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A Dapper Man's Toy Box



  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I'm glad I'm bringing brand-awareness one person at a time.

    By the way, a while ago Stormtroper you asked about the size difference between MCX and LEGO minifigures, I finally got around to taking a picture to show it.


    I actually haven't posted in here in a week, and I should admit that it's because I was tempted by Mega Construx and that's where I spent a lot of time recently. Oddly enough it actually reminded me why I quit.

    Time to refocus... probably.

    There's something I'm quite excited to get started on possibly starting this month and extending all the way late into the year. No, it's not L.O.L.

    Actually speaking of L.O.L., I genuinely think MGA will have serious issues this year due to the sheer amount of product diversification that they've very suddenly embarked on. Let's just run down everything coming out for L.O.L. Surprise this half year;
    • L.O.L. Surprise Present Surprise Series, including two big Present Surprise sets
    • L.O.L. Surprise Boys Series 3
    • L.O.L. Surprise J.K. mini fashion dolls Series 1, including two upcoming playsets
    • L.O.L. Surprise Series 9 - Remix (possibly Remix Hairflip)
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix Pets
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix O.M.G. Dolls, set of four
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix Collector's edition doll
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix O.M.G. Exclusive Doll four pack (not the same dolls as the first four)
    • L.O.L. Surprise Furniture Series 3, set of four
    • L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. Series 3, set of four
    • L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. 2-Pack: Rock B.B and Punk Boi
    • L.O.L. Surprise Under Wraps x Confetti Re-release, set of four
    • L.O.L. Surprise Series 1 Rerelease, set of two present boxes of 12
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix Clubhouse (new playset)
    • L.O.L. Surprise House (re-release in new colors, and made of wood possibly for the first time?)
    • L.O.L. Surprise Remix Party Plane
    • L.O.L. Surprise Camper Re-release in Remix colors

    I'm pretty sure I'm still missing some. I know that this is well below the level of product that Barbie releases every quarter (rather than half-year), but for goodness sakes this is a lot.

    It just might be me not used to seeing such exponential growth, and this all might work out, but I can see the rampant departure from what the line is known for (the surprise B.B's like Remix, Boys and Present SUrprise) might cause a lot of brand confusion amongst youngsters and parents.

    I know that with the release of O.M.G., the brand associated "families" started to cement their status (M.C. Swag, Neon Q.T., Diva and Queen Bee, as well as other families with O.M.G siblings) but there are like 100+ distinct L.O.L.s and I thought the fun of it was releasing more and more of those.

    Also, just to note, I like how Bhaddie from #Hairgoals Series 1 was so shortpacked she created mass panic and netted lots of money for eBay scalpers, so now they're releasing her O.M.G. sister in an exclusive 4-pack of dolls that costs probably $100+

    I typed out L.O.L. Surprise too many times just now...
  • edited 2020-07-22 05:58:18
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Oh my gosh I finally managed a second page! Woo!

    Okay, let's look at something that's a little different from the usual, but not too much.


    First of all; I honestly believed that MGAE had purchased Zapf Creation at some point and I'd just missed the memo. After all, MGAE sells the Baby Born dolls, Zapf's biggest creation in the U.S. and beyond.

    They also produce, from time to time, surprise toys under the Baby Born name. It's not like Zapf makes anything else, right?

    Turns out that's not the case!

    Zapf Creation is a German company best known for their baby dolls. Baby Born, Baby Anabelle, more that escape me but surely also start with the name "Baby", as well as generic baby doll clothing.

    Recently, they've also begun releasing their own line of "Surprise" dolls, and they were popular enough (or pre-planned enough) that they managed to get a whole second series. That's what I'll be looking at today!

  • edited 2020-07-22 05:58:57
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    So, I actually have a bit of a bonus post today! Woohoo!

    This weekend, I got reabsorbed in MCX and building, and this was the result!

    This redux is just the first part. There are two more (hopefully it stops there).

    Even working in MS Paint this took longer than expected: Here's Dimension Battlefront Majormon! Part I

  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Gonna try and get a headstart on making this page manageable.

    This is a little bit random, but as a child I very clearly remembered a line of trendy baby dolls called Jaggets. I tried looking them up for a long time, but nothing ever came up.

    Then as I was looking through random Spanish toy listings (as one does) I came across a listing for Mini Jaggets, by the toy company Famosa (a company which may or may not one day make an appearance in this very thread on different grounds).

    So I looked into this, and it turns out Jaggets are real (but I was probably spelling it wrong), including the mysterious boy dolls of yore. The boy dolls were discontinued, but I distinctly remember there being a Japanese one called "Toki-o" and as a kid I actually always wanted that one even though I've never been a fan of giant baby dolls.

    I would doubt that a doll called Toki-o could exist, but one of the non-discontinued girls is Japanese and named Shashi-mi so...

    Speaking of dolls that are in the larger scales, the Our Generation line now has it's third boy, and of course he's a beanie-wearing hipster.

    The first boy was pretty average (Rafael), the next was a surfer (Gabe), and those were good dolls I could appreciate even if I'm not a fan of the scale, but a hipster named Franco is just... well, at my most positive I'd say he's novel.
  • edited 2020-07-27 05:41:16
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Yesterday I learned about Zuckertüte, which seem even more like a bribe than usual children's present-related things.

    Now for something even more different than all the other times I say this!

    Welcome to VERSUS, a new format I thought of a few weeks ago. Here, I don't just do an overview of a toy, I pit various products against each other to see how certain elements compare.


    Today Lil' Snaps will be doing double duty in a VERSUS Match with Toy Aisle Juggernaught L.O.L. Surprise and the Probably-Already-Forgotten EverDreamerz. Let's get stuck in!


    Here are the carrying cases for Lil Snaps and a typical L.O.L. Surprise. In this case, the doll that loves me a bit more than I love him and his unending borg, Do-Si-Dude.

    On some level, I can see the L.O.L. case working as a "carrying case". I mean, it even has a handle!

    But I very much doubt anybody but a very small child would want to tote this around, even as a backpack charm. The black is doing a lot of the work here making it appear trendy too, the lighter colors are nowhere near this charming.

    The Lil' Snaps case is really stylish, as I've mentioned, and it's definitely a piece that can be an accessory in a real person's life. I think in aspirational terms, that's what a kid would want as well. It's mature, but not overly so.

    However, both are equally gigantic. The smaller Lil' Snaps case could definitely be toted about, but I'm not sure how you'd go about that.

    Speaking of, the L.O.L. ball shares an opening mechanism with the smaller Lil' Snaps case. However, I find that L.O.L. balls are somewhat difficult to pop back together once you've opened them up. You have to line up the various little things inside.

    Having opened in excess of ten of them, I honestly can't tell you what lines up with what inside, aside from having a look on the outside, and even that is sort of just a vague guide.

    Here's the size difference between the dolls. With his shoes and hat on, Do-Si-Dude is actually taller than his ball. No Lil' Snaps doll could ever hope for that.

    In terms of doll quality, L.O.L. blows Lil' Snaps out of the park. They have removable clothing, for one. And the clothing is very, very good in quality and very innovative in style.

    Standing up, the Lil' Snaps dolls seem to compare in size to the L.O.L.s, but it's actually just a slight trick of the eye. Lil' Snaps, as the name suggests, are very very small.

    It's clear they're meant to act as charms, because otherwise nothing justifies the similar pricepoint. They'd be much cheaper as a toy on their own, and only slightly more worth it than something you get out of a really great Kinder.

    Now let's switch gears to an area where I think Lil' Snaps excels; bracelets.

    I didn't do a size comparison between Lil' Snaps and EverDreamerz because EverDreamerz are about the height of an L.O.L. anyways.

    The Playmobil EverDreamerz "bracelets" are very... throwaway. They're made of a single cord with tiny indents that are meant to hold your charms in place. They work okay, but it's not very functional.

    I should say that the charms are very, very cute. However, there's only one of each. The beads are basic and slightly cheap looking, which doesn't help the overall look of the bracelets either.

    The Lil' Snaps bracelet cords are made of a thicker plastic material that may or may not be hollow in the middle. Anyways, it looks really, really good. Each bracelet is also made up of multiple cords so you can adjust the length. I guess you could technically do the same with the EverDreamerz bracelets, but the loops wouldn't look as clean as their Lil' Snaps contemporaries.

    The Lil' Snaps beads are all the same gem mold, but it's a vast improvement over the EverDreamerz craft store bead. Plus, in different colors, the gem can actually portray different styles, rather than just the same sad "well, we had to have something that isn't a single detailed charm".

    I don't think it needs to be said that the Lil' Snaps accessories have details that are leagues and bounds ahead of their Playmobil contemporaries, but there's also the materials used. The Lil' Snaps versions are a very weighty plastic because they almost feel heavy like real jewelry.

    If they could connect to actual jewelry bracelets, they would genuinely be real jewelry without any changes.

    Though I think this specific doughnut design from Claire's EverDreamerz bracelet is very cute, the plastic is very obviously typical stuff. The other two designs; the ice cream and waffle, don't really hold a candle to anything from Lil' Snaps.

    However, this is just the bracelets. As I covered with Starleen's box, EverDreamerz are packed with lots of play potential, whereas Lil' Snaps focuses on the play-jewelry element.

    So in the end everyone still wins, but in different ways.

    L.O.L. ball design still sucks, though.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've posted in here quite a bit lately, but I don't want to get behind schedule on stuff so here's Dimension Battlefront MajorMon Part II!
  • edited 2020-07-27 05:12:30
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Still trying to catch up on my (now tiny) backlog, so let's dive in!


    I'm not too big a fan of action figures, but as I explained earlier the Overwatch Ultimates line caught my eye. I was originally just going to get Lucio, but since McCree is what got my interest going in the first place, I thought I would give him a shot.

    I was even more interested when I learned that there was a nice variation of him wearing various tones of off-white. Though I wasn't too interested in Tracer, I decided to give her a shot as well.

    With that out of the way, here's the Overwatch Ultimates 2-Pack featuring McCree and Tracer!

    This is the packaging, and much like with Lucio it's super cool. Instead of having the plastic window wrap around one side like it does with him, these two are inset directly in the middle, as is more typical for action figure lines.

