Monday, November 30, 2015

Waiting to Sew

The old sewing machine has been finally set up to in our new house. We moved recently and some stuff not used everyday are still in boxes. That means I can get back to sewing but the December will be a busy month. Sewing has to wait.



Plus, I have a lot of dolls that needs rework because I didn't like Mattel's version. Maybe, I can squeeze some sewing... I don't know. We'll see.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lele 79127 Ant-man Final Battle


I'm not an Ant-man fan and I don't like Lele so what am I doing with this brick set? The minifigs' faces and helmets are different from the original but I'm one of those who doesn't care that much given the price.


Maybe, I'll grow to love Ant-man later on especially in the Civil War movie. I haven't seen other bootlego brands releasing this set so I have no choice but Lele.


When my nephews visited, they had fun playing with these bootlegos. The brand didn't matter. Some parts got lost and broken but that's part of playing. That's why I got this set. I know they will enjoy this as much as the other sets.

The only thing that I hate (yes, that strong word) during the build was how some pieces were too tight, specifically the pin connector shown above. It's a literal pain when inserting the pin into the brick slot. I had to use very hot water to allow the pin to slide through.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Patience

I like some fashion of the stiff Style dolls but I'm not willing to pay the full since I don't like dolls, so I waited for the discount. Finally, I got them for 50% off. The patience paid off.


I let some of my dolls with the Lea/Kayla face mold (which is still my favorite) wear it. I like it on them more than the original dolls but their skinny legs are starting to disturb me just a little.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Northstar


Although it was expected that the Northstar figure will be a peg warmer, I didn't wait for the price to drop. I wanted to get him right away simply because he's gay.


I don't know a lot about the character aside from he's gay and is(was?) a member of the X-men. I thought that the story line for his coming out is contrived--having found a baby out of nowhere, then finding out the baby has AIDS which made the baby some sort celebrity and then someone tried to kill the baby for being an AIDS celebrity after the perps gay son died of AIDS without any aid which led to the scene below and Northstar eventually coming out.


It wasn't the best story. It's forgettable really. It didn't made me like Northstar more. Even the much publicized gay wedding didn't have enough meat. Sure there was a lot of action but I didn't find it romantic. There wasn't enough suspense even when partner almost died because you know he won't, because you expect the wedding scene later. But it is cute.


Currently there are lot of unsold Northstar figures in every major toy store. There are a lot of reason not to buy--the high price, the old poorly articulated body, the absence of his twin sister etc. Just wait for the sale.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Distribution

I could have bought the gray Beast figure for P500 (original price was P750) but I wasn't able to find one at that price on the primary market. I got my blue Beast on the secondary market. I was wondering where the stores are keeping their stocks such that there will be some units left which they are now forced to sell at a much lower price of P200.


The sticker at the back, with Thai characters, could be a clue. Maybe these were initially shipped to Thailand and when it flopped there, they decided to sell it here. Since people who badly wanted (I'm not included) the figure already bought it from somewhere else, they have to lower the price. If they distributed it properly (right time and location), they could have made people like me pay more.


Hasbro has a distribution problem and they need to fix it. But Mattel is worse. They haven't distributed any dark-skinned doll here since the 1st wave of the stiff Style dolls, except for the resort Grace.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Assembled


I'm not very interested in getting or making a Quicksilver figure so for me, the Avengers have been assembled.

This moment deserves a class picture before they will be broken apart in "Captain America: Civil War".

Friday, November 20, 2015

Vision

After recent toy sales left and right, I expect some toys to run out of stock. Imagine my surprise when I saw the 4-inch Vision from the second Avengers movie peg warming. I have been hunting this toy for months now, checking the same shelves of different toy stores every chance I can.


I wanted a Vision figure and after the first few weeks of searching, I decided to just make one. I didn't like how it turned out so I didn't blog about it. I wanted to change the cape print for one. I was designing the print this afternoon and plan to test it tomorrow. But there's no need for that now.


