Showing posts sorted by date for query disney. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query disney. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Monday, January 16, 2023

Ily 4EVER Fashion Dolls by Disney

Many of you (and most of Twitter) have been excited about the new Disney ily 4EVER dolls for a few weeks now, but it's taken me this long to produce a review.  Sorry!  I'm not good at doing things quickly.  I'm especially not good at writing reviews quickly, and I fear that I'm getting slower over time.  I think this is mostly because I obsess over photographs more than I ever used to, which can be a huge time suck.  Ordinarily, my slow pace is not much of a concern; it suits my life, and the reviews get done eventually.  However, when there's a hot new doll, a slow response can be incredibly frustrating.  I want to give you information as quickly as possible, so you can decide which dolls (if any) to buy!

I can totally understand the hype and anticipation over these dolls.  This new collection of 11-inch fashion dolls follows the same idea as the 18-inch ily 4EVER dolls that have been gracing the shelves of Target for a while now.  Namely, they are styled as Disney fangirls who wear modern clothing that is based on color schemes and thematic designs inspired by the classic Disney Princesses.  It's a very cool concept--especially for an 11-inch fashion doll.

The larger 18-inch ily dolls are adorable, and I've admired them at Target frequently, but they never managed to make it to the top of my review queue.  In contrast, these smaller dolls grabbed my attention instantly because of their manageable size, inset eyes, normal-sized heads, lovely faces, and what looks like great articulation.  They struck me as something that could be revolutionary for the play doll market, and also for the Disney Store which, as you know, has fallen out of my favor more often than not over the years.  I purchased all of the new ily 4EVER dolls (and a few of the accessories) and will share them in one way or another over the next few weeks.  The star of today's review is the Tiana-inspired character who was the winner of a Patreon poll.  I've named her Tia:

ily 4EVER Tiana doll by Disney, $29.99.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Encanto Mirabel doll from the Disney Store

I always try to avoid writing reviews that take three days to read.  I really do.  I have mixed success with this, though (the Monster High review coulda been shorter...), but thankfully the Encanto Mirabel dolls that I want to compare happen to fit nicely into separate reviews.  So this entry is basically the second part of my previous review, which focused on Mirabel dolls from Jakks Pacific.  Today I'll look at the Disney Store's 11-inch Mirabel and see how she compares.

I've reviewed a lot of Disney Store dolls over the years, and I've loved many of them, but the dolls started to suffer a decline in quality around six years ago.  At that point I tried to stop myself from making any more Disney Store purchases, for fear of being hugely disappointed.  I caved to temptation a few times after 2016, and I had mixed results. For example, among the live action Beauty and the Beast dolls, Belle was hugely disappointing.  But with the Tangled: The Series dolls, Rapunzel was an amazing surprise!  That Rapunzel left me feeling hopeful, so last year when I re-booted the blog, one of the first things I did was buy a Disney Store Elsa doll.  And guess what?  I was hugely disappointed.  I couldn't even finish her review.  Why can't I learn?

But Mirabel looked promising.  And she looked different enough from the Elsa doll that, against my better judgement, I decided to buy her.  I justified the purchase by telling myself that this was the Disney Store's first attempt at Mirabel, and their first-run dolls are often higher-quality than the later versions.  So here I am--yet again--coming back from a big disappointment to give the Disney Store another chance.  We'll see how it goes.

Encanto Mirabel doll from the Disney Store, $24.99.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Encanto Mirabel Dolls by Jakks Pacific

Well, I missed celebrating the one-year anniversary of the blog re-start.  That's typical.  I can't believe it's already been a year, but I guess the huge pile of dolls in my basement is pretty good evidence.  I need to get more serious about selling the dolls I review--or at least the ones who are worth something more than $20.  And since I've gotten out of the habit of selling dolls right after I finish their reviews, I'll find other ways of letting you know when something is for sale.  I can post on Twitter and Patreon easily, and I'll add a comment to the review of any doll that's about to be for sale.  There's also a gadget on the right side of the blog that will appear when there are items in the shop.

Another thing that's worth celebrating is that I have sixty Patrons already!  Woo hoo!  Thank you so much to that dedicated crew for helping out financially, and also for your inspiring comments, suggestions, and messages.  I could not do this without you.

