Monday, August 30, 2010

New Beauty and the Beast Stuff and Squinkies Update

Hi everyone!  It was an eventful day at our house today.  First off, I got my order that I had pretty much forgotten about.  We have a Disney visa that allows us to earn reward dollars that we can use on Disney merchandise.  I used our latest rewards earnings to pre-order Beauty and the Beast on blu-ray (Yay!!).   While I was at it, I got 2 more Beauty and the Beast things. :)

The first item was a Beauty and the Beast reusable shopping bag for only $2.50.  It was so cute, I couldn't resist. 

P.S. I'm really sorry, I have no clue why Blogger decided to upload my pic sideways.  Every once in a while it's just stubborn! :{

When I was placing my order, they'd just brought out a beautiful new Belle Barbie-sized doll.  Only 5,000 were being made in the entire world, and she was absolutely stunning.  She was also $100.  Stunning or not, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on her (even if it was with rewards dollars!).  Instead, I was a good girl and bought the $12 Belle Barbie-sized doll instead.  She's not as fancy, but just as pretty.  The very next day, the $100 Belle doll was sold out!  Apparently there are lots of other folks willing to spend that much!  And, to be perfectly honest, if I had unlimited cash, I would be pretty tempted too!  Anyway, here's some pics of my more frugal purchase:

Front and Back views of the box

She has such a pretty face! :)

This is from the Disney Store's newest set of dolls in the Princess line.  The main difference is that they've now made their arms fully poseable.  Their prince dolls have been super poseable for a while, which is really cool.  Maybe they got enough positive feedback from their prince dolls that they decided to try the same thing with their princesses.  I'm not sure if Belle's legs are poseable too.  At least for now I'm going to try to be good and keep her in the box.  Although, the box got a bit smooshed on the bottom, so maybe that will give me an excuse to open her. :)  I know they're my dolls and I can do what I want, but I also know their value decreases when they're deboxed.  I've always figured if I ever had to sell off my collection, I'd get better prices for things if they were still in their boxes.  I have rebelled and opened 3 dolls so far, though.  ;)  They're just so much more fun to display when they're free (not to mention that the Toy Story movies give doll collectors complete guilt complexes about keeping toys unplayed with in the box)! :)

Okay, on to Squinkies!  So, I stopped by Target this morning and almost all the Squinkies were GONE.  They've apparently been selling out all over the place and our town was next on the list.  The only other place that had them was Wal-Mart, so I headed over there with my 2 youngest girls to check out their inventory.  They only had 4 bubble packs left and 2 of them were the same set.  They also only had 2 of the Cupcake Surprize Bakery set that I was really interested in getting for the girls (and hey, let's be honest, for myself too!).  I actually had 3 bubble packs and the Cupcake set in my cart for a while, but I was good and put it back and just bought 2 bubble packs.  So, I was...sorta...good.  
I went home and talked Squinkies with my husband (he was thrilled to be discussing Squinkies, as I'm sure you can imagine).  I explained that there were only 2 Cupcake Bakery sets left in our town and that the longer we waited, the more people would know about them and the harder they'd be to find.  Already, they were selling on Ebay for at least $10 more than what they sold for in the stores. 
While my husband didn't jump for joy and tell me, "You must go buy the Squinkies!", he also didn't say he'd be upset if I did.  He basically gave me the freedom to decide on my own (a dangerous choice).  Just as a side note here, my husband is not a tyrannical brute, but we try to discuss bigger purchases ($20 or more) together before we impulsively buy.  It helps us not just go out and spend money without thinking about it (which...I basically did this morning...oops!). 
So, within the hour, I was on the road with my 2 youngest again, on a Squinkie mission.  Would the Cupcake set still be there?  The anticipation was killing me.  Look, I know this sounds pathetic, but this is the way I do things.  It's all or nothing...adrenaline rushing...I was instantly reminded of the day I went back to our local toy store as a tween to purchase the special edition Breyer horse I'd been saving up for.  It took 3 months of work, but I finally had the cash.  I stepped excitedly into the store, only to be told that he was sold out.  This was back before the internet rampage, so if a store didn't have something, it was pretty final.  (In case anyone is interested, through the wonders of the Internet, I was able to find my long desired Breyer horse last year on Ebay for less than I would have paid for him originally)
Wow, I'm really into rabbit trails today.  Sorry everyone!  To get back to my story, the Cupcake Squinkies set was still there, much to my girls' joy (okay, okay, and mine too).  So here are some pics of our successful Squinkies quest:


Here's the Cupcake Surprize Bakery.  You insert the Squinkies in their plastic bubbles through the red plastic cherry.  There's a slot on the left where you can insert either one of the two included plastic coins or an actual dime or penny.  Then you turn the pink heart and a Squinkie pops out of the hole in the cupcake "paper". 

