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.
(not my photo)
My first troll ever was bought back in I dunno, 1994 or something? She was this one, Born to Ski. I don't know why I fell in love with her, but I saw her in a shop called "Suprises" which usually sold crystals and new age tat and I just NEEDED to have her.
As I recall she was fairly expensive, but I had pocket money saved so my parents let me buy the weird troll thing.
From there an obsession developed.
I bought trolls whenever I saw them, i'd agonize over which ONE I could get. I recall that at the time they were often shipped in big boxes of random assortments, so it wasn't always easy to find the exact one you wanted.
My dad got me a graduation one for when I finished primary school (aww), I had one with two toned hair in a jumper and no pants (trolls often had no pants) who i'd put on layaway in a bookshop because I loved her hair. They all had names but i'll be damned if I can remember them, unlike the littlest pets I didn't play with my trolls so much with friends, I was a wierd kid who played silently in my room with my toys, playing the narrative through my head instead of out loud. So it's likely nobody except me ever knew the names of those trolls. Alas.
I had a big plush one, I had small candy filled ones, I had baby ones, grown up ones (who had boobs, it was freaky), every size and shape and colour.
I collected them for years, until the craze died out and they stopped being easily available.
Getting to the point
Now, Zelfs came out in 2013... ish. They had 13 medium sized zelfs, 1 limited edition one you had to send away for, 6 big ones and 36 blind bagged tinies which were all variations on the medium characters.
They were £5:99 for the mediums, a price they remained at right till the end which is nice. It was a great pocket money sort of price.
The mediums were the primary collector size, the small ones being a blind bag sort of thing (they looked like pencil toppers to me) and the large ones being just a bit too big.
Every season they released another wave. Another dozen or so characters in the medium size and a few new ones in the large.
I admit, I never paid any attention to the tinies, they just weren't my cup of tea.
I think the large ones were about £10.
the tinies were about £2 for a blind plant pot (cute)
I bought the medium ones here and there when i saw them, but never enough of any one season to redeem for the Limited Edition one. Drat.
but they were cute and while I couldn't justify a huge collection of them, there were always one or two from each series I liked enough to bring home.
The price point really helped with the impulse buying. Ahem.
Series 6 came out some time last year, but I only ever saw them in stores once at the beginning of this year. I brought home the werewolf zelf from the few they still had on the shelf in Asda.
It wasn't till I was talking to someone about Zelfs recently I started thinking about them again and how we hadn't really seen them on shelves for a while. B&M have some older series (I think it's 4) in for cheap but that's about the only place i've seen them of late. I had a look online and found out they'd been officially discontinued at the beginning of 2016. Bummer.
But this meant series 6 was the last series, and likely weren't ever going to hit shelves like i'd expected.
So I went online. Character's website sells a lot of stuff and they happened to have 4 of the ones I liked the look of for retail price. So I added those to my cart and paid.
unfortunately a day later a very nice lady from Character emailed to say they'd messed up their stock count and didn't have any stock of two of the zelfs i'd ordered. bummer.
I asked them to send the other two anyway, which they did.
and then started to search for the two they'd be unable to source.
I couldn't find anyone with stock of the ghost zelf for a price I was willing to pay (£14 for a toy that cost £5:99 is taking the piss okay?) but I did find one Character had no stock of when i'd looked, the Gargoyle one, and the other one i'd wanted that character had messed up their stock on.
So it worked out.
Anyway, I ordered the other two from Amazon and the whole lot arrived the same day.
I'd been waiting for a chance to open the werewolf and unicorn ones i'd had sitting on my desk since the beginning of the year (i'm a real slacker okay?) so now seemed a good time to do just that and do a big massive box opening.
so here they all are!
I was always a bit selective with my Zelfs. They did a lot that were pretty similar looking, lots of pink fairyish stuff which isn't my thang.
But I do like me some dark colours and some monstery zelfs.
So here we have 4 series 6 standard zelfs. A Cyrstal Gemz zelf from a much earlier wave and Crystal Wishes which was released alongside series 6.
The bigger boxed zelfs come with a sort of doorway thing and some embedded sparkley gem on them which hikes the price to £7:99. I don't really see the point of the doors but eh.
All four standard Zelfs com with this little poster leaflet, the original series had "leaf"lets which was hilarious to me. I'm pleased to say the big set ones still have puntastic leaflets.
regular series don't though, just a poster.
This is all the series 6 Zelfs, along with a few carried over from last season which they always do.
Taleen, joy drop, batrina, sneak a boo and rose anne i'm pretty sure are series 5 zelfs. not sure about finley but he probably is too.
Sadly the Limited edition centaur zelf was super limited and only available for about 2 months after the release of series 6. Dang.
the redemption link refers to a TMNT contest now. Oops.
I think it's pretty confusing there's a SNEAK-a-boo and a PEEK-a-boo, that's just asking for trouble with confused parents.
But let's dive into this pile of Zelfs already! First up, the one who's been sitting waiting to be opened the longest. Howlie the "Wolf Zelf".
There was actually a werewolf zelf as well waaaay back in series uh.. 1 or 2. She was called Howlette.
