23 Jan 2018

Tesco Sindy

Surprise review this one.

Now, in 2016 when Pedigree announced a relaunch of the Sindy franchise, everyone was of course a bit excited. For a lot of people well... older than me, Sindy is a huge part of their childhood and the nostelgia was strong.
Sadly, what materialised on shelves was not... at all... what anyone anticipated.

Instead of an 11 inch fashion doll, heck, instead of a fashion doll at all what we got were glassy eyed 18 inch American Girl wannabes.

She was exclusive to Tesco and being produced under license not by Pedigree themselves but by a company called Cititoy. Who incidentally, produce the "My Life As A" line of 18 inch dolls.
The Sindy 18 inch dolls are VERY similar to the My Life As range, even down to the dead eyed stare I often find so repellent in dolls of this style.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand why some people like 18 inch little girl dolls, but i've never been into this style of doll at all. I've always found them a little too like a porcelain doll for my tastes (which is kinda ironic given I collect bjds but for whatever reason they don't spook me out as much)

17 Jan 2018

Post christmas roundup of randomness

So we're into that part of the year that's a huge lull. Christmas is over, christmas money has been splurged (in my case on two more resinsoul dolls ahem) and stores are awaiting a long overdue restock.

the new Argos catalogue is due out the end of the month but the past few years have been so anticlimactic it's hard to get that excited. That means most stores are due their reset in the next few weeks though, so maybe something will show up on shelves.
Who knows?

Honestly there's not a lot in stores right now that's inspiring me.

But that doesn't mean I haven't bought too much stuff anyway. (I have very poor impulse control okay?)

So I suppose this is the "stuff I used what little christmas money I hadn't already blown to buy" hahah.

5 Jan 2018

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Sabine Wren

So Forces of Destiny hit UK shelves several months ago now, but it's now January and STILL no sign of the Sabine pictured on the back of the boxes.
So I emailed Hasbro.

I had a chat with a few of their representatives none of whom seemed to know why she wasn't on shelves yet. One claimed she MIGHT be seeded into assortments in the new year but they couldn't guarantee it.
I told them that simply wasn't good enough.

Now here's what I think happened.

In the Uk at least, the forces of destiny figures are shipping 1 character per case of 4 or 5 figures. They don't HAVE an assortment case, least i've not seen any evidence of one.
We did get Leia, Rey, and Jyn though the Leia sets are much harder to find in physical stores. Pretty much every shop i've been into has only had Rey or only had Jyn, very few seem to have both and even less have all three.
It's bizarre.
I've seen Leia's set ONCE, i'm yet to see her Endor set at all in a store but i'm relieved the price of it seems to be coming down. £50 for it is ridiculous. 

but what I think happened with Sabine was this:

The purchasers for toy stores were given a series of cases to pick from. Each with a different character in. So they went for the cases that contained characters from the latest movies assuming those would be the most popular and most known. It's also likely the purchaser isn't a massive star wars nerd so didn't have a clue who Sabine even was.
There's also a chance the "girls toys" person was in charge of ordering these, i'm not sure how the purchasing is done in stores and whether it's all one person or departmentalised. But that could also be a factor in this, purchasers ordering "dolls" based on "doll sale" numbers rather than "action figure/star wars toys" numbers.
See, Star Wars toys they can literally sell anything. There are figures of background characters, extras, people who are literally in like 1 frame of a deleted bloody scene and they get toys and those SELL, if they didn't Hasbro wouldn't bother making them. You can get action figures of Salicious Crumb ffs, and the guy with the ice cream maker from Cloud City. These random backgrounders even have NAMES and freaking backstories! It's nuts.
So by Star Wars logic, there was zero reason to expect we wouldn't get Sabine Wren. She's a main character in the Rebels TV series after all, she's not some obscure background player. And she DOES have action figures on UK shelves. But for some reason her forces of destiny figure was not ordered.

Of course it's easy to say it's because she's darker skinned. The UK market is rather notorious for excluding the darker skinned characters from doll assortments, but doll logic shouldn't apply here because these aren't DOLLS right? they're figures, they're star wars, they're a whole different market and at least here in the UK, the Forces of Destiny figures aren't in the doll aisle anyway, they're in the action figure aisle with all the other star wars toys.
So I honestly and sincerely believed that we'd get her. All evidence suggested we would. Star Wars toys sell no matter what character is represented, if even ice cream maker guy can get a widely distributed action figure, why would a protagonist not?

Still, the racism card is a powerful one and excluding the one dark skinned character from the assortment DOES have unfortunate implications in that respect.
So I politely told Hasbro all this, asking why she was being excluded and how it didn't make much sense or mesh with their usual distribution of Star Wars products.
Hasbro UK didn't really know what was going on so they put me in contact with their head office in the US, well, actually they just forwarded my emails to the head of marketing in the US who emailed me back saying he didn't quite understand why she wasn't being sold over her and telling me he'd send me one to say sorry.
Which was very kind. Certainly I wasn't expecting a doll, I just wanted to chase up the distribution so I could work out if I needed to pay to import or if we might possibly be able to convince Hasbro to get her into stores for uk fans.
It's not like Rebels isn't shown on UK tv, it's still running!
So any argument that a child fan of star wars wouldn't know who Sabine Wren was I think is rather silly. It's a dang good tv series and quite popular. (Heck, the Ghost, the ship from the series makes a cameo in Rogue One)

It was just before christmas anyway, and Hasbro's head of marketing told me that I should expect a delay due to the festive rush but my doll should arrive soon.
I thanked him and promised him when she arrived i'd write them a review to say thanks anyway. I feel kinda obligated to do so you know? To "pay them back" as it were.
But i'm still gonna be objective.
Because companies deserve REAL reviews, not just hot air blown up their asses.

