Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Frozen Fever Dolls on DisneyStore.com!!!

Good grief, you guys are never going to believe me again when I tell you I'm taking a blogging hiatus. ;)  I just had to really quickly let everyone know that Frozen Fever items, including the Elsa and Anna doll set, are up on Disneystore.com! :D  You can see all of the new items HERE.

There's a limit of five each per set of dolls, so they could go pretty fast.  Hopefully the Disney Store is better stocked with these than they were with the original Frozen dolls.  Just in case they aren't, though, I wouldn't wait to long to get these if you want them. :)

Happy Shopping, everyone!! :D

Monday, February 23, 2015

Toy Fair Tidbits, Plus Cinderella and Frozen Fever Dolls :D

Hey everyone!  I wanted to leave you with one last post before I fade into oblivion for a few weeks. ;) This post will probably be a bit on the longish side, so bear with me.

First off, now that I've been home for a week, I've had a chance to check out some of the action from the Toy Fair.  Just like last year, I made a Pinterest board for the 2015 Toy Fair with links to interesting pictures and videos.  You can see it HERE.

You'll probably notice that many of the videos on the board are from Ashley, aka Kewpie83, the author of Confessions of a Doll Collector's Daughter.  She was able to attend the Toy Fair this year and get all sorts of videos and pictures.  I had such a fun time watching her videos...it made me feel like I was at the Toy Fair, too. ;)  Be sure to check out her blog, YouTube channel, and Flickr for more Toy Fair fun.

Sadly, Ashley had some disappointing news to share.  I noticed that I hadn't seen any information about the Hearts For Hearts Girls from the Toy Fair this year, so I asked Ashley whether she'd heard any news.  She told me that she found out the Hearts For Hearts Girls are no longer in production. :( I'm horribly disappointed, but I have to say I'm not all that surprised.  Their Facebook page has been very inactive, and it's super hard to find the dolls online.  It's really a shame.  As you all know, the Hearts For Hearts Girls were one of my favorite play dolls on the current market.

So, if you see any H4H dolls in your local stores and are still trying to decide whether or not to get them, now is the time!  Before long, they'll just be gone. :(  Another sad loss to the doll market.  

I think the things I'm most excited about are the upcoming releases for Strawberry Shortcake, Rosabella Beauty from Ever After High, the Tenth Doctor Funko Pop figure, and the Shining Armor and Princess Cadance Funko Vinyls. :) I'm not 100% sold on Disney Descendants, especially since it pretty much seems to be completely copying Ever After High.  I've never really been a fan of Disney Channel movies, either.  That being said, the fact that "Ben" (nice name choice, if I do say so myself...readers of Belle's Bulletins will understand), ;) the son of Belle and "King Beast" (really?) is one of the main characters makes me slightly interested in spite of myself. :}

My daughters are completely excited about "Hello Barbie" and are already asking me how much she costs so they can get one. ;)

Moving on from the Toy Fair, I thought I'd share just a few more detailed pictures of my Disney Store Cinderella doll, as well as the Mattel Wedding Day Cinderella doll I happened to order on Amazon.

Here's Ella in her pretty ballgown.

Side view

The back of the box features beautiful photography from the movie. 

I guess they were copying this more serious look for the doll. ;) 

Info on the back of the box. 

Other side view 

I really like the butterfly motif on the front of the box.

Disney Store logo

I found it interesting that my Cinderella doll had this sticker on the bottom of her box.  To the best of my knowledge, this means she was an online order, which also means she was most likely a return.  Not that it matters. ;)  She's in perfect condition.

I just had to show you the happy look her face has from an upward angle one more time.  I really wish they'd gone for a more pleasant facial expression like this.  She is going to the ball, after all! ;)  

Here are a few more views.  This is taken from above her head, which diminishes the look of her strong, square jawline.

Another view of Ella. 

Her dress is just beautiful, and is incredibly detailed.

A bit of her skirt. 

I really do love her hair, especially the pretty braid at the top.

I'm not planning on deboxing her at this time, so that's all the review pictures for now.  For an excellent, detailed video review of this doll, check out Chad Alan's YouTube review HERE.  

I'm not going to do a full rating of this doll since I'm not taking her out of the box.  I will leave just a few thoughts though.  I love Ella's hair, dress, and box.  I love her glass slippers (which you can't see, but I saw my daughters' slippers for their dolls).  I'm still not 100% sold on her face, which not only looks serious and a bit too angular, but also is a bit big for her body proportion-wise.  It's not quite as noticeable in this gown since it's so poofy, but you really notice it on the Disney Store Wedding Day doll (more on that later on).  However, as you've seen from some of the pictures, she can look quite pretty.  I ended up paying $17.00 for her between a return I made and the 25% off sale.  I definitely do not regret spending this much on her.  I don't know that I'd want to pay the entire $34.95 price for her, though...but that's just me. :)

So, yeah, after I got home from our trip, I placed an Amazon.com order.  I really wanted a Mattel version of Cinderella, too, and there were NONE anywhere on our trip!  When I got home, I saw that this doll was on Amazon.com and was only $24.99, so I went ahead and got her.  She came within the week and is just gorgeous!

