Thursday, July 25, 2013

Toy Review: The Zelfs

This past month, I was contacted by a representative from the Moose Toys company and asked to review an upcoming line of girls' toys called The Zelfs.  This was a big event for me, as it marked the first time a toy company had contacted me (instead of vice versa) and asked me to do a review. :)  I'd like to thank Moose Toys for giving me this opportunity.

Yesterday, the package arrived in the mail.

And this was what was waiting inside: Buttershy, the Butterfly Zelf.

But what is a Zelf, you may ask?  Zelfs are special little creatures that live in a garden called Zardenia. 

The theme of this line is "Love your Zelf".  Each Zelf represents a special "power" or personality trait that they will supposedly share with you if you love them.

The Zelf website and the contents of the package.

The most rare Zelf is the Clover Zelf, Miss Clover.

The Zelfs are for ages 3 and up.

Here's a look at Buttershy's cover art.  Her Zelf Power is Positivity, and her theme is to "believe in yourzelf".

Buttershy, almost free from her packaging.

She was held in place by a few simple rubber bands and a big, rounded piece of plastic for her hair.  I found her super easy to remove.

Here she is with all of her accessories.  They include:

A fun, leaf-shaped comb, a purple butterfly charm, and three elastic hair bandies.

A closer look at the charm...

...and the adorable comb.

Buttershy also came with a leaflet for little collectors.  As you can see from the picture, the elastic bandies came in the package with the leaflet. 

And how cute is this?  Since it's a leaflet, they made it into a leaf.

When you open the leaflet, you can see the profile of the leaf.  Just another cute little detail that adds to the product.

The inside of the leaflet shares Buttershy's facts.

Another notice about the rare Miss Clover.

And here is the checklist that shows all of the Zelfs.  The Zelfs come in 3 different sizes: large, medium, and small.  Buttershy is one of the medium Zelfs.  To the best of my knowledge, this pamphlet shows just the medium Zelfs.

A closer look at the others. 

So, on to the Zelf herself! ;)  Buttershy stands at about...well, I couldn't figure out if I should measure her from the top of her head or the top of her I finally just took a picture of her next to a ruler. :}  From the top of her head down, she measures at just under 2 1/2 inches.  From the top of her hair down, she is about 5 1/2 inches.  

As I mentioned before, the Zelfs come in three different sizes.  According to my source, the large Zelfs are about 10 inches tall, and the small Zelfs are about 4 1/2 inches tall (both from the hair down).  Some of the large and small Zelfs come in different "finishes", for lack of a better word, such as glitter, pearl, and glow. 

Here is a collector's poster from the Zelf Facebook page that shows all of the Zelfs you can collect in all their different sizes (used with permission).

The smallest Zelfs come in really cute little flower pots:

From what I've read, the little Zelfs work as pencil toppers, too. :)

The minute I took Buttershy out of the package, I was hooked.  She's so adorable!  From overhead she looks a bit shy and solemn...

...but when you look at her from an upward angle you can see she has a sweet little smile.

Just adorable! :D

Her profile is rather interesting...she's got quite a flat little face. ;)

I love the depth of her eyes.  They are inset plastic eyes but look like glass eyes.

And let's not forget one of her most fun features:  her hair!  It's very soft and silky...I couldn't stop feeling it and playing with it.  When she first came out of the package, her hair shed a bit, but the shedding did not continue. 

Her hair holds a pose pretty well...

...or can be styled using the elastic bandies.  I didn't wrap mine very tightly around her hair because I tend to be a "mint condition" type and didn't want to mess it up too much. ;)

I found it interesting that underneath her hair there was a soft sort of bump...most likely it is what's holding her hair in place.  It is not a negative or anything, but this is as far down as her hair will go in the center.

A view from the back.  You can see Buttershy's sparkly pink wings.

She does have a little unclothed bottom...just wanted to mention that in case that's a problem for any moms.  Since she's not anatomically correct and is a little fairy-type creature, this doesn't bother me much. ;)

She has a little butterfly decal on her cheek...

...and more pretty artwork on her tummy.

Her identifying marks at the back of her head.

Buttershy is articulated at the head, shoulders, and hips.  She can sit nicely.

She also loves to skip...

...and sometimes likes to be quite silly.

When I first saw the Zelfs, I immediately thought of what most of you probably did:  Russ Trolls.  My grandmother loved Trolls and used to collect them, so this made the Zelfs even more fun for me.  But something else seemed familiar about these little guys, and I finally figured it out:

Take a Russ Troll, add a Pocket Dragon, and you've pretty much got a Zelf.  And please do not misunderstand me...I don't see this as a negative thing.  

The connection with Trolls is obvious...that fun, wild hair! ;)  As I already mentioned, my grandmother had a lot of these around, so seeing them always makes me smile and think of her.

