21 Dec 2015

Bratz Selfie Snaps Photobooth

About time I got around to this one.

So the Bratz relaunch happened a few months ago and amongst the relaunched products were a few playsets. A rerelease of the snow lodge they've done several times already (is anything even recoloured? it looks exactly the same as the moxie girlz lodge and the bratz one before that) and a photo booth.

Anyway, because "selfie" seems to be the buzz word of the year, we have the "selfie snaps" line, a photobooth playset and even selfie sticks with giant lips on. Uh... ok? I admit it, i'm old and don't understand selfie culture. It just baffles me. But kids have been pulling stupid poses in photobooths for decades. I never did, I mean those things are expensive! Who's got like £8 just sitting about for stupid photos? Rich kids, that's who.

2 Dec 2015

Belated montly roundup

Ok I admit it, i've been seriously unmotivated recently. I have a huge amount of dolls to debox, but zero want to do so. I'm tired after a long day so all I want to do is sit down and play games or watch telly. But then I feel guilty because i've got dolls languishing in boxes nghhh.

Anyway, it's time for my late monthly roundup. I was going to do this on the 1st but got distracted by shiny things. Or rather, got distracted by being able to finally play video games again with my new pc. Ahem.

I didn't buy a lot in October/November mostly because Christmas is coming and it's a stupidly expensive time of year for me. I have three birthdays in the weeks around Christmas itself too, so its hugely stressful and involves a lot of organization. Boo.
However, just because i didn't buy a lot doesn't mean i didn't overspend, because being near Christmas stores have started putting their sales on. *gulp* It's a dangerous time to have money burning a hole in your pocket isn't it?

So, Oct came and with it came news from Makie labs. They were removing their boy dolls to do some much needed tinkering with their designs, and they wouldn't be back till Feb next year. NOOOOoooo.
Now, you all know i'm OBSESSED with boy dolls, so when I was told "you have until the 9th of November to order"  I kinda panicked.
I was good though, or rather, i only had enough money to order the one Makie I had intended to make anyway. He's still at the printer, supposed to be here some time this week but we'll see. The lab is moving really slow since the switch to IM bodies and i'm not totally sure I understand why.

Then Asda finally put the Boo York Boo York Monster High 3 pack on sale. I'd been waiting for the price to drop for weeks. Lowest i'd seen was £40, down from 50 and still felt that was more than I wanted to pay. So when the price dropped to £25 you better believe I pounced.

That wiped me out for the month money wise, oops?

But that doesn't mean I don't have STUFF to write about. So here's my text heavy reviews of stuff I totally took photos of and then failed to write up at the time, and stuff I didn't have enough to say about to justify a full review.
It's the monthly roundup! And yes, it's 2 months late, i'm aware of this. I'm a slacker ok?

1 Nov 2015

Monster High - Brand Boo Students


I couldn't resist, I needed these three.

Weirdly this bunch aren't listed as Monster Exchange, they're "Brand Boo students"  I wonder why, especially as their diaries etc specifically mention the monster exchange program.

Anyway, here's Isi Dawndancer, Batsy Claro and Kjersti Trollson

19 Oct 2015

Big changes over at Makie Labs!

Its been a short while since my last Makie ramble right? heheh.
Anyway, since then I now have 20 of the little nylon people, and husband has aquired a few of his own as well.

His latest one arrived today, but she's different so that's why i'm blogging.

4 Oct 2015

Bratz Metallic Madness Cloe and Cameron

Metallic Madness hit the UK! It's a Smyths exclusive but since it was annouced i've been eagerly awaiting the release of Cameron specifically. I've said it before, but I freaking LOVE the Bratz Boyz. They were the first doll line I ever collected and I always get excited when I hear they're getting some MGA attention once more.

Of course, thus far only Cameron has been announced. He has a Hello My Name is doll and this two pack doll. Both look pretty similar if not identical but hey, 2 clone boyz is better than no boyz.


