Showing posts with label miniature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miniature. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Catching up With L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, Part One: Boys, Minis, and Hair!

I clearly remember reviewing my first Li'l Outrageous Littles (L.O.L.) Surprise dolls back in 2016.  I was delighted to find a doll with packaging that mimicked the idea of an original surprise ball, i.e. a ball with many layers to unwrap, each layer containing a little treat.  As I mentioned back then, the fun of unwrapping an L.O.L. doll also reminded me of the "pass the parcel" game that I used to play at some of my friends' birthday parties when I was younger.  I loved that game, even if the treats hidden in each layer of paper were only single sticks of gum.

I can also remember that back in 2016 L.O.L. dolls cost $7.99 and showed up in stores one variety at a time, presented in big cardboard display boxes or tall cardboard chutes.  These displays were mostly empty (the toys sold out quickly), and I often had to resort to online shopping to get one of the dolls to review.

I was chatting with one of my lovely Patrons recently, and she suggested that I do a L.O.L. "bonanza" review that would attempt to explore all of the new incarnations of the L.O.L. concept.  I'd been thinking that I should get up-to-speed on these ultra-popular dolls anyway, and so her suggestion was exactly the inspiration I needed.  A few months ago I started paying more attention to the L.O.L. aisle at Target and accumulating a collection of L.O.L. products.  Over a multi-part review series, I'll share my thoughts about how things have changed for this brand in the last six years.

L.O.L. Arcade Heroes Flyer ($17.79) holding two minis.

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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Shibajuku Girls Mini Dolls: Shiba-Cuties!

Today I'm going to review several 6-inch Shiba-Cuties, the newest offering from Hunter Products' Shibajuku Girls collection.  I could declare that this review was part of the mini doll mini series I was talking about back in May, although I'll confess that I didn't even know about these particular minis when I had the idea to start that series.  And speaking of that series, I haven't forgotten about all of the other mini dolls that I want to review, but these Shibajuku newcomers stole the spotlight when they came into the house, probably because I've had this style of doll on my mind lately with the release of Gwen Stefani's Kuu Kuu Harajuku line.

I've been stalled in my mini doll reviews mostly because it's been too brutally hot and humid to take decent outdoor pictures.  In fact, it was brutally hot and humid the day I took the Shiba-Cuties outside for their photo shoot, but I managed to capture a few quick shots before I was attacked by mosquitoes of unusual size.  More on that later.  For now, I'll start things off by showing you one of the better pictures from that session.  It seems so calm and pleasant:

Shiba-Cuties doll, Namika ($9.90).

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).

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My Life As Mini Dolls from Walmart

I was looking around my studio the other day, trying to decide what to review next, and I realized that I have a lot of mini versions of 18-inch play dolls sitting around--some brand new, some that have been here for several months.  The exact same day that I had this realization, I went to Walmart to buy grass seed (our yard is a lifeless mud pit), swung through the toy section...and spotted two of the new My Life As mini dolls.  That's when it hit me that I should do a sequence of shorter reviews showcasing some of these newer minis--a mini series about mini dolls, if you will.

This mini series will include the newest Maru Mini Pals (on their way to me as I type!), a Kidz 'n' Cats mini doll, some of the newer Our Generation minis (and Lori dolls), maybe my mini (and full-sized!) American Girl Melody dolls...and of course the My Life As minis I just discovered.  In fact, I'll start things off with the My Life As minis because they feel really new and exciting to me right now.  Here's my favorite of the bunch:

My Life As a Baker mini doll ($9.88).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lalaloopsy Pet Pal Palooza!

It feels wonderful to be able to showcase a few final guest reviewers here on the blog.  I have two more guest posts after this one, and all of these reviewers have put so much thought and enthusiasm into their work--it's inspiring.  Today's lovely guest, Carissa, emailed last September to suggest a Hello Kitty figure review.  She thought it would make a nice expansion for my brief Jada and Blip Hello Kitty toy comparison, and I totally agreed.  However, a few months later the Lalaloopsy Pet Pals animals were released and both Carissa and I were completely charmed.  So, Carissa offered to write a review of the new animal minis instead, and proposed some excellent ideas for comparisons.  But there are so many fun Lalaloopsy products these days, I got carried away and kept suggesting additions to Carissa's post: How about one of the large Pet Pals for comparison?  Are they the same size as the Littles?  Ooh--and maybe you could also compare a Mooshka mini?  Hey, and you know those cute little playsets?  I bet those would look sooo adorable with the minis...you get the idea.  By the middle of the summer, Carissa had cheerfully agreed to review half of the Lalaloopsy lineup.  She's pretty amazing.