When I was in high school and college, my family used to travel to a house near the beach for Christmas.  There was a little store not too far from there that always had a large selection of Pocket Dragons.  I used to admire the adorable Pocket Dragon figures and decide which ones were my favorites.  I especially loved their delicate features and detailed facial expressions.  I ended up purchasing three of them at that little shop over the years.  In fact, this particular Pocket Dragon is very special because she is the one I chose the year that my husband (then boyfriend) came over and proposed to me on the beach.  I felt that her expression perfectly summed up my feelings about the holiday that year. ;)  

When I look at my little Zelf, I see the same sweet, delicate features (just in plastic instead of resin).  Her ears are pretty similar to my Pocket Dragon's, too. :)

She also reminds me of my 80s/90s childhood with her fun, bright colors.  I instantly think of Lady Lovely Locks or My Little Pony when I look at her. :) 

And speaking of My Little Pony, I thought it would be fun to take a picture of Buttershy and Fluttershy together, since their names are so similar.  Don't they look like they'd get along?

And to give you another idea of size, here is Buttershy next to a mini Lalaloopsy and Emilie, a Chelsea doll from the Barbie line.

Zelfs also make great toys for the 18" dolls. 

My overall thoughts?  I'm giving Buttershy a 5 out of 5 for playability and just plain cuteness! ;)  She's absolutely adorable and a perfect little size for traveling in pockets or taking on trips.  Her colors are bright and fun and her posability is an added bonus.  She also has the vote of the target audience, at least in this house.  All three of my daughters melted when they saw her and have officially added Zelfs to their wishlists. ;)  I personally love her design as it reminds me of toys and collectibles I enjoyed as a child and a teen.

I do have to mention that I'm not a huge fan of the "believing in yourself" theme that is so prevalent in many of today's toys.  As a follower of Christ, I believe in what Christ can do through me, not what I can accomplish on my own.  Of course, I do not expect everyone in the world to hold the same view.  I would also have no problem with buying these for my girls and just bypassing the message.

There is some magic involved with the Zelf storyline, as you most likely noticed from the packaging, so some might have a problem with that.  Also, some of the Zelf characters, such as the Vampire Zelf and a few of the others, might be ones that some parents might want to avoid.   

On the whole, though, I think this is a great new line and I'm excited to see how it does.  If other little girls out there are anything like mine, the Zelfs should do quite well. :)  

The Zelfs will be hitting stores sometime in August.  If you'd like to find out more while you wait, you can check out the official Zelf webpage or the Zelf Facebook Page.

Which Zelf is your favorite? :)

I received this as a free sample product from Moose Toys.   All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.


Anonymous said...

"Poseable purple troll doll" was EXACTLY the first thing that popped into my head when I saw Buttershy! XD
I think I like them better than the trolls, actually. The trolls have a certain endearing silliness, but I never was a huge fan of their faces. I like the Zelf's bright colors, too, and the fact that they're poseable adds to the fun.

Are pocket dragons still available somewhere? I love dragons and have a collection of plush ones, and I'd love to add a few pocket dragons to the flock (Herd? Pack? What is a group of dragons called, anyway? Guess I should know that, considering I write fantasy...).

Thank you for the fun review!

--Kate :)

jordan sky said...

OMG! I need to get like...ALL OF THEM! I was eating rice when I saw the first picture and it literally came out of my mouth 'cause I was like "AWWW!"

Freja said...

Your first sponsored review!! :O congratulation!! :D

How adorable <3 I instally thoght of russ trolls as well, I like that about them. Seeing your picture of the medium sized zelfs, I instally fell in love with Flamy. I wonder if this line, will come to Denmark.

Im not sure it was necessary, the couple of time you pointed out that there was something you didnt mean negative. I dont think that annything you wrote, could be seen as negative. To me it sounded like, you were afraid to say annything bad about this product.
I know that isint true :) I just thought I would let you know how it sounded to me

Thank you for a great review.

Unknown said...

omg! these are so cute, they're like a updated version of the troll dolls. but with cute little faces and elf ears. I can't wait for these to come into the stores. i think as far as my favorite Zelf/s it's a mix up between Vampula and Angelala

Sunny_Harper1994 said...

Awwwww! I want that pocket dragon! She is tooooo cute.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hey everyone! Just here to check my comments really quick. We arrived safely and are kicking back and relaxing...I just wish the girls were a little less excited so they would fall asleep! ;)

Kate, the Pocket Dragons are no longer in production, but there are quite a few of them on eBay right now.

Oh, and I'm not sure what a group of dragons is called, either! All of your suggestions sounded good to me! ;)

I've really been enjoying my Zelf. She's so cute and colorful, and her posability makes taking pictures of her really fun. :)

Lol...sorry to make you lose your rice, Jordy. ;) I think they're super cute too.

Thank you, Freja! :) I was so excited to get to review something this way. :)

I'm not sure if they'll be released in Denmark. I know they're in the UK. I hope you're able to get them!

