Monday, May 13, 2013

EuroGirl Diana Collection Doll by The Doll Factory

I've been pretty distracted lately--sorry.  There was a week of complete pandemonium in my house as we helped my son prepare for a big science fair in Phoenix.  Now that we're finally in Arizona, I have some time to relax and write.  I am so excited to be here--partly because of the science, but also because it's neat to be in the desert.  It looks completely different from Maine.   I mean, I saw a cactus at the side of the road last night as we drove from the airport.  A cactus.

My internet searching tells me that there are a few doll stores in this area, so I hope to have some time for live blogging later in the week (please let me know if you have a tip about a doll location in the greater Phoenix area!).  In the meantime, I'd like to quickly show you an 18" play doll that I have been wanting to de-box for a long time.  This is a (discontinued) EuroGirl from the Diana Collection.  She is a slim 18" size, like the Magic Attic and Carpatina dolls, but she has this amazing character face:

EuroGirl doll
EuroGirl by The Doll Factory.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Funko POP! Cinderella

I got a tip a while ago about the presence of a Funko POP! Cinderella figurine.  This captured my attention for three reasons.  First, Cinderella.  Second, the name: "Funko Pop" sounds cool and is fun to say.  Third, I had never heard about Funko before, and I love learning about doll and toy companies and their products.  I decided to investigate.

Funko is a 15-year-old Washington-based company that is best known for making bobbleheads.  They also make a variety of pop culture items including action figures and plush toys.  The POP! line is a series of large-headed vinyl figures that are about 3 1/4 inches tall.   These toys have the proportions of bobble heads, but their heads don't bobble.  The figures cost anywhere from $1 (used) to $800 (discontinued), but the average price is about $10.  Cinderella was $8.99 at Amazon.

To me, Cinderella toys that cost under $10 are a special kind of awesome, so this funky princess quickly found her way to my house:

Funko POP!  Cinderella, $8.99.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel Jewel Edition Doll by Jakks Pacific

Over the last year, I have had several requests to review one of the Disney "Princess & Me" dolls.  I can understand why people are curious about these dolls.  First of all, at just under 20 inches tall, they make impressive gifts.  In addition, they portray the beloved Disney Princesses, and so collectors and enthusiasts of these characters will be tempted to own a large version of their favorite heroine.  Also, these dolls are comparably sized to many slim 18" play dolls like Carpatina, Kidz 'n' Cats and Magic Attic, which makes clothes-sharing an added temptation.

To be honest, I always walk a little faster past this section of the Disney doll aisle, purposefully avoiding eye contact with these huge princesses.  Their oversized faces and round, staring eyes freak me out a little.  Also, the price tag is a bit of a stunner.  All of the dolls cost $50 except for the Diamond Edition Cinderella, who (because of a bigger dress?) is $60.  That's really expensive for a Toys R Us play doll.  So, I have been reluctantly watching for a sale, but secretly hoping that I would never need to bring one of these large, glassy-eyed girls home with me.

As luck would have it, over April break, a really good sale started at Toys R Us.  All of the princesses (including Cinderella) were $39.99 (sale ends May 11th).  I headed over to my local Toys R Us and, with my teenaged son running in the opposite direction as fast as he could, I bit the bullet and settled in to inspect all of the dolls.  While Cinderella was the obvious choice for me, especially with the $20 off sale, I actually found Rapunzel to be the most appealing doll in the group:

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel doll.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monster High "Skelita Calaveras:" A Guest Review!

For this post, I am thrilled to introduce an overseas friend who asked to write a guest review for the blog this week.  She and I both have Skelita Calaveras, one of the new Scaris Monster High dolls.  Since I am always bursting with opinions, I'll have to get my two cents in at the end, but I'll let our guest, known here as "LagoonaLicious," tell you all about Skelita first.  In fact, I'd like to start the review with her wonderful portrait.  I love this:


Over to you, LagoonaLicious!

"Spring break had just begun, but I was bored already.  After a few minutes thinking what I could do, I came up with an idea: I wanted to write a guest article for my favorite blog, The Toy Box Philosopher.  So the first thing I had to do was to ask Emily if it was okay for her.  She agreed, so I started writing my first written doll review.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Juku Couture "Hayley" by Jakks Pacific

Update: two quick announcements: thanks to a reader suggestion, you can now translate the whole blog into the language of your choice with the Toy Box Translator (on the right).  This is fun even if you speak English.  I love the Latin translation of the blog title, In Toy Box Philosophus.  Classic.  Also, you can now follow the blog by email.  Hope that works.

Juku Couture dolls are 9 inch articulated plastic fashion dolls with inset eyes.  The dolls are named after a Japanese fashion trend called "Harajuku" that involves combining lots of mis-matched fashion elements into a personalized look.  The dolls are dressed in multi-layered outfits with pieces in contrasting styles and colors.  These dolls were released by Jakks Pacific in 2008 and, from what I can tell, were discontinued after only four waves: Series 1, Series 2 (called "In the Wild"), a 2009 re-release group, and the "Global Good" series.   Each release of dolls has four different characters, Hayley, Jun, Kana and Audrina.

The dolls originally sold for $19.99, and can now be found on eBay and Amazon for significantly more or significantly less than that.  The 2009 re-release dolls are thought to be of lesser quality than the originals, and they seem to be the easiest group to find.  I bought Hayley from the 2009 re-release series for about $10 on Amazon:

Juku Couture re-release Hayley (2009) by Jakks Pacific.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"China Girl" Doll by Jakks Pacific

It seems fitting that I stumbled upon China Girl while I was writing my post about antique dolls.  I had crazing, cracking and bisque on my mind as I was wandering the aisles of Target, and I could barely believe my eyes when I saw a plastic doll made to look like she was made out of porcelain.  Without knowing a thing about who she was, I handed over $19.99 and brought her home.

The China Girl is actually a character from the new movie, Oz, The Great and Powerful.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've read that while it might not live up to its predecessor (how could it?), and there might be some script and casting fumbles, the special effects are jaw-dropping and the China Girl character steals the show.  I'll probably love it.  The thing is, there's no need to watch the movie to enjoy this doll.  I can safely say that there is nothing on the toy shelves even remotely like her.

Both The Disney Store and Jakks Pacific have released a full line of dolls based on characters from this movie.  Most of the dolls are 1:6 scale, like Barbie.  The Disney Store offered a 19" limited edition version of The China Girl ($179.50, sold out) that was actually made out of porcelain.  They also made a 4" Polly Pocket style vinyl version ($9.99, sold out).  The Jakks Pacific China Girl is 14" tall and highly articulated.  She's just shy of being a life sized version of the movie character.

In this review, I will look at the 14" Jakks Pacific doll and the little 4" doll:

China Girl doll
4" Disney Store China Doll ($9.99)
and 14" Jakks Pacific China Girl ($19.99).