Monday, July 31, 2017

REVIEW: Project MC2 Masquerade McKeyla and Ember

I figured I'd roll both reviews into one post, because I am lazy.

Let's look at McKeyla first.

Her theme is a unicorn, although the only unicorn thing going on here is that headband. Otherwise, she's really just McKeyla in a very McKeyla-style dress.

I do love how the skirt of the dress lays, but I think she needed either a belt or the waist tucked in a little.

Or maybe the bustline shaped more? I'm not sure. There's just something odd about the top part of the dress.

The fabric is nice and heavy. You really feel like your $25 is going into this doll. I like the iridescence, too.

McKeyla's boots are AMAZING. They go from pinkish-purple to purple to blue, echoing the iridescent quality of the skirt. Excellent work, whoever designed those.

Socks are definitely a theme in this line, at least with McKeyla, Ember and Adrienne. All of them are wearing this little mesh socks.

I had thought McKeyla had just the blue streaks, but no, she actually has rainbow streaks! Her hair is really awesome. Ember and Camryn were my definites from this line at first and McKeyla was a solid most likely. If I'd seen this hair right away, she would have made the definites column.

This pic with the headband is probably where you can see her makeup best. I didn't zoom in on her face, but she has eyeshadow that's lavender, pink, dark gray and pearlescent. It's wonderful.

The unicorn headband has adorable ears and a glitter golden horn, although mine is a little bent. Why she was packaged holding it instead of it being flat somewhere, I'll never know.

And finally, here she is in her mask. I think this looks neat, but also a bit too heavy. The black is too dominant and it draws your eye away from the rest of the outfit, which is far better than the mask.

Also, I have the masks from the Midnight Dance Bratz and the darkest one stained one of my dolls faces, so bear that in mind if you're considering leaving McKeyla masked!

EMBER. I was so sad when I saw her eye wonk. I hate inset eyes so much, because no one ever consistently gets them right. Even Robert Tonner's $200 dolls with inset eyes have wonk, which is a lot of the reason I stopped collecting Wilde Imagination stuff.


Ember is my fave from this line, because she instantly reminded me of Novi Stars Doe A Deer only human.

So yeah, I was really disappointed when I saw mine was wonky and she's out of stock, so I can't just order another. I loved her so much otherwise that I decided just to bite the bullet and keep her. I'm going to display her masked, while the upgrade I will eventually find will be unmasked.

Ember has the most intricate braiding I have ever seen on a doll. That's why I left her antlers tied down. I do not want to mess anywhere near all that braidwork.

The flowered antlers are adorable anyway, so I'd never take them off.

Ember's dress is so many different colors and layers, I can't possibly describe it well enough to do it justice, but thankfully, you can see it. It is spectacular.

Her shoes are equally gorgeous with their lovely flowers and tiny painted leaves. There are even leaves molded into the soles that I only just noticed!

Her wings have a fat peg that pops into a little hold in her back, so they're pretty sturdy. Simple, but sturdy.

There she is from the back.

Her hair needed a good brushing when I got her deboxed, much more than McKeyla's. It's not perfect and a bit dry, but it's so pretty that I don't even care. There's a more pinky layer on the underside, too.

In her mask! Thankfully, the plastic bands that hold the masks on undo at the ends of the mask, so you can put this on Ember without having to try to fit over her antlers.

Although it does, because I tried. I just wouldn't do it that way a lot.

I love her in the butterfly mask. She looks like a She-Ra character.

Ember's eyeshadow is pink, pearlescent, dark gray and a shade of green that matches her outfit. She's got some glitter going on, too, and her left eye has white petal details. There's also a little pink swoosh that runs from the inside corner of her lower eyelid about halfway across under her eye. It's a bit odd, because putting a ton of pink right around the lower lids almost makes her look like she's been crying, but it's covered by the mask, so if you don't like it, there's a fix.

I absolutely adore both of these girls and I hope TRU ships my mermaid Bryden fast! I also hope Camryn pops up. I don't know what the delay on her is. She'd better come out!

If I get any spare money, I might cave and order Adrienne, although I think she's oddly boring compared to the others. She's always got the same look and could have benefited from something different. Especially her hair. I wish it was all pink or something.

