By Mark Patraw
Posted on 12/26/14
Well, unless I get really ambitious over the next several days, this is probably the last installment of Toy Talk that I'll be publishing in 2014. While some months were slower that others, overall, I found many great items to add to my collection this year, and I'm looking forward to doing the same in 2015--although I'll be damned if I know where I'm going to find the space to store them all!
As always, if anyone reading this knows more information about any of these items, that I haven't already discussed below, and would like to share, or just chat about toys, feel free to e-mail me and let me know!
Toy line/assortment: Burger King Kid's Club: Bug Riders.
Manufacturer: Burger King (1998).
What I paid: Both items were in a twenty-five cents "boys" mystery grab bag that I purchased on 5/10/14 from the Ishpeming, Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Size: [I/Q] 5.8 cm (2.3") wide x 10.1 cm (4.0") long x 5.2 cm (2.0") tall; [Lingo] 9.8 cm (3.9") wide x 10.8 cm (4.3") long x 4.7 cm (1.9") tall.
Articulation: [I/Q] torso, wheels, and tail segments; [Lingo] legs and retractable string.
Notable features: [I/Q] Motorized "inching" movement and light-up eyes (but the battery is long dead in mine); [Lingo] string-climbing action and suction cup adhesion.
Here are two examples from Burger King's 1998 insect-and-arachnid-themed Burger King Kid's Club: Bug Riders assortment of fast food toys: I/Q's Caterpillar Crawler and Lingo's Wall Flyer Spider. The Kid's Club was Burger King's in-house, multi-ethnic group of adolescent mascot characters (which is great from a business perspective, as there are no associated licensing costs and they have complete creative control over them). In addition to these two, the five-figure set also included Kid Vid's Scorpion Rider (tail-lever-powered motion and color-changing cephalothorax), Snaps' Cricket Cruiser (pull-back motion and clicking abdomen), and Boomer's Fire-Eye Dragonfly (flapping wings and light-up eyes).
As a trained biologist, I do feel that I should point out that referring to these toys as bugs is inaccurate. Granted, the word "bug" can be used to informally refer to any small arthropod, but, to me, it identifies a specific category of insects with fluid-sucking mouthparts, such as aphids and bedbugs (technically, crickets, dragonflies, and caterpillars aren't "true" bugs). Further, eight-legged, chelicerae-bearing (specialized appendages near the mouth) arthropods like spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites, etc. are properly classified as arachnids, not insects. I could go on, but, as I'm writing a toy review, not an entomology lecture, we'll leave it at that.
I/Q is the stereotypical "brain" of the BK Kid's Club group. He sports pink eyeglasses, a spring green shirt, and a mop of orange hair not unlike the famous Albert Einstein's. You can turn his torso a little bit to the left-and-right, but, other than that, I/Q is completely immobile (I think a rotating neck joint would have been a better choice).
The burgundy caterpillar's form is fairly simple, but then, so are the real insect larvae that it's based upon. In addition to the translucent yellow/orange compound eyes, the body features individual segments, several pairs of prolegs, and a mouth. I/Q's name is etched (ouch!) into the top of the caterpillar's forehead because apparently he wants to make sure that the world never forgets who he is.
Winding up the shaft, projecting out of the left side of the caterpillar, results in the larva worming its way across any flat surface. While the actual motion is a product of the wheels on the underside of the toy, the tail has two pivoting sections, that rise-and-fall as it moves forward, which results in a convincing display of the caterpillar "inching" its way along, much like some real world specimens do. Originally, this plaything's eyes would have also lit up, but, as the battery inside is around sixteen years old now, the power source is long dead and that aspect of the toy no longer functions. I'm sure that said peepers would have looked cool illuminated though.
Lingo is the linguist (hence his name) of the BK Kid's Club as well as the artist. He's got a T-shirt and a vest on, but they're both painted with the same yellow color (the shirt should be white). While his torso is mounted onto the arachnid in the same fashion that I/Q is attached to his caterpillar, Lingo's body can barely be moved at all, so I'm not counting it as a point of articulation.
The metallic purple spider looks suitably creepy with its red eyes and the crimson spots on its bulbous abdomen are a nice touch. The arachnid's black legs are also flocked, which gives them a soft, velvet-like feel. I appreciate that Burger King went the extra mile in that regard, as it's something that they could have easily skipped--the only downside is that dust and hair love to stick to flocked material. And, just like I/Q, Lingo's name is branded onto the poor spider's cephalothorax (these guys and gals are awfully possessive of their arthropod "vehicles", don't you think?)
