17 Nov 2013

Bratzillaz Magic Night Out Vampelina

Bratzillaz started out feeling like they were hastily leaping upon the Monster High bandwagon (well, they were) but until the second wave, they were managing to keep safely away from monsters and sticking with ripping off Harry Potter instead (LOL).

All that changed when some bright spark decided to include a vampire in the new lineup. A freaking.. VAMPIRE.

naturally, everyone immediately started making a fuss, heck, I admit, even I was all "seriously MGA? Seriously?" but over time the idea grew on me.
Oh it's still bloody stupid and makes for a confusing universe (What? Are there other monsters in the Bratzillaz universe? That are also witches? How does that work? Are we to expect a zombie witch? A werewolf witch maybe? Perhaps a sea monster... wait... <_<)

They went there too. *sigh*

Anyway, the vampire.

As I said, over time she grew on me. Why? Because she's freaking PSYCHOTIC.

But we'll get to this doll and her oozing bat shit crazy soon enough. Let's look at her in box, before we unleash the madness on my home.

This box design is a bit.. confusing. So, Vampy herself is blue, white, red and black... lots of colours. Her wand thing is blue yet her box is.. pink? Why isn't it red? Or black?

Eh, whatever.

The vampire mouth tells us she "helps you see in the dark". So... she's a torch? Or is she actually a carrot? Don't those both help you see in the dark?

I wonder how that power works. Does she imbue you with special eyesight or does she just light up like a firefly? God, she should totally have been in the glowing line instead of the mermaid chick! That would have made more sense!

The back of the box gives us a little more. She helps you see in the dark AND eases your fears... I dunno.. that sounds like a veiled threat to me. "shhh, it's ok, soon you won't be scared anymore... " Eeep.

She likes to fly a broom at night. I can't think of anything snarky to say about that.. it's just so.. boring. We already have a broom flying girl, Meyganna! Wth Vampy? Get your own thing.

Partly deboxed (Yes, destruction of box necessary. I hate that.) you can see her details more.

She comes with a stand, brush, stupid wand/broomstick/ball thing and a dress that totally looks like underwear.
MGA need to stop sending their Bratzillaz costume design team to Anne Summers for inspiration.

Her skin is a lovely pale blue, I think it's pretty close to Monster High Abbey's skin actually.. just not glittery (A missed opportunity MGA! I demand a sparkly vampire girl in the future! )

Her hair is white with a streak of bright red and a thicker streak of black. out of the box it's a bit messed up and a little sticky with product of some sort. Brushing it seems to help both these issues. Phew.

Most of her hair is this white/blonde colour and has a slight wave to it. It's not terrible quality, it's a little floofy but all long, wavy doll hair is in my experience. I'm pleased to see it doesn't frizz like I expected it to when I ran a brush through it.

Her eyebrows are sharply angled and severe and she has painted on fangs which look suitably sharp and bitey. Her makeup is a soft muted, shimmery purple colour and her eyes are orangey red with a yellow sunburst in the centre.
They are awesome eyes, very unnatural, kinda creepy. Combined with her angled brows they give her this "i'm gonna eat your face" kinda look to me.

Earrings are pretty boring, they're silver with moulded dangly bits.

She does however have a totally unique hat. It's hexagon shaped for a start, and the brim is a spiderweb. The peak is taller than regular hats and there's a silver painted buckle at the front. I like this hat, it's nice to see such detail.

Her tramp stamp.. I mean... witch mark.. is a set of sexy fanged lips. What? A bat too esoteric?

Cape is AWESOME. It's made of soft satiny fabric and has a high collar. The whole thing is rouched up and it fastens with a strand of "pearls". Only problem is, those pearls and button hole are a pain in the butt to fasten and unfasten. It's really really fiddly. I find myself wishing for some velcro or a simple popper.

While I like the IDEA of this dress, the execution is a bit iffy. First off, the bodice. The pearls at the top aren't that cleanly stitched and on her right side they kinda bulge out a bit oddly.
Under that netting the skirt part is just a simple pencil skirt, but that netting feels like it should be UNDER the skirt not on top. It's like wearing your petticoat over your dress you know? It's bizarre. It makes the doll feel, to me at least, like she's in a state of half dress. She needs an overskirt.

