Dolly Review: Monster High Recharge Station and Monster High Howliday Post (Sponsored Post)

As this is a sponsored post, there are certain things I have to point out.  All opinions stated, however, are my own.  If you’d like to know why I do sponsored posts like this occasionally, read my ‘About Me‘.

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One of the neatest Freaky Fusion items released has to be Frankie’s Recharge Station!  I joined my mother last month in her video review of the Recharge Chamber, but haven’t actual reviewed it here on the blog.  Times are a’changing!  It’s about time this Recharge Chamber got a review of its very own.

Recharge Chamber

Recharge Chamber

Recharge Chamber

Recharge Chamber

As far as the concept goes, this is one of the best play sets Mattel has released.  It uses static electricity to allow Frankie’s hair to ‘magically’ fly up towards the sky.  The effect is pretty awesome.  Her hair raise and falls slowly when you press the on switch on the chamber.  The Frankie included has special hair, so unfortunately, you can only use this one doll in the station.

Classroom Frankie vs Recharge Frankie

Classroom Frankie vs Recharge Frankie

That being said, this is a fantastic Frankie.  To me, the past few Frankie releases haven’t been terribly exciting.  This one, however, has a great look to her.  Her rooted hair, center parted and fringe-less, is a bright blue with a handful of electric yellow and black highlights.

Frankie

Frankie

Black, Yellow and Blue hair

Black, Yellow and Blue hair

Frankie getting recharged!

Frankie getting recharged!

It has a very ‘light’ feeling to it and isn’t sprayed down whatsoever.  It has a nice ‘bounce’ to it. It is much shorter than in the promo shots, but still looks neat when it gently floats up.

Earrings

Earrings

Hiding beneath her hair are blue lightning bolt earrings.

Recharge Frankie's Neat Face

Recharge Frankie’s Neat Face

Frankie has some equally bold face paint.  Her eyes are hooded in a fun candy blue color with heavy painted eyelashes.  She has lightning bolts going across her right eye and just under her left eye.  Her lips are a bold blue.

Eye Decoration

Eye Decoration

Cheek Decoration

Cheek Decoration

Overall, I like the ‘in your face’ look to her facepaint.  I don’t think I’d want to see it on every Frankie, but with this hair, it is perfect.  The coloring on this doll really does stand out amongst other Frankie’s.

Outfit

Outfit

She wears a simple, tight, sleeveless dress decorated with yellow and blue lightning bolts.  One really neat feature of her dress, which could easily be overlooked is the lightning shaped neckline.

Neckline

Neckline

I love it, though I would have preferred the dress to be a little bit longer.  Frankie wears a chunky silver belt to top off the look.

Shoes

Shoes

It seems like Monster High shoes are getting simpler every release.  This Frankie wears yellow heels with lightning bolt decoration.  Because this doll is more of an accessory to the play set, I’m okay with that.  If it were a regular release, though, I would expect more in the shoe department.

Base

Base

The Recharge Chamber itself takes 3 AA batteries, which are not included.  It has flashing lights that move between 8 to 60 cycles per second.  If you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, this may not be the set for you. There is a bit of a hum when Frankie is ‘recharging’.  While still a little noisy, this isn’t at all as bad as Lagoona’s sleep tank from a few years ago.  I think the noise level is much improved, actually!

Set up was pretty simple and shouldn’t be a problem.  The most important thing to talk about– does it work?  Yes. It works amazingly.  Even though I know how static electricity works, this play set still amazes me.  My 7 year old cousin was amazed, too.  She kept opening the doors, trying to feel the ‘wind’ that was pushing up Frankie’s hair (of which there was none). She just couldn’t wrap her head around how Frankie’s hair was levitating off her head.

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

I really do like this Monster High Freaky Fusion Recharge Chamber.  It’s one of the most interesting things to come out of the Freaky Fusion line, other than the new Hybrid characters.

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

Recharge Chamber and Frankie

I was asked to create a fun, creative story based on a number of scenarios featuring our favorite Monster High ghouls and the howlidays.  Since I usually don’t have time to do creative posts like this,  I thought, why not give it a try! Below is my attempt!  The goal was to make a short video featuring Frankie and her first ‘New Fears Eve’.

Below are some other products that are currently being featured at Toys R Us.  Remember, Toys R Us allows customers to shop online and pick up in store.  I’ve used this service before and it was pretty handy!

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Last March, I reviewed the Toys R Us Exclusive Picnic Casket Doll 2-Pack, which includes one of our favorite couples Jackson and Frankie. A number of accessories are included to get the most out of their picnic!

Another two pack that is exclusive to Toys R Us is one that is on my Christmas list, the Mansters Gil and Deuce 2-Pack.  This set features two male dolls, which is always welcome in this line where boys can be in short supply!

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Also exclusive to Toys R Us is the Clawdeen Wolf doll with Fashion Outfit. Clawdeen comes dressed in the outfit above and comes with two extra, complete outfits.  I like these fashion sets, because they seem like a great value when compared to a dressed doll with no extra’s. I Love Fashion Wydowna is a great example of a stellar release with extra outfits.

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This is the Sprayffiti Fashion Portfolio . Instead of the usual fashion book, which you could paint or color, this book includes 15 pre-printed posters and six spray markers to give designs a grafitti/street art look.  Mattel really stepped out of the box with this print product!