    They have the same orange background that he did. I should have guessed it was a concept that went across the whole line, but I expected it to be different for some reason.

    This white and gold variation of Tracer is called her Chic look. From what I've seen from the series' art and models, it isn't off from her typical colors, aside from the more overt golds and the editing out of some orange and brown sections.

    This variation of McCree is called his White Hat look, presumably as a reference to hackers who do work in the interests of helping others. His look is a strong departure from his typically earthy palate (brown) with hints of spice (coral, orange).

    Here are the sides, the left side shows off both character's tiny head logo, and the other explains their role in the game. They're "Damage" characters, which surely means something to someone. It probably just means they shoot a lot.

    The back, which provides lots of useful tidbits about the characters, as well as advertising others from the line. I for one didn't know that Tracer was really just flying Lara Croft, the more you know and all that jazz. I did, however, instinctively know that her real name was Lena. She just has a very Lena look about her.

    Jesse McCree could have had any first name and of course it was Jesse. Presumably when you announce to the DMV that you're a rootin' tootin' outlaw, they change your name to Jesse even without your input.

    Here they are in their plastic holding cell, freed from their packaging. Again, this line has the most compliant plastic holding cells I have ever dealt with. It's so compliant that one of Tracer's alternative hands had actually fallen out of it's space and was lolling about the box wherever I lugged it around.

    I guess you can have too much of a good thing.

    Here are all the weapons and extra hands. I'll go into detail about each in a while.

    The first sign of things to come that I noticed was that McCree cannot stand very well. It's his shoes. The curve is just too good in terms of aesthetic design on his cowboy boots (or are they just shoes? who knows under those pants).

    Another thing I noticed was his armored (possibly cybernetically altered?) knee. It messes with his leg articulation and makes his legs asymmetric. This might have not been much of a big deal if his shoes weren't

    Trying to get him to stand was a hassle, but at least once you got it he didn't topple over.

    Then there's the hat; it doesn't come off. I assure you that he has an okay painted face under the hat, but it was a nightmare trying to take a decent picture of him with the shadow it casts over his face.

    Here he is with his alternative hand piece. He comes with two gripping hands, a fist and a waving hand. I like the waving hand best.

    McCree wears a light off-white pair of pants. His undershirt matches this, and that piece is under a plasticy white plate of armor. I like this piece the least. It's not only unrealistic, it's also vaguely implausible in any other scenario.

    Who wants to look like they're wearing obviously plasticy white armor, and just on their chest?

    He also has a belt that is connected to a holster and some bullets, as well as some sort of explosive canister. His belt buckle reads BAMF, which I personally assure you stands for "Bread and Mugs are Fun" and not anything coarse.

    I've already mentioned his shoes and unremovable hat, but now let's draw some attention to his unremovable poncho. It's not that I dislike his poncho, but I'd like the option to remove it so I could display him in something sleeker.

    The poncho, outside of a video game, doesn't really scream "action", and it limits the movement of his arms somewhat.

    A better shot of the weirdness in his knees. As you can see, the right knee has a normal cap that slots into both the top and bottom leg bits, but the left one is covered with this thing that limits the movement.

    There may be story reasons for this, but it creates a hassle for trying to get him to stand, especially when combined with his shoes.

    Otherwise, his articulation is typical for such figures.

    I'd like to think that I'm not a paint-job snob, but it's telling that the first detail I noticed about Tracer was this mess going on in her elbow joints.

    I know she's tiny compared to McCree, and that this area required three separate treatments with the sleeve, exposed flesh and odd gold cuffs, but the result is still very sloppy. It may be excused, but that doesn't make it appealing.

    Tracer has some very cool insignia on her short sleeves though. Here she is displaying it whilst typing something into a magic CG screen only she can see in her augmented reality goggles.

    Tracer's insignia from both sides.

    Tracer is wearing a white bodysuit that's almost like a skydiving suit. Also like a skydiving suit are the many belts she has everywhere. Her "gold" bits are the sort of dull plastic that doesn't look appealing, ever.

    I like that her collar is nicely popped, giving it the effect of looking like it can hook closed (it can't though). On her chest is a power source, much like Lucio's backpack I'm assuming.

    She's also wearing a pair of orange goggles that surely have some use in the game. On the sides of her pant legs are some stylish lace-up panels. Those I quite like.

    Overall, my mind hasn't really been changed about Tracer. The figure could have been done better if they'd tried to do something else with the body. I know the game character is rail-thin, but that doesn't mean you have to make her look vaguely like a grasshopper in toy form.

    Also, Tracer's shoes (which you can see above in the art) look like Peter Pan shoes. If you switched her color scheme to green, she could be the main character of Overwatch: School Play Edition.

    Here's McCree's trigger-type hand holding his gun. As a casual observer of the action figure world, I've noticed that there are similar guns to this. Very thin and flimsy seeming. I know this may be to scale, but as a toy it's barely as thick as cardboard.

    I know it's plastic and molded, but it feels like cardboard in a way. Like my imagination is meant to be doing more than it should.

    This isn't made of the exact same bad gold plastic as Tracer's arms, since it's bendable, but the effect is the same sort of low-cost look.

    Here is McCree's super-thin gun next to Lucio's beastly speaker gun and the machine gun from my Fortnite Legends Rabbit Raider. It's puny, yet McCree is the prescribed gunner type. It's embarrassing.

    At least you can insert the laser-bang effect into it.

    As I've explained, McCree has serious limits on his articulation, so please forgive him as he tries to shoot at... a scorpion on the ground, I guess? Those are dangerous little buggers y'know!

    Tracer's guns, on the other hand, aren't so aquiescent. Though the design is good and the plastic used for them is much nicer than McCrees, their blue effect parts do not fit them in any way. I wondered if these effect parts were meant to go somewhere else, but I couldn't figure that out either.

    Here are McCree and Tracer alongside other, much better action figures, which brings me to my final point; this set is a very poor effort.

    McCree can't even stand, and his whole outfit is ruined by a shiny enamel white chest piece, plus his unremovable hat and poncho. Tracer has a bad mish-mash of paint and plastic work, not to mention the odd outfit she was stuck with in the game to start with. Their weapons leave much to be desired in two distinctive ways, and I'm not even a weapons guy.

    At first, when I saw Lucio, and his basically stunning existence, I assumed this line had bombed because Overwatch people don't buy toys. I'm actually starting to think it was the highly hit-and-miss nature of the overall designs.

    But enough with the chastising, here's some fun.

    "Buckle up guys, it's time for the Easter Parade!"
    "It's not even Easter!"
    "Everyday's Easter when you're with Rabbit Raider!"
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    hey look it's a disembodied hand with a gun
  • edited 2020-07-27 05:58:18
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I am on the cusp of catching up with myself. I have about two more posts before I can sit back and wait... I could make them all up today, but that'd be a lot of content at once.

    By the way, MGA's two entire new doll lines were listed on Amazon today. Rainbow High has the expected L.O.L. O.M.G. pricepoint, but the other surprise toy focused one I wanted to look into is waaaaaay more expensive than it's worth. I will still buy one, but my goodness it's insane.

    Today, we'll be looking at something that's familiar to the thread and something that's become quite close to my heart in this short time.

    So, of course this line is ending! Poor Shopkins Happy Places, being replaced with googly-eyed baby dolls...


    In the prelude to the last hurrah of the Shopkins Happy Places line, the usual number of products was released. There were lots of single Shoppies, of which Rowen Ruby was one, each with a fancy new "Easy Pop" accessory (as opposed to the Petkins they used to come with).

    In addition, there were the Welcome Packs, though that name was soon retired in favor of Surprise Me packs, even though these no longer include any "surprises".

    One such pack is the Sweet Kitty Candy Bar, which features the Lil' Shoppie Katie Pops.

    The packaging mirrors the smaller single packs; a crown-shaped window featuring a lenticular gold print adorned with purple gems, and a purple lining at the bottom presumably meant to mirror a "cushion" for the "crown" to rest on.

    As I've mentioned before, purple is the official color of royalty, as per self-declared queen Massie Block.

    A better look at Katie Pops and her Petkin furniture and accessories. I really battled with this set, because I thought Katie Pops was very cute. However, the furniture she comes with is somewhat superfluous.

    Her royal table has an odd shape, and so does the sweets cart. The containers are cute, but I don't really see ever having a use for them.

    But Katie Pops is very cute, so I caved.

    Here's the side of the box. It's completely clear, and helped out by what is typically the back-card of the box being located in the front. I love that you can see everything from this angle, it's a nice effect.

    On the back is a story that barely explains how the typical Shoppies are suddenly royalty. It's still very cute though. It also shows off the Easy Pop Skirt function, though it doesn't explain it very well.

    "Where Happiness never Ends." Yeah right, corporate America Australia.

    Here's Katie Pops in her plastic holding cell. In addition to the actual doll, there's a paper doll wearing the Easy Pop skirt. Well, not really "wearing", it's just behind her.

    I've seen Amazon reviews where confused mothers thought they were getting two dolls and not one. I can see how that would be a problem, so maybe this was kind of a bad idea.

    Fun fact: The only Shopkins Happy Places Welcome Pack set that included two dolls was a barely released Season 4 set from the Puppy Parlor subset called "Movie Night Besties". I've confirmed it was released in New Zealand and I assume it was released on Moose's native Australia.

    It featured popular character Jessicake and "They genuinely thought this character was popular but absolutely nobody liked her" Poppette.

    Here are the furniture and accessory Petkins in their plastic holding cells. I think I should reassert that Naas once said these look like what you'd deal with in a surveillance state. That might be true, but I still think it's a very cute dystopia nonetheless.

    Once you remove the plastic holding cell, the background actually stands for itself aesthetically. You could probably use this as a shadowbox for pictures, but only for a while, and if you had infinite space for toy storage.

    This set comes with a mini-guide featuring the four Royal Shoppies that come with a Playset. Of these four, I quite like Glossie and Princess Moondream both in terms of character design and sets in addition to Katie Pops.

    Pretti Pressie looks like a maniac and comes with a stack of presents as her "furniture", it's like she was made to repel any of my interest.

