Showing posts with label Sunday Surprise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunday Surprise. Show all posts

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday Surprise: Capsule Chix by Moose Toys!

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with vending machines.  The big displays outside of the grocery store were the biggest temptation, with so many mini-sized toy and novelty options.  There were even a few machines that had a special prize like a watch or a necklace mixed in amongst more ordinary fare.  I was rarely given the chance to use a vending machine when I was young, though, and so I overcompensated for this when I became an independent adult.  Not only did I get toys from these machines for myself with more frequency than I care to admit, but I always indulged my kids when they asked for the money necessary to get a treat.  When we moved to Maine, I even bought my own old-fashioned capsule vending machine and set it up in the basement.  I kept my eye out for interesting small toys, and so the machine was always full of new stuff.  All of my kids' friends could use the vending machine (once) every time they came over.  Younger brothers and sisters would often tag along to pick up their sibling from a play date, clutching their own quarter in their hand and hoping for a turn at the machine.  It was a big hit.

Back in February, when I wrote the first part of the L.O.L. Surprise review (the second part will come eventually, promise!), Gabby asked if I'd ever heard of the Capsule Chix.  These are small surprise-themed dolls that come in, wait for it, vending machine packaging!  How cool is that?  It's exactly the kind of thing I would have gone bonkers for when I was young...and, frankly, it's the kind of thing I still go bonkers for now.  I found a few sets for about $13 and stored them away for a future review.  Then, a month later, Amy asked about the Capsule Chix on one of my Patreon reviews, so I figured it was high time to get the sets I bought out and learn more about these intriguing blind box characters.

Capsule Chix dolls are assembled from several parts (head, hair, torso, legs, and some extra clothing bits like skirts and shoes).  Each part is wrapped inside of a vending machine capsule, and then the capsules are packaged into a box that dispenses the capsules one by one.  Every set is guaranteed to include the parts you need to make one doll, but the parts in each box are randomly assigned, so you're very unlikely to get a matched set; everything's mixed up.  You can either be happy with the mix-and-match doll you receive, or you can buy more of the sets hoping to find the parts you need to build a specific doll.

I knew these dolls and their fancy packaging would involve tons of waste, which is one of my least favorite things in the doll world right now, but I absolutely could not resist the idea of the vending machine box.  So here we go!

Capsule Chix Giga Glam doll, $12.99.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sunday Surprise: Li'l Woodzeez Mini Acorn House and Babeez by Battat!

I can't believe that we're almost a week away from Thanksgiving.  It just won't sink into my brain.  Part of the problem is the weather here in New Jersey.  For example, yesterday I was walking in the sun in a tee shirt, and then a few hours later there was a thunderstorm.  A thunderstorm!  In mid-November!  It still feels so much like summer to me.  It feels like Christmas when I go into Target, though.  The toy aisles are packed with stuff, and holiday trimmings are filling up the rest of the store.  Even though I'm in a perpetual state of confusion about what time of year it is, I've been enjoying my research missions to Target more than usual with all of the new stock!

During one of my recent trips to Target I focused on looking at what surprise-themed toys are available these days.  There are a lot of them!  I picked a few of my favorites to share with you over the coming months, and right at the top of my list is an old favorite: the Li'l Woodzeez.

Li'l Woodzeez continue to stand out to me because of the high cuteness factor and low price.  They're still selling the adorable Tickle Your Tastebuds bakery play set (seemingly unchanged from the one I reviewed in 2012) for the same $20 price.  And I picked up this whole collection of surprises for $11: 

Li'l Woodzeez Mini Acorn House Surprise ($4.99) and two Surprise Babeez ($2.99 each).

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Surprise: Na! Na! Na! Surprise Dolls by MGA Entertainment!

Surprise!  I'm back to write some more reviews.  As it turned out, after my life settled down, I started to miss this place a lot.  So here I am, reporting to you from my new home in New Jersey, where I already have a big queue of dolls that I want to review!  There have been some great releases over the last few years that I really want to talk about.  Things will be pretty much the same around here, except for a few little changes that we can discuss later.

Right now I want to talk about the Na! Na! Na! Surprise dolls. Everybody else on the planet probably knows about these dolls, but I knew nothing about them until I saw a few at my local Target store about a week ago.  The printed fabric faces looked really interesting to me, and of course the surprise theme is right up my alley.  I figured this would be a fun way to resurrect the old Sunday Surprise series.

