Sunday, October 26, 2014

In which Katie and Hayden's collapsing floor problem is fixed for good

When Katie and Hayden's middle floor collapsed again a couple weeks ago, I emailed my parents to ask my father if anything would go wrong if I just nailed the damned shelf into the sides of the cheap, poorly constructed MDF bookcase.

Elena and Kayla provide confirmation of my original ideas on floor height.
He sent me a drill.

My father is a man of action. He is also a man who knows his power tools.

Hellooooo, drill!
He also got on the phone with me to explain how to perform the necessary bookcase-fixing actions, which I am about to share because today's sewing session is just going in a vile manner and telling this story makes me feel competent.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Miss Hanzo gets minions

Miss Hanzo examines her new minions, Ami and Rei.

The minions are, frankly, terrified.
It seems that my mother suddenly realized that she had not sent me all possible 12" fashion dolls from the depths of the doll cabinet and thought she ought to fix that, particularly as I was the one who introduced my family to Sailor Moon, which I used to watch at some ridiculous hour of the morning.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day of the Dresses

It was finally New Dress Weekend for a Sophie, Pippa, Miss Hanzo, and (unexpectedly) Stacie.

Whose little sister is she?
None of us has a little sister, right?
I'm going to freak out if somebody claims she's always been here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Live encounter with the Hispanic "Ariana" fashion dolls (named Nicole) from Kenya World

Earlier in the week, I'd gone straight from contemplating D7ana's remarkable list of Hispanic dolls to mindlessly wandering the Toys R Us web site, where I discovered the mysterious "Ariana" fashion doll, from the same makers as Kenya. I have now been to TRU and seen them in person, so can provide more details, lots of photos with box-cello glare, and a heaping tablespoonful of guilt and dithering over not actually buying one to unbox and review.

Let's start with the Everyday Fashion line, which currently retails for $9.99 and has articulated knees but not articulated elbows. I took pictures of every doll that TRU had (they had only one of each). I cannot explain why "Ariana" is actually named Nicole. If the face molds are not identical, the difference is too small for me to spot.

Delicioso, Diversion de Verona, and Sol de Medianoche
Energia, Flores, and Turquoise.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"More relevant and irreverent" Monster High products in 2015, say Mattel's management

Mattel held its Q3 earnings call this morning, and of course, nothing goes better with morning coffee and a desert sunrise than men droning about why their company is poised for success despite posting disappointing numbers. Good times!
Barbie demands a recount at the Maryvale Walmart.
The headline item, as far as I'm concerned, is better Monster High products in 2015. It came up as virtually an aside, in response to an analyst's question. We can hope for more details in the investor day presentation in two weeks.

A Monster High reset is needed because sales at retailers dropped "in the high teens" during the summer, compared to the prior summer. Eep. It's not like there wasn't new product, but it sure didn't fly off the shelves.

Major retailers were therefore ordering less inventory (Walmart and Target have both struggled with inventory controls, too -- some lines that got widely reviewed on other blogs didn't appear in my local Targets until last week!). This phenomenon sure points to why suddenly MH is in every discount store. Mattel's trying to make up the gap in what it used to sell to the Big Three.

The other major item is that Mattel's losing its Disney license in 2016 and tentatively intends to make up for the loss of Disney princesses with... yet more princess lines of its own.Yup, little girls can't get enough princesses.

Until then, Mattel intends to ride the Frozen pony until it keels over. I will not even be surprised if holiday season 2015/16 brings us Elsa and Anna as anthropomorphized dogs with their own fashion wardrobes. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In which I bargain with Walmart and we answer the question "What's Yasmin up to?"

The Walmart on Thomas Road was determined that I should have things, to the point of slipping them through the time-space continuum and dropping them at my feet.

That was one hell of a trip, Pippa. Next time, I want the Tardis.
I went to Walmart for the primary reason that anybody goes to Walmart: to take another look at Sparkle Girlz clothes. So primary is this reason that the Sparkle Girlz clothing section looked as if locusts had gone on a back-to-school shopping spree, leaving six $1.97 single packs, a similar number of $8.88 boutique packs, and four of the big $14.95 wardrobe sets.

Saturday, October 4, 2014