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A Dapper Man's Toy Box

edited 2020-07-27 05:42:07 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'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!


  • edited 2020-07-09 05:23:55
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

    I acquired a Capsule Chix doll... gacha machine thing.

  • edited 2020-07-09 05:24:15
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

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

  • edited 2020-07-09 05:24:37
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Original post.

    I opened another Capsule Chix, this time from the Ctrl+Alt+Magic collection.

  • 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 2020-07-09 05:25:08
    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!
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:25:29
    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.

  • edited 2020-07-09 05:25:49
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Today I'll be taking a look at some of the single packs released in the Off the Hook collection; the Off the Hook Style Girls!
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:26:11
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Anyways, this is the Vivian known for the "I'm heartbroken it's not ice-cream!" meme. A meme known possibly entirely by myself. I'll link it later.

    Here's the exchange. It always cracks me up.

    This episode also conveniently begins with a short look at the Style BFF Concert Mila and Naia pack.

    Moving on...


    What's this doing here?
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    is it bad that when I saw this I thought of the Arpeggio of Blue Steel character that looks like him
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:26:35
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    They do look eerily similar. The hair, the green sleeveless tee, the translucent goggles... huh.

    L.O.L. Surprise Boys Series 3 comes out late this month (after my birthday, of course), and that's something I'm both excited and apprehensive about. Unlike the first two series, this one ups the number of available boys from 9 to 12, which means you have an even greater chance of getting multiples of the most common one as you look for the one you want.

    Now, for another sort of boy:

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    When you take his plastic holding cell out of the box, you can see that it's entirely usable as a shadow box, except there's no way you're ever using branded product stuff with warnings on front for pictures and it's too flimsy for display.
    Looks like a box I would keep and plan to repaint to my liking except I'd never get around to doing it so the box would just sit there forever.
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:27:01
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Let's do something a bit more typical for this thread, some Off the Hook!


    Huh, wonder what this'll be...
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:27:28
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    There'll be some L.O.L. stuff coming soon. Like, finally. I don't think it'll be very positive, but I feel I had to do at least some L.O.L. here if I wanted to give this thread legitimacy as a toy thread.

    There's been a flurry of new releases over this month, but nothing I'm too interested in. However, there was news on something I've been curious about for a while, but that'll probably come up much later in the year.

    On to today's project!
  • edited 2020-07-11 16:14:03
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Ahhh, I really wanted to do stuff that's not MCX American Girl but I promised. A Dapper Man must always stick to his promises.

  • [url="blob:null/13b8fdae-b448-4835-ac58-15bce0cdf1e2"]this weird face/expression/whatever[/url]

    It's broken.

    Also, from the inappropriate Playmobil stuff:
    Gnomes [...] send you stalkerish postcards from wherever they travel.

    I thought this was a reference to the Amélie Poulain film but then TIL about gnoming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_gnome
  • edited 2020-06-23 05:47:16
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I fixed the image. I also added an illustrative example of Bratz Princess (it's where the party's rockin' out, donchya kno).

    There's a Playmobil figure I've been eying for a while now, but I'm not sure if I'd be getting him for my own novelty or just to put him in the thread. It's probably a mix of both, but by golly is he costly for a single Playmobil.


    Anyways, this post isn't about Playmobil! I was all pumped this morning to get to L.O.L. Surprise! when I realized I'd said;
    There's actually a bit of my MCAG collection left out of this post, but I think I'll continue later.

    So, gosh darn it all, let's do this:


    Today I'll actually be looking at two things; a single MCAG figure and an MCAG set. I won't delve too deeply into the set, but it'll be here providing background.

    The set is Isabelle's Dance Studio!


    In the American Girl World, Isabelle is one of the modern Girls of the Year (I actually almost abbreviated this and left it so as if anybody would understand what I meant). She's a dancer that attends a performing arts school linked to the Hart Dance company, whose poster you can see in the background here.

    This set has two main features; a really fancy piano with an innovative build and a ballet barre in front of some mirrors. The mirrors reflect beautifully, if I do say so myself. Toy mirrors are rarely this good.

    It also has a smaller build featuring a small bookshelf and music station, where Isabelle has placed her smartphone.

    With that out the way, let's look at Isabelle.


    Isabelle wears a hot salmon pink (surely that's a color) short dress with a Hart Dance Company logo on it. The print on the logo is practically microscopic but done perfectly, so kudos to MCX for that. I mentioned earlier that I hate this skirt mold (it's the one Whiskers came with in blue), but I think it works well here.

    Underneath that she's wearing white tights, which are probably meant to represent a full leotard, and gold Standard Issue MCAG shoes that are surely meant to be ballet flats instead.

    Standing next to Connie, who shares basically everything not eye color and lip stain, they still somehow don't look very samey. I quite like that.


    As I mentioned earlier, they also have the same hair piece, but Isabelle's has a pinkish-purple hombre dip-dye effect at the tips. Whilst on the topic, I don't know of any dolls that share Luciana's hairpiece in her same color but without her signature purple streak, but I'll be on the lookout for them.

    Interlude: I propose we change Whiskers name to something else, since she's not a cat. There aren't any decent girls names that start with W that come to mind, so I propose Heather.

    These aren't names I intend to use myself with the dolls, but they do have to be called something vaguely normal in the context of these reviews.


    Just in time for that, here's Heather playing the piano for Isabelle as she practices at the barre. When you say Squad Goals, I say; "American Girl!"


