Recently merged doll companies ‘The One World Doll Project’ and ‘Tonner Doll Company’ (Now called Tonner-One World) have announced a limited edition collector doll series based on this hit TV drama series Empire.
While no details such as releases, edition sizes, characters or doll sizes have been released, it is expected that designer dolls based on Empire’s leads – Cookie Lyon (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) will be the two first dolls released.
The following is what subscribers will receive upon joining the EmpireDolls.com mailing list:
Empire is one of the hottest show’s on television and it is about to get even hotter! The Empire Collector Doll Series is in full development right now and we guarantee you are going to love these dolls! Hand sculpted and designed by legendary doll designers, Robert Tonner and Stacey McBride-Irby, these one of a kind, limited edition works of art will leave you breathless and [will] be a definite conversation piece. For up-to-the minute details on what’s new, what’s coming next, promotions, collector’s contests, all things EMPIRE and so much more; be sure to stay connected.
The One World Doll Project are most known for their creation of the hugely popular Prettie Girls! fashion doll line that aimed to create a collection of fashion dolls that were diverse in their culture and ethnicity and also readily available in major department stores along side the blonde Barbie. Founded in 1991, the Tonner Doll Company has become one of the most known collectible doll companies world wide with their creation of mainly 16″ designer dolls and obtaining the rights to create and release TV and movie collectible dolls including Gone with the Wind, Avatar, Harry Potter, Wonder Woman and many many more.
Fashion dolls and action figures that come with positive messages have become a major selling point of late and rightfully so! Companies like IAmElemental and Mattel’s Barbie have recently been introducing female empowered figures and dolls that are all about ‘being the best you’ to the very lucrative 6 to 16 year old female market and now, DC heroines including Wonder Woman and Batgirl are joining those ranks via a new line of fantastic fashion action figure dolls from Mattel.
Among the bevy of empowered and positive female figures hitting stores is the DC Super Hero Girls that will see 6 well-known DC heroines and villains from Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Harlequin and Bumblebee released as collectible action figure dolls with several points of articulation, fabric uniforms and rooted hair. They are somewhat shapely like Barbie but stand half an inch taller than the blonde bombshell.
The plan to diversify just what toys are offered to girls in toy stores is a big bold move that seems to sit well with both the kids wanting the items and the adults buying them . Mattel’s announcement of new curvier Barbie saw adult collectors snap up the shapelier dolls in the droves and with DC’s legion of fans behind them, Mattel could be sitting pretty knowing a second audience with accessible cash is eagerly awaiting these figures.
A budget or cheaper version of these figures will also be hitting stores along with smaller plastic molded versions of each character.
Hitting Target stores in the US first, word has it that here in Australia, KMart, Target and Big W will be stocking these figures and these could be hitting our shore as soon as March 31st so get your wallets ready!
Depending on the popularity of the line, further releases including Katana, Catwoman and Hawkgirl could be announced. Find out more about the DC Super Hero Girls here.
Do you have plans to collect the line? Want to see another heroine not listed released at a later date? Sound off in the comments above.
Hugely popular IAmElemental female action figures with positive messages aimed at providing affirmative and interactive toys for girls, released final images from their highly anticipated second series of figures named ‘Wisdom’.
Series 2/Wisdom is a series of seven 4” articulated action figures based on the Elements of Power – superpowers that already exist inside each one of us,” said Julie Kerwin, IAmElemental’s Chief Elemental Officer. The first figures, Series 1/Courage, were modeled on Joan of Arc while the ‘muse’ chosen for Series 2/Wisdom is Hypatia, the daughter of the Greek scholar and mathematician Theon who has been praised by Smithsonianmagazine as ‘one of the last great thinkers of ancient Alexandria and one of the first women to study and teach mathematics, astronomy and philosophy.’ She was a STEM pioneer, writing about math, building astronomical instruments, and distilling complicated philosophical concepts into digestible bits that her students could process and understand.
The neutral colored, less busty female figures made a huge impact with their initial announcement back in 2014 via kickstarter which boasted a “more heroine, less hooters” tagline that aimed to show that being a hero is not restricted to sex, bust size or skin color.
Series one was based on courage and featured a series of 4″ figures plus an exclusive 6″ figure which, the team at IAmElemental confirmed to me, a second 6″ figure will be included in this second series..
