Showing posts with label Bratz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bratz. Show all posts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Sunday Monday Surprise: Bratz Secret Date!

There were only about two minutes between the time I read an anonymous comment about Bratz Secret Date dolls and the moment I clicked "Buy it Now" on eBay.  This is exactly the kind of toy that appeals to me (a vintage doll with a hidden surprise!) and I never even knew the line existed until I read that comment.  So--although I can't thank you by name--many thanks to Anonymous for the outstanding suggestion!

The Bratz Secret Date series was introduced in 2004.  The collection included five of the Bratz girls (Meygan, Jade, Yasmin, Cloe, and Nevra), each packaged with a hidden blind date doll--one of five Bratz Boyz characters.  Cool idea, right?  The Secret Date collection ignited some controversy, though, because the title of the line and the suggestive commercial implied that the Bratz girls were going out in secret (without permission from their parents) with a boy they'd never met.  In 2004, a time when concerns were brewing over kids meeting strangers online, the backlash to this series of dolls was understandable.  I truly believe that the intention behind the theme was innocent--but that ad certainly makes me uncomfortable.  What do you guys think?

In response to the criticism, MGA Entertainment quickly renamed the series Blind Date and updated all of the packaging.  Today I will show you Yasmin (and her blind date!) from the original Secret Date collection:

Bratz Secret Date Yasmin, 2004 ($29.99).

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Surprise: Lil Outrageous Littles (L.O.L.) Dolls!

I should never be allowed to do more than one thing at a time.  This past week, I've been working on two reviews--one of them a Sunday Surprise, one a regular review.  But I kept bouncing back and forth between the two posts, not staying focused enough to finish either one of them.  Sigh.  And now it's Sunday.  And what was my solution to this problem, you might ask?  Start a completely different Sunday Surprise review, of course!  Why not?

So, out of the blue, today I will do a quick review of the Lil Outrageous Littles (L.O.L.) by MGA Entertainment!  I want to thank Amy and Lilium for suggesting these toys to me.  Each mystery doll, packaged in a softball-sized blind box, has seven accompanying surprises to uncover.  They're the perfect little Sunday treat:

Lil Outrageous Littles (L.O.L.) doll by MGA Entertainment, $7.99.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Surprise: Bratz Lil' Angelz!

Happy Sunday!  Today's post was originally going to be short, but it's morphed into something a bit more substantial.  I'll explain.  What started me on this path was the discovery of a Bratz Lil' Angelz "Secret Surprise" set a few weeks ago.  I flipped out.  I mean, any toy that has both the words "secret" and "surprise" in the same sentence has got to be good.  And this toy looks amazing: it has a small baby doll with a secret gender, a hidden eye color and a hidden hair color.  The set also includes two shrouded pets of unknown species!  Doesn't that sound like fun??  But the other thing that makes this set so great is the fact that I knew nothing about the Bratz Lil' Angelz dolls before I saw it.  I have no idea how these babies escaped my radar, but I absolutely love discovering a new kind of doll.

Immediately after purchasing the Secret Surprise set, I made it my mission to learn more about the Bratz Lil' Angelz.  In doing so, I realized that surprises are a bit of a theme with this line.  I found two other sets (Pet Shop Surprise and Surprise Litter) that involve some kind of hidden feature.  I bought an example of each of these toys to show you today.  So, this post will feature three Bratz Lil' Angelz surprise toys, not just the set I originally bought.

The Bratz Lil' Angelz are all discontinued, but the silver lining is that none of the toys I'll show you today seem particularly expensive or hard to find at the moment.  I have to say, though, I think I got really lucky with the Secret Surprise set.  I found it for $10.24 on eBay, which is close to the original price.  The only other example I've been able to find is a blue version on Amazon for $83.  Yikes.  Of course I'm going to save the Secret Surprise for the very end of the post, but here's a preview of the wonderfully mysterious baby from that set...who looks like he/she might have red hair!

Bratz Lil' Angelz Secret Surprise baby (discontinued).

