Showing posts with label articulation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label articulation. Show all posts

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Hairmazing Hairdorables by Just Play

I decided to take a little break from mermaids for a week or two, just in case some of you aren't interested in the underwater side of doll collecting.  But I'll return to the subject later so that I can explore a few of Mattel's best mermaid options.  In the meantime, I wanted to get back to the review that I was working on when the Mermaze Mermaidz stole my attention.  The dolls I'm going to look at today are from the Hairdorables Hairmazing collection.  Word play on the adjective "amazing" is popular in the doll world these days, isn't it?  "Hairmazing" doesn't work quite as well as "Mermaze," if you ask me, but--again--at least they didn't go with Hairmazeballs.  That makes me thinking of hacking cats.

Anyway, I reviewed the smaller, huge-headed, surprise-themed Hairdorables back in 2018, and found them a bit goofy--with a lot of plastic waste.  The newer Hairmazing dolls are basically the Hairdorables characters when they're all grown up and in high school.  The dolls still have caricatured faces and brightly colored hair, but as they matured, they appear to have grown into their heads and also acquired an impressive number of new joints!  The larger size and better articulation on these dolls made them something I didn't want to miss.

There are three waves of Hairmazing dolls available: the first release dolls, a Prom Perfect themed collection, and a brightly-colored Kaleidoscope trio.  The first two groups are really easy to find (and often on sale) but the Kaleidoscope girls are more elusive.  I gather Just Play had some distribution problems in 2021 that made these dolls rare in the United States.  There are still plenty of great options available, though, and I had a tough time deciding which of the dolls I should feature in this review.  Fortunately, my Patrons stepped in and, through a series of polls, they chose the dolls I'll look at today.  Thank you for the help, guys!  Sorry it took me so long to write the actual review.

Hairdorables Hairmazing Noah by Just Play, $19.99.

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.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Nendoroid Doll: Little Red Riding Hood (Rose), by Good Smile Company

I have to start with a little piece of business this time because I've heard from many people that it's become difficult to know when I've posted a new review.  I'm really sorry about that!  Blogger changed their set-up last summer so that email notifications are no longer being sent.  I don't have a great workaround yet, but I always post a quick link on Twitter (@TBP_emily) when there's a new review, so that's one option if you're interested in getting a heads-up.  If Twitter's not your thing, my kids are encouraging me to get a TikTok account, which is tempting.  We'll see what happens there.

Thank you so much for the fun and informative comments on the previous Nendoroid review!  I found it really interesting to hear more about the brand and learn how your Nendos compare to Link.  I'm suddenly very caught up in the whole chibi figure world and am excited by Rachael's suggestion to compare the Nendoroids to a similar type of figure called Cu-Poche.  I also got very caught up in the Legend of Zelda world again, and had to hold myself back from spending the rest of the week playing Breath of the Wild.  I galloped around Hyrule for a little while, I'll admit, but then got right back to work because I'm very excited to talk about this next doll!

Most Nendoroids on the market right now are 4-inch tall PVC figures like Link.  However, there's a newer line of Nendoroid Dolls, and these have some important differences to the standard figures.  First of all, they're taller (about 5.5 inches tall), and they also have different articulation with not quite as many removable parts.  I think one of the best things about these dolls is that they come dressed in removable, fabric clothing, and so they can easily change outfits and adapt to a variety of different styles.  The selection of Nendoroid Dolls is nowhere near as extensive as the array of standard figures, but there are several cute options available.  I chose Little Red Riding Hood: Rose, who was easy to find and cost well under $100:

Nendoroid Doll Little Red Riding Hood: Rose, ($65.99).

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Articulation Update: The Biggers Luxury Marilyn

I'm back with another articulation update!  This is a follow-up to my review of The Biggers by Berjuan.  Those little elfin cuties won my heart, but they have very simple articulation.  About half way through writing that review, I learned that Berjuan also produced a limited release of four highly-articulated Biggers dolls!  Of course I ordered one of the articulated characters right away, and she finished her long journey from Spain about two weeks ago.

The original Biggers dolls all have original names and costumes and are meant to represent mystical creatures that live secretly among us, thriving on laughter and happiness.  The four limited edition Biggers dolls are not like this at all.  Instead, they're modeled after celebrity characters: Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Frida Kahlo, and Marilyn Monroe.  This is a strangely arbitrary group of celebrities.  Or is it?  The only thing that really links them together is that they faced untimely, drug-related deaths.  That theme is a far cry from sprites who flit around and thrive on laughter and happiness.