As the series went on they got a bit more creative in their detailing of these things.
They still have their little bios on the back along with fabitat, power, a little quote and a birthday.
I don't understand these birthdays, I thought they were just random but it turns out Howl At the moon day is a thing... a made up holiday thing. http://www.howlatthemoon.com/national-howl-at-the-moon-day/ I'm ... so confused.
Also, is it just me or does a "hair lair" sound kinda... itchy.
his quote is kinda.. random. I don't get it but whatever. I don't think there's any pun or anything here, it just.. is.
The blister packs are taped up one side and then glued so they're a bit annoying to open.
Then the poor little zelfs have an elastic garotte around their neck you need to remove.
Howlie has blue inset eyes and grey "skin" with a fur texture. His hair is a lovely pale blue with a grey "wolf pelt" section in the middle which has black stripes in it.
His tail is also fur.
He's so fuzzzy
He comes with a comb in glittery semi opaque green plastic and a swirly hair thing.
It has a wolf head at the bottom of it.
Next one is Skylanna. Who's a pretty pink and blue dragon. She kinda reminds me of a luck dragon hah.
Apparently she's a "sky dragon", whatever that is. her power is Fun.
http://www.donitakpaul.com/fun/aadd/ Appreciate a dragon day is a thing... yeah.
Now THIS one has a pun quote! So... what the heck? Why don't they all have pun quotes?
Skylanna is a very soft strawberry milkshake pink with baby blue bits, blue inset eyes and these cool transparent blue wings with feather design.
Her hair is blue with a white streak.
She has moulded dragon feet, four horns and a tail with a plume at the end of it. the wings are rubbery so they're a bit flexible to squish.
There's a zelf logo on the butt cheek heh. They all have those.
Her whole body is textured with scales, which is neat.
She has the standard leaf shaped comb and a purple hair swirl thing with a dragon head on it.
Not sure why it's purple, it doesn't go with any of her colours.
She's even got a special dragon snout sculpt for her face.
Next is Gar-Girl, who's a puntastically named gargoyle.
She's a Gargoyle Zelf and her power is loyalty.
I didn't get a picture of her quote but it's puntastic as well. You can see it in the picture of her box.
Which makes Howlie's make less and less sense.
They just couldn't come up with a wolf pun themed around bravery?
Her birthday is Old Rock Day http://www.crystalsandgemstones.com/2016/01/07/old-rock-day/ You're welcome.
Gar-girl is a wierd yellowy cream colour. I think she'd have been a bit better if she were grey, does stone even come in this strange yellowy butter colour? I dunno.
She has pink eyes and pink and white hair with gold tinsel through it. The tinsel stuff sticks out in random directions randomly, it's a bit annoying.
She has embedded speckles like Monster High Rochelle does, which is cool. And then over that there's these dotty textures on her belly and face that honestly? look a bit like acne scars lol. Or she stuck a waffle iron or something on herself.
Seems a bit odd.
Anyway, she had pink frills on each leg for some reason, pink blushing on her knees, stomach and inner ears, some moulded cracks on her ear and pink bat wings.
She has two horns in the middle of her head and a long dragony tail with a sort of fanned bit at the end. It amazes me how many different tails Zelfs have. Like, they could just reuse the same one every time but they don't, they change it up.
I'd need to go through all however many there are and see how many duplicates there are of each body part.
She has 3 toed feet too, while regular zelfs have 4 toes.
Her wings are one piece and rubbery. They're just solid pink, no speckles or anything.
Her hair thingie is pink with studs/dots on and a gargoyle head.
Finally there's Moon Flight, who's a "twilight butterfly", but those antennae are clearly freaking moth antennae. Sure you can get night butterflies and day moths, but generally night butterflies aren't butterflies, they're fricken moths.
She has the power... of DANCE! whooooo.
and lives in a lamp post. Sounding more and more like A MOTH Moose toys.
https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/stay-up-all-night-night/ her birthday is stay up all night night... or.. day? argh, confusing.
But yeah, Moose really enjoyed trawling for obscure non holidays huh?
She's a wonderfully rich shade of purple. We need to see more dark purple in toys man.
Her antennae are quite obviously moth antennae. they're feathery.
She has this ornate sort of fairy-like makeup and a big moon on her chest.
She has huge wings.
Her hair is sort of teal, pink and black streaked.
Her eyes are pink.
The teal streaks are only at the front of her hair.
The wings have all these swirls and vines all over them. They're semi opaque and rubbery in blue and pink.
I don't know if these wings are reused because I only own one other fairy/butterfly/moth zelf and she's in a box somewhere upstairs. But from looking at photos online, it looks like just with the tails, Moose had an awfully large collection of different wing molds.
Wierd, but awesome.
I mean there's no real reason they HAD to have such variety, but that attention is cool.
Her antennae things are rubbery as well. all the clear rubbery blue bits have embedded glitter.
