Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Friday, January 14, 2022

Cave Club Dolls by Mattel

Well, I guess it's clear at this point that the blog migration didn't work.  It worked in the sense that all of the data (including the comments and links!) got transferred from here to WordPress.  That seemed pretty magical to me.  But it didn't work because none of the pictures were aligned correctly, any picture with a caption was huge, I couldn't edit photos in old posts anymore, new photos took ten years to upload...and the list goes on.  I could tell you the whole story some day if you're interested.  The upshot is that it would have taken me literally over a year to correct all ~43,000 images by hand, so I bailed and came back to Blogger where it's safe and familiar, and (most) things work.

However, the commenting problems here are real and I'm trying to fix that.  I've found a workaround for myself that might help some of you--especially if you're using Safari: if you go to your Safari settings, select Preferences, then select Privacy, you should see a way to change the "cross-site tracking" configuration.  When I did this, I was suddenly able to comment again--and lots of other little things about the site are working better for me, too.  So give that a try if you feel like it, and please let me know if you have any success.

One of the reasons that the migration was so frustrating to me is that it took several full days away from my time with dolls.  I have a huge list of interesting things that I want to share with you, and I hate falling behind.  So let's forget about technical stuff as much as possible for right now and get back to the fun!  Today's fun is in the form of a quirky little collection of dolls that I discovered about two months ago.  The line is called Cave Club and is made by Mattel:

Mattel's Cave Club doll, Lumina ($14.99).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our Generation Science Accessories

I had a hard time figuring out what to review this week.  At Maricha's request, I tried to review a Fingerlings monkey (they seem easier to find now), but my studio set-up doesn't work well for reviewing interactive items.  The monkey I bought is cute, but mechanized toys are not really my thing, so I took a few pictures and now she's on her way to a gently used toy drive for the holidays.  Sorry, Maricha!

I also contemplated reviewing two of my new Maru and Friends Mini Pals (Raven and Halle), but I just did a Mini Pal review recently, so that didn't seem like the right choice, either.

Then, a comment on the Create Your Own American Girl doll review caught my eye.  Lurkins wanted to know more about Our Generation Suyin (she's the doll who modeled Eliza's glasses).  Is she as cute as she looks in the promotional pictures?  Is her hair terrible?  I've had Suyin and a few other Our Generation dolls for several months now, and have never quite been motivated enough to build a whole review around them.  Lurkins' question and some of the new Our Generation accessories finally gave me the inspiration I needed to figure out today's review.

This review will actually be a mishmash of all the ideas I mentioned above.  I'll look mostly at the Our Generation Science Lab set, but I'll also give a quick rundown of my thoughts about a few Our Generation dolls, I'll offer a peek at a Fingerlings monkey...and I'll even show off two of my Mini Pal friends:

Maru and Friends Mini Pal, Chad, with Our Generation Science Lab set ($29.99).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Another Project Mc2 Update!

I'm so grateful and excited to see the donations that have been added to our GlobalGiving page so far!   Wow!!  Big hugs to April, Kelly, Nonna, Katrina, Stephanie, Abigail, Yvette, Elaine, Tischa, and the lovely people who chose to remain anonymous.  Thank you also to everyone who's read my post and encouraged this effort in any way.  I know many of you have already given as much as you can in other ways or to other needy causes.  As promised, while this fundraiser is running I've been working extra-hard on new reviews.  Lately I've been splitting my time between a look at the new Maru and Friends Mini Pals and today's post: an update on the ever-tempting Project Mc2 line.

I've reviewed Project Mc2 dolls several times already (here and here)--not because they're my favorite doll line or anything, but I guess because I wish they were.  The dolls have so many appealing elements: inset eyes, lots of joints, sweet faces, fun project ideas, and a S.T.E.A.M.-based theme to boot.  They should be the perfect play dolls for me.  In addition, MGA Entertainment is doing a great job of releasing new dolls at regular intervals, so I feel like every time I check in on the collection, there's something fun and unexpected for me to look at.

In fact, I've been buying one or two dolls from each new wave, stashing them away for future use.  At this point I've accumulated five dolls, which feels like more than enough for a crazy-long review.  The five dolls I chose are Ember and McKeyla from the most recent masquerade collection, McKeyla and Bryden from the previous fancy dress group, and--by request--the very first Devon D'Marco doll.  They are a good-looking quintet:

Project Mc2 dolls (from left): McKeyla's Glue Tattoos, Bryden's Light-Up Earrings, Devon's Puffy Paint, McKeyla's Lava Lip Gloss, and Ember's Fairy Wings.

