Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Poppy Parker and Chip "Baby It's You" Gift Set by Integrity Toys

Typically, when fashion doll pre-order season comes around each year, I select a few Tonner dolls with Cinderella faces to add to my collection and that's about it.  This leaves me in a position where I can get out the popcorn, sit back, and watch the chaos that surrounds the yearly Integrity Toys pre-order extravaganza.  I have tried once or twice (half-heartedly, I'll admit) to buy a new Integrity doll, but by the time I get my act together, the dolls I want are always sold out.  Why are these dolls so popular?  Well, the edition sizes are pretty small (400-600), and the dolls are also Barbie-sized, so they fit nicely into the collections of established Barbie fans.  Furthermore, Jason Wu is a brilliant designer and many people want to own something he has created (have you seen his clothes at Target, by the way?  They are very nice).  But I also suspect that there's another intangible element to these dolls that makes them so tempting--a kind of "X factor."

I do own a few Integrity dolls, but only ones that don't sell very well for some reason.  For example, I got my 16" AvantGuard dolls on a big clearance sale and I found my I.T.B.E. doll collecting dust at an online shop two years after her release.  I really like these dolls, though, and that got me thinking that if mine are the undesirable Integrity dolls, the hot dolls must be pretty spectacular.  So, this year I decided to put a little more effort into my quest for a popular Integrity doll.

Lately, one of the most sought-after Integrity characters is Poppy Parker.  Poppy portrays a teenaged fashion model from the 1960s.  2012 has been an exciting year for Poppy Parker doll releases, because along with the usual 12" additions to the Poppy collection, there are new 16" versions of this character as well.  The 16" Poppy dolls are actually among the few Integrity dolls still available to order now, but the 12" dolls were typically scarce.  I managed to get my hands on one of the 12" Poppy dolls, the "Baby It's You" gift set that also includes Poppy's boyfriend Chip:

Poppy Parker and Chip Baby it's You gift set.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monster High Cupid Giveaway Results!

The time has come to see who wins the elusive Monster High C.A. Cupid doll!  I love giveaways, but I hate that not everyone can win.  I wish you could all win.  I've only ever won one thing in my whole life I think--my dad and I won a quilt raffle once when I was a teenager.  That was pretty awesome.

Also, I loved reading through your descriptions of favorite dolls!  I learned about a few dolls I had not been aware of, and I added a few dolls to my wish list.  I got a new idea for the blog, too.  I think once a week I'll share a doll from my collection that doesn't need to be reviewed, but just wants to show off.  Kind-of and oldies but goodies feature.  We'll see how that goes.

Anyway--the good news is that I found a few more Monster High girls to join in the fun:

Monster High runner-up prizes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Review of the 12" Tangled Rapunzel from the Disney Store

I'd like to review a few more of the Rapunzel dolls I bought during my crazed Tangled obsession last month.  As a bit of an aside, the first Rapunzel doll I ever bought was actually Robert Tonner's 16" Rapunzel, who was an FAO Schwarz exclusive in 2008 (way before the Disney movie).  This doll was expensive ($200) and massively disappointing.  I actually sent her back to the store.  Her hair was thin and uneven and her outfit was of poor quality for such a pricey collector's doll.  She was nothing like the exquisite FAO Schwarz Cinderella Rose exclusive.  Anyway, the Tonner company redeemed itself big time with the Disney Showcase Tangled Rapunzel, but she's pretty expensive.  What about a Rapunzel doll in a more affordable price range?  Well, both Mattel and the Disney Store have a variety of 12" Rapunzel dolls based on the movie, and these range in price from just under $13 to about $30.  I prefer the Disney Store version of Rapunzel, mostly because her face is unique and more reminiscent of the quirky movie character.

When Tangled first came out, my niece got one of the $12.50 12" Disney Store Rapunzel dolls, and I was very surprised and impressed by the doll's articulation and quality.  I immediately bought one for myself, of course, but for some reason I have never taken her out of the box.  I was looking at the Disney Store the other day and noticed that the newer version of this Rapunzel doll is actually a bit different from the original.  This demanded further investigation.  I ordered the newer version and in this review I'll de-box the newer doll and compare her to the older Rapunzel...and I'll also compare her to the Ever After wedding version of the same doll.

Disney original 12" Rapunzel doll (L)  and the current version (R)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Monster High's Elusive Cupid Giveaway! (Now Closed)

Giveaway is now closed to new entries--winning names are posted, above! 
(May the 4th be with you!)
It's been raining in Maine for what feels like forever.  It's good for the flowers, I know, but after a while, it gets kind of old.  To cheer things up, I decided to do a giveaway!  The Monster High poll is now closed.  Thank goodness.  The all-caps heading on that poll was giving me a headache.  Anyway, with a healthy 64% of the vote, Cupid won the distinction of being the hardest Monster High doll to find in stores.  This isn't surprising, really, since she's a Valentine's Day themed doll exclusive to Walmart.  Skull Shores Frankie got second place, but if the five zillion Skull Shores Frankie dolls at my local Toys R Us right now are any indication, that information is slightly out of date.

I managed to get my hands on a Cupid the other day.  Here she is--and she could be yours!

Monster High C.A. Cupid

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calico Critters vs. Li'l Woodzeez Comparison Review

I have always secretly wanted to buy a Calico Critters set.  Given my reckless abandon in buying dolls of all kinds, it's a bit strange that I have never taken the plunge and ordered some of these enticing woodland fuzzies for myself.  When I fell in love with the Tickle Your Taste Buds Bakery and had my first introduction to the Li'l Woodzees, I knew there would be a comparison review at some point in my near future.  That time has come.

Calico Critters are articulated, flocked plastic woodland creatures with human attributes.  Li'l Woodzeez are essentially a less expensive version of the same idea.  Both lines have characters who come with roughly sketched-out personalities and/or occupations.  Calico Critters live in Cloverleaf Corners, Li'l Woodzeez live in Honeysuckle Hollow.  Here's a picture of them:

Calico Critters Furbanks Squirrel Family (L) and Li'l Woodzeez Waterwaggles Beaver Family (R)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guilt-Free Goodies from D-Lightful Designs

Because I am always talking about packaging, in particular about how recyclable it is (or isn't), I have to share something with you really quick.

I love the clay food made by Deborah of D-Lightful Designs.  Deborah is the artist behind the amazing cake slice that Sybarite Swallow is gazing at in my earlier post.  Here's a little reminder:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Quick Look at Li'L Ones by Ty

Last night I was at a local toy shop buying something for an upcoming review and I discovered this appealing little doll who I had never seen before:

Hello Kitty "Li'l One" doll by Ty