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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Blind bag review: three different blind bags

The weekend was off to a good start, with Sister and Brother-in-law home from Lexington, and First Uncle home from St. Louis.  Friday night and Saturday were both good, but today we arrived over at Grandma's place to find Grandma lucid but too weak to get up and cold to the touch.  We called an ambulance with the intention of taking Grandma to the hospital, but she loudly refused so we're all mad at her now.  My family members had to go home with that weighing hard on their minds, and I needed a pick-me-up so I bought these.
One of my incomplete ball-jointed dolls (Johanna, Johnny's love interest) collects blind bag figurines, so I've been gathering a small collection together for her (and me too, as I also like blind bag stuff).  From left, these items are My Mini MixieQ's from Mattel, Gift 'Ems from Jakks Pacific, and Monster High Minis from Mattel.  Miss Emily spoke briefly about My Mini MixiQ's in one of her posts, and my curiosity got piqued so I grabbed a set.
The MixieQ's come in little cube-shaped boxes, and they're small enough to come two to a box.  My box is from Series 2, but there's only one bag.
That'll give the rest of y'all an idea about how little these are.  Also in the box is one of those little collector's sheets that allows one to identify which character one has.  It also includes a color code.
Therected are also separate categories that divide these figures up according to some sort of theme or attribute that certain figures have.  Let's see what I got!
Apparently my two figures are the everyday Golden Girl from the "Wild" category (left), and the ultra-special Strawberry from the "Sweet" category.  At first I wondered what was so golden about Golden Girl, but then I remembered that sitcom.  I'm not a hardcore Bea Arthur fan, but she's made me chuckle more than once, and I definitely see the resemblance between her and my little Golden Girl so I'm glad to have her aboard.

As I said earlier, these figures are quite small.  They're about the size of a U.S. quarter.
I'm not entirely sure I trust that quarter.  The molding is crude.  Anyway, despite their tiny size Goldie and Strawberry both have multiple pieces.  Their hair and hats can come off, and so can their little outfits.  Goldie came out of the bag wearing Strawberry's hat, in fact.  Here's what they look like without these items.
These remind me a little of something out of Minecraft, with their square heads and eyes.  Even the spots on Strawberry's underwear set are square!  These are well painted, by the way.  Strawberry is one of the rarer characters, so her outfit and her...underoutfit, I guess you could call it, are more detailed, but neither have any paint foibles.  Notice that Strawberry is pink all over, by the way; when Mattel said "strawberry" they meant it!  Not that Strawberry doesn't look good in other things, of course!  These ARE called MixieQ's after all, and that means that they can be mixed and matched around.  Goldie doesn't look thrilled with the idea, though.
Next we have a blind bag that I've never heard of before, called Gift 'Ems.
These only have one figure in them.  Each figure appears to be from a specific country, which will fit in well with a series that I've got planned for the near future.  The box is done up to look like a gift box (creative) and the interior of the box appears to be decorated like the city from where the figure hails.  See?
I wonder if there's one set in some more obscure place like Nairobi or Mumbai?  Usually when dolls and toys hail from some big city it's an obvious choice like London or Paris or New York City, like the girl on the box.  I'm an Anglophile so a figure from London wouldn't disappoint me too much, but let's see where my cute green box came from.
Warsaw, Poland!  I wasn't expecting that!  I like that a lot better than Paris or NYC.  Before looking at the figure, let's discuss the leaflet.  Yep, these come with leaflets as well, complete with names, locations, separate categories, and a rarity chart.  The names are completely idiotic, just a generic first name and the city as the last name.  Look at these!
I like the name Kay Pop from Seoul, because that's a creative reference to a popular genre of Korean music.  But Stella Stockholm?  Marisa Miami?  Are you kidding me???  Not all of these figures share a last name with their city; Dallas's representative is named Brandy Boots, for example.  Boots???  Not everyone in Dallas is a cowboy, for the love of Pete!  I like the fact that Dallas is represented, though; not all American cities get represented in a line like this, so that's saying something.  St. Louis didn't make this list at all, in fact...but to my delight, Nairobi did as did Montevideo, which I would never have expected.  Unfortunately, one of the Nairobi figures suffers from the unlikely last name "Zebra."  I am by no means a bleeding heart liberal, but I think that's a little insensitive.  No one that I am aware of has the word "Zebra" for a last name.  It also hearkens back to George Jefferson and his less-than-flattering usage of the word to describe a person who was mixed.  I love "The Jeffersons," but it doesn't diminish my discomfort for a figure named "Zia Zebra."