The Na! Na! Na! Surprise dolls were originally released at the end of 2019, and there have already been (I think) 8 waves.  That's a lot of dolls in a short period of time!  Let's take a closer look at a few of these cuties and see what surprises they have in store.

Na! Na! Na! Surprise Teens doll, Alaska Frost (2021).

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, August 19, 2018

Sunday Surprise: Boxy Girls Willa by Jay at Play!

I knew back in May that I wasn't going to post as much as I used to, but I didn't think it'd actually be a whole month between posts!  Yikes.  My slow speed is partially due to eBay sales, but also because I've simply been enjoying a lovely (hot!) summer with both of my kids before the youngest goes off to start his college adventure.

The other reason for the delay is that I've been sitting around waiting for Mattel's new Harry Potter Wizarding World dolls, figuring they'd be the next thing I'd review.  They're definitely the newcomers that I'm most excited about right now.  I preordered the set of four kids from Walmart back in June and they were supposed to arrive the first week of August.  However, Walmart canceled each doll from that order (one at a time, with a few excruciating days in between each cancellation) claiming that the dolls were "not in stock and we don't know when they'll be back in stock."  Ironically, each doll would show up (in healthy numbers) on the shelves of my local Walmart store at about the same time that their "out of stock" cancellation email arrived.  So, at least I knew when to go out and look for the dolls!  I finally have the whole set of kids and have started to photograph Hermione.

While I work on the Hermione review, I figured I could get back into the swing of things by doing a quick Sunday Surprise!  I discovered the intriguing line of Boxy Girls dolls at Walmart during my most recent Harry Potter mission.  The dolls themselves are highly stylized, but they look well-articulated and they each come with four mystery boxes filled with fashion accessories!  For me, the element of surprise and the visible articulation were enough to warrant the $15 price tag.

Boxy Girls Willa by Jay@Play ($14.98).

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Surprise: Secret Central Dolls by Hasbro!

This week I'm going to look at an older surprise-themed line of dolls that Yumi recommended a few weeks ago (Thank you, Yumi!).  The brand is called Secret Central and includes a collection of 3.5 inch dolls depicting high school students.  As the name suggests, each doll has a secret!  All of the dolls come with a secret note (revealing something about the relationships within their high school class) but some of the sets have a concealed character (a whole extra doll!)--who also has a secret note.  I could not resist this concept.  Here's one of the girls to start things off:

Secret Central doll Rachel Ruff (Hasbro, 2003).

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Surprise: Surprizamal Mama and Baby Jamie!

As promised, Sunday has arrived and so it's time to see what's inside of my Surprizamal unicorn's baby balls!  Ok, saying "unicorn baby balls" sounds wrong, I know, but I don't know what else to call them!  As an extra treat, I found another kind of Surprizamal Mama and Baby toy that I want to share with you today, too.

Since I just posted yesterday (and I'm in the middle of working on that Madame Alexander Fan Girl review) I'll keep this short and sweet.

Here's Jamie, my Surprizamal unicorn mama, who I introduced back in February:

Surprizamal Mama and Baby unicorn, Jamie ($19.99).

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Surprise: FlipaZoo Flip Box Surprise by Jay at Play!

I feel like my Sunday Surprise options are always at an extreme: either in short supply or overflowing.  Currently I'm experiencing the overflowing scenario!  I already have two things that I want to review, and another great reader suggestion that I'm in the process of tracking down.  But despite all of this, I couldn't resist something new I saw at Walmart!  I don't actually think it's super-new–as in just released–but it's new to me.

I don't go to Walmart much anymore, mostly because the toy department seems to be shrinking. That might be the only reason I noticed these surprise toys, though.  They were in the stuffed animal aisle, which I don't usually spend much time in, but last week I wandered through because I'd quickly run out of other things to look at.

The toy I found is called a FlipaZoo.  There are many varieties of these "flippable" stuffed toys, but the ones that caught my eye are called Flip Box Surprise:

Flip Box Surprise dog from FlipaZoo.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Surprise: Surprizamals and L.O.L. Confetti Pop!

It's been a while since I've done a Sunday Surprise post, and during that time–not surprisingly–MGA Entertainment has released yet another group of L.O.L. Surprise dolls!  They're called Confetti Pop and they sound pretty awesome.

I've had a bit of L.O.L Surprise overload lately, so I wasn't really planning on reviewing any more of these toys, but the Confetti dolls have a few new tricks up their sleeves that I really wanted to see for myself.

