The name’s Stripe. Toralei Stripe.

Something about the Union Jack T-shirt made me want to do a Bond and Bond girl pose…but Monster High dolls do not really want to do this pose. ¬†I just could not get Scarah’s head to stay down on Toralei’s shoulder. ūüė¶

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Monster High Minis

I had hoped that week three of the April Alternative Challenge could be Princess Elizabeth. ¬†(Which would have been especially appropriate today, since it’s the Queen’s birthday.) ¬†Alas, she’s still at the dolly hospital. ūüė¶ ¬†And if I’d had more time, I could have put up a really freakin’ awesome Princess of Power post (it will be coming eventually, I hope) but I have two major projects due on Monday, so I’ve been freaking out trying to get them done. ¬†(And they still¬†aren’t done, either. ¬†I have to go back to the library on Sunday (skipping work!) and possibly on Monday, too.)

So this post is sort of slap-dash.  For which I apologize.

Anyway, so maybe you’ve seen the tiny, ragdoll-like Monster High Minis in stores, if you frequent the Monster High aisle. ¬†(I know many don’t, especially since the reboot.) ¬†They’re about as tall as the distance from the knuckle of my thumb to the tip (wow, that’s a precise measurement!) and super-cute, but Mattel’s sort of tricksy about them: ¬†they sell some in sets where you can see what you’re getting, and the rest in blind boxes. ¬†The visible sets get you hooked on the cuteness, and include little fliers to show you all the other ones you’re missing out on, and then you end up buying the blind box ones….and I’ve been kind of hooked on blind box figures lately anyway. ¬†(Though that’s another post entirely. ūüėõ )

So I was¬†trying to resist the lure of getting anything other than the packaged sets. ¬†Then I was at Walmart looking for various stuff I didn’t find, and found an 8-figure set of Season 2 of the Monster High Minis (why do blind box figures get “Seasons” instead of something more normal?) and I just¬†had to get it. ¬†Mainly for these two:

Pineapple Deuce.  Pineapple.  Deuce.

How could I resist?

There were some other really cool ones in the set, too:

These two were exclusive to the set. ¬†(Actually, I think the two fruity ones may have been, too…not that “fruity” is what they call them…) They’re also the only “gem” ghouls in the season.

So, a werewolf mermaid…is a weremaid? ¬†Merwolf? ¬† Yeah, I think I like that one…

 

Anyway, the background on the set had super-adorable illustrations of a strawberry Draculaura and a lemon Rochelle, so I found myself studying the little flier inside for the whole contents of Season 2, and there are so many of them that I just¬†need, in that awful doll-collecting itchy way. ¬†(Or maybe Clawdeen’s fleas feared the ocean water and jumped onto me?)

And then I had a look at the flier for Season 1 out of one of the packaged sets, and found that it actually had some pretty cool stuff, especially the space ghouls:

Though, honestly, I didn’t get this Frankie from a blind box. ¬†I got her with the carrying case…

Most of those 28 minis came from sets of 3 (and the set of 8), but there have been a few blind box purchases, too…just enough that there’s actually one more mini than can fit in the case. ¬†(I’m hoping Season 2 when it gets fully released will have a different case, maybe with more room, a more transparent cover, and a new mini to go with it. ¬†But I’d settle for just a different mini…)

I guess this one’s supposed to be the new ghost, but to me she’s Spectra. ¬†Because they have the same color scheme and all. ¬†Anyway, she’s the odd one out, but she still has a home to live in, ’cause most of the blind box minis come in nice, interlocking lockers…

See? ¬†She’s got a nice flat in a small high-rise.

But it seemed a bit lonely this way…

…so I let some of my other blind box figs move in, at least for the time being. ūüėõ


Well, I realize that’s not been much of a post, but I have to go make dinner and then finally get to work on my school work for the day. ¬†(I had to go to work today, so I didn’t have much time to work on my projects.)


Oh, I almost forgot! ¬†There’s a project on Kickstarter right now to start a Fashion Doll Museum. ¬†If anyone out there is interested, check it out — and pass it along to anyone else who might be interested, too!

Last Week’s Loot

Okay, so, as I told you last Sunday (well, Monday morning, really), last weekend I was at a “comics” convention. ¬†(I figure the quotation marks are merited since everyone I was there to see was someone I had seen in a television series…though admittedly three of them were Marvel series, but still!) ¬†But I also promised more info later, since most of my vendor room purchases hadn’t been photographed yet. ¬†(This is, after all, a toy-collecting blog! ¬†It’d be silly if I didn’t crow about my loot!)

