Ghoul Talk Episode 18: Interview w/ Gitty Daneshvari

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Your friends at Ghoul Talk are very proud to present Episode 18, an interview with Ghoulfriends book author Gitty Daneshvari!

Gitty wrote all four of the Monster High Ghoulfriends books, and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with her about being an author and what it was like to write for Monster High.  She’s super sweet and we had a great talk with her – listen to it online and/or download the episode on itunes!

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Review: Ghoul Sports Spectra – MH doll

Ghoul Sports is a new line of Monster High dolls where the characters are all dressed for, and meant to be top players in, particular school sports.  There are currently three characters in this line – Spectra Vondergeist, Toralei Stripe, and Clawdeen Wolf – and the sports currently covered are tennis, soccer, and baseball.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband got me all three of the Ghoul Sports dolls; Spectra is the first one I deboxed, so she’s the first up for review. 🙂

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Now, I should probably mention that I am generally not a Spectra fan – I don’t care for her character in the webisodes or books, and I usually find her dolls pretty easy to pass on when I see them in stores (though she does often have some clothing items and accessories that I’d love to have).  Her severe cheekbones combined with the blank white skin and purple sclera.. it’s a combo that just doesn’t appeal to me somehow; she often looks like a bitchy Angelina Jolie impersonator.  However, Mattel seems to have softened her face sculpt recently, or maybe it’s just the makeup, but it is a really good change – Ghoul Sports Spectra is soft and pretty and fun. More

Ghoul Sports!

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My MiL gave me and my husband a mall gift card as payment for dog-sitting recently, and so my husband got me all three Ghoul Sports dolls!!  They *just* came to stores here, and I was so excited when we saw them that he put them right in our cart and insisted on getting them then and there. ^^

It was very tempting to rip into all three boxes right away but Spectra is the only one I’ve opened so far, as the other two have less than perfect face screenings and I might exchange them later if I can find better ones.  There’s already a review in the works for Spectra – y’all can expect to see that on the blog at the end of the week.

Review: C.A. Cupid – EAH doll

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C.A. Cupid (full name Chariclo Arganthone Cupid) started out as a Monster High character.  In that world she was a bone elemental and is the adopted daughter of Eros, the god of erotic love in Greek mythology (weird choice for a kid’s toy line, eh?). Her doll was introduced in the Monster High world near the end of 2011 as a Wal-Mart exclusive in the Sweet 1600 line, and she was part of the cast until early 2013, when she became the crossover character to Ever After High. More

Review: Legacy Day Raven Queen – EAH doll

Legacy Day Raven Queen is one doll that I’ve been waiting for a long time to buy; the LD dolls are priced quite high (~$35 in Canada) and I could never find one that had both good facial screening and a good outfit.  The initial releases of LD Raven all had bodices that were sewn so tight that the fabric was cracked and I thought it looked really bad, especially for such a pricey doll.  So when I finally stumbled across one that had a perfect dress, I snapped her up as quick as I could despite the doll being full price and having a bit of eye wonk (big thanks to Mr. Nerd for buying her for me! ^^).

(Of course, now that I’ve opened the doll, all the new ones on the shelves have un-stretched dresses, so I acted much too quickly and missed out on some great sales that would have got me this doll for almost half of what my husband paid.  These are the difficult lessons of a collector. XD)

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As I mentioned in my initial Ever After High post (and if you’re somehow not familiar with EAH, go read that one first), Raven Queen is the daughter of the Evil Queen from the Snow White fairy tale, and on Legacy Day at Ever After High, Raven’s supposed to pledge herself to her destiny and commit to being the next evil queen. More

Ghoul Talk Episode 15: Werecat Twins

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The latest episode of Ghoul Talk, the Monster High podcast by and for collectors of all ages, features those catty twins Purrsephone and Meowlody.   The big question this episode is if the twins are just arm candy for Toralei, or are they actual characters in their own right?  We’ll look at the dolls, the diaries, and the webisodes, and discuss our personal takes on this pair of crafty kitties.

This episode also features a new doll review (Creepateria Cleo!) by Michelle, plus an extra discussion about Monster High fakies, as well as the North American and overseas MH news.

You can listen to episode 15 of Ghoul Talk online or download it on itunes, or visit our website for more information about the podcast.