    Here's Katie Pops out of the box. I love her design, especially the stark white tights. She's wearing a very blue outfit, but I think it works for her thanks to all the variations in color. The baby blue top and the cauliflower blue skirt work well together, and it's all helped by the more typical blue patterning on the skirt.

    She sort of looks like the type of person who would be the main villain of Gossip Girl Royals.
    Spotted: Duchess Katie Pops back from her Land of Sweets retreat, sporting a new preppy look. Is she hoping her cutesy tights and A-line minidress will help wipe away her disastrous freakout at Pretti Pressie's Present Ball? Doubtful, but she still looks a-plus-adorbs.

    Word on the street is she's on a mission to win back The Beaux in a Sweetsville Row, a.k.a. First Prince Will Hugh. Tired of the third-tier royal moniker, are we?

    Will Princess Bridie, currently in the lead to steal his heart and the crown, be willing to step down for the Cake Pop Shoppie's Queen-size ambitions?

    Only time will tell with the Happy Places Royals...


    As you can see her, a section of her hair has been pulled through a crown and stuck with a weird stick thing to imitate a cake pop.

    In all honesty, this is one of the better Shoppie hair-gimmicks out there. Especially since it still looks like hair. Some Shoppies have giant pencils sticking out of their heads and it just looks severely wrong.

    I should also note her choice of bright lemon yellow lipstick. I looked at this doll for ages yet somehow never noticed it until after I'd ordered her. It's not my favorite color, and it might have put me off if I'd noticed it before, but I'm okay living with it.

    Here she is in the Easy Pop skirt. With that sort of name, I expected some sort of click-together gimmick, but it was nothing of the sort.

    The skirt is made of the same soft plastic as the rest of her outfit. It has a giant slit in the back, and you put it on by sliding it over her legs until it fits around her waist.

    It's a functional gimmick that works very well and adds an extra bit of fun to the whole experience.

    Here are some of her Petkin accessories. The table is really not my favorite shape, and the way the cloth is placed over the yellow bit gives it an almost sickly ombre effect.

    I do appreciate the candy jars. They were made by placing plastic "candies" in the jars and then sealing the top shut, which I think is a brilliant bit of work for something so tiny and technically inconsequential.

    I like them, but I don't think I'd ever see my imagination being captured by them to any real effect.

    Here's the candy cart, the tray and the drinks of some sort. Or maybe these are literal "cup" cakes.

    I don't think any of these pieces are great. The two drinks in the background are attached to the tray, hence why they have no eyes of their own. It's very confusing keeping track of what is and isn't sentient in the Shopkins universe.

    Time for a bit of fun! Here, all the Shoppies decide to plan a sweets party, because they're royal kids with nothing like jobs or responsibilities to worry about. In the background is the Charming Wedding Arch, a set from what seems like the final season of this line; "Royal Wedding".

    Will Hugh, the third ever male Shoppie out of a line that probably approaches a hundred characters, brings the cupcakes over.

    Though this review isn't about him, that doesn't mean we can't take a second to examine him either. He has a cool transparent wedding suit. I'm not sure how this works since he presumably still has body parts somewhere, but I'll guess it's holograms.

    Ah, all the Shoppies have a Royally Good Day! That's all that matters in the end. Though this set is sort of a mixed bag, I think Katie Pops alone is worth it. She's a worthy addition to my collection of Royal Shoppies.
  • I've seen Amazon reviews where confused mothers thought they were getting two dolls and not one. I can see how that would be a problem, so maybe this was kind of a bad idea.

    I had a hard time telling from that first picture (and I'm accustomed to looking for these things), I imagine it's obvious IRL but at least on a mobile screen it's easy to miss.
    some sort of explosive canister.

    If you're wondering they're flashbang grenades.

  • edited 2020-07-27 05:40:06
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Ah, I see. Thanks!

    I should probably stop putting new posts in toggleboxes. It seems to cause the images to go to full size with no means of resizing them...

    As such, I've added a cutesy header to my Katie Pops post as well as a short Gossip Girl-esque story.

    So, if anybody remembers, there was a very out there Playmobil figure I was hemming and hawing about a while ago.

    It's time!



    Playmobil Johann Wolfgang von Goethe!

    I'm not kidding. This exists.

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a playwright, politician and general thinker type from Germany. He wrote the famous play Faust, a re-telling that became a classic beyond the original play and the legend that came before it.


    Most importantly, he's now a Playmobil.

    This figurine is an exclusive provided to visitors of the German region of Thuringia, where both Faust and Hans Beck -the creator of Playmobil- spent significant periods of time in their lives.


    My box actually came a little beat up, which surprised me. I thought these were in a plastic case, thanks to the 3D frame printed across the front. I don't mind it at all, but I guess if you wanted it as an in-box collectible you'd have to get it from the source.

    I find it hilarious that a box featuring a Playmofied man who lived in the 17/1800s features ads for Facebook and YouTube.


    Here's everything that came in the box. Herr Goethe in a plastic bag, a a guide to all the other Playmobil you could get at the time, as well as a booklet about Goethe in English and German.


    The booklet features the same artwork as the front of the box, so it's a nice way to hold on to that.

    It's just a folded piece of paper, but it includes quite a bit of information.


    It describes Goethe's life as a polymath, a word that has become severely overused since his lifetime.

    Here, I think it genuinely applies. More than, even.


    Here's the advertising booklet to all the product that was released in 2018, when this figure came out. It's a lot. It's the sort of thing that fuels irresponsible, candy-coated, money-hungry dreams.

    There are about 50 tiny pages in here, advertising lots of things familiar and completely odd. Funnily enough, it doesn't include Goethe.

    I tend to get the feeling that Playmobil cycles tend to be long, and successful product isn't retired very frequently, but as a toy company they still have to evolve to go on. 2018 looks nothing like 2020. I know Fairies and Country still exist, but Dinosaurs didn't last long.

    Somehow, despite being the coolest thing ever, neither did Agents.


    One thing that stuck around is the blind bag figures sets! Ah, these are series I haven't looked at in detail, though of course this is very tiny detail. I'd have loved Mr. Soldier from series 14...

    Funny thing; I've found out that there is indeed a Series 17! But I was only able to find a single listing on Amazon. I wonder what's going on with the distro for these. I need quite a few more...


    Another series that's stuck around is Family Fun (or is it Summer Fun? eh, they both continue). Here, we have the "We're going on vacation but also to fulfill our residency status for tax evasion reasons" cruise ship setting sail for Panama playset. I'm not sure that's the official name, but it should be, it'd be more fun that way.


    Back to the issue at hand. Herr Goethe and his accessories. He comes completely assembled, which I guess is typical for non-blindbag Playmobils. He comes with a writing quill, a fancy hat, and a book in which he is writing his magnum opus, Faust.


    Fully accessorized, Herr Goethe looks ready to take on the literary world! He's wearing a fancy black hat that holds his brilliant nobleman grey curls in place, a grey overcoat and tan pants.

    Under his grey overcoat is a green sweater with gold buttons, as well as a plain white undershirt. He's also wearing a fancy gold brooch.

    His tan pants are worn over some white tights, and on his feet are patent black leather shoes with fancy grey ribbons on the front.


    This is all to say, the level of detail on this guy is beyond impressive, even if it is mostly painted and printed on. I love it.

    I should also note his wrists. They seem thinner than the typical Playmobil wrist. They're certainly thinner than the figures with flesh-colored forearms.


    Here's the back of his coat. It actually pulls up in the center to create a surprisingly dashing silhouette.

    He's also wearing his wig in a cute little ponytail.


    Goethe's book seems similar in mold to EverDreamerz Claire's, though they're not identical as his has strange circle indents on the front of the left page.

    I do like how different the paint treatments are. Claire's book is purple and pearlescent, whilst the off-white-approaching-light-brown of Goethe's is very nice, recreating the look of paper from those times. It almost appears transparent in the light, but I assure you it's not.

    And that's all the details, so let's goof off!
    Von Goethe Theater!
    Goethe lived an interesting, surprisingly detailed life. His many diaries and letters acted like 1770s instagram for the overly wordy.

    At one point, he dated a rich businessman's daughter called Anna Katharina Schönkopf, and wrote many poems about her in the Rococo style.

    Here, my EverDreamerz Starleen, conveniently dressed in neo-candy-Rococo, plays coy to his advances!

    Later on in his life, after being enobled, Faust had a relationship with an older noblewoman named Charlotte von Stein. As per his flighty nature, he then randomly ran off to Italy, which formed the basis for another work of his; a collection of diaries called Italian Journey.

    "To Italy!"
    "Whatever floats your boat man!"

    Charlotte was not at all pleased with this development, considering he didn't tell her he was leaving and all.

    "Have you seen a pretentious nobleman in a stupid hat go through here?"
    "You'll have to be more specific."

    "I wonder if Charlotte will forgive me if I give her this old teddy bear I found wandering Sicily and also I don't tell her about this 'platonic relationship' I've been in with an Italian noblewoman."

    She actually did forgive him, but not because of teddy bears, which didn't exist till 1902.

    So there's Playmobil von Goethe. Quite the figure, if I do say so myself. He's both tons of pretentious nobleman fun and slightly educational! That's all you can really ask for from a toy.
  • edited 2020-07-28 06:35:11
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    As I've explained previously, the Shopkins Happy Places line has had many a theme since they abandoned the original premise of pseudo-normalcy. The first line to really enforce a theme across the range was this one; Rainbow Beach.


    The story is that all the Shoppies hitch their fancy convertible to a wagon (both conveniently also on sale) and head off to Rainbow Beach. Funnily enough, I think the only returning character who makes it to Rainbow Beach was Rainbow Cate, who sported a new shorter set of pigtails in the convertible set.

    This series was made up of the usual individual Shoppies, the Welcome/Surprise Me packs that came with one Shoppie and some furniture, and the bigger sets that included a house.

    The Shoppies were housed in a new fanciful sort of box. Previously, all Shoppies came in square boxes that could easily be stacked and stored side-by-side like books, a trend I believe originates from the doll line Ever After High.

    Things at Rainbow Beach were a bit different!

    Enter Isabell, the Shoppie of... uh, bells I guess. As you can see, her box is shaped like a small house and meant to imitate a beachside bungalow. I don't think bungalows are usually purple, but my logic has no place in a world where inanimate objects have sentience.

