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.

Earlier in the month I got a random message from another Ebay user asking me if I was the person who ran this blog. We struck up a conversation and long story short, the lady messaging me had a bunch of random stuff she wanted shot of and wondered if i'd like to give it a home.

It was a very sweet gesture and a glimmer of good in a pretty bleak time of year so I want to take a moment to thank this lovely lady for the gift. It brought a smile to my face and was very generous and kind.

It is indeed a pretty random pile of stuff. There's 2 complete dolls and a lot of spare parts.

I used to own this Love in Scaris Rochelle but sold her when I did my purge. I'm actually quite happy to have her again because I have found as time goes on, the more I regret selling a few of those dolls. I mean most I don't miss, but every so often i'll think "damnit, why did I sell that?"

Draculaura is the one from the reboot 2 pack with Dracula. She's got a mostly static body and an absolutely horrible outfit that feels like it's made out of that plastic fabric you use for outdoor tablecloths. I mean it's crunchy and plasticky and just ew. But she has a lovely face.
I find reboot drac either looks a bit scary or quite cute.
This one is cute.
She just needs better clothes.

Ghouls alive spectra needs her legs, looks like they clip in so i'm considering just buying her replacement legs and seeing if I can get her working.

Clawdeen seems to work, she needs new batteries but has no arms. In the box were some zombie shake rochelle hands and they kinda work as long gloves lol.

Not sure I can do much with the frankie body, it's really damaged but the torso might be good for something at some point, we'll see.

omg Daring Charming's body... it's even worse in person than I thought. His clothing is all molded on and his shoes don't even come off. What a rip. he's like a big action figure. Gross. I can't believe mattel pulled such a shitty move.. oh wait.. no... this is Mattel, I DO believe it.
I hope his head got a better body and outfit.

THAT is Valentine's SDCC outfit!???

It's such a beautifully made outfit. I mean I really do love this ensemble.

There's also a bunch of spare arms. I send the Clawd ones to a collector who was in desperate need of some hands and the rest i'm sure will find homes with other people in need of hands. Spare arms are always useful to have laying around, just in case and it seemed right to redistribute bits I didn't need to those who did.

Some of these bits went into the neice's christmas bundle heh.

Further to this, lovely lady also sent me a christmas card with an adorable little Evie Love.

Thank you lovely lady! You're an absolute gem.

Meanwhile, i'm still working on those tlc Sindy dolls and finished my third reroot ooak one.

She had some stains so as I always do, I made them into moles heh.

I learned my lesson from my last flocking attempt and painted her scalp before flocking. It made a huge difference.

She's on a disney store doll body with a Lego tyre rammed inside her head to act as a washer. I didn't have any washers but the kids have loads of lego tyres okay?
It actually works pretty well. Her head can still pop off and on again but the tyre/washer holds it in place and allows you to move her without it just falling off.

I painted her eyes as well but for some reason the paint wouldn't stick to one part of one eye so I just left it blue. She has sectorial hetrochromia, whatever.

Punk Sindy stole Valentine's boots and glasses and I think she ROCKS them.

Meanwhile blue Sindy got some Hunter boots. They don't actually fit, I stuffed them with cotton wool lol.
I like the clompy big boots against the large sindy heads, I think it helps balance them out a bit.

While on the subject of Sindy dolls, I also found a tempting bundle on Ebay and have terrible impulse control.

After losing a couple of big bundles of "random clone dolls", I stumbled upon this:

So I admit the first thing that attracted me to this listing was that I recognized Mel, Sindy's dark skinned friend in the pink there.
I have quite a few of the 90s and 2000 Sindy friends and i've always wanted a Mel but she doesn't come up on ebay that often (least not listed as Mel) and she often sells for more than I want to pay for an old Vivid Imaginations doll (I'm stingy okay?)

But I also then noticed the girl who's fallen over (you drunk gal?). That's a pedigree Sindy, I recognise those legs anywhere.

Later in the list of pics there was finally one of her sitting upright but there was zero info about any of the doll's condition or what they were. It was simply a bundle of random used dolls. A bit of a gamble, but I LOVE me a bundle gamble.

Pedigree Sindy's feet looked good, though I couldn't see her hands and had no real way of knowing if she had all her hair. Still, even a tlc sindy from this era is worth a few quid.
I wanted Mel an she looked to be decent.

Also in the bundle was a Vivid Sindy and a Hasbro Sindy, along with a load of barbie dolls, a mary kate/ashley, teen skipper and a stacie.