Her face is a bit more pleasing.  Still not overly happy (what is it with all of these somber Cinderellas?), but it's got a calmer, more content look than the Disney Store doll.  This doll doesn't really look like Lily James (who plays Cinderella) to me, but it's not so different that you don't know who she is. 

Some box details from the front: 

Side view

The back of the box features this gorgeous stock photo of the doll.  Mattel's stock photos of their dolls always look so breathtaking, which sometimes leaves me a bit disappointed by the actual doll.  When I told Hubby about this, he laughed and said, "Well, you know, most celebrities have their photos retouched." ;) 

The writing on the back of the box. 

Other side view 

I really love the fun artwork on the sides of the box, featuring things like the clock and the pumpkin coach.  It really does make this a beautiful box to display. 

Another look at pretty Cinderella. 

A closer look at her bodice.  The floral pattern is obviously just a decal overlay on the material. 

Cinderella's skirt features more of the same flowers. 

Her wedding tiara is "gold" plastic and features pink and blue plastic flowers. 

Her earrings are gold plastic with blue flowers.

I really like this doll.  She doesn't have articulation in her elbows and wrists like the Disney Store doll, but I think her face is overall more pleasing and a bit better proportioned to her body.  Her $24.95 price makes her an affordable option for younger fans with a tighter budget.  Her clothing is not as detailed or as well-made as the Disney Store dolls' dresses, but as a mint-in-box display doll, she works quite nicely.

Once again, Emily at The Toy Box Philosopher and I had the same idea for a post.  Since I'm not deboxing my dolls at this point, you didn't get as much detail about the dolls themselves from me as you normally do.  However, Emily compares both the Mattel and Disney Store Wedding Cinderella dolls, and also the Disney Store Prince doll in her post, giving us the same incredibly detailed review she normally does.  (You'll really see what I mean about the head proportions of the two dolls.)  Be sure to check out her informative and entertaining post HERE. :)

But wait, there's more! ;)  When I placed my order for Cinderella, I noticed that Mattel's Frozen Fever dolls were available on Amazon.com, too.

Now, most of you who have read my blog for any length of time will know that I'm not a huge fan of current Disney Mattel dolls.  Between their hard plastic, non-bending limbs, painted on clothing, and face paint that doesn't always do a great job of resembling the characters, there's just not much there to tempt me.

I mean, compare this Mattel Anna and Kristoff...

...with this Disney Store Anna and Kristoff.
For me, it's no contest.  To be honest, I'm really excited to see what Hasbro does with the Disney Princess line when their contract begins.  But more on all that in another post. ;)

Considering my feelings on Mattel versus Disney Store, I was very surprised when I found myself interested in the Frozen Fever Elsa doll.  But Mattel really stepped it up for this doll.  Take a look:

Her face is so pretty!  Much better than the other Elsa faces I've seen from Mattel. 

The box mentions that "Birthday Party Elsa" is from the Frozen Fever short. :) 

I love that Elsa's gown is all cloth.  The floral print is really pretty. :) 

A look at the skirt.

I can't get over her sweet face. :)

I love how Olaf is peeking out in the bottom corner of the box. ;) 

Side view 

The back of the box. 

A short summary of the doll and the movie.

Other side view 

She has really cute little shoes, too. 

Here's another look at them.

Softer, prettier face paint, all cloth clothing, nice shoes...if Mattel would have been doing this all along I might not have lost interest in their princess line!  Elsa still has minimal articulation in her arms and legs, but she's still a much more pleasing doll than Mattel's earlier offerings.

Usually, I focus on Anna in my Frozen collection.  However, I wasn't completely sold by her stock photo on Amazon and decided to wait to see her in person before decided whether or not I'd buy her.  Plus, I knew that Elsa would probably sell out quicker. ;)

I do have a strong hunch that there will most likely be a review of both of Mattel's Frozen Fever dolls over on my friend MyLittleMegara's blog, In A World of My Own, so those of you interested in seeing more about these dolls should stay tuned over there. ;)  UPDATE: The review is up!  You can see it HERE.