Well, the last week has seen a mad burst of photography around here (at least 200 pics!) in order to get this post ready, to finish up the April A-to-Z photography, and also to fully document my antique mall find from a few days before the con. ¬†(I’ve yet to name her, but hopefully by next weekend she’ll have a name and be ready for prime-time.)

So, I can now share all the stuff I got at the con. ūüėÄ

First off, remember this?

Trophy 1

Well, the glue on one side of the box had come loose (I no longer recall if it was that way when I paid, or if it happened as I was carrying the box around all day) so it seemed like a good idea to make sure that the contents of the box were actually, you know, correct.

Phew!
Phew!

I would have felt like the biggest idiot ever if Arrow hadn’t actually been in that box! ¬†(Even more important, he’s still sealed in his factory bag, so it really was just a case of the glue having come loose, rather than him being a used toy simply returned to its box for storage.)

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Bow was very happy to be (re)united with his trusty steed, needless to say!

Of course, given my current space issues and all, I’m not actually planning on¬†truly opening Arrow at this time. ¬†For the moment, I’m just glad he’s really here. ūüėÄ

Anyway, since I didn’t show you last time, here’s the back of the box:

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Mostly, what I want you to see is this part here:

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I had every one of these dolls when I was a kid. ¬†And, really, I still do have most of them. ¬†I lost my original Bow and Glimmer when I moved here, but I’ve since replaced them. ¬†And I’ve now got two of She-Ra, because I found one in better shape than mine, and picked her up, thinking I’d customize mine into a new character. ¬†(Though now I can’t find my original one…but I know she’s in this house¬†somewhere.) ¬†I did not, however, have Kowl, Enchanta or the Crystal Castle. ¬†Or Arrow. ¬†Arrow is new to me. ūüėÄ

Okay, so now we can move on to the stuff you haven’t seen yet. ¬†Starting with the third item I bought from the vendor who sold me Arrow and Rainbow Brite:

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Before Rory came along, Donna was my favorite of the new series companions, so I’d been wanting to add her figure to my collection.

More importantly, on Saturday, there was the same vendor I remembered from the last of these conventions, who had this huge bin filled with Doctor Who figures.  Last time, I was mostly seeking out Doctors, but this time my Doctor complement was complete (thanks in part to that eleven Doctor gift set I got from Amazon), so I was mostly looking for companions.

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Perpegilium “Peri” Brown, about whom Peter Davison once said (perhaps jokingly?) that her cleavage upstaged his regeneration. ¬†And yes, I think this¬†is the outfit she was wearing in that episode… ¬†(Or is this the “Vengeance on Varos” outfit?)

"You will be like us."
“You will be like us.”

Hmm, what was that?  Some kind of interference, right?  Well, no matter.  On with the companions!

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I’d really have preferred to have a figure of Sarah Jane Smith from the original series, rather than from her new series appearances, but the guy at the booth said…well, actually, he seemed a little unsure if it was that there hadn’t been any made, or if it was just that they didn’t have any, though he was leaning towards the former. ¬†Anyway, he had a couple of this version of her, and one in the same scale that was a figure from her spin-off show, but I felt like this one had the better facial sculpt, so I went with it. ¬†Because having a figure of the older Sarah Jane is better than having no figure at all; she’s one of the greats, and she will always be missed.

"You will become like us."
“You will become like us.”

Uh-oh!  Looks like a Cyberman stowed away in my bag!

No need to fret, though!

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Leela of the Sebateem is here with her really big gun to save us! ¬†ūüėÄ

[Okay, yes, that got stupid. ¬†But I couldn’t decide which angle I liked better on the Cyberman, so…anyway, I’m not 100% which Cyberman story he’s from. ¬†His foot says 1968, so I’m thinking he might be from the lost 2nd Doctor story “The Wheel in Space,” which introduced the awesome Zoe…who, now that I think about it, doesn’t have a figure yet! ¬†Man, they’re really slacking off!)]

Okay, anyway, before I move on to my really big purchase, I want to show you another purchase that’s about the same physical size:

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Aren’t they adorable? ¬†I’m not posting any photos of anything else I got from artists at the con (I know they can be touchy about that, and for good reason, since there’s no much point in buying prints if you can download someone’s photos of a print) but since these are plush pillows, I figured it was probably okay. ūüėÄ ¬†The card there is the artist’s business card, which did not photograph well when I tried to use it to give the address. ¬†So instead I’ll just insert links into the text here. ¬†The artist’s professional name seems to be Kafai (or maybe that’s the name of her studio?) and she’s got an Etsy shop where she sells things like these pillows.