As it was, a box turned up after only 2 days all the way from the USA.
WOAH, that was quick!

Interestingly, the case she was sent in says "forces of destiny, adventure figure assortment" suggesting that the US might actually get assortments, not single character cases. Can anyone confirm this?
I kinda love that they're calling them "adventure figures" not dolls. Because they really aren't dolls.


christmas chaos kinda consumed me for a bit so it's taken me a while to get the time to debox and take a load of pictures. But here we go! FINALLY, at long last, Sabine Wren!

30 Dec 2017

Fashion Angels

So I periodically find myself browsing ebay (dangerous I know) and sometimes odd things pop up that I find interesting.

Like these.
They're Fashion Angels... apparently.
I'd never heard of them till I stumbled upon an ebay listing for them.

They were I think made about the same year as TY Girlz, Groovy Girlz, This is Me and all those other plushie fashion dolls.
it was a real THING in the mid 2000s evidently.

I thought they were fascinating and their outfits looked to be really well made so I took the plunge and placed some 99p bids on a few of the listings the seller had.

I won 2 full dolls and a pile of clothing and shoes.

22 Dec 2017

Pre Christmas roundup

It's nearly Christmas, I hate this time of year.
I find it extremely stressful and very very depressing. See, most of my family live on the opposite side of the planet, I haven't even seen my own sister in a good 8 years, it's been 10 years since I last went back to my home country and saw the rest of the family.
In the nearly 20 years since my parents had the bright idea to emigrate to the UK (for only two years, they promised.) many of my relatives have died, marriages have fallen apart, kids have been born and i've missed it all.
I've never even MET my younger niece, there's a whole generation of cousins i've not met and probably never will. I didn't even get to attend the funerals of my grandparents.

So all the Christmas time "family family FAMILY" crap that's rammed down our throats during this part of the year does little more than highlight to me how much i've missed and how much I will continue to miss.
It's very unlikely i'll ever go home for anything more than a brief holiday and that sucks.

Suffice to say, around November I start to sink into crippling depression and spend a lot of time trying not to just cry.

The kids help a little, their excitement makes an otherwise really dreary time of year at least half way tolerable but I still find the whole thing really very isolating and upsetting.
So I tend to go a little mad with buying myself things to fill the void.
I know this is precisely why I buy so much stuff during November and December, but I claim they're "christmas presents to myself". The reality is, they're not really. They're a foolish attempt to distract myself with shiny new things rather than think about how much i'm dreading the festive bullshit and how much I want to punch things every time I see an advert about family getting together or whatever.
Bah humbug.

But that does mean I bought a load of random stuff to share with you guys.

I know i've been doing a lot of these sort of mishmash blogs rather than proper reviews lately, the reason is there's very very little in stores I actually want to buy. It's all either too overpriced and not going onto clearance, freaking BORING or made by Mattel who can bite me.
I do have a few things scheduled though.

And I DO need to finish that retrospective but I found that depressing too. Given i'm already feeling crap this time of year, I think that's gonna have to wait till the new year when i'm a little less mentally fragile and prone to bursting into tears over nothing.
It's so embarrassing.

21 Nov 2017

Charity shop and Ebay roundup

I'm not dead! PROMISE!

It's been a stressful few weeks. This time of year is always chaos for me. I have three birthdays and christmas to organise, and it's just ARGHGHHHH from november all the way into new year.

Also I freaking hate christmas time anyway so it's stress coupled with massive depression because it's cold, it's dark and it's fricken christmas time makes me grumpy and not wanting to go out and do stuff.

But i'm not dead and I am still doing stuff, honest!

This is a break from my retrospective which I still have to finish but ran out of steam on. Finding all that info and trawling back through memories is a lot of effort and I kinda burned out so i'm taking a break. I'll get back to it at some point soon.

So this is a "what other stuff i've been doing doll/toy wise" sort of entry.

Let's get into it.

6 Oct 2017

Monster High retrospective - Part 3

This is getting a bit emotional for me, damnit.

I just, I keep remembering how happy the whole toy hunt was. Sure it was frustrating at times, but the excitement when new stuff was revealed, the anticipation and then the joy when you finally found the doll you'd been searching for.
These were happy times, and I miss them.
I really do miss them.

I miss enjoying the hunt, before it became just a chore.
I miss being excited to get my hands on new stuff and feeling like it would be worth the money.
I miss how special it was. Not just Monster High but toys/dolls in general.

I used to walk into toys r us and be able to spend hours browsing, come out with a huge pile of stuff and I wouldn't feel guilty, i'd feel HAPPY.

Now? I'm lucky to even come away with a single item and if I do, I usually feel horribly guilty about it because I feel like i've spent too much on crap.

The products aren't worth the money any more, nothing leaps out and screams "Buy me" and i'm left feeling rather underwhelmed and honestly pretty bummed out by it all.

I miss getting excited about dolls.
I really do.

I miss Argos' new catalogue day being this event you looked forward to, more than christmas even (to be fair I absolutely hate christmas but that's a whoooole other story), it was the day they got all the new toys. Pages upon pages of new toys to browse and buy. Now? now they barely have a page of dolls and seldom have anything actually in stock on new catalogue day. There's no point going in. the magic is gone. One of the parts of the year I most looked forward to is gone.
and has been for a few years now.

It's sad. it's depressing. And i'm not sure if i've just outgrown dolls, or if it's just that the market is SO freaking boring now.
I don't know, but I still remember getting so many of these dolls like it was yesterday.

Was it really 6 years ago? Where did the time go?

I also got this far and remembered I totally took actual photos of my collection during my purge. *headdesk* they're all saved on my harddrive!

So yeah, I may actually be able to include proper photos in this one.

So here we go!