Thursday, June 30, 2016

REVIEW: American Girl Wellie Wishers Ashlyn

Ashlyn arrived today after a week of waiting for her. They actually shipped her in a box that was the perfect size to fit this one, not some giant oversized thing. I like the box design and the photo of the girl on the front, too. I didn't save Ashlyn's, but I will likely save the box of my next Wellie to store all my AG and WW items.

My getting Ashlyn is a bit of an interesting story. I agonized for days over which doll to buy, since I could only get one. I was disappointed when the Wellie Wishers didn't go live right at midnight Thursday morning, considering that's also midnight AG time. But I followed up on my secondary theory, that they'd go live midnight Pacific and I was right.

I skimmed down the page, gleefully looking at all the things I didn't want. Yay. My final wishlist for this particular release is all 5 dolls, Emerson's ballet costume and Camille's Ocean Treasures set.

This is the only place you'll see the tiara.
That's it. All of the accessory sets are cute, but I only really want the mermaid-themed one. Although maybe I'll get Kendall's tools when I get around to buying her. The PJs are also cute, but for $20, I opted to hold off and see if any other clothes fit these girls. The bunny set is adorable, but way overpriced. Although if it was guinea pigs, I'd get it.

And how cute is that butterfly doll carrier?!

So then the debating began.

If I wanted Emerson's ballet outfit, I should get that with her, but did I want to spend that much right away? Also, that tutu is kinda short and I'd love to see someone else's owner pics first. Although who are we really kidding, it's GRAY and purple and that's really enough to get me to buy it.

She's cuuuuuuute.

Second consideration: if I only wanted the ocean set, I should get that and Camille. I put the ocean set in my cart and then stuck Ashlyn in there because I was on her page and wanted to see the $5 come off in the cart. It did. So I went back to Camille's page and was going to debate whether I had firmly decided on her or not. And her add to bag button had turned from pink to gray. I was surprised she of all dolls had sold out so quickly. I poked at Emerson and she was still there, then I tried to go back to the main sales page and it took me back to "arriving in just 0 day" page. I freaked, thinking either they were selling like hotcakes or the site was crashing. I noticed I still had my bag, so I quickly deleted the ocean accessories and zipped through checkout with Ashlyn.

Then after checkout, the website was fine.
Apparently fate decreed Ashlyn was for me and so she was.
The torso is hard plastic, the rest is vinyl.

Deboxing was a snap. She's only held down by the rubberband around her feet and one of those white thicker paper ties around her neck, not elastic like the AGs. Her hairnet came right off and she was good to go.

Ashlyn is 14.5" tall. She's a nice height. Her torso is made of hard plastic, but her limbs and head are all vinyl. For the $60 price tag, a vinyl torso would really have been nice. Her poseability range isn't that great. She sits with her legs splayed. Unlike AGs, they can't be brought together more. Her arms swing out a little to the sides, but not much. Her eyes are inset with painted lashes. Her wig is soft and smooth, but thin. Think Julie's hair if you have her. I'm honestly okay with all of these things though, because they're not inappropriate for a doll that's intended for younger children and the entire line encourages outdoor play. Dragging a cloth body doll around outside when you're 5 is going to not be good for that poor doll.

Bear in mind that Ashlyn does photograph orange. She's a warm brown, not orange, in person.

The Wellies!
Ashlyn's clothing is decently-made. The shirt and skirt go on and come off easily. The boots are a nice soft rubber and they're lined in fabric so they slip on and off easily, too. Perfect for younger kids.

Those gold glitter Mary Janes though? Prepare for glitter shed.

Ashlyn is the character that got the most outfit changes from leaked photos to final product.

Final vs. leaked

Starting at the top, the tiara got the worst change. You'll have to skim back up to the boxed pic to see it, because I didn't even take it out of the bag. They added a giant ugly faux diamond at the top and it makes the entire piece look dollar store cheap. Something like that has no business on a $60 doll.

Her shirt went from textured to patterned, though the ribbons got better. The skirt seems a bit more pink, but otherwise looks the same. The wellies went from patterned all over, which I liked more, to just a little lace print near the tops. I do like the shade of pink used for them though, so I'm a bit torn on this change.

Overall, her outfit used to look far more luxurious than the final version, but the final is still cute. I thought I was going to change her right out of it, but it actually won me over.

Ashlyn and Hearts for Hearts Girls Surjan
The main line I wanted to check outfit compatibility with was Hearts for Hearts Girls. I was able to tackle this before I went to work, but then did the rest of the photos for this review after work, hence the different setting.

