Monday, August 4, 2014

Toys R Us Goodies Part 1: Series 3 Zelfs

I've entered a period of extreme frugality in the doll and toy department, especially this month as Hubby and I figure out what our income is going to be like with the change in his job.  It's been tough, but I'm surviving. ;)  

Thankfully, I still have a mom who loves dolls and toys as much as I do and is not quite so limited in her own budget. ;)  On Saturday, she and Mimi went out of town to attend my uncle's birthday party.  On the way they stopped at Toys R Us and happened to find some exciting goodies. :)  So thanks, Mom, for once again being my "blog sponsor". ;)

First off, Toys R Us had (drum roll please):  

Series 3 Zelfs!! :D  Mom bought Chocolaa for me, Spellinda for herself, and Frostette for Mimi.  These particular Zelfs are from the scented "Zelicious" line.  There will also be regular, non-scented releases in Series 3.

Let's take a look at Frostette first.  She is a Cupcake Zelf and is "cupcake scented".  We all thought she had almost more of a caramel scent, but it was still yummy.  

The back of the package features all of the Zelicious Zelfs.  Aside from the ones we got, there are three others:  Bubblee (bubblegum scented), Vampula (strawberry scented), and Buttershy (berry scented).

A closer look at the artwork.  Feel free to click on the pictures if you want to see things closer.

I also wanted to be sure to include a closer picture of this section of the box.  It sounds like they went for food-safe ingredients when coming up with the scents for the Zelfs, so you don't have to worry about your little ones ingesting a bunch of chemicals if they decide the toys smell good enough to eat. ;)

A look at more of the details of the box:

Each of the Zelicious Zelfs come with a collector's leaflet, like the Zelfs before them.  These particular Zelfs do not come with combs or hairbands. 

One side has the artwork of the different Zelicious Zelfs...

...and the other has the Zelicious Zelf checklist with their personality profiles.

Let's get back to Frostette, though.  Here she is out of the box.  We really loved all of her little details, like her frosting horns, the sprinkles on the bridge of her nose and her leg, the colorful cupcake on her tummy, and her one pink leg and arm.  Mimi said it looked like she'd been dipped in pink frosting on one side.

She has the typical "Z" on her behind, as well as a few stray bits of confetti.

A closer look at some of her detail.  

One really cool thing about Frostette is that she has one green eye and one blue eye.  You can see it best in the following pictures:

Here she is lounging in her little chair.  Mimi thinks she looks like she's sitting on a frosting beach. :)

So adorable! :)

Next up, we have Spellinda, the "Mint Witch" Zelf.  She, Vampula, and Buttershy are all previous releases that were revamped for the scented line.  Mom hadn't realized she was a witch Zelf, and probably would have chosen a different one if she had realized (we generally stay away from the whole "witch" and "wizard" thing in our family, aside from The Wizard of Oz). ;)  I just like to think of her as an Elphaba Zelf. ;)

As the box says, Spellinda is mint scented.  To be honest, none of us were too impressed with this scent.  Rather than a yummy candy mint smell, it reminded me more of the mint grass that grows in my parents' yard.  Not nearly as appealing (at least for me and Mom).  You may wonder why Mom bought this one if she didn't like the scent.  More on that in my overall ratings at the end. ;)

I didn't take a picture of the back of Spellinda's box since it was exactly the same as Frostette's.  Here's a look at her box details, though:

Here is Spellinda out of the package.  I didn't get as many detailed pics of her (she was the first one I photographed), so feel free to click on the picture if you want a closer look.  I love her minty-striped legs and her little minty swirl at the top of her head the best. :)  

She has a Z and a little mint candy on her buns.

Here Spellinda is in her wheelbarrow.  My mom was a bit disappointed by how clashy the green of the wheelbarrow and the green of Spellinda's skin were.  It probably won't bother most youngsters, but I thought I'd mention it just in case you're an adult collector and such things bother you. ;)  I actually didn't even notice the clash until Mom mentioned it.

We discovered that Spellinda can also lounge in her wheelbarrow this way. :)

It's kind of hard to tell from this picture, but Spellinda has pink eyes.  You can also see her tummy art a little better here.

Our final Zelf for today is Chocolaa, the Chocolate Zelf.  Not to sound gross or anything, but she looks really yummy.  I think they did a great job of making her actually look like chocolate.  But don't worry...I don't plan on eating her. ;)  As the box states, she is "chocolate scented".  Again, I have to admit I'm a little disappointed by the scent.  I don't even know how to describe it, except that it's very obviously a "fakey" chocolate scent (a little coffeeish, or a little too plasticy, perhaps?).  I liked it at first, but now I'm not so sure.  My girls, on the other hand, think she smells delicious.  So maybe I'm just too picky. ;) 

P.S. I love that Chocolaa's power is bliss. ;)  

So here is Chocolaa all free from the box.  She is so ADORABLE!!!!  I love her drippy chocolate accents on her head and feet. :)  I think her face has a really sweet expression, too.