But that's enough of that!  If I don't get this review written soon, some other new thing will come along to distract me and I'll be even more behind.  I've had three different dolls from the Disney movie Encanto sitting in my workroom for months now, and it's high time that I take a look at them.  Today I'll focus on two Mirabel dolls (and one Antonio doll) by Jakks Pacific, and then in a few days I'll follow up with a comparison to the Disney Store's version of Mirabel.

The Mirabel and Antonio Adventure set by Jakks Pacific, $24.99.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Variety of DALL-E Dollies

Today started out totally normal for me.  I got up, let the dogs out, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down to read the news.  But then an article in the Washington Post completely changed the course of my entire day.  And forgive me in advance, but it's likely to steal all of the free time you thought you had, too.

The article I read was about DALL-E, an artificial intelligence, text-to-image generator that has just become widely available to the public.  A text-to-image generator is software that can use regular text to create an image.  So if I input a phrase like "pencil drawing of a dog," DALL-E will give me several computer-generated images that look like pencil drawings of dogs.  And judging by the Washington Post sample images, I could see that DALL-E is very good at what it does.  The article was focused mainly on how this type of AI can be dangerous--and I can see that angle.  For example, people wanting to make a point could generate fake photographic evidence to claim something happened when it actually didn't.

But of course I wasn't interested in DALL-E because I want to create conspiracies or topple governments, I just wanted to see how good this thing is at rendering photographs of dolls.  And it's darn good...at least some of the time:

DALL-E redhead doll in a blue polka dot dress.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Toys Я Us at American Dream

I'm having a great time comparing 14-inch dolls (and, thanks to Amy's comment, I've even added another brand to the list!) but I need a little break from the formulaic approach to that series, so the next two reviews will be wildly different.

Today's post might require a bit of background, especially for anyone who is new to this site.  Toys R Us was a huge part of my life back when I first started blogging.  I used to take weekly "research" excursions to the big store in South Portland, Maine (which I'm pretty sure is now a furniture warehouse).  I loved going there.  The variety of merchandise was unmatched, and I felt like I always found some new doll or action figure that fascinated or amused me.  Between that store and the nearby Target, there was practically nothing in the play doll world that I couldn't get my hands on.  I mean, Toys R Us even carried American Girl dolls for a while.

In addition to my routine visits to the Toys R Us in Maine, I also have fond memories of the jaw-dropping flagship store that used to be in Manhattan.  That place was even more impressive than F.A.O. Schwarz, if you ask me.  There was a massive ferris wheel and a freakin' life-sized Tyrannosaurus rex, for goodness sake.  I was heartbroken when Toys R Us closed it doors in 2018.  That marked the end of an era for me, and it took a lot of the fun out of toy shopping.  And of course it was only a few months later that I made some decisions that I assumed would bring this blog to a permanent end as well.

Who could have predicted that four years later I'd be happily blogging again and--wait for it--Toys R Us would be opening new stores?  It's true!  From what I've read, these stores are all going to be smaller boutiques inside Macy's, which is disappointing, but I guess it's still better than nothing.  However, there's one full-sized Toys R Us that's been open for a while: the new flagship store at the American Dream mall.  And the American Dream mall, as luck would have it, is in New Jersey...only an hour away from my house.  So of course I went for a visit.  Do you want to check it out with me?

Toys R Us at American Dream (East Rutherford, New Jersey).

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday Surprise: Mini Fashion and Real Littles!

I was disappointed that I couldn't quite get last week's review done in time for a Sunday Surprise, so I decided to try really hard to get a quick surprise-themed review done for you today!  

My progress was slowed down a little bit this weekend because I finally hit a breaking point with my work space.  I've been writing reviews almost non-stop since October, and I forgot that if I don't take a day or two every now and then to stop and clean up my mess...well, things can get very out-of-control!  On Friday, when fetching the doll for my next review felt like an obstacle course, a death trap, and a game of hide and seek all wrapped into one, I realized that it was time to pause and clean up.  But now my room is beautiful and clean again and it's such an amazing feeling!

As I was tidying and sorting through my stash, I realized that I'd accumulated two different surprise-themed toys that involve purses or bags of some kind: Mini Fashion by Zuru and Real Littles by Moose Toys.  I thought that these two brands might be fun to compare and contrast.  Lina was excited about this idea because she's been pestering me for months to de-box the Mini Fashion sets.  She knows that they contain high-end purses that might be just her size!

Barbie Lina with a Surprise Mini Fashion ball (Zuru, $9.99).

