Tuesday, October 21, 2014

JC Penney's Frozen Coronation Dolls Back in Stock

Hey guys!  Just wanted to let you know that the Elsa and Anna coronation doll set is back in stock at the JC Penney's website.  These sold out in one day last time, so if you're in the US and want them, order them soon!  You can see them HERE.

Happy shopping! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Few EBay Listings Up and Other Randomness

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that I'm starting to sift through some of my thrift store rescues and list them on eBay.  I have a Sasha Gregor doll, a Hearts For Hearts Girls Mosi, and G4 My Little Pony Minty, a couple of Moxie Teenz, and a couple of other things up.  You can see everything I have listed HERE.  (One of my readers had a problem viewing my items, so HERE'S a link to one of my auctions.  After viewing it, you should be able to see everything else by clicking the "view seller's other items" link.  Please let me know if anyone else has a problem viewing my items.)

One of the things I love the most about thrifting is finding something unique that I might not otherwise have ever come into contact with.  By far, my most exciting thrift store find this past month was the Sasha Gregor doll I found in the toy aisle of Goodwill.


He was a bit dirty and dressed in a really ugly outfit made from a brown sock with holes cut in it for arm holes, but I recognized him immediately (and tried not to squeal in the middle of the store). ;)  I had just recently restrung two Sashas for a fellow doll club member, so Sashas were a bit more on my radar than they might have been otherwise.

I'm not all that familiar with the Sasha line, but after doing some online research and talking to one of my doll club ladies, (Oh, fiddlesticks, I still need to do that post about my doll club meetings!  Sorry, Mark Patraw!) I was able to find out a little bit more about them.

I found out that the Sasha dolls were produced both by Gotz company in Germany and by a company in England called Trendon Ltd (it sounds like the company was originally called Frido).  I also discovered that the way you can tell whether you have a Gotz or a Trendon Sasha is to check the doll's head.  The Gotz dolls have a "Sasha" mark on them, while the Trendon dolls have no distinguishing marks.  The Gotz dolls were produced from 1965-1970 and then again from 1995-2001.  The Trendon dolls were produced from 1966-1986.

There were a couple of fun facts I discovered about the Sasha line in general, too.  For instance, did you know that the Sasha dolls were produced in a tannish-brown color because their creator (also named Sasha) did not want the dolls to represent any specific race?  The dolls were also made with asymmetrical facial features to make them more like real children.  They were flat-footed so they could stand on their own, and could even balance upside-down in a headstand position.

The Gregor I found can still do a headstand, even though his arms are a bit loose.

The male dolls like mine were called "Gregor".  There were also baby dolls and African American dolls produced.

There's more I could share about Sasha, but I need to wrap things up and get my girls ready for bed. ;)   I found a lot of useful pages online about Sashas.   If you'd like to do more research yourself, you can see a couple of them HERE and HERE. :)  And here are a couple more helpful sites:

sashadoll.com

sashadolluk.co.uk

Thank you so much to Serenata for sharing these links! :)  I think I actually found the sashadoll.com one in my earlier research.  I hope these help all of you find even more information on this line. :)

I was really torn about letting go of my Gregor.  On the one hand, it was very exciting to find such a normally expensive doll at the thrift store.  (Full disclosure: I found him for $4.99.  I did a starting bid of $29.99 because if he doesn't sell for at least that much, I'll very happily keep him.  I didn't feel I should start him any higher because I got him for such a low price, especially since Goodwill wrote the price on his leg and I couldn't get it all the way off.) :(  But the thing is, I have so many other dolls and toys I'm already collecting, I really don't need to branch out into yet another line.  I'm starting to run out of room!  Gregor is cute, but I'm not as into Sashas as I am into other lines.