    On the back of her box is a little story that sort of describes something beachy, but it isn't too specific. Anyways, it sounds fun at least.

    Isabell comes with a mystery Petkin, which is clearly most definitely not at all some sort of umbrella.

    The little plastic peg they put up in stores is glued down with this glittery stuff. It doesn't come off too well in pictures, but IRL it shows up pretty well. I've seen this before in this specific line elsewhere too.

    The mysterious Petkin is actually still hidden from you even when you open the box. Well, sort of, if you can put 2+2 together the silhouetted thing from the back of the box is right there.

    Still, surprise! Woo~

    In fact, not only are you told of the one Petkins secret identity, this guide shows you all of them. The Horse Popsicle box is pretty cool.

    I'm not sure how you "pull" this tag. Are you just meant to pull away from the box? Iunno.

    I didn't know Isabell was actually held in place by a plastic holding cell and a front sort of tray, which is what you can see here making her seem super reflective.

    I don't think any other line of Shoppies did this, and in all honesty it's a bit weird.

    It seems this line was very dedicated to having a small part of the packaging that could be removed and used for possible photo sessions or other sorts of fun times. I quite like this, and it has a pattern of tiny blue and lime bells.

    This level of customization for packaging is really nice.

    Here's the extra plastic tray that was holding her in place.

    Now we can get a better look of Isabell in her holding cell, as well as her... woah, you're telling me it was a Surprise Umbrella this whole time? I can't believe it!

    The back of the guide shows you all the "surprise Petkins", but not to be outdone, the front shows you which Petkin comes with which Shoppie. I'm told Mystabella is suppose to be the rarest of this series, but the one I find is actually super rare is Lolita Pops.

    I think Lolita Pops was released as a bigger Shoppie fashion doll with an entirely different look too.

    This line was the first to do individual ponies for each Shoppie. The Mermaid series may have done this too, but Royal Trends only had three or so horses whilst expanding on the Shoppies included.

    Out of all of these, I'd really like to get Popsi Blue, who looks like a Britpop star; Faith Feathers, because boho-chic is one of my favorite styles; and Isla Hibiscus, because she straddles the style-line between vacationer and local really nicely.

    I could give or take the ponies, but I might get one to look at sometime.

    Here's Isabell out of the box. She's very on-theme. Very.

    She's wearing a strangely constructed dress that's made up of a green top with a little bell choker, and a skirt that may or may not be an actual bell. Under that she's wearing a pair of purple tights.

    Her shoes are a yellowish gold, and may or may not have bells attached to the ribbons.

    I should mention her two-tone hair. I mean, it's not bad, but it seems like a surprisingly strange detail.

    Maybe that was the true surprise all along!

    In her hair are six entire bells, two in the front and four in the back. If her bells are all real, including the choker, skirt and shoe-bells, she must be annoying to have around for all the other Shoppies.

    She's truly bell-obsessed.

    Even her umbrella has cutesy heart bell detailing.

    Here she is holding her bell umbrella. I'm glad she can hold it, but it's too heavy for her arm joint to hold it much higher than this.

    Makes sense though, even umbrella bells are metal.

    This is more a parasol for the sun than a rain umbrella. Though I wonder if this isn't the same sort of umbrella design that Ella Rain, Shoppie of Rain, has.

    That's all the details, so let's have a bit of fun!

    Duchess Katie Pops visits the seaside town of Rainbow Beach, the kind happy-go-lucky extremely noisy Isabell shows her around.

    Isabell tries on Katie Pops' Easy Pop skirt.

    I think she might look better than the owner!

    You know, they really should have released a Royal Trends set with one Shoppie and multiple skirts so you could turn all of your Shoppies into princesses.


    Spotted: Duchess Katie Pops giving some sweet style tips to Isabell at an exclusive Rainbow Beach boutique. Has the Pop changed it's candy stripe?

    Think again! Things descended into madness when The Beaux in Sweetville Row showed up unexpectedly for a Royal Fitting! Our OG Katie popped right out of her nice streak and tossed innocent little Is into a closet.

    But the damage was already done, Isabell's simple beachy girl vibe caught Will Hugh's eye, and he asked her to spend the afternoon with him. Charming, isn't he?

    Katie, not one to be outdone, pulled off a brilliant intercept, tagging along on Will and Isa's day. Some of us would be mortified as a third wheel, but this Shoppie was on a mission, and that's something you've gotta respect.

    Also grateful for Katie's intervention? Princess Bridie! "Enemy of my enemy," at it's finest. With Bridie too sick to accompany her fiance, she had nobody to keep his wandering eye in check. Wonder if Katie's pleased with that outcome?

    Only time will tell with the Happy Places Royals...


    I wonder if I have to buy Bridie now that I talk about her so much. I actually don't like her Royal Wedding variation, but I love the original. I'd have no idea where to get her though.

    Everybody hangs out in Isabell's tiny beach bungalow.

    I think, because of her absolute out-there style, Isabell is a real success. I've noticed that a lot of Happy Place Shoppies are vaguely inspired by anime styles*, and the twin-drills on her head are an obvious sign of that. I'm a bit concerned by the cascade of bells in her hair, but I think she has a really cool style overall.

    Another great addition my the Happy Places Shoppies collection.

    *They're also inspired by strangely specific Australian things, like Shoppie of Sports Balls Ballinda, who wears an Australian girl's school sports uniform, the sort you see basically nowhere else in the world.
  • edited 2020-07-31 15:37:56
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Good news, guys! EverDreamerz actually got confirmed for a second series! It'll be a Comic World themed series, inspired by Pop Art and old-school comic books. I think it's meant to be the Viona inspired line since she's the artist one, but that makes very little sense. Maybe it's Clare who has a secret love of comic books?

    Nope, I just checked; it's the Edwina line. Edwina loves relaxing with comic books, apparently. I didn't expect her series to be second overall, but mainly because I thought the sports line would come much later. Guess there won't be one.

    I really like the look of it, but I hope they get around to Starleen's line. I swear if that isn't a pop-star line I will huff in a very disapproving manner for at least ten seconds before buying it anyways.

    I guess we'll be seeing more from the line whenever that's released!

    In other positive news for the line, EverDreamerz was named one of Dadsnet's Toys of the Year! I am not sure how that even happened. What I am increasingly sure of is that Dadsnet is a front for giving Playmobil toy lines awards. I understand that it's great value for money and that music video is like, the best thing since sliced bread, but come on. Nobody even knows about these things outside of German YouTubers.

    In the last of my EverDreamerz news; I found a fun video of a pre-sale event featuring real girls dressed up as the EverDreamerz. Claire in this is Asian, but Playmobil's Asian figures have a specific eye-print that I feel I was robbed of if that's supposed to be the case.

    I was going to do a full VERSUS post today, but taking pictures took forever, and then editing took actual hours, so I think it's time to just do a few random bits I've been forgetting to get around to.

    On the bright side, I've already uploaded everything I need for my next two posts to imgur!

    The other non Versus post is something I've been dragging my feet on, but I'll hold it for a few more days because I really want to do the Versus post.

    Size Comparisons!


    I've had this photo for a while, but I've been having a hard time doing a write up.

    As you can see, from left to right, this spans shortest toy I had on hand up to the tallest thing reviewed in this thread, which somehow ended up being Miraculous Adrien. That was really unexpected.

    What was even more unexpected was how tall Off the Hook dolls are. I didn't have a Capsule Chix in a location convenient enough for this picture, but I hope you remember that they're quite a bit taller than Off the Hook dolls, but nowhere near enough to catch up with any action figures, let alone Adrien.


    I think many things end up being in the same range as L.O.L. Surprise Tots and Shopkins Happy Places dolls, such as Playmobil.

    Speaking of!;

    EverDreamerz Accessories!

    I promised this photo forever ago; all of the accessories that came with my EverDreamerz sets. It's kind of surprising how many there are.


    I tried to organize them by character so it's Edwina, Starleen and Clare. I think the purple thing on Edwina's side is supposed to be a sports drink bottle since she's the sporty one but once again I'm quite befuddled by a Playmobil accessory.


    I also kept forgetting to mention/take a picture of it but both Edwina and Clare come with a stand. I wondered why, since they stand fine on their own, but it turns out they actually don't when they have their balloons in their hands, the weight starts tipping over. How nice for them to include stands for somewhat specific circumstances.

    Starleen doesn't need one because her giant overskirt covers the stand's job.
    I think any Playmobil can use the stand too.
  • edited 2020-08-04 06:15:17
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Today, we finally continue with the MagicBox Arc! Which for some reason I decided to hype up way too much for what it is.

    Moving on...


    MojiPops are tiny, cutesy creatures that are made by MagicBox Toys. This is the second post in the much revered MAGICBOX ARC that I'm sure is everybody's favorite arc of this thread.

    On that note, unless MagicBox releases MojiPops Series 3 very soon, the MagicBox arc will end with a look at MojiPops Series 2. Any MagicBox posts after that aren't in the arc anymore. That's called logic.

    MojiPops, like MagicBox super hit SuperZings, are vaguely like Shopkins, and aimed at the exact same little girl market as Shopkins, as opposed to SuperZings which are aimed at the little boy market.

    Thus, if they were released as cutesy SuperZings, they would literally just be Shopkins.

    So MagicBox gave them a cute little twist! Let's delve in and check it out.


    Here's the packaging. I want to like it more than I do, but it is pretty functional. The back advertises that there are ninety to collect, but it's more like 45 or so odd molds with two different colors. SuperZings does the same thing every series.

    The top right on the front and the bottom part on the back both advertise the MojiPop's main feature; they have tile-like face plates that you can insert into their heads to change their expressions.

    I always wondered why these were called MojiPops rather than EmojiPops, but I get the feeling that the Emoji brand is genuinely trademarked by somebody. How that happened, who even knows.

    When I looked into it, it turned out there is a German company that has some hold over the concept (even though emojis as a thing originated in Japan) but I can't be sure how much, and their page is vaguely worded when it comes to exactly what they own (which probably helps with them maintaining the brand).