    Like all MCAG sets, this set came with a booklet that was half instruction booklet and half inspirational guide. It's basically a Pinterest board version of a LEGO Friends manual. It's also bound like a real book, which I think is really cool (only really big LEGO Friends sets came with such binding, and it was much looser).

    Unlike LEGO Friends, these booklets are filled with information about each girl's interests. For some reason, Lanie's has a three paragraph explanation of what a camper van chassis is. They also are very frank about what could go wrong or how extremely hard you'll have to press down to get things to stick together.

    I wonder if this was a recipe for success or exactly why this brand didn't stick around.


    There's also a picture of all the other MCAG sets I want to raid my bank accounts for.


    Here are all my American Girls that came in a set. They're the only ones that come in these sleeveless jackets. Luciana is probably my only American Girl doll, including Ashlyn, who doesn't come in the standard shoe mold.


    The party expands to include all my MCAG dolls!

    Every time characters gather around a piano like this I think of the finale song from High School Musical 2; Everyday. I hate that song, but I have a pretty decent recollection of it because I've seen that movie about 52 times.

    There's another new face here on the far left. She's also from series 1, and even though she's also a DRC she probably can't be named "Connie". Rachel it is then!

    Rachel is wearing a pastel pink tee with hot pink detailing that includes the word "LOVE", along with a grey skirt and purple belt. I'd say this a pretty preppy look.

    She also has the Standard Issue MCAG shoes (SIMCAGS? oh my gosh it's a word!), this time in purple.


    Rachel comes with the much-derided (by me <_<) skirt in a lighter blue than Whisker's Heather's.


    Rachel and Lanie also share a hair piece.

    So there you have it, a bit more of the MCAG world! Man, these reviews make me itch for more, but these sets are starting to get pricey everywhere I look. I'd like to set a challenge for myself, like "Just at least do the Bratz Princess custom", but even that'd be hard to pull of logistically (I'd need four more crown hair pieces at least plus Ashlyn's).

    However, I should say that at least in me, these inspire a lot more imagination than something like Capsule Chix. I'd say that's probably because they are so gimmick neutral.

    I guess I'll have to give it a serious think...
  • edited 2020-07-17 06:29:21
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    This (pseudo) blog is quickly becoming a constant pipeline operation. There's things I got a few weeks ago to go with Overwatch Lucio that are kind of just sitting around waiting for me to stop being so danged lazy and get 'round to them.

    I've never directly worked in a role where there's a strong lead time and it's entirely my responsibility, so it's actually kind of interesting and motivating in that way.

    With that out the way, let's begin!


    Now that I'm well and truly done with my current American Girl collection, we can move on to L.O.L. Surprise!

  • edited 2020-07-17 06:29:57
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've updated the above post with links and edited some parts for clarity.

    Ah, trivia...

    Moving on!

    This post might as well have been called "Why Dapper Dudes should take their own advice.", or, alternatively, "Why Gachapon is bad and ruins your life." But we'll get to that later. Today we'll be taking a look at the L.O.L. Surprise Boys of both Series 1 and 2.

    Series 3 of this line has just hit market, so I see no better time to delve into the history of this now gigantic mega-franchise.

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    The balls suddenly made me think of Touhou fanart where in Kisume has all the modern conveniences of life in her bucket.

    Why a baby bottle? lol. or are they supposed to be cool teenage boys but also endearing?
  • edited 2020-06-27 06:27:13
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    They're supposed to be literal babies, but it gets confusing when there are also literal babies in the form of Lils. It becomes clearer once O.M.G.s are involved (they're like 7x the size of a normal B.B.).

    Now, on to the Next Stage!


    Right now, there's going to be a bit of focus on a Spanish toy company called MagicBox Toys. It's not like all my posts from here on out will be about them, but there's quite a bit of their stuff I want to look into right now. Especially with how well this first try went.

    I'd seen some MagicBox products before, but it was in passing I'd just put them into the category of "10p toys", long before the surprise toy boom hit. Mainly Zomlings, which were tiny zombie people of every stripe they could think of. I don't like that sort of stuff, so I ignored it.

    "10p toys" is a British term, and somehow it's the only one I've found exists. "Impulse buys" seems too general, and it also covers things where the cutoff point is 10GBP/$10.

    One day I was walking through a store and I came across a line called SuperZings. They were, well, exactly like Shopkins, except they were various anthropomorphized inanimate object that were super heroes and super villains. I found the concept novel, and I purchased one or two of the cheap, smaller impulse toys that fell under the "10p toys" label. I liked the plastic they were made of, but I quickly moved on.

    However, I did end up looking at MagicBox's website, where I found out about...


    Star Monsters! This is the Star Monsters Multi-Pack.

    I think even by the time I found out about these in 2017 or so, they were on the outs. This specific set is from the first series out of two. In fact, there's only one reason I remembered these but this post isn't about that.

    The story with Star Monsters is that some mysterious rounded triangle shapes fall from space, combine with typical Earthly things, and then they're like.. everywhere. And they can become your pocket friends (because they've very tiny).


    As is typical for this sort of line, there are about a hundred Star Monsters per Series. They have different elemental powers, different rarities, and different power levels. When a Star Monster first 'forms', it's a white "Essential" blob, and up to three colors can emerge from that Essential version. Those base forms can then evolve. In the second series, they could even combine!

    I was instantly endeared to these when I found out about them, but they weren't really distributed very widely.


    This set contains one Essential monster, two typical monsters, one "Evolution 1" monster (there are two levels in Series 1, possibly more in Series 2) and a Rare Gold/Silver monster in a Mini Capsule.


