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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve in the Moon Girl's house

I celebrated much the way did last year, with family, junk food, and the Twilight Zone marathon...and a little plum wine thrown in (yucko).  My Christmas was very un-dollified (though very nice), so today I treated two of my girls to some new outfits.
Midge (left) and Mara are wearing one of the new two-packs that Mattel has started releasing.  They're all cute, but this one was my favorite due to that puffy orange skirt.  The tops and skirts are separate pieces too, so I can mix and match if I want to.  Unfortunately, the set only came with one pair of shoes, those being the pink heels that Mara is wearing.  Why, Mattel???  WHY must you do things like that???  If it's one thing both kids and collectors are short on, it's Barbie shoes.  Let's face it, they're usually the first things to fall off and disappear, particularly when Barbie's owner is a kid.  I hope that Mattel will release some shoe packs this year; I know that they have in years past, and it would be great to see some more.  Other than that this outfit set is great.  I look forward to grabbing some of the others as well.

Happy New Year,

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A new black girl for 2016?

Rhonda F has provided her followers (including me) with some fascinating news.  American Girl apparently has plans for a new black character for 2016.  Miss Rhonda's post can be found here, and the post from AG themselves can be found here.  That'll give us all something to look forward to while we're being forced to endure Chrissa the Second...oops, I mean Gracie.  Gracie and her clichéd visit to France.  Gracie and her equally-clichéd squabbles with best friends.  Gracie with her boring outfit that happens to incorporate a blinding shade of pink.  Oops...SPOILER!!!  LOL, anywho, nothing's set in stone yet, but it sure will be interesting to see what goes down.

Very truly yours,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas cuties

'Twas the night before Christmas
And just down the hall,
Not a creature was stirring.
Not even a DOLL!!!
I think Felicity is playing possum.  LOL

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise Blossom Flowerpot review

At the time that I cobbled the text part of this review together I'd been bitten by the Lalaloopsy bug (remember that I type up the bulk of this then add pictures later).  The last doll I reviewed was a Lalaloopsy Girl, and this one is one of the babies.  Most of the Lalaloopsy Babies have vinyl heads and stuffed bodies, but the Diaper Surprise dolls are different.  They are hard plastic and rely on just a teensy bit of bathroom humor to sell themselves.  Well, okay, maybe more than just a teensy bit.  For some reason MGA has been going in that direction lately.  Go figure.  Anywho, these dolls have separate diaper sets available, and you know how I love extra clothes for dolls, so I plunked down the money for one of these goofy Lalaloopsies.  There were only two characters available when I was buying, so I chose Blossom Flowerpot.
The other character at the time was Peanut Big Top.  Blossom and Peanut have since been joined by Cinder Slippers.

I already own the regular Blossom Flowerpot, so that should make things interesting.  Here's how Baby Blossom compares with her older self (I also threw Pix E. Flutters into the mix for further size comparison).
There's something about Baby Blossom that makes her...well, I don't think she's as cute as her older self.  I'm not sure what it is yet.  Baby Blossom is quite a bit larger than her Lala counterparts.  And since she's a baby, her proportions are different from those of the other dolls.  Her proportions are similar to those of your typical baby doll, but a bit more exaggerated.  Notice the differences between Blossom and Anita, my unenthusiastic Horsman baby:
"Who is THIS weirdo???"

Notice that while both dolls have big heads and short limbs, Blossom's proportions are much more cartoonish.  

Despite her large size, Blossom is very lightweight.  She's got a hollow hard plastic body with vinyl head and limbs.  Her hair is pink, typical of Lalaloopsies and accurate for her character.
However, there are no molded stitch lines on this hair, just two molded pigtails (also accurate for her character) and a few molded curls...
The paint work on one of these beads is a bit sloppy.  I'm willing to bet someone put the hat on this doll before the paint was fully dry.  Overall this is a fairly big departure from the usual Lalaloopsy hair; both the Girls and the original Lalas have hair that's molded to look like yarn.  However, it's accurate for a baby's hair, which tends to fall in wispy, soft, short tendrils like what Blossom has.  I guess I could pretend that Blossom's hair is made out of very fine yarn...or fake fur!  LOL

Blossom may divert from the Lala norm with her hair, but her eyes are classic Lalaloopsy:  big, black, button eyes with molded eyelashes.
My sister hates these, by the way.  I'd love to hear what she'd say if I'd chosen Bea Spells A Lot instead of Blossom!  Bea is not available as a Diaper Surprise character, but there IS a regular soft-bodied doll and she's freaky...especially when she's got her binky in her mouth!

