Friday, June 26, 2015

Wange Creation Villa No. 34052

I wanted my bootlego minifigs to have a bootlego minihouse. Most of the houses on the market are pink. They didn't use to be like that. I remember last year, a toy store was selling red and beige houses. Luckily, there were 3 boxes left, 2 for villa number 34051 and the one I got, number 34052. These were released last year.

There are 6 styles for the houses as can be seen at the back of the box. Two are yellow.

There's an instruction manual but the 1st step was confusing. It's hard to locate where to attach the first pieces. It was also difficult to understand how to attach different pieces (all in gray) in another step. There was no extra floor, wall or roof brick so following the instructions is crucial.

There were no missing pieces but there's a few extra plant pieces since I designed the plant layout. It took me about 4 hours to build.

There was no furniture included which was fine since this won't be an ordinary house once I'm done with it. It's for my X-men but my other minifigs can use it, of course. If you won't fill it up with furniture, you can store the minifigs in the rooms.

This brick set came with two minifigs but I didn't bother taking their pics. All I want is the house. The small basketball court on the side is a nice touch.

I got it for about US$24 with 755 pieces or 3 cents per piece. This was sold for much more in other places. For once, I'm glad I don't have to pay more just because of where I live. 

The 320000 series villas where spotted in another department store. They cost about US$13.

2015-07-04 update
Villa number 34052 was spotted at Divisoria for only US$19, $5 cheaper than the department store price.

We love bootlego

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

No surprise

There are some toys that pretend to be investments and there are some toys that are just meant to be fun. I will not argue whether seeing Lego (or any collectible toy) as an investment is a delusion or not. There have been articles written about it by people who know more than me. I do know that bootlegos are meant to be fun.

For about a year, I have resisted buying these bootlegos for myself. Focusing on just two toylines (Barbie and Marvel's 4-inch dolls) has made me appreciate the toys that I have and allowed me to improve my customizing skills. I felt that having another toy to spend time on will complicate things. 

It's hard to resist toys that are easily accessible. They are sold in the major toy stores, online shops and even at the smallest neighborhood store. People are talking about them in various social media. They are bootleg but people notice the improved quality in some bootleg brands. The way some picky collectors speak about these bootlegos have made me want to collect them. What seals the deal with these bootlegos is, of course, the price. Bootlegos offer relief from two major causes of distress for toy hobbyists, the accessibility and the price.

I started with the buying of minifigures (minifigs, for short). They have doll-like qualities so these are not difficult to like. Minifigs, unlike fashion dolls, can change their emotions by changing their faces but it's not ideal to use them to play dress up. If you re-dress a minifig (except the bootlego friends), chances are, it's a already a different character.

There are a lot of Marvel characters that don't have 4-inch action dolls. Bootlegos fills up this empty space. Fans can complete a superhero team in minifig form. I have decided to focus on Marvel characters, mainly the X-men and the Avengers.  Some DC characters are packed with the Marvel characters so I also end up with characters I am not interested in, but they're so cute, I decided to keep them. There is a wide array of characters from SpongeBob and friends, Kamen Riders to the cute minifig zombies from The Walking Dead. They all can share the bootlego world without disparity in scale and articulation unlike various toylines. It's a small world after all.

Speaking of cute, what can be more cute than a small Sentinel in pink and purple?

Those who enjoy dioramas will enjoy these bootlegos as brick sets are also available. Since they are in a smaller scale, less storage space will be be required.  Aside from the designed play feature, there is also fun in building and more fun rebuilding or redesigning a set.

I am looking forward to more Marvel sets

Since these are bootlegos, there is no pressure to handle the toys with obsessive-compulsive care as you would a precious collectible. If things fall apart, it can be rebuilt. If a part is ruined, it can be replaced. It's just fun, no worries.

When the day job becomes stressful, carefree play has a healing effect. It shouldn't come as a surprise if I suddenly stop blogging about Barbie, should it?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sheng Yuan No. SY327 Quinjet

There was no inner tray or box and the big plastic bag containing the small packs was torn. The cover of one instruction manual was almost torn because of the packing design. I was worried my set was incomplete but fortunately everything is there. The comic version of the Black Widow is shown on the box but the set comes with the movie version.

I wish they made finding the parts easier so I won't have to worry too much. There's no comic book and brick remover like in the original Lego set, which is no big deal.

I hurt myself building this because I was too sleepy. I stayed up late to build it. That could only mean that I have a new addiction.

Comparison with the X-men's Blackbird

Friday, June 19, 2015

Not Lego (6869) Quinjet Aerial Battle Brick Set

Loot for the day. This costs from PhP1300 to PhP1500 at Divisoria.

2015-07-04 update
This set is now discounted at Php900 at Divisoria.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lessons from DVF

Aside from the comedy series 2 Broke Girls, one can get important business lessons from the reality TV show House of DVF. It was where designer Diane von Furstenberg, the woman behind the wrap dress, found a brand ambassador for her line of clothing. I like DVF's style sensibilities and this was a way to learn more about her. I got the chance to see only four episodes and I got these lessons so far:

Dolls in wrap dresses

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not Lego (76022) X-men vs The Sentinel Brick Set

I started buying brick minifigures and then brick sets for my nephews. There wasn't much on my favorite group, the X-men, anyways. When I found out that there's an X-men set with a Sentinel and a blue Blackbird to boot, I knew I have to get one just for myself.

