Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Browsing at Target, Shopping at Pat Catan's. LORI Adds On, EAH Takes a Dive. Outdoor Furniture!

I've had a cold for over a week. Ugh. While I've not been feeling too awful, I really didn't feel like sitting in front of a computer and composing a blog post, either. But I'm slowly returning to feeling like a human being again, so today I'm sharing some pictures of things I looked at when I was at Target picking up a few things, and also some stuff I actually bought at one of our local craft stores a bit over a week ago.

If you want to get back at a sibling or an in-law for something, nothing says "Ha ha!" quite like giving your niece or grandchild or whomever, the Barbie Sparkle Style Salon, with a comb full of glitter, and a real working sink. Wet glitter everywhere!
Target seems to think there's a new Trolls movie coming out that's going to be a thing. Shrugs.
Jaye reviewed the set below. Apparently most of the pieces work with 12" dolls, so that's positive. I've heard there's another set of little accessories like this one, which I'm hoping my Target will get in before Christmas. In a positive note, my Target has wrapped the LORI section so it still has an endcap, and also is partially stocked into the Our Generation section. Hopefully they're going to rectify the mistakes of Christmas Past and have enough merchandise available on the shelves this Christmas.
Plus, your 6" dolls will be able to have horse riding adventures with new horses, a barn, and a horse trailer. This also gives the already-released LORI car something new to tow. I was ready to head home at this point, so I only took a picture of the horses that were there. I don't know if there will be any other horses released. These horses might at least be able to become ponies for taller dolls.
Also, Mattel has re-released some of the signature Ever After High dolls. I can see the appeal to Mattel of having some dolls of popular characters available in stores, that aren't currently represented in the latest theme lines, like Ballet or Epic Winter. But I'm giving the execution a big fat F. I've talked about this before, but the new Signatures just aren't up to the quality of the old dolls, and yet they're asking just about as much money. When I saw Cerise Hood at Target, I just had to gripe about this.

So here we have Cerise Hood. Less packaging than the original dolls. You don't get the thick diary entry from the character anymore, just that flat card in the right hand corner.
What disturbed me so much was the purse. The picture below shows the purse you get with the current Signature doll.
This purse below? This was the purse you got with the original Signature Cerise Hood. With the lovely checked detail on the top of the basket that made EAH the stand-out line that it was. Seriously, Mattel? It's not like the original dolls and accessories are NOT STILL AVAILABLE second hand and at places like Amazon. It's so obvious the shortcuts you took this time around. Cerise also doesn't come with the ring and chunky bracelet she was wearing before, in this incarnation either. I don't have pictures of my own of those, though.
Honestly, this makes me worry about Mattel's future. Even if I give them the benefit of the doubt and say the quality is going down because of a poor economy, it still doesn't bode well that Mattel had to cut these corners to keep them at a price where people will buy them. Yeah, Mattel lost the Disney Princesses, which was a big indicator of issues in itself, but Hasbro hasn't proven yet that there's huge profitability in that market either. There are two things I know for certain though. 1. Adult collectors alone can't keep a playline doll line afloat. 2. Mr. BTEG informed me that a short while back, LEGO almost went under. Yeah, that LEGO. Which, by the way, has a huge market of adult collectors.

On a happier note, I stopped by a local hobby store called Pat Catan's. It's a local chain; I don't know quite how many stores it has or where. I found a few really great deals!

Back in May, I posted about some mini garden type decorations I saw at a Michael's craft store. Michael's had lanterns on a short shepherd's hook type stand. For $1.19 each, I found just lanterns at Pat Catan's. I'm just not sure why they're described as "sleeping cats" in French and Spanish. I didn't realize that was a term for a lantern.
I also had to snatch up these wooden pieces of furniture which are much larger than the general 1/12 scale that you find at craft stores. The chairs were $3.95 each, the table $1.27. I haven't measured them, but Cerise's picnic basket is still in the picture to give you an idea of what a nice size these items are.
Don't worry, Mr. BTEG. These things will be off of the robotics table by the time that you get home.
You may have noticed that the items above are all Darice brand. Darice is an inexpensive local line of craft items which Pat Catan carries. Apparently, Michael's recently bought out Pat Catan's just to get the rights to sell Darice items; at least, that's the rumor that I heard. Now I wonder if Pat Catan's will disappear as a chain, and if Michael's will jack up the price on Darice stuff. Michael's has a reputation for being more expensive than other local craft stores. I'm kind of hoping that Michael's wanted to acquire Darice items as a way to also appeal to the crafter with the smaller budget, and we'll still get Darice's wide line of items, plus the same good prices.