So here it is, Metallic Madness - Trash wedding... I mean... Dance Duo Cameron and Cloe.

26 Sep 2015

Disney Descendants


Descendants! Which only hit the UK a week or two ago and has done so in really random drabbles. 

For those who don't know, Descendants is a Disney made for tv movie. Basic premise, the kids of various Disney villains get a chance to go to school with the kids of Disney heroes, shenanagins happen... it's as you'd expect, cheesy harmless fluff with musical numbers of the campy variety.

Anyway, there's dolls, the first of the Disney licensed dolls made by  Hasbro. 
Hasbro won the Disney franchise off Mattel last year and come 2016 are set to be doing ALL the Disney princess dolls, so Descendants is a good first look at how Hasbro might handle this lucrative string to their bow.

Suffice to say, many have noticed the parallel between Descendant's premise and Ever After High and I refuse to believe a few of the design choices were simple coincidence from either side.
Both for instance, have ambiguously brown skinned daughters of Sleeping Beauty. Hmm... 

Anyway, a new doll franchise is always exciting, particularly from a company who's been mostly absent from fashion dolls for such a long time (No, i'm not counting those crappy Equestria girls dolls, those things are just... suffice to say, i was very unimpressed with the one Husband bought for himself.  ahem) 

I've missed there being proper competition for Mattel, they've been playing with themselves way too long (and yes, I DO know how that reads bwhahaha) 

So let's take a look at these new dolls shall we?

11 Sep 2015

Monster High - Finnegan Wake

I've been obsessively stalking the Smyths website ever since I noticed they had Finnegan listed, and when the Sep 4th "expected stock" date came and went, I admit I was pretty bummed out.
I was even more upset when a few days later the site changed their expected stock date to "sep 18th", it didn't bode well to me.

Thankfully, others in the UK started to report seeing the doll in stock in stores, but i'm in London and thus nowhere near any Smyths stores (yeah, what?). Nearest one to me is a good hour away, a trip totally not worth taking imo for ONE toy.

But then good fortune intervened. Husband rang me from work yesterday to tell me "Toys R Us have Finn!"
He pops into tru most lunch breaks as it's right next to his office lol, so I told him to get me a good one and eagerly waited for him to get home that evening.

I'll admit it, I haven't giggled so excitedly about a MH doll in a long time. I don't quite know why but I was super excited about Finnegan Wake, probably because he's quite an unusual product. We just don't get many disabled dolls, Mattel hasn't produced a doll in a wheelchair since Barbie's friend Becky in the 90s.

Also, I totally voted for Finn. Why? Because BOY doll. I love boy dolls, and the more boy dolls the better as far as i'm concerned.


3 Aug 2015

July dolly purchase roundup

So a little different this time around. I bought a LOT of dolls this month, because well.. birthday coupled with new stuff hitting. My poor bank balance took a pounding but I didn't really feel I had enough to say on each for a full review, particularly as a few are just another doll in a line i've already recently talked about.

So, what DID I buy that meant I got into my overdraft for in July?


27 Jul 2015

Monster high - SDCC Kieran Valentine and Djinni Whisp

They arrived a few days ago, and i've been waiting till I had the time to sit and review them.
But with Matty Collector's after sale on, now seemed as good a time as any so here they are! Valentine and Whisp!

First a bit of background.


Valentine was a character who featured in the first Monster High CGI special, "Why do ghouls fall in love?". He was the antagonist, an emotional vampire who collected girl's hearts and for... unknown reasons had an entourage of singing clouds... uh...
But for whatever reason since his debut in 2011 people have wanted him to get a doll.
He hadn't appeared since in any media till the second comic book "I only have eye for you" where he's suddenly back atoning for his sins (spoiler?)
His appearance in the comic fueled speculation he might finally get a doll, and lo and behold, he was one of the sdcc exclusive characters this year.


The second doll in the set is Whisp, another antagonist from a more recent special "13 wishes". People really liked Whisp, and customs of Gigi Grant's shadow twin were popping up shortly after the special aired. But that was back in 2013, it's only taken Mattel... how long?

