Tag Archives: Monster High

DC Super Hero Girls – First Look

DC Seems to have really gotten it’s act together here at the start of 2016. They looked at their properties and figured out something fantastic. Sell items in the mass market, make good money, and influence a generation of girls.

I think they also know they cannot compete with Marvel on the movie front, so they are going to what they are REALLY good at…animation. And what better way to pull a new generation in than with some younger content? This is going to hit big!

The New DC Super Hero Girls come in two sizes, the 6 inch action figure, and the taller 12 inch doll. There is also an influx of clothing and even wearable action accessories.

Today we are looking a one of each of the toys. I was really interested in getting my hands on Wonder Woman for both figures, to be somewhat consistent, but Wonder Woman is a favorite, and with a movie coming out in the very near future that she plays a major roll in, it is no wonder that she is harder to find.

I ended up with my second choice of Batgirl, but once i got her out of the box, I think she may be my #1 pick. It will be hard to beat her overall look and accesories.

Taking in her full body look, I am digging the design features. She is wearing a hoodie that has ears on top. Of course she is wearing her black mask as well. To go with the black mask, she also has a black winged backpack. She has on gauntlets of yellow and finishing off her arms are really well detailed black-gloved hands. She has one open hand and one grasping hand.

She is wearing black pants that are on the snug side, but not skin tight. She finishes off her look with a pair of yellow combat boots.

She has such a beautiful face.  It is a bit smoother than the beauty look of Monster High or Barbie Dolls.  Her eyes and eyebrows are painted on with a line of perfection.  She does not have any extra makeup over a bit of pink lip gloss.

Her backpack is a solid piece that has great detailings all it’s own.  She has the requisite bat wings along with details of zippers and a pocket.

Her gauntlets are removable.  As you would expect from the makers of Monster High, Mattel did really good with the body parts, allowing for the hands to be pulled off to remove the gauntlets.  The only thing I don’t like about the gauntlets is that they cover some really good forearm detail.  This girl has some muscle, and the forearms are great.

Take a peek under that sleeve, and you can see Batgirl has a pair of concealed weapons.  She has good muscle tone going on all over the place.

In the store, and in the box, it is a bit hard to tell, but side by side, there is a fairly large discrepancy between DC Super Hero Girls and Monster High.  It is clear that Mattel went with whole new bodies for this line.  It is a bummer for the people out there with a large number of MH dolls.  Sorry, your DC Girls will not be borrowing anything from your MH girls.

There is definitely a difference between the two lines, but not as big as you might think.

Tailored to girls, they can choose which size they like better. They may not want to deal with the hair and the clothes all of the time. Maybe they want the Girls to play with some friends from the Marvel Universe. By going with two sizes, it allows the kids to vary what they play with.

It is also nice for parents who may be on a budget. The price difference is about double. $9.99 for the 6 inch figures, and $19.99 for the 12 inch figures.

For the level of detail, and accessories, I think they are right on the price point they should be. $10 for an action figure is a steal these days, with Marvel Legends going for $19.99 to $21.99 depending on the store.

This little Wonder has great articulation.  I guess that is what you get when you hand over the design to Mattel.  We have seen such a flux of articulation in the past with DC, from barely 5 points to a whole mess of points at the cost of the overall look.  As far as I can count, Wonder Woman has 17 points.  That will allow the player to pretty much do whatever she wants.  Wonder Woman has a young look.  She has a very round face with big eyes.  The box shows her with black hair, but this figure definitely has purple hair.  Overall a great look.

Her outfit reminds me a lot of Wonder Girl’s outfit. We generally see her running around in jeans. Wonder Woman also looks to be wearing jeans. They added the stars to the side. Nice touch.

Her top is red, of course, with a gold ‘w’ across the chest and shoulders. She has sleeves of white. I think they should have carried the red from the shirt into the sleeves.

She also has red boots with silver wings.

Compared to a standard Wonder Woman, DC Super Hero Girls holds up.  She is a bit shorter and has a look of a younger girl.

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Post 500! My how things have changed…

500

6 years and 499 posts ago I started this little page.   It was always meant to be a look at toys.  From reviews to just out taking pictures.   Over the years it has grown and changed a lot.  Here are some of the stats that have blown me away:

81,794 views.

Views from 125 different countries.

Top 5 Most Used Tags:

  1. Transformers (168 times)
  2. Hasbro (65 times) though I should have used it more often.
  3. Marvel (Probably most in the recent year or so with so many Legends figures)
  4. Generations (A long span of figures from that Transformers line)
  5. Transformers: Prime (There were a LOT of figures over the course of the show)

Top 5 Most Tagged Figures:

  1. Optimus Prime (Not a surprise, except I thought Bee might be higher)
  2. Bumblebee (Second only by a few posts)
  3. Iron Man (We have had lots of Tony over the years from Legends to MiniMates)
  4. Megatron (I was a bit surprised Megs was so high, but he just keeps coming back)
  5. Wonder Woman (I was surprised she was so high on the list.  Lots of Ame-Comi figures)

 

Over the course of 6 years, I went from collecting a few things, to collecting a lot.  I had an old shed in my backyard that I converted into a Fortress of Solitude.