Some HFHG pieces do work for these girls. I tried 3 pairs of pants and they didn't fit, but both skirts I tried did work. All the shoes I tried (flats, flipflops and Dell's stock shoes) did fit, although you can see the lines of the toes in the flats. Any shirt with fitted sleeves will not work and any with a slimmer cut will not velcro closed. I tried Consuelo's stock from both her regular doll and her deluxe doll and neither fit Ashlyn properly. The white tee I had from one of the random fashion packs did fit though. It was a little short, but it worked. So there is some clothes-sharing possible.

Here's Ashlyn wearing her own shirt, deluxe Consuelo's skirt and sandals she borrowed from Surjan.

Global Friends Mariko and Ashlyn
The line that is perfect for Wellie Wishers is Global Friends. I popped off one of Mariko's shoes and tried it on Ashlyn when I got home from work and boom, perfect fit. No toe lines showing or anything.

I didn't want to undress one of my Global girls, since most of them are in complicated outfits, but the bodies are definitely comparable. The heights clearly are, as you can see here. Hats are a bit tricky though, because you can see how much bigger Ashlyn's head is.

Ashlyn wearing a Global Friends fashion
I tried Mei Ling's panda pants outfit on Ashlyn and everything went on perfectly! The sleeves and both shirt and jacket went easily over her hands. The hat is the only part of this outfit that doesn't work on Ashlyn, because her head's just too big.

Since Ashlyn is the character into princesses, I had to put her in Gretchen's princess dress.

Princess Ashlyn
Everything again fit very well. The sleeves on the dress were a smidge tricky, because part of them is that white mesh material, but I got them over her hands and up her arms, which I believe are a bit thicker than Global Friends arms, just fine.

So Global Friends clothing can increase the size of your Wellie Wishers wardrobe, something people might want to look into, because AG only released Ashlyn's princess dress, Emerson's dance outfit and the pajamas so far. The separate outfits can be harder to find, but the dolls themselves turn up for reasonable prices fairly often. Mariko's kimono would look really cute on Emerson!

Rebecca and Ashlyn

I think the Wellie Wishers are a nice addition to American Girl's doll lineup. They're definitely not the quality level of the 18" dolls, but they're also $55 cheaper. I think they're perfect for little girls who are younger and more active, who might play a bit too hard for one of the bigger dolls. They're a good starter doll that would be easy to clean up.

I do think the $60 price is a bit high. For $25, you can have a Hearts for Hearts Girl, assuming they're going to be the same price when they come back out. I think HFHG are actually better quality than these and you get way more than $25 worth of doll. However, American Girl has been around for enough years to be able to charge more just because they're American Girl. Frankly, I'd go with HFHG over these, but they work pretty well for young girls who are into AG, but aren't ready for one of the more expensive dolls yet. I'm looking forward to seeing more from the line, including the cartoons and books. And I will definitely be getting the other girls. I may prefer HFHG, but remember, that's one of my favorites ever, so that by no means says I don't like these!

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine, except the leaked image, which I combined with mine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Shoppies Sara Sushi
Well, it's the 28th, but I'm only expecting one more item to arrive and that's Wellie Wishers Ashlyn. She'll get my first longer review for this blog, so I figured I'd do my Month in Review now.

June began nicely with the newest Shoppies being sighted in Target. Thanks to the magic of Brickseek, I saw some were at mine and my mom zipped over there and brought both Sara Sushi and Rainbow Kate home. I have yet to see Sara again. She's far more popular than I would have thought, but perhaps that's with adult collectors. The last time I was at Target (last night), they had four Kates, so she's a bit more of a shelf-sitter. At least in my one store that I know has them. I honestly haven't been to Walmart or TRU in a bit.
Disney Descendants Ally

I got two Alice in Wonderland-inspired dolls the first week of June. Once Upon a Zombie Alice and Disney Descendants Ally, daughter of Alice. I've already covered OUaZ, so I won't mention Alice here, except to say that the company did finally send me a replacement doll, after having to remind them two weeks later. Sigh. Not impressed. She's got better inset eyes and lipstick, but now her eyeshadow is screwy. It's sad that the outfit quality went up and the makeup quality went way down. Whoops. Guess I mentioned it after all. Ally though is not a disappointment in the least. She and both Freddies are my favorite Descendants female dolls. (Carlos is my fave boy. I'll do an overview on Descendants after Neon Lights comes out.)

