21 Apr 2014

Monster High - Picnic Casket for Two

Not my photo

Picnic Casket for two, another two pack from Monster High featuring two characters who might be dating, and probably aren't. 

7 Apr 2014

Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets

I think i've mentioned before my absolute love for totally demented doll concepts. Pinkie Cooper fits the bill perfectly, an anthropormorphic dog fashion doll? whut?

Of course, she isn't the first attempt at an animal fashion doll. Back in the 1960s we had Peteena the poodle, yes... a mod... poodle.. fashion doll.
Laynard even had a go back in the early 2000s with Catwalk Kitties, working I assume on the reasoning "hey, kids like kitties, kids like Barbie, let's merge the two! That'll totally work!"

It.. didn't.


Pinkie Cooper is a line conceived by Bratz creator Carter Bryant, which in itself is interesting. Apparently his sister helped and they based the dolls on cocker spaniels because his sister happened to own one.
Well, i suppose we should be thankful his sister didn't own a pet goldfish or a toad or something, that could have been awkward.

The Bridge Direct evidently thought this was an awesome idea, and the first wave has 3 budget dolls and 3 deluxe dolls.

Bizarrely, despite there being 3 characters in the line, the deluxe line only features 3 Pinkie Coopers in different outfits. Huh? Why? What?
This makes no sense to me.

The dolls themselves retail at £14:99 for the "budget" line, and an eye watering £24:99 for the deluxe dolls. A price that's more than a little painful for UK consumers. WHY do companies keep doing this? Sure fire way to kill a line before it even has a chance is to price it so high at launch. Bratzillaz did it, Moxie Teenz did it, Novi stars did it and even Ever After High is attempting the same ridiculous move, and very rapidly ending up on "sale" at £16:99.
I've been waiting for Pinkie and her friends to come down in price.

Finally it happened, I picked up Pinkie in London, one of the three deluxe sets for £10 including postage. SCORE!

So let's have a look at this madness shall we?

My flash hates me.

The boxes are quite a good size, solid, rectangular and stack beautifully on a shelf. Must be a real relief for toy stores after the recent spate of doll boxes in wierd unstackable shapes. Just imagine the shelf stackers "wait.. this box... stacks normally!??? It's a normal shape! I don't have to invent new geometry just to try to get them all on the shelf!? Hallelujah!"

And you know what? Even though the box isn't a strange shape, these boxes are really attractive to me. They're bright pink and brown stripes with a large oval showing off the doll and accessories, but really it's the "feel" of the box I like. I know that sounds weird, but the box is heavy and strong feeling. It's not a light, flimsy thing, it feels pretty high end really. I'm used to those light, recycled card boxes of Monster High, but this box feels like it'd take a bit of effort to actually damage, unlike MH boxes where looking at them wrong causes them to tear.

This set is "london" themed, though i'm not certain what about her outfit is london. It's a raincoat? I think... she has an umbrella and a camera but that's about it. Now a nice tweed suit, i'd maybe see London, but a brightly coloured coat/jacket thing? That could be anything.
The other two in this deluxe line are Beverly Hills and Paris. A rather random assortment. Paris and London I get, but.. Beverly Hills? I'd have thought New York would have made more sense given the fashion link.

The box states mix and match hairstyles, though presumably that means you have to buy another doll to do this. I wonder if we'll get "ear/hair" packs lol. I know they've released 3fashion packs that have ear pieces included, but like the rest of the line, they're stupid overpriced and all similar looking dresses which don't interest me.
Why oh why do doll lines these days seem allergic to pants?

Only ONE of the 6 Pinkie Cooper dolls wears pants, and they're a pair of frankly hideous animal print pink things. Ew.

The back of the box gives some detail on the concept. World of Original Fashion... woof... cute. But again I ask, why Beverly Hills? Is that where Pinkie's from originally or something? I have to assume so, because there's no obvious reason for that destination to be featured with fashion capitals London and Paris. Who visits Beverly Hills anyway?