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I am really looking forward to the Monster Maker.  Mattel has made great strides in the ‘Create a Monster’ line since they debuted it.  This set allows you to create you own look for your monster on your android or IOS tablet (not included), as opposed to being stuck with the pre-designed looks we saw in the last incarnation of the Create a Monster series. For Mac or Windows users, a USB is required (not included). This set is not compabitle with phones. When the design is ready, send it off to the printer and boom, you have a one of a kind monster!  This set includes wigs, fashions and accessories.  I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one of these to test it out!  Currently, it is for sale online only.

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Don’t forget to enter the Monster High Bike & Gift Card Sweepstakes for your chance to win some amazing prizes!  This contest is being offered through Lunchbox and Gleam.

Do you own the Recharge Chamber? What do you think of it?  Are you hoping for a Monster High product under your Christmas tree?  Which one?  Share your thoughts below!

November 26, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Dolly Field Trip: Chicago Toy and Game Fair aka ChiTAG

On November 22nd, My mom and I attended the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, also known as ChiTAG, at Navy Pier. Celebrating its 12th year, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair’s mission is simple: to build community through play by providing opportunities for people of all ages to connect with one another and experience the joy and educational value of traditional play.

Welcome to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier!

Welcome to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier!

For those who would prefer the video summary, here you go!

According to game designer and ChiTAG founder/CEO Mary Couzin, the idea came to light when she was going through the process of developing and selling her own game.  While attending the Essen Game Fair in Germany, she realized that the States had nothing like the event, which took a more ‘show and tell’ approach to the trade show floor, as opposed to ‘look and don’t touch’. So, with that inspiration and a few industry friends hopping on board, ChiTAG was born.

Berg Racetrack

Berg Racetrack

Berg Booth

Berg Booth

The neatest thing at the Berg Booth-- a build it yourself car!

The neatest thing at the Berg Booth– a DIY car!

Keychain

Floppets

Downton Abbey 'Clue' like game

Downton Abbey ‘Clue’ like game

Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall

I first heard of ChiTAG in 2012, when I befriended a local toy inventor who was (and still is) on the leadership and advisory committee of the fair. This, however, was my first year attending. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect! Would it be like a crowded convention? Would it be like your traditional trade show? As it turned out, it was a mixture of both. Toy and game manufacturers displayed their wares in a way that promoted interactive play. They wanted you to play their games. They wanted you to stay at the booth and ask them questions. That’s definitely not something you see every day!

Manuscripts Board Game

Manuscripts Board Game

Word Winder

Word Winder

Hex Bugs

Hex Bugs

SPRK

SPRK

SPRK in action

SPRK in action

Itsphun

Itsphun

Plan Toys

Plan Toys

While the doll vendors were few and far between, there were a lot of table top, board and card game creators and manufacturers. Also on display were toys, from plush products to engineering based play items to all natural manipulative. The variety of products on display to play with and explore was vast.

Makies

Makies

Makies

Makies

The BUSY Makie booth!

The BUSY Makie booth!

As I mentioned, dolls weren’t represented as much as other types of toys. One of my favorite doll lines, Makies by MakieLabs, attended, though.  (See my review of my Makie Seina here.) The booth wasn’t terribly large and there were only four dolls on display, plus one in a box, but the booth was always busy when I passed it. Clearly, the 3D printed doll was popular! I’m sure if they had brought samples to sell, they would have sold like hotcakes! I met quickly with Alice, from MakieLabs’s, early into the show, but didn’t want to take up too much of her time, as, like I mentioned, the booth was hopping. (I did gush over Makies when a potential customer was asking about them and I was standing close enough to hear. Seriously– I love this doll line!)

Springfield Dolls

Springfield Dolls

Our Generation Diner

Our Generation Diner

Our Generation Car

Our Generation Car

Our Generation girls

Our Generation girls

Springfield Dolls and Our Generation were, also, on hand. One doll line that is relatively new, College Savings Dolls, attended ChiTAG, too. I have been following this line for a while now on Facebook. Up until now, I was somewhat unclear as to what this line was trying to convey (outside of the obvious). Now, I have a much clearer idea of College Savings Dolls aim.

College Savings Dolls

College Savings Dolls

Doll houses, though all over toy store shelves, weren’t very prevalent at ChiTAG. There was one company who had on display the most adorable paper playhouses imaginable! That company was Lille Huset.  In hindsight, I wish I had picked up a sample to review here.  I know you guys would have loved them.

Lilli House

Lilli Huset

Lilli House

Lilli Huset

Moving away from dolls, I did do some really fun things!  I made my first Rainbow Loom project (a fun multicolored ring) and was assisted by none other than the creator of Rainbow Loom himself, Cheong Choon Ng. (I didn’t know he was the creator of the Rainbow Loom craze when I asked him, and I quote, “do you know how to close my ring?”. Whoops! Of course he would know how to do that. He created it!!!)

Rainbow Loom (my first real try!)

Rainbow Loom (my first real try!)

Rainbow Loom Poodle

Rainbow Loom Poodle

Rainbow Loom Suit (Jimmy Kimmel related?)

Rainbow Loom Suit

I, also, met the creator of Operation, John Spinello! He encouraged me to wear a red nose in the photo where I’m standing behind a life-size cut out of the Operation Board game. (More hindsight– I should have asked for a photo!)

