26 Jun 2017

Resinsoul An and Bei - BJDs


Yes, I said there was more...

I was saving up for the last of the D&D party but also lusting after a few other dollies and lamenting the fact that after buying like 5 bjds I still didn't have a damn green one (Green is my favorite colour) and really really wanted one.
But none of the characters I had in mind were green, arghhh.

Anyway,

in the Facebook group it was mentioned that as well as custom colours and transparent parts Resinsoul were willing to do more complex mods. One person got a two headed torso made (wow) and a few others had multiple arms added and I was all "yes yes YES!" because I love multiple arms, they're really interesting to play with.

So ideas started forming and I figured hey, let's design a character who's effectively a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" sort of idea.
4 arms, clawed feet, creepy eyes... the works.
All the things I love. I considered giving him horns too but decided they'd be too top heavy in the end.

Anyway,

then I had a dilemma. I had enough money to order the last D&D character but something in me just cringed at the idea of spending so much money on ONE doll, even if she is freaking cool.
I kept talking myself out of it, kept telling myself "wait till they have an event" because impldoll often have money off or free doll events. It would soften the blow and ease my spend guilt.

But as many of you probably know, when you have cash in hand, not pissing it away on multiple small purchases is really hard.
I knew i'd just squander it and the want for this green doll was pretty immense. I kept thinking about him and I eventually decided that the Impldoll could wait till they had another event. I'd managed to save up once, I could do it again.

I also toyed with the idea of a gnome or halfling character to hang with the D&D group because I really like gnomes and halflings but finding a small body that doesn't look like a child is quite tricky.
Resinsoul's YOSD bodies happen to be extremely slender and while they have next to no bust, they DO have hips so they look more like teenagers than 10 year olds.
As Halflings are often described as being "mistaken for children at first glance", a semi mature body with a rather sweet face sounded like, with the right painting, it could work.

So I contacted Resinsoul and asked for a price quote for this crazy green boy.

I even made a little diagram to illustrate what I wanted, to avoid any miscommunication.



I wanted the An head, one of my favorite of the Resinsoul sculpts (I love his nose okay? he has a somewhat broad nose and this really sweet expression), green skin, on the slightly taller and buffer Tang/Sui body because I wanted the Sui feet and Resinsoul claimed they wouldn't quite fit the regular boy body.
I also wanted Sui's beautiful clawed hands because they're pretty and of course four arms.
I wanted him green with light tan/coffee lower limbs to make them more like bird feet or something. I like multicoloured dolls okay? 

They gave me a quote which was very reasonable given how complicated this was (with the mixture of three different dolls parts, two colours and the modification of the torso) and I had just enough of my saved money (I had been selling stuff like crazy. Nothing like new dolls to motivate you right?) to add a YOSD doll to the order too.
I chose Bei because she's adorable. She's a really popular sculpt but I can see why, she has teensy little elf ears and she's adorable.


As always, the company stock photo does little to sell the product.
But trust me, she's adorable.

And so with the order done, I settled in for a looooong wait.
While they quoted "40 days", none of my dolls have only taken that long.
In general, they ship out after about 45-50 days and take a week to arrive. EMS shipping is suprisingly fast.

Still, I hate waiting. After about 2 weeks I got cranky.
after 4 I get impatient.
When I ordered I did an estimate of mid June arrival based on previous orders, and I was right, almost to the day. 

When I finally got a shipping notice I was delighted and realised I hadnt even started preparing things for their arrival. Oops?

 Usually i'd have wigs and at least some basic clothing stuff done but I couldn't find a wig for Bei, despite wanting a pretty basic style the selection of 5-6 sized wigs is really limited unless you want to import from the US and I didn't want to pay like £15 for POSTAGE, that's taking the piss.
Like, postage was more than the wig cost!
but apparently Liv wigs fit so I dug out a few of those I had to act as temporary wigs.

Meanwhile for the boy I knew exactly what wig I wanted, but it had to be special ordered via a UK dealer and it'll be several more weeks before that arrives.

As for clothing, as I didn't own a YOSD resinsoul already I couldn't really sew anything particularly effectively. While apparently she fit Barbie stuff, Barbie's proportions are quite different and I wanted the doll in hand to draft from.

With the boy, I had no idea how I was going to tailor something to those multiple arms, he was going to be such a strange shape, again, I needed to have the doll in hand to start drafting something from.

I'm not a very good seamstress anyway, so I already knew this would be a big challenge.

I ordered end of April, they finally arrived mid/late June.

I was, I admit, concerned the box would be enormous with two dolls in and customs might decide to investigate but thankfully they didn't, they just waved it through. Phew.
Thank you customs.

As it was, turns out the box they used was the exact same size as the boxes my other boys came in. A long, narrow box.


Inside the box they'd managed to fit both the large cream case and the small brown case. I'm impressed they got both into one box tbh.

Look how teeny that brown case is!

The cream cases are a little too big for the dolls inside them, they're a good like 3 or 4 inches longer than the actual doll.

The little brown case on the other hand, is slightly too short meaning little Bei (or Lidara as i've named her) was curled into a sort of fetal position inside. 