My other motivation for finding Gregor a new home is that I'm trying to save up for a writers conference next spring.  My goal is to get my book finished by the end of December and then spend the next few months editing it.  The conference I hope to attend (Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in California) would give me an opportunity to meet with agents and editors who might be interested in my work. :D

Because the conference is extremely expensive, I'm going to try to slow down on doll purchases and try to earn a little extra to set aside.  I don't know if going this next year will be a financial possibility, but I'd like to try.  If it doesn't work out for 2015, I'll aim for 2016.  Maybe by then I will have finished my second book, too (I have four planned for the series).

While we're on this subject, one of my goals this month has been to try to work on my book for at least one hour every weekday.  The success of that goal has been varied, but I've definitely been typing more on my story than I would have if I wasn't making the attempt. ;)

So if my posting seems more sporadic or distracted in the next couple of months, that's one of the reasons. ;)

Okay, so enough of that randomness!  All that to say, I've got some eBay listings up, things might be sporadic, but I'll have another post up this week! ;)

Hope you all had a nice Monday!  Talk to you soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Frozen Mini Doll Set Review

In my last review post, we took a look at the new Frozen mini doll Wardrobe Sets from the Disney Store.  This time around, I'll be reviewing the original Mini Doll Set that was released around the time of the movie's theatrical release, and is still currently available at Disneystore.com HERE.  (There will be one picture of mini Kristoff in his undies in this post, so if that bothers you, you might want to skip this post.) ;)

(P.S. Sorry this post was a bit late, but among my other errands and duties this week, I was able to type around 1600 words on my book I'm writing...Whoo hoo!!) ;)

Ahem.  Now back to business. ;)

The mini doll set includes four mini dolls:  Hans, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff.  As you can see from the picture, Elsa and Anna are in their coronation dresses.

The back of the box features head shots of all four of the characters.

A closer look at some of the box details from the front:

And from the back:

The box opens on the side, and the inner cardboard holding the dolls slides out easily.

Here they are in their little individual compartments.

They are held in place by tape, rubber bands, and twist ties.

Each of the little cardboard compartments are held together by tape in the back and a fold of cardboard in the front (I had to cut the cardboard to get them apart).  They could technically be separated like this and given as individual gifts.

The dolls are attached to the cardboard by clear plastic pieces and the twist ties:

Elsa was the only one with one of the annoying plastic ties attached to her head.

Here are all four dolls free from their packaging.

As I mentioned in my previous review post, they stand at approximately 6" tall.


I thought I'd take a look at each of the dolls individually, but I realized as I was working on this post that somehow I missed getting individual full-length pictures of Elsa and Anna.  (Whoops!)  So here's a look at the two of them together:

Anna looks taller in this picture because of her large topknot. ;)

Elsa
Elsa's face is nicely painted.  She has her side swept bangs from this portion of the movie.

Her bun is ginormous, especially from the side. :}

It looks very nice from the back.

Here's the back of her dress.  She has a little gap in her skirt where the two pieces were held apart by the twist tie.  I think with time and a little effort they could be forced back together.

Elsa has tissue under her skirt to make it look nicer in the box, and also (presumably) to keep the blue fabric from staining her legs.  Her shoes are held in place by rubber bands, which I will NOT be removing.  I know from experience that these shoes fall off if you look at them sideways without the rubber bands in place, and I don't want to end up losing her shoes. :}

The only thing that disappointed me about this Elsa was that her blue bodice was really off-center.  Thankfully, I had a spare coronation dress from my other set.

I just realized this was the only picture I took of the other dress by itself. :}  It only looks crooked because Elsa's dress form is tilted.  As you can see, the bodice is much more centered.  As I mentioned in the last review post, even with the shorter sleeves it was still really hard to change her...almost harder, because these sleeves were a lot narrower.  (Sorry for making you change a second doll, Hubby!) 

One thing that really excited me about having both this set and the Elsa Wardrobe Set was that I could add Elsa's cape and tiara to her coronation dress.  I only wish they'd made her sleeves a little longer to look more like the movie dress.  The tiara is also a little difficult to keep on her head.  If you look closely, you'll see that there's a bit of space between the tiara and her head.  That's the closest I could get it.  Still, it looks nice.  Hmm, I wonder if I could make some tiny gloves? ;)


Anna
I love Anna's sweet little face.  Her bangs are a little wild, but I suppose it's hard to get bangs that small to cooperate. ;)  It would have been great if they had made her necklace more like the movie, but I appreciate that they at least made a necklace of some kind.

