11 Jan 2023

Disney ILY 4ever fashion dolls

 Disney and Jaxx Pacific surprised everyone with a sudden doll release. Coming off the back of the 18 inch Disney "inspired" dolls from last year, a new line of 1/6 scale fashion dolls has been released. 

In a show that put literally every other toy manufacturer to shame, Jaxx and Disney ALSO managed to release these dolls simultaniously in the USA, UK and several other countries. Something Mattel STILL hasn't gotten their heads around. 

In the US these dolls are exclusive to Target in the US but available at Shop Disney everywhere it looks. 

I don't have much more preamble to add here, so let's just dive into this.

9 Jan 2023

Still grumpy, still impulse buying things.

 So an update. 

I actually DID manage to get Howliday Draculaura. Twice in fact. lol. typical. 

So I arranged with a friend in the US to nab me one but it was a bit uncertain whether the order would be fulfilled because of Mattel's spotty distribution so when I got a stock alert for the uk stockist I jumped on that as well figuring I could always cancel it if the US supplier came through. At the time UK stockist was saying March for their estimated delivery so it felt like a pretty safe option.

of course, because it's bloody typical (not that i'm actually complaining lol) the stock came in simultaniously so the day I was told "oh she's shipped" from my US friend I also got a dispatch notice from the Uk stockist to me. 

Whoops. 

So when the US one arrives i'll be rehoming one most likely. 

But yeah, that review will happen at some point when I have the energy to open boxes and take a bajillion photos. 

but it's dark and cold and rainy here in the UK at the moment and Christmas, as long time readers know, is my "grump" period of the year where I feel crappy and generally struggle with my mental health a bit. 

this year was substantially better than some years have been, my meds really have helped, but I still ended up impulse buying things right up til christmas itself. <_< >_> of course, that was aided by the Inlaws sending a wad of cash as they always do in lieu of actually seeing us. Thank you Inlaws, i'll take that sweet cash. 

Ahem. 

So flush with cash what did I have to stop me from impulse buying? Self control? What's this self control you speak of? HAH.

so I nabbed a few more interesting bits and bobs because why not. 

YOLO and all that. *cough* 

Let's get into it. 

(seriously, actual reviews will resume when I have the energy. I'm just really struggling with executive dysfunction at the moment and general lethargy.) 

1 Dec 2022

When i'm grumpy I impulse buy dolls.

 I have a new problem, and it's Mattel's fault. You see, every time I miss the restock of Howliday Draculaura I get annoyed and go impulse buy something else in a fit of rage. 

this has happened too many times so now I have a lot of impulse purchases. 

and still no Howliday Draculaura. -_- 

I could rant for ages about mattel's absolute incompetence with their distribution but i'm tired and i'd sooner talk about pleasant things. 

So let's see what random secondhand stuff i've obtained this month. (and okay only HALF of it is Mattel's fault.)

26 Oct 2022

Last but not least, it's Cleo! - Monster High ressurection

 Sorry this took me a while. I've been struggling a little with exhaustion lately. 

Also, I didn't have as much to say about Cleo that hadn't already been covered by the Frankie and Draculaura reviews. But here she is anyway. 

Not much preamble, let's just dive in.

15 Oct 2022

Monster High returns - Frankie Stein

 Okay I haven't got any real preamble here except to explain one thing.

Frankie now uses they/them pronouns apparently. But you'd only know this if you'd been keeping up to date with the movie and cartoon series stuff. Which actually kinda pisses me off because what's the point of having a character using they/them if you don't bother to actually TELL PEOPLE THIS clearly on the goddamn fucking box!?? 

So yeah, don't get mad if some people still use she/her, a lot of people won't be aware of this change because Mattel didn't really make much, if any, effort to ensure it was known. 

Right now it kinda comes across as a sort of condescending "hah, didn't you know? Aren't you a REAL fan?" kinda gotcha which is irritating. 

And the thing is, I appreciate the representation but IS it representation if you don't bother to actually declare it on the doll's box? You know what I mean? 

