Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gemr: A Fun Website for Collectors :)

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful week. :) Today's post is a sponsored post with affiliate links.

I'm very excited to share some information about a website I just recently discovered: Gemr.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a staff member from Gemr, sharing some information about the site and inviting me to come check it out. I did, and thought it was definitely worth mentioning here. :)

Gemr is essentially a site for collectors. It combines some of my favorite things from some of the other social networks I enjoy online. At Gemr, you can share pictures of your collections, browse and "favorite" other user's collections, join collection-themed clubs and museums, interact with other collectors, get information about collectibles, buy/sell/trade, and more...all in one place.

According to my contact, Gemr has been around for about a year, but has experienced significant growth recently. They are hoping to gain more members and continue to grow the website even more.

"We really wanted people to have an outlet where they could share and discuss their treasured collectible items with like-minded people, and not just buy/sell/trade, although we do offer those features as well," my contact explained.

I've spent many hours on Gemr these past two weeks and have found it very user-friendly. To become a member, you need a username, a password, and an email address. Personal and payment information is not necessary for membership, although to use the buy/sell/trade aspect, payment information must be entered. The nice thing is, Gemr has an option to use Paypal, which I prefer to use whenever possible (as opposed to entering my credit card info on yet another site). ;)

Once you join Gemr, you can start exploring the site and adding your own pictures to your account. You can add up to five pictures of each individual item and have the option of categorizing them by collection. For example, if you collect American Girl dolls, you can add "American Girl Dolls" as one of your collections and then upload pictures of each of your dolls within that collection.

If categorizing to that degree is too much, you can just upload pictures of your items and keep them listed in your main gallery without dividing them into different collections. I tend to be a bit obsessive about categorizing, so I like using the collection sorting option. So far, I have a My Little Pony collection, a Lalaloopsy collection, and a Pullip/Taeyang/J-doll collection listed. Of course, I'll be adding more as I have more time to upload pictures. ;) (American Girl, Zelfs, Strawberry Shortcake, Hearts for Hearts Girls, Disney dolls...yeah, I'll be spending a few hours going category crazy!) :D

As you upload pictures of each of your collectibles, you also have the option of adding an "Infocard" to the item. Each Infocard has a generic category (doll, figurine, etc.), and then is broken down into brand, character, condition, material, production date, size, and style. You can fill out all of these bits of information or just pick and choose the information you want. This feature is great for other collectors who like your item and want more detailed information. It would also be excellent for items you list for sale. I haven't filled these out in great detail yet, but would like to go back and do so later. Which brings up another nice feature. You have the option to edit your items after you add them, so you can always start with basic information and go back and add more later. :)

Many of the items I uploaded to Gemr are things I've reviewed here on the blog, so I included a link to my blog reviews in the description. For those of you who do YouTube reviews, there's an option to add a link to a YouTube video. This is a great way to share information with the other collectors on the site.

When you add pictures, you can upload "wanted" items or "for sale" items too, not just items from your own collection.

Once your pictures are on the site, other members can comment on them and "fave" them. You also have the option of requesting more information about your pictured items or their values from other members. And there are several "awards" you can earn as a member, from awards for faves and comments to awards for the items you view, upload, or categorize.

Like Facebook, you can "friend" people on Gemr. And there are links to invite your own friends from Facebook or email to join Gemr.

One of the things that's fun about this site is that it's not limited to one specific kind of collection. I've seen everything from dolls to comic books to vintage photos. You can check out the clubs for collectors with similar interests, but there is also a search bar in case you're looking for something specific.

There are a few things about the site that I think could be improved, such as the option to rotate pictures once they're uploaded (I had some trouble with sideways My Little Pony pictures that I couldn't turn) and the option of subcategorizing the different clubs (sorting the My Little Pony club by the MLP generations or sorting the different categories of Funko Pops, for example). The site is still growing and looking for ways to improve, however, so there will most likely be some changes and growth in the future as the site itself grows.

Overall, though, I was very pleased with Gemr and am excited to see where it goes in the future. It's a fun place to meet other collectors of both similar and different interests and could be a great resource for research on specific collectibles. I think many of you will enjoy it as much as I have. :)

To check out Gemr for yourself, click HERE. :)

If you do take the time to explore the site, I'd love to hear what you think! :)

Although this post was sponsored, all thoughts and opinions expressed were my own. This post contains an affiliate link, which means I will receive compensation when my readers click the link and choose to join Gemr.

