Wednesday, July 26, 2017

REVIEW: Monster High Cleo De Nile & Ghoulia Yelps Set

I was thrilled that this gorgeous set was not actually an SDCC exclusive, although it appears to have been designed as one. I placed an order for two when they went on Mattel Shop a couple days before they were supposed to. I never got an email confirmation, so I placed a second order for one set the next day. That got confirmed right away and shipped out soon after. Then a day or so later, so did my order of two!

So I got three sets in the mail today, hence my ability to take the photo on the left of both sides of the outer box at the same time.



The main box has two flaps in the front that open like doors.

This is a bit of a pain if you're putting this box back into the outside one, but otherwise, it's cool.

I have a load of pics for this, so expect a lot of pics with only a few lines of text next to them. I hate doing that because it makes this look unfinished, but that's just me being a bit OCD.


The back of the box has lovely art of our heroines, as well as some story detail.

I wish I could clip the art and put it on my wall, but can't cut up expensive boxes! I don't keep many boxes, but ones like this I sure do.

The sides of the box both have an Anubis-inspired design.


If you open the lid of the box, you'll see the diary in a baggie taped to the top lid.



I was disappointed that the diary was so short. One side is a couple pages for Cleo and the other, if you flip it over, is a couple pages for Ghoulia.

Despite looking like pre-reboot dolls, the diary follows the ways of the reboot and Cleo's been locked in her pyramid from the ancient days until present time. Ghoulia follows a trail of clues to find her destined best friend and ends up discovering her right before the MH ghouls arrive to recruit her to Monster High in the Welcome to Monster High movie.


Why Ghoulia does not also make herself known, I don't know. Why Cleo doesn't point her out, I don't know.

This is what happens when you try to make everything fit into one universe and it just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, if you open the flaps, this is what you see.


Now let's get them out of there.

Remember I said I had three sets? Every one of three Cleos was flawed, while every one of three Ghoulias was fine. Considering I'm an Egyptologist and Cleo is my fave, this did not please me.

My choices were:

1) Cleo with giant space between her lips with no paint AND missing gold paint under one eye.

2) Cleo with two much smaller missing spots of paint between her lips.

3) Cleo with no missing paint between her lips, but a lighter "lip liner" on her upper lip.



I picked the third option, of course. Although the second one had a really cute face, too. Something about her eye placement was pleasing.

The deboxing of both girls was fairly easy, although Ghoulia's hat and glasses were unnecessarily overly secured.

Back to Cleo.

She is simply stunning. Easily one of the most beautiful Cleos ever made.








The level of detail on her outfit is superb and I, of course, love all the Egyptian touches like the eye on her belt.











While I do have a nitpick about Ghoulia wearing spike heels in the desert, Cleo can pull them off because she's had literally thousands of years of practice. Her shoes are epic.















Her makeup is perfect and the side-eye just makes this even better. That lip liner mistake even looks pretty good. At least it looks somewhat deliberate.










I did have a photo of Cleo holding up Hissette, but it came out blurry and I stupidly only took one shot. Maybe I'll reshoot it sometime.

She is amazing though. Simply glorious!


Ghoulia was surprisingly glorious, too. I knew I wasn't going to like her as much as Cleo, because duh, but I got hung up on the inappropriateness of her heels and shorts and went meh.

Then I opened her up and saw her.


Even with the ridiculous hat and completely not matching outfit, she looks stunning.

The hand earrings are awesome. Really love those.

The shirt is really cool, too, and her blue glasses are classic.









What makes Ghoulia though is her face. This is without a doubt, the single most beautiful Ghoulia face ever done. She is perfect.




Here's a look at her bag, which does open, and her brain fanny pack.

I didn't get a shot of her boots, because they're her classic ones but with green.

Do not wear heels like this in the desert ever though. Especially not around tombs.











Ghoulia's other accessories are a cool torch and a randomly green Sir Hoots. He looks cool that way though.

Let's reunite these two.




