11 Aug 2018

a brief break from the purge

Never fear, I AM still selling stuff. To see the things i've got for sale please check out http://flyingpurplemonkfish.blogspot.com/2018/08/ramping-it-up-on-sales-posts.html

But while I slowly and steadily save up for expensive stuff, I also encountered some interesting things in the charity shop today and being weak as I am, a couple of dollies came home with me (I KNOW i'm WEAK!)

2 Aug 2018

Ramping it up on the sales posts.

OKay I know I got all angsty and blah but days passed and I couldn't stop thinking about those damn dolls.
And if you can't get an idea out of your head, how do you lay it to bed?

So I contacted a few dealers in a last ditch effort thinking "okay, if it's utterly impossible then I can let it go" but it turned out it wasn't quite so impossible as I imagined.

It's going to be bloody difficult certainly, but I now have ACTUAL costs in front of me:

26 Jul 2018

The PURGE - part 2

Here we go, the boxes at the top of the wardrobe!

I did an intial pass over them but if I don't sell enough stuff I may do another more in depth purge. I'd rather not have to though, i'm running low on stuff i'm okay with parting with.

25 Jul 2018

The PURGE - Part 1

Here we go! The purge begins!

This is the boxes at the bottom of my wardrobe, which were the ones I didn't need a chair to access.

Prepare yourself for a lot of uncropped pictures because i'm in a hurry and don't wanna edit pics.

It's time for another purge.

Some readers may wonder, "How does she afford all these dolls?" right?
Well the truth is, often I can't. I pass on a lot of things because I simply cannot afford it.

The budget is tight. I get £75 a month to spend on frivolous junk, which generally in my case means dolls dolls and more dolls. This used to go a long way, but these days it really doesn't go far at all.
Playline prices are absolutely sky high with fashion dolls coming it at around £20 or more for anything even vuagely interesting and I just cannot justify it.

Meanwhile the dolls I like to buy right now, things like bjds and high end collectable dolls are well over £100 EACH. So that means if I want a bjd or something of a similar price I have to save like heck and find money in other places.

Now, often I get money from inlaws and relatives for my birthday and christmas which will get me one or two dolls depending on deals or offers etc, but outside of those times I have to scrape together what I can by selling stuff I already have.

I trawl charity shops for vintage and collectable items, not just for myself but also to sell. Sometimes I find something I desperately wanted or fall in love with, other times I find something I KNOW is worth something to the right people and just needs the right audience.
But i'm not an expert at all dolls and often I do pass on stuff and later realise it was gold (like disney dolls, argh. I do NOT know much about disney dolls and i've missed several absolute treasures as a result)

While I might hit gold every so often though, the majority of the stuff I sell comes from my own collection. Stuff i've held onto for years that's all stacked in boxes in my closet because I don't have the display space.
Every so often I have to do a purge because a big expense comes up, there's something big I want and I cannot make the money the standard way (waiting a month) in time.

this is one such occassion.

27 Jun 2018

Lottie, Mia and Sammi by Arklu

This is a very long in waiting review omg.

Lottie first hit shelves way back in late 2012, a British doll made like so many, to make a statement. Unlike many who've come before and since, Lottie's marketing wasn't all about bashing Barbie and calling her a slut (cough cough, lammily cough) or such, but rather focused on what kids actually wanted to play with.
It was a simple idea, parents wanted more wholesome dolls and kids wanted a companion to go on adventures with.

The made Lottie small to better fit into the hands of the children she was made for, and of course it doesn't hurt that this also means she's far more portable and easy to take out and about.

16 Jun 2018

Hasbro Lost Kitties blind bag series 1

So Hasbro finally got in on the "blind bags that aren't MLP" thing.
A bit late to the party but hey, new blind bag toys are interesting.

These are currently on special promotional offer most places, buy 1 get 1 free as part of their launch. They retail at £5 so that's £2:50 each on special offer, which was too tempting to pass up so yeah... they came home with me lol.

This won't be a long review but i'll dive right in with these.

10 Jun 2018

It's roundup time!

Well start of May I put in payment for another bjd, which i'm not gonna tell you about till he arrives HAH.

