Friday, November 20, 2015

Made to Move Barbie by Mattel

There have been rumors about Mattel's new highly-articulated Barbie doll for a while now.  I'm not a Barbie expert, but I do pay attention when someone says "highly articulated," so I've been keeping my eye out.  When the new Style Barbies were released earlier this year, I figured that's what the rumors must have been about.  These Style dolls have articulated ankles, but they come at the price of the torso it's hardly an improvement.  It's like one step forward, one step back.  There are so many other interesting dolls to review, I basically dismissed the new Style dolls and the Barbie articulation rumors and went on with my life.  However (and many thanks to those of you who alerted me to this) the rumors were not about the Style dolls at all, but rather the Made to Move series, which has just recently been made available.  These dolls are still not on the shelves in Maine, but they're offered online...often for a premium.  I found my doll on Amazon for around $30.  The actual retail price for these dolls is $14.99.  Which, I can tell you already, is a huge bargain.

It's unfortunate that I confused the new Style dolls and the Made to Move dolls in my head, because my reaction to these two collections could not be more different.  While I'm underwhelmed and uninterested in the re-designed Style series, the Made to Move dolls are pretty much a dream come true: an affordable, attractive, well-articulated play doll.

Meet the lovely Made to Move Teresa:

Made to Move Barbie (Teresa), $14.99.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sadness Figures from Pixar's "Inside Out"--A Comparison Review!

The Pixar movie Inside Out was released on DVD last week, and to celebrate I decided to review two different versions of Sadness--my favorite character from this show.  I absolutely love Inside Out, but when I watched it in the theater, I had to constantly battle with myself to suppress tears.  At one point I made a strange strangled noise to try and control an anguished sob, and the lady next to me shifted in her seat to increase the distance between us.  I don't blame her.  But there were other times during this movie--mostly when Sadness was talking--that I laughed until I was wiping away tears for the opposite reason.

As some of you might remember, my oldest son is getting ready to leave home and go to college, which is hectic, exciting, scary, wonderful...and sad.  Frankly, I walk around most days feeling emotionally stunned.  So this is a good year for me to latch onto a movie that deals with emotions and kids growing up.  And a good year to appreciate the delicate balance between joy and sadness.

I wanted a memento of Sadness from the movie, preferably one that would repeat some of the lines that made me laugh so hard.  As far as I know, there are only two large (non-plush) talking Sadness figures, one by Tomy and the other from the Disney Store.  I bought both to see which one captures this melancholy blue heroine the best:

Tomy's Sadness ($24.99) and Deluxe Talking Sadness from the Disney Store ($19.95).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mystixx Rococo Zombie Azra

I've been casually keeping track of the Mystixx dolls ever since my review of Kalani way back in 2012.  I think the brand might be discontinued (judging by Playhut's empty product page and the lack of dolls on the shelves), and frankly I'm surprised by how long they stuck around.  There have even been a few new waves introduced during the last three years.  The release that really got my attention, though, was the Rococo Zombies.  These bizarre dolls combine the trademark two-faced Mystixx head with a loose interpretation of 18th century fashion and cosmetics centered around a white painted zombie face--which was going to be my Halloween cover shot:

Mystixx Rococo Zombie Azra's face.