Also a huge pile of clothing. Some of which i recognised as pedigree era sindy, some as hasbro or vivid sindy and some I know is Barbie. There's even a bratz dress in there!
If it went for cheap enough it'd be worth it I reasoned.

So I put in a cheeky snipe bid and won the whole lot for about £12.

When they arrived I stripped them all off to get a decent look at what we had.
Except Hula hair, because she turned out to have part of her original outfit in the bundle and that tinsel skirt is a pain to get on and off.

Now as it turned out, while most of these are in pretty decent condition, a few do have damage. The Olsen twin has mangled hands but she's a hideous doll anyway so it's no great loss. Seriously she actually freaks me out.

Hula Hair has very er.. "big" hair but is otherwise okay.

the white panties girl is Generation Girl barbie, who it turned out had a few of her original outfit pieces in the bundle too. Her dress, her necklace and her secondary outfit's bodysuit.

Teen Skipper is Yoyo fun skipper. I already own a yoyo fun courtney. The mechanism is a bit annoying but it works. It's a lever in the back that makes the yoyo go up and down. Yeah... what?
Makes her a pain to dress. I might rebody her.

Then there's a Vivid Sindy who I had no way to identify till I noticed she had the same ear holes as Mel.

 These are Mel's ear holes, see how they're in the top of the ear? this is because this is Pop Star Mel, she had a headset on originally.
The Sindy has the same holes and there's a spangly silver sequin hot pants outfit in the bundle so I believe she must be Pop Star Sindy.

Mel's a cute little thing. Her hair is black with auburn streaks and tied up in a high ponytail.
her makeup is very reminiscent of Imani from the Hasbro era, she has a similar rich brown complexion too but I don't THINK it's the same mold. Hasbro era Imani has "olmec" on her head, the company who originally produced her, while the vivid doll has no markings at all.

I'm not sure where my Imani IS currently and I don't want to go climbing to get my boxes down and figure it out. They are quite similar though.

I think Mel is beautiful.

Sadly she DOES have chewed up feet. Very badly chewed up feet in fact. Her left foot was practically dangling off, I glued it to try to preserve it and she has shoes on now which hopefully will protect her toes from further damage.

Little Stacie is intact. She's cute but I am pretty sure I sold all my Barbie family dolls except my small collection of Skipper dolls.

Pedigree Sindy was the girl I was most curious about and wow... I am NOT disappointed.

She was absolutely filthy when I got her out the box but a quick wipe down confirmed more than i'd hoped. She is pretty much immaculate.

Her face and body colour are both bright and unblemished. Her lashes are very full and pristine, her feet and hands have no nibbles at all and her only flaw is that she's got two snipped plugs of hair right at the back of her head. To me it looks like the sort of accidental damage you get deboxing modern dolls who are stapled so tightly to the backing card. I don't know how mid 80s Sindy dolls were fastened into their boxes but maybe that's what happened?

Gosh she's pretty.

She has silvery coloured hair that doesn't photograph that well but is super soft.

Unusually for a Sindy of this era, she has factory pierced ears.

I believe she's probably a Fashion Fun Sindy from around 85, but it's hard to know for sure without original outfit pieces.

The other Barbie dolls are mostly on gymnast style flat foot bodies and pretty boring. I shoved them into clothing that was either original to them or "close enough". Though I never did manage to ID the girl in the crazy print jumpsuit. Her hair sticks right up and is pretty dreadful.

These are the "not staying here" dolls. I don't collect 80s and 90s Barbie dolls, they just don't excite me.

There was ONE Barbie I did decide to keep though, but only because her face was the most unBarbie face i've ever seen on one. She has feathery eyebrows, a closed mouth (I always disliked that open mouth grin of Barbie) and a rather sweet expression. I'd say she kinda looks more Sindy-like to my eye.

I've no idea who she is. She's a flat footed gymnast doll like the others but with static arms and her original ring rammed through her hand (hahaha pierced rings, oh 90s Barbies, into your extreme body mods)
What's weird about her is she has a mechanism inside that LOCKS her hinged knees into position and a little button on the soles of her feet that releases the lock again.
What on earth is the purpose of this? I can't figure it out.
You bend her leg and it clicks into place and locks, holding in bent position. These little buttons then pop out on the soles of her feet and you press them and her leg shoots back to straight position.
when not locked her lower legs clearly have some sort of spring behind them because they kinda kick when you press them back.
She's marked 1993 Mattel Inc Malaysia, if that helps anyone. I couldn't get a decent photo of her knees, they honestly look just like the regular gymnast body hinged knees but with a little metal addition inside the joint.

