21 Jun 2016

Monster High - Welcome to Monster High - Monsterous Rivals Moanica Draculaura 2 pack

Well here it is, the MH reboot.

I know many, including myself have been kinda dreading this. Change is scary, we don't like change, but sadly it's inevitable and while I still don't much LIKE a lot of the very kiddy looking stuff Mattel's bringing out for this reboot, I did like Moanica when I first saw her. She's sassy looking. A kinda cross between Venus and Ghoulia and I dig it.

I had the option or ordering this 2 pack, or waiting another fortnight to get just Moanica single packed. I thought about it, and decided that i'd rather have an existing character to compare and contrast as well. Also it was only like £10 more to get the 2 pack over the single pack.

This pack retails at £29:99 which is about standard for UK 2 packs, and there's no stands or diaries so be aware of that.
I'm not sure any of the new dolls will have stands or diaries, we'll have to wait and see.

I got my set from http://www.bentzentoys.co.uk/ but Argos also have them listed. Bentzen just got them a bit earlier for the same price heh, he's pretty good at checking for obvious wonk issues too before posting.

Anyway, let's delve into this.

17 Jun 2016

Bratz Music Festival Vibes - Sasha

Eeee it's SASHA!

Okay let me compose myself.

So... back in 2010 when the first Bratz relaunch happened, it all looked promising in terms of diversity. The 10 "new characters" released as part of the celebration came in very varied skin tones.

Of the 10, there were 4 who had darker skin, and 4 outta 10 ain't bad.

Sadly it wasn't to last. Sasha was excluded from all cases shipping to the EU and none of the dark skinned 2010 characters appear to have gotten a second doll either.
So once the 10/10/10 cases were gone, that was it for ethnic diversity and Bratz in the UK.
It was frustrating, it was insulting, it was extremely baffling but according to US collectors, it all stemmed from the understanding that in some parts of the USA black dolls simply do not sell. And in other reasons they are in high demand. So MGA started shipping 2 cases. A case of Cloe, Jade, Yasmin (or in several cases, only Cloe and Yasmin) and a case of just Sasha.
the just Sasha cases made sense in heavily black populated areas where she would be most representative of the local community and thus most desired, but this resulted in the unfortunate side effect that stores overseas, given the option of the "assortment" case or the "1 character case" always opted for the assortment, hence the lack of Sasha dolls over here.

Now, in the UK, we're not really a big enough island for such divisions like there are in the states. We don't have areas where there are not ethnic minorities, well, unless it's a teeny sleepy seaside town of like 20 people. Our population is very diverse and really quite integrated.
But we didn't get toys that represented that diversity (which we as a nation should be damn proud of) instead we just got no black dolls at all, which was insulting as it implied there were no kids of colour who deserved representation. No white kids could get a doll that looked like their bff from school. The cases did not represent the multicultural society that IS the UK. To not see that represented in our toys was troubling.

I won't bore you with the politics, i've already spoken at length about this on social media. Suffice to say, doll segregation has troubling wider implications and a lack of representation in the toy aisle is unhealthy and unfair.

3 Jun 2016

Ever after high - Dragon Games Dragonrider Apple

So, it's no secret that EAH is not a franchise i'm hugely enamoured by. Princesses were just never my thing, but Dragon Games caught my attention. It's got this sort of medieval D&D Fantasy vibe that I dig, so of course I had to get a few of these dolls.

Darling I got in a 342 at Toys R us a while back and only just got around to deboxing. Apple and her dragon were on clearance at Argos for a bargain £10 so i made a special trip to pick it up.

So let's have a look at these shall we?