Interested in getting any of the dolls I've reviewed here for yourself?  You can find the Disney Store Cinderella doll on the Disney Store website HERE.  Mattel's Wedding Day Cinderella can be purchased on Amazon.com HERE.  Birthday Party Elsa can be found on Amazon.com as well, HERE.  (And Birthday Party Anna is available HERE, if you're interested in her).

I hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy yet vaguely detailed post. ;)  I'm off for the next few weeks to write like crazy in preparation for Mount Hermon.  I may not respond to comments right away (I really need to stay focused!), but I'll publish them so you can all enjoy them.

I'm also hoping to get my vlog done, but since the girls and I have ALL got colds now, we kind of need to wait until we don't sound like croaking frogs. ;)  I'll most likely have it up sometime mid March.

As I mentioned before, March will probably be a bit sparse as far as posting goes, even after my official blogging break.  I have a feeling I'm going to be cramming in every last requirement down to the wire.  Once April hits, though, things should get back to normal around here with regular posting and such.  Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity, everyone!  I'll be back before you know it. ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Birthday Trip and Goodies :)

Wow, what a week it's been!  Between school stuff and sick kiddos, my writing and blogging plans have gone out the window! :{  Sorry to keep you hanging for so long! ;)

I don't have nearly as many pictures to share with you as I do for some of my trips.  Part of that is making sure that birthday trips are primarily about my daughters and not my blog. ;)  We took a lot of personal photos instead.  Plus, it just seems rude to tell them to wait to go into the Disney Store so Mommy can get a picture of her doll outside the store first. ;) 

We left last Friday. Mom, Mimi and I picked them up from school and drove straight from there to our first stop, dinner and Toys R Us. :)

We had In-n-Out for dinner...

...and Krispy Kreme for dessert. ;)

As you can see, Tess came along with us.  She'll be sharing her version of the trip on her blog later. 

There were special heart-shaped donuts at Krispy Kreme since it was the day before Valentine's Day. :)

The girls and I each chose a special donut for "dessert day" (something we do every Friday).

We spent the night with my aunt and uncle and enjoyed a great visit with them.  After a yummy breakfast together at Black Bear Diner, we headed on down the road to our next stop: the Westfield Galleria Mall in Roseville! :D

The Disney Store was our first stop, of course. ;) 

There was a nice-sized Cinderella section, in anticipation of the live-action movie's release next month. 

There were dolls, shirts, mugs, and other accessories.

The lighting really made the dolls pop out on the shelves.  Here are the Cinderella and Prince Wedding Day set and Lady Tremaine.

Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother.

I have to say, after the sad little Frozen displays we saw on our birthday trip last year, it was so nice to see the Frozen section fully stocked. :)

A wall of Frozen happiness. ;)

Little Gal checking out the Elsa dresses.

We love this store for its fun displays, like this walk-in castle, complete with "magic" mirrors.  When you take one of the princess dresses or accessories inside and press the bar code to the mirror, it tells the story of the princess whom the dress or accessory belongs to.  Little Gal spent the majority of her time here. ;)

One of the displays on the other side of the castle.

I always have fun taking a picture of the sparkly flooring there, too. ;)

There were a couple of unexpected benefits to going to the Disney Store when we did.  First, we made it for the "Friends and Family" promotion, so everything in the store was 25% off. :)  The other fun thing was that they had a special Big Hero 6 "How to Draw Baymax" activity.  Big Hero 6 has become one of the girls' favorite movies since they all got to see it on vudu.com two weeks ago, so they were thrilled to participate.  Well, at least Middle Gal and Little Gal were.  Oldest Gal is getting a little older and is not as easily impressed with such activities (and in her defense, it was definitely geared towards a younger age group).  Oldest Gal told me that I could just teach her to draw Baymax later. ;)

The activity was really fun, and Middle Gal and Little Gal each got to keep their drawing.  They were each given a cute cardboard frame to put it in, and they also got a set of six postcards featuring each of the main characters (doll-sized posters...yay!).  

One fun thing was that the guy leading the activity was really impressed with Middle Gal's drawing. ;)  He was really good about complementing her without making Little Gal feel bad, though, which was nice for my mama heart. ;)

Poor Mimi started feeling really unwell while we were at the mall, so when we checked into the hotel after lunch, she decided to stay there and rest.  Unfortunately, she ended up being picked up by my other aunt (the one we stayed with the night before) and taken home.  We really missed her for the rest of the weekend, but were glad she was able to go home and get the rest she needed to get better.

