30 Dec 2017

Fashion Angels

So I periodically find myself browsing ebay (dangerous I know) and sometimes odd things pop up that I find interesting.

Like these.
They're Fashion Angels... apparently.
I'd never heard of them till I stumbled upon an ebay listing for them.

They were I think made about the same year as TY Girlz, Groovy Girlz, This is Me and all those other plushie fashion dolls.
it was a real THING in the mid 2000s evidently.

I thought they were fascinating and their outfits looked to be really well made so I took the plunge and placed some 99p bids on a few of the listings the seller had.

I won 2 full dolls and a pile of clothing and shoes.

22 Dec 2017

Pre Christmas roundup

It's nearly Christmas, I hate this time of year.
I find it extremely stressful and very very depressing. See, most of my family live on the opposite side of the planet, I haven't even seen my own sister in a good 8 years, it's been 10 years since I last went back to my home country and saw the rest of the family.
In the nearly 20 years since my parents had the bright idea to emigrate to the UK (for only two years, they promised.) many of my relatives have died, marriages have fallen apart, kids have been born and i've missed it all.
I've never even MET my younger niece, there's a whole generation of cousins i've not met and probably never will. I didn't even get to attend the funerals of my grandparents.

So all the Christmas time "family family FAMILY" crap that's rammed down our throats during this part of the year does little more than highlight to me how much i've missed and how much I will continue to miss.
It's very unlikely i'll ever go home for anything more than a brief holiday and that sucks.

Suffice to say, around November I start to sink into crippling depression and spend a lot of time trying not to just cry.

The kids help a little, their excitement makes an otherwise really dreary time of year at least half way tolerable but I still find the whole thing really very isolating and upsetting.
So I tend to go a little mad with buying myself things to fill the void.
I know this is precisely why I buy so much stuff during November and December, but I claim they're "christmas presents to myself". The reality is, they're not really. They're a foolish attempt to distract myself with shiny new things rather than think about how much i'm dreading the festive bullshit and how much I want to punch things every time I see an advert about family getting together or whatever.
Bah humbug.

But that does mean I bought a load of random stuff to share with you guys.

I know i've been doing a lot of these sort of mishmash blogs rather than proper reviews lately, the reason is there's very very little in stores I actually want to buy. It's all either too overpriced and not going onto clearance, freaking BORING or made by Mattel who can bite me.
I do have a few things scheduled though.

And I DO need to finish that retrospective but I found that depressing too. Given i'm already feeling crap this time of year, I think that's gonna have to wait till the new year when i'm a little less mentally fragile and prone to bursting into tears over nothing.
It's so embarrassing.

21 Nov 2017

Charity shop and Ebay roundup

I'm not dead! PROMISE!

It's been a stressful few weeks. This time of year is always chaos for me. I have three birthdays and christmas to organise, and it's just ARGHGHHHH from november all the way into new year.

Also I freaking hate christmas time anyway so it's stress coupled with massive depression because it's cold, it's dark and it's fricken christmas time makes me grumpy and not wanting to go out and do stuff.

But i'm not dead and I am still doing stuff, honest!

This is a break from my retrospective which I still have to finish but ran out of steam on. Finding all that info and trawling back through memories is a lot of effort and I kinda burned out so i'm taking a break. I'll get back to it at some point soon.

So this is a "what other stuff i've been doing doll/toy wise" sort of entry.

Let's get into it.

6 Oct 2017

Monster High retrospective - Part 3

This is getting a bit emotional for me, damnit.

I just, I keep remembering how happy the whole toy hunt was. Sure it was frustrating at times, but the excitement when new stuff was revealed, the anticipation and then the joy when you finally found the doll you'd been searching for.
These were happy times, and I miss them.
I really do miss them.

I miss enjoying the hunt, before it became just a chore.
I miss being excited to get my hands on new stuff and feeling like it would be worth the money.
I miss how special it was. Not just Monster High but toys/dolls in general.

I used to walk into toys r us and be able to spend hours browsing, come out with a huge pile of stuff and I wouldn't feel guilty, i'd feel HAPPY.

Now? I'm lucky to even come away with a single item and if I do, I usually feel horribly guilty about it because I feel like i've spent too much on crap.

The products aren't worth the money any more, nothing leaps out and screams "Buy me" and i'm left feeling rather underwhelmed and honestly pretty bummed out by it all.