There are animated webisodes that probably elaborate on this, but I honestly haven't the courage to watch them. I just... KNOW they'll be terrible like most of these doll line webisodes. *shudder*

I find it odd the back of this box has pictures of the budget dolls, not the deluxe ones on it. There's the other two characters, Pepper and Ginger, and their... pets...
Yes, the dog dolls have pet dogs. It's kinda like if Barbie owned a chimp. It's just weird and a bit wrong.

I find it more iffy that while Ginger named her dog "Sprinkles" (not a great name honey, makes me think the dog has a bladder problem... ahem) and Pepper named hers a rather cute "Saltine" (get it, salt and pepper? hur), Pinkie named her dog... after herself? How vain do you have to be to name your dog after yourself?
Little Pinkie? Are you serious? What the hell? I mean, that's just stupid. Couldn't you guys come up with another word for "pink" or something?
Unless... it's not her pet at all, but her daughter... who she keeps on a leash. AHHHH.

Seriously though, that dog's name is stupid.

Apparently she comes with a passport sticker... yet no passport. So... what do I do with the sticker? Wear it on my lapel? Stick it to my bedroom door?

Anyway, let's open this box.

The box is AMAZINGLY simple to open. There's two pieces of tape at the top near the handle, peel those off and the entire inside slides out smoothly.

Omg omg omg, this is incredible. A box I can open without tools or fearing i'm gonna tear a tab or injure myself!

The inner box is made if very thick card, this is what was giving the box that heft and solid feel. The outer sleeve is just that, a sleeve.

Inside the plastic bubble holders are barely attached to the backing card so you can easily get your fingers behind them to free the pieces.

The umbrella and Camera are held in my an elastic band. Slip it off the umbrella and you can pull the camera free.

The dog has an elastic band but also around her throat is a very tight very thick plastic strap that I had to take scissors to. And it was seriously awkward.

Pinkie herself is strapped in with plastic shackles, that her feet and hands thankfully slide out of relatively easily, and those thick plastic straps. It took me a while to free her, she's so small and the straps are quite tight around her so finding a spot where there was enough slack to get the scissor blades under was tricky. I also hurt my hand doing this because those straps are REALLY thick, thicker than the kind i'm used to in doll packaging and it took a lot of force to snip em. Probably didn't help that my scissors are blunt as heck, but yeouch.

The back of the inner box. This is adorable to me. I just love that they bothered to include that sort of detail. I mean, there's no reason for the back of the inner card to have anything on it. The outer sleeve totally covers this up!
That side profile face is the same face used for the hairbrush.

It.. kinda reminds me of the Equestria girls brush as well.

So this is what you get for your £25, and honestly? It's not a lot.

The doll itself is very small, she's slightly taller than a Novi star. She is however extremely weighty for her small size. She feels very solid, which is actually quite nice. She has blushing over her body, which is interesting.

But, her outfit is very simple. It's just a coat an a hat. It's well made, but it's minimalist with no options for mixing and matching unless you buy more dolls. This is a real bummer, for £25 i'd kinda expect a more detailed outfit.

Her boots are long pink, peep toe boots. Seriously, why do all dolls at the moment have peep toe boots? Are those seriously a thing? They look stupid and if I see you wearing them, i'm gonna laugh at you. I have to say, I would NOT want to be wearing open toed shoes on the London Underground. Ouch ouch ouch.

The little dog is a static thing with detachable ears, looks like those are mix and match with the other dogs as well. She's a very strange looking dog, all gangly limbs and hoof paws.

She comes with a silly dog coat that matches Pinkie's, or should I say "big pinkie's" jacket.

There's that brush, which is just a brush, nothing very interesting there.

and two mini wig ear piece things. Now these are interesting. They're half blonde, half brunette and can be attached to Pinkie's head either way around. So she can be blonde, or brunette. Much like Tuesday Taylor back in the 70s with her rotating scalp lol.

