Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jianidi Doll + Fan Bingbing Barbie

For those wondering how the Jianidi doll works as a body donor to the poorly articulated expensive Barbie dolls with the Peace skin tone, here is a photo.

The Jianidi doll is slightly paler than the Peace skin tone but it can easily be overlooked. It just seems as if Fan is blushing.

Also in the photo is Edeline Barbie (12 Dancing Princesses) head on another clone body with the Peace skin tone.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jianidi Doll (Comparison)

The Jianidi doll is about the same size as a Barbie Fashionista. They can share clothes and shoes.

The Jianidi head is also bloated like the current playline Barbie. The hairstyle also makes the Jianidi head look bigger.

The skin tone is a little paler than the Edeline doll (from the 12 Dancing Princesses line). A comparison photo between the Jianidi doll and the Fan Bingbing doll might be posted later.

The wrist joint has a gap unlike Barbie's. The waist also allows for a mild twisting but lacks the bust joint.

The idea of letting a doll wear both flat and heeled shoes is a nice idea but there should be some mechanism to prevent the foot from returning to a "flat" position especially if it is wearing heels.

For less than US$10, this doll is a good buy. I might get another if it wasn't such a hassle getting one.

Jianidi Doll (Out of the box)

Since it has a different foot compared to a regular Barbie doll, the fit of Barbie shoes on a Jianidi doll is a concern. Luckily, the shoe fits.

It wasn't apparent in the previous blog post that the name of the doll is Jianidi. The collage below shows the Jianidi label, on the lower back of the doll, the dress, and the top cover of the box.

Jianidi Doll (Box Photos)

This doll was bought from a seller based in Divisoria.  Their store is located in one of those older buildings (not 168 nor 999), the name of which I have forgotten.

It is the same size as a Barbie doll, and its joints are similar to Barbie Fashionista. I guess it can be called a Barbie clone.

Here is the doll in the box and the back of the box. The doll did not came with any footwear, probably to showcase its jointed ankle.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Did it flop in Korea?

I saw a Mattel item that had stickers in Korean. It obviously was intended for the Korean market.

It's a long way from Korea.  I can't help but think that the item was a flop in its intended market. They're just trying to sell it here just in case it sells.

I might buy it if they offer it at a discounted price. Why pay full price for something that looks like a flop?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

3D Printing: Changing the World of Dolls

3D printing is a process of building a 3D object by depositing a thin layer of material at a time. For 3D printed toys, the materials are usually plastics. The linked Wikipedia page shows a time lapse video sample of 3D printing.

The application of 3D printing is as limitless as the imagination. This technology can allow anyone to start a small manufacturing business. There are already a number of entrepreneurs who have used the technology on doll manufacturing. Here are some examples:

These are customizable dolls. They have a set of "templates" from which a customer can choose from. The dolls look like kids so these are not something I'm interested in.

Mariage Poupee
The dolls (or figurines) have great likeness of the people they are being modeled from. The dolls have the play value of a cake topper, though. People who are vain enough to think that they deserve a mini-monument will really find this idea important.

Mary Magpie by Joey Versaw
This quirky looking doll with a taste for vintage fashion is about the size of a Barbie doll. Joey has created a new line of gay male dolls called "First Love" (also 3D printed) but the male dolls have better articulation.

With the recent developments, acquiring this technology has been made cheaper. For a price of a couple of expensive dolls, one can get a 3D printer. This is not only applicable to printing dolls. One can also print doll accessories like shoes, buckles, bracelets, necklaces or even doll house parts! (3D printed houses for real people have been done.) This brings the power to manufacture in our own backyards. We don't have to rely on just one country to manufacture the things we want.

For those who would rather not buy a printer, they can go to companies that offer 3D printing services. Locally, 3D Printing Manila is one such business.

When I say "printing dolls", I also mean action figures. I approached a 3D printing shop in a local mall a few months back to find out if they can print toys. They can and they showed me a toy robot part they were trying to replicate. The tricky part was modeling it exactly like the original. This will not be a problem if one is starting to design from scratch, without the intention of infringing on someone else's copyrights.

Think about it. The possibilities...

I'll leave you with a link to a time lapse video of the 3D printing process of a doll.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Some of my Marvel Universe super-villain action figures

The Marvel universe has a lot of interesting villains. My two favorite villains are Mystique and Magneto. The storytellers explained to us where they are coming from, the hardships they have to endure. I get them. Other villains need back-stories like theirs.