Now not needing to rely on kickstarter funding, the figures are being sold through the IAmElemental website and via specialty retailers online with a third series planned for 2017 based on ‘justice’.
Having got my greedy hands on the series one/courage figures, the quality was second to none with each figure being provided with a bio card, sporting great articulation and fun and interactive play with certain elements of these figures being interchangeable among each other. The most noticeable change from courage to wisdom is the color palette with courage featuring deep red skin tones, pink and purple hair and silver/grey uniforms while soon to be released wisdom will feature purple and blue skin tones and hair with gold uniforms and color accents.
Check out the newly released figures below and check out the IAmElemental website!
New York Toy Fair 2016 is in full swing and news is pouring out about upcoming releases from Original Funko and their insanely popular Pop! Vinyl line. Previews from Suicide Squad, Avengers, Sailor Moon and much much more have been slowly revealed during the event.
Check out what’s to come!
80’s TV series Golden Girls with Blanche, Sophie, Dorothy and Rose AND Mean Girls with Regina, Gretchen, Cady and Karen….sadly no Glenn CoCo.
Avengers Civil War with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Winter Soldier.
The next wave of Game of Thrones with Melisandre, Margery Tyrell and Unsullied.
Star Wars The Force Awakens with Rey and General Leia.
80’s cult film The Dark Crystal.
Original Funko also revealed a look at their new partnership with Mattel’s iconic Barbie..
You can keep up-to date with all of Original Funko’s reveals by following their Instagram feed!
CGL Toys are one of those 1/6 scale figure companies floating around that most collectors know of but may have never actually bought any of their releases. For the most part, CGL Toys seem to be focusing their releases on unofficial figures, namely last years very cool Angelina Jolie/Mr and Mrs Smith head sculpt, a Walking Dead Rick Grimes figure and a Heath Ledger/Joker release.
More recently, the company has begun to focus on characters from X-Men: The Last Stand movie (2006) with a Professor Charles Frances Xavier figure and a King of Magnetic Force figure already released. This year, saw the release of the third figure from this line, an X-Men Phoenix Girl figure based off Famke Janssen’s portrayal in the movie.
So let’s get into the figure.
The box itself is rather plain and non informative. There is no product description, photos or any other markings besides a small gold decal on the front which spells out CGL’s letters. The straight forward shoe box design opens up to reveal a padded tray containing the dressed figure, an alternate head and an alternate set of hands. Whereas the Xavier and Magneto releases came with useable extras (a wheel chair and a stand with base), this release see’s no other accessories included, thus explaining the cheaper price for this figure compared to the other releases.
The figure itself feels quite sturdy in design with no loose joints and while I have no idea on the base body used, it is easy to tell that it’s not one of your generic bland bodies. There is decent arm articulation to which I was able to make Jean’s hands touch her head and stay there without much effort and while there is leg and ankle articulation, the heavy boots and tight fitting pants restrict just how much you can move the legs about.
The clothing appears to be of a high standard with quality stitching and decent quality materials used. Nothing feels cheap and nasty. While the design of the coat alters from the promo pictures, the added material strands in front feel a bit more true to what Jean wore in this X-Men movie. The coat is removable though I can imagine trying to take this off would be a nightmare due to the fiddly stitching done on the back of the corset which is attached to the coat. Underneath, Jean wears a top in another shade of red and a pair of pants that match the jacket.
The head sculpts have not altered much from the promo shots. One thing you can say about CGL Toys is when it comes to heads, what you see is what you get. The ‘standard’ sculpt bears minimal resemblance to Famke Janssen and her X-men alter-ego, but it’s enough to possibly be able to put a name to the face for those who haven’t seen the movie since it’s release.
The hair is a slight letdown though as CGL Toys (like most 1/6 scale companies) use acetate which is probably the most horrible material ever used for hair on figures as it’s brittle and thin and impossible to style. Had they gone with something similar to Kumik’s hair, then I could have forgiven the fact the hair is so much shorter than the style Jean had in the movie. The style shown in the promo pictures also differs to the final release which came with wild uncontrollable curls.
The alternate ‘angry’ head which we saw Jean with when she killed Xavier in the movie, is actually much better than the promo photos where the final released product is nowhere near as dark, grey and sickly looking allowing for the red lightning/vein streaks to shine through. If there was one con on the release, it’s that she doesn’t look as angry as she does in the promos! This head also came with the wretched acetone hair in a wild curly style.
