Friday, August 25, 2017

Adventures of the Ghoul Squad

I've heard the usual whiners complaining about this new series. The animation is bad. It's not the original. They're keeping the wahmbulance in business.

The animation is another new style. No, I don't think it's good as the original, but it is way better than the first type of CGI. The new CGI is really good, but they can't afford to animate everything that way.

The storyline goes that Draculaura, Frankie, Cleo, Clawdeen and Lagoona have formed the Ghoul Squad, and their mission is to locate other monsters around the world and invite them to Monster High.

Already, this has two major good points.

First, we're guaranteed to meet new characters.

Second, we are free from high school drama for the most part. No Fearleading silliness. No speed dating. No random couples shoved together without a little plot first. (I hope.)

New episodes air every Friday on Youtube and so far they have not disappointed. Each of the three existing episodes has introduced a new character.

In episode 1, we meet Fangelica. And no, she isn't really related to Draculaura.

Episode 2 brings Gil back and he doesn't have that stupid fish tank on his head anymore! Let's hope they also don't bring back the relationship drama with him and Lagoona.

And the best one...the most exciting...

ABBEY IS BACK. Today's episode reintroduced us to Abbey Bominable.

Her former voice actress did mention that she had a not so nice break with Mattel, so it's not quite the voice we're used to, but it's really not far off. Stuff like that hasn't ever kept me from watching a show I enjoy though. Things change. That's life.

In the video for the theme song, Rochelle can also be seen, so I think this new series is going to bring back some old favorites, as well as introduce new ones. Content like this is what I've been waiting for. Fun adventures. No silly high school drama. I only hope Mattel has the smarts to make the dolls to match these new designs. I'd still love a Sylvi in her regular look, plus Abbey and Rochelle in their new outfits.

Don't shun this series just because it's something new and something that came from the reboot. Give it a try at least.

More Content

In case anyone doesn't know, this blog is a spinoff of my Flickr account:

I started doing this so I could write more detailed reviews with pictures that flowed better, and write longer posts like my overview ones.

Sometimes though, I don't feel like making a review for everything I get, so that's when the pictures go into Flickr and not into formal posts here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

REVIEW: Gorjuss Dolls Little Violet and Bluebird's Proposal

Oh, what a journey! I've wanted one of the Gorjuss dolls for months now and finally ordered not one but two as a reward for having to staycation on my own for a few days. Unbeknowst to me, Santoro switched their shipping style when I placed the order, so I was expecting them in the speed the FAQ promised. When I looked again, the FAQ had changed. They actually made it into the US and through customs quickly, but it took from Tuesday morning until last night at 10:30 for them to travel from Queens, NY to here. That's ridiculous. I am absolutely smitten with these girls though and I'm already planning who to buy next. I just hope the service is improved the next time!

The dolls I chose were Little Violet on the left here and Bluebird's Proposal on the right.

There are currently eight Gorjuss vinyl dolls and two outfits, all made by Paola Reina. There are other Gorjuss rag dolls and many other products featuring the designs as well.

The dolls stand about 12.5 inches tall. They're articulated at the neck, shoulders and hips, which is typical for this type of doll.

Their feet have an inward point, which is part of the Gorjuss style.

Little Violet is the sixth doll in the collection, as per the booklet that came with her. Bluebird is the 8th and had not been released when I was first looking at these.

Half of the line have more detailed outfits and cost around $91. The other half are a bit simpler and cost $84.

Violet is one of the $91 dolls. Her outfit is made from so many different materials! I can definitely see where the price comes from with these. They have detail that even surpasses some dolls I've paid a lot more for.

Every piece of the outfit is separate. The small vest unties in the front and comes away from the gray sweater. The collar of the vest has black and white-striped material on the underside. The skirt is a leathery material and has stiff mesh underneath each layer. A lot of the pieces have a fabric Santoro label inside. I just can't believe all the detail here. It's almost human-level quality.

Bluebird is one of the cheaper $84 dolls. You can see why, as her outfit is just a simple dress over a separate mesh skirt that makes the dress poof a bit, a pair of panties, socks, shoes and a headband. She has I think the simplest outfit of the eight dolls.

