Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mini Lalaloopsy - Episode Dolls

When I went to Target yesterday, I didn't expect to see any new Mini Lalaloopsy dolls so I was really surprised wen I saw 4 new issues! Well the characters are not new, you have probably seen them before.  But the concept is new: they are the dolls from a particular TV episode!    

If you have watched the episodes, you'll probably recall immediately what happened in it just by looking at the doll!  I think it's an ingenious new marketing ploy to sell more of the same old dolls ;-)  They are the exact same girls with the same pets but they ave different accessories or outfits.  

I saw 4 new Episode dolls for now and I took pictures of the front and back of each box to show you.

1. "Batter Up" episode with Berry Jars 'N' Jam.  Her giant stack of pancakes made me smile and I love love love how she and and her pet cow are covered in batter just like in the cartoon.


2. "Spot-itis" with Rosy Bumps 'N' Bruises.  The accessories did not wow me as much but I am glad Rosy is featured in this episode special instead of the other more known dolls!


3. "Princess Parade" with Peanut Big Top.  Her teapot is the same model as the Alice and Mad Hatter teapot except it's pink instead of orange.  Again, I am not very impressed with the accessories but Peanut has a very pretty dress and the teapot and teacup do look cute (and I am partial to teapots and teacups so there...)


4. "Flight Plan" with Pix E. Flutters.  She is adorable with her wings but I wished they had included cooler accessories like the fan (no pun intended) seen on the back of the box.


But despite being a little disappointed with the boring accessories, I am still happy with the new dolls!  They retail at $6.99 each and they are packaged in cute boxes.  The boxes have cardboard antennas and the box reminds me of a little TV.  Very very cute indeed.

I hope they will come up with more episode dolls ... especially more boy dolls!!! MGA please please re-issue the boys like Patch and Forest!  Or come up with new boys :)





Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One more day until New Year...

Dear Readers,

Are you ready for this weekend?  I am so ready.  I am ready for a restful and pleasant Lunar New Year.  My home is not totally ready yet though.   I took Thursday off to finish cleaning up and preparing for the big day on Friday.  On top of that, we are having guests tomorrow!  My husband's cousins are coming over and some of them are staying at my place.  Let me tell you something, there is no greater incentive to clean your house than when you know you are going to have visitors!  

We bought a few plants and flowers.  My boy had a really fun time decorating the bamboo tree with lucky charms and miniature lanterns.


I bought my favorite gummy candies from Kasugai and I placed the lucky money in their red envelopes.  

I didn't forget that I wanted to show you miniature items for the Chinese New Year.  Here below are miniature pieces made by Orcara.  The firecrackers and candied fruit tray (which we typically eat during the New Year) are very well done.  You can remove the fruits from the tray's compartments.  


The doll is a Hello Kitty Mini Valentine Doll purchased at Target today.  I was very curious about her because I have never seen any Hello Kitty doll this size before.  Here she is next to some other Mini dolls so you can compare the size.


She is almost the same size as the Playmobil figure so she would look totally fine in a Playmobil house!

Another doll I found at Target was the Valentine Special Target Exclusive Mini Lalaloopsy Doll: Velvet B. Mine!  She is only $4.99 (comparatively to the usual $6.99 for Mini Lalaloopsy dolls) and she comes with 2 pets and a velvet cake on a stand.


Doesn't she remind you of somebody?  Yup... Dollop Light-N-Fluffy!   Dollop comes with more accessories but I definitely like Velvet B Mine's dress better!    

There are also new Mini Lalaloopsy dolls at Target but I will post about them another day because it's so so late right now and I desperately need some sleep!





Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lunar New Year - Lion Dance

Dear Readers,

How was your weekend?  Mine was very busy getting ready for the Lunar New Year!  2014 will be the year of the Horse and the first day will be on January 31st!  I still have a good 2 weeks until then but there are much to do so I feel a little out of breath running around to get things done.  