    My Essential monster is Helmut, the helmet Star Monster (I think Helmut is also a real human name?). My typical Star Monsters are the "Sorry, your Amazon package is now an Alien" Pakeji and... the... uh... demon?? Star Monster, Akuma. According to the online guide, Akuma is a "laboratory funnel" Star Monster, so... yeah.

    My Evolved monster is Jumpono, who evolves from Jumpo. According to the guide, Jumpo "Collided with a mailbox close to a seaport."

    Sure, MagicBox, sure.


    Here's my Mini Capsule. The gold on this thing is intense. Like, very very gold. It's a wonderful color and paint effect.


    Inside was Bagger, the gold bag Star Monster... eyup. These things are just intensely weird, but it's the sort of weird I like. The whole aesthetic is very clean and sterile, so you can take it in for what it is rather than being distracted by some off-putting gross aspects.

    When I first saw these online all those years ago, I assumed they would be made of a soft plastic. Actually, they're made of a very hard plastic that feels like it would be brittle if it were thinner. I quite like that.


    I'm glad I was able to save this cardboard panel. It's almost like a game board. If Star Monsters ever got their own TV anime, I'd assume the game panel would look like this.




    When you wish upon a star,
    Your dreams can take you far,
    Soon all your troubles will be gone,


    I guess since she appears here I should explain; I opened my second MCAG Whiskers and switched her hair with Rachel's, and renamed her Isla. I feel like I've started some weird thing where I now have to get five more Whiskers and name them Sara, Kaylene, Emerly, Rina and Sharon, respectively.

    So, there you have it! Star Monsters. A fun little part of recent toy history.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    It seems that this Christmas season will be one of the last for the miniature surprise toy boom. Of course, we have more L.O.L. in the form of Remix, and Shopkins is still trying to exist, and Spin Master did indeed show of yet another collection of Hatchimals Colleggtibles at Toy Fair.

    However, L.O.L. is releasing two, possibly three whole collections of O.M.G. Fashion dolls, MGA is leveraging the Poopsie brand from rainbow slime pooping unicorns (it's quite disturbing) to the 12" fashion doll via "Rainbow High", Moose Toys (Moose Toys! is releasing their own surprise fashion doll line called "#FailFix", and of course Barbie Color Reveal dolls continue to be sold out everywhere.

    Looking at all of this, I can't help but feel slightly nostalgic.

    In all honesty? Good riddance to the whole surprise toy thing.

    On to today's toy of record:


    I've been eyeing this figure probably since it was released, because I thought it was pretty cool.

    And in his TV show, he becomes quite... Miraculous!

    (There's a better version of this song with French artists but this is the one that's most iconic to me).


    It's Adrien from Miraculous!, that TV show that continues to truck on seemingly entirely based on tumblr fans.

    I don't know much about Miraculous, aside from that it's about a girl named Marinette who transforms into a magical jumpsuit-clad Ladybug. In said show, the boy she likes is called Adrien, and he transforms into a leather catsuit boy. I'm quite taken aback by the fact that a teenage boy transforms into a catboy in a leather suit. It's like one of the creative staff is getting away with something inappropriate, but maybe that's just me.

    As Miraculous has gone on, more and more characters have gained the ability to transform into people in animal jumpsuits, including a turtle I think. Zagtoon, the company behind the series, is now trying to leverage the series into it's own branding called "Zag Heroes", with a new even more toy focused property called Power Players with action figures by Playmates.

    The Miraculous action figures are by Bandai, who uh... they do okay with action figures, I'd say. I used to have two figures from their Ben 10 line when I was very young and they were just okay? I saw their Power Rangers figures during the Samurai-Ninja Steel era and they were always innacurate with the Rangers looking like body builders for some reason. Like, reuse the Sentai molds man!

    Hilariously enough, like ZAG, Bandai lost the Ben 10 license to Playmates.

    I know these aren't collector grade, and Hasbro has made a lot worse in recent years, but I'd never give Bandai top marks for any of their Western ventures. Even their collector grade figures look kind of off, the new Anime Heroes Naruto figures all seem to have very chalky faces...

    As for the packaging here, I quite like how the front kind of looks like an old lock because of the proportions, though that did contribute to the box getting crushed.


    On the front, you have Adrien looking super-cheeky and slightly agressive as his magical cat jumpsuit form; Cat Noir. I guess they couldn't go with Black Cat cause there's already a bishounen anime Black Cat. I like the odd detailing on his staff with the green cat paw, it's cute.

    On the back, you have Adrien looking slightly humble and cutesy in his everyday look over the Paris skyline.


    Here he is in the box.


    Here are the other figures available in the line. There's heroine Marinette in this ill-advised getup, and her super hero form Miraculous Ladybug too. There's also Adrien's super form, Cat Noir. This outfit is insane. He even has a cat bell choker!

    I dunno, maybe he also sort of looks like a super-spy.

    I think, aside from these, there's also two reverse looks available from an opposite day episode (or maybe a whole story arc?); with Adrien as Miraculous and Marinette as Cat. There were also a few fashion dolls in 10" scale.


    Here's Adrien in his plastic holding cell. Pleased to say it was easy enough getting him out.


    He comes with two accessories, both made of the same translucent black plastic. I like the accessories themselves, but the choice of material is odd to me. One accessory is a camera, and the other is a shoulder bag.

    One of the three episodes of this show I've seen involved the resident mean girl, Chloe (who may or may not have an action figure I suddenly remember), took over a weather girl role or something. It's possible that Adrien is studying to be a journalist, but I wouldn't really know.