Moshi Monsters Roxy and Cleo
Thanks to Tuesday Morning, I had a brief fling with Moshi Monsters, and picked up the Barbie City Shine redhead I'd been wanting for awhile. Now I just need the brunette. My Moshi fling may rear its head again if the farther Tuesday Morning has more packs, but who knows when I'll make it out there?

No, I still haven't deboxed these.

In Ever After High land, I finally found Fairest on Ice Ashlynn and Poppy, because I finally made it to the farther Walmart I hardly ever go to.

Ever After High Nina Thumbell

And Nina Thumbell arrived. I ordered her on June 5th, fully expecting Jillian and Meeshell to quickly follow. I'm laughing now because I even said in my Month in Review for May that I was sure I'd be showing all 3 in this Month in Review. Nope. For some insane reason, Jillian and Meeshell STILL are not out. I'm not really happy about that, which is probably the other EAH dolls are still sitting boxed.

MH Minis! 
MH is doing better at pleasing me though. I got the other minis I needed to complete my initial set at the same Walmart where I found the FoI dolls mentioned above. They are so super cute and I love them. I hope the other original ghouls ones come out soon, because I need Twyla and Toralei and Jinafire and Robecca and Skelita. And Deuce, too, I guess. Heh.

Amazon has been releasing several of the new face MH dolls and I've picked up basic Cleo with the unarticulated elbows and wrists, plus Ghoul's Beast Pet Cleo and Lagoona, and the Moanica/Draculaura 2-pack.

The gorgeous Moanica.
Moanica is really gorgeous and I love her expression so much. Both Lagoona and Draculaura definitely benefit from their sweeter new faces, too. While I like the vampy original style, some of the characters are so nice and friendly that these newer faces fit them better. Cleo is cute, too, with her dewy-eyed loveliness. I love all Cleos though with both faces.

The newest Frightmares also debuted and I was surprised to find that I loved Merry more than Meadow, the yeti deer.
Frightmares Merry Trotabout

My plushie collection expanded to include the Alley Cat Club, which I wrote about here, and some new Kooties and Koogles.

Two new Charlie Bears were also added to my collection. One of my pre-orders for this year's bears finally came in, only for me to dislike the changes from prototype to final, so I cancelled that one and ended up with Chequers instead. Then I got a killer deal on Luna for only $29.99 on ebay.

Charlie Bears Chequers

All the ones I had on pre-order are now out in the UK, so I'm praying they come gradually over here, not all in one swoop. I'm waiting on two ferrets and three bears! I'd have to set up a layaway for sure, although the way things are going, maybe I'll get one in the next batch. My orders have been delayed for no reason several times. The bunny that was released early on didn't make it to my stockist at the same time as other people got her and one of the bears has been in stock from another US stockist for months, while he seems to only just be getting a release in the UK. It's weird. But I'm never pre-ordering again! Wondering when they'll all come in and not being able to figure out why the ones that seem available elsewhere aren't here yet is too much stress.

Charlie Bears Luna

I do hope Pumpkin Pie jumps ahead of the game and is in the next batch though. I'm dying to get my hands on her.

Today's mail brought me Mary-Go-Round, the Series 6 Limited Edition Zelf. She's an amazing centaur with a brushable pony-style tail, not the typical Zelf hair. I've been able to get all the LEs thanks to combined help from 2 of my UK pals (one helped with earlier releases, a different friend is helping with the later ones, both are awesome people). I still need 4 more Crystal Wishes and 3 more larges and then I'm done!

Zelfs Limited Edition Mary-Go-Round

And finally, I discovered a new line of small cute things last night. Small cute things are one of my weaknesses. They're by Moose Toys, maker of Zelfs and Shopkins. They're totally the gurus of small cute things. These are called Twozies and they're little babies wearing animal hats and then smaller pet figures of the animals represented by said hats. I already have 32 of them.

Well, okay, technically, I have 32 that I bought in the past two days at Target (2 12-packs, 4 2-packs) plus another 11 that I bought on ebay when I realized the 4 I want most (the octopi) aren't out yet. So with those ebay ones, I just got all the ones I want from Series 1, except the two octopus babies and 2 octopus pets. So I'll stop buying the packs except on the occasional whim until the octopi come out. They are really adorable though. They come in multiple types of pack, but there's a blind bag element to every one and there are rare metallic ones that people are already asking hundreds of dollars for on ebay. Yeesh.

So that's June! I'm not going to jinx myself by saying I'll have anyone in time for July's review. Not this time.

Monday, June 27, 2016


I've been struggling with a bad allergy attack since Friday, so I totally spaced and forgot about Fridoll Five! Well, let's get caught up.