Anyway, two random antagonists from two specials have now teamed up to... atone or something.

21 Jul 2015

Project MC2

MGA are back in the fashion doll game in a big way this year, not just with a massive relaunch of Bratz but with a whole new line called Project MC2.
Riding on the coattails of "girls in STEM" (that's science, technology, engineering and math for those who didn't know) being flavour of the uh... past few years they've finally produced a fashion doll that's both traditional fashion doll and promoting these subjects as cool and worth doing.
I can't help but applaud them on that front, because unlike so many "let's get girls into science" toys they haven't just painted a telescope pink and called it a day. Instead, we have a live action tv show on Netflix and four adorable characters to buy dolls of.

19 Jul 2015

Bratz - Hello my name is Jade

it's 2015 and Bratz are BACK.
It's been a while, but finally the time has come and Bratz have relaunched... again.
This time with a wee bit more fanfare than the last, and not without it's own degree of controversy.
MGA have rehauled everything, new bodies, new face moulds, new art... old logo (lol) but the real question is, are these new Bratz any good?

Well, certainly when myself and several others saw the first images of them we weren't impressed. The community seemed divided, some welcoming the change and others wishing for the old. But I was curious, and one particular doll did appeal to me: Hello My Name is Jade.
So when Argos' new catalogue launched, I picked up Jade. The prices are a bit steep this year, but they're steep for ALL doll lines, not just bratz.
Even so, the cheapest Bratz line (Hello my name is) retails at £14:99, while the deluxe lines range from £25 to an eyewatering £33 for the snow dolls.
Ouch.
The US prices seem far more reasonable, but sadly we foreign scum just gotta put up with being ripped off. *sigh*

Anyhoo, given the newest budget Monster High line (Boo York) is £17:99 (yes, seriously) the £15 price tag for Jade wasn't nearly so hard to swallow.


And heeeere she is!

6 Jul 2015

monster high - freak du chiq Gooliope Jellington


Gooliope, wow. I knew she was a big doll, I had a good idea of how tall she'd be but nothing quite prepared me for how BIG her head would be. It's pretty impressive and beautifully striking.

Gooliope comes in a box that's a bit bigger than the regular size, but even so she's still hunched over to fit. I love the cracks in the plastic as if she's been banging on it for release lol.
Though mine's hands are positioned a bit wrong for the illusion to really work, it's a fun concept and makes for fun packaging.


4 Jul 2015

Monster High Boo York - Luna Mothews




It's my birthday on the fifth, wheeee.
I'm old. <_< >_> heheh.

Anyway, Smyths had 20% off all Monster High and were still the only place that actually even HAD stock of Gooliope here in the UK (everywhere else is backordered) and husband convinced me I should just bite the bullet and treat myself.

So Gooliope ended up about £28, while Luna was still a somewhat eye watering £21, but I really really wanted her so eh.

First time i've ever ordered from Smyths, as we don't have a store anywhere within about a 20 mile radius and they often don't have online stock. I've never been hugely impressed with Smyths business layout, their website is very deceptive but the past year or so they've been getting better and now the majority of what they have listed on their site IS actually available for home delivery (previously you were lucky to get maybe 10% of their online listings that weren't "collect in store only")
They offer free delivery on orders over £29 and told me it would take 3-4 days so I sat back expecting my parcel not to arrive till Monday at the earliest.
Surprisingly, despite ordering at 11:45pm on Wednesday night, they actually dispatched Thursday morning  and arrived Friday. Sweet!

24 Jun 2015

Retro review - Adventures of Vicky

Well I haven't done one of these for a while, but my ebay parcel arrived so here we go heh.

Back in the early 90s a company called Fabbri produced a part work series titled "the adventures of vicky". Basically, the idea was that in the first issue you would get a 1/6 scale doll and then each subsequent issue would feature an outfit and the magazine would be themed around that outfit.
A similar idea was used for the Felicity Wishes part works, though those used a plush doll. Vicky was a plastic Barbie scale doll and her fashions were designed in such a way they fitted other dolls of that scale just as well.