Alrighty, back to Blossom.  She again strays from Lalaloopsy tradition by not having molded patch cheeks.  Instead she has some blush painted on.
The blush is hard to photograph.  It's painted well and does a good job of making Blossom's cheeks look rosy like baby cheeks should, but I miss the patches.  That may be why I think she's not as cute as the older Blossom.  Or maybe it's this mouth.
Yeah, not a huge fan of the mouth.  It's your average bottle mouth and thus serves a purpose, as you will soon see, but I wish there were a little more expression with it.  It IS possible to make a bottle mouth with a bit of expression, like my Gerber baby does.
I mean, Blossom DOES have a little bit of lip definition, but I'd hardly call that an expression.

As a final note, there's this to be seen.
I have no idea what that spot is about, but I can't get it to come off.  I've used spit, I've used water, and I've used soap and water, but nothing took the spot off.  That makes photographing this doll that much trickier, because the spot catches the light.

So aside from the button eyes Blossom's head and face are mostly devoid of the usual Lalaloopsy features.  Fortunately, the same can't be said for the body.  First and foremost, she's got the smooth egg-shaped body common to all the Lalaloopsy dolls I've handled (including Pix).  She has molded stitching down the midline of her torso, which is something new to the Lalaloopsy world (none of my other girls have this)
She has an X "stitched" on her bellybutton, which literally is a button!
Her sewn-on date is stamped on her rear. 
Blossom's limbs are stubby and chubby like baby limbs tend to be, but unfortunately, the vinyl is stiff as a board.  You'd think that since this is a baby doll she'd have a few soft appendages, but heck no!  Blossom is hard as a rock.  The limbs have some details that normal Lala limbs don't, though.  They have molded stitch lines, just like the torso does.
Her hands are "mitten hands" typical of all Lalas, but there is more stitch definition on them (not typical of Lalas).  Note that the thumb has a full ring of "stitches" around it.  I love this detail.

Blossom's legs are short as well, and they have molded stitches along the sides of her legs...
...and around the soles of her feet.
I was hoping that since the soles are partly flat that Blossom would be able to stand...but she can't.  She can't sit worth a doggone either; her bum isn't even touching the countertop in the picture below.  Her arms have simple rotation that doesn't look realistic in any pose.  I think she looks like she's thumbing a ride.
In short, Blossom's mobility, for lack of a better term, sucks.  All these joints simply rotate around their point of attachment.  The head has a rotating neck joint but doesn't hold a pose, which I assume is to help accommodate this doll's gimmick.