Her topknot is quite elaborate.  Not quite movie accurate, but still cute. 

Here it is from the back...

...and the other side.

Here she is from the back.  Lol, I'm not sure how I missed taking individual pics of the fronts of these dolls when I was so good at getting pics of the backs of them. ;)

Like Elsa, Anna has tissue under her dress and rubber bands on her shoes.

Just like the larger dolls, mini Elsa and mini Anna can look at each other because of their sideways glances.


Hans
Now we'll take a look at mini Hans.

His face is painted pretty well, although his freckles on this side of his face are a bit sparse and dark.

They look a little better on this side.

Here's a closer look at his outfit, which is surprisingly detailed for something so small.

Here it is from the back.

Hans' jacket is separate from his vest and shirt in the front...

...but it is attached together in the back.

His entire outfit is one piece and is removable from the back with Velcro closure.  I didn't take it all the way off because I saw the same sort of material in the sleeves which gave us so much trouble before.

I did want to show you the odd way that the Disney Store does the heads on their mini male dolls.  The heads are already a little large in proportion to the rest of their heads anyway, but having such a big size discrepancy between the head and the neck makes it even more obvious.

I would love to see the Disney Store redesign the mini male dolls someday so their heads match their bodies a little better.  At least it's not as noticeable when they're wearing their clothing.

Hans' hair has an almost metallic-looking paint, similar to the paint used for the larger Hans doll.

Here he is from the front.  His eyes seem to be looking in just slightly different directions.  He's still quite a handsome guy, though. ;)

I didn't do this with the girls since I only have the Classic Elsa and Anna in their other outfits, but I thought I'd include a picture of my Classic Hans with Mini Hans (and a little Mattel Hans from the "Complete Story Set" as an added bonus).  You can click on the picture to make it bigger if needed.



Kristoff
Now it's time to take a look at Kristoff.  Here he is from the front...

...and the back.

He has the same freckle issue as Hans on this side.

On this side he appears to have almost no freckles at all.

Unlike the regular Kristoff doll, mini Kristoff's hat is molded to his head and is non-removable.  This wasn't an issue for me.  However, I was disappointed with how they chose to paint his hair.  It was a metallic golden-blonde everywhere except for the back of his hair, where it was oddly painted a darker brown.  I wish they'd mixed the brown in like they did on the regular-sized doll.

Unlike Hans, Kristoff's clothing is made up of two pieces: his shirt and his pants.  His boots are separate too, but those don't really count as clothing. ;)

I noticed that Kristoff's clothing was made of a different material, so I figured I'd go ahead and undress him all the way.  The head/body discrepancy is even more noticeable on Kristoff, who is supposed to be a guy with a bigger build.  What happened to you, Kristoff?!

His head also has the odd, mismatched place at the neck.

As I was getting him dressed again, I was shocked to look down and see his plastic armature coming through his foot! :(  (This actually looks really gross, like he has a piece of bone sticking through.  Eww.  At least it's not bloody.) ;)

Thankfully, I was able to get the armature to go back into his foot.  I was really worried getting his boots back on, afraid I would damage his foot even more.  To my relief, it went back on without a hitch.  I think it's safe to say that I won't be undressing him again, though, or even bending his legs.  I don't want to risk breaking him.


Kristoff's face from the front.

As before, here's a picture of Classic Kristoff with Mini Kristoff.  Oldest Gal very graciously allowed me to use her Mattel Complete Story Set Kristoff for this picture, too. ;)  I really like how they padded Classic Kristoff's clothing to make him look bulkier like he was in the movie.  It would have been great if they could have figured out a way to do that for mini Kristoff, too.


So here are all of my mini dolls together (and Olaf, too).  They have their flaws, but I don't regret buying them.  They look AMAZING on my shelf. :)  As always, though, I need to wrap up this post with my overall thoughts.

