Saturday, December 17, 2016

Retro Week: ToyBiz Psylocke in the Snow

Betsy, waist-deep in snow.
I've been saying that I'd get around to doing a few retro week posts for a couple of months now, but it took being snowed in to get to it!  Out of the basement today is Psylocke from ToyBiz's X-men Classics with Light-Up Weapon series from the 90s.  Amazingly, her batteries aren't dead!

It's all photos from here!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Canadian Tire Wow Catalogue's Toy Section

It's been ages since I've posted now - I'm still staying with my mother as she's recovering from surgery (and thanks to everyone who sent her well-wishes! :)) - I did manage to fit in a holiday in during November (which will soon be highlighted over on Project Evil Bunny), but instead of going home, I cam back to Toronto. And since I'm here, I thought it might be fun to share the toy pages from the annual Canadian Tire Wow Catalogue (90% of which isn't toys, so just a few photos here).  So here they are!
The Front page

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Quick Update

I haven't posted for a month so I thought I'd pop in quickly to say a quick hello. I've been out of town (my mother had surgery last month and I've been staying with her as she recovers), so I haven't had time to post with my usual frequency - and that's aside from the fact that my collection is back home!  I have been trying to keep up with everyone's new posts, although I haven't been able to comment as much as I'd like.

While I'm here, I thought I'd show two new additions of mine. The first are some fast food toys: the McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the month include figures of the DC Super Hero Girls, and I've picked up two of them, Supergirl and Bumblebee.
Bumblebee and Supergirl: They're not as detailed as the standard figures,
but by fast food toy standards, they're decent.

And then just the other day my mother surprised me with a gift: the new limited run Hudson's Bay Company Barbie!
HBC Barbie. I'm not usually an in-box collector, but I love this
packaging so much that I haven't been able to bring myself to
unbox her yet!
The back of the box.

I probably won't be back to posting regularly until November, but hopefully I'll have the opportunity to squeeze in a retro week post or two.  I hope October is treating you all well! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Out of the Box: American Girl Mini Melody

I have to apologize for not being online very much this month. I've been doing quite a bit of travelling for family obligations and that's been eating up most of my free time. Still, I wanted to pop on to share the mini version of American Girl's newest historical doll, Melody (and thanks to Debbie Behan Garrett of Black Doll Collecting for the tip on finding her at steep discount!).
Melody, the newest American Girl character doll.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Out of the Box: Monster High Hexiciah Steam

Mattel generally puts out a two-doll exclusive every year for the SDCC, and this year's was the father-daughter pair of Hexiciah and Robecca Steam.  I wasn't terribly interested in Robecca, so I split the set with another collector. As a result I can't do a review of the full set or the packaging, but I did think it would be fun to look at Hexiciah on his own.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Out of the Box: Carpatina Diya

A few months ago, Carpatina - the doll and medieval fashion company - announced an upcoming new doll, Diya. I was excited enough by the hype to preorder her, and today she made her grand arrival.

Carpatina's dolls are 18" playline dolls with full vinyl bodies which are slightly slimmer than the similar-height American Girl type dolls (I reviewed this body type last year in the form of Carpatina's Veronika, so I won't go into the body in depth with this doll as the engineering and size are identical). The new features of Diya are her face sculpt and her unique skin colour. As with all Capatina releases, one of her selling features is the detail in her clothing, in this case her Anarkali Dress with what hand embroidered trim.

Before we begin, I need to apologize for the photo quality: the rainstorms that I mentioned the other day are still ongoing, so it was quite dark for most of these.

And with that out of the way, let's open this box and take a look at Diya!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Upcoming posts for August 2016

ME Minimates, SDCC Monster High, Carpatina Diya
August has been a rainy month here, so I haven't been able to take many photos, and that's translated into my not posting very much lately. I wanted to make a quick post to say hello though, and I do have three new arrivals coming soon, and hopefully the weather will give me a chance to share them.  The three in question are the Series 2 Mass Effect Minimates (which were available as a set this time versus the old blind bags), Monster High's SDCC exclusive Hexiciah Steam (I won't be getting Robecca as I'm splitting the set with someone else), and the newest Carpatina doll, Diya.