This is my first CGL Toys figure and it’s a clean, solid release.
Articulation: 6/10 – plus for arm movement and a minus for lack of leg articulation.
Character Likeness: 8/10 – most elements seem spot on with the movie with the exception of the hair.
Head Sculpt: 8/10 – While not exactly Famke Janssen, there’s enough likeness to acknowledge it’s Jean Grey from X3.
Hair: 1/10 – One point for colour! Recommendation to CGL is to ditch the acetone and move onto nylon or saran hair.
Outfit: 9/10 – quality stuff. Great design, doesn’t feel cheap, no loose threads. Boots too, are heavy and well made.
Overall: 7/10 – should sit well into any X-Men fans collection. Jean/Phoenix is a great character and with the dozens of 1/6 scale Wolverine’s out there, it’s nice to see an X-lady get some love.
We’re in an era where Pop! Vinyls are literally everywhere and anything and everything pop culture related is virtually mass produced and heavily coveted, so trying to find that one unique collectible item or gift can be a tough and arduous task.
Having put myself to task to find something that was unusual and quirky, I stumbled across an etsy store that was offering something that was not only pop culture related but also rather uncommon in the collecting world.
Etsy store StuffedStars.com will turn an image of your choice into a very cute and collectible 9.5″ stuffed figure! Upon finding the store, I was immediately drawn to the bright iconic images of pop stars, rap stars and actors in fabric form, backed by eye catching backing cards and wrapped in plastic. I needed to know more!
From Stuffed Stars Etsy page: “Stuffed Stars is the perfect gift for the person that already has everything: Inspired by Music, Pop Culture, Artists and all Cultures , our Stuffed Star dolls are handmade individually in Campbell, CA.
Have an idea in mind and want to make it alive? I’m also happy to help! Please send me a conversation via Etsy and we can get started!”
So what exactly is a Stuffed Star?! Simply put, a Stuffed Star is an 9.5″ stuffed figure featuring a printed onto fabric image of your favorite star! It seems rather simple but the finished result is something quite spectacular and very quirky. With their current inventory featuring David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Kanye, Frida Kahlo and Billy Idol among a myriad of other pop culture icons, rap stars and TV stars you’re most likely to find something that fits your collection and if not, StuffedStars.com are more than happy to arrange a custom order.
Which is exactly what I set StuffedStars out to do. While their available stock is wide and varied, I wanted something just for me – of my favorite star – Laura Leighton of course, so I tasked Akim from StuffedStars to wow me with a design. Custom requests work best when high quality images are available so I sent the following image off to Akim:
For those looking at custom orders, you’ll be updated as progress continues from communication to image choice to digital drafts where changes can be made right up until the final work takes place.
All in all, through the duration of the work, you’ll be kept well informed just as to how your product is coming along and turn around time (depending on current orders) can be as quick as 4 days!
So how does the final result stack up? Check out the two photos below of my order sitting happily among my Melrose Place/Laura Leighton display!
I can’t really fault the work done by StuffedStars and an unexpected feature that I found when my item arrived is the ability for these figures to stand on their own via magnets in their feet that stand on a mini custom base!
Just read some of the happy customer reviews:
“The doll was fantastic! They also gift wrapped my doll as it was being sent directly to the recipient! Fabulous! They loved the doll! 🙂 Thank you again for such great service!”
“These turned out better than I imagined! Great idea and was nice that you are able to change the outfit. Also it’s fun that you can custom the name that they come individually packed in. Service was great! Fast and I got the product in the turnaround that was committed!”
“This item was bought for my wife on her birthday and she absolutely loved it!! I can say she totally was not expecting to receive this!! Thank you once again, brilliant service, fast shipping and even got a sweet little note to say thank you for the purchase!!”
Barbie, as we know her, is about to shake things up with her iconic silhouette replaced with three brand new body types never before offered by Mattel.
In a shake-up to the brand, the new ‘fashionistas’ Barbie line features 33 brand new dolls with 4 brand new body shapes including ‘tall’, ‘curvy’, ‘petite’ and original, 30 assorted hair colours, 24 hairstyles, 22 eye colours, 14 face shapes and 7 different skin tones.
“We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them,” Mattel executive Evelyn Mazzocco said in a statement.
