Boy Story is a line of 18″ boy dolls. They have multiple points of articulation. Boy Story’s Action Dolls have ball joints at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and knee. Action Dolls come with a certificate of authenticity. They come dressed in some pretty nice looking fashions, which vary depending on your doll, but include underwear, a shirt, a second layer, jeans and shoes. Action dolls have a vinyl head and limbs that are connected to a cloth body. They use ball joints, but aren’t strung, which may eliminate problems with loose limbs after years of active play.
They have molded hair and inset eyes. Currently, there are two styles available: Mason, caucasian, and Billy, black/AA. Both have unique face molds and outfits. They retail for $99.00 or $115.00 if you want the doll to come with a book starring the character Mason or Billy. Baseball loving military kid Aspen and Asian character Kenji are two other dolls we may be seeing in the future.
There are three things I really like about this line. First, I love the ball joints, which offer 11 points of articulation. I’ll admit, the knee joint looks really strange to me, but overall, they look like they’ll allow the doll to pose well.
Second, I like the outfits. There are so many pieces to them and they look authentically male. My problem with some male 18″ doll fashions (fashions for most of the dolls on the market, 18″ or otherwise) are that they often times look too girly. Mason’s button down the front shirt and Billy’s striped hoodie look interesting and authentic. The doll’s shoes look pretty nice, as well! Third, I love the inset eyes and unique face sculpts. Boy Story did a good job crafting the faces of their dolls.
Boy Story launched their Action Dolls in 2016 after a Kickstarter campaign that saw over $28,000 from 238 backers. The brainchild of sisters Katie and Kristen, the ball was set in motion when Katie, pregnant with her second child, went in search of a doll to give her oldest son to help introduce the idea of having a new sibling. When she couldn’t find anything that fit her criteria, she and her sister decided to create their own brand in this niche market.
On April 13th, 2016, the idea found its way to Kickstarter, got funded and the momentum hasn’t died down since! Just this February, the line found its way into the Launchpad, a section of New York Toy Fair that focused on new and exciting brands that were making their debut appearance at the trade show.
Not attending New York Toy Fair this year, I missed my chance at seeing these dolls in person, so my thoughts, at the moment, are based on the promo shots. I’d love to see what these guys look like against other 18″ doll brands. In the promo photos, for example, the dolls look like they are very big, in terms of proportions. It would be interesting to see how they measure up against other dolls of this size.
Last time on the Skipper Highlight Reel, we covered Growing Up Skipper and her friend Ginger. This controversial line lead to the sudden disappearance of Skipper for a short period of time. Between 1975 and 1979, most Skipper releases were exclusive to the European market, like Deluxe Quick Curl Skipper and Funtime Skipper. It looks like a Malibu or two was released, but there wasn’t much more than that in the States, according to the internet. (Price guides like the Skipper: Barbie’s Little Sister stop at 1978. I’ve always played with the idea about trying to pitch a book that covers Skipper post 1978. It would be so helpful!)
In 1979, Skipper returned revitalized with a new ‘Super Teen Skipper‘ face mold and more active tagline. Super Teen Skipper was marketed as, “Glamorous one minute, a super sport the next.” Besides the new face, Super Teen Skipper’s body mold was changed from flat chested to having a small bust. To be 100% honest, the Super Teen Skipper is my least favorite of the Skipper’s manufactured. Personally, I find it to be just plain ugly. There’s not one thing that bugs me, it’s pretty much everything about her face that does.
In addition to tweaking Skipper’s sculpt and body, in 1980, she found herself her first ever boyfriend! Scott is an interesting character and definitely reflects the late 70’s/early 80’s! He has a head of curly hair and wears a sporty outfit with a tank top, jacket and pants. To complete the look? Four wheeled roller skates. Just imagine the folks in the skating movies of that time, like Xanadu, and you have Scott.
