The Easter Bunny

Is the White Rabbit of Wonderland the same as the Easter Bunny? That would explain why the eggs are all made of chocolate – clearly the work of Wonderlandian hens.

In celebration of Easter, I naturally decided to incorporate Bunny Blanc in some festive photos. I dressed her all pretty and spring-like, in a dress I had sewn a while back.

Bunny’s signature top-hat seemed a little too uptight for the occasion, so I used her Archery Club headband instead , which I also repainted.

Before the repaint – what do you have against a little paint, Mattel?
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After the repaint – I think the band was supposed to be a laurel wreath (hard to tell), but it suits me more to pretend it’s fur. I think I lost some detail in the layers of paint, but I still like it more this way.

I didn’t want the watch showing on this occasion either, so I temporarily covered it with polymer clay flowers.

I adapted the directions from the video by My Froggy Stuff on how to make a hat and a beach bag to make my basket. The newest tutorial on how to actually weave one is pretty great too, but it wasn’t out yet when I was getting to work. Perhaps next year 🙂

As for the ‘eggs’… Off-brand Tic-Tacs in a variety of colours 🙂 Obviously, they don’t need to be off-brand, but these just happened to come in an assortment of colours straight from the packet.

Where did all the green ones go?? (No, I didn’t eat them!)

What you wouldn’t know from the pictures is that I had to do the “photo shoot” twice. On my first attempt, the sun went away just a few minutes after I left home :/ The whole morning until then it was perfectly sunny! I tried to take the photos anyway, but all the colours turned out weird. It was frustrating to have to re-take the photos, but the first experience did help me do better the second time around.

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One of the more acceptable photos from the first set. My husband said they were OK and to let it go, but the yellow tones really bugged me, and the rest of the photos were even worse.

All’s well that ends well. With a little extra effort, I managed to come up with something I am content to share in celebration of Easter.

To all those who also celebrate, Happy Easter! I hope it’s a joyful, sunny time 🙂

Perhaps the Easter Bunny will hop by your garden 🙂

Mulan in the gardens

Springtime continues, and so do opportunities for many pleasant walks in the nature ( I’d probably miss most of them, if I wasn’t motivated by my dolls).

Still in the botanical garden, I found a spot that suited Mulan quite well.

It was a peaceful day with very few people in the garden, which I certainly appreciated. The sun was gorgeous too, but sometimes a challenge as well – too much direct sunlight and the doll’s lashes cast very dramatic shadows. (This picture, I felt, was still OK, but many had to be discarded)

I really wanted a photo of Mulan looking up from her fan, but I couldn’t quite get it right. This is the next best thing I was able to achieve – not what I had in mind, but I kind of like it anyway 🙂

The ground was not only covered with petals, it was overgrown with moss –  nature kindly provided doll-sized ‘grass’ for me 🙂

I hadn’t been to the botanical garden for years prior to this spring, and I didn’t realise it even had a Torii gate, which made the setting even better! By the time I discovered it, my camera battery had already died, but agreed to start back on for a few more pictures, as if understanding the gravity of the situation 😉 I would have been inconsolable otherwise.

The sign said that this was a Japanese gate… but perhaps Mulan is travelling?

Having rediscovered the botanical gardens makes me want to come back again soon. Different sections had a different feel about them. On the other hand, some cityscapes would be a nice change, if only I can find the courage to take a doll to a place that public. I really want to, but it’s an internal battle 🙂

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re all enjoying spring and enjoying your dolls 🙂

Cherry & Other Blossoms

I have recently upgraded my Ruby Red Fashionista with a Made to Move body. When trees started blooming, I wanted her to be my model.

In all fairness, my original plan was to take photos of my new Mulan among the blossoms – and I did bring her as well –  but I wanted to reset the visual ‘taste buds’ before posting about her again.

The local botanical garden that I visited has a Japanese corner with three different species of cherry trees, all equally beautiful…

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With the Fashionista, I mostly stopped by the last tree.

I haven’t officially given her a name. The mold is usually called after the dolls Kayla or Lea. To me, she kind of looks like an Emily 🙂

I had not prepared a special outfit in advance, so I dressed the doll in a top and skirt from a fashion pack. I would have loved to make her a kimono of sorts, but I just couldn’t find the right fabric.

