Showing posts with label Jakks Pacific. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jakks Pacific. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2018

Wizarding World Hermione Granger by Mattel

Well, I'm finally back with a Wizarding World Hermione review!  I was going to try and keep this post a little shorter than it is, but I wanted to throw in some comparisons to other Mattel Hermione dolls (one of which I've never shown on the blog), and that took a little longer than I anticipated.

I've also finished the Lenora My Twinn restoration and am just waiting for a sub-90% humidity day so that I can get her outside for a few final pictures.  I think you'll be surprised by how she looks.  Predictably, that project prompted about six more My Twinn makeovers, but I doubt I'll chronicle those on the blog.  I've also invested in a few Hairdorables.  I haven't been keeping up with new doll releases the way I used to, so I had no idea what Hairdorables were until several of you told me about them in the Boxy Girls review.  Thank you!  Those seem like a perfect Sunday Surprise.  All in all, I've been working on several different things, which is great for keeping my mind off the empty nest. However, today will be all about Hermione!

I bought all four of the Wizarding World child dolls (Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny) and, of the four, decided to review Hermione because I have a bit of a tradition reviewing Hermione dolls on this blog.  You can see another Mattel Hermione review here, and my two Star Ace Hermione reviews here and here.  There's no mistaking that the Wizarding World version of Hermione was made by Mattel (she looks like Barbie), but the iconic hair and outfit immediately conjure the spunky and inimitable Ms. Granger:

Wizarding World Hermione Granger doll, $20.97.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Surprise: Magic Nursery Toddlers by Mattel!

My goodness, Sundays come around quickly, don't they?  This used to feel like a bad thing because Sunday symbolizes the dwindling weekend.  While Saturday morning is filled with possibilities, Sunday morning is time to clean the bird cages, vacuum the dog hair, and get ready for another week of work.  Sundays have transformed a bit in my mind recently, though.  I have a new-found appreciation for Sunday because this is the day when my son calls home from college...and also because it's the day when I get to look at another surprise doll!

The Sweet e.Baby that I reviewed during the last Sunday Surprise had a secret gender and a secret name hidden with a CD...technology that was new enough in 1999 to feel magical.  In 1990, about a decade before the Sweet e.Baby, Mattel came up with a doll whose gender was hidden within another seemingly-magical concoction: a dissolving hospital gown.  Yes, that's right--a gown that completely disintegrates in water to reveal the gender announcement (and a new outfit).  Mattel called these babies Magic Nursery dolls.

The idea might sound far-fetched, but it was wildly popular.  My parents should thank their lucky stars that I was not a child of the 90s, because this kind of toy would have been completely irresistible to me.  It's even irresistible to me now, almost thirty years later, when unopened Magic Nursery dolls--with all of their surprises still hidden--can cost a small fortune.

Magic Nursery Toddler doll by Mattel (1990).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Star Darlings "Sage" from the Disney Store

It seems impossible to me that it's already December.  The sunny, 50 degree weather here in Maine certainly doesn't help me wrap my mind around the fact that there are only 16 days left until Christmas.  I had at least five dolls that I wanted to review before the holidays, and while that won't happen, I do have an interesting newcomer to show you today.  She is called a Star Darling and is designed around a theme of wishes and magic--which I figured would help me get into the right mindset for this time of year.

The Star Darlings are characters in a series of Disney fantasy books geared towards 8 to 12-year-olds.  There are currently two books available for sale and an additional four books ready for pre-order.  Five of the characters from these books have been released as dolls, and they can be found at the Disney Store for the whopping price of $29.95 each.

I was drawn to the Star Darlings series because of the promising description of the dolls.  They have inset eyes, colorful hair and plenty of articulation...and they don't look like typical Disney Store dolls.  Fresh on the heels of the Disney Descendants dolls (made by Hasbro) the Disney Store has introduced yet another toy designer to their entourage: Jakks Pacific.  I think the Star Darlings resemble the Jakks Pacific Disney Fairies quite a lot, but they don't use the same body or face.  I'm always excited to see truly new things on the market, and so I eagerly ordered myself a Star Darlings doll the moment they appeared on the website.  I chose Sage because she is the heroine of the very first book in the Star Darlings series:

Disney's Star Darlings "Sage" doll, $29.95.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Disney Fairies Dolls by the Disney Store and Jakks Pacific, Part One: Tinker Bell

I'm struggling with the fact that school starts for my kids in one week.  One week!  How did that happen?  What's worse is that I know there are kids across the country who have already started their classes, which seems crazy.  I always have a hard time buckling down to write reviews (or do anything productive, for that matter) when I'm faced with the last few precious days of summer.  However, this year I'm fortunate to have the assistance of some wonderful guest reviewers.  Today, my Canadian friend Melissa is here to help me tackle a comparison review of Disney Fairies dolls made by the Disney Store and Jakks Pacific.  You might remember Melissa from her thorough BEGoth doll review.