By the way, Tess is wearing a different outfit here because the picture outside the Disney Store was actually from our second trip to the store on Sunday.  I just condensed some of the pictures from both days. ;)

We made a few more stops around town that night, had dinner at Panera, and then crashed at the hotel.  We watched episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network before bed. :)

The next morning, we enjoyed a continental breakfast and a swim in the pool before heading out for another day of shopping. :)

Our first stop was at the local Toys R Us.  I think we hit four of these on this trip...five if you count the fact that we went back to the first one on our trip home. ;)

I really love how cute this picture is with "Grandma" and all the girls. :)

Later, we got to go back to the mall and visit Build-a-Bear...

...the Sanrio Store, and other fun places.

That night, we enjoyed a yummy dinner (on Middle Gal's ACTUAL birthday) at Red Robin.

Here's my go-to meal at Red Robin: the Whisky River BBQ Chicken Wrap and fries.  Unfortunately, it's not very Weight Watchers friendly.  I think the wrap itself is 28 points. (I get 31 for the whole day.) ;)  I was very proud of myself, though.  I only ate one half of the wrap, and even ended up throwing away the second half the next morning instead of eating it before we left between meals. ;)

The girls each got a mini sundae and had servers sing to them in celebration of their birthdays. :)

As we headed back to the hotel, we got to enjoy this beautiful sunset.

Gorgeous! :)

A picture of my mini stash the last night. ;)

That's actually all of the pictures I got of the trip itself.  The pictures from the last day all have the girls' faces in them. ;)  We had a really wonderful trip and made lots of fun memories. :)  The girls enjoyed themselves and found some fun goodies for their birthday presents.  I'll try to get some pictures of their stuff at some point, but to be honest, it's already scattered all over the playroom. ;)  Middle Gal and Little Gal both bought Disney Store Cinderella dolls, but they're already dressed in modern clothing and fulfilling other roles.  In fact, both dolls were in Middle Gal and Little Gal's own rendition of "Cutthroat Kitchen" the other day. (I think the show really made an impression on them!) ;) 

In the meantime, you'll just have to be happy with seeing my goodies from the trip. ;)  After a stop at a couple of Toys R Us stores on the way home, this was what I came home with. :)

Yes, I did succumb to the Disney Store Cinderella, even though I like the Mattel face better. ;)  Between the 25% off promotion and the Anna doll I brought in to exchange, she was a really good price.  Plus I really love her dress. ;) 

And she looks gorgeous at certain angles. :)

What's interesting to me is how much happier she looks from an upward angle.  Hmm, maybe I should display her this way. ;) 

This Ever After High DVD was free with my mini Lalaloopsy purchase at Toys R Us.  It contains four complete episodes: "The World of Ever After High", "Raven's Tale: The Story of a Rebel", "Apple's Tale: The Story of a Royal", and "True Hearts Day".  There's also a very condensed version of the "Legacy Day" episode that works more like a trailer.  

Toys R Us had a "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" promotion on all of their Zelfs.  Sadly, we didn't find any of the newest ones (I'm hoping for Zelicious Mermalade, Ooma, Cyril, and possibly Oceana), but they did have a Petal...

...and a Frostette, which I've been wanting to add to my collection. :)

We also found Lalaloopsy blind bags. :)

At a Goodwill store, I found this little fast food Raggedy Ann.  She'll go perfect with my fast food Raggedy Andy.  He's been missing her. ;)

Hobby Lobby had this really pretty mermaid charm.

I got an adorable Fluttershy Squishy Pop set at Toys R Us...

...as well as Lalaloopsy mini Furry Grrs-a-lot.  She makes me think of Monsters Inc., one of my favorite Pixar movies. ;)

I also got an Applejack MLP Squishy Pop set, but I forgot it in my mom's van and haven't picked it up yet. ;)

Singing Anna from the Disney Store came home with me, too.  She looks great with my other Frozen stuff. :) 

And lastly, I picked up this really cute Beauty and the Beast shirt. :)

The Beast has some inaccurate coloring on his clothing, and in this sketch he's a little too short, but I'm willing to let it slide because the shirt is really fun and actually in my size! :D  (Wow, do I sound picky, or what?) :}

I'll be doing some reviews of some of my goodies in later posts. :)  I also have NOT forgotten about my YouTube vlog.  I've been struggling to find the time to get everything accomplished.  Thanks for waiting so patiently.

I've discovered that trying to do a blogging hiatus with scheduled posts isn't working really well for me.  I ended up getting sucked back into things because I wanted to publish and respond to comments, plus connect things on my Facebook page. :}  So, starting next week, I'll be taking a real hiatus for two weeks.  The deadlines for the writers conference are weighing heavily on me, and I really need to focus on that for a while.  Posting might be sparse in the month of March, too, but I'll be back into the swing of things after that.  I've just really got to focus right now.  I'm sure you all understand. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend! :)