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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Another one bites the dust? Apparently so

Happy Easter and Happy Resurrection Day to you, my dear followers!  I don't know about y'all, but I've had a superb weekend.  There was much shopping and antique store-hopping, and my sister tied the knot with her fiance on Saturday.  So now I have a brother-in-law and I'm very happy!

Unfortunately, the dolly news that I bear is not good.  It's likely also old to some of you, but it's new to me so here goes.  I hope you're in the mood to read!  Six days ago (heavens, doesn't seem like it was that long!) I put up a post regarding the demise of the La Dee Da and Pinkie Cooper lines.  At the end of that post I made some comments about the future of the Cutie Pops series, wondering if they would be discontinued as well.  You remember those, right?  These dolls?
I own and have reviewed Candi, in the center, and Miss Emily reviewed Cookie, on the right.  The Cutie Pops are not perfect, but they are creative enough that Miss Emily and I both rated them fairly high.  Like Pinkie Cooper, I originally thought that these dolls would be cute and original enough to stand up to the test of time, but after Pinkie and the La Dee Da dolls were both axed I began to doubt the longevity of the Cutie Pops.

I had my reasons for this doubt, of course:
*There was a complete absence of Cutie Pops in stores.
*Nothing new had been released in some months.  Last fall there were three new lines available simultaneously, but since then, nothing.
*The Cutie Pops' last Facebook post was on New Years' Day which isn't good, particularly when compared to more successful dolls like Barbie, the Bratz, and Lalaloopsy, each of whom have very active Facebook pages.  Keep in mind that these days social media can make you or break you; if you get a lot of coverage on Facebook or Twitter, voila!  Instant success (or shame, if the news happens to be bad).  But as always, I digress.

Intrigued by these clues, I dug around on Google tonight and a post on Tumblr which contained some disturbing news.  Doll News had this very brief but very telling conversation which attests that the Cutie Pops are indeed being discontinued.  One of the participants of the conversation , a person named Cutie Club, insists that she/he heard the news from a reliable source and even posted directly on her page about it (look very closely at the top of her screen).

So that's not a good sign!  However, I've learned from bitter experience not to believe everything one reads on the internet (yes, I admit that I did at one time), so I dug deeper and found a post from paperdollmom here on Blogspot.  She apparently has heard the same thing that I did, and she reveals that this is apparently old news because her post regarding the Cutie Pops is from April first!  She also reveals a possible reason for the discontinuation:  while her daughter has and loves her Cutie Pops doll, paperdollmom herself finds the doll mildly creepy, particularly when the eyes are removed.  Miss Emily echoed that sentiment, though she herself is a fan of these dolls (she has five separate posts, one for five of the six waves released).

I also found a conversation on Monster High Arena (big forum for Monster High fans), that not only adds further confirms the Cutie Pops discontinuation, but also offers up some ideas as to why they and Pinkie Cooper are no more.  One person suggested that they may have been shouted down by Monster High, Barbie, and the semi-new Ever After High line, all three of which are constantly putting something new out and keeping the image alive.  I think this idea makes perfect sense, because in the two years that Cutie Pops were in existence Jada Toys released six waves, with three being released at the same time.  So if one wanted to really nitpick that COULD count as only four waves.  Compare that to Monster High and Lalaloopsy.  The initial MH release had six characters...
...and the first wave of Lalaloopsy dolls had eight.
This means that Mattel and MGA Entertainment released more dolls in one single wave than Jada Toys did during one doll's entire run.

So I still haven't seen anything official, but that's the buzz online among doll circles.  The discontinuation of Cutie Pops, Pinkie Cooper, and La Dee Da dolls, and the Bratz dolls' hiatus suggests a very dark year for those of us who like playline dolls.  Sure, we have Barbie, Lalaloopsy, and the revival of Moxie Girlz (some of which are downright freaky) but dang it, I was looking forward to seeing where these doll lines would go!  Looks like it's back to browsing the internet for what information on the Novi Stars.  No, I STILL have not figured out if they're going to be gone for good or not.  I've seen multiple sources with multiple responses (yeses, nos, and maybes), but my last trip to Wal-Mart turned up exactly ONE Novi Star:  a lone Sila Clops in the discount isle.  Perhaps they will be getting a mass revamp and being rereleased in the fall alongside the Bratz...but I doubt it somehow.

