Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cars 3 Mini Racers Blind Bags

While scouring the aisles of Walgreens for 40th Anniversary Star Wars figures, I found these nifty little blind bags. If I recall correctly, these bags were under $3 each. It appears that my favorite Cars character, Doc Hudson is one of the possible prizes, so I had to give it a shot.

As the package says, these are actual little die-cast cars, not the plastic that I anticipated when I first caught sight of these.

I have no idea if the code means anything. Feeling around on the package only tells me that there is a little car in there and it's heavy.

Whoops, this pic uploaded sideways! Here are the current possible prizes. The back advertises that more will be coming in the fall. And let's see who I get... 

It's Luigi!  He wouldn't have been my first, second, or even fifth choice, but he's a pretty neat little toy. His paint is well applied and his little wheels turn nicely, and let's face it that's just about all you need for a tiny car this size.

Here he is with Funko Dorbz Rocket Raccoon, who looks like he's already planning on building a hyperspace gateway out of him or something else sinister.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dollar (General) Amber

Today I happened to find myself in a Dollar General, which was having an odd "All Yellow Star Toys 90% Off!" sale. There wasn't a lot to choose from, but I spotted this little doll and couldn't think of a good reason not to check her out for a buck.

Amber here is from Disney's Sofia the First series, which I'll admit I've only seen the first episode of. Daughter of the King, she is unimpressed with commoner Sofia being her new sister and fellow Princess at first. I understand she got better about it. 

Anyway, Amber was originally marked as $10, which I feel is amazingly optimistic for a doll who's only about five inches high and has a one-piece dress, a stapled-on crown and a single extra accessory. 

Here's the back of the box, which has a nice picture of Amber, who is apparently giving Sofia's image the side-eye. 

Speaking of side-eyes, Amber's got a remarkably Quasimodo-like set of wonky eyes going on. 

The little charm accessory has the same image of Amber as is on the back of the box. 

Out of the box, Amber is already getting no respect.

Under the dress, which is decently constructed and doesn't seem to be shedding glitter everywhere just yet, Amber has five points of articulation. Her arms swivel in their sockets, and her hips have some extra hinged rotation in them for some additional posing ability. She's oddly broad-chested.

Amber's small, so she'd make a good small child or toddler for a Barbie-size doll. 

Honestly, with the flip in her blonde hair, she reminds me of a toddler-age Charlotte leBoeuf from The Princess and the Frog. 

I think Amber's original price of $10 is rather ridiculous, but for $5 she'd be decently priced. She's well-enough made and her dress is nicely done. For $1 though, she's an amazing little doll.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thrifty finds

Well, the weekend's over, but I have a few finds to share. Hobby Lobby has their Spring Shop items on sale, which ended up leading me to these cute wooden lawn chairs. They're cute, but a bit roughly-made. Even with the discount, I left them behind.

Here's something kind of funny, though. Over in the clearance section, I found these wooden cutouts that bear a remarkable resemblance to a couple of Monster High characters. Here's "Clawdeen".

And here's "Cleo".

I left them behind, which also happened to what would have been the most exciting find of my college life at the thrift shop: 

Look at that huge pose figure! And it was just $5! I've got dolls who have better articulation than this guy now, though, so he got left with Scarlet O'Hara over there.

You never know what you'll find at the local flea market. Smokey the Hat here is a perfect example of that. I look stupid in hats, and I wouldn't trust a secondhand one, or I'd be $2.50 poorer but one amazing hat richer.

The only thing I did end up buying over the weekend was a doll who had these cute shoes. They remind me of the flats that Marinette on Miraculous wears. Right now, Rapunzel's rocking them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

GOTG2 Minimates = Big Disappointment

Just a week or so ago, Toysrus.com had a special going on where they were offering free shipping with no minimum purchase. I had a $5 rewards coupon that was rapidly nearing its expiration date, so I decided that clearly I needed to find something to buy.

Since I couldn't snare a 40th Anniversary R2-D2 Black Series figure (sold out) and Hera Syndulla hasn't hit the market yet, I decided to look through the available Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 figures. It seems that Rocket isn't due out until wave 2 (!?), so instead I found this set of Minimates figures.

Perfect, Rocket and Groot can go all Thelma and Louise in my Minimates KITT from Knight Rider. Gamora can ride shotgun.

I'm honestly not a huge fan of the style of the Minimates figures. The Michael Knight who came with KITT seemed pretty well constructed (He sadly was mauled by the Finn-monster), though. I had decently high hopes for this set.

On the back, you can see the other sets that are available.

Gamora is fine. Her limbs feel a little like "cheap plastic", but everything works as it should and you can take her trenchcoat's bottom half off by pulling the torso off her legs and taking the "skirt" part off her.