Hope your summer (or winter for the southerners) has been fabulous, and if you're following the Olympics, I hope your favourites have been doing well!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Random Toy of the Day: Batgirl (DC Super Hero Girls)

Since I've already reviewed the Bumblebee figure from this line, I don't have much to say about Batgirl here, but I did want to share a photo of her today.

Batgirl reads Batgirl.
Hard to believe that it's August already - I hope you're all having a good summer (or winter, for the folks in the southern hemisphere)!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Random Toys of the Day: Heroclix Midnighter, Apollo and Jenny Quantum

Apollo, Jenny Quantum, Midnighter
A while ago I realized that I've never shared any photos of my Heroclix game pieces outside of a few background appears in size comparison shots, so I thought I'd start to remedy that and take a few of them outside from some photo time.  They're fairly straightforward, so I won't do a full review, but I still wanted to give them some attention.

Heroclix figures are usually around 3cm in height, making them between 1/43 and 1/45 scale (also known as model railroad scale). The game that these pieces are used in is a grid-based board game - there are hundreds of game pieces available from dozens of different franchises. While I'm not a board game person, the variety of character figures that are available means that I have picked up several none-the-less.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Out of the Box: Titan Vinyl's Mass Effect Mystery Minis

L-R: Wrex, Kaidan, Liara
A year after unboxing Titan's Dragon Age Mystery Minis,  I'm looking at some Titan minis from another Bioware franchise, Mass Effect.  The figures I'll be looking this time are my favourites from the original game: Liara, Wrex and Kaidan (although he's called "Kaiden" on the packaging).

Having learned from all the duplicates in my Game of Thrones blind box collection (all of which have now been sold, luckily), I decided to trade the element of surprise for the certainty of character and picked up these three pre-opened on eBay.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Random Green Army Man

In what could be a sequel to The Lonely Doll Shoe, on today's morning dog walk we had another surprise toy encounter: this time a green plastic army man figure standing atop the dog bag dispenser.
The army man on his throne.

I wondered how he got here. Did a child leave him behind on the ground where he was discovered and then put on top of the box so that if the owner returned they'd find him more easily? Was some other toy blogger doing a photoshoot and accidentally left one of their subjects behind? Is he part of someone's scavenger hunt? Was there an artist hiding in the bushes taking photos of the people who stopped to look at him?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Attack of the Giant Barbies: Can SD-range BJDs wear Barbie BFF outfits?

Mattel has been putting out extra tall Barbies at regular intervals for years, but yesterday was the first time I realized that they actually sell extra outfits for their 28"/71cm BFF line.  And since that's roughly the same size as a number of SD+ (65cm+) sized BJDs, I naturally wondered if this meant we now have a mass marketed supply of giant doll clothes, and so brought one of the outfits home
The tag that caught my attention.
Today's photos aren't the best, but I thought this was too interesting of a find not to share.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Out of the Box: Brenton Rudy and his Barnyard (Cabbage Patch Kids Pin-Ups)

Normally when I post dolls of this vintage it's either a childhood toy or some second-hand discovery that my mother has made, but not this time.  While browsing for something completely unrelated I came across a vintage Cabbage Patch mini doll - in his original early-80s packaging and being sold at virtually his original price!  Having always wanted one of the Cabbage Patch boy dolls, I couldn't pass it up.

The somewhat strangely named Cabbage Patch Pin-ups (surely I'm not the only person making the '40s-style pin-up association?), were a line of miniature versions of the full size CPK, with vinyl heads, yarn hair, and cloth bodies. They were packaged with a plastic shelf/play area which could be hung on a wall and which had a strip of Velcro attached to the back wall, allowing the doll and their associated accessory (in this set a chicken) to be fastened to the backdrop when not being played with.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Funko Friday: Pops in the garden

After a week of playline doll reviews, I thought it was time to change things up a bit, so I took my four human-style Funko POP figures outside for some end-of-the-week photos.

