Thursday, May 25, 2017

NEWS: DC Superhero Girls

I was shocked to see the 3 new mini figures in stock on Amazon. They're $4.99 add-on items, which means your cart must total $25 or more. They only had 1 left of Frost and Ivy and 2 Starfire, so I quick put them in my cart, added some other stuff and checked out. 

If you want to watch the listings, they're...

Ivy:

Frost:

Starfire:

Starfire is the only orderable one as of this posting. She comes back in stock on the 29th. Ivy and Frost are "currently unavailable." But I'm sure they'll restock soon.

In other news, if you go on the official DCSG Facebook, you can see photos of the upcoming Starfire/Blackfire 2-pack. Blackfire is pretty neat, although she does have some molded parts. Starfire is disappointing because she's the same Starfire we already own. SIGH. Mattel is usually somewhat decent with the 2-packs. I expect this sort of repeating in the bigger multipacks, but not a 2-pack. I really wish they'd just released the pair together and given Starfire's earlier release spot to Cheetah, Star Sapphire or Miss Martian. 

The biggest DCSG news though is that the show is now going to be a full-length cartoon on Cartoon Network, written and redesigned by MLP's Lauren Faust. I'm not real thrilled about the redesigned part, but I'll enjoy a longer show. I just hope it's not too different. This franchise only just began. Why change a super good thing? 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

REVIEW: Kuu Kuu Harajuku Angel

I love Angel. She looks like she's the Sporty One, but NO. She is the Fashion One. Surprise!

I have had a rough time with this girl. My first one had horribly off eyes and paint rubs. The first one I pulled out of the box from this order also had off eyes and a thin spot in the paint where the white went across the indent line. The second one I pulled out was this girl and here eyes are PERFECT. I was so thrilled. And her bangs look great, too.

Then I noticed it.

Big honkin' lip rub.

Angel, however, is gifted with tan skin and a more natural lip color, so the rub is actually not that noticeable. I know it's there, but I also wanted an Angel with great eyes like this because she is SO cute, and I decided to just open her and if I find a perfect one in a store, I can upgrade. That one can wear the uniform and this one will get a fashion pack.

So that decided, I think I willingly opened a lip rub doll for the first time ever.

Angel is basically wearing the same outfit as Love only blue is her color, while Love's is red. And the initial on the top is different, of course.

Her knee pads are different though. Love's have little ruffles and Angel's don't. (Baby's also have the ruffles, while Music's don't.)


Angel's headband thing is velcroed at the back, but stapled to her head with plastic bits, so I left it attached, same as the other two's plastic headbands.

Her barrettes are kind of irritating, because they're designed to be barrettes, but they're just on with plastic bands. And if you were to try to put them on right, you'd totally mess up her hair.


I gave Angel the charm that's her own head. I'm trying to just give the girls one charm each, but most of these are kinda duds. I didn't mind Angel's gold star, but she's already got four others. It's kinda overkill.

Her hair is a lovely blend of colors, as this pic shows pretty well.

She has four braids with the two in front being a little longer. The left braid has two barrettes, the right has one.



Here she is from the back. Nothing major going on here.

I should note that Angel's knee pads don't stay on as well as Love's do when it comes to moving her legs. The right pad has already flown off twice.

Her kid accessory is a pair of angel wing barrettes, which makes me wonder why none of her charms were wings.









Her other charms are a gold star, blue guitar and blue bear purse. What is it with her and the bear purse? Didn't the figure get that, too? Must be an episode I haven't watched yet.

Anyway! I love the Angel doll. I will definitely be watching my stores for one with both good eyes AND no lip rub. I'm just glad she's the skintone she is with that lip color, because if that was G with a rub through bright red lipstick over pale skin, she would have been going back to Amazon.

These dolls are so super cute, but man, they really need some QC help!

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

REVIEW: Kuu Kuu Harajuku G

Well, I'm happy to finally be able to do these two more reviews for the current KKH dolls out. Yep, still no sign of Music and Baby, although pictures have been added to their listings.

