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A Dapper Man's Toy Box

edited 2020-05-20 14:59:05 in Meatspace
There is love everywhere, I already know
I'm always a bit apprehensive about starting a new thread on here, since I let things go kind of easily. But I want to try my hand at all this toy-blogging nonsense and so here's my test run. Aside from that, even if I don't create a full-on toy blog, I really like using IJBM as a diary.

I would probably be less likely to create this blog if some of the toy blogs I followed still had stuff going on, but everybody's posts seem to have stalled.

I guess I'll use this first post as an index.

Post No.1 Capsule Chix - Sweet Circuits
Post No.2 Capsule Chix - Giga Glam
Post No.3 Capsule Chix - Ctrl+Alt+Magic
Post No.4 Capsule Chix - Sweet Circuits

(Also I've noticed that the forum software is replacing the subject of a url tag with a duplicate number if it's within a numbered list).

In addition, I've noticed that portrait pictures work much better around here in terms of not filling the whole page with an image, so I'll try to take more of those from now on!


  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

    I acquired a Capsule Chix doll... gacha machine thing. For my first one, I went with the Sweet Circuits collection. It was bigger than the boxes for my MCX American Girl sets, but contained much less. All of my capsules got stuck in the machine one way or another, and the doll I ended up with is very haphazard (every piece is randomized).

    For my first one, I went with the Sweet Circuits collection, because the box is pink and the Sweet Circuits Limited Edition is my favourite out of all the initial four limited editions.

    The first wave of Capsule Chix sets is made up of four lines; Sweet Circuits, Ctrl+Alt+Magic, Ram Rock and Giga Glam. In terms of concept, I like Giga Glam the most, and the Giga Glam LE looks like a V-Bird. In terms of execution, I find Sweet Circuits the most appealing, and I like Ram Rock well enough.

    Ctrl+Alt+Magic strikes me as something that is necessary in a way, but there are pieces from it I absolutely dread getting. I do like the color scheme though.

    Anyways, back to the issue at hand!


    She kind of looks like a candy robot streetwalker, but so did a lot of the best Bratz dolls (except they weren't robots). However, I don't think I can effectively say I've written them off just yet.

    I mean, I don't like how incredibly shiny the heads are. I held her up to one of my Off the Hook dolls and Off the Hook Jenni looked incredibly, wonderfully matte next to her.


    However, Jenni is also painfully static and this girl is wonderfully expressive. Before you ask, yes her hands are stuck like that until I get another.


    According to my guide/fashion magazine thing, the tights are supposed to be much darker.


    That would probably help dampen the racy factor of the outfit, but I actually kind of like them the more nude (well, they are, even if her skin is purple).

    Sustainability thread.

    So, the craze in toys lately has been blind-packaging. That is, you don't know what you get until you get it.

    However, this requires a lot of packaging. For example, most L.O.L. Surprise dolls come in a really weird ball with multiple compartments. In these compartments are smaller plastic PVC bags. That's twice the trash already.

    I have no idea why these hard-plastic containers are a thing, really. Oddly enough, more and more lines are starting to use them, like Hairdorables, which now come in a big reusable case (presumably to keep the scent on the scented series dolls in better?). There are 30+ Hairdorables across this line, which means... probably 70 "reusable" cases if you want to collect all of them.

    Which brings me to Capsule Chix, which are somehow worse than L.O.L. dolls. L.O.L.s come with one ball, Capsule Chix come with five capsules and a box with a giant hole in the front of the gacha machine for a plastic mechanism, in addition to even more plastic surrounding the capsules to keep them in place (which sucks at doing this). I really wonder why they don't just come in one giant capsule, since all the pieces are also in PVC bags!
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

    Today I opened my second Capsule Chix, this time from the Giga Glam collection.

    The first thing I noticed was that 4/5 of my Capsules were made from a different plastic (on the right), much more weak and flimsy.


    I'm guessing they realized making them all out of the good stuff was pointless, since you only need one for the stand.

    Anyways, this probably makes the recycling information on the website wrong, and the new stuff feels very thin. It's probably not recyclable.


    I got this combination of pieces. Decidedly more conservative with the tiered skirt and all. The top and skirt are actually two pieces from one complete look, according to pictures I've seen online. I didn't like the shirt when I saw it on the box, but that was because it was just the torso and not the sleeves. The sleeves make it work.

    I still don't like that the logo on the inner shirt is an ad for the toy company that makes these (Moose Toys), but Barbie clothing literally advertises properties unrelated to Mattel, so I guess it's okay?