Interestingly enough, I always assumed that Scott’s body mold, which has one bent arm and one straight, had to do with the ‘active and sporty’ theme that surrounds him and Super Teen Skipper. Apparently, though, his body mold was also used earlier in 1978 for Mattel’s Jimmy Osmond doll. Those dolls were packaged with microphones and had bent arms so kids could pretend Jimmy was performing. So that’s why Scott has a bent arm.
Scott has a unique face mold that I don’t think has been used since this release, which only seems to have been produced for a year before disappearing. The whole Super Teen Skipper theme only lasted a few years (thank goodness) with a new face mold for Skipper being released in 1985 and then again in 1988.
Video review below!
Do you have Scott? What do you think of him? Share your thoughts in the comment area.
Polly Pockets made their debut on toy shelves in 1989. The idea came about six years prior, in 1983, when inventor Chris Wiggs sought out to create a pocket friendly doll house for his daughter. He took a compact and created a tiny little doll house inside, complete with a doll. The idea eventually found its way to Bluebird Toys, who produced them until 1998. I was the perfect age to really embrace the world of Polly Pocket and because of that, I have quite a few. This post is one of a few I’ll be doing showcasing my Polly Pocket collection.
Calling all riders! The Wayback Machine is ready to go! Where to, you ask? 1989! We’ll start our look back at Polly Pocket with Polly’s Flat. Polly’s Flat is housed in a circular purple compact. In later years, Polly’s compacts changed from being shapes to more realistic looking houses. However, in 1989, all of the Polly Pocket buildings were hidden within colorful compacts. Polly’s Flat included two figures: Polly and Tina (blonde with pig-tails).
Polly’s Flat includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, balcony and bathroom.
Next on our tour is Midge’s Play School. Midge’s Play School is in a square yellow compact. This was also released in an orange compact with different interior colors. This set comes with two figures: Midge and a baby.
Midge’s Play School has a front yard filled with playground equipment, like a slide and sand area, a classroom,nursery, bedroom and bathroom.
Before we head back to 2017, we have one more stop, Buttons’ Animal Hospital. Buttons’ Animal Hospital comes with three figures: Buttons, a dog and a cat.
Buttons’ Animal Hospital has waiting room, kennel, front desk, exam room and a living space for Buttons.
Watch the video here:
Keep your arms and legs in the machine as we depart 1989 and return to the present! It may be a little bumpy, since we’re going forward over 20 years. (Yes, Polly Pocket is that old.) And we’re back!
The Wayback Machine needs a bit of a rest before our next trip into Polly Pocket history, so in the meantime, why not share some of your own Polly Pocket memories! Do you have a favorite of the three sets shown in this post or a favorite in general? Let me know!
Since I missed out on the fun at New York Toy Fair, I thought I’d do a little sight-seeing at our local toy shops. Here are some of the highlights from the toy aisles!
When Wicked Cool Toys first mentioned that they were doing a limited release all vinyl 18″ Cabbage Patch Kid, I liked the idea a lot. That’s why seeing her on the clearance shelf makes me kind of sad. However, I can totally understand why she’s there. At $100.00 a pop, these weren’t exactly something a family on a budget could pick up for the holidays. Even now, at $79.99, she’s still too pricey for me to even consider buying.
I love these backdrops! One of my main problems with photographing large dolls is that I have zero backdrops that are tall enough to fit them. This seems like something to keep an eye on!
Club Chelsea is huge. I should have placed a normal Chelsea next to her for scale. She’s about the size of the Disney Princess Toddler dolls, I think. I love this and hope they release more in this large size.
The 25th Anniversary of Totally Hair Barbie (yes, she’s 25 years old now) is nice, but something is off about her. Her head seems too small for her body, in my opinion. I’ll stick with the original.
Having just watched the Barbie Video Game Hero movie, I love the heads on these three dolls. They have a huge problem, though– their bodies! They’re so plastic’y. They definitely need to be put on a new body. I wonder if they match any of the Made to Move Barbies.
