polychrome_pen: (Deuce & Cleo - Monster High)
We've been having a fun discussion over in [livejournal.com profile] monster_high about some thoughts on reaching the property's fifth anniversary (Summer 2010 was when the dolls started becoming available in stores).  I wrote up a little questionnaire to help facilitate sharing, and reading the varied responses has been both enlightening and nostalgic.  I mean, I never really thought that Monster High would not only go this long, but be going so strong at this point in the timeline.

It's funny, I had just finished Pharmacy school when MH debuted.  I was studying for my boards, and the line was a nice shiny distraction from the stress that was threatening to devour me at the time.  MH's wonderful posabiltiy and detailed character diaries/bios allowed for something that I could get lost a little bit in, and I am still grateful to the property for that.  (The other thing I really got into at the same time was She-Ra.  I DEVOURED that series over the summer as "rewards" for spending time studying! XD)

Questionnaire responses here )

I've really been enjoying the "Core 8" lately (Frankie, Draculaura, Clawdeen, Cleo, Deuce, Lagoona, Ghoulia, and Holt).  They have so much great going on design-wise.  Picking up the recently-released vinyls has given me an all-new appreciation for the great design work that went into that first batch!  (Here's hoping we get a Holt vinyl at some point.  Poor boy has basically been forgotten!)

My Amazon exclusive "Collector Draculaura" arrived today, and while she's a bit strange, she doesn't disappoint.  The hair is a bit of a dry mess, it's true (and they didn't do the large front curl that's in all the promo pictures, but even so, the overall presentation is superb.  Little touches like the box being coffin-shaped (wonderfully reminiscent of the cutout shape on the original boxes), to having a removable lid, and nice stiching on the dress.  The face feels a bit...off.  Like, definitely not the cheerful Draculaura face she usually wears.

But I actually like that too, the more I reflect on it.  It goes well with the more somber tone of her Diary.  And OMG, the diary is practically worth the price of admission alone!  I lovelovelove that we finally get some of Ula D's backstory answered, including her true connection with Dracula explained!  And can I just fanboy all over the place that she's actually ROMAN?  I need another Draculaura in a toga, stat.

Basically, I hope that this doll does well enought that we might someday see other characters join her in fabulous editions.  How cool would an Egyptian Queen Cleo and Spartan Warrior Deuce 2-Pack be?  Or a Sea Goddess Lagoona?  Or a Holiday Ghost of Chrismas Spectra?  Or a Traditional Phantom/Christine combo Operetta?  Haha, basically I want this to turn into some kind of historical cosplay theater sub-line. XD

But really, this Draculaura has reminded me why I loved the character in the first place.  I think she's become really one-note and annoying as the series has gone on (seriously though, tell me that her ridiculousness in the specials isn't infuriating).  Draculaura is a happy character, yes, but it's supposed to always be tempered by kindness and consideration for others.  (She is the character that tries to make "normie" Jackson comfortable in the Monster world and goes against type hanging out with werewolves, after all.)  And maybe a little bit of pain underneath (though well hidden).   I guess I just want her character to have a bit more depth - nobody who's been alive for 1600 years will be without a plethora of interesting stories to tell!
polychrome_pen: (Ken)
I fully intended to do a whole picture-heavy post for this, but kind of ran out of steam.  Let's just sum it up this way: OVERWHELMING.  Between Monster High, Ever After High, Winx Club, Masters of the Universe Classics, Integrity Jem & the Holograms, random Disney Store purchases, some Pullips, and lots of Vocaloid Figmas....I need a break from toys for awhile.

I have so much stuff still in boxes that needs to be dealt with.  (You know, when I feel I have to "deal with" toys, I think there's a significant problem going on here.)  But seriously, things that remain in the boxes take up so much more space that I'm almost entirely out of room.  Sure, there are some things - like stuff Integrity produces - where I'll always keep the boxes, but lots of other stuff needs to be deboxed like whoa.  I should take a few of my next days off and just have a deboxing/photo party.

But taking a line-by-line look at things.