But that coupled with the Beasts of the Mesozoic meant I haven't had much money for the past month or so that's not been earmarked for something else.

Of course, I have poor impulse control so that hasn't stopped me buying stuff. So long as i'm not in my overdraft it's fiiiiine, right?

6 Jun 2018

Creative Beast Studio - Beasts of the Mesozoic Raptor series

Omg dinosaurs.

So, okay... back when I was like, 7, I was OBSESSED with paleontology, it was my JAM man. Anyone who asked me what I wanted to be, I wanted to dig up dinosaur bones man! it was so cool.

I had, no joke, the largest collection of dinosaur toys of any kid at my school and regularly brought them in for show and tell.
One time, my mother, who was an estate agent sold a house to a guy who was a real life paleontologist who agreed to meet me. He gave me fossils! For years my most prized possession was a fossilised tree stump roughly the size of my own head.

And of course, as most kids who love dinos do, I had a favourite dinosaur which I suspect is partially if not completely the fault of Jurrassic park. Velociraptors.
Let's face it, they're awesome. Small, fast, smart and stabby.
And as we now know, feathery too! Like angry buzzards.

Of course the toy market, and indeed movies, seem reluctant to actually embrace this current scientific understanding and the general public seem to freak out at the idea of "birds being scary" and it's like guys? have you never tried to have a picnic near geese? have you never been chased across a park by a very angry swan? have you SEEN emus?!
People who say birds aren't scary are idiots, birds are terrifying. Birds with TEETH are even scarier.

He's gonna eat your fucking FACE!

Anyone who claims feathers make dinosaurs less scary is a fool, and I bet would change their mind once one started chewing on them.

 Anyway, the scarcity of scientifically accurate dinosaurs, particularly raptors, in the marketplace was something that mattered to people, not just me. And so that's where Creative Beast comes in. Over 2 years ago they started a crowdfunding page for just that, feathery raptors at 1/6 scale.
Of course they absolutely SMASHED their goal and since then have been tinkering away trying to get out the perfect product.
It's taken a while, but they FINALLY arrived and omg i'm so excited.

31 May 2018

Makies pt 3

The final part of the Makies retrospective! Whooo

Let's get into this.

15 May 2018

Makies pt 2

Next 10, oh yeah.

So last time I talked about getting started into the obsession, this time i'm waaaay down that rabbit hole and i've got no hope of coming back up again lol.

I had 10 Makies now, and not a lot else was being released that interested me. So what does one do when they have a small wad of cash and nothing else to buy? you got it, buy a load of Makies.

Especially when the lab kept putting on sales!

11 May 2018

Makies - A retrospective, because I can.

This month on Instagram there was a hashtag challenge inspired by the other "meet the maker/meet the whatever" tags. #maymeetthemakies. Organised by Sioux from Littlemoo, it was a great chance for Makie fans to get back together and start posting pictures again.
The community has been rather denuded and quiet since the final demise of Makielabs back in 2016.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind of emotions for me. Some massive nostelgia remembering the great feeling of a new doll and working on each and every character, but also some real lows remembering how nastily my involvement in the community turned toward the end when I was finally banned from the "official" group.
Some residual resentment and hurt boiled up thinking about them and how things went down, and a lot of regret and sadness.

But I love Makies, I always will.

They were a great idea, just sadly a little too ahead of their time, and marketed to totally the wrong audience (kids rather than adults with disposable income)

Maybe one day the idea of customisable completely one of the kind dolls will be more accessible, cheaper and more accepted by the toy industry.

Until then, I treasure each of my Makies and remember fondly the arrival and each and every one.

So that's what i'm gonna talk about today. it's my blog and i'll flog a dead horse if I wanna! HAH. (seriously i'm trying to cut back on buying new stuff so expect more retrospectives and vintage finds and such for a while)

This month as well as Maymeetthemakies on instagram I also did "a makie a day" on facebook. So here it is here too. I'm gonna do it in 3 installments. 1-10 now, 11-20 on the 20th and then at month end 20-31.. or 32... I have 32 dolls okay?
Because otherwise it won't load with all the photos. There's gonna be a LOT of photos. Prepare yourself, for the great Makies retrospective!