She has a Z and two little pieces of chocolate on her behind.  I'm loving the pink frosting swirls on her arms, too. :)

A closer look at her tummy art.

I also wanted to show you her mouth.  I don't recall seeing this mouth shape on any of the other Zelfs before her (although I may be wrong).  I think it adds to her sweet, innocent expression.  You'll also notice from this pic that she has pink eyes as well.

Mom, Mimi and I all agreed that Chocolaa's accessory was the cutest by far out of the three.  I love how it looks like she's splashing in her chocolate fountain.  The chocolate drippy paint on her feet really adds to the illusion, too.

The chocolate fountain has a little foot hole in the top that holds Chocolaa in place just right.

Here's a look at all three of them together with their accessories. :)

So, now that we've taken a look at all three of these cuties, it's time to move on to my ratings for them.

Pleasing Qualities: 4 out of 5
   Overall, I think these newest additions to the Zelf family are great.  They have adorable faces and paint jobs, their accessories are fun and creative, and the scented idea is a great one.  I also love the themes they've chosen.  

   I'm docking one point for a couple of reasons.  First, as I was reviewing them, I noticed a few little imperfections in their hair.  On both Chocolaa and Spellinda, Mom and I noticed a few little poky or crunchy spots right at their scalp line, almost as if their tracks of hair had not been glued or sewn in correctly.  I'm not actually sure how their hair is attached, so that's just a guess.  It's not a huge issue, and not the type of thing I could even capture on camera.  I just thought I should mention it.

   The other issue is regarding the scent aspect.  As I said before, I think the idea of making some of the Zelfs scented is a great one.  Kiddos love scented toys.  (That's one of the reasons I still love Strawberry Shortcake dolls so much...I loved smelling them as a little girl, and smelling them now brings back fun memories.)  I also really appreciate that they made the scents with food-safe products. 

   Here's the thing.  The scents are pretty strong, and some of them don't smell the way you'd expect them to (the mint and chocolate scents were very different from what I'd imagined).  Because her scent is so strong, I actually haven't put Chocolaa with my other Zelfs yet.  I'm not sure I could handle having the smell in my room all the time.  In fact, I've had her sitting here beside me for part of the review, and I'm actually getting a bit of a headache. :{  It's so sad, because she is so incredibly adorable! :(  I may just have to hand her down to the girls so I can enjoy her from a distance.   

   Scented toys can smell really incredible, but sometimes they can smell pretty bad, too.  Some smells may really appeal to one person and disgust the next.  Personally, I like getting a little sample of the smell before I purchase a scented toy.  The problem is, unlike the Strawberry Shortcake doll packaging, the scented Zelfs don't come with a little hole in the front, so there's no way to know how they smell until you buy them and open them (which explains why my mom ended up with a scent she didn't really enjoy).  The nice part about this is that if you like the look of the scented Zelfs but aren't sure you'll like the smell, you can just buy them and keep them in the package, and you won't have to smell them at all.  The bad part is that if you want to open your Zelfs, you won't know whether you'll like the smell or not until it's opened and too late to take it back. 

   At the same time, this may be more of a mom/collector thing.  My girls have taken deep whiffs of Chocolaa again and again these past few days and think she smells heavenly.  And interestingly enough, Hubby, who is usually the most sensitive to smells of the two of us, is not bothered by Chocolaa.  He says she reminds him of a scratch-n-sniff sticker. So in your house, it may not even be an issue. ;)

So, my recommendation at this point would be to plan on keeping the Zelicious Zelfs in the package if you're not sure about the smell or if you're really sensitive to smells.  Of course, if you're really sensitive to smells, you're probably not going to be buying scented toys in the first place. ;)

And if anyone from Moose Toys is reading this, my humble suggestion would be to include a little scent hole in future Zelicious packaging so we can decide which scent we like best before purchase.  Just a thought.   That would make these little guys "just right". ;)

Posability: 5 out of 5
   As usual, these little Zelfs have no problems with their posability.  They move at the hips, shoulders, and head.

Playability: 5 out of 5
   Perfect score on playability.  My girls spend hours playing with their Zelfs.  I love taking them along on trips because they're nice and small.  And these ones have great accessories that will only add to the fun.  I have a feeling a lot of kids will love how they smell, too. 

Price: 5 out of 5
   At Toys R Us, the Zelicious Zelfs are priced at $7.99, which I think is very reasonable.  The regular Medium Zelfs are $5.99, and the Large Zelfs are $9.99, so I think paying $7.99 for a Zelf and a fun accessory is just right.

