Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Surprise: A Few Loose Ends!

This week's Sunday Surprise is a mixed bag of goodies.  First of all, I promised that I would find a way to share my remaining Toy Box Monthly subscription boxes with you, so I'll start things off by quickly (?) revealing those items.

The second part of the surprise will be a revisit of Magic Nursery dolls.  The Magic Nursery poll is over, and it was a very close race!  In the end, 211 of you guessed that the blue doll would be a girl while 179 bet on another boy.  I'll de-box that baby at the end of the post, and also share another little Magic Nursery cutie who will help get us into the holiday spirit:

Magic Nursery Holiday Baby (discontinued).
When I started taking pictures for this review, I had accumulated two Toy Box Monthly subscription boxes.  I canceled the subscription after the arrival of the second box--even before I opened either of the boxes that had already arrived:

What I'm discovering with these subscription boxes (both this one and the Mystery Experiences subscription my son and I tried earlier in the year) is that they're really fun for a few months, but then they lose some of their charm.

Still, I was pretty excited to see what was inside these unopened boxes.  They've been sitting in my studio for months...with me eyeing them (and sometimes shaking them)...every time I walk by.

Now, at last, here's a peek inside the first box:

I recognized Joy from Inside Out right off the bat.  I couldn't really tell what any of the other items were right away, though.  None of them were familiar to me.

Let's take a closer look:

This box looked awesome at first.  It was chock-full of colorful items, many of which I haven't seen in my regular stores.  I was really excited to look at everything!

I pulled all of the toys out of the box at once.  There are actually only five toys in this box, and one Shopkins bag:

The Shopkins bag would have been good for trick-or-treating, and it arrived at the end of September--in plenty of time for Halloween.

The first toy is a Num Noms lipgloss/stamp.  I've never seen anything like this before:

At first I thought this was a lipgloss that could also be used as a stamp...a conceivable idea, but also a bit of a messy idea.  It's actually a lipgloss or a stamp, which is clever...and not as messy.  

I like this toy already because it has two mysteries associated with it: is it a lipgloss or stamp?  Also, what is the scent?  Fun!

Inside the little plastic container there's a rubbery blue head-shaped figure with a hard base:

The animal is sort-of like a bear cub and a blue unicorn put together:

A blunicubicorn?
The first surprise is revealed on the underside of the little head:

I was hoping for a stamp since I'm a bit of a ChapStick girl myself.  I can see why the lipgloss is appealing, though.

In the Num Nom line, the Nums are the rubbery figures that cover the plastic Noms.  In the case of this toy, the rubbery blunicubicorn Num head comes off to reveal a brown Nom underneath: 

The second head looks more like a straight-up bear with a creepy smile:

It also looks like a cheeseburger.  I hope it doesn't smell like one.
The bear head opens to reveal the mystery smell of the lipgloss....

Say "ah."
...and the smell is hard to pinpoint.  Maybe root beer?  I say that mostly because of the brown color of the bear head, though.  I'm not completely sure.  It certainly isn't a fruity smell.

I did some research on the collector's sheet that came with this Num Nom and discovered that the blue Num is called Sugar Puffs (and is supposed to have its own smell?) and the Nom is called Cola Gloss-Up.  Mystery solved.

I have a better understanding of this line of toys now.  I guess it's all about mixing smells by combining different Nums and Noms.  That's a neat idea, but I can see the smell factor getting way out of control.  I know that my own mother would not have enjoyed having this in the house.

Ok!  Moving on.  Next, I decided to open the Disney keyring figure that came in this foil pouch:

I was really hoping to get the Sadness keyring:

Instead, though, I got...

Bing Bong!
Of course I love Bing Bong in the movie, but his storyline is so sad.  Still, this is a very nice figure.  It's made out of heavy, hard vinyl and has great detail.

I probably would have used a Sadness keyring in my everyday life, but probably won't use Bing Bong.  Endearing as the character is, the figure is a little too heavy to carry around everywhere.

The next item is from another line that I haven't noticed in stores.  It's called Splashlings:

I've deduced that the Splashlings are mermaids, and they have small ocean-themed pets.

The advertising on this blind pouch boasts that there are 7 items in this set, including a Splashlings pet!  Seems pretty great at first, but the seven things are just five cards, one pet...and I guess they're counting the collector's sheet that lists all of the possible characters?