#4: 1-2-3-4-5

#1: Name your favorite hair color.

Of your basic doll hair colors, I would pick black. However, I tend to favor unusual shades. I've loved white since I was a kid, thanks to Roxy from Jem, even though I didn't own her. I love neons and rich jewel tones. My only (so far) Azone Pure Neemo doll has a gorgeous wine color. I also like blended shades, like neon yellow and blue combined to give an overall green effect like on my Shimmers Plume doll, MH's Moanica with her gray and lavender, and Star Darlings' Scarlet dark purple with pink.

#2: Name your two most favorite doll companies.

I've got to go with Mattel for one. I've been collecting their dolls since childhood and they continue to produce a wide variety with mostly good quality.

Picking companies is difficult for me, because I look at lines more than companies. I adore Hearts for Hearts, as you all know by now, but I wouldn't pick Playmates as a favorite doll company. In older days, I would have said Jun Planning or Bleeding Edge, but those days are gone. You know, I think I'll go with A Girl for All Time. Their craftsmanship is stellar and I love all their dolls so far. I might not have Amelia, but I do like her!

#3: Name your top three favorite dolls.

Have you seen my collection? That's impossible. How about a few faves that I can see from where I'm sitting. Hearts for Hearts Girls Mosi, Dell and Lilian. Karito Kids Gia. American Girl JLY 30, my Roslin. Witty Winx Club Icy, Darcy and Stormy in their Season 6 outfits. Shopkins Shoppies Sara Sushi. Star Darlings Scarlet. Ever After High signature Duchess, Ginger and Melody. MH Isi Dawndancer, Batsy Claro, River Styxx, Kiyomi Haunterly and Marisol Coxi. And that's only from where I'm sitting. How do you expect me to choose three overall? Crazy.

#4: Name four people/characters you'd like to see as dolls.

All of the Goddess Girls characters from the book series. Equestria Girls Maud Pie with non-smiling face. Lily from Legend in her Dark Lily dress and makeup. Cabiria from Angel's Friends.

#5: Name the last five dolls you have made or bought.

Monster High Ghoul's Best Pet Cleo and Lagoona and the 2-pack of Moanica and Draculaura. American Girl Wellie Wishers Ashlyn. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

OVERVIEW: Girls of Many Lands

I LOVED these books when they came out. Being a big American Girl fan, I was obviously excited about them both branching out into other countries and upping the target age for the books (and dolls). I bought all five books and zipped through them. The first five released were Isabel, Cécile, Minuk, Spring Pearl and Neela in 2002. Kathleen, Leyla and Saba followed in 2003.

I really wanted to love these dolls, since I adored the books and characters so much. But Helen Kish acquired taste. I just couldn't bring myself to buy the dolls, although I was mightily tempted around 2004/2005 when they were all severely discounted. I came to dearly regret this because Kathleen is the one that almost got my money and then she became the ridiculously hard to find one.

It wasn't until 2008 that something made me begin a collection of these dolls. I don't know what specifically. It's not mentioned in the old LJ entry I got this date from. But it was May 2008 when I began my collection. I mentioned in that entry that I had several on my ebay watch list and expected to be able to get a lot of the collection for $20 or less.

I don't remember what I paid for Isabel, but she was my first one. Likely under $20, because I remember her being one of the least popular when I was searching for these. I don't know why, because her dress is absolutely gorgeous and detailed like crazy.

Cécile was a lucky Craiglist find. Very very lucky in fact because the same seller sold me 2 Céciles and SABA. Saba was not as cheap as the others and I got them all for only $10 apiece. I sold my extra Cécile to an LJ friend. I grabbed both, because I figured I'd have better luck getting her a good home than the nice lady on Craiglist and I totally did. Cécile is probably my least favorite of the line. Her face is...unusual. That dress and those accessories though! The detail on this line really is unbelievable.

Gah, Saba is gorgeous.

About the same time, I got an incomplete Leyla on ebay. Leyla was my instant favorite after I finished her book, but her doll was a bit pricier. I got a deal on mine, because she didn't have her kaftan or fan, but I decided to take the deal and buy a boxed one later on. Then I got Spring Pearl and Neela, I believe from the same ebay seller.

I don't know what the delay on Isabel was, but the first ones to arrive were Leyla, Cécile and Saba with Isabel, Spring Pearl and Neela following not too long after. By the end of May, I only needed Minuk, Kathleen and an upgrade Leyla.

I adored the details on them, but the faces took awhile to get used to in some cases.