Incidentally, Melissa is also the person who got me hooked on Disney Fairies movies.  I was reluctant to watch The Legend of the NeverBeast because many online reviews say it's really scary and kinda sad...which it is.  But Melissa assured me that it's also great...which it is.  I loved it.  I cried a lot, but oh, how I loved it!  Fawn is awesome.  I also watched The Secret of the Wings, which isn't quite as good in my eyes, but is especially relevant to this pair of reviews.

In this post Melissa will compare the Disney Store and Jakks Pacific Tinker Bell dolls, and then I will waltz in for Part Two and compare the equivalent Periwinkle dolls.  I figured this would be a good way to have both fairy sisters represented...and also to provide two separate opinions about these very different brands of doll.

Tinker Bell by Jakks Pacific (left) and the Disney Store (right).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Animators' Mini Elsa Playset from The Disney Store

I'd like to thank Emma for her suggestion that I take a look at the new Disney Store mini Animators' doll playsets.  Not only is this a perfect suggestion for me (I love minis!) but it would have taken me ages to notice these new dolls on my own.  I actually saw the mini dolls during one of my routine browsing days at Disney online, but passed them over because I assumed they were the larger 16-inch versions of the Animators' dolls--just with more accessories.  Wrong!  These little 5-inch dolls are a whole new thing completely, and they are definitely worth a look.

The first release of Animators' mini dolls includes Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Ariel and Jasmine.  All of these characters come with several cute movie-themed accessories.  For example, Cinderella comes with a flocked Bruno (as a puppy), Gus and Jack the mice, and several smaller accessories.  Ariel comes with Flounder, Sebastian, a glittery starfish, and a seahorse pulling a carriage.  I was tempted by all of these sets, but ended up purchasing Elsa.  I didn't intend to review yet another Frozen doll, but I found the mini Anna and Elsa to be the most appealing of these newcomers.

Disney Animators' Mini Elsa
Animators' mini Elsa doll from the Disney Store playset ($19.95).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review Fusion #4

It's hard for me to believe that November is half over already!  There is so much excitement at this time of year in my house, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the academic quarter ending, the first snowfall of the season, the big musical production at our high school, visits from family, and of course the beginnings of holiday shopping.

Amidst the happy pandemonium of the next couple of weeks, I'd like to try and do some shorter reviews of the dolls and toys that seem especially popular or interesting this holiday season, but I also want to squeeze in a few more guest reviews before I get too busy.  This Fusion post will attempt to address both goals: I have two really neat guest reviews to share with you, and I'll also offer my own quick evaluation of one of the most sought-after toys in this neck of the woods lately: My Size Anna.

My Size Anna (Target, $59.99).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Maleficent Doll Comparison Review

I have been eagerly anticipating next week's release of the new Disney live-action movie, Maleficent.  First of all, Maleficent is brilliantly named, and perhaps the best Disney villain of all time.  I mean, she turns into a dragon at the end of Sleeping Beauty, which is pretty hard to beat for diabolical awesomeness.  Second, the trailer looks great and I love the idea of a fairy tale being told from a different, darker perspective.  I expect something similar to Wicked, the book-turned-musical that tells the story of The Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch's point of view.

Unlike Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, this movie seems to be geared towards older children and adults.  It has a PG rating, but seems darker than most Disney movies.  Angelina Jolie's creepy-eyed portrayal of Maleficent might be too much for young viewers--her chilling laugh and eery smile are enough to make me jumpy.  The dolls for this movie also seem to be designed for an older crowd, too, which offers a nice contrast to my last review.

Both the Disney Store and Jakks Pacific have recently released 12" dolls based on characters from the Maleficent movie.  The Disney Store currently only has Aurora and Maleficent ($34.95 each).  Jakks Pacific has basic Aurora and Maleficent ($19.99 each), Coronation Aurora and Maleficent ($39.99 each), and also a Diaval figure that is available in a two-doll set with Coronation Maleficent.  In this review, I will contrast the Jakks Pacific basic Maleficent with the Disney Store's version.