    The middle of the packaging also advertises two mysterious rare glitter MojiPops you can get in this set. The rest of them are visible, but I guess you've got to keep the surprise element in there somehow.

    When you open up the packaging, it becomes obvious that the plastic holding cell for everything has a special compartment for the secret Mojis right in the center of the box, helped along with a piece of purple cardboard. Otherwise you'd be able to see them through the sides if you tried hard enough.

    The first thing I noticed was that the sign inside the packaging (as well as the ad for the Glitter Mojis) were not stuck in the box by unyielding glue and came away easily. I quite like papercraft like this, even though I rarely know what to do with it after I decide to keep it.

    Here's everything that was in the box. A car called Carlo, a half-moon called Mona, a chocolate bar called Nums, a pillow called Softy, an energy drink called Slurpy, and a piano called Fami make up my visible Mojis. Mona, Nums, Slurpy and Fami are in their alternative colors, rather than the main display one from the checklist.

    I wonder if Fami has something to do with the spanish word for "Piano" because I mean, quite obviously all of these don't have the most original names.

    Each MojiPop comes with a bit of plastic covering it's face area, I'm assuming that's to prevent unsanctioned face-popping whilst in transit.

    As is typical with these things, they each come from a family or clan or tribe or group. The sort of thing absolutely nobody cares about. I mean, I guess there might be one diligent kid out there only collecting Music Mojis, but I very much doubt it.

    These don't come with a checklist, which I like in some ways but not in others. Everybody's names are on the back, and in all honesty you probably won't care about the names even if they're like Lord Carmichael of the Greenwich Carmichaels.

    But this way I don't get to keep a tiny piece of paper for a few weeks, fantasizing about which ones I'd like best. Of course, that's before forgetting the line even existed when the next thing comes along.

    And since that time will never come, I don't have to debate whether or not to abandon my 3 week obsession and throw the checklist in the trash since there is none!

    In this case, I'll have to give it to MagicBox. It's a good move. You can get a checklist in one of the MojiPops starter packs in the guide/comic book thing or maybe in the single packs (can't confirm the latter), so it's not like check-obsessed kids can't get their fill.

    The logo from inside the box as well as the bit that advertises the Glitter Moji's pop out easily and can both be kept. I don't know why you'd hold on to the Glitter Moji ad, but I personally really like the logo. I know I can't keep it for long, but I can at least have fun with it for a while.

    Here are my two exclusive Glitter Mojis, freed from their tiny plastic bags as well as the face coverings. They're very special, you know! A dragon called Dragzy and a unicorn called Unifun. Unifun's glitter is very well embedded and so it doesn't shed, Dragzy's on the other hand sheds like nobody's business. I'm not sure how exactly that happens in one line.

    I find that I appreciate some of the faces more than others, but I think that depends on your existing inclinations when it comes to emo- er... mojis or expressions in general. I like this crying face on the chocolate one, though I don't think chocolate should cry when making valiant sacrifices to provide deliciousness to others.

    I don't appreciate the laughing-so-hard-I'm-crying face in general, so my dislike of it on Unifun probably isn't to do with this specific design. I do really like how they're all painted though.

    I wonder if I would like the kissy face if they'd gone another direction with it, but this is also another face I dislike generally.

    More technically, the faces are made of a hard plastic tile that curves concavely around the rounded square shape, whilst the actual Mojis are made of a very soft plastic. It's a nice feel all around.

    The face that Slurpy comes with amuses me to no end because it's a sleepy sports drink guys! Very simple, but very effective.

    Here they all are from the back. Some have detail, other's don't, but I think all the designs prove cute and effective. If I were to be critical, I'd say Dragzy isn't my favourite dragon or even dinosaur design. It looks too much like a costumey suit rather than a fantastical Moji creature.

    Fami also feels superfluous, like they needed to make up the number of designs so they just included a random piano.

    These photograph really well, much like a lot of small scale toys. I enjoy messing with them to see what weird photo ops you can come up with. This line up sort of shot is one of my favorite styles.

    Another thing that bothers me about this Fami is the color scheme. The orange-approaching-peach doesn't go with the rest of them at all and it throws off the color scheme of the photo.

    Here's another shot showing all of my Mojis off. The ones I like the most are probably Softy, Nums and Slurpy. I'd like Unifun more if she had a better selection of faces.

    Finally, the "appealling gap gap" look with Softy and Slurpy was starting to bother me, so I switched their faces. They both look much cuter and the faces actually blend into the bodies, which tells me you're meant to be inspired to switch them like this.

    I find that MojiPops are a slam dunk in design terms, with lots of cute designs, great materials and a gimmick that should amuse for at least a few weeks. Series 2 of these is already out, and it's called the Party series, for reasons that aren't too clear since a lot of the Mojis seem to be the typical sort.

    Overall, I think MagicBox did a really good job on these.
  • I wonder if Fami has something to do with the spanish word for "Piano" because I mean, quite obviously all of these don't have the most original names.

    I think you got the meaning/language wrong, I've never heard "piano" in Spanish as anything but "piano" (and "clavicordio" just now) and Google seems to confirm it.

    As for what it means... well, fa and mi are two musical notes, maybe it's that?
  • edited 2020-08-05 06:03:17
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    The musical scale goes Do-Re-Mi-Fa rather than the other way round, but I guess that's probably the reasoning.

    This is a post I've been working toward for a while, so I'm glad to be finally getting round to it!

    It's the Disney Princess VERSUS: Royal Clips vs Little Kingdom!

    But before I do that post, here's some History/Background.

    First, some background: A few years ago I found myself pleasantly surprised with Habsro's offering in the small scale Disney Princess department. Now, I'm not a fan of Disney movies or anything like that, but Disney Princess is a prominent property in the little girl's toy world and so I found myself faced with their products from time to time.

    Since we're on the topic, I'm also quite partial to the Disney Princess Palace Pets property which had a primary toy line from Jakks Pacific and a small LEGO outing, but that whole line ended a few years ago (the LEGO bit only lasted about half a line).

    So back to Disney Princess Little Kingdom. This was the first small doll line produced by Hasbro after taking over the property from Mattel.

    Now, let's cover some background here: Ever since the Disney Princess property was devised in 1990 (or 1995, I suddenly can't remember), Mattel were the master toy license holder. Their products ranged from the expected 12" dolls to smaller offerings.

    Mattel, as they tend to do, treated Disney Princess as their third cousin twice removed's stepchild. The dolls borrowed bodies from Barbie, and alongside their body sister they slowly devolved into cheap nonsense. Things kind of got ridiculous when Frozen initially came out, and Mattel severely understocked the dolls several times over. More than that, Elza and Anna were a CG character built for the new CG world, and the Barbie body made her look like a madwoman.

    This wasn't helped by Mattel's ultra-high-quality doll line that just happened to be based on fairy tale character's children that wasn't related to Disney Princess at all; Ever After High. Though there have been conflicting accounts on this, it surely made Disney beyond mad to see Mattel create great products using the same fairy tales they'd based their IP on.

    Around this time, Disney was doing big business with Hasbro because they'd just bought Marvel and ramped up the Marvel...verse?, and Hasbro was banging out those high-quality action figures like nobody's business (as they do to this day). Hasbro pitched for Disney Princess and easily won it out of Mattel's hands.

    They then produced a series of high quality basic dolls for both Disney Princess and Frozen (properties which remain unmerged till this day), alongside the small doll variant, Little Kingdom.

    Now that this lesson is over; let's move on to the next!

    I know, there's a lot of background

    Under Mattel, Disney Princess small dolls had gone from miniature Polly Pocket style playsets, to the rubbery Fashion Polly Pocket dolls, to the mini "MagiClip" line.

    MagiClip was probably the only original style Mattel ever did for the Disney Princess small scale, since everything else was cribbed from Polly Pocket, and so predictably it was the worst. The outfits were all gigantic, the dolls all had to have the same body mold and in general it just looked bad.

    Anyways, I've taken a lot of pot-shots at Mattel in this post, so I feel like I should even it out.

    Not only did Disney take their business to Hasbro, but they then launched an all-out destruction campaign in the form of Disney's Descendants. A multi-pronged approach made up of books, a web-based cartoon, and most importantly a trilogy of Disney Channel original movies designed to completely destroy Ever After High.

    Super-high quality dolls are an amazing thing, but not when you can manage to make them look like rip-offs, even when they got to the toy aisle first. When Disney Channel puts out a movie stating that the Official Daughter of the Evil Queen is Evie, played by budding superstar Sofia Carson, and not some rando called Raven Queen, or that Sleeping Beauty's daugher is actually Audrey, and not Briar Beauty, kid's are going to listen.

    And regardless of quality (Descendants hair is legendary in it's terrible quality), kids are going to buy those dolls instead.

    Even though Descendants really worked out the mission to destroy Ever After High, it lost it's footing as a doll line after the second movie came out. Ever After High also had it's own problems with a failed rebrand and a cheapification of the dolls.

    After the second movie, only one non-movie line ever came out and it only featured two dolls, both of whom are still available for sale at retail price till this day (that is after Descendants 3, when they should have bumped up significantly in price). The Descendants movie franchise then suffered serious Power Rangers-itis, resulting in Descendants 3 dolls that all wore motocross jumpsuits made of papery material with printed on details that were less than acceptable.

    There is an extra line coming up for Descendants 3, based on the new Royal Wedding Short, but it seems that'll be the franchise's last outing in the doll aisle.

    Now, to be clear, Hasbro has managed Disney Princess as a property extremely well. Even though the new Royal Shimmer basic doll line cheaped out and gave everybody plastic torsos, they released a new modern fashion line with well designed and well made clothing (and sometimes even decent arm articulation).

    With the Ralph Breaks the Internet movie giving the world literally nothing but that scene with the Disney Princesses in Pajamas, Hasbro has built a whole Comfy Squad fashion doll line where even Belle and Cinderella can be the dullest girl on Instagram.

    BUT, Hasbro can't doll, at all. There has never really been a long-lasting fashion doll line by Hasbro since Jem and the Holograms, which also lasted like 5 years in the 90s and we only really know about because nobody who watched it will shut up about it (so much so that premium doll maker Integrity Toys wasted a whole bunch of money on it before realizing these weren't Put Up or Shut Up fans, much like what happened with their My Little Pony dolls).

