We’re back from the big apple! As you know, February 13-16 was one of the biggest toy trade shows in the world– New York Toy Fair. Even though it was my second year attending, I still felt overwhelmed. This year, I decided to invite Barbee0913, aka my mom, to attend with me. Trying to cover the show for one blog is a lot of work, let alone two! Over the next week or so, I’ll be putting out articles on what we saw at the show. This report features Mattel!
I’d like to say there were tons of exciting things on display, but alas, I can’t. There was a lot in the room, but not a lot when it came to what I traditionally look for– dolls! I’ll start off with the bad news. Ever After High wasn’t represented at all. They had some standees and a handful of Dragon Games dolls on display, but nothing new. I don’t even know if they had a rep manning the booth! It makes me worry about the future of Ever After High, to be honest!
Barbie was represented well enough. They, of course, had the new Fashionista‘s on display. In person, I’m still not completely impressed. I love the variety the new bodies will introduce to the Barbie franchise, but they still aren’t articulated. If I were in charge, getting all Barbie’s to be more like the Made To Move line would be my first priority.
Spin Art Barbie, coming in two skin tones, is kind of fun! Assuming Mattel has some refill packs or you’re crafty and can make your own outfits to use in this once you run out, this could be a fun ‘gimmicky’ Barbie for the crafty types.
This Starlight Adventure Barbie Hoverboard ties in with a movie we’ll be seeing later this year. I quite like this cool toy! If the demonstration model works anything like the one we’ll see on store shelves, kids will probably love it. It flew really well in the showroom!
The Presidential 2-pack will probably be a favorite of many, as well. The president wears red, white and blue and the vice president wears yellow. What I really like about this set is that as you will see in the pictures, Mattel is playing with diversity and pairing dolls of different colors together. Also, each has a different hair style.
The Flipping Fun Gymnast set is adorable, however gimmicky it may be. When you place Kelly (or Barbie’s student, I guess), on the balance beam and pull a lever, the talented student will flip and stick a solid landing. It’s really neat to see in person. The student character looks a little plastic, but for the effect, I can totally understand the reasoning.
Hello Dreamhouse is the big item Mattel seems to be pushing this year. It’s an interactive talking Dreamhouse that listens to you as you speak and responds back. For example, you can say “Hello, Dreamhouse. Can you turn the bedroom light on?” and it should turn on the bedroom light. Each room has a floor switch that will allow you to turn the lights on in any room that way, as well. If you say, “It’s time for school”, the house will react with a voice responding to you and turn on the ‘shower’. It’s a neat concept and kids will probably love it. Let’s hope it’s easier to put together than the past dreamhouses!
The Thingmaker dates back all the way to 1964. I remember it as a Creepy Crawler maker. 2016’s Thingmaker has lost the goop and molds and gained filament and an extruder. Yep. It’s a 3D printer. Priced at $300.00, Mattel could have a winner on their hands with this. The app this works with is already available. It allows you to create pre-programmed ‘things’, choose the perfect colors and send them to the printer.
As far as Monster High is concerned, there were some things on display. Dana Treasura Jones, daughter of Davy Jones, made her showroom debut, as well as Ari Hauntington. I love the color scheme they chose for Dana. It fits her theme perfectly. Ari, however, looks a bit like a Spectra clone.
This is Ari. The picture directly below is an interactive Ari that will sing at different ranges as you move your hand higher and lower in front of her. (You can see this in the video.)
This Ari is a basic Ari. She was on display with the Draculaura and Frankie that became famous in the leaked sizzle reel about the relaunch.
The Welcome to Monster High set, featuring Draculaura, is a cute set, but there’s not much to it.
The set comes with the Draculaura on the left, not the one decked out on the right, ready to dance.
A new theme for this year is “monster-cute”. These blind bag miniatures totally fit that bill. The first wave will be our favorite ghouls. Following that, they’ll have release others with different themes and patterns.
There were many other brands on display in the Mattel Showroom. You can see pictures in my Flickr album. Below are the video presentations from the booth.
One more Mattel video will be added to my channel, featuring the new American Girl building kits. I’ll add it here soon! (Keep an eye on my channel for it!)
Also on display were the new DC dolls, which I think I’ll save for their own post. Pictures can be found in the flickr album mentioned above.