She came packaged like the bigger dolls, wrapped in a gold sausage (lol) and inside a plastic bag.
Weirdly inside her bag was a loose S hook (the thing she's holding in this pic)
At first I thought it was from a hand or foot, but nope, her feet were both in place and her hands don't even use S hooks, they're attached via an actual loop of elastic which is a bit odd.

I have to assume the hook fell into the bag when they were parceling her up and they didn't notice. It is pretty tiny.

But hey, spare S hooks are always useful right?

So first impressions of teeny little Bei, she's so cute.
She's a lot smaller and more slender than I anticipated. I thought she'd be short but sorta solid more like a Makie body but she's actually very very willowy.
She shipped with brown eyes which i'm delighted about as I planned brown eyes for her lol.

Resinsoul tend to put eyes in that match the skin tone of the doll, so green dolls  have green eyes, blue dolls get blue eyes, grey get grey and so on. With their "normal skin" dolls it's sort of pot luck. You probably could request a certain colour but most companies they just grab a random set and those are the eyes you get.

I do appreciate that they do seem to try to match the eyes with the fantasy colours though, I think it's sweet. Nhar came with these amazing purply blue eyes that I ended up keeping because they just worked so well.
They seem to have rather a lot of colours. there's at least 2 greys (one is more a hazel), 2 blues, a green, a yellow colour and a lovely deep brown. There might be more, so far all my dolls have come with different default eyes lol.

Anyway,

Her skin is VERY pale. She's not as pink as my other NS coloured doll (Auriel), she's very very fair skinned.
That might change over time. Resin naturally mellows over time so you'll often see a bit more of a creamy yellow colour start to form as the resin settles. (of course putting them into direct sunlight will cause this to happen much faster and they can turn a rather sickly yellow instead)
 So she might not remain so ghostly pale. I don't mind the paleness, but I think a little creaminess would help make her look a little more healthy heh.

Unlike some people in the hobby, I don't tend to consider yellowing a flaw, it's just a natural process that happens with the material. All plastics do it and it's usually most obvious in white dolls who turn a sort of cream colour which personally I find quite attractive. It brings a bit of warmth into a doll that's otherwise paper white and sort of stark. Mellowing/yellowing brings out a sort of inner warmth, of course... in some cases it can look a bit ugly but that's usually a doll who's been left on a windowsill or who's resin wasn't a very stable colour to start with.
Same thing happens with regular fashion dolls, you can get some pretty weird discoloration over time.

Anyhoo, that was a tangent...


Liv wigs it seems fit Bei perfectly, you can't even see the plastic wig cap. I'd argue they actually fit her better than they fit the livs themselves! You just have to cut the plastic prong out which i'd already done years ago to use the wigs on other dolls (like monster high and moxie teenz)
Sadly the Monster High wigs are too small, they don't have much of a wig cap so they just won't fit.
Moxie teen wigs should, but I have to dig out my MT dolls to test that, I don't seem to have any spare wigs.

Clothing-wise, Bei fits Barbie clothing pretty well. Of course, she's got less of a bust so there can be some gapping and i'm talking modern barbie stuff, not pre 99 stuff (which is really bizarrely proportioned with the teeny pinched waist and giant chest/shoulders)

Her feet are too big for any fashion doll shoes. I'll need to buy her some specially.


Her head cap is held on with a little hook and a magnet. The magnet is STRONG. I think it's the same magnets they use for the bigger dolls but on a smaller doll with a smaller cap to hold on it's actually quite difficult to yank the cap off.
Inside is all the elastic from her body, the S hook that holds all that elastic in place and the eyes held in place with white eye putty (I use white tac but the default resinsoul stuff is a bit stickier, I have no idea what it actually is)

There's not much space inside this head.

Her eyes are half round eyes, so they're like a half globe and hollow. You can get full round eyes as well which as the name suggests, are fully rounded but with a head this small they might be a bit tricky to get in there.
She takes 10- 12mm eyes. I think these ones are 12mm but i'm not sure.

Before they arrived I worked up some designs for how I wanted both dolls to look.

 This was my design for Lidara, minus the freckles I had doodled in my pencil sketch because I  forgot lol.

But I wanted purple or blue lips and the plan was to try to get her to look a bit more mature and less child-like.


So she got a faceup. Her eyes aren't symetrical. I kinda screwed up the eyeliner on one side so I just went with it okay?

She's wearing a dress I made for a Makie doll and some Makie leggings. They fit her surprisingly well.


To get an idea of size I put her alongside my Makie and one of my My Scene dolls.

Lidara stands around 10.5 ish... inches tall while the Makie is 10 inches and a barbie doll is 11.5


Lidara's hip width is similar to the Barbie doll but her waist isn't as cinched in. Her torso is about as long as the Barbie torso too (and thus a lot longer than the Makie). Her shoulders are narrower than Barbie though and of course she has next to no boobs, even the Makie has bigger boobs.


She's elastic strung which means her whole body is under tension. While she stands on her own fine, her head seems to like tilted to one side and it's a little tricky to get her to hold it straight, it always pings back into this sort of tilted quizzical look.