If there is something we learn from villains it's passion--not taking 'no' for an answer, getting what you want no matter what the cost. Hmmm... reminds me of die-hard collectors.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Last of the good line

Local SRP of these action dolls are PhP750. I got them recently for less since a lot are selling them for less (they are relatively unknown characters), but still some online sellers ask for more.

These maybe the last figures I'm going to buy from this line. The upcoming releases have crappy articulation. No wonder, more collectors are quitting this line. I'd rather buy an old figure and customize it to get the character I want.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014


I don't know which will be sadder, Finn growing up or Finn dying. I hope the show will last long enough to explore both. There's nowhere else more epic to go. It will be mathematical!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The second problem

There will be no peace. I pray for something and somebody else prays for the opposite. I came across a toy review that views the low price of a toy as a problem.

A facepalm is not enough to express all my thoughts, I look up "napalm" on Google. I also look up the blogger's resume because his word is not simply a product, it's his lifestyle.

It's easy to figure out why. The first problem is that he is a salesman.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Natchios on the toy shelf

I tried to look for more discounted Barbie fashion packs in other malls but I wasn't interested in the ones left. I tried looking for more Skrulls but they were not sold in the store I visited. Luckily, I saw an Elektra Marvel Universe figure and immediately grabbed it.

This figure is being sold for around US$19 on local eBay. That's just a dollar mark-up from what the other sellers sold it for last year. I got it just last night for around US$13.

Based on hearsay from the toy community, it was only now that these figures reached local toy shelves because the distributors didn't want the Marvel Universe toy line to compete with the Avengers toy line. They only made it available to selected collectors and hobby shops to help build up an appetite for the majority (via blogs and FB reviews). The distributor with the help of the scalper-collectors and hobby shops resell it for a higher price as they have connived to make it appear rare. These transactions usually doesn't involve a receipt so the tax portion also goes to their pockets. (No wonder a lot of MU collectors are pissed and decided to stop collecting.)  This is also what happened to other figures like Dagger, Thanos, Rhino and Abomination. The remaining inventory were just released recently in local toy stores, others on a later date.

There might not be many Dagger and Elektra figures left since a lot of collectors have hoarded these figures to customize.  (15Jan2015 Update: This figure and others from the same wave are still in stock. This has 5 units in one major department store.) A lot are impressed with the new articulation compared to the old female figures. Personally, I'm torn.

New and old body comparison

Yes, the new body has better articulation in most body parts except the hips. The new female body can't do a side split! Others also like the proportion but to me it's not comic nor sexist enough, so unlike how they are represented in the comics. I like the rounder boobs of the old female figures. I also like that their feet seem smaller. The new figures are also more leggy. These are all subjective, of course.

So, I'm not really sure if I like this Elektra figure just because of the added articulation. Maybe I can do a posing showdown between a poorly articulated figure like the Black Widow and this Elektra. I'm so glad that I didn't have to pay that much just to get something I feel lukewarm about.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Price is Right

In preparation for the Holidays, malls left and right are having a sale. Locally, people who are smarter than what's trending find October as a really good time to shop. Stores are making way for the arrival of the new items for the Christmas season. The discounted items may be from two years ago but unlike most fashion, a lot of toys retain their (play) value.

Barbie set-of-3 fashion packs normally costs US$22 are 50% off. I'm willing to pay for only 50% because, half of what's in the pack is... I can't really think of a kind adjective that means "crappy". But there are really great pieces, my favorites of which are those that shows a certain character other than being a fashionista.

There is not much price movement in the Marvel Universe figures, except for the Skrull figures from 2 years ago. Sold initially at US$12, they lowered it to US$8 last year but I felt that it was still not worth it. They are now being sold at US$4. I might just build an army of Skrulls.

One of my smart purchases is Fashionista (In the Spotlight) Nikki. She originally was priced at US$34 last year. They have it on sale at most toy stores for US$22 but I was able to control myself. I luckily found one for US$18 only. Like most fashionista dolls, I only want their bodies. I want this specific Nikki because she has a very interesting armband and bracelet.

Another toy that I have been wanting to buy is this Adventure Time action figures and comic book pack. They originally go for US$19 but now they are only US$9. I look forward to playing with them but for now, they'll stay in the pack.