Overall, it will be interesting to see what happens with Mattel this year. What I expected to see a lot of (Ever After High and Monster High), I didn’t. Do you see anything you like? Share your thoughts below!
The Doctor may not be regenerating in 2016, but it looks like Monster High is. The ghouls we’ve grown to love will be losing their edgy look, starting (most likely) in the fall. The dark, gothic look is being replaced with“a fresh new look with new contemporary colors and graphics whilst still incorporating the iconic signatures that make the brand unique and relatable to the core audience of 6-10 year olds.”
Last night, there was a sizzle video posted with the blog entry from an official Mattel News page, Mattel EMEA, that made it seem like the major reason for the change was that people thought Monster High looked “too dark”. (Who are these people calling Monster High too dark? Clearly, they’ve never seen the Living Dead Dolls… And also, why is Mattel posting this info meant for partners on a site anyone can access? If you’re a Mattel rep and would like me to rework this post- ie: remove image or quote, e-mail me at the address on the sidebar.)
The sizzle video is now locked down. I was surprised to see it posted on the internet, to be honest– it was kind of rough and very much created to be an internal video, not something for us to see. Essentially, though, it was a short announcement about the upcoming changes.
Here’s a mirror of the video sizzle. The mirror was deleted.
It seems these new looks will correspond with new video content featuring monster origin stories and a new campaign, How Do You Boo, which will encourage “consumers to embrace what makes them unique and share how they Boo.”
Read the whole press release here. (The site now re-directs to Mattel.com.)
Ever After High is getting tweaked here and there, too, though not as much as Monster High, so far as I can tell. According to the Mattel newsletter, “the dolls will feature new face sculpts with a softer more open approach and the content will bring to life the exciting adventures of these powerful princesses!” The 2016 push seems to be around “Ever After High: Where Princesses Are Powerful”. (I don’t think Mattel is over losing the Disney Princesses to Hasbro yet…)
I’m still working through my initial thoughts on this, so I’ll post my opinions on this later. Until then, what do you think of the upcoming changes to Monster High and Ever After High? Let me know in the comment area.
You can tell Christmas isn’t too far away, because new products are all over the place! Here’s a few items I noticed while shopping recently.
Last we saw the guy above, he was a cardboard cut out in a Toy Fair booth, I believe! Look, here he is in 3D in this Toys R Us exclusive Berryella and Prince Charming set. I think this set is “berry” cute!
Wicked Cool Toys Cabbage Patch Kids have hit stores! Be very careful when buying a CPK up, though, as some of the Jakks Pacific dolls are still in stores, too. Make sure to check for the Wicked Cool Toys logo on the box.
This set was a bit of a head scratcher for me. Made by MGA, these dolls are identical to Moxie Girlz. It looks like they were rebranded for this Storytime Princess set. The girls even have a castle available for purchase. Both are exclusive to Toys R Us.
Of all the things I saw during Force Friday, this Mega Posable Talking Plush Chewbacca was the scariest. What were they thinking? This doesn’t even look like Chewie.
Meccano’s were previewed in a Toy Fair video I posted from the Spin Master breakfast. Looks like Meccanoid G15 is finally out and about for kids to play with.
This Paw Patrol Mission Chase is another thing we first saw at Toy Fair. This will be a hot seller come Christmas time.
Lori seems to be a new doll line. They’re not very big in scale and are made by the folks behind Our Generation.
Scaled for the 18″ Our Generation dolls, here’s a super great looking set, the ‘Bite to Eat’ Diner. Look at all the food items!!!
Keep your eyes peeled for the newest MiWorld set, Paws and Claws. It’s a Toys R Us exclusive. I’m still waiting for the AMC Theater that was shown at Toy Fair. This pet shop is pretty cute. So colorful.
Have you seen these 17″ Monster High characters at your local stores yet? They’re on their way! Check the quality of the doll before buying it, though, because I found that some of the dolls seemed hastily packaged.
Any Descendants fans in the house? Here are Audrey, Jane and Lonnie. I know Audrey was supposed to be the ‘mean’ girl of the group, but I think her doll might be the prettiest of them all.
Mattel’s trend of releasing really nice looking Ever After High dolls seems to be continuing. Heartstuck Cupid is so pretty, as is Sugar Coated Holly. I would also like to give Mattel credit for the awesome box design of the Way Too Wonderland dolls. I love how they’re posed in the box!