 

Review: Curl ‘n Coil Tily Vizon – Novi Stars doll (+ Novi bodies comparison)

Tily Vizon is one of two “Curl ‘N Coil” Novi Stars dolls.  The CnC dolls are different from the other Novis in a couple of respects, namely that they are robots/cyborgs and have cyber dreads with a curling gimmick, but the CnC’s are also differently sized than the other Novi dolls (being bigger than the basics and smaller than the Stellar Skinz).

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The Curl n’ Coil dolls were one of the more recent waves of Novi Stars, which means that they did not make it into many stores, as far as I’m aware – they definitely were not on shelves here in Canada.  (She and Roe Botik are still for sale on Amazon, and are currently listed for less than the retail price that I paid.)  I bought Tily from Amazon about a year ago when I had an online credit, and I was super excited – I mean, c’mon, she’s a super cute cyberpunk cyborg alien doll with fantastic shoes and electrical plugs as hair! More

Review: Black Carpet Clawdeen Wolf – Monster High doll

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Black Carpet is the slim box line that goes along with the Frights, Camera, Action! dolls and movie, and it consists of four of the main characters dressed for walking down the redblack carpet for a movie premier.  The characters in this budget line are Cleo DeNile, Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, and Clawdeen Wolf; they’re all pretty fabulous except for Lagoona.  Clawdeen caught my eye right off the bat though, when we first saw photos of the line from NY ComiCon; her spiky earring and ornate neckpiece are just so fabulously bad-ass. More

Ghoul Talk Episode 10: Spectra Vondergeist

Episode 10 of the Ghoul Talk podcast is all about Monster High’s most mysterious ghost, Spectra!  Listen to the episode online or download it on itunes.

Review: Hello Kitty Baking Fun – mini doll play kit

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I’ve got something a little different to review today – the Hello Kitty “Baking Fun” mini doll play kit, a set of themed miniatures made to go with the HK mini dolls.  It’s hard to find any listings or information for these sets online, and the only store I’ve seen them at is Target.  The dolls are not listed for sale on sanrio.com but they are featured in a blog post on hellokitty.com that’s dated from mid-February so maybe they are new products that just haven’t seen full distribution yet.

From what I remember at Target, there are three different types of these HK mini doll sets: small sets with the doll and a few accessories, larger sets with a doll + a small playset + some accessories, and the sets that are all accessories.  As far as the dolls themselves go, I’m not a fan of most of them – they’ve made Kitty’s body weirdly slender and I find that both creepy-looking and insulting from a body-positive feminist point of view.

The one I like to think of as Breakfast Princess Hello Kitty is pretty cute though; she looks a little chubbier than the others and that outfit is amazing, with the waffle and eggs hair bow and the bacon skirt and all.

The price on the doll/playset pack was a little much for me, so I’ll just be sticking to the accessory sets since I can use those with pretty much all my dolls.  This baking themed set is just so cute that I couldn’t resist getting it… the kid in me was just squeeing over the whole thing.  I mean, just look at the package.. those little cupcakes!  So much Hello Kitty adorableness!  Make a pie!

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Not only is that totes adorable, but it’s really nice to see some of the actual pieces, to get an idea of the scale.

Ooh, and there’s a surprise for me, from Hello Kitty herself!

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OMG, what could it be?! A little HK figure? More tiny food? The possibilities are endless!

And a pouch to put everything in – neat.

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How handy!  And Hello Kitty’s bow has sprinkles on it to go with the baking theme.  XD

Before going on with this review, I should probably mention that I freaking love Hello Kitty and I have for years; even back when I was a macho tomboy who hated the color pink, I still had a soft spot for that kawaii cat.  I’m not really sure what it is about her, but the whole concept and aesthetic of Hello Kitty is just super adorable and fun to me.

Let’s just say the mini doll packs are not the first HK product that I’ve squeeed out loud in a store over.

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There are 37 tiny little bakery bits in this particular set, including cupcakes with detachable frosting, a layered pie, and a stand mixer shaped like Kitty’s head.  I’m pretty sure that every single tiny piece has either the iconic bow or Hello Kitty’s visage stamped into it somewhere.  For example, the egg carton not only has a red bow sculpted on the outside, but Kitty’s face is carved into the underside of the lid and each egg has a Hello Kitty bow stamped into it.  Sanrio is serious about their branding, man.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself again…  Here’s what was inside the box when I opened it:

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Not the most elegant packaging, but ok.