I like that she has that option, it allows for a little more mixing and matching that previously assumed.

Sadly the dog ears and the doll ears are not interchangeable, because that would have been amusing to me.

Here she is straight out of the box. Her hair fibre is actually very nice. It's soft and thick, easy to comb and doesn't look like it's going to frizz. I'm pretty sure it'd hold up to a curl pretty well too.

The ears actually attach on OVER the hat (it has little holes in the side for the ear pegs) which is a great idea. It keeps the hat ON the doll's head. I always have the problem of doll hats falling off and disappearing. Doll hats hate me.

The ears just plug into two little holes in either side of Pinkie's head, and they stay there nice and snug.
I can't say the same for lil' Pinkie's ears. Hers tend to swivel. They won't come out, but they will twist around and around with a gentle breeze.

the camera unpegs that strap from the sides of it so you can get it around her neck. It pegs in quite solidly which is nice, quite often I find these sorts of things like to come apart if you dare breath near them.

The umbrella needs elastic banding on. Though I do like that Pinkie's slightly clasped hands mean she looks like she's holding the brolly if you put it into her hand.

I think I prefer her as a brunette.

The jacket is well made, with teeny buttons that are purely decorative and a shiny satiny trim. There's no loose threads, no unhemmed bits. It doesn't open all the way, it unvelcros to about the waist, leaving the bottom of the coat stitched together, presumable to avoid it gaping and exposing her moulded on panties.
This makes it slightly more awkward to get off, but it's not too bad to slide on and off the doll.
Likewise her shoes are very very soft so slide off and on really nicely, but are a snug enough fit that I don't worry they'll fall off if I pick her up.

Pinkie's face paint is really quite detailed. She has inset plastic eyes and rooted lashes, as well as a large number of painted lashes. Her eyes are HUGE and very expressive. She has a slightly asymmetrical white splotch in the middle of the face and a white muzzle. The asymmetrical thing works though, no real dog is gonna be symmetrical in their markings. The heart is I believe actually central, it just looks offset because her white isn't central.
She has a cute little pink nose, three spots for whiskers, a doggy mouth and a detailed lip.
I do like how canine this face is. She is well and truly an anthro dolly heh.

She looks so cheerful.

Her hands actually even have paw pads and teeny claws. Love it! She only has 4 fingers on each hand.

She also has four brown spots on one leg, a detail covered by her clothing. I love me some hidden details.

Her elbows are articulated, but her legs don't bend, well.. they bend a little but it's pointless. She's certainly not going to be able to sit like a lady while she sips tea in a posh cafe.
Half articulation annoys me, like... if you're gonna give them some, give them knees as well please! But if I had to pick, i'd prefer articulated arms to legs, at least it allows for more natural poses while standing.

So, because she's such a diddy little thing, I wanted to see what other small doll clothes she could fit.

Monster High is way too long in the torso, this dress really emphasises Pinkie's rather pear shaped body. she has no bust to speak of, and very very wide hips.

La dee dah is better in terms of torso length, but her wide hips present a problem here as well.

The velcro will not do up all the way.

Bratz clothes seem to work. The skirts are slightly big but work well enough. The tops fit a big baggy.
Trousers are too long unless they're short styled ones.

These pants fit really well, they weren't full length. The top however, looks really baggy.

Long sleeves are too long, but this top works well enough having the sleeves rolled up a little. This skirt fits perfectly and the top is a bit gaping around the boob region, but it'll do.
Poor boobless Pinkie, it makes finding a shirt for her a bit of a trick as most other dolls her sort of size have a much more.. endowed chest area.

Stacie clothes perhaps might fit? I haven't got any to try.

I also didn't get around to looking at what other shoes she could wear. Her feet are TINY but don't look at teeny as La De Dah feet, which are seriously insanely small.
I suspect it'll be very awkward to find shoes for her that aren't specifically made for her.