    Hasbro's attempts to expand their Disney doll portfolio went in two really weird directions; Star Wars Forces of Destiny and Marvel Rising.

    First of all, I bet if you're going to find any adult who actively avoids the Star Wars and Marvel properties, but is still generally obsessive, there's a 20% chance they're a doll maniac. You don't just start avoiding such things in adulthood, that's probably how their childhood was too, so there was basically no market overlap.

    The dolls were, in all honesty, just scaled up action figures with hair and clothing, and I don't know why nobody at Hasbro explained why that wouldn't work out? Dolls are about fashion fun and glamour, not swordfighting.

    So Hasbro learned what Mattel did with DC Super Hero Girls, but twice over and in a very short period of time.

    As such, their grip on Disney properties was loosened so badly that Mattel got their hands on them again! Now, Mattel remains very hit or miss in terms of quality, but they skipped another Star Wars But Dolls! mess by creating an avant garde Barbie Star Wars line which works for both fashionistas and people who need to buy anything that says Star Wars on it. For example, their Rey doll is basically just an updated Glamorous Princess Leia, and their Darth Vader is just a fashion magazine editor in sunglasses.

    They've also been contracted to make the dolls for the new Black Widow movie, at the same time as they're doing the new Wonder Woman movie dolls, which means Mattel is one of the few companies bridging the big comic-book rivalry via the power of capitalism.

    And Mattel now has their hands on the Disney Channel movie franchise Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, and is making the dolls for that.

    Though Hasbro's grip on Disney Princess remains firm, I doubt Disney is shopping out their next property aimed at little girls to them first, and with just a few wrong moves I can see Disney Princess reuniting with Mattel in another 5 or so years.

    Ah, how the toy industry turns....

    Wait... I was supposed to be reviewing something, right????
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Okay, so we're finally getting 'round to this;

    VERSUS: Disney Princess Little Kingdom vs. Disney Princess Royal Clips.

    (Just to be clear; all of these images were uploaded before Aug. 1st)

    A few years ago I found myself pleasantly surprised with Hasbro's offering in the small scale Disney Princess department. Now, I'm not a fan of Disney movies or anything like that, but Disney Princess is a prominent property in the little girl's toy world and so I found myself faced with their products from time to time.

    Anyways, this line was called the Disney Princess Little Kingdom series, and featured the Disney Princesses in the form of watercolor tweens. At least in the artwork. The dolls themselves varied from looking tweenish to just picking up cutesy cartoonish elements.

    I don't think I've ever liked an interpretation of the Disney Princesses as much as I liked this one, mostly because it wasn't really the Disney Princesses at all. On top of that, I found the fashion change elements of this line really cool and innovative.

    As I said, I'm not really a fan of Disney Princess, but I do quite like Aladdin's character design a lot. I pondered starting a massive collection of Aladdin items a while ago, but decided against it mostly because I didn't really care all that much. May still be on the cards though.


    Let's check out the packaging. The front features a nice picture of tween Jasmine in the line's signature watercolors, and the very top has a few combined stills from the first Aladdin movie. How cute, right? Like, this is basically the lowest tier of "good" product from the line, but the detail is really wonderfully done.

    The back advertises the fashion change aspects, as well as the mix and match possibilities.


    When you open up the packaging, there's a cool Jasmine-specific background too! Really well done all around.


    Here's Jasmine's front card. I quite liked it so I cut it out to save for... I'm not sure.


    Here's Jasmine in her holding cell. She was actually tied down in the back with some tiny plastic pegs that were easily pulled out. I don't think I've had to deal with anything similar since Off the Hook.

    As you can see, there's a little picture there that advertises "Snap-Ins". These are that Elephant and banana (I thought it was a moon but nope) that slot into the tiny holes in the outfit.

    Disney Princess Little Kingdom came around right as that era's iteration of Littlest Pet Shop was coming to an end. Littlest Pet Shop is yet another Hasbro property, and that series used a lot of "Deco-Bits" that you could stick on the pets (or in giant plastic speech bubbles that could then be stuck onto the pets or various backgrounds). Snap-Ins were literally just that with a different name.

    I wonder if this was because they thought the activity held genuine promise, or because they had the molds for these tiny things and the Littlest Pet Shop versions never paid back the research and development costs. Littlest Pet Shop isn't very popular in any iteration, after all.


    Here's Jasmine out of the box. I have to say; though I've heaped a lot of praise on this line, Jasmine's face was one of my least favorites. I liked Cinderella and Snow White a lot, and found Aurora's slightly deranged, but Jasmine just looks too old. Older than a tween and older the original character from the movies.

    This specific Jasmine is actually not the main Little Kingdom Jasmine, she's from the Pastel Fashion series. I think her outfit could pass for pyjamas, especially with the purple wrap.

    She wears a translucent blue crystal tiara, a mint green top with a 3D leafy print, a pair of wide harem pants with a crochet overlay and a soft purple wrap that looks like it could pass for a blanket or a throw.

    Very cute overall.

    She's also wearing giant golden earrings, and I think her makeup here is lighter than on the original Little Kingdom release (a doll I no longer own).


    Now, to get down to the nitty gritty for details on the fashion change concept!

    Jasmine's top is actually attached to a heart-shaped hole in her chest, and is just the slightest thing in real life (it practically disappears between my fingers).


    Her pants (or skirt, if this were any of the other dolls) aren't full pants, they're just made to around her hips.


    That's because the skirt has it's own mechanics and is kind of large. In the first picture here, I have the bit that holds it together on the outside. In the other I have it on the inside. The plastic is thick, so I guess they decided they could do without the front bit on the pants to help it all work together.

    With these three outfit pieces; top, skirt, bottom, you can create a great deal of looks.


    Here's Jasmine with her Snap-Ins. I like the elephant, but could do without the banana.

    Anyways, that's why I thought Little Kingdom was the greatest line that would ever come out of Hasbro, and why I always considered collecting it.

    Unfortunately, later releases like this Pastel Series were spotty in distribution, and attempts at diversification made things confusing. There was a lite of automated dancing mini dolls called Magical Movers that were also branded as Little Kingdom at times, but they couldn't change outfits or even just use Snap-ins.

    I think the line just suffered from samey-ness because they weren't full-sized dolls and Hasbro wasn't willing to invest in innovative molds anymore.

    So then came Royal Clips.

    When I first saw Royal Clips, I hated it.

    I mean, replacing the outfit system was bad enough, but actually changing the faces? Why, Hasbro? I loved the tween look of Little Kingdom, but now they just looked like generic Disney Princess dolls!

    But, there was one hook that kept me coming back: This line featured Princes.

    Across Little Kingdom, exactly one set featured a Prince, it was a wedding set with Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert. It was widely available, but I never got it because he wasn't really anything I cared about.

    So of course when Royal Clips released an Aladdin doll, I couldn't help but be interested.

    I do have to say that it seems this set is now out of production, which is weird for me because Royal Clips hasn't been around that long. It used to be stocked in boxes with a similar set featuring (obviously) Rapunzel and Eugene, but now I think that set may be produced in boxes by itself.

    Maybe it had to do with the Aladdin movie last year, which featured it's mini-doll line featuring Aladdin, Genie and two different Jasmines. Maybe they're more focused on making those instead.

    I know Royal Clips has had product released this year, but I do wonder if it's already on the outs for reasons I'll discuss here.


    Here's the front of the Royal Clips packaging. I didn't really like it when I first saw it online, but I was really really impressed with it in real life. It looks like a little jewelry box, and the pink prism effect on the bottom section of the front is very evocative of a modern take on Disney Princess.

    I am not impressed with this art, however. This is just generic Jasmine art from the Disney Princess series alongside Aladdin art that looks to be from official art from around the time of the movie in the 90s. It's not impressive at all to have them stitched together like this.


    What is impressive though is the nice details all over the packaging. The cute plastic hanger swings about (for reasons I do not know), and the packaging is designed to look as if it's surrounded by a charm bracelet that features pieces from the Aladdin movies (and a generic heart).


    Royal Clips also features a nice background for Jasmine and Aladdin to stand against, but it's not really visible through the toys somehow. I'm not sure why it doesn't stand out more, but I'm guessing it's the hyper-bright pink outline overshadowing it.


    Here are Jasmine and Aladdin in their plastic holding cell. They also come with a magic lamp, which is like... okay?


    Here's Aladdin freed from his packaging. He has ginormous feet to help him balance. Like, these are Tarzan feet rather than Aladdin feet.

    He's wearing his typical look; red Moroccan fez, open purple vest and white floaty harem pants with a yellow patch on one side and a red belt.

    His arms are a softer rubber than the rest of his body.


    Here's Jasmine in her Royal Clips glory. I can't tell if she's meant to be true to the movie or a caricature, but I lean towards the latter. Her face is very stark for something so small. She's unmistakably some sort of toy in features, as opposed to Aladdin who has surprising softness to his cartoonishly large head.

    I was really surprised to find out that she could stand, because Little Kingdom Jasmine can't stand at all.

    On Jasmine's head is a green headband molded as if they intended to paint on the gem and gold lining at the center but then decided against it.

    She wears a green off-the-shoulder top that looks almost as if it's a corset with gold detailing and lots of glitter. Royal Clips is all about the glittery clothes. Thankfully, it doesn't shed much.

    It's paired with an overskirt in tones of gold, green and purple over a pair of simple green harem pants with a hanging piece of stylish purple fabric.


    Here she is from the back, where you can see that the top doesn't wrap all the way around, which is a clue as to how this whole thing works.


    Now, when I say Royal Clips Mechanism, I feel I mean it more than with Little Kingdom. Little Kingdom features a lot of pulling and pushing things, as well as slotting things in and out.

    Royal Clips is basically engineering in comparison.

    First of all, Jasmine's overskirt is a familiar rubber material, comparable to the Little Kingdom skirt with the backing that keeps it in place. That's where the similarities end; this skirt is kept in place by a peg, which I was actually kind of scared to remove lest I ruin it. It's meant to come off, but it doesn't seem that way from the start.

