|Ready for trick-or-treating.|
Friday, October 31, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Earlier this morning a co-worker asked me about the relative sizes of BJDs with American Girl dolls, and at almost the same time I read Vanessa's question about the size of MA's International Travel Friends relative to playline dolls over on Black Doll Collecting. And since a couple of weeks ago I also received a PM on Den of Angels asking about Teen Trends to MSD comparisons, I decided that I've amassed enough comparison photos to warrant it's own post.
First up is the Travel Friends/Playline line-up:
|Back Row (L-R): Disney Classics (Li Sheng), Barbie (Princess of South Africa), Monster High (Clawd Wolf)|
Front Row: Bratz (Cameron), International Travel Friends (Namaste), American Girl Mini (Ivy)
|L-R: Iplehouse EID model body (Chase), American Girl Cécile,|
Illusion Spirit mini (ZhuQing), Monster High (Jane Boolittle)
|L-R: Volks SD13 Long-leg body (Irvin), Soom ID51 (London),|
Illusion Spirit Mini (ZhuQing), Teen Trends (Deondra)
Monday, October 27, 2014
|In the box.|
This particular figure is the large (just under 9 inches) Toys R Us version. She "talks" when a button on the rump is pressed, saying things like "You can brush my fabulous hair!" and "I will light up the night!". The wings are the only jointed piece and they light up when the pony is talking.
|The back of the box.|
I've never seen the Friendship is Magic TV series (or at least not a whole episode - I've seen a few minutes of it here and there), so I'm not familiar with the character, but I've always found this particular pony to be appealing when I've seen other versions of her in people's collections. I quite like the colours - the blue and purple on black is quite a bit more dramatic than the more pastel ponies, which I've always liked. And the photo-edited version on the box art looks fantastic - dramatic and regal.
All that said, I wasn't impressed with the toy itself - the figure is a hard plastic, which means it doesn't have the warmth of the soft vinyl figures, and it's surprisingly light for a toy that includes batteries, lights, and speakers. The voice button is also a little awkward-looking, and (having not seen the show) the tone of the voice surprised me. I was also a little concerned about the potential for the (fairly heavy) wings to be damaged.
|On the inner board, without the outer box.|
This is as close to unboxed as I decided to go.
|Size comparison with|
Friday, October 24, 2014
|Surprise, SoSoft Surprise, and Baby Surprise|
The new resurgence in popularity for the My Little Pony line isn't something I've really understood, but having met huge numbers of fans, I found myself curious about the line.
As a result, basket of ponies came home with me during one of my recent visits to my mother's, and while I was never a huge My Little Pony fan as a child (most of them were my sister's), I've had great fun identifying them all.
I'm especially fond of the clearly retro ones like this trio with their delightfully neon manes and tails.
|A slightly different angle|
Monday, October 20, 2014
|Funko Pop's Hiccup|
The part of me that thinks they're brilliant appreciates the way they make clearly recognizable versions of characters in such a simple form - if you wanted to do some geek decorating, they're certainly more affordable than more detailed figures, and the simple and uniform look means that they can work with a wider variety of styles. I was visiting a friend a couple of weeks ago whose husband has built a basement toy room, and the Funko Pop case has the cleanest lines and the least cluttered look to it (I wish I'd been able to take some photos!).
On the flip side though I'm conflicted about even calling this a line of action figures since they're not articulated and marketed for display rather than play. And then there's the blank-eyes, is that cute or creepy? I'm never quite sure...
In any case, as I mentioned when I looked at the Spinworks Defenders of Berk figures, I'm a fan of the franchise (and a collector of figures with prostheses), so it was probably inevitable that I'd bring this figure home regardless of my thoughts on the line as a whole.
|In the box.|
|The back of the figure.|
|From the front.|
I have to say, for all time I spent debating whether or not to pick this figure up, he's really grown on me; I think I may find myself adding another from the line to keep him company soon. Possibly more than one - I've been thinking about giving the Lootcrate subscription box service a try, and they seem to include Funko figures fairly regularly (if you're a subscriber, how are you feeling about it?). We shall see!