Oh, look. I found Spectra. Just kidding. I know this isn’t Spectra, but come on, Ari is practically her clone.
Silvi is a pretty nice looking Monster High, though her coloring reminds me of Ghoulia.
This is a strange Frankie. I like her, but something about her seems off.
This is a nice little two set with Clawdeen and Clawd.
I also like this Mattel product in the Ever After High line. She’s articulated, which is nice, though her elbow is a little weird. I wonder if that’s to give her enough oomph to shoot the arrow?
This new Beauty and the Beast movie is cursed with really great toys and some really poorly made toys. The baby doll is super creepy to me. She’s not pretty.
These toddler dolls, however, are super cute! I love them, even if they look more like Ursala’s human alter ego who tried to marry Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid than Belle.
Lalaloopsy’s seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. It looks like they’re changing a bit, as you can see in the picture. They’re smaller with real hair. In my opinion, MGA over produced their Lala line. They over saturated their own market.
So, there you have it! That’s what caught my eye while walking the toy aisle. What have you seen recently that caught your eye? Do you see anything in this post that you like or hate? Share your thoughts in the comment area.
Zomby Gaga, made in collaboration with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation and Mattel, is a pretty cool looking Monster High doll. She’s probably one of the last interesting and articulated Monster High’s we’ll see, in my opinion. Since the reboot (and even before the reboot), there haven’t been many thrilling Monster High releases. Some Electrified dolls look promising, but the excitement that I felt when shopping for, say, the original Dawn of the Dance wave, just isn’t there.
There’s a good chance that if you collect Monster High, you pre-ordered your Zomby Gaga ages ago and even got her open and out of the box already. My doll arrived a few weeks ago. I give Mattel kudo’s on her packaging. The doll is packaged in a cool triangular box. Her accessories are hidden on the bottom of the box. Zomby Gaga comes with a stand and extra outfit. Her stand is pretty horrible. It’s one of those poorly made stands that just doesn’t want to stay together.
The extra outfit, a shirt dress and fishnets, is cute. However, it’s very short. It’s more shirt than dress. A little extra length would have made this extra outfit perfect.
While Zomby Gaga is articulated, she has some major body issues. Similar to what others have experienced, my Zomby Gaga’s left elbow doesn’t work. When you try to bend it, the elbow joint pops out of the arm. Her outfit’s tight sleeves also hinder the shoulder joints from moving well. I’m disappointed in the poor construction of her arm joints. Mattel has been making articulated bodies for a while now and for such a huge tie-in release, they should have made sure they were putting the best product in consumers hands.
The suit she wears in the box is stylish, even though it hinders her movement a bit. I think the collar should have been lowered a bit, as to not hide the small neck detail painted on the doll, but besides that, the look is pretty neat. I love the flair pants. And her shoes? They’re awesome.
Zomby Gaga has long hair that is styled in a high ponytail. I like the combination of light pink and grey hair they used. It works really well with her zombie/skeleton like skin tone. Unfortunately, her hair has a tendency to fall out, at least on my doll.
What makes this doll super cool is her face design. The details are on par with early Monster High dolls. It has depth and dimension to it, like Monster High faces should. You can tell this doll was designed before the ‘sugary sweet’ reboot was really put into play. Zomby Gaga’s eyes aren’t the cutesy anime kind that the new dolls are getting. There’s something alien about them, again, much like early Monster High dolls.
Another nice touch are her hands, which say Lady Gaga (one word on each hand). Small details like that are getting rarer and rarer in the Monster High series. The bubble gum is a nice accessory, too.
Overall, I’m happy they made Zomby Gaga. It was nice seeing some excitement around the line again. However, they did a huge disservice to the doll by giving her a wonky body and weak hair. But, if you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or the golden age of Monster High, you may want to add one of these to your collection. What do you think of Zomby Gaga? Did your doll come with a bad elbow? Let me know in the comment area!