18 Jun 2015

Why no reviews?

Yeah I feel I should explain why there's been no reviews on anything for so damn long.
Truth is, there's just nothing I WANT to buy atm.

See, we're at that point in the year where the UK has shelves flooded with last seasons stock still at full price and the new stuff hasn't hit yet. That is, if stores have any stock at all.
Sure there's some new stuff, but it's all things I don't collect like Equestria Girls and la la loopsy and such.

I'm waiting impatiently for new MH but it looks like we'll be getting absolutely robbed blind for those this season.
The prices have shot up AGAIN from £19:99 to a whopping £26:99 and let me tell you, that's some sticker shock right there.
I flatly refuse to pay that, it's scalper level pricing and it makes me feel sick to the stomach handing over that sort of money for a doll I KNOW will have bald patches and crappy QC.
I'm just really not happy with Mattel right now, the last wave of dolls lacked that same excitement for me and I think i'm just losing interest. Alas.

Still, I really want Gooliope and she better damn well come into stock soon because i'm going mental waiting. Her hair looks like it sucks but she's enormous and that's awesome.
She has me genuinely excited, but we're sitting twiddling our thumbs waiting for all the new MH stuff to actually hit our shores.
same with the new EAH stuff.
and the new fashionistas who are sloooowly trickling in (I NEED LA girl in my life, like.. so bad)

The other factor is that i've been too sick to actually go out shopping. I order most of my dolls online these days because with a young family, I just don't get the time to go wander toy stores for hours and when my health decided to go "hah, screw you", walking any sort of distance became practically impossible anyway from a physical perspective.
Also it's getting into summer and heat and I don't get along. I want to punch the stupid sun seriously. I hate the sun. -_- it's a big firey jerk.

I still do try to pop out every so often, but not with nearly the frequency I once did. It's become difficult, too difficult an it's a bit of a bummer.

I may end up doing some retro reviews just to keep something to read. I dunno if anyone would be interested in reading about strange obscure doll lines from the past. What do you guys think? Just while we wait for new things to hit and our usual schedule of snark and combined gushing can start once more.

What sort of things are you guys looking forward to? and is there anything you'd like to hear my rambling perspective on? Let me know in the comments!

26 May 2015

Ever After High - Duchess Swan

I've had a lot of dolls lying about unopened for months. A combination of general apathy and lack of display space has made me reluctant to open them, and in the case of the MH and EAH stuff, those blood thirsty boxes have been a HUGE offputting factor.

But today my pc crashed and wouldn't load back up for several hours, so I did some deboxing.

Duchess had been preying on my mind a lot recently, i'd seen some gorgeous shots of other people's doll with her hair restyled and in a more modern outfit and I started getting the itch to try my own restyle.
I always felt the doll was gorgeous, but her outfit was not at all to my taste.

Anyway, I finally got her deboxed so here we go!


8 May 2015

Update and more rambling

Yeah i've been kinda slacking lately. Honestly I haven't really bought any non Makie dolls in a while.

Mattel are suuuuper slow to release stuff here and I already bought Haunted and Exchange and that's all I really wanted. None of the other lines grab me and say "buy meeee". Sure a few are pretty, but the price is prohibitive and i'm seriously losing interest.

I'm kinda excited about Boo York and Freak Du Chiq, even though I only really want Luna and Gooliope (maybe Elle but her colourscheme is so like sooo many other dolls in the line, she doesn't stand out so much for me). But on the whole, i'm kinda going off the recent Mattel products with their shitty thinly rooted hair, lack of detailing and massive price tags. Also those boxes... I cannot forgive boxes that demand blood.

And there's not much else on the market really. I mean... the shelves are pretty sparse around here. There's Barbie sure, but i'm not a huge Barbie fan.
There are still some Moxie Girlz trickling into the country but we aren't getting every line, we only seem to get about 1/3 if not less of the stuff the US is seeing... and they're still over priced.

