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

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

FailFix Dolls by Moose Toys

You know how it is when you're looking at a doll on Amazon and then the search formula suggests six more things you might like?  And then you click on those things and get even more suggestions?  I follow these suggestion chains all of the time, and for me, they tend to devolve quickly into the weeds of knockoff dolls, huge outfit sets, or things I've already bought.  However, the other day a FailFix doll popped up as a suggestion, and her outlandish face and hair stopped me in my tracks.  I quickly pulled up all of the FailFix dolls I could find.  The characters look hilariously stressed out, and have all of their accessories tangled up in their hair.  The faces made me laugh out loud, and pretty much without exception, any doll who can make me laugh is going to end up in my shopping cart.

The idea behind this line is that you can fix the doll's "failed" hair and makeup to make them look better.  The chaotic hair can be untangled and brushed, and the stressed-out face plate can be removed to reveal a calmer visage.  The makeover element would have been more than enough to tempt me (I love a good makeover!), but what's even better is that the FailFix girls are essentially surprise dolls--with one of their actual faces being the mystery!  I don't think I've ever bought a doll without knowing what their face looks like.

Because of the surprise element, I probably should have waited and published this as a Sunday Surprise post, but I got impatient.  Really impatient.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I was so excited to get a doll out of her box!  I needed to see what was behind that silly face:

FailFix SlayItDJ by Moose Toys, $19.99.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Mischa's Toy Jewels (now with answers!)

I'm traveling a bit this weekend, so today's review will be pretty short, and very different from what I normally write.  Anyone who's read any of my Sunday Surprise posts, especially recent ones, will know that I often comment on how the expense of surprise-themed dolls, particularly those that cost over $10, is risky because of the chance of getting a repeat.  And what happens to all of those duplicate dolls?  Some end up on eBay or at Goodwill, I'm sure, but many probably land in the garbage.  As if the packaging waste from this type of toy wasn't bad enough.

Knowing how I feel about all of this, my friend Ariel messaged me the other day and showed me a cool Instagram page called Mischa's Toy Jewels.  Mischa gathers up unwanted mini toys and turns them into children's jewelry!  How cool is that?  What's even better is that she donates half of the profits from her sales to a local food bank.  I wanted to showcase this neat project, so I purchased several bracelets and necklaces to share with you.

I had so much fun looking through Mischa's selection, not just because the jewelry is colorful and attractive, but because of the variety of mini toys on display.  I could identify some of the brands right away, but not all of them.  The unidentified mini toys were irresistible little mysteries to me, and I had a great time trying to figure out what all of them are.  And I'll confess--Mischa had to come to my rescue a few times!  I thought some of you might be similarly amused by identifying these small toys, and so today's post will have two goals: one is to simply showcase Mischa's fun jewelry, but the other is to play a little guessing game!  I'll show you what I bought, with no labels, and then in a day or two I'll post the answers and a little follow-up review.  Be warned, though, that there's one mini toy in the mix that neither Mischa nor I could identify.  Bonus points to anyone who knows what it is!

A necklace from Mischa's Toy Jewels, $10.00.

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, December 12, 2021

Sunday Surprise: Baby Born Surprise Mini Babies (and more)!

Happy Sunday!  I have officially lived in New Jersey for one year today!  And I'm so much happier than I was on this day last year.  Last year I drove seven hours from Maine in my tiny Prius packed full with all of the remaining belongings from our old house, plus four stressed-out dogs and two small cats.  It was a long journey!  But here I am sitting on my couch typing up a surprise review, which, if you'd asked me a year ago, is not something I ever thought would happen again.

I really like surprise toys, and I especially like surprise mini babies.  I don't collect baby dolls in general anymore, so I'm not sure why babies are so appealing to me in a small scale--and especially with a surprise theme.  Maybe it's because babies bring several surprises with them in real life?  Or perhaps it's just because mini babies are great little toys, either on their own as something to nurture, or as a fun new addition to a doll family.

