Monday, January 29, 2018

REVIEW: Monster High Alivia Stein

I'm going to try to make this a semi-decent review, but honestly, my heart is not in it. Aside from making the purchase, every single step of getting this doll has been terrible.

I ordered her on Monday and the estimated delivery day was Friday. She finally shipped on Thursday, the same day that a friend who lives in the same zipcode as me received her Alivia...which she ordered Tuesday, the day AFTER I ordered. Being that we are both Prime members and therefore, deserve the same service, I was livid and contacted Amazon, who gave me a $5 gift card. I don't understand why I was overlooked, but it better not be a regular occurrence. It's not like Prime is cheap.

My Alivia went out for delivery on Friday. And did not show up with the rest of the regular mail. After I got to work, I received a "delivery attempted" text at 5:14pm. This was a lie, because there was no delivery attempted. The front office was open and the package would have been left there. I contacted Amazon again to complain about USPS and got my entire purchase refunded. So I got Alivia for free and was up five bucks to boot. But still.

Now we get to Saturday. Out for delivery again. This time the carrier took the packages to the office when the single employee was out showing the model apartment. (I have contacted the apartment complex management and told them their policy of one person on a weekend is ridiculous.) Instead of waiting even a couple minutes, the carrier left. How do I know he didn't wait? Because I was maybe two minutes behind him and the office employee was thirty seconds behind me. He didn't wait or attempt to deliver the packages.

So my Alivia, who had I been given fair Amazon service, should have arrived on Thursday, I did not get until today. I have a case open with the post office about this entire mess, because that carrier was not my normal one and should never be given a route again.

Now Alivia is pretty darn cute, so she's kind of won me back over, but I hate poor service of any kind, having been in multiple service industries myself, so I'm still angry over the entire mess and worried this might happen again with something not as easily replaceable or refundable.

Anyway, that's why my heart's not really in this.

I bought Alivia on Amazon, obviously, and she cost $14.80.

The doll comes with a short dress, boots, a plastic bow that's only on the front of her ponytail, her pet mouse/rabbit, and the pet carrier.

Alivia can stand on her own with those big clunky Frankenstein boots, which is pretty cool. Although if you put the carrier on her arm, she can't. Totally throws off her balance.

Alivia resembles big sister Frankie, but is different enough that she doesn't look like baby Frankie. Not that there ever was a baby Frankie.

The main difference is that Alivia's hair is light blue with black streaks, not white like Frankie's.

Her enormous bolts come out of her head, not her neck.

Her eyes and cheek stitch are the reverse of Frankie's.

She has a huge molded line of stitches across her forehead that's hidden by her bangs.

I love her hands. That's the best part about her, that she can do the awesome reaching for you with monstery fingers pose. And that's why I'm glad she's not articulated, because weak elbow and wrist joints would ruin that.

Her pet is adorable and nicely detailed, although most of that detail isn't painted. It still shows though.

The carrier has a hinged top and the bottom looks like a litter pan.

Here is Alivia with Twyla, Frankie and Lux, representing the regular height, original little sister height, and even younger sibling height.

As you can see, she's a lot shorter than Twyla, which means Howleen, who's in the same line, likely is, too. I haven't ordered her because I despise pink hair on Howleen, but I might cave and do it. The new Cushion is ridiculously cute.

I like Alivia a lot. I might even grow to love her once my irritation with Amazon, the post office and my front office wears off. Is she worth $14.80? No. I don't think so. Maybe $11.99? Sadly though, Amazon has raised their prices and she may never hit stores, so we have to overpay if we want some of these hard to find things. Mattel has raised their prices on their more basic stuff, too, so there's that also. It's one of their faults. If not both.

I'll review Howleen if I end up getting her. Not sure yet.


Friday, January 26, 2018

REVIEW: Equestria Girls Rainbow Dash

This has been awhile in the making. I don't know why Rainbow Dash got delayed so far behind the other new Equestria Girls.

It sure wasn't for quality, I can tell you that!

She came in stock online and my store said she was available for pickup, but when I went to get her, they hadn't actually gotten her in. A few days ago, I noticed the pickup option disappeared and then yesterday, it was back. So this time when I went to the store, she was there.

I really like her outfit. The top, of course, is one piece not two, but she has pants, which I'm always in favor of, and I like the two different bracelets.

She has the cool expression that I love and it suits her well.