Thoughts From the Gals:
  (These thoughts will just be about Chocolaa, since they haven't seen Mom and Mimi's Zelfs yet.)

Oldest Gal is currently at summer camp, so she will not be able to share her thoughts this time around. ;)

Middle Gal (Age 8):
   She smells good and she is kind of like a cupid because some cupids are on fountains.  And she would look more like one if she had a bow and arrow.  I think it kind of looks like her foot is glued to the fountain.  She's really cute with chocolate on her feet like she's splashing in the fountain.  I like how she has a brand new mold.  I also like how it looks like she has a heart waffle where her heart is.  She also looks like a cookie with frosting because she has swirls on her belly and on her arms.

Little Gal (Age 6):
   She's cute.  She has soft hair.   *takes a deep whiff of Chocolaa, then sighs in utter bliss*  I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE her smell!  She has frosting on her.  She has chocolate on her feet.  And I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE her chocolate fountain.  She has a sweet face.  I like the hearts on her fountain.  I like that her hair is not all just brown.

So, now that you've heard our thoughts, what are yours?  Interested in getting some of your own Zelicious Zelfs? ;) 

I was thrilled to discover that already has many of the Series 3 Zelfs in stock for online ordering.  Just in case any of you are in a shopping mood, I've included a list of the Zelfs available so far with direct links below (just click their names):

Frostette (Cupcake Scented Zelf)

Chocolaa (Chocolate Scented Zelf)

Vampula (Strawberry Scented Zelf)

 Bubblee (Bubblegum Scented Zelf)

 Noodles (Large Chinese Dragon Zelf)

 Deeno (Large Dino Zelf)

 Miss Tutu (Large Ballerina Zelf)

This last one is actually from Series 2, but is a release I haven't seen before:
 Zelf Series 2 Greenhouse Set

And if you'd just like to browse through Toys R Us's entire Zelf selection, click HERE. :)

To visit the official Zelf website, you can click HERE.  None of the Series 3 Zelfs have shown up on the US site yet (hopefully they will soon!).

I hope you all enjoyed the review!  Stay tuned for Part 2, in which we'll take a look at some new Lalaloopsy goodies. :)


Mahogany1960 said...

I unfortunately can't get a scented zelf, because I get minor headaches from scented things, and my mom gets major migraines, from pretty much anything scented, especially perfume, they actually make her feel sick!
Their so cute though, and I wish the chocolate one would come un scented..... I'm still asking for a basic medium elfa for Christmas though!

-Mahogany1960, Samantha, and Zelia!

BlackKitty said...

I wonder if the mint Zelf could work as a car air freshener. Maybe it's not as bad in a non-food context?

Congrats on your blogoversary by the way! I missed it while on vacation.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Mahogany1960 (and Samantha and Zelia, too). ;) Yeah, you definitely want to stay away from these ones if you're sensitive to smells. Elfa is an excellent choice, though...she's one of my favorites! :)

BlackKitty, good to hear from you! Hope you had a nice vacation. :)

I suppose Spellinda might work as a car air freshener, although during the summer heat the smell might just intensify. I've never been one for car air fresheners myself, just because they get a little too strong for me. But for some, it might work. :)

I think the main thing with Spellinda is I was expecting more of an Andes Mint smell, not natural mint. ;) So probably going into it knowing that would have helped. ;)

Farrah Lily said...

These are super cute...the chocolate one is priceless...especially balancing on her chocolate fountain of deliciousness. Thanks for the great post! Now I have another "yummy" idea for a Christmas gift for my 5 yr old! (I love that you put in each of your daughters opinions as well :)

Meritre said...

It's great to have moms who understands our love for dolls and other cute little things! :)
They look cute, would love to see them in real :)

Nina said...

These are sooo cute! I can't get one though, because I get really bad headaches all the time:(. It's okay, though, your pictures are really great at showing the Zelf and all of its details!:)

Have a great day!:D

Maureen Magee-Uhlik said...

My favorites Anna too! because I'm the youngest of me and my 1 oder sis plus I look like her and would almost anything for my older sis

beastsbelle said...

Glad to help you out with gift ideas, Farrah Lily. :) That's definitely one of the goals of this blog.

I agree, Chocolaa is adorable on her little chocolate fountain...and very photogenic, too. ;)

I've really enjoyed including my daughters' opinions on the dolls and toys when I can. It really helps to get some perspective from a few someones from the target age. ;)

Meritre, I remember being so thrilled to discover I wasn't the only mom who loved dolls and toys when I first started this blog! ;)

The Zelfs are super cute. I love all of their unique face molds and painted features. :)

Nina, so sorry these ones won't work out for you. There will be plenty of regular, non-scented Zelfs in Series 3 that are every bit as cute, though, so I'm sure you'll be able to find a few you like that you CAN have. ;)

You have a great day too!