Friday, September 18, 2015

Create-A-Bratz by MGA Entertainment

This is the first Bratz doll review I've ever written, which feels strange given the impact of this brand in recent play doll history.  I like MGA's spin-off Bratzillaz dolls, but have never been a great admirer of Bratz themselves--mostly because of their bratty, haughty image (brace yourself for some hypocrisy on that statement later on, though).  My feelings about Bratz dolls started to change after Samehch's 2014 guest overview.  Seeing the dolls through Samehch's eyes gave me a new appreciation for these personality-packed, fashionable characters.  In fact, I've actually purchased a few Bratz dolls for my collection in the past year.

At the time of that guest review, MGA had just put the Bratz line on hiatus in the United States market, preparing for a big 2015 re-release.  Bratz dolls continued to be sold in other countries during this hiatus.  The overseas selection during this time included a wonderfully clever and creative Bratz idea: the Duct Tape Fashion dolls.  As a person whose wallet is made completely out of Duct Tape, I heartily approve of this concept.  There's a very charming video review of Duct Tape Yasmin on YouTube.  Even though this particular video doesn't show how the Duct Tape customization works, I highly recommend watching it anyway--especially the part where the charismatic young reviewer expertly fills time while her poor father de-boxes Yasmin.  It's classic.

When the long-awaited 2015 Bratz dolls finally hit shelves in the United States this summer, I was underwhelmed.  I like the freckle-faced, pink-haired #SelfieSnaps Cloe and a few others, but as a whole, the dolls didn't immediately strike me as being obviously better than their predecessors.  To my unpracticed eye, it wasn't even clear right away what had changed.  However, Target stores have started offering a customizable Bratz doll option that did strike me as different and fun.  Today I will review one of these new Create-A-Bratz girls from Target and compare her to a few other Bratz dolls.  Here's my Create-A-Bratz, who I've named Sadie:

review
Create-A-Bratz doll from Target, $49.99.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vi and Va Dolls by MGA Entertainment

Lately I have been scanning the shelves of the local stores, eagerly looking for any sign of the 2015 Bratz dolls by MGA Entertainment.  While I've yet to see anything new from Bratz, MGA did debut a completely different doll line back in January.  Several of you have been noticing these dolls in the stores and asking if I would write a review.  I am extremely happy to do this review because the newcomers look quite different from most other dolls on the shelves right now--and I am always excited to see something truly new.

The doll brand is called "Vi and Va," which is short for "Viviana and Valentina." The brand name also sounds like the word viva, which means "live" or "long live" in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.  Viviana and Valentina are a pair of teenaged sisters who are also close friends.  The other dolls in the line are the sisters' two cousins, Roxxi and Felicia--who are also friends.  MGA's website does not have a huge amount of backstory about these characters, but I get the sense that the girls are Latina and that the line is meant to center around close families.

The dolls are only available at Target right now, where they have been relatively easy to find for the past few months.  All four of the characters were in stock (and on sale) when I went shopping.  There were also a few fashion packs and a Birthday Celebration set with both Vi and Va.  I chose the redheaded Vi doll and also her green-eyed, blonde-haired cousin, Felicia.  I thought these two offered a nice contrast and would be fun to review together:

Viviana (left) and Felicia (right) by MGA Entertainment, $16.99 each.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bratz Dolls by MGA Entertainment--A Guest Overview!

Bratz dolls were introduced in 2001 by MGA Entertainment (makers of Lalaloopsy, BFC Ink dolls, Novi Stars, Mooshka, and of course the Bratzillaz).  The Bratz brand has suffered considerable controversy over the last decade, including multiple criticisms of the dolls' image, and a drawn-out copyright lawsuit with Mattel.  Recently, an announcement was made that MGA will suspend Bratz production during 2014 in order to re-style the brand and improve quality.  The dolls are slated for a 2015 re-release, and I have to say that even though I have never been a huge fan of Bratz dolls myself, I am curious to see what MGA has planned.

This is a great opportunity to look back and see what Bratz dolls have been like up until this point.  However, since I know so little about this brand, I can't offer a very interesting perspective.  As it turns out, I was extremely fortunate to be contacted by a collecting friend in England who was willing to share the opinions and experiences of a Bratz super-fan.  I am thrilled to turn the rest of this post over to "Samehch," who will start things off with the portrait of a lovely custom Jade.  This doll has been re-rooted with yarn in the same pale aquamarine blue as her factory hair (which you can see here):

Custom "Chic Mystique Jade."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bratzillaz Dolls "Angelica Sound" and "Illiana Honesty"

I have been noticing that Bratz and Bratzillaz dolls are not being restocked at my local Target and Walmart (Toys R Us is still getting a few...) but Tina was the first person who explained to me what is going on.  Apparently, MGA plans to take a year-long Bratz hiatus in 2014, during which time they will remove their products from the shelves in the United States and revamp the brand for a 2015 re-release.  This is similar to what the company did after the big lawsuit with Mattel in 2010, but apparently the quality and sales of the dolls have not been up to standard since that time.