I was hesitant whether the pink accents in her clothes would go with her red lips. I decided that the red lip is her personal trademark and it just has to be so, regardless of the outfit 🙂

She is very lovely doll and it was great to finally let her be more expressive with an articulated body. I always wanted her, even when I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to re-body her, but the original, stiff Fashionista bodies do stifle creativity.

This one last tree in bloom is probably not a cherry, hence the title of the post 🙂 It had pink petals as well, but much more fine. That actually made them a better scale for the doll.

The beautiful show that nature has put on recently has really motivated me to go out and take photos, and I actually have some more waiting to be posted 🙂 Unfortunately, this will have to wait until I do a little tidying around the apartment – after all, with spring also comes… spring cleaning 🙂

Hasbro Royal Collection Deluxe Mulan

I gladly say that, in my opinion, Disney Store makes the best Disney Princess dolls there are. However, I have to say I have found an exception. I think Mulan dolls by Hasbro are better depictions of the character, and this one is the most elaborate of them all so far:

Now, if you already know you like this doll, you should know that at the time of posting this, the doll is on sale for 10,78 USD from 29,99 USD on Amazon.com (it is an Amazon Exclusive), so feel free to drop the reading and go buy her immediately :). If you’re not so sure, perhaps this review will help you decide whether she is worth adding to the collection. Oh, and perhaps I should mention I’m not paid to say any of that – I thought I’d share what I think is a cool find 🙂

My package traveled very far very fast, and unfortunately the box cracked in transit. That’s not a huge problem, since I was going to unbox her anyway. It is a very pretty box, though, that I think in-box collectors will appreciate:

I certainly appreciated the lovely images that looked very true to the animation.

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This is the first Hasbro doll in my collection. I must say that when it comes to the unboxing process, it was every bit as tedious as with other brands. Countless, countless tiny tabs, there is always at least one more hiding when you think you got them all. On the positive side, if you want her shipped to Mars, she won’t budge in her box.

At first glance, I’d say Mulan looks very sophisticated and overall gives an impression of nice quality.

She has a face that is reminiscent of the animated style of the film, finished off with ‘real’ eyelashes:

She is wearing removable earrings and a lovely crown with a lotus flower. The crown is attached with both a comb and some thread, for good measure. I am uncertain how well it will stay on with the thread removed.

Her hair is styled. Nothing extremely complicated, but just elaborate enough. She has some green tinsel in her black hair – this, I’m not a fan of…

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The hair is long, it reaches well beyond her hips. It is smooth and completely free from any styling product.

Her dress, a ‘hanfu’, I would (ignorantly) assume, is made of satin-like material, printed with flowers and some glitter accents. The blue and red middle section is permanently attached to the dress (unlike the sheer, light blue shawl, in other pictures – after you remove the one last hidden tab, that is).

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The sleeves are quite impressive:

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Her shoes are not quite as thrilling – they basically scream ‘playline!’:

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They are on an incline, but without a heel or a platform – it’s like she’s wearing flats and standing on the tips of her toes.

There is a two-toned fan that she can hold on her own. I think it’s a very nice accessory:

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Finally, the set includes a stand. Like the shoes, the stand looks kind of childish, but is nonetheless a welcome and practical addition. It’s going to be neccessary, given the shape of her shoe-soles.

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That concludes the list of accessories. Now onto her articulation! She has articulated elbows and wrists, which I believe is an upgrade over the classic Hasbro princesses. Unfortunately, the joints do not allow the arms to bend nowhere near a 90 degree angle:

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The knees do not bend at all, the legs are just solid plastic. The legs do go to the sides a bit, as above, and front and back, as seen below.

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The articulation is, therefore, mixed. Even an internal knee joint would have allowed the doll to sit on chairs with a semblance of grace; no such luck. The arms, although limited as to the angle of movement, do allow just enough poses to make photography options more varied.

Since Mulan is my only Hasbro doll, I was wondering what kind of clothes that I already have might fit her. Supergirl’s outfit (DC Superhero Girls) fits, but that’s not really a viable option:

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Original Barbie clothes sort of fit, with some room to spare:

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Now, Petite Barbie clothes fit really nicely!