Groot is styled to look like he has joints, but he's a tiny little static figure. He's positively dwarfed by Rocket's enormous gun.

Rocket, the main reason I even got the set? His tiny little stubby right leg broke off the first time I tried to move it at all. I've got some plastic cement on there right now in hopes that at least he can stand up in the future, but yeah- I'm extremely disappointed. I'm honestly afraid to try moving him or Gamora anymore because I don't want to play "what part breaks off this toy next?"

Rocket's tail, like Gamora's long coat, appears to be a part that you can remove and exchange with another figure, but I'm not going to try pulling it off there. The other dang leg will probably break off. The figures comes with bases, so assuming that I can get them onto the things without more breakage, I guess that's where they'll be staying. Maybe these things have been built better in the past, but I can't recommend this set. Glad I didn't pay full price, for sure!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fountain Fun

The cord is just barely long enough to reach out the door and I am losing my mind with internet-free boredom! Have some pics!

I rebodied this Project MC2 McKeyla, so she is going to be our model. 


A little small, but not bad!

The peanut gallery is not impressed, though. 

Full length shot for scale.

Blind boxes

I'm without internet anyplace but on my phone, so I decided to grab a few blind boxes at Walmart and try my luck. 

First up we have a Kitty in my Pocket pack, which attracted me primarily through the nifty carrier package. I've got no idea what the possibilities are, so whatever it is I get will be an utter surprise.

The two kitties I got are these adorable little scamps. I didn't know they would be flocked! The tabby looks a bit like Finn.

Looking at the checklist, I am a bit surprised that there's such a variety of sculpts on these. 

Next up, one of the two Animal Jamz boxes I found. 

If nothing else, I get a cool little house!

I really didn't realize how small these would be! Still, that is one funky giraffe. Nice hat there, bud.

For the finale, another Animal Jamz that is a Walmart exclusive. In a treasure chest!

It's a metallic green bunny! 

Well this was maybe $10 worth of entertainment, but I don't think I'll be doing more of them. My luck isn't that great and these things could get expensive fast!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Found a Fountain!

I found something pretty cool at the thrift today- a nifty-looking desktop fountain! Seriously, look how cool that thing is! I've been wanting to turn the area around Phantom Rock into a fairy garden or even a doll-sized park, and come on! A cool abandoned fountain would be amazing for scene-setting! 

The PR area isn't really photo-ready at the moment, so I've got it here at the spot from the doll shoes post to try it out for "proof of concept". It's a little undersized, maybe, but it looks so gosh-darn cool! And for only $3!

It also makes it look smaller being down in that hole.
The bad news(?) is that the motor works! So now I'm a little reluctant to yank the motor out and leave it outside forever. It does look pretty nice when running, but sadly I don't have any exterior outlets so I can't show you a picture of it in action. 

What do you guys think? Cut the cord or no?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ciao, K-Mart

This is becoming a disturbing trend, where local shops are shutting down frequently. I hear Gordman's is the latest retailer to announce they were throwing in the towel. I'll grant you I don't visit them often, but I'll miss perusing the out of season offerings. 

At any rate, this post is about the loss of another local-ish mainstay, K-Mart. This particular K-Mart survived far beyond what I would have expected, making the grade (somehow) whenever the chain announced it was folding some stores. It even was rechristened as a "SuperKmart". For over ten years of its peers being shuttered, this place has (again, somehow) been bringing us the "slightly less hygienic than Walmart" experience for slightly higher prices and in a slightly more depressing atmosphere.

I blame the lighting a bit on that last one. 

At any rate, even after the Sears closed, the SuperKmart managed to keep on trucking. I honestly don't know exactly how old it was. 

I didn't snap a pic of the front of the store and the crowded feeding frenzy of vehicles outside, but clearly I should have. The contrast against the below image would be shocking.

This is where the toy department once stood, holding toy lines sometimes YEARS out of date for prices that were pretty much the same as they had been brand-new. Not pictured, to the left of me, an entire pallet of Kylo Ren Kmart exclusive The Black Series action figures. Presumably they're on ebay by now.

This was housewares and appliances. In the distance the black section of wall denotes where the electronics section once stood. The last time I was in that section during pre-closure times, "electronics" had been pretty much phased out to "a few really old games and systems, plus a tv or two and a handful of movies". Dunno if that was because this store had a particularly bad problem with shoplifting or if they're all that way.

Here's an idea of what was left of the toy section: predominantly it was blind bag toys, plus a small handful of reboot Bratz and the odd Barbie here and there. This was approximately 7 days before the store closed, and as you can see, prices never came down below 50% off on the toys.