I think the original announcement of this news is the article written over at Bratz Boulevard.  It's a great article with an optimistic long-term perspective, but it leaves me with some head-scratchers.  First of all, it doesn't seem like a real hiatus if the dolls are are still being developed and sold in other countries.  Does that mean that there will be some new Bratz dolls in other parts of the world, but they'll just be harder to get in the United States...perhaps with higher shipping costs?  There's some equity here, given that the situation is usually reversed.  The other thing that doesn't make sense to me is that quality is being cited as a reason for the re-invention of the brand.  I don't know much about Bratz dolls, but I have quite a few Bratzillaz, and while the quality of these dolls was not great at first (Meygana's hair...ugh!), I have seen steady improvement over the last few years.

After hearing about MGA's decision, I'll admit that I did a bit of panicked Bratzillaz hoarding.  I went to Amazon and ordered a few dolls from the Back to Magic series and a few from the Witchy Princesses line (they're all on sale!).  All of my new dolls impressed me from inside their boxes.  It was actually quite difficult to choose a single doll to review, so I decided to show you a doll from each group.  Here are Angelica Sound (from the Witchy Princesses, $12.95) and Illiana Honesty (from Back to Magic, $13.98):

Bratzillaz, "Angelica Sound" (L) and "Illiana Honesty" (R).

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pinkie Cooper by The Bridge Direct

Pinkie Cooper is a line of new 9-inch fashion dolls invented by Carter Bryant and his sister Anjanette Abell.  The line is distributed by The Bridge Direct.  Mr. Bryant is also the designer of the popular Bratz line, so the release of these dolls has been highly anticipated.  I first heard about Pinkie from my friend Lily back in February.  She sent me pictures of the Toy Fair display and I was intrigued.  The thing about Pinkie and her friends is that they have dog heads.  Not only that--they have English toy spaniel heads.  The English toy spaniel is a dog breed that can look ridiculously adorable, but also quite grouchy.  Turning this breed into a cute, friendly-looking fashion doll can not have been an easy task.  I think Mr. Bryant and Ms. Abell rose to the challenge, though.

Meet Pinkie Cooper:

Pinkie Cooper doll
Pinkie Cooper by The Bridge Direct.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bratzillaz "Meygana Broomstix" Doll by MGA Entertainment

Bratz dolls are not really my style.  I can honestly say that I have never walked the aisles of a toy store and been tempted by a Bratz character.  I don't even like the name.  Remember that I am a huge Cinderella fan, and looking at the world through that lens, the Bratz dolls come off a bit like the bratty stepsisters.

Anyway, Bratz dolls first appeared in 2001 and have been dominating an impressive chunk of the fashion doll market ever since.  Mattel and MGA Entertainment have been suing each other back and forth over these dolls since about 2005--MGA claiming that the My Scene dolls are a rip off of Bratz and Mattel claiming that they actually own the rights to Bratz because the Bratz designer allegedly came up with the idea for these dolls while he was working for Mattel.  A third party is suing Mattel and MGA for stealing what he claims is his idea.  Sheesh.  It's a big mess, and for a while there, I remember there was some serious tension among collectors about whether or not Bratz would be permanently pulled from the shelves.

Things seem to have calmed a bit on the legal front (after lots of money flew back and forth) and Bratz is alive and well and legally owned by MGA.  I have always been mildly interested in this legal battle (I mean, who wouldn't be?  Two behemoth doll companies locking horns is the doll collector's version of watching the World Series) but as I said, I have never been interested in purchasing a Bratz doll...until last week.  Last week I plunked down $20 for a Bratzillaz doll, and I'll tell you why in a sec.  First, here's a picture of the doll I chose (the redhead, of course):

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana
"Meygana Broomstix" Bratzillaz doll by MGA