    The shoulder bag strap does not detach from the main bag, and the whole thing is very rigid. As a result, he can only hold the bag on one shoulder and not cross-body. It can be pulled over his head, but it gets stuck in his hair and juts out diagonally.

    It also doesn't stay on at all one shoulder.


    Here's Adrien from the front. He looks very thoughtful, like he's just realized he left something burning in the oven.

    He's wearing a black T-shirt with three multicolored stripes across the chest area, under a plain white short-sleeved shirt. It's a very cool, simple look.

    He's also wearing a pair of blue jeans and a pair of red and white converse.


    I like the paint job effect on the material his jeans are molded from. It's very chromey and shiny. It's completely unrealistic, but it's super cool.

    I like that they kept the black ring detail from the show on his finger, as throwaway as it is at least they remembered.


    Here he is from the back. As you can see, his has a very defined upper torso and a less defined pair of legs. Luckily they teeter on the right side of spindly for me.


    It occurred to me whilst testing out his articulation that I probably need some scale furniture so this ridiculous pose never happens again.

    He has double-jointed-ish knees, and his feet swivel around to help you find him some balance (it's easily found). His elbows have a clickey sort of articulation, but they move well enough.

    Now, for the whole reason I got him!


    I was just browsing Amazon thinking "Wouldn't it be cute if I had a rambunctious teen boy to interview all of my action figures?"

    What I didn't realize then is the insurmountable scale difference.

    "Hey Adrien, what's up? You're here to interview me -the Great Lucio!- right?"
    "What's wrong, Adrien?"

    "I didn't..."
    "You were so short..."

    The scale difference was a real shock, but not so much that they can't inhabit the same world. Maybe Adrien is just a really tall teenager.

    Either way, thanks Hasbro. Or Bandai. Whichever one of you did this.


    The interview goes on...


    And a profile pic for Lucio.


    "I'm late for school! Again!"

    Anyways, I quite like Adrien. Even with some of the flaws -mainly the accessory material- I think he's a good representation of bishounen in action figure form. I probably won't be getting any more from this line, unless I find his catsuit form for a reasonable price.

    Catsuit Adrien is the only figure from this line that is sold out from all primary sellers everywhere. Speculating on reasons why makes me worry a little.
  • edited 2020-07-04 12:44:10
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've recently had to take a look at my prospective review list and balked at my own folly; it's gigantic, and most of the stuff isn't even really of record.

    Given recent goings on, I haven't really been as focused on this as I should be. I have been writing, but yesterday I lazed out on that too.

    First, an update; a while ago I opened up my Playmobil Everdreamerz Edwina.


    She doesn't look stoned or anything, which I guess is a plus but I'd sort of built up the idea of it in my head. Anyways, her base hair is the exact same style as Starleen's. That means they can switch parts.


    I don't know if I like the non-monochrome looks at all, but they're a possibility.

    Anyways, let's keep this thought-train hitched to the Playmobil!


    Playmobil's product range spans a lot of various concepts and price-points, most random and often not repeated. However, this line is 16 collections strong!


    These are the Playmobil Boys Series 15 packs! Much like L.O.L. Boys, they're some dude figures packed in a blind fashion. These cost about 80% less than L.O.L. Boys at retail, and in some respects are much more inventive.

    From this collection of figures, I really wanted to get the hippie. He has such good style.

    The bag is meant to be cut from the top with scissors, but you can also just open the bottom.


    Here's what my first one looked like. I wasn't entirely sure who this was to start with, but it should be clear if you pay enough attention.


    The pack came with a checklist, which included building instructions. I was kind of confused as to how this works, but it became clear once I started building.


    The back of the checklist recommends turning your perfectly decent figures into a Scottish grasshopper monstrosity.


    See, you're supposed to put this holding piece in. This is basically the whole structure of the figure. When you first insert the arms into the upper torso, they're very floppy. As soon as you stick the torso on this structure, they gain their standard Playmobil mobility.

    I have no idea how this works for the fashion change body ala EverDreamerz, since they don't have the inner structure as they don't connect to their bottom halves like this.

    Looking at the checklist again, I wouldn't mind having the Rugby Player and Hipster Lumberjack either.


    Ohey, it's the cowboy! Not exactly a must-have, but he's a pretty good find. I quite like the print on his shirt.

    Also, all Playmobil figures with weapons look deranged, so that's always a good thing.

    It's really hard to get Playmobil hair on, but somehow if you just try for long enough it slots in. It fits really nicely.

    On to the next one!




    Hot dangety this can't be happening again. I only got two of these! Is this some sort of joke from the Toy Gods?

    Am I just destined to get as many cowboys as possible?


    The Cowboy Twins. I really like the cowhide print on their jackets. I mean, these might just be printed details, but they're pretty nice.


    Oddly enough, the Cowboy figures totally pull the EverDreamerz into the world of rootin'-tootin' high falutin' action!



    See, Edwina's getting really into it.

    I like how customizable these are, but I still prefer figures with separate clothing to some extent. Just an aesthetic thing I guess.


    One of the Cowboy Twins considers trying his luck with Edwina. Ah, romance in the wild west~

    "Cowboy and Candy Princess" is probably the real premise to a kindle book aimed at divorcees somewhere.


    You know, even if the Toy Gods apparently think Eternal Cowboy Fourteenwings is funny, I quite like these figures. They're very cheap as per MRSP, and they have really nicely printed details. You can also mix and match them with basically every other Playmobil figure out there, though that's limited by body type.

