Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day, Spirit Week, AG News, and Disney Store Dolls

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope your day is spent with someone special, whether it's a husband, wife, sweetheart, or good friend. Hubby and I were too tired to do much other than say "Happy Valentine's Day" to each other this morning as we stumbled out of bed and got ready for the day. That's what happens when your girls have Spirit Week, Homecoming, Valentine's Day parties, and the Awana Grand Prix all in the same week. ;D

Speaking of Spirit Week, I thought I'd keep with tradition and share some photos of the girls here. :) A HUGE thank you to my parents for helping with costumes.💓This year, all of the dress-up days have a board game theme. Today's was "Candyland." Oldest Gal and Middle Gal's costumes were so wide, I had to do individual pictures this time. ;)

Oldest Gal went as a peppermint. Best costume idea ever! She chose all red and white clothing. We cut a big circle out of cardboard and painted it to look like a peppermint. (She actually did the painting herself.) We added handles on the back and then wrapped the "candy" in clear cellophane to look like a candy wrapper. This whole look cost us $2 because we didn't have red tights. ;) Everything else either we had or my parents had.

Middle Gal went as a slice of cake (complete with a cherry on top). This costume is actually one that my mom made for me when I was in high school celebrating Spirit Week. We just added the red beanie ($1 at Walmart) for a finishing touch. (Middle Gal didn't want to wear a paper candle hat with orange and yellow tissue flame like I did.) ;) I think she kind of looks like a Shopkin. She just needs some eyeballs on the front of the cake slice. ;) 

Little Gal decided to be Queen Frostine from the Candyland game. This was a dress my mom had in her dress-up tote. We added a tiara from Dollar Tree to complete the look. :) Unfortunately, Little Gal's throat started bothering her again, so she wasn't able to go to school. I'm hoping with a day of rest, she'll feel well enough to go tomorrow.

Any of you who follow the American Girl Facebook page are probably aware of some of the changes being made to the dolls this year, and the backlash that's happening from fans. This year, American Girl dolls will start having permanent underwear as part of their lower torso. The reason is supposedly to make playtime easier and to keep the underwear from getting lost, but it seems more like a cost-cutting measure. 

There are some definite concerns from AG fans on this. Aside from the fact that the underwear can never come off, it seems like a cheapening of the brand. I'm particularly concerned with how this will affect the quality of the dolls after seeing this video from an AGPlaythings member who actually ended up with one of the dolls with permanent panties. I mean, it kind of looks like the doll had an accident in her pants. :( It's possible (hopefully) that this is a defective doll and they won't all look like this.

My girls are incredibly disappointed at this decision by the company. It's actually made them think they might not want to add the dolls they've thought about purchasing for their collections. It will be interesting to see what happens with this in the future. All I know is I'm really glad I'm not working in the American Girl marketing or design department right now. ;)

In happier news, American Girl has released information about some of the new dolls they'll be releasing this year. Among the more notable releases are Logan, their first boy doll, Felicity, the cherished historical doll back from the archives, and Nanea, a new BeForever doll with a new face mold. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the look of the new mold, but I want to hold off on my thoughts until I see her in person this fall when she's released. You can see a slideshow of all of the new dolls and a little information about them HERE.

Speaking of seeing things in person and holding off judgement, I've tried really hard to not voice an opinion on the infamous Disney Store live-action Belle doll until I actually saw her in person, which was supposed to be next weekend. But then I discovered the the 25% off Friends and Family sale was this past weekend instead, and an online exclusive (I'm so sorry I didn't get on here to let you guys know!). Because of that, I made the decision to go ahead and order both Belle and the Beast on Friday. Amazingly, they arrived yesterday!

And...yeah...I have to say I'm pretty disappointed: 

I really hoped that seeing her in person would help, but she's all wrong. Her forehead is ginormous, her freckles are way too dark, and while you can tell she's supposed to be Emma Watson, she's about the most unflattering version of her you could find. Her face mold seems almost crooked, too. One eye is higher than the other one. When you look closely, it's really noticeable. She actually looks better in this photo with the soft lighting than in person. It's so sad. :( I really wanted to love her.