I miss getting excited about dolls.
I really do.

I miss Argos' new catalogue day being this event you looked forward to, more than christmas even (to be fair I absolutely hate christmas but that's a whoooole other story), it was the day they got all the new toys. Pages upon pages of new toys to browse and buy. Now? now they barely have a page of dolls and seldom have anything actually in stock on new catalogue day. There's no point going in. the magic is gone. One of the parts of the year I most looked forward to is gone.
and has been for a few years now.

It's sad. it's depressing. And i'm not sure if i've just outgrown dolls, or if it's just that the market is SO freaking boring now.
I don't know, but I still remember getting so many of these dolls like it was yesterday.

Was it really 6 years ago? Where did the time go?

I also got this far and remembered I totally took actual photos of my collection during my purge. *headdesk* they're all saved on my harddrive!

So yeah, I may actually be able to include proper photos in this one.

So here we go!

24 Sep 2017

Monster High retrospective - Part 2

So, it's 2011 (roll with it), the dolly  market is awesome, MH is doing well... and I was in the throws of a terrible obsession.

Oooo eee.

The 2011-2012 season saw the release of a great number of lines and the introduction of store exclusives.

there were more lines released this year, including 2 deluxe formal lines. 6 new characters were introduced as well. - Spectra, Abbey, Clawd, Cupid, Gil and Toralei

So let's start.

12 Sep 2017

Monster High - A retrospective in multiple parts - 2010, where it all began.

So i'm kinda on spend embargo for a while, saving up for something pricey on top of nothing in stores really motivating me to part with cash.

This means it's time to look back and actually appreciate dolls I already own, dolls I used to own and generally look back on a franchise that has meant a lot to me and really was the last straw in sucking me into the doll collecting world.

10 Aug 2017

Monthly.. ish... roundup

I dunno, I lost track.

I haven't been buying as much recently partly because we just don't have much money and I feel guilty about it and partially because i've been saving for bigger things rather than splurging on like 20 playline dolls at a time.
And also because playline is boring the snot out of me, i'm fed up and just kinda... not feeling the dolly vibe so much these days.

I mean don't get me wrong, I still love toys.
I still love dolls. but nothing new is really exciting me.
It's all so... cutesy or so overpriced and inferior in quality that I just can't justify it.
Mattel's churning out crap. Hasbro's churning out the same thing ad nauseum, MGA are just big on this blind bag fad and i'm just not interested in paying £10 for something I can't even see, and the others are just.. gone.
UK toy aisles have shrunk, I mean it's getting hard to even find BARBIE here.
Supermarkets have given up on stocking anything except pocket money junk, even stores like Argos have a really small doll section of their catalogue for the second season running.
It's disappointing and it's uninspiring and it's just hard to get excited when there's nothing to get excited about.

But there is some older stuff.

and Toys R Us had BOGOF on Monster High so I went to see what they had.

it's a really long bus trip, takes about an hour to get there and then another hour back so yeah, it's a trek.

and of course i'm still saving money aside for bigger purchases like bjds and pullips and stuff like that.

but I dunno. I'm in a funk and part of that may be related to the fact that coming home from toys r us I was struck down with a massive headache that lasted SIX DAYS and wouldn't shift.
I can't help but think it's karma for buying Monster High when I said I wouldn't.

Anyway, here's what I bought.

25 Jul 2017

Monster High collector Draculaura

So it was my birthday at the start of this month, whoo yay and all that.

Which means I got STUFF.
Well mostly I got money... and an excuse to spend a little on myself heh.

One of the things i'd been eyeing on Amazon for a while was the leftover stock of the Collector Draculaura from a few years back, she'd never dropped to a price I was quite willing to pay and I couldn't ever decide if I liked her or not.
Sure she came up cheap on amazon US, but postage made it not such a low cost option and I talked myself out of it at the time.

But with cash burning a hole in my pocket I decided I wanted something nice and given how shit Mattel now is and how i'm not buying any of their new crap because it's well, utter crap, having something actually aimed at an adult market would be nice.

I have a bunch of their comic con exclusives sure, but aside from the first couple they've all not really felt like deluxe dolls despite their exclusivity, they always felt like playline dolls.

Draculaura on the other hand was actually marketed AS an adult collector doll and she sure did look deluxe.