L-R: Hiccup, Jamie, Hook & Bucky.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

It's July already! Where did the first half of the year go?  Regardless of that, I hope that everyone is having a great summer - and if you're in Canada, enjoy your day off!

The Canadian superheros of Alpha Flight are ready to watch some fireworks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Out of the Box: Corolle Les Chéries Cécile

Today we're finally down to the final member of my smaller play doll lineup! Being unboxed today is The "Paris Party en fête" version of Cécile from Corolle's Les Chéries doll line.

The Les Chéries dolls are 13"/33cm fully vinyl dolls with rooted hair. Unlike the other lines in this size range that I've been posting about over the past week, these ones have sleep eyes. The line is aimed at children ages 4 and up, and generally retails at around $40 USD, depending on the outfit.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Out of the Box: Paola Reina Las Amigas Carol (FCB version)

I don't know how many of you were like me and spent all of yesterday watching the three Euro matches and then the Copa America final with all their highs and lows (from Batshuayi's celebratory backflip to Messi hiding his face in his shirt), but if you did, I'm sure you can understand how I felt the need to share a football/soccer-related doll.

And it's not completely random because we're also continuing with the smaller playline doll theme, as being unboxed today is a doll from Paola Reina's Las Amigas line - in particular, the FCB version of Carol, complete with jersey and cap.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Out of the Box: Wellie Wishers Ashlyn

Less than 24 hours after commenting on my own (and other) blogs that I was on the fence about the new 14" doll line from American Girl I found myself back in the store picking one up (if my auto service place was in a different location this would never have happened).  It was a moment of weakness, I suppose!

The Wellie Wishers are aimed at a slightly younger target market than the standard American Girl line, and as such are smaller, fully vinyl, and lower priced. I picked up Ashlyn, who has brown  eyes and hair (with bangs/fringe) and the medium skin tone.  Other than the hair/eye/skin options, all of the dolls have the same body (I'm not sure about the face moulds - there may be three of them? I don't have a great eye for that, so if you know for sure, please correct me!).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Battle of the 14" Play Dolls: Who would you choose?

I took my car in for service this morning, and since the dealership is near the local American Girl store, I popped in and took a look at the new Wellie Wishers (a line of 14"/36cm full vinyl play dolls aimed at the 5-7 market).
The Wellie Wishers and their bunny sidekick.

They're cute, but the question I found myself asking was whether they're actually significantly different from similar lines from companies like Paola Reina or Corolle. I don't have an answer to that, but thinking about it, I'm considering doing some comparisons, but at the moment I only have a couple of examples of the doll around: a Hearts for Hearts Surjan, and a Paola Reina Las Amigas Carol (who has just arrived and so been photographed yet). But since I have a collection of unused giftcards sitting around, I'm thinking of hunting down another doll in this size.

But I since I haven't quite decided which one I thought I'd put the question to you: do you have a favourite playline doll in this size range?  Which ones do you think have the best faces, bodies, and/or hair? Any thoughts about quality, price and availability?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

This is Father's Day weekend in the US and Canada, so I thought I'd post a quick on-theme photo for the occasion. And for all the fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, and father-equivalents out there, enjoy your day!

The dad here is an Iplehouse EID Arvid in light brown
and the son is an Island Doll Kevin in tan.
And for all the non-Dads, hope you've had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Out of the Box: Green Lantern & Cyborg (Hero Plug & Play)

Out of the box today are the two figures that I mentioned in my Discount Shopping Adventures - two game piece figures of Green Lantern and Cyborg. As mentioned in that post, I found them at Tuesday Morning for $2.99, although apparently they normally retail for as high as $12.99 (although $9.99 seems to be the more common price).