So, today Carissa will feature the Lalaloopsy mini Pet Pal pig (Belly Curly Tail) and will compare her to the full size Belly Curly Tail figure.  She will also compare the full-sized Belly to a Lalaloopsy Little.  As an extra bonus, Carissa took the time to compare the Belly mini to two other Lalaloopsy Pet Pal minis (Wooly Fuzzy Fleece and Tickles B. Nana) and to the Mooshka Fairy Tales mini fox!  There's even a playset included at the end of the review...along with a couple of other fun surprises.  In order to keep the post from being too long, Carissa uploaded many of her extra photographs into a gorgeous Flickr album.  I highly recommend taking a peek at these bright, detailed shots.  They really add a lot to the review.

I hope that this post will be a treat for Lalaloopsy fans and a great overview for those who are not yet familiar with this whimsical brand.  Welcome to Carissa's incredible Lalaloopsy Pet Pals extravaganza!

Lalaloopsy Pet Pals "Toothy Yawns-a-lot" hippo (and friends!).

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Polly Pocket by Mattel

Originally, this article was going to involve a short review of a gift I received from my husband at around Easter time (maybe you can guess what egg-like thing he bought me?).  However, the gift led to some questions, some investigating, a few purchases...and I ended up with these two cuties and a very different review than I started with:

Color change Polly Pocket (left, 2012) and rain coat Polly Pocket (right, 2011).

Friday, March 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Miniature BeForever "Kaya" and "Rebecca" Dolls from American Girl

A week ago we went to New York City to spend some time with family.  I was really hoping to re-visit the incredible Toys R Us in Times Square or F.A.O. Schwarz while we were there...and maybe even stop in on the American Girl store to see the new Girl of The Year stuff.   For this trip, though, my crutches slowed me down a bit and so we decided to only visit American Girl, since I have never been to that particular store before.  I was curious to compare it to the impressive store in Natick, Massachusetts.

My mom, my sister, my niece and I all went to the American Girl store together, each of us approaching the outing with a different perspective.  The neat thing was that despite our different tastes, and with the huge array of dolls and accessories to look at, we all agreed about what our favorite item in the whole store was--and it wasn't at all what I expected.  It was the amazingly charming BeForever miniature doll, Kaya.

When the BeForever line first came out, I looked at all of the dolls online and decided to purchase Mini Rebecca and Mini Kit.  For some reason Kaya's catalogue pictures didn't grab my attention.  I have already reviewed Mini Kit, so in this post I will take a look at Kaya and Rebecca, and will also share some quick impressions of the Manhattan American Girl store.

American Girl BeForever Mini Kaya
American Girl's Mini Kaya, $25.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Animators' Mini Elsa Playset from The Disney Store

I'd like to thank Emma for her suggestion that I take a look at the new Disney Store mini Animators' doll playsets.  Not only is this a perfect suggestion for me (I love minis!) but it would have taken me ages to notice these new dolls on my own.  I actually saw the mini dolls during one of my routine browsing days at Disney online, but passed them over because I assumed they were the larger 16-inch versions of the Animators' dolls--just with more accessories.  Wrong!  These little 5-inch dolls are a whole new thing completely, and they are definitely worth a look.

The first release of Animators' mini dolls includes Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Ariel and Jasmine.  All of these characters come with several cute movie-themed accessories.  For example, Cinderella comes with a flocked Bruno (as a puppy), Gus and Jack the mice, and several smaller accessories.  Ariel comes with Flounder, Sebastian, a glittery starfish, and a seahorse pulling a carriage.  I was tempted by all of these sets, but ended up purchasing Elsa.  I didn't intend to review yet another Frozen doll, but I found the mini Anna and Elsa to be the most appealing of these newcomers.

Disney Animators' Mini Elsa
Animators' mini Elsa doll from the Disney Store playset ($19.95).

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe Set from The Disney Store

To follow up on Zoe's great review of the Frozen Ice Skating set, I want to do a quick review of one of the other new products from the Disney Store: a Mini Doll Wardrobe set.  There are quite a few of these new wardrobe-themed playsets available on the Disney Store site, and they include characters like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and even the Frozen princesses.  When I saw that the wardrobe version of mini Elsa is wearing her blue ice dress (rather than the coronation clothing of the first mini Elsa), I knew this was the set for me--especially because it's hard to know when these items will sell out again!

I will try to give a fair, objective review here, but you know what a soft spot I have for perfect little miniatures of larger dolls...and just look at these two!

Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe set
J.C. Penney 12" Elsa doll (left) and Elsa from the Mini Wardrobe set (right).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BeForever Mini Doll "Kit" by American Girl

Just a few days shy of a year ago today, I reviewed the mini Rebecca and Kit dolls from American Girl.  Little did I know back then that these dolls would be re-designed and re-released within the year.