So yeah, in sum, these are the best MC2 dolls yet and I so need to catch up on the show on Netflix!


NEWS: Project MC2

I thought I posted the first batch of new MC2 links, but I guess I didn't! Oh, well. This way they can all be together.


$24.99 each for the experiment dolls.


3 left in stock.


1 left in stock.


Currently sold out.


Currently out of stock. Has never been in stock. I hope she pops in soon, because she is STUNNING.

I got my McKeyla and Ember today and I'll be posting a review right after this.

This line is the best MC2 line ever.




I was so surprised to see merBryden in stock. I bought one so she'll be getting reviewed as soon as she arrives! Her hair colors though! And those eyebrows! The only thing I don't like are the sneakers, but then again, this is Bryden.

She is sadly $26.99. Typical TRU overpricing.

Basic Adrienne:

I have not been this tempted by a basic in a long time. I almost got her.

Basic McKeyla:

Basic Camryn:

I would not say no to her, but not for $16.99.

Basic Bryden:

I just want the boots.

TRU does not have the other experiment girls and I couldn't find basic Devon and Ember either.

Friday, July 28, 2017

REVIEW: Descendants 2 Signature Ben and Mal

I decided to review these two together, because obvious reasons.

Ben is a nice step up from his past releases. I like the bad boy look on him, especially because it's a good nod to his Beast side.


The entire point was to sneak him onto the Isle and make him blend in.

Evie, you put Beast on this outfit like five or more times.


Come on.

Why bother with the whole blend in song and dance routine when he's literally covered in his identity?

Don't get me wrong, I adore the outfit and all the Beast bits. The one through the torn shirt and the belt buckle are my faves.

But the look entirely messes with the point of his "disguise" and I find that hilarious.

Like if even Gil can figure it out, you are not in disguise.

My pet peeve with Ben is a common one for the line. They put a cool design on the back of a jacket and then run velcro through it.

Mal's sig has the same problem, which is why I didn't bother taking a picture of it.


It's all one piece.

I mean, obviously, since the velcro is in the back and they ruined the jacket picture, it's one piece, but whatever, I took a photo anyway!

You know, when I deboxed the hat, I didn't think I was going to keep it on, but it looks surprisingly cute on him. It stays.

I'm not a big enough Ben fan to give him one of my coveted front of the display spots, but he did earn a second row, right behind new sig Mal spot, which is a big improvement on where the original one is.

A lot of people hated Mal's new bangs. I loved them from the start. I love them in the movie. I love them on the doll. Her hair is sooooooooo nice and silky. I'm so glad they realized the error of their hair ways after the original movie dolls.

I love this outfit even more than her first sig look.

The only thing I don't get is how Hasbro turned a purple glove into red. Red is Evie, Hasbro. And Carlos. But mostly Evie.

Badass detailing!

I wish they'd done more with all the rings she wore in the movie. One of them is molded into the red glove, at least.

Naturally, her top is one piece. There's no shirt under that jacket.

I loved these boots. The different heel colors. Awesome. They translated okay to doll boots, but not perfectly. I think they could have done the pants better, too, so they're not sticking out the back.

Okay, so there you have it. That is everyone I got today!

Cotillion Mal is my fave, followed by Cotillion Uma and Sig Mal.

I hope they have some surprise dolls for us still.

*cough* HARRY. RIGHT NOW. GIMME HARRY. *cough*

And Dizzy. And Lonnie with all three of her outfits.

Anyway, we shall see!


REVIEW: Descendants 2 Cotillion/Royal Yacht Ball Carlos and Jane

I bought this set purely for Carlos. Carlos has been my fave character since the first book and I needed him with rooted hair.

They actually did a good job on the hair. It's cut nicely.

I hate the shirt part sticking out of his jacket though. It look so awkward!

After taking the photos, I actually washed his hair, so I'll take more pics later of it without all the gel in it.

He still has the same cute face.

For $34.99 though, I think they could have gone a little more detailed, especially on poor Jane.

The best thing about Jane is that she has good hair. She would make a nice original movie Jane if you put her in that outfit. Never really understood her pink streaks.

I don't understand why she got the pink rubberband hairband, when I don't think she had one in the movie.

