Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review Fusion #4

It's hard for me to believe that November is half over already!  There is so much excitement at this time of year in my house, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the academic quarter ending, the first snowfall of the season, the big musical production at our high school, visits from family, and of course the beginnings of holiday shopping.

Amidst the happy pandemonium of the next couple of weeks, I'd like to try and do some shorter reviews of the dolls and toys that seem especially popular or interesting this holiday season, but I also want to squeeze in a few more guest reviews before I get too busy.  This Fusion post will attempt to address both goals: I have two really neat guest reviews to share with you, and I'll also offer my own quick evaluation of one of the most sought-after toys in this neck of the woods lately: My Size Anna.

My Size Anna (Target, $59.99).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Kate" and "Tara" by Wildflower Dolls

Today's post will not be a traditional review, but more of a showcase for a special kind of doll that I learned about recently: Wildflower Dolls.  These dolls have handmade, limited edition heads mounted on highly articulated brand name 1/6 scale bodies.  As you know, I am a huge fan of highly articulated doll bodies, but it is the extraordinary faces of the Wildflower Dolls that have enchanted me.

I first heard about Wildflower Dolls from my friend Séverine (the same friend who took the Avengers Black Widow picture).  Séverine was showing me some pictures of her doll collection, and one particular photo of spunky redheaded sisters immediately grabbed my attention.  These sisters caught my eye because they have my favorite kind of unruly red hair, but also because they have facial expressions that brilliantly capture two very different, very playful emotions.  When Séverine told me that her dolls were custom-made, I assumed that their prices would be out of reach.  However, when I visited the Wildflower Dolls Etsy store, I was amazed to learn that these charismatic creations can be custom ordered for under $200.  Better yet, some of the pre-made dolls can be purchased for under $100.  This realization marked the beginning of my own Wildflower Dolls adventure--a process that brought these two beautiful, happy sisters into my home:

Kate #45 (left) and Tara #32 (right) by Wildflower Dolls.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review Fusion #3

I am happy to have another Review Fusion post for you today!  It's been a while since the last one, so I'll quickly re-introduce this concept.  These eclectic, multi-author review posts are my way of highlighting guest reviews and incredible stand-alone pictures that have been sent to me.

These posts tend to produce unique and unexpected combinations of dolls and toys.  For example, today I have a great review of the new My Life As Camping set for 18-inch dolls, an in-depth look at a rare Sabrina the Animated Series fashion doll, and a mix of little blind box goodies (including Shopkins and Unicornos) that I have accumulated myself in recent weeks.

To start things off, though, I want to share a spectacular photo taken by my friend Séverine.  Séverine and I have been chatting on and off about action figure dolls lately (my newest obsession...), and she happens to own my grail doll in this category: Hot Toys' Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.  Look at how incredibly alive this doll seems--even compared to the awesomely detailed McFarlane Daryl Dixon:

The Avengers Black Widow by Hot Toys.
Photograph by Severine, used with permission.

Friday, October 31, 2014

McFarlane Toys' 10" Daryl Dixon Figure from "The Walking Dead"

I don't review action figures very often, but since tonight is Halloween, I am going to look at McFarlane's 10 inch Daryl Dixon figure from The Walking Dead.  Daryl (played by actor Norman Reedus) is my favorite male character in this gritty, gruesome and addictive television drama.  When I saw how accurate this figure is to Daryl's character, I knew he'd have to join my collection.  As an added bonus, it's nice to have this fearless crossbow hunter around to patrol my woods on such a spooky night....

10" Daryl Dixon meets a Gentleman.

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Basic Patsyette" by Tonner Doll

Robert Tonner is one of my favorite doll designers.  A few of his Cinderella and Cami dolls rank among my all-time favorites.  However, it's been a while since I have reviewed a Tonner doll, and there's a great variety of new faces and characters to choose from right now.  For example: I am crazy about the Sheldon and Amy dolls from The Big Bang Theory collection, I'm thrilled to see the return of Tiny Kitty, and I'd absolutely love to have another Deja Vu girl in my house.  However, the rascal who grabbed my attention this time around is the 8 inch redheaded Patsyette.  With Tonner's high prices, this basic doll's relatively low $69.99 cost was also part of her appeal.

There's not a lot of information about Patsyette on the Tonner sales page.  She is introduced as "brand new" and credited to the Effanbee doll company (now owned by Tonner).  In fact, the Patsyette character has a rich history.  She was first produced in 1931 as the little sister of Effanbee's popular Patsy doll.  Patsyette was re-introduced in 2004 with a face sculpted by the original Patsy artist, Bernard Lipfert.  After another short retirement, the newest version of Patsyette debuted in 2014 with a brand-new face and the articulated Betsy McCall body.  While I have enjoyed all of the incarnations of Patsyette, it is the newest version of her face that I could not resist:

Tonner Basic Patsyette
"Basic Patsyette" by Tonner Doll, $69.99.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe Set from The Disney Store

To follow up on Zoe's great review of the Frozen Ice Skating set, I want to do a quick review of one of the other new products from the Disney Store: a Mini Doll Wardrobe set.  There are quite a few of these new wardrobe-themed playsets available on the Disney Store site, and they include characters like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and even the Frozen princesses.  When I saw that the wardrobe version of mini Elsa is wearing her blue ice dress (rather than the coronation clothing of the first mini Elsa), I knew this was the set for me--especially because it's hard to know when these items will sell out again!

I will try to give a fair, objective review here, but you know what a soft spot I have for perfect little miniatures of larger dolls...and just look at these two!

Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe set
J.C. Penney 12" Elsa doll (left) and Elsa from the Mini Wardrobe set (right).