LWL 33

Of all the Ghibli designs she had, my first choice would have been Howl, but between closing time Saturday and when I got to her booth on Sunday morning, he had sold out. ūüė¶ ¬†But I love¬†Spirited Away, so Chihiro seemed like a good choice, too. ūüôā

LWL 34

Of course I love Link — doesn’t everybody? — but I’ve especially been in the grips of¬†Legend of Zelda fever since¬†Hyrule Warriors Legends came out, ’cause…I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess. ūüėõ ¬†Of course Link, more than just about any other character you could name, is especially appropriate to be holding a heart in front of his chest. ūüėÄ

One more shot, just for scale:

LWL 35

That’s the “Ghouls Alive” Clawdeen, so a standard-size Monster High doll. ¬†So these pillows are actually pretty big. ¬†And they are¬†super soft! ¬†They were professionally printed, and they have napping and everything. ¬†They’re extremely huggable. ūüėÄ

Okay, so¬†now I can get on to Sunday’s big (and last) purchase!

LWL 1

This was just sitting on the floor of one booth, being ignored by the other visitors…

LWL 5

When he found me crouched in his booth admiring (drooling?), he said he’d knock $50 off the price for a cash purchase.

LWL 11

I totally shouldn’t have, but…of course I found the ATM and got out the money. ¬†Because when was the chance ever going to come up again? ¬†This was the San Diego Comic Con doll (set) from 2014, and Mattel is nerfing the line later this year. ¬†Yeah, Monster High will still go on, but under a budget crunch, and the first thing that’s going is anything that’s going to eat away at the amount of profit they can get from a single unit. ¬†Look how much plastic went into Manny! ¬†They’re obviously never going to make¬†him¬†again. ¬†If I hadn’t bought this one, I’d either never get my hands on him, or he’d cost¬†even more. ¬†(To be honest, I’m not actually sure what he originally cost at Comic Con. ¬†Maybe I didn’t even overpay by that much? ¬†I know the vendor’s original asking price was the lowest I’ve ever seen for these two online.)

Anyway, backing up a bit, let me talk about the packaging a little. ¬†There’s two layers of box. ¬†The outer layer — the first photo — is Manny Taur’s backpack. ¬†Then the inner layer, the one that opens out with flaps, is his jacket. ¬†And that little white square on the front of the jacket?

LWL 6 LWL 7

When you open the flaps to reveal the dolls, you also reveal their diaries. ¬†I haven’t even removed those from the pockets to look at them, ’cause why bother? ¬†I stopped reading the Monster High doll diaries a long time ago.LWL 12

They’re pretty sweet together, right? ¬†(Despite how disparate in size they are.)

LWL 13

It’s appropriate, for someone who’s half-cow, that Manny is very beefy. ūüėõ

LWL 15

You’d think it would be hard to hold hands with someone whose hand is almost the size of your head…

LWL 16

This is really pretty elaborate packaging! ¬†The locker back there actually has openings with plastic accessories in it. ¬†(Well, plastic notebooks or whatever they are.) ¬†And you probably can’t tell very well in the thumbnail (or even in the full size picture) but the poster beside the locker features the superhero versions of some of the Monster High ghouls that were released as Target exclusive dolls. ¬†Well, specifically, that’s definitely Frankie Stein’s Voltageous character on the end there, next to the locker. ¬†I’m not sure about the other one. ¬†(Wydowna’s Weberella character would make sense, since she was another Comic Con exclusive doll.)

LWL 19

Okay, so this was mostly just to give you a really good view of Iris’ awesome purse. ¬†But the little sign in front has me thinking. ¬†(Even though it turned out largely illegible in the photo.) ¬†Okay, so Manny Taur is the son of the Minotaur. ¬†Aside from the fact that that makes him about 3000 years old, that’s fine: ¬†there was only ever one of those, after all. ¬†But for Iris, it says “Iris Clops, Daughter of the Cyclops.” ¬†Um, what? ¬†“The” Cyclops? ¬†As if there was ever only one? ¬†There wasn’t even only one¬†kind of Cyclops, let alone only one individual! ¬†Is she the daughter of one of the three Cyclopean blacksmiths who were the elder siblings of the Titans? ¬†Or is she more along the lines of “granddaughter of Poseidon by way of one of his ickier sons like Polyphemos”? ¬†‘Cause that’s a pretty big difference. ¬†Gigantic, in fact.