See, there's Hissette, all gold and cute.

This would have been one of the best SDCC exclusives of the lot, if they'd actually made it there. Instead, everyone gets a shot at enjoying it for way less money.

So go buy one!

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

REVIEW: Star Wars Forces of Destiny Sabine Wren

I'm gonna say it right now: I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. I've seen the original trilogy and the second trilogy, and I have several action figures, vintage plush Ewoks and even a couple dolls, but I've never been that into it. I mostly like the alien character designs, especially the women.

So I'm not the best person for these new Forces of Destiny dolls, but I knew I'd likely be buying Sabine Wren when they came out.

Why?

Well, she has several things I like.


She's got short hair.

It's an unusual color.

She's got a great sass face with a lovely nose.

And she's dressed like a badass.

Target had these girls out for $19.99 each. The Leia/Wicket set is a whopping $34.99.


Sabine has an awesome helmet that fits her head easily. Her hair sticks out a little, but you can futz with that.

This line is going to be difficult for those that can't handle molded clothing, because they are literally a giant action figure with a doll-like head with rooted hair and then a piece of fabric clothing or so.


Sabine has two blasters that fit into the holsters in her belt and easily fit into her hands. Her fingers even sit on the triggers. She also has an action feature if you twist her waist, just like an action figure would.

Sabine's entire torso is molded clothing with three orange and one blue...armor pieces? Something. The lower orange ones do not like to stay on.


Her belt, pants, kneepads and boots are all removable, though I opted to skip the photos. I'm fine with showing naked dolls, but there's something odd about a molded shirt, pantsless doll. Ha.

Sabine's face is awesome. I love her sassy expression. and that nose! I'm a sucker for a good nose.


She can even hold her helmet on her hip. Sort of. I tried!

So anyway, like I said, I'm not huge into Star Wars and I don't see myself spending a ton of money on this line, but give me something unique enough and I'll buy it. I actually want to go back for Rey, because she was so dang cute.

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

REVIEW: DC Superhero Girls Blackfire

I was shocked this morning when a fellow local collector told me Target had the Intergalactic Sisters 2-pack. I zipped right over after work and grabbed one of the two left. The set costs $29.99.

As you can see by the title, I'm not even pretending this review is about Starfire. This is the same Starfire you can buy separately. This one is a little different than my sig. The purple shoulder piece and boots are darker and I think the Starbolt is darker green. Her makeup is more like my Intergalactic Games Starfire and her face is oddly shiny, yet she's appealing somehow.


I really think putting signature Starfire out again was a mistake. Not one that's going to be the end of the line, but they should have put Intergalactic Gala Starfire in here with Blackfire and then given the third spot in the solo IG line to Bumblebee.

Still, Blackfire is awesome and she's one of the few new characters we'll get this year, so she's worth it.



Blackfire has purple and black hair and purple eyes. Her costume is similar to Starfire, but since her power signature is pink, she's pink where Starfire is green. I love the dress part! It's gorgeous.

A lot of people are whining that she doesn't have bangs, but I think she looks fine without them. (Harley is the one I wish they'd give her proper bangs.)

A lot of people are also whining about her body, so let's take a look at that.


Blackfire has molded upper arms and all of her legs until her ankles. I actually love this effect, because it looks like the armor she's supposed to be wearing. I legit saw someone say they wish this was fabric and it's like don't you want it to look right? She's not wearing striped sleeves, after all!

I think this is where the action doll concept comes in and people aren't getting it. They want the dolls to be like action figures and skip the fashiony releases, but then they reject molded clothing like this, which fits the action doll style more. I like that they're both giving us outfits and doing stuff that's more like action figures.



Blackfire's boots are neat. I had more trouble standing her at first, because the feet are a bit smaller than the typical DCSG footwear, but then when I stuck her on my display shelf, she just fell into place perfectly. So you've just gotta hit that proper balance.










The sisters each come with a Starbolt in their signature color. These were on their hands in the package, but they were way easier to slide off than my signature Starfire's. Blackfire's fingers did get a little crunched though.

