Showing posts with label Just Play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Just Play. Show all posts

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Surprise: Hairdorables by Just Play!

Happy Sunday!  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, several of the comments here prompted me to investigate the latest blind box doll sensation, the Hairdorables!  These toys follow the lead of the L.O.L. Surprise dolls by offering a complex package-opening experience, with several little surprises to uncover along the way.  Originally, I intended to compare these dolls directly to L.O.L.'s most recent offering (the Under Wraps wave), but this post is long enough as it is, so I'll look at an Under Wraps toy in a week or two.

Hairdorables are made by Just Play (not to be confused with Jay at Play, the makers of the Boxy Girls).  I think the most recent Just Play toys I reviewed here were the Spirit Riding Free horses and riders.  I can actually see a resemblance between the dolls from that collection and these new Hairdorables:

Hairdorables "Bella Bunerina" doll, $12.88 .

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Blind Bag Spirit Riding Free Horses!

Before I dive into today's review, I thought I'd mention that my Create Your Own American Girl clothing is on its way (it shipped--as promised--just shy of a month from when I ordered it) and should arrive sometime next week.  I'm excited to see how the outfits look in person!  I still don't expect Eliza herself to arrive until mid November.

In the meantime, I thought this Sunday would be a great time to write a companion piece to my Spirit Riding Free review from last week.  In this post, I'll contrast the blind bag surprise horses that are being offered by Breyer and Just Play.  I also have a few non-mystery Spirit toys that I want to share, including two unexpected Just Play horses that I found at Toys R Us today, and a small horse and rider set from Breyer.

To start things off, here's a sneak peek at one of the Breyer blind bag horses--this is Spirit himself!

Breyer Spirit Riding Free blind bag Stablemate, Spirit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Spirit Riding Free Toys by Breyer and Just Play

The original Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron movie by DreamWorks came out in 2002--the year my kids were two and four years old.  My four-year-old, in particular, was obsessed with this movie, in part because of the impressive steam engine featured in one of the climactic scenes.  At that time we were all listening to a series of tapes (yes, cassette tapes...) with songs about the construction of the transcontinental railroad, so both boys liked everything that had to do with trains.  Anyway, I loved the movie because of all the horses--and because the horses weren't given silly human voices.  Matt Damon adds a voice to some of Spirit's thoughts, but this is a rare occurrence, used only to forward the plot or explain a complicated scene.  The human protagonist in this movie is a kind-hearted Lakota teenager named Little Creek who yearns to ride Spirit, but knows when to stop trying.  It's a wonderful movie that will always have a special place in my heart.

In May of this year, DreamWorks premiered a new animated series on Netflix called Spirit Riding Free.  Season two of the series was released last week.  Fans of the original movie looked forward to this series with great anticipation, many of us hoping to rekindle the excitement we felt fifteen years ago when we were first introduced to Spirit's Wild West.

Both Just Play and Breyer have released a whole collection of Spirit Riding Free toys, and I will look at several of these in today's review.  I want to start the review by showing you something I bought right after I watched Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, though.  This is Breyer's 2002 model of Spirit himself:

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Breyer horse model, 2002.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Puppy Surprise Problems

I had such a fun time with my Kitty Surprise cat, Snow, that I decided to buy one of the new Puppy Surprise toys, too.  I was especially interested to see the dalmatian character, "Gigi," because she is advertised as having two "magic" babies with eyes that can change from open to closed with the application of cold water.  That sounded fun and intriguing to me...even though I was warned that the effect wasn't great.

This will not be a full review of Gigi and her puppies, but just a quick description of this toy and some of the things that were different from what I experienced with Snow and her kittens.  

Two puppies from Puppy Surprise, "Gigi."

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Kitty Surprise by Just Play

Once again, I got sidetracked from another review I am writing because of a routine stop at Toys R Us.  I don't regularly check the stuffed animal section at this store, but the other day there were no new dolls to look at, and so I wandered into some less-frequented aisles.  To my amazement, I saw three pink boxes with Kitty Surprise plush inside!  I absolutely love surprises, and so this is one of my favorite toys of all time.

The "Surprise" line of stuffed toys started way back in the early 1990s with vinyl-faced plush dogs, cats, ponies, bears and bunnies that came with an undisclosed number of babies in their bellies.  The original animals were released by Hasbro.  Playskool (a division of Hasbro) re-introduced the line in 2005 with a few changes.  The new animals (only cats, dogs and rabbits this time) did not have vinyl faces and resembled more typical stuffed toys.  A couple of years ago, I looked at some of the Puppy Surprise toys that were made by Playskool in 2005.  Those toys didn't last long on the market, and so when they were discontinued, I figured we had heard the last of this brand.

As it turns out, the line has now been turned over to Just Play (whose Doc McStuffins doll I recently reviewed), and the design has gone back to a vinyl-faced version similar to that of the original toys.  So far, there are only dogs and cats in this new collection.  I found several of the cats at my local Toys R Us, and thought the pink and white kitty, "Snow," was especially cute:

Kitty Surprise Just Play
Kitty Surprise "Snow," by Just Play, $24.99.

Friday, August 15, 2014

"Doc McStuffins" Dolls by The Disney Store and Just Play

My husband was reading the New York Times the other day and stopped to ask me if I knew anything about Doc McStuffins.  I giggled a little at the name (while picturing Doctor Dolittle, Doctor Who and other such doctor characters...) and said, "nope."  Well, as it turns out, I should have known about Doc, because she's the lead character from a new animated Disney Junior television series called Doc McStuffins.  This show has become incredibly popular among preschool children (and their parents) and the merchandise is starting to appear in all of my favorite stores.

Dottie (aka "Doc") McStuffins is a six-year-old girl who has a special way with stuffed animals and toys.  Following in the footsteps of her physician mother, Doc has set up a small toy hospital inside her backyard playhouse.  In each television episode, Doc fixes or helps a different toy, imparting simple bits of wisdom along the way...and glowing with a kindhearted, intelligent personality.

Miss McStuffins got the attention of the New York Times because she's black, and because she represents a success story for Disney--a company that has been working hard to overcome the racial and gender stereotypes of their past.  I certainly recommend taking a look at the Times' article.  It's short, well-written, and it outlines the reasons why this show is a big deal, both for Disney, and also for a multitude of families who have been waiting for an African-American roll model just like Doc.

I watched several episodes of Doc McStuffins and quickly became enchanted.  It's fantastic.  If my kids were younger, this is what we'd be watching.  When I was a child, Doc's animal-loving personality and affinity for toys would have made her my hero.  As a quickly-converted fan of this show, my first question became: "which is the best Doc Mc Stuffins doll out there?"  Today, I will review two of the larger Doc dolls.  One of them is sold at the Disney Store, and the other is made by Just Play and can be found on the shelves of Toys R Us, Walmart, Target and other big box locations.

Doc McStuffins doll from Disney Store
"Doc McStuffins" doll from the Disney Store, accompanied by Just Play figures
"Lambie" and "Stuffy."