Sunday, December 29, 2013

American Girl: Caroline Abbott Doll and Accessories

I recently got back into collecting American Girl dolls and their things last July. It was a little strange to see new historical dolls that replaced my beloved childhood characters like Felicity and Kirsten. I quickly got over that though and started to love the new characters. Caroline was one of the new girls that caught my eye right away. I love her time period and the nautical theme to her collection. I read all of her available books that are out right now, and I fell in love with her character even more.

For Christmas this year, I had asked my mother to get me a gift card from American Girl so I could go pick out Caroline at the store. Instead my mom decided to buy her for me so I'd be more surprised. A couple of weeks ago my mom and brother had stopped at the store on the way home from a doctor's appointment in Boston so she could pick her out for me. Much to my brother's dismay, she had about five Carolines spread out on the floor so she could find one with the best face and wig for me. I think she did a pretty good job myself and I love my new doll!

Monday, December 23, 2013

What I've Been Up To

I apologize that I haven't been writing much lately, but the thing is I haven't really bought any new dolls lately. I've been actually trying to pack up my old Monster High dolls to leave at my parents house for when I move out soon. I also made the tough decision of which Lagoona and Abbey doll I want to bring to Florida with me since I don't really want my room to be over crowded with dolls since I'll be living in someone else's house for a little while.

In other new though, the Disney Store has recently released a toddler doll for Kristoff from Frozen and also Tinker Bell, so expect to see reviews of them soon once I get my hands on them. I'd also like to get the singing Anna and Elsa dolls eventually too. I also will be getting a new American Girl doll soon, either on Christmas or soon after. So I will have things to review again soon!

I have been taking pictures of my American Girl dolls over the last month, so I'll be sharing some of those today.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Disney Store Limited Edition 17" Anna and Elsa Dolls

Well if you've been reading my blog for a while you know I collect the Limited Edition dolls the Disney Store releases. So when Anna and Elsa were announced, I had to have them for my collection. They were put on sale on the website at 12 am Pacific time on November 20th, so like I usually do I set my alarm for 3 am Eastern time. They both sold out within 17 minutes of release and before they even officially appeared on the website. Thanks to some other doll collectors who know how to magically find their pages , I was able to get my set! They both are Limited Edition of 2500 each but when you factor in the amount they had to send to the physical stores and over seas market, there was far less than that on the website for sale.

The Disney Store also released a set of each of the sisters together for Harrod's in the UK. The set was Limited Edition of 100 and retailed for £500. There are minor differences between the set and the separate versions of the dolls. The Harrod's set has more embroidery on the gowns and the Elsa doll has a pearly finish to her skin and an extra crystal snowflake in her hair. Anna though only has freckles on her shoulders besides the additional details on her gown. You can see a picture of them here. Like other collectors, I'm not happy with Disney for releasing this set because it's like they think we will mindlessly buy anything even if they asking such a ridiculous price for minor differences in details. It also devalues the LE 2500 versions and makes me worry what they'll try to pull for future releases.

So I ordered my dolls and my order went through okay and I never received a cancellation email for my order. I was worried about this because of how quickly they sold out. So I was in the clear. So I waited and waited for a shipping confirmation as I read others were receiving theirs from the company. Well I never got one. So I was worried my order was screwed up but I decided to give it until after the weekend until I started contacting them. Well Monday evening rolled around and I still didn't have one, so I called customer service and talked to someone. She told me everything was fine and my order was still processing, which I already knew since I can view that myself. I wasn't expecting much since their customer service is located in California while their warehouse they ship from is in Memphis. Well Tuesday night I went to see the movie finally, and it was awesome! So I came home that evening to see a big brown box waiting for me! Elsa was inside and I was so relieved that my order really was fine. Anna arrived the next afternoon on Wednesday. I was so happy I had them, but my order still read as processing. Well low and behold on Wednesday night the Disney Store finally sent me an email telling me they had shipped! I was so angry that they told me so late! I spent around $260 on their merchandise because I also ordered some Christmas ornaments along side the dolls, and they couldn't have told me they shipped any sooner?

Anyways let's get to the dolls themselves.

Friday, November 22, 2013

American Girl: Kit's School Supplies

Last week when I visited American Girl in Boston, I made sure to pick up something for Kit, my first AG doll. My mom offered to buy something for me, so I picked out Kit's School Supplies because I heard rumors they might be retired soon.