    As you can see, I continue to have great luck in pulling terrible hand poses. I mean, I didn't even know this line had so many expressive, non-versatile hand poses until I started getting all of them.


    I put my two girls together and realized they were primed for, as Harune Aira would call it, a Pretty Remake!!


    I find that I enjoyed writing about this more than the surprise element of these. I don't like not having the time to build anticipation for what you buy and then examining it according to those expectations. I guess I'm not a surprise guy. It's only now that I'm truly chewing into my thoughts on what I got.
  • edited 2020-05-20 05:39:36
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

    I opened another Capsule Chix, this time from the Ctrl+Alt+Magic collection. Probably my least favourite collection out of the entire line. I've had (very mild) walking nightmares about accidentally getting the limited edition from this line, who is a mermaid. That means no legs, which limits the customization options.

    I guess since I mentioned it in the previous post; her capsules are the normal sort. In fact, I've looked at the two Capsule Chix I'm yet to open, and both have the normal sort of capsules too.

    I did get the dreaded "rare" fabric piece. I've had smaller dolls before, like Lil' Bratz, that were definitely built for fabric clothes. Capsule Chix fabric pants all appear to have one universally terrible cut, and the "tops" are a joke. So, luckily (?), I got a pair of pants.

    I had to remove her lower legs to even get them on, and even that was a challenge. So, here's Little Ms. Ctrl+Alt+Magic (name pending).


    I think she looks like a traveler. Maybe somebody whose settled in to their hotel and is about to embark on some package holiday through southern Europe. You can see I've already changed her shoes. She came with gladiator sandals, and those weren't going on with these pants on. I also gave her Wild Child's bag.


    The top I got came with these terrible wings, and in the guide I thought they were permanently attached. Thankfully they came off.

    I guess I should mention her giant unicorn horn. Not my favourite trend, but I don't absolutely hate it or anything.

    I finally got a normal pair of hands! They're... very splayed, but I can't complain now can I?


    Now she's very, very expressive. I also gave her Ctrl+Alt+Magic's shoes and bag.


    Wild Child hasn't changed much (aside from gaining her a name, specifically after this song)). I guess I've mainly decided she can go without a bag.

    I considered giving them normal names like human people have, but I've never been one to give my dolls "names". It seems trite. I mean, I named my teddy bear as a child, but he wasn't a toy, he was real.

    *Yes, that's her name, I know it sounds slightly creepy, but it stuck in my mind. I also realized that the song I linked to has a line that goes "Papa don't preach" but I swear I don't have some sort of Papa complex.
  • edited 2020-05-20 07:47:43
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    That "incredibly, wonderfully matte" Jenni looks way less creepy than this face design, I'd say.

    also lol unexpected unicorn horn

    also the catalogue colors never look the same
  • edited 2020-05-20 15:37:39
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    looks way less creepy than this face design

    Yeah, I'm not sure exactly what it is with Capsule Chix. Is it the shiny skin? Maybe it's the hyper-giant eyes that are even shinier than everything else?
    unexpected unicorn horn

    It's everywhere nowadays. From Barbie to L.O.L. to... probably Hairdorables, can't be sure.
    the catalogue colors never look the same

    Those depend on the collection. Sweet Circuits is pink, Ctrl+Alt+Magic is blue, Giga Glam is purple and Ram Rock is yellow. Shimmer Surge is uh... cyan, I guess? And HoloGlow is orange.

    But as for right now, let's start on yet another Sweet Circuits!



    This looks familiar somehow...

    Yup, I got the same hair as my first doll. And with that unsightly blue stain no less! Like salt to a wound.

    On the bright side, I basically knocked it out of the park in terms of Coordination completion. This contained not only the hair piece, but also the tights and skirt that go with this outfit. Mysteriously enough, it didn't contain the belt piece. I guess that may come with the top?

    I also got the shoes and bag that go with the top I got in my first Sweet Circuits set, and the head that goes with the miniskirt/tights from that doll too.


    Here the twins are. Unfortunately this hair is so big that there's just no way of any two characters who have it not being "twins". It completely overshadows the faces.

    The stripey white shirt with green sleeves is really, really ugly. I recognize it as the piece that was recolored for a Shimmer Surge girl whose complete look is also very ugly. It turns out, the original complete Sweet Circuits look it goes with is also (you guessed it!) quite ugly. It's odd I never noticed these things before the magic of blind box toys foisted it on me.

    All in all, these pieces don't go together at all.

    Time for a Re-Coordinate!

    (I'd keep using Pretty Remake!! but for goodness sakes I'm at least creative enough not to rip off idol anime from 9 years ago).