She's a single jointed doll which means her joints are just a sort of cup shape in one piece and a ball shaped part that slots into it.
Double jointed dolls have an extra piece in the knee and elbows.

So because she's single jointed and tiny, she can't really hold her arms at 90 degrees without quite a bit of manipulation, but she can still manage to kneel (her weight holds the knees) and slouch pretty realistically.


Her arms like to naturally pull upward with the tension of her strings, which means she almost always will fall in a way to have one arm raised and outstretched.
All my dolls seem to do this, you have to actually position the arms straight if you want them to stay at their sides, the slightest movement and the arm will move into this sort of position.


I thought i'd get some smaller dolls out to see if Bei was closer to their sort of shape.

Star Darlings are a LOT skinnier with a really short torso, but Disney Descendants actually look like their proportions are pretty close. They have a bigger bust but everything else looks quite close.

Descendants are a little smaller than Barbie, more teen skipper sized maybe? I expect MC2 would probably be quite a similar shape as well.
Barbie can fit MC2 stuff but it's often slightly too tight, same with descendants.


As expected, Star Darling stuff is a bit too tight.


It'll go on, but bei is wider around the waist so the elastic won't fully do up at the back there.


On the other hand, Descendants stuff fits perfectly.
Does up fully at the back, fits surprisingly well across the bust and falls to the correct length.
This dress has next to no give in it, it's a very non stretchy sort of fabric but it fits her like it was made for her.
Awesome!

Moxie Girlz stuff might fit too, but it could be a bit tight. I need to get out my big bag o doll clothing to know for sure.


I decided I really liked the orange on her, she stole Lyric's cape (which is actually from a Disney Merida anyway) till I can get around to making her her own one.


She still needs shoes.

Buying shoes for bjds is a bit of a pain because they don't all have the same sized feet and a lot of companies don't bother to actually list the inside measurement of their shoes.
Her feet around around about 4cm long which means I need shoes with an inner measurement of 4.2-4.5cm and SO MANY YOSD shoes seem to be 3.5cm which is way too small. Grrrr
I've found some boots, I just need to order them. *lazy*


But now it's time for the other bag..

He shipped with his hands all detatched, in little baggies.
I assume so  they wouldn't break in transit, but i've never seen this before, all my others arrived fully put together.
It's gotta be to do with the extra arms right?

Both of them had little certificates of authenticity (the yellow card) which lists the date they were cast, their head sculpt and their main resin colour.
So Lidara's says "Bei, NS" while this guy's lists "An, Green"
Which doesn't really explain much. He has an An head sure, but the rest of him sure isn't lol.


Here he is in his baggy.

Now here's the weird thing. He shipped without his hands attached right? but one arm had a giant S hook looped through the elastic, like the size of S hook they use for the heads.

At first I thought it was just securing the elastic but it's only on one arm so one set of arms has nothing keeping the elastic in place by the teeny small hand S hooks, so ... why does he have a giant hook there?
I can only assume they were using it to pull the elastic through or something, to hold it on one side while they pulled the other side through? and then just didn't remove it?

so weird.

I wanted to get his hands on before I did anything else though, so I sat down and carefully attached each one to the little hook in the arm. 


And here he is all together!

Interestingly they cast his lower legs in dark tan not light tan, I can only assume they just forgot or something, it looks really nice but i'm fairly certain they didn't charge me for the dark tan (which is about $30 extra)
I'd need to double check my invoice.

He smelled so strongly of resin. Something i've never had with a doll before, which I have to assume is because of the extra drilling and sanding they did to attach the second set of arms.
The smell (a sort of plasticky smell) goes away after a few hours of airing the doll out, but I was amazed to smell it because i'd read many people talking about "new resin" smell and never smelled it before.

So yes, he has four arms. They seem to cast the body and then drill and sand the sockets afterwards.
The sockets look really professional though, they're smooth and bevelled and not quite as deep as the shoulder sockets due to the thickness of the resin at this point but they look really dang good.

The arms also have a sort of stopper on the shoulders which fits perfectly into the sockets, so he can hold his arms straight out and they lock into that position.

This body is the Tang/Sui body which is more buff and well... veiny than the regular boy body. It has double jointed arms but the joints are totally different to the regular double jointed arms.
Instead of the weird cup system Ming uses, this piece is sort of trapezoid shaped? and the lower arm locks into it quite well, so the joint moves with the lower arm rather than swivelling around and getting in the way.
this means his double joints actually look good and work really really well.


yes one of his eyes was put in wonky lol.

You can see the little locks in his shoulders here (those two little prongy bits in the upper arm) and his double joints in action.
He's very tightly strung and stands like a rock right out the box. His arms hold their pose beautifully and overall i'm actually very impressed by the engineering of this body.
It seems much better thought out than Ming's arms.



His legs on the other hand are quite strange.
His knees are locked, as in, there's no hinge there so he can't bend his knees. In order to bend the knee you need to pull the whole leg out the socket, bend it, then let the elastic relax and he'll hold his leg like that.
There's little prong locks on this piece but they're on the front edge and don't seem to lock into anything so i'm not totally sure I understand them.

