Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hasta la vista, Hastings

Our local-ish Hastings store closed for good this past October. Over the years, the company seemed to flail about for a sense of identity. Were they a cheap movie rental store with a newstand? Mostly a book store? Software? Music? Comics and collectibles? Even they didn't know.

Having seen how Waldenbooks/Borders began frantically throwing any and everything up on the shelves as that chain fell into the death roll that it didn't recover from, I had been suspicious that this was coming for a while. It didn't make it any easier to accept that there's now not a real "book store" in 50 miles of me, though. In retrospect, I wish I'd taken some photos of the interior, with its late 90s-early 00s geometric decals still on the walls. They were cheesy, but it was familiar cheese.

At any rate, here are a few of the things I acquired as the store closing progressed:

This isn't a full loot pile. A few things have already been distributed to their new home. I've mentioned getting Lego Dimensions previously, (along with a Louise Belcher shirt), but I think everything else in this pile is new. The most expensive thing I bought is still Dimensions, with the Star Wars droids model set a close second.

I actually didn't realize that this was a model set when I bought it. I actually thought it was a larger pair of figures, maybe 1:6 scale or close to it. R2 and 3PO are still in their box.

Also in the loot pile are a BUNCH of books (10 for $1 by the time of my last raid, a mere day before final closing!), a copy of Zootopia on dvd/digital/3D, an Adventure Time pint glass (wish I'd gotten more of the glassware!), a Cyborg Lego Dimensions expansion kit, a Rocket Raccoon scalers figure, Christmas Story mini leg lamp, and a Princess Tiana fashion set. The majority of these items came from the last visit, for which the store was crowded, had no air conditioning, there was a storm bearing down on the area and no shopping carts that I could find. I literally had all I could carry, and it totaled up to about $20. I think the receipt speaks for itself, though:

And a bargain at twice the price, clearly!
Here are a couple of other items that didn't get photographed, but still ended up in my cart on the various shopping trips I made before the store closed: Most of these pics are from Amazon!

A collapsible lunch box, similar to this one on Amazon: Not the same brand, though.  This lunch box was a gift for a friend, who just started a new job and needed something fun to take food to work in.

Chocolate de Puzzle chocolate making kit (ver. A, iirc): Another gift. I'm kind of curious as to how it ended up working! A little tempted to grab one for myself on Amazon!

Green Tea Pocky, yet another gift. I've had this flavor before and didn't care for it at all - but I know someone who really loves green tea, so...

Pejoy Chocolate, which I had eaten both packages of inside of 24 hours. I think this was also my dad's first Pocky-type candy! He liked it! He made me explain what it was about three times before he'd try it, though.

A sleep poncho and eye mask set by Adrienne Vittadini. The set I got was cream color, however. I would just take a picture of mine, but I'm wearing it and there's a cat in my lap. (sorry, internet pics is all we got!) This thing is stupidly comfortable and warm. The mask? Okay, I tried it. It just keeps me up, though.

A Cool Gear gel filled tumbler, like this one. (I actually purchased a clear one, though.) I hate ice in drinks. I really, really hate ice in drinks. This was only $2.50, iirc, and seemed like a good alternative. I've only given it a try once so far, but my first impression is that the thing makes your drink have a "plastic" taste. Not sure if I'll keep this thing.

By the time the store closed, everything was in disarray. Items as diverse as cookware were showing up on the lonely-looking shelves by the end. It was almost addictive to search through the whole bookshelf, reading titles and trying to find hidden gems in the vast quantities of political biographies that were still in abundant supply. And saving more money than you spent? That was thrilling! 

I already miss this store. The fact that the two comic series that I've been following seem to have ended (meaning I'd be making fewer trips over) doesn't dilute the sting at all. So long, Hastings. You are already missed.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fun Findings

If you've been ogling those adorable foxes from Target's Christmas offerings but (like me) don't have a Target nearby, don't despair just yet! I found the same fox (and a sleeping one!) at K-Mart yesterday! They have a few different shades of fur colors, but these two were my faves.
"Can we have foxes as pets?"
As I'm sure you've noticed, my Walking Dead dollhouse project has sort of stalled. I did spot a few items in Hobby Lobby that have me thinking about it again, though. Check out these bird bath! It makes me want to paint the house so that I can start fussing with the "outside" portion of this project. 