Sorry, that was bothering me, and I had to let it out. ¬†I’ll get back to the dolly photos now. ūüėõ

LWL 18

While I’m showing photos of accessories, here’s Manny’s backpack. ¬†Which does not match the exterior of the box, even though the exterior is supposed to be his backpack. ¬†(Little goof-up there, Mattel!) ¬†But that’s not actually why I’m showing you. ¬†(Nor am I showing you to point out how incredibly tiny the pack is for him, or to talk about how he’d never be able to get anything in or out, because his hands wouldn’t fit.) ¬†No, I wanted to point out the little orange maze on the top half. ¬†You probably noticed the same thing in black on his T-shirt, and if you look at the box shots in the gallery, you’ll see that a similar (but more elaborate) maze pattern runs around the base of the inner box that’s supposed to look like his school team jacket.

On the face of it, that’s a really cool throwback to his old man, right? ¬†And I’m sure that’s all they intended. ¬†But — and here’s my mythology/archaeology geekery rearing its ugly head again — it doesn’t make sense for it to look like that. ¬†That’s a very modern maze. ¬†You wouldn’t find one like that before the 20th century. ¬†(Well,¬†maybe the 19th century, but even then probably only in the US.) ¬†Ancient mazes tended to be circular, with a clearly defined central point, et cetera. ¬†And, of course, there’s a difference between a maze and a labyrinth, too, and as a minotaur, he’d need a labyrinth, not a maze. ¬†(The main difference being that there is one path through a labyrinth, and any side paths are more to fill up the space than to distract from the path. ¬†A maze will have multiple solutions.)

So, yeah, long story short, if I ever decide to open these two (which will definitely not happen in the foreseeable future), I am going to have get Manny a T-shirt with a proper Greek labyrinth on it.  (There are some really good ones on coins from Knossos.  That would be appropriate.)

Okay, sorry, that ended up even more talky than the last picture. ¬†I’ll try and reign in my Greek mythology buff from here on out. ¬†(At least for this post…)

LWL 17

It is¬†really hard to get a good shot of his face! ¬†Especially in the box like this, but based on one of the other dolls (non-boxed) I was trying to photograph in the last week, I think it’d be hard even if he was out of the box. ¬†I wonder about the nose ring, though. ¬†I know that’s just sort of a standard thing we’re used to seeing on bulls, so people put them on minotaurs, too, but would they actually¬†want that? ¬†I mean, isn’t that ring there as a way to bring the bull under human control? ¬†Then again, if it is, I suppose in Manny’s case it would be kind of like, well, getting a nose ring for a human teen is: ¬†a way to honk off his parent(s). ¬†(Though his father’s been dead for 3000+ years, so maybe that’s not a very good analogy.)

LWL 20
Gazing up at her beefcake…

I’m often on the fence about the romances put forward between the various dolls in the Monster High line. ¬†Without reading/watching the additional materials that try to flesh out the characters, I can’t really comment on how well they do or don’t work, so all I can go on is my own personal take on the characters’ aesthetics. ¬†But I have to admit that this is a pretty cute couple. ¬†I just wish they’d done a playline doll of Manny. ūüė¶ ¬†(But at least they did one of Iris! ¬†I’ve got two of those, one to stay Iris, and the other to be customized into someone else. ¬†Not sure who yet, but…)

Random final shot is random.
Random final shot is random.

I’m not sure what that thing is next to Manny’s hip, btw. ¬†Maybe it’s a basketball? ¬†(I mean “casketball,” lol.)

Well, on that pathetically random note, I’ll close out my report on last weekend’s loot. ¬†It feels a bit underwhelming in comparison to all the stuff I didn’t get (doesn’t it always?) and it’s also a bit lesser in terms of how much I got for my money, since Manny and Iris were so expensive. ¬†(Though they came to less than a single Pullip.) ¬†But it’s still a pretty good haul. ūüėÄ ¬†And, actually, I left out a few things: ¬†I got a couple of enamel pins at the same booth where I got most of the¬†Doctor Who figures (one of Animal and the other of Starbug from¬†Red Dwarf) but those didn’t seem like they’d really photograph all that well, or be terribly interesting. ¬†And I got a number of prints from artists…ack! ¬†I¬†knew there was another photo I meant to take! ¬†One of the artists was selling postcards with cute little chibi designs, and four of them were specifically of the dolls from the DC Super Hero Girls line! ¬†Naturally, since I had Harley¬†with¬†me, I¬†had to get them! ¬†(Of course, I’d have had to get them anyway…) ¬†I meant to take a picture of Harley holding her own portrait! ¬†*sigh* ¬†I’ll take the picture later and tack it on to some un-related post, I guess. ¬†(Or whenever I get Wonder Woman and/or Batgirl, I can do it then, since I’ve got their portraits that way, too. ¬†I didn’t get the Supergirl one, though. ¬†I don’t like the line’s Supergirl design. ¬†So since his postcards were “buy 3 get 1 free” I changed things up a little and got Scarlet Witch (movie version) for the fourth. ūüėõ )

Anyway, in light of all kinds of things (including but not remotely limited to my finances) I am hoping to put a halt to the majority of my dolly spending. ¬†I need to be focusing on cleaning up my house (I sound like a broken record here) and finding a better place to put everything I’ve already got. ¬†So hopefully for the foreseeable post-April future, most of my posts will be about things I already own, not new purchases, but…I make no guarantees. ¬†It’s kind of a sickness, after all. ¬†(A good sickness, but a sickness.)