Shopping this past weekend validated my belief that you can get the toys you want at a reasonable price if you just wait. Even if it eventually sold out, you can still get it from the secondary market. Someone will eventually let go of the toy you want. Time shouldn't matter. If you really want it bad, you will still want it bad years from now, especially if the price is right. If not, maybe you didn't want it that much at all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Courtside Toy Store Mystery

Courtside is a local toy store that sells dolls, trading cards and action figures among others. They have branches in different malls in Metro Manila. I can't speak about their other products but they sell most dolls and action figures (including Lego clones) at higher prices compared to the major toy stores. Toys that they are trying to sell two years ago are still on display. Needless to say, a lot of what they are selling are no longer available in the major toy stores since major toy stores try to dispose of their inventory right away.

The mystery to me is how Courtside keep their shop open. I'm curious about their business model. I have no business background but I do know that they have to sell something for them to earn. If the toys are not going anywhere, what are they selling? Maybe those Magic Cards are really magical! I didn't bother to find out what the going rate for those cards is and how much Courtside is selling them.

These cards don't really occupy too much shelf space. When I visit their branches, most of what I see are action figures. If those figures are not selling, how are they earning off those pricey shelf spaces? Mall space is expensive. I gotta give it to those people behind this toy store. It's hard to keep a store like that open for business.

I have bought a couple of figures from their shop but I eventually found out that it was a bad decision as I could have bought the same figures at a much lower price (50 to 70% lower) somewhere else. As much as I am impressed by the brains behind the business, I have stopped buying from them. I feel good every time I visit Courtside especially when I see their toy tag prices. I always feel proud of myself knowing that I bought the same figure elsewhere at a lower price.


14Nov2014 Update

The Trinoma branch is closed.

The SM North branch has little toys left, almost like it's closing shop as well.

It took some time but I'm glad someone learned a lesson or two.

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Marvel Universe Recruits

custom Beast and Kitty Pryde action figure

custom classic Rogue action figure

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sorta Paperdolls

Hero Machine version 3 is an online application that allows you to design your own comic book character. Aside from mixing and matching available costumes, one can also mix and match body parts. This allows you to create a variety of poses for your character.

It is like playing with paper dolls only you can do more. All of these three characters were created using HM3.

To try HM3 go here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I don't get it

I don't get...

(1) why some local collectors are selling (to local buyers) Rhino, Mysterio and other Marvel Universe action figures with a high mark-up when there are stocks available in the local stores at a lower price.

(2) why these figures are made available just recently in the local toy stores when they have been released last year and the toy line has been discontinued/re-branded.

(3) why a change in name warrants an increase in price without changing the quality, only the packaging,

(4) why the official distributor of the new/re-branded Marvel Universe figures insists on selling them at a high price when other small-time sellers are offering them at a lower price especially those obscure characters like the Death's Head.

I didn't get the Death Head and the Guardians of the Galaxy figures. They will be peg warmers eventually. I'll wait for them to lower their prices. If they run out of stock, it's okay. I don't really want those figures that bad.

I did get for myself the three figures in the above photo. They are cheaper than the re-branded line.  I'm keeping my lust for these toys under control.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mattel's Barbie Marketing 2014

After the recent poor sales of Barbie items, especially earlier this year, let's see how Mattel is promoting the brand to promote sales.

Styling by Rachel Zoe
The Good: They used a playline doll and made her look like a collectible.

The Bad: The doll maybe playline but the clothes and accessories are mostly collectible.

Muse for a Moschino Collection
The Good: The runway was used blatantly to promote the Barbie brand.

The Bad: The 80's is an acquired taste.

Instagram Campaign
The Good: We get to know Barbie's personality more, what lifestyle and brands she likes to promote.

The Bad: She may have a split personality if she likes both Rachel Zoe's style sensibilities and the Moschino collection inspired by her.

It is obvious that Barbie is trying to reclaim her role as a fashion doll. She could just be successful. I just don't know how she can manage that if she thinks she can be anything she wants to be or take on any job. What's that phrase, "jack of all trades and master of none"?

That's just the brand image promotion. What's about the actual products? Will there be an improvement especially in the playline dolls (their biggest and most important market)?

The Holidays are coming and it is the time of the year where toys sell the most. Toy companies are doing their darndest to promote their products. How will Barbie's marketing team fare? We'll soon find out. It's just fun to take down notes, for history lessons at least.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

One of the seven

Have you caught yourself while you examine publicity photos for the new must-have doll? Your eyes widen with excitement. Your mouth open for more air. The heart races while the fingers help you navigate through the irresistible. You imagine the pleasure that will be. You want it. Bad.
Hold it. Take a selfie. That's lust. And you're consuming porn.