    After you take this off, you "unclip" Jasmine's hard plastic pants, which are the only thing keeping the whole outfit on. You do this from the right side, with the purple fabric piece. Presumably the whole reason it's there is to provide grip. In all honesty, it doesn't really do that and you kind of just have to hope you've held on well enough.

    Jasmine's top is a hard plastic piece, which is connected to the pants by yet another two pegs. As with the skirt, I was extremely scared removing this would damage something, but it didn't.

    Anyways; the hard plastic top feels fragile and both the pants and top have to be handled with care. It's also hard to do stuff with these sort of motor-skills if you're much younger than I am. The pegs especially with the skirt and even moreso with the top are a bit iffy. That doesn't bode well the 4+ demo these are aimed at. I saw reviews on Amazon complaining about this where moms constantly had to be called in to put outfits back on, but I thought they were exaggerating. They probably aren't.


    As an aside, here's the lamp she came with. It's a lamp for sure.


    Underneath the massive mecha outfit, Jasmine comes wearing a cute little jumpsuit. Looks like something you'd go to pilates or jazzercize in.


    Here is Little Kingdom Jasmine next to Royal Clips Jasmine. Little Kingdom still looks older! She's slightly shorter too, and has a much larger head owing to the artstyle.


    Here's the top by itself. I quite like it, and I think it could allow for lots of fashion options if you had a decent enough collection of these. I like the tops on these dolls much better.

    Funny thing, since these are aimed at the younger kids, neither Jasmine has an exposed midriff like in the movie. Though I think the 12" Royal Shimmer dolls tend to do this too.


    Her pants side by side. The Little Kingdom pants are extremely detailed despite being made of a softer plastic, or maybe because of it. Another thing to note is that Royal Clips no longer features Snap-Ins. They weren't an amazing aspect or anything, but they did allow for a slightly deeper level of customization.


    Without the overskirt on, the Royal Clips outfit can "sit".


    Another issue with Royal Clips is that the "clip" mechanic is pretty hardcore set. You have to exert force with one hand whilst slotting Jasmine in just right with the other if you want her to fit. That means from the side, not from the top.

    Again, that's a major use of motor skills for somebody just done being a toddler.

    You also can't put her top on after her pants, but the top distracts a lot from getting the pants on, so that's fun!


    I was very pleased to find that Jasmine could still sit in the outfit without the overskirt. I'm glad there's still a bit of detail at the top of the pants to allow for it to look like a "full" outfit.


    Aaaand that's everything! Finally!


    I was surprised to find that these are slightly taller than Happy Places Shoppies. Aladdin is also slightly taller than Jasmine (who is in heels).

    Despite the height difference, Aladdin best be warry of Crown Prince Will Hugh; he's a wiley, charming lad who will do anything to sweep the latest jewel in his sights off her feet.

    ... er, moving on.


    Here's Aladdin with his lamp! Maybe he's wishing Hasbro back to the time of Royal Clips. Man, I wish there'd been a Royal Clips Aladdin. He'd have been so cute.
  • edited 2020-08-08 06:15:40
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I did not realize whilst writing it out, but that post was too long! I haven't hit the post character limit in ages!

    Continuing on (I think this is my first ever three-part post in this thread)

    So, in all honesty, I came into this project expecting to hate Royal Clips, but I actually quite like the fashions and I really really like Aladdin.

    But looking at it all in-depth, I still find Royal Clips to be inferior to Little Kingdom.

    For example;
    • The Royal Clips mechanic is very difficult to figure out at first glance
    • The Royal Clips mechanic is hard to deal with at all times, the "clip" has too strong a grip, there's nowhere for you to really grasp, and you have to slot in the doll just right with the top on, which makes it even harder to get her in
    • I have to reiterate this thing with the tops; you have to deal with Senorita DuraGrip every time you want to change the top (I should stop giving mechanics names)
    • No more Snap-Ins, which eliminates one of the four customization (top/skirt/bottom/snap-ins) options
    • Hard-plastic pieces don't feel great to touch, as compared to the soft Little Kingdom outfits
    • Hard-plastic pieces lack the detail of the soft Little Kingdom moulds
    • Nothing really special about the line in terms of character design, just typical Disney Princess fare, this makes it less appealing to non-Disney Princess fans like myself
    • Somehow I went this whole review without mentioning it, but overall I think the faces got worse. I still prefer Little Kingdom's Geriatric Jasmine to Royal Clips Caricature Variation
    • Packaging isn't as special with the pink prism effect across the line

    As a counterpoint;
    • Royal Clips dolls can stand on their own
    • Royal Clips dolls can sit in their outfits
    • The overskirts feature a lot of nice detailing in different colors unlike Little Kingdom, where they tended to be monotone or simply featured an hombre effect
    • Packaging has unique, super-cute charms to represent each movie
    • Princes!
  • edited 2020-08-15 05:44:55
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    So, I had a really big post planned. It was almost comparable to what is essentially my Magnum Opus right now (that is to say; Disney Princess Little Kingdom vs Royal Clips), but thanks to the magic of Google Drive (apparently there's a fun error that rears it's head if you click "Share" and then "Drive" and attempt to create a folder and for some reason it just doesn't go through) I lost most of my pictures from it.

    So like since finding that out I've been too annoyed to even try, but I did manage to G-A-N-B-A!! and find some of my lost photos (well like, two) and try to recreate the rest. So, here we go!


    Here is the L.O.L. Surprise Arcade Heroes Cabinet - ver. Fan Boy.

    I had a lot more pictures of the case, but the gist of it is that it's very big, much bigger than an L.O.L. and even a typical L.O.L. ball. The one over here is from L.O.L. Boys Series 3. I also had a review of these B.B.s planned and the photos were lost in the same folder incident. I may get more, or just do an overview of who I got.

    Main points to remember though are that the new L.O.L. balls come with plastic wrapping for the surprises but only inside the ball. The outer layers are the same hard, brittle plastic.

    The new checklists, shared by both Arcade Heroes and Series 3, are much more of a horizontal rectangle, rather than a squarey vertical one like the ones I've shown before.

    Now, for the Arcade Cabinet. It's wrapped in a layer of cardboard that you have to open by snipping a few pieces of tape with scissors. The machine looks basically the same once opened, except the front is clear and it's overall much less in-your-face. It's also called the Pixl Matic, which is cute.

    I find it odd that the joystick on the left doesn't move, but I guess that's because it would be easily breakable in store since it's sticking out of the rest of the box.

    So, to open this thing you use the included transparent pizza coin (which I had a lot of trouble photographing right even with my flash so using your imagination is fine) into the slot as indicated here (but like, real and less cardboard). That flips a tiny little switch mechanism inside the machine and the whole bottom-front panel pops out.

    Inside was a trading card featuring my B.B.; Fan Boy, whose super-suit alter ego is called Atomic, as well as the man himself.


    As you can probably tell, this is a Gundam. L.O.L. Surprise and MGA in general have become very brazen about the things they rip off ever since Poopsie Slime Surprise won the lawsuit against Louis Vuitton over the Pooey Puitton Slime Fun Times bag (or whatever it was called).

    Anyways, I'm not a fan of this, and though I didn't really care about the super-suits to start with I was still disappointed. The shiny blue plastic looks really inexpensive, and most importantly the joints aren't really "joints", they're just ball "joints" stuck into each other in a super loose way and you can easily pop one out just by breathing on it (not really, but still).

    The rest of the suit is removed by unclipping the inner bits from one another. I like that the helmet has a long "bib" type piece that goes in your B.B.s mouth, you can pretend it's his oxygen supply!


    I found, whilst taking it off, that this suit can create the illusion of somebody dressing their baby in a Gundam costume. That's super cute, I'd say.

    Inside the Arcade Machine, in the removable top half, was a Poopsie Slime Surprise style roller with his normal outfit and shoes in. I didn't put it on right away, because I found him to be super cute in his pre-robo garb.


    Oh look, it's Astro Boy!

    See, unlike normal L.O.L. Boys, these don't come packed in anything, so I'm guessing it would have been a shock to see that he was naked under his Gundam suit. I mean, this isn't Aquarion or Darling in the FranXX anything like that, so he has a pair of tighty-whities on along with a printed-on shirt. Funnily enough, the shirt printed over his anatomically correct nipples.


    This print on the shirt is also inserted in his main outfit, which is reminiscent of an anime protagonist.

    By the way, if things weren't obvious enough, Fan Boy is the brother of an L.O.L. B.B..

    Her name is Fanime. That is not a joke.

    I actually forgot to take any decent pictures of his normal outfit, which is unfortunate because I put him back in his shirt and undies outfit after I finished up as that's the look I prefer for him.

    Anyways, as I was looking at this giant arcade machine, wondering why it wasn't scaled so he could play with it, I thought "it's not scaled for any toy I can think of!"

    Someone was quick to prove me wrong!


    "Sir, you should abandon this NEET lifestyle and let kids like us play L.O.L. Surprise Arcade Heroes!"
    "That's right, we are the target demographic!
    "Yeah right, you cashless bozos. I'm self-employed! I don't need mommy or daddy's money, I have my own hard-earned dosh that I can waste at this machine. See this pocket of coins? Means I ain't going anywhere."
    "Whatever, come on, Mod Boi, let's blow this popsicle stand and make sure we grow up into responsible adults!"
    "I dunno, Fan Boy, the NEET life's the way for me!"
    "And I thought I was the anime protagonist?"
  • edited 2020-08-18 05:17:46
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I had yet another all prepared for before my images blipped out of existence via the magic of Google Drive, so instead I'm going to be looking at the final part of the MagicBox arc!


    MojiPops sets have come in many varieties ever since the line began, and to reflect that they've come in many different sets. There are the typical blind bags, the 8-packs as I've reviewed here, as well as PhotoPop packs that were all about encouraging the little instagrammer to model their Mojis.

    In addition, there were playsets, small and big. I did once consider getting a PhotoPop pack, but the play-frame they came with is actually cardboard and not plastic, so that's basically money down the train to get packaging that's pretending to be a real toy.


    Today I'm looking at a set that was introduced with Series 2, which essentially replaced the PhotoPop sets. I know there are some Series 2 PhotoPop packs, but they seem to have extremely limited distribution, and may have been curbed in production numbers to make up for these sets. Edit: I have found out that the Series 2 PhotoPops share special packaging with a new subset of Series 2 8-Packs, one of which includes a flip-flop Moji!

