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REVIEW: Blow Up Dolls (B.U.D.s)

Jamungo recently released their first line of figures – Blow Up Dolls.  Otherwise known as B.U.D.s, this blind-boxed line contains 10 figures of varying designs from the likes of Ferg, TVM and Frank Kozik.  All of the figures use the same mold, however, there is a clear and a glow-in-the-dark character.

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There is no surprise that B.U.D.s are the best selling line for a number of online designer vinyl sites.  They are high quality and the printing on the plastic is definitely above average.  Plus, they are rather affordable – as you’ll find out at the end of the review.

Series 1 consists of 10 different figures with varying chances of acquiring each one.  You have a 12.5% chance of picking up the most readily available characters, and only a 2.5% chance of the special FBOMB B.U.D. (which isn’t pictured).

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BAMOFLAUGE (12.5%) is a fairly basic green camouflage design.  It’s a nice filler design, but probably my least favorite of the group.

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BUD (12.5%) is the character you have seen on the packaging.  He looks like a little bomb and is completely black except for his 2 red eyes.  The design is basic…but it works!

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REVIEW: My Beating Heart

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One of the most interesting plush pieces we have come across is more than a simple, stuffed heart.  My Beating Heart “is a soft huggable heart with a soothing heartbeat you can really feel”.   It’s something you’d want hold onto…and it probably wouldn’t set on your display shelf.

So how does it work, you ask?  Well, for me to break down the inner-workings of My Beating Heart might get a little technical – and do we REALLY care anyway?  Basically, there is a battery-operated system within the plush heart.   This system creates a heartbeat that changes gradually and is, algorithmically, modeled on the human heart – in a meditative state.  Theoretically speaking – your heart should then sync up with the My Beating Heart’s heartbeat, when hugged.

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REVIEW: NTF’s Camille Rose Garcia Dolls

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One of the most controversial toys – if you can call a toy controversial – released in the past few months is the Camille Rose Garcia set from Necessaries Toy Foundation.  It seems like everyone has strong opinions, one way or the other, about the CRG girls.  Personally, I bestowed the 2005 Toy Line of the Year upon the set of four 14-inch tall rotocast vinyl figures.  However, they have had their detractors.

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At 14 inches in height, NTF continues their creed of bigger is better.  This might actually be their smallest endeavor, as Antoinette, Enid and BunnyDuck are all imposing vinyl pieces.  With the height, there have been some complaints about the ability of these figures to balance.  Personally, I have found that two of my figures - Katie and Sadie and Cherry Girl - have balancing problems.  Lulu and Patch both appear to have weights in their feet.  I am not sure if the problem was realized and then rectified, but they have been stable for over a month now.

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REVIEW: Samedi Marche Blythe

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The winner of our Best Toy Line for the Females was everyone’s favorite
fashion doll – Blythe.  As you probably know, Blythe is a joint
production between, CWC, Hasbro and Takara.  They are referred to as
Neo-Blythes, since they are not the original line – released in the
70’s.

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The Samedi Marche Encore Doll was originally released in Asia in June
of 2004.  Hasbro has now made a limited number of figures available
through their online store - $89.99 apiece.  If you’re located in Asia
or Japan, you probably know that CWC’s online shop has a number of
dolls and accessories to choose from.

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REVIEW: Ledbetter’s Fire-Cat and Ice-Cat

About two weeks ago, we reviewed Joe Ledbetter’s Mr. Bunny and Sno-Bunny rotocast vinyl figures from Wheaty Wheat Studios.  As you all know, Fire-Cat and Ice-Cat were also released around the same time as the two Mr. Bunny colorways.

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Folks seem to have a distinct preference as to which figure and colorway is their favorite of the group.  At this moment, mine is Fire-Cat.  However, that might change with the release of Ringo Bear in the coming year.

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Ledbetter’s work appears as if it would be extremely difficult to
transfer from canvas to vinyl.  However, Joe and Wheaty Wheat have done
an amazing job with the sculpting, shading and coloring on these
figures.  The dark black lines are transferred to the edges of the
vinyl toy, giving it a unique look.