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Arrivals at Disneystore.com and Posts in the Works

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a happy Monday. :)

There are some fun new items up on the US Disney Store website. Here are a few of my favorites. :D

Anna Wardrobe Doll Play Set
(original image HERE)
This is one of the cute little mini dolls, except she's dressed in her Frozen Fever dress! :D I'm not sure that I'll be able to justify paying the $24.95 for her set when I already have all of the accessories and extra clothing (which are the same as the first version), but I'd sure love to add her to my collection! ;) It would be great if the Disney Store changed up the accessories in future sets.

Elsa Wardrobe Doll Play Set
(original image HERE)
And, of course, there can't be an Anna Wardrobe set without an Elsa Wardrobe set. ;) She looks so adorable in her Frozen Fever dress, too. Once again, I don't see myself getting this because everything besides the doll appears to be exactly the same as the first Wardrobe Set. She's still cute, though. :)

Frozen Fever Deluxe Doll Gift Set
(original image HERE)
And more Frozen Fever! :D These dolls are the full-sized ones, though. The set includes everything pictured, and the Elsa and Anna dolls sing. I love all of the items that are included and that Kristoff is in a different outfit from the classic doll's. That being said, the $99.95 price tag will make these guys a "look only"set for me. Especially since I already have the Anna and Elsa Frozen Fever dolls from the Disney Store. I also wish they'd made Sven the right scale. Still, I'm sure this will appeal to lots of Frozen fans out there. :)

Frozen Mega Figurine Play Set
(original image HERE
I'm not always a fan of the Disney Store figurine play sets. A lot of times their faces aren't painted all that well, especially in the more recent releases. Anna and Elsa in their signature clothes are from the original set, and you can see their face paint isn't the greatest. However, some of the newer figures actually appear to have pretty nice faces here. My favorites from the new figures are Coronation Anna and Elsa, little Kristoff and Sven, and Elsa and Anna's parents. This set is pretty spendy at $44.95, but it's still lots of fun to look at. :)

Mini Disney Animator's Collection Belle Play Set
(original image HERE
I saved the best for last. Hooray!! :D I've been waiting for this to be released, and I couldn't be more thrilled with all of the extra items Belle comes with. My favorite accessory is her book, which looks just like her book in the movie. (I might swipe it and give it to one of my Belle fashion dolls). My least favorite part of the set is Philippe. His eye placement is just a bit odd. This set will definitely be coming home with me...eventually. ;) Along with mini DAC Rapunzel. :)

There were some other fun new items, too. The Disney Store is definitely gearing up towards the newest Pixar movie, The Good Dinosaur, with toys, clothing, and other items. You can see all of the new releases HERE

Which of the new releases are your favorites? Will you be adding any of them to your own collections? 


In other news, I'm hoping in the coming weeks to go through some posts that have been waiting forlornly in my "draft posts" for far too long. I have review posts just waiting for me to add my thoughts and get them up. I'm trying to balance blogging with gym time, writing my book, and being a mom, which I've found a bit difficult in the past month. Please be patient with me as I attempt to get my life organized. :}

Speaking of which, I really need to get myself on a housework schedule, too. Ugh. My house is such a mess. Everything is a mess. ;) But, my second post-Mount Hermon draft of my book is just chapters away from completion, and I have all sorts of new muscles I'm gaining at the gym, so not everything is chaos in my life right now. ;)

Have a great week, guys! I'll be back with another post soon. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Shoppies YouTube Review is Up! :)

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that our YouTube review of the Shoppies dolls is up on my YouTube channel. You can see it here: 

This was our first YouTube review, so it was kind of a learning process for all of us, but we had a lot of fun doing it, and hope you guys enjoy watching it. :)

Shopkins Shoppies Review: Jessicake, Bubbleisha, and Popette

Earlier this month, my daughters and I were super excited to see The Mommy and Gracie Show's review of a new line of dolls from Moose Toys: the Shoppies. These dolls are part of the super popular Shopkins line from Moose, and are meant to coordinate with the tiny toys. 