I was so excited about the prospect of additional articulation that I didn't pay too much attention to the macabre tone of this collection when I was ordering my doll.  Perhaps I should have seen the dead celebrity theme as foreshadowing?  Instead, I waffled back and forth briefly between Frida and Marilyn and then happily settled on Marilyn because she seemed like the most versatile of the bunch:

The Biggers Luxury Doll Marilyn, 105.95 (~$120).

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Articulation Update: Rainbow High Jett Dawson

Happy New Year!  Cheers!  Here's hoping that the first few hours of 2022 have treated you well.  For me, the year is starting with an attempted migration to WordPress.  As some of you might have noticed, I suddenly stopped being able to comment on this blog about a week ago and can only manage to comment if I'm using Chrome (I typically use Safari).  I'd love to know how many other people are having this problem--but of course, if you are, you can't tell me because you can't comment!  In any case, WordPress is a superior blog platform for many reasons, and I've been meaning to migrate for years.  So please excuse any issues over the coming weeks as I figure out how to move this behemoth.  It shouldn't cause any change or disruption to how you access the site.

The best thing about 2022 for me so far is that, because of you, I managed to reach my end-of-year goal of 30 Patrons over on Patreon!  Woo hoo!  Thank you so much!  I'm incredibly grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm, and it's been fun to connect with more people over on that site.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to tie up loose ends, so I figured in the next week or so I'd deliver on some of the update reviews that I promised in previous posts.  In my first Rainbow High review, I mentioned that Jett Dawson has more points of articulation than the other Rainbow High dolls.  Today I'm going take a quick look at Jett and see how much those extra joints add to the appeal of this brand.

Rainbow High Jett Dawson, $57.99.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Rainbow High Dolls by MGA Entertainment

One of the things I'm doing over on Patreon is giving my Patrons a chance to weigh in on what review they want to see next.  Two weeks ago, they picked this Rainbow High girl over a different play doll.  The vote was extremely close, though, so the other doll will probably get her review soon.  I'm happy that this review won, because I've been extremely curious about the Rainbow High brand for several months now.

When I was taking a break from doll reviews and putting all of my energy into My Twinn restorations, I rarely visited any kind of toy store.  This is highly unusual for me, since I get a huge amount of happiness from just being around toys.  But something happened about a month before I started writing here again: I was at Target looking for a game in the electronics section, and I found myself wandering into the adjacent toy aisles, unable to resist the pull.

I didn't give all of the toys the scrutiny they deserved on that day, but I did a broad sweep of the doll sections to see what was new.  The one thing I saw that stuck in my head was the Rainbow High collection.  The Rainbow High dolls were displayed opposite the L.O.L. toys, and I found the cohesive color schemes of the Rainbow High characters to be a soothing and attractive contrast to the neon chaos of the L.O.L. shelves.  Each Rainbow High character has clothing and hair that match, and so looking at all of the dolls together is like looking at a big rainbow.  It's very seductive.  And of course I'm always roped in by dolls with interesting eyes and nice articulation.  I almost bought a doll on the spot--I really wanted to see what the articulation was like--but told myself it was silly since I wasn't doing reviews anymore.

As you can imagine, as soon as I decided to write reviews again, the first thing I did was scoot back to Target and buy a Rainbow High doll!  Here's the one I picked:

Rainbow High's Georgia Bloom, $27.99.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Barbie Signature Looks by Mattel: Part Two

I'd like to start with a huge thank you to my very first Patrons!  I am so honored that you would pitch in and help me with my re-invented dream for this blog.  I'm enjoying the Patreon site, and think we can have some fun over there.  For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, I've just launched a new Patreon page where you can pitch in a few bucks per month to help the future of the blog.  It's also a place where you can chat and even help me figure out what to review next.  Please consider joining us!