Minuk shows up in my LJ on June 13th, so I really did zip through collecting these girls. No mention of where I got her, but I'm certain it was ebay.
Spring Pearl

American Girl really took a bit of a risk with this line. They're not designed to be play dolls, because you can't even remove the clothing on several. They sold a display case and nice shelf with additional risers you could add for more dolls, although I never bought any. The little stands they came with were enough for me. They're easy to use and my dolls never fall off them and they're subtle enough that it's not like "HEY! STAND!"

But the line never took off. Maybe people didn't like the $50ish price range for dolls meant for display only. I don't think the target age group really picked up on them either and even now, I don't see a lot of adult collectors with them. Maybe it was the Helen Kish acquired taste thing. I mean, it did take me six years before I wanted them!


One thing I really love about GoML that's always a bit of a sticking point with me and 18" American Girl is that these girls look the 12 years old they're supposed to be. AG 18" dolls do not look 9-11. They just don't. As I've said before, some look a bit older like Julie and Rebecca, but mostly they do not look the right age.

Anyway, back to my collecting. Almost a year later in April 2009, I decided I really needed that complete Leyla. I changed the clothes of my incomplete doll and made her a modern girl which she was for many years. It was only before I moved in 2013 that I returned her to most of her stock. But finding Leyla and being able to afford her at the same time that she turned up on ebay turned out to be a bit difficult. I continually missed her and the one time I had the best shot at it, I didn't get her and a friend did. Finally though in April 2010, yet another year later, Leyla came home.

The stunning Leyla
That left me with one final task, the most daunting one: acquiring Kathleen. Kathleen regularly sold for over $100 and was the only GoML that was even remotely in that price range. My luck with her was similar to my luck with Leyla. When I had the money, the only Kathleens on ebay were overpriced at $300. When I didn't have the money, the bargain $125 ones would appear. I vowed in 2010 to spend part of my tax return getting Kathleen. Didn't happen. I vowed again in 2011. Didn't happen. But finally in February 2012, there she was for an $85 Buy It Now and that girl was MINE.


These days you can still collect these pretty easily and at a fair price. Leyla and Saba remain the mid-level priced ones and Kathleen is still the highest.

I highly recommend these to anyone who likes dolls from around the world and I definitely really recommend everyone read the books. They're one of my favorite collections and I really wish I had some space for the display shelves because they're pretty cheap on ebay!



Monday, June 20, 2016

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Tasty Peach Studios

Red Bean Meowchi
I discovered Meowchis on Tumblr one day and wanted one ASAP! Sadly, the only one in stock at the time was white and then a bit later, they had a couple pastels. I was holding out for the red, while at the same time grumbling that I'd discovered them too late to get the black vampire bat.

Well, eventually the red came in stock and I ordered one. They're little 5" tall loaf cats and they're so squishy and cute! 

2015 Vampire Bat Meowchi

Some variants of popular exclusives were put up for pre-order and I got my vampire bat, although purple and not black. I honestly have yet to bond with this one. I'm not even sure why, but it's not the same. I love purple. I should love this, but I just like it. 

Disapproval Meowchi started as an April Fool's joke, but became an actual toy. I skipped on him the first time, but snatched him up the second time. I regret nothing. 

Feel the disapproval. 

The quality on these is nice. There is some variation in size. Vampire Bat is a little flatter than the other two and Disapproval is a bit smaller. But they stack nicely regardless.

I'm looking forward to what else this company comes up with with because I've seen several designs that are in process and they're all adorable. There are several Meowchi colors currently in stock and they're a reasonable price of $20, so get one today! 
Stack o' loafs



Healthy Kootie beanie, keychain and 10" size
Kooties were made in 2001 by Star. I can't remember exactly when it was, but I came across a wicker basket full of the beanie-sized ones when I stopped at Bob Evans during a road trip. I can't even remember who else was there aside from my mom. We may have been travelling with others, because I seem to recall that, but whatevs. Anyway, I bought the beanie Cuddly and Healthy at Bob Evans ages ago.

Healthy is my favorite. I can't even tell you why, because he's the most neutral-colored and I usually go for flashy or dark. Maybe it's his wavy hair. I dunno.

Healthy and Cuddly beanies. The original pair.

I can't remember why I picked Cuddly either. He's cute and blue? But they're all cute, so who knows?

Kooties come in four different styles. You can see in the first picture the size difference between the keychain, the beanie and the 10". I recommend the 10" size and every Kootie I add to my collection from here on out will be 10".