Oldest Gal, Middle Gal, and Little Gal instantly added these girls to their wishlists and hoped we would find them soon. Conveniently, Moose Toys decided to start this line with three different dolls, and all three of my daughters liked different ones. (It's always so nice when that happens.) ;)

Yesterday, while on an out-of-town trip, my mom was able to find all three of the dolls at Toys R Us. She bought them for the girls, and I surprised them with them after school yesterday. All three of them were thrilled. :) We decided to try something new, so the girls did a video review for my YouTube channel, which I will link at the end of this post. I still wanted to do a blog review as well, though.

We are loving these new cuties and can't wait to share them with you. :)

First up is Little Gal's favorite, Popette:

She has curly blonde hair, blue eyes, and popcorn-themed clothing and accessories. She also has two exclusive Shopkins friends. :)

Packaging details:

Popette's Bio...

...and package art remind me a lot of the Zelf packaging...which makes perfect sense, since Moose Toys produces Zelfs as well. ;)

The package gives us the names of the exclusive Shopkins, too.

The packaging had to be cut open with scissors. Inside the outer plastic is this clear plastic insert. 

The dolls are attached by rubber bands at their arms...

...and legs.

They also have a plastic tie threaded through the packaging and attached to each side of their head (demonstrated here by Bubbleisha). It was pretty tricky to get these plastic ties removed without cutting the hair, but we managed to pull it off. However, because of this and the scissor-required opening, I would highly recommend parental help for little package openers. ;)

Here is Popette, free from her bonds, with all of her included goodies.

First, we'll look at Popette herself. :)

Her bright coloring and wide-eyed expression make her look very cheerful. Her eye design is similar to the Shopkins' eyes. 

Her outfit consists of a plastic shirt and a cloth skirt.

Her plastic shoes include painted on socks attached.

We loved how her heels are made of popcorn bags. The shoes remind me a lot of the Ever After High and Monster High lines, where the heels usually have some sort of design that goes along with the doll's theme or hobbies.

Popette from the back. Gotta love those curls! ;)

I was worried about how this hair would hold up with Little Gal. I'm sure these curls won't look nearly so nice in a week or two. The nice thing is, they're fairly tight and stay together quite nicely. The fact that Little Gal can't brush Popette's hair may make it last a little longer, too. ;)

Popette's popcorn-themed headband is attached with yellow string. We will probably keep it attached this way for as long as possible. Once you take something like this off, it usually never stays on the same way again.

You've already seen it in some of the earlier pictures, but here's a closer look at Popette's stand. It's a simple, clear plastic disc with one little peg on the top. 

Popette's left shoe has a hole in the heel that fits perfectly over the peg on the stand.

I think it was really smart of Moose Toys to include stands with these dolls, especially since their larger heads and thick hair can make them rather top heavy. Jessicake is the worst of the three. I'm so glad the stands are there to prevent the frustration of "fainting" dolls. ;)

As a side note, be sure you remember to get the doll stand out of the packaging when you're opening your Shoppies! The clear plastic stand blends right into the clear plastic packaging. Oldest Gal almost threw her stand away by accident! 

I already mentioned that the skirt was removable, but I thought I'd show you a picture. Here is Popette without her skirt or shoes. Since her shirt is non-removable and she has built-in underwear, this is a doll that will never be completely undressed, a nice feature for parents concerned with doll modesty. ;)

Her feet are so adorable. I love the way they're curved. She has some serious cankles going on there. ;) 

The Shoppies can sit, although they have to lean against something to stay up because of their over-sized heads.

Their arms can move up...


...and out. The curved arm doesn't have as much variety in position because of its bend. Still, I love how Popette can fluff her side curl. ;)

Popette's Shopkins friends are Bowl-inda Popcorn and Polly Popcorn.

Bowl-inda and Polly from the back.

Here is Popette's cute little popcorn purse. The poor thing didn't come with a name, but I'm sure Little Gal will be able to think of something. ;)

Popcorn Purse from the back.

The purse hangs nicely in the crook of Popette's arm.

I love Popette's cute popcorn brush.

As cute as this is, I wouldn't recommend using it on Popette's hair unless you want a big, tangled mess of curls!

Each Shoppie comes with a VIP card that looks like an actual credit/debit card, with a strip on the back and everything.

It even has embossed letters in silver on the front.

Each card has a code on the back that can be used to get Shopkins rewards on the Shopkins website.