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, June 5, 2022

Mermaid High by Spin Master

I'm back with the second post in the mermaid series!  I learned so much from your comments on the Mermaze Mermaidz review.  As I've said before, the comments are always a hugely valuable (and humorous...) part of this blog.  Thank you so much for all of your contributions.  I'll single out a few mermaid-related things that were mentioned: first of all, Lurkins noted that I never tested Jordie's color change feature, which is embarrassingly true.  I went back and did that and added in some pictures of the results.  It's pretty cool!  Séverine's tip that one of the dolls (Riviera) has bad hair is very helpful, too, especially since I was so pleased with the hair on Orra and Jordie.  Last of all, I had no idea about the alleged backstory of the Mermaidz or which body parts were taken from other MGA lines.  I should have at least recognized the Project Mc2 eyes!  Thank you to Alé for those tidbits.

But today is all about Spin Master's Mermaid High dolls.  The first wave of these fishy friends has been out since late 2021, and the second wave of dolls hit the market this spring.  I've been waffling back and forth about whether to write about this brand for several months now, mostly waiting to see if the high original price (around $27) would come down at all.  The dolls never struck me as being worth quite that much.  I guess I waited a good amount of time, because the first wave characters recently went on sale at Target.  They were around $5 for a while, which was insane, but are now $19.99, which is a reasonable price for this brand.  I purchased first wave Finly at full price a few weeks ago, and then added Searra during the $5 sale.  This review got too long to include Searra, though, so I'll put those photos over on Patreon.

I'm going to feature Finly today because when I was looking at all of the characters in the store, she's the one who impressed me the most.  I love her rainbow-themed outfit and her cute green-eyed, freckle-filled face.  In this review, I'll contrast first wave Finly to the newer version of the same character:

Mermaid High Finly by Spin Master, $26.99.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Mermaze Mermaidz by MGA Entertainment

Whew!  My husband and I are finally finished with our whirlwind graduation tour of the East coast.  We had some absolutely incredible moments with our kids, but now I'm glad to be back in something that resembles a routine.  As usual, I have a billion things on my mind and in my review queue, and my slow self can't work fast enough to keep up.  The other problem is that I often get distracted by new and shiny things; today's review is a good example of that.

I was happily at work on a review that features a doll from a few years ago (there are a lot of those that I need to get caught up with!), but then a mundane trip to Target threw me completely off course.  I was doing a quick sweep of the doll aisles on my way to get some hand lotion, and was stopped in my tracks by a doll with hypnotic inset eyes.  She's one of the new Mermaze Mermaidz dolls from MGA Entertainment, and her name is Orra:

Mermaze Mermaidz Orra doll by MGA Entertainment, $44.99.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Ruby Red Fashion Friends

It's pretty safe to say that the one doll brand that's been recommended to me the most since I started writing reviews again is the Ruby Red Fashion Friends.  I wish I could individually acknowledge everyone who brought these little dolls to my attention, but my memory isn't that good.  Nevertheless, I'd like to express my gratitude to all of you who thought I might enjoy taking a closer look at the Fashion Friends.  You know me well.

The Fashion Friends are 14.5-inch vinyl dolls that were first released in 2019 and are still going strong.  The brand was founded by Ruby Ho, hence the Ruby Red part of the name.  Some of the face molds were sculpted by Ms. Ho herself, and some of them (including the dolls in this review) were sculpted by Dianna Effner.  All of the faces are beautiful.  I'm a big fan of Ms. Effner's work--as you might have gathered from my Maru and Friends, Mini Pal, and Little Darling reviews--and so I'm always excited to get my hands on another one of her creations.  Ms. Effner's death in 2020 was a huge blow to the doll world (as if 2020 wasn't bad enough) and it made me cherish my Effner dolls all the more.

I actually pre-ordered the dolls for this review back in October--before I'd even started blogging again. My brilliant idea was that by the time they were released (around Christmas) I'd have the blog up and running and I'd be able to present you with a review of two brand new releases!  That went well, didn't it?  Sigh.  Instead, I got distracted by a million other things and now find myself reviewing Christmas-themed dolls when it's 70 degrees outside, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing like they're in a freaking Disney movie.  I'm silly to have waited so long to write this review, but at least I'm finally here, sharing my Christmas girls with you.  First, let's meet Jennifer:

Ruby Red Fashion Friends limited edition doll, Jennifer, $169.99.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Nendoroid Figures by Good Smile Company

I was chatting about various dolls with my friend L last month, and when Calico Critters and Li'l Woodzeez came up, L mentioned that some of the furniture and accessories for those fuzzies can work for Nendoroid figures, too.  I had only a vague idea about what Nendoroid figures were at that point, so I did a deep-dive into the brand to see if it might be a fun topic for the blog; it most certainly is!