After getting home, I found the Kooties website and ordered 2 Healthy keychains (1 to use and 1 to keep in nice shape), Bad Kootie in both the beanie and 10" size, a couple stationery products, and an 18" Healthy Kootie.

Bad Kootie beanie-sized
I thought Bad Kootie would be my fave along with Healthy, but honestly, I never really bonded with him. And I thought I'd love the 18" Healthy and he'd be super-huggable, but instead, his head was enormous and he was so top-heavy that he was hard to cuddle, so I don't recommend buying the 18" ones at all.

When we were getting ready to move, both I decided to donate 18" Healthy and 10" Bad. I regret getting rid of the 10" one now, because that's the size I'm choosing to collect, but hindsight blah blah.

Cutie Kootie 10"

I thought of Kooties for an entry here, because I don't think many people have heard of them. I wanted to expand my collection a bit before writing this, so I did some online searching and mostly found beanies and the 18"ers. But then I stumbled across Cutie, who I fell in love with, and got the seller to relist the completed auction. I don't think Bob Evans had this girl on the day I discovered these, because she would have made it home with me.

Smoochy Kootie 10"

I had my eye on a 10" Healthy and eventually ordered one on Amazon. Then one night I was bored and decided to search for "star plush" on ebay, just in case someone happened to get one of these and not know the line name. I got super lucky and found Smoochy!
Tag with all the characters

So that's my little Kooties collection. I'd like to get the others eventually, but I'm really happy having Healthy in the 10" size because he's darling and the two lovely ladies.

If you do a little Googling, you can see pics of most of the characters on the tag here on the left.

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine, except the tag picture, which came from ebay.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

NEWS: Hearts for Hearts Girls

THEY'RE COMING BACK! I heard of this earlier, but just went to the HFHG Facebook to see if anything was mentioned and HFHG WILL be back!

According to Facebook: "Good news! HFHG has been licensed to a new company and they will be relaunching the line in time for Holiday 2016. The first four to be reintroduced will be Dell, Rahel, Nahji, and Consuelo. They will be the same high-quality dolls with donations being made to World Vision. The website will also be coming back with stories, games and more. Exact on sale date not yet available. Please stand by for more information."

If you have not bought these dolls already, PLEASE consider buying one. This line needs to survive for many, many years and continue to grow and the only way to do that is by supporting it.


Friday, June 17, 2016

OVERVIEW: Alley Cat Club

The Alley Cat Club is a newer line by Manhattan Toy, makers of several awesome plush lines over the years, including the Groovy Girls and Lilydoll. Each plush is 14" high and has non-removable clothing in different materials.

I first saw these when Manhattan Toy sent me an email advertising their new catalog. I ended up with two of the new Groovy Girls, but I didn't forget the Alley Cat Club.

It's been a few months, but I had a 25% off code expiring, so I figured I'd take advantage. I was just going to get the two girls and maybe Lou, but then Benny ended up coming along for the ride, too.

They arrived today, completely surprising me, because the tracking number I'd been given never worked. I knew they'd be coming FedEx, but to my door or FedEx Smartpost? I had no idea. So when I woke up today and the box was on the kitchen counter, I was pretty surprised.

The cats are well-made, just like all Manhattan Toy products. I love all the different materials and details on the outfits.

Their tag reads: "We are the Alley Cat Club, a little group of mischief-makers and cool cats. The Alley can be a scary place, but true friends stick together. We are tough and smart and we'll do anything for our friends!"

The Manhattan toy website gives no details on the personality of each character, but their Amazon listings provide a small blurb. Purrrl's name is spelled with 3 Rs on her hangtag, so I'm going with that spelling. She's "all heart but nothing gets past those piercing green eyes." Jinx doesn't have a personality blurb, but her outfit kinda says it all. Lou is described as "tough," while poor Benny "likes being the zero but we all know he'll eventually outshine us if just given a chance." There is a fifth character, a dog named Roscoe, that I don't intend to get.

These are really cute toys and I always approve of things with sass. You can't see it in my pic, but Jinx has a black heart on her pink shirt and I love how that and the thundercloud on the back contrast with the rest of the pastel pink top. I like the kitty skull and crossbones and the fishbone patch on Benny. And both boys have great expressions! I only wish one of the girls got sass brows, too.

These run $18 on Manhattan Toys website and $17.99 with Prime shipping on Amazon. (Roscoe is currently on sale for less, too.)


Since it's Friday morning and I'm not sleepy yet, let's do today's Fridoll Five.

