Showing posts with label horses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horses. Show all posts

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Blind Bag Spirit Riding Free Horses!

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

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

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

Breyer Spirit Riding Free blind bag Stablemate, Spirit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Spirit Riding Free Toys by Breyer and Just Play

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

A 1:9 Scale Horse and Rider by Paradise Kids

Writing a review of the Breyer Let's Go Riding Western set last week inspired me to get some of my Paradise toys out of storage for their long-delayed review.  I have reviewed a few of the Paradise horses before, but only the larger animals designed for 18" play dolls.  I was so pleased to see the level of articulation on the Breyer doll, I wanted to find out how the Paradise riders compare.  Also, as a long-time fan of Breyer model horses, I was curious about the equivalently-sized 1:9 scale articulated Paradise horses.

This scale of Paradise toys has a few size options.  There are 9.5 inch horses (measured from hooves to ear tips) and also 8.5 inch ponies.  The riders also come in a few sizes.  In the Barn Buddies collection, there are 7.5 inch "adult" dolls to fit the horses, and 6 inch child dolls for the ponies.  The newer Cowgirl Cool collection of riders contains 10 inch dolls that I suspect are made to fit a different group of Paradise horses--the 10 inch fuzzy-skinned ones that look like miniature My Life As horses.  Today I will review a 9.5 inch (non-fuzzy) horse and one of the larger Barn Buddies dolls.

This review will serve as a companion to the Breyer post, and my hope is that it will provide a resource to help horse lovers figure out which company's 1:9 scale horse and rider toys are best for them.

Paradise Barn Buddies "Eva," and horse "Merlin."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Favorite Horse "Let's Go Riding Western" Set by Breyer

When I was a kid, I had a huge collection of Breyer model horses that was the center of my imaginary universe.  Every last one of these horses had a name, a personality, and a specific role in an elaborate game that I would lose myself in whenever I got the chance.  I played with these beloved horses more than I played with any doll.  Most of my games revolved solely around the horses, but every once and a while there would be doll riders in the plot.  I had some Mego Corp Wizard of Oz dolls and a Marx Jay who could ride really well, but I was never tempted by the Breyer dolls.  The first dolls, called "Brenda Breyer," had blank-looking faces and weren't articulated enough to ride the horses properly.

I still gaze admiringly at the Breyer horse displays in toy stores, but I haven't purchased a new horse for a while.  Recently, a friend told me about the Breyer Stablemates "Mystery Foal Surprise" sets.  It's hard to think of three words that would entice me more than mystery, foal and surprise.  That's a triple threat.  These little $10 toys each contain a mare and a stallion, and also a tiny foal that's concealed behind a closed door.  I can't resist surprises, so I bought one of these sets on a whim the other day (some pictures are posted over on Facebook).  This experience inspired me to put aside my Breyer rider prejudices and look more closely at the doll-related products that this company is offering right now.

Today I will look at one of the larger (Traditional size) horse and rider sets from the 2013 My Favorite Horse collection.  I have to admit that after spending most of my life as a Breyer horse fan, I was really excited to finally get my first close look at one of the Breyer dolls.  The set I bought is called, "Let's Go Riding Western," and I chose this particular toy because the rider looked unexpectedly pretty and realistic to me:

Breyer "Let's Go Riding Western" set
"Let's Go Riding Western" set by Breyer, $39.99.

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).