Kit is a girl living in Cincinnati during the Great Depression and her stories deal with the hardships her family faces during it with her father out of work. Kit herself is a bit of a tomboy who dreams of becoming a reporter for the newspaper when she's older. Kit's collection is full of wonderful clothes that reflect the 30's.

Off to school!

Friday, November 15, 2013

American Girl Place Boston November 2013

Ever since I visited American Girl Place in New York City last August, I've been eagerly waiting to take a trip to American Girl Place in Boston. I only got to visit the one in NYC briefly because of the people I was with and didn't really get to spend the time looking around like I wanted to because I felt rushed. Not to mention it was on a weekend during summer vacation and I could barley move it was so crowded. So my mother and I decided we would take a trip together to the one in Boston once school started again because it's only about an hours drive from us. Well my mom had injured her back sometime after that and had surgery, so we had to put our trip off a little longer.

Now that my mom is feeling better we finally took our trip yesterday and I have to say it was honestly the most fun I've had in a while. We left at about 9:30 am and arrived at around 10:45 after stopping at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monster High: I Love Fashion Scarah Screams

So I recently went to Toys R Us to find my 5 year old cousin a birthday gift, and as you can guess I couldn't go into there without buying something for myself. While I was there, they had a discount on Monster High dolls so I thought it was a good time to buy myself someone new. After going up and down the doll aisles of Toys R Us, I finally settled on I Love Fashion Scarah Screams. It was a close call though since they had the Ever After High Ashlynn & Hunter set and a plethora of Winx Club dolls. I ultimately went with Scarah though because she was on sale and a Toys R Us exclusive and the others weren't.

Tapping into her telepathic powers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Disney Store Anna and Elsa Toddler Dolls

When the Disney Store introduced their line of 16'' dolls of the Disney Princesses re-imagined as toddlers by the Walt Disney animators during the holiday season of 2011, they pleased not only princess loving girls but also collectors. With their adorable wide eyed expressions and tubby tummies, it's not hard to see why so many love the baby versions of the beloved princesses. Since they have been so successful, the Disney Store has also released Merida from Brave when her movie premiered and now they have released Anna and Elsa from Frozen, which is being released later this month. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a small girl carrying one with ratty hair while visiting Disney World, so it's no surprise they have decided to add the newest princesses to the line.

I was first introduced to line when I visited Walt Disney World in the fall of 2011 and saw them in the gift shops in the parks and hotels. I of course had to buy my favorite princess, Ariel, while I was there and the rest soon followed afterwards. Now I have thirteen 16'' adorable baby princesses crowded into my bedroom. The original line includes Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Merida was released in the spring of 2012 to coincide with the release of her movie in June, but was called a toddler doll instead of an animator doll because she wasn't designed by one of the animators. When Cinderella was released on Blu-Ray last fall, they released a deluxe gift set that included the doll and extra outfits and some plastic props. Creating a pattern, this fall they released a deluxe set with Ariel and a bathtub and extra outfits. They also recently retired the first wave of dolls and re-released them with glitter this time and without a plush of their sidekicks. Some have new outfits while others remain virtually unchanged, like Ariel and Pocahontas.

Now that you know the history of the line, let's move on to Anna and Elsa!

Excuse my wrinkled sheet.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

American Girl: Kirsten's School Outfit

I apologize that I haven't been writing much lately. It's not that I've been busy, just feeling lazy and unmotivated. My stores around here don't have much new things that I'm interested in buying, and I've been dumping money on the Disney Store's collector dolls they've been releasing this season. I only have two more I want, so after I get them out of the way I can focus on other dolls once my bank account recovers. I hate fall for that reason; the Disney Store releases all of their limited edition collector dolls in just a couple of months instead of steadily through out the year. I'm also moving to Florida soon and have been packing up clothes and thinking of when I should start adding my dolls to that, so I probably shouldn't buy more to add to the pile.

I have been in a very American Girl mood lately though. I've been reading Caroline's books slowly and am enjoying them very much because they're nicely written and the plot is enthralling. I definitely suggest reading them yourself or with a child. I also received my holiday catalog a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the photography in it, especially for the historical characters. I have a long list of dolls I'd like to add to my childhood collection (like five currently >.<), but can't really afford it at the moment and haven't been able to get myself to American Girl Boston because my mother has been injured and I like visiting the stores with her because she loves American Girl just as much as me.