Oh yes, the gimmick.  You may have gotten some clues about the gimmick if you looked closely at the pictures of Blossom's body.  The button on her stomach is a clue, as is the bottle mouth.  Also, Blossom has two holes in the bottom of her torso.  Not one like my Gerber doll, but two.  I'm NOT going to show these, because guess what?  Said holes are supposed to represent bodily orifices.  Yep, Blossom is a drink and wet doll, complete with something I've never seen on any other doll...a butthole!  I've seen plenty of openings on drink-and-wet dolls that are supposed to represent urethras, but never the nether region.  One hole really would've done the trick, so go figure on MGA's frame of mind there.  But wait, there's more!  Remember that this doll's name is "Diaper Surprise," and remember that I said she relied on bathroom humor.  If you need one last hint, check out the logo from the package:
Yeah, you read that right.  That's the diaper surprise.  One of Blossom's accessories is a charm bracelet with one charm on it (both made of brightly colored plastic)
Another of Blossom's accessories is this bottle, done up to look like her pet butterfly.
And she comes with four diapers.
All of these items factor into the gimmick except for the default diaper, which Blossom wore inside the box:
This diaper is an ordinary diaper, designed to cover Blossom's nudity.  The other diapers are integral to the gimmick.  Whaaaaaat, you thought that these charms actually fell out of the doll's bunghole?  No, these dolls don't actually crap out their charms.  Rather, these special diapers each have one charm located in the crotch area.  There are also three extra sets of diapers available, also with charms inside.  The charms in turn are covered with some sort of thin paper.
What you do is you fill this bottle up with water.  Don't use any other liquid or it could do a number on this doll's innards.  Then you put the top on the bottle and put the bottle in Baby's mouth.  Push it in very firmly!
After that you squeeze the bottle.  The water will go everywhere and make a huge mess, so I recommend doing this over the sink or covering the play area with a towel.  You don't have to get all the water in Baby's tummy, just squeeze the bottle once.  After that, press Baby's tummy button, then peel off that diaper! 
This particular diaper had a crown charm in it, but it's also possible to get buttons, butterflies, hearts, flowers, and other shapes, like these:
The one on the far right looks like something that Mami Tomoe would wear.  LOL, I couldn't resist!  Most of my charms are yellow like this, but several other colors are also available; I did get that pink charm, and this one came out blue:
It's all part of the surprise element; you never know what charm you're going to end up with!  Once you've got all the charms, you hook them onto the bracelet.
The charms and the bracelet are both stiff plastic, so hooking these charms on there is quite difficult.  I'm an adult woman who has sewn aprons, crocheted Barbie dresses with teensy steel hooks, and hand-beaded porcupine quills into earrings, and even I had a hard time getting this bracelet to go together!  Not that it's really worth the effort in my case; the bracelet doesn't fit my fat wrist.  It will fit a child's wrist quite nicely though...once you get it hooked on there, that is; the clasp is also fiddly.  This accessory is NOT kid-friendly at all; moms and dads will likely have to help put this bad boy together.  As an extra aside, I also advise rinsing the charms after they've come out, as they tend to be coated with a wet layer of the paper.  This is harmless, but it feels nasty.
Okay, so you've used up all your diapers.  THEN WHAT???  Well, it turns out that these diapers hold one more surprise, located in the lining of the diaper below the charm.  Here's what the linings look like when they are dry:
And here's how they look when they're wet:
Each of these diapers has a color-change panel in the crotch.  Get this part wet, and a pattern will appear in some sort of color.  Like the charms, the material used is random, thus you never know what sort of pattern you'll get until you get it wet.  So even after you've collected all the charms you can continue to play with these diapers.  Bit of advice, though:  DO NOT store these diapers wet, and don't hand wash them.  Hand washing will cause the color-changing pattern to deteriorate.  Another word of advice:  be careful when removing these diapers from their boxes, as they are very tightly tacked into the packages.  Words cannot convey my hatred of MGA Entertainment's packaging, by the way.  Too much plastic, too many of those infernal little plastic ties, too many rubber bands.  Too much of everything is too much for me.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, accessories.  In addition to diapers that help Blossom poop flowers and stars, there are your more traditional accessories.  There is this bowl and a plastic spoon to "feed" your baby.
In addition Blossom comes with a few more articles of clothing.  She has that hat which featured prominently in the earlier pictures.
The hat is sewn into the shape of a pink flower, complete with a stem on top. 
It's a nice little article of clothing, well-sewn and soft, but it catches pet hair like mad.  Keep this in mind if you live with cats or dogs.

Lastly, Blossom also has a bib, which keeps with her flower theme by being done up to look like a daisy.
This bib has three layers of fleece (green, white, and sparkly yellow), and ties on with a hot pink satin ribbon.
It's difficult to tie this bib right, because Blossom's bulky head, skinny neck, and bulky body leave little room to work.  In short I like the clothes, but I'm a tad disappointed that there wasn't a little more ON the doll!  I mean, booties look cute, and so do little jackets!  I do like what was included, though...especially the hat!  So...what else do I like about Blossom?  What DON'T I like?  Let's see...

*Doll is not soft at all.  I can understand why plastic was utilized instead of fabric, but there is such a thing as SOFT PLASTIC!!!
*Posability is terrible.  Blossom can't sit unless propped up, can't stand, can't wave very well, and can't turn her head.
*Few clothes, unless you count the diapers.
*Face is blank and in my opinion, lacks the usual Lalaloopsy charm.
*Diapers must be handled with care when wet.
*Small parts.
*Bracelet is difficult to put together and difficult to fasten.
*Bib is difficult to tie, though this is likely a problem unique to Blossom (Peanut has a clown's ruff instead of a bib)
*Mine has a shiny mark on her face that won't come off.  Again, this may be a problem unique to my doll, but beware nevertheless.
*Gimmick may be considered crude by some.

*Blossom is sturdy and lightweight.  She won't shatter if dropped, and she's less likely to make a good club, though I still don't advise swinging this at someone.
*Clothes are cute, well-made, and appropriate for a baby doll.
*Accessories are also appropriate and have some play value.  If you don't want to change Baby's diaper, you can pretend to feed her Cheerios and then burp her.  LOL
*The Lalaloopsy theme is adhered to.  Some of the basic features are missing, but it's still obvious that this doll is a Lala.
*Also character-appropriate.  This doll is marketed as Blossom Flowerpot, and she lives up to that marketing...right down to the hairstyle.
*Good for smaller children, so long as the charms are taken away first.
*Diapers are colorful and come with several surprise elements that make them valuable play items.
*Gimmick, while crude, provides an original spin on a very old concept.