Meanwhile he has this extra ankle joint that moves like a single jointed knee and a foot on a ball joint.

I'm not sure I completely understand why or what those joints are supposed to do, but as I seldom move a doll's legs other than to help them sit, arms are way more my priority.
I just want legs that can hold the doll's weight.

Also I love the sculpting on these. They're supposed to be "dragon feet" but I think they look more bird or dinosaur-like.

they even have a little dew claw at the back.


Initially I wasn't sure about this body because I wasn't that keen on all the veins and stuff, but they're not as obvious irl. He has a sculpted 6 pack lol.

His hands are beautiful and expressive with long claw-like nails.


As an MSD doll, he's almost twice the height of Bei. He's about 17 inches tall.
This body is ever so slightly taller than the other boy body, but not actually that much broader despite the definition.


First things first was to get his proper eyes in.

they're actually marbles, blue iridescent marbles. They're really hard to photograph but they look awesome in. They're black in some lights, green in others and then blue and always look a bit spooky.


His arms take a bit of effort to get to pose properly. His lower arms get in the way of the upper arms at the shoulder so it restricts them a bit, but this is completely realistic and just means you have to carefully pose each arm individually or he looks a bit messy hahah.

His wig is not his final wig, his final wig is actually a dark wine colour but i'm waiting for it to arrive.
this is the wig Lyric came with and it's a size too big so it slides off with the slightest movement.

The colour looks quite pretty against the green though.

And boy is he green.

Photographing coloured dolls is always a challenge because of different monitors and lighting and such, but i'm pleased to say that he's exactly the green I expected him to be.


He's closest to Monster High Casta or Venus's green, they're both a little more yellow but it's dang close.


This should give a pretty good idea of the green tone.

The brown of his legs come out a lot redder in photos than it actually is though, it's the same tone as Oisin (my Ming) and is a sort of chocolate milk tone.



I had doodled up my concept for his face while I was waiting for him to arrive but the day he was supposed to be delivered I figured i'd pass the agonising wait time (oo I hate waiting for parcels) by doing a colour test.

I knew I wanted gold because gold looks awesome against green. I also love doing these sorts of face masks because they look cool okay?

I used a photo of the An head and drew over the top of it like I did with the Bei doll's face test and stuck to a pretty simple scheme of green, gold and white.

I also designed a lot of markings for his arms and hands which I haven't gotten to yet.


But his face is done.

I still need to finish his claws.

I ran out of sealant just as I finished his face.


I still have to do his hands, upper arms and neck but I need to buy sealant.


His feet got a bit of gold.


and a temporary outfit for dignity reasons

His shirt is going to be a bit complicated I think, those extra arms make things tricky. My plan is to avoid sleeves completely hah.


I love green dolls.

Only problem is, now I want MORE green dolls <_<

Erp...


24 Jun 2017

Ball joint dolls (BJD)

Well it was inevitable wasn't it? that eventually as a doll collector i'd gravitate toward the more expensive end of the spectrum.

I first encountered bjds when I was in university, maaaany years ago now. I cannot recall how I stumbled upon them, but I recall that at the time I didn't collect dolls and I still lusted after one.

Back then the selections were pretty limited, dolls tended to come in well.. fleshtone peach, white or... a bit more peachy with faintly tanned being a limited run they only did for special events.
They were massive expensive and while I had a student loan such frivolous use of it felt wrong so I continued to talk myself out of it.

But I suppose part of that longing stuck with me because every so often i'd find myself looking at them again, pondering, and ultimately deciding they were just too expensive and too big.

Anyway, fast forward many years on and it seems to be a natural progression for people who collect stuff to migrate up from cheap little things to the more elaborate stuff.
I blame Makies really. They were £69 which for me was INSANE money but gosh I wanted them, and each time i'd buy one I guess I convinced that little bit of my brain that it was okay to spend that sort of money on a doll.
So then £100 wasn't that much more... and it's a slippery slippery slope.


13 Jun 2017

Star Darlings, Hatchimals Colleggtables and thrift store fun!

Yeah I didn't have enough for one full review so this is an info dump/photo spam post.
Deal with it lol.


20 May 2017

Blind bags - Twozies and L.O.L


Blind bags aren't a new thing, in fact, growing up I remember collecting rather a few of them. I loved Oodles and Lil' Babies and later there were Magic Diaper Babies who's diapers/nappys changed colour depending on their gender.
It was fun finding out if it was a boy or a girl and I had rather a lot of them.
they were cheap and thus a really easy pocket money purchase. I think a bag containing 1 or more was only a couple of bucks and were often in a 342 deal anyway.
We had Monster in my pocket and all the various other "in my pocket" toys as well, many of which were either given away in your cereal or sold in blind packs. Surprise toys in general were huge in the early 90s so it's not without a massive amount of nostelgia that I approach the newer blind bags.

Lego sort of forged the way with the latest lot I think, with their minifigures which sold like candy.
From there it's become a bit of a fad, with just about every company out there producing some sort of blind bag surprise figure.