Her biggest problem...well, her only real her hair. There's not one thing right about it.

First, it's the wrong colors. Rainbow Dash's hair is red, orange, yellow and green in the front. Very obviously so. The blue doesn't appear until the back of her head.

The only color we get of the ones that are supposed to be there is a minimal yellow streak.

I don't know how in the world they decided to make Rainbow's hair predominantly blue. Most of her hair is not blue at all.

But here she is with 99% blue hair aside from a tiny yellow streak in her bangs, a thin yellow streak in the back and a bit thicker orange streak.

No red.

No green.

No purple.


The second problem is that her hair quality is by far the worst of the seven dolls. Almost the entire ponytail is dry, but the bottom two inches are this super-fried level of dry that I've experienced mostly in bad Bratz dolls before. Or thrift shop Barbies that have been played with too much.

I want to love this doll. Her face and outfit are fabulous, but I can't excuse the poor quality of the hair. It's almost as bad as that blonde Mal Descendants doll. Hmm...that's Hasbro, too. Problem!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

REVIEW: DC Superhero Girls Toddler Harley Quinn

Toddler Harley first appeared way back in October, but it was never made clear when she was found that the location was in Canada, so I kept checking.

And checking.

And checking.

Then I hit ebay and saw that my only options were China and Canada, and realized that crucial bit of info was left out of the post. (What a shock, considering the source.)

So began the not so patient wait and great annoyance that she wasn't out here yet, when she should have been part of the first release.

I mean, come on. If any character was made for a toddler release, it's Harley. It's not Wonder Woman or Supergirl or Batgirl. It is Harley Quinn!

Thankfully, when Walmart started doing their resets, I saw that she was finally turning up on US soil. I went to Walmart after work last night and there she was at last.

Harley is obviously the best of the four toddler dolls, just like she's the best of the five 18" dolls.

Her hair is actually NICE. I've seen deboxed photos of Wondy and Batgirl in particular and their hair look terrible. Harley's is fine though.

Her mask is a soft material, held on by elastic. I didn't take it off for a photo, because I don't want that elastic stretching.

She has big blue eyes and light pink lips.

I love the mostly red, black and white costume. The only bit of blue is her hair streak. I'm a Harley purist and I prefer her in red and black only, but white will do, too.

Her headband has the cute jester's hat theme and fits on nicely.

The only flaw I can find is that her head is a bit wobbly.

I adore these shoes. They're perfect! Not a great pic of them, but my battery died right after that shot, so I used it anyway.

I'm so happy toddler Harley is finally in the US. She joins the original action figure, the 18" doll and the new Comic Classics doll in my little DCSG Harley tribute display.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: December 2017

December was kind of a crazy month for me. I was on vacation right at the beginning of it, hence this little whale shark Puffers plushie that I found in one of the island gift shops, but that got cut short, because we had some nasty, cold, rainy weather come in.

Then I've been putting in more hours at work, then the holidays, then I got one of my allergy attack illnesses, then it was New Toy Time. But now I'm finally trying to catch up on some other things, like doing this last Month in Review for 2017.

I picked up Pinkie Pie and Rarity on the way home from vacation. I still do not have Rainbow Dash, even though she's available to order on the website. I checked with my store, which says it has a case of 6, but they can't find them, so I've held off ordering.

A couple new bears arrived. Sienna is my third from Kaycee Bears and I adore her so much. And I found Daydream Bear on the Toys R Us website, so I ordered him. I'm not a big fan of these new eyes, so I won't be getting many more Care Bears.

I did some new reviews around this time: Descendants Dizzy, Shoppies 2nd edition Pirouetta, new Barbie Fashionistas stuff.

I was very shocked and pleased to find my Walmart had gotten in Waves 2 and 3 (F and G) of Series 2, so I finally completed the minis I really wanted. I stopped collecting them all and sold a bunch off back when it looked like Wave 2 was never showing up. But I was happy to complete my Geek Chic, Mermaids and Chalk Ghouls.

A huge shipment of bears arrived at my stockist, bringing two of my pre-orders. I paid for Ozzie right away and held the other one until my next paycheck, so Ozzie arrived before Christmas and Bampa came after.

My 2017 pre-orders are almost over. Just 1 plush, 1 mohair and 1 minimo (mini mohair) left to go.

