Happy BDay, Barbie

As an eighties baby, Barbie was one of the main staples of my toy collection. Barbie was affordable and easily accessible where my mom did her shopping. And I think for a lot of holidays, it was just a no-brainer go to gift for a young girl. I remember occasionally being able to pick out a new outfit and combing through all of the options, within a certain price-point, to find the perfect one at Walmart. Usually, this meant the outfit with the most sparkles or glitter. But, once you had one Barbie it kind of felt like you had them all – they all looked the same, with no variety or originality.

While I still admittedly collect dolls, Barbie has fallen well off my radar. I’ve heard about the new Fashionistas line featuring curvy, tall, and petite Barbies and all I can think of “where were those when I was a kid?!”. But seriously, better late than never. With Barbie’s fifty-seventh birthday upon us, I took some time to browse the The Barbie Collection site, and boy-oh-boy has she come a long way. Well, maybe it’s her outfits and styling that’s come along way since she is still as vapid as ever (am I right?).

These lovely dolls come at a very high price-point but are so lovely to look at. I would honestly never shell out this kind of money but definitely wouldn’t turn one down should it appear on my doorstep. Here are a few that caught my fancy:

Claudette Gordon

claudette

Lady of the White Woods

whitewoods

Haunted Beauty Zombie Bride

zombiebride

Venetian Muse

venetian

Water Sprite

sprite

Queen of the Dark Forest

queendark

What are you opinions on Barbie? Yay or nay?

This entry was posted in Toys.

For the love of Jurassic World…

Friday June 12th, T and I took off from work and went with some friends to Downtown Disney to see Jurassic World in 3D. It was a very long time since we have been to the movies and it’s been an even longer time since seeing a movie on opening day. On top of that, it was my first time going to a dine-in theater. With comfortable seats and popcorn refills at the push of a button, I don’t think that I would be able to see a movie any other way in the future.

Admittedly, I love all things Jurassic Park, both the movies and the books, and I was so excited to relive some childhood nostalgia through Jurassic World and was happy that it did not disappoint. I liked that it included bits of the Jurassic Park movie (such as the original visitors center, night-vision googles, JP Jeeps, Indominus rex roaring in the old JP visitor center a-la T-rex, etc.), I think there were some missed opportunities and special touches to help relive those Speilburg-eqsue moments from the first Jurassic Park movie. It wouldn’ve been awesome to see some water tremoring in the enormous footprint of the Indominus rex or the toe-taps of the Raptors. I was also unnecessarily annoyed by the wardrobe choices for Clarie’s character… I mean, outrunning dinos through the jungle in heels? Come on!

Overall Jurassic World may not have been as thoughtful or as powerful as Jurassic Park had been and there were a lot of superficial characters and predictable situations, but I think I allow my overwhelming love for all things Jurassic Park to overshadow the cinematic realities of Jurassic World. And I think I’m ok with that.

So, after seeing the Jurassic World movie on Friday, I found myself on Saturday wanting some more dino action and was so happy that I held on to my Lego Jurassic World Dilophosaurus Ambush (75916) set. It just made it that much cooler after just seeing the movie and recognizing the characters, vehicles, dinos, and the scenes that each of the Lego pieces were from.

With that said, I’m not really sure why Gray and the gyrosphere would be included with the truck and a Dilophosaurus when in the movie the only Dilophosaurus seen was that in a form of a hologram in the visitors center. Suspension of disbelief aside, this little set was pretty cool to put together and rather affordable a $29.99.

At 248 pieces, this set was a breeze to put together and took about 30 minutes total (had to stop and play with the gyrosphere!). Completing book one gave me a fully assembled Gray and ACU Trooper figures, crates with a chicken leg/binoculars/wrench, a lovely hooded Dilophosaurus, and the bottom foundation of the truck. Completing book two results in the completion of the truck that features a working winch, custom Jurassic World stickers, and a “rear explode function” which isn’t really as cool as it sounds…

Overall it was a fun little build and a great collector item for any Jurassic Park or dino lover. My favorite parts are the gyrosphere for the fact that it actually rotates and can keep Gray upright and for the wow factor of having a small piece from a Jurassic World scene to play around with. I also love the Dilophosaurus with its colorful paint job, familiar fanned hood from the Jurassic Park movie (poor Dennis Nedry), and the ability to open and close the jaws with a click. The truck is pretty cool but I honestly bought this set because of the other items and because, you know, my overwhelming love for all things Jurassic Park and that childhood nostalgia the franchise taps into.

Though playability is pretty strong with these new Jurassic World sets, as a collector I think this set will look great on my bookshelf next to my hardcover copy of Micheal Crichton’s Jurassic Park/The Lost World. With that said, I couldn’t resist taking these pieces outside to play around a bit in the grass and to let the Dilophosaurus do its dino-thing. Watch out, Gray!

IMG_20150613_184235

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Sick Days and Lego Bricktober Sets

I woke up this morning not feeling well and made the decision to stay home from work and rest. While I napped away most of the morning and early afternoon, I did manage to pull myself out from the fetal, movie-watching position on the couch and put together two of the Lego Toys R Us 2014 Bricktober sets that my friend had managed to score at a Toys R Us while visiting family in Kentucky for $19.99 a pop – Lego Bricktober Fire Station (40182) and Lego Bricktober Town Hall (40183):

I was excited that my friend was able to pick these up for me because I had fun building the Lego Mini Modulars (10230) and have an affinity for all things miniature. My fingers are still crossed that they release another set of those Mini Modulars in the near future (a girl can dream) but for now these are as close as I’ll get. Of the two Bricktober sets, I liked the Town Hall set best and decided to begin with that one.

At 186 pieces, it was a breeze to put together in less than twenty minutes. Even though I’ve had a few years of collecting and building with Lego, I am continually pleased and impressed with the final product coming to life as the pictures just do not do the final product the proper justice it deserves. My favorite part has to be the front facade with the columns, frog statues, and domed roof. The double-decker bus is pretty neat too. It’s crazy to think that a building rendering can be made with so few bricks.

After completing the Town Hall I was eager to tear into the Fire Station:

With 175 pieces this one was even easier to snap together. I really liked the clear blue bricks used for the garage door and the tiny little firetruck with working ladder and helicopter with rotating propellers.

For both sets I liked the use of the small clear bricks for the windows and how they are able to connect together much like the Lego Mini Modular set:

I knew these sets were tiny… but when comparing them next to the Mini Modular set, they’re teenie tiny!

Itty bitty indeed…

Overall these were two fun and quick builds. It’s a little rough that they cost $19.99 + tax each and I was a little hesitant on paying that much but in the end I think they’re well worth it. It’s always fun to have miniature items and it’s great on how much detail is able to be included with so few and so small of bricks. My favorite of the two is definitely the Town Hall as I think it has more of an aesthetic presence to it, but the Fire Station is a vital aspect to any Lego town, no matter how small.

While this was my first Bricktober set and the first time I’ve ever heard of Bricktober, I hope that new ones will be released this fall. For now though, I just may have to be on the hunt for Lego Bricktober Theater (40180) Lego Bricktober Pizza Place (40181) sets to add to my tiny town.

 

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