Operation!

Operation!

The most interactive booth at ChiTAG was Spin Masters. You may be familiar with them, as they made the now vaulted La Dee Da dolls.  As a sponsor, they brought their A game to the show.  Spin Master showed off multiple products, including three really fantastic looking toys!  Have you seen Digibirds?  They’re so cute!  The perfect pet for those who might not be able to have birds.  They’re adorable when they sing together.

Digibirds

Digibirds

Also on display was the super neat Sew Cool Sewing Studio.  This is an amazing toy.  It is a no sew sewing machine. Essentially, you ‘felt’ your items together.  Needles are secured under plastic, so you never touch them and there is no way to get pinched by them.  It’s pretty neat!  I think I would have appreciated sewing a lot more if I had tried it with this machine at a young age!

Sewing

Sew Cool Sewing Studio

Sewing

Sew Cool Sewing Studio

One of Spin Master’s most popular wares were the Flutterbyes!  At first, I wrote these off as a re-hash of all the other flying fairy toys that have been made, but honestly?  They’re pretty cool and they look really neat when they fly.  I like that they levitate above your hands and that they don’t need a ripcord to fly.

Flutterbye

Flutterbye

Flutterbye

Flutterbye

Flutterbye

Flutterbye

Here’s a look at some of the other fun things going on over at Spin Master!

Dinosaur

Dinosaur

Mustache

Mustache

Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand

One of the coolest discoveries at this years ChiTAG came when testing a new no sew crafting toy called Fablossom. Fablossom makes it easy to make adorable (not to mention perfect) flowers with no sewing or gluing! Seriously, I love this crafting accessory. It’s fun for both kids and adults! For those who make doll outfits, this is a super easy way to make nice, neat flowers to add to your designs.

Fablossom

Fablossom

Fablossom

Fablossom

Fablossom

Fablossom

Finished product!

Finished product!

In a similar market, the creators of the popular friendship bracelet looms, Choose Friendship Company, were showing a number different looms. I was reminded of my youth as an avid friendship bracelet maker.  I always used to safety pin bracelets to my jeans.  A loom would have come in handy during the summer months! The company was even kind enough to offer all bloggers a sample product for review.  (Other companies did, too, so you’ll be seeing a lot of new reviews of items that were in my ‘goody bag’.)

Friendship Looms

Friendship Looms

Educational Insights had some really fun games for the younger set.  The designs were all so playful and very eye catching.  We played a few of them and they seemed really sturdy, which is good for that age level!

Educational Insights

Educational Insights

Educational Insights

Educational Insights

To add to the experience, earlier during the Blogger breakfast, the creator of Jenga, Leslie Scott, spoke a bit about her journey bringing the game to market.  (See her here, with John and Cheong.) She even gave us all copies of her book, “About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name“.

Jenga Creator

Jenga Creator

There were definitely some organizational issues and the breakfast left a little to be desired, but ChiTAG was a great experience overall.  I made some great new connections, found myself with a number of new items to review and got to play with some really fun toys!  I’m already looking forward to ChiTAG 2015!

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe

Mayfair Games

Mayfair Games

Razor

Razor

Find it!

Find it!

Very big Hex Bug

Very big Hex Bug

For more information on the Chicago Toy and Game show visit their website or their facebook page.  Those on Twitter (follow me here), can search #ChiTAGFair to see other updates from this event.

Mayfare Games

Mayfair Games

Lego

Lego

candy

Pucker Powder

501st

501st/Garrison

What’s your favorite game (board, card or table)? Have you been to a toy conference recently? Share your thoughts below!

November 24, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Dolly Review: Junky Spot Exclusive Hujoo Phoebe

One of my favorite BJD companies is Hujoo.  My love for them started a few Christmas’ ago when I was shocked to find a Hujoo Wings full set under the tree from my brother.  I fell in love with the affordable, customizable BJD’s and have continued following the line ever since.

Our Hujoo Family

Our Hujoo Family

1/6th Human Hujoo's

Human Hujoo’s

Our Anthro's and their Nano's

Our Anthro’s and their Nano’s

Along the same line, I am a huge fan of the Hujoo/The Junky Spot collaborations of the past few years, namely cat anthro’s Freya and Freyr (as well as their tiny Nano line).  Just when I thought they’d cornered the market on cuteness, they go and release another anthro, this one a completely new animal.

HuJoo/Junky Spot Phoebe (White and Light Grey)

HuJoo/Junky Spot Phoebe (White and Light Grey)

I’d like to introduce you to Phoebe, the newest 1/6 anthro Hujoo/Junky Spot collaboration.  Phoebe is part mouse, part girl.  Currently, she’s available in two colors: white and light grey.  She is made of ABS plastic, which makes her really affordable!  Like other ball jointed dolls, Phoebe (and her anthro friends) are strung.  They hold poses well and can stand on their own.

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

At 23cm tall, she’s the same height as most of the human sized Hujoo’s and anthro releases.  Her body seems unchanged from Freya’s release. Phoebe has joints at her shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and ankles. She has double jointed knees, as well.  The joints ‘click’ into place, so don’t worry if you hear the joints as you pose your Hujoo. Her neck has a wide range of motion thanks to the much improved headcap, which we’ll get to in a bit!

Phoebe Claw

Phoebe Claw

Phoebe has the same claw like hands and feet as Freya, as well.  Her body size allows her to wear most clothing aimed at other 1/6th size dolls.