There's just not really anything new or exciting out right now. No competition to Mattel, no rival dolls on the shelves. It's pretty damn depressingly barren. Maybe it'll get more exciting toward the end of the year.

So what HAVE I been buying? uh... makies... lots of Makies lol. I'm up to 12 now with another on the way and even more on my wishlist.
they are awfully addictive. I'm really enjoying them, both designing them and coming up with characters for them all heh.

I also got a hold of some zelfs. I bought a few each wave since they were released, but I only seem to ever want 3 or 4 from each line, which isn't enough to send off for the LE one heh. I should have, I liked the cat one but by the time I worked out that I should just buy a few more zelfs I "kinda liked" to have adequate reciepts the time had almost run out. I'm pretty sure they must have run out by now. maybe next wave...



Ain't they cute?

11 Apr 2015

Oh dear, it's more Makies

I... I am addicted. This is terrible, but also awesome.

See, I have this thought that when it comes to toys, if they bring you joy and make you smile, then buy em!

Sadly a lot of mass produced stuff isn't giving me that buzz these days, and i'm not sure if it's just burnout because i've collected them for so long or if it's a combination of price hikes and quality cuts. Certainly Monster High just isn't giving me that same "eeee excited" feeling. I find I buy a doll, then it sits for months till I work up the motivation to open it.
Now part of this is fear of the new packaging, after slicing my hand open on one of the boxes I couldn't stand to touch the others for weeks. When I finally did I yet again hurt myself.
Now every time I touch the empty boxes (I keep empty boxes ok?) to move them they stab me with their sharp bits and I get mad.

So that's definitely a factor. When physical pain is involved with deboxing, you are less inclined to debox. I mean, I still haven't opened Duchess because i'm scared of her box!

It's plastic and stabby looking.

But while Mattel really aren't keeping my interest with their releases, Makies unique selling point continues to impress.

1 Apr 2015

Amazon boycott

Not a review of a doll so much as a scathing and damning review of a company.

Amazon.co.uk.

Wow eee.. what a bunch of crooks.

11 Mar 2015

Monster High - Scarisian Vacation - Garrott DuRoque and Rochelle Goyle



new dolls! (Mattel's photo from sdcc)

These still haven't hit the uk so I had someone in the US send them over. It does however mean they came without their box which is a shame but eh.
you'll have to live without box photos.

Also my camera hates sunlight so taking pictures during the day left me with a lot of shots I couldn't use. Go figure. So this may be a bit picture light and i'm sorry for that.

Still, let's dig in

28 Feb 2015

Novi stars - 2015 - Frostina Sprinkles and Carmela Sweet


INVASION!

Yes, these two new Novis are part of the Invasion line like Ina Ferna and Anne Arctic. But while they were elemental themed, this time we have um... sweet/candy themed ones?
Sweet Screams, novi style.

Novi Stars - 2015 - Doe a Deer, Justina Hour

New Novis!


Yes, so The Entertainer here in the UK randomly got these in. And then after a few days having them listed at £20 each, put them on sale with all the other Novis for £5.
Naturally, I had to order all four of them because a fiver each? that's too good a deal!

From what I understand of it, Novi Stars as a franchise is dead. but before they died MGA produced these four characters. They then made them only available in Russia, of all places and the rest of the world wailed and expected they'd never see them.
But apparently the EU is, awesome!

So, let's dive in and have a good look at these new Novi Stars.

26 Feb 2015

Monster high Monster Exchange - Lorna McNessie and Marisol Coxi

My pc is being a jerk, so it's not so easy to edit photos. It keeps crashing randomly and then takes an age to boot up, which sucks.
But I opened these a week or so ago and finally go up the nerve to try to edit the pics again.
Eugh.

So, new Monster High characters for the season. Whoo?

