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The Toy Zeigeist

in Meatspace
There is love everywhere, I already know
DapperMan's back you nerds.

Well, not in the same sense. This thread isn't primarily (or even secondari...ly) for toy reviews, but I generally always have things to say about toys new and old. This is where I'll put such thoughts.

To reiterate a few things I've said before; I'm always apprehensive about starting new threads on here, but I think my track record so far has actually been pretty good! I might not continue them in infinite perpetuity, but they last long and I manage to break second pages often!

In addition, I have always wanted to make sure that one day, I'll look back and find that I've collected nearly all of something really cool. That's how I feel about my retro Bakugan collection. When I buy stuff myself, I'll mention it here, but I'll try and make pictures baie few and far between.

*baie means very in Afrikaans and it's creeping into my day to day language very quickly
*I'll probably add a thread header to either this post or the next when I come up with a good idea for it


  • edited 2020-11-20 11:04:33
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  • edited 2022-09-02 14:00:53
    There is love everywhere, I already know
  • there's a line of "little sisters" (how do all these doll characters always have little sisters?) called Hairdorables Shortcuts who look even more deranged than the most open-mouth serial-killer,
    Like this?:
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    They're worse, I assure you;


    Now for a small image dump because there isn't much to say.

    Before there was Cuties, there was the Bratz Babyz Milk Carton reboot;


    It's fitting that these came with their faces plastered on milk cartons because that's the fate of genuine children who creepy adults would fantasize about in this fashion.

    In fact I'm not wholly convinced I'm not distributing inflammatory images right now.

    The Bratz Babyz lines from before this ill-thought-out reboot weren't much better, but this was taking things to a very bad extreme.

    Are you a male Hasbro doll? Would you like removable fabric pants instead of molded on perma-pants, even if you're the hero of the story?


    Well, all you need to do is come in a giant multi-pack that runs upwards of $69 dollars!


    And sometimes they can't help you even then! Poor Will Smith Genie...

    The new Rainbow High animated web-series started!, and it's quite the ambitious project. First up was showing off the first-floor prefects, who make life for our six protagonists a waking nightmare: the "A"s (Aisnley, Avery -ie the doll up there somewhere- and Aidan).


    I particularly like Aidan's horrid sparkly see-through shirt. All boys in these shows should dress like this.


    Ainsley is meant to be the "goth" girl of the group, but I guess her eye make-up didn't get the memo. I know Avery's hair is meant to be fabulous and tinsel-tastic, but the CG of it looks quite something.
  • edited 2022-09-02 14:01:21
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    I finally got round to taking those pictures of Bratz Babyz Yasmin!


    It's just the outer shots of the box, but I think they're worth noting. I like that the handle to her box features her "icon" (a frog) and also a little guide of what Bratz Babyz products were available so you immediately forget about what you have in your hands to daydream about what could be...

    The art is really weird with these Hair Flair dolls, and a lot of the later Bratz Babyz releases share it, but the art on the booklet -the original art- is pretty good.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    For some reason I only recently watched Polly Pocket: 2 Cool at the Pocket Plaza, which is the only animated Polly Pocket original video animation before the Pollyworld! movie. That movie is still one of my top 10 animated movies based on a fashion doll line.

    I wonder if I should write out that top 10 sometime.

    Archiving post from IJBMU;

    I have just finished watching Polly Pocket: 2 Cool at the Pocket Plaza on a nostalgic lark. It is the first ever animated Polly Pocket special, which introduces her cousin Pia Pocket.

    Finding out that My Scene is just a TV show in the Polly Pocket universe is quite disturbing.

    I also updated my Hairdorables post somewhat, and I'm considering doing the same for my Kuu Kuu Harajuku post.
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  • For a minute I thought that skirt was supposed to be some kind of bird cage.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    That would be a cool idea for a music video or something.

    Since Cinderella is only the first, it's possible that Belle's set will be centered around a rose and that might sort of look like a birdcage.
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  • There is love everywhere, I already know

    Unbox 7! Surprises including exclusive but credible rumors of slave labor!
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    5040 surprises is a lot

    [/math joke]
  • edited 2022-09-19 15:46:08
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    For some reason I felt like doing this.

    My Top 10 Bratz dolls

    Now, Bratz was a big part of my childhood and teen years. I loved Bratz dolls, and I ended up eventually having quite a bit (though I missed a lot of the early stuff). There were lots of Bratz dolls over the years, and I thought it would be fun to go through all of them to see which ones were my absolute favorites.

    If you don't know what Bratz is, they were a series of teen dolls made by the upstart (now juggernaut) MGA Entertainment. The line followed Cloe, Yasmin, Jade and Sasha (as well as their about 200 other friends, including Boyz) and their adventures in their hometown of Stilesville and beyond.