1/6th Anthro's

1/6th Anthro’s

My dolls, for example, wear a lot of Barbie and My Scene outfits.

Phoebe Headcap

Phoebe Headcap

Gone are the troublesome headcap issues! Hujoo/The Junky Spot did fix the first editions terribly hard to use headcap for the second edition Freya’s and male anthro Freyr, but have now given Phoebe an entirely different heacap.

Phoebe vs Freyr

Phoebe vs Freyr

Phoebe vs Freyr

Phoebe vs Freyr

I can’t stress enough how amazing this new headcap is.  It works magnificently.  Unlike the older headcaps that sometimes needed the use of kitchen utensils when pulling them off, this new headcap is off in seconds.  Instead of trying to line pegs up into the right spots, Pheobe’s headcap has four insert points, at the top and bottom and on either side.  There are no pesky magnets inside the headcap, either.

Phoebe Headcap

Phoebe Headcap

There is now a stopper inside the headcap and a silver loop that holds the strings, as opposed to the two plastic pegs that used to hold the strings. Because they went away with the pegs inside the head, the eye mech is no longer included.  You will need to use eye putty to keep the eyes in place.  I’m fine with that, as it frees up space in what was a very cramped head.

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Now, onto the fun part, the actual face mold.  It’s adorable.  Honestly?  I think I prefer this to the cats, which says a lot.  The recommended eye size for these guys is 14mm.  I think that may be a little too small, at least for my taste.  The light grey mouse is wearing two different 14mm eyes.  The white one is wearing larger teddy bear eyes I received at Puddle 2014.

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Phoebe is sold blank, meaning there is no face up option.  A few years ago, this would have scared me, but now it doesn’t bother me.  I know my face up’s will never be as good as others on the internet, but it won’t stop me from trying to do my best on these blank faced Hujoo’s!  If the blank face idea is at all a deterrent to picking up these anthro’s (or any blank doll), don’t let it be.  It may seem like a daunting task and it may be hard at first, but at the end of the day, you’ll have a 100% unique BJD.

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

If you were to try to wig Phoebe, she’d wear a 6.5 wig.  However, these were designed to be wigless, like Freyr and Freya.  Of course, you’d have to modify any wig you bought to fit the mouse ears.

Phoebe Headcap

Phoebe Headcap

Gone is the embossed Hujoo logo on the back of the headcap.  Phoebe was released with a BJD Shop logo, which is the name of Hujoo’s factory store on their website.  Personally, I prefer the logo for Hujoo on the headcap, mostly because it’s way less pronounced and blends into the ABS much more than this new logo, which is very noticeable.

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Hujoo/Junky Spot Phoebe

Of course, I’ll put up a post to show these guys off with their new face ups, but until then, all I can say is this.  Phoebe is a fantastic little Hujoo.  The collaborations  between Hujoo and The Junky Spot keep getting better and better.  I love the new headcap and the ease at which it can be pulled off or put on.  Also, the face mold?  Too cute for words.

HuJoo/Junky Spot Phoebe (White and Light Grey)

HuJoo/Junky Spot Phoebe (White and Light Grey)

To order Phoebe, visit The Junky Spot.  Click Hujoo on the sidebar and select 24cm.  I would recommend ‘liking’ The Junky Spot on facebook, too, for site updates, product promo’s and contests.  And stay tuned– I’ll make sure to post photos of Phoebe with her brand new face up soon!!!

What do you think of Phoebe?  What animal would you like to see next? Who do you prefer– the cats or this new mouse? Share your thoughts below.

Sample Phoebe’s were sent to me for a fair and honest review. The opinions stated here (as always) are my own.

November 18, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Dolly Flashback: Worlds of Wonder Mother Goose

One of the most forward thinking toy companies of the late 80’s was a company called Worlds of Wonder.  Worlds of Wonder, also known as W.O.W., created well working animatronic toys.  They’re most famous for Teddy Ruxpin, an animatronic teddy bear.  Teddy wasn’t their only amazing product, though.  Worlds of Wonder followed the massive success of Teddy Ruxpin with none other than Mother Goose.

Mother Goose came out in 1986.  There were two versions manufactured. The first Mother Goose had a neck that moved left and right, along with a moving beak and blinking eyes.  The second Mother Goose had a moving beak and blinking eyes, but a stationary neck.

Tapes

Tapes

Mother Goose reads fairy tales with the help of a cassette deck, located under her wing.  Each tape came with a book, so you could read along with her.

1987 brought Mother Goose a companion doll, an ugly duckling named Hector.  Hector, just like Grubby, would only work when attached to Mother Goose.  A small selection of stories were written with Hector as the main character.  Those stories focused on nursery rhymes.

I came into possession of my Mother Goose in April of 1987.  She is the first edition, with the moving neck. For years, she sat in my mom’s closet, due to mechanical issues.  A few months back, however, we sent Mother Goose to Toys That Talk and she returned working just as well as the day she was opened.

Me and Mother Goose

Me and Mother Goose

For your viewing pleasure, I have recorded Mother Goose telling the tale of Peter and the Wolf, as well as a short video introduction on Mother Goose herself.

Did you have Mother Goose?  Share your thoughts and memories down below!