It would have been such a small simple thing to just add "pronouns" to the very short little bio on the back of the box but I think I know WHY they didn't. Mattel are one of those companies who love them some diversity IF they think they can sell it, but at the same time are loathe to actually stand behind that diversity against the rage of the bigoted conservatives who also buy their product. So they try to court both by being wishy washy about the whole thing. By not having pronouns on the box it means the sort of people who whine about "woke nonsense" (AKA Assholes) won't be put off and start a stupid social media pile on and pointless ineffectual boycott. They won't notice because they aren't going to watch the animated show, they aren't going to watch the movie, they will however buy the toy for their kid. 

And this is an added frustration to the whole thing because it shows that Mattel aren't really the allies they pretend to be. Which raises the question, why bother changing Frankie's pronouns in the first place if you're not going to stand proudly behind it and own that? 

Even their official social media can't get the damn pronouns consistant. 

As I said. Wishy washy. 

That aside, I will be using they/them to refer to g3 Frankie throughout and she/her to refer to g1. It might get a bit confusing so i'll try to be as clear as I can. Singular "they" can be a little awkward in English and I say this as someone who uses they/them. 

But i'll do my best! 

10 Oct 2022

Monster High is BACK baby! - Draculaura

 Aww hell yeah, they're back! And this time effort was put in. 

Unlike the reboot which was honestly super phoned in, this "threeboot" or "g3" as people are calling it comes with a whole new animated series, a live action movie and a LOT of new dolls. Like seriously Mattel is pushing out so much at once to compete with MGA's "flood the market and overload the shelves" approach that it's sort of overwhelming. 

Of course, the UK still has no sign of these new dolls while the US has people excitedly heading off for doll hunts and I can't say i'm not super envious. I miss doll hunts. 

BUT Amazon ships to the UK. It's bloody expensive, but it's an option so I ordered in a few of the first wave of the Threeboot while I wait for the UK to even tell us IF we're getting the damn dolls any time in the next fucking 6 months. -_- 

I want to do these thoroughly, or as thoroughly as I can, so first up is Draculaura with Frankie and Cleo to follow in their own reviews. 

Strap in. This could be a long un. 

4 Oct 2022

Naturalistas by Purpose toys and Just Play

 Every few years we get another line of Black dolls hitting the market and almost every single time they're US only (because obviously black people don't exist outside of America huh? -_- ) which makes them extremely difficult to get anywhere else in the world. 

They don't usually last very long unfortunately, trying to compete with the big hitters like Mattel and MGA is very very difficult. It is however always interesting to see a new small company make an attempt and as anyone who follows this blog knows, i'm very much of the opinion that black dolls MATTER and these attempts to give kids that choice and diversity is extremely important. 

And so, the Naturalistas are the latest attempt. They're created by a group called Purpose Toys who appear to be more of a group that brings creators together rather than their own manufacturer? I'm not totally sure. They themselves describe it as "a supportive community of Black founders" and claim "Purpose Toys partners with entrepreneurs, providing the infrastructure and resources necessary to succeed at retail."

It appears that for this doll line they partnered with Just Play for distribution which makes sense. Just Play are a moderately sized toy company best known to the doll community at least, of making the 24 inch tall Barbies and such. They don't seem to have many franchises all of their own so much as they do things for other companies and act as a distributing partner or something. I'm not totally sure how it works honestly. But if you look at their website they have a partnership with Disney, Mattel, multiple kids shows and youtube channels, Warner brothers, Nickelodeon... the list goes on. They're even currently holding the rights for Slinky and Shrinky Dinks as well as producing those Art Squad dolls (which sorry, i'm not gonna be reviewing. They freak me out.)

Anyway,

the Naturalistas are a line of 11 inch fashion dolls who's big gimmick (can you call it a gimmick?) is that they each have natural Black hair textures and styles. Their aim is to promote the beauty of natural hair, something that sadly is still policed and discriminated against in the western world. 

I'm afraid with lines like this it's impossible not to get into politics because there are inherent politics to their existance. It's sad that something like hair IS political in the first sodding place, but that's the crappy world we live in i'm afraid. As the Skunk Anansie song goes "yes it's fucking political, everything's political"