My formatting abandoned me (curse you, mobile app!) about halfway through, please pardon the mess.

There were also a couple of stacks of firewood, which would be great to have outside. There was a pile like this... 

And a nicely-stacked one, like this! 

Great for outside the house!

 This smoker is probably a little small. And the ribs are... glittery. 

A few sections of this fencing would look great around the house.

These Hobby Lobby mixer ornaments would be great for Barbie's kitchen.
Black and pink were also options.

A little fake snow to set the scene, and these snowmen would look right at home. Found at Big Lots.
This Walmart team cooler would be great for a Barbie-size tailgating or picnic diorama!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Big Lots Follow Up

Following up on the Big Lots Barbie fashions:

I found these two single packs, and several more two packs!

This set was my fave. 

They also had a bunch of the 18" dolls that are so popular. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Quickie: More Holiday sightings and Clearance Day gets!

Big Lots has a bunch of these fashion packs out right now. I'm not recognizing them but that may just mean that the local Walmart never got them in. I really like the sandals in this set. The hat is a nice touch, as well. It's too bad they're more expensive here than the two outfit sets are at Walmart, though!

The single fashions are also pretty cute! Once again though, they're higher here than at Walmart.

I really like these shoes! 

I was surprised to see Project MC2 dolls - especially with painted-on faces! I wonder if the clothing is the same as it is in the general release range? I have been ogling some of those cute outfits.

The painted faces are just not cute. Kitty sweatshirt? Definitely cute.

Walmart's clearance shenanigans continue to baffle. I picked up Lonnie and Holly for HALF the prices marked on the boxes. I also grabbed a bunch of Sparkle Girls outfits, of which this one was the last to be freed from its' cardboard prison. Not pictured: Monster High Freaky Fusion Lagoonafire, who came home with me for just $4.

There were a LOT of Monster High and Ever After High dolls for decent prices on the clearance rack, several of which went for similar prices to what I paid (some for $9 or so), but I didn't have a deep, burning NEED to fill up on them. I do regret passing on some Star Darlings for $9 each, though.

Hastings Entertainment is going out of business, and I've been spending most of my extra cash over there. Here's one of my most expensive purchases, Lego Dimensions, which I got for $50. I am getting my butt handed to me in this game so far.

I enjoyed myself well enough to invest in a full-priced Unikitty expansion set, though. Aw, she's so cute!

Another Hastings purchase, and a bargain at just $8! And no, Louise, that's not sarcasm. I also grabbed up a Harry Potter Yule Ball doll for $8, purely to steal his outfit. Hopefully it'll fit someone.

Hastings closes for good before/at the end of the month. I'm planning one last raid to say goodbye to one of my favorite stores. I bought a lot more stuff, but due to some of it being birthday/christmas presents for at least one person who reads this thing... can't say what they were! ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Quickie: Family Dollar Droids

It's that time of year again, when the toy aisle starts to expand and the offerings get just a little more interesting. I was browsing the new selection of holiday offerings, I found some of the oversized 11" action figures. No big deal, except that these included...

DROIDS! Sorry for the lack of in-box pictures of BB8, I actually got him yesterday and was so excited to get him open that I didn't think of taking a box photo until I'd shredded his restraints.

There aren't any instructions for putting together his accessories, which came disassembled, but a little bit of scrutiny made snapping them together a simple thing. I have to admit I'm disappointed that they didn't include his little welding torch. Instead we have a buzz saw and a grasping arm that doubles as a shock prod.

Okay, it's not the most convincing electricity in the world, but for $10, I'm impressed that he came with accessories this elaborate at all. I got a $5 off a purchase of $25 or more coupon on his receipt, so today I went back for the R2D2 that I'd seen lurking in the back of the box.

R2 is wide enough that it was necessary to ship him with only one leg attached. His accessories are a pair of side-mounted hoverjets. Not as impressive as BB8's range of accessory arms, but okay. To be fair, R2 has three points of articulation, where BB8 has just the one (head).

Time for cute robot death match! The smart money is on R2, he's killed more humans and droids than BB8's probably ever spoken to.


Then again... BB8 may just be hiding a stone old murderer under that cute and cuddly appearance.

I'm not entirely sure how these figures are for scale with the line of figures they go with, but here's my custom Hera Syndulla for comparison. I should get my Dagobah 1:6 R2 out and compare him in a more in-depth post. I now have a serious need for a C1-1OP from Rebels at this scale, too!