    It's Traveller from Ctrl+Alt+Magic looking like an idol during an encore! Or maybe just a trendy girl with an eclectic style.


    Here's Wild Child's twin in her Re-Coordination. It really helps to have the garish colors from the top muted by the jean capris. That doesn't mean I love the top, or the capris, but now I can stand them.

    I guess she's the Traveller now. I really do wonder how many times I'll end up naming these dolls, considering how often I remake them. I guess Ctrl+Alt+Magic is now Capsurujuku Street.


    Twins Traveller and Wild Child strike a final pose. Somehow the hands that gave me so much trouble before seem to work when they're not the only ones I have lying around.

    I do have a number of pictures of my Off the Hook dolls just lying around, so the next post will probably be a departure. I mean this is A Dapper Man's Toy Box, not A Dapper Man's Quest to Open All The Capsule Chix.

    Anyways, thanks for clearing up a few thoughts for the GMH. I've been drawn to Capsule Chix because of the articulation and interchangeable fashions, but I have always found the heads to be a bit much and I find the blind box element off-putting.

    Plus, I've personally always been more into dolls with more human or human-adjacent skin tones. It's probably why I liked Ever After High way more than I liked Monster High.

    I also don't really want to end up getting a Shimmer Surge doll set. I mean, I've almost pulled the trigger a couple of times, but buying one set where you'll always be guaranteed to get one specific doll but have a 1/3 chance of getting any of the Capsule B.O.T.s* isn't my cup of tea.

    I'll... probably be on this train a bit longer though. They're really fun otherwise. I find HoloGlow's Pre-Spring, Hollister-esque, Lacoste vibe really cool, especially combined with the translucent bits. I also need to get a Ram Rock just so I can say I've experienced the whole line.

    Anyways, if you think these faces are weird, wait till I get my hands on an L.O.L. Surprise! doll. In addition; as of right now I can confidently say I'm never buying a Hairdorables doll, but out of four possible faces, at least two Hairdorables faces look like they belong to serial killers. Obviously, they're also the most prominent ones in the whole line.

    *Boys on Trend...s (what, I didn't make it up).

    As a side note, I wanted to try doing stop motion with these, but they seem to be too small for anything resembling natural movement. That's a real big knock on me ever getting more.
  • edited 2020-05-21 13:03:14
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    This morning I woke up to see that the usual suspects on YouTube have already started getting the L.O.L. Surprise! Deluxe Present Surprise in. In all honesty, I don't care how many recycling partnerships MGA does with whoever, there's no way that the trash that thing generates for a single L.O.L. doll and pet is ever going to be fully recovered.

    The only real difference it has from a normal L.O.L. set, which is about four times smaller, is the packaging and giant bath bomb.

    This comes on the same day that images for a display of L.O.L. Boys series 3 comes out, but now I'm wondering if throwing my principles on the waste of hydrocarbons aside and buying any L.O.L. toys at all is a bad thing.



    Okay, now for some Off the Hook!

    These two dolls are from the first ever Off the Hook pack I opened. This is called the (deep breath) Off the Hook Concert Style BFF (Best Fashion Friends) Set, with Brooklyn (purple hair) and Alexis (red hair).

    Off the Hook dolls are made by Spin Master, who made (and have recently continued to make) my childhood love, Bakugan. They're a Canadian company that regularly churn out new, decent IPs. Off the Hook dolls came out in early 201...9? with a regular YouTube show of their very own which I frankly looked forward to probably more than anybody else on the planet.

    Unfortunately, even though Spin Master basically has amazing distribution where I live, these never came to a store anywhere near me, so I had to give up on my love for them and turn to other interests.

    (Love is a big word for some hunks of plastic, I know, but in all honesty otherwise I'd be lying).

    Anyways, the backstory for Off the Hook is that these six girls are mannequins who love fashion, which I always found cute. The first line of dolls came in various looks based on three themes; Spring Dance, Summer Vacay* and Concert. For example; here are all the Alexis looks in the first wave;


    They did each have a signature look, or at least a look that was used in the scant art-based promo materials for the line.


    I've been on a quest to collect all six of these in the sense that I sometimes remember I want to do this, but with nothing near any level of commitment.

    In case you're confused, Alexis' shorts here are under her fabric skirt on the real life doll. Same for Vivian. That confused me for the longest time...

    The dolls came in one packs known as Style Girl dolls and two packs known as Style BFF sets. There were also a few special releases:

    *A Style Studio with an exclusive Naia doll
    *An Amazon exclusive Off the Hook Style Girls set with an exclusive Naia doll. This doll is unlisted on the guide, but her outfit is present amongst all the different pieces you can get.