Here are the five cards and the pet that I got:

Three of my cards have Big Bob (in three different colors) and two have Seacee the mermaid.  The Big Bob cards all have the same description on the back.  The description is mostly about a whale's song, or vocalization:

Actually, blue whales are so loud that their songs can be heard across an ocean.
I guess the idea is to collect all of the different versions of all the characters?

Anyway, my pet is this fellow:

I had to look her up on the collector's sheet:

It's a little coral named Coraline!  Coral are animals, but certainly not common pets.  This is a great pet for a mermaid-themed toy line, though.  I love it.  The figure is really tiny--about the width of a nickel.

The next toy I pulled out of the box was a Squinkies 'Do Drops Mystery Villa.  I've seen these in the stores many times.  I like the Squinkies, but haven't looked closely at them for quite a while.

The 'Do Drops Squinkies feature little hair accessories.  This particular set includes one 'Do and two Squinkies...all enclosed in a small plastic villa:

The villa is open on the bottom, so all of the smaller pieces are held in place with a folded collector's sheet:

The smaller pieces are also contained within connected plastic pouches:

And...the figures I got are...

A deer, a penguin, and...Trump hair?
The figures are cute, but the painted details are not very well done.  My penguin's yellow beak paint is all over the place:

That's a bad mustard mishap.
The little fawn has fewer paint defects:

I tried the yellow hair and glasses on both figures.  I like this idea, but the glasses don't fit very well over the fawn's eyes:

The hair is a little better on the penguin, and the resulting look makes me giggle.  It would be fun to try on different hats and hair with these little guys.  It's an entertaining concept.

The last thing in my box was another blind bag toy--this one from the Grossery Gang line:

I've never seen this in stores before, either...or maybe I've subconsciously ignored it.  I'm not a big fan of toys with a disgusting theme (things like the Ugglys, the Garbage Pail Kids or the Trash Pack).  I have to admit, though, that the Grossery Gang is a very clever name.  Was this line developed in response to the success of Shopkins, I wonder?  It is made by the same company--Moose Toys.

The packaging here is really clever, too.  Not only does the wrapper look like a candy bar wrapper, but the inner plastic case looks like a chocolate bar...with bugs crawling all over it:

The case opens along the side... reveal two sealed plastic pouches:

I wonder what gross food figures I'll get!  

I have to say, it was a little hard to generate enthusiasm for this discovery....

...but here they are:

It's a moldy cheeseburger and a rotten croissant!  Yay.

Here's a close-up of the beret-wearing croissant:

The sickly grey color of the pastry is an excellent touch.  This bakery treat doesn't look like he's feeling very good, either.  He's given himself food poisoning, I guess.

The cheeseburger (or is it a chicken sandwich?  Does it matter?) has wonky eyes and some green mold patches on the top bun.  He (she?) doesn't seem quite as gross as Monsieur Croissant.

I looked these characters up and they're called Le Crusty Croissant and Horrid Hamburger.  So that's pretty gross.  

For me, the packaging in this line is better than the figures themselves.  I really like the candy bar box and its wrapper.  Some of the other Grossery Gang packaging options look equally fun (like the soda cans and the slushies).  As a kid, I probably would have had more fun playing a disgusting store game with the packaging than I would have had with the rubbery figures themselves.

Anyway, I put all of the toys from this subscription back into the box for another picture.  It doesn't look as great as it did when everything was still wrapped, does it:

At this point, I officially decided to cancel my subscription to Toy Box Monthly.  As many of you suggested, I feel like I could get $25 of mystery toys more suited to my taste if I just went to the store and selected a few blind bags myself.  In fact, I'm already planning to do that at some point.

However, since I only opened this box last week, I'd accumulated another box by the time I decided to cancel.  This box was from October:

I'll go through this box a little more quickly--for anyone who might still be considering a subscription from Toy Box Monthly.

Here's the loot:

Right away, I could tell that this box had a completely different set of toys from the previous box.  That's fun for me because I like being introduced to new things that I might not notice otherwise.

The biggest toy in the box is this Kawaii Cubes Wonder Woman:

I'm a big fan of Wonder Woman, so this is a great item for me.

She looks like a square Tsum Tsum:

She has embroidered features and a strip of hair that sticks out in back:

These characters have a bean bag base and might be fun to juggle.  It would certainly look cool if someone was juggling them.  I can't juggle.

The next toy in the box was this Kitty Club blind bag pouch:

I'm not familiar with the Kitty Club, but I like cats and was excited to open this bag.