Hm, R2 looks like he could be a little big? We'll have to compare everyone more in-depth next time!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

I Live for Shoes (trades)!

Welcome back from hiatus-town! It's taken me a bit longer than I really planned to get this post up, because for once I was trying to do a better job of taking pictures. Better than my usual effort, at least!

So previously I picked up an Isul Milk Tea doll, and despaired of doing anything with the poor boy's stock. I mean, it's cute, but it's not really my style or the style of any of the dolls that I own. The fabulous BlackKitty of the Multicrafteral Lab stepped up and offered to do a trade, and here we are! Isul's stock has found a new home, and my gals are sporting some fancy new footwear! Let's take a look at what we got!

Lina: Rapunzel, quit fussing with the cactus! We're supposed to be taking pictures of our cool boots!
Rapunzel: I know, I know! I need just a minute! 

Lina's boots are really spiffy. They look like exactly the kind of thing you'd wear if you were going to get into some sword-slinging mischief. Or if you were going to risk brushing up against Rapunzel's new cactus.

It's a rather unflattering angle, but since she's not ready to cooperate, here's another pair of tall boots, these are much heftier looking than the first pair. Great for gardening, though!

Lina: Okay, you sit up, and I'll stand over here... or maybe over...? 
Rapunzel: Just admit that you have no idea what you're doing. 
Lina: NEVER!

Rapunzel's blue rain boots are unexpectedly darling. I really didn't expect to be so taken with them, but she's probably going to be spending a lot of time in them! Lina's dress boots, with their open sides, are pretty amazing, too. If I could wear heels (at all), I'd probably want a pair.

And an occasion to wear them to.

Louise: Okay, I assume somebody is going to fix this? 

Louise's mary janes ended up being a... little big. She's not going to be able to wear these, but I'm sure we'll find someone around here who can. :)

Louise: Eh... These aren't bad! A little more frou-frou than I generally like, but still!

The flats with bows are just a bit long, but look great in photos. Next stop, holiday dress shopping?

Rapunzel: Okay, I'm ready for action! Er.. these might be a little big... 

They might be a little big, but these sneakers are amazing! They're perfectly detailed down to the last stitch!

Lina: What happened to our lighting? This was supposed to look like effort went into it! EFFORT!
Rapunzel: You know that's not helping, right? 

Lina's blue heels are soft jelly-type shoes. They fit great but there is a slight risk of them slipping off. They match her new dress amazingly, though!

Rapunzel's shoes are not actually some that we ordered, they were included with a small packet of extras that came with the shipment. The color is amazing, and they look pretty comfy!

These yellow heels were a fun surprise! I just realized I didn't get a close-up of them, but they have a great shape to them.

Edit: Last minute edit save! Check these out! They're pretty cool-looking!

Whoopsie, didn't get a close-up of these heels either, but the big ribbons on the front are just amazingly adorable. Getting them on and off is a little challenging with the delicate MTM articulated feet, though.

Edit: Close-up shot delivered! Wouldn't these be cute with a poofy party dress?
The last pair of freebie shoes is this pair of heels, which go on and off very easily. No worries about the ankles, here!

Cute hearts and ribbons abound! I like how the ribbons trail down the back of the heels.
At this point, we were rapidly losing daylight. Louise got a pair of correctly-sized mary janes after all, though, courtesy of a Fashionista Barbie. (Ugh, I'm buying a whole doll just for shoes again...)

They really do look adorable on her, though.

Back inside for the grand finale! These little ankle boots are super-cute. (Are they maybe supposed to look like ostrich skin?) And as you can see, we've had another amazing find at the Humane Society store, a cell phone holder bean bag chair. Otherwise known as the DOLL bean bag chair! This thing is super-cool. The cover zips off to be cleaned and everything.

Lina shows us how it's done. Even the tallest heels look relaxing in the bean bag chair!

Our other new prop for this photo set was this mini cactus decoration, found at the same shop. I think Rapunzel named it Bertram or something like that. (It's a little weird. She keeps talking to it.)

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to BlackKitty for an amazing trade! I'm really excited about all the cool new shoes we have to try out and it's all because of you! I can't thank you enough for your patience and your indulgence. :)

Oh, and we've already found someone the larger sneakers fit! Yay!