Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse "Sunstar" by MGA Entertainment

I have to admit that I have a fairly lukewarm reaction to full-sized Lalaloopsy dolls.  I enjoy looking at them in the stores, and some of the fairy tale dolls are super-sweet, but I have no desire to own any more of these oversized plastic characters.  The Lalaloopsy mini dolls and the Lala-Oopsie horses, on the other hand, are a completely different story.  The mini dolls have clever themes and adorable faces, and they come in small manageable packages, and the dolls are a size that is very easy to display and collect.  The Lala-Oopsie horses, despite their obvious resemblance to My Little Pony figures, are wonderful little toys (and pretty good dancers).

Because of my fondness for the Lala-Oopsie horses and minis, I have gotten into the habit of stopping by the Lalaloopsy aisle in Target and Walmart every now and then, just to see who is there and if perhaps there is a tempting sale. The other day at Walmart, I found an unexpected little cutie: a Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse.  There was only one left, an orange unicorn named "Sunstar," but she probably would have been my first choice anyway.  I love the color orange.

I figured that before I leave the Virgin Islands, I should give you a peek at Sunstar in her natural habitat:

Lala-oopsie sea horse underwater
Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse, "Sunstar."
First of all, to get it out of the way, I have a few complaints about the naming of these little ocean-dwellers.  "Seahorses" should be spelled with all one word.  I suppose that "Sea Horse" is the brand name of these particular toys, but I just wanted to get it out there that real seahorses are all one word.  Also, this isn't a seahorse!  It's a sea unicorn (that might be two words).  Seaunicorn?  Sunicorn?  In any case, she is much, much more than just a plain seahorse.  She has a little horn and even a pair of wings, although my husband insists that the wings are her pectoral fins.  Humph.  I think she's a flying seaunicorn.

Sunstar comes in a colorful open-faced cardboard box:


She is accompanied by a little starfish friend and a starfish-shaped brush.  She is a Walmart exclusive and cost me $6.99.

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse

According to the box, there are four Sea Horses to choose from: Sunstar, Sea Squirt, Brittlestar and Dottyback.  The pictures on the box are misleading because Sunstar looks striped in the picture, but she's solid orange in real life with only a molded stripe pattern.


The names of these characters are the names of real sea creatures--but not types of seahorse.  A sunstar is a type of starfish.  A brittle star (two words) is an echinoderm that is closely related to the starfish.  A sea squirt, also known as a tunicate, is a spongy-looking marine animal that appears to be nothing like a seahorse....but is actually in the same phylum.  A dottyback is a bony fish--a real fish.  Have I mentioned that I am a biology teacher?  Yeah.  So anyway, seahorses are bony fish, and are in the same group of animals as goldfish, salmon, tuna and most other fish you've ever heard about.  

It's a little strange that two of these characters are named after starfish (not real fish), and one is named after a tunicate (spongy blob), but I guess the names all sounded good together or something like that.  Moving on.

 On the back of the box, there's a little rhyme about the whimsical land of Lala-Oopsies:

Every other word is capitalized.  Facepalm.
I was able to de-box Sunstar at the beach with no scissors.  That's a huge plus, especially when you're on vacation.  Here are a few quick pictures of her on dry land:


She is about 3.5 to 4 inches long (I don't have a ruler with me...) and made out of hollow orange plastic.    She floats in water...until she fills with water, and then she sinks.  Her wings are made out of bendable turquoise vinyl and have a molded stitching pattern and a button-shaped attachment point:


Her cute little horn is made out of bendable hot pink vinyl.  She has painted black button eyes:


She has a little pink heart painted on her left side, made to look like a sewn-on patch.

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse

She has tiny molded stitches all along her midline.  You can also see the molded (but not painted) stripe pattern in her body in this picture:


She has an endearingly broad, rounded face with differently colored ears.  Her ears are the only features that seem to put her in the mismatched Lala-Oopsie family.


She has twelve strands of rubbery light purple hair that curl down her back:




Here's Sunstar's little starfish friend in the water:


I pulled her out of the water so that you can get a closer look:


She is made out of solid pink plastic (she sinks in the water).  Her black button eyes and pink cheeks are smudged from being exposed to sunblock.  She came with perfect paint and probably would have been fine in the water...just not in sunblock and water.