Here are the three main items that were in the pouch (there was also a sheet showing all of the different characters):

I got Ava the blue tabby cat and her glitzy baseball cap.

These figures are larger than a lot of blind bag toys.  Ava is about 1.5 inches long and fairly heavy.  Her body is flocked and she has inset eyes that open and close.  It looks like her head should move from side to side, but it does not.

This is not a highly-detailed figure overall, but there are little paw pads on the bottoms of the back feet!  Discovering these was a fun surprise:

Ava has green eyes with heart-shaped reflections in them.  My cat's eyes look melted, though.  Or maybe covered with glue?  There are a few glue spots on other parts of Ava's body, too.

She's not looking at me with especially loving eyes, though, so the hearts seem ironic.

The eyes close to reveal pink eyelids.  If I lay Ava flat on the ground, though, her eyes do not close all of the way:

I have to tip her legs up in the air to get the full closed-eye effect:

The glittery hat fits over Ava's ears and stays in place well:

Apparently, all of the cats come with hats that are interchangeable.  

This is a cute little figure that's a good size and would be fun to play with.  I have a preference for the Kitty in My Pocket figures, though.  Those cats have more personality, there's a greater variety of characters to choose from, and the quality of construction is higher.  

Here's Ava next to a Kitty in My Pocket blind bag figure:

Kitty in My Pocket (left) and Kitty Club (right) blind bag figures.
 The next toy I pulled out of the box was a My Mini Mixies blind box:

I've heard a lot about the Mixies (and I've seen them in stores), but I'd never seen one out of the box until now.  Each of these boxes includes two little Mixies figures.

I love that the cover of this box has a zombie and a unicorn!  It would be so fun to get this pair.

I want to collect you!
 Here are the figures I got in my box:

Each figure comes with an outfit and hair.

I was excited to get a redhead, as you can imagine:

These little figures are really cute.  They're SO SMALL, but they have a huge amount of detail...and very few paint defects, especially given their microscopic size.

My redhead's dress comes off to reveal..wait for it...leopard print underwear that matches her dress!

The outfits click on underneath the arms and stay on really well.  It's a good design.

I like this character's green eyes and glasses.  She's awesome.

I looked this character up on the collector's sheet and discovered that she's called Retro Girl and is part of the Wild collection.

Here she is all dressed and with her extra hair in place:

My second figure is also pretty great.  She has pink hair and a surprised look on her face:

She's wearing a pink dress and is carrying a pot of something (paint? Ketchup? Poison?):

Under her dress, this character is wearing white underwear with a delicate pink trim:

Her blue hair has pink headphones attached:

I found this girl on the collector's sheet, too, and she's called NYC Shopper.  She's from the Brave collection.  I can see why NYC shoppers are considered brave, certainly, but that title gives me no further clue about what she's holding in her hand.  Maybe it's supposed to be a purse or a shopping bag?

Anyway, the girls can share clothes and hair for some fun mix-and-match options:

Retro Girl and NYC Shopper My Mini Mixies with hair and clothing swapped.
These two dolls are really great.  So great, in fact, that I declare myself a new fan of the My Mini Mixies line.  I have a hard time imagining playing with these figures because of their eensie weensie size, but I suspect kids have no trouble with this.  

Because the figures are so interesting to look at, they'd be fun to just collect.  I could have twenty Mixies on display and they'd only take up about five square inches of shelf space.  I'd even wear one as a necklace charm if that were an option.  There are at least five characters listed on the collector's sheet that I'd love to see in person.  Of the three Toy Box Monthly boxes I've opened so far, this item is my favorite.

So...what else was in the box?  A Shopkins jar blind box:

Moose Toys knows how to do packaging, that's for sure.  This little plastic jar is really cute:

Inside the jar, there are two hidden figures:

I've opened Shopkins toys before, and as I recall the biggest mystery is not which figure I'll get but whether or not I'll be able to tell what the figure is supposed to be.  It's a fun challenge.  

Let's see how I do:

Ok, this is pretty easy.  It's a bag of lettuce and a pie crust.  Right?

Actually, I looked these two up on the collector's sheet and they're named Polly Parsley and Pappa Pizza Base.  The pizza crust totally looks like a pie crust, but I should have been able to guess the parsley.  It might even say "parsley" on the front:

Although it kinda looks like "PanBLaf" to me.
The idea with this group of Shopkins is that you collect what you need to make a certain recipe.  For example, Polly Parsley is part of the Scrambled Eggs recipe group.