But space concerns are my #1 thing at the moment: ¬†I’m so cramped for dolly space that I can’t even open Grell and the Undertaker! ¬†(Yup, they arrived here on Friday! ¬†There was much squeeing.) ¬†So, obviously, once I have space to put them in, there will be a lengthy de-boxing post for the two of them. ¬†Or maybe two less lengthy de-boxing posts. ¬†And probably a number of¬†Black Butler-themed photo skits, ’cause it’ll be hard to resist…

Okay, so that’s that. ¬†The gallery — which is about half Manny and Iris — is here.

Tokidoki Barbie

I mentioned at some point not too long ago that I had made an all-Mattel Amazon order, right? ¬†Well, it’s been here a while — in fact, these pictures have been ready for a while — but I just haven’t been in quite the right frame of mind to post about it. ¬†Er, or something.

Uh, anyway, yeah, so here’s the main attraction of the order:

Tokidoki 1

I saw that Amazon was selling this doll for under $30 instead of $75…and that was an automatic “you bet!” ¬†Because I didn’t like this doll $75 worth, but $30? ¬†Yeah, no question of that.

At this time, I have no intentions of opening her, though, so let me try and give you a close-up to see how neat she looks.

Tokidoki 5

Photos through the plastic never really turn out too well. ūüė¶

Anyway, in getting the order up to the $50 required for free shipping, I got a couple of other Mattel dolls…

Tokidoki 6

She’d been a “not sure about it” kind of doll the whole time she was in stores, then she was gone before I finished making up my mind. ¬†And since they’re about to nerf the whole line, I figured I should get her while she was still cheap. ¬†No idea when I’m going to get around to¬†opening¬†her, however.

Tokidoki 7

These Frightmares don’t show up around here with much regularity, so I figured there was a good chance I’d never see her in person, and therefore went ahead and ordered her.

Part of me wants to lie and say I haven’t already opened her, but the truth is I have, and that I’ve even taken pictures…but I’m going to save them, ’cause the Frightmares have made good “Silent Sunday” fodder in the past. ¬†ūüėõ

Lastly (in keeping with the abandoned former post title “Mattel keeps taking my money!”), about the same time these arrived, I hit K-Mart on the way home from the museum, in the hopes that the Draculaura and Clawdeen Scarrier Reef dolls were actually K-Mart exclusives, which they certainly don’t seem to be. ¬†But I did find something good on clearance:

Tokidoki 8

I thought I missed out on this one altogether! ¬†(In case you can read that price tag, let me assure you that there was an additional 50% off the lowest marked price. ¬†A very important detail!) ¬†I really want to open her, but…ugh, no idea when. ¬†My life in the near future is looking hectic and complicated. ¬†And I really lack space right now. ¬†(And constantly buying things isn’t helping…)

Tokidoki 9

I’d like to check out the effects mentioned on the back of the box here, but it says it requires¬†6 AA batteries! ¬†If it takes that much power, Mattel, maybe you should just provide an AC adapter and have done with it. ¬†Batteries aren’t very power (or money) efficient anyway.

Right, so, anyway, in other news, I have a doll review(ish) ready to write. ¬†Er, I’ve taken the pictures, I mean, and all I need to do is write it. ¬†Plus I got in that Mandarake order on Wednesday, and so once I take photos of¬†that stuff, I can tell you about¬†it, too, apart from the one piece that’s being saved for April A-to-Z. ¬†But I’m not sure when I’m going to get around to all that, ’cause I’m trying to pre-write at least one post a day (though I’ve now fallen a couple of days behind) and though next week is Spring Break, I’m working three days next week, and I plan on devoting a lot of time to catching up on the pre-writing for my main blog, which got shot in the foot by the discovery that some of my sources were lying to me (or something).

So…to sum up…hopefully fun posts ahead. ¬†Hopefully. ¬†(Double hopefully: ¬†hopefully they’re ahead, and hopefully they’ll be fun. ¬†Unlike this one, which was kind of…um…lame.)

Oh, almost forgot!  The gallery for this post is here.