Hellboy is one of my big comic loves, so I was thrilled to find these at Booksamillion.

Kohl's had their ponies buy 1 get 1 half off, so I picked up Songbird, who I'd never seen as a single before, and Big Mac.

And the inevitable Target clearance plushies.

It's been a good month for Squishables. Starry Bunny from November was joined by Pastel Dragon in December and...


I love the Comfort Food line and want several more of them. I do have the hot dog now, but he'll be part of January's review if I get around to taking his photo.

Hallmark's Shirt Tales helped me ring in the New Year. These three arrived on December 31st and made it just in time to be delivered before the holidays closed mail services for a bit.

These plush are so cuddly and wonderful. I've slept with one every night since they arrived. There's something very comforting about them and that helped a lot when I was sick and still had to work 7 shifts in 6 consecutive days. Rick the Raccoon joined the bunch not long after this, but we're still waiting for Tyg!


Sunday, January 7, 2018

REVIEW: 35th Anniversary My Little Pony

Ever since we learned about the 35th Anniversary My Little Ponies, my mom and I have been obsessively stopping at Target. They're slowly putting out new stuff, as you've seen by my posts here.

Well, Mom hit our local Target this morning and came up with nothing, but I trekked out to the farther Target with Raye del Sol and JACKPOT.

Not everything is known about these, but here's what we do know.

These still have Hasbro on them, but they were actually produced by The Bridge Direct.

They cost $9.99 each. Target is currently having a 20% off MLP sale, but these did not ring up as part of that. There was a kid in line behind me, so I wasn't going to argue about it, but someone may be able to get the sale to apply to these.

Supposedly, each store is only getting one set. I'm not sure if this is one set forever or one set to start with. It seems more likely the latter, because the former makes zero sense. Although with the reordering ability of some stores, it may as well be the former one.

What we don't know for sure is if these are Target exclusives or not.

I'm leaning towards yes, because they also have the Care Bears, but I could easily be wrong.

The characters included are the original six My Little Pony characters from 1983. These six were originally released as "flatfoot" ponies, but then came out with the concave hooves most people know best. These repros have said concave hooves. Each pony comes with a comb in the original vintage style and a tail ribbon.

Snuzzle is gray with pink hair and a heart symbol.

Cotton Candy is pink with pink hair. Her symbol is a bunch of white polka dots.

Butterscotch is...well, butterscotch-colored. Her hair is exactly the shade of those old-fashioned butterscotch hard candies. Her symbol is butterflies. Why? I don't know. Most of these symbols don't make sense as they eventually did.

Minty is mint green with white hair and shamrock symbols.

Blue Belle is a soft blue with lavender hair and star symbols.

Blossom is purple with purple hair and white flower symbols.

All of the ponies have blue eyes except Blossom and Butterscotch, whose eyes match their color schemes.

Quality-wise, these are very nice. They're a less squishy plastic than my original Minty, but it feels sturdy and quality.

Their hair is not quite as nice as the vintage ponies. Some of them have this amazing hair that just feels so silky when you wash it. These new repros don't have that, but their hair did wash up nicely. It was creased from how they were packaged, but those straightened out well. The manes are nice and pretty full. The tails are gorgeous and required no work.

On the left here is my original concave Minty. On the right is the new repro.

As you can see, the new ones are quite a bit shorter. I wish I had a flatfoot to compare height, but I don't anymore.

The bodies are basically the same shape with a few tweaks.

Again, basically the same. The biggest difference is size and, of course, color.

I love these little repro ponies and I had such happy flashbacks to childhood, holding their chubby little bodies and brushing their manes. I love all the versions of MLP, but nothing will ever come close to vintage for me, so these repros are just fantastic. I skipped the 25th Anniversary repros, but I heard those were poor quality. These are not.

If you see them in your Target and you have a favorite, get her. She may not reappear. Or if you're a pony fan like me and you can afford it, get them all!

I wish they'd do a second set with some of the next characters. I'd love to see Applejack and Bowtie, Bubbles and Seashell, and most importantly, Moondancer and Glory! Those last two were my first two ponies.

Which ponies would you like to see reproduced like these?


REVIEW: Shoppies Wild Style Rainbow Kate

I adventured to the farther Target with Raye del Sol today and came home with Rainbow Kate! She's one that grew on me a lot after I initially mehed at her promo photo.