DC Super Heroes: The Watchtower is a Plug & Play game that seems to have a similar theme to  the more well-know Skylanders or Disney Infinity games in that they involve attaching different character figures to a base that communicates with the game.  These figures are smaller and lighter than most of the ones from those other games though, and reminded me a little of Heroclix figures (although they are quite a bit larger than those ones).

Let's open up the box!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Discount Shopping Adventures

I've seen a solid number of blog and vlog posts showing off successful shopping hauls, so when I realized that there were two second hand shops and two discount shops very close in a neighbourhood where I volunteer (at an animal shelter), I decided to give those places a try.  Was the trip successful?  Not in terms of things that I brought home, but in terms of setting my own expectations, I think it was.

I visited two thrift/secondhand stores: Sand Dollar and Goodwill and
two discount chain stores: Big Lots and Tuesday Morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Happy World Doll Day!

It's the second Saturday in June, which means that today is World Doll Day, a day to celebrate the joy of dolls by giving someone a doll to share the love.

This year is a milestone for the event, as it's the occasion's 30th anniversary: if you're not familiar with this history, you can read about here on the official site.

The dolls approve of this occasion. ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Clearance Shopping at Hancock Fabrics

I'd actually never heard of Hancock Fabrics (a US fabric and craft chain) until someone on the American Girl Collector's forum mentioned that they were going out of business - a quick search told me there was one not too far from me, so I decided to check them out.

The place was in chaos, so I actually didn't realize how reduced some of the items were - as it turns out, all of their pattern packets were selling for $1.25.  Not realizing that was the final price I only picked up a couple of things, but now I'll definitely need to go back - and if you live near one, it might be worth checking out!

Two of my purchases: patterns for outfits for AG-size dolls,
and for plush mermaid and pirate rag dolls.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Out of the box: Ellowyne Wilde - A Dream of Marigold & Cinnamon

Last week Tonner was having a cross-line sale for 25% off any of their dolls, so I took advantage of the opportunity to bring home the new(ish) "A Dream of Marigold & Cinnamon" Ellowyne Wilde release. She arrived in the middle of a rainstorm, but luckily (despite the shipping box being soaked), the inner layers weren't wet at all.

Because of the rain, the lighting isn't ideal for photos, but since we're not due to have a non-rainy day for a week, I decided not to wait to share - so apologies for that!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Out of the Box: Eaglemoss Hellblazer/John Constantine

We got a break from the rain today, so I took advantage of the dry-but-overcast weather to take some photos of the newest member of my Hellblazer collection, an Eaglemoss figurine.

Eaglemoss puts out 1:21 scale die-cast lead figurines from a variety of genre/media franchises (I've posted about my Eaglemoss Captain Britain figure here before), and allows buyers to purchase subscriptions to their lines.  Each figure also comes with a biographical magazine featuring the character of the month. On their own, the figures usually retail for between $15 and $25 USD.

Personally, my interests are too narrow for a subscription, so I've always waited for the reviews to come in and then picked up the ones I wanted on the secondary market. Since I've never wanted to pay a premium for any of them, that often means waiting forever until a deal comes along - but this time I lucked out and found this one at a reasonable price on eBay the first time I looked!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Rainy Season Blues

I've snagged a couple of new pieces lately, including a clearance articulated Barbie and a surprisingly low-priced Eaglemoss Hellblazer figurine, but the weather is not cooperating and giving me the sunshine that I'd like to have for detailed review photos.  So while we wait, how about a few photos of American Girl dolls (Cécile and Truly Me #44) on an overcast day?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Out of the Box: Monster High Deuce Gorgon and Cleo De Nile

Every time I swear I'm not going to pick up any more Monster High dolls, something happens to make me eat my words. Usually it's a new release, but this time around it was a sale - this two pack of of Deuce Gorgon and Cleo de Nile from the Boo York, Boo York series were reduced to $14 USD - since that's normally the price point for a single doll, I decided I couldn't pass these two up.  
The gorgon and the mummy.