November 13, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Collection Close Up: Jem Inspired Make It Own Pullip with Obitsu Body

A while back, I did a video for The Junky Spot talking about Groove’s Make it Own Pullips.  I am finally ready to debut the finished doll!  It took a while to get to this point.  I had decided earlier that I was going to just use the outfit that came with my original Jem doll, since my doll doesn’t wear it, but needed to work out the other details like wigging, body or shoes.

First, I needed to find the perfect wig.  It took a few weeks of searching, but eventually, I found something that spoke to me from For My Doll.  I lucked out and found a great group order over at Den of Angels, which allowed me to save on shipping. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect wig, just to realize shipping would be twice the cost of the product.  Though it may surprise some, it’s not overly pink.  I wanted it to be a call back to the original Jem doll that was released ever so long ago.  If you recall, she didn’t have a head of bright pink hair, but a mixture of both blonde and light pink hair.  That’s the look I wanted.

Jem Promotional Art

Jem Promotional Art

The second thing I needed to take care of was finding a better body for her. The Pullip body has issues.  It lacks posability that other doll lines have.  To fix this problem, most turn to Obitsu bodies.  I decided on getting a 27cm soft bust body, to add a bit of height to her.  In hindsight, I should have gotten one with a little more of a bust, to make the dress fit a bit better, but alas, it is what it is.  In pure Junky Spot fashion, it arrived just a handful of days after ordering.

Jem's face details

Jem’s face details

I ordered shoes from a seller on Etsy, Sunnybobo.  I wanted something more chunky than heels for this doll, because a huge goal of mine was for her to stand on her own and I didn’t trust heels to allow her to do that.

After two months of waiting, I can finally say my Custom Jem Pullip is complete. Put your hands together for Jem!

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Custom Make It Own Pullip/Obitsu Jem

Now, I am going to wait for The Junky Spot to get in more Make It Own kits, in hopes of making Shana, Aja and Kimber.  Maybe even a Synergy!  Of the four, I think I’d like to try Kimber next.  She was always my favorite Hologram.

Have you created something ‘truly outrageous’ recently?  What was it?  Share your thoughts in the comment area!

November 12, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Dolly Review: Ever After High Thronecoming Cupid (Sponsored Post)

(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. If you’d like to know why I do these occasionally, check out my ‘About Me’ page.  Just like all my other reviews, the opinions stated are my own.  The only difference is I will reference a store’s promotion and use some graphics provided from the PR company.)  

Over the past few months, I’ve reviewed a number of Ever After High dolls, including Thonecoming Raven Queen and some of the new basic dolls, including Cedar Woods and Dexter Charming.   For those who don’t know, Ever After High, a spin-off of the Monster High line, features the sons and daughters of fairy tale creatures.  For example, we have Raven Queen, the daughter of the evil queen from Snow White, and Apple White, the daughter of Snow White herself, amongst others. Mattel recently released a doll that I’m super excited about and can’t wait to get my hands on, Lizzie Hearts.  You know when I get her, you’ll be seeing her on this blog!!!

Ever After High

Other Thronecoming dolls include Apple White, Briar Beauty (who is in a playset), C.A. Cupid and Blondie Lockes.  With the holidays quickly approaching, Walmart is stocking up on this line and offering a fun promotion where if you buy a select doll, you’ll receive an e-giftcard for money off on your next purchase.

It looks like we should be keeping our eyes open for a new Walmart exclusive, too! Under the blurry photo on Walmart’s page, the hint reads, “Chaos is keeping people guessing, and that makes this kitty purrrr.”  Might we be seeing the Cheshire Cat soon?  The color scheme, from what I can see under the blur of the photo, looks very Maddie like and she does come from Wonderland…

Ever After High

Ever After High

Ever After High

Ever After High

It occurred to me that even though I own the original Ever after High Cupid and the Thronecoming Cupid, I have yet to really talk about her! Well, it’s about time to change that.  I love Cupid as a character in the Monster High line and think her transition into the Ever After High line was done seamlessly.  While her look changed drastically once she was incorporated into the Ever After High line, I can appreciate both takes on her character.

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid, overall, is decked out to the nine’s.  Her hair isn’t particularly fancy.  Cupid’s cotton candy pink rooted hair is highlighted with a lighter pink and a small amount of tinsel.  She has blunt bangs and two long strands of hair that hang down in the front.

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

The style itself is a bit messy and not as detailed as other styles in the Thronecoming line.

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

I think Cupid has an adorable face. I love her make up!  Cupid’s large green eyes are highlighted with heavy painted lashes. She wears light pink eye shadow, topped with an iridescent white shadow.  Hearts decorate the space around her eyes. Cupid wears light pink lipstick with a darker shade in the center of lips. She has light blushing on her cheeks.  For the most part, she has a very clean face.  Unlike the Monster High Cupid, Ever After High Cupid has a normal, albeit pale, skintone.  Her face shape is the same as traditional Ever After High dolls, meaning it’s round and somewhat flat.

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Befitting someone of her lineage, Cupid has wings.  If you would prefer her wingless, good news!  They are removable. However, I don’t see why you’d want to remove these.  Cupid’s wings are very pretty with their off white coloring and brown accent lines.

Thronecoming Cupid and Briar

Thronecoming Cupid and Briar

Cupid’s Thronecoming dress is up there with Raven Queen’s amazing dress.  I love that Mattel chose to go with a muted shade of pink on her gown.  It gives her dress a delicate look, which I like.