(I also got the 35th Anniversary ponies, who will be reviewed after I work on their hair when I get home from work tonight.)

Rainbow Kate makes a cute bunny girl. I think the shorter hairstyle plus the white gloves, the shape of her top and her little pantaloons are what sold me.

Cute art, but the doll is much cuter.

Her hair isn't plastered into place with gel, which is nice. I was almost expecting that.

The bunny ear headband doesn't stay on super well without being strapped down, but I didn't want those straps around her head.

Second edition Rainbow Kate is still my favorite, but I do love this one a lot.

Her Shopkins are a purse and a cute balloon.

She comes with the same accessories as Lulu: 2 Shopkins, a stand, a strip of photos, and a kid-sized bracelet.

So cute! I hope I can find Mystabella and Rainbow Sparkle someday soon.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

REVIEW: Shoppies Wild Style Lippy Lulu

I keep obsessively checking Target because I want the 35th Anniversary ponies. They didn't put too much new out today, but I did see Wild Style Pirouetta, Jessicake and this lovely lady, Lippy Lulu.

I'm a sucker for Lulu. Her original doll is one of my favorites from the entire line. I wasn't sure I was getting this one, but she quickly won me over with her big smile, wavy hair and fuzzy puppy tail.

I originally thought Lulu was a cat, but now I'm thinking a small dog. Her Shoppet comes with a tennis ball. Why would a cat have that?

Here's the back of the box. Cute art.

I almost got the Shoppet, too, but the eyes were a bit off, so I left her.

Lulu has long, wavy hair. Not quite crimped, but close. It looks more like she wore a few wet braids then undid them.

She still has her color scheme of pink, gold and white.

The cute fuzzy tail is attached to her skirt. I love that it's fuzzy and not plastic coming out of her back.

The shoes are adorable.

Lulu comes with a bracelet, a set of pictures, and two Shopkins: a baseball cap and a sweater. Both have a little rhinestone on them. Very cute! I really love the sweater one.

I hope to see more of these dolls soon, especially Mystabella!


Friday, January 5, 2018

REVIEW: Shopkins Wild Style Shoppets Foxy Lemons

I couldn't resist getting one of these after all. I'm a sucker for pets and flocking thanks to growing up with Sylvanian Families.

I liked Foxy the best of the ones I saw yesterday and she was still there. She's got brighter colors and she's not a cat or dog, so yeah, appealing.

For $5.99, you get your Shoppet, which is articulated at the neck and shoulders (and in Foxy's case, at the tail, too), and a Shopkin.

Foxy is the Shoppet connected to new Shoppies character Lemony Limes, who will get a doll in this Wild Style line.

Her Shopkin is a lemon tree and it's pretty cute.

She's flocked in a couple different colors. Her outfit is not flocked.

She's got decent arm movement, though obviously with such a big head and teeny arms, there's not a ton of range of motion.

From the back. Any of the ones with long tails should have articulation there.

Here's a size comparison with a regular doll and a Happy Places.

And here's the pamphlet she comes with.

Rainbow Sparkle is the limited edition unicorn/pegasus Shoppet. No idea how she's going to be limited.

I love that the Shopkin is Twilight Cloud, so you've got "Twilight Sparkle" between both names.

Then we've got Caterina (Pirouetta), Kissy Boo (Lippy Lulu), Bunny Bow (Rainbow Kate) and Snow-Fro (likely Fria Froyo).

I saw all of these at Target, so they're currently out.

Then there are Hip Hip Hamster and Sugar Swirl the lamb. These each belong to a doll that's a newer character. Hip Hip Hamster goes with Makella Wish, who first appeared in Happy Places. Sugar Swirl goes with Candy Sweets, a new character with a cotton candy theme.

Neither of these were at Target. I think I'll be getting them both when they come out.

On the other side of the pamphlet are Kitty Crumbles (Coco Cookie, who first appeared in Happy Places), Ambear Bow (not sure if she goes with anyone) and Foxy Lemons (Lemony Limes).

Lemony was the only one of these three at Target.

And finally Pupkin Cake (Jessicake), Minty Paws (Peppa Mint) and Squeak Sweetie (Valentina Hearts).

Pupkin was at Target, but not the other two, who are two I want.

I'm not planning on buying a lot of these, but I can see them as something to pick up when nothing else is in stock. $5.99 isn't a lot, so they could easily be an impulse purchase for me.