Pleasing Qualities:
   Elsa: 4 out of 5
   Anna:  4 out of 5
   Hans:  4 out of 5
   Kristoff:  4 out of 5
      These dolls are adorable and an excellent addition to any Frozen fan's collection.  Their faces are painted nicely.  Elsa and Anna especially have great face paint, but they lose a point for having clothing that is not quite as detailed and accurate as it could be (e.g., Anna's necklace, Elsa's sleeve length, etc.).  Still, their dresses give the overall impression of the styles they wore in the movie.  Kristoff and Hans' outfits are more detailed than the girls' dresses (especially Hans' outfit), but they each lose a point for their weird-looking heads that are too big for their bodies.  Things I would love to see the Disney Store improve on would be more movie-accurate interpretations of the girls' hairstyles, more details on the dresses, and a better head/body design for the boys.  Other than that, I'm pleased with my purchase and glad to have these little guys join my other Frozen dolls.

Posability:
   Elsa:  5 out of 5
   Anna:  5 out of 5
   Hans:  5 out of 5
   Kristoff:  4 out of 5
      I went ahead and gave Elsa, Anna, and Hans the full score for this.  I'm sorry I didn't do much on posability this time around in the review.  (As a side note, if you want a really detailed post including the posability of these mini female dolls, you can check out Emily's review of the Mini Elsa Wardrobe Set on The Toy Box Philosopher HERE.)  For the size they are, they have a nice range of motion.  I did knock Kristoff down a point because my particular Kristoff had the problem with his armature poking through.  If he hadn't had that problem, he would have gotten a perfect score, too.

Playability:
   Elsa: 4 out of 5
   Anna:  4 out of 5
   Hans: 4 out of 5
   Kristoff:  4 out of 5
      With their small size and cute outfits, these dolls will provide lots of hours of play for little ones.  They're the perfect size to take along in a pocket for a tiny adventure to the grocery store or the local library. ;)  I didn't knock as many points off for playability on these dolls as I did for the Wardrobe Set minis.  Even though they're still difficult to undress and redress, these dolls don't come in a package with an extra outfit and therefore the main point of their marketing is not their ability to change clothing.  Anna and Elsa's shoes will be easy to lose, so if you don't want to keep the rubber bands on them, I would remove them before taking the dolls anywhere so the shoes don't get lost.

Price:  5 out of 5
   This set was priced at $24.95, which is consistent with the rest of Disney Store pricing, and not a bad deal for four mini dolls.  It works out to $6.25 per doll, a price I find very reasonable considering the overall appeal of these dolls.


I apologize, but once again I didn't get my daughters' thoughts this time around.  I just wanted to get this post up!  You'll hear more from my daughters in future posts, though. :)


In closing, I thought I'd leave you with a couple of pictures of my Frozen doll collection (so far). :)  I ended up ordering a set of the Coronation Elsa and Anna dolls from JC Penney's yesterday before they sold out, so I'll soon have a Classic-sized Elsa and Anna in their coronation outfits to go with the rest.  I'd love to eventually add a Singing Elsa to go with my Singing Anna, the Anna and Elsa Ice Skating Set (still unreleased in the US), and the rumored Singing Anna 12" doll that should be released in the spring. :)

All of my cute minis. :)

And here's a more complete collection, including my Frozen Funko Pops, my plush pull-apart Olaf from the Disney Movie Club, and my DAC Anna and Kristoff.  The picture does not include my Frozen books, stickers, and other such things.  I also have a Disney Store Anna still in her box, but figured I'd just stick to deboxed dolls for now (aside from my Comic Con Funko Pop Elsa).

Shortly after the pictures were taken for this post, I was able to find a Funko Pop Sven (at my local Walmart, of all places...I'd been looking for him everywhere!).  He's super cute, and the only Sven I have in my collection so far.

I hope you enjoyed this look at the Frozen Mini Doll Set.  Will any of you be adding this set to your collection?