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

There are a number of different fabrics and patterns on her dress, most of which are pink with accent colors like black and gold.

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Cupid’s shoes are adorable and work very well with her outfit.  The antique gold boots go all the way up to her knees.

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

One nice thing about her outfit is that it doesn’t restrict her movement, like some other Ever After High fashions.  Her joints, located at her shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees, are tight and move fluidly.

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

She wears some fun jewelry around her ears that, in certain angles, make her look elf eared!  On her wrists, she wears her corsage.

Thonecoming Cupid

Thonecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Of course, her biggest accessory is her mask.  Now, the main problem I have had across the board with these dolls is that it’s nearly impossible for the dolls to hold the mask in a way that looks natural.  Cupid’s fits her face well, but I can rarely get her to hold it on properly.  However, I do love the details on her antique gold mask, especially the griffins that sit above her eyes.

Thronecoming Cupid and Briar

Thronecoming Cupid and Briar

Overall, Thronecoming Cupid is a nice looking doll.  Her messy hairstyle leaves a little to be desired, but I love the use of light colors for her make up and dress.  I’m glad they didn’t overload her with overly bright tones.

Thronecoming Cupid

Thronecoming Cupid

Currently, these dolls are on special at Walmart!  If you purchase select dolls, you’ll get a $5-$10 e-giftcard.  The dolls included in the promotion are: Basic and Thronecoming C.A. Cupid Doll, Basic and Thronecoming Apple White Doll, Basic and Thronecoming Raven Queen Doll, Thronecoming Blondie Lockes Doll, Basic and Thronecoming Briar Beauty Doll with Playset, my favorite 2 pack , the Ever After High Ashlynn Ella and Hunter Huntsman Dolls and my favorite Ever After High character hands down, Ever After High Madeline Hatter Doll.

What do you think of Thonecoming Cupid?  Who’s your favorite Thronecoming girl?  Do you think they should have released some more princes with this line? Share your thoughts below!!!

November 11, 2014. Tags: , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Dolly Review: Skipper Doll and Tiki Hut Playset

I should preface this review with this— I love that Mattel is still releasing Skipper dolls.  To be honest, after her initial re-release in 2010, I didn’t expect Mattel to run with her very long.  I am thrilled to still be ‘on the hunt’ for new Skipper dolls, even if they’re always paired with Chelsea (or, to purists like me, Kelly).

Skipper and her Tiki Hut

Skipper and her Tiki Hut

Tiki Hut (back)

Tiki Hut (back)

That being said, this Skipper and Tiki Hut playset is disappointing.  First, let’s talk about what you get in this set.  You get one Skipper doll and a partially put together Tiki Hut, that consists of a volleyball net and a snack stand.  Also included are accessories  like a cash register, pineapple drink dispenser and scuba equipment, amongst other things.  For the most part, this play set is together in the box.  You have to connect the volleyball net to the drink stand, but that’s about it.

Tiki Hut

Tiki Hut

The playset itself is average.  Designwise, it’s aesthetically pleasing.  The colors are nice and the design is cute and somewhat different than what Mattel has put together for the Barbie and her Sisters line in the past.  The accessories included are a pineapple drink dispenser, two fun drinks, a camera, headphones attached to an MP3 player, four pairs of glasses (ready for Barbie and her sisters), a cash register, sunscreen, scuba fins and a scuba mask.

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

Accessories

The volleyball is attached to the volleyball net with a rope.  It could easily be untied.  The actual play set stays together well and is a nice size for those playing in rooms that may not be large enough for a dreamhouse.

chairs

chairs

You also get two chairs with this set, which would be much better utilized if this set came with a jointed doll.

Front Cardboard

Front Cardboard

The front decoration of this Tiki Hut is made of cardboard.  It has a tendency to fall out.  I wish they’d just made the front plastic, like the rest, and given us a sticker to decorate it.

Skipper

Skipper

For me, the most exciting part of this set is the Skipper doll.  This particular Skipper has a side part in her bang-less brown hair.  She has a pink highlight in her hair.  Mattel seems to be using the pink a lot recently.

Skipper

Skipper

Her face paint is pretty much as you would expect.  The main downfall of the Skipper line so far is the lack of variety all round, which has resulted in Skipper looking nearly identical in every release.  I believe Mattel is doing something different with the face make up, though I can’t really put my finger on what that difference is.  Skipper has purple eyes, pink eye shadow and brown lashes and brows.  She has very light blushing on her cheeks and a muted pink lip color.

Skipper

Skipper

This Tiki Hut Skipper’s face looks slightly inflated, which I think has something to do with her body type and the slight color difference between her head and her body.  Skippers head is slightly (and I mean slightly) lighter in skin tone than her body.

Skipper

Skipper

The body is where this doll really lets me down.  I won’t sugar coat this– her body feels cheap and hollow.  Mattel should know better by this point.  Going back through the past Skipper releases we’ve seen over the years, Skipper has had many different body types.  Some were jointed at helpful spots, like the elbows and knees.  Others were very heavy and vinyl’y.  Some were much better than others, to say the least.

