Monday, December 4, 2017

Create Your Own American Girl

The wait is over!  My Create Your Own American Girl doll, Eliza, arrived two weeks ago (almost exactly on schedule).  I noticed recently that the wait for a similar doll now stretches into May (!) so I guess the concept is faring well in the holiday market.

I had to peek at Eliza before I started this review, and I noticed something unexpected right off the bat.  For those of you who followed along with Eliza's design process, you'll be expecting to see the "D" (Sonali) face.  Well, that's what I was expecting to see, too, but apparently I ended up picking the "B" (Josefina) face instead.  It's certainly my fault (I was going back and forth between faces a lot that day...) and it's actually a happy accident.  Once I realized that my other new American Girl, Melody Ellison, also has the Sonali face, I regretted picking that same mold for Eliza.  Now I have the face I actually wanted!

It's a really cute face, too:

Create Your Own American Girl doll, Eliza, $200.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Surprise: L.O.L. Glitter Series and Pets!

*MGA Entertainment is coming out with new L.O.L. Surprise dolls at a furious rate.  Just as the Lil Sisters began to show up reliably in stores, two new groupings--the Glitter Series and Series 3 Pets--were released.  I have yet to see these newcomers in stores, but, as always, eBay and Amazon vendors are happy to part with their stash for exorbitant prices.

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of these little balled-up surprise dolls, but, judging by the traffic to the other two reviews I've written (Series 1 and Lil Sisters), they are favorites for many of you.  I definitely understand the appeal.  Not only do I love surprise-themed toys in general, but the play potential of the articulated L.O.L girls and their accessories is higher than most blind bag options.

So, today I will share two of each of the new types of L.O.L. Surprise ball with you, and we'll see if MGA has another instant hit on their hands!

Unopened L.O.L. Surprise Pets (left) and Glitter Series (right) balls.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pose Skeleton by Re-Ment

A few months ago I got an anonymous comment suggesting that Pose Skeleton, Re-Ment's tiny posable skeletons, would make a fun Halloween review.  I could not have agreed more!  I immediately went to Amazon and ordered several of these highly affordable little figures from Japan.

Then, a few days before Halloween, Maine got hit by a post-tropical depression (a huge storm) and we lost power for most of the week.  That happens quite a lot around here.  Anyway, living without power wasn't too bad for us--no trees came through the roof this time, anyway.  We played a lot of games and read a lot of books, but nothing got done on the blog for a whole week.  I've been playing catch-up ever since.

Now it's closer to Thanksgiving than it is to Halloween, but I'll still share what was supposed to have been my cover shot for October 31st:

Pose Skeleton #3 by Re-Ment, $8.49.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Li'l Secrets by Mattel!

I don't know why, but that last review--the Forces of Destiny dolls--took forever.  I would sit down to work on it first thing every morning, but I'd usually get distracted within minutes.  I think it was partly because the review has so many pictures.  It's also probably because the weather here feels like summer (still) and I want to be outside.  Another distraction is that my youngest son is applying to colleges (how did that happen so fast?) and so we're wrapped up in a turmoil of decisions, deadlines and details.

I thought that perhaps a good counterbalance to the last review would be a quick Sunday Surprise post--better yet, a vintage Sunday Surprise post.  I get a huge thrill from discovering new vintage surprise toys, and it's pure fun to share these discoveries with you guys!

I don't even need to write much of an introduction to this post, because the star of today's review, a Li'l Surprise doll from 1994, describes her mysterious nature better than I ever could.  Quite simply, the girl has secrets in her hair:

Mattel's Li'l Secrets doll (1994).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Forces of Destiny Rey and Leia by Hasbro

Star Wars is everywhere these days.  The Force Awakens still feels relatively new to me, and yet there's another movie coming out this year (The Last Jedi) and there's still a 2016 movie that I haven't seen yet (Rogue One).  When I was a kid, I had to wait three years between each of the original movies.  Now, granted, three years felt like too long to wait, but this recent deluge of media is overwhelming.  And it's not just the movies, either.  There are trailers, video games (Battlefront 2), and even short YouTube cartoons (Forces of Destiny) to fill the time between films.  While the onslaught of Star Wars media might be too much for me to keep up with, I suspect most fans of the franchise are thrilled...I know members of my family are.

Star Wars merchandise is everywhere, too.  Hot Toys releases new ultra-realistic sixth scale figures regularly, Hasbro has a variety of The Last Jedi action figures out already, and of course there's always a great assortment of Lego sets.  The toys I'm most interested in these days are Hasbro's highly-articulated 10.5-inch dolls from the Forces of Destiny cartoon series.

In this review I'll look at two of these dolls; Rey and BB-8 from The Force Awakens and Leia and Wicket from Return of the Jedi:

Forces of Destiny "Endor Adventure" Leia, $34.99.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Savannah and Chad Mini Pals by Maru and Friends

We did it!  We met my hurricane relief fundraising goal!  If you look at the banner in the right hand margin, you'll see that (thanks to Jason, Sarah, AliCarmen, and six new anonymous donors) we've now exceeded the $1,000 Bottom Line goal!  This is so amazing.  It's also great that the larger project is over three quarters of the way to its $5,000,000 goal after only 13 days.  I hope that the money will get to where it's needed quickly.  I'll leave the fundraising page and banner up for a while longer, but I won't bug you about it anymore.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you, for all of your support--everything from words of encouragement to money donations.  You guys are the best.

In celebration of this wonderful news, I want to start the week off by sharing two dolls from one of my favorite lines of all time: Maru and Friends' Mini Pals.  I did a thorough review of mini Maru and mini Tanya when I was in Puerto Rico last year, so today I'll just share a picture-heavy overview of another pair of Pals--Chad (the only boy in the collection) and Savannah (the adorable redhead!).  Here's one of my favorite shots of Chad, climbing on the rocky shore of Maine:

Maru and Friends Mini Pal, Chad ($89).