Thanks for the encouragement about the post. I have a bad habit of being overly apologetic and overly worried about offending, so I'm glad that my comments didn't come across in a negative way. ;)

I agree, Amber. :) My favorites (besides Buttershy) are Mermalade and Miss Clover. :)

Hi Sunny! She might be on eBay...I don't remember what she was called, though, so it might be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. :}

Michele said...

These are adorable! My daughter will love these I'm sure. Great review.

Congratulations on having a company contact you too! I'm sure you will have many more in the future.

misspiggy=awesome said...

The Zelf Facebook link links to the website, just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, I love your blog so much. The problem is that I want all the dolls you've reviewed!!! ;)

Also, I was wondering if you could check out my blog? It's not a doll blog, though, so you don't have to.


Tamsykens said...

A definite troll influence!
You need to educate me(and my husband who set up my blog for me). What is the difference between a subscriber and a follower? I kept telling Ken he needs to put a button for followers on my blog, but he hasn't yet. You show up as a subscriber, but somehow 'Chelly' showed up as a follower.??? I don't know how she did it. I'll have to ask her. Do you have any advice for me?

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks, Michele! :)

Thanks for letting me know, misspiggy=awesome. I fixed the link. :)

Lol...sorry, A! I k now it's easy to keep adding to your wishlist every time you read a blog review. I do the same thing. ;)

I'll be sure to stop by and check out your blog. :)

Hi Tamsykens! :) I think I show up as a "subscriber" because I followed your blog via email. If you ad a "follow" button to your blog, that's the easiest way to gain new followers. However, I just recently learned that you can copy the url of a blog and add it to your dashboard reading list, even if the blog doesn't have a follow button. I'm guessing that your follower must have done that.

Hope this helps! Feel free to comment again if I just made it more confusing. ;)

Tamsykens said...

No. Actually you were very helpful! I have no idea how all of this stuff works. I have been telling Ken I need a 'follower' button, but he hasn't put it in yet. I'm not sure he knows how. I tried to find something in my blog set up that would put one in, but I don't see anything for it. Now that you mention copying the url to put it in your dashboard I realize that's what I did for the ones I follow. That means I need to go back and find their follower buttons so they can count me. Right?

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

To be honest, I'm not sure. You may not show up as a follower if you just copy and paste the URL. I'll try to look into it and let you know. ;)

Anonymous said...

I was kind of shocked to read what you said about "love yourself" campaigns. I am a christian also and i think that, while secular belief does focus more on empowering one's self with this theme, even a christian can take something away from this. Growing up i had very low self esteem and my mama would tell me i can't think so little of myself while God places enough value in me that He sent His son to die for me. The theme of this is love your zelf not believe in yourself, which is very different and, at least to me, obviously not against anything God tells us. For many years media has put pressure on girls to be perfect, making many feel they would never be good enough. I think this theme is a good thing for the self esteem of our daughters. As for believe in yourself you are absolutely right that it is God who empowers us but we have to believe that He has made us worthy (with the blood of His son we have been cleansed right?) of our place in His plan, believe that He can use us despite our imperfections. As i type this my daughter is watching veggietales sweetpea beauty. They probably explain this better than I do. Maybe you still wont agree but I thought I'd throw this out there for you to consider.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Beautifully expressed, Anonymous. Thank you. I agree with you completely.

My daughters and I have very similar conversations whenever the whole "believe in yourself" theme comes up (which is quite frequent, especially with many of the Disney Princess stuff). While the "Love YourZelf" theme doesn't bother me quite as much, Buttershy specifically has the "Believe in yourzelf" theme, as stated on her box, which is the only reason I brought it up.

I suppose I should have clarified my position a little better. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. :)

Kitty said...

Hi! I just found your site as I was looking for information on the Zelfs line... And I really must say, Your site is very nice and informational (In my opinion)! --Kitty

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thank you so much, Kitty. :) I'm glad you've found it so. One of my goals in starting this blog was to have a place that was fun and informative. :)

twilight sparkle said...

wow this is an amazing review! Actually all of yours are amazing. I love the level of detail and so many pictures! This is officially my official site when I want a toy review. Also, before this I'd heard of Zelfs but never wanted one.. and now I do! :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks so much, Twilight Sparkle! :) Glad you enjoyed the review. :)

I didn't publish your other comment since it was almost the same. :)

Mitchell said...

I love your review! I used to collect the trollsvas well and have two large zelfs on the way. I found this page trying to look up their size.
I collect dragons also. A group of dragons is called a Clan :)

leah Nay said...

I see what you mean about the Russ troll+Pocket Dragon= Zelf. The hair of the Troll The size & ears of the dragon. equals A zelf.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks, Mitchell! I'm sorry it took me so long to find your comment. Somehow it got lost among the other comments.

Thanks for the info on dragons, too. :) That might come in handy later in my books. ;)

Exactly, Leah. ;)