I somehow managed to get 30 minutes on Saturday to snap a few picture of a miniature Lion I saw in a store and I knew it would be an awesome prop for my Sylvanian Families!  It is attached on a drum with metal wires.  I cut the wires so the head could be used by my scenes.


It is very nicely made with tons of details just like a real Lion.

The back has not been neglected either and it's very colorful!


It is too big for a child Sylvanian figure but it fits an adult figure.  Here below you see the Norwood Mouse Family and the Mulberry Raccoon Family participate in a typical dance.  Money is placed in a red envelope and hung at the end of a pole.  The Lion will try to "eat it".  


Children are usually very excited for the Lion dance and they also get money in the red envelope! I created them by printing miniature envelopes with a color printer.


Sometimes the Lion will perform special tricks and even jumps on tables or poles to get to the money.  Daddy Mouse is using the coffee table (he is getting a bit old to jump on poles!).


Can you see Father Mouse's eyes in the Lion head?



I have some more miniature items related to the Lunar New Year to show you!  But it will have to wait for the next free time I get!  Hopefully I can set up a display soon!  Have a good week!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Licca Castle Dolls

Dear Readers,

As mentioned in my earlier posts, I will write about my first Licca Castle dolls!

Mrs. Chiemi Takeda from the Etsy store Found in Japan has very kindly explained to me the difference between the Licca Castle dolls and the other Licca dolls.

Licca Casle dolls are manufactured at Licca Castle in Fukushima (about 4 hours by bus from Tokyo).  They are not available at toy stores like other TAKARA and TAKARA TOMY Licca dolls. They are available at their Online Shop or Licca Castle events held in major cities.  The colorful-haired Castle dolls (the ones I purchased) are not sold online, and are only available at Licca Castle and their events.



I never thought I would like a blue-haired and pink-haired doll but I immediately liked them when I saw them on the Etsy shop!

Each doll came in a separate bag.  Included in the bag are:
  • A dress
  • A hat
  • A pair of shoes
  • A pair of earrings
  • A hairbrush
  • A certificate

The certificate is like a Thank You Note from Licca.  Mrs. Chiemi Takeda told me it says the following:  "Thank you for visiting Licca Castle today. I'm glad that you made a pretty doll. She will be your good friend."


The reason the word "MADE" is mentioned is because at Licca Castle, you can choose a doll, dress, earrings, shoes and hat to make your own doll. The certificate is only given at Licca Castle in Fukushima.


I noticed the hair of the Licca Castle dolls are a lot silkier and smoother to the touch than the other regular Licca dolls.

I am suddenly thinking about Cousin It for seam reason...

Another difference is their facial features.  The regular Licca doll bought in store looks very similar to the Licca Castle doll but here is a close-up of their face so you can see the slight differences.   Licca Castle seems to have fuller lips, and bigger, rounder eyes.  The face mold seems to be the same but the make-up is different.


Their body looks also similar except for the brand which you can find on the back of the Licca dolls. On the back of Licca Castle are the words: "TAKARA JAPAN".  

My two Licca Friends dolls bought from an online toy store in Japan has the mention "© TOMY MADE IN CHINA" on their back.   Below is Sakura-chan's back.

My Licca student doll was bought from an online store from Hong Kong and on her back are the words: "TAKARA CHINA".

Apart from the words on their back, their hair texture and their facial make-up being different, I don't know if there is other differences between the dolls.  They have the same proportion and their body look the same to me.  Some say the dolls in China have harder arms and head but I have not noticed to be honest.

I was curious to see if the clothes would have the same kind of tags too so here are the difference.

The Castle Licca dress has a tag saying: "Licca Castle Made in China".

The clothes I bought from the Licca Collection from a Japanese online store has this marking instead: "MADE IN CHINA ; TAKARA TOMY ®".

Licca Castle Online Shop apparently does not ship oversea and it's hard enough navigating the website in Japanese that I wouldn't even dare make a purchase on my own.  But Mrs. Takeda does offer an online purchasing/search service on top of her Etsy shop so now I can buy the Licca Castle dolls I have been wanting for a long time!