Ever After High: This is probably currently my favorite line out of everything.  The dolls are full of great details, and I love the universe and characters of this franchise.  I am reminded of how I felt when Monster High was a new thing, and it feels nice.  But I go into EAH with more of a game plan.  Only new characters and a maximum of one other version (right now that's Legacy Day because THEY'RE  AWESOME).

Monster High:  I feel that with Ever After High coming along, my interest in Monster High is starting to wane a bit.  The line has been going for 3.5 years now, and while I wouldn't say they're running out of steam by any means (some of the most recent lines like New Scaremester have been some of the best!), my ability to keep up is just not there anymore.  I still have so many of them in the boxes going all the way back to the Wave 2 (aka "School's Out!" line).  I'm entertaining the idea of culling the herd at this point and only keeping 1-2 versions of each character (sans the boys, of course - I'll pick up every release of them).  I just need to corral this into something a bit more manageable.

Winx Club:  Added lots here this year, with the Harmonix, Sirenix, and Dark Sirenix Trix lines!  Jakks makes nice dolls for Winx, but I really with they had better character selection and could still be found outside of Toys R Us.  These were a pain in the ass to find for me.  I'm not sure what the future is for Jakks-produced Winx, but it doesn't look too good.  Still, if they go I'll be sad to say goodbye to Winx again.

Masters of the Universe Classics:  Against my better judgement, I signed up for the 2014 subscription.  I did the quarterly shipping option this time, however, in hopes that I can deal with the packages better four times a year instead of twelve.  I really want my complete She-Ra line, though, and that's really why I signed up.  They continue to be awesome figures pretty much all around as well.  The crown jewel of the year was Castle Grayskull, though.  That thing is huge and I have no idea what to do with it.  XD

Integrity Jem & the Holograms:  This is a gorgeous line.  All the attention to detail is amazing.  Integrity's prices blow, however.  Glitter & Gold are the only character duplicates I have, and I'm probably going to try and keep it that way.  All of these are still boxed too, which makes me sad.  They definitely deserve display space.

Japanese toys: This was the year I started getting into Figmas and Nendoroids.  They're really adorable and poseable.  They different faces and looks add a lot of personality as well.  For the moment I mostly just have Vocaloid characters, though I plan on adding the Sailor Scout figures as they come out.
I picked up a couple Play Arts Kai Street Fighter figures as well.  They have great sculpts, but the joints are a bit wonky.
I also added several new Pullips/Taeyangs this year as well: Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, and Peter Pan!

Disney: I caved to several of the Fairytale Designer Collection sets.  I got  Snow White/Prince, Rapunzel/Flynn, and Aladdin/Jasmine.  I wanted the others, but they got snatched up crazy fast.  I also picked up the set of four Frozen dolls, and they're tons of fun (especially next to the cheap Mattel versions).  Hans jacket is actual corduroy!

Barbie: Not much in 2013.  A few of the Life in the Dreamhouse dolls (Ken, Midge, and Raquel), a few of the Fashionista guys, and some collector dolls (Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a few Twilight dolls, and Batman '66)

Anyway, I picked up other tidbits throughout the year, but just looking at the list above makes me a little sick.  It was way too much.  January has brought several more purchases, but I definitely need to step back and take a good long look at what I have/catalog it.  I'm pretty much out of space for display and enjoyment now...and without that why continue buying?
polychrome_pen: (Default)
A big shout out to the awesome [livejournal.com profile] crystalheart for sending me Sweet 1600 Cupid - but most of all, for surprising me with an Abbey in the box as well! I had a squee of delight when I opened that box last night. ^___^

Speaking of collections, my family was up to visit last weekend, and they brought my long-awaited glass display shelves! I've only filled one (of three) so far - it's the Masters of the Universe Classics one. The sad bit is that it's already full, and I still have several figures I haven't deboxed yet. XD I'm thinking about installing my Winx collection in one, and Monster High in the other (both of which will require some significant deboxing time. Pictures will be posted when they are complete.
polychrome_pen: (Deuce & Cleo - Monster High)
I haven't rambled about my collection in quite awhile, so I thought I'd detail a few bits here.