Here's what the bakery looks like with the sides open.  It also comes with all the Squinkies and accessories you see in the front. 

Some close-ups of the Squinkies.

I wanted to show you even closer pics of my favorite Squinkies from this set:

I LOVE this little kitty.  She reminds me of Marie in the Aristocats.

Here's a cute little girl in blue.  She's one of the Squinkies on the label of each Squinkie package.

I love these 2 babies, too.  I'm pretty sure the baby in pink is also one of the Squinkies on the labels, although her hair bow is a different color.

My favorite Squinkies are the kitties, especially the ones with these molds.

What's even more exciting is, in one of my bubble packs I got...a Sparkly Squinkie!!!

So, here's what I've discovered about Squinkie collecting.  The rarest Squinkies are see-through and sparkly, like this guy.  There are poodles, kitties, horses, and monkeys that are sparkly.  The colors they come in are blue, pink, purple and yellow (so far, at least). 
I think I've mentioned in my earlier Squinkies post that one of the ways to buy them is in packs of 16, and the bottom 4 Squinkies have colored bubbles that you can't see through very easily.  Most of the Squinkies sets have the same 4 surprise Squinkies.  But randomly interspersed between these normal packages are some packages containing a special sparkly Squinkie.  So if you get one of these, hold on to them.  They'll be the ones people will be looking all over for on Ebay this Christmas! :) 

Okay, I think that's all.  If I have any followers after today with all my juvenile confessions, it will be a miracle!  I know it's sad...a 28 year old getting all worked up over a bunch of rubber animals and people.  But that's the way I am! :)  And like I've said before, at least I have girls so people don't give me weird looks when I buy this stuff! ;) 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mattel and Pre-Mattel Felicity Doll Comparison

Hi everyone.  I've been meaning to do a photo shoot comparing the differences between a Mattel and pre-Mattel Felicity since I now have both in my house.  With Felicity being retired (yep, it's official-on the AG website and everything), I thought now would be an appropriate time to do it.  So without further ado, here we go!

I'm sure most of you know that the Mattel Felicity is the one in the lavender meet dress on the left, while the pre-Mattel Felicity is the one in what's called the "rose garden" meet dress on the right: 

One of the first most obvious differences you notice is in the width of the face.  You see it even more when you have the dolls there in front of you; the camera didn't pick it up as much as I'd hoped.  The Mattel Felicity is much narrower in the face than the rounder pre-Mattel Felicity.  You'll notice also the differences in the eyebrows.  The Mattel Felicity's eyebrows are dark while the PM's are barely noticeable when photographed.  Here are some individual pics:

Mattel Felicity

Pre-Mattel Felicity

Another difference between them is the color of their hair.  The M Felicity has more of a reddish brown hair color while the PM has a truly copper red tone. 

The M Felicity is also just slightly taller than the PM (the difference is not as big as it looks in some of the pics, as they were on an uneven surface), and also narrower through the body (sorry, I forgot to get a pic of this).  The vinyl is also slightly softer on the PM Felicity. 

Another difference is their eyelashes.

The PM Felicity has soft, brown lashes, as seen below:

The M Felicity has stiff, black eyelashes.

I wish the camera had captured it more, but there is also a difference in their eye color.  The PM Felicity has more of a soft, hazel green eye color.  The M Felicity's eyes are more of a bright green.  Sometimes, it looks more like a cat-eye green in photos.  One thing the pics did pick up is the difference in the eye size on the two dolls, which I'd never noticed before.  The M Felicity's eyes are much bigger. 