So I've been making do with my four childhood dolls I decided to keep, Kirsten, Felicity, Josefina, and Kit. As a child Kirsten was never my favorite, and I bought her on a whim when I was eight or nine with the money I saved from my birthday, Christmas, and allowance. I'm not sure if I didn't like her so much because of her meet outfit, which I still am not crazy about, or if it was her simple clothes and accessories she had. They weren't fancy and elegant like Felicity's or exotic like Josefina's. Anyways I never bought anything for her when I was younger besides her doll, and I unfortunately took down her braids and gave Elizabeth her pantalettes to wear, so she's practically brand new. When I got back into American Girl as an adult, she was retired. So now I'm making up for it by slowly buying her collection off of eBay when I find good deals. Now she's one of my favorites because of my interest in Scandinavian culture and 19th century history. I also can't think of one of her outfits American Girl produced for her that I don't like.

Kirsten looking very appropriate for the season.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Disney Store Limited Edition 17'' Ariel

The Disney Store has been releasing 17'' collector dolls of their popular characters since 2009 when they released Snow White to coincide with the movie's re-release on Blu-Ray. They have been releasing the dolls steadily each year since, depending on which movies come out of the ''vault'' and which movies are newly released that year. The dolls are usually of the princesses and the main villain from their movie. For the first time though they released Eric to accompany Ariel for her release and he is the first male doll in this style. To see which dolls have been released and other information on them, you can view a post member has put together on them here on the Disney Pin Forum.

I've known of the dolls since 2009 but didn't start actively collecting them until spring of 2012 when wedding Rapunzel was released. I did want to buy Alice when she was released of August 2011, but waited too long and she sold out quickly because of her small edition size. I've been waiting since 2009 for my favorite princess to be released and the time has finally arrived! I pre-ordered my Ariel back on July 29th on the Disney Store's website, and she arrived on September 30th on my door step! A day earlier than you were able to pick up your pre-order in store. The Disney also had a ''surprise'' release of a limited edition 17'' Ursula and Eric on October 1st in their store and on their website. I say surprise because they previewed the dolls at D23 this year but you were not allowed to pre-order them like you could with Ariel. I bought Ursula for myself to go along with Ariel but decided to skip out on Eric because I did not like how his box cut off the top of his head. Ursula should arrive this Wednesday but for now I'm in absolute awe of Ariel's beauty.

The prettiest princess besides Aurora imo.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Disney Store's Frozen Kristoff and Hans Dolls

Last week I reviewed the Disney Store's Anna and Elsa dolls. When I went to my Disney Store a couple of weeks ago, they only had Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff dolls available and didn't have Hans stocked. So I turned to their website and ordered him along with the D23 exclusive ornament because I have no willpower when it comes to seasonal items.

Kristoff and Hans are the two main male leads in Frozen. Hans is the prince of a neighboring kingdom, The Southern Isles, and travels to attend Elsa's coronation.  After meeting Anna he proposes to her after only a day and she gladly accepts, Elsa does not approve. Hans seems to take a back seat when Anna goes off to bring her sister home and he stays behind in Arendelle. Kristoff does join her though as he's an ice harvester and knows how to navigate the rugged landscape. He's described as grumpy and is a bit of loner, his only friend being his reindeer Sven. I imagine he only accepts to help Anna because his job is endangered when Arendelle is frozen over and no one no longer needs to buy ice imported from the mountains. He is said to be based of the Sami people.

Expect a love triangle.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Disney Store's Frozen Anna and Elsa Dolls

I've been following the development of Disney's adaption of Hans Christian Anderson's story the Snow Queen for years. After being shelved a couple of times, I was ecstatic to learn that Disney was giving it a go again after the success of Tangled. Not surprisingly, they gave the Snow Queen a one word title like they did Tangled, formerly Rapunzel Unbraided, and  Brave which was originally going to be called the Bear and the Bow. I can't blame them seeing as both were popular movies that appealed to both genders. They also changed the plot a bit, and instead decided to make Frozen loosely based on the Snow Queen, something I'm surprisingly okay with.

Frozen revolves around two sisters, Anna and Elsa. Elsa has magical powers allowing her to control ice and snow. On the day of her coronation to become queen of their kingdom, Arendelle, Elsa looses control and freezes their kingdom into an eternal winter. Terrified of what she's done, she flees to the Norwegian mountains and creates an ice palace of her own, isolating herself from her sister and her people. Anna who is not afraid of her sister, goes on a journey to save her sister and bring her back home. Anna is accompanied on her adventure by Kristoff, an ice harvester, who knows the dangerous landscape, his reindeer Sven, and a snowman Elsa created named Olaf. I have read the spoilers and don't let Disney's marketing fool you, it will be a dramatic story. This will be a spoiler free review though.