Speaking of bizarre, the last Sindy doll is a Sindy with Gogo doll. Gogo was a dog, a fluffy white thing that supposedly "walked"

Now I always assumed that the doll must walk too, a but like those walking Tanya dolls with the prams but nope, apparently not. 

She has this little socket in her hand that the lead would have gone into but she has no jointed knees or anything so i'm not sure what's supposed to happen. Does the dog start walking and drag her along behind it like some sort of corpse sled?  I can't find any video footage of this randomness so I can't even begin to imagine how it works to have a static doll and a "walking" doll.

She sadly didn't come with her dog so I don't know if she even still works.
But she's dang weird.

The clothing that came with these was a real mixture of random. Some was vintage Sindy, some was barbie, some was in decent condition, some was falling apart. Some I haven't a clue what doll they even were for as they're too small for Barbie/Sindy but too big for something like Pippa/Dawn and too old to be bratz. Daisy maybe? Or Cassie? I dunno, there's no labels so it's a mystery.

Some of the clothes got donated to charity, the rest went into my clothing stash. One can never have too many doll clothes stashed heh.

The dolls themselves were all dressed with a mixture of clothing from the bundle and stuff from my giant box.

Not sure i'll keep the two later Sindy dolls but I do kinda like how Gogo Sindy looks with her original jumpsuit under a black jacket.

in a fit of nostelgia I also picked up this bundle.

Mostly because since the late 90s i've wanted that damn tree set with the woodland critters damnit!

These are Littlest Pet Shop toys from the mid 90s. I LOVED LPS when I was a kid. they were my THING. I've mentioned them before when I decided to buy a huge load of them a few years ago and spent hours giggling and revelling in childhood memories. Ahh.

Anyway, this bundle had a few sets I already owned but it was cheap and that woodland critters set is really stupidly hard to find.

So I bought it.

Most of the sets aren't complete, they're missing a small piece here or there but this set IS complete. I have this set somewhere. It's from the Zoo spinoff and features a little seal that claps her flippers when you spin the ball.... or something. Two penguins who are supposed to "slide" down the iceburg on little ballbearings in their feet but don't actually do so because the slide isn't slippery enough and a polar bear who chases the fish due to a magnet in both head and fish.

Most of the LPS toys had a gimmick and some honestly worked better than others. The magnet gimmicks mostly work okay, but the others can be pretty hit and miss.

Still, I have fond memories of playing with this set and the Jungle Bunch set that was part of the same line. Sadly my Jungle Bunch set didn't survive the test of time and one of the animals got lost. Alas. But I still have the Polar Pals heh.

This is another Zoo set I owned as a kid. The baby tiger and her cockatiel friend. Gotta ask what sort of zoo just lets the animals bunk together, surely the tiger would eat the bird?

This set is missing the little ball the tiger is supposed to bat at.
It's also never had the stickers put on it which is odd.

This is the baby Zebra set. I had this too. Mine lost the mouse because let's face it, that thing is tiny. This set is missing the pink brush.
The zebra kicks his or her foot when you roll the wheel hidden in his mane.
It works fairly well.

Again the stickers were never put onto this set either. All the zoo pets came with a little label sticker that said what animal they were and like all the lps of this era, a little space to write the name.
I never wrote the name on them, I just remembered the names.
Sadly 20+ years has rather dulled my memory of what the heck I named these things.
I do remember these two. Speedy and Mouse and Zoom the Zebra haha.

Another Zoo set. this one is missing most of her stuff. I never had this set. The small budget set zoo pets were a line I just never bothered to get and i'm not sure why as I got all the other zoo sets.

She raises an arm when you push her head, she's supposed to look like she's "drinking" her cup of honey. Or something.

This one is the euro variant zoo falcon. The US and most other countries got a brightly coloured parrot but I think I actually prefer the falcon. He's pretty.

He flaps his wings when you press on his head but this is a really fragile mechanism. The petshop toucan had the same gimmick and I remember vividly when mine broke, the leg snapped off. My father put a teeny tiny pin in there and reattached it but it wasn't quite the same, I KNEW she was crippled.
Poor toucan.

This set isn't very well designed I don't think. I mean, the bird can ONLY perch on the cactus but if it's on the cactus the lid can't go on so what's the point?
It's bizarre to me.
Why would you keep a bird in a glass tank anyway?
this is a reused tank from the lizard petshop set and seems a pretty weird choice for a bird.