Today's post is a follow-up to my review of the Barbie Looks male characters.  Some of the background and deeper thoughts about this line can be found in that review.  I still feel regret that I didn't include Model #1 (Nina) in this review, since she's very beautiful and would have added to the fun, but the three characters I bought kept me plenty busy.  They are a delightful and diverse trio:

Barbie Signature Looks dolls from left: Model #2, Model #6, and Model #3.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Barbie Signature Looks by Mattel: Part One

Before I start talking about the Barbie Looks dolls, I want to mention a new development that I hope will keep the blog sustainable: I'm on Patreon!  Many of you suggested that I start a Patreon page a few years ago. I was too silly to take that advice then, but I've seen the light.  You can find my page here, and it's also linked in the right hand column.  A few dollars a month from you would make a huge difference to me. This will also add some new ways for us to connect, and you might even get a discount in my store!  I love my work, but I need to not loose huge amounts of money be more savvy about the business side of things. I'm excited to get my first patron!

With that out of the way, we can move on to the fun part of this post!  As many of you know, I was enthralled by the Barbie Made to Move dolls when they first came out.  With all of the dolls I sold or gave away during the last few years, I've kept my Made to Move girls.  They have extraordinary articulation for their price point, and I also think they're very attractive.  During the process of getting back up-to-speed with recent doll developments, I was delighted to discover that Mattel has expanded their highly-articulated offerings to include petite dolls, curvy dolls, tall dolls, and male dolls!  Dude!

Today I'll review the two highly-articulated male model dolls in the Barbie Looks collection, and then in a few days I'll showcase three of the female dolls from the same line.  I've had a lot of fun with this group!

Barbie Looks Model #5 (left) and Model #4 (right).

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

AZIAM Girlz

The AZIAM Girlz are highly-articulated 12-inch play dolls that are designed around a yoga theme.  The brand name confused me at first, but it's a play on the phrase as I am...with a "z" instead of an "s."  I'm not usually a fan of gimmicky spellings like this (MGA Entertainment exhausted the novelty a long time ago with their Bratz, Bratzillaz, Moxie Girlz, Moxie Teenz, Li'l Angelz, etc).  However, in this case it works because I suspect an "s" would have caused the brand to be pronounced more like ass-ee-am instead of as I am.

I knew nothing about the AZIAM Girlz until a few weeks ago when I stumbled across them during a search of Target.com for the Glitter Girls.  I have not seen these dolls in an actual Target store, but they're listed on the website and also available at aziamgirlz.com.  Target's site had only three AZIAM Girlz available, and these were listed alongside the Zeenie Dollz (there's that "z" again...and again).  At first I assumed that the AZIAM Girlz were made by the same company as the Zeenies (they look a bit alike) but J. Stanley and I were discussing this and don't actually think the two brands have anything in common beyond a vague resemblance.

I bought two of the dolls that are available at Target: Alanna and Asana (also confusing).  Today I'll do an in-depth review of Alanna, and then take a quick look at Asana towards the end.

AZIAM Girlz Alanna, $26.99.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pose Skeleton by Re-Ment

A few months ago I got an anonymous comment suggesting that Pose Skeleton, Re-Ment's tiny posable skeletons, would make a fun Halloween review.  I could not have agreed more!  I immediately went to Amazon and ordered several of these highly affordable little figures from Japan.

Then, a few days before Halloween, Maine got hit by a post-tropical depression (a huge storm) and we lost power for most of the week.  That happens quite a lot around here.  Anyway, living without power wasn't too bad for us--no trees came through the roof this time, anyway.  We played a lot of games and read a lot of books, but nothing got done on the blog for a whole week.  I've been playing catch-up ever since.

Now it's closer to Thanksgiving than it is to Halloween, but I'll still share what was supposed to have been my cover shot for October 31st:

Pose Skeleton #3 by Re-Ment, $8.49.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Disney's Rapunzel from Tangled: The Series

Over the years, I've chronicled my increasing frustration with the Disney Store and its Classic Princess dolls.  My problem with the company centers primarily around their inability to design functional and durable knee joints.  That was not a huge deal back when the dolls cost $13, but now that the prices have crept up and the limbs have gotten more fragile...I think it's a big deal.  In fact, I was so exasperated with this trend that I decided to stop reviewing Disney Store dolls altogether.  But--as many of you know--I made an exception to that rule when the live action Belle doll was released last spring.  My love for the Belle character inspired me to try and take a fresh-eyed look at the doll.  Sadly, even when I ignored Belle's predictably bad knees, she still disappointed me in other ways.  I figured that review would surely mark my last Disney Store purchase.  Wrong again!