However, she also has short hair, which as you know, I favor greatly. 

Of all the pieces on both dolls, you would think if there was staining, those black socks would have done it. But no. She has no staining on her legs. 

It's Violet that got a little stain around her waist from the skirt. 

The bodies are simple, but the material is soft and nice. They definitely do not feel cheap. I love the little pointy fingers and the cute toes. 

They stand fairly easily on their own. Violet is a bit tippy, I think because she's so much more top heavy than Bluebird with that thick hair. 

Their hair is rooted, not wigs. 

Here they are from the side. I love the pudgy little belly. 

Again, look how cute those fingers and toes are!

Both these girls have black hair, but looking at some of the stock photos, there may be some with dark brown. I can't really tell, just guess.

These dolls are incredibly cute and unique, and very worth the higher price point. No plastic accessories and sewn together outfit pieces for these girls. Each doll in the line comes with a little bag, too. Violet's has the stars and Bluebird's has her bluebird. 

One word of warning though, if you are sensitive to scents, I do not recommend these. They are scented! According to the website, it's a rose and honeysuckle scent, but I just smell rose. 

I'm already planning who to get next.


Friday, August 18, 2017

RANKING: All of my Zelfs!

I've done rankings for things before, but this is the largest one I've ever tackled. I wanted to rearrange my Zelfs figures, so I got them all out and decided to rank every single one. Previously, I've left out the large-sized ones and duplicate characters, but not this time!

These are arranged in the photos with the lowest being on the right end and moving toward the left end, which is the highest in the picture. So from right to left. They're arranged in groups of ten, so let's start.

Lowest ranked on the right: Wishbeam, then Flitterbelle, Butterluv, Buddykins, Teeny Genie, Bubblee, Harmonie, Miss Tutu, Frostette and Laylani. A lot of these have been permanently in the bottom. Flitterbelle dropped a lot since last time. I think I had the New Zelfs goggles on at the time, because she's really kind of a mess.

Next from right to left: So-Anne (large), E-Vett, Coco, Angelala (large), Buttershy (original), Buttershy (scented), Vampula (original), Vampula (scented), Pega-Sue (original), Billy.

The original pink gang and their scented counterparts really aren't that bad, but the best versions of them are the Masquerade ones, so these look worse in comparison.

So-Anne would have been higher if not for the pink. I always thought that looked weird.

Right to left: Zebbie, Cindy Moo, Lullaby, Wizzkas, Lil D (large), Finley, Ribbita, Mermalade (original), Tressa, Flamy (original).

Zebbie dropped a lot since last time. I don't know why I dislike him so much, but I do. Same with the cow. She's pretty cute, but she never ranks high. Finley has a really cute face, but I think a bit too much going on.

Right to left: Mermalade (scented), Mermalade (large), Frankenzelf, Swanda, Polly Roger, Flitter (scented), Bellafly, Cupie (original), So-Anne (crystal), and Baabara.

Large Mermalade is one of those weird ones where I like the large better than the medium size. I do like the Masquerade one, which is medium, best though. Bellafly climbed a lot since last time. She's quite cute.

Right to left: Angelala (original), Fairy-Bloom, Royal P, Dandy-lion (original), Hightail (original, large), Dandy-lion (large), Marsha, Dorothy-doe (large) and Sheldon.

Angelala might have had a higher spot if I had her crystal version, but I never got it. Dandy-lion's another of those I prefer the large.

Right to left: Elfa (scented), Miss Clover, Manny, Sealia, Roberta, Rainglow, Cheffrey, Lil D (original), Catsby (original), Catsby (large).

Catsby's cute in both sizes, but I like the glow blue better. Cheffrey is really cute, but he's got stiff competition. Rainglow seems like he should be higher, but I struggle with the bird Zelfs a lot, because they never have beaks. And Roberta would have been higher if she'd not been pink!

Right to left: Spellinda (scented), Talleen, Dorothy-doe, Sheldon (prototype), Sugar Bunny, Moonicorn, Pearleen, Cyril, Daisy May, Candy Lou.