Each figure has a code on the back that can be scanned by the special Shopkins Chef Club app.  I don't own the app, so I'm not sure what this feature unlocks.

This Toy Box Monthly box also included a Glitzi Globes blind egg (another offering from Moose Toys):

I've never noticed these eggs in the stores.  It's basically a little kit for making a snow globe:

Each egg includes a two-piece globe base, a plastic dome, a glitter pellet and a mystery figure.  My mystery figure is...

...a pink horse!  That's perfect for me.  

The horse is about the size of a pinto bean.  Here's a close-up:

The set comes with detailed instructions:

First, I attached the horse to the base (this attachment is via peg and hole and does not feel very secure):

Then I filled the globe with water, added the glitter pellet, and put the base on the globe.  There's a lot of glitter:

Glitter blizzard.
I waited about fifteen minutes to let the glitter settle down...but it never settled very much.

This is a cute idea, but there's not much to do with the toy after the initial two-minute set-up.

The last thing in this box was a Tamagotchi Friends figure:

I got the Decoratchi character, who apparently loves to bake.  She'll get along well with the Shopkins.

I know nothing about the Tamagotchi world (aside from the Tamagotchi digital pets), so this figure has very little meaning to me.  It's a high-quality figure, though.  It's made out of shiny, dense vinyl and has very precisely painted detail:

My Decoratchi has a glue defect on the back of her head, though:

She also has an apple on the top of her head:

And her head spins around so that she can look to the side:

So, that's everything that was in my subscription box!

Once again, I put everything back into the shipping box without the packaging:

You can get a good sense of the relative sizes of these toys here.
This looks a little more impressive than the first box.  The addition of the My Mini Mixies, the Wonder Woman and the cat figure make this the more appealing of the two boxes by far.  However, it still doesn't look like a lot of stuff for $25.

Whew.  That was a lot of blind bag toys.  I love the idea of little mystery toys--they're exciting and inexpensive--but I'm starting to feel like perhaps there are too many of this type of thing on the market.  I was in Toys R Us last week and it felt like every single brand I encountered had their own surprise toy display.  They're sneaky, too, these little toys.  For example, when I was at Toys R Us, I bought a $30 doll for a review that I'm working on, and then I added in two cute little Puppy in My Pocket blind box sets because, you know, surprise puppies!  However, those two seemingly innocent toys added $10 to my bill.  Yikes.

I'm tempted by these little toys as much as the next person, though--maybe even more so because of my penchant for surprises.  And there are a lot of really great little toys out there.  The My Mini Mixies, in particular, strike me as a fun and highly collectible brand.  It's the poorly-made surprise toys that bother me, I suppose.  Or the toys that have four times as much packaging as they have toy.  I picture all of these things landing in the garbage within a week of their purchase and it makes me sad.

So, in the future, I'll be more careful about the blind bag toys I choose.  I won't just buy things because they have a surprise inside.  Or I'll try not to, anyway.  When I do succumb to the temptation of blind bag toys, I'd like to chose a brand that I know will deliver a really excellent surprise.

But now!  Now the time has come to reveal the gender of the blue Magic Nursery doll!  It's been a long time to wait, hasn't it?  I was so happy to finally open this box:

As you might recall from my earlier post, I felt optimistic that this baby would be a boy because he/she has a blue gown and white (gender neutral) shoes:

In addition to a gender surprise, these doll also have a secret hairstyle and a secret hidden outfit.  They're pretty fun dolls.  This particular toddler is also brunette, which makes it different from my other Magic Nursery dolls:

I found this doll on eBay and it's in pristine condition.

Here it is out of the box:

This doll stands fairly well on its own, but has to lean forward a little bit to keep from toppling over.

I had very little patience left by the time I opened this doll's box, so I got right to the heart of the mystery--that papery, dissolving (blue!) hospital gown!

My blog movie clips are always a little lame, so this time I decided to do the gender reveal in a series of still photographs.  

Here's my trusty bowl of very hot water:

And here's the hospital gown, gripped in some tongs to protect my fingers from the hot water:

Now, I'm going to lower the gown into the water very slowly... that you can experience the suspense and also be mesmerized by the dissolving magic of these gowns:

The first little peek I got of the secret packet was a blue and white striped patch of fabric against a red background:

That could be a boy outfit, right??