I think this set is worth the price, despite the duplicate doll, if you like DCSG and want to expand your cast. Blackfire is a nice addition because she's such an outsider, not even a student at Superhero High. I'm a teeny bit miffed we get a doll this random when so many students still don't have them yet, but I'm still happy to have a new character on my shelf.

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

Monday, July 24, 2017

NEWS: Descendants 2 Pre-orders

Amazon has pre-orders up for the newest dolls in the Descendants line. These feature looks from the newest movie, which premiered last Friday. They're all set to release next Tuesday, August 1st.

SIGNATURES ($19.99 each):

Mal:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NBXPY8N/

Evie:
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Evie-Isle-Lost/dp/B01NAW5IOG/

Ben:
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Ben-Isle-Lost/dp/B01MR8YS64/

Uma:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5S9IT0/

Uma is currently sold out, but that's the page I pre-ordered mine from earlier today.


SPECIAL EDITION UMA ($49.99):
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Daughter-Exclusive-Collectors/dp/B06Y1MFDDV/

If you really have Uma needs and want to pay $30 extra for some gold wash paint and embroidery, there's this option.


ROYAL YACHT BALL ($24.99 each):

Mal:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MSADRDZ/

Uma:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCYTRLX/


ROYAL YACHT BALL 2-PACK ($34.99):

Carlos and Jane:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9VYO5P/

Ben and Mal:
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Two-Pack-Auradon-Prep/dp/B01N389T55/


GIMMICKY DOLLS:

Switching Looks Mal ($24.99):
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Isle-Style-Switch/dp/B01N6TWACM/

Take Mal from her horrid blonde look to her proper purple. Only her hair looks terrible. I don't know why they didn't just make a blonde doll.

Evie's 4 Hearts ($24.99):
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Evies-4-Hearts/dp/B01MTESG2I/

Evie's the premiere designer for Auradon Prep. Like seriously, where did she find the time to do all those dress and take classes? Play around with different looks for her with this doll.

Wicked Ways Mal ($29.99):
https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Descendants-Wicked-Ways-Mal/dp/B01NCYR6JL/

This doll's eyes glow green, which is pretty cool, even if her price tag isn't.


That's almost the full line of dolls. The only one missing from Amazon at the moment is Royal Yacht Ball Evie, who is actually available right now on Walmart.com:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Disney-Descendants-Royal-Yacht-Ball-Evie-Isle-of-the-Lost/125009833

And if you're in the market for some giant Descendants, Walmart has three for you to choose from with pre-orders releasing on the 15th. Mal and Evie are $39.88. Uma is $39.97.

Mal (currently sold out):
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Descendants-28-Doll-MAL-EXCLUSIVE/155165748

Evie:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Descendants-28-Doll-EVIE-EXCLUSIVE/563842247

Uma:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Descendants-2-28-Doll-Uma-Doll-EXCLUSIVE/104691720

Is it me or is Evie extra pretty? Mal is really cute, too. And Uma actually has some braids. I have to admit, as much as I don't have room for 28" dolls, these are tempting!


The Disney Store currently has nothing but books, clothes and old dolls. I'm crossing my fingers that they surprise us with some characters, because Harry Hook and Dizzy desperately need dolls. And I want Lonnie and Jay in their cotillion clothes and Lonnie in her R.O.A.R. outfit from the final practice scene.


I pre-ordered sig Mal and Uma, Royal Yacht Mal and Uma, and the Carlos/Jane set. Are you getting anyone? Did you watch the movie? I enjoyed it a lot! (Although the people shipping Harry and Uma are killing me, because she was rather abusive to him in the prequel book and just no. I can't deal.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

GROW UP.

I have been severely disappointed these past few days by the poor behavior of so-called adult doll collectors.

I'm used to their obnoxious, entitled behavior and their thinking every single release has to be solely for them, despite the fact that they chose to collect playline toys for CHILDREN, but I have seen some extremely bad attitudes since SDCC began and this seriously needs to stop.