    But they cost about 40% more than the widely distributed ones and also I'm not really sure I like MojiPops enough to get one and not even be sure it'll be the one with the flip-flop in it.

    This is the MojiPops Party Series Club Room Pack! The second series of MojiPops is called the Party Series for reasons I cannot fathom. I guess a lot of the limited edition Glitter and (new!) Pearl Mojis are party themed, such as birthday cake Mojis and the hyper-special party popper Moji, but a lot of the others are just typical Mojis.

    There's also the fact that the series is based on creating what are essentially large Moji towers made up of Club Houses and Club Rooms. The Club Rooms can easily be stacked on top of each other and the Club Houses, as shown on the back.

    As with the last series, the Mojis are divided into tribes called "Clubs". I don't really want to push too much speculation, considering how a lot of non-English speaking European executives grasp of English seems really... off, but I'm guessing they really wanted to avoid calling them "Parties" because that would make MojiPops seem vaguely political. Which they are not, because they're cartoon rubber blobs with tile faces.

    This set comes with four MojiPops; three visible, as well as a special secret Glitter Moji. I would have liked them to just forget the glitter and stick with the new Pearl Mojis (which have no shedding risk and look really cool), but I know my more little girl sized cohorts prefer the glitter, so this is how things will be.

    This packaging is very functional, just like from the first series, but it does have a pretty fun feature!


    See that? There's a little cardboard inset where you can push the little pink heart up and down, which changes the Deer Moji's face! How cute.

    That means the backing card is extra thick and bound with quite a bit of extra advesive. With a bit more elbow grease than I'm used to (that is to say, not much at all) I managed to pry the set off.


    Technically, this camouflaging is as good as the last time I opened one of these sets, but I couldn't help but let out a chuckle when I noticed I was able to see my special Moji right away.

    This series, the little plastic casings on the faces are gone, so I guess it's nice not to have to deal with those anymore.


    Here are the new "Club Rooms". These are the Gardeners Club Room and the special Glitter version of the Homies Club, exclusive to this set. The Homies Club totally sounds like it's a hikkikomori type thing.

    As you can see, these have little peg stands in the bottom, which we'll discuss further in a second. The little signs on the front can also be spun around because that's a feature for some reason. The special edition on the Homies Club doesn't have Homies Club signage, so I had to guess which club it was based on the mold.


    Now for the Mojis themselves. There's a kissy lantern; Jimmy, a hammer (I had a bit of a hard time figuring this one out) named Pum, a snail creatively named Slowmo and an orange named Vita holding a lemon wedge.

    The Pearl Moji -Delis- in the front most is a lucky pull I got from the single blind pack I bought with this set. She's a slice of birthday cake.


    Unlike Series 1 Mojis, these Mojis have a little hole in the bottom where you can insert the Club Room peg. I know this makes sense, but it feels so weird that this essentially means you can't really display the Series 1 Mojis in the Club spaces.

    Maybe none of them were ever invited to the clubs. Woah, is the Anti-Party Club going to start a Moji War? That's not what I'm saying at all; but if you need any ideas for Series 3 MagicBox, that's one for free.


    Another improvement is the marked difference in face printing. The old faces were flat and erred on the side of lighter shades, the new ones are printed in a 3-D type style that you can trace with your fingers and are almost always more lively.


    The bodies also improved; they feel much more squishy.


    These guys also stick really well onto their pegs. It actually doesn't feel like it when you put them on, but once they're on they won't come off too easily.

    The stacking mechanism for the Club Rooms, which I assume is the same for the Club Houses, is pretty simple. Each box has a raised top that features the MojiPops logo, and each bottom has a hollowed out bit in the same shape, the stacks don't exactly stick together too well, but it works well enough if you're careful.


    I think this is an odd little direction for MojiPops, for them to start political parties along lines like 'interest in gardening' and 'never wanting to leave the house ever again', but nothing about these little nubby toys is very normal. It's a fun concept, very novel, so I think it's a great direction overall.

    My favorite Mojis in this set were probably the Orange and the Hammer (who now looks like he's gotten an ouchie from somebody using him too much). I really dislike the snail, but that's probably just a personal preference. Both of it's face-options are also pretty typical in a way I dislike.

    Obviously, I really like the birthday cake one! That was one lucky pull, probably because it didn't involve MGA Entertainment.

    Now that the business end is out of the way; here's the Orange Moji disgusted by his own cannibalism (does it count if Oranges eat Lemons?);

  • There is love everywhere, I already know


    Let's do a post!

    In all honesty, when I first saw the prototypes for this toy, I wasn't too concerned. I mean, it was the farthest thing from my mind.

    But then I saw the promotional images, and I knew I had to cover it here, because it's just absolutely insane.


    How you twistin' Twisty Girlz~

    So I've already talked about how Spin Master have been pretty close to my heart for a while now, but I haven't spoken a lot of their biggest IPs aimed at little girls. Here's one; Twisty Petz. Twisty Petz, which debuted quite a while ago, are animals that turn into bracelets.

    More accurately, they're bracelets that sort of look like animals if you give them some visual leeway. The name comes from the fact that the 'animal' form is almost always created by twisting the front legs and back lets towards the body. They're all stringed bead things, so this is relatively easy.

    I've never liked Twisty Petz, mostly because I've never gotten jewelry toys, but then the line expanded into dolls and...

    Well, I still didn't care.

    Until I realized the abject horror this signified.

    That said; here's the Twisty Girlz Krystal Kool doll.


    Krystal Kool is supposed to be the hip-hop inspired Twisty Girl(z? is this even a real plural?). The first thing that struck me about these was the giant packaging. I understand it's only slight additions on the top and bottom, but there's something about it that feels disproportionate based on what the packaging contains.

    The back of the packaging advertises four girls in this first collection, but as we'll see later with the checklist the first series of these actually contains eight dolls. Spin Master seems to have had issues with full distributions of toylines, and this isn't because of current world events either. It's a problem they've had a few times before.

    Each Twisty Girl(z) comes with a mystery Twizty Pet(z) Baby, which can transform into a ring.


    As advertised on the checklist, the dolls themselves turn into bracelets. Connecting the hot pink chain that is on Krystal's arm to the Twisty Baby'(z) neck makes it look like she's taking the Twisty Baby for a walk, and creates the fun illusion of a bracelet-ring-thing.

    It's very boho chic, as the lady paid to make it sound like she cares in the how-to YouTube video said. If only somebody had told Spin Master boho chic has been over since at least 2014.


    Getting Krystal out of her packaging was slightly harder than expected, because her tassel-like hair was taped down. It was easy enough to pull out after a bit of easing from the back, but it was still an odd design decision.


    She comes with this papercraft pet carrier, which contains her mystery Twisty Petz Baby.


    Here's Krystal in her best attempt at standing. Almost every one of her joints is strung, which makes her very floppy. She's what I'd expect a BJD ball-jointed doll to be like, though I've been told those are pretty stable.

    She has bright orange hair represented by a molded on head-piece and some tassles for a ponytail, held in place by an animal print scrunchie. She's wearing a purple crop top and a matching choker with metallic elements. She pairs it with a blue quasi-jean skirt, thigh high black athletic socks with pink stripes and purple hi-top platform mini-boots.


    I quite like her boots.

    She's wholly translucent aside from her socks, which is quite a sight.

    It's kind of creepy, but this is just the start!


    Krystal does not have fingers on her "hands". She has nubs, which I guess are okay in some cartoonish sense, but they also sort of freak me out.

    Now, the whole point of these is to twist them from "Girl" into "Bracelet", and this concept honestly never bothered me when it came to the Pet(z), but transferring it to the human form was a mistake.




    Well, whatever this is.

    It looks like torture.

    To "Twist" her into bracelet form, you have to separate her torso from her waist, which flings her lower body fully sideways.

    The lady in the how-to video was trying to inspire awe about being able to sneak toys into school in bracelet form and I just sat there in awe at how terrifying this was.

    So, at this point I became slightly confused as to how she went from "stiff sorrowful form of horror" to "bracelet, so I instructed the included instruction guide.

    I actually laughed because, if this was not enough, you have to pull her hair like a third-grade bully to expose the plug in her head, and then insert her waist into this plug.




    The finished product. This is a crime against Toykind, and I for one reprimand Spin Master for forcing me to partake in such Toy Abuse. What's next? The Twisty Toytanamo Bay(z) Playset?


    "Send help..."


    Seriously, this looks like something out of a particularly deranged child's toybox. I think #12 on BuzzFeed's new "15 Signs You Might Be A Violent Psychopath" list is "any interest at all in Twisty Girlz dolls".

    To turn your doll back to normal and end this suffering, you have to unplug her torso from her head and back into her body, and then re-string her leg, otherwise you end up with quite the jivey Twisty Girl.


    Despite this all, I found her articulation in doll form somewhat freeing. Because of her tight-strung nature, she can't hold many of her poses as soon as you stop applying pressure, but it's fun to mess around with her arms.

    Her legs, unfortunately, move almost as one in doll form due to the connection at the shoes.


    She can hold some poses if you place things strategically enough.

    Now for her mystery pet;


    It's a pink and purple cat with a polka-dot bow. In all honesty, I think because of the material it's made of and the terrible face painting, this looks very cheap. If this is indicative of Twisty Petz overall quality, I'm quite happy staying away.

    As soon as you undo the pet(z)' front and hind legs, the tightly strung string stands quite stiff.


    It looks sort of like a magic wizard staff!


    Next DapperMan light novel; When Hip-Hop Wizards Became Commonplace.


    Here's Krystal taking the cat for a walk. This pink plastic rope is actually detachable from Krystal's hand too, but that didn't occur to me until days after I'd finished taking these pictures.

    So there you have it; Twisty Girlz (and Petz).

    In all honesty, if Spin Master never released the second half of this series, that would make me very happy. The styling on the actual Twisty Girlz dolls isn't that bad, but the overall concept freaks me out, and these Baby Petz look very cheaply made. I'd rather they move on to the next thing in their repetoire, something that doesn't double as kindling for some very strange nightmares.
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