Monday, September 26, 2022

The Buzz General Store from Honey Bee Acres

Happy fall, everyone!  It's so funny, because just as the season officially changed, New Jersey went from 90° and oppressively humid to 72° and breezy, with nighttime temperatures that are downright cold.  It's a nice change, but I have whiplash.  The colder temperatures reminded me that we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of this blog's re-awakening!  That's hard for me to believe.  I'll have to think of a fun Sunday Surprise review to honor the date.

In the meantime, you might be surprised to see something that's not a 14-inch doll on the cover today!  Sorry if that's a disappointment to anyone, but I decided to take another little break from the 14-inch comparison series so that I could explore different things.  Way back in January, when I reviewed the Honey Bee Acres figures and compared them to Li'l Woodzeez and Calico Critters, I mentioned that some day I wanted to come back and take a look at the accessories and playsets that are available in that line, which is exactly what I'm going to do today.

Long-time readers of the blog might remember how much I like the Li'l Woodzeez shop-themed playsets, like the Tickle Your Tastebuds Bakery and Honeysuckle Hollow General Store.  Because of my affection for those two toys, I really wanted to look at the equivalent Honey Bee Acres set, which is called The Buzz General Store.  I'll certainly have the Woodzeez sets that I've already reviewed in my head as I look at this toy, but I'll also make some more direct comparisons to newer Li'l Woodzeez sets.  All of that means that this is going to be a long one (shocker), so I'd better get started!

The Buzz General Store from Honey Bee Acres, $19.94.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Articulated Glitter Girls by Battat

I had fun hosting a guest review on the blog again (thank you, Lurkins!).  It felt like the good old days.  It's nice to get somebody else's perspective, and Lurkins chose a topic that wasn't even on my radar.  But I definitely noticed the lack of diversity in Our Generation faces.  In fact, this was one of the bad surprises that greeted me on my first trip back to Target after the hiatus.  I'd assumed that the explosion of new faces we enjoyed in 2017 would persist.  I like that Battat updated their standard face mold, though, and think the new face is pretty.  Lurkins' review even inspired me to order a super-freckly redhead with the new face.  And now I understand how reading this blog can be hazardous to the wallet.  Sorry about that!

The timing of that review was perfect, because it offers a segue to the next episode in my 14-inch doll saga.  Today I'm going to look at the Glitter Girls, which are Battat's version of 14-inch play dolls.  I've actually reviewed these dolls before, but--like the Our Generation crew--they have gone through some big changes in the last four years.

This review will include a comparison between the old Poppy doll that I reviewed in 2018 and the new version of that same character, but the main focus will be on a girl who I thought stood out from the rest of the options: dark-skinned, blue-eyed Odessa:

Glitter Girls Odessa by Battat, $20.99.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Tale of Two Shannons--a Guest Review!

Hi, I'm the artist formerly known as Lurkins!  I've been collecting 18" dolls since I cleaned out my attic in 2014 and rediscovered my American Girl doll, Felicity, and her spectacular Pleasant Company-era accessories.  That was also when, whilst looking up the impressive variety of 18" dolls that had sprung up in the intervening decades, I discovered the Toy Box Philosopher, and I've been an addict ever since.  My Felicity is so old that if she were a human she could rent a car.  She's since been joined by Pita, a Karito Kid; Taryn and Alexi, Maplelea girls; Zoe, a Newberry doll; Raven, a Maru and Friends special edition (and a gift); Clara, the exact Gotz Happy Kid featured on this blog back in 2018; Sabrina, a My Twinn who was featured here as well; several Our Generation dolls and a whole host of Journey Girls...and it's still growing.  A collection that once fit into two boxes can now barely fit into one room.  But I guess that's how doll collecting usually works!  (The author laughs nervously.)

Today I'm going to compare a pair of deluxe camping-themed 18" Shannon dolls from Battat's Our Generation line, but before I dive into things, I'm going to give a little background information on a subject I spent way too much time researching: face molds!  There doesn't seem to be a proper face mold guide, probably since Our Generation is considered a bargain alternative to American Girl, and thus not worthy of serious collecting.  If you want to know what American Girl doll has what face mold, you'll have no trouble looking it up.  But so far as I can discern, there's no "collectors' guide" for Our Generation.  In fact, most of what I know about the history of this toy brand arose from this very blog.  

We begin!

Our Generation's Old Shannon (left) and New Shannon (right) with shirts swapped. $34.99 each.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Be Bright Dolls by Adora

Happy September!  For the last six years, September in my life has meant helping one or both of my kids move into a new apartment or a new school dorm, always in the blazing heat and up three flights of stairs.  I continued this tradition last week, when I hauled myself to Boston to help my eldest move some of his stuff into a new place...on an uncommonly hot and humid day (but with an elevator!).  We didn't get to play with poop toys on that visit, unfortunately, but it was a still a lot of fun.  September has also often been a month of returning responsibilities and new plans for me.  And I certainly have a lot of plans for the blog this fall, including reviews of some wacky fashion dolls, a few 18-inch American Girl alternatives, and even some creepy stuff for Halloween!  But first I'm excited to get back to my 14-inch doll series.

So far I've reviewed Gwynn Tan by American Girl, the Kindness Club dolls by Madame Alexander, and a Glamour Girlz redhead from the New York Doll Collection.  I have four more dolls to look at in this series, and today's pick is a teal-haired cutie from Adora's Be Bright collection:

Be Bright Alma by Adora, $49.99.