Skipper (no joints)

Skipper (no joints)

Tiki Hut Skipper’s body is lacking a lot when compared to other releases.  She has jointed shoulders that will allow her arms to move up and down and tilt in other directions.  Thankfully, she wasn’t given the annoying ‘forever bent’ arms Mattel love’s to give Skipper.  She does not, however, have any elbow joints.  Her arms aren’t as light or hollow as her other limbs, but the hard plastic feel to them is disappointing.  Skipper’s torso is just as hollow as her arms.

Skipper, weird wide stance

Skipper, weird wide stance

By far the most disappointing thing about Skipper has to be her very, very hollow legs.  While her hip joints allow her to tilt into wider stances, they are extremely hollow.  If these hollow limbs allowed her to stand on her own, I would get it. But, as it stands (pun intended), she can’t stand on her own.  The cheap, hollow limbs do nothing but make this Skipper, who is otherwise a pretty example of Barbie’s little sister, feel cheap and generic.  If you spread Skipper’s legs too wide, you can see gaps between her hip joint and torso.

Skipper

Skipper

Moving to a positive, I love that Mattel stepped out of the box in terms of Skipper’s bathing suit.  She’s usually in very sporty fashions.  This time around, she’s in a cute bikini top with boy short bottoms.  The color scheme strikes me as different than the norm, too, decorated with fun flowers and stripes in teal and pink.  I love this teal color on Skipper.  She wears purple flip flops with stars on her feet.

Skipper

Skipper

Overall, I am disappointed in this release and it saddens me because I’m a Skipper collector.  I should love any and all Skipper releases!  But, really, most releases have been hindered by one or two small things.  Whether it’s the body or the lack of imagination in the overall design, many of the recent releases have been ‘okay’.  This Tiki Hut Skipper, while pretty, has one of the most disappointing bodies I’ve seen on a Barbie and Her Sisters release.  It’s a far cry from the heavy, vinyl bodies of the past.  I honestly don’t think this release would convince people to continue buying Skipper, which makes the Skipper collector in me sad.

Skipper

Skipper

Skipper

Skipper

What are your thoughts on Tiki Hut Skipper?  Do the hollow limbs on recent releases bother you? Share your thoughts below!

November 9, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Goodies from Kane Country Doll and Toy Show

This past weekend was the Chicago Doll and Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds.  My mom and I have gone twice a year for the past few years.  It’s an amazing day of shopping for doll and toy collectors.  For a look into the show and atmosphere, check out my Dolly Field Trip post from last year.

This years show had a different feel than past years.  The usual dolls we see weren’t there– Patti Playpals, Little Miss No Name’s, even Madame Alexanders.  Nothing really screamed ‘buy me’ or ‘you need me in your collection’.  Not to say we didn’t leave with a bag full of items, but the items we picked up weren’t the usual sort we traditionally do.  We didn’t pick up any big ticket items, but we did manage to snag some cheaper, smaller items from this October show.

To hear fun banter about the show and our items, make sure to check out the video reveal, featuring my mom.

Giggles

Giggles

My first purchase was a very affordable Ideal Giggles.  I’ve rerooted a handful of giggles for my mom’s collection, but this is my first Giggles.  I picked her up with the intention of giving her a new head of hair.  At $15.00, she was a steal.

Amelia in her new dress

Amelia in her new dress

At a booth featuring American Girl and other 18″ fashion doll clothing, I purchased two reasonably priced American Girl outfits. I didn’t actually get these for my American Girls, however!  I bought them for my A Girl for All Time.  I know there are some amazing patterns out there for the A Girl for All Time dolls, but as I can’t sew, I have to go other routes for outfits.  Amelia is wearing Julie’s Calico Dress, minus the leggings.  Not all American Girl outfits will fit A Girl for All Time, but certain ones, ones that were meant to be baggy looking and that have just the right shoulder,  look pretty good!  This Calico Dress sure looks amazing on her!

My Girl of Today's outfit

My Girl of Today’s outfit

The second outfit didn’t fit my Amelia, so it ended up on my Girl of Today.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t even fit my Girl of Today very well.  The bodice is super tight and the neckline doesn’t look right, either.  It seems the Pleasant Company Girl of Today dolls must be a little larger than the current Just Like Me and My American Girl dolls.  Still, with this white sweater from the American Girl Store, the outfit looks just fine.  (And I am very happy to know that not all American Girl outfits will fit my dolls well.)

Quints

Quints

By far, the best deal of the day came at the same booth I picked up the American Girl outfits.  The seller had Quints merchandise mint in box!  Any kid who grew up in the 90’s had, or at least knew of, the Quints line.  It consisted of five babies and their corresponding play sets.  I had a bunch as a kid and, knowing my cousins enjoy playing with them, was super excited to see them represented at the show this year.  I picked up two mint playsets and a handful of Quints that were in played with condition for the grand total of $6.00!  She had two Cousin playsets at $2.00 each, but I passed on those.  In hindsight, I should have picked them up, too!

Ningyo like doll

Ningyo like doll

With all my recent coverage of Japanese dolls, I picked up this cute Japanese doll.  It’s dated 1938 on its tag, but I’m not sure if that is accurate or not.  I still have to research him a little bit.  This little asian boy ningyo-like doll isn’t in the best shape, but he’s adorable and that’s all that matters!

IMG_0568

Popples Puzzle

I also picked up a few puzzles, including one with two Popples playing in a gumball machine.  I love quirky puzzles like this.  They make great wall art!