Eventually, you'll give in.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

All About That queen

I was browsing FB profiles and I came across a local beauty queen's. She's also an unpopular actress and a public figure so she shares photos of her family. I like that she's a doll hobbyist and shares her work via FB. She makes clothes and customizes dolls. I like some of her dolly jewelries. Great work.
She also shares her sense of humor on her FB page. The thing is, the jokes she posted were mostly about fat women. She is a beauty queen. I was expecting more beauty queen jokes. Oh wait, there was a joke about contesting the winner of a Muslim beauty pageant. Fat women and Muslim women, she finds them funny.
Somebody cue Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Direction Singing Dolls Review

I have been seeing the One Direction (1D) Dolls by Hasbro in toy stores for some time now. They were initially sold at US$50 locally. As expected, they became peg warmers. Now, they are being sold at US$18 each. The Harry and  Niall dolls were already sold out.

Unfamiliar with the quality of these dolls, I initially both just one (Zayn). I was satisfied with the quality. I decided to get two more. Zayn was already out of the box when I thought of making this review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Team Building

The membership of the Peace Operation and Strategic Espionage Reserve (POSER) is slowly growing. The newest agent is Angel. She is a tech expert.

Agent Angel

The ranks are filled by a meticulous screening conducted by Edeline. Knowing the abilities and weaknesses of each agent, she is also in charge of building a team for each mission.

Agent Edeline

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peace Clone

It's like one of those moments you exhale, "Finally!" 

I accidentally came across a clone with a body similar to the Barbie Fashionista earlier this year. What is unique to this clone is its color. It is compatible to Edeline, one of the 12 dancing princesses. Her skin tone is similar to Fan Bingbing's, "Peace" skin tone as Mattel calls it. (I have something to say about the political correctness of the name but then again, Mattel has little concern for correctness compared to profit-making, so why bother?) Below is the comparison photo. 

Since I didn't know that it was a good match when I bought it, I only bought one. (From now on, let's call it the Peace clone.) I decided to buy another when I saw that it works. The second one will be for Fan Bingbing. When I returned to the toy store I got it from, they were sold out!

At the last toy convention, I chance upon a doll that looked like the Peace clone--same packaging, same character, same dress. I decided to buy two, knowing that I might never get the chance to buy again. When I got home, I learned that it was a different doll. It looked like the older Barbie Fashionista. Let's call it clone 2 and a comparison photo is shown below.

I figured that these toy stores could have sourced these clones from another city, the locally famous marketplace of clones, Divisoria. I went there and, as expected, I was able find a clone that looked like the Peace clone (clone 4). I was also able to find another clone (clone 3) that I initially thought to have the same skin tone as Raquelle's. I bought 2 of each since Divisoria is too out of the way to come back for seconds. Unfortunately, the clone 2 was not a match. Fortunately, clone 3 was a good match for other dolls. My customized Lois Lane Barbie got rebodied using clone 3. The other clone 3 body went to Audrey (not in photo). Comparison photos below.

I got 4 dolls (2 each of clones 2 & 4) that are too pale for any doll head I appreciate. I felt that it's a lot of wasted money. I decided to stop hunting for the Peace clone and just appreciate the only one I had.

Yesterday, I was in an obscure section of an old forgotten mall to buy some supplies. I saw two dolls on sale that looked like the Peace clone. I was tempted to buy both but previous experiences made me buy just one. I was glad to find out that it was the Peace clone I was looking for. It is the headless doll on the first photo.

Update (2015):

The Peace Clones are no longer available in any store that I know of.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I don't trust doll people who post nothing but raves on collector dolls. They sound like paid advertisers or doll resellers.

Generally, I don't trust people who don't express any dislike. It's in the expression of dislike that shows deeper character.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hurray For Competition

I finally got myself one of the pioneer members of the Avengers, Ant-man. No thanks to the local distributor of Hasbro. As can be seen in the photos, this was sourced from another country. English is an official language in my country so there is no need to add what seems like Chinese labels on the packaging.

Based on another toy blog, these toys are already out in Singapore. A lot of online sellers have this posted on eBay. What is interesting is the price. Despite additional shipping charges and profit margin for the local reseller, some are being offered at competitive prices compared to those in major toy stores. I got my Ant-man at SRP. Other characters are below SRP while "rarer" characters are being sold at a higher price.

Pricing is so unlike the local distributor and major toy stores. All characters are priced equally, villain or hero, popular or not. Other sellers' prices are based on assumed demand. I'm glad that the demand for this figure is not that high. If the demand was high, the stocks should have run out weeks ago but I was able to buy one.