At the end of August, American Girl released a re-imagined version of their Historical line called BeForever.  This maneuver seems designed to help modern girls feel more connected to characters from the past.  In the advertising, there's a big emphasis on values that transcend generations.  There are also new collections of girls' clothing that incorporate themes from the historical dolls into modern designs.

What does the BeForever change mean for the actual dolls, though?  In the 18" scale, the new dolls are largely the same as the old Historical collection dolls, with a few noteworthy changes.  First of all, two of the characters (C├ęcile and Marie-Grace) were discontinued.  Another character (Samantha) was brought back from the archives, and all of the re-released girls got new outfits.  I learned early on from many of you that the new versions of the mini dolls had different face molds and full vinyl bodies, so I was especially interested to see these smaller dolls in person.

I ordered BeForever mini Kit and mini Rebecca because I have the older versions of these dolls on hand for comparison.  I also chose these two because they have different face molds--giving me the chance to see two of the new faces.  Rebecca was backordered (she finally arrived today) but Kit shipped right away and is ready for her review:

BeForever Kit mini
New BeForever mini Kit (with old mini Kit in the background).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Minis! Part 2: Collector's Lane Kids by Battat

There is a lot of talk and excitement about the American Girl BeForever release.  Personally, I am particularly interested in the new mini dolls, since it seems that they have all-vinyl bodies and different face molds.  These new American Girl dolls, along with Battat's recent Our Generation mini release and the cute little Moxie Girlz sibling dolls, make for a very exciting season for those (like me!) who enjoy smaller dolls.  I have to be patient and wait for my BeForever dolls to arrive, so rather than look at something brand new today, I am going to go back in time and look at Battat's mini doll series from 1999.

While I was writing my review of Battat's newest Our Generation minis, I did several online searches to see what I could learn about the company and its history.  Apparently, Battat has made a few different mini dolls over the years.  In 2011, there were 4-inch Our Generation vinyl dolls with rooted hair.  These minis came packaged with a book and an assortment of accessories.  More than a decade earlier, when the Battat doll line was called "Collector's Lane," there was a group of cloth-bodied 6-inch mini dolls.  Like the current Battat minis, these dolls were made to be little replicas of the concurrent 18-inch characters.  Because of the similarities in construction and size between the new Our Generation minis and the Collector's Lane dolls, I decided it would be fun to see how Battat's smaller dolls have changed over the last fifteen years.

Collector's Lane Kids mini
Battat's Collector's Lane Kids mini "Rachel" doll.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Minis! Part 1: The Funville Sparkle Girlz

I had so much fun reviewing the new Moxie Girlz Friends dolls and the Battat Our Generation minis, that I've stayed focused on smaller dolls for the last week or so--hunting around locally and online to see what else is out there in the 5-10 inch size range.  Locally, I visited Target, Walmart, Toys R Us and the Dollar Store to see what mini dolls are readily available here in my part of the world.  Online, I hunted down some older Battat mini dolls that I learned about while researching the new dolls.  In a two-part mini series, I'll show you my favorite dolls from this search: the Collector's Lane Kids 6-inch dolls by Battat (that'll be Part 2...), and today, the inexpensive line of 4-inch dolls from Walmart called Funville Sparkle Girlz.

There are a few different sizes of Sparkle Girlz.  There are 20-inch play dolls, 12-inch fashion dolls, and 4-inch toddlers.  I was interested in the toddlers for this review, but these smallest Sparkle Girlz are actually quite hard to find around here.  There are four Walmart stores in my immediate area, and I've visited all of them within the last five days.  All of these stores had plenty of the larger dolls, but most had only one kind of mini...or just empty cardboard display cases.  Since these dolls cost $2.47, it's no surprise that they are hard to keep in stock.  At the very last Walmart I visited, I finally found a representative variety of little Sparkle Girlz.

In this post I will show you four different dolls from this series and contrast them to the comparably-priced Moxie Girlz Friends dolls.

Sparkle Girls Little Ballerina
Funville Sparkle Girlz "Little Ballerina" mini doll.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moxie Girlz "Friends" Mini Dolls by MGA Entertainment

On the same day I found my Our Generation mini dolls, I also saw the new (Target exclusive) Moxie Girlz minis for the first time.  It was a mini doll kind of a day, I guess.  The Battat minis grabbed the spotlight, but I wanted to show you some of the Moxie minis, too.  These dolls are pretty cute, but what really impresses me about them is their price.  They are $2.99 each, which is hard to beat.  I think Walmart's Sparkle Girlz are less expensive at just under $2.50, but I can't think of much else.  Even some of those blind bag foil-wrapped toys cost more than this.

Today, I will review Tally (the redhead...of course), and compare her to Neve and Amorie:

Moxie Girlz Friends mini dolls, $2.99.