Flower Fairies Secret Garden: Miniature Garden Fairies

We were first introduced to Flower Fairies Secret Garden last year at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG). The miniature fairies were the stand out booth at the show. After ChiTAG I reached out to the company to see if they were interested in sending any samples for review. They were kind enough to send quite a few items to show off to all of you! And, guys, these miniature fairy figures are as adorable now as they were when I saw them in October!

Let’s start with a little background. Flower Fairies Secret Garden figures were inspired by Cicely Mary Barker’s gorgeous illustrations from the 1920’s. These illustrations have a wonderful charm to them and they’ve inspired some adorable recreations in the Flower Fairies Secret Garden series by Ultimate Source. There are 23 pieces to Series 1 of the Flower Fairies Secret Garden brand, including a planter kit, 8 flower fairies and multiple accessories. At the moment, you’ll need to use the store locator on the Flower Fairy website to find a store near you that carries these miniature garden fairies, as they currently don’t have a web store on their site. It’s worth the hunt, though!

While made of plastic, these beautifully painted figures feel durable. Sent for review was a planter kit, faux moss and flowers, a variety of fairies and, finally, a few accessory packs.

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This is the Strawberry Fairy. The Strawberry Fairy is adorable! I love the curly hair and strawberry themed outfit. The Strawberry Fairy comes with a strawberry patch, which can be used in your fairy garden.

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Scilla Fairy is my favorite of the whole bunch! In fact, she was my favorite way back in October when we first saw these! I love Scilla’s blue cape like outfit and her down turned wings. Plus,  her flower umbrella is too cute!

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The Lilac Fairy sits perfectly on the little tree trunk she comes with. Do you see the light purple coloring on her wings? All the fairies wings glow light purple when in sunlight! In the same respect, they glow dark blue when under a black light!

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This is Buttercup Fairy. She comes with a basket of berries that she can hold or you can use elsewhere in your garden. The yellow in her dress is very pretty!

Baby Apple Blossom loves to see what surprises lie within the wishing well! Apple Blossom has the most adorable baby wings!

Besides fairies, we were also sent some accessories to really make our village stand out! This fairy door is gorgeous! It stands well on its own, too! I love the design, the colors, the details– everything!

The planter can be used to create a real or imaginary flower fairy garden. To create our garden, we used the Flower Fairy Secret Garden faux moss (9.25 diameter, round) and faux flower packs. The moss fits right into the planter! I may have to invest in their faux moss landscape, which is longer, to expand my village! Another larger accessory is the bridge, which would look great on the landscape I just mentioned. The planters kit includes a planter, stone sidewalk and lamp post. They also sell accessory packs, which include an adorable mailbox (with letters wrapped in leaves), fairy food and a sign post! (Watch the video to see the small accessories we received for review!)

I really, really like the Flower Fairies Secret Garden series! The figures are highly detailed, made of a durable plastic and look so pretty, whether they are displayed in a planter or just sitting on a desk! Flower Fairies Secret Garden are colorful high quality miniatures that I would feel fine giving to a fairy loving youngster or a youngster at heart! There’s a good chance that I’ll be revising this brand come Christmas, as I think they’d make wonderful gifts!

Want to follow the brand online? Check out their website, “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram or Twitter. What do you think of Flower Fairies Secret Garden? Which fairy is your favorite? Let us know in the comment area!

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May 15, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Update on KB Toys (Toy Association Town Hall Meeting)

At PlayConEllia Kassoff did a panel discussing the future of KB Toys (Kay Bee Toys). Here’s some highlights from the video.

  • Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Strategic Marks, acquired the KB Brand “about a year ago”. His company, Strategic Marks, is the “leader in the retro space”. (See his retro candy company, Leaf Brands.) They rebuild brands, keeping the charm of a well-loved brand, while “tipping the hat and bringing it to the 21st century”. Their goal is to make the new iteration feel like the original, so that parents are just as excited to shop at KB as their kids!
  • They’re in talks to hire some of the Toys R Us family to work on the KB brand, some of whom started out with KB originally. Many are from the Toys R Us Express team, so they’re used to putting up multiple temporary shops in a short amount of time.
  • They foresee 300-400 pop up stores in place for this 2018 holiday season. Why pop up stores? Pop up stores can be set up quicker than permanent locations. More importantly, pop up shops are a valuable tool to test the market and see what locations would benefit from a permanent space.
  • To improve the shopping experience, they’re working with toy insiders, mommy/collector groups, etc to help build “the best toy chain from the ground up”.
  • The goal is to get 600-800 permanent stores up and running in the next 3 to 4 years.
  • They will not be using outside investors to fund the brand. (This is what ruined KB and Toys R Us. Just google Bain Capital and Toys R Us or KB Toys.)  Ellia went straight to the malls and approached them to become investors, as KB is a staple in the mall landscape. All of their funding for this venture will be coming from large mall chains. Because these malls would have a vested interest in keeping the brand alive, some of the ailments that KB faced before with renting space, display restrictions and the like are “out the window”.
  • KB ‘experience stores’ will be a larger format store, about the size of Toys R Us. They could feature a cafe, party room, birthday party registries, demos and more. These larger stores will be an extension of the smaller mall locations. Experience stores will allow more space to showcase smaller toy companies/brands, which could then be moved over to the mall locations.
  • He sees the staff being well versed in toys, “toy nerds” is the term used. Ellia wants people who really love toys to work in the KB Stores; people who have a passion for the industry.