Spinmaster have gotten in on the act with their Hatchanimals Eggs, we have little genies in bottles, Mattel have a few different sorts and there's still a lot of lego ones.
But today we're looking at MGA's breakthrough blind balls (lol balls) and Moose toys' Twozies.

Moose actually has a number of different blind and collectable toys including Shopkins, but i've always preferred humanoid or animal little toys so i've no paid much attention to those.

Twozies however remind me way too much of the little babies I collected as a child. Particularly the Lil' Babies/Oodles

Sadly I don't have my childhood toys any longer, and it turns out these little toys are not exactly cheap on ebay.
I did want to get a few for this review but I couldn't justify the cost some people wanted, especially for them still packaged.
So instead you'll have to make do with photos I stole off google.

powerpuffruth2000 on Flickr

The L'il Babies came in candy coloured blind bags and contained a single baby each. They were cheap as anything and I remember buying big ol' handfuls at a time growing up.

Each baby was about an 2-3 inches tall and came with a neon coloured nappy/diaper made of fabric.
They were reused molds from a previous line called Oodles, who had little hooks on their heads so you could string them like charms? I dunno, it was weird. But the l'il babies didn't have the hooks and got fabric nappies instead. Yay the 90s?

jadestoys on Flickr

I'm gonna have to buy a few of these, I just know it. For nostalgic reasons.

Twozies really reminded me of these when I saw them, small baby figures but this time with silly animal hats? Sign me up!

I grabbed a few on a trip to the supermarket, they're only £2:50 so it's a pretty reasonable "just because" addition to the shopping basket.





Twozies come in little cubes which is actually a really quite brilliant way to get around the "people sitting and fondling the bags to try to get the rare ones" problem.
the plastic cubes also double as a display which I quite like.
I like reusable packaging.

Series 1 has pink lined cubes in two shades of pink. A very vivid barbie pink and a paler pink. They seem to be random.
The whole thing is wrapped in a clear cling film plastic which just tears off.



The back of the cube informs me that this contains 1 baby, 1 pet and 1 box with a pattern card.

The gimmick with these is that each baby has a matching pet but you might not get a matching pair in the box, encouraging you to keep buying to find that pairing and finish the sets.

I'd have totally loved this as a kid. I loved small animal toys and I loved blind bagged babies so this is exactly the sort of thing 7 year old me would be buying in quantity.



Removing the plastic film there's two sections to the box. The front where the actual toys are, hidden behind a little card sheath and the back where the pattern card, instructions and collector pamphlet slot into a little gap.

In this case my card has bananas on and says "two cheeky"

All of the characters come in a little "set" with a name that starts with "two" and then something like "wild" "cheeky" "cool" and so on.
This narrows down which baby is in this box. It must be one from the "two cheeky" section.


The little card slots into the cube to create a little backdrop and there's a little peg for the baby to clip into (yet none for the pet, hmm)

The instructions also tell me the boxes themselves clip together to create a large shelf display. That's cool.



The "two cheeky" set seems to include a lot of rarer characters.
The little hearts indicate rarity, the dark pink ones are harder to find than the light pink hearts and the circles indicate gender. Seems all the pets match the gender of their baby partner and pretty much every animal has a male and female version. The male one almost always is the more realistically coloured one, hmmm.

Anyway, we can probably discount all the darker pink hearts because I seriously doubt i'm lucky enough to get a rarer one. Which means this box is probably one of the 6 common ones. Racoon, chipmunk? and dalmation.

Some of the names are a bit uh... lazy. Calfy the calf? Chimps the chimp? COME ON.


Anyway, inside the cube are two bright yellow bags. One with the pet, one with the baby.

Let's rip these suckers open and see what we got!

I have no patience for suspense, so I totally tore these open without taking photos. Sorry!


But this was what I got. A matching pair!

Dale and Dashie the uh.. i think they're racoons. I'm not totally sure.

I'm also not convinced brown nappies are a fashion statement lol.
Practical maybe though.

I don't know how common it is to get a matching pair, but given the whole premise seems to be them being mixed up I assume matching ones aren't so common. So yay?

There's a little hole in the bottom of Dale's foot that clips into the peg in the box so he stands up securely, but Dashie hasn't got anything so falls over a lot.
It's a shame, I wonder if it's just a case that some of the pets are in laying down poses so a peg insert wouldn't have worked or looked so good? Not sure, but it's a shame. Being able to make them both stand securely would have been nice.

Anyway, Dale has big black eyes and surprised eyebrows. He looks startled lol. There's a bit of fuzzy paintwork around his nappies and he has pigeon toes lol.

Dashie is posed standing on one leg and his tail, which is cute but not overly stable a position. He has a painted mask and some streaky white markings. He's absolutely tiny. The babies themselves are only about 2 inches tall and the pets are about an inch and a half at most. They're soooo tiny and very easily lost.
especially as they don't clip into the dang shadow box display.

As well as single cubes, you can also buy various multipacks with some of the pets or babies already revealed.
Not as exciting of course, but useful if you're looking for a specific one.