I do love the socks. They're made of white lace with a red ribbon at the top and they're very very pretty. They also feel decently constructed, which for Bratzillaz is impressive.
Her shoes are a pair of red strappy things which aren't hugely interesting. All Zillaz shoes are pretty dull, but they do the job. These particular shoes don't like staying on her feet, so i've elastic banded them on.

The wand thing lights up red.

And is decorated with this... floral heart pattern? I don't even know what that's meant to be.

Her flat face mould (the same as used for all bratzillaz) really isn't hugely attractive in profile. But she always looks ready to pounce.

"what do you mean you're... vegan?"

V: "Why hello there... "
Y: "Uh... who are you? You're kinda creeping me out."

V: "Awww, i'm not scary. You know, I can help ease your fear..."
Y: "Why am I not reassured at all?"

V: "bwhahahahah"

I'm terribly sorry, i'm not sure what happened there.

  Try to look innocent all you like Vampy, I KNOW you're an evil bloodsucking fiend of the night!

Look into those eyes... Can't you just feel her staring into your soul? Or is that just me?

In summary:

It took a while for me to warm to the idea of this girl, but i'm kinda glad I got her. She's psycho looking and there's no denying that much like the clown zilla, she has personality. Oooooh such personality. I have no doubt i'll come downstairs to find the rest of the dolls massacred. Perhaps I should keep her somewhere else...

For a Bratzilla, her quality is pretty good. Though mine's dancing mechanism doesn't seem to work. I can't say this is any great loss, the flailing like you're having a seizure feature really was dumb.
Heck, quality wise i'd even go so far as to say that in general, she's pretty decently put together for any doll line. Oh there's some dodgy seams here and there, some stitching issues, but on the whole there's nothing glaringly bad here.
The fabric is decent fabric, everything is hemmed and even her hair fibre feels decent.
Is she worth the £20 price point? hell no. The quality is decent, but it's not £20 good. She feels like a regular £15 level doll, and that's about what I paid in the sales for this girl.
She was worth every penny, but I wouldn't say i'd rush to spend much more than that.

The inclusion of a stand is nice, though she has no handbag or pet included. The gimmick is pointless and actually in most cases, gets in the way.
I still hate the rubber lower legs and can't work out WHY they're used. They mean the doll never stands straight, her legs always warp oddly under her. It's annoying.

Vampelina herself, is an interesting doll. She's a bizarre addition to the Bratzillaz universe, a little too "monster high" I feel, but she certainly stands out in the line. Her blue skin is unique, her eyes are full of predatory menace and I do like her little fangs.
She feels, dare I say it, like a proper vampire. I have no doubt this girl will stick her fangs in another student's neck, unlike prissy vegan vampire Draculaura and her blood phobia *eyeroll*

Overall, I give this girl 8 out of 10 Anne Summers catalogues. I don't think she fits the Bratzillaz Universe and she feels a bit knockoffy, but she's a good quality knockoff and she's FUN. She has attitude, she has madness, she's gonna eat my face while I sleep!

8 Nov 2013

Insane toy review - Sindy hat

1996.. it was a different time.. a time of neon... a time of terrible fashion choices.. a time... of the Sindy hat.

Now, for those who have no clue what i'm on about, Sindy was a British doll, born back in 1963 (Happy 50th Sindy!) as an attempt to capture some of this newfangled fashion doll market.
She was a sweet faced English Rose, designed to appeal to the attitudes of the time and she was very very popular.

Pedigree continued to produce Sindy well into the 80s, but they never could compete with Barbie who's American glam and glitter attitude seemed to really resonate with the kids more than that girl next door ever could. In the late 80s Pedigree closed up shop and sold the license to Hasbro, who were busy buying up all the doll lines they could it seems.

Hasbro set about revamping Sindy's image, finally settling on a look so close to Barbie that Mattel sued them and WON. Changes were made, but even well into the 90s, Sindy was always looked at as being "the poor man's Barbie".
She was cheaper, she was more athletic and unlike Barbie who was busy attending premiers and being a pop star, Sindy spent most of her time going hiking or skating or whatever else them "cool kids" were doing with their time.