And before I sign off, I think I should mention yet ANOTHER tidbit of nasty news.  Remember this gal?
Bratzillaz Meygana Broomstix, whom I have reviewed.  My source is Wikipedia, not the most reliable source.  They heard from Bratz Boulevard (a much better source) that while there was information available about international Bratz releases for 2014, NOTHING was said about the Bratzillaz.  This could mean that either they will not be released internationally, or they have just been done away with entirely.  This possibility surprises me because I think the Bratzillaz are a better product than the Bratz.  They have joints and inset eyes, and while the early ones did not have the best hair that problem has since been rectified.  Just more testament to the dynamics and the fickleness of the doll world.

Oh well, life goes on, yes?  All this reminds me that one cannot live through material possessions, even though they are a lot of fun.  Besides, these spaces on shelves will make room for more new creations.  Who knows?  Maybe some obscure little toy company out there will create the impossible:  a doll that purges Barbie from her role as Queen of the Dolls.  When and if that does happen, Yours Truly will be there to see it, munching popcorn, drinking Snapple, and trying to stop her head from spinning.  LOL

Happy Easter/Resurrection Day,
RagingMoon1987

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saying goodbye...

This is likely old news since I tend to spend a fair amount of time with my head in the clouds, but the spring of 2014 brings some bad news for a couple of fairly young doll lines.  In March Bridge Direct announced the discontinuation of Pinkie Cooper.
From left, Ginger Jones, Pinkie Cooper, and Pepper Parsons

This trio of canine cuties made their debut last year.  Each doll had an extra outfit and a pet available, and Pinkie had three additional city-themed variations (London, Paris, and Beverly Hills).  Their cuteness won Miss Emily over, and her review convinced me to grab one as well.  I own Pepper and her pet dog Saltine, but not any of the extra outfits that were available.
I didn't review Pepper because of Miss Emily's review; she reviewed Pinkie here, and Pinkie's pet here, and I can't really say anything that she hasn't already said.  She and I agree though, that Pinkie and her puppy pals are extremely cute.  Apparently that cuteness wasn't enough to save this little doggie trio.  According to Ashley's blog on Wordpress these dolls were discontinued in March and will only be carried through the rest of the spring.  They'll be replaced by...another Strawberry Shortcake line.  Now, I like Strawberry Shortcake.  She's adorable, she's vintage, she's appropriate for kids...but WHY ANOTHER LINE OF THOSE DOLLS???  Oh well, maybe it'll be something that I can add to my collection.  If they're little dolls they'll make great props for my LIV dolls.

Okay, so I made that unfortunate little discovery yesterday, and today Ashley (yep, same page, same blogger) revealed that the La Dee Da dolls, which Spin Masters had as the LIV dolls' successors, have also been discontinued.  This didn't surprise me as much as Pinkie Cooper's discontinuation did.  The La Dee Da dolls had some tremendous shoes to fill, coming in immediately after the LIV dolls.  The La Dee Da dolls gave it the old college try, but in my opinion they couldn't measure up to their predecessors.  Their poseability was lacking, their joints were flimsy, and not all the dolls came with stands.  For example, Sunflower Burst Cyanne came with a stand, but Fairytale Dance Sloane did not.  
Cyanne (left) and Sloane

La Dee Da dolls are so top-heavy that they can't stand without some sort of support, so the omission of stands wasn't the brightest idea in the world.  Not that it mattered; my Cyanne can barely stand even with support (see my review of Cyanne here for more details on that).  In spite of the problems I gave Cyanne a fairly good review, and I likely would with Sloane too if I chose to review her.  Miss Emily's feelings were mixed; she wasn't thrilled with Runway Vacay Cyanne or the overpriced Fairytale Dance Dee and Prancie set, but loved Dots of Style Dee and the art-themed line that was released.  Still, I thought that these dolls would have enough pizzazz to last at least until Christmas.  Heck, I even saw some rip-off La Dee Da dolls in stores and took that as a sign of success!  I was wrong, though; Dee and her rowdy, shouty, chic friends will not be staying through the year.  According to Ashley, Spin Masters is putting them in the vault and letting the idea die.  Rather sad; I got a kick out of the dolls' colorful hair, eyes, and clothes, and I loved how their extra outfits had options that one could change around and customize.  Looks like I'm going to have to hit those sale shelves and scrounge up what pieces I'm missing!
Say goodnight, ladies!

Given the lack of success of these two doll lines, plus the lack of new outfits and accessories for Cutie Pops dolls, I wonder if they will be the next ones to be axed?  I certainly hope not, because I like them a lot!!!

Yours somewhat-sadly,
RagingMoon1987