This set is however complete. 

This is a set I never had. It's from the later era when the gimmicks got a bit TOO gimmicky and the "pets" definition got stretched pretty thin. I mean this was the era that introduced the farm animals for the petting zoo, some ducks, some frogs and... this...
It's missing a seahorse.

The octopus is adorable though.

You're supposed to put hot water in one side and cold in the other and the pets change colour (or.. one of them did?) but as there's no lid that just seems really really messy and asking for a wet kid and floor.

I was never big into fish and such as a kid so the fishtank sets never interested me. That's why I didn't have this set.

Though I have to admit, as an adult, that little octopus delights me. I freaking love octopus.

There's also a few random incomplete sets and random pets that don't go with anything. The kids have stolen them to play with and I can't really be mad because there's something really delightful about watching my own children enjoy the toys I loved at their ages.
I think it says a lot about the design of these toys that they can still delight modern children. they're simple and yet, despite all their digital this and that, my kids still sit and play with old as heck toys.
It's wonderful.
But that's why no photos, the kids ran off with them and I didn't have the heart to take them away to take pictures lol.

But of course THIS is the set I bought this bundle for.

it's not complete, the flowers that slot into the base are missing but the animals are all there and that's the main thing.

This is again of the era of "how is this even a pet?"
the zoo lot was a bit random but at least they were listed as "littlest pet shop zoo" (great now I have the jingle stuck in my head bah). These and other similar "wild animal" sets were still listed as littlest pet shop and I find that weird. Skunks, raccoons and squirrels are NOT good pets. I don't think we should be encouraging kids to try to keep them as pets.
Ducks made more sense, some people DO keep pet ducks. (my grandfather had a pet duck, apparently the railway workers nearby ate it because it was so tame it was easy to catch. Who the hell eats someone's pet duck? Assholes.)

Anyway this is part of the Chatter Pet line. There's a button on the base that should make noise if you press it but it no longer works.
I remember my bff at the time had a lot of these, she didn't have this set but she did have the birds who made noise, and the frogs and the ducks and a lot of the really random late kenner releases.
We both stopped collecting when Kenner made all the toys sparkly, pink and a bit more like MLP with brushable hair and crap.
It was too much NOT littlest Pets.

I dunno why but this chirpy tree friend set just always struck me as adorable. I dunno, woodland critters are cute and endearing okay?
Even though growing up in NZ I had never seen any of these animals, not even a squirrel.

It's funny because every so often I find myself trawling back through old Kenner LPS releases and thinking "dang, I want that set... and that one." but gosh they're hard to find here in the UK.

Top of my list are the beautiful sparkling sets. One set had huskeys with a sled. My friend had that, I was so jealous. The other set had cats with a little pond and pagoda thing. Oh sooo cute man.
The water features light up and "twinkle" or something and the kid inside me pines for them.

I'm sure i'll end up adding more of these to my collection in time.

I also hit a JACKPOT in the charity shop with this girl.

We'd gone into the next town over because husband had a job center appointment there and while browsing in BHF I spotted a boxed doll behind all the other toys in a very high shelf.
I got husband to get her down and before he'd even handed her to me i gasped "I KNOW what that is!!!"

She's a J-doll. She was £5.

She's never been removed from her box.

and she's absolutely gorgeous.

J-doll were made by Jun PLanning and later Groove, the same companies who make Pullip dolls. In fact J-dolls used Pullip bodies, just a smaller head.
Like pullips they were produced in fairly limited runs, very expensive to buy new and came with incredibly detailed outfits and accessories.

She's absolutely tiny and petite, standing only about 10 inches tall her head is more similar a size to a modern Barbie doll, but with these teeny little inset eyes. 

I'm actually too nervous to open her because i've heard the stories about how fragile these pullip bodies are. She's safe inside her box and so for the time being, inside the box she shall stay.
I'm seldom much of a "keep in box" kinda person but I really don't want to deal with broken ankles that plague these dolls.

So i'm afraid you'll have to make do with her stock photo

Such a sweet girl.

The lady in the shop said they had some others earlier in the week (damn) but they weren't the same, they were "really small". From her description I suspect they were Ai dolls which is a bummer because those would have been a neat find too. 

Still, i've always kinda wanted a J-doll but never felt happy paying the £50+ they go for on Ebay. Just, nooope.
Too small, too fragile for that sort of money.