Or like a sailor outfit?  I love nautical clothing.

The dissolving stalled out at this stage so I had to push down with my tongs to speed up the magic:

Of course the packet was filled with air, and so it resisted being pushed down into the water.  It bobbed this way...

...and that way...

...and now you want to scream because I'm making you wait so long!  Hee hee.  Sorry.  :)

Finally, I could see a full view of the secret outfit.  It definitely looks like blue striped overalls against red tee shirt!  That's very masculine.

But there's no gender announcement on this side of the packet, so I had to turn it over...with the tongs, of course:

Do you see anything yet??

Oooh.  Wait.  It looks like a pink background.  Or at least peach-colored:

And here come some words...

It's a girl!

It's a girl with blue striped overalls and a red heart-print shirt:

Mysteries revealed!
Ok, so many of you alerted me to the fact that the gender of these Magic Nursery dolls can be determined by their shoes.  And it's not the color of their shoes (as I'd guessed) but the style of the shoes.  The little boys all have sneakers with laces.  The style of shoe on this doll gave away the fact that she was a girl even before I had her out of the box.  Darn it--but good call to those who spotted this!  I checked eBay and you are definitely right.  I can't believe I never noticed this! 

So...I knew this toddler was a girl, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise for anyone who missed that detail.  Congratulations to everyone who predicted another girl!

The nice thing is that now I know how to find a Magic Nursery toddler boy doll if I ever want one.  He just won't be a surprise.

I unfolded the outfit and realized that my girl doesn't have blue striped overalls...she has a blue striped dress:

With a very crooked bow.
The dress is really short and doesn't match the doll's bonnet:

So it's clearly time to take the bonnet off!

All of the hair is swept into some kind of up-do style...

Oh--strange!  There are also lots of short hairs in the back:

I snipped the threads on the bonnet and removed it completely.  It was still not clear what was going on with the hair, though:

There was a long ponytail on one side of the head in front, but no ponytail on the opposite side:

The whole back of the head is covered in short, slightly curly strands of hair:

There's also strange longer section of hair (not in the ponytail) that's rooted along the middle of the head at the top.  This is hard to show, but in the photo below I have that section of hair brushed off to the left side of the picture:

Here's a view from the top of the head with all of the hair taken down.  You can see the longer section of hair coming from the middle of the head at the top:

I brushed all of the hair out with my wire brush and this is what it looked like:

It seemed like this style might be well-suited to a single ponytail in the back (to hide the strange shorter hairs) but the sparse longer hairs made for a thin, slightly messy ponytail:

And this style doesn't look fantastic from the front:

I tried a few different things and ended up settling on two high ponytails with the longer hair.  I think this looks really cute:

In this style, I don't mind the shorter hairs at the back of the head.  This girl looks really sweet...and now she just needs a name!

I really like the Baby Name Genie website, so I went there to generate a surprise name for this sweetie.  This site asks for a last name, so I gave it "Magic."

The name I got is...

Alice Lyric!  I like it!

Here's one more picture of little Alice:

Ok, so after I learned that Alice was a girl (because of her shoes) I went back to eBay for one last effort to get a baby boy from the Magic Nursery.  

I found this beat-up Holiday Baby Magic Nursery doll for a great price:

This doll was an exciting find because it's holiday-themed (appropriate for November 27th), it has no gender giveaway shoes, and it's a Magic Nursery Baby, which is a size of Magic Nursery doll that I have not looked at yet.

The basic idea is the same as with the Magic Nursery Toddler dolls.  There's a magic dissolvable item (in this case, a Christmas stocking) that reveals a surprise outfit, a surprise gender and maybe a surprise twin.  

The box details all of these features:

This collection actually includes an extra surprise which is listed simply as "a Holiday Surprise."  I wasn't sure what it would be.

The side of the box gives a bit more detail:

You can see a girl about to dip her (fake) stocking into a (huge) bowl of water:

You can also see what these dolls originally cost:

And, apparently, the extra surprise is a holiday ornament:

The other side of the box talks mostly about the special heart-turns-star feature on the baby's cheek:

This feature works pretty well, at least if my other Magic Nursery dolls are any indication.  I did not kiss this particular baby...for reasons I will reveal in a sec.

There's also an activity booklet included with this baby:

The back of the box has a photograph of three girls with their Magic Nursery babies:

There's also a little poem off to one side:

The girls on the back have a nice variety of Magic Nursery dolls--enough for me to look around and pick favorites. 

