Naperville Doll Show January 2018

Sunday was the Naperville Doll Show. Held at the Marriott Hotel in Naperville, IL, the show is usually attended by vendors who have older, vintage dolls for sale, though a few come with Barbie’s or other modern style dolls, like BJD’s. To be honest, not much at this show really tugged at my heartstrings this time around. I went in with a plan to look for an affordable twist n’ turn Skipper, but didn’t see any at decent prices. Other than that, I was just looking for things that called to me. Both me and my mom went into the show with the intent to get two Sasha’s re-strung, which we got done by Alice’s Doll Workshop.

So, what treasures did we take home with us? I picked up two Skipper’s in need of outfits, a Malibu Skipper and Teen Skipper. My mom picked up a Barbie in need of a little TLC, too. She also found this strange Barbie accessory. It’s a Barbie sized bike that attaches to your bike. For a dollar, it was sold!

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

More interestingly, we picked up two AvaStars. AvaStars made its debut November of 2014 in a Missouri mall kiosk in the Saint Louis Galleria. It eventually expanded to two other locations, Oakbrook Town Center (Illinois) and Kenwood Towne Center (Ohio). The gist of AvaStars was that you’d go to the mall kiosk, get your face scanned by 3D modeling software and two weeks later, you’d get a doll customized in your likeness! It was a little costly at $40 bucks a doll, but the concept was a solid one.

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

I’m kicking myself for never driving down to Oakbrook Town Center to try this, but who would have expected the company to fold after only 7 months on the market in late June 2015? Anyway, at the show, one vendor had two uncustomized AvaStars on display and they were too weird not to pick up. (Plus, they were only five bucks.) These are dressed dolls with rooted hair and no faces.

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

As a Skipper collector, I have a sad number of clothing options for my dolls, so occasionally, I like to pick up something to slowly add to that part of my collection. I picked up Flower Showers #1939 from 1967. It’s so cute and looks great on Skipper!

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

In a rare occurrence, my mom picked up a Tonner doll at the show! This doll is part of the The Little Martians line. This is Sunspot, a convention piece from 2007. What really sold her on this piece was that it came with the UFO!

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

My mom took one of her Christmas BJD’s to the show in hand-me-down clothing and a thinning wig and she left with a brand new outfit  and much cuter wig! The outfit is from Wee Designs and the wig is from Purple Plum (though their website seems to mostly have wigs for real people). Wee Designs has some darling outfits for all sizes of dolls. They’re really well made, too! I even bought one for my last acquisition, a new ball jointed doll, or BJD.

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

I spotted this green resin BJD in Gigi’s Dolls booth when we first looked around the room. Then, I kept on noticing it as we did our many laps around the vendor’s tables. Finally, after not finding any big ticket items, I went back and inquired about the BJD and decided to go for it. I haven’t treated myself to a BJD in years, so I don’t feel bad about spending a little extra money on her.

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

I’ve always liked the green resin. On top of that, this BJD has a great face up with super cool eyelashes, great shading and the perfect green eyes, so I don’t have to do anything extra to fix her up or customize her. We, nor the vendor, couldn’t find any branding on this BJD at the time of purchase. However, after posting our haul on YouTube, eagle eyed viewers told me she is a Garden of Dolls Nabiya. Apparently, Garden of Dolls used Bobobie to cast their bodies, which makes sense, as both my mom and I thought the feel of this new BJD resembled our Bobobie BJDs. I got a really good deal on Nabiya, judging from what I’m seeing on eBay and other sites.

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

My mom has always liked the Berenguer Baby I reviewed a few years back, so one of her bigger purchases was this newborn set with a baby boy and accessories!

Naperville Doll Show Jan 2018

She also bought this little miniature monkey for her BJD’s.

So, overall, it wasn’t a bad day of shopping. I would have liked to have found more deals, but we left with things that neither of us regret. Have you gone doll shopping recently? What did you buy? What do you think of the things we picked up at the Naperville Doll Show? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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January 30, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Introducing: Kruselings by Käthe Kruse

New for 2018 are Kruselings by Käthe Kruse. These 9″ dolls are crafted from soft vinyl, with movable limbs and lifelike glass eyes. There are six dolls in the line. There is a ‘girl power’ vibe to this line, which was designed in collaboration with renowned doll maker Sonja Hartmann (designer of Kidz N Cats) and Donaji Ayala Hernandez. The six dolls include Michael, Luna, Vera, Sofia, Joy and Chloe.