There are packs of three, six and a huuuuge multipack of twelve pairs even. Along with some playsets where there's no secret element.

Tesco had a 342 deal on so I picked up a big set as well as two series 2 cubes as well (and a few more series 1 cubes because i'm weak ahem)


I got this pack SPECIFICALLY for the little green octopus kid.
I love octopus and the hat cracks me up.

In this set you have a confirmed matched pair (in this case a purple cat pair) and then four revealed babies, one secret one with a revealed pet and four secret pets.
Not bad, there's still the surprise element.

From researching online it appears these multipacks aren't totally random. The secret pets are, but the on display pets seem to come in particular variations. There's several variations though, each with different ones (i've seen two different combos with the bee baby for instance, but only seen this one with the octopus)


It looks like the selection is a bit more limited in these sets too. They only have 6 pairs per collection rather than 12.
I don't know if that's just a space thing or if they genuinely only have this assortment, I mean, the purple octopus is shown but not the green one we KNOW is in this box so... yeah... that's weird right?
It says at the top ALL the series 1 pairs are available, just not pictured but it's still a bit weird to only have half of them pictured.

There's also a big advert for the "ultra rare neon" characters. No mention of the even rarer "two precious" set though, weird.

Anyway...


Again I was impatient and just ripped everything out the box.

Mystery baby turned out to be a frog kid (lol, he's adorable) and the mystery pets were a dalmation, a rhino, a pony and *gasp* one of those ultra rare neons! an OWL! (I love owls)
Kinda a bummer I didn't get his baby partner but eeee neon owl!


I opened my 2nd season single packs while waiting for the bus.
Impulse control? what's that? lol

I got a brown dog with weird yellow lips (ew) and a fuzzy flocked white kangaroo.
Pets were a hedgehog that reminds me of Monster High Howleen's pet (lol) and a white cat.

My first wave boxes contained a lamb and pet pair and an octopus (the purple one!) with an elephant pet.

The series 2 boxes have purple surrounds. bright purple and a paler purple. they fit the pink rimmed boxes fine though I have found all the shadow boxes can be a bit difficult to pull apart again.

I do like this display concept though, being able to slot the boxes together into various shapes and sizes is clever and cute. I just wish the pets themselves had a little peg to keep them standing as several of them, especially the bipedal ones fall over an awful lot.
Also I wish the multipacks came with more boxes, they're cheaper because they don't have them but it means you end up cramming multiple babies and pets into each box.
That said, two babies and two pets fit pretty nicely into each compartment.

So okay, I might have gotten slightly carried away buying twozies...
but they're such a blast from the past hahah.
Moose seem to be good at taking stuff from the 80s and 90s and giving it a modern spin while still kindling those nostalgic feelings in adults. Zelfs captured Trolls while being their own thing. These remind me so much of l'il babies and similar lines of the time, even their Shopkins remind me in a way of Cherry Merry Muffin (especially the playsets Cherry had, the anthropomorphic groceries lol)


But of course Moose aren't the only company getting creative with the blind bag toy fad.

MGA have taken it to new extremes with their L.O.L balls.
These things aren't small like the usual blind bags, no, they're big ol' balls of fun.
AND they have a pretty hefty price tag to boot.
While almost every other blind toy is under £3, the L.O.L balls are £7:99 and that's quite a chunk of cash to drop on a complete surprise.

Still, I was curious.

The biggest draw for me personally was the creative packaging of these things.
they're marketed like commercialised pass the parcel where you remove a layer at a time to reveal a new little prize till you get to the middle.


The graphics are very MGA, sort of Bratz babiez with those big eyes, skimpy outfits and pouty lips.
Here the girl yells to unbox her. Or rather, unwrap right?

the little ball logo thing also says there's more than 45 to collect? ouch, that's quite the investment at £7:99 a pop.

Honestly when I first saw these I thought "mmm here we go again with MGA pricing themselves out the market" but interestingly, despite the hefty price tag these are selling like hotcakes.
As a parent though, i'm not sure how happy i'd be letting my kid dish out that sort of cash on something with a high chance of duplicates.
It's just a bit too much for the gamble.

Anyway, enough of that, let's look at this ball!



The back of the ball talks about the "layers of surprise"
1: a scrap of paper with a rebus puzzle. You know those things where a symbol or picture indicates a word? (Side note: I once wrote a whole letter to my teacher in rebus, I was such a nerd lol.)

2: stickers

3: a bottle, they are baby dolls after all.

4: some shoes

5: the outfit

6: accessories

7 the doll.

It also tells me to add water for a surprise.
Uh oh. I have children, I don't want water based surprises! I know what that means!


The ball has a printed little zipper and a helpful "pull here" arrow.


So here we go!


Layer one reveals a little slip of paper as promised with a rebus. Party and... dog? Party dog? Party pup?
Well the answer is also printed ON the paper. It's party "animal" which i'd have never got, sure a dog is an animal but it's a bit obtuse there.

Couldn't they have at least put the answer on the back of the slip?