This brunette girl in front is holding my two favorite dolls: a girl in a plaid dress and a boy in a white romper:

All of the babies are cute, though, if you ask me:

My baby's box was stinky and yellowed with age.  He or she looks much better with the box removed:

At this point, though, I could see some worrying signs of mold along the left side of the baby's face...and I could smell the mold, too.

Here's everything that was in the box:

This baby really smelled bad.  It looks cute and clean in pictures, but in real life I was rushing to take a few quick shots before I threw the whole thing in the washing machine with lots of bleach.

You can see a bit of mold evidence on the cloth parts of the doll:

The hat looks fine from a distance...

...but up close it's easier to see some white moldy patches:

The outfit has a detachable red cape that was littered with brown mold:

There were also some color defects in the vinyl:

I had to reveal the baby's hairstyle at this stage because of the mold.  

He or she has a small tuft of (gender neutral!) blonde hair at the very top of the head:

The hair is rooted in a small circle:

After I took these pictures, I hand-washed the outfit in the sink (with cold water and a small amount of bleach) and I threw the doll into the washing machine (with a moderate amount of bleach).

While I waited for the wash, I took a quick peek at the activity booklet:

But this smelled so musty that I recycled it after a cursory glance.

Then, I turned my attention to the magical dissolving stocking!

This stocking was fully in-tact and felt really heavy!

Lots of goodies in there!
 I cleaned out my bowl and re-filled it with super-hot water:

The hot water might kill the mold.
Are you ready?  Do you think this might be the boy??

I started to dip the stocking into the water...

Right away, the baby's identification bracelet was revealed...

...but it's Christmas-colored, and so it divulges nothing about gender.  Phew!

I could also see some hints of a white outfit as I pushed the stocking into the water:

But to get this stocking to dissolve completely, I had to force it to submerge:

And up popped a definitely white outfit with a green and red bracelet...

...but no gender-revealing information!

I figured that (like Alice) this baby's gender was probably revealed on the opposite side of the packet, so I started to flip it over...

...really slowly...

Do you see anything yet?  I don't!

Oh!  It's says...

Happy Holidays.  That's what it says.  

But underneath that...

Oh, man.  Really?  It's a girl:

As I've said, I love baby girls (I used to be one), but aren't any of these dolls boys??

Still, it looks like I got one of my favorite outfits!  The white romper:

Here's everything that was inside the packet:

(That's the romper I thought was for a boy)
The mystery ornament is a blue felt stocking:

The outfit includes two off-white socks (that do not match the refrigerator white romper):

While I was revealing this baby's gender and secret outfit, she was in the dryer with her other outfit.  Everything came out beautifully clean, although the baby's body still has a slight mildew odor.

The hair survived the washing machine pretty well:

And it looked even more awesome after a quick brush:

I took off the original outfit and snapped a picture of this baby's body (she has an outie belly button):

After the indignity of a naked picture, the least we can do is give this baby a name, right?  I resisted the urge to name her Stinky McMildew.

I think I'll return to the Baby Name Genie and use the last name of "Magic" again.  That way, this baby can be Alice's younger sibling (and maybe the names will coordinate).

Let's see what we get!

Ok, so I got "Ivy Chanel Magic" but then forgot how to take a screen shot and somehow got shuttled off to an Etsy page that I'd bookmarked.  Weird.  Anyway, I reloaded and got...

So, I have two legitimate names to pick from...right?  I slightly prefer Mina Mackenzie to Ivy Chanel, although they're both good.  Mina is very unique, and it makes me think of "Minka" which makes me think of Friday Night Lights.  So that's good.

Here's Mina, in her extra outfit:

I especially like how she looks in her white outfit with the red striped hat:

Here are Alice and Mina together--my second set of sweet Magic Nursery sisters:

Well, I barely got this review done in time for Sunday!  Phew!  That was a really close call.  It's been a busy couple of weeks here in my household, with my eldest son's first visit home from college (yay!), a Thanksgiving with my sister's family, and a bunch of amazing holiday activities at the school.  It truly is a wonderful time of year.  I hope it is for all of you, too.

The bottom line message with today's Sunday Surprise toys is that while I've had a lot of fun with the Toy Box Monthy subscription and my assorted Magic Nursery dolls, my curiosity has been satisfied and I'm ready to put both of these things aside so I can move on to something new.  I don't need to find a boy Magic Nursery doll.  There will be a surprise baby boy doll some day...I'm sure of it.  And the longer I wait, the more wonderful that surprise will be.