They both have fairly standard MH bodies, so I won't be doing a full review, but I did think it would be fun to share some photos (unfortunately we're in the rainy season here, so apologies in advance for the lighting).

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Minis: Lightening Thor from Marvel 500 Series 4

The other day I was wandering through the toy aisle, minding my own business when I noticed that the Marvel 500 blind bags had a new display. And since a new display means a new series (at least new since the last time I picked one of these up), I decided to grab a bag and see what I'd find.

As is standard, there's not much to say about the figures themselves (they're tiny and unarticulated - although this one is somewhat unique in that he is made of a semi-translucent rather than an opaque plastic), so I'll let the photos do the talking.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Time for a new outfit!

Just two quick photos to share today: I've had Angela (SD16 Amethyst) in the same t-shirt since she arrived in January, so I thought it was time to see how she looked in a fancier outfit (she's pictured with SDGou Claude, who is still in his default clothes, minus the coat).

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Out of the Box: Mass Effect's Tali'Zorah (Kotobukiya Bishoujo)

Tali'Zorah watches for Geth (or Cerberus, or Reapers)...
I've shared a number of Mass Effect figures from a variety of lines in the past, but one thing I've been on the fence about are the Kotobukiya's Bishoujo figures.  For those who aren't familiar with them, the Bishoujo line produces figures that the "sexy lady" version of a variety of female game and anime characters.  They have Kotobukiya's usual great level of detail, but the sexy poses always struck me as a little silly, so I passed on the earlier Mass Effect releases from the line (Liara and Jane Shepard) - but I've regretted not picking up the Liara figure since then (she is available on the secondary market, but at ridiculous mark-ups, and I'm just not willing to pay $250+USD for a figure that originally retailed for less than $80).  So when the Tali figure was announced I decided that silly or not, I'd probably pick her up.

And fortune smiled on me, because not only did I find her in stock recently, but also at a 20% discount!  She arrived on Sunday, so let's open the box and take a look at her.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Funko Friday: Dany & Drogo Take to the Garden

Last week I sold the great bulk of my Game of Thrones mystery minis collection - parting with all of them, save two: Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen.  Since I'm hanging onto these ones, I figured they deserved some outdoor photos, so out they went!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the Fourth Be With You (opening up the Star Wars crochet kit)

My sad attempt at crochet from 2008: Yoda is not impressed
It's May the fourth, which means you can expect a day filled with Star Wars puns!  Rather than inflict more of them upon you, how about we take a closer look at the Star Wars crochet kit that I mentioned in last month's project post? Nothing wrong with two days in a row of project updates, right?

Back in 2008, I actually found a free crochet Yoda pattern online and gave it a try. Unfortunately (probably since I'd never crocheted anything before) I didn't manage to complete it (as I recall, the end result looked more like a tangled blob than anything else).  But since then I've taken a class (although to be honest, the blanket I made for the class assignment was no work of art either), and this time around I have a book that promises step-by-step instructions.

I haven't gotten very far with it yet, but let's take a closer look at the kit itself, shall we?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Project Update: Sew Your Own My Best Friend

The final product.
As I mentioned in last month's Projects for Lazy People post I picked up a deeply discounted children's doll-making kit from Studio Girl called "Sew Your Own My Best Friend" a few weeks back.

Last weekend my husband went out of town, so I decided to settle in to a marathon viewing of Black Sails (if you're looking for a solid action series and aren't easily offended, I recommend it!) and wanted an easy and brainless project to do as I watched. Since this kit is recommended for kids 3 and older, I figured it wouldn't be too challenging for an adult devoting less than 10% attention to it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Funko Friday: Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)

In the box.
Another week is coming to a close, so let's open up another Funko POP! In honour of the new season of Game of Thrones starting up last week, let's open a figure from that line, shall we?