    Without further ado, let's begin in reverse order!

    10. Bratz Party Jade

    There was no way I would do this list without including something from the post-2010 reboot from when MGAE regained the license from the brief period during which Mattel owned it. When these dolls came out, I was in a bit of a nippy phase and so I just basically hated everything.

    There were legitimate reasons to hate the stuff that came out later. The hair quality was bad, outfit quality was questionable and there was a missing "spark" that is also present here. Similarly, the dolls were very conservatively dressed and covered up, as if this was a Moxie Girlz line that had been repurposed for Bratz.

    However, the Party dolls did still make an impression on me, and I liked several. I really love Jade's jacket with the East-Asian inspired closures and her poofy pink skirt, though her second outfit leaves a lot to be desired. She even comes with that detestable high-heeled sneaker mold that became prominent in later years (here in pink).

    I think this line was designed by Youngsin Kwon, a half-Korean designer/creative director who is basically the explanation for why MGAE's doll lines from later years had oddly K-Pop theme songs (like Novi Stars). MGAE CEO Isaac Larian may be a typical square with a foul mouth on LinkedIn, but he's good at picking winners in the cultural market. MGAE basically predicted the coming of mainstream K-Pop in a way.

    9. Bratz Forever Diamondz Sharidan

    I hope there isn't an obvious pattern to my choices in terms of characters, but here's yet another raven-haired character. I actually don't like the Bratz Forever Diamondz line much, and this isn't even because I never owned any of them (if I owned a doll, I'll mention it, most of these I never owned). Something about everybody having the same repetitive look in Bratz didn't fly as well as it does in a line like My Scene.

    But there's something about the color combination on Sharidan that really elevates her look. I'll even forgive the dangly earrings and random inclusion of a pair of bare feet, which was also a big trend with Bratz at the time.

    8. Bratz Genie Magic Meygan

    When I started out thinking this through, I certainly never thought any Meygan dolls would make the list. I was never a big fan of her, she just seemed wishy-washy in terms of being a character since she was the first one introduced after the main four but never attained main character status.

    I also don't really love the Genie Magic line that much, but the color combination for her first outfit is just pretty stunning to me. I love the teal skirt a lot. What really makes her "Top 10" material for me are those giant knee-high boots that come with her second outfit. They're epic, and I don't think any other iteration of them works as well as this one.

    7. Bratz Fashion Stylitz Leah

    Several options on this list are actually characters who weren't my favorite from the line initially, but after much thought actually turned out to be the best. Funnily enough, if this is the case I'll tend to gravitate towards a dirty blonde character.

    Here we have Leah, who is a Bratz character I did actually like (mainly because I owned her Play Sportz Skateboarding doll, otherwise I wouldn't even actually remember her name). Fashion Stylitz was an epic line overall, not just in the final looks but also the super-cute utility belts each doll came with. I would have picked Yasmin, but her head-scarf is somehow off-putting. I'd initially picked Cloe from this line, but whilst her look is great, it's somehow vaguely simple.

    I think Leah's skirt length and bustier really make her the best of the bunch. There's something really cool and glamorous about being behind-the-scenes of fashion, and I think this line captures that whole concept perfectly.

    6. Bratz Ooh La La Dana

    I knew this list wouldn't be complete without an Ooh La La doll, specifically Kumi!

    Oh uh, wait.

    Well yeah, after examining the two dolls closely, I found that I preferred the Ooh La La Dana doll. Her dirty blonde hair and somewhat muted outfit really sold the look to me. I like the concept of this line a lot; a trip to France (where everybody is dressed like they're about to shout "Ma Cherie!" at the top of their lungs for no reason).

    It really captured my imagination as a kid, and it actually still does today (albeit with a concern for that jarringly high skirt length).

    5. Bratz Sweet Dreamz Pajama Party Yasmin

    I knew this list wouldn't be complete without a Sweet Dreamz Pajama Party doll, specifically Kumi!

    Wait, no way. Again?

    Well, yeah. In general, Bratz didn't do pink very well, but when it worked, it was always on Yasmin. Whilst the Kumi from this line is pretty great, Yasmin has a great color combination with the green detailing, and that blonde/brunette subterfuge makes her a standout Yasmin.

    Bratz was chock full of sleepover lines, and whilst many people have fond memories of the lines where they have a bit more clothing like Sleepover or Nighty Nite, I find that the PJs of this line are very indicative of the time. You could totally see a character from The Clique rocking one of these outfits.