Nendoroids are popular four-inch tall hard vinyl figures with a Japanese chibi design.  The brand includes a wide range of characters that tend to be based on video games or anime series.  There are a lot of Disney-related figures, too, for those who aren't into anime or video games.  The Nendoroid interpretation of Rapunzel from Tangled is especially sweet.  Nendoroids are made by Good Smile Company, and since I'd just been talking about Good Smile in reference to the newest Blythe dolls, I figured this would be an interesting time to review something from this company.

Nendoroids are pricey--especially for such a small toy.  Most newly-released figures cost about $60, although some models are more expensive.  Characters that have sold out can go for well over $100 on the secondary market.  Because of this popularity and demand, there's an insidious supply of fake Nendoroids out there, tricking people left and right on platforms like Amazon and eBay.  In this review I'll take a look at one of my favorite characters--Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild--and compare him to a fake version that I found on eBay.  Here's Link:

Nendoroid DX Edition Link from Breath of the Wild¥6,600 (~$55).

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I'm a Girly Doll

I'm a Girly is a Swiss doll company that launched in 2017 and expanded into the United States market in 2020.  The dolls seem to have been (still are?) quite popular in Europe, but didn't make as much of a splash here--perhaps because they occupy the same niche as American Girl.  The mission of the company is to produce "sustainability with style" by using top-quality materials and as little waste as possible.  That's certainly a mission that I can get behind, although nothing specific about the realization of this goal is mentioned on the website--beyond the fact that the cardboard packaging can be reused or recycled.  

The thing I find most unique and interesting about the I'm a Girly brand is that the design of the dolls is overseen by a group of children, the Kids4Kids team.  These boys and girls (ages 9 to 13) were instrumental in tweaking and perfecting the first prototypes, and continue to be involved in designing and testing the dolls' accessories and clothing.  Specific items of I'm a Girly clothing can be attributed to specific young designers or design teams, and I can't imagine anything more exciting or empowering for a child!  What a great idea.

I happened upon this brand only by chance.  I was browsing the Target website, looking at some of the ILY 4ever Disney dolls, and the thumbnail of an I'm a Girly character popped onto my screen.  I was captivated by the doll, but her $80 price was high enough to give me pause.  I continued my search on Amazon, where I found several of the dolls being offered for under $20.  That seemed way too good to be true, but I took a chance and ordered the least expensive character, Lucy, who at the time was $9.92 (with free shipping).

I'm a Girly doll, Lucy, MSRP $79.99, on sale for $9.92.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

B-Kind Dolls by Jada Toys

Finally, after living here for almost a year, I ventured out and found the closest Walmart.  I wanted to check out the Honey Bee Acres toys that many of you have recommended--especially the unicorn! Unfortunately, the first Walmart I visited had barely any toys (so depressing), let alone any of the Honey Bee Acres sets.  It was a pretty big let-down.  So, I went to another Walmart last week (who knew there were so many Walmarts around here?) and struck out again: no Honey Bee Acres.  The second Walmart I visited had more toys on the shelves, though, so at least I had a fun time browsing.

I ended up having to purchase the Honey Bee Acres toys online, but I'm so grateful that I visited these stores, because I found a Walmart-exclusive doll line that I'm incredibly excited about!  These dolls were literally the most attractive toy on the shelves at both of the Walmart stores I visited.

The line is called B-Kind (which I think is a good way to live), the packaging and the dolls are eco-friendly (which I think is really important), the dolls look highly-articulated (an obsession of mine), and each character comes with a D.I.Y. project (I love projects!).  It's basically like Jada Toys was saying, "hey, Emily, we made this doll just for you. What do you think?"

B-Kind doll Brianna by Jada Toys (29.97).

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, 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).