Head wise, she can fit Bratz headbands as pictured here, her head is really big.
La dee dah will be far too big though, as their noggins are gargantuan.

She sadly can't wear Monster High hats or glasses, they're to narrow in the face. Besides, her eyes are so huge that finding a pair of specs for her would be pretty much impossible.

Overall, I like Pinkie Cooper. yes she is WAY overpriced. £25 for a basic 2 piece outfit (hat/coat) and a dog? Not worth it.
Yes she feels very high quality, much higher quality than anything else currently on the playline market. She's a solid little doll, feels very robust and is adorably unusual. But her fashion choices let her down I feel. While there's nothing wrong with her clothes, they're just a bit too simple, too.. budget for what's supposedly a deluxe doll. She doesn't even come with a bloody handbag!

Her articulation is adequate but nothing to write home about. She can't touch her face or really do much with her articulated elbows, but it allows a little bit of a more natural look in photographs, as opposed to the robot arms of more static dolls.
Knee articulation would have been great purely so she could SIT DOWN. Even as a kid it pissed me off that Barbie couldn't sit on a chair without kicking the table over.

Her detailing is great. She has some really adorable little touches like the paw pads and her little nose. The body blushing makes her feel a lot more collector line than playline as does the weight of her vinyl but these are first and foremost marketed as playline dolls.
As a deluxe line, at £24:99 i'd expect a stand, a more detailed outfit, you know, something to wear UNDER that coat. She's not a stripper, she needs clothes under her jacket!

You can see where the money went, producing the doll itself. But it's all things that aren't obvious to the consumer in the store. It's all little things that really weren't that necessary. Her box is nice and all, but if a simpler box had meant a better outfit, i'd go with the better outfit.

They made some odd choices in terms of dressing these girls (and why don't their dogs have leashes?) and pricing them.

Now whether it was the price point or the fact that kids just really aren't that into anthropomorphic dog fashionistas I don't know, but whatever the case, it looks like Pinkie Cooper is a doll line that's failed to make any sort of splash.

While a second line was designed and there are promos on the net, there have been no sightings of them in stores.
It seems Pinkie has been put to sleep, which is a shame.
She is a very good quality little doll, so if you see one on clearance, it's worth a second look. She needs better clothes, but otherwise, she's adorable.

I really like my Pinkie, and i'll be keeping an eye out for Pepper on sale. She's more the colour I associate with a spaniel.

Pinkie Cooper in London gets a solid 8 blatant disregards for leash laws out of 10.


Husband came home with Pepper, so let's see what the budget Pinkies are like and how they compare to the deluxe.

The box is, from the front very similar. Rectangular and half the width of the deluxe, the doll inside is packaged barefoot for some reason with her shoes next to her. O... kay?

The back of the box is also similar, but here the girls take front and centre. The blurb is a little different though.
"Join Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets as they turn looking fab into an international adventure! Yhis talented team met as students at fashion design school and instantly because jet set BFFs who help solve fashion dilemmas around the world. Join them and their fashion adventures at PinkieCooper.com"

Global Fashion Dilemmas? I can't help but think of that episode of Barbie life in the dreamhouse where she and the girls form a super fashion squad and go around the globe doing... precisely that... solving fashion problems lol.

Also I notice the back of this box shows you the hair clip switching feature, which was not mentioned at all in the deluxe doll's packaging.

Pepper's dog looks angry.

For some reason Pepper's box art outfit and her actual outfit aren't the same. For starters, in her art she's wearing blue not green, and the cut of the dress is totally different. I wonder why.

I like the names Pepper parson and Ginger Jones though, they work well as dog and human names, while Pinkie just doesn't sound like a real person's name. It honestly sounds a bit trashy to me.

The budget boxes are about as easy to open as the deluxe. The card of the box is a little flimsier because there's no inner box, just a backing card in an outer slip case. But the box is taped at the top and the whole backing card just slides out.