In the meantime, there are a lot of new things in the works around here.  Saskia's head is mostly rooted (I ran out of mohair and have been waiting for a fresh supply), so I'll have an update on her progress soon.  Also, I have a lesser-known play doll (who's similar to a Pullip...) that I'm excited to talk about with you.  Last, as we enter the season of surprises and magic, I have a fun new assortment of Surprise Sunday dolls to share.  I can't wait!  If only every day was Sunday.


  1. They're so cute! I'm a little sad that my guess of a boy wasn't correct, but the girls are adorable and I'm glad that the mold problem was solved. Sunday surprises are so fun :)

    1. Thank you, Anais! I felt sure one of these babies would be a boy, too, but the girls are great--as you said!

  2. That was so fun to read, as always! :D Wow...the My Mini Mixies are super cute, and I've never seen them deboxed before! I have a soft spot for redheads (I am one ;) ), and retro fashion. ;) Have you heard of Twozies? They're another blind bag style series by Moose Toys. The theme is babies and baby animals! I picked some up for a review on my blog a while back, and while I don't think they're as cute as Shopkins, they're still cute! :) Also, I was literally on the edge of my seat during the gender reveals! Mina is so cute! Thank you so much for adding so much fun to my Sunday. :)

    1. I'm so jealous that you're a redhead! I am sometimes a Clairol redhead, but that's it. ;) I have seen the Twozies (I read your review!)! Also, I tend to follow little kids around at Target and one day there were a few little girls swooning over the I got a few. I think I have enough self-selected blind box toys for a future Sunday Surprise. That will be fun. I'm glad you enjoy Sundays here on the blog. This was not the best post of all, but surprises are always fun! :)

  3. I love your blog, it's really cool! Hugs from Brazil. =)

  4. The mold sounds gross, but both of the dolls are really cute! I wish you'd finally get a boy, though.

    1. Me too, Izzy! I'll get that boy one day. In the meantime, I should be trying to come up with the perfect name for him!!

    2. May I suggest Charlie, Walter, Harry, Ron, Albus, and Teddy? Those are just some of my favorite names. (Did you catch the Harry Potter references?)

  5. I love the tiny snow globe!

    Mina is so sweet, maybe her smell will go away if you wash she with vinagear in the water.

    I can't wait to see Saskia and the others things!

    1. I hadn't thought of vinegar, Lilium--thank you! Mina definitely needs another wash, and vinegar is nice and mild. I finished rooting Sakia's hair today, so she just needs a haircut (badly...) and she'll be ready for her update! I'll probably do that post next because I absolutely adore projects! :)

  6. Wow! This was a very suspenssful post.

    I wanted to say an extremely belated "welcome back to the blogging world"! I've followed your blog for years and was really excited that you're still blogging. Your blog is how I've been introduced to so many awesome toys!

    I agree that the surprise boxes don't contain much. The price of small, plastic toys is quickly climbing to insanity.

    Thank you for another in-depth and entertaining post!

    1. Thank you for reading, Jeane! :) I'm kinda happy to be done with the subscription boxes. They were fun for a while (and might be perfect for kids) but yeah...the price is too high. $20 is the price of a good play doll! And there are so many good play dolls to review...

  7. Vodka the bambino. Seriously, you can put some (cheap) vodka in a spray bottle and have at her. It will help the smell.

  8. Ohhhh. Did you notice the city skyline on the shopping bag of the one Mini Mixie Q?

    1. Is that what it is? That's actually really cool. A NYC shopping bag with a NYC skyline! I should have figured that out. Thank you! I just see a pot of paint for some weird reason. :P

  9. Good information about the surprise toy box subscription. the second box was definitely better than the first, but some good things in that one too. However, as you noted, it would be just as fun to go to your local store and pick up a bunch of blind packs on your own.

    The two little girls area adorable.

    1. Thank you! I do love the Magic Nursery kids, whatever the gender. The subscription boxes have a place in the market, but I just feel like I'll be happier if I pick out blind toys myself. I might be a bit picky. ;)

  10. It's a bummer all of your babies are girls, but they are cute and their outfits are less girly than other options. I feel they should either give a 50/50 chance though or set clear expectations. Like, "Only 5% are boys! Will you be the happy mama of one of these rare baby boys?"
    Love the snow globe. I think you're supposed to add a little glycerin to tame the glitter (increase the viscosity of the water).