#3: First and Last

1. What's the first doll that you remember receiving? (What was it wearing? Do you still have it?)

My first doll was a Baby Beans Talking Beans. I think I still have her in my selection of really old childhood toys. I don't remember receiving her though. It's honestly hard to say, because I have old pictures of myself receiving dolls, but I don't know if I have the actual memory or if it's just triggered by the photos. So I guess I can't really answer.

2. What's the last doll that you received as a gift?

Mom got me the new Shopkins Shoppies (Sara Sushi and Rainbow Kate).

3. What's the first doll that you bought for yourself?
For the customizers: What's the first doll that you customized? 

That I bought for myself with my own saved up money? Do you know how long ago that was? Yeesh! I can't remember that! If anyone my age can remember the first toy they bought with their own money when they were that young, I give you massive memory credit. I do have memories of buying ponies with my own money, but no doll memories stick out until later on. The first dolls I bought in adulthood were the US-sold Sailor Moon line, Jetta and Roxy from Jem, and Generation Girl Dance Party Lara. I credit Lara as really starting my adult doll collecting off.

4. What's the last doll that you bought for yourself?
For the customizers: What's the latest doll that you customized?

Monster High Frightmares Merry Trotabout and Meadoe Flurry.

5: What doll do you next hope to purchase?
(You can just list the next doll in chronological order, or share a brief wishlist.)

All five Wellie Wishers! And EAH Jillian Beanstalk and Meeshell Mermaid if they'd ever come on Amazon already.

Who Should I Get?

Emerson, Camille, Kendall, Willa and Ashlyn
The Wellie Wishers are coming! I got an email today telling me a little about them. AG is being very tight-lipped on specifics. They won't discuss price points or answer people's questions about the dolls, saying we'll get all the info next Thursday.

For what it's worth, I can give a couple educated guesses in answer to the two main questions I've seen other than price point.

1) The bodies will be all vinyl, not partially cloth like AG. The necklines on Emerson and Willa are pretty low and we'd see fabric if they were using fabric torsos.

2) Those are wigs. I've never seen a rooted partline that looked like Camille's, plus Emerson's hair doesn't sit like rooted hair does when it's in pigtails. Kendall's hairline doesn't look rooted either.

The newer pics of these girls have them looking even cuter than before. I think I'll have enough to spring for one doll next week when they debut, but I'm torn between three! I ruled out Kendall, because I really don't like her outfit, and Camille, even though I like her a lot. My mom loves Willa, but even though I think she's the best full package of adorable doll plus adorable outfit, I'm more drawn to Emerson and Ashlyn. I didn't care so much for Ashlyn before, but these new pics of her are just darling. I don't like the tiara or boot changes they seem to have made, but I'd be redressing her eventually anyway. She, Emerson and Kendall are destined for better clothes. I have no idea who I'm going to order though! Which one would you pick?

Check out this article for more great pics:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RANKING: Hearts For Hearts Girls

#12: Nyesha
One thing I've done over the years is rank my dolls in order from least fave to most fave. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's next to impossible. It's a thing I tend to do late at night when I'm not quite sleepy yet or I just need to zone out and focus on something fun and not the serious crap that's going on in the world today.

So I figured I'd rank my HFHG, since I've already introduced you all to them and there are only 12, which is much easier than when I did this with Zelfs or Monster High.

Anyway, let me first say that this line is my baby and I love every one of these girls a lot more than...oh, the majority of my other dolls. So none of them in any way is a doll I dislike and #12 is still loved far more than the majority of my collection, which is kinda saying a lot.
#11: Zelia

#12: Nyesha. Nyesha comes in at #12 for three reasons. First, her shirt is not two pieces. It's one piece designed to look like two. They'd never done this before on a HFHG and I was not pleased when I discovered it. I'm also not a huge fan of all the clashing patterns and colors, so that's the second reason. The third is her darker eyeshadow. It's very dominant and neither other doll with this mold has shadow this dark. I do love this doll though. I love all of these and this ranking was based on some serious nitpicking.

#11: Zelia. Zelia has been the hardest girl for me to bond with. She shares Nahji's facemold, which is the one with the most obvious different-shaped eye holes that make her eyes look wonky, when it's just that they're set in two different-shaped spaces. She almost made the #12 spot, but I really love her outfit, her hair is a beautiful color and dangit, she's just tried so hard all these years to make me love her.
#10: Nahji

#10: Nahji. Nahji's in the tenth spot for the same reason I just mentioned for Zelia: the mold that makes her eyes look messed up. She squeaked the higher spot, because she works the mold better, she's one of my only Indian dolls, and she's got that adorable nose pierce. Major kudos to Playmates for getting not only one but two dolls of young girls with nose piercings into this line. Nahji's outfits are also just lovely. I adore this fashion pack she's wearing here.