    Plus, I will always be a fan of Deranged Weapon Playmobil Guys.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    Scottish Vampire Grasshopper
  • edited 2020-07-06 13:54:17
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    See? This is exactly why we shouldn't let them ever remake Highlander.

    This is kind of funny, but I genuinely was about to give up on this whole project for a few days. However, going by what I said a few minutes ago, I'm going to try and Walk The Walk (and MAKE IT POP! as an independent chico -google it-).

    I've had some big posts I wanted to make. There's a specific line I wanted to do an "evolution" post on, and another where I wanted to do a Completely Unbiased Versus post, but like... $ink.

    Eh, let's do a low cost post!


    As you might have guessed, this is my long-delayed Off the Hook Collection Overview! Sadly, this'll probably be my last ever Off the Hook post, unless I go right mad and just get everything I don't have.


    It was kind of hard to remember each of the signature looks, so it was good that I had about a thousand lookbooks to help out.

    These are my Concert girls. Limited Variant Signature Naia, BFF Style Naia and Naia, BFF style Brooklyn and Alexis, and Signature Jenni.

    Concert is probably one of the most varied collections, because a lot of the looks are distinctive and therefore don't go together. The looks that evoke leather and jeans are very different from the ones that go with spandex and metallics.

    Put on the spot, I find I don't have a favorite look in this whole collection, but I like Brooklyn's romper and Alexis' sweater. I dislike Brooklyn's shoes and Alexis' skirt, but that pack wins the day easily.


    My Spring Dance collection, consisting of Style BFFs Brooklyn and Alexis (again?), as well as two Signature Brooklyns. One is in her Signature outfit, whilst the other is in her Super Secret Fashion Surprise look. The shoes she's wearing are from the Concert Style BFFs Brooklyn and Alexis pack.

    I think Spring Dance is a really cool collection, even with all the shedding glitter. People complain a lot about glitter shedding, and I always just thought it was one of those faux things, but it's true; glitter gets everywhere.

    It was actually kind of hard to pick a favourite, but I'll go with Signature Brooklyn. Her confusing socks-and-sandals or mini-boots really make the look.

    I always wanted to get the Spring Dance Style BFFs Jenni and Mila set, because it had two looks that went with the Alexis look here, but despite being the most prominent set around release it has now completely disappeared from anywhere with reasonable pricing.


    My Summer Vacay collection. No matter what, the summery collection of a fashion line will always be my favorite, so here we are.

    This collection is almost entirely Vivian, save for one Mila. From left to right; we have SIgnature Vivian, Style BFFs Mila and Vivian, as well as Super Secret Fashion Surprise Look Signature Vivian. The Vivian I have in the Fashion Surprise look has an issue in her head with how the neck joint works. It's annoying, but it happens once in a while. It'd have bothered me a lot if I was a kid who had spent all my allowance on this set though.

    I think because summer is all colours and nonsense, there's very little that doesn't work. I'm still not a fan of the overskirts all the Style Girls dolls in this line come in, but for Vivian it's doing a lot of work hiding that skirt mold I dislike. I really love Signature Vivian's nautical top, so she easily wins the day here.


    I know it must feel like whiplash after looking at so many Vivians, but the character I have the most of is actually Brooklyn. I love me a good Brooklyn. As I mentioned before, she photographs really well, and I just love her overall character style.


    Here are all the Super Special Fashion Surprises that came with all my Style Girls dolls, as well as the Signature looks I wasn't using.

    They're mainly wearing shoes from the Style BFFs sets. It was really clever to do that, but what wasn't clever was not including extra heads anywhere in the line.


    Here are all my shoeboxes from the Style BFF sets. I like the plain colored ones a lot, but the translucent ones are pretty cool too. I didn't realize they were both the same purple till I put them next to each other.

    I like the kitty print one more than the hearts one. The heart print looks really juvenile. I do really like how these are hinged, rather than just lift-off. It's cool, if not exactly realistic.


    The hatboxes from the Style BFF sets. All of them are plain and glittery except the one with the dotted ladybug-esque pattern. I think they would have all benefited from the printing. Maybe a stripe on one at least?


    My shopping bags. Most of these are printed, and some translucent. Others are even feature hombre paintwork. These aren't a hard plastic like the shoe and hat boxes. They're an almost rubbery plastic, but it's really solid. A few were crushed in the box for too long, so they're stuck in a permanent flux state.

    I like the green translucent kitty one the most. The ones in the back row have no printed features.


    My hat collection. Half of these are the same mold, but they're all different enough. There's also a flower crown, which is super cute but super glittery. It sheds like nobody's business.

    My favourite hat is the pink one made out to seem like it was made of straw. It's from the Summer Vacay Style BFFs Vivian and Mila set.


    Bag collection. This has a lot of great pieces, but also some really weird ones. I don't like the lip bag, it's a bit much for me. The star bag is also just really generic.

    I quite like the translucent heart bag. The glitter is actually embedded in the plastic, so it doesn't shed. I absolutely love the sea-themed bucket bag. It's also from the Summer Vacay Style BFFs Vivian and Mila set. I mean, if there's one Off the Hook set to have, it's that one.


    Backpacks and sunglasses, as well as a stray hairband. The sunglasses and hairband do not stay on well at all, but they're cute enough that I'd feel bad getting rid of them. The kitty backpacks are exactly the same, as I mentioned a while ago, aside from the print on the front pocket.

    I really like the pink flower-themed glasses in front. They're super cool.