    4. Bratz Rock Angelz Jade

    This list wasn't going to be complete without at least one of the Bratz Rock Angelz. This was the first time, I think, that Bratz proved it was truly versatile and could be a doll line that could adapt to any concept. As a fan of the Avril/scene aesthetic, this line really spoke to me. Not just in doll form, but with all the amazing artwork that came with it.

    So why Jade? I think her white hair is what really puts her over the top. Her pseudo-monochrome look just works very well.

    3. Bratz Passion 4 Fashion (Wave 4) Yasmin

    The only Bratz foll on this line from the later years before the 2010 'reboot'. All I know is the first time I saw this Yasmin, I knew she was an epic doll. The flowy pink babydoll combined with all that lace was basically an unbeatable combo for me. I know it's basically a rework of several things, including the original Moxie Girlz Sophina top, but on Yasmin it just works.

    Her second riding outfit, once again, left much to be desired being a later on release.

    I'd venture to say that this wave of Passion 4 Fashion, which was basically a mish-mash of lots of different lines (including three new characters) was probably it's best ever incarnation.

    2. Bratz Girlz Really Rock Jade

    A doll from right before the 'later' years took hold, it's yet another Rock-themed Jade? What's not to love? The black/pink combo, the little space buns, the stripey socks? She's basically perfect right down to the little plastic zippers on her skirt and those cool chunky boots.

    I didn't really mention accessories for a lot of these dolls, but Jade's guitar here has to be the coolest possible Bratz accessory. Her keyboards not too bad to have around either.

    Once again, her second outfit is something I'd rather not have. I actually had this doll, and the mesh on her first look (which I love) made it very hard to get that top on and off with her finicky, rubberized-plastic fingers.

    1. Bratz Princess Yasmin

    Whilst Bratz Rock Angelz is a seminal line for the Bratz series, I have no qualms in saying that the best ever overall Bratz doll line was Bratz Princess. The way that it combined the playful, out there style that Bratz had come to encapsulate with the softer looks of the princess aesthetic was absolutely perfect.

    And of this most perfect of lines, Yasmin was the most brilliant of them all. Her color combos with the pink/purples and her black, diamond studded shoes just made it impossible to pick anybody else. Funnily enough, this Yasmin was also one of my first ever Bratz dolls.
  • edited 2022-10-16 07:25:01
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    September Toys

    So last month I kind of blew all my toy budget right at the start of the month because there were a bunch of L.O.L. Surprise! tots in stock at my usual toy tore. I got two Remix sets and two of the Series 6 All Star Sports series.

    That's four L.O.L.s cost a whole bunch more than you'd expect (basically as much as two standard Rainbow High dolls and Rainbow High is the most expensive doll line out right now) because MGAE products around here always cost about 70% more than what they cost otherwise. Even if I'd just had them shipped from elsewhere it'd be cheaper but they were right there which is what I always get in trouble with when it comes to toys.

    Aside from that, I got this He-Man and Skeletor 2-Pack from the new Netflix cartoon.


    I'm... not sure why I got this, maybe just because it was there?. I like them both well enough and I really like their torso articulation but this isn't really my thing overall. Probably won't keep either of them.

    A few months ago I saw somebody post on instagram about this new 4" Fortnite Solo Mode figure; Summer Drift.


    It seems like it's the "Summer Wear" version of this more iconic character. I have been checking all the places I usually get stuff from but he hasn't popped up yet (I don't really do Amazon US anymore for toys because the shipping cost gets quite out of hand). The only place he seems to be online is Target US which is another no-go for me.

    However when looking him up for the sixteenth time I saw some other Fortnite Solo Mode figures I liked, and I was buying some books online anyways, so I got UnPeely (Summer ver.) and Raz (Glyph Master). I have no idea who these characters are in game-context but I like them as figures. For four inches, they're pretty articulated.

    I find that these action figures were all sort of uh... not the best use of money. At least the LOLs I talked about and took pictures of (not very good pictures) but the action figures ended up in my drawer within an hour of getting out of the box. I thought I'd like them more.

    Up till last month I still had this thing where I wasn't going to get proper 10-12" dolls, but I was also avoiding buying LEGO.l I think that might be why I got all these random action figures. However from now on I think that typical dolls be the majority of my purchases. I have severe FOMO that has lasted about 3-5 years doll-wise so hopefully I'll be able to control my spending.

    At the end of last month there were these Chelsea mini sets that I just couldn't bring myself to justify buying because I'd already gotten everything else, and this month I've been pretty good so far (no spoilers for next months post).