Disney Store Maleficent
The Disney's Store's new 12" Maleficent ($34.95).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winx Club Dolls by Witty Toys and Jakks Pacific

I get inspired to write reviews for a number of different reasons.  Often, there is just a doll that is new and exciting and I want to get a close look at it.  I can also be motivated by special dolls in my collection, conversations with friends and family, the wonderful tips I get from you, and from shopping trips and online browsing (which I like to call "research").  This particular review has several origins.

I wrote a review of Winx Believix Bloom back in 2012 (here's the link).  The desire to write another Winx post started because of the simple fact that I have been noticing Winx dolls a lot lately.  I have been impressed by the steady stream of new dolls in this line, but have gotten into the habit of just stopping to admire the new dolls--not actually purchasing any of them.  The recently released Believix Power series proved too tempting to resist.  Believix Power Tecna will make an appearance at the end of this review.

Another inspiration for this post came ages ago, when I got an email tip from Emma to look into Giochi Preziosi dolls.  Giochi Preziosi is an Italian company that is one of the largest toy makers in the world.  This company makes toys, but also acts as a European distributor for other toy manufacturers.  Shopping for a Giochi Preziosi doll is like shopping for a Hasbro doll--there are a ton of different options in a range of styles.  With the help of eBay International, I ended up with a fun mix of dolls from Italy bearing the Giochi Preziosi label, including this basic Winx Club Bloom doll that I will review today:

Winx Club Bloom by Witty
Italian Winx Club Bloom doll (Witty Toys).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The "Rapunzel" and "Mother Gothel" Disney Store Dolls for 2013

Simultaneous to the wonderful Twice Upon a Year sale (thank you for the tip, Astroasis!), the Disney Store updated their site with the 2013 princesses.  If it weren't for Kate's comment about this release in the Our Generation review, I wouldn't have noticed in time to bring a few of these new dolls with me on vacation.  Because of the big sale, all of the classic princesses (including the new ones) were $10 each.  I've said this before, but I'll say it again--I've yet to find any other doll on the market that can deliver equivalent quality for this price.  Assuming, of course, that the quality of Disney Store princesses hasn't changed much since last year.

I was tempted to order several of the new princesses.  Cinderella will have to join my collection at some point, of course, and I am also curious to see how the new Merida compares to her first release predecessor.  I am surprised by how tempting I find this year's Snow White doll, too, even though she is my least favorite princess.  I like Snow White much more after watching some of the charming ABC  television series, Once Upon a Time, in which Snow White is a spunky, rebellious character.

Above all, I was anxious to see Disney's ever-changing Rapunzel doll, and so she is the one I purchased first.  She arrived in the mail just in time to stow away in my luggage for our summer trip.  Mother Gothel insisted on coming along as a chaperone:

New Rapunzel Disney Store doll
The Disney Store's "Rapunzel" and "Mother Gothel."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel Jewel Edition Doll by Jakks Pacific

Over the last year, I have had several requests to review one of the Disney "Princess & Me" dolls.  I can understand why people are curious about these dolls.  First of all, at just under 20 inches tall, they make impressive gifts.  In addition, they portray the beloved Disney Princesses, and so collectors and enthusiasts of these characters will be tempted to own a large version of their favorite heroine.  Also, these dolls are comparably sized to many slim 18" play dolls like Carpatina, Kidz 'n' Cats and Magic Attic, which makes clothes-sharing an added temptation.

To be honest, I always walk a little faster past this section of the Disney doll aisle, purposefully avoiding eye contact with these huge princesses.  Their oversized faces and round, staring eyes freak me out a little.  Also, the price tag is a bit of a stunner.  All of the dolls cost $50 except for the Diamond Edition Cinderella, who (because of a bigger dress?) is $60.  That's really expensive for a Toys R Us play doll.  So, I have been reluctantly watching for a sale, but secretly hoping that I would never need to bring one of these large, glassy-eyed girls home with me.