Her original price tag in the UK was an eyewatering £70, which is just.. nope.
She'd dropped to £40 which was still a bit but it was my birthday okay? So I bought her.

26 Jun 2017

Resinsoul An and Bei - BJDs

Yes, I said there was more...

I was saving up for the last of the D&D party but also lusting after a few other dollies and lamenting the fact that after buying like 5 bjds I still didn't have a damn green one (Green is my favorite colour) and really really wanted one.
But none of the characters I had in mind were green, arghhh.


in the Facebook group it was mentioned that as well as custom colours and transparent parts Resinsoul were willing to do more complex mods. One person got a two headed torso made (wow) and a few others had multiple arms added and I was all "yes yes YES!" because I love multiple arms, they're really interesting to play with.

So ideas started forming and I figured hey, let's design a character who's effectively a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" sort of idea.
4 arms, clawed feet, creepy eyes... the works.
All the things I love. I considered giving him horns too but decided they'd be too top heavy in the end.


then I had a dilemma. I had enough money to order the last D&D character but something in me just cringed at the idea of spending so much money on ONE doll, even if she is freaking cool.
I kept talking myself out of it, kept telling myself "wait till they have an event" because impldoll often have money off or free doll events. It would soften the blow and ease my spend guilt.

24 Jun 2017

Ball joint dolls (BJD)

Well it was inevitable wasn't it? that eventually as a doll collector i'd gravitate toward the more expensive end of the spectrum.

I first encountered bjds when I was in university, maaaany years ago now. I cannot recall how I stumbled upon them, but I recall that at the time I didn't collect dolls and I still lusted after one.

Back then the selections were pretty limited, dolls tended to come in well.. fleshtone peach, white or... a bit more peachy with faintly tanned being a limited run they only did for special events.
They were massive expensive and while I had a student loan such frivolous use of it felt wrong so I continued to talk myself out of it.

But I suppose part of that longing stuck with me because every so often i'd find myself looking at them again, pondering, and ultimately deciding they were just too expensive and too big.

Anyway, fast forward many years on and it seems to be a natural progression for people who collect stuff to migrate up from cheap little things to the more elaborate stuff.
I blame Makies really. They were £69 which for me was INSANE money but gosh I wanted them, and each time i'd buy one I guess I convinced that little bit of my brain that it was okay to spend that sort of money on a doll.
So then £100 wasn't that much more... and it's a slippery slippery slope.

13 Jun 2017

Star Darlings, Hatchimals Colleggtables and thrift store fun!

Yeah I didn't have enough for one full review so this is an info dump/photo spam post.
Deal with it lol.

20 May 2017

Blind bags - Twozies and L.O.L

Blind bags aren't a new thing, in fact, growing up I remember collecting rather a few of them. I loved Oodles and Lil' Babies and later there were Magic Diaper Babies who's diapers/nappys changed colour depending on their gender.
It was fun finding out if it was a boy or a girl and I had rather a lot of them.
they were cheap and thus a really easy pocket money purchase. I think a bag containing 1 or more was only a couple of bucks and were often in a 342 deal anyway.
We had Monster in my pocket and all the various other "in my pocket" toys as well, many of which were either given away in your cereal or sold in blind packs. Surprise toys in general were huge in the early 90s so it's not without a massive amount of nostelgia that I approach the newer blind bags.

Lego sort of forged the way with the latest lot I think, with their minifigures which sold like candy.
From there it's become a bit of a fad, with just about every company out there producing some sort of blind bag surprise figure.

Spinmaster have gotten in on the act with their Hatchanimals Eggs, we have little genies in bottles, Mattel have a few different sorts and there's still a lot of lego ones.
But today we're looking at MGA's breakthrough blind balls (lol balls) and Moose toys' Twozies.

Moose actually has a number of different blind and collectable toys including Shopkins, but i've always preferred humanoid or animal little toys so i've no paid much attention to those.

Twozies however remind me way too much of the little babies I collected as a child. Particularly the Lil' Babies/Oodles

Sadly I don't have my childhood toys any longer, and it turns out these little toys are not exactly cheap on ebay.
I did want to get a few for this review but I couldn't justify the cost some people wanted, especially for them still packaged.
So instead you'll have to make do with photos I stole off google.

powerpuffruth2000 on Flickr

13 May 2017

Disney Descendants - Neon Lights Ball 4 pack

This is a REALLY late review and i'm sorry about that. I kept meaning to write this up and edit the photos but it was during that real down spiral I had and I just couldn't face talking about dolls.