I didn't want to make this review all about the L.O.L. dolls, though, so I decided to include another ball-enclosed surprise toy: Surprizamals by the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company.  I've accumulated four Surprizamal balls over the past year and have only opened one of them.  I'm eager to open the rest!  To start things off, here's my opened Surprizamal dog, Pam, with the (disappointing) L.O.L. dolls from my last review:

A L.O.L. Series 3 Pet, a Surprizamal, and a L.O.L. Glitter Series doll.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Surprise: L.O.L. Glitter Series and Pets!

MGA Entertainment is coming out with new L.O.L. Surprise dolls at a furious rate.  Just as the Lil Sisters began to show up reliably in stores, two new groupings--the Glitter Series and Series 3 Pets--were released.  I have yet to see these newcomers in stores, but, as always, eBay and Amazon vendors are happy to part with their stash for exorbitant prices.

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of these little balled-up surprise dolls, but, judging by the traffic to the other two reviews I've written (Series 1 and Lil Sisters), they are favorites for many of you.  I definitely understand the appeal.  Not only do I love surprise-themed toys in general, but the play potential of the articulated L.O.L girls and their accessories is higher than most blind bag options.

So, today I will share two of each of the new types of L.O.L. Surprise ball with you, and we'll see if MGA has another instant hit on their hands!

Unopened L.O.L. Surprise Pets (left) and Glitter Series (right) balls.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Li'l Secrets by Mattel!

I don't know why, but that last review--the Forces of Destiny dolls--took forever.  I would sit down to work on it first thing every morning, but I'd usually get distracted within minutes.  I think it was partly because the review has so many pictures.  It's also probably because the weather here feels like summer (still) and I want to be outside.  Another distraction is that my youngest son is applying to colleges (how did that happen so fast?) and so we're wrapped up in a turmoil of decisions, deadlines and details.

I thought that perhaps a good counterbalance to the last review would be a quick Sunday Surprise post--better yet, a vintage Sunday Surprise post.  I get a huge thrill from discovering new vintage surprise toys, and it's pure fun to share these discoveries with you guys!

I don't even need to write much of an introduction to this post, because the star of today's review, a Li'l Surprise doll from 1994, describes her mysterious nature better than I ever could.  Quite simply, the girl has secrets in her hair:

Mattel's Li'l Secrets doll (1994).

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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Surprise: WuvLuvs by Trendmasters!

In the comments section of my recent Hatchimal Colleggtibles review, Caroline mentioned a beloved surprise-themed toy from her childhood.  The toy was called a WuvLuv.  Caroline described this vintage toy as having "eggs and surprises," which was more than enough to get my attention.  I love vintage toys...especially ones with surprises.  I read Caroline's comment and went immediately to eBay, where I found a mint-in-box yellow WuvLuv for under $50.  That's a hefty price, but it's more reasonable than many of the surprise-themed vintage toys I've encountered--especially considering that this WuvLuv's box had never even been opened.  Needless to say, I bought it instantly.

So today, thanks to Caroline, we get to hatch a secret egg and see a mystery baby that's been hidden for almost 18 years!

A WuvLuv (1999) by Trendmaster.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Hatchimal Colleggtibles by Spin Master!

July has been a bit hectic so far.  My youngest son is off in another state doing a summer program, and so last week and next week will be mostly consumed by transporting him to and fro and visiting family along the way.  I always bring a few dolls along on these trips, in the hopes that there will be an outdoor photo opportunity, but the frequent (and exciting!) summery thunderstorm downpours have kept the dolls under cover.

I decided to tackle a smaller review in between all of this traveling and raining, but couldn't decide between the super-popular Hatchimal Colleggtible miniatures and the new L.O.L. Li'l Sisters surprise balls.  So, I've been working on both posts at the same time.  The Hatchimal review ended up being a little faster to photograph, so I'll share that today as this week's official Sunday Surprise.  However, the L.O.L. sisters will probably make an appearance well before next Sunday.

A hatching Hatchimal Colleggtible figure ($9.88 for 5).

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, May 14, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Family Corners by Mattel!

Some of my favorite Sunday Surprise dolls have been vintage items that are older than my kids.  The Jolly Dolly babies from Easter are a good example, as is one of my all-time favorite baby dolls: the Sweet e.Baby from 1999.  I like these older dolls because they offer secrets that have been hidden for decades, but also because they give a fascinating glimpse into the history of dolls in our society.