Thanks to really bad quality control, I had to order two of each of G and Angel to replace the ones I sent back. I hoped to get non-defective ones and I got a G that's actually really great. Angel, however, we'll get to that in her post.

G is my least favorite of the line. Despite being blonde, I hardly ever like the blondes much.


G is very cute though, because all the dolls in this line are.

While the other girls have more uniform-type outfits, G has a little blue and white dress with black plastic bows sewn on worn under a gray blazer.

The blazer is a separate piece from the dress.


The dress is pretty cute on its own, but I wish they'd added some of those thin plastic straps. Not that wide flat ones that don't age well, but the really thin, like fishing line thin, ones. G flashed me several times during these photos and even with the blazer on, she's still flash-happy. It probably doesn't help that the plastic bow sewn there makes that part of the dress heavier.

G actually has REAL FABRIC STOCKINGS.

Yes, that deserves all caps.


I'm really not one to be super picky about painted on stockings or whatnot, but it is nice to see some actual fabric ones for a change.

Her legwarmers are separate from the stockings, but I have had waaaaaaaay too long a day to deal with that kind of struggle.

While my G was gifted with nicely-placed eyes, her glitter eyeshadow did not get so lucky. Thankfully, her hair is swung over her forehead exactly where it helps hide just how much the glitter shadow over the right eye has wandered off course.







G's hair is in cute little buns and she does have tinsel. Just in the front, but it is there. Her black hairbow/band is stapled to her head and I'm leaving it that way. Mattel seems to rely more on stapling things down than making them actually fit right if they're loosened, so I'm not undoing anyone's head stuff unless I have to.

I like the off-kilter part G's got going on.

I don't care for any of her charms (strawberry, music note, microphone, her own head), so I stuck them all on the fake quilted bow for kids.

Love and Music really got the best child-size accessories.

So yeah, G. Cute, but my least fave by far.

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

Friday, May 12, 2017

MONTH IN REVIEW: April 2017

I just realized that it's almost halfway through May and I never did my Month in Review for April.

Then I just went through my April photos and realized this is gonna be pretty short!

I was surprised to see the Wonder Woman movie dolls in Walmart at the beginning of April. I picked this one up and reviewed her here.

When I do these, I try not to talk about the things I've reviewed, because you've seen them all already, but there is very little leftover this month! So bear with me through the repeats.


I finally got around to picking up the $14.99 Shoppies sets I wanted, including Milly Mops, who's tied for my fave with Sara Sushi. I am so ready for the new ones to be out. I want Pia Puzzle very much!

I've seen a lot of upcoming Shoppies stuff with the travelling the world theme and I'm looking forward to that.


The Kuu Kuu Harajuku minis figures made a surprise appearance on Amazon in mid-April. A surprise because no one expected anything so soon and also because these figures were not shown at Toy Fair. I bought the set and love them a lot. 


Not a new thing because she got a review, but I'm super glad I bought the Little Kingdom Pocahontas on Amazon, because no one really knows if she's coming out here or not. Her current asking price is more than double what I paid!

April was a great month for DC Superhero Girls. I finally got the Supergirl of Krypton doll that just is not out around here. I caved and bought her on ebay. And then one randomly appeared in my Target. Just one, which makes me think it was a return, since I don't think three of them would have sold that fast. 






The Amazon exclusive signature Katana doll that was supposed to be out on the 15th surprised everyone by coming out two weeks earlier, and in an even bigger surprise move, Frost became available on Amazon not long after! 

That kind of leaves me in a muddle though, because now I'm not really looking forward to any DCSG stuff until a new doll is announced. The Intergalactic Games Starfire looks neat, but she's not super exciting and neither are the action figures, even though I'll definitely buy her and Hawkgirl. And the mini figures of Poison Ivy, Frost and Starfire, too. But I want to know who the SDCC doll will be and who the next regular releases are!


I stumbled across this guy really overpriced on ebay and tracked down the maker. I bought him for only $24.99 and I now have my own plush baku. His stock name is Bah Koo, but I can't help but think of it spelled the way I'm used to.

