Toy Fair 2017- As Seen From YouTube

Don’t get too excited. Alas, I wasn’t able to afford a trip to New York City to attend the esteemed toy trade show that is New York Toy Fair. (I’ll be going to New York City later this year for Blogger Bash, though, which has a mini toy fair called the Sweet Suite!) The past week or so, I’ve been searching YouTube for videos from New York Toy Fair. Below are a few that might be interesting to you! (And I definitely plan on going to 2018’s NYTF. I feel like there should be more booths getting coverage than what is out there on the internet as of this writing.  That, or it will be a pretty lackluster year for toys. Lottie, The Queen’s Treasures and A Girl for All Time were there, but I don’t see many videos from their booths on YouTube yet. Tonner was also there with Phyn & Aero, but seemed to have had a very small collection of items. He livestreamed from his booth.)

The best video that I found was a live stream from the Doll area.  (The trade show floor is split into different themed areas.) It features Lottie, A Girl for All Time and Tonner. They go through the doll area and chat with vendors.

This video isn’t from New York’s event, but Hong Kong’s. It features Kurhn dolls! They don’t show at New York Toy Fair. That reminds me, I need to add a new Kurhn to my collection soon. It’s been too long!

Here’s a tour from Madame Alexander. No audio from the company, so your guess as to price, name and release are as good as mine on these dolls. I do see many things that were on display last year, though. I have an e-mail out to the company, so maybe we’ll be hearing more about them later!

Spin Master’s Luvabella will either win your heart or creep you out. Check out the video to see why! She’s a robot baby that has some pretty awesome head movements!

I love the Barbie hologram machine!!! It looks like it will be pretty cool. It doesn’t look like they have their new thingmaker, the 3d printer, on display this year. I wonder what’s going on with that?

My Ballerina Dolls was back (and still not in the doll area, it seems). From the looks of it, they didn’t have anything super new to show. It looks like they’re re-working Clara a bit so she can be more of an ‘anything’ character. (They mentioned that in another Toy Fair video.)

Shibajuku Girls debuted their new smaller sized dolls in their booth! I still prefer the big ones to the small ones, but they look cute!

This is just a sampling of what was on display at Toy Fair. If you haven’t, I suggest going to YouTube and searching Toy Fair 2017 and seeing what else people posted. (Look up Hasbro, Mattel and Funko– they usually have great stuff on display!)

There are some videos of the new Monster High dolls out, but honestly, the dolls don’t look very exciting. Also, bad news for Ever After High fans, it looks like they had zero new dolls on display for that line. There look to be a lot of fun new dolls coming to the DC Superhero Girls line, some of which are characters I actually know thanks to the CW’s current love affair with DC themed entertainment.

Did you see anything exciting at Toy Fair or through coverage online? What was it? Let me know in the comment area!

March 1, 2017. Tags: . Introductions & Reviews, Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Dolly Review: Prettie Girls Tween Scene

A few weeks ago, my mom and I went to Walmart. Usually, we miss all the big sales, but this time, we stumbled upon a treasure trove of toys at super cheap prices. Within those aisles, we found three Prettie Girls Tween Scene dolls, Lena, Valencia and Kimani. In total, we paid $5.00 for all three. (What a deal!)

Prettie Girls Tween Scene are articulated 16″ vinyl dolls. Sold at Walmart, they made their debut in 2016 and were made in collaboration with the Tonner Doll Company. They use the same body that Tonner Toys used for their Maudlynne Macabre and Little Miss Matched Girl line. For the most part, the articulated body is done really well. She has shoulder, elbow, hip and knee joints. The one point of articulation I feel is missing is a wrist joint. There are so many times I want to just move the dolls wrist, but can’t, because none of these dolls have one.

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All three Prettie Girls are nicely rooted. I love the variation of hairstyles on Lena, Valencia and Kimani. Lena has super straight black hair. It’s soft to the touch. The same goes for the other two girls. Kimani has dark brown hair with lots of curl. Finally, Valencia has a light brown/caramel blonde sort of hair color that is styled in two pig tails. Were this line to grow, I’d love to see a more natural sort of hairstyle or a short cut on one of these dolls. Pictured below is Kimani.

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To me, Lena and Kimani have very similar faces. I almost assumed they were the same character, just different waves. I peg that on their eye makeup. Both Lena and Kimani have the same color above their eyes and similar paint around their eyes. Even their lip color is very similar. I wish they would have switched up the face paint a little more, so each character could stand out more. Valencia, with a lighter skin tone and more sporty look, has more natural colors on her face, where the other two girls, both with darker complexions have cool, bright colored make up. Don’t get me wrong. I love the make up on them and think the faces look great as designed, I just think they could have done more to separate their unique characters. Pictured below is Lena.

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If you’re looking specifically for a black/AA doll, then this is a line to look into. Lena and Kimani have different complexions, which is great and not always something doll lines do. Kimani is definitely darker than Lena when it comes to skin tone. I tend to like dolls with really dark skin tones, because, let’s be honest, they’re pretty rare when it comes to play line dolls. Valencia, who is Hispanic, has tan-colored skin.

All three dolls have super cool outfits! I’m torn between liking Lena’s red/orange dress or Kimani’s crop top/flower pants combo the most. Both outfits are just too cute. The sporty track suit on Valencia is my least favorite of the three and maybe of the entire line. Each doll came with an extra top. Strangely, though, I don’t think the tops they came with match very well with the outfits they are currently wearing, but maybe they expected to sell more fashion packs? Pictured below is Valencia.

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To be honest, I’m not sure what the status of Prettie Girls: Tween Scene is. Last year, One World, the creative team behind this line, merged with Tonner, creating Tonner One World.  However, nothing has really come out of that partnership yet, nor have we seen any new waves of Tween Scene. Their website teases a new line, Prettie Girls NYC, which features new girls who “are diverse in cultures & personalities, from the Chic, rocker Stone; to the sophisticated, classy Knox; the fun, funky Kiyo; the performing, princess Mayla; to finally the sporty, spunky Anja.” The image from the site, who I assume is Stone, is pretty awesome. I hope we eventually see this line one day!

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Even a new wave of Prettie Girls: Tween Scene would be appreciated. This line really is a great size and one you don’t see very often on play line dolls. Not to mention, there’s quality to this doll line. They are well put together dolls. (They photograph really well, too!)  And of course, we can’t forget the diversity factor. This line prides itself on having dolls from varying ethnicities. Not pictured in this review, for example, are Dhara, Alexi and Hana, who all come from different ethnic backgrounds.

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What do you think of Prettie Girls: Tween Scene? Do you own any? Were they on clearance at your local Walmart? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

March 1, 2017. Tags: , , . Introductions & Reviews, Uncategorized. 15 comments.

Introducing Boy Story

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

To keep track of the company, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter! What do you think of Boy Story? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

February 26, 2017. Tags: . Introductions & Reviews, Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Skipper Highlight Reel: Skipper’s Boyfriend Scott

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.

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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.

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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.

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Video review below!

Do you have Scott? What do you think of him? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

February 23, 2017. Tags: , , . Introductions & Reviews, Uncategorized. 9 comments.

Collection Close Up: Polly Pocket, Part 1

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).

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Polly’s Flat includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, balcony and bathroom.

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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.

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Midge’s Play School has a front yard filled with playground equipment, like a slide and sand area, a classroom,nursery, bedroom and bathroom.

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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.

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Buttons’ Animal Hospital has waiting room, kennel, front desk, exam room and a living space for Buttons.

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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!

February 20, 2017. Tags: , . Introductions & Reviews, Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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