Apparently, you can now Create a Bratz on Target.com.
Speaking of Bratz, they’re back. And, I’m honestly not very excited about them. MGA may have played up the whole rebranding thing too much for my taste as they kind of look… the same. There. I said it. I still don’t care much for this line. But I know some of you love it, so here are some pictures of what I’ve seen, Bratz-wise, around town!
And then there is the line below that has been making its rounds on the internet for a few weeks now, Project MC2. They’re cute. I like the inset eyes and the fashions. It will be fun to see what happens with this line.
So, that’s a peek of what I’ve been spying at our local toy stores recently. What have you seen that’s caught your eye? Share your thoughts below!
Alistair, son of Alice from Alice in Wonderland, was one of those Ever After High dolls I really wanted to add to my collection. Last month I did, along with Kitty and Bunny!
Alistair is pretty awesome, to say the least. I really like his look! He’s decked out in a blue and brown color scheme. While I wouldn’t automatically put those colors together, I love the contrast.
The dark blue looks great with the off white tank top and dark brown pants. The three-quarter sleeves, which could easily look ‘girly’, were done just right! I especially love Alistair’s boots.
Alistair has rooted golden yellow hair. I personally would have preferred some dirty blonde highlights to break up the base color. However, the factory hair looks nice, too.
It’s styled well, though I must warn you– if you have a choice of Alistair’s, make sure to double check the hairdo’s. I have a feeling his style, due to the gel, could look really weird if it was quickly/poorly packaged.
His face is nice and clean. Alistair has thickly painted brown brows, blue eyes and natural lips. His skin tone is more porcelain than other male Ever After High dolls we’ve seen.
He comes with a molded plastic dark brown canteen. I love the design and think this is a great prop.
Overall, I like how Alistair came out. I would have loved a dark blonde highlight in his hair to add a bit of depth to his hairstyle, but the outfit and face look great.
Video Review on Kitty, Bunny and Alistair below:
What do you think of Ever After High’s Alistair? Share your thoughts below!
Lizzie Hearts is finally in my collection! After months of searching, one lonely Lizzie was sitting on the shelf, waiting to be snatched up by yours truly. What can I say? Lizzie was totally worth the wait. (I’ve learned that this is actually the new re-issue of Lizzie. The original release had more details.)
Lizzie has tons of style. She’s on a short body, like Maddie, which draws her apart from many dolls in the Ever After High line.
Lizzie has rooted black hair with bright apple red highlights in the front.
I really like the contrast between the black and red. It looks great! Held in with tabs is a large gold crown. It looks really neat! I would recommend leaving the tabs in the doll, because I don’t see her crown staying in place without them. Behind her crown is a sprayed down curl. I lucked out and found a doll with a very nice curl, though with Mattel’s quality control problems, I can imagine some left with less than perfect hair.
Lizzie has a fantastic face. The show stopper is the heart that surrounds her right eye. Her eyes are large and green. They’re highlighted with heavy black eye liner and long lashes. Lizzie has red lips and her peach skin is blush free.
As far as outfits go, this may be my favorite Ever After High outfit so far! Lizzie wears a sleeveless dress that is perfect for her character. With a red, gold and black color scheme, her outfit is reminiscent of a decorative deck of cards.
The dress itself is very tight, but doesn’t look tight due to the checked fabric on the sides of the outfit. Lizzie’s black fish net tights are decorated with red hearts. With heavy play, you’ll probably find that Lizzie’s tights will slip down. Her red shoes play on the card theme, as well.
Lizzie’s joints work well. One thing to mention on her body, though, are her black gloved hands. She has black molded hands and two black bracelets that double as the ‘lacy’ bottom of the gloves.
As far as pros go, I love the look of Lizzie from head to toe! Her color scheme is spot on. The hair styling on this doll is cute and, to be honest, I prefer it to the prototypes (and short lived/hard to find original releases) styling which had two sausage curls atop her head. Her face paint is very pretty, as well. And finally, Lizzie’s short stature– I love it!
Cons are few and far between on this girl. I can’t think of anything that really bothers me about her final product, other than the fact that it took months to find her.
What do you think of Lizzie Hearts? Share your thoughts below.