My Disney Fairies collecting continued and I picked up a couple old Polly Pocket-type sets with rubber and fabric clothing you pull on a poseable doll. I got Rani and Prilla's sets brand new in box for only a quarter each! And I got the UK-sold chibified Tink and Fawn in fixer-upper condition, too, after years of not thinking they existed. 


By far the best thing though was my Giochi Preziosi flower gown Rosetta. I've wanted this doll for years! I still can't believe I lucked into her for not only a reasonable price but from an American!

I finally located a cheap Twisted Tatum after years of passing up on her and Jaded Jenny. I love my Doom Dolls goth girls plush and the other two aren't nearly as cute, but sometimes I just need a goth plush fix!


Also a bit of a random purchase, but I looked up Gloomy Bear and found the cutest chocolate brown bunny in that style only not gloomy really. 

The bunny has a similar face, but lacks Gloomy's claws and occasional dripping blood. I still have a black brocade Gloomy that's pretty cute, so I'm glad now that I never sold him. 







I didn't do any bear purchasing after Kuma's arrival at the beginning of the month because things with Charlie Bears have been so up in the air. Finally though, we got some answers and Americans should be getting the first 2017 bears the first and/or second week of June. Naturally, I took that as an excuse to get a quick bear fix in and I bought one and have another two coming. But that's info for May's Month in Review! 


My final purchase for April was a tiny Japanese doll made by Takara for their Licca line. I picked out the character named Maki, because I liked her sleepy-looking eyes. She's been out on display on the coffee table with Shinya, my favorite Jenny line doll that I've had for years, up until today, when Shinya returned to her home on the goth shelf and Maki went to the Lum/anime shelf, because my Kuu Kuu Harajuku Love doll took their space.

Hopefully, next Month in Review will be a little more interesting! I'll at least have some bears to show and more from Kuu Kuu Harajuku. How in the world are Baby and music still not out yet? ARGH.

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

OVERVIEW: Novi Stars

The Novi Stars were, in my opinion, MGAE's most underrated and underappreciated line.

These dolls were alien characters, each with a distinct (and sometimes gimmicky) feature.

Made to take a nibble out of that Monster High money, the Novis were adorably designed and by the later lines had some truly unique looks. However, this went unappreciated by the articulation snobs and sadly, the line could not compete.

Ari Roma and Alie Lectric

The first four dolls in the line debuted in late July 2012. Alie Lectric lit up, Una Verse had legs filled with glittery liquid, Ari Roma was scented, and robotic Mae Tallick was a talking doll. Each came with an alien pet and a stand suited for their specific footwear.

Their tiny arms popped off for ease of dressing, but people complained they came off too easily. I never had any problems.

Both Alie and Una's gimmicks required their legs to be static, which led to more complaints.

Una Verse







I did find them a bit overpriced at $19.99, when they were quite small and limited in articulation though. The lack of quality that people had become used to for the same price I think is what did them in. They would have been better off at, say, $14.99. 

The dolls got a few fashion packs and then a big playset that featured a glow in the dark character, Nita Light. Her head glows while the rest of her body is clear.

Nita Light



Nita had the best stock outfit by far at the time, but the clothing pieces were quite well-done for the small size. 

January 2013 brought us two new characters that were starting to think outside the box more. The first five girls were cute, but they mostly looked the same and their features weren't very unique. 

Malie Tasker, however, sported four arms. 

Malie Tasker
Malie is one of my favorite Novis. Her color scheme is lovely and her outfit is super pretty. I'm always a sucker for multiple arms, so even though she can't move them, they do stretch, which is kinda fun, and hey, all they really have to do is be there and I'm happy. Four arms equals yay. 

A beach line, called Orbit Beach, came out around the same time and featured the original four girls with different hair and beach wear. 

Orbit Beach Mae Tallick
Mae is the only one I really feel was an improvement on the original. I did actually own all four at one point, but I believe I sold the others off. I do love Mae's new hair though!

Now for my favorite new addition. Malie is one of my big favorites, but Tula Toned edged her out for me. 

Tula was not incredibly popular. I believe it's because she's really got a lot going on design-wise, but I like chimera-type characters with a lot of different elements, so she appealed to me a lot. 

