Category Archives: Toys

Lady Gaga Joins the Monster High Gang

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‘Zomby Gaga’ is the newest member of the Monster High Clan.  Image (c) Mattel 2016

Mother Monster AKA Lady Gaga has joined forces with Mattel’s Monster High brand to create the newest member of the Monster High gang known as ‘Zomby Gaga’.

In a collaboration between Gaga, her sister Natali Germanotta and Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Zomby Gaga is the first ‘celebrity’ to join the fashion doll line and dons a tailored black suit with long flowing pink ponytail and ball of bubblegum as worn by the singer in her “born this way” video clip.  An alternate outfit consisting of mesh tights and a sleeveless shirt is also included.

Speaking to InStyle Magazine, Germanotta says “For Gaga, the doll is all about inspiring “kindness, bravery, and acceptance.”  Monster High has also donated to the Born This Way Organization to help support the foundations mission and is encouraging fans to pledge to spread kindness here.

Zomby Gaga is making her way to Australian shores as a BIG W online exclusive, with   pre-orders opening on Tuesday October 18th via their official site.  Please note that any pre-order links are not expected to go live until the day of pre-orders.

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Mattel Unleashes SDCC Exclusive She-Ra Figure

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With the insanely massive San Diego Comic Con fast approaching, Mattel have been quick to reveal all of their con exclusives ranging from a Ghostbusters themed Frankie Stein Monster High doll to a deluxe Wonder Woman action doll but it’s been their reveal of an 11″ She-Ra action doll that seems to be garnering the most attention.

Relive the glamorous, commanding adventures of She-Ra®, Princess of Power with this 11” highly detailed action figure. The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe features 24 points of articulation, rooted hair, 3 iconic fashions, 2 swords, signature shield, 6 interchangeable hands, a logoed stand, a 12-page mini comic: “The Story of She-Ra”, and a beautiful keepsake box with vivid imagery from the enchanting world of Eternia! Wage epic battle with She-Ra against The Evil Horde for the honor of Grayskull!

Check out some images of the action doll below:

 

DC Super Hero Girls Spotted on VIC Shelves!

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Wonder Woman and Super Girl from Mattel’s DC Super Hero Girls Line

The eagerly awaited DC Super Hero Girls line of action figures and poseable dolls have made a surprise and sudden appearance on shelves in selected Target stores across Victoria and Sydney today catching many fans off guard as we waited to receive any news of their release.  Word floating around was that we could have been waiting until as late as June this year before seeing this new line hit our stores and with the PR company dealing with press for this release for the Mattel created line not able to provide me any exact information regarding store exclusivity or in-store dates, it was a wait and see game that seems to have finally ended.

This morning, posts started popping up on Facebook showcasing Target stores across Melbourne and Sydney beginning to stock their shelves with Wonder Woman, Bumblebee and other characters from the line in their 6″ and 12″ forms.

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A Vic based Target store’s display – so pretty!

Target have confirmed to me that the 6″ action figures and 12″ dolls will be available at select Target stores from today with a $19 price tag for the action figures and a not too shabby $32 tag for the dolls and suggested for customers to check and see when their local store is currently stocking the line.  The release has been staggered through Target stores with some already almost sold out and some not yet out for sale to which Target Australia has put down to “unusual shipping delays” to their stores.

Retailer BigW have confirmed they will also be stocking the action figures and dolls in a few weeks time with a similar price point.

The DC Super Hero Girl line has been a massive hit in America where it was first launched in early March this year with stores stocking the line selling out faster than they could replenish the shelves and online, leaving many customers slightly frustrated about not being able to either get their hands on the whole set or buy their child their favorite hero. While the line was generally aimed at the 5-15 year old girl market with their ‘positive influence’ selling point, the 6″ and 12″ figures have been a hit with adult collectors scrambling to collect the set as well.

There is also a budget line of 12″ figures (Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl) coming soon to Target US stores that feature painted uniforms, rooted hair and less articulation than the original released figures.

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Budget line “power action” Wonder Woman, Super Girl and Bat Girl!

Recently, Mattel announced a brand new play set to go along with the 6″ action figures which includes a flying mechanism, grappling hook and zip line along with themed accessories which expand the play opportunities for the iconic school setting.  Currently available for pre order through Amazon US, the play set has an October 2016 release date.

Does your local Target have this line?  Have you bought any yet?  Sound off in the comments above!

TV’s Empire Set to Become Dolls by Tonner OneWorld

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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.

Mattel Takes on Female DC Super Heroes

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Wonder Woman and Supergirl DC Super Heroes by Mattel

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.

IAMElemental Reveals Series 2 Female Action Figures

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Series 2 of IAmElemental Female Action Figures

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 Smithsonian magazine 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 News from Funko!

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Suicide Squad Pop! Vinyls. Original Funko/Instagram

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.
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Sailor Moon.

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Avengers Civil War with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Winter Soldier.

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The next wave of Game of Thrones with Melisandre, Margery Tyrell and Unsullied.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens with Rey and General Leia.

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80’s cult film The Dark Crystal.

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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!

Product Review: CGL Toys Phoenix Girl Figurine

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In-hand photo of the actual Phoenix Girl figure

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Final thoughts:

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.

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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.

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StuffedStars.com Offer Unique Pop Culture Collectible Items

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80’s pop icon Boy George in Stuffed Stars form.

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!

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A work in progress featuring Debbie Harry

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:

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Laura Leighton for Emmy Magazine which I just happened to have in ultra HQ size…

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.

 

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A rough digital draft is sent through where changes can be made.

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!!”

Want to know more? Check out StuffedStars.com here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbie: Now Available in all Shapes and Sizes

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New shapes, new sizes.

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!