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REVIEW: Ledbetter’s Mr. Bunny

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What’s there to say about the new Joe Ledbetter figures from Wheaty Wheat Studios?  I’m sure that everyone knows that they are the hottest figures on the market right now.  And we also realize that these are very limited edition toys.

For this review, I would like to focus on Mr. Bunny.  He was first released way back in September.  Well…the limited edition (50 piece) Lava Bunny was released in September.  That sold out almost instantly, with those Lava Bunnies going to 50 lucky folks who attended the Kidrobot release event. 

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Mr. Bunny and Snow Bunny have just recently hit the market.  They keep popping up little by little at lucky online shops…only to sell out moments later.  Mr. Bunny (the yellow one) is limited to 400 pieces and the Snow Bunny (the blue one) is only a run of 100 figures.   Your best bet for snagging one is to quit your job, sit in front of the computer, and bookmark all existing vinyl toy shops.

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REVIEW: Melto-Fu from Meltdown Comics

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Everyone has either visited Meltdown Comics in person or via the Internet, correct?  It’s one of the most well known comic shops on the West Coast (LA to be exact).  In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Meltdown has released a figure in the likeness of their logo man – Mel.

Melto-Fu is a collaboration between Devilrobots and Meltdown Comics.  They have combined Devilrobots’ To-Fu Oyako template with Meltdown’s Mel.  Mel was designed back in 1996 by cartoonist Dan Clowes (Ghost World).  This figure is approximately 13 inches tall and made of rotocast vinyl.

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REVIEW: Asian Butterfly Encore Blythe

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So have you become a fan of the wide-eyed Blythe girls yet?  These are the fashion dolls with the color changing eyes.  Just pull the string on the back of her head…she closes her eyes…and different color eyes magically appear.  Remember that the Blythes you see are referred to as “Neo Blythes” as the original Blythe dolls were only produced in 1972.

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The Asian Butterfly Encore was originally released in Japan by CWC, and Hasbro has recently made the Neo Blythe doll available to collectors in the United States through their online store.  The dolls sell for $89.99 through HasbroToyShop.com and are recommended for ages 7 and over.

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REVIEW: I.W.G. Mini Figures – Part 3

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We wrap up our coverage of the Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo Mini Figure line with Part 3 of our review.  The last 3 figures are Irra the Burrowing Owl, Desmond the Dolphin and Astrid the Jaguar.  And remember that all 9 I.W.G. figures are currently available for $7.99 through the Rocket World website.

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Irra the Burrowing Owl was one of the most unique 6-inch vinyl figures.  She attaches directly to her laser guided bomb.  The one difference is that the bomb on the mini figure does not have an LED light inside of it.  The figure doesn’t stand well on it’s own, so you should probably leave it attached to the bomb.
Overall Grade: 91%

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REVIEW: The 2005 Jones Soda National Holiday Pack

Much to my jubilation, I was able to snag the 2005 Holiday Packs from
Jones Soda Company.  Jones is the self-described purveyor “of many
finely flavored beverages that can be found year round in grocery
stores, convenience stores, and everywhere else you wouldn’t expect to
find a soda.”

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The National Holiday Pack from Jones is chocked full of flavors that would be
recognizable on your dinner table.  However, when it comes to a soda,
some of these flavors might make you gag.  This is the second year I
have heard of the Holiday Pack, and the company has changed it up and
added some new flavors.  There is also a Regional Holiday Pack that is
only available in certain areas of the country (look for a review of
that later next month).

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The 2005 Pack contains 5 delectable flavors that will make your mouth
salivate…one way or another.  There is the infamous Turkey & Gravy,
Wild Herb Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto, Cranberry Sauce and
Pumpkin Pie.  The sodas are packaged in a lovely, displayable box.  I
recommend keeping them as a displayable novelty item and not drinking
them.  Enclosed with the soda is a recommended wine list, moistened towelette and three
sporks (you know – spoon/fork utensils).

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