At some point during the mid 90s someone at Hasbro pitched to the board a new idea for a doll. "We'll make her have a plush body! And she'll be like..a cuddly Sindy for kids! Sleepover sindy! It's genius!"
And someone else agreed, and thus plushie Sindys appeared. They had hard plastic heads, hands and feet, so really weren't that cuddly, but evidently Hasbro had more left and soon started to go mad thinking about what they could do with the leftovers.
At some point someone thought "I know, let's stick her on a hat!"
And the Sindy hat was born.

A admit... i became a little obsessed with the Sindy hat when I first discovered it. A neon pink cap... with a full sized doll on top? What the hell is this insanity!? I wanted one... I wanted it bad.
And last Christmas husband dutifully purchased for me, my very own Sindy hat.

And here she is, in all her glory:

The 90sness... it's blinding!

So what IS the Sindy hat? Let's look at this thing in detail shall we?

Put simply, it's a neon pink cap with the Sindy logo on the front, and an 11 inch plush bodied Sindy doll sitting on top of it.

Sindy wears a... leisure suit? In neon green and orange. Orange hiking boots and her very own neon green cap. She even has cute pigtails, d'aaw. Sindy here is ready for hat related adventure!

The outfit is just a single piece, but she can be redressed. You know, so your dolly can match your outfit. The Sindy hat is truely customisable! Perfect for weddings, christenings, funerals...

Her plush body is floppy as anything, there's not a lot of stuffing in there. She's so squishy.

The hat itself is a pretty standard cap, with additional elastic bits on it for the doll.

More customising options! You can wear Sindy on the front OR back of your hat! For those super cool kids who like to wear their cap backwards, Hasbro accomidates your Sindy hat needs.

There's elastic leg straps, and tiny hand holds for Sindy to cling to as you go about your daily activities, oblivious to all those people staring saying "has that person got a doll on her head?". What do they know, true happiness is a doll on the head!

Sindy's legs slip through the leg straps and her hands through the hand loops, keeping her pretty sturdily on the hat, flopping about all bonelessly.

Of course, what you REALLY want to see are action shots right?

Well i'm here to please.


Go go action time!

Kickin' it old school with the backward cap look.

Traditional cap wearing action right here.

Even Barbie can hitch a ride! (Jules was not impressed by this)

Ronan screams "What in the seven seas are you doing! Get me down from here you insane giant!"

In summary:

The Sindy hat is amazing and everyone needs one. We're bringing sexy back, and sexy is a neon pink hat with a doll on it!

2 Nov 2013

Monster High Ghoul's Night Out 4 pack

Ghoul's Night Out

Ghoul's Night out is this year's "formal" "party" line. From what I understand of the concept, several of the girls get dressed up to attend a Catty Noir concert. 
Fine and dandy, it's a group of girls in their concert outfits. 

So the line has 3 characters in it as single dolls. Lagoona, Spectra and Rochelle. An odd combination given the three of them never seem to interact in any other media but evidently they share a love for bland pop music (What? If you've seen 13 wishes you'll remember or rather, won't remember, that utterly forgettable cover of Steppenwolf's magic carpet ride Catty performed. Yawwn.)

But of course, shortly following the release of these three, came the 4 pack. An Asda exclusive here in the UK (Walmart in the US) and incredibly expensive. 
Asda initially listed the set on their website at £50, then within a fortnight, eager no doubt to rake in more profit, upped the price to £60. It's a trend that's happening a lot in this country with Monster High, stores upping the prices only a week or two after the launch in an attempt to extort more money from customers. *sigh* It's quite offputting.
Anyway, suffice to say, at £60 most people went "uh. no thanks" and the sets sat... and sat... and sat. Till Asda's random massive sale clearance when the set dropped to an impressive £30. They did this with the last multipack they had as well, and obviously, sold out within about a day.

So, unable to resist a bargain I ordered the 4 pack at the same time I ordered the die-ner. And waited... and waited... and waited for the post to be delivered.
Several days later a parcel arrived, hurled lackadaisically over my fence and waiting in the rain. Rescuing it, I was a little disappointed to find it was just the die-ner, evidently Asda were intending to dispatch both items individually. 
And so I continued to wait, ever fearful they'd cancel my order. But finally the set arrived, this time tucked merrily behind a potted plant on our front porch. (Wth My Hermes couriers? Wth?) 