So, after seeing both, what do you think?  Which version do you prefer?  I have to say I'm partial to the pre-Mattel version since she's the one I dreamed about as a girl.  I love her copper colored hair, her softer eyelashes, and her more natural eye color.  I must confess, though, that the Mattel Felicity is also stunning.  She almost makes my PM Felicity look a little down-home and plain by comparison (not that I mind down-home and plain, mind you!). :)  I think the Mattel Felicity is a doll that looks even better in real life than in the pics you see of her.  I'm really glad we'll have both versions hanging around our house. :)

Goodbye, Felicity.  We'll miss you!!

Some Random Doll Stuff

Hey, just a short post with some pics of my oldest daughter's dolls.  First, I came in the other day and found her Madame Alexander doll, Dorcas, like this:
All I could think was, "the nut doesn't fall far from the tree". :)  My girls love doing what they call "set ups".  In fact, no worse offense can be committed than the messing up of someone else's set up!  Believe me, I've worked through many a fight over that one! 
As a girl, I used to love to display my toys.  I was pretty spoiled too, because I only had a little brother and he wasn't allowed in my room without permission.  That being the case, I could set things up to my heart's content without the possibility of someone ruining my work. :) 
My daughter explained that she was making Dorcas fancy like Fancy Nancy (she LOVES the Fancy Nancy books).  She was going to set up her Fancy Nancy doll too, but I think she got distracted.  Just had to take some pics and share that with you. 
In other doll news, last Christmas we got my same daughter a Giselle wedding Barbie doll.  She loves the movie "Enchanted" with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey (although she sees the "good parts only" version because of her younger sisters, without the dragon and the's a very short movie!).  I'd found the doll on a good sale, so I figured it would be fun to get her a more detailed and fancy barbie.  Giselle has lost her necklace and tiara over time, but other than that she's held up pretty well!  
Just yesterday, Giselle got her dearest wish:  Robert!  I found a Robert doll for $5 total on Ebay and just couldn't pass it up.  My daughter was so excited!  They really are quite lovely dolls with a lot of detail.  I thought I'd share a few photos of the happy reunion. :)

Here are some details of Giselle's dress.  It's really beautiful and has held up well to 6 and 4 year old play since December, unlike some of the fancier Barbie dresses.
If you ever get a chance to find these dolls, they really are nice.  The only complaint I have is that Robert's head is a little too big in proportion to his body, but that seems to be the way they've been doing things with some of their more modern Kens.  Hope you enjoyed the photos! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have you heard the news?

   Just heard a bit earlier from The Doll Wardrobe that American Girl is most likely retiring Felicity and Elizabeth this year!! :(  Such sad news...Felicity was always my favorite growing up.  I'm sure they have their reasons for retiring the historical dolls, but I wish they wouldn't. 
   This makes me even more thankful that I found my Felicity when I did!  I checked the American Girl website and there's nothing about Lissie's retirement there yet.  So, to all you gals out there who are still wanting Felicity or Elizabeth, get on Ebay or Craigslist and start searching before it becomes common knowledge and the prices skyrocket!  I shared this on a comment on The Doll Wardrobe as well, but if you go to, you have the option of searching Craigslist nationwide.  A lot of times, people are willing to ship their items.  Another idea is to look up postings in cities where you have family or close friends that would be willing to pick a doll up for you.  That's what I did with Felicity, and it's also the way I got my Gotz Tess doll. 
  I'm so sad that we won't be seeing Felicity or Elizabeth makes you wonder who's next on the list!!  Good luck searching for bargains!!


Hi guys!  Just thought I'd give you a head's up for something that I think will be really big in the coming months.  They're fairly inexpensive and highly collectible, a good combination.  :)  They're girls' toys called "Squinkies".  They come in little plastic bubbles and are little people, animals and accessories about 1" high.  They're squishy and adorable.  Even better, they make great toys for your American Girl or Gotz doll, as Tess is demonstrating in this next pic.

(sorry about the quality...the lighting's really bad in my room at this time of day)
Here are some close-ups:

Aren't they cute?

The Squinkies come in different play sets.  There are ring and bracelet play sets for around $4, as pictured here:

This is the "fantasy surprize" bracelet set that includes the following Squinkies:  a fairy, a ladybug, a bumblebee, and a bird.  There are 2 variations of this particular set.  There are also 2 princess sets and a birthday set.