Hi Maureen! The thing I love about Frozen is that both sisters are so relatable. I think that shows the strength of the writing. It's great how so many really connect with Anna, while others can really relate to Elsa and her struggles. :)

Mark Patraw said...

All three look adorable and it's good to see that the manufacturer is still continually trying to keep the Zelfs fresh with new gimmicks like these scented ones. I agree that the chocolate fountain is the best diorama piece out of the trio (while the visual effect looks brilliant, it's a little bit odd that they chose to mold it from translucent plastic, as chocolate is opaque). They're all cute, but, in order of preference, I'd go with Chocolaa, then Spellinda, and, finally, Frostette. I also found myself wondering if they're intentionally trying to tease Hasbro's copyright lawyers with the name Buttershy, as that's awfully close to MLP's Fluttershy (if that is the case, I noticed that they weren't brave enough to go all the way and give that particular Zelf pink hair and yellow skin). Well, that's probably reading too much into her moniker anyway--it's far more likely that it's just innocent wordplay with butterfly and shy.

I think it would look cool if your mother put some green easter grass, or maybe some of that crafting moss, in Spellinda's wheelbarrow and laid/sat her on top of that. The colors don't clash that badly to my eyes, but maybe adding another shade of green, between the 'barrow and figure, would help "even out" the overall color scheme.

I imagine Chocolaa's scent will become weaker over time (I've noticed that even some unscented toys have a tendency to reek of plastic/paint when you first free them from their packaging, particularly ones sealed in clamshells), but, yeah, if it does bother you enough to give you a headache, it might be better to pass her down to your daughters as you said (perhaps you have a minor allergy to whatever they used to perfume the toy?) Your idea of having a small "sniff hole" in the package is also good--it'd probably increase sales to boot (although, being a germaphobe, the knowledge that a bunch of people, possibly sick ones, have pressed their noses against the package that I'm handling would make me uncomfortable). Said hole would also allow the scent to dissipate a bit, rather than building up strongly inside the bubble.

My fondest memories of scented toys were two characters from Mattel's Masters of the Universe toy line: Stinkor and Moss Man. Stinkor was a villainous skunk, who, as you can probably guess, smelled mildly unpleasant [you'd think that'd be undesirable, but the stench (Patchouli Oil) was part of the appeal--I can remember that I was really stoked to get him], while Moss Man, being a heroic plant being (with wonderfully flocked green velvet "moss" skin), reeked of pine trees. I sold those two, along with the rest of my childhood MotU collection, a long time ago, but I still have several Strawberry Shortcake dolls/figurines, mostly McDonald's ones, that I keep in a Ziploc bag, and, while individually they don't seem to have a scent anymore, at least not that I can detect, the last couple of times I opened it, I noticed that said bag had acquired a pleasant, perfume-y smell, so, I guess my SS girls are only fragrant when they combine their powers and work together (which sounds like the premise for an episode of the SS cartoon). Oh yeah, I just remembered that I also have one MGA Yummi-Land girl (if you're not familiar with that line, they were 5" scented dolls that were sold in cool soda-pop-bottle-shaped containers that doubled as display cases), but, alas, she doesn't smell anymore either. They've been discontinued for a while, but they seem like something you might like, and I believe that they're inexpensive on the secondary market (I see them in thrift stores every once in a while too--I almost bought another one myself the other day, but picked up another Liv Daniela and four Bratz, with a carrying case and a bag of clothing/accessories, instead).

beastsbelle said...

Hi Mark! :) Glad you like the new Zelfs.

Hmm, I hadn't thought about the chocolate fountain, but you're right, it would have looked a bit more realistic with opaque chocolate. It's still really cute, though.

I know a lot of people have wondered about Buttershy's name. My own personal guess was that it was just a coincidence. I mean, if you're designing a Butterfly Zelf that is shy, "Buttershy" is a pretty natural name to come up with. It doesn't bother me too much...hopefully Hasbro won't have a problem with it either. ;)

I like the idea of the Easter grass...I'll have to pass it on to my mom. :)

I'm hoping Chocolaa's scent will not be quite as strong as time passes, too. I actually tried putting her in my room last night, just to see if the smell would bother me, and it didn't, so that's a good sign. ;) I'll probably update the post if it works out to keep her in my room.

Lol, I can understand your hesitation about the scent holes. I'm rather a germaphobe myself, so I never touch the package with my nose when I smell a scented toy. If you didn't touch the scent area (and didn't see any smears or anything), that would work, right? ;)

I was never into Masters of the Universe, and tended to go for more fruity or flowery scents, but the toys sound interesting. Isn't it amazing, too, how smelling something from your childhood can bring back a ton of old memories? :) I love that.

I remember seeing the Yummi-Land Girls, but we never branched out into those. Maybe I'll check them out again.

Thanks for stopping by! :)