Luckily I didn't get Zia.  I got Ela Pauleus from the "day" category.
Ela?  Well, that's better than one of the other girls from Warsaw, whose name is "Willa Warsaw!"  I told y'all these names were bad!  Ela is an acceptable little figure, though.  She is blonde with big blue eyes (these eyes are partially covered by her hair), and an open, heart-shaped mouth.  She is wearing a red, black, and white outfit.
She favors Strawberry a little in the mouth area.
From the above picture it's easy to see that Gift 'Ems are a little bigger than MixieQ's.  In spite of that, MixieQ's and Gift 'Ems do have one thing in common:  they come apart at multiple places.
Ela pops apart at the waist, and her hair comes off.  This likely means that some mixing and matching can take place, though I'm not sure how effective that would be, given that multiple characters are of color.

Lastly, let's look at Ela's hovel.
The bottom segment has a peg (barely visible in this picture) that holds the figure in place, and the back and side panels each have a picture of an attraction in Warsaw.  Beware:  I am about to link readers to Wikipedia.  The leftmost image catches my eye, as it's the monument to Frédéric Chopin, located in Lazienki Park (Warsaw's largest park).  This is significant to me because I'm a casual Chopin fan and want to be a hardcore fan.  The center image is the Mermaid of Warsaw, and I think her position in the center is fitting because she is considered the symbol of Warsaw.  The city has several mermaid statues, but I think this one is located in Old Town.  The last image is Holy Cross Church, and large baroque-style Catholic church.  All three of these pieces are significant for another reason; both the church and the Chopin monument were destroyed by assholes Nazi Germany during World War II, and the area around the Mermaid was too.  I don't know if the Mermaid got destroyed during the war, but given the damage to Old Town it seems rational to think that she was...that is, if she existed at the time!  My knowledge on Warsaw's history is less than stellar; indeed, before today the only thing I could've said about the city was that they once had the world's tallest structure, a very large radio tower that unfortunately no longer exists.  And even that's inaccurate, as the tower was located fifty-two miles west of the city, in a village named Konstantynow.  So this little toy just paid for itself, in that it inspired me to look up those landmarks and find out more about them.  I wonder if the other Polish characters have different landmarks...

Lastly, I have a Monster High Mini from Series 2.
Most of y'all are probably familiar with Monster High by now, so let's just open 'er up.  The box is shaped like the coffin lockers that the MH world uses...
...but the back is open, revealing the figure nestled inside.  I think it's Clawdeen Wolf.
Yep, it's Clawdeen alright!  She appears to be dressed as a superhero of some sort.
According to the leaflet (another one!) this is Power Ghoul Clawdeen, a common figure.  These figures also come in subcategories, and they have unusual themes that one could expect from this line, themes like "Chalkboard," "Geek Chic," and "Glow in the Dark."  I love the Chalkboard theme and I halfway wish Mattel would do a line of dolls in that theme; it certainly would bring the creativity back to these dolls.

Now, let's look briefly at Clawdeen.  She looks more like a Lalaloopsy Mini than she does a typical Monster High figure.  Her eyes are round and cutesy, and she's smiling, which Clawdeen dolls rarely do.  But most telling are these molded stitches that run down her arms and legs.
Unlike Willa, Goldie, and Strawberry, Clawdeen is one piece.  She can turn her head, but this motion is only visible if one looks at the position of her legs.
She is painted or molded with a slight metallic sheen, which surprised me since finishes like this are usually reserved for the rarer figures.  Since the paint is not metallic I suspect that this is just the color of the plastic.  And that's all I really have to say.  Clawdeen is a cute little figure, one that will make a superb prop for any doll I choose.

To sum it all up, I'm pretty pleased with the characters I got.  I'm not hard to please, so blind bags are a good way to perk me up after a rough day.  I definitely recommend MixieQ's due to their play value and the ease with which one can build a collection.  These come two to a box so two or three boxes will make a good enough set to play around with.  As an added bonus, if I end up with a double I can just switch the clothes around a bit!  Though small, my particular figures don't have any paint screw-ups anywhere.  Keep these away from small children and pets, as they're the perfect size to be swallowed or choked on, and if you or your child has a bunch of these I advise keeping them in a box so the pieces won't get lost.

The Gift 'Ems are an interesting and original concept.  I love the idea of boxing up a figure and assigning it a city to represent.  The figures can also be mixed and matched to some extent since they come apart in two places.  HOWEVER, the names are ridiculous and borderline racist in some cases.  I hate pulling the race card, but a couple of these might offend a more liberal buyer, so beware.  These figures do provide some potential for education though, as not everyone may be familiar with the landmarks pictured on the panels.  So I love this concept, but I don't know if I want a ton of these.  They're more for looking at than playing with.

As for the Monster High Minis, I do like those quite a bit.  My Clawdeen is one of the more common figures, but she's still gussied up with a bit of metallic stuff to make her look nice.  She's the least precisely painted of my mini crew, but it's nothing terribly glaring.  I like the rag doll concept too; it's not original, but it renders these figures great little props for my larger dolls.  I definitely want to take a whack at these again so I can try to find a chalkboard figure.  As my brother-in-law would say, those are EPIC!

Much love to all,

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