8 May 2018

Forces of Destiny - Leia and Wicket Endor deluxe set

Omg, it's an actual review!

I actually opened this doll a few weeks ago, i'm just a lazy bum and hadn't gotten around to uploading it.

See, when this set hit the UK stores were asking a frankly ludicrous £50 for it! like wtf were they all smoking? Ridiculous. Especially when  you consider the US prices were nowhere near that. Sometimes I honestly think toy companies just WANT to fail in the UK market the way they price stuff, that or they're all blithering idiots and think we're all loaded over here.
Either way, i'm pretty fed up of being price gouged by retailers with their absolutely obscene RRP nonsense.

Fifty quid is ridiculous.

But it's not a problem unique to Hasbro. Mattel do it, MGA do it, they all bloody do it. Man, if only we brits were that rich, sheesh.


as a result I was waiting for the price of the set to come down because i'm not bloody made of money and i'm not paying that sort of price for a bloody playline doll.
I could buy a sodding Pullip for that!
So when Amazon finally got their shit together and dropped the price to a far more tolerable £15:99 (having already dropped to £30 which is what she SHOULD have cost in the first bloomin' place!) I pounced.

28 Apr 2018

Another random roundup.

April came and went and the two things I was saving for never materialised. Bummer.

Maybe next month.

I don't like Limited releases because they mess up my budgeting. I can't like, put them back on the wishlist because I have to get them WHEN they're released or never get them, which is highly stressful when there's other stuff tempting you and you've got limited funds.
Oh wouldn't it be nice to have unlimited cash?


I didn't go without this month anyway. I bought a few small bits here and there, and opened a few things I had laying about at long last too. So here's a random assortment of STUFF. Whoo?

9 Apr 2018

Charity roundup - Voodoo bears, art bears, Descendants 2 and more

I'm supposed to be saving up for two things this month, but I managed to sell some stuff and very little keeps me away from charity shops. I'm addicted.

So here's the secondhand stuff i've bought in the past 3 or 4 weeks.

17 Mar 2018

Hasbro Equestria Girls reboot - Applejack

I had an appointment at the dental hospital last week (I think I mentioned this in a previous review) and so I went to Smyths for the first time ever.
It was an.. experience.

Our nearest Smyths from home is like nearly 2 hours away so it's not exactly somewhere I can go to realistically, but I was in central london anyway so what was another 40 minutes to Greenwich?

Our local supermarket hasn't got new toys in for a while so this was the first time i'd seen the new Equestria Girls in person, and I had my pick of a whole case or two.

What was curious about the assortment was that while they had a good dozen or more on the shelf, they were mostly Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and a couple of Rainbow Dash. They had Two Applejacks and ONE Rarity. Wth?
Sunset shimmer seems to be the one easier to find and I admit, I was tempted by her. she looks cool but I decided to go with Applejack because I have a small collection of Applejacks (for some reason) and she was one of the scarcer ones.
Even Amazon when they listed these up didnt' included Applejack at first. Wth?

Since this trip i have seen her in stores a few times though, so i'm not really sure how the case assortments are shipping. They seem to be pretty random.

9 Mar 2018

Monster High - Monster Family - Wolf family

So when I elected to boycott Mattel I knew there would be a few things they released that I wanted, but would feel horribly dirty about buying at full price or indeed at retail in general.
So I made a deal with myself.
If I really wanted something, as in, after a few months I still really wanted it and it wasn't a passing whim, and if I had vouchers, a big sale was on or better yet, i found it secondhand on ebay etc, then I could just about manage to break my boycott and not feel too bad about it.

And so for months i've been sitting, waiting for the price of the Monster Family dolls to drop but they never bloody do.
They sit at full price, mocking me with their overpricedness. Bah.(seriously £25 for 2 static bodied dolls is a bloody joke)

That was until last week.

I stumbled upon an ebay listing for the Wolf family 3 pack, a set I ONLY wanted one doll out of and couldn't justify getting for just one dang doll. But it was a kinda squished up box and listed at half retail or thereabouts.
So I bought it.
Hey, the money already went to Mattel so it's not like i'm giving them my money, i'm giving a nice ebay seller my money instead.
Least that's how I rationalize it.

