Showing posts with label Madame Alexander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madame Alexander. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fan Girl Black Panther and Black Widow by Madame Alexander

During my final shopping trips to Toys 'R' Us a few weeks ago, I purchased a few things to review in depth, including two of Madame Alexander's Marvel Fan Girl dolls: Black Panther and Black Widow.  The Black Panther character was sold out at my local store, but she was still in stock online (and even on sale!).  So, I purchased Black Widow in person and ordered Black Panther online.  Black Panther took forever to ship, but I feel fortunate to have ordered her before the Toys 'R' Us website shut down.  These dolls were Toys 'R' Us exclusives.

One interesting thing about the Fan Girl line is that each character has a variant that's harder to find than the standard-release version.  These variants are called Fan Girl Finds and have specially-marked boxes.  The Fan Girl Finds cost the same as the other versions of the same doll.  For reasons I don't completely understand (movie popularity?), both of the Black Panther variants cost considerably more than the other dolls.  Toys 'R' Us sent me the Fan Girl Find variant of Black Panther ($79.99) and I purchased the regular version of Black Widow ($49.99).

In this review, I will take a close look at my Black Panther doll and do a quick overview of Black Widow.

Black Panther Fan Girl, gold variant ($79.99).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Madame Alexander's 9.5-inch Doll Factory Dolls from the (Closed) Manhattan F.A.O. Schwarz

There's a pretty long title for this review, so let me explain.  My boys and I were in Manhattan last week to visit family, and of course I was eager to check up on Toys R Us or F.A.O. Schwarz--outings that were canceled during our last trip because of my broken leg.  As I was trying to decide between these two flagship stores, my mom mentioned that the F.A.O. Schwarz store was closing--or had already closed, she couldn't remember.  I need to pay more attention to the world because this sad news took me completely by surprise.  I panicked a little and immediately wanted to head uptown to see if the store was still open (and if there were any toys left in stock).

As a matter of fact, the Manhattan F.A.O. Schwarz store closed its doors on July 15, just two days after our visit.  F.A.O. Schwarz has had a store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for over 100 years (21 years at 303 Fifth Avenue, 55 years at 735 Fifth Avenue and 31 years across the street at 767 Fifth Avenue).  The location has become a beloved stop for me and my family over the last few decades--made even more appealing to my growing boys with the arrival of the Apple Store as a next-door neighbor in 2006.

My eldest son, my mom and I all went to pay the store our last respects.  I'll share a little bit of that visit with you, and I'll also review the two dolls that my mom bought for me while we were there.  Even before we arrived at the store, I knew which dolls I was hoping to find: the customizable 9.5-inch Doll Factory girls by Madame Alexander.  I have been eyeing these cuties for years and, as far as I know, they were only available at the F.A.O. Schwarz brick-and-mortar store.  This means that the dolls are--temporarily--no longer available.  Much to my relief, even though most of the doll brands were sold out by the time we arrived, the Doll Factory was still functional...kind of, and the smaller dolls were on sale for around $20.

9.5-inch Madame Alexander Doll Factory doll from F.A.O. Schwarz.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Travel Friends "India" and "Ireland" by Madame Alexander

Ok, first things first: I saw Cinderella last week and absolutely loved it.  I went into the theater with very (very!) high expectations, granted, and I can't say that those expectations were completely met, but I did really enjoy the movie and cried through about half of it (both sad and happy tears).  I think Richard Madden is absolutely perfect as the prince (named "Kit," apparently).  Cate Blanchett is luminescent as Lady Tremaine, but Helena Bonham-Carter's plucky Fairy Godmother doesn't have enough screen time.  Some of the characters are left underdeveloped (Fairy Godmother and stepsisters), while others (Lady Tremaine and the king) are given new depth.  Lily James sparkles as Ella, with a tender-hearted and lovable version of the character.  Her chemistry with Kit is fantastic.  Ms. James' version of Cinderella doesn't have quite enough spunk to trump Drew Barrymore in Ever After, though...so that remains my favorite live action Cinderella movie.  I am off to see Cinderella again on Sunday, and probably two or three more times after that.  It's wonderful.