I just realized I left out Masquerade Spellinda! She lives by my computer and I totally forgot her. Dangit. I hate when I put a lot of work into a project and then realize I forgot something. Well, I'm not reshooting any pics, so I'll just mention her where she would have fit in.

The Sheldon here is a prototype from China. If you look at him in the box, these are his original colors, which are far superior. Sugar Bunny was a sleeper for me. Did not expect to love him, but I do. I should get his crystal version someday. And Candy Lou I just hated when these released and it took me probably a couple years to finally cave and buy her. I have her mini one and love it, so I ended up with the medium size.

Right to left: Chi, Snowphie, Flamy (masquerade), Buttershy (masquerade), Vampula (masquerade), Royal Tia, Mermalade (masquerade), Pega Sue (masquerade), Joy Drop and Shimma.

Royal Tia couldn't decide where to go so I plopped her right in the middle. I love my masquerade set. I just hate that the two earliest lines are leaking hard glue from around their eyes! Ugh! It ruins some of the best ones.

Right to left: Beetrice, Rose-anne, Lochlan, Artie, Miss Terri, Cupie (crystal), Pretty Kit, Owlmanda, Pandela, Bella Blossom.

I like Miss Terri and Cupie a lot more than I expected. Both are adorable. And Pretty Kit is probably the biggest sleeper of the entire line for me, because I never expected to love the pink princess cat, but I do! Bella Blossom is also like that. Much prettier than I expected.

Right to left: Owlmanda, Ditty Dot, Angel Hop, Koolah, Jewely, Deeno, Flittabell, Flare, Oceana, Lilly-goat.

Lilly-goat kept moving around this line up until she finally made it to the highest ranked spot. Her colors are just awesome and so is her detail. Oceana is awesome, too, though and Lilly only won because her coloring is more unusual. Flittabell is another I love more than I expected.

We're getting into tough choices land now.

Right to left: Snowflake, Webina, Flitter (large), Snapjack, Chocolaa, Spellinda (large), Starkle, Moona, Flitter (original), Howlette.

Snowflake is so awesome, but I always call him Snowbunny. Flitter edged out Webina by a hair. I just love both of these Flitters. Snapjack is very plain, but also great. I always have him up higher than I expect to.

I think I'd put Masquerade Spellinda right below large Spellinda.

Right to left: Magicella, Lady B (large), Talon, Lochlan, Birchy, Frostelle, Tyfoon, Float, Lady B (original), Hightail (crystal).

Lochlan is another where I like his large better. It's the glow coloring again. Frostelle moved around a lot and ended up higher than I originally had him. His detail is amazing. Hightail is one I thought the large was too busy, but he's fantastic as a medium and I think it's his hooves.

Right to left: Mary-go-round, Reindoe, Galexia, Lunanne, Webina, Noodles, Dolly, Peek-a-boo, Ooma, Smoothie.

Definitely some hard choices here! Reindoe was much higher before, but the weird lines around her mouth brought her down. Lunanne is forever a fave. And we're getting into the ones I seriously adore, because this feels too low for the first four on the left, but competition is that stiff.

Right to left: Spellinda, Garny, Elfa, Stardust, Noodles (crystal), Batrina, Sneak-a-boo, Snowanne, Poperpup, Petal.

Elfa, Garny and Spellinda are my 3 original faves, so they're really there thanks to nostalgia and not design. Stardust I adore! Ah, I just love all these.

Last photo! The top eight!

Right to left: Moon-Flight, Tiki, Cleocat, Sketalia, Howlie, Skylanna, Gar-girl, Kitsu.

Howlie was originally my #2 and Gar-girl was down at #7, but I really love her and she's climbed a lot. Every one of these is completely stellar.

Whew! That is it! 148 Zelfs ranked. 149 if you count poor Masquerade Spellinda that I forgot. And now I feel pressured to make it an even 150. I should look for crystal Sugar Bunny...

PHOTO CREDITS: Mine, of course.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

NEWS: GlitterShine Dragons

Shimmer Frost
I don't know who said, "Hey, let's take My Little Pony and fuse them with dragons," but I'm very thankful for their brainstorm.

I was perusing Amazon's stuffed animal section for new stuff and these six jumped right out at me.