She has cute curled arms and a molded heart patch on her back:


She also has molded stitches all around her midsection:


Here's the funny little brush that came with this set:


Sunstar's mane can't really be brushed (and doesn't really need to be brushed), so this is an odd accessory.  I wish they'd left it out and maybe included another cute sea creature friend...or just charged a little less for the set.


Before I turn Sunstar loose in the ocean, I want to update you on the only doll I've found on this island: the Drunken Mermaid.  She seems to move around every day, and (thankfully) isn't always slouched at the bar.  One day, we found her happily sitting in the sun:


And the next day it looked like she had just finished lunch:


Although no matter where she's sitting, she still looks pretty disheveled:

Oh, Drunken Mermaid.
Now, Sunstar and I will take you on a little tour of a nearby cove.

 

Here she is, descending down to inspect the coral reef.  


She actually doesn't float straight up and down like that, but rather on her side like this:

The backstroke.
After a while, she'll fill with water and sink, but in the meantime, if she nestles down into the rocks, she can pause to chat with the locals--like this blue-headed wrasse and his unidentified friends:


Or these blue tang (like Dory from Finding Nemo):


This reef has some wonderful coral varieties.  Coral are animals that are in the same group as sea anemone and jellyfish.  Here's a big brain coral:


A soft coral species:


And a beautiful fan coral:

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse

Here's an interesting species...oh, wait!  It's Sunstar's little starfish friend:


She doesn't come with a name, so I call her Denise, after a type of pygmy seahorse.  I figured that since Sunstar is named after a starfish, the starfish should be named after a seahorse.  

Denise likes lounging around on comfortable animals like this vase sponge:


Or on this aptly-named cushion sea star:


Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse
Denise and her cushion sea star cousin.
 In this picture, see if you can spot the boxy, big-lipped, camouflaged trunkfish that Sunstar befriended: 


Up close:


Or try to spot the tiny yellow and black fish in this picture:


This particular fish was my personal favorite.  It's a tiny baby sergeant major fish no bigger than my pinkie finger:

Cutie pants.
It's a little-known fact that Seaunicorns are nesters.  They make little nests in the sand that are surprisingly similar in size and shape to bird's nests, but they are made out of soft algae.  Here is Sunstar in her nest:

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse

Bottom line?  This Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse toy is fun and unique.  I'm not aware of any other seahorse toys currently on the market...or at least not ones this cute.  Not only is she a nice toy on land, but she makes a wonderful water companion.  She is easy to carry around and seems durable.  She tolerated several days of salt water, sun, sunblock and a chlorinated pool with no problems whatsoever.  I do recommend keeping this toy away from sunblock, though, based on what happened to Denise the starfish.  

It was neat to have Sunstar along on our snorkeling adventures, and even my husband (who I owe credit for many of these underwater pictures) admits that she was kind-of fun to pose.  The fish were very curious about her, and so she often attracted a small crowd and added to our underwater experience.  If my kids were younger, or reluctant to go in the water, this toy would have been a perfect way to engage their interest.  If you have young children and are planning a beach trip this summer, I highly recommend bringing along a Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse to share in the fun.  

I think that the price of these seahorses is reasonable.  Most mini dolls cost between $5 and $10, so this toy falls comfortably in the middle of that range.  You probably can't trust me on this, though.  I find that when a toy shares special experiences with me or with my kids, it takes on a whole new level of sentimental value.  After our wonderful week here on St. John, this little patched-up orange seahorse has become priceless.

Lala-Oopsie Sea Horse

34 comments:

  1. Great review and yet again I am sold of one more item - we just got our Liv dolls from ebay a few days back and they are just as awesome as you had said they are! Another thing I love about your blog and reviews are that you always inject something about science in so I am guaranteed to learn even more than just about how a certain toy/doll is awesome (or not). If we were headed to the Caribbean (which we are unfortunately not) I would definitely go right out and pick up one of two of these for my 5yo daughter just based on your review.

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    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! I am so, so happy that you are enjoying the Liv dolls! I still use them as a standard by which to evaluate most other dolls. They are so well-priced on eBay now, too (some of them).

