Friday, December 24, 2021

Lottie in Manhattan

One of the fantastic things about where we live in New Jersey is that we're only about an hour away from Manhattan by train.  For most of my life, trips to the Big Apple were a rare, special occasion.  Now it's possible to go to there for a day trip...which is exactly what we did a few weeks ago!  

The day before our trip, my husband said, "you should bring a doll with you to photograph for the blog!" because that's how awesome he is.  I can't believe I didn't come up with that idea myself, but I've gotten out of some of my old habits.  I immediately started to think about what a good travel companion doll would be.

One of the reviews I'd been thinking about in the days preceding our trip was a revisit of the Lottie doll line by Arklu.  I've reviewed these dolls already, but that was back in 2013.  The company has come up with some wonderful and diverse new characters in the last few years.  I had several of the most interesting dolls queued up in my shopping cart online, but obviously there was no time to get those shipped before our trip.  So, I went to our local toy store and bought one of the dolls they had in stock.  

This doll ended up being perfect for our trip.  She's called "Walk in the Park," and we got to take her for a walk in the park: Central Park:

Walk in the Park Lottie doll by Arklu, $24.99.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Patron Post! Small Wonder Sweet and Happy Babies by Madame Alexander

One of the things that's happening over on Patreon is that my generous Bear Hug Patrons get to select a doll for me to review!  They also get first refusal to purchase the discounted doll in the shop.  This is a great arrangement from my perspective because it encourages me to look at dolls that I might not notice otherwise.  I have two of these special reviews in the works so far, and this one seemed appropriate right now since we've just been talking about baby dolls.  Once I complete the review requests for my current Bear Hug Patrons, I'll open up that tier to new members.

I have 28 Patrons at the moment, which is just amazing.  I honestly wasn't sure if this experiment would work.  The somewhat random goal that I have in the back of my head right now is to reach 30 Patrons by the end of 2021, so if you're a regular visitor here and have a few bucks per month to spare, please stop by and join the fun! 

For today's Patron Post I'll be taking a look at two play babies from Madame Alexander's Sweet and Happy Baby collection.  This review is made possible by all of my wonderful Patrons, and was requested by Arin Ritchey.

Sweet and Happy Baby by Madame Alexander, $31.99.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday Surprise: Baby Born Surprise Mini Babies (and more)!

Happy Sunday!  I have officially lived in New Jersey for one year today!  And I'm so much happier than I was on this day last year.  Last year I drove seven hours from Maine in my tiny Prius packed full with all of the remaining belongings from our old house, plus four stressed-out dogs and two small cats.  It was a long journey!  But here I am sitting on my couch typing up a surprise review, which, if you'd asked me a year ago, is not something I ever thought would happen again.

I really like surprise toys, and I especially like surprise mini babies.  I don't collect baby dolls in general anymore, so I'm not sure why babies are so appealing to me in a small scale--and especially with a surprise theme.  Maybe it's because babies bring several surprises with them in real life?  Or perhaps it's just because mini babies are great little toys, either on their own as something to nurture, or as a fun new addition to a doll family.

In any case, I've reviewed a few different surprise babies over the years, including Zapf Jolly Dollies and the unrivaled Cabbage Patch Babyland Mini Kids--which are still probably my favorite surprise mini of all.  But I wanted to see what kinds of mini babies are available on the market today, so I focused on this theme during one of my Target missions.  The first surprise baby toy I found was this one, by Zapf and MGA Entertainment:

Baby Born Surprise Mini Babies, $9.99.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

B-Kind Dolls by Jada Toys

Finally, after living here for almost a year, I ventured out and found the closest Walmart.  I wanted to check out the Honey Bee Acres toys that many of you have recommended--especially the unicorn! Unfortunately, the first Walmart I visited had barely any toys (so depressing), let alone any of the Honey Bee Acres sets.  It was a pretty big let-down.  So, I went to another Walmart last week (who knew there were so many Walmarts around here?) and struck out again: no Honey Bee Acres.  The second Walmart I visited had more toys on the shelves, though, so at least I had a fun time browsing.

I ended up having to purchase the Honey Bee Acres toys online, but I'm so grateful that I visited these stores, because I found a Walmart-exclusive doll line that I'm incredibly excited about!  These dolls were literally the most attractive toy on the shelves at both of the Walmart stores I visited.

The line is called B-Kind (which I think is a good way to live), the packaging and the dolls are eco-friendly (which I think is really important), the dolls look highly-articulated (an obsession of mine), and each character comes with a D.I.Y. project (I love projects!).  It's basically like Jada Toys was saying, "hey, Emily, we made this doll just for you. What do you think?"

B-Kind doll Brianna by Jada Toys (29.97).

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Creatable World by Mattel

Creatable World was introduced in 2019, shortly after I stopped blogging.  I was instantly drawn to the dolls because of their wigs (which remind me of Liv dolls), their manageable size, and their refreshingly gender-neutral presentation.  I almost re-activated the blog briefly back then just to do a review of this ground-breaking line, but I was afraid to fall back into my old bad habits.  I still purchased two of the sets, though (bad habits!) and stored them away.

I would have sworn that I'd donated my Creatable World sets to the Goodwill when we moved last year.  In the blurred flurry of clearing out the house, I let go of a lot of things that I never thought I would be able to part with.  But when I was sorting through some moving boxes a few months ago, I found both of the sets! I guess they made the cut.  It was extra-fun to find these dolls because I couldn't remember exactly which ones I'd chosen, and I love a good surprise!

One of the sets included this lovely individual, who I've named Riley:

Creatable World doll dc-220 by Mattel, $29.99.