Last years ‘fashionistas’ line saw Mattel replace Barbie’s heeled feet with flat feet where 23 new dolls were offered with assorted skin tones and hairstyles.
With the creation of the new body shapes, Mattel has also noted that these new shapely dolls will have dozens of assorted fashion pieces to mix and match though clearly “one size will not fit all” with these new dolls.
The new direction comes after the recently released “made to move” line which featured brand new extensive articulation that saw Barbie literally able to bend over backwards!
The fashionistas line is now currently online for purchase and pre-order for US and Canada residents with a staggered release for the dolls for shop sales worldwide set for March 2016.
What do you think of the new move for Barbie? Sound off in the comments below!
In a first for toy brand Mattel, a new advert for their new Moschino branded Barbie features a young boy playing with the doll, all smiles and winks with his female buddies. ‘Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’ the boy says to the camera as he holds Barbie’s purse before placing it on her arm.
Check it out below.
Sure, It’s a brave and bold move for Mattel, aiming to bring down the “boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls” stereotypes we’ve been accustomed to for generations and the move in general is a step forward in breaking down those gender stereotypes that we were all brought up with.
While watching the advert for the very first time, I applauded the introduction of a boy into the girl aimed market which acknowledges the fact that yes, there are boys who like to play with dolls too, especially in an time where more and more parents are becoming vocally against toy segregation in shops and more viral videos are popping up showing young boys embracing the Frozen phenomenon, it was great to see Mattel step up – or at least I thought…
See, then it dawned on me, this advert is for a collectible designer Barbie doll that retailed for $150 and not some jewel hair mermaid rocker Barbie that can be found in shops for $20+. The target audience for this advert isn’t children who ask their parents to buy the dolls for them but for adult collectors who bought out the limited edition of 700 within an hour (and are now re-selling on the secondary market for $400-$800!!).
This advert won’t air on television during programs aimed at the 8-14 year old market or be found in catalogs crammed into mail boxes resulting in no little boys going to find this doll and thinking…”If the boy in the ad is playing with one, then I want it!”
It’s a kind of “the thought was there but we’re not going 100% with it” moment from Mattel.
Doing a bit of research it seems other people took notice of this fact which prompted Mattel to release the following statement to BBC News.
“This video parodies iconic Barbie commercials from the 1980’s starring a young [Moschino creative director] Jeremy Scott look alike. The video celebrates how boys and girls alike play with Barbie – it’s all about self-expression, fashion, imagination and storytelling.” Mattel added that the commercial (or fauxmercial as noted by Mattel) was created by them – but with Mr Scott calling the creative shots.
So yes, let us applaud Mattel/Jeremy Scott for breaking toy based stereotypes and finally including a boy into the world of Barbie doll advertising but let’s not be blinded to the fact that this is a marketing campaign about a designer doll played with by children that was directly aimed at an adult market.
Let’s just wait and see if this is only a first move by Mattel into breaking down those boys toys vs girls toys barriers.
Oh, and by the way, the video is hosted on Moschino’s YouTube page, not Barbie’s.
Fans and collectors of the long running GI Joe figures by Hasbro will undoubtedly, during their time, have come across the well known knock-off line “The Corps” figures by Lanard Toys. It’s pointless in trying to deny it! We all had them infiltrating our collections at one time or another! They’re cheaper though less articulated and are more readily available on store shelves than Joes are currently here in Australia.
Though recently, Lanard re-branded the Corps line as The Corps Elite Vs The Curse, released a bunch of brand new vehicles, mega play sets and figures, introduced new characters with better articulation and launched a website featuring bios, artwork and mini comics. It’s a big and bold move for the company, but a smart one, especially in an age where its competitor in Hasbro’s GI Joe are becoming more and more scarce on toy shelves and collectors are screaming for more releases.
The biggest and best change to the line is the introduction of two female characters, never seen before within the Corps line. Somehow, over all these years, there has been zero female presence within the Corps line which, looking back, is rather odd considering Lanards influence of Hasbro’s Joe line which contains a strong female presence with characters like Scarlet, Lady Jaye, Baroness, Agent Helix…the list goes on.