This figure is from the 3rd wave. There are still a lot of peg warmers from the 1st wave and some from the 2nd wave. I don't know if the major local distributor is still interested in distributing the rest of the series. It is the distributor's fault if they don't sell well. They increased the price just because of the re-branding. It's the same old marvel universe figure. I hope they learn from competition.

I also noticed that collectors of these figures are no longer as active in a local toy forum. A lot has stopped collecting these figures for two main reason--first, the increase in price; second, others decided to focus on the better articulated line, the Marvel Legends. This is good for me (less competition in buying). In case the demand eventually died down, and Hasbro decided to stop this line, I can just buy from those who quit collecting and customize the figures to the characters I want.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Character Considerations

We usually impose a certain character on our doll. Our dolls, our rules. That's easy. Whenever I get a celebrity doll or a doll with a predefined character like those from the Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse line, I usually don't dress them with whatever. I always consider their character.

Midge likes retro fashion. I made a yellow high waist swimsuit with a bandeau top for her. Yellow is a sweet color which also matches her sweet personality. I wanted her to have a wide-brimmed hat but I don't have one. It's a good thing that it wasn't very sunny at the beach.

Raquelle stikes me as sassy. I made this one-piece asymmetrical swimsuit with a cut-out on one side for her. I know she likes animal prints so she will enjoy this snakeskin motif. The silver bib necklace and silver shoes adds an exclamation point to Raquelle's fashion statement.

Sporty girl Summer gets a two piece bikini in fun colors from me. The stripe is also reminiscent of her original dress. The top provides support for her active lifestyle. She gets a visor so she can have fun under the sun and a pair of rubber shoes for running around.

I made all those swimwear in one weekend. I was really inspired by the characters Mattel have given to these girls. Unfortunately, they now go to storage and I don't know when I will play with them again. Maybe when I have made or bought fitting clothes for them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

To Wait or Not To Wait

If you wait for the items to be discounted at the popular toy stores, you can save a lot, but there is a chance that the stock will run out before they offer a discount. Prices on the secondary market may end up higher than the toy stores'. Smart buyers always have this (and more) to consider when buying something frivolous as a toy. There are no hard and fast rules.

Sometimes, you have clues to help you make a decision. When I saw the Falcon figure, I instantly knew that I have to wait. First, it costs more than the regular Marvel Universe figure. Second, Falcon is not as popular compared to the other Avengers, specially those that have been featured in the movie. Third, there are relatively more units being sold compared to other characters (Black Widow). And lastly, I had the older version which I turned into another character, so I don't want him that bad. I do like the articulation in the new version. I waited and got 50% discount.

It was almost the same case for Whirlwind. The price is higher. Booo! The character is a villain and not a popular one at that, but I do know the character. He seems like a "good" foe for Wasp and I have been wanting to do a fight scene for Wasp. The reason I bought him right away is because I only found one Whirlwind figure in all 8 toy stores I visited. I have been seeing eBay sellers offering him for a lower price but I find the seller(s) too cocky with their fussy requirements.

Although I consider the supply when deciding to buy right away, experience told me that this is not always a reliable guide. Sometimes, they just display a few. Sometimes, there are more shipments later. This was what happened when I bought Wasp. Since she's a female figure, there was a smaller supply. She was even bundled with other figures (which I didn't want) and buying the set was the only way to get her.  Now, there are individual units for Wasp becoming peg warmers. I felt cheated. When I feel cheated, it discourages me to buy in the future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


What I like most about the Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse dolls are not the eyelashes. I sometimes find them too obstructive, casting unwanted shadows on the eyes. I like most are new head molds used. There is Raquelle with her contemptuous smile, Teresa with her dorky face (which I will not buy) and Summer with her reserved smile. Initially, I thought that an enlarged version of the Goddess or Tango was used for Summer but the back of her head is marked "2012". Having similarities with those two, Summer can also be a versatile ethnic-bending doll mold.
I also like the playful colors of her outfit. It reminds me of the vintage Barbie dress called Fun N Games. Summer do likes games.
I also like her character in the series. Like Raquelle, Summer also can be competitive with Barbie, unlike her other friends. And like Raquelle, Summer has a brother (Blaine) who is ready to steal Barbie's heart from Ken.
The Summer shown here has been customized. Her head was shrunken and was repainted. Her eyelashes were also trimmed.

Blaine and Summer

Goddess and Summer comparison

Vintage Fun N Games dress