Back in May, during my Bratz Secret Date review, Sév and Dmitry encouraged me to consider the Disney Store's 10.5-inch Tangled:The Series version of Rapunzel.  They told me that this doll has a completely new body, with--wait for it--a new knee joint design.  I've literally been waiting five years to write those words.  Not only that, but it's a Rapunzel doll, and I love Rapunzel even more than I love Belle.  So, I broke my promise to myself one more time and bought another Disney Store doll:

review
The Disney Store's Rapunzel from Tangled: The Series, $19.95.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Black Label Barbie Wonder Woman Dolls

The suspense is over!  Here's my update to the Wonder Woman comparison review from earlier in the week.

To recap: Mattel offers two different Black Label Wonder Woman dolls at the moment, one from the 2016 Batman v Superman movie and another from the more recent Wonder Woman movie.  I assumed that--other than a few accessory and packaging differences--these two dolls were the same.  Acting on this assumption, I included the Batman v Superman doll in my comparison review so that I could leave the newer doll on display in her box.

But then, Rett informed me that the two dolls are not the same.  Not only is the newer doll more muscular, but she she has different arm articulation.  So, of course I had to de-box the newer doll for a quick showdown.  Here's the lovely (and strong!) Black Label Wonder Woman 2.0:

Black Label Barbie Wonder Woman from the Wonder Woman movie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Comparison Review of Three Mattel Wonder Woman Dolls

After watching the Wonder Woman preview fifteen times, I finally got a chance to go and see the real film.  It's amazing...or it has many moments of being amazing.  For example, I got choked up during all of the battle scenes--and now I see that I was not alone in having this reaction.  I mean, the battle scenes, for goodness sake!  Those are usually my least favorite part of a movie.  I actually found the love scenes in Wonder Woman tiresome and unnecessary, which is totally backwards for me.  As much as I enjoyed this movie, it didn't completely live up to all of my expectations.  In fact, my son and I critiqued the movie for the whole drive home--while cheerfully agreeing that we both loved it.  I kind-of knew something like this would happen, though, because when I'm obsessively eager to see a certain movie, my expectations get unrealistic and there's an inevitable (often temporary) let-down.  The same thing happened with Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast--except of course with those movies I enjoyed the fight scenes least and cried during all of the romantic scenes.

As a long-time fan of the Wonder Woman character, I've been thrilled to see all of the new dolls and action figures that have debuted during the past year or so.  There were a few Wonder Woman dolls released with the 2016 Batman v Superman movie (in which Wonder Woman has a cameo), and those offerings have probably tripled with the opening of the new film.

In this comparison review, I will look at a mix of dolls from Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman.  Strangely, all of these dolls are made by Mattel:

Black Label Batman v Superman Wonder Woman, Multiverse Wonder Woman, Battle Ready Wonder Woman.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Figuring Out Phicen (Part 3): The 6th Generation Females

Well, we've arrived at the third (and final) installment of my Figuring Out Phicen series.  I published this review in small segments partly because I had too many pictures for a single post, but also because I've been crazy-preoccupied by our high school's spring drama show.  Every year this fun event eats huge amounts of my time, and this year is no exception.  So, if you feel like I've been distracted lately...you're absolutely right.  Oh, and also: we're getting 21 inches of snow today in Maine.  Same old, same old.  So, basically, this review might not be my best work, but if I get it published before our power goes out, I'm gonna be psyched.

Regardless of distractions, I do read every comment on the blog, and I have to say: you guys are hysterical.  The banter about Paul and his "bits and pieces" from the last review made my entire week.  Aria, your thread made me laugh out loud more than once.  I'll admit to having the same fixation on finally seeing the Phicen secret parts.  And Alina_Mau: my apologies to you and our other day-glow pale sisters for all of the skin tone shaming.  In my defense, I don't even know what a tan is.  There's pale and then there's burned...right?

I'm afraid there will be even more skin tone discrimination in this review, though, because--spoilers--a Phicen suntan body found its way into my house and totally stole the show:

Phicen 6th Generation S17B Super Flexible body (suntan) with Kimi's Amanda Seyfried head.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shibajuku Girls By Hunter Products

It's become a bit of a yearly tradition for me to make the toy store rounds just before Thanksgiving.  I always like to see what's out there for the holiday shopping crowds, and this year I was also trying to find a Hatchimal.  I did not find a Hatchimal (no surprise), but I did have a fun time looking through the impressively well-stocked South Portland Toys R Us.  I've never seen this particular store so full of toys.