Friday, October 17, 2014
|Hot Toys' Wolverine|
But a recent sale on some of the older figures over at Sideshow Toys happened to overlap with one of their free shipping periods, and that was enough to get me past the "But they're so expensive!" reaction and finally bring one of them home. That one being the tie-in from last year's The Wolverine - I'd been hoping to see other X-men characters at some point, but hey - a sale is a sale!
Even before getting to the figure I was impressed, because the box was almost a work of art on its own - and quite large as well (The toys are similar in size to standard Barbie dolls, or to Sideshow's own figure line, and yet the Hot Toys box is a good third larger than either of those).
Upon opening the box, I was struck by the number (and quality) of the accessories: in addition to the default outfit and stand there are five sets of hands (fists, open hands, weapon-holding hands, bone claws and metal claws) as well as extra shoes, trousers, wrist pieces, and an impressive sword and sheath.
|The figure and accessories.|
|The default outfit and stand.|
|A closer view of the face.|
The hands and torso are also very well sculpted and painted, and that impressed me almost more than the face since those are details that are frequently overlooked - I have a number of dolls and figures that are fantastically detailed in every way except the hands, so it was great to see that this line lives up to the hype in that sense.
|The extra hands.|
|With another layer of clothing removed.|
Amusingly, the metal claws are actually sharp!
Regardless of that issue though, this is still an impressive-looking doll with an impressive array of accessories, so I'm happy to have added him to my collection. Whether they're worth the retail price is a complicated one though (I wouldn't have bought this one if he hadn't been on sale), and I'm not sure that I'm going to feel any drive to pick up more Hot Toys figures in the future, but we'll see.
|He's glaring at you.|
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The Madame Alexander Travel Friends line appears to be the playline equivalent to their International Collection (which I have a couple of dolls from)- the dolls are the same size (7inches/18cm), and are intended to represent specific countries (currently represented are India, Kenya, Germany, China, Mexico, Ireland, France, Russia, and Italy). I was originally tempted to pick up more than one (for a while France, Kenya and India were all in my cart), but temperance prevailed, and I only bought one - "Namaste", the Indian doll (the others are similarly named: the French doll is "Bonjour", the Kenyan is "Jambo" and so on).
The packaging is colourful, but not particularly sturdy - my doll's box was crushed in the mail, and although obviously that's less of an issue for people who pick them up in person, it didn't make for much a first impression. Still, I can imagine that these would have quite a bit of shelf appeal since the doll is fully visible from inside the packaging.
|The box has a plastic window that makes up the front,|
top and part of the sides of the box.
|The back of the box.|
|Namaste can strike a variety of poses, but needs |
support to balance in most of them.
|A clearer view of the jointing: the marks on her upper legs are|
from the edges of the hinges from her knees - I can imagine
that they might easily poke through with play.
|The outfit is colourful, but a little challenging to get on and off (it's a bit tight|
at the waist). The metallic loops at the neck and arms are an attractive touch
but would rip easily with play (I nearly snagged one on the dolls thumb myself).
|Compared to one of the Madame Alexander International|
Collection line India dolls.
Despite not being as impressed by the joints as I'd expected based on the promotional photos, I think the doll is a solid playline alternative to Madame Alexander's shelf-dolls with similar themes. And while I wish the outfit was a little sturdier, I think this doll could easily share clothing with a variety of fashion dolls, so from a play perspective that's probably not the end of the world.
|Namaste in softer light.|
I'll be curious to see how the lighter and darker vinyls
of other dolls in this series look in owner photos, since
I found this doll to be more natural-looking than I'd
expected based on the sales photos.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
|Aveline with her pistol and whip.|
Back in late 2012/early 2013, I attempted to get through the entire Assassin's Creed series. I made it through 1, 2, Brotherhood, Liberation (I even bought the special edition PSVita for that one) and about a quarter of the way through Revelations, when the sameness of them all started to get to me. Still, I do still have a fondness for the player characters from those games, and while I see to have missed seeing the first series of figures when they were new (I'd have considered picking up Altaïr and Ezio if I had), on Monday I happened across the new series. Having not played AC3 or ACIV, I wasn't interested in the tie-ins for those, but since Aveline de Grandpré (the main character from Liberation) was on the shelf as well, she made her way into my shopping basket.