Lorna and Marisol are the two new characters from the Exchange line, so our two newest "non animated special" characters.
I got mine from Amazon.co.uk using vouchers I had left over from christmas, they're retailing at a rather eyewatering £21:99 in several places, though some stores have seen an iota of sense and dropped that to £19:99.
Still, it's nothing on the £23:99 Haunted price tag, but we'll talk about that when we get to the Haunted dolls.


20 Feb 2015

Barbie Fashionistas 2015


Picked these two girls up for a friend, but before I posted them off (he wanted them deboxed) a review was of course crucial!

So these are the new 2015 Fashionistas from Mattel. They're £10 and I found these girls in Tesco. The case assortment seems to be 2 different Barbies, Raquelle, Summer? Or is she Teresa? I don't even know anymore...  and one each of these two girls.

They don't have names, so um... I shall name them George and Susan.


13 Feb 2015

Monster high - Zombie Shake Rochelle and Venus

Zombie shake, Yes, I know it's an older set but it was cheap so I got it ok?

For £16:99, how could I pass it up?



1 Feb 2015

Mia by Hello Kitty


I admit, I know next to nothing about this line of dolls other than I saw them, thought they were cute and bought them.

Mia by Hello Kitty are made by Gzochi Preziosi, an Italian company who make things like Winx. As it stands, there doesn't seem to be much information on these dolls available online, certainly nothing I could find in English or anything I could translate.
So I just have to go with the obvious here. They're a line of cute 10 inch dolls dressed in Hello Kitty themed outfits.... aaand that's about it?


There are three in the line, and I got mine off Ebay so this is the box image from Amazon.co.uk instead.

30 Jan 2015

Stardoll by Barbie


Stardoll, a... um... online community where you dress up a paper doll avatar and do all the crap you do on all online communities?
I dunno, i'm not a tween girl so what do I care.

What I do care about however, is the dolls Mattel came out with back in around 2012.

Mattel teamed up with the website to create dolls of some of their designs, which was neat. New face moulds, new fashions, new shoes. Suffice to say, it was exciting news for doll collectors. A new doll line based on a website that was built around the whole idea of fashion? That would seem a match made in heaven right?

And initial promos were very promising.



27 Jan 2015

More about Makies

I admit it, i'm obsessed with these things ok?

in fact, it was only last month I reviewed my first three.
http://flyingpurplemonkfish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/makies.html

Yes... FIRST three.
I say this because since then my little 3d printed family has expanded.


Yessss...

14 Jan 2015

Tonner Sindy - Just Sindy


What's this? A mysterious white box.... with Sindy on it? Yes, dear old Sindy celebrated her 50th birthday in September 2013 and as part of the celebrations, Tonner annouced they were working on a line of collectable Sindy dolls based on the ever popular 1971 Trendy Girl. (one of the most collectable of the Sindy dolls, for some reason)

7 Jan 2015

Tonner City Girls - Houston

So, City girls.

It's been a while since these were released so technically I suppose this is a "retro review" because it's a line that's a few years old now... but let's pretend like it's shiny and new and exciting or something.

So, the Tonner City Girls were released in 2012 by Tonner toys, a subdivision of Tonner dolls who deal with all the cheaper lines intended as gateway collector dolls.
Their early attempts were things like Maudline Macabre and the Little Miss Matched dolls with their strange troll faces, but the City Girls were the first to go for a more standard fashion doll sort of aesthetic while remaining within that "gateway" price point.

The dolls retailed at between $39:99 and $49:99 and were even sold in stores like toys r us. They attempted to fill a niche as a mid price point doll that slotted neatly between cheap playline and super eye-wateringly expensive collector.
It was a fair point, as this was a niche that hadn't really been looked at previously. The jump between the price of playline dolls and collector dolls can be a bit startling.

Anyway, I first saw the City Girls shortly after they were released and thought they were quite cute looking, but I couldn't justify the price of importing all the way from the USA. they weren't sold in overseas stores and Tonner's shipping is a bit painful. So I held off and waited... and waited...