Tula Toned








Tula has long navy and white hair, two different antennae, wings, a long tail, two different facial markings, and two different legs. 

She is a lot to take in, but I think she's just glorious!

Late February produced another new character named Sila Clops. 

Sila Clops




I do not believe I ever saw Sila in stores. I had to order mine from Walmart.com. Her skin is a very dark glittery pink and it hides a lot of details. Her shade of pink is pretty and I always give credit for doll companies taking risks with the weird, but Sila's my least favorite of the Novis I own. She's just not as cute or expressive as the others. Her feature is a light-up eye.

The Novi line continued in 2013 with two lines I didn't care for. One was a pair of robots with hair play gimmicks and the other was the worst gimmick of the entire line: pull-on rubber skins. I didn't buy any of these dolls, so I can't remember where exactly they fell in the lineup. 

Tula Toned and Mimi Merize


I bought Mimi Merize on Taobao and she arrived in June 2013. Mimi was part of a new line of taller Novis called "Super Novas." These dolls had longer, thinner legs and feet and could not easily swap shoes with the original body types.

Mimi's gimmick is that if you pull her antennae, her eyes spin in a hypnotic manner. I love her crazy design, but dislike the visible wig cap a lot.

Because I'd bought her already, I never paid attention to how Mimi was released in the US. The pair of Super Novas and pair of Invasion dolls were not given wide distribution at all. 


Ina Ferna



I was tremendously pleased by Ina Ferna when I bought her off Amazon in August 2013. The doll uses a lot of molded elements, but she's still the best fire-themed doll in my entire collection, so I'm all for it. Ina's feature is glowing fire hair. She's part of the Invasion line that are regular-sized dolls.

I was very frustrated by the poor distribution of these awesome new lines in the US. I think Anne Arctic was being found at KMart, but my local stores never got her in. I ended up finally getting to order her off Amazon and she arrived almost two weeks after Ina. 

Anne Arctic





Anne and her poofy bear ears are just so cute. She also featured a fur wig, which was a neat touch. Anne has "snow" in her hollow legs, but I consider those adorable bear ears to be her real special feature. 

So with Mimi, Anne and Ina secured, that just left me with Super Novas Vera Tabray to find. 

Vera is my #1 Novi Star from the entire line. She's a wild mishmash of things, like Tula Toned, only multiply that by at least ten. 

Vera Tabray




Listings for Vera were on both Amazon and Walmart, and I remember an incident where people were finding her in stock and thoughtlessly not telling anyone else about it. I dislike people like that and I even left a messageboard when I learned I was surrounded by unhelpful people. Collectors are best when we work together to help each other, just like in a lot of areas of life, and I don't have time for useless people, which is exactly what that kind of selfishness makes them in my eyes.

I described Vera perfectly on my Flickr, so I'm gonna do a little copy and paste here. 

Vera has butterfly-ish antennae and butterfly wings, but her wings are skeletal and include a tailbone. Her body is this lovely pearly peachy-pink fading into transparency at her hands, but her thighs are transparent and show silver bones underneath and then the same bones form her legs from the (unbending) knees down. She has adorable skeleton feet. She also has three glittering silver eyes with snake pupils and if you look at her pupils, you see tiny ghost faces. Then her outfit is simple and elegant until you get to the spinal cord bracelet. 

Vera is a stunning blend of typically feminine things, like pink, butterflies, glitter and fairies, and horror elements like the 3 eyes, skeletal bits and ghost pupils. 

Frostina Sprinkles and Carmela Sweet


At this point, most people thought Novis were done, but then in fall 2014, four more of them were found. I managed to snag Frostina Sprinkles on Taobao and got her in November. 

Frostina used Malie's stretchy four arms and the hollow leg effect, filled with sprinkles this time. She has a towered beehive wrapped in ribbon candy. She's very unique for a candy doll and I prefer her to Carmela from the same line. 