The Squinkies also come in small play sets that cost around $5, like this:

This is the "Under the Sea Surprize" set, which includes a starfish, a mermaid and a dolphin.  The other sets I've seen are the "Bride-to-Be" set with a pink diamond container and bride, ring, and horse Squinkies, the "Shopping Fun" set with a purse container and a little girl, a cat, and a hat,  and the "Royal Friends" play set that has a crown container and princess, cat and chair Squinkies. 

I don't have pics of this, but you can also get Squinkies in sets of 16.  So far they have 6 different sets.  There are also larger play sets with exclusive Squinkies that range from $12-$20. 

Each Squinkie comes in its own plastic bubble.

You pop the bubble open to get the Squinkie inside (the bubbles can be closed again and re-used).

Each Squinkie is squishy...not a gross, slimy squishy feel but just squeezable.

I think they're absolutely adorable.  I'll be using them as stocking stuffers for my girls.  I was also thinking about saving some unopened sets and then selling them on eBay before Christmas when they're all out! :)  We'll see if that works, though.  I figure the worse that can happen is I'm stuck with some really cute Squinkie sets! : P 
If you're interested in seeing more of the sets, I've included a link to the official Squinkies website here.  Have fun looking!! :)

One last thing.  My middle daughter set up her 14" Faith and Friends doll on the new horse from yesterday.  It was so cute I had to show you pics. 

Doesn't she look like she's in a race or something? :)  My four year old did this all by herself.  The Faith and Friends dolls are super poseable and have really sweet faces.  Unfortunately, they're not being made anymore, but you can still find them on eBay.  Have a blessed day!! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thrift Store Treasure and Calico Critters

Hi all!  Just wanted to share my latest Salvation Army find.  Had a yard sale last week, so I had a little cash to play with.  I was so excited when we walked in and they had one of the Battat brand horses there for $15!  These horses retail for about $36 new.  I like them just as much as the Paradise Horses at Wal-Mart that I mentioned before.  Both brands, I might add, I like better than the AG horses.  I think they're a slightly better scale for the dolls.  Here's a pic:
She's definitely been heavily played with.  She's got lots of scratches and paint rubs, as you can see from the next photo.  I'll probably repaint her eventually, but for now it's kinda nice having a horse the girls can just play with without Mommy stressing about them scratching the paint! :) 

Just as a side note, you can find these horses new and in different colors at Target.  Target also has Battat brand dolls, which I don't care for (their faces have an oddly vacant look...a little creepy!  Plus their hair is horrid!), but they do also have lots of clothes and accessories that are pretty nice.  In fact, when I was in Target the other day, I noticed that the Battat accessories and clothes look like higher quality than the Friends Boutique line.  Their items are about $5 more each, though.  I'd stop by your local Target when you have the time, after you go to Walmart! :) 

Another side note, I understand from Maggie that she was able to get an exclusive interview with Dorcas (my oldest daughter's doll) about their new pet.  Maggie wanted me to mention that she'll be posting the interview, along with photos, on her blog.  She can be a little pushy sometimes, but she's determined to be a journalist someday, unless she settles for writing children's fantasy books. :)

Lastly, just for fun, I wanted to post some pics of my daughters' doll house complete with furniture and Calico Critters (with some vintage Sylvanian Families thrown in, too).  Did anyone have these as kids?  I did, and I absolutely loved them!  Sometimes, to surprise the girls, I'll set up their doll house for them after they go to bed.  Then in the morning they find it all ready for them.  I guess it's just another excuse for me to play! :}  Btw, as you can probably tell from the photos, our Calico Critters are well-loved.  Many of them are losing their "fur".  The girls spend hours playing with them.  The doll house was given to us by a friend.  Her daughters built it with their uncle and then passed it on when they outgrew it.  On to the pics! 

I couldn't get the whole doll house in one shot, so here it is pieced together. 

Here's the top floor...bedrooms, laundry, and nursery.  I love all the Calico Critter babies...they're so cute! :)

On the second floor, we have the bathroom and...

...the family room.

The bottom floor has the fancier sitting room (complete with piano).

And of course, every house needs a good kitchen!

The girls have so much fun with their house.  I love just standing by the playroom door and listening to the plotlines they come up with.  It's really funny! :) 

Well, that's all for this time.  Keep checking back for more posts! :)