In any case, I've reviewed a few different surprise babies over the years, including Zapf Jolly Dollies and the unrivaled Cabbage Patch Babyland Mini Kids--which are still probably my favorite surprise mini of all.  But I wanted to see what kinds of mini babies are available on the market today, so I focused on this theme during one of my Target missions.  The first surprise baby toy I found was this one, by Zapf and MGA Entertainment:

Baby Born Surprise Mini Babies, $9.99.

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).

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Goodbye, Toys Я Us

For a while I thought that my beloved Toys 'R' Us store in South Portland would stay open while other branches around the nation closed...but it looks like all Toys 'R' Us locations are closing or being sold, and even the website has been shut down to future orders.  It's officially the end of an era.

I didn't want the occasion to pass without doing something, so I decided to take a few trips to the store and bask in the feeling of being in such a large space, entirely surrounded by toys.  I don't know when I might get that feeling again.

I visited two weeks ago (before the closeouts started) and then again this Friday.  I bought a few things that I'll review really quickly today, and a few other things that will get bigger reviews in the near future.  I'll mostly just pretend that you were there shopping with me, and show you what caught my eye as I wandered through the familiar aisles for the last time.

I'll start with a picture that I took last summer.  This is the temporary Toys 'R' Us that was set up in Times Square for the holidays:

Temporary Toys 'R' Us branch in Times Square, 2017.

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.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's definitely shaping up to be a white Christmas here in Maine.  We have about five inches of new snow...and plenty of wind to blow it all around.  I hope we keep our power!

There's a circus of activity inside the house, too.  The large poodle is wearing bright blue (slightly baggy) underpants to keep him from licking a wound.  This same dog is inexplicably drawn to my eldest son's new pink blob fish slippers and keeps chasing his feet around.  Absorb that visual for a moment.  Meanwhile, the small poodle is trying to starve herself while also gassing everyone in the vicinity with her astonishing flatulence.  I think she's suffering a bout of inflammatory bowl disease, poor thing.  The third dog, afraid of seeming normal, has taken to toppling over every time he barks too loudly--which is often.

On top of all that, my youngest son is frantically trying to finish college applications, the pandemonium of which seems to create large piles of stuff around the house.  The other kid has brought all of his belongings back into the house for his month-long break from college...so things are a bit messy and out of control.  Mostly in a good way.

I'm going to share a really quick review with you today because if I don't, Christmas will be over and this cover shot will seem passé:

Decoration on a TOPS Malibu Christmas cracker.

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.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2: Let's Be Friends Lil Sisters!

As promised, I'm back with another surprise post...and it's not even Sunday!  Today I'm going to look at the Lil Sisters balls from the new series of Lil Outrageous Littles (L.O.L.).

I reviewed a first wave L.O.L. Surprise doll back in December....actually, I opened two dolls during that review, but they ended up being duplicates of the same character, Hoops MVP.  Since that time, I've opened a few more balls on my own and they've all been different, which is great.  I have to say though, that I'm growing tired of opening this particular surprise toy.  Once the multi-layered packaging loses its novelty, the balls just become tedious to deal with.  I got to the point where I was ripping open the balls; completely ignoring the stickers and picture phrases, leaving bottle accessories unopened, and immediately pitching the plastic balls into the trash.  I only wanted to see the doll.  That's way too much waste for a $10 toy.

However, just as I lost enthusiasm for purchasing more of these dolls, the new series--Let's Be Friends--hit the shelves.  Series 2 includes regular-sized L.O.L. dolls, but also a whole collection of Lil Sisters.  Lil Sisters are smaller (and cheaper!) balls that contain surprise baby dolls.  The Lil Sister babies coordinate with the larger L.O.L. dolls from both Series 1 and Series 2, so it's possible to get matching big and little dolls.  Fun!  Of course I had to buy a few:

Series 1 L.O.L. Surprise doll, "Center Stage" ($9.99), and a Series 2 Li'l Sisters ball ($6.99).

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).