    Off the Hook is my favorite line, but I do think the over-reliance of storage items in the Style BFFs sets is a weakness. It's a storage space hazard, considering these things take up more space than the dolls themselves.

    I say that, but they do allow you to create lots of cool accessories-only shots. It adds a whole other dimension to it all, albeit an unnecessary one.


    Summer Vacay! All you need for your savvy "no I generally just exist with absolutely perfect make-up" instagram moments on the beach.


    Spring Dance! Hashtag Prom Goals.


    Concert! Featuring the beanie tower. For when one Hot Topic isn't enough (sorry, this is the only joke I have).


    And one for the more discerning emo BFFs.

    A bonus and a burden at the same time, I'd say.

    So, unlike a lot of it's contemporaries, Off the Hook is a line with a lot of layers. I'd like to say I foresaw this, and it's why it's my favorite modern toy line, but I just really liked the dolls man.

    And with that, I think I've documented quite enough Off the Hook.

    Final Tally:
    Signature Looks: 3/6. Maybe 3.5/6 or 4/7.
    Style Girls: 6 Total, 4 Unique
    Style BFFs Sets:4, for a total of 8 dolls

    Good run, I'd say.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I am not entirely sure why there are L.O.L. Surprise Toku now, but there are. ie When you're a super cute B.B. but also a Gundam.


    These are the L.O.L. Surprise Arcade Heroes. I'm a fan.

    Anyways, let's hitch our wagons to a familiar friend!


    There are no cowboys this time! I checked.


    This is the Playmobil Boys Series 16! The latest series from this line. I hope there are more in the future.

    For some reason, after I bought all of these at quite reasonable prices, they all kind of went AWOL. Though I don't know if I really ever want to get more anyways.

    In this collection, there are a few I kind of wanted to get. My main focus though was on the hairstylist guy, because he is super adorable.

    Let's get started!


    Huh, doesn't look like a hairdresser to me. At least it isn't a cowboy again.


    It's a bellboy! Ain't he dapper, huh? His legs are an entirely different mold from different Playmobil legs; they taper off in the front and back, presumably to present his snappy dress style in more detail.

    He has a nice suitcase to cart off, but not it's owner. I guess they'd be sold separately!


    Here's the checklist for this series. Rather than suggesting you create your own Scottish Grasshopper demon, there's just a literal fire demon. Cutting out the middleman, you see?

    I'd like to get the trickster with his West Side Story esque locks, or the frankly slightly scary bear survivalist man. He's cool.


    Here's the bellboy with his hat. Looking very professional now.

    Moving on!


    No way no way no way.

    Were all my bad pulls leading to this very moment? Have the toy gods finally moved on to messing with somebody else? Either way, here we are!


    It's Mr. Hairdresser! Ready to give you the look you don't want, but surely need.

    If you can see from the checklist, his look is actually less conservative in real life since it cuts out his pink undershirt. Hero of the heavage, this guy.

    I know his hair mold is fairly typical for Playmobil, but I really like how it's swept to one side. Very dramatic.


    His belt is really cool, allowing you to hold a pair of scissors in the back. Probably not a good place for scissors, but maybe he's careful.

    The scissors also don't really like to stay in the belt, but it works well enough.


    This time around, the guide suggests you create a German knight fire demon who moonlights as a hairdresser. I guess Mr. Hairdresser has some deadly competition in town...

    I think these figures remain very cool, despite seeming like so little on the surface.

    But we won't stop there for today! Continuing with the Playmobil theme, we have...


    It's another EverDreamerz set! This time, it's Clare. Clare is the thoughtful, considerate EverDreamer, which is a fancy way of saying she's the blue one.


    As is typical with these boxes, you rip away the perforation at the line and on the left side of the box both in front and in the back and release the inner packaging.

    It's kind of pointless, since there's also some very super-strength tape at the top and bottom you have to cut away, but the cool kids probably like it.


    The front and back of the inner box. The back is completely blank, whilst the front advertises this "magical amulet" thing as well as an orange perforated tab.


    I've never been able to get this piece of cardboard out without ruining it, so it clearly isn't magic enough.


    The orange tab slits back into the top of the box, as you can see on the right. On the left you can see the whole shebang opened up. The magic amulet is pointless andbasically just sits there and taunts your lack of frailty in pulling at it.


    Inside the pink candy striped box, which I managed to not ruin by only pulling at once side and then promptly closing back up again, were the usual guide and one of Clare's plastic bags.

    When I opened up Edwina by myself without taking pictures, I kind of felt like a jerk since she has probably the best bags of the whole line; they're a nice gold colour. To be fair, I didn't know the bags varied.


    Inside the first bag was Clare's bracelet and a few charms, including her exclusive donut charm.


    Here's the bracelet all put together.


    Moving on to the inside of the box, there are two more candy striped surprise boxes as well as two compartments in the right side.


    This is what was inside the first box. A sticker of Clare and her alpaca as well as the illustrious alpaca.

    I avoided looking into the surprises that came with these, and I was immensely excited for Clare's alpaca. The size is kind of disappointing in that context, but it's about the same size as the other pets.


    The box on the right contained Clare herself, as well as her foil character card. Clare's skirt does not come off, unlike the other dolls, presumably because it's so tiny.


    Clare is wearing a blue jacket with bouffant sleeves, as well as a pair of blue bike shorts under a short skirt. The shorts and skirt share a candy sprinkle print.

    I don't like how the print on Clare's arms looks. It's supposed to replicate the frills of CG Clare, but it actually looks like she has two matching blueberry marshmallow tattoos on either arm.