Each dragon is 12" and they're $14.99 each. According to Amazon, they're made by Snap Toys.

The promo photos have a couple different colors and ear styles, so I'm not sure if the toys will look more like the above photo or the one to the right here. I'm thinking the above photo though. Those are the ones on Amazon.

Shimmer Frost was the first to catch my attention. I'm a sucker for blue and white, and I think her snowflake wings are the prettiest.

Her description blurb is "Stylish and charming, Shimmer Frost always finds a way to warm your heart." Stylish and charming makes her sound like the Rarity of the group.

Sea Sparkle

The other standout for me was Sea Sparkle. MLP + dragons + mermaids! Like wow! I'm sold.

"Dive into fantastic undersea adventures and make a splash with friendly and spirited Sea Sparkle."

Sounds sort of like an underwater Applejack or Rainbow Dash.

I had both of these in my cart when I decided to just go for it and get all six. Shimmer Frost should be here Saturday with the others following on Monday.

Because why not?

Glimmer Flora

"Your dreams will bloom like flowers with nature loving Glimmer Flora by your side." Nature-loving, so she's the Fluttershy, but really, she sounds and looks like a dragon version of Winx Club's Flora.

I like her far more than I expected to like the pink one. Putting pink with neon green is always a good sell for me.

Glitter Fairy

"A sweet daydreamer, Glitter Fairy will whisk you away on a magical fairytale adventure." There isn't really a good Twilight Sparkle character, so this one's probably the closest. I like that she's got a unicorn horn, so we've got a mermaid dragon and now a unicorn dragon.

Twinkle Luck

Twinkle Luck sounds a little like Pinkie Pie: "Positive and cheerful. Twinkle Luck is your lucky charm. All you need to do is make a wish." Minus the luck part, of course. But positive and cheerful is definitely Pinkie.

Rainbow Glow

And finally, Rainbow Glow. Looking at the stock numbers, she's the one that's selling.

"Free spirited and fun, Rainbow Glow's bright and sparkly colors fill your heart with happiness and joy."

Again, sounds like both Rainbow Dash and Applejack. Maybe a bit more Dash.

There are only 4 left of her in stock, so if you like these, I'd grab her! The other more popular one seems to be Glitter Fairy with 8 left in stock. The remaining four all have 11 left in stock.

I'm a sucker for dragons and themes and big pretty eyes. These actually also remind me of Serendipity, not just ponies. There's a lot of Serendipity in those eyes!

I'll post pics when Shimmer Frost arrives and again for the others.

PHOTO CREDITS: Stock pics from Amazon and Google.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

REVIEW: Monster High Garden Ghouls Winged Critters Lumina

I've been stalking Target looking for these girls and Pharrah de Nile, but I managed to miss the bugs except for this one! I knew I should have gone yesterday.

Anyway, I'm glad I found Lumina at least.

The Winged Critters are much smaller and more delicate than I was expecting. The detailing on them is really awesome.

I know people are rejecting these because they're little and not articulated. (Though I seriously cannot imagine articulation on something with limbs this small. You'd be asking for trouble.) But open your minds and take a good look at these three. I don't have the other two yet, but I'm impressed enough by Lumina that I imagine they'll be just as great.

Yes, she's got a plastic top and skirt. No, she can't bend her elbow. But she's super tiny and still look at this:

She has great body detailing even though she's that little!

I love her tiny face and her pretty hair colors. I just wish somewhere online would get these in stock so I could order the other two. I'm about to be staycationing, so this was my last store trip until next week.

Here she is with Abbey to show just how small she is.

I'm very, very impressed with her. And you guys know I don't normally gush over pink things, so this makes two in one day! (Sara being the other.)

The bug girls run $6.99, which is a very fair price for something that has that much detail.


REVIEW: Shoppies World Vacation Round 2

I got extremely lucky and found the newest Shoppies at my Target! I didn't even know this set was out yet.

I'm combining the reviews into one post, because I don't take loads of pics of these girls. It's not like there's anything complicated to explain.

I was most excited to see Sara Sushi, one of my faves, again. She's off to...wait for it...Japan.