Let's peel another layer


This layer reveals the stickers. Feed or bathe her to reveal that water based surprise.... eep.

Apparently some change colour, some spit (nice), some uh.. pee themselves and some cry?
I dunno about you but I kinda associate three of these things with BAD things. Kids aren't meant to spit, it's a gross habit you get in trouble for. Crying means bad things have happened and peeing yourself is a humiliating accident surely? which obviously would then lead to crying.

I never understood peeing dolls, I just couldn't even as a kid fathom the appeal of an incontinent dolly.

I really hope I don't get a peeing doll. We're thankfully past the potty training stage here, I hope to not have to deal with urine related accidents for quite some time thank you.

The graphics are adorable on these balls. The little girl says we're "getting closer"


On the other side another baby asks if i'm excited yet.
No baby, i'm filled with trepidation that this baby will either spit in my face or pee all over me.

NEXT LAYER!


Another baby tells me we're almost there! whoo.


And our first taste of something that's not just a slip of paper!
Inside this little alcove is a pink plastic baggie which according to the list, should be the bottle.


Well it definitely looks like a bottle.

I love how the bag says "let me out of here!", that made me smile.


The other side has the LOL logo. I admit "lil outrageous littles" is a bit of a contrived name to get that acronym. But eh.


Here's the bottle. It really doesn't look like a baby bottle. In fact, that brown thing around the middle looks like those things they put around coffee mugs. Yes, this looks like a coffee mug merged with a sippy cup!

Caffeinated babies... Isn't caffeine a diuretic? *gulp*


We're nearly there!

This girl claims she's making her entrance, but she'll have to wait.


Because on the other side of the ball is another alcove!


This baggie contained some shoes.

they're teeny tiny skates. This should give away who's in the ball, but we'll prolong the anticipation shall we?


Stripping the ball completely naked reveals another curious little alcove, this time with a round little lid on it.
oooo.


This is the back where the shoes were.


Under the lid is another little bag.


This contains the outfit. It's made of rubbery plastic like the shoes and reminds me of those clip on clothes the Bratz Kidz came with at one point. Only squishy.


I didn't get a good pic of the lid but underneath it has a slice of pizza and some random letters.


Finally we get to crack open the ball. It opens in two halves with a gentle tug.

Inside there's a whole load of stuff.

the top section looks to have little moulded pillows and stuff, there's what looks like a handle, two baggies, some instructions and FINALLY the collector sheet.

I think it's clever they saved that till this point, it kept the suspense a little longer for my first one.


Looking at it we can very quickly identify that the doll in my ball  must be Roller Sk8er.

But what is her water based surprise?


Here's everything that was inside the ball.

the other half of the ball has little bubbles inside it. The instruction booklet shows that this is a little playset. the top half is a bathtub and the other side is a little lounge area that that pizza slice lid slots into to make a feeding tray.

Cute.

It also claims the whole ball can be a "purse" with the addition of the handle. That I dispute, but it makes a decent if not bulky carry case for the doll.

Anyway, let's open these bags.



The bigger bag is double bagged, i'm not sure why though as the shoes and outfit have already given away which doll it is.

the smaller bag contains the accessory which in this case is a teeny tiny pacifier/dummy that fell down under my desk and disappeared. Oops.


TADAH, naked baby!

I'm actually surprised these don't have molded or painted panties but I suppose that would make their peeing extra weird.

She's a cute doll, very MGA, very Bratz-like. Her head is squishy and her body is hard plastic.

She has an open mouth, huge round eyes and molded pink hair in little buns.

Her body is chubby and cute but I was worried to see she has a little hole between her legs. nooo don't be a peeing doll! PLease!


Her head actually comes off quite easily and this reassured me, there's no hole in the neck so she's not a peeing doll.

The body itself is totally hollow in the body cavity suggesting they all use the peeing body even if they don't have the peeing head. (nice)

so she must be a spitter, colour changer or a crier.

I rammed her in some water aaaand...

she's a spitter. Nice. 


I got her dressed up in her shoes and outfit which was very easy. The pacifier/dummy doesn't really stay in her mouth that well though (which is precisely why it's not lost)

Dressed they also can no longer pose. The dolls themselves have jointed hips and shoulders and a neck on a sort of ball so their motion isn't bad for something so small (they're about 4 inches tall) but once dressed they can't really move.

This is a shame.

the paint is very nice though. It's bright and colourful especially on the doll herself. Her eyes and hair are very clearly defined and very nicely applied.


They remind me very much of the Bratz Babiez, but I only own one of the boys. Still, MGA have this very unique style to most of their doll lines that mean they all sort of work with one another and that's kinda fun.

these are like a modern interpretation of the Bratz Babiez, babiez for the new generation if you will heh. It's fun.


Because of her outfit she can't really SIT in her lounge area. I managed to get the cup to sit in the cup holder clip and the tray to balance on her lap but she's sort of laying down more than sitting.
Bummer.