Laying the last of the shingles on the new roof.

I was able to make this the place to keep all of my toys.  Safe, protected, and out of the way of my wife.

Since then, I have also upped the ante on camera.  From humble beginnings with a tiny digital camera, to the much better Canon Digital SLR I am running around with now.  I used to throw a camera in a backpack and go, and now I actually have a special backpack to keep the camera safer from harm.

Many of my early posts were pictureless.   It was a time of figuring out what I was doing.   I had the most posts I ever made in my first year 2010, but I also had the smallest amount of visitors.  As I found my way, I also needed to add more pictures, so I sought out Flickr.   I started my Flickr account about a month after I started this blog, and boy are the stats over there huge.  I think it really tells something about pictures being worth a thousand words.   My views over there are 1.3 million views, with 4327 pictures being posted.

The early stuff was not good.  Too dark, and very static.  It was a steep learning curve.   The biggest thing that helped me to get better at pictures was to look at other people’s work.  See what they were doing that I liked, and ask questions.   Now I can take a well lit picture.  So my focus is moving on to getting better dynamic lighting.  I have people I follow that take some of the best photos I have ever seen. They inspire me to be better and do more.

At some point daylight clicked and I took my toys outside to shoot.   Boy did that help.  But of course, then the setting was a bit weird.  Can’t keep taking pictures of Transformers on the deck. Something had to get better, but that was not going to come for a long time.  For some reason I was stuck on the figures, and didn’t focus on the background.

The reality of making better photos came in small steps.  I made a photo booth out of PVC pipes.   I added opaque fabric to allow for diffused light.  I then bought a fold-up photo booth to again boost my photos.

What really hit home was this summer.   I started to play around with backgrounds.  I started to experiment with insulation foam.  From there, I had to up my lighting game.  The results were night and day.   I wasn’t just taking pictures any more, now I was telling stories.

Did you know toys could be posed?  Boy did it take me a long time to come to that realization.   I was always a guy who loved to take the toys out of the packaging.  They are meant to be played with, not kept in the boxes on a shelf.  Well, then I would just stand them there and take pictures.  What better way to talk about their articulation than to actually show them in motion.

It was really a way of thinking that needed to change.  Even to the extent of ” I am going out somewhere?” “Bring a toy, because you never know where you might end up to take pictures.

So, 6 years and 500 posts in, and I feel like I am just getting started.  I have finally found my stride, and I am ready to bring it on!  I have a new big diorama I am working on, to help get away from the alley scene.  I have a few other ideas in mind too.  I have started to carry a blank book around with me to write down my ideas.  Going back over the past 6 years of pictures, I feel like I have done some of my figures a disservice, and I want to make it up to them.

I leave you with a funny stat that surprised me.  4327 pictures, ranging from Marvel to Transformers, from anime to cartoons.  And the photo with the most views, far, far, far beyond second place was this picture of a Monster High doll:

This was some fun I was having while my sister came to live with me.  We bonded over toys and photography.   This picture was taken a year and a half ago and has over 5,800 views as of today.  Something about a lady riding a motorcycle I guess.

Up next, a look at a figure that is no good.   I was glad I only picked up one of the wave.  Don’t need a whole shelf of that garbage.

Until next time my friends.  There are pictures to be taken and stores to be searched.


Monster High DIY classroom and desk

About four months ago, my sister had a metal break.  It was sad, but my wife and I brought her across the country to get some help in a hospital.  She was in out patient care, and she would spend the nights and weekends at home with us.   In an effort to get her to be more creative, we went shopping.   I found she had a lot of toys she liked, but not many interested me.    She was looking at the Monster High dolls, and they looked pretty fun.  I knew I would be able to join in on the fun of these dolls.  I am not really proficient with sewing, so I went the other way.  It only seemed natural to me that Monster High dolls would need an actual desk.

The “metal” pats of the desk and chair are made from Evergreen plastic. I have tons of it around from my days of building car models. The metal color is Tamiya aluminum.  The wood top and seat are made from pieces of particle board. I cut and sanded them, and then coated them with a layer of Mod Podge to give them a gloss coat.

I started the building process by measuring and cutting pieces of cardstock. With the long legs of the MH dolls, the chair and table legs are extremely long. A bit out of proportion for a normal classroom desk, but it fit the girls just right.

This was a fun project to get my feet wet.   I really enjoy this scale of figure to work with.  The parts aren’t too small.  Up next, I am going to focus my attention on Robecca Steam and the world of Steampunk.


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