Surprised? Nah.

Normally, I don't go for pink, but with the cherry blossom connection, I'm okay with it for Sara. She looks amazing!

As always I love the box art. All three girls have great art, but Sara's is my fave.

Sara's Shopkins are a stack of cups and a teapot, since she mentions tea ceremony.

Sara's outfit is a little more detailed than Shoppies usually get, as it has separate sleeves. Her pink legs have a molded pattern.

Her hair is done up in two loops and then two other braids. It took awhile for me to figure out where I wanted the barrette.

The white part of her hair has tinsel in it and then there are pale pink streaks.

Her eyes are the same golden shade as her original doll, but her lips are pink instead of red this time.

Sara comes with two Shopkins, a paper passport, a suitcase that opens (I store the passports in there) and a tag with her art on it.

Sara is by far my favorite of the trio, which is really nothing against the other two. I just love her original doll a lot. She'll always be a major fave and this one is just as awesome.

From my fave to my least fave. I wasn't thrilled to have China's traveller be pink. Red would have been preferable. But they sent Bubbleisha to China and she's pink. Sigh. They totally could have done red, pink and yellow and not just pink and yellow.

She is cute though and she grew on me the second I saw her. She was the first one I spotted and yanked off the shelf peg.

Her art is super endearing, too, because it's freakin' adorable.

Anyway. Because of bubble tea, Bubbleisha's going to China. Her one Shopkin is a bubble tea.

Her hair is done up in adorable buns. Honestly, if it weren't for the hair, I think I could have skipped her. I definitely plan on skipping most of the North American travellers.

Her outfit is simple but very cute and I adore her shoes. She's the only one to come with a separate accessory. (I don't count hair stuff as the same.) I love, love, love the fan, but it's frustrating because there's no way for her to hold it. So I grabbed one of the plastic bands from the packaging and had at her left hand until I'd strapped the fan down.

Bubbeisha's never going to be a favorite, but I do like this doll a lot. More than I intended. Although I still look at her and mentally redesign her to add a bunch of red!

The new character this time around is Coralee, who I'm guessing is actually Australian and not just travelling there, despite what the box says. Just like I consider Macy Macaron from the first set to be French.

Coralee is a pretty fantastic addition to the Shoppies world.

Her hair is supposed to be three different shades, but Moose did that the typical way. They just layered the different colors. I guess MGAE is the only company with guts enough to actually give us two-colored hair (Project MC2 Masquerade Adrienne).

Coralee is still really cute though. I actually like the layered colors effect.

Her hairband coral and her top are both...well, I'm not quite sure how to describe it. They're not glitter-encrusted but a similar thing that makes them look sugared.

Her shoes are really cool with the wraparound seaweed effect. We've seen it before, but it's always pretty neat.

I like the layered skirt and other detailing on her. She's not one of my big favorites, but I do really like her a lot. Of both sets of World dolls, I like Sara best, then Macy, then Sue, then Coralee, then Bubbleisha. Jessicake is okay and I don't regret buying her, but if I got to do it again, I would have skipped her.

So anyway, if you're after these girls, check your Targets! I'm not sure what the case size or assortment is, as my store only had one of each left.


Monday, August 14, 2017

REVIEW: Regal Academy Magical Rose

Well, Mom surprised me with Rose, so now all three are here!

And it's exactly like I said. She's the character I like least, so all her joints are totally fine. Both knees and both elbows work.

Like Astoria, she's really cute though. And I love the colors of this outfit.

Rose has the best hair of the three. Joy's is a bit thin and Astoria's felt more dry than Rose's.

Her little mouse is cute, but the least cute of the three pets, in my opinion.

I'm just very smitten with that pug. Vicky and the pug are the only dolls from the line out on my Coffee Table of I-Want-to-See-You-Often.

I didn't even try to pull the paper bit out of the box this time, so it's not there.

Joy is growing on me a lot, too. She's really cute, just not quite right and not as good as my Giochi one.

Oh, I forgot to take a pic of the Giochi with the new Rose. Oh, well.

So there you have it! All I will buy from Regal Academy unless they release new characters or possibly more Vicky.