    1. I completely and whole-heartedly agree about the gender ratio thing. I do love the girls, but yeah; make the gender ratio 50/50 or advertise that the boys are super-rare. That creates such a wonderful extra element of suspense! Every collector loves a rare item.

      Thank you for the glycerin tip--but wouldn't increased viscosity make the glitter storm worse? My brain might not be functioning correctly at the moment. I'll try it, though, because I agree with you that the tiny globe is very cute. And it has a pony. :)

    2. Every snow globe instruction I've read has glycerin. It may make the snow last longer once it's in motion, but it won't snow chaotically at the slightest movement. You have to really shake it to get the snow going and once it's settled, it's settled. Glycerin weighs down the water, if that makes sense.

  11. According to the Mini MixieQ website, the red spot is a bag

    1. Thank you! My husband saw bag right away, but I still just see a bottle of paint. :/

  12. Pssst, Is the doll Shibajuku Girl? I have Koe, and I was hoping you'd review them!

    1. I adore Koe! She's really hard to find, though. ;)

  13. Thanks for all these reviews, Emily. I didn't notice how many surprise toys and little bags there are.The only ones I had noticed were Playmobil's and Zelfs'.These have some cute toys especially the Mini Mixies. Now I wonder if there are Maxi Mixies ;-)

  14. Thank your for introducing me to the My Mini Mixies. I was putting together a care package for a friend and I added a few boxes to the package after I saw your review. They are so totally cute. :)

  15. I actually had a Magic Nursery Toddler as a little girl, and yes, it was a girl toddler. She had long brown hair with a bit on the top pulled up into a small ponytail and a jumper type outfit, if I recall right. I hated the feel of that hospital gown when I had begun to dissolve it in water though. Gross. The heart on her cheek faded with time, a very repeated use, to just a permanent star with a faint heart shaped outline.

    The company that sold Magic Nursery Babies and Toddlers also made additional outfit packs, which came with an outfit and a mystery accessory item wrapped up in a dissolving paper packet. I bought a pack that contained a lovely white dress with translucent trim and the mystery accessory was a matching scrunchie type headband with a white flowery bow on it.

    Maybe you can grab one of these outfit packs someday to add to your Magic Nursery collection?

  16. I had never heard of My Mini Mixie Q's before I read your post, (why is there a Q in the name?) I thought they were cute so I looked them up. Oh my goodness, I cannot stop buying them. They are so cute, and so well made. Usually I would never buy figures, and I've never bought blind bags before in my life. I bought a set for my niece, I got my friend buying them as well, what has happened...?

  17. Actually $35a box, at $20 plus $15 shipping. Not at all worth it.

    The Shopkins bag is about $2. The Num Noms are a whopping $10. The Splashlings bag is $3. $5 for the Do Drops. $3 for the Grossery pack. $6 for the keychain. So even if you actually liked all of these toys, they retail for $29, tops.

    The second one is $10 for the Tam, $8 for the Mixies, $3 for the Glitzi Globe, $5 for Wonder Woman, $4 for the Kitty Club, and $2 for the Shopkins. So about $32 for the $35 you spent Again, even if you actually wanted everything, it should cost less to buy.

    You have definitely convinced me to skip these boxes.

    The little $3-$5 blind items serve a good purpose. They're inexpensive enough that it doesn't take ages for my daughter to save her allowance to buy something. $10+ toys would take her a couple weeks, but she earns about $5 a week. That's fast enough for her to see a return on her work, but long enough to get the concept of saving. A week isn't long to us, but to a child, that's a long time. She LOVES the My Little Pony and Palace Pets bags, and she keeps those things close for months.

    I hoped so hard you'd get a boy! Your disappointment at more girls reminds me of the episode of I Love Lucy where she has the baby, and in the fathers' waiting room, a man is eagerly waiting to find out of he finally had a son after six girls. This time he had a surprise! Triplets! All girls. :D My daughter is addicted to that show.

  18. można dostać zawrotu głowy od tylu różnorodności!!!
    pudełko baton z owadami - rewelacyjny - wyobraziłam
    sobie taką torebeczkę puzderko na wyjścia, na galę ;P

  19. Great reading and learning, reminded me of the days getting a "Kracker-Jax" box with hidden toy? Or surprise toy or revealed toy in cereal boxes.