Today's review doesn't have anything to do with Cinderella, though.  This review is based on another excellent reader suggestion.  My friend Nadine (who knows how much I like miniature things...) purchased one of the Madame Alexander mini dolls at Toys R Us a few weeks ago, and she suggested that I do this review--thinking I might particularly enjoy the articulation on these new minis.  I had already seen Char's review of these dolls over on Doll Diaries, but wanted to get a look at them in person.  The minis, called "Travel Friends," are about 7 inches tall and are available for $12.99.  The collection includes 9 girls who each represent a different country (Ireland, India, China, Germany, Russia, Kenya and France).  I purchased Ireland (for her red hair, of course) and India (because I thought she was the prettiest):

Madame Alexander "Travel Friends" dolls
Madame Alexander "Travel Friends," $12.99 each. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New "My Life As..." Dolls from Walmart

What a week this has been!  I apologize for not being present in the comments section recently, but I have been reading and appreciating every comment--or at least every comment that isn't spam (did you guys see those crazy ones last week?  Whoa).  There have been a few minor changes here on the blog that I'd like to mention.  First, I had to shorten the format of my feed as part of a time-consuming battle against someone stealing my content.  What a drag.  However, on a positive note, I am on Twitter now (@ToyBoxEmily) and am paying attention to my poor neglected Facebook page (about time, right?).  So that's all good.

Anyway, last week I was working on a different review when I got an email from Nonna (of Mommy's Doll Club).  She told me about the new My Life As dolls at Walmart and asked if I had seen them.  I actually did see these newcomers during my Sparkle Girlz quest, but dismissed them pretty quickly because I wasn't crazy about the new faces at first.  Nonna bought one of the new girls (a redhead!) and made some neat observations, tempting me into purchasing my own doll for a closer look.  At the same store where I bought my doll, I found another exciting My Life As release that I will show off at the end of the review.

I never would have written this review without Nonna's tip, so I want to start the post by having her share some of what she found with her doll (My Life As a Party Planner, redhead), before I review the doll I chose (My Life As a School Girl, brunette).  Thank you so much for the inspiration, Nonna, and congratulations on your beautiful new blog!

New My Life As doll, "School Girl" (left) and older My Life As doll, "Outdoorsy Girl" (right).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Paradise Horses for 18" Dolls

When I was a child, I was much more interested in toy horses than I was in dolls.  I had a massive collection of Breyer model horses, and my friends and I would play elaborate games with our plastic herds, developing little romances (between the horses) and power struggles (between the horses...mostly) that could rival most soap operas.  As an adult, I am more interested in collecting dolls, but horses still elicit a special kind of excitement in me.

I don't know if it's just my warped perspective, but it seems like there are a lot of new play horses on the market these days, and I find myself gravitating towards these toys when I am in the stores.  Many of the horses I've seen come with dolls, but I often feel like the dolls are completely out of scale with their equine companions (the Mattel Disney Princess and Horse sets are a perfect example of this).  I thought it would be fun to launch a series of reviews that examines some of the available horses, with an emphasis on which dolls fit them best.  I won't do these reviews all in a row like I did with the Cutie Pops, but I hope to review six or seven different steeds over the next month or two.

I am going to start by reviewing two of the large 19" Paradise horses.  I have been curious about these toys (and the whole Paradise line) for a while.  The fur-covered, articulated Paradise horses are sold for around $30 at Walmart as part of the Madame Alexander 18" "My Life As..." play doll series, but they are also available in the standard Paradise packaging with no mention of My Life at all.  I was interested to learn whether there's any difference between these separately-marketed versions of the horse.  These horses strike me as a nice alternative to the expensive American Girl horses, and will offer an interesting comparison for my upcoming review of the comparably-priced Our Generation articulated Morgan.

Paradise "Western Pinto"  horse.