      I'm glad you don't mind the occasional science lessons...I can't help myself! ;) It was so amazing to see lots of different tropical fish. When we snorkel in Maine, we usually just see rocks and zebra mussels...and sometimes loon feet. :)

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    2. Just to follow up: I found all four of the different varieties at Wal-mart today but bought only three of them - the last one seemed wonky. I got them to replace the gross and gunky Barbies that my kid has played with in the bath tub for probably over a year and they were such winners with her!!! Your review was completely spot on and I almost want to go back to the store and pick up a few more for my nieces. I wouldn't have even looked once at these before your review but I am seriously sold on them now. I love how easy they will be to keep clean and the hair was really easy for my kid to brush with the accessory brush. Thanks again for all of your great reviews and keep them comin'!!! Can't wait for your review of the AG doll that you have decided on. We are an AG family and I have even started customizing them to be boy dolls since AG doesn't make them.

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  2. Cute! I love her! And it's so cool that you're a biology teacher! When I grow up I want to be a marine biology teacher.

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    1. Hi Nina--being a marine biology teacher sounds awesome! Where I used to teach, they had a great marine biology program and the class got to go out on boats every now and then--sounds like a fun class!! I think teaching marine biology in the Caribbean would be close to perfection. :)

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  3. Super cute !!! Have you seen the new Sophia the First little plastic figures?? They are fun, fun, fun !!! Another fab review-
    A treat as always, Tina

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    1. Hi Tina, I don't know about Sophia! Is she at the Disney Store? I'll have to go peek. There are SO MANY fun new dolls coming out all of a sudden. My head is spinning! Wheee!! :D

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    2. Hi, just popping in to say I found the Sophia dolls at Target. The mini dolls start at around $5 and are just too adorable!

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  4. These are beautiful pictures. I didn't get any of the Horses/unicorns or Seahorse figures because they aren't well scaled to the other mini lalaloopsy figures I own. I do think they are cute and well priced.

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    1. You're right--they aren't at all scaled with the mini dolls, are they! Good point. I don't think the minis could even ride on them that well with those swing legs. Hm. I guess they're almost in scale with the larger dolls, though, since sea horses are so small. I should have brought my Marina Anchors to the beach to see how she held up!

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  5. I have a bit of a thing for seahorses (and land horses!) and this one is such a cutie. Your underwater shots are so so good. Your husband is such a star for taking them. I feel exactly the same as you about Lalaloopsy. I just can't get excited about the big ones (not a fan of the eyes) but the mini ones are kind of cute. I have my eye on the Alice in Wonderland one but she doesn't look like she stands independently. Is that right? I don't really want them if they don't stand. The star fish is cute but I could do without him/her. I saw lots of real starfish at our local beech a couple of weeks ago. They creaped me out!! Thank you for thinking of us so much whilst on holiday. You are without doubt the sweetest person in cyberspace :)

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    1. Hi Nat Kat! You are the sweet one, I think. :) None of the minis I have can stand on their own, but there are some with non-swing jointed legs that might stand? I don't know for sure. Alice looks like she has the swinging legs that do not stand. She's adorable, though!!!

      Starfish are a little creepy! That big orange cushion sea star was in pretty shallow water and it gave me a mild heart attack when I swam over it! I have a problem with really big things swimming underneath me in the water. My husband and kids are always excited to see the really big fish but I get a little panicky!

      It's very fun to blog in the tropics. I wish I could do it all of the time!! I am happy to be home with my dogs piled on my lap, though...and a good internet connection. :)

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  6. Hello from Spain: original mermaid doll. I love the seahorse. Nice pictures. Keep in touch

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  7. The underwater pictures are amazing, I need to find a camera that can take underwater pictures as good as yours. :) I was thinking about getting one of those seahorses but decided against it, seeing as how I couldn't find a use for it, but your review makes me want to grab her next time I go to Walmart. Thanks for such amazing reviews even while you're on vacation. :D

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    1. Hi Emma! Thank you! The camera was a birthday present from my extended family--it does remarkably well in the water. I think it does a good job on land, too, but I haven't used it for a doll review yet. In general, underwater cameras tend to do well in low light conditions, so they aren't a bad choice for someone like me who takes a lot of pictures indoors. This one was not as expensive as many of them are. My husband did a ton of reading before buying it--it's called the Olympus Tough F2.0 and we found it for about $360.