Drink-and-wet dolls are nothing new.  My Gerber baby dates back to...I think she dates back to the 1970's, and the concept has been around long before that.  These Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise dolls take that old idea and put a new spin on it with their charmed diapers.  However, the idea of a doll "pooping" charms is off-putting for some.  If you read the link that I included above, you'll notice that Miss Emily entitled her review on Moxie Girlz Poopsy Pets "What Were They Thinking?"  Not surprisingly, Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise dolls made it onto a "what were they thinking" list too.  In spite of this doll's cuteness and her originality, I have to say that I agree with this line of thinking.  If you stop to think about it, you're literally wearing pieces of doll crap on your wrist!  Plus, I can't get over the fact that this doll has a butthole!  Since realism isn't the point of this toy one hole that simulated the urethra would've sufficed, but nooooooo, we've got to have something else!  Finally, Blossom is hard as a rock.  I admit that at the ripe old age of twenty-seven I still like to cuddle with my dolls, and on the evening of November 2nd Blossom was my doll of choice.  Yep, I held her on my lap during Skyscraper Live...and she wasn't a very comfortable companion.  In short, I advise extreme discretion when buying this toy.  If you're not bothered by a doll that is stiff as a board, has an anus, and holds charms in her used diapers, then this is a great little toy.  She's also great for games of make-believe if your child is into that; the bowl, spoon, and bottle are perfect for pretend breakfast.  However, if you are looking for something soft or are revolted by the gimmick then I'd skip these and go with a Mooshka doll or a regular Lalaloopsy Baby.

I do look forward to crocheting some little booties for Blossom, though!  I think I may go with lime green to match the stem on that hat, and little yellow ribbons to match the bib.  But before all that can happen...I get to open Christmas gifts!!!!!!!!  And I get to watch my sister and brother-in-law open theirs too.  I'm particularly excited about one present for them; I got them a special box with some odds and ends inside.  Sort of a gift within a gift, so to speak.  I'll let y'all know how that goes.

Merry Christmas,

P.S.:  I haven't seen any of the Newborn Lalas in stores yet, but they appear to be smaller than this baby doll that I have reviewed here.  When I see one I plan on reviewing her/him as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Clothes for Hujoo Berry

Okay, so last Christmas I bought a couple of dolls as presents for myself.  I bought Ana Ming and Cami, neither of whom were cheap but both of whom are a lot of fun to have. This year I kept the tradition up.  Initially I wanted to choose between two other Tonner dolls:
Tiny Kitty is still available on the Tonner website, but if I were to choose Lizette I'd have to go on the secondary market (Wilde Imagination sold out of her).  However, if all goes well my Christmas doll should be this little gal:
This is Hujoo Berry in an unusual shade of orange.  The name and the color fit together, surprisingly; Berry is the exact same shade of orange as a cloudberry.  See?
I don't normally like ball-jointed dolls this little (or this unusual).  Frankly, I don't even remember why I went on the Hujoo website; it was for wigs or clothes or somesuch like that.  Anywho, I saw Berry's promo pics and fell for her.  She's bought and paid for, and now I've just got to wait for her to get here.  She will have a faceup, and I assume she'll have eyes, but she will not have clothes or a wig.

Herein lies the problem:  there is very little online about clothes for Hujoo Berry.  I haven't seen any patterns, and most of the items I've found are geared for baby Hujoos, which Berry is not (all of the babies were sold out).  I can't ask Den of Angels because Berry is off-topic there (she's made of plastic, not resin), and my BJD buddy Talolili has no more experience with Hujoo dolls than I do!  LOL, she and I are both flying blind here!  Anyway, finding clothes for this little minx should be interesting.  Wigs won't be a biggie since Luts, Etsy, and Dollmore all make goofy-colored wigs in Berry's size, and shoes will not be a problem either since Junky Spot has those.  Oh yes, Miniwoo has some clothes, but I'm not sure whether they'd be suitable for Berry's proportions. 