If you want to give it a listen, the video should start right at the point where Ellia begins. If not, fast forward to 48 minutes in.

I’m really excited for this! Fingers crossed a pop up location heads our way so we can do a ‘Walkin’ the Toy Aisles’ post from there! It looks like KB Toys and the crew behind it are really working hard to put together the next big toy chain! What do you think of their plans? Let us know in the comment area!

May 10, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Netchie Dolls and Nata’s Knitted Friends

At the Chicago Toy Show, it’s pretty typical to see the same vendors show after show, which is I why I was happily surprised to see two new vendors! Both vendors were doll artists/creators, not dealers, which was another happy surprise. They also happened to be right next to each other in the room.

We’ll start with Netchie Dolls. Netchie Dolls are adorable cloth dolls! They stood out among the other vendors, who had more vintage pieces on display. Netchie Dolls are stuffed with a combination of sheep’s wool and polyester stuffing and are covered in a cotton knit fabric. The hair is composed of yarn attached to a crocheted wig cap that is firmly attached to the head so that it can stand up to hours of play time and a variety of hairstyles.

kane County dol show highlights

They’re cute online, but even more adorable in person! Being short on cash, I wasn’t able to pick one of these up this show, but I am very tempted to next time!

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

kane County dol show highlights

The second seller that stood out was Nata’s Knitted Friends. Nata had a table full of super cute crocheted creations! When I asked her about the dolls, she mentioned that she’s also open to making 100% unique creations based on a drawing. I can’t think of a better way of immortalizing a family members art than making their 2D image real!

kane County dol show highlights

So, check these guys out if you’re looking for a unique doll for yourself, a family member or a friend. What do you think of these? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

May 5, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Doll Show Haul/Loot, April 2018

April was a pretty busy month! With two doll shows, a Once Upon a Time Convention (where a friend and I had our photos taken with some cast members) and a trip into Chicago to see Jesus Christ Superstar, it’s been a busy few weeks! Because of all these fun things happening, I didn’t have much money to play with at the April doll shows. As it turned out, I didn’t actually see much at the shows that really ‘called to me’, so my small budget didn’t work against me! Of course, as it’s me, I didn’t leave empty handed.

Bendable Leg Skooter

Recently, I realized I didn’t have a bendable leg Skooter in my Skipper collection. All my Skooter dolls are straight leg. At the Chicago Toy Show, I noticed a pretty brunette pink skinned Skooter with working knees and a good face. She was priced at $45, but I was able to get her for $40, which was a good price for her, since Skooter was in such good shape and didn’t have any pale spots on her skin. Plus, she was being sold with her original top and a best buy skirt.
The second thing I picked up was a My Little Pony, Sweet Note, from year 9’s Rockin’ Beat Ponies. She’s from 1990 and has an awesome fluorescent color scheme. One of my favorite things about Sweet Note has to be her crimped hair!

Believe it or not, that was it! That was all I picked up at the Chicago Toy Show. April also brought me a few other cool things, thanks to the internet, though. You may have seen these in a recent Haul video posted to my YouTube channel, but in case you didn’t, here you go!

TNT Skipper

Skipper’s from the Mod era are lacking in my collection, so I decided that this year, I would try to add a few more to it! I saw this Twist N Turn beauty on eBay. She’s not perfect, but she looks great to me! Her face hasn’t faded, her coloring is bright and her hair is very pretty! I love the color of her hair! The only small issue with this Skipper is that her lashes on one eye are either gone or pulled into her head. It’s hard to tell, though, unless you are really looking for that. Eventually, I’ll try to fix the lashes, but for now, I think she looks great as is! More on him later!

Lifesize Baby Groot

The Hot Toys Lifesize Baby Groot was an impulse buy, but come on– how could I not?! Baby Groot is fully articulated, comes with three face plates and extra hands and best of all, comes with a cute little Ravengers outfit! For me, buying Baby Groot was like adding to my ball jointed doll collection, in a way. There are so many things I can do with him!