This costs for only PhP500 (US$11) in Divisoria while local resellers ask for PhP600 up to PhP780. It's a bootleg-o and it's awesome!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hell no, Hasbro!

The lack of attention on the 4-inch Marvel action dolls by Hasbro could be taken as a tactic by the company to make the consumers buy more of their other products, specifically the Legends line. Previous releases of the 4-inch version had collectors torn between those and the Legends line. That could spell a split in the sales. Hasbro decided to release less of the 4-inch line and adding salt to injury, they have reduced the articulation.

They also have a 2.5-inch line but for people like me who thinks smaller is better for a miniature world, brick minifigures are better options. They are a lot cuter, too. They also have a bigger universe from DC to Marvel to manga and even TV series characters! With those 2.5-inch Hasbro figures, well...good luck with that. People only want them for their elaborate playsets, something the brick toys can definitely offer.

So no, Hasbro won't be taking my money. Instead it will go to the Chinese companies who manufactured these knockoff Lego toys which we'll call bootleg-o. These companies initially started copies of the Lego products but they have already started releasing their own designs. You should expect people from the upcoming Superpower to have some ingenuity otherwise they wouldn't be able to gun for world supremacy, right?

Now, let's see if Nick Fury here can assemble the X-men.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Modern Family

I think it's cool that the Storm siblings were re-imagined to have different ethnicities.

Don't expect white Barbie to have non-white siblings. Barbie maybe fashion forward but she's not exactly progressive.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Buyer's Remorse 1

Hervé Léger Barbie is currently on top of my buyer's remorse list. I'm not a fan of the Louboutin face mold mainly because of the size of her face, especially on a skinny model muse body. If it's such a wonderful mold then why was it revised to create the Mermaid mold? Plus, there were a lot of dolls with this mold that didn't sell well, they had to be sold at discounted prices. Overrated.

I bought the set because of the accessories but I think the dresses are just glorified sock dresses. Sock dressmaking is level 0 in doll dressmaking. These are not real body-contouring dresses that are designed to shape and support the body. Barbie's body does not need support and it's the (sock) dress that follows the contour of the body. If one can find the right socks, one can make a similar dress. Like what I've said, glorified.

I thought of selling the pieces I don't like but selling is such a hassle as compared to just forgetting about them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 Tokidoki Barbie factory offcut

A photo of what seems to be the head (with the hair chopped off) of 2015 Tokidoki Barbie was posted on FB.

Like most offcuts, if there's one, there's probably more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spot the Difference 104

How many differences can you see?

Clue: How many African-American Barbie dolls were prevented to be sold outside America?

Monday, June 8, 2015


There's a certain kindness to her beauty that can keep me staring mindlessly. As some of the best stories go, nothing needs to happen.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Best Buy Brushes

If you're a hobbyist from the Philippines who wants to try repainting dolls, don't use the Best Buy brushes from National Bookstore. You want the bristles of the brushes to cling together for you to be able to paint fine lines. The Best Buy brushes don't behave that way. I use brushes from Deovir or Lil's Hobby Shop at SM Malls.

Who is Barbie?

A video entitled "Who is Barbie?" was posted on Youtube recently. The answer to the question was shown in the frame below.

It is attempting to redefine Barbie as dolls of different ethnicities rather than just the blue-eyed blond with the rest as just her friends. Mattel is trying to score some relatability points with the campaign.

Will this work? I doubt it. For it to work, they should change all images of the blue-eyed blond in non-doll Barbie merchandize like kid's clothes, school supplies, party favors, books, similar items AND all their tags and labels. I mean billboards, too. How about in Barbie's IG account, will there be race-bending?

Plus, how will they explain the other dolls having different names like in the Life in the Dream House webisodes? There's going to be a conflict with Barbie having an identity and Barbie trying to be everybody.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spot the Difference 103

How many differences can you see?

Clue: How many dolls were you tricked to buy only to dispose of the heads?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spot the Difference 102

How many differences can you see?

Clue: How many layers of makeup does one need to be beautiful?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cockroach Dress

I was smiling when I made this dress. I have fun childhood memories with cockroaches. I'm even smiling as I type this.

This was inspired by a dress (below) from Plains & Prints, a local brand.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

T-shirt Dress

I wanted a dress like the printed Valentino suede (t-shirt) dress (below) from the spring-summer 2015 collection but it's close to impossible for me to get a fabric with that exact same print. Reality check: I'm not privileged like Barbie.

(from @barbiestyle and @maisonvalentino on IG)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Divisoria Doll Stuff

While looking for Barbie shoes to match the new doll clothes I've made, I saw my stash of doll items I bought a few months back from Divisoria. Most of them are basic and uninspiring so I didn't blog about them. Some are too small for Barbie dolls. They could probably be for Licca dolls. Each Divisoria clone fashion pack costs PhP100 (it could be less if you buy more) while Mattel fashion packs each costs PhP500.Divisoria, as usual, is the bigger bang for buck.

(The dolls are not from Divisoria and were only included to show the size and fit of the clothes.)