Monday, March 17, 2014

Hello Kitty Mini Dolls From Jada Toys and Blip Toys

This is an insanely busy week in my house.  I think it's safe to say that it is the most busy week of the year.  I don't know why everything has chosen to converge on this one week, of all weeks, but it has.  Just as a sampler: my son's school play opens on Thursday, and for some reason I decided to hand-paint 22 shadow lanterns for the show's dinner theater night.  I love a good art project and all, but I'm clocking about one hour per lantern, so 22 is starting to look like a very large number.

Anyway, I don't want to neglect the blog completely, so I decided that I will try to put up a few short posts this week, rather than the longer review (of a wonderful doll!) that was originally on the schedule.  Hopefully things will get back to some kind of normal next week.

I was browsing at Toys R Us during the President's Day sale last month, and I noticed that there are Hello Kitty miniatures made by two different companies: Jada Toys (makers of the Cutie Pops) and Blip Toys (makers of Squinkies).  I thought both versions were appealing, and wanted to compare them side-by-side.

Jada Toys Hello Kitty figure and car, with Blip Toys Hello Kitty figures along for the ride!
I bought these two sets, because their prices were equivalent (each cost around $10):

Blip's "Best Friends" set and Jada's "Picnic Fun Car."
I will show you the Jada Toys set first.  In the $10 range, the two sets that were available from this company were the Picnic Fun Car and the Sweet Cakes Scooter.  I chose the car because it seemed to have better accessories.


The scooter toy has a lot of paper items.
The car set includes a car, Hello Kitty, a picnic basket, three food items, a stop sign and a small pad of paper with a cover design that looks like a picnic blanket:

The stop sign is made out of very thin cardboard.
Hello Kitty herself is made out of hard, hollow plastic and is very light.  She does not have any articulation:


Her features are very rounded and molded against her body, but she has carefully painted details, including lovely little daisies on her shoes:



The bottom of the figure's feet has a hexagonal hole for attachment to various accessories:


This Kitty comes with a few miniature food accessories, including a drink cup:


A sandwich with very pink meat and an inexplicable pink sphere on top:


Sandwich with a cherry on top?
And a nicely-painted apple:


The set also includes a carefully shrink-wrapped picnic basket:


With the wrapping removed, two inserted sections of the picnic basket are visible.  On one side, there's what looks like a hamburger on a pink platform, and on the other side is a red thing that looks like a button.  Maybe it's supposed to be a drink?


Here are the two items removed from the basket:

??
The tall red thing is actually a rolling stamp.  It has several green Hello Kitty bows on it:

That's cool.
Underneath the burger, there's another stamp.  This one is in the shape of Hello Kitty's head, and has quite a lot of detail for its size:


I don't know where the ink is coming from on these stamps--presumably from behind the stamp itself.  It seems like this kind of stamp would be horribly messy, but the ink is quite faint and there's no obvious dripping.


The stamps can be used on the small pad of paper:


The car is also made out of hard plastic, but it has a more substantial weight than Hello Kitty herself.  


The steering wheel doesn't move.
The rearview mirrors are not reflective, but have a faint spray of silver on them:



The wheels do move.
There's a small heart-shaped button on the left side of the car.  I half expected this to move the car across the floor, but it just turns on the headlights.




The only problem with the car is that the Kitty figure doesn't fit into it very well:


Her nose hits the big red bow on the windshield:

Ow.
 The picnic basket fits perfectly in the back seat, though:



Now, here's the Blip Toys Hello Kitty "Best Friends" set.  This was $9.99 at Toys R Us:



The thing that tempted me the most about this set is that is comes with a surprise!

See that??
Among the accessories is a separately-wrapped secret, surprise toy.  Yay!  Also included are Hello Kitty, her lunch box, a Hello Kitty miniature, a pink apple, Joey, and a backpack clip:


This Hello Kitty has five points of articulation.  Her head rotates and her ams and legs swing back and forth.  She has a hard plastic body and legs, with a squishably soft head and slightly flexibly vinyl arms.



Her dress is made out of blue plastic, but many of her clothing details are painted.


She has a cute little picture of Joey on her dress:


And adorable pink shoes and socks:


The little Joey figure is light blue with nicely painted features:



This set also comes with an apple, but this apple isn't quite as realistically painted as the Jada Toys version:



Kitty's lunch box is painted in red, white and blue and decorated with a small painted red bow:


It opens and closes...


...and the pink apple fits right inside:


The backpack clip is not immediately self-explanatory.  It has a hard plastic balloon section, and then a bendable strap with two holes cut in either end:


I think the bendable part wraps around Kitty's back and the holes are for her arms...but I'm not positive about this: 


My favorite accessory is the tiny little Hello Kitty miniature.  She is in a sitting position and looks like she's wearing pajamas (which I think are actually overalls):

Adorable.
 Here's Midge holding the mini Kitty so that you can see how small she is!


I saved the surprise present for last, because this was the most exciting part of the set for me.  I was really hoping it would be another amazing little mini Kitty!