So do you have any thoughts about new items on the shelves? Crafting? Mattel, for better or worse? I'd especially love to hear thoughts on Mattel, or even any good dirt you have. :)

10 comments:

  1. I love those chairs! I crafted two of those a few years ago following a tutorial from My Froggy Stuff, but those look much more realistic.

    I think that Mattel is going downhill in terms of quality, and sooner or later they'll pay for it. Also, I think that Mattel is playing it too safe in some areas. Just take a look at some Barbie playsets of the 80s-90s, they were much more creative than the playsets nowadays. They're doing good stuff, like the new fashionistas, but I think they could do better that what they're doing right now.

    I loved your post, specially your comments about that glitter stuff.

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    1. Making doll stuff yourself is very rewarding, and I'm sure your chairs look great. Finding pre-made items cheap is another type of rewarding. :)

      It would be incredible if Mattel would produce more things like the stuff they made for the My Scene dolls during their run. I agree that Mattel's quality and creativity is not where it should be. I know there was hope that losing the Disney princesses would inspire Mattel to try harder with Ever After High, and hopefully that will still happen.

      Mr. BTEG and I have had a joke between us for years about getting kids presents like that glitter salon, which are going to be super messy, or getting kids something like a drum kit, which will be super loud. Sometimes we joke about it with Mr. BTEG's sister, too.

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  2. According to the press release I found, Pat Catan's will continue to operate independently with the son of the founder still running the ship. BTW, 34 stores in 4 states.
    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/02/michaels_buys_strongsville-bas.html

    And I will be checking that table. ;-)

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    1. Thanks for the information, hon. I'm glad Pat Catan's will still be around, although it's still a shame that the store closest to us isn't in a better building.

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  3. The wooden furniture is great, I think you'll take beautiful pictures of dolls in it. I probably wouldn't have noticed Cerise's basket, but I remember some previous rereleases that didn't have tights and some of the jewellery. I only have one EAH which is the very basic Raven. I bitched about how much I hated the gradient eyebrows, but at least that way I got the full treatment regarding the outfit (well, except it had two right shoes).

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    1. I'm glad that you like the furniture. If I can get it sanded and painted quickly enough, maybe I can get some shots of my dolls enjoying the warm fall evenings outdoors.

      Unfortunately, the newer dolls do have less jewelry. It's a shame, as it really seems to bring a look together. That's too bad about your Raven's shoes. At least she had her tights though, right? It's disappointing that those are not being used anymore either. My Wal-Mart actually had a bunch of Signature Apple White dolls sitting around, and I bought one just to make sure I got one with the jewelry and tights, since you can never be sure buying from someplace like Amazon.

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  4. Some of Mattel's decisions, like releasing Monster and EA dolls that only have leg articulation or some with no articulation at all, make me think they are scrambling and not in a good way. That flood of new Monster High dolls in so many variations is not appealing to me either. Before, I found their MH releases quirky but well thought out. Now they seem desperate and lack cohesion. I cant fault them for trying new things and cutting costs, but it's like they are making it worse, not better.

    "Wet glitter everywhere." Sounds like a perfect method for a grandparent's revenge.

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    1. I agree with what you've said about Mattel. Maybe they do need to try new things, but they're not doing it right. And they do seem desperate. It looks like they need some new voices.

      I'm sure little girls will love that salon set, but I can't see any parent liking a set where the doll gets her hair filled with glitter, then "rinse and repeat!"

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  5. I love those chairs! I have bought many Darice wood items in the past and they are a good deal. I would definitely buy this pair at that price. I hope Michaels isn't too expensive on the line because they won't sell and eventually get marked down like several of their other items and we won't see them again.

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    1. Yes, it will be interesting to see how Michael's plays things. Let's hope they keep Darice as it is.

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