Now let's take a look at Oldest Gal's favorite, Popette's pal Jessicake

Jessicake has long, light blue hair, blue eyes to match, and cupcake-themed clothing and accessories.

I actually took Jessicake's packaged pictures first, so I have a few more packaging pictures of her:

Jessicake's Bio...

...and package art. We all loved the cute, stylized artwork of the Shoppies. :) 

Here's Jessicake with all of her extras.

She has such fun coloring. We love the soft blue of her hair and the sprinkles on her skirt.

Side views: 

I think her hair will take a lot more maintenance than Popette's. Unfortunately, the hair quality on these dolls is not the greatest, although it's not as bad as it could be. I would recommend avoiding too much brushing. The hair was already losing some wave in these pictures because Oldest Gal brushed it, and now it's starting to get to that puffy, thick stage that certain types of doll hair get to before it starts matting. If you must brush this hair, I would recommend wetting it down first with a small spritz bottle and carefully using a brush with wire teeth. 

Jessicake's sweet face...

...and headband. 

Her outfit

Cupcake shoes...

...with cupcake heels.

She has short bangs on one side...

...and longer bangs with a curl on the other.

I think her tiny ears are so adorable! :)

Like Popette, she has a nice range of motion in her arms: 

The Shoppies' heads only turn side to side. They do not angle up and down:

Here are Jessicake's exclusive Shopkins friends, Cherry Cake and Coco Cupcake.

Cherry and Coco from the back.

I think Jessicake's cupcake purse is my favorite out of all of the purses. The frosting almost looks real!

Jessicake's purse from the back...

...and hanging from Jessicake's arm.

Here is her fun cupcake brush. 

Again, I would recommend using this for show only and finding a different, wire brush for actually brushing any of the Shoppies' hair.

Jessicake's VIP card.

Okay, it's time to take a look at Middle Gal's favorite, Bubbleisha. :)

Bubbleisha has bubblegum pink hair, pink eyes to match, and gumball-themed clothing and accessories.

Packaging details:

Bubbleisha's Bio... 

...and package art. 

Middle Gal informed me that she's decided to change Bubbleisha's personality to someone who's just sweet, not sweet and sour. ;) 

Here's Bubbleisha with all of her extras.

I just can't help but smile when I look at these dolls. They look so cheerful! :)

Side views: 

Middle Gal loves Bubbleisha's curly pigtails.

 I'm a bit worried about this hair as well, but of the three girls, Middle Gal is the most careful with doll hair. So if anyone has a chance to keep the hair nice, it's her. ;) 

Bubbleisha's sweet face...

...and bubblegum headband.

Her outfit.

Bubble shoes...

...with gumball machine heels.

"I'm so happy!" For some reason, I get the feeling that Bubbleisha and Pinkie Pie would get along quite nicely. ;)

Here are Bubbleisha's pals Bubba Gum and Bubblicious. 

Bubba and Bubblicious from the back.

Bubbleisha's purse is a big yellow gumball with tiny gumballs for a strap.

The purse from the back...

...and on Bubbleisha's arm.

She even has a bubblegum brush. In person, it's actually a bit more of a pinky-purple, but for some reason, my camera decided to photograph it in this shade. :}

The brush from the back.

Bubbleisha's VIP card.

One of the genius things about these dolls is that they're the perfect size for the Shopkins accessories and shop sets that have been previously released. 

Thumbs up, Moose Toys! It's so great to have dolls that fit the cute playsets.

I wanted to get some pictures of the girls with some other small dolls.

The first group photo.

I didn't mind photographing the Shoppies with Kelly, Chelsea, and mini AG dolls to give a size comparison, but I felt like I was comparing apples and oranges. The Shoppies have a unique, stylized look that doesn't mix with the more realistic features of these dolls:

So then I went back to my room and brought out some other dolls that were more similar in style.

This seems like a better comparison, don't you think? ;)

Here is Bubbleisha with a Hasbro Plum Pudding. 

And here's Jessicake with a Bridge Direct Blueberry Muffin. Oldest Gal thinks they would make good sisters. ;)

By the way, in this picture, you can see how frizzy Jessicake's hair is from just a few brushings. :( I'm going to try to work with it a bit and see if we can tame it some. Again, I would recommend not brushing this hair at all if you can help it. When you do need to, a spritzer bottle and a wire brush will do much better.