The back of the card is more what i'd expect from a doll. No fancy hidden art here, just your usual tabs and tape.

Pepper didn't seem as firmly attached to her box as Pinkie was. Maybe a fluke. 

Another thing the deluxe doll didn't come with. An instruction sheet! I'm not sure why the deluxe didn't have this, are the deluxe ones not supposed to be taken out of their boxes or something? Are they not meant to be played with like these ones? I mean the dolls look identical, just different packaging really.

The sheet has some interesting elements. There's detail of a bow attachment I haven't seen on any of the dolls, perhaps the bows come with the fashion packs? And a hat showing the holes in the sides as detailed on deluxe Pinkie.

So here's Pepper on her backing card. Same articulated arms as the deluxe doll and this one comes with a handbag! Another inexplicable absent element of the deluxe line.

Her shoes are nice and soft and slip on pretty easily. Here she is with her default black hair to the front.

And the brown/auburn hair. I think the black looks better tbh.

Pepper has green eyes with a tiny line of brown.
Her colourings are much more what i'd expect from a spaniel, this is the colours I think of when I think Spaniel I have to admit. It's kinda why I wanted this girl the most.
She's got a cute lopsided splotch of white and big brown eyebrow markings just like a real dog. Though I don't believe any real dog has a heart shaped spot like that lol.

I didn't get pictures of these last time, so here's those cute paws. Like Pinkie, Pepper has little claws and a heart shaped paw pad on each hand. 

And the same 4 dots, only this time in black not brown.

I'm not totally sure what the pattern on these shoes is meant to be. Some kind of vine pattern? I don't really know, it's quite difficult to make out and even harder to photograph. Her shoes are odd little chunky heel, maybe ankle boots or something? They have open heels and peep toes (because of course they do) and moulded bows on the backs.

Honestly they're not hugely exciting shoes, but the do the trick, they're shoes and they aren't ugly so that's a bonus.

The purse is heart shaped and has the same side profile head of the hairbrush. It doesn't open, it's just a hollow lump of plastic so it's a pretty pointless bag. I kinda wish it had some painted detail but i'm sure I could do something with it. It's a bit boring really and i'm somewhat glad they didn't bother to give these to the deluxe dolls. The deluxe umbrella and camera are far more interesting accessories.

Her dress is sweet. It's an aqua green colour at the bodice, then has this big green flower thing and a green and teal animal print underskirt covered by an aqua net overskirt.
It poofs out nicely.

So excluding the brush, this is everything the budget dolls come with.
So... headband, dress, shoes... and a bracelet and handbag.
So let's get this straight... for your extra £10 you're getting a dog, a small camera and an umbrella instead of a handbag? Not sure the dog and camera are really worth that extra tenner to be perfectly frank.
Honestly I feel like the budget dolls are much better value at full price.

The two dolls are very similar. Same body though Pepper seems to have brighter blushing than Pinkie. The blushing is random, why do they have pink knees? no seriously... why? Wouldn't extremities be pinker than like knees and elbows? or do all these dolls suffer from psoriasis or something? Heat spots they've been gnawing on? Do we need to construct them couture head cones to stop them chewing their fur off?

Pepper and Pinkie's eyes are pretty much the exact opposite of one another in colour. I think Pepper somehow manages to look more dog-like without her ears though. Not sure what it is, perhaps the darker colours just lend themselves to a more canine appearence?

Another thing I missed in my initial review. Showing those chubby hamster cheeks and flat faces lol. Yes, that's what Pinkie without her ears reminds me of! A hamster!
Anyway, side on they have next to no muzzle, massive eyes and no real bust to speak of either. I kinda feel a bit thankful for the no bust though, if they had boobs they'd sorta creep into that squicky furry territory with the busty animal girls. Nothing against furries, i've met some perfectly nice ones who weren't creepy perverts, but there's that stigma you know? That stereotype. And I get the feeling that with a larger bust, Pinkie and her friends would fall into that realm of creepy furry porno.
So i'm happy they're flat chested. Also I do like seeing alternative body shapes represented. No bust and big hips? Not your traditional representation of "attractive" and I approve wholeheartedly with it being represented here.