That’s all changed now with ‘Snake Bite’ and ‘Puma’ permanently added to the roster and due to their popularity, could lead the way to even more gals to future Corps releases. Snake Bite, the red headed Aussie chick and Puma, the gun toting bad-girl brunette feature a brand new head sculpt each though share the same body, but also feature increased articulation on a Corps figure. The new figures offer 6 points of articulation from hinged knees, ball jointed hips, swivel mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and a ball jointed head (standard Corps figures usually offer 4-5 points of articulation) which will keep the Joe fans happy. The paint apps are nice with Snake Bite’s funky side shaved red hair and green/grey camouflage and Puma’s brown pompadour pony-tail and red/brown uniform. The only miss is Snake Bite is missing her eye under her red fringe.
The brand new three figure packs also offer up a series of weapons (of which the girls have two throwing daggers, a pistol and crossbow each AND with added ports, these girls can hold all their weapons at once!) along with a motorcycle which, judging by the articulation needed to put the figure on, is made specifically for Puma and Snake Bite.
These new Corps figures have been floating around England and the USA for a few months now and have recently begun popping up in Target stores here in Australia oddly branded through Target’s budget Kids Space line (I say odd as Lanard’s website lists KMart as the official Aussie distributor for the line and Kmart confirmed to me that these figures aren’t releasing until Jan 2016) The price point for these figures are pretty neat also with the three pack selling at Target for $8 each (yep, $8 for three figures, a bunch of weapons and a vehicle!) and single carded figures for only $3 each – though, just like everywhere else, Puma and Snake Bite are not sold individually.
Where Hasbro’s effort with GI Joe being literally non existent on shelves anymore, Lanard’s newer offerings have arrived at the right time and with the right price point. Affordable, visual, fun and diverse! You can find the figure packs via Target Australia under their Kids Space budget toy line right now or as the official Corps Elite branding in Kmart Australia in Jan 2016.
It’s literally ever vintage toy collectors dream….busting into an old abandoned building and finding a gold mine of untouched goods, and that’s literally what happened back in May this year when the old, abandoned and boarded up building that once contained the Frank Beech Toy Shop in North Wales was opened up to find literally thousands of vintage collectible star wars, barbies, action man and GI Joe toys from brands like Hasbro and Palitoy.
The toy shop, which opened 70 years ago (the 1940’s), closed it’s doors in 1999, was boarded up and remained as such, filled with thousands of dollars worth of stock, until earlier this year when discovered by Vectis Auction House who went in to pack up whatever had been left behind when the store closed it’s doors 16 years prior. Vectis were able to recover 120 pallets of boxed collectible figures, toys, cars, board games and dolls that would make every collector wish they had been the ones to find it.
The auctions, which have been split over a total of nine auctions, are continuing (part four ran last Wednesday October 21st) and are seeing collectors from all over the world from London to USA and to Australia, take part and bid on hard to find and elusive vintage items, most of which are still mint on card or still sealed in original shipper boxes.
Check out some of the items below from parts 3 and 4 actions.
Set of four carded Palitoy 70’s Charlie’s Angels figures sold for £50
min carded 80’s Polly Pockets sold for £140
Assorted boxed Galoob Golden Girl Accessories Sold for £90
Carded Boba Fett Star Wars Figure sold for £460
Box lot of 13 Topper Dawn Dolls sold for £320
Carded DC and Marvel Heroes box – Sold For £150
The first auction back in April 2015 only represented about 10% of the items available and raked in over £58,500 pounds with auctions two through four hitting the same amount leaving most expecting the total sale to hit nearly half a million pounds. One collector paid £200 for four empty cardboard boxes covered in pigeon droppings because they had labels on from manufacturer Palitoy indicating they once contained Star Wars toys. Speaking with The Daily Post, John Cathrall, a cataloguer with Stockton-on-Tees auctioneers Vectis Auctions, said “They used to have Star Wars (toys) in them so people wanted them but they were absolutely awful! The highlight was that we got someone who came all the way from Holywell just to buy two or three lots because it was his childhood Christmas shop. He wanted to take some back, that’s what we want to see happen with the toys – we want to see them go back to good homes.”
The auction house says many of the Frank Beech Toy Shop’s most collectible items were brought back first and are “buried deep” in their warehouse and are most likely to feature in the final auctions. Mr Cathrall added: “There was a heck of a lot of Star Wars grabbed on that (first) trip!
Dates are yet to be announced for the rest of the remaining five auctions.