Today's figure is the second release of Jaime Lannister - there was an earlier release that was meant to look like the character as he was earlier in the show - that one had golden armour, longer hair and two hands, while this one has a simpler outfit and the golden hand (making this the third week in a row that I'm opening a one-handed character figure - that wasn't intentional, but it's funny how that happened!).  

Unfortunately the simpler outfit means this figure has less detail to talk about, but he still manages to look like the character which is good enough for me.

Now let's open the box!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thinning the herd: An update and a question

After six years of thinking "I should either paint
or sell this guy", I finally sold this one two months ago.
I spend a lot of time posting about incoming dolls, but not so much about the outgoing ones. That might lead you to believe that despite my New Year's resolution, I hadn't cleared anything out.  That however is not true: since January two BJDs have been sold ( a Bobobie Ariel and LoongSoul XanBing head), as well as three AG paper doll sets (Rebecca, MG&C and Josefina), a couple of AG outfits, and MH Draculaura.

And I've listed a few others: my MiroDoll Lele and Angel Street Zazean are now listed over on DoA (at discounts, if anyone is interested!), and I have a number of other AG items up on AGC.  I haven't started listing anything on eBay, but I've been thinking about it - if you have any hints or tips, I'd love to hear them!

I'm also still debating what other dolls and figures are worth holding onto versus selling versus donating, and I'd love to hear more about other people's thought processes when it comes do doing the same. How do you decide which ones to sell or give away? And how do you decide which sales sites or forums to use as a platform for it?

And if you've hosted a giveaway on your blog, how did you decide on what to offer and what parameters to set?  Because that's something I'm thinking about as well. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Funko Friday: Captain Hook (Once Upon a Time)

In the box.
It's Friday, so it's time to unbox another Funko POP!

Up this time around is Captain Hook from the Once Upon a Time line. I confess, I'm not a huge fan of the show, but there's something about the intentionally cheesiness of it that means that I've watched about a third of each season (full seasons are a little too much cheese for me).  It might seem odd to pick up a figure from a franchise I'm not a huge fan of, but I just really love Hook's coat - I just love a nice flowing trench coat/ greatcoat (if someone ever got the license for figures of the characters from Black Sails, I would pick those up in a second - that show has some great coats!).

The figure is a fairly standard POP figure, although by having one arm raised, that at least gives he a slightly more dynamic pose than a lot of them do. The paint is decent, although there are a few chips on the head.  And most importantly for me (since it's the whole reason I picked this up), the coat has some great detailing.

On with the photos!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Out of the Box: Batwoman (Tonner's DC Bombshells Series)

Even though I'm always complaining about the hinge-jointed knees on dolls from Tonner, every now and then they release something that overrides my aversion.  This time the exception is Batwoman from their DC Bomshells line.  While the original retail price ($179.99 USD) struck me as being too high, when the doll popped up on Zulily at a decent discount I decided to pick her up.

The DC Bombshells line included three characters (Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Supergirl), each designed to have a 1940s pin-up style version of their traditional costume. For whatever reason, Batwoman's outfit is baseball themed, which seems a bit like a silly pun (she has a baseball bat, because she's the bat-woman, buh da bump!), but at least it got her some interesting accessories.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Funko Friday: Winter Solider (Captain America: Civil War edition)

Thanks to a recent sale I've picked up a number of new Funko Pop figures. In the interests of not boring non-Funko fans, instead of spending a couple of weeks posting nothing but them, I'm going to save them for Fridays only. Since these figures are fairly standard, barring something unusually unique I won't be doing a full review for each one, which means that after these posts will all be primarily photo posts.

First up in this series is Winter Soldier from the upcoming movie Captain America: Civil War.  Let's open up the box and see what he's like!
In the box

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Projects for Lazy People (and general project updates)

I already have quite a few projects on the go: I've only finished one of the three Ginny dolls that I bought with plans to restore, and my Jade Empire custom still isn't past the planning stage. But that's not stopping me from being tempted by other projects.

