype

I prefer the doll they eventually produced to the prototype!  Her hair is styled in cute, curly pigtails.  Her bangs are curled, as well.  The style is moderately sprayed down with hair spray.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse’s face is adorable.  Similar to the Disney Animator Collection, her eyes are made to look more like inset eyes and less like the decal eyes many toddler dolls have.  They’re large and blue.  Above her eye, there’s a little light pink shadow.  Mickey has adorable chubby cheeks highlighted with a little blush, a button nose and large pink lips.  I love the cartoon like look these dolls have and, of course, the large features!

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

One of the things that made me choose Mickey vs Pooh was her outfit!  It’s adorable and very, very colorful!  She wears a dress that has a bright yellow top and a blue skirt decorated with flowers, hearts and the Mickey Mouse logo. Attached to the collar of the dress is a red sweater decorated with a blue flower.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

One of the cutest pieces of this outfit is the white, polka dotted apron featuring a full body image of Mickey Mouse himself.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

To complete the outfit, Mickey wears yellow rain boots.

Disney Animators Collection vs Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Animators Collection vs Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

One aspect of this Disney Classic Friends line that I love is how well it fits with the Disney Animators Collection line.  Their bodies are slightly different, but they’re the same height and they have similar faces.

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Disney Classic Friends Mickey Mouse

Overall, I think this is one of the better Disney themed toddler dolls to be sold outside of The Disney Store. I wish she had better jointing, especially in the legs, but in terms of character design, they did really well on this toddler doll.

What do you think of the Disney Classic Friends line?  Share your thoughts below!

June 10, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Dolly Review: Groove Make It Own Kit

2014 has been a very Pullip filled year so far for me.  Recently, I discovered two super awesome Pullip related products.  The first was the My Select line, which helped me put together my Emma Swan custom.  The second was this Make It Own kit.  This Make It Own kit is pretty neat.  It is an affordable option for people who may like the aesthetics of the Pullip, Taeyang, Dal or Isul face, but would prefer it to be 100% customizable from the get go.

Box

Box

Box

Box

From the outside of the box, this kit could look a little scary.  The directions in back are limited and the large amount of Japanese writing could be daunting.  But don’t worry!  You can do it.

So what is this Make It Own kit?  Here’s a quick run down.  Make It Own kits are essentially a do it yourself Pullip!  Inside the kit, you get all the pieces necessary to create your own blank doll, from head to toe.

Inside the Box

Inside the Box

Pieces

Pieces

The kit contains a stock body, a blank head and everything you need to put together the eye mech that makes Pullip dolls unique.

Head

Head

Eye Mech-- already assembled

Eye Mech– already assembled in box

Eye Lids and Winking Nobs

Eye Lids and Winking Rods

Clear eye chips and black eyelashes are included, so you can choose the eye color of your doll, too.  This set does not include an outfit or wig.  Also, as this is a blank head, you’ll need to do your own face up.

Clear Eye Chips

Clear Eye Chips

Lashes and screws

Lashes and screws

These sets are under $40, which makes customizing a much cheaper endeavor than before!  I know my Pullip collection would be much larger had these cheaper options been available years ago.

Now, your next question– how did it go together? Full disclosure, I ended up giving this set to my mom to work on.  She has the Wizard of Oz Pullip set, but nothing that is ‘basic’.  I thought this would be a fun project for her.  Plus, I didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to making this Isul awesome.  My mom, however, did!

Make It Own Isul-- all done!

Make It Own Isul– all done!

She made this blank Isul into Alaric.  The only problem she had putting this set together came when inserting the winking rods.  Our kit was packaged with two right winking rods.  Because the left and right rods are shaped differently, we had to contact PullipStyle to get a left rod before this guy could be finished.

Make It Own Isul-- all done

Make It Own Isul– all done

PullipStyle sent the replacement out quickly and in three days time, we had the proper winking rod and could finally call this guy done!

What do you think of these Make It Own kits? Share your thoughts below!

May 27, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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