It has crappy articulation but I might be able to make a better one now that I have better parts. That is if I'm not busy or lazy. For now, I'll just enjoy it, as is. I'm sure Wanda is.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's all 'bout the dum dum duru dum dum



Collectors of the 4-inch Marvel figures are disappointed at the new prices (US$13). We, the Filipino, collectors are partly to blame. We have been buying these toys for about US$16 since this year. If people from a poor nation like ours can buy these toys at a higher price, so can these people with a higher average income. I don't know why we Filipino collectors do it. Maybe because we are not educated in the same way as those in the western world. Maybe because we have more corrupt government agencies like the Bureau of Customs. Whatever the reason, we Filipinos are willing to pay more for the same toys and the rest of the world has to suffer because of it. I'm sorry.

In other news, a lot of those toys are peg warmers in local toy stores, except for Emma and the candy-colored Deadpool. I could help other collectors get the Chameleon but since it costs more here, I don't think they will be interested to buy from here and pay extra for shipping. It's a crappy figure, too, and I don't want anyone to be disappointed like I did when I got it.

And I don't think it's funny.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This entry is dedicated to the Barbie Look (2013-2015)

Below is the photo of all the Barbie Look dolls I have collected. They are basically rebranded Barbie Basics with rooted eyelashes (which doesn't really add to the aesthetics of the doll, but then again, it's subjective). It seemed that the added eyelashes were used as a reason to command a higher price (at least locally) than the Basics. Any self-respecting buyer would not be fooled.




If you're not seeing any photo, it's because I haven't bought any of those dolls. I also didn't appreciate that some dolls  I could have bought weren't  offered locally. Mattel should have realized that if they want their products sold, they should make it easier for the buyers to access them. If sellers don't care enough to do that, buyers who respect themselves should not care about buying.

Self-respect people! Try it some time.

We like posting photos of the things we buy, like it somewhat gives us pride or sense of accomplishment. I'm posting a photo of dolls I didn't buy for the same reason. Not buying dolls can give a certain sense of accomplishment or pride. It feels good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another Look



Let's have another look at this redhead Fashionista before I store her and desire newer dolls. I like that she can look sultry if her hair partially covers her eye. I posted a photo (not mine) of this dress on another doll and thought no other doll can wear it any better than that pink-haired Nikki. Although Nikki's vibrance matches the dress, this redhead brings a certain maturity to the youthfully colored dress, not there is anything wrong with being youthful. I like things a little mature but not too matronly unless, I'm dealing with vintage molds. I didn't want the dress before. I just bought it specifically for this OOAK doll.


I really like this closed mouth mold for Barbie, especially that they offered it in a littler skin tone and red hair. I wanted to compare it to another redhead I also like and to another mold which is not my favorite for Barbie. The goddess mold looks fat while the Barbie basic looks dead in the eyes. They all have their own charm so I'll be keeping all three.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sheng Yuan (SY370) Attack on Avengers Tower


If real life didn't get in the way, I would have gotten my hands on this set earlier. Now that life is a lot closer to normal, I had the chance to hunt for this at Divisoria. I got mine for PhP 750 (US$16). Others are selling it for as much as 60% more.


The tower looks good from any angle and can be opened up like Polly Pocket houses. The first floor has the sick bay and the Iron Legions (a symbol of how the idea of being the world's saviour can easily be corrupted) deployment area. The second floor has the lab with Loki's scepter being analyzed. It also has the assembly/repair room for the Iron Legions, which Ultron can use to rebuild himself.


The "glass" panels on the first two levels can be opened to allow the minifigs' entry/exit. On the 1st level, the panels are hinged while a lever is used to "blast" open the glass panel on the second.


There is a lounge on the 3rd floor with a viewing deck aside from a control room. The floor of the deck can be opened apart to simulate being destroyed or getting ready for battle with a couple of hidden shooters underneath.