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Barbie shoes are definitely too small, but some Ever After High / Monster High shoes can be squeezed on – if you don’t mind that she’s levitating a tad:

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EAH / MH clothes, however, are way too tight. So much so, there are no images available 🙂

Finally, let’s talk about the overall impressions.

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Unlike e.g. Disney Store Limited Edition dolls (but perhaps somewhat like their Special Edition releases), I feel like this Deluxe doll by Hasbro is intended for children, but perhaps as an extra special gift. This is of course no reason not to buy one for the collection! When it comes to her appearance, I don’t think she is lacking in any way at all. Her ‘compromise’ of an articulation gives away that she isn’t as top notch as she could possibly be, but it is her shoes and the overly sweet and childish-looking stand confirm in my mind that she was meant for a younger audience. And that’s fine – after all, adults shouldn’t have all of the Disney fun.

Is she then worth her price? She is beyond a doubt worth her discounted price. When it comes to the full price – close to 30 USD – I think she should have the full articulation to fully deserve it. That said, it won’t matter if she’ll make you happy with her striking looks alone, especially for those who decide to keep her in her lovely box.

Personally, I think she looks beautiful and have no regrets 🙂

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A little more Little Kingdom

My personal Frozen fever continues… with a little side of Cinderella.

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I recently went to an outlet store with a view to buying some pretty mundane stuff and they happened to have lots of awesome toys at a 50% and more discount, among them, the Little Kingdom Frozen series. And a single Cinderella.

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I really like the Little Kingdom, and Anna and Elsa are especially cute. After a moment of deliberation, I grabbed the “Royal Chambers” playset for half of the regular price.

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It is a two-level mini-castle with opening doors, a working swing, a movable bed and chest and a detachable fence that helps connect the set with other ones in the series. The stained glass also rotates to show an alternate view: spring Arendelle scenery. It is decorated with traditional details.

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The chest is a great accessory. It actually holds the snap-ins and Elsa’s gloves. She has tiny removable gloves (Elsa is shown wearing them in the previous picture)!

The front of the castle is just solid violet plastic. It would certainly look lovely with the details painted in.

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Elsa’s outfit is the coronation dress. Her hair is also styled as in the coronation scene . Her cape comes off, and you need to do just that to let her use her swing:

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I don’t know why Elsa’s body is a block of plastic, unlike the usual design with actual legs and a removable skirt. I thought maybe it was the only way for her to sit in the swing, but no. My other Elsa sits just fine, if not better than the one from the set.

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I already have an Anna to keep her sister company, but I bought even more friends. This here Kristoff was marked at a price that translates to roughly 1,75 USD!

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He can wear his snowshoes and hold his lantern. He moves his legs and arms and his hat is removable – no pegs, it just sits on the head. He comes with a Husky (?) and a bone for the puppy. Too bad Sven wasn’t included.

I have really wanted an Oaken for a while, and that was before I found him on sale – same price as Kristoff’s. I’ve wanted him because I love the cute detachable skis – they remind me of a Kinder egg toy I had a child and which I loved – a skiing frog, whose skis I unfortunate lost, ending the fun.

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Oaken’s hat also comes off, although leaving a hole in his head (where the peg goes). His backpack is also detachable and it opens. You can put his bunch of carrots in it. Again, too bad Sven isn’t around to enjoy these.

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He can move at his waist and at his arms, but not a lot. They also look like noodles looking from the side:

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Only slightly creepy 🙂

Here are all my Frozen characters together, including my previously bought Anna:

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Then there is Cinderella. I don’t find her quite as cute as the other characters, but she was discounted to about a dollar, so definitely worth it, even just for the accessories.

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To me, she has slightly crazy eyes, but is adorable otherwise. I certainly like the colours on her.

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Everything except the playset was kind of beat-up, which is a shame, as I would have gladly bough a few more pieces as gifts for the kids in the family. I did take just one more playset to gift away.

All in all, it was a very lucky shopping trip. I really like the design and the quality about the Little Kingdom series. Admittedly, I don’t expect to find as many creative uses for these toys as I do with full-sized dolls, but I am thinking about at least upgrading the castle with some paint details and snapping a few pics. Anyway, it would have been a crime not to bring them home 🙂