But i'm finally getting to it.

Going through my photos and reorganising my folders I realised I had all these pics and never actually got the review done. Oops?

6 May 2017

Living Dead Dolls fashion victims

So the toy aisles are BORING right now, very little new stuff and that which is new is crap and not worth buying anyway. Toy sections are shrinking rapidly in stores across the country and it's all blind bags and nothing else.
Not that I object to blind bags, they are in fact rather fun, but it's sad to see ONLY blind bags and not much of anything else.
It looks like that's where all toy companies are focusing their attention now and I dunno, that makes me sad because I like variety and I love dolls.

So because there's really not much to buy and i've been saving up for something big, all the "new" stuff i've gotten lately has been mostly all second hand.

I'm afraid that for the while, most of my blogs are going to be more like roundups or retrospectives, at least until the toy market picks up again.

but hey, old stuff is fun too right? Be aware parts of this review will be NSFW, blame Mezco. So if you're at work or in public, you might wanna wait to click below the cut.

15 Apr 2017

Zelfs series 6

It's my party blog and i'll talk about random toys if I wanna. HAH.


Yeah so Zelfs. Have I reviewed zelfs before? I can't even remember. Maaan.

Anyway, Zelfs were officially discontinued in Febuary this year. They got 6 seasons plus some side ones, it wasn't really a bad run. Moose Toys claim the reason is that their other brands were selling better, but i'm still suspicious that the demise of Zelfs seems to have happened so close to the Trolls movie merch being released. Hmmm.

I liked Zelfs, because they reminded me a great deal of Russ Trolls which I grew up collecting. There was something about those ugly pug-like faces of trolls that I always found adorably appealing.It wasn't just their fuzzy colourful hair, their strange frog-lipped faces and pudgy bellied bodies were very "troll-like" for me as well.
Zelfs were very nostelgic, like a lot of the things Moose has released they seem to have taken an idea that was a huge fad from when I was young and ressurected it and I dig it.

Moose make Shopkins, and Twozies and Betty Spaghetti. Now Betty is a bit after my time, but Shopkins are very reminiscent of a lot of the blind bags of the early 90s with the "random thing with a face on it" (also Cherry merry Muffin, if you look at her playsets, totally Shopkins) and twozies remind me an awful lot of Oodles/Lil' Babies which i collected the heck outta when I was like 7.
I'll likely do a review on blind bags at a later date, but today we're talking about Zelfs.
And lamenting their demise.

14 Apr 2017

Monthly roundup - ebay and thrift store fun

Yeah another not all dolls post but hey, it's my blog and i'll review whatever I want right?

This is a bit of a kinda roundup of stuff i've bought recently and not really had a chance to talk about.
So it's gonna be more rambly than usual. Oh yes.

I've had a fairly productive month or two in terms of "stuff". While my Mattel Boycott is going pretty well (and hey, given they keep releasing crap it's not too hard to maintain either) and I haven't really bought any new dolls, I have gotten a lot of interesting stuff in the local charity shops.
You can really see the MH fad's ended because they keep cropping up in charity shops for £1-2, often fully dressed.
Now our local charity shop keeps getting too much stuff donated (hah, 1st world problems) which means they then put everything on the shop floor onto half price. But it's not always clear they have a half price sale on and when it ends. So sometimes I go in and they are all full price but a day or two later everything's half off and then the day after that it's back up. Talk about confusing.
But hey, it's a couple of pounds here and there and it goes to charity so it's all good.

So we'll start this ramble with an overview of "stuff I found in the charity shop in the past month or so" and the stuff I bought on ebay.

25 Mar 2017

Living Dead Dolls Series 33 - Moulin Morgue - Maitre Des Mortes and Madame La Morte

Yep i'm back, kinda.

though I will warn you, my focus has shifted rather a lot due to recent events.

Honestly most playline stuff currently on shelves isn't working for me anyway, the doll aisles are very barren which added to me boycotting Mattel, leaves me with very little options for toy fixes.

