Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Toy Box Philosopher on Facebook

I have decided to set up a facebook page for this blog.  On facebook, I will link to some older blog entries now and then, share pictures, post announcements of my new reviews, do little giveaways, and offer up bits of news and information that are too quick for a full blog entry.  For example, today I am musing about McDonald's Happy Meal toys and My Little Pony, which seems like a good facebook topic.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Resin Ball Jointed "Lady G" by the Tonner Doll Company

You might remember that the Tonner Doll Company's Cinderella face is one of my favorite doll faces of all time.  The Tonner Doll Company, which got its start in the early 90s making porcelain dolls, has been making vinyl fashion dolls since 1993.  By the time I started collecting Tonner fashion dolls in around 2005, the range of vinyl characters was extensive and included not only Tonner's signature character Tyler Wentworth, but also a range of Tyler's friends and some popular fiction characters like Harry Potter and Scarlett O'Hara.  My beloved Cinderella face was introduced in 2006.  In 2007, Robert Tonner branched out into the resin ball jointed doll market with the introduction of 17" BJD Evangeline Ghastly.  Evangeline is marketed through Tonner's other company, Wilde Imagination, which is the home of the woefully fashionable fictional character, Ellowyne Wilde.

One of the most exciting doll announcements of my collecting experience came in 2008.  This was the year Robert Tonner declared that he would be making 16" resin ball jointed versions of some of his most popular fashion doll characters.  Furthermore, the very first 16" resin BJD was to have the Cinderella face.  I practically leapt out of my skin with excitement.  This would surely be the most amazing doll ever made.  The only catch was that this doll would be limited to 125 pieces and would be sold exclusively at the Tonner convention....which I could not afford to attend.  Panic!  Extreme panic!  I have never wanted a doll this badly.  I must have spent days glued to my computer, trying to find a way to buy this doll.  I was rescued by a fellow collector (and convention attendee) whom I shall never forget (thank you, Jennifer!!).  Not only did this dear person buy one of the resin dolls for me, but she knew to alert me when yet another Cinderella face was introduced at the convention (The Blue Fairy).  So.  I am a very lucky person, and the incomparable "Lady G" has graced my collection for the past 4 years:

Resin Lady G by Robert Tonner

Monday, March 26, 2012

And the Winner is... (Updated!)

Update: Tabitha has posted some gorgeous pictures of her daughter enjoying the Kitty Surprise prize!  I won't give away how many kittens there were, because you won't want to miss these priceless pictures!


We all adore the name Charlemagne and love how it makes us think of Rome.


Felix Charlemagne
...a big name for a teeny dog!
Thank you, Tabitha--it's so much better than Monkeypants!
Tabitha--send me an email at ToyBoxPhilosopher at gmail dot com and I'll send you your prize!
We're all desperate to know how many kittens there are in the Kitty Surprise, though, so it'd be so awesome if you would take a picture and send it to me so I can post a birth announcement!  :)

Thank you again to everyone for the creative, fun suggestions. We have had a very fun time naming this little guy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Few Really Quick Things

I have a few quick things to share with you tonight.  First, am I the only person who didn't realize that you could buy the Skull Shores greyscale Frankie online at (almost) NORMAL RETAIL?  I wanted this doll really badly, but assumed she would be impossible to find and/or super-expensive (more like $40).  Apparently not.  If you're like me, and have been hoping for this doll, check out the options on Amazon!

Now $11.99, free shipping!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monster High Review: The Meowlody and Purrsephone Sister Set

There's been a lot of Monster High excitement lately, at least in my house.  Do you remember back in January when I mentioned that Meowlody and Purrsephone went up for pre-order on Toys R Us for about 5 seconds?  Well, I pre-ordered the set then, but didn't actually believe they'd ever come.  I mean, the whole Monster High availability thing has been strange, don't you think?  In fact, I'd love to collect data on this.  Which dolls are showing up where?  Here in Maine, we have a lot of Skull Shores dolls, and that's about it. The Sweet 1600 dolls were easy to find for about three weeks and have now disappeared.  There was one huge shipment of Nefera DeNile and Operetta, and then nothing since.  I have still only seen two of the original Abbey Bominables in the store and have never seen a single Cupid.  I think I'll start a new poll about this.  The old poll revealed that 62% of you think JAMIEshow Lee looks best without a wig, which is pretty definitive, so I think we're ready for a new poll.

Anyway, out of the blue, the feline twins arrived yesterday.  I have not seen them in stores here yet, so I am glad I pre-ordered.  I was a bit nervous about ordering these online, though, since hand-picking a Monster High doll is significantly safer than buying one sight unseen.  Still, I figured it would be educational to see the quality level of a random sample.  Here they are:

Monster High Meowlody and Purrsephone gift set.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Review of Stardoll Fashion Dolls by Mattel

I was not even aware of Stardoll until February, when I saw the Mattel Stardoll fashion dolls on the Angelic Dreamz website (back when I was picking my birthday doll).  At that time, the "Bonjour Bizou" doll caught my attention with her red hair and orange ruched skirt.  But let me back up for a second in case you haven't heard of Stardoll, either.

Stardoll is a Swedish-based company with a virtual paper doll website.  The company was started in 2004 and has since rocketed to significant popularity.  Stardoll boasts over 100 million unique users on their site to date.  Back in 2004, Stardoll was called Paperdoll Heaven. is still a functioning website that is separate from the main Stardoll site.   It is pretty fun, although I can't personally say how it compares to the original 2004 site.  On this website, you can dress a huge number of dolls (including celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Justin Bieber and Milla Jovovich) or even brush and dress an animated virtual horse (my personal favorite).  There's a page where you can design your own birthday cake...and this is awesome, too, but it makes me hungry.

The Stardoll website has some of the same dressing games as Paperdoll Heaven, but also has many additional features, including social clubs, shops and games that allow you to design your own clothing for the virtual dolls.  I'll talk a little more about the Stardoll site in a bit.

Late last year, Mattel and Stardoll joined forces and Mattel released a line of Barbie-sized dolls modeled after the Stardoll concept.  These dolls come with virtual money that can be spent on the Stardoll website.  Here's the "Fallen Angel" Mattel doll:

Fallen Angel Stardoll

Friday, March 16, 2012

Puppy Surprise by Playskool

I am going to veer away from my normal doll talk to share two things with you.  First, an awesome toy called Puppy Surprise.  Remember how I mentioned a while back about how much I like surprises?  Well, this toy is perfect for me.  It's perfect for a lot of kids in the 4-8 year old range, too, in my experience.  I think I have bought one of these for almost every kid I know in that age range.

What is Puppy Surprise?  It is a plush dog who is pregnant (stuffed) with removable puppies.  The surprise is, you don't know how many puppies she has until you open the box (and the dog).  She could have anywhere from 2 to 4 puppies, and if she has 4, one of them is likely to be a runt.  It's awesome.  The puppies are also gendered, so you don't know if you're going to get boys or girls...or both.  Playskool isn't making Puppy Surprise anymore, but there are plenty to be found on eBay for about $4 (opened) to $20 (unopened).

In the early 90s, Hasbro made a similar toy, also called Puppy Surprise, but these dogs had vinyl faces.  The older toys are also still available on eBay, but they tend to command higher prices, especially if the set is complete and in good shape.  I like both versions, but slightly prefer the newer ones because they are all plush.

A few years ago, when these started to go on clearance, I hoarded a ton of them so I could give them away as gifts.  I have a few left over.  Let's have some fun with them!

Playskool Puppy Surprise (discontinued).