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  8. Your photos are absolutely priceless, as well! Any chance you could upload a larger image of the first one? I'd love to have it as my PC wallpaper :)

    Brittlestar has been on my wish list ever since I saw pics of her online. Now I want one of these charmers even more so! How cute!

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    1. Oh, I love Brittlestar, too! I prefer the ones with the little horns to the crown versions, although they're all really cute.

      Let me see if I can change that first picture to high resolution. Try clicking on it and see how big the picture you get is. If it isn't big enough, let me know and I'll try something else. :)

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  9. Whenever I see these and the pony versions at the shops I go insane and just say "AH THEY'RE SO CUTE"
    then after my mum looks at me strangely..
    as well as half of the shoppers..


    SHES SO CUTE AHH <3

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    1. LOL! :D They ARE so cute, though! I don't blame you!

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    2. Yeah, i was shopping with my dad yesterday and i saw Scone, she looks so adorable ^3^
      One day i'll have money.. and when that day comes I SHALL BUY THEM ALL!

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  10. This really is a cute toy and looks like it could be a fun bath toy if you weren't on holiday.

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    1. Oooh! Excellent idea! She would make a great bath toy. My boys always used to play for hours in the tub with little toys like this.

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  11. I can always count one you to "find" something I need to have! Have a great vacation! Cheers Sarah

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I hope you can find one of these little cuties at your Walmart for a great price!

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  12. Those underwater pictures are amazing!

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  13. Aw the underwater pictures are so cute!

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  14. I always find your reviews and pictures to be fun, but this one is by far THE MOST FUN ever! Underwater pictures of a Lala-Oopsie toy seahorse in the Virgin Islands? Just adorable. :)
    Also, I think these Lalaloopsy mini dolls are great toys for their inexpensive cost. I love all the little molded details on the dolls and their accessories.. I own several of them but probably wouldn't have been quite so tempted to get them if they didn't come with such detailed and tiny accessories! Too bad they missed the mark with that completely unnecessary hairbrush, though.

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  15. I still need to get a Lala-Oopsie horse and a mini. I've fallen in love with many if them but every time I go to the toystore I get distracted by Monster High dolls and I don't even get enough time to look for Lala-Oopsie horses and minis, lol.

    While I was reading that part under the box pictures it immediately reminded me of you being a biology teacher, hahahahahaha.
    This review must've been a delight to write! xD
    And did you actually say spongy blob? Reminds me of a certain sponge named Bob hmm..
    I really like Sunstar, she looks really cute and I think her special looking hair adds something fun to play with.
    Wouldn't it look cool though, to paint those stripes so that she looks like the box picture?
    Seems like a nice project though I wouldn't use your own Sunstar because of all the memories you already have of her :3
    Poor little Denise. She still looks utterly cute though, even with smudged paint!

    The drunken mermaid is really funny and I love the (under)water pictures. Especially that cute little sea star cousin pic.
    Thanks for this pretty and cute review, it really cheered me up!

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  16. You make everything look so desirable with your gorgeous photography! I think you could sell me just about anything.

    In a previous comment, I said I could not get excited about any other affordable play doll than Liv, but I admit that I did go out and buy several Mini LaLaloopsy dolls after you mentioned that your Liv girls like to hold them. I googled "liv with mini lalaloopsy" (check out the great photo of Liv Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter holding the minis) and then I was off to the toy stores on a mission. Love the quality and details of these tiny dolls.

    This seahorse is so cute and it looks especially wonderful in your underwater pictures. Since I am a swimmer, I may have to get one so I can have a pal.

    Very entertaining review! Thanks for all the joy you bring to this crazy doll lover!

    Karen, Pacific Northwest

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  17. I couldn't have gotten her out of the water.

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  18. What a lovely toy :) I don't know if you know about octonauts? It is based on the Disney show with the same name. They are adorable toys that you can use underwater :)

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  19. I love Loopsie ponies. Just so much character, and the miniatures that I have are in all kinds of cute poses.

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.