Now I try to keep this blog a little teensy weensy bit more professional than the rest of my spaces. Gods do know I have a potty mouth, but I try to keep that language away from here, because I'd like this to be an all ages space.

Writing this is going to be a severe test of that restraint, because I am so disgusted by my fellow collectors that only that level of language can truly describe them.

However, I'm going to give this a shot!

First of all, it is extremely bad behavior to go into public spaces for properties for children and swear at the people running them, as if the big decisions were made by them. Those spaces have kids that access them and they don't need to see adults acting like mewling babies. I have blocked over a dozen people on Facebook since the reveals started for doing exactly this.

UNLESS YOU ARE A CHILD, THE TARGET MARKET OF MONSTER HIGH AND DC SUPERHERO GIRLS IS NOT YOU.

Again for the people in the back.

UNLESS YOU ARE A CHILD, THE TARGET MARKET OF MONSTER HIGH AND DC SUPERHERO GIRLS IS NOT YOU. 

Do not sully the public spaces of these properties with your adult language and entitled nonsense. Do not attack people that have nothing to do with the big decisions. Do not swear at people you know that once worked for the brands you follow. 

Seriously, just put the adult pants on and treat people with respect. You're being rude over toys. 

Toys. 

Things for children to play with. 

So let's stop ruining them for children, shall we? Let's stop complaining every single muffinfluffing time something new comes out and it isn't exactly to your very adult specifications. I swear, Mattel could release a line of Monster High baby teethers and these people would complain they weren't articulated enough. 

Second point: sometimes lines change. 

Monster High's target market was always kids, but with the reboot, it has skewed decidedly younger. All of this obnoxious behavior because they are now doing things for much younger children is actually far more childish than the new target market. 

If MH wants to have a family-themed line and expand their reboot with new characters that weren't part of canon before, let them. Don't complain every time something that doesn't fit the original canon happens. Because unless you're completely stupid, you should have realized canon REBOOTED. Anything goes now and they don't have to follow what happened before. The family line is decidedly aimed at the younger fans. So let them have it and just stop whining. 

We're having to deal with less MH product on the shelves, which means there isn't as much room for the types of dolls you're used to. That sometimes happens with a reboot such as this. If you really cannot handle this, you can try to petition them or whatever it is the people on Tumblr think they can do, but you'd be better off just finding another line that does suit you or concentrate on collecting some older MH stuff you missed. Perhaps do a blend of both and collect the few more adult-aimed dolls they provide as well as finding something new to obsess over. 

Frankly, I'm thrilled MH was not at SDCC this year. Their target market has changed such that it doesn't exactly fit anymore. You don't see the other lines aimed at younger kids there. Enchantimals at SDCC! Yeah, no. Plus, we got easy access to an amazing doll set that you otherwise would likely have vastly overpaid for, unless you had the good fortune to go or know someone who was going. I can't wait to get that set in my hands, because it looks beautiful and mostly well thought out. (We won't talk about Ghoulia's so not appropriate outfit for what she's supposedly doing.) 

You guys have to let this go. The line has changed and it's not right to attack Mattel for it or make things uncomfortable for the kids and people who do still enjoy it. Meeting every new item or show with a bunch of naysaying is not going to get you back the line you want. It's going to end it completely. Behaving poorly on their social media is not going to get you what you want. It's going to get you ignored. Like seriously, right now a lot of you look as bad as that new Howleen's hair does. 

And that's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

So bad.

As for DCSG, I think the constructive criticism of saying we need more characters as dolls is fine, as long as you follow my first point up there. But MH didn't just drop five lines of new characters right away. At the beginning, before all the crazy movies, they were added very gradually. We had to wait for Ghoulia and Holt. We had to wait for Spectra and Abbey. DCSG is a bit slow, yes. I agree to that. They could have had a new line of two or three newbies released at the same time along with some of the more basic lines or specialty lines like the origins exclusives.