The set contains 4 dolls obviously, 3 exclusive to the pack, and inexplicably an additional Rochelle. Why? Goodness knows.

Ghoulia, Clawdeen and Venus join the others at the concert. Though to be honest, I don't think i've EVER seen anyone wear such party frocks to a music gig. A party, yeah, but not a gig. 

now the three single dolls each come with a little booklet photo album thing, the four pack is missing those as well as stands. To be expected, multipacks always end up missing a lot of stuff but i'm still fixating on why the heck Rochelle got a single release as well. Why not just make this a three pack like Dot Dead Gorgeous was? All this pack does is mean anyone who wanted one of the other characters from this set wouldn't buy single issue Rochelle.... meaning she'll shelf sit. I... I don't get the logic or the reasoning here. 

Anyway, let's look at the dolls.

Ghoulia is rocking a bit of geek chiq here. A sparkly blue dress with attached apron... pleplum.. thing. The glasses motif is a new pattern for her, kinda a shame to me as a brain pattern would have been more familiar but oh well, trying something new incorporating her glasses. Fine. 

She comes with an icoffin and a purse. I have to admit, I kinda miss the older style slide phones, but I get why they changed them. not only cheaper, but slide phones are no longer widely used. still, they were cool.

Next is Venus, in a striking but rather girly pink number. Also has a purse and Icoffin.

Then Clawdeen, who's got her now pretty typical purple streaked hair and a little shift dress with a mesh top over it. Again, purse and Icoffin.

And Rochelle, who seems to be identical to her single issue. Bag, Icoffin, cute dress. All she's lost is her stand and booklet I believe. So in other words... if you already own the single issue, this doll is POINTLESS. 

Anyway, let's look at each doll in detail before I bore everyone with my rage lol.

Venus McFlytrap

The first one I deboxed was Venus, who was the main reason I wanted this set. I mean look at her! She's awesome! Ok... so i'm a bit biased here hah.

Anyway, she's got a real 80s pop princess thing going on here. Pink hair, pink dress, sparkly black bits.. leg warmers? Love it.

The dress is made of two different pink fabrics. A pink satin skirt with ruffles that look a bit... flower petalish. And a bodice with thorn motif. Ooo I do like this thorn motif.
The dress has one longer sleeve and one short sleeve and a ruffle at the waist in shimmery, black stretchy mesh.

Her purse is a big flower, it's CUTE. Maybe not very eco punk, but it's adorable so who cares?

Her shoes have random spots and look like they have the measles. Not sure what the dots are all about. The heel is a twisted vine, makes me think of beanstalks.

Her hair is pulled back into two ponytails which shows off her ears nicely. The right ear has three flower shaped earrings which look a little too large and a bit awkward.

While the left side has a single vine shaped earring.

Alongside original Venus you can see how much closer spaced and less staring into space this Venus' eyes are. While original Venus kinda looks like she's high on spores, Ghoul's Night Out is actually focused. She also looked younger with her eyes closer spaced like this, I think she's adorable.
Makeup wise,GNO has paler peachy lippy and vivid pink eyeshadow, a more saturated tone than original Venus but done in a similar style. 

I adore her. She feels like a complete doll which is unusual for these multipacks. Her faceup is gorgeous and I think she's solidified herself as my favourite Venus to date.

I give Venus a solid 9 pox ridden shoes out of 10.

Love love love her.

Clawdeen Wolf


I love Clawdeen, which is odd because her original first wave doll was a doll I really couldn't like. She was bland, her outfit was clashing and she just felt very uninspired to me.
However, she's a character who's dolls change it up more than any other, with crazy colours in her hair and a plethora of styles to chose from. She's versatile and changeable and I like that about her.

Sadly, Clawdeen's got stuck in a purple rut. More often than not she has this purple hair and I do love purple, but i'd love to see some more Clawdeen's with red like Scarily ever after or maybe blue or something.

Anyway, the purple here is pretty. She reminds me very much Scaris Clawdeen though. But I don't own Scaris Clawdeen so it's fine.

Clawdeen's hair is a golden brown colour with very broad purple streaks through one side. It's actually very nice hair, soft, not frizzy. I like it.