I had a great time wandering through all of the aisles, looking at the dolls and eavesdropping on earnest conversations and negotiations between little kids and their parents.  So sweet.  I also enjoyed seeing the new American Girl display, which takes up half of the front of the store now (and has displaced the Journey Girls completely).  I got to see all of the WellieWishers characters and admire the ocean-loving Camille in person (her hair looks great!).  It was a wonderful, indulgent morning.

As much fun as I was having on this outing, though, I found very few new items that I was interested in buying.  Then, finally, on my second sweep of the Lalaloopsy aisle, I spotted a doll I'd never seen before--jammed in between the boxes of a different brand.  She had pink hair and looked vaguely like a Pullip.  The box revealed that she was a Shibajuku Girl by Hunter Products.  I scoured all of the doll aisles one more time, looking for this doll's original shelf.  Finally I found it: a spot on the very bottom row, tucked away and easy to miss.  There were five or six more Shibajuku Girls there, some of the boxes tipped on their sides, some obscured by Miraculous Ladybug merchandise.  I hunkered down in the aisle and carefully inspected all of the characters.  After about twenty minutes of analysis and deliberation, I left with a big smile on my face and Shibajuku Yoko tucked under one arm:

Shibajuku Girl "Yoko" by Hunter Products, $29.99.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 1:6 "Jakku Rey" by Hot Toys

I was nervous about watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as I imagine many children of the 80s were.  The original Star Wars trilogy was such an important part of my childhood, I needed this continuation of the story to be good.  And it was good, I thought.  A bit predictable, certainly, but an awful lot of fun.  I laughed and cheered and even gasped a few times.  The thing on my mind as I was walking out of the theater had little to do with the plot or the well-loved older characters, though.  I was focused primarily on Rey, the new female protagonist.  She is awesome.  I think Daisy Ridley's  spunky and intelligent interpretation of this mysterious girl from Jakku transformed Force Awakens into much more than the simple nostalgia-ridden adventure than it might easily have been.  Because of Rey, I'm impatiently eager to find out what happens next in this new saga.

My reaction to the Rey character might be exaggerated, but it compelled me to immediately start scouring the internet for Rey paraphernalia.  I bought several of the less-expensive action figures (a few of which I'll show at the end of the post), but found their resemblance to Ms. Ridley disappointing.  When I saw the promotional pictures of Hot Toys' Rey online at Sideshow Collectibles, I wasn't convinced that she was the perfect tribute to the character, either.  However, after a few days' reflection, I decided that she was easily the best option out there, and so I placed my pre-order.  I ordered Rey in January--a few weeks after I saw the movie--and she arrived in mid September.

Let's dig in and see if she was worth the wait...and the price:

1:6 scale Star Wars: The Force Awakens "Jakku Rey" from Hot Toys, $224.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

10-inch Miraculous "Marinette" and "Adrien" Dolls by Bandai

I suspect that for normal people, enthusiasm over a television show is what prompts interest in any dolls or toys related to that show.  For me, though, things are often backwards: I see a doll I like, and then (maybe) I watch the television show associated with that line.  That's what happened with the Miraculous dolls, anyway.

I was doing some college shopping at Target with my husband, and we, you know, just happened to pass through the toy aisle.  He was geeking out over Project Mc2 Bryden's coding shirt while I wandered further down the aisle and discovered some highly-articulated dolls from Bandai that showed real promise: they had appealing anime faces, visible wrist and elbow joints (yay!), and only cost $14.99 each.  There was even an intriguing ladybug theme...which I didn't quite understand.  The only problem was that I had no idea who the characters--"Miraculous" Marinette and Adrien--were.  Remember, I don't have cable television in my house, nor do I have any children under the age of sixteen.