Kruselings

Here’s a bit of the back story behind Kruselings! The Kruselings are five girls, all age 10, who live on different continents. But when Luna, Vera, Sofia, Joy and Chloe are summoned by the ‘Fire Opal’, a mysterious power turns them into the Kruselings, the Guardians of Dreamland. Their role is to end nightmares and make sure sweet dreams can be had by all, and they can do this because they are such good friends and work so well together as a team, where their individual strengths and magical abilities are so much more powerful when used together.

Kruselings

Michael

Kruselings

Joy

Kruselings

Vera

Kruselings

Luna

Kruselings

Chloe

Kruselings

Sofia

The dolls will be sold in Deluxe Sets ($44.99) with their magic outfits and everyday outfit, Casual Sets ($27.99) as a doll and casual outfit and with Magic Outfits ($17.99) and Magic Tool Set ($11.99).

Kruselings

I wish I was going to New York Toy Fair to see them in person, but that isn’t happening this year. (My goal is to go back 2019.) You can follow Kruselings on Facebook and YouTube. What do you think of Kruselings? Which is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

January 24, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 16 comments.

My Little Pony Celebrates 35 Years!

My Little Pony is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year! To mark the occasion, Hasbro is putting out six collectible reproduction My Little Ponies. Made to look like the original Year 1 ponies from 1983, the ponies include Snuzzle, Cotton Candy, Blue Belle, Butterscotch, Blossom and Minty. If this seems familiar, it would be because these ponies were also released for the 25th anniversary of the line.

While Hasbro may have more in the works, if this is it, I am disappointed. We’ve seen these re-releases before and they weren’t done all that well the first time around for the 25th anniversary. I requested photos from Hasbro’s My Little Pony PR team, but so far they have ignored my request. If I get photos, I will add them to this post. In the meantime, you can see photos here.

365 Toy Project- Day 8- My Little Pony Family Portrait

Were I in charge of creating cool products to commemorate 35 years of My Little Pony, I wouldn’t have chosen to just re-release the first six ponies again. By now, Hasbro should know that My Little Pony collectors tend to be completists and probably were around for the 25th anniversary. What would I have liked to see? Give me a reproduction Megan and Sundance set or Molly and Baby Sundance. Or, why not give us a reproduction Flutter Pony? Another idea would be to offer a gift set that included the same pony, but made in all the different generations. Like, for example, a Bowtie made in the form of a G1, sea pony, G2, G3, G4 and so on. And, if it wasn’t too expensive, give me a re-release of Paradise Estate. I never received that as a kid and would love to have one. It’s way too hard to find at an affordable price in good condition.

While this may not have been intentional, the Equestria Girls received a makeover for 2018 and now look drastically different. The redesign will come as a shock to people who like the look of the original Equestria Girl dolls. In this reboot, the Equestria Girls have grown a few inches taller, have more human-like bodies and have a very different face design.

MLP Equestria Girls Re-Launch

MLP Equestria Girls Re-Launch

MLP Equestria Girls Re-Launch

MLP Equestria Girls Re-Launch

I’m not crazy about their new look. Most of these dolls look a little–weird. I haven’t seen Fluttershy or Rarity yet, but of the four I’ve seen (Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle) the one I like most would probably be Rainbow Dash. The others, especially Twilight Sparkle, missed the mark, in my opinion.

Also, in related news, the My Little Pony Fair has been redubbed Pony Con and will be held June 16th and 17th in Orlando, Florida. Floridians won’t want to miss this! It’s a ton of fun and they have the best dealers hall (or they did when it was in Chicago, read coverage here on the blog: 2015, 2016). For more information, visit their website.

What do you think of Hasbro’s 35th anniversary releases so far and the recent Equestria Girls relaunch? What would you like to see Hasbro release for the 35th anniversary? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

January 15, 2018. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Monster High Retrospective: Wave 2

Since the excitement has died down around the Monster High brand, I figured it would be a good time to go through my collection to see what I had and what I might be missing. Late last year, I started by posting a retrospective video on the Wave 1 Monster High dolls. This post is a look back at 2011’s Wave 2 dolls, which introduced us to two brand new characters, Abbey, Spectra and Toralei!

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

The Wave 2 dolls are some of my personal favorites. They had great outfits, nicely designed faces and some great purses.