If any of y'all have any experience with Berry or any similar-sized doll, I'd love to hear from you.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spin Masters' lousy luck

Spin Masters, as you may recall, blessed us a few years ago with these:
And with these:
 Both the LIV dolls (top) and the La Dee Da dolls (bottom) eventually tanked, and Spin Masters gave the doll world another stab with a third line of splashy, colorful dolls.  These were called Kawaii Crush, and they looked like this...
...or like this.
The ones on the top were about eight inches tall and had rooted hair, and the ones on the bottom were the size of a Lalaloopsy Mini and had molded hair.  They had cutesy little accessories and relied heavily on the "awww" factor.  I don't have any of these myself, but several of my fellow bloggers do and have reviewed them.  Miss Emily's review can be found here, while Beastsbelle's reviews are here, here, and here.  Miss Emily was a bit ambivalent about the little figures and didn't care for the big ones at all, but Beastsbelle liked the little ones.  Both noted the same design problems:  big stiff hair that made it nearly impossible for the little ones to sit, playsets that were hit and miss (particularly the one with eyeglasses), and small pieces that could be swallowed, lost, or choked on.  Beastsbelle noted that the little ones make superb props for American Girl dolls, however.  As a final bonus, Beastsbelle's three little girls loved the small dolls.

I had seen these in stores, of course.  It's pretty rare for me to contradict Miss Emily's advice, but I liked the big ones better than the little ones!  Being an adult, I saw more play value in the large dolls because of their hair; remember I said that it was rooted.  My favorite one was Zoey Boey Fru Fru, the one with the blue hair (the name sucks, but she's cute).
During my summer visits to the local Super Wal-Mart these dolls were ubiquitous, appearing both in the shelves and on the ends of the shelves.  I talked myself out of Zoey during that time due to her size and her price, plus the fact that my mother probably wouldn't have liked her much.  I can just hear her saying "Now WHY did you spend your money on that dumb-looking thing???"  LOL, anyway Zoey Boey Fru Fru and her cutesy-wutesy friend friends disappeared, and I found out today that they've joined LIV and La Dee Da in the Spin Masters archives

If I'm not mistaken, that makes three doll lines from Spin Masters that have tanked in the past four years.  Miss Emily hypothesizes that LIV wasn't ambitious enough, while the La Dee Da dolls were too ambitious.  If that's the case then I think that Kawaii Crush may have been a strange case of both.  They went over the top with their colors, their cute little accessories, and with sheer numbers, but when one got the package ripped open there wasn't much to play with.  Zoey doesn't have much in the way of clothes, and her posability appears lacking.  The little ones had those same problems, which were in turn compounded by small size.  Perhaps I'm being unfair; after all, I've not owned or reviewed any of these myself.  But judging from the expert reviews of my fellow bloggers, I'm willing to bet that I'm not far off the mark.

Anywho, I'm going to look for one of these.  Maybe since they've been discontinued I can find a Zoey for a discount.  And if I don't find one I'm not going to cry too hard.  I'm just going to sit back and see what Spin Masters has planned for next year.  Their doll lines may not have been successful, but they also have not been boring, so I hope they'll keep trying with a new line of dolls.  Lastly, if you're up for some more reading, take a gander at Ashley's list of doll lines that disappeared during 2014.  Some of the lines on her list went under completely, while others are on a hiatus and eventually will come back.  Either way it's an interesting read.

Happy Hanukkah,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On my growing weakness for doll clothes

Thank God I don't have a credit card, for if I did I would have busted my bank account twice this week.  And guess what it all would've been on?  Right...DOLL CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!!  LOL, let me just say that I'm extremely fond of both Olivia's Doll Closet (which would've been a $222 bill) and Emily Rose (that bill would've been so ridiculous that I'm not going to share the total). 

Okay, I really had no intention of buying all that stuff.  If I genuinely were buying I'd have picked out one or two favorites, one or two pairs of shoes, maybe some undies, and let that be that.  It was more of a game I was playing with myself; I wanted to see how much it would cost if I bought everything I wanted all at once.  I ended up with some insane amounts.  And this isn't particularly expensive stuff, either!  Both stores have reasonably priced items.  Needless to say this little experiment has gotten me looking forward to Christmas (LOL again).  I just wish I had some dolly friends close by so I could buy some of this awesome stuff for them.  I have a friend who I think would absolutely love this dress, for example...but she lives very, very, VERY far away.

How about y'all?  Have you ever played that game with yourself, and tallied up the overall price of a huge purchase just for the heck of it?  If so, did you have fun doing it?

And since this post is kind of bland without pictures, here are three of my girls in their Olivia dresses.  Yep, I've got some pieces from that store already, and they're great.  Thanks, Mama, for getting these for me!
 Serafina (left) and Barbara

Keep your eyes peeled for a review later this week!