A few weeks ago I was talking about how Mattel has been making some modernizing changes to many of their doll lines.  Today I will go back in time and show you how this company was doing things in the early 90s.  The Family Corners dolls came out in 1994 and featured separately-sold male and female characters.  Kids could match up their favorite couple, stage a wedding, and then reveal a hidden baby doll.  I bought these dolls because of the secret baby (a fitting topic for Mother's Day...happy Mother's Day!) but what I actually find more interesting is how the presentation of this concept manages to be both socially restrictive...and also inspiringly open-minded.

Family Corners "Nicholas" and "Trista" dolls (1994).

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Happy Easter!

For more than a decade, Easter has started (bright and early!) in my house with an egg hunt and an epic treasure hunt.  I used to spend all Saturday making clues for the hunt...clues that my dynamic treasure hunting duo would solve in under an hour (baskets of candy are powerful motivators, I guess).  This year, with one kid off at college and the other with a new-found love for sleeping in on Sunday mornings...well, Easter is off to a quieter start.

I overcompensated for this change by trying to pack way too many things into today's Sunday Surprise.  I have an odd mix of surprise-themed things to share with you: some Li'l Woodzeez blind bag bobblehead figures, a Matryoshka nesting doll (with a mystery number of smaller dolls inside!) and some vintage Holly Jolly baby-filled eggs by Zapf Creation.

Matryoshka doll by Yankelus.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Twozies and Sonny Angel!

Whew.  I was so emotionally bogged down by that Global Girl review (I dislike writing negative reviews...), I needed to do something fun immediately!  So--I have a quick (Super Bowl) Sunday Surprise post for you!

This post happened out of the blue because of a lucky coincidence.  I've been eyeing the Twozies surprise packs in the store for a while now, even purchasing one on a few different occasions with the idea that I'd add them to a Sunday Surprise post one day.  Then, last week, as I was checking Amazon for the availability of L.O.L Surprise dolls (they're still so hard to find around here!), a new kind of doll popped into my suggestions list: Sonny Angel figures by Dreams Inc.  I'd never seen these little cuties before...and they remind me a lot of the Twozies.

Both Twozies and Sonny Angel dolls are baby-like figures that come wearing animal (or plant) hats...and not much else.  Twozies and Sonny Angel dolls are also both packaged in a blind box so you never know exactly which doll you're going to get.  I thought it would be fun to de-box a few of these little ones and see how similar they actually are:

Sonny Angel (left) and Twozies (right) blind box figures.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Surprise: Dolls Bearing Gifts!

When I was a little kid--maybe six or seven years old-- I had a good friend who really liked mice.  She and I would pretend that we actually were mice, and we'd play through imaginary scenarios where evil cats (our older sisters) were chasing us or we had to go on an epic journey to find cheese (chocolate).  We had a lot of fun together.  One year, this friend came for a sleepover at my house the week before Christmas.  My family had all of our Christmas decorations out, including a cute little mini tree that came with colorful lights attached to the branches.  My friend thought that this was a perfect mouse-sized tree--and it was.  We became obsessed with the tree and played with it all afternoon.  As our game developed, we began to convince ourselves that mice had their own version of Christmas...which just happened to be the next day.  This idea was beyond thrilling.  By evening, we were dancing around the mini tree, chanting little songs and declaring that it was Mouse Christmas Eve: the night Santa Mouse would come bearing gifts for all of the well-behaved mouse children.  We were so excited, and we were so sure that Santa Mouse would come.

The thing is, Santa Mouse did come that night.  When my friend and I woke up the next morning and rushed into the living room to look at the tree, there were a handful of miniature wrapped presents underneath!  We were beside ourselves.  Each of the tiny packages had an even tinier gift inside--perfect for a pair of mouse friends.

To this day, I still have no idea how my parents pulled off Santa Mouse's late night, last-minute visit.  What I do know is that the wonder of that morning gave me an enduring respect for the magic of Christmas--and a passion for tiny presents.  Every time I see a small package that might contain a mystery gift, I remember my childhood friend and our Santa Mouse.  In today's post, I'll de-box a couple of dolls (mostly Barbies) that come with little gift boxes.  Some of these gift boxes might have a secret present inside...some might be empty props.  But never fear!  If any of the boxes yield disappointment, Santa Mouse will come to the rescue and make sure there's a good surprise for all of you to see.

2000 Holiday Surprise Barbie (with gift).

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.