Her complete lack of jewelry is baffling. This is $35 we're talking about here. Give me that bracelet she's wearing on the back of the box.

She also has on Ally's Jewelbilee shoes. She didn't even get shoes designed like the ones she was wearing.

What am I paying $35 for?

She's very cute and I love me some Carlos, but this set is absolutely, without a doubt overpriced.

I don't regret buying it, because Carlos, but it definitely could have been better for that kind of money.

If you take a peek at my display shelf, you can see how Carlos's hair is drying!


REVIEW: Descendants 2 Cotillion/Royal Yacht Ball Uma

Okay, now we can move on to the good Uma.

This one actually captures the look from the movie quite well.

The dress is exquisite. It's on par with Cotillion Mal's easily. I prefer Mal's because, you know, purple and black, but this is stunning, too.

Most importantly though, to me anyway, is that her face is better. It's the same mold, but her eyes look so much better than my sig doll's.

Like she looks cute! She still doesn't capture China right. I think her lips should be fuller and her eyes more hooded. But still a vast improvement on the signature.

The updo is an improvement for the hair, too, because it's not as glaring obvious that the style is wrong.

I love her hair ornament and the shell dangling earrings are pretty. I hoped they were jellyfish at first, but no. Shells with dangles.

Her makeup I think is part of what helps her face. She is still almost wall-eyed, but the eyeshadow actually on her lids and not around her eyes makes her look better.

Love the detailing on the dress top. It's so pretty!

Like Mal, Uma has molded, painted gloves. There's a lot of detail on them that doesn't show up in photos. Check them out in person.

Her purse is lovely, but the bracelet. I want that bracelet for me! In silver though. Ha.

Her shoes are nice. I think better than Mal's, because Mal's could have benefitted from some purple. I love the black and the cutouts on these.

Once I got Uma on my shelf, I decided to try to find a shell necklace for her. I thought Lagoona might have one, but a lot of my Lagoonas have been sold or I can't get to them easily.

But I did find this nice little octopus necklace that matches nicely! I was a little worried it cut off her neck, since I was enjoying actually seeing her neck on this doll, but I think it looks okay. It's better in person. The photo isn't the best angle, but you have to shoot Descendants a certain way or the flash hits their eyes.

I also found a black tentacle MH piece that was some hair accessory. Well, not anymore.

I think they missed an opportunity by not having an Uma with her tentacles, so at least I could give her a little hint at what's underneath the surface. 

So as much as I complained about poor sig Uma, I absolutely love Cotillion Uma. If you can only buy one, pick her.


REVIEW: Descendants 2 Signature Uma

I want to do Cotillion Uma, but what I have to say about her links back to Signature Uma, so let's do her first.

China Anne McClain is a very pretty girl, but...and I hate to say it...this doll does her zero justice. She has such pretty eyes and the doll's just aren't. I think they're a teeny bit too wide-set and she's borderline wall-eyed. Her mouth isn't quite the right shape either. And she isn't helped by the design of the outfit that makes her look like she has no neck. Her head just looks stuck right on her golden shoulders.

I really hate to have the most complaints about the signature doll of the new character, but I do!

Her outfit is entirely one piece. One very layered piece. If Mal could get two pieces, why couldn't Uma get a dress with a jacket over it?

Her gloves aren't painted right either. The black stops too high up on her hands and it looks awkward. And she couldn't even have one bracelet?

The hat and boots both have great details that are lost in the mold, because they're not painted. The $50 special edition fixed that problem, but I don't like her face enough to spend that kind of money! I might try a gold wash myself. Paint is cheap.

Again, Mal got painted boot details, so why not Uma?

I feel like Uma herself, complaining that Mal gets everything, but in this case, she did!

Signature Evie, who I don't have, also looks to have gotten painted boots, a coat as thick as Uma's, a plastic shoulder piece like Uma's, PLUS pants AND a belt in two colors.

Signature Uma got the short end of the stick. Why?

Her hair frustrates me, too. I am all over crimped hair normally. I love it. And this does look great. But Uma has BRAIDS. They couldn't even put a couple in there?

One thing really stands out as missing though. And not one of the three Uma dolls (including the huge one) has it.