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

I love the make up on this Frankie! It’s perfect. Her outfit and purse are also super cute. I’d say this Frankie is definitely in my top five of all time favorite Frankie’s.

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

Clawdeen’s look in wave 2 is literally my favorite of all the Clawdeen’s produced. Her outfit is fierce, but not so far out there that it’s costume’y. Plus, the basic hair style really makes her pretty face stand out. By this release, it looks like they realized she should have clawed fingers. (My Wave 1 and Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen have human hands.)

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

What I like about Wave 2 Cleo is her color scheme. The introduction of the green works really well with her look. Plus, Cleo’s face is done really well. When they get it right, it’s perfect, when they get it wrong, it’s a mess. In this case, they got it right!

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

Lagoona’s wave 2 doll had a bit of a misstep in the outfit department, in my opinion. The asymmetry of her jumpsuit just doesn’t float my boat. The best thing about this release is probably the molding of her hand, which is pretty well done! Besides that, this is probably the most lackluster of the dolls.

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

Abbey is my favorite of the cartoon characters, even though her doll releases were hit or miss. Wave 2 Abbey is my favorite of the Abbey’s produced throughout the years. She’s pretty, but still has some edge.

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

Spectra was introduced in 2011 with wave 2, as well. I’ve always been a fan of Spectra’s cool see-through limbs. Her stark white skin makes her angular face stand out a lot, but I like that.

Monster High Wave 2 2011 releases

According to the site I used to check who went in what line, Toralei technically was considered wave 3, but, as she was released in the second year, I tossed her in with this collection. I think Mattel did a good job of capturing Toralei’s spirit in this release.

Do you have a favorite doll from Wave 2? Share it in the comment area!

January 12, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

American Girl’s Girl of the Year 2018

Luciana Vega made her grand debut as the newest Girl of the Year on Good Morning America December 28th, 2017. Mattel describes her as “creative and confident with a serious science streak”. Luciana’s stories center around her love of space and science. The most interesting thing about the actual doll design, which has tan skin, brown eyes and straight dark brown hair is the purple streak that compliments the dark brown hues. Other than that, the doll itself is kind of boring.

AG promo photos- 2018 GotY

We know Mattel can do different face sculpts, like they did on Nanea Mitchell, so the fact that the 2018 American Girl Girl of the Year has the same sculpt we’ve seen used many times in the past is disappointing.

AG promo photos- 2018 GotY

What I do think is great about this girl is her passion for space! Because Luciana loves the idea of space travel, Mattel made some really cool outfits and accessories to go with the theme. While they are going to be far too much money for me to actually buy, I know some kids (and adults) out there will be very happy with these amazing props and outfits. For example, Luciana has her very own blue Flight Suit, which looks really cute.

AG promo photos- 2018 GotY

Even better, though, is her Space Suit, complete with authentic patches, equipment pack and astronaut helmet with a clear visor that flips up. Her causal looks are also super cute! I love the NASA jacket that comes with this Stellar Outfit! And her Visitor Center Accessories are fantastic.

AG promo photos- 2018 GotY

Luciana’s big play set takes the cake. It’s up there with Maryellen’s Diner. Luciana’s play set is a Mars Habitat and it looks so neat! The habitat offers three-sided play, with more than 40 science, technology, and health accessories to set up and rearrange, including pretend rock samples, a pretend pair of virtual reality goggles, a set of photos, papers, notes, clipboard, and folder for keeping her research organized and many other cool elements. This play set is one of the most exciting things to come out of American Girl in years, in my opinion, though at nearly $400.00, the price tag is a bit hefty for the average person.

American Girl Promo Image

Every good scientist needs a workstation and Luciana’s is her Maker Station. Priced at more than I expected, her Maker Station includes a lot of cool elements. Within her Maker Station, you’ll see a robotic arm that can pick things up, measuring tape, screwdriver, and set of screws for building and Two MEGA CONSTRUX™ construction sets for a satellite and a rover. Pretty cool, right?

AG promo photos- 2018 GotY

On a side note, if you’re on the lookout for more male dolls from American Girl, it looks like they’ve expanded their Truly Me line with more boy dolls! Check them out online. You can see all of Luciana’s collection on American Girl’s website. What do you think of the 2018 Girl of the Year? Do you think the accessories outshine the doll? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

January 9, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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