    I do love how shiny and pearlescent her hair is though.

    I have to admit now that I no longer remember what came in the first compartment, it was probably her card or something, but lets move on to the WOW! compartment.


    It is indeed a compartment full of lots of Wonders, but I'm pretty sure the WOW! is for "WOW! This is a lot of stickers I need to figure out!"


    It also contains (deep breath):


    Two milk cartons, two tubes of toothpaste, a perfume jar, two candy bars, a plate, a mug, a milkshake bottle and straw, a tray, a lot of donuts, and some sort of blue jar.

    It occurs to me that the "perfume jars" may actually be jars of candy, but that's not as fun.


    Clare also comes with a book, cause she's the smart one. I wonder if this is a Compendium of Candy Creatures, or maybe a spellbook. It's not very specific, which is a good thing since it leaves things open ended.


    Before we move on, I should issue a correction on this bag of mystery from Starleen's set. It is not beads, and it's also not some sort of hard drug. It's actually giant sugar crystals, as well as a dish for the sugar crystals and a small spoon for dealing in such things.

    However, I must admit that this would probably prove very helpful if you were playing Playmobil & Order: Vice Unit.


    Here are my three Playmobil EverDreamerz together. I swear I didn't mean to get the most Sentai color combination possible, it's just in my DNA for these things to happen.

    I probably won't get Rosalee or Viona, they're kind of just slightly boring, especially Viona. Rosalee is the main character, so I do feel I should maybe get her if I'm ever really out of things to care about.


    The pets. I don't think even alpaca kids are generally smaller than cats, and Edwina's cat is basically gigantic. Both the cat and alpaca have moving necks, but Mr. Fluoride Meerkat is static.


    This is how the back of their character cards looks.


    All of my Playmobil figures together, with Mr. Hairdresser leading the pack.

    I actually had photos of the insane amount of accessories and playpieces I've collected through the EverDreamerz sets, but I seem to have accidentally deleted them. I guess I'll take a few more eventually.

    EverDreamerz are quite costly in the scheme of Playmobil things, but the prices are miniscule in comparison to basically everything else in the toy aisle. These come with a lot of things, which allow for more than "I have a figure and it's doing stuff", and they certainly also help with photos.

    I think that's probably why I have a lot of respect for Playmobil toys. They have generally good designs, which branch into the greater scope of novel a lot of the time (there's a "Horse Therapist", I kid you not). They're not my favorite, but they're probably the sort of thing that really spark an interest in ideas and things, rather than just being cool and fashionable.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    I'm amazed that you somehow avoided saying "magical girl" (or its equivalent in romaji) this whole time.
  • edited 2020-07-09 05:36:36
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Well, I think of EverDreamerz as more of a traditional isekai situation. Your clothing changes not because you personally evoke it, but because the magic reacts to your personality and makes you a look that fits in to the new world. Plus, it only transforms once, not during every episode as you require.

    Things I've recently learned; Paw Patrol and Bob the Builder are the brainchildren of the same man*, and that man's son now makes children's skiing outfits.

    *It turns out that sometimes if you're just really good at something, you are really, really good at it.

    By the way, this thread is one page but it's gigantic because of all of the images. Maybe I should put the older posts in toggle-boxes or something? I think after a bit I'll have it be policy to only have the last two posts completely visible.

    I have updated the L.O.L. Surprise History post somewhat. Mainly I added a section about the Mattel vs. MGA Bratz lawsuit and also a picture of Clearly a Scam Artist Scribbles.

    I feel like I've been just constantly working at things lately, so even though I do want to do a review right now, I'm going to stop myself.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Earnings call stuff!

    A lot of people stepped down at Spin Master in early 2020, so I wonder how this'll affect the company going forward. In their 2020 results, they mentioned Off the Hook again, but I wonder if that's a crutch because they've been reporting that since Q3 2019. I know that they had a lot of new molds they had to scrap when things couldn't go into production, so that may be a contributing factor.

    In more relevant matters; I feel like giving up right now. This whole thing is an intensive process that runs solely on my love and the feeling I have that maybe, some day, somebody else will be entertained reading this after they google a toy they like. Obviously, this means seriously starting a blog, but that would be even more work than I'm already doing.

    Plus, I'm starting to get baie* confused by all the things I want to get, and all the things i want to do. I mean, I am a list-holic and so I should really have an intensive list by now but I never expected to need one.

    But right now I'm feeling somewhat resolute; and the only way forward is to take a step, so let's go!

    Unrelated to all of this; there's an exclusive toy I really really wanted to get. The one that's easily available to me (also an exclusive) is like, an opposite variant that I may or may not hate. I will probably end up getting that version anyways.

  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I should really have an intensive list by now

    Update: I now have a chart. It is... long.


    This is something I had my eye on for quite a while. I'd seen it on some toy guy's instagram and was instantly drawn to it, despite it's origins...

    It's a Fortnite action figure from Jazware's Fortnite Legendary Series! Everybody knows what Fortnite is, some sort of game that characters on TV shows will mention to prove how they are in the know of modern things. I know slightly less about it than TV writers do.

    I do know that the toy license was split so many ways that there it now has too many action figure series. One is the 6" Legendary Series by Jazwares, meant for collectors. Another is the "Squad/Solo Mode" 4" line, also by Jazwares. There's also a separate 7" collectors line by McFarlane Toys, who are trying to make all the action figures possible (including some for My Hero Academia, I think).

    Finally, there's the whatever-they're-called miniatures line from Moose Toys. I actually like a bunch of the Moose ones, but they were distributed horribly and seem to be on the outs, so I won't bother.