She has her usual 2 earrings in each ear. In this case a simple gold and black hoop. My Clawdeen's often have damage where their earrings are inserted, this girl is no different.

The outfit is actually not just a dress and overshirt as I expected. The sleeves are individual pieces as well. Odd.
The overshirt is a purple and black mesh with a tiger stripe pattern while the dress is black stretchy and has a geometric zipper pattern. At first I couldn't figure out what those lines were, but yeah, they're zippers. I'm not sure why Clawdeen has a zipper fetish but hey, takes all sorts I suppose.
The dress itself is pretty simple but I feel like the whole outfit is generic enough to be a good mix and match set. Any of the werecats or werewolves can pull off animal print and the zipper dress well, those gold geometric patterns bring to mind Cleo.

I'm sure most readers have noticed this glaring yellow monstrosity in previous photos. So let's address that big neon elephant in the room shall we?
The purse.
It's fluro yellow and pawprint shaped. Clawdeen? Did you steal one of Howleen's bags? Because this thing really does look more like something Howleen would have than her fashionista sister.
The colour doesn't go with any of the rest of the outfit, it stands out glaringly and it looks childish alongside that very chic outfit. It's gotta go.

The shoes are a recast of Scarily Ever After's basket platforms. They're sweet shoes and they go fine with the rest of the outfit. nothing special though.

That neon yellow appears in only ONE other bit of the outfit. See that tiny bracelet? yeah the one hidden by her sleeve when she has her arm down?

This girl is very beautiful, her eyeshadow is two toned purple while her lips are a muted fushia tone. She wears a gold spiked headband and a black spiked wrist cuff.

Overall I do like her. I don't think she's amazing, unlike Venus, but she's a pretty enough doll.

Clawdeen gets 7 stolen kiddy bags out of 10.

Her outfit is versatile and her face and hair are attractive. She's obviously a basic doll, but she still oozes style. That ugly bag aside.

Ghoulia Yelps

Ghoulia is really embracing her nerd here. It's a cute geeky outfit, but the fabric choices kinda bug me.
The shiny blue just isn't to my taste and I can't help but wish the apron bit was removable or at least had a more obviously zombie theme to it.
But this Ghoulia makes up for it with some fabulously gorey accessories.
The shoes are taken straight from Dot Dead Gorgeous and were my favourite bit of that doll as well. They're great, all bones on top and then squishy brain platforms.
I kinda wish they'd done something a bit different here though, I don't mind recasts when they change the colours and such but with this style there's really no other colours the shoes COULD be. But it's more the fact that the last multipack exclusive to Asda WAS that DDG 3 pack. So it's duplicated shoes in very rapid succession. A shame, they're really cool shoes but I don't really need or want two pairs.

The glasses are pretty standard, and she has a red headband as well (useful for mix and match right there) but those earrings! they're little brains! They are so cute and so gross at the same time, love it!

Like the earrings, the handbag is a brain. I want one in human size! It's a fantastic item, it has stitching markings to make it look all sewn so it's simultaneously fabric AND brain. That's so cool. Very very awesome bag.

Ghoulia also gets a few bracelets, which is a nice touch. It helps to pull her outfit together.
I do like that this set feels like four complete dolls unlike DDG which felt like one almost complete doll and two really unfinished ones.

Ghoulia's eye makeup immediately made me think of Scaris Ghoulia who also sports bright red lippy and blue eye shadow. They aren't the same though. GNO Ghoulia has much brighter blue and more orange-red lipstick. Also, GNO's hair is frizzy as hell. See how nice and shiny and not a ball of fluff my totally just pulled off the shelf and shoved into a photo Scaris girl is? GNO's hair is just... fluffy. It's really prone to frizz and her bangs are laden with gel so it sticks out odd. She needs a stylist STAT.

Stripped of her accessories, this Ghoulia looks to me very mature, but i'm not sure I really LIKE her as such. Her dress just doesn't scream "Ghoulia" to me, or "nerdy zombie". It's fairly generic in the patterns which is a good thing if you like mixing and matching, but a shame considering I adore Ghoulia and her brains and cherry motifs.
That said, it's nice to see her sporting something nerdy in style rather than the random pinup stuff she's been getting more of lately. This outfit feels a bit more in keeping with that aspect of her character, but there's something off about the execution that I simply cannot put my finger on.