Before getting to the figure, I have to say that I'm impressed with the minimalist packaging for this line - too many figures come with ridiculous layers, but this one had the single card, a basic front + back of plastic and only a single tie-on. I appreciated that both in terms of ease of unboxing, and in terms of not having to throw out huge amounts of packaging for what's ultimately a fairly small toy.
|In the box.|
For a figure at this price point ($13USD), I was impressed with the amount of detail: the clothing is fantastically well sculpted and painted, and she comes with a variety of accessories including a hat, a whip, a pistol and a variety of blades. The figure has 11 points of articulation (although the hip movement is quite limited due to the outfit), and poses well. Her balance is less than ideal though - a stand would have been helpful for this one.
|With her machete and knife.|
Monday, October 6, 2014
|The "Bitter Cold" outfit|
A few weeks ago I ordered a pair of outfits during the one of Wilde Imagination's regular sales; The "Bitter Cold" outfit and the "Seeing Red" dress. Both items were on sale already, so that was an additional bonus.
As you might remember from my review of my Ellowyne Wilde line Lizette Spice, I liked the doll and her basic outfit, but didn't adore them, so I was curious to see what the non-basic outfits would be like.
The package arrived within two business days (as happened with the doll), so again I'm very impressed with their packing/shipping times. I wasn't home to open it up that early, but it's still solid service that's worth mentioning.
Upon coming home and picking up the box, the biggest surprise was the sheer size of it: the box for these two outfits was just as large as the one that had come when I ordered a doll!
|Look at the size of this box!|
|The second layer of packaging|
Within each of those was another box, this time the decorated Ellowyne Wilde-branded ones:
|The "Seeing Red" Dress box|
|Seeing Red Dress|
The Seeing Red dress is simple in style but is a lovely colour and a solid quality material. The dress portion isn't lined, but the top is. The buttons on the front are non-fuctional; the dress closes via a series of snaps up the back. Being a fairly simple piece of clothing, it's easy to get on the doll, and has a classic look:
|Lizette in the Seeing Red Dress|
The Bitter Cold outfit, containing more pieces, came in a larger inner-box (and one with a clear plastic window):
|The Bitter Cold outfit|
|The top adds too much bulk.|
I quite like the style of this outfit, but unfortunately the quality was hit-or-miss. The leggings on their own are fabulous: they're a nice quality material, an in-scale print and they're lined which is wonderful. On their own, they fit the doll perfectly. Unfortunately though, because this outfit's top is a leotard, there's extra bulk on the doll when the two pieces are worn together, and because of that it's near-impossible to get the leggings to close.
|The too-small left boot|
The boots were even more disappointing. the colour (a dark blue) goes perfectly with the colours in the leggings, and the style is an eye-catching one - lace-up high heels, slightly higher than ankle-length. Unfortunately though, the quality doesn't live up to the appearance. The first challenge was just getting the books on as the zippers on the backs are both weak and stick easily (I had a similar problem with the boots on my Tonner DW Martha Jones).
|The tip of the heel.|
Even after getting the zippers unzipped, only one of the boots went on as the right boot turned out to be too small for the doll's foot. And then to top it off, it turned out that the glue on right heel tip had started coming off, and the tip was hanging off of the boot. That's an easy one to fix at least!
All of that said, the coat didn't disappoint, and is a solid thickness, is nicely lined and has solid details. Still, with all of the other issues with this outfit, I'm very pleased that I didn't pay full price for it.
|The Bitter Cold outfit (minus the boots).|