Also the outfit doesn't actually close all the way at the back, it attaches sort of like a paper doll outfit would with these flaps at the back so she shows her butt off from the back.
I don't think I like that. I mean, I want to be able to play with a doll and not have her flashing me every time she turns around.
it's a 3d object, it seems weird it's only displayable from the front.
This was the same issue with the clip on Kidz clothes.
I don't really understand the logic of 2d clothing on a 3d body.


Far too much buttcheek for comfort.


This is another thing the ball can do, it's also a stand or stage. There's two little indents at the top for the doll's feet. Problem is, they aren't that deep so the doll is a bit precarious and will fall off rather easily.


And all put together there's a problem with those two big cavities where the shoes and drink were. They make it look a bit odd to me.

but you can shove the doll inside the ball and carry her around if you want to.


The back of the collector sheet shows all these various playset things. Purse, hangout, stand, tub. I think it's a really cute idea to turn the packaging into a mini playset but the balls do take up an awful lot of space. After one or two what do you do with all the extras? they're big and awkward to store, with supposedly 45 of them to collect that's gonna get space consuming fast.

This also illustrates that there's different coloured balls.

I opened 2 and husband opened 1, we got 2 light pink and 1 darker pink ball.
Apparently the rare ones come in gold balls but I can't figure out any rhyme or reason to the pink and blue ones. Initially I thought they were a clue on rarity but i've seen the same character come in blue or pink balls so... I haven't a clue.


I traded for the rocker one, she seems to be impossible to find in the UK.

You can see here the variety of the bottles. Some look more like bottles (the pink one) and others are the coffee cup style with different coloured lids. I'm not sure if every single character has a unique bottle but the four here all have different ones so hmm.

Of this set i've ended up with two spitters and two criers (well the princessy one is actually husband's).
The criers are hilarious, they have holes in their eyes and spit water out them like acid. It cracks me up.
I was actually hoping the superhero one would get the crying function because I love the idea of "acid from the eyeballs" as a superpower.

There's some colour changing gimmick on some as well. Either the clothing or the hair can change but only specific characters have this, it's not like the other three gimmicks where it's totally interchangeable.  I think that's a shame, including it as a possibility for all of them like the packaging implies would have been cool but I suppose more difficult.


Way too much booty on display from their bizarrely constructed clothes.


They are a nice size though. Small enough to be collectable, but big enough to feel like something you could actually properly play with.

I will gripe that this girl's tiara doesn't stay on her dang head though, and the bottles are ridiculously oversized.


The other thing i'll point out is the wastage. While the packaging is really cute and extremely fun to open, it's VERY wasteful. This is a very large pile of plastic for such a small toy and doesn't really seem particularly eco friendly.
Added to that, the novelty of the deboxing process i'm sure wears off after a couple of dolls. Once you've opened a few you can immediately identify the doll inside by the shoe layer, or in several cases by the bottle layer (there's multiple different bottle designs)
It means I really can't see much longevity to this brand. the price point for a blind toy is too high and while the product is well made £7:99 when you can't even pick which one you want is a big gamble. With so many to collect it's also an enormous investment to get them all and will involve a lot of duplicates as you try to find the rarer ones.
The waste of the packaging is worrying, even if it is really fun to tear open all that plastic makes me feel guilty throwing it all into the trash. The core ball is reusable sure, but there's also a whole pile of plastic wrapping and bags which are just trash.
and the balls are big and space consuming. After opening a few those extra balls are likely to get trashed too, adding to the wastage.

They are a fun idea, but there are a few things that I think really should have been better thought out. Less plastic maybe? making the layers out of something more biodegradable? (paper?) or that could be kept by scrapbookers? More variation in the balls perhaps so there's more reason to keep more than a couple?
And a lower price point. If they weren't blind bagged I can see these being about £5 and i'd be happy to pay that, but paying a couple of quid extra just for the gimmick kinda sucks. It puts me off buying many because I might get doubles or one I don't much like, and £7:99 is just too much to gamble with. the regular blind bag toys succeed because they're so cheap, doubles don't much matter when it's £2, but LOL are 4x the price!
right now they're selling really well though, people can't get enough of blind bags and the multiple layers I suppose really are appealing to those doing deboxing videos as it prolongs the suspense but long term and for the target market? I think the novelty will wear off fast.

Fun to get one or two, but you're probably better off buying the ones you want opened already on ebay. Especially the more common ones.
Get a couple for the fun of deboxing though, it'll keep the kids quiet and entertained for about 10 minutes and the actual dolls are cute, but their clothing needs improvement.

They're fun little things, but I definitely think I prefer clothing that covered my dolls front AND back and would allow them to actually sit down.
Still, I think kids will get a lot of enjoyment out of them. Though parents will probably tear their hair out at the massive amount of plastic in their trash and the cost. I suppose you'd have to put any doubles on ebay, but that's a lot of effort to have to go to.
Still, an interesting line and some super novel packaging. Good to see MGA still pushing the innovation buttons hard. I've always liked that about MGA, some of their designs might be absolutely batshit crazy but at least you know there was creativity involved in every stage.

Now I gotta find me some of Spinmaster's new blind eggs, those look fun too. Interesting packaging looks to be the current trend, and it certainly adds a new element.