Skooter

Skooter

Skipper Outfit

Skipper Outfit

Because no shopping trip is complete without a Skipper item, I picked up this adorable Skooter in titan hair and this fun mod outfit for her.

My Mom's Goodies

My Mom’s Goodies

My mom left with some fun items, as well!  She found a Soul doll from Hasbro’s 1970’s doll line World of Love.  She also found a replacement body for her Peace doll, from that same line.  My mom found a Buffy and Baby Go Bye Bye doll in nice condition, as well.

While neither of us left with what we imagined we would, this October Chicago Doll and Toy Show was still pretty awesome.  Have you found anything fun at your local doll show?  Share your thoughts below!

November 7, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Introducing: A Girl for All Time Lydia

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about A Girl for All Time.  For those who aren’t familiar with A Girl for All Time, here’s a quick run through. A Girl for All Time was founded in 2009. The hope was to create a high quality doll line that would inspire creative and imaginative play.  All the dolls introduced thus far are themed around a unique period of European history and all belong to the same family tree.  Thus far, A Girl for All Time has introduced four dolls: Matilda (Your Tudor Girl), Amelia (Your Victorian Girl), Clementine (Your 1940s Girl), and just recently, Lydia (Your Georgian Girl).

I was lucky enough to win an Amelia from the Doll Diaries and can tell you that A Girl for All Time dolls definitely deliver in the quality department.  I highly recommend adding a doll from this line to your collection.

With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d introduce you to the newest A Girl for All Time doll, Lydia. Lydia lives in Georgian times, which, according to wikipedia, are 1714 to 1830. Lydia’s journey takes her from her Bristol home to the American colonies, specifically Boston.

Lydia

Lydia

Lydia looks like a mix between Matilda and Clementine, which makes sense, being they’re from the same family tree.  She has very striking eyes that work really well with her dark hair.  Lydia, also, has possibly my favorite outfits of the four dolls. I look forward to seeing the company expand on their already amazing clothing.

Lydia Riding Costume

Lydia Riding Costume

Lydia’s riding costume is literally my favorite A Girl for All Time outfit.  She looks so adorable!  Add the hat and riding boots (sold separately) and the look really takes off.

Lydia Party Dress

Lydia Party Dress

Her party dress is quite pretty.  I love the muted green color with her dark features.  Though Lydia is currently sold out, you can pre-order her through A Girl for All Time’s web store. The company believe’s Christmas delivery is still an option.  That being said, I would probably get your orders in soon if you’re picking this girl up for the holidays.  I think she’ll be pretty popular this holiday season!  And don’t forget to keep an eye on A Girl for All Time’s facebook page, where they actively post promo photos and fun historical facts!

A Girl for All Time girls

A Girl for All Time girls

What do you think of Lydia?  Who’s your favorite A Girl for All Time?  Share your thoughts below!

November 5, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Dolly Review: Monster High Casta Fierce

Monster High introduced a new singing star to their doll line and her name is Casta Fierce.  Rumored to have been inspired by Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, Casta oozes coolness.

Casta Fierce

Casta Fierce

Casta

Casta

Casta is the daughter of Circe, the greek goddess of magic.  She’s the lead singer of ‘The Spells’.  Casta has one slight problem, though, as she has been known to mistakenly turn her listeners into animals due to her uncontrollable magic.

Hair

Hair

Hair

Hair

Hair

Hair

Casta has a head of long rooted black hair.  It’s done up in two center pony tails and highlighted with thick chunks of orange and purple.  The front of the pony tail is styled in a buffont shape.  It is a simpler look than some Monster High styles, but looks good on Casta.

Casta

Casta

She has mint green coloring on all her limbs.  It works surprisingly well with the color palette Mattel chose for her!  She has the same number of joints we’ve come to expect from Monster High dolls.  She is, however, a little taller than the core Monster High dolls!  She’s the same size as Nefera, Cleo’s older sister.

Casta

Casta

Her eyes are intense.  With lots of heavily painted liner and thick painted lashes, she’s ready for the stage.  Orange and dark purple highlight her eyes.

Face

Face

Her lips are a dark purple.  The orange and purple color scheme work really well on Casta’s green skin.  She has one small beauty mark right above her lips.

Casta

Casta

Casta wears a really neat outfit.  However, it’s not without problems.  Her dress starts out orange and moves into a  purple.  It’s made of a very stiff fabric and is very tight to her body.  She has plastic embellishments that encompass her shoulders.  The bottom of her dress is finished with some sparkly black tool.

bracelets

bracelets

Ears and Earrings

Ears and Earrings

Armband

Armband

While I like the outfit and think it looks really good on Casta, it limits her movement a lot, especially in the shoulder and hip area.    It even hinders her knees a little.

Shoes

Shoes

Casta has a number of accessories, including bracelets and an arm cuff.  Her shoes are fun, stylish purple heels that go high on her ankle.  The neatest accessory, hands down, is her microphone stand.  It is shaped like a broomstick.  It’s one of the more useable props to come with a Monster High doll.

Casta with Microphone

Casta with Microphone

Overall, I really like the look of Casta.  Her orange and green highlights work remarkably well, considering she has mint skin!  The biggest issue I have with her is the tight outfit.  It constricts her movement more than I would like in her shoulder and hip area.

Casta

Casta

What do you think of Casta? Share your thoughts below!

November 1, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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