First off, I have finally taken the plunge and picked up some glass shelving units! It all started when my brother gave me an awesome display case for Christmas. I pretty much immediately earmarked it for my Masters of the Universe Classics collection, as the shelves are only around 12 inches tall. Perfect for action figures, but most doll lines (including Monster High boys) would have trouble fitting. Unfortunately, the shelf is still at my parent's house because it was too large to fit in my car (aside from the fact that I'd have a hell of a time moving a glass shelf by myself - can anyone say shattered glass mess?) But after that, Mom, Dad, and I made a little trip to IKEA, where I finally had the chance to see a display case that they sell in person. At only $65 a piece, I picked up two of those. They have at least 16 inch high shelves, which will even fit a Gene or Tonner sized doll! All three shelves should be arriving the last weekend of February when my family plans to come up and visit.

I'm not sure what to use the two IKEA shelves for yet. I'm thinking about one for my Winx collection (finally an excuse to debox my Simba Winx!) The other will probably go two Monster High, at least in part. I have a ton of MH stuff still in the box simply due to no display space. However, I'd still like somewhere to display my Jewel Riders and/or Dragon Flyz. Maybe I should have bought a third IKEA case. XD Well, once I get everything situated, I'll be sure to snap a few pics.

In terms of overall collecting trends, things are looking pretty much the same

Action Figure wise, I subscribed to Club Eternia, so it's monthly MOTUC for me, yay! The only problem there is that it's becoming a space issue, and I haven't even deboxed everything yet. Other lines include Young Justice (I WILL get everything to build that Collect and Connect Hall of Justice. It's going to be awesome), adding Justice Leaguers off of Ebay here and there, and continuing the new Thundercats 2011 line. I saw they released a six inch Cheetara, so now I'm tempted to get that scale as well, but I need to draw the line somewhere, and the 4-inch line simply has better character selection (I just picked up King Claudas!) I pick up the occasional DC Classics character, but now that that line is basically defunct, I'm not sure what's happening there.

Doll wise, things are in a bit of flux. I've decided to scale back my Barbie collecting a good deal. I'd like to try and keep to to Ken stuff as much as possible, but of course I enjoy the media tie-in dolls like Star Trek as well. I just think I'm going to have to attempt being a bit more ruthless in what I pick up that's Barbie related.

I'm anticipating the new Winx from Jakks Pacific to be out this year, since the show has been revived in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. Hopefully the upcoming Toy Fair will have a bit more information regarding this. Whether or not I end up getting them is really going to come down to character selection and sculpt at this point, however. I own Winx dolls in three different scales from three different manufacturers. Do I really need to add a fourth series of Winx dolls? If they produce more of the boys than Sky and more of the Trix other than Icy, I'll probably be sold even if I don't like the sculpt as much as the other three lines. If it's mostly retreads, I'll probably pass though.

Monster High. Oh, Monster High. I love this line, but it drives me crazy at the same time. Half of 2011 was basically a crapshoot in terms of finding anything, so I'm hesitant to jump in again full force. I actually never picked up Dead Tired or the Classroom dolls because there was so much coming out, and I didn't think I'd have time to hunt for everything. Go figure those were the easiest dolls to find. It eventually just started to become a bit of a chore and really not fun (can anyone say still trying to find a basic Abbey without resorting to Ebay scalpers? Thank goodness the word on the street is that they're doing a second run of her to drop around May). That feeling was mollified a bit when I was able to snag Skull Shores, the three new girls (Toralei, Nefera, and Operetta), and part of Sweet 1600 in January. But still, I want to be able to walk into a store and find a reasonable selection. If Mattel can do this with Barbie, they should be able to do it with MH.
So I'm thinking of scaling back on what I pick up going forward for this line. New characters are an obvious must buy, and anything of the guys I'll continue to get, but I'll probably be evaluating each sub-line going forward more stringently. My general rule has been all or nothing with each sub-line, but perhaps I'll start breaking that if there's only one or two dolls in a sub-line that I really like.

Actually, scaling back will hopefully happen a bit across the board. I simply need to be more choosy in what comes home with me. Not only for space issues, but I have tons of stuff from 2011 I haven't even deboxed yet. I almost need time to process all that before I move forward with getting much of anything this year.

Anyway, hopefully I can do a non-toy related post soon!

October 2016

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