First up are two projects aimed at kids that I think would also be fun for lazy adults (like myself!): The Sew Your Own Friend doll-making kit (which includes pre-cut fabric) and the Create Your Own Action Figure set:
Create your best friend or your comic book hero.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

200th Post Party! (and plans for the future)

200 posts calls for a cake!
I was just looking at my blog stats last week and realized that I was only a couple of posts away from this one, number 200!  It feels like my introductory post only just went up, but somehow that was more than two years ago: time flies!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Out of the Box: Dhara (Prettie Girls Tween Scene)

Pretty Girls Tween Scene Dhara
Back in November of 2014, I posted about Dahlia from the then-new Prettie Girls fashion doll line. In 2015, thanks to a collaboration with Robert Tonner, the same set of characters were released in the style of Tonner's Little Miss Matched line (although this time around Dahlia has been renamed Dhara - she still has the dual braids and the South Asian designation though).  Although they were released in October 2015, I'm not a huge fan of this particular stylized face sculpt, so I held off on picking one of these up  until a recent price drop (they normally retail for around $30 USD, but are now offered at Wal-Mart for $23 USD).

Unlike the first series which were fairly standard 12" fashion dolls, this line is on a taller 15.5" (almost 40cm) body. Although I don't own a Little Miss Matched doll, from photos I've seen, this body is similar but not identical to that line (the face style on the other hand is very much in the same style).

Because of the size difference, it actually took me an embarrassingly long time to find these dolls in store - due to the large boxes, they turned out to have been shelved with baby dolls rather than fashion dolls. So if you're like me and have been looking in the wrong section, now you know!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Retro Week: Mini Figures of the 80s

I'm down to my final batch of retro week shots: up these time are a variety of mini figures.  There's never much to say about these guys, so let's get on with the photos!
A pair of ETs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Retro Week: A Tale of Ice Storms and Vintage Figures

Bingo Beaver, Optimus Prime, and ET are cold and wet.
As happened a couple of years ago in December, last week I got to "enjoy" a Toronto ice-storm.  While that made it hard to go anywhere, it did give me a great excuse to grab some toys from the basement and take them outside for some photos.

For this round, I brought out a larger ET figure (this one with 5 points of articulation, unlike the solid mini-figure we saw the other day), a return visit from Transformer Optimus Prime (who was one of the stars of our first Retro Week two years ago), Bingo "Bet it All" Beaver, from the Get-Along-Gang, and finally a smaller figure in the form of the Care Bears' Tenderheart Bear.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Bunny Day!

Retro Week will continue in a couple of days, but since it's Easter it's time for our friendly neighbourhood Pipos Dark Rabbit to make his annual appearance, this time accompanied by a clown sidekick.

I hope you're all having a great Easter if you celebrate it, and that you're having a great weekend if you don't.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Retro Week: E.T. in a Snow Speeder

I'm in Toronto this week and as usual, that means I'm posting less than usual, but I also have access to my mother's basement full of toys.  So to give you a taste of what's to come, here's an ET mini figure riding in a Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back Snow Speeder.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Out of the Box: DC Super Hero Girls Bumblebee

The DC Super Hero Girls are a cartoon that involves teenaged versions of heroes and villains from DC comics in a high school setting.  Full disclosure: I haven't watched it, but even so it's been hard to miss the merchandise.  Mattel has put out two versions of the six main characters (Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Harley Quinn) - an action figure and a fashion doll (which is being branded as an action doll).

This line seems to be bringing up a lot of the old discussions about the line between dolls and action figures (and about gendered toy marketing), which I'm thinking about making a separate post about, since it's such a huge topic.  But in the meantime, let's take a look at the action figure version of Bumblebee. I'd actually planned on picking up Batgirl, but they'd actually sold out of every other figure at my local store - although they still had all the dolls, which makes me wonder if the figures are benefiting from more of a crossover market.