I’ve gotten so used to annoying plastic tabs and having to use scissors for deboxing everything, so this was surprisingly simple to me.

And here’s what we got:

20140309_152054That’s everything that was in the box; just the stacked pie bits that were displayed in the box window and then everything else is in the baggie, including the “surprise gift.”  Apparently the clear plastic bag is the advertised “carrying pouch”; that’s a little disappointing in itself, but mine also happens to be split down one side which makes it totally useless.  The bag was hardly a factor in my purchase though, so oh well.

Here is everything (except the “surprise gift”) that came with the Hello Kitty Bakery Fun set:

20140310_102539That’s a lot of little bits!  I’m really impressed – this set retails for $8CAD at Target, which sounded like a lot to me at first, but comparing it to the miWorld accessory packs where you get 5-9 pieces for $4 – the Hello Kitty ones start to look very reasonably priced.

The cost is totally justified when you look closely at all the pieces, too.  There is so much detail in this set, I am truly astounded.

PicMonkey CollageFirst off, the pie!  I love that you get to “make” the pie yourself.  The pie pieces actually fit into either the blue kitty-shaped pan or the silver one that was displayed in the box window, but the fit is best in the blue one.

The latticed top crust is not only shaped like Hello Kitty’s head, but it also has a sculpted bow, whiskers, and dots for her eyes and mouth.  The bottom pie crust has an authentically lumpy texture in the bottom, and the pie filling appears to be strawberries.

Let’s look at the cake stand next:

PicMonkey Collage3 The base of the stand has decorative scalloped edges and a single bow at the bottom; the cover is shaped like Hello Kitty’s head, complete with ears, bow, and even sculpted facial features.  The cake itself is red and pink with a big red bow on top, and it has a single slice cut out of it.  The cake slice also has a red bow; the insides of the cake have sculpted texture and are painted yellow.

20140310_103701_resizedThe cookie and dough are probably my least favorite items in the set, and they’re still really cute.  The cookie fits perfectly into the cut-out in the dough, as well as fitting perfectly in the cookie cutter.  My only beef is that I wish they’d done two or three cookies out of the one piece of dough instead of just one.

PicMonkey Collage6The cupcakes are probably my favorite of the baked goods, because they’re so detailed and versatile.  Each cupcake has a uniquely sculpted wrapper and the top of each one is textured, with a 3-D bow in the middle.  There are four different interchangeable frostings/toppers that fit over the bows on the cupcakes, and each one is fantastically detailed; the waffle cone bow one is probably my favorite, but the supertiny bows on the yellow one are pretty amazing too just by virtue of how very small they are.

These cupcakes with their whimsical, swappable frostings are just too cute for words.

The cakes themselves fit into the pink cupcake pan which, of course, has Hello Kitty’s face stamped into it:

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The rest of the items in the Baking Fun accessory set are the implements and kitchen tools for Kitty to use to bake all those tasty treats; there’s the aforementioned stand mixer (a must-have for any serious baker) that comes with a removable bowl (with HK’s face on it of course), a bow-adorned measuring cup, two adorable canisters with removable lids, a rolling pin stamped with the words “Hello Kitty”, and the silver Kittyface-shaped baking pan that was displayed with the pie.

20140310_103916_resizedThere’s also a little pink oven mitt for a Kitty doll to wear, but I forgot to include it in the photo.

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The very last item in the set that I looked at is the surprise gift; I was honestly a little bit excited and wanted to draw out the anticipation:

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But I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up:

20140310_103836_resizedYes my friends, that there is the “surprise gift” – a tiny disembodied pink Kitty head; not even the whole Kitty, just her head.  WTF, man?  Hello Kitty sucks at picking out gifts. The thing would barely stop rolling around long enough for me to photograph it.

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Aside from the two failed gimmicks, the Hello Kitty Baking Fun play kit is really quite impressive and I would highly recommend it to anyone that likes tiny cute things.  There are a ton of interactive little pieces, an overload of Hello Kitty adorableness, and an unexpectedly high level of detail on every single item.  The best part is that almost all the pieces are the perfect size for use with fashion dolls and pretty much every doll/toy that’s between 4″ and 14″ tall.  Even at Canadian prices, this set is totally worth picking up ’cause it’s totally fun.

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