    There was probably also meant to be a second playset that was never released that came with a special Jenni doll in the vein of the Style Studio Naia. That never came to fruition.

    Off the Hook was meant to be a big IP, hence the YouTube series, and a large showing at Toy Fair that February that included showing off a second wave of dolls with three whole new themes.

    This never happened, because Off the Hook bombed. I mean, I'm not sure how big the bomb was, but I do know Spin Master had to write off a bunch of their girl's IP division. One of their best sellers, Hatchimals, also did abysmally that year. That is, to the point that Season 4 Hatchimals Collectibles minis are still available everywhere near you at a steep discount, but Off the Hook surely didn't help.

    This was slightly a good thing for me, because it meant a lot of Off the Hook is still in stock everywhere. When Amazon is desperate enough, the pieces they were foolish enough to overstock on (ie that exclusive) go from their MRSP of $30 to like, $6.

    However, this also means that scalpers who think people who care exist got a hold of some of the rarer dolls and crank up the prices... but only a bit, because there aren't many (I mean, if there's anybody but me that is).

    Oh wow, that's a giant diversion, back to the matter at hand!


    Here you can see the front and the back of the box. It's set up to appear like a store window, and all the paper art inside is masterfully cut from one piece of cardboard. I really love these boxes, but they're probably a big part of why the line failed. It's too dark an outline. The Summer Vacay and Spring Dance lines had very colorful inserts unlike the Concert line, but it didn't help much since it was still encased in all this black.

    As you can see, even these visible dolls come with a surprise element, because that's what's hip with the kid's, y'know!

    I also really like the little hangers on the top of the box. They're even stamped with the logo!


    Released from the box, you can see the way the art is cut and folded much better. The plastic tabs holding in everything come out with just a little push, but it does hurt your hands, and some can be stubborn. Best to try and cut around them without accidentally scratching anything.


    Here are the dolls freed from the box! In the artwork, they all look very young, but I quite like the mature, sassy expressions they have in the finished product. You don't really see this in kid's toys nowadays. At least, not without some softening features.

    What Brooklyn is wearing looks like a set of short overalls, but the pinks are slightly different, presumably to spur on further mixing and matching.

    Now, why is this doll line called Off the Hook? Well, because the head, torso, and legs all come apart. So do well... all the other parts, but these three parts are special because they have connectors that are shaped like hooks!

    As the commercial says; Hook? Off the Hook? Get it?

    Here's Brooklyn;


    And here's Alexis:


    You know, parents (and kids) probably found this really creepy, which is another reason it didn't do well. However, I find this sort of thing kind of fun, since it allows you to explore fashion in a different way... even if that is in a slightly disembodied way.

    Before I forget, the shoes in this line are really hit and miss with staying on. It's odd since they're a rubbery plastic that connects to the ankle like a socket.

    To help along in the fashion-forward process, they came with this handy guide to explain how they work. This includes, most importantly, how to put bags on their hands.


    It's quite thorough.

    The surprises that come in the various shopping-item-storage-things were two backpacks, a pair of sneakers and a pair of sunglasses.


    These storage items are, hilariously enough, a pain to store, and they start taking up as much space as the dolls however you choose to do so. I do prefer them to throwaway items like L.O.L. balls, and they can be useful for taking pictures. Unlike other doll lines, all the surprises were kept hidden by stripey green crepe paper, and not an avalanche of tiny plastic bags.


    The girls pose for a fashion magazine. Or maybe, they're mannequins at Hot Topic this week! How did this not catch on??? Overall, with this line, I think Brooklyn is my favorite character, followed by Vivian. Though in all this time collecting them, I find myself with a soft spot for Alexis too. I like her short hair, and I like when you accidentally put her bangs on wrong.

    Now, to address the main thing about this set. These girls are headed to a concert, yet it actually seems more likely that they're headed to an emo cat convention. What's with all the cats, man? Brooklyn's romper, Alexis' sweater, Brooklyn's socks, Alexis' boots, the translucent green shopping bag, the pink backpack the translucent purple shoe box, even the surprise platform sneakers that come in it! Everything is so cat themed!

    This. Is. Excessive.

    Overall, there's enough variation that the cat theme doesn't just rise up out of the concept and scratch you in the face, but it's a lot to look at without any variation.

    Thankfully, there's a lot of variation to come! Next time I'll look at the individual Style Girls doll packs.

    1*Phrasing Spin Master can't seem to stop reusing, I'm pretty sure Spin Master's overuse of the definitely not a word "Vacay" has been going on since their La Dee Da doll line.
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