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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Project Mc2 Dolls by MGA Entertainment

Ever since my friend Melissa told me about the new 11-inch Project Mc2 play dolls by MGA Entertainment, I have been looking forward to writing this review.  There were a ton of things to get excited about with this new doll line.  First of all, the promotional pictures of the dolls make their articulation look incredibly promising.  Also, the girls all have realistic-looking inset eyes that make me think fondly of Spin Master's discontinued Liv dolls.  The icing on the cake is that this new group has a science-based theme, wonderfully geeky personalities, and creative, project-based accessories.  Sounds like a dream come true for me, doesn't it?  Many of you thought so, and generously took the time to email when you saw these dolls show up in stores.  Thank you so much for each and every message--you guys know me well.

This doll line is based on a live-action television series following a group of smart tweens who belong to a secret spy organization called NOV8 (for innovate).  The four members of NOV8 use their S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills to go on missions.  The series premiered yesterday on Netflix.

I was in such a hurry to get my hands on these dolls, I ordered all four of the characters on eBay the instant they appeared.  Unfortunately, as those of you on Facebook already know, I ordered too hastily to notice that the dolls I bought were the $14.99 basic versions that have limited articulation.  To get a doll with the number of joints shown in the promotional pictures, you have to order one of the more expensive Project Mc2 playsets ($24.99).  The great thing about ordering the sets, however, is that each one comes with a doll and a fun-looking science-based activity.  After realizing my mistake, I immediately bought one of the sets: McKeyla's Lava Light.  In this review, I will look at McKeyla and her activity, and will also de-box one of my basic dolls for comparison.  Brace yourselves, folks, this is a long one.

review
Project Mc2 "McKeyla" from the McKeyla's Lava Light set, $24.99.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Goldie Blox "Zipline Action Figure" Set

I first noticed the Goldie Blox toys last holiday season at our local high-end toy store (Rainbow Toys).  This line offers themed building sets that are designed to teach young girls about basic engineering principles.  The sets typically include a small storybook featuring a spunky yellow-haired heroine named Goldie Blox.  Goldie's story will relate somehow to the theme of the construction set.  For example, in the "Goldie Blox and the Movie Machine" set, Goldie's book is about how the local movie theater has to deal with a broken projector--right before a big film festival event.  Goldie and her friends engineer an innovative solution to this crisis, and the accompanying building set allows real kids to construct a cardboard zoetrope movie machine.  My boys grew up with every kind of building set we could get our hands on, and so this is exactly the type of toy I would have bought when they were younger.

Although most of the Goldie Blox sets come with a building kit and a storybook, there's one set--"Zipline Action Figure"--that comes with a building set and a 6.5-inch articulated doll.  I figured that this gave me the perfect excuse to review a Goldie Blox toy here on the blog.  Sadly, though, when I inspected the sets up close at Rainbow Toys, the dolls looked poorly constructed for their $25 price, and the building pieces seemed scant.  So I walked away empty-handed.

However, the combination of building set and doll got the attention of a few other people in my life, too.  My father-in-law emailed me his first-ever suggestion for the blog by sending a picture of the Goldie Blox zip-line set.  Perhaps he was remembering the train track/Lego/paper cutout landscapes that used to take over entire rooms at our house, or the beloved K'Nex robot friends that hung from our ceiling because we ran out of room to store them elsewhere.  This recommendation meant a lot to me, and so I immediately bought the set (which was only $15.99 online).  However, for some reason I kept putting off the review.  I think maybe I was afraid that I wouldn't like the toy as much as I like the concept.  However, just a week ago, my friend Emma (who regularly sends me some of my best review tips) emailed me about this set, too, and so I put it at the top of my to-do list.  I want to thank Emma and John for motivating me to finally review this little rascal:

The Goldie Blox Zipline Action Figure, $15.99.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The American Girl Science Lab Set

The first thing I put in my shopping bag at the American Girl store in Boston was the Science Lab set.  Many of the accessory sets in the store tempted me--including the amazing Campus Snack Cart and Julie's Sound Accessories, but this was the set I wanted the most.  I was drawn to this set in general because I love science, but I also think it has a lot of neat pieces, including a microscope and a mini text book with actual printed words:

American Girl Science Lab
Our Generation Charlotte reading the American Girl science textbook.