The Beast, on the other hand, is incredible. I'm really having a hard time sticking to my original plan of leaving him in the box, especially since the box got a little smooshed in the back during shipping. 

So, at this point, my plan is to take these two to the Disney Store with us this coming weekend. I want to see if I can get a Beast with a better box and see if there happens to be a Belle with a slightly better face. I do plan on keeping a Belle doll, though, either way. I'm still following through with my original plan of deboxing her just enough to remove her freckles and face shine. I'm also still planning to buy a Hasbro Belle to practice a face repaint. If I'm pleased enough with the result, I'll try repainting my Disney Store Belle's face. I'd also like to rebody her on a Made to Move Barbie body. But I'll keep you guys posted on how that all goes.

I'm not sure that I'll debox the Beast, as tempting as it is, but I will definitely share more pictures either way in a later post. Just not this week. This week is crazy. The only reason I managed to scrounge up enough time to post anything today was because I ended up home with a sick kiddo. ;)

Hope you all have a lovely week! I'll be back next week with pics from our birthday trip. :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Funko Mystery Minis! :D

I'm so excited, guys! My mom and aunt went to our local Hot Topic yesterday and discovered these ADORABLE new Funko Mystery Minis:

I may possibly have squealed when they sent me the pictures of the boxes from the store. ;)

The front of the box features Chip and Belle.

Gaston and the Beast are on one side...

...and the Prince (eep!) and the Hot Topic Exclusive Village Belle are on the other. 

The back shows all of the available figures from the Hot Topic packages, including three exclusive figures. (I was a little bummed to see they don't have a Cogsworth, even in the non-Hot Topic boxes. Maybe he'll be a Walgreen's exclusive like Rapunzel.)

My aunt bought four packages, and after she and mom called me and told me about them, I had them pick out two for me. :)

My aunt got Celebration Belle first. Isn't she darling? I LOVE this new dress. 

Celebration Belle from the back, complete with baby's breath in her hair. :)

Next, my aunt got the Hot Topic Exclusive Beast. He's cute, but a little grumpy. ;)

Beast from the back.

She also got the other Beast figure. I like him a lot better. :)

Beast #2 from the back.

Each Beast figure has a little tail in the back that sticks out. The detail on these figures is quite amazing.

My aunt's last figure was another Hot Topic Exclusive, this sweet Village Belle with her book.

Belle from the back.

My first figure was Belle in her yellow dress, holding a rose. The interesting thing was, this actually isn't one of the figures that's supposed to be in the Hot Topic boxes! That's okay, though, because she's my favorite out of all the Belles in their yellow dresses. :)

Belle from the back.

A closer look at some of her details:

I was really excited when I felt my next figure through the plastic, because I thought it might be the Prince. 

Sigh. So close. ;) Gaston is super cute, though, so I can't complain. (And I think Luke Evans is going to be INCREDIBLE in this movie.)

Gaston from the back.

Gaston and Village Belle look really cute together.

And so do Belle and "Happy Beast," as I've dubbed him. ;)

My aunt was really sweet and said she'd be willing to trade or let my buy some of her figures since I'm such a big Beauty and the Beast fan. I decided to trade my Gaston for her Happy Beast, and I also bought her Celebration Belle. I'm hoping to eventually find the Prince, Chip, Mrs. Potts, and Lumiere. And maybe another Village Belle. ;) 


Okay, guys, I just couldn't help myself. :} I stopped by Hot Topic before I picked the girls up from school and picked up three more boxes. 

And would you believe I got just what I was hoping for? :D

LeFou, the Prince, and another Belle in her ball gown.

Well, okay, I wasn't hoping for LeFou, but he's still pretty cute. ;)

LeFou from the back.

And he looks great with Gaston.

"And I've got my sight set on that one."

"The inventor's daughter?"

"She's the one! The lucky girl I'm going to marry." 

I could go on, but I think I'll stop there. ;)

The Belle I got was the other Hot Topic exclusive one. I love the way she's lifting her skirt so elegantly. 

Belle from the back.

She looks great with Mimi's Hot Topic Exclusive Beast.