I left these two in the store that day, but they were never far from my mind.  A few weeks later, when life settled down a little, I finally watched the Miraculous show...and then quickly went back to the store and bought the dolls.  This show is great--I love it!  I think I even binge-watched it, although my kids tell me that I don't understand the true intensity associated with that term.  I watched nine episodes in one day.  Does that count?  Regardless, the only question I had after watching the show was; are the dolls worthy?  Today, I'll answer that question by taking a close look at both the Marinette and the Adrien doll from this series:

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Marienette (left) and Adrien (right) from the Miraculous television series. $14.99 each.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Project Mc2 Update with Ember Evergreen

Well, this is the last week before I take my eldest son to college, so the blog is getting ignored a little bit.  It's a crazy, emotional time and I don't want to miss anything with my kid.  I should also explain my delay in posting the conclusion of the My Twinn Project.  I haven't lost enthusiasm for my rejuvenated 23" girls by any means, it's just that I'm finding it difficult to choose a space where I can photograph four large dolls.  I'll figure it out, though.

Some of you might be a little surprised to see that I'm reviewing more Project Mc2 dolls today.  Even though I'm a huge fan of science and S.T.E.A.M.-related toys, I didn't have a completely positive reaction to the first wave of Mc2 dolls.  As a quick reminder: I reviewed McKeyla McAllister and her lava lamp almost exactly a year ago, and was disappointed by the doll's floppy, flaky articulation and bad hair. I was also underwhelmed by the science content that accompanied the lava light project.  However, the line redeemed itself somewhat because of the fun assortment of geeky clothing, the nice faces and inset eyes on the dolls, and the entertainment value of the project accessories.

I managed to observe the release of the second wave of Project Mc2 dolls with only mild interest and no purchases.  However, when MGA Entertainment added a redheaded character to their most recent collection of dolls...my self control crumbled.  Not only do I love the look of the new Ember Evergreen character, but I was also tempted by the most recent version of my favorite Project Mc2 girl, Bryden Bandweth.  In this review I'll take a look at both of these dolls and their S.T.E.A.M.-related accessories.

review
"Bryden's Speaker" Bryden Bandweth (left) and "Ember's Garden" Ember Evergreen (right)
$24.99 each.

Friday, July 22, 2016

DC Super Hero Girls "Wonder Woman" by Mattel

Well, that was a long delay in between reviews.  As many of you know, blogging was getting complicated for me, but then life got pretty complicated, too, and I needed to step away from the computer.  But I can't seem to quit dolls, and I also miss you guys.  So...I'm back.  As a kind-of warning, though, I don't think the blog will be exactly the same as it was before.  Specifically, I no longer think of this as my job, and can no longer attempt to buy and review everything new or popular.  But I'd love to review and talk about whatever doll passion or project I happen to be wrapped up in at the moment--or share some of my older dolls with you.  Despite the changes, I hope that this will still be a useful or diverting place for some.  Thank you for coming back, and thank you for all of your kind messages and heartfelt concern.  That's all I'll say for now because there are a lot of dolls to talk about!

While I've been away, Mattel has been taking the play doll world by storm. Specifically, the new Barbie body types and the awesomely powerful Super Hero Girls are turning a lot of heads...including my own.  I actually want to credit Mattel (and a few others) for luring me back into active doll collecting.  Today I'll be looking at two of Mattel's DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman and Power Action Wonder Woman.  This teenaged version of Wonder Woman is a main character in the new Cartoon Network series, DC Super Hero Girls, but I won't pretend I knew that when I bought the dolls.  The fact is, I've always loved Wonder Woman more than the other female super heroes.  I even had the Underoos, if you must know.

I'll do a thorough review of the debut Wonder Woman doll and then I'll take a look at the Power Action version to provide some comparison--and also to make up for lost time.

DC Super Hero Girls debut "Wonder Woman," $19.99.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Hermione Granger" by Star Ace Toys

In my post about Mattel's 2001 Hermione Granger play doll, I mentioned that I had another Hermione to review.  Several of you guessed correctly that it was Star Ace's new sixth scale figure from the My Favorite Movie series.  Aside from the fact that both of these Hermione dolls portray Emma Watson's version of the beloved character from The Sorcerer's Stone, they have very little in common.  First of all, the Star Ace figure costs about ten times as much as the Mattel doll: a whopping $210, to be precise.  However, Sideshow Collectibles has a great payment plan, and so I was able to make this purchase slowly over a period of almost half a year.  There are other differences--in size, quality and articulation to name a few, and also the fact that Star Ace's Hermione is not yet discontinued and can still be found for sale in several online locations.

The biggest difference between the two dolls, however, is that Star Ace's Hermione is strikingly realistic:

Sixth scale Hermione Granger by Star Ace Toys, $209.99.