Frostina and Carmela were a sweets-themed, normal-sized Novi pair, while Justina and Doe were taller Super Novas. These four dolls were initially only released in Russia, but eventually got a UK release and were imported by US dealer Toot's Toys. I, being my fabulously impatient self, imported the three I still needed in February 2015, thanks to a very helpful Russian ebay seller. 

Doe A. Deer and Justina Hour
Carmela was cute, but she was supposed to be "gummy soft" and really wasn't. I still feel both of them should have been candy-scented. 

Moving on to the amazing Super Novas. 

Justina Hour's neon green, black and pink color scheme is very appealing to me. She's lithe and gorgeous, the only one of the Super Novas to really remind me of a supermodel. 

Justina's only flaw is her visible wig cap. Thankfully, it doesn't detract from her awesomeness much. Her feature is that her eyes move back and forth if you turn the hand on her clock. Really excellent! 

And now Doe. Precious Doe. She has the sweetest little somber face, her legs are fuzzy, her antlers combine with her antennae absolutely perfectly, and her shoes are some of the best in all my doll collection. Her hair is rooted a bit sparsely, but it's really not bad. 

That wraps up the Novi Stars line. I love that the line went out with a bang that left people wanting more, including those that initially naysayed it. That's what happens when you act like a snob about features you think you're somehow owed. Then you kill a line when all it ever really did (with a couple minor bumps in the road) was improve. I can only imagine what truly creative and mindblowing Novi designs we missed out on, but I'll cherish the ones we did get!

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

REVIEW: Kuu Kuu Harajuku Love

It saddens me to say that I only have one review for you today and not three.

The quality control on the KKH dolls is just what I feared: the same weak level as Monster High and Ever After High. I received a G doll with her left eye printed much lower than her right. Love here suffers from the same problem with the same eye, but her lower eye only goes onto the eye indent molding a tiny bit, so it's not as noticeable as G's was. When that white paint goes onto the molding line, it makes a big shiny crease and it's really obvious then that one eye is not placed right.

And poor Angel. Angel had two eyes placed completely different, plus a chunk of missing eyeshadow, a big scratch across the white of one eye and several scratches through the brown paint of the iris. All on the same eye.


Needless to say, I've packaged both dolls for return. I'm not paying $19.99 for messed up toys. I also wrote to Mattel and complained, because I really shouldn't have to return dolls, plus place an order for two of each in the hopes of getting one that's decent and once again have to do a return on the extras. It's a lot of work just to get a couple dolls. But if I wait for them to show in stores, what are the chances the one that will be on the shelf will have good eyes?

Slim. Sadly slim.

So anyway. Let's set that aside and look at Love.


I am very happy that the one doll I was able to open and keep was Love, who's my second favorite in the line after Music. (The sarcastic one's my fave, then the smart one. No shock.)

Love has an adorable face with big blue eyes and dark pink lipstick that matches the thin streaks in her black bangs.

Her bangs are set in curls on each side of her face and her hair is done in four heavily gelled buns. I'm trying to avoid touching her hair, because those aren't the most stable buns ever. Her headband is plastic stapled to her head and while I didn't touch the tabs holding it down, I did remove the giant ugly plastic chunk holding her smaller heart barrette down, which in turn lead to the larger barrette also coming loose.




Love does not have enough hair to support these barrettes. The buns will be messed up if you separate a chunk of hair small enough to work in the barrettes. I used the plastic bands from her hands, clipped a barrette to each and slipped the bands over the buns. So it looks like her barrettes are on, but they're not really.

She has a funny little flat profile. If people whined that the Ever After High original headmold had pancake face, wait 'til they get a load of these!


Unlike several other Mattel lines, the print and detailing on the clothing are on the back of it as well. No half prints here. Not yet anyway.

All the outfit pieces are separate. My only complaint is that there's no "panty" strap in the skirt to hold it in place, so it spins around on her little waist pretty easily.


I think the outfit is well-made, typical Mattel quality. The only real flaw is that the paint on the kneepads could have used another coat.

Love's boots are enormous compared to her teeny tiny feet, which works perfectly for her standing on her own. Yep, the boots are even large enough to balance that giant head.