#9: Consuelo

#9: Consuelo. Consuelo is beautiful. I think her headmold is actually the most beautiful of the entire line. The problem is that Mosi also uses it and (spoiler!) she's my favorite, so everyone else with the mold suffers by comparison because I love Mosi that much. Consuelo has gorgeous hair though. It's so soft and silky. And her outfits are as gorgeous as she is with bright colors and fabulous details.

#8: Tipi

#8: Tipi. Tipi and Dell were my first two HFHG. I was convinced Tipi would be my favorite of those initial six, but Dell kinda took over and then Lilian and Rahel. Sorry, Tipi. Tipi's outfits are way cute. My one Paola Reina doll is wearing her stock outfit with the green top and capris. I'm still in awe that someone made a Laotian doll, too. Tipi is wonderful.

#7: Shola

#7: Shola. Shola and her amazing eyes. Shola shares Lilian's headmold, which is very unique and...I dunno...kind of odd? It's more evident on Lilian than Shola, but the headmold combined with Shola's eyecolor and those wild eyebrows gives her the most piercing incredible stare. She has a gorgeous outfit, too, although I did have to change the inaccurate shoes out, but thankfully,I had Lilian's boots handy and they work just fine.

#6: Rahel

#6: Rahel. Rahel's hair rocks. She's so beautiful. I love her school outfit fashion pack, too. She's been in that same outfit since I got it. This admittedly was the first time HFHG did the two shirts are actually one shirt thing, but for some reason, it doesn't bother me so much when it's a faux shirt under a blazer. It's when the underneath shirt is a completely faux front and everything fastens in the back. That's annoying.

#5: Lauryce

#5: Lauryce. This girl is stunning. That HAIR. I yanked her headband right off, because that hair is not meant to be confined! Lauryce was the first to use the piercing hazel eyes that Shola and Surjan would later have. My only nitpick with Lauryce aside from the headband is her outfit. It's very cute and I love the colors, but the US girls did not fare well with the clothes. Nyesha, Lauryce, Dell, their outfits are so boring compared to the other girls'! Mosi's the only one that I feel got a really strong outfit. This little dress is darling, but compare it to Shola's or Lilian's or Nahji's and it doesn't hold up as well. Lauryce is so lovely though that she can work anything.

#4: Lilian

#4: Lilian. I did not expect to like Lilian as much as I do. As I've said before, I rarely like the blondes, but Lilian has this unusual face and her outfit! I'm a sucker for red, black and white and the pants, shirt and vest and the little headband and the black slippers...she's got the best outfit of the line. Like hands down. Look at the detail here and look up at Lauryce and you'll see what I'm talking about when I say some girls got the short end of the stick. Lilian is one of the dolls I would recommend the highest as the full package, not like "Well, the doll is gorgeous, but get her fashion pack because her stock is kinda lame." *cough*Dell*cough*

#3: Surjan

#3: Surjan. This girl, oh, my dolly gods. She is so spectacular. I'm running out of adjectives. Gorgeous, lovely, beautiful, stunning, all of them. She shares Tipi's mold and Tipi is adorable, but Surjan is flat out beautiful. Excellent outfit in lovely colors, great hair, and the cute nose ring to boot. I adore her. I'm not sure my pictures convey how gorgeous she really is, because she's looking a little starey here, but trust me, she's perfect in person.

#2: Dell

#2: Dell. Dell is my sneaky little cutie pie. I don't even remember what provoked me to ask for her along with Tipi when I got my first two. (I had help from a friend to get both of them plus Lilian and Consuelo later on.) It might have been her promo pics. I just knew there was something special about this sassy thing and I was right. She surpassed Tipi as favorite the first day I opened them and the only one who could even nip at her heels was Lilian. Poor Dell's stock is not cute though. I mean, it's okay, but this fashion pack clogging dress, now this is adorable.

#1: Mosi

And finally #1, my baby Mosi. So beautiful, so perfect. If you forced me to do a Top 10 of my entire collection, believe you me, this girl would be on it. She's stood by my laptop ever since I got her and I smile at her multiple times a day. I'm going to go hug her right now.

I hope you've had fun following me through my ranking. Again, I really do love these girls and I still get angry when people reject dolls due to lack of articulation or some such thing, because it's that type of nonsense that killed this brilliant, well-designed, incredibly diverse, affordable line. So even though these go from 1-12, they're still very highly-ranked overall in my collection.