    I almost jumped the gun on some Barbie Extra Minis (purple on the bottom right and blonde/brunette on the bottom left, if it was the blonde in the metallic pink on the top there's no way I could have resisted) but managed to stop myself at the last minute.
  • edited 2022-11-07 13:05:14
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Today I got the L.O.L. O.M.G. Remix Honeylicious doll.

    I kind of feel like I only did so because if I didn't I'd think about it forever.

    Nowadays I feel like I watch dolltubers more to just watch them than because I actually want to buy any of the stuff they review.

    I also specifically don't like LOL OMG that much at all but then if I never own even one of them ever then it means I'll never own one of them ever.

    Anyways, it turns out that out of the four Remix girls, she is probably the one I actually should get even if I don't like her the most.

    LtR: Pop B.B., Kitty K, Honeylicious and Lonestar.

    Kitty K has the whole "It's Ariana Grande!!" thing that was big in dolls for a while (L.O.L. has even done it twice, at least so far). I was charmed by the novelty at first but now I feel like it's too popular a trend and so I don't like it. Her first outfit also has her in that shawl thing that looks like she should be a sleepover doll instead.

    Pop B.B. is literally Madonna but as much as I like the doll her outfit is possibly the worst, and Lonestar isn't even worth mentioning at all. Who actually likes these Western dolls because she isn't the only one they've put out.

    I guess Honeylicious (this name is atrocious and also not a rarity amongst O.M.G.s ie "Neonlicious) is at least the one with the least number of hang-ups. I don't really like dolls with braids instead of hair but I don't even like O.M.G.s anyways.

    EDIT: nvm this is cope I wish they'd had Kitty K instead.

    I should probably do an October compilation of stuff I got but maybe later.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I feel lazy but this is a good place to put my recent purchases anyways. If I don't I'll be back here in six months staring and thinking "October 2022 compilation?" to myself.

    Okay so here's what I got recently;


    These three Ken dolls! They're actually Fashionistas #162, #183 and #203, all from different waves (waves are usually 10-12 dolls, plus the 3 wheelchair MtMs, so 15ish).

    I always thought #162 one would be very popular, to "#15/Hip Hoodie" levels of popular, but it seems nobody really cares for these anymore since there are "better" doll lines out there (Rainbow High and etc).

    #183 I knew wouldn't be popular, and I got him basically because he was like... there. I've actually already had one of him, but I got rid of him, and then earlier this month I felt oddly sad about that so I'm glad I found him again.

    Plus, he looks pretty cohesive next to #184, who I already got late last year (soon after my last post).


    #203 is the newest of that batch, from the current (nvm the Smiling Kens* are out already) almost current wave. He was one of the most interesting Kens to me because I though #183 was probably the darkest they were ever going to go in terms of skin-tone, but they went even further I guess!

    In terms of outfits, #162's is bad, but the base doll is amazing. #183 looks kind of like a theater geek on his day off (the pudgy "broad" body is not working for that head mold, and it's honestly a waste of that amazing head-mold), and I want to like #203's outfit a lot but there are hitches here and there. The cut of that shirt is not flattering, and the arrow pattern should have probably just been a stripe.

    Again, the base doll is pretty good.

    I'm betting that at least one of you is wondering "why are they all black guys". Well, the toy store I usually go to is not an official distributor of toys so they don't get whole assortments in. I think their business model is to get failed stock from other countries and bring it here. The intersection of "black" and "Ken" is surprisingly*** not popular in Africa (and probably elsewhere, considering even Brooklyn Barbie's one male friend is Latino).

    Speaking of unpopular dolls, I practically had a meltdown outside the store when I saw;


    Rainbow High Junior High Skyler! All the way from Series 1 of JH, and like 7 of her (they're packed 3 characters to a box, so imagine all the Jades and Violets selling and her specifically just... not).

    I know Skyler is unpopular in terms of the main six RHes but it was kind of a lot to just see just her.

    I probably knew this at some point but all Rainbow High dolls have real eyelashes, as well as plastic eyes meant to mimic premium glass eyes.

    I still don't 100% get why people l-o-v-e this brand but I like them well enough. I'll definitely get another Skyler and put her in my JH Krystal Bailey's outfit

    JH Krystal being a doll I've had for over a year that I have not even opened but I only got her because she was a Junior High doll and my first ever Rainbow High doll. She's honestly my least favorite character and I think I've discussed why before.

    She's not Karma Nichols (who is green themed and not purple and I like and this is dumb but I liked that she was like half-Indian or whatever and didn't have a super giant "I'm Indian!!!"* outfit) or Jett Dawson (who she replaced in the S2 line-up initially, who was then released as a Limited Edition "Art of Fashion" doll.)