However, having purchased this I felt even more like I really SHOULD get Pawla, who i'd been watching the price of for months and months and cursing her refusal to drop below £9 on amazon.
Meanwhile everywhere else sold out or removed her listings and as reboot Monster High isn't sold in stores over here (tru had some but tru's gone bust and all closing down so yeah... no new monster high for the UK) i knew if I didn't get her on amazon i'd probably miss my chance completely. And it'd drive me INSANE to have Barker but not Pawla.

Thankfully I had a wad of Amazon vouchers i'd gained from doing bugger all on Swagbucks (shameless referral link)
I love Swagbucks, it's basically free money, seriously. You CAN do surveys if you want, or watch ads, or do any of the other stuff on their site but all I do is have their search engine as my default one and every so often a random search will give me points. Doing this (which involves literally zero effort once you've set it up) means I can get a £5 Amazon voucher about every 3 months, and that is SWEEEEET.
So I had a pile of vouchers I hadn't used for anything and were just burning a hole in my pocket...

I also noticed the price of the Forces of Destiny Endor Leia had dropped to £15, which is a much better price than the £50 they were asking originally (seriously who decides these RRPs? they need a kick in the crotch seriously. It's ridiculous)

So with my wad o vouchers I got Leia and Pawla for a much more palatable £5, and I can argue that the fiver was for Leia and Pawla was basically free if I need to HAH.

so yeah, I didn't pay much for these sets, but I had been eyeing them up for months and months and trying to talk myself out of it.

Anyway, let's dig in shall we?

20 Feb 2018

Why i'm broke

After Christmas I had a lot of money, which went... fast due to my poor impulse control.

After finally putting in my order for Impldoll back in October, I also put in an order for 2 Resinsoul dolls in December (just after christmas).
I joked that they'd all turn up at once but... well, that's kinda exactly what happened.

On top of that, I also was gifted another doll by an extremely generous lady.

So well, let's start at the beginning shall we?

23 Jan 2018

Tesco Sindy

Surprise review this one.

Now, in 2016 when Pedigree announced a relaunch of the Sindy franchise, everyone was of course a bit excited. For a lot of people well... older than me, Sindy is a huge part of their childhood and the nostelgia was strong.
Sadly, what materialised on shelves was not... at all... what anyone anticipated.

Instead of an 11 inch fashion doll, heck, instead of a fashion doll at all what we got were glassy eyed 18 inch American Girl wannabes.

She was exclusive to Tesco and being produced under license not by Pedigree themselves but by a company called Cititoy. Who incidentally, produce the "My Life As A" line of 18 inch dolls.
The Sindy 18 inch dolls are VERY similar to the My Life As range, even down to the dead eyed stare I often find so repellent in dolls of this style.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand why some people like 18 inch little girl dolls, but i've never been into this style of doll at all. I've always found them a little too like a porcelain doll for my tastes (which is kinda ironic given I collect bjds but for whatever reason they don't spook me out as much)

17 Jan 2018

Post christmas roundup of randomness

So we're into that part of the year that's a huge lull. Christmas is over, christmas money has been splurged (in my case on two more resinsoul dolls ahem) and stores are awaiting a long overdue restock.

the new Argos catalogue is due out the end of the month but the past few years have been so anticlimactic it's hard to get that excited. That means most stores are due their reset in the next few weeks though, so maybe something will show up on shelves.
Who knows?

Honestly there's not a lot in stores right now that's inspiring me.

But that doesn't mean I haven't bought too much stuff anyway. (I have very poor impulse control okay?)

So I suppose this is the "stuff I used what little christmas money I hadn't already blown to buy" hahah.

5 Jan 2018

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Sabine Wren

So Forces of Destiny hit UK shelves several months ago now, but it's now January and STILL no sign of the Sabine pictured on the back of the boxes.
So I emailed Hasbro.

I had a chat with a few of their representatives none of whom seemed to know why she wasn't on shelves yet. One claimed she MIGHT be seeded into assortments in the new year but they couldn't guarantee it.
I told them that simply wasn't good enough.

Now here's what I think happened.