The transparent suction cup, attached to a length of white string protruding from the spider's jaws, can be pulled out, and the internal spring mechanism will immediately begin reeling it back in again, resulting in the spider "climbing" up whatever object you have affixed said suction cup to (or, if you'd prefer a more violent approach to play, you could even attach the cup/string to another figure and have the spider drag the victim into its fanged maw). The legs (the four appendages on each side are all connected to one another and move as a unit, not individually) also wobble back-and-forth as the arachnid ascends, lending some realism. This feature is noisy, but it works great, and climbing on a web strand is certainly an appropriate activity for a spider, although, to be accurate, the string should have really come out of the opposite side of the organism, at the spinnerets located at the end of the abdomen, not the spider's mouth.
I'm not too keen on the Burger King Kid's Club Kids characters (I dig the Burger King himself, but, as I've written before, I think Ronald McDonald and his menagerie of bizarre inhuman friends are generally more interesting than BK's mascots), however, I am fond of creepy crawlies, so this particular assortment appeals to me. Both of these Bug Riders are neat, but I find spiders more fascinating than caterpillars, so I'm going to go with Lingo as my favorite out of this particular pairing. As to the three that I'm missing, I'd most like to have Kid Vid on his scorpion mount. Boomer and Snaps' critters aren't as enticing to me, although I wouldn't mind having the complete set of all five Bug Riders either.
Toy line/assortment: Friends 2B Made.
Manufacturer: Build-a-Bear Workshop (I couldn't find a copyright date anywhere on the doll, not even on her tags, but these toys were produced from 2005-2009).
What I paid: Twenty-five cents on 11/28/14 from the Ishpeming, Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Size: 11.0 cm (4.3") wide x 38.5 cm (15.2") tall.
Articulation: Internal wire armatures in the arms and legs.
Notable features: Individually customized doll.
Build-a-Bear Workshop's business model (which focuses on giving the consumer, and children in particular, the hands-on opportunity to select, stuff, and customize their own unique plush animals at dedicated stores around the world) has been very successful. So much so, that, in 2005, the company decided to expand on that theme and introduced a similar customizable doll experience, the result of which was the Friends 2B Made (F2BM) brand. Interested buyers could visit any of nine F2BM outlets (or go online), select a doll base body, perform the "heart ceremony", get her stuffed, and then select from a variety of optional clothing and accessories to assemble their own unique plush companion. Unfortunately, after several years, and the negative effects of the slumping economy, the Friends 2B Made franchise just wasn't working out financially, so, in 2009, Build-a-Bear Workshop closed down the stores dedicated to the dolls, phased out production of the plush girls, and refocused their efforts on the proven, and still profitable, stuffed animal market. To my knowledge, we never had a F2BM store anywhere near where I live (I'd guess that they were located in the largest, most-populated cities across America, which definitely doesn't describe my stomping grounds).
The F2BM dolls had generic titles like "Fun Girl", "Sparkle Girl", and "Radiant Girl", but I wasn't able to find out which particular one I have. However, as each figure was meant to become whatever persona the buyer/creator wanted anyway, it doesn't much matter. Many doll collectors enjoy christening their characters with a unique moniker, much like naming a real child, but I generally don't have any interest in that kind of personalization, so, for better or worse, this gal is likely to remain an anonymous entity while she's in my collection.
Her overall appearance brings to mind the classic ragdoll look and her lanky body is fairly simplistic from a tailoring perspective, but I find her pleasing to the eye. All of her facial features are embroidered and the head is flat in profile--I wish they would have made it more rounded and given her at least a 3-dimensional nose. The doll's hands didn't get any special treatment, but her toes have red "polish" on the nails (said finish isn't stitched or dyed, so, I'm guessing that the effect was done with iron-ons or glued into place).
The doll sports wire armatures, concealed within her arms and legs, which allow you to bend her into a variety of poses. That's a feature I always like to see in plush figures and I wish more manufacturers did it. Alas, she can't stand under her own power, so, for display purposes, you'll have to either use a doll stand, prop her up against something sturdy, or put her in a sitting pose.
My long-time readers are probably sick of me writing this, but I LOVE yarn hair on dolls, and this one has a wonderful mop of voluminous ebony locks. The yarn tresses are styled