Her hair spiral thing is pink too, a very similar pink to Gar-Girl, it's a bit darker and more fushia maybe? there's a butterfly or moth on it and some sort of faint pattern on the spirally bit. I think it's just abstract swirls
So that's the four series 6 Zelfs. Every single one has a different face, a different leg mould and unique ears. two are blue eyed, two are pink eyed.
Gar-girl and Moon-flight have the same arms I think.
Next up is Moonicorn, who's a crystal gemz (poor literacy is kool remember?) zelf.
The Crystal Gem set was released well over a year ago, I kept passing on getting Moonicorn even though I thought he... or she? was cute with the super dark purple skin.
This set all came with a random playset piece or uh.. habitat? They also did a series of scented ones who came with a random playset chair or something but I never got any of them.
The Crystal Gem set is all sleep themed.
There were 6 zelfs in this set who all were given the theme of protecting your dreams.
It's kinda cute, there's a little blurb about how you pick a zelf to protect you while you sleep, that said, is that suggesting sleeping without a zelf means you're gonna die?
Man, dark Moose... dark.
These sets have "leaf"lets, and I always thought these were cute.
The 6 zelfs in the set include a teddy bear, an angel and a sugar bunny lol.
i'm not sure what the wizard has to do with dreams. I mean angels, sandman, unicorns and teddies I can justify... even rabbits because a lot of kids have plushie rabbits but a wizard? seems random.
Also notice that only three of them have their "fabitat" listed? printing error? the first three haven't got their power, birthday or habitats. Wierd.
Moonicorn's birthday is just a pun. Dreamcember? that's so forced.
Also lol, the sandman sleeps on a bench!
The other side of the leaflet is just the same image as the back of the box.
Moonicorn's a unicorn zelf and his power is sweet dreams.
I wonder then what sugar bunny's dreams are...
Moonicorn has yellow eyes and very very dark purple skin with lighter purpley blue bits around the eyes and the tips of the ears.
there are random pink coloured gems on his hips and ears. I dunno, presumably because the set is called crystal gems? no.. gemz. Eugh.
Her has a blue gem in his chest with a sort of horse shoe shape in it.
he has a rooted fibre tail, it looks like nylon or something, which is interesting. It's very curly and it kinda just sticks upright all weird.
His hair is candy floss pink.
It's kinda a shame he doesn't have hoof feet. He has the standard 4 toed zelf feet.
His "fabitat" is seriously just a door. Two doors that are supposed to be the entrance to a stable. I suppose it makes a cute little stand thing? I dunno, it's kinda random.
He doesn't come with a comb, which is interesting.
And finally we have Noodles.
Noodles is actually a "super" (large) zelf who finally got a medium release. A lot of people collected only medium sizes, but there were several interesting characters brought in as large size only. The teddy bear from crystal gemz was a large zelf first I think, and so was this guy.
his large zelf was quite different. He had gold feet and horns and his hair was pink in the middle, blue on the outside.
He was a "Chinese Dragon" zelf. Which raised some eyebrows because he's called Noodles and apparently that could be seen as a bit rude or something. I dunno, makes me think of Gorillaz personally.
This set is "Crystal Wishes" and all the zelfs are wish themed. There's a genie, a mermaid, a fortune teller, another unicorn... it's a bit more cohesive than the last set.
And there's still 6 of them and the leaflet actually has full details for each. No printing errors here.
I find the description really strange though. Crystal Genie? Cystal Cupid? Cystal High Tail? Crystal Noodles?
The last two very much feel like their product description got mixed with their zelf type.
High Tail should read "unicorn zelf" surely? And Noodles should read "Chinese Dragon" like his super zelf did... right? Instead he's listed as "crystal noodles" and wtf even is that?
I take it back, printing errors galore!
Also two of them share a birthday. Feb 14th is both valentines day AND make a friend day? oookay.
https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/fortune-cookie-day/ Noodles birthday is fortune cookie day... yeah... why do these days exist?
I want to show the sides of the boxes here, wtf is going on with Noodles art?
Like Moonicorn, Noodles has no comb.
He has pink eyes, pink nubby horns, blue face frills (axolotl!) and blue clawed toes.
His hair is blue and pink.
He has moulded on gold bits and a gem in the middle of his forehead.
His tail is different to everyone else's again, with moulded on bits that look like maybe they should have been painted gold.
He has scales moulded all over except the blue parts.
he back of his belt isn't painted, which is a shame. His zelf tat is gold though heh.
But see those three bands on the tail? those must be intended to be gold. I might have to paint them some time.
He has little claws on the back of his feet too.
Here he is with the other dragon. They both have blue feet and those dragony toes, but nothing else is the same. Noodles has a completely different tail, the belly section has a sort of furry flame thing going on rather than the turtle belly Skylanna has, and noodles has normal zelf hands, not claws.
He also has no ears.
Noodles' tail is really long, much longer than the other tailed zelfs I have.
And so there's my two cystal whatever zelfs.
Moonicorn and Noodles.
A small gang of zelfs. What's the collective noun for zelfs? A cluttering?
And this is the carnage left behind bwhahahahaha.
I'm gonna miss zelfs. I wasn't an avid collector but they were charming affordable little things. It's a shame to see them go.