In the Uk at least, the forces of destiny figures are shipping 1 character per case of 4 or 5 figures. They don't HAVE an assortment case, least i've not seen any evidence of one.
We did get Leia, Rey, and Jyn though the Leia sets are much harder to find in physical stores. Pretty much every shop i've been into has only had Rey or only had Jyn, very few seem to have both and even less have all three.
It's bizarre.
I've seen Leia's set ONCE, i'm yet to see her Endor set at all in a store but i'm relieved the price of it seems to be coming down. £50 for it is ridiculous. 

but what I think happened with Sabine was this:

The purchasers for toy stores were given a series of cases to pick from. Each with a different character in. So they went for the cases that contained characters from the latest movies assuming those would be the most popular and most known. It's also likely the purchaser isn't a massive star wars nerd so didn't have a clue who Sabine even was.
There's also a chance the "girls toys" person was in charge of ordering these, i'm not sure how the purchasing is done in stores and whether it's all one person or departmentalised. But that could also be a factor in this, purchasers ordering "dolls" based on "doll sale" numbers rather than "action figure/star wars toys" numbers.
See, Star Wars toys they can literally sell anything. There are figures of background characters, extras, people who are literally in like 1 frame of a deleted bloody scene and they get toys and those SELL, if they didn't Hasbro wouldn't bother making them. You can get action figures of Salicious Crumb ffs, and the guy with the ice cream maker from Cloud City. These random backgrounders even have NAMES and freaking backstories! It's nuts.
So by Star Wars logic, there was zero reason to expect we wouldn't get Sabine Wren. She's a main character in the Rebels TV series after all, she's not some obscure background player. And she DOES have action figures on UK shelves. But for some reason her forces of destiny figure was not ordered.

Of course it's easy to say it's because she's darker skinned. The UK market is rather notorious for excluding the darker skinned characters from doll assortments, but doll logic shouldn't apply here because these aren't DOLLS right? they're figures, they're star wars, they're a whole different market and at least here in the UK, the Forces of Destiny figures aren't in the doll aisle anyway, they're in the action figure aisle with all the other star wars toys.
So I honestly and sincerely believed that we'd get her. All evidence suggested we would. Star Wars toys sell no matter what character is represented, if even ice cream maker guy can get a widely distributed action figure, why would a protagonist not?

Still, the racism card is a powerful one and excluding the one dark skinned character from the assortment DOES have unfortunate implications in that respect.
So I politely told Hasbro all this, asking why she was being excluded and how it didn't make much sense or mesh with their usual distribution of Star Wars products.
Hasbro UK didn't really know what was going on so they put me in contact with their head office in the US, well, actually they just forwarded my emails to the head of marketing in the US who emailed me back saying he didn't quite understand why she wasn't being sold over her and telling me he'd send me one to say sorry.
Which was very kind. Certainly I wasn't expecting a doll, I just wanted to chase up the distribution so I could work out if I needed to pay to import or if we might possibly be able to convince Hasbro to get her into stores for uk fans.
It's not like Rebels isn't shown on UK tv, it's still running!
So any argument that a child fan of star wars wouldn't know who Sabine Wren was I think is rather silly. It's a dang good tv series and quite popular. (Heck, the Ghost, the ship from the series makes a cameo in Rogue One)

It was just before christmas anyway, and Hasbro's head of marketing told me that I should expect a delay due to the festive rush but my doll should arrive soon.
I thanked him and promised him when she arrived i'd write them a review to say thanks anyway. I feel kinda obligated to do so you know? To "pay them back" as it were.
But i'm still gonna be objective.
Because companies deserve REAL reviews, not just hot air blown up their asses.

As it was, a box turned up after only 2 days all the way from the USA.
WOAH, that was quick!

Interestingly, the case she was sent in says "forces of destiny, adventure figure assortment" suggesting that the US might actually get assortments, not single character cases. Can anyone confirm this?
I kinda love that they're calling them "adventure figures" not dolls. Because they really aren't dolls.


christmas chaos kinda consumed me for a bit so it's taken me a while to get the time to debox and take a load of pictures. But here we go! FINALLY, at long last, Sabine Wren!