So I returned to my Living Dead Dolls. Which I collect sporadically.
Series 31 I loved, series 32 I hated... a lot. Series 33 however? Back to the usual "i like a couple but not all of them" standard. And i'm good with this because these aren't cheap dolls. With 5 per series and 2 series a year plus special releases and LDD Presents and all that, it's not a cheap franchise to collect.

Add to that our terribly weak pound, prices for everything have skyrocketed. Last year these dolls were retailing for about £26. Now they're almost £30 each.
That's pretty painful.

So I can only justify ones I LOVE.
And I have a bit of a soft spot for black and white dollies.

9 Feb 2017

Venus situation and Mattel - A bit of a ramble about mental health and shoddy business practices.

8 Feb 2017

Monster High - Party Ghouls, Garden Ghouls - Abbey, Rochelle, Venus

So I went shopping

Yeah I know I keep saying i'm done with MH, but... SALES happen and i'm weak.

The Frightmares were £3 in Asda. I've been eying up Penelope for a while. They had all of the second wave ones, so fire, ice, steampunk, deer and rerelease of the green seamonster one.

The zelf was the only one they had. He was full price but I haven't bought a Zelf in ages and he's a werewolf so.. yay.

I was waiting for electrified Clawdeen to come down in price and was umming and ahhing over the garden ghouls.
Then Argos had their 7 days of deal sale and Clawdeen dropped from £20 to £13 and the garden ghouls dropped from £16:99 to £11:29

I ordered three in and knowing Argos and their price rubbish (you pay the price ON THE DAY not the day you ordered unless you pay in advance) I opted for their collect in store but pay now option.

I wasn't sure they'd give me one of each because Argos keep putting assortments under ONE catalogue number. So you order and you can get any random dolls from the assortment. You can't pick unless you physically go into store and view them.
I figured i'd get duplicates, but hoped to get at least 2 different ones. Going in to pick them up had the advantage that 1: I would only pay the sale price and 2: I could easily and immediately return any errored or duplicated dolls.

So my order took almost a week to show up but I picked them up on Monday. The staff member brought out three dolls. 2 Venus, 1 Rochelle. One of the venus dolls had a seriously errored face, her eyes were shunted to the right so one eye was almost on her NOSE and the other was on her damn temple. wtf?
I asked if they had any more, I knew they had at least one more in store because I had checked their stock the night before. So the staff member wandered out back and came back with Abbey.

So I picked less wonked Venus and off we went.

I'll be looking at them today, saving Clawdeen and the frightmares for later.

2 Feb 2017

Monster high reboot - Signature Clawdeen First Day at School

After months of being advertised and shown off on social media, the new signature dolls for Cleo, Clawdeen and Lagoona FINALLY hit the UK (Very and Bentzen's toys are the only places i've seen them so far)

Be aware if you are thinking of ordering via Very, their "pay by paypal" function doesn't seem to actually work. I tried this myself and they took my money, but didn't generate an order. then they duplicated the payment so they took payment twice and took no order. took me over a week to get them to find and refund me, and another week for paypal to process.
So yeah... headache. Very lost themselves a customer there, I didn't even get a proper apology so screw em. 

Today i'll be looking at  Clawdeen.
I was going to order the other two as well but Cleo's tinsel hair put me off and Lagoona's sewn together one piece looking outfit made me go "nooope"

It's a blast from the past seeing the price point though. £14:99, which is what MH dolls cost when they were first launched heh.

18 Jan 2017

Barbie I Can Be Games Designer

Going through old photos I found a bunch of reviews I never wrote. Oops?

so we're doing this one while I edit photos for my next actually recent release review hah.

I bought Games Designer Barbie middle of last year, as a geek gal myself I kinda HAD to support coder Barbie right? And I already have Computer Engineer Barbie (her binary shirt is awesome)

Anyway, this isn't a long review so let's dive right on in without any preamble

7 Jan 2017

Monster High - Ghouls Beast Pet Cleo and Lagoona

Last review I mentioned that I was kinda over Monster High and their reboot, which  may have some of you wondering "But Monk, why are you reviewing more of them then?"
Well truth is, I bought these back in November in Amazon US' black friday sales, with shipping they worked out about £11 each to import and it doesn't look like the UK is ever getting this line. Bummer, because Draculaura has a vampire poodle and it's HILARIOUS and I want that damn poodle so bad.

I had these laying about waiting for me to get off my butt and review em, but other stuff like christmas kept distracting me.