    I like this iteration of Skyler a lot, and there was a lot of variation in the ones they had so I picked the one with the softest make-up (and the most crushed box, sadly). I like her transparent plastic backpack, as well as her shoes which actually say cute stuff attached to the copyright on the side which is for some reason not shown in this picture.


    I also saw these two Career dolls, and re:unpopularity of certain dolls, they had a billion of the one on the right (Pet Photographer) whereas they only had literally one of the Make-Up Artist. Personally, when I first saw promos of the Pet Photographer, I thought she was super cute and worth owning, but again collectors don't care for static Barbies (I need to do a post on articulation) so lucky me I guess?

    Maybe this is just that thing where I have a penchant for picking the least popular X by instinct.

    These dolls are also not actually the same size. The one on the left is a normal-size doll whereas Pet Photographer is a petite (about 3-5cm shorter). They just look like that due to me stitching two pictures together.

    *I'll discuss this later. Hope I remember.

    **saddish, since I get cool dolls anyways.

    ***not actually surprising.

    I feel like I need to get you guys up to date on all the reasons I'm not buying X brand of dolls because X.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Somebody mentioned how people played bootleg video games when they were younger due to availability, and it reminded me that whilst I mostly played all my bootlegs on a computer (GBA mostly, thank you VisualBoy), I did have a similar analogue in my childhood.

    I remember when I was a kid, it was very rare to get like... "original" dolls that weren't Barbie (and even with Barbie there was a good 3/4 years when you couldn't get real ones either), so during my childhood we had lots of really random almost fake doll lines, but not really.

    ie in the vein of like, Bratz if it was Mary-Kate and Ashley


    There was...


    For some reason as a child it never occurred to me that her name was "Eunice" (like a person) so I always called her "E-U"(like the regional grouping)"Nice"(like the place in France).

    The logo for her "Wild Life" line is literally the same as the font Bratz used for a lot of stuff.

    Maybe I secretly knew inside she was a fake so it was to make her seem cooler?

    Though if you were a kid, it'd be hard to tell she was a fake. Even now she's not technically a "fake".

    This is one of the two Eunices I had:


    Apparently she was called "Vacation!! Yeah..." Eunice which is a name I can get behind, though personally I would have put the exclamation marks at the end.

    The other was ladybug themed and she came with a dog, but I can't find her online anywhere. The other resources I found on a site called "ToyLeader", which seems to be a catalogue site for toys shipping straight from Hong Kong, or toys that shipped straight from Hong Kong when I was a kid like literally 18 years ago.

    I vaguely remember wanting the pink version of this set so bad... Either that, or actually had it. I definitely remember having some of those accessories.

    These I remember seeing, but I never owned any. Imagine the variety of having both blonde and red-headed Eunice! I might faint at the excitement.

    There were also "Vivid Fairy" Eunices, these I'd never seen before but I'd like one for posterity.

    According to ToyLeader website, they did make more obvious Barbie ripoffs, though decidedly more racy for no real reason.



    Secret Agent Katie looks like either a Nazi or an Illuminati conspiracy thing. She also makes real shooting sounds! I wonder why she didn't catch on.

    The internet makes nostalgia for old knockoff toys oddly easy.

    I remember having a much more obvious Bratz knockoff from a line called "[Something] Teenz" who had bendy limbs, but I've never been able to find anything about her online.

    Other nostalgic toys from my youth include the Passport Friends dolls. Honestly I never had even one of these but this commercial made me want them so bad.

    Nowadays in terms of these "Well, they are actually dolls with their own brands but like come on not really", we have Sparkle Girlz, who have limbs like toothpicks but are actually kind of almost cute, and Hairmazing.

    Wait, Hairmazing you ask, you mean like Hairmazing Hairdorables? Eyup, Just Play revived their own fashion doll brand as a bad knockoff of itself that's basically a Walmart exclusive. I saw one IRL the other day, but she didn't make me curious enough to pick her up to see what the quality is like.

    With like, actually well-made dolls having exploded in presence once again the last few years, these sort of dolls aren't really on anyone's radar, including mine most of the time.

    However the fact that the basic fantasy Sparkle Girlz and Hairmazing both have full fabric outfits whereas Barbie herself can't manage it is kind of impressive.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I saw some of the budget LOL OMG dolls at the mall in this area, they're 2x the cost of the previous standard/deluxe OMGs I've bought before.

    Surprisingly enough we got the box with the most dark skinned one, rather than the EU box which had her replaced or sometimes even just outright removed and not replaced.

    Original set:


    EU ver.:


    When I was a kid MGAE never risked it with dark-skinned dolls (ie Sasha), and even nowadays I notice that the Disney Princess who gets left on the shelf most often here is Tiana.
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