Sunday, November 13, 2016

Some play-line doll news

Kuu Kuu Harajuku dolls by Mattel / Gwen Stefani

I just found this promotional picture of the upcoming Kuu Kuu Harajuku dolls.  They'll be released in Spring 2017.  They're inspired by a cartoon of the same name that was produced by Gwen Stefani, about a girl band.  I think these new dolls are so cute, with their exaggerated, cartoonish look.  I like that there are different skin tones.  Gwen Stefani did a different doll line some years ago that I didn't like at all, but I'll definitely keep my eye out for these new girls.  It seems like they'll have bending elbows, wrists and knees, judging from this photo, but I can't say for sure yet.  I hope they'll come with the stands.

Bratz dolls being discontinued ... again

Apparently the new Bratz dolls didn't get quite the warm reception and mega sales that MGA Entertainment expected, so they're being discontinued again.  If you want any of the current dolls, you'd better grab them now before they disappear off the shelves.  I have no idea whether MGA will attempt to release new versions again later, or if they're discontinued for good.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

More Retro Strawberry Shortcake dolls

After doing that last post, I was inspired to find the 2-packs of the new retro Strawberry Shortcake Classic Dolls that I was missing. I went to Walmart, and they had nothing. I went to Target, and was thrilled to find two out of the three 2-packs sitting on an endcap! I almost missed them, because they were above my eye level, and I'm short. LOL! Anyway, I got both sets. I'm only missing one 2-pack, now. 
There are also a couple of playsets that include a small house and a kitchen set. I'm not sure if I'm going to get those, since they just come with more Strawberry dolls. If they'd come with exclusive characters, I'd snap them up, but I don't really need FIVE of the same character.

Right now, this is the only way you can get Huckleberry Pie. He's so cute! With the addition of these packs, I now have a total of THREE retro Strawberrys, so one of them will have to be scalped and hopefully re-rooted with lavender hair when I find the time. 
Poor Strawberry #3.
The pets are fun. I always thought that yellow one was supposed to be a bear. LOL. I think I'm probably the only person in the world who didn't know it's a mouse.
I really like the clothes on these two girls. That pink dress is darling!
You can find my last two posts on the retro Strawberry Shortcake classic dolls here and here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Retro Strawberry Shortcake dolls, 2016!

Last year I reported that The Bridge Direct had released an accurate and perfect replica of the original Strawberry Shortcake doll from 1980. You can find my original post, here. This year, they gave her some friends!!! I was thrilled to see all of these in Toys R Us a couple of weeks ago, and had to buy all the ones I found. It was one 3-pack (a Toys R Us exclusive), and two individual dolls.  They're being sold under the name Strawberry Shortcake Classic Dolls.

The boxes came with a cute strawberry print background. 
I couldn't believe it. I always wanted these as a kid, and never had them. One of my cousins had the WHOLE LINE at the time, and I remember child-me being a little jealous of her.

I looked on The Bridge Direct web site, and apparently they've also released a few 2-packs that include the boy character Huckleberry Pie, and several of the pets, and Blueberry Muffin and Lemon Meringue in different outfits. (No Orange Blossom or Angel Cake? Awww.) I'll have to search around, since TRU didn't have 'em. 

Anyway, just wanted to show you these, and let people know they're available. They seem like the kind of thing that both adults and children would enjoy, since adults will of course like them for the nostalgia.
Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Middle School Moguls

The Middle School Moguls are brand spankin' new for 2016. I first learned about these 11-inch dolls from their original Kickstarter, which raised just over $52,000 to get the line started. I liked the two original prototypes immediately. The tan-skinned, curly-haired Jada jumped into my online shopping cart. The blue-eyed blonde, McKenna, was adorable as well, but I figured I should hold off on ordering more than one. It was a new company, with a new line of toys, and I had no idea what to expect from the final production dolls.  (Sunny, the girl with the blue streaks in her hair, came later.)
The line went through a few changes while in production. McKenna got renamed McKinley when the company's owners learned Mattel already had "McKenna" trademarked. The original name of the line, iBesties, was switched to Middle School Moguls. The character Izzy, shown originally with brown hair, now has purple thanks to feedback they got from interviewing school-age kids. (Hey, who DOESN'T like purple hair?!) Six originally-planned characters were reduced to five in production.
The dolls are meant to encourage girls to be tech-savvy business entrepreneurs, with a mind for the S.T.E.M. fields -- science, technology, engineering and math. I think it's a nice background for the dolls, and more substantive than simply making them characters obsessed with fashion, hair and makeup. Nice.
The Moguls just debuted in some Target superstores this October.
Anyway, I wanted to give you my impressions.
The ones I got were Jada and Sunny. They're cute and elfin, with a quirky body shape with big, round tummies and bums, and relatively short arms. 
Their hair is really soft and nice.
The one issue I saw with the dolls at Target was that the positioning of the eyes is not quite uniform on every doll. Some dolls have eyes that are a tiny bit higher or lower, or closer together than others. The differences aren't extreme, but it's something I noticed. Since this is the dolls' very first run EVER from a brand new company, I expect it's a factory issue that would be fixed in later runs. 
Still extremely cute, though.
The elbows and knees bend, which is so nice! The elbows have a hinge joint that also rotates outward. They can wave hi. 
I had to strip Sunny so I could show you their body sculpt and legs better. They don't come with underwear; I just gave Sunny some yellow undies for modesty. The articulation is OK, but has a few limitations. The biggest issue with the articulation is that although they can sit with knees bent, they're top-heavy because of the large heads. You have to lean them against something when you sit them down, otherwise they'll topple over. So long as they're leaning against something, they can sit nicely with thighs together and look adorable, and can even cross their legs. They'd be able to sit in a doll chair, but only if the chair has a back to it for support.
They can sit with thighs together, but I was balancing her without leaning her against anything, here.

The knees can swivel to do poses like this.
The legs are pretty nicely-formed and look good. The legs have ball joints at the hips, which gives them quite a nice range of motion. The knees are on hinge joints, but also swivel like the elbows. They can actually do splits.

The heads are not on ball joints, and simply move from side-to-side.
The clothes are pretty typical play doll quality, with velcro in the back and unfinished seams, but the fabrics are decent. I'd love to redress these two, but I have no idea what clothes they'd fit into, because anything that fit them in the chest would be too small for their large rear ends. They *possibly* could fit into Barbie shirts if the shirts were stretchy, but it'd be a comical waste of effort to try to squeeze them into Barbie pants.
Each doll is packaged with a different book. I actually wasn't planning on saying much about the books, except I've discovered they have a very unique feature: each is a bit of a "choose your own adventure"-type of story, with four different possible endings per book. That was unexpected and cool. The books are paperback and around 48-to-50 pages, with each having a few full-page color illustrations.
Anyway, I'll be really interested to see where this line goes.  As of writing this, there are four characters available at Target right now, with a fifth (a redhead) currently in production.  Not all Targets have them, though, so you'll have to check their web site to see which ones do.  

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.