Overall, Ghoulia gets 6 epic brain purses out of 10.

There are prettier Ghoulias sadly. Her accessories are fantastic, but the doll itself just doesn't grab me. Sadly, now stripped of her brain items, this girl is straight into the "to sell" pile.

Rochelle Goyle

Aaaand Rochelle was there too... and her doppleganger.

Ok so ignoring the fact she's a duplicate in the series, Rochelle is kinda cute. Her outfit is a frilly pink number though the pvc ruffs kinda.. throw me a bit and keep me really liking this dress. I don't like plasticy bits on dresses, either for myself or for dolls. I feel they make the outfit look cheap and costumey. It's like she cut up a raincoat to make her dress.

Those odd shiny sleeves don't help either. They're totally random and go with nothing else in the outfit.

It's one of those outfits that looks cute from a distance but the closer I look, the more aspects annoy me.

The scarf is a lovely touch though, very Scarisian.

Anyway, her purse is a sweet little handbag with filigree detailing. It's a nice piece.

I do love these shoes as well.

Rochelle has her hair swept back and held in place with two fleur de lys clips. Her makeup is a soft opalescent pink and quite attractive.
However she really doesn't look that different from her other releases to me and I can't help but prefer her with bangs.

What gets me about this Rochelle is that she's one of the "complete" dolls sold individually but aside from a few reused sculpts in the other three, she doesn't' really feel that different or any more finished than they do.
Again I go back to Dot Dead Gorgeous where I felt like the Ghoulia and Draculaura were incomplete, this time none of the dolls feel unfinished at all. I don't feel like "oh a shame, she should have a belt, or a necklace", all their outfits WORK out of the box which is great to see.
Oh there's things i'd change, like that bag Clawdeen has and maybe a different shoe sculpt for Ghoulia, but this pack doesn't feel as hastily thrown together as the previous 3 pack did and for that i'm grateful.

Rochelle in general, doesn't wow me. But she didn't wow me in her single box either. I prefer my original release but this one does have some nice little accessories which i'm totally stealing.

Overall I give Rochelle 7 hacked up raincoats out of 10.

 She's a cute doll, but there's bits of her outfit that really bother me.

In conclusion

Overall I do like this 4 pack, though I still can't figure out why it's a 4 pack and not another 3 pack with the three new dolls. The addition of Rochelle really does feel like they had extra Rochelles they wanted rid of.
It also bumps the retail of this set up to a point where it's way out of most people's budgets, and I can't see that really being a wise move.

Do I think the set was worth the original £60 price tag? I'm not sure.  If you consider, it puts the price of each doll at £15, which is pretty much their retail price (they're £16:99 in most stores but you can get them for less) and these ones don't come with a stand or the booklet of the single dolls which only cost £1:99 more each.
It seems a little steep for reused moulds and no stands etc.
The £50 price tag seems far more reasonable, putting each doll at £12:50 each, around the same price as the budget lines like Music Festival and Roller Maze etc who likewise come without stands or booklets.

The set should have remained at £50, and I like to think Asda are kicking themselves for their greed now that the sets have shelf sat at £60 for so long they've been forced to clearance them for half that. They WERE selling at £50, as soon as the price went up, surprise surprise, they stopped selling.

Depressingly, this trend is becoming very common over here. Tesco recently upped the price of their exclusive Catty Noir from £20 to £22. Toys R Us upped the price of their exclusive 2 packs from £29:99 to £34:99 and are also trying to flog GNO single dolls for £24:99.
Stores have caught on to how popular this franchise is, and they're determined to gouge every penny they can out of us as a result. I find this rather off putting and it makes me really reluctant to purchase items from stores who do this. I feel like they're taking advantage of the fact that you can't get the exclusives anywhere but there, and have decided to price things as high as they can out of nothing but greed.

This set should never have retailed at £60, there's no way. Someone was looking at their profit margins and decided to try their luck at increasing them. I'm glad it backfired, serves them right.
£30 for this was an absolute bargain. Even if I only keep one or two of the dolls, i've paid £7:50 for each of them, which doesn't buy you a lot these days.

I was tempted to shell out £50 just to get Venus to be honest, she's brilliant.