    I'm not much of an action figure man, so in my further considerations for this project I may just eliminate them as a category to consider unless it's something I really like. But for now, let's dive in!

    I love the look of this box; it's open and crystal-clear, allowing you to see every detail.


    A view from the side.


    The back. I understand that Fortnite is very low-key in terms of storytelling, and these characters are really just "skins" (which sounds gross in the context of them being empty inside) but they could have come up with some flavor text.

    Scary cute is just one of the 60 Monster High taglines.

    You can also see the other figures in this line-up. I think they've all been greyed out somewhat, because I know The Visitor is really really green. It's probably meant to replicate the game selection screen, but it actually makes all of them less appealing.


    The plastic holding cell. It was easy enough to get everything out if I remember correctly. His elbows are actually inserted into the back of the plastic carton, which makes the figure himself a slight pain to get out.

    He boasts 38 points of articulation and in all honesty I am yet to figure them all out.


    Here he is out of the box. I understand that Fortnite is clean, zany, deranged-adjacent fun but this guy looks like either an axe-murderer or a serial bomber.

    He's wearing a pastel pink onesie with fluffy pink slippers. I think the way the plastic is textured represents all of that very well. I also like that, to represent the rough and tumble world of Fortnite, his outfit has prominent mud stains in a light brown color. It's quite cool.

    He has blond hair and a face hidden behind a pastel baby-blue ski-mask that's painted to emulate a rabbit, but it looks more like pastel tribal war-paint. Continuing with the "cutesy rabbit/war-paint" theme, we have a baby blue belted bag on his left leg, which does add a nice flourish to the design.

    His hoodie, as seen in the previous picture has a lot of trouble staying on. It essentially made it's own decision in coming off.


    His accessories. They include two alternate heads, a pickaxe disguised as an Easter basket, a giant egg, a small egg grenade, a pastel canister, and a big gun of sorts. The gun doesn't match any of his other accessories at all, which makes me think it was included as a random bonus rather than to match with everything else.

    The giant egg might also be a bomb, but it doesn't really look dangerous in the slightest. Just looks like an Easter prop.


    Here he is wearing one of the alternative heads. This is the same head as the "Jonesy" figure, which I think is the basic "skin" for male characters in the Fortnite series. I guess it makes sense, and they went to all the trouble of including these heads in the set, but I don't like it.

    The face looks too serious for the outfit, so it ends up looking silly. Like, it makes me want to chastise Rabbit Jonesy for being a furry.


    Though it does make for a punchy photo at times.


    Glasses Rabbit Jonesy looks like a creep of the highest degree. The sort of guy you run into in a dark corridor that leads to a concrete wall in your hotel. You should have seen this coming when you checked in and noticed the giant "Furries Welcome Here! 2021 Furry Love Convention" sign. You should have left. But you didn't, and this is what you get.


    Now, let's talk about his articulation. He has all the standard points you'd expect from an action figure in this price-range, but his shoulder joint is not a ball, it clicks when you move it. The connection between the shoulder and the upper-arm is also very stiff, which means trying to get his hands into any position is vaguely a nightmare.

    For obsessive detail's sake, his hands have a joint right in the middle, and it's kind of pointless. It's also very loose, so it means he can't really hold things very well. Odd given his massive collection of holdable accessories.

    His hips and knees are all great, and man do the flat slippers provide excellent stability!

    His torso joint is not as good as Lucios, but I'm starting to thing nobody's ever will be. However, it does a funny thing when you mess with it too much;


    Yup, comes clean off. It's in no way a real concern, and I think his body was made like this because of the volume they wanted his hoodie to have in the upper torso, but it's a novelty worth mentioning.

    On his torso is a cross-body belt on which he carries a bunch of explosive grenades.


    I wanted more than anything to take this belt off, and the funny thing is that it does come off almost all the way, except it's tacked directly into his chest here. I'd even live with a hole in his chest if that's what it came down to, but it's really, really glued in there and some of the blue paint has seeped through the glue into the outfit.

    All of this feels vaguely unnecessary, but you can't always have what you want.


    His faces attach to the front easily, and the joint is so seamless that my camera failed to focus on it.

    Here it is in more detail.


    In the end, I decided I liked the serial killer face best. It's quite cute when you compare it with the other two.


    He is indeed sporting a cute little rabbit tail. No murder rabbit is complete without one, after all.


    Overall, even though I only wanted the figure for display in one of the normal faces, I think I found something even better. The weapons and other accessories, plentiful as they are, provide what is probably excess value at his normal pricepoint, which is a nice bit of effort.

    Fortnite provides a lot of great generic action "skins", and Jazwares have done a brilliant job bringing them all to life. That's quite laudable.

    Appraisal out of the way; let's have some fun!

    Rabbit Raider shows Lucio his DJ moves!

    Lucio doesn't seem too impressed...

    "I thought one Marshmello would be enough to please these animal-head rave weirdos..."


    "Fame means dealing with guys who talk big when their hairplugs are in!"

    (I honestly didn't even know Lucio's hair came off until I accidentally knocked it out just then).

    Adrian is a bit concerned about where things are going now...


    But everybody gets along in the end!


    Great American Heroes from the North and South!

    inb4 US 'Muricans try to pawn off Rabbit Raider's embarrassing outfit on Europe.


    "Take this stupid outfit off and get a job you NEET!
  • I saw a plastic bag with a picture of L.O.L. characters on it on the street and it reminded me of this thread.
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