As luck would have it, over April break, a really good sale started at Toys R Us.  All of the princesses (including Cinderella) were $39.99 (sale ends May 11th).  I headed over to my local Toys R Us and, with my teenaged son running in the opposite direction as fast as he could, I bit the bullet and settled in to inspect all of the dolls.  While Cinderella was the obvious choice for me, especially with the $20 off sale, I actually found Rapunzel to be the most appealing doll in the group:

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel doll.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Juku Couture "Hayley" by Jakks Pacific

Update: two quick announcements: thanks to a reader suggestion, you can now translate the whole blog into the language of your choice with the Toy Box Translator (on the right).  This is fun even if you speak English.  I love the Latin translation of the blog title, In Toy Box Philosophus.  Classic.  Also, you can now follow the blog by email.  Hope that works.

Juku Couture dolls are 9 inch articulated plastic fashion dolls with inset eyes.  The dolls are named after a Japanese fashion trend called "Harajuku" that involves combining lots of mis-matched fashion elements into a personalized look.  The dolls are dressed in multi-layered outfits with pieces in contrasting styles and colors.  These dolls were released by Jakks Pacific in 2008 and, from what I can tell, were discontinued after only four waves: Series 1, Series 2 (called "In the Wild"), a 2009 re-release group, and the "Global Good" series.   Each release of dolls has four different characters, Hayley, Jun, Kana and Audrina.

The dolls originally sold for $19.99, and can now be found on eBay and Amazon for significantly more or significantly less than that.  The 2009 re-release dolls are thought to be of lesser quality than the originals, and they seem to be the easiest group to find.  I bought Hayley from the 2009 re-release series for about $10 on Amazon:

Juku Couture re-release Hayley (2009) by Jakks Pacific.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"China Girl" Doll by Jakks Pacific

It seems fitting that I stumbled upon China Girl while I was writing my post about antique dolls.  I had crazing, cracking and bisque on my mind as I was wandering the aisles of Target, and I could barely believe my eyes when I saw a plastic doll made to look like she was made out of porcelain.  Without knowing a thing about who she was, I handed over $19.99 and brought her home.

The China Girl is actually a character from the new movie, Oz, The Great and Powerful.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've read that while it might not live up to its predecessor (how could it?), and there might be some script and casting fumbles, the special effects are jaw-dropping and the China Girl character steals the show.  I'll probably love it.  The thing is, there's no need to watch the movie to enjoy this doll.  I can safely say that there is nothing on the toy shelves even remotely like her.

Both The Disney Store and Jakks Pacific have released a full line of dolls based on characters from this movie.  Most of the dolls are 1:6 scale, like Barbie.  The Disney Store offered a 19" limited edition version of The China Girl ($179.50, sold out) that was actually made out of porcelain.  They also made a 4" Polly Pocket style vinyl version ($9.99, sold out).  The Jakks Pacific China Girl is 14" tall and highly articulated.  She's just shy of being a life sized version of the movie character.

In this review, I will look at the 14" Jakks Pacific doll and the little 4" doll:

China Girl doll
4" Disney Store China Doll ($9.99)
and 14" Jakks Pacific China Girl ($19.99).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cabbage Patch Kid Babyland Mini Dolls by Jakks Pacific

I found the most wonderful little toy at Toys R Us the other day!  It's a tiny little Cabbage Patch doll.   To me, this is the perfect miniature doll.  It has so many elements that I find irresistibly fun, it's almost like it was made for me.  First of all, this doll costs under $5.00 ($3.99 at the moment), which is practically unheard of these days.  Most of the mini dolls on the market (Lalaloopsy, Cutie Pops, LPS Blythe) cost closer to $10.  Second of all, the gender of the doll is a secret.   I love surprises!  To me, waiting to learn the gender of a real child is one of life's greatest and most exciting secrets.  Any doll that can re-create even a tiny fraction of that anticipation is instantly appealing to me.  Third, this doll has a hidden name.  As a little girl, I named everything in sight, including all of my dolls and a massive collection of Breyer model horses.  I still love naming things and thinking about names and I am always excited to learn what friends and relatives (and even celebrities) name their babies.  Full size Cabbage Patch Kids all come with a unique name (a first and a middle name), and I used to lurk in the toy aisles, trying to get a peek at what the names of all the Kids were without giving away what I was doing.  I still do that, actually.  Having a secret name for a doll is a brilliant marketing strategy, because I have to buy the doll in order to learn the name.  Luckily, for $3.99, this isn't a huge burden.  So...here's my cute baby who could be a boy OR a girl and who has a secret mystery name!  Eeee!  Are you excited?

Cabbage Patch mini doll: blonde hair, blue eyes.
Gender: UNKNOWN!  Name: ??