Anna on the left, Elsa on the right.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse: Midge

So let me just start of by saying I don't remember the last time I wanted to buy a play line Barbie doll. The last time I bought a new Barbie was when the Barbie Basics came out a few years back but those are directed towards collectors anyways. I heard about the new webisodes Mattel was doing for the Barbie line but never checked them out until recently when I realized Midge was in them. I imagine they started producing them for Barbie because their similar approach to Monster High became a roaring success. Personally I think Barbie needed this because I think people, like me, just think of her as a doll instead of her own character.

I really like the web series and it reminds me of the Barbie portrayed in the Toy Story movies. The series is like a reality show based on Barbie and her friends lives in Malibu. The catch is though the characters are all actually the dolls. The show is even complete with squeaky limbs when they are walking. The show is also peppered with jokes about Barbie's long history and other doll related problems that made me laugh.

I looked around on the Barbie Collector website and I realized they had dolls that tied into the webisodes. I like that Mattel realizes that the show not only appeals to their target audience but also their adult collector market. I decided I needed to get myself Midge for pure nostalgic reasons. One of my favorite dolls I had growing up was the infamous Happy Family Midge. I can't tell you how many of my childhood hours I wasted playing with her. I had her husband and son, the grandparents, and even the doll house that tied into them. I think she's still floating around some where in storage but I couldn't find her for the review.

Anyways it seems Midge has dropped her husband and kids for the Life in the Dreamhouse line and headed to Malibu to hang out with her BFF Barbie. Those kids can take care of themselves by now though, I mean that was 2002.

Looking good for having two kids 11 years ago.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

J-Doll: Maroseica St.

I've known of J-Dolls for a while but was never really interested in purchasing one until recently when I became aware of how cheap they're going for on eBay, around $35-$60. Recently on Tumblr a few people I follow had bought some and I realized I wanted one for myself. I've always wanted a Pullip doll but their price tag was always a little too much for me, seeing as I like so many other dolls too. So I thought a J-Doll would be a good alternative for now, especially because I love their sweet faces.

After scouring eBay for a couple of days I finally settled on Maroseica St. or Rue Antoine Dansaert. When it finally came down to it Maroseica won out because I loved the doll herself, while Dansaert I only liked for her clothes. I loved Maroseica's beautiful green eyes and gorgeous red hair, and I figured I can always re-dress her into something different. Her elaborate outfit has grown on me though.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pinkie Cooper Jet Set Pets: Pepper Parson

By now you've probably heard of these strange looking dolls called Pinkie Cooper by The Bridge Direct. I first heard the name thrown around on Tumblr in the doll community but my first true experience with them was reading The Toy Box Philosopher's review of Pinkie Cooper herself back in July. At first I wasn't too fond of the alien-like dolls and the bizarre concept of anthropomorphic dogs in the fashion world. Now I know anthropomorphism of animals isn't anything new and it has been done before in the doll world, but I still was a bit apprehensive of this doll line at first. Especially because they have pet dogs themselves, something I'm not too fond of and I will be ignoring that part of the line.

Anyways though, as you've probably guessed they grew on me! Especially as a dog lover their sweet, innocent, Spaniel face melted my heart. My first dog ever was a Cocker Spaniel named Chloe. My family got her as a puppy when I was one and we grew up together. Sadly several years ago she passed away at the age of twelve. While Pinkie Cooper is based off of the doll designer's English Toy Spaniel, also called King Charles Spaniel, they have enough similarities with Cocker Spaniels to remind me of my Chloe. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, while different from English toys/King Charles, have also been one of my favorite dog breeds since I was young, and I've always wanted a red and white one named Ginger. So as you can imagine I had to buy Ginger Jones as quickly as possible. Well now I've picked up Pepper Parson so she can have a friend to hang out with.

Pepper Parson

Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Itroduction

So before I post my first review I thought I'd properly introduce myself! My name's Heather and I'm 18 and recently graduated high school (finally!). For as long as I can remember I've loved dolls. When I was a child I was all about my Barbies, Bratz, and American Girl dolls. Sometime during 6th grade I'd lost interest in playing with them but never interest in them. That's when I transitioned into collecting them. Now my three biggest collections are my Disney, Monster High, and American Girl dolls. Let me show you what I've gathered so far!

Ignore the bright pink wall. I was going through an interesting stage when my parents painted my old bedroom for me.