Ahhh!  What could it be???
The surprise was another Kitty...sort-of:

Severed head Kitty.
The Jada Toys Hello Kitty figure looks sweet, but she's very lightweight and has no points of articulation.  The car is fun with its moving wheels and illuminating headlights, and it's great that the Hello Kitty figure can be securely attached to the seat, but I wish that her nose didn't bump into the windshield so awkwardly.  The food items have nice realism and are a good addition.  I can imagine some fun imaginary games centering around Kitty, her car, and the food.  I think that the miniature stamps are very clever and cute, and I love how they store inside of the picnic basket, but these are inviting a different kind of play.  Even though the ink is very faint and there's no dripping whatsoever, I still felt a little nervous using the stamps around the rest of the toys.  That part of the set is more of an art project.

I think the Blip Hello Kitty figure is great.  She reminds me of the larger Hello Kitty dolls that I saw at Target before Christmas.  Her soft head is an appealing feature and I like her articulation.  She stands on her own and seems like she would be very fun to play with.  Furthermore, most of her accessories are very well-painted and appealing on their own, especially the tiny version of Hello Kitty.  The backpack clip seems like a gimmick, as does the slightly disappointing surprise toy.  Neither contribute anything to the play value of the set...but that's not saying I won't be tempted to buy another set just to see if maybe the surprise is better.  It gets me every time.

Overall, I am more likely to purchase more of the Blip Toys sets because I find those Hello Kitty figures more appealing.  However, many of the Jada Toys accessories--like the car, the food (and this food truck set!) are pretty great.  The nice thing is, there's nothing to stop a little mixing and matching among these sets, so it's possible to get the best of both worlds.


16 comments:

  1. Fantastic review as always! Can you give us a hint as to the wonderful doll you have for the longer review?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've seen other reviews of Hello Kitty sets and it seems like the 'surprise' is the same- a plastic pink Kitty head. It's a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  3. GAHHH! I'm a sucker for surprises ans secrets so now i'm wondering what the doll is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope your son's play goes well! Can't wait to see the new doll too :)
    I saw a different Hello Kitty set on another blog and it has the same "surprise". The tiny kitty is adorable though!

    I forgot to tell you I borrowed your Pullip body comparison table in my blog last week but I said it's yours and made it clickable so it goes to your original post. If it's a problem please tell me, I don't want to upset you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have two of the XOXO Hello Kitty sets and while one of the surprises was the same (the severed HK head) the other was a little bow shape, made from the same translucent plastic. I got my sets at Target because they're cheaper there. I definitely want the set you reviewed, I just haven't picked it up yet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kitty White (Hello Kitty) is such an adorable, appealing character. The car is pretty amazing! The accessories really make both the sets, imo. It's too bad the "surprise" is such a lame accessory.. or whatever it's supposed to be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I bought the blip ones at Target for $7.99 each. I really like them a lot! I got 5 of them plus the bigger sets with the swing and the oven as well, those were $14.99 each but I couldn't resist the little items and they are well made IMO.
    The surprises are all lame though, I was very disappointed with them. There is the kitty head, like the one you got, and a bow and a flat kitty head with a hole in it like a donut. Nothing special at all, unfortunately.
    I think the sets are worth it either way but they could have skipped the lame "surprise" they KNOW it sucks you in to get a surprise!
    You did attach the backpack thing correctly. I had no idea how it worked but if you look on the back of the package you can see the holes are for her arms.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the picture of Midge and the mini Kitty, so cute.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I confess I am addicted to your love Blog

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had to take a peek at Wikipedia to see how long Hello Kitty has been around. I remember back in the early eighties they seemed to be everywhere. Looks like they hit US shores in 1976.
    Very cute-especially the size. I still have a pair of earrings showing Kitty as Santa with a rainbow in her toy sack. Fun memories.

    A treat as always, Tina

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great review! Hello Kitty is just to cute! I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check it out at meandmygals.wordpress.com.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I looooooove Hello Kitty. Before I got in to dolls Hello Kitty was my collection. xD I have a lot of plushes. Also amusing is the fact that of my Kitty things, I've personally purchased almost none of it. Other than my HK Vans shoes, most stuff is from people randomly gifting me Kitty things because they know I'm a fan, haha. The best thing about Kitty is that she is always happy and full of love. Also I'm the last person in the world to be superstitious, but Kitty is definitely good luck. So she'll help you finish the lanterns in time!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very cute review! I especially liked the miniatures in the Blip toys set and the car and stamps from Jada toys. even though the Kitty from Jada toys doesn't have articulation, I think the stamps add lot's of play value anyway. A little bit of mix and match here can make the perfect set, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oooh I Love Hello Kitty, the pictures and review are Wonderful Thank YoU!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I always love your reviews. They're so entertaining and explained in great depth. These sets are both adorable!! Do you think that the surprise would be the same pink Kitty head? That's what I think... Thanks for the spectacular review!

    ReplyDelete
  16. One half of the new design team, Luis Tanahara first joined Jada Toys solo after leaving Mattel in 2001. He exposed Jada Toys founder Jack Li to the new and upcoming trend of "dubs".
    SwellRC

    ReplyDelete

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