A week after the Chicago Toy Show was the Kane County Doll Show. Again, we didn’t leave with much. Instead of finding good deals on many small things, both my mom and I ended up splurging on one big thing (and picked up a few smaller things). My mom ended up with the big win at the show, a Patti Playpal in great shape! How adorable is she?

Patti Playpal

My big purchase was a hard plastic Arrenbee from the 1950’s. She’s 21″ tall and super pretty!

Arranbee Hard Plastic

Coming home with us was this interesting doll from the 1980’s. This fabric doll was created by artist Mary Vasquez. She called to my mom and we were able to get her at a good price. She’s very unique looking, don’t you think?

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Those are some of the items we brought home– below are some of the dolls we saw, but couldn’t afford!  You can see more photos in the Haul video linked in this post.

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

Did you find any additions to your collection recently? Share them in the comment area! And don’t forget, now until November 2018, we have a mailbox open for fan mail (for myself and Barbee0913) and doll donations! Check out the World Doll Day Doll/Toy Drive post for the address!

May 5, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

World Doll Day Toy Drive 2018 is LIVE

In honor of World Doll Day (the 2nd Saturday of June), Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter is hosting the second annual doll and toy drive! Our toy drive is supporting the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store. Serving the Chicagoland area for over 60 years, the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store came into my life a few years ago, when my mom and I started donating toys in honor of a kindhearted friend and co-worker who passed far too soon.

World Doll Day Logo

Last year, we were able to donate over 50 toys to the Christmas Store thanks to your support, as well as the support of the Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event. Let’s try to reach that again this year! I hesitate to set a ‘donation goal’, because anything will be appreciated, but if we, together, can make 50+ kids happy this holiday season, I think we’ll have done a wonderful thing. And I’d like to think that this sort of wonderful thing is just what Mildred Seeley had in mind when starting World Doll Day. So, the details…

Toy Drive Graphics

What is the Christmas Store, you ask? Every year Marillac St. Vincent Family Services invites parents, grandparents, and child guardians that they serve throughout the year, to sign up for the Christmas Store. On the Saturday before Christmas, registered families get to “shop” for toys, stocking stuffers, books, games, clothes, and stuffed animals for each of their children, have their gifts wrapped, and finally, leave with a full bag of food – enough to make a big meal on Christmas day, complete with a turkey!

The Christmas Store is a fun shopping experience for parents and grandparents, giving them agency to choose the toys that best suit their children’s interests. Their Christmas store serves over 250 families, which accounts for 800-1100 children, who may not have received holiday presents otherwise.

What I like about this cause is that children, because their caregiver is handpicking their presents, will receive a truly personalized gift, as opposed to one that they may not care for. With this set up, Marillac St. Vincent’s Christmas Store puts the power of choice in the parents, grandparents or caregivers hands, which is far more empowering than receiving a generic donation, in my opinion!

What is Marillac St. Vincent’s looking for? New, in box dolls and toys for ages 0-12. Per their request, they’d prefer not to receive weapon type toys, but everything else is fair game. Marillac has an Amazon Wishlist available, if you need ideas. With Toys R Us going out of business, this is a great time to keep an eye out for sales! You never know what treasures you’ll find at a price that doesn’t break the bank! Remember, though, this is for new or inbox toys only. (There are probably exceptions to the rule, like if you have a like new American Girl or something you’d like to donate. If you do, just e-mail me and we can discuss if it would be right for this drive!)

Toy Drive Graphics

How can you donate? I’ve opened up a special mailbox for donations! This isn’t a PO box, so you’re not limited to certain mail carriers. The shipping address is:

Dolly Confessions
2413 W. Algonquin Rd
PMB #147
Algonquin, IL 60102
United States

I realize shipping can be pricey, especially if you’re located outside of the US. If you’re interested in helping with the drive, but can’t support it with a physical doll or toy, consider sending a gift card to Amazon. You can send a virtual gift card to taps1223(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)net. Please, title your e-mail with TOY DRIVE DONATION/Your Initials. Of course, you can also send a gift card via snail mail to the special donation mailbox. Please put your mailing address inside the package, envelope or e-mail, so I can send a thank you card to you! World Doll Day is June 5th, but I have the mailbox for six months, so if you need a little extra time to send in your donation, that’s fine!

For tax purposes, save those receipts! If you need an official donation receipt, let me know and I can work on getting one from Marillac for your records. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me or message me. Thank you for considering donating to this cause in honor of World Doll Day.

May 1, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

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