It also applies to other Japanese websites: if you want something in particular in Japan, you can hire her service for a small fee so she can search for that item and buy for you.   You can read more about it here: Help in Purchasing From Japanese Websites.

That's the easy part actually.  The hard part is to choose which model(s) you want!  And save enough money to buy them! (That would be the most difficult part!)  I already know which dolls I will buy next but I will have to be patient and wait for two more months until I can buy her ^_^

I just want to add that I don't get any commission or freebies for writing this review or mentioning the Etsy shop or online service so my views and opinions are completely my own :)  Once I get my next Licca Castle doll, I'll write a review and post pictures of her on my blog!  I can't wait to show you how pretty she is :D



Monday, January 6, 2014

A Bedroom for Licca-Chan

Dear Readers,

About three months ago, I was determined to stop buying 1:6 scale furniture for my full-size dolls and focus on my 1:12 miniature instead but then I suddenly found out that Licca's Bedroom by Takara Tomy was on sale at $30 on Amazon.com, which is half the usual price! I just couldn't let that chance go and I click on that "PROCEED TO CHECK OUT" button pretty quickly.

I immediately started writing a post about it so other Licca fans could buy it too...and 5 minutes later I was ready to publish it my blog, I checked the link again to see if it worked properly, ...but the price had gone back to it's original amount!  I guess I was lucky to get that flash sale but it's unfortunate other people couldn't get it!

Well since the sale no longer existed, I decided to wait until the package comes so I can write a review.  It came very fast, in less than 2 weeks and it was very well packaged for shipping.  Kuddos to E-Japan (via Amazon) for doing a great job despite the fact that I paid close to nothing for shipping!  Sometimes, sellers would advertise their product and promise free shipping but the packaging is terrible and careless but it was not the case for this item!  Everything arrived in perfect condition!

Thank goodness because the house is made of cardboard.  It is not very thick cardboard and is rather flimsy.  But the colors are sweet and the design is very clever!



There is a handle on the top so it is easy to carry around

Licca dolls are only 9 inches tall compared to the 11 inches Barbie dolls so most of the used Barbie furniture I have don't really fit my Licca dolls.  I was drooling over this bedroom set for quite a long time but never thought I could buy it at such a high price tag.




The inside of the cardboard room-in-a-box is soooo pretty and colorful!

There is so much going on this side of the room!  So many details! 

The door can really open because the door outline is pre-perforated so you can swing it open.
I wish that puppy could be a real Licca toy!

Apart from the plastic furniture, there are many pieces made of cardboard in this playset.  You have to cut out each piece and build the boxes for the cabinet.  There are 3 boxes in total and the rest are magazines, notebooks, cell phone, cookies.  It would have been a lot better if the items were 3-D plastic objects.

What I like about this playset is that you can use the furniture in different ways.  The bed can become a loft bed and the cabinets can be used as support for the bed or standalone.  The vanity can become a study desk and the cabinet can transform into a wardrobe.  It's so awesome!

I like this setting very much!  A loft bed is so cute and the ladder fits perfectly against the bed.

But I like this setting even more because you can display and see better the storage cabinet.

As you can see in the photos below, Licca-chan fits perfectly in her new bedroom :)




I did not add any other accessories than the doll and her teddy bear to the bedroom set so you can see how it looks like just by itself.   But for the future, I will probably add some of my existing miniature items from Re-ment and Barbie collection to embellish the bedroom.

Takara has released a new Licca bedroom with a Hello Kitty theme!  It's exactly the same model as this bedroom but with red accents and Hello Kitty objects.  So maybe the price for this pink bedroom will go down in the future?  If I do notice it, I will blog about it so you can grab it while it's still available!

Do you like the pink-haired Licca doll in today's photos?  She is a Licca Castle I bought from the Etsy store Found in Japan!  I will blog about her and my other Licca Castle doll (the blue-haired one) soon :D

Have a good week!