Like seriously, where is it?!

Okay, I'm done here. I'm disappointed in this doll, because I think Hasbro gave her less detail than Mal and Evie and that's just wrong. They made some poor decisions here, but I want to move on to a more positive review.


REVIEW: Descendants 2 Cotillion/Royal Yacht Ball Mal

Before I started the long process of deboxing and photographing, I asked on Flickr who you guys wanted to see most. Cotillion Mal got the first call out, so here she is.

I am definitely a Mal fan so perhaps I'm biased, but this is my favorite of all the dolls I got today. And my favorite Mal ever made.

I've been part of the goth community for years, so this wonderful purple dress with layers with burnt black edges and bother black detailing sings to my little gothy heart. Yeah, even with the bottom glittery layer, it still does. Ha.

Mal has wavy hair to go along with her new bangs. Her hair is good quality and soft.

She has lighter pink makeup on, but it works well because darker would have fought with the dress for attention and the dress is what deserves it.

She wears a little tiny tiara with dragon detailing. I left this attached to her head, because it's just on one of those little comb bits, like Jane's original hair accessory and I have bad luck keeping those in.

This picture doesn't show anything new, but she's just so pretty that I left it in.

The collar piece was strapped down with a plastic rubberband, but it stays in place nicely without it, so I tossed it.

I like the earrings, but wish they didn't blend in with her hair so much. A little bit darker purple would have been better.

I love the details on her gloves. These have to be properly appreciated in person, because my photos won't catch the molded details very well.

The bracelet is lovely.

Purse, too! I just love when they go nuts with the dragon details for her.

Lovely shoes. With Ever After High's disappearance and Monster High's decline, Descendants is the new go-to line for themed-detailing, that's for sure.

Like I said, this is my fave Mal ever. She's absolutely stunning in person and I don't think my pics do her justice. Get her, debox her, display her, love her.



It's Descendants Day here on VVD! I just got this awesome load of Descendants 2 dolls from my Amazon pre-orders, as well as Ben, who was a gift from a generous fellow collector friend. He arrived on the same day, which was a nice coincidence.

I did not take individual boxed pictures for each of the upcoming reviews. You can see them boxed here or check Amazon. I was too impatient to dig into the deboxing and check them out to take the boxed pics, which always end up frustrating me because it takes about ten shots to get one with no flash. I have no patience!

It's probably going to take me awhile to write these all up and get the photos cropped and such, so bear with me, but I will be getting them up as fast as I can.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

REVIEW: Star Wars Forces of Destiny Rey

So yeah, I've got Rey now.

I decided to check the farther Target to see if they were making any reset progress.

The answer is no, although they did have Rey, Sabine and the other one, but no Leia set unlike my Target. They also had the new Li'l Shoppies singles, so I bought two of those (Ballinda and Kiki Creme).

Anyway, I was really wanting Rey after yesterday, so I looked at the four this store had and this one really stuck out. The other Reys were more like "I'm not pleased with you," but this Rey is like "Imma beat you with this here stick."

So extra-pissy Rey came home with me and now I need to see if her movie is on demand for viewing later tonight.

Rey is like Sabine in that she's basically a giant molded action figure, although Rey is even moreso. Her fabric bits are that drapery and her arm warmers, so she's full-on with the molded outfit.

I apologize because this is not going to be a proper review. It took me a couple minutes to get her hands to hold the staff properly and I am not removing it! So check her out around the staff. Ha.

Rey's action feature is doing a twisting motion that makes her smack another action figure with the staff.

Her little pack is very detailed. The staff actually comes with a strap so she can sling it across her back or shoulder if she's not holding it, but again, I'm not removing it from her hands, so I folded up the strap and those are the bits sticking out of the pack.

Her hair is really nicely done. I like the little series of knots. Series of buns? Whatever. I'm not good with hair terms. I don't have much hair.

Her face is a good cartoon rendition of Daisy Ridley. She's super cute, but also gonna kick your butt.

And this is when I noticed there's a hair stuck to her cheek.

I'm going to conclude this review and go get that off her face.

So. Rey. $19.99. Badass. Love her.

I'm gonna end up with more of these than I planned, aren't I?


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!