Love has a petite body that's unlike any Monster High or Ever After High doll. They have exaggerated proportions in a different way. Love's got the giant head over a teeny torso and long legs. Her arms have relatively large forearms and hands.

I did not struggle a lot with it, but neither her hands nor her forearms wanted to come off, so I don't think that's a feature on these dolls. I wasn't going to force the issue, but I would think I would have been able to get at least one loose if they were meant to be so.


The Kuu Kuu Harajuku girls are shorter than Monster High. The giant head and updo make the height a little more equal, but you can see the differences in the body part sizes.

Love's feet are tiny and she cannot wear any open MH shoes. Some fully enclosed shoes might work, since even though they're bigger, they're still not nearly as big as Love's own boots. Love's boots do fit Cleo, but they looked so ridiculous I wasn't going to shame Cleo by posting the photo.


Love actually fits quite well into Cleo's dress, so there might be some clothing sharing capable on the part of the Kuu Kuus. Although both lines have such distinctive clothing that I'm not sure many swaps would work aesthetically.

Love's clothes cannot be worn by Cleo.

Each Kuu Kuu Harajuku doll comes with a different child-sized accessory and four pop-in pieces, similar to the ones that came with the smaller action figures.







Love only has two places she can wear the pop-ins though. On the side of each boot and in one of her barrettes. I don't really care for the boot ones, so I put three of her pop-ins into the bracelet for storage. The silver ones are an alien and Love's head and the pink one in the bracelet is a mushroom.

I love the pink atom-shaped one, so that ended up in her barrette.

Overall, I think this is an adorable, well-designed line. I love the shorter hair on almost all the girls, even if it does render them unbrushable. I always pick style over brushing, because a) I'm not a hair person and b) even if I was, I can brush a five dollar Barbie. I don't need to brush everything. The faces are incredibly cute and I love the uniform-esque outfits. Also, definitely a fan of more dolls that can stand on their own!

On the con side, of course the biggest one is the quality control. Pick your dolls very carefully if you buy them in stores, and if you're disappointed in what Amazon sent, don't hesitate to mark it as defective, because it is, and send it back. And let Mattel know!

I'm not a big fan of the separate outfits except the one purple dress, so I probably won't get any just yet. I'd put Music in that dress, but I like the uniformity of the...well, uniforms, so I don't plan on redressing unless they release outfits I like more.

So now I'm just going to cross my fingers that the next Amazon delivery brings me a G and an Angel that I can actually add to my collection!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SALES: Ashton Drake Oz dolls

I put my Ashton Drake Adventures in Oz collection up on ebay tonight. These 12" vinyl dolls have 9 points of articulation and were designed by Jasmine Becket-Griffith. The detailing on the outfits is amazing and the faces and uniquely lovely. They retail for $100 apiece.

I have all five dolls: Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Wicked Witch. They come with their original boxes, paperwork, hangtags and all accessories.


If anyone would be interested in adopting, let me know. I can always pull the listings off ebay.

I started my listings at $100 or best offer. I do like these girls, so there's only so low I'm going to go.

I'm just looking to make a little money for more bears and clear up some space in my room. I like these designs a lot, but the set takes up a fairly large space and I'm not the biggest Oz fan ever.

Mom's goblet lady in the photos is not for sale. Ha.










I'll probably be doing stuff like this periodically. I definitely plan on going through my older Bratz soon and maybe sticking a large flat rate box full of them and their accessories up on ebay. 

I'm always open to people asking me if my things are for sale. It may be something I'm not willing to part with, but it never hurts to ask, because I've said yes several times.

I do not ship toys outside the country anymore unless you're in Canada. The EU has some really strict toy regulations that cost me a $180 sale a few months ago. Like I took the payment, shipped the item and then the buyer told me customs wouldn't let him have it, after spending several messages convincing me everything would be fine. Yeah, everything was not fine. I had to wait over two months for the now beat up package to be returned to me and I finally gave him his refund, but I do not want to experience that ever again. 

Anyway. Dolls are for sale. More dolls will be for sale soonish. And always feel free to ask me for stuff, but I can't ship to Europe anymore.