The backs of their heads aren't hugely attractive, they're kinda big and flat and the colour markings look strange on them. I almost wish the markings came down to the nape of the neck of something, just to make the line between colour and white less jarring.

Pepper's deeper blushing does her no favours here. She looks like she has some sort of skin condition.

Mix and match ear fun. Pinkie kinda pulls off Pepper's black hair but Pepper really doesn't rock the blonde.

Pepper's brown is more reddish then Pinkie's brown. Pepper can pull of Pinkie's brown hair better than her own alternative hair colour I think, and Pinkie looks ok with the reddish brown hair.

In the end though, I think they look best with their original ears.

Pinkie I rather like in Pepper's outfit here. It brings out the tiny flash of green in her eyes. Pepper looks ok in the pink coat and hat too. But neither of these outfits is really that "omg awesome" to me. Both are really a bit too simplistic and Pepper's is far too dressy for my taste. I've never been one for dolls in formal outfits and Pepper's dress screams "party dress" to me.

Thankfully Bratz come to the rescue. Pepper's hat just needed a slight tweak, I stabbed a hole in either side with a pair of nail scissors so I could jam her ear plugs through.
Head size wise, without their ears the Pinkie Cooper dolls can indeed wear Bratz hats. Which is good to know.

I rather love Pepper's new punk persona.

Here she is alongside the Monster High crew, which gives a good idea of how tiny these dolls are.

They can't stand unsupported either, expect to be using some clever propping techniques like walls or other dolls.
But honestly? If I wasn't a collector, a lack of stand wouldn't really concern me.
Still, I find it surprising the deluxe doll doesn't have a stand. Given she seems to be more of a collector item (what with the super deluxe box and all) i'd kinda expect a display stand or something you know? Unless she's just supposed to be displayed IN the box which is kinda... lame and space consuming.

Overall, the budget dolls feel like better value than the deluxe ones. At full price, you're better off with the budget ones where you get three different characters instead of the deluxe where it's just three Pinkie clones.
Unless you super adore one of the deluxe outfits, i'd opt for the budget all the way. Unless of course, you're like me and find both deluxe and budget for £10 each lol.

I love Pepper, I love her colourings and I love how much personality the little gal has. I'm pleased to have her and Pinkie, though I don't think i'll bother getting Ginger as well. They all use the same face sculpt and Ginger's outfit isn't interesting to me either. Nor do i think i'll bother with the pets, I find them a bit freaky and more than a little pointless honestly. They're strangely scaled to the dolls, they're strange looking and they just aren't worth the extra money in my opinion. They're much like the Bratzillaz pets for me, really what's the point of selling them separately?

I'm still confused as to why they decided to make 4 Pinkies and only 1 Ginger and 1 Pepper. Why didn't Ginger and Pepper get deluxe versions as well? It's such a bizarre choice and such a missed opportunity. Was it the only way they could think of to get people to buy the budget ones?

But anyway, good quality, unique little dolls. I recommend them but with the proviso, they are NOT worth the full deluxe price and i'm really not convinced the budget ones are worth £14:99 either. If you look at what you can get on the market for the same price point, £12:99 are budget Monster High in most stores, £14:99 will get you a Once Upon a Zombie doll, it'll get you a decent articulated Barbie, heck, often the actual full Monster High dolls drop to £14:99 in supermarkets.

Pinkie Cooper, a strange doll line but a cute and well made one. Effort was put in, and for that, I applaud The Bridge Direct. Kinda a bummer we'll never see any casual fashions for the girls.

Pepper Parkins gets a full 8 unusable handbags out of 10.