The one I was most excited about was this guy. I was really hoping to find the Prince! :D

The Prince from the back.

A closer look at that fancy hairdo. ;)

Doesn't he look darling with Belle in her Celebration dress?


So my aunt and I have worked it out. I'm going to trade my newest Belle in her ball gown for Mimi's Village Belle, and I'm going to trade LeFou for Belle in her Celebration dress. That means I'll have Happy Beast, Belle in her ball gown with the rose, Village Belle, the Prince, and Belle in her Celebration dress. Mimi will have Hot Topic Exclusive Beast, Hot Topic Exclusive Belle in her ball gown, Gaston, and LeFou.

And crazily, I actually now have all of the figures I wanted. It's unheard of in blind bag land! Normally I get a ton of duplicates! I love how these guys look on my shelf, and I'm so thrilled I got the ones I really wanted without having to buy a ton of them. :)

What do you guys think of the new figures? Will you be adding them to your collections? 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Sharing my Obsession with the Doll Club ;)

Well, I officially survived having eleven house guests on Wednesday. ;) The house cleaning wasn't all that fun, but I loved decorating with my Beauty and the Beast stuff and talking about my most obsessive collection. ;)

Here's the display I set up in the living room. It was so much fun to arrange my dolls and to use my vintage Belle sheet for one of the tablecloths. One of the ladies joked, "Hannah, I don't think you have enough Beauty and the Beast dolls." ;)

This table featured mostly my Mattel Beauty and the Beast dolls.

This table had my Disney Store dolls, with a couple of Mattel and Hasbro thrown in in the background. Oh, and my new Funko Pop Beast and Belle in the front. :)

You might notice a brand new set of dolls among the rest...

Yep, I decided it would be a good idea to have a doll set from the new movie for the meeting. That way I could discuss Hasbro's takeover of Disney dolls and the new live action movie. It was a sacrifice to add more to my collection, but I guess I'm just all heart. ;)

I purposely waited to get this set until the Disney Store announced their doll releases, just in case they released a Prince doll. Sadly, as you all probably know, they didn't, but at least Hasbro released one. And while Belle doesn't look much like Emma Watson to me, the Prince could definitely pass for Dan Stevens. I'm a bit bummed by the lack of articulation on the Prince and his white, plastic legs. However, since I'm not planning on deboxing them, it's not as big of a deal for me. I'm wondering how easy it would be to rebody him if I ended up with another set in the future...

Beautiful Belle, as portrayed by Emma, on the back of the box. (I LOVE this dress!!)

But now, back to the meeting. ;)

I had a lot of fun decorating the table for my guests. Funko Cogsworth and Lumiere took center stage with my very own "enchanted rose."

I found these adorable little "glass" domes, which are actually plastic, at Michael's, and filled them with dessert erasers I found in Target's Valentine's Day section. 

Not only did they make cute decorations, but they were perfect party favors to send home with all of the guests.

I found this lighted glass dome at Tuesday Morning. All I had to do was add a fake rose and some fake rose petals, and I had a perfect enchanted rose display.

My mom prepared all of the food and refreshments. We set up this little drink area near the table. (Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the food.)

And see, I even got my house clean in time! ;)

I had to share a couple of photos of my group:
I wish I could fully express how dear each and every one of these ladies has become to me. They've become my extended family, like a huge group of grandmas and great aunts...and friends. I'm so thankful to have them in my life. 

Even though they collect antique dolls, they're always very supportive of my more modern collections. I consider myself their link to the modern happenings of the doll world, and they are my educators on dolls of the past. It's beneficial for both sides, I think.

P.S. My favorite part of the above picture is my mom peeking through the kitchen opening. Can you see her? :)

At the end of the meeting, I talked about the upcoming live action movie and played the newest trailer for the ladies. The best part? Most of them talked about how great it looked and how much they were looking forward to seeing it. :)

Did you miss the trailer? You can see it HERE and SQUEAL like a little girl the way I did. ;D

Overall, it was a wonderful day full of food, friends, and dolly fun. Even though I was exhausted by the end of it, it was well worth it. :)

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!