Oh but she's so beautiful.

Maybe one day i'll be brave enough to debox her, but for now, i'm happier leaving her in her packaging where small hands and cats can't get her.

Finally this month I snagged another doll i'd been eyeing for a while.
My Best Friend Sakura.

She was really cheap because she's missing her key fob and the remote for her uh... segwey... thing?

Sakura is a robot doll and an interactive toy. She's about Barbie height but a lot chunkier and fairly heavy due to her electronics.Most of which seem to her held in her backpack.

She has a molded on backpack with a little charge port and an on/off switch.

When turned on she introduces herself, her eyes light up and she starts to giggle. From what I can establish, she seems to respond to sound so as you talk at her, or in my case just yell "BOO" repeatedly, she speaks a series of random phrases like "sensors detect someone is baking, I hope it's cookies." and "What is your favourite animal? I like kittens."

The segwey/hoverboard thing she comes with weighs a lot, I believe it's remote controlled and can actually be driven around. Sakura slots into it securely with two pegs that go into her feet and it makes a good little stage but it doesn't wheel around without the remote. The wheels don't turn if you push it.

I'm not sure what the screen on the segwey or Sakura's neck do either, neither light up when you turn her on so maybe they're related to the remote control functions which I can't access due to not having the remote?

Sakura has very limited articulation. Her knees hinge but only bend a little. Her elbows barely bend at all. She has a bust joint but again, it doesn't have much motion in it.

She can really look UP though. Her head is on some sort of ball socket.

She can't move on her own though, so no robot movement from this robot girl.

Still from what I can establish by reading up online, she was some sort of interactive toy much like a magic eight ball coupled with an electronic diary. She played "games" which sound like simple simon style games, magic 8 ball "future telling", spoke a series of random non sequitur statements and questions, could "dance" (as in, wheel around on her crazy rc stage) and with the key fob, she'd even "keep your secrets".
I have never understood girls and their NEED to document things they never want anyone to find out. Surely the best way to keep a secret is to NOT WRITE IT DOWN in the first bloody place right?
and this is probably why I didn't get on that well with other girls growing up lol. They make no sense to me.


Youngest son has taken a bit of a shine to Sakura. He keeps asking to play with her and she seems to have withstood him flying her around the room.
In a way I kinda wish I had the remote because I think he'd get a kick out of that too.
Oh well.

You can watch her tv advert here:


Of course, my own little mad roboticist had to meet Sakura.

Harris wasn't impressed at how much taller than him she was. Though after the initial intimidation he insisted that her adorable face and pinkness was in fact the perfect way to hide a nefarious killbot.

I don't think I should leave them near one another.... I fear he'll try to reprogram her into some sort of fembot with laser vision and missiles.

And so that's my pre christmas roundup.

I have two reviews coming soon. One is an older toy, the other is brand new and just arrived today. Husband is already pawing at the box and wanting to open it hah.
She's MINE! back off! *swats*

So stay tuned for that.

And here's to a better new year. At least in terms of interesting toys.


  1. It's OK to be sad or have negative thoughts around the holidays it's a massive barrage of "you should have this family and you should have this food and you should have this stuff" and it's exhausting.
    Chrimbo music makes me miserable at best, murderous at worst. Too much schmaltz.

    £5 J doll holy googly moogly!
    The Sakura robot looks like it totally could be used for assasinations with a smile and a cheerful greeting. Good addition to the galactic crew.

  2. So instead of the usual seasonal greetings I'll just wish you Happy Toy Hunting?
    Great finds, especially the cheap J-Doll! Having five of them on the old style of body with no serious issues, I'd say it's safe to debox her. Most of the time it's just their hands or ankles that crack but you can fix that with superglue, move around while it dries to keep the mobility.
    The robot creeps me out. I'd paint details with luminous paint and put it in the guest bedroom.

  3. Maybe stay offline and just keep doing what you love during the season.
    I'm actually spending my New Year alone for the first time, but it's ok. It'll pass.

    You're so lucky with that J-Doll!!! And it's the first time I've seen that robot.

  4. I believe the 'crazy print jumpsuit' originally came with Hot Skatin' Barbie.
    Signed, Treesa

    1. I think you're right. And the one with the mechanical legs is apparently a diving barbie lol. Gotta love the internet for helping id things. Thanks!

  5. half my family doesn't even celebrate holidays and the half that does is really crappy at it. I love your reviews by the way.