Here's something that I thought was genius. Puppy Surprise expansion packs! Did your Puppy Surprise have only the minimum number of puppies? You can remedy that situation with MORE puppies! They've even kept the element of surprise by concealing if the package has two or three total puppies in it. 

That pink mother dog on the package art reminds me of Poochie. Does anyone remember Poochie these days?

After being amused for the final time by the Kmart "YAY! Your transaction is approved!" swiper message, I took a quick look in our Hobby Lobby, which is somehow the only store in the vicinity that's actually *expanded*. 

I didn't buy anything, but I was amused at these doll-size ping pong paddle... charms? Earrings? What ARE they?

And for the grand finale, I saw the world's wonkiest Twyla at Walmart.

I kind of love her, honestly. I wonder if she's still there?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Christmas Pajamas for Amaya!

I actually forgot to post this until just now! I still haven't managed to make Amaya her PJ Masks costume yet, but I did get one new article of clothing for her back in December: an owl-themed nightgown!

This is the second time for me to try and make an article of clothing out of socks, so go easy on me for my sleeve placement up there. I came up with those bunny slippers from my clothing bin and thought that they'd be cute to go with the nightgown, even if they're not owl-themed.

And here's Amaya in her cozy new pajamas! The slippers fit great, and I even found a perfect backpack for her to take on overnight trips, which I filled up with a doll-size brush, toothpaste and toothbrush, a plastic figurine as a toy, a hair dryer, and a few other small necessities.

Kiddo was thrilled!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ta-ta, TRU

This post is just going to be depressing. Last Monday, I made the trip to my favorite TRU for what's almost certainly the very last time. The exterior has, in my mind, never looked so sad and dingy. Across the street from a long-ago shopping mall that's since been parceled out to corporate entities, this store was the very last holdout in a strip mall that was otherwise empty. I actually had assumed it was gone for years, thinking it had closed at the same time as the lost mall; I was so excited to rediscover it a few years ago.

I loved this store, not just because its' location meant that it (and that long-gone mall) were the subjects of some of my very first "sneak off without telling anyone I'm leaving the county" shopping excursions (sorry Mom), but also because its isolation meant that it was almost never busy and I could often find things there that I couldn't at the more popular store closer to down town. Obviously this is a factor that led to its' downfall, but for a while at least, it was nearly my own private store.

It closes for good in just a few days.

The huge area that had been turned into an American Girls showcase up front was gone, along with the Claire's accessory section. The bikes and ride on toys had been pushed up front for inspection instead. I was so dazed when I was here that I honestly didn't notice the toy segways in front.

Most of the store looked like this. The atmosphere, which had been jubilant cart loads being devoured left and right on my previous visit was now much more subdued.

I did pick up another DuckTales mystery mini keychain for someone. I squashed around on the packages until I found one that I'm 80% certain can NOT be Huey.

You're welcome. ;)

The Barbie aisle was still decently stocked, and I was tempted by a few things (like that spaghetti chef playset!) for half off. I ended up only grabbing a lonely Made to Move Barbie from here, though.

The Monster High and Ever After High dolls were crammed into this section of shelves, offered for half off. Take note of Dead Tired Frankie in a Cleo box!

I did find and get a Shibajuku Girls doll who was 60% off from the other side of this aisle. Apparently I didn't get a picture of the Collectible Dolls section, but the one I got was Yoko. They also had a massive number of the Madame Alexander brand Space Pop dolls. I wanted to like them. I did. Especially at 60% off. They just didn't work for me, though. Oh well.

The Pokemon toys were eliminated down to almost nothing but 20th Anniversary Keldeo plushies. I actually had decided to make this run after talking myself into needing a 20th 'Tini for my Victini collection. I left the aisle disappointed.

The Transformers section was similarly decimated. The huge display of Funko Pop figures that had been present on my last visit was pretty much down to nothing but the orange version of Raven from Teen Titans Go! and the Suicide Squad version of the Joker. There were pretty much no action figures to speak of.

I did almost buy this Walking Dead dog tag blind bag just because they had Daryl and Carol on the package. I talked myself out of it, though.

Well, I guess the only thing left to say at this point is goodbye to my favorite Toys R Us: You were a good store who outlasted an entire shopping center and the death of the mall that was the main retail anchor of your whole area. I could head up this weekend and make one last run, but I prefer to remember you with stuff on your shelves, employees who hadn't yet developed the thousand yard 'soon to be unemployed and haven't found another job yet' store, and an atypical packed parking lot. Seeing anything less at this point would just be sadder than it has to be. I hope your sibling across the city sticks around for a while longer.