Friday, November 9, 2018

WWE Superstars Eva Marie by Mattel

Well, I'm back in business with a new camera, thanks to my mom and a gorgeous little Cannon she didn't need anymore.  Thank you, Mom!  I'm still experimenting with settings, so these pictures are a bit flaky.  For example, the doll I'm looking at today, WWE Superstars Eva Marie, is not quite as much of a fiery redhead as she looks in many of my pictures (it's a bit more orange-tinged in reality) but she's every bit as fierce:

WWE Superstars Eva Marie by Mattel, $14.99.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Wizarding World Hermione Granger by Mattel

Well, I'm finally back with a Wizarding World Hermione review!  I was going to try and keep this post a little shorter than it is, but I wanted to throw in some comparisons to other Mattel Hermione dolls (one of which I've never shown on the blog), and that took a little longer than I anticipated.

I've also finished the Lenora My Twinn restoration and am just waiting for a sub-90% humidity day so that I can get her outside for a few final pictures.  I think you'll be surprised by how she looks.  Predictably, that project prompted about six more My Twinn makeovers, but I doubt I'll chronicle those on the blog.  I've also invested in a few Hairdorables.  I haven't been keeping up with new doll releases the way I used to, so I had no idea what Hairdorables were until several of you told me about them in the Boxy Girls review.  Thank you!  Those seem like a perfect Sunday Surprise.  All in all, I've been working on several different things, which is great for keeping my mind off the empty nest. However, today will be all about Hermione!

I bought all four of the Wizarding World child dolls (Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny) and, of the four, decided to review Hermione because I have a bit of a tradition reviewing Hermione dolls on this blog.  You can see another Mattel Hermione review here, and my two Star Ace Hermione reviews here and here.  There's no mistaking that the Wizarding World version of Hermione was made by Mattel (she looks like Barbie), but the iconic hair and outfit immediately conjure the spunky and inimitable Ms. Granger:

Wizarding World Hermione Granger doll, $20.97.

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.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Teen Version Hermione Granger by Star Ace

My youngest son is really interested in movies, so we've been watching a lot of films in the last few months, mostly when we're traveling for some type of college-related trip.  We tend to alternate between me introducing him to a classic romantic comedy (like When Harry Met Sally) and him showing me something new and noteworthy (like Get Out).  Because of his enthusiasm, I find myself thinking about movies a lot these days.  One of my favorite movie series is the Harry Potter octet.  I enjoy these movies because I like the story and the characters, of course, but also because my family watched them (many times!) when the kids were younger.

With all of this on my mind, I guess it's no surprise that I chose a movie-related doll to review this week, specifically, Star Ace's Teen Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  This is a doll that I preordered back in September of 2016, about half a year after I wrote a review of Star Ace's Sorcerer's Stone Hermione.  My positive experience with the first Star Ace Hermione doll made me very excited and optimistic about this version (especially because Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the eight Harry Potter movies) but the reality did not turn out to be what I expected.

1:6 scale Teen Version Hermione Granger by Star Ace, $239.99.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Trouble in Paradise

Here in rural Maine we lose power a lot.  I don't know what the national average for power loss is, or anything like that, but when I used to live in New York, we'd lose power for ten minutes every few years.  It was almost fun when it happened--like an unexpected adventure.  In the part of Maine where I live now, the power goes out five to ten times every year.  That's not so terrible on its own, but when a power outage drags on for days...well, that can get pretty bad.  In the winter, we worry about all of our animals getting too cold (especially the birds!).  In the summer we worry about keeping all of the food (and insulin) cold.  At any time of the year, we get crabby when we can't take a shower.  After a week with no power, even the calmest person in our household can start to feel a little desperate.

Maybe you already see where I'm going with this.  I've been thinking a lot about Puerto Rico and the Caribbean lately.  The people there are not only without power, but without their homes, their belongings, their family members, their pets...and, I suspect, increasingly without a feeling of safety or hope.

As I sit here in the comfort of my home, I feel the need to do something to help.  Many of you have urged me to start a Patreon (or similar) site, where you can donate a little money to support the blog.  This is so incredibly generous and kind (it brings tears to my eyes sometimes!) but I've never felt comfortable asking for money.  However, I do feel comfortable with this request: please join my modest fundraising effort to help the residents of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  The fundraiser will only last a few days, and any amount you can give will be amazing.  About five thousand people visit this site every day, so if each of you pitches just a little, we've done something great.  Please read on if you'd like to know more!

Maru and Friends Mini Pal, Savannah (on the coast of Maine, 2017).