The lounge has a secret compartment for minifig ammunition. This is perfect for Black Widow. The Black Widow and Hawkeye minifigs are not included. I just thought those rooms have been designed with them in mind.



The top most part of the tower has another pair of shooters. It also houses the drone, you know, similar to the ones they regularly use on terrorist regions even is there will be a lot of civilian casualties but they don't really become trending topics. I digress.

I kinda like this set more that the Quinjet. Maybe because I can play house with this set. What more can you do with Quinjets anyways aside from bomb places?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Playline Faces

Just a comparison of two playline face molds associated to the character of Barbie in recent years. I'm partial to the mouth closed. I only like the rightmost because of the skin tone and the black hair.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Spot the Difference 105

How many differences can you see?



Clue: At what age will Barbie grow up?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Because I get the feeling I'm getting through to Mattel

I'm still interested on how well Mattel is doing in selling Barbie. Some fans went gaga over the stiff Fashionistas. Others thought that maybe Mattel is finally listening to it's consumers. I figured maybe Barbie sales couldn't go any lower as it has been declining for years now. There's no way to go but up. Well, it still went down and that means more people think Barbie is not worth its price tag.

Mattel claimed that the dollar exchange rate had something to do with the decline, making the gross international sale drop by 19% but the North American gross sales still dropped by 5%, so there.

When I bought Barbie clothes, the minimum wage earner cashiers double checked the prices. They couldn't believe that a tiny Barbie shirt can cost as much as their shirts! They didn't say it out loud but one can tell just by the look in their eyes. The fact is, one can get more value from buying other stuff than Barbie.

Last Christmas, I gave my nieces Barbie dolls. They really weren't that happy. They have enough Barbie dolls. How many dolls does a girl need? Kids don't really care much about doll diversity. My nieces don't care if they don't have an AA or an Asian doll. Barbie never looked like any real person anyways. Barbie is not a real person. She's not somebody you will care for. She's somebody you'll envy and secretly wish ill.

When I saw their reactions, I thought that I should have kept the dolls and use the bodies and give my nieces a different gift instead. That's what I'll do this year. I'm going to give them non-Lego brick sets in pink. Maybe it will encourage them to be more creative. Plus if they lose or broke a piece or two, they can still play with it.

Maybe Mattel has some serious challenges ahead of them. I don't know if the new articulation in the Made to Move dolls will cut it. Personally, I don't like the Frankenstein joints. Maybe those who like the monster dolls will love them but not me. I don't think the trendy fashion will be enough. It has been tested with the stiff Fashionistas but the sales prove that it's not the key. The limited edition dolls really has a limited dent on the sales.

To improve international sales, maybe Mattel can do something about the price. People outside north America pay a lot more. If they can sell more unit a a lower profit margin maybe it will be better than selling less units with higher profit margin. I don't have the figures so I say "maybe".

Mattel has an agreement with a local company so the local company can monopolize the sale of Barbie. It is possible that the same setup is in place in other countries. Maybe Mattel can change the setup. Personally, I think there are other local entities better equipped in selling Barbie.

The main problem is making more people buy Barbie. Why will you buy a character you just envy and secretly hate? It's not like Barbie cares for you. That's the problem. Barbie as a character seems to care more about material things and less about the child or the collector. Barbie is the star in her world and we just play in it. Why play in it if you'll forever be an outsider playing by her rules?

In short, Barbie needs to change her identity, not just the skin color. She needs to change her values to make her more relatable. She has to be seen as a friend you can care for, not a plaything. She needs to be human so people will care for her. Maybe the Barbie live action movie will help. We'll see...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Adria

Slowly but still with uncertainty, things are going back to normal. I have some time to play with my toys again and not just play but also customize.

Since I bought her, I have been wanting to remove her teeth and shrink her head. I like how my Nikki turned out when I did those. I figured, I can do the same to Adria.



I expect Adria's head to shrink further to the size of Nikki's head. Maybe after a week. I like how she turned out so far.



Now, if only I can get back to sewing...