Of course, I had to get a picture of Bubbleisha with my Lalaloopsy Bubbles Smack 'N' Pop mini and Tinies dolls. :)

My Tinies version is the perfect shade to match!

One of the first things the girls and I thought of when we saw the Shoppies were the short-lived Kawaii Crush dolls

These dolls were super cute but had some major quality issues. It's fun to have a similar line without the same problems. They sure look cute together, though! :)

I also knew I'd have to get a picture of Bubbleisha with Fluttershy because of their similar coloring. :) Fluttershy is definitely a My Little Pony next to Bubbleisha, but they still look cute together.

Then I thought I should try Bubbleisha with one of my G1 ponies. Here she is with my special UK Edition Confetti from My Little Pony Express.

The pinks aren't quite the same shade, but they still look cute together. :)

So, Moose Toys, I believe you've started another obsession in our house. ;) Here's Bubbleisha with our other two favorites from Moose Toys: Zelfs and Shopkins. :)

As always, I'd like to conclude with my overall thoughts.

Pleasing Qualities: 4.5 out of 5
Overall, the Shoppies are fun, adorable dolls with a lot of personality. I love their bright colors and creative themes. I'm deducting a half point because I think the hair quality could improve. I'm hoping this is something Moose Toys will work on in future releases. I'd also love to see some variety in facial expressions in the newer dolls. The Shoppies are all super cute, but they all have almost the exact same face. One of the things I've always loved about Shopkins is that they are making so many different faces, and often display expressions to match their personalities or qualities. It would be great if the Shoppies did the same thing. 

Posability: 4.5 out of 5
While these dolls aren't the most posable ones out there, they have a fairly decent range of motion compared to other dolls of similar height and build. This isn't exactly the type of doll you'd purchase for extensive posability in the first place, and with the larger heads of these dolls, adding more posability would take away some of their stability. I like the extra available movement in their shoulders. It would be nice if they could sit unassisted a little better, but that's about my only complaint.

Playability: 5 out of 5
These dolls offer some fun options for playtime. Aside from their slightly messy hair, they are nice and durable. Their compatibility with the Shopkins toys and playsets will open up all sorts of possibilities for kiddos who are already fans of Shopkins. I fully expect to have entire shops set up in my daughters' rooms for the Shoppies over the next few weeks. ;)  

Price: 4 out of 5
The Shoppies are $14.99 each, which will make collecting them a little more difficult for us. I would love it if they were around $10 each. When you have three girls, purchasing three items at $14.99 each can add up pretty quickly. Our other faves from Moose Toys, Zelfs and Shopkins, are much more practical for us. We can buy a set of twelve Shopkins for around $10 and split them between the girls, and the Zelfs are usually around $6 each. The Shoppies are also bigger, so they'll take up more space and will not work as well for extensive collecting.  

Overall, we're very pleased with these new girls. I think this was a super smart marketing move for Moose Toys. Shopkins are already quite popular, and a line of dolls that work perfectly with the Shopkins toys and playsets will appeal to many of the Shopkins fans out there. I'm excited to see what Moose does with this line in the future. :)

Thoughts From the Gals:
(We'll do a shortened version of the girls' thoughts this time around since they shared a bit on the video review.) ;)

Oldest Gal:
  Jessicake is really adorable and I love her. I think it's a good thing that my favorite color is blue because I was brushing Jessicake's hair, and it started to frizz a bit on the bottom. It's probably a good thing Little Gal got Popette, whose hair can't be brushed. I love the Shoppies and hope Moose Toys comes out with more. 

Middle Gal:
   I think that Bubbleisha is very adorable. I really like her face. I really like how her skirt and shoes can come off. Overall, I think that anyone who sees them should just grab them and buy them and take them home! :)

Little Gal:
   I like Popette because she's really cute and she kinda looks like me! I also like her because of her cute headband, but the one downside about her is she has curly hair that you can't brush. So if you're a kid that likes to brush hair and you really like this doll, then you would be kinda disappointed. I love, love, love, love, love, love Popette!!!

Please be sure to check out our YouTube review here as well:

Update! The Shoppies are now available to purchase online at the Toys R Us website. Click HERE to get your own. :)

What are your thoughts? Will any of you be adding Shoppies to your collections?