I do think it's wrong that we don't have more of the main cast out before we get Blackfire, who's had all of two appearances.

I do think it's wrong that Starfire has a third, non-basic doll when Bumblebee, Katana, Poison Ivy and Harley still only have two doll releases. And for Bee, Harley and Ivy, one of those is a basic. And for Katana, it's the same outfit in different variations.

But I saw a lot of complaining under Harley's photo today and I don't agree with that. Like it or not, she's a member of the main cast and she's only had two dolls. A third is no big deal. It's not like she's one of the overloaded trio.

Does Mattel need to realize that they need to give us more character variety or the line is going to tank? Yes.

Does that mean we need to complain about every doll that isn't a new character? No. Not if it's another underused character finally getting some attention.

Likewise Cheetah. They gave us a new character in a regular release and people complained, as if this hadn't just happened last year with Katana. As if it shouldn't be celebrated that people without the funds to buy the exclusive one and oh, I dunno, say, THE TARGET MARKET will now have easier access to Cheetah.

Entitlement. It's all a bunch of entitlement. It has gotten out of control.

So yes. Grow up. If you cannot handle collecting lines for children without behaving like a child, perhaps you should find a new hobby that's actually for people your age.

NEWS: DC Superhero Girls

I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.

I mean, I was earlier when I saw the Harley silhouette, but she is SO FREAKIN' CUTE.

I love the outfit. Love that she has little shoes on and not sneakers. Love how the painted legs look underneath them.

Really love the collar and the top of the dress.


I'm so glad I was right in thinking Harley belonged in this line. She's the best one.

She looks like a little tightrope walker or something. It's just so fab.

Wonder Woman is the dull one from this line and Starfire is very beautiful, but this is the heart of the line right here and I can't wait to get her on my shelf!


And yes, I do think Harley would put a mask over a mask.

It's Harley.

Oh, and Monster High showed a Howleen so bad I'm not wasting blog space on her. It looks like they slapped a horrible wig on her and her hair is freakin' pink again, which I despise. Check their Facebook if you want to see her.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

REVIEW: Monster High Garden Ghouls Twyla

Twyla gets another reboot MH doll and she's just as pretty as the Electrified one.

She's my least favorite of the Garden Ghouls, but I love them all, so that's not really saying much.

My biggest complaint about her is that I miss her shadow self. She has a few swirls on her right arm, but that's it.


This is the lightest Twyla's makeup has ever been and it gives her an ethereal look that I love, despite also really loving her with much darker makeup, like in the Coffin Bean line, which is my favorite doll of her.

Mine does have one eye that missed the mark a little, but it really doesn't bug me that much. I might upgrade her when they hit stores, but I might not. We'll see.


Twyla is like a dust mite moth girl. I love her headband. Because it's a headband, I left it attached to her head, unlike Cleo and Toralei's glasses.

Twyla has long silky hair with a slight wave to it. I do wish they'd kept her really dark purple streaks. The reboot's lightened them up too much. Still pretty, but I loved the original color much more.











Her wings are pretty, but my least faves from the line.









She also got an odd little layer of petals on her lower eyelids, not a series of dots like the other two. They're pretty, though not as intricate, of course. This makeup color scheme really does work for her gorgeous headmold though. Love it a lot!









And her boots. Not as detailed as the other two's heels, but also cooler, in my opinion, because they lack heels.

Since Twyla is the last one and the one to inspire this, here's a photo of how I displayed these three.











I had originally planned to hang them on the wall like I do my Winx and other fairies, but then I stuck Twyla between my bookcases on a whim and was surprised when she stayed there. I knew that was going to be her home and was desperate to put the other two there as well. a little fiddling with some extra shelf plugs and rubberbands and ta da, it worked! It's not perfect, but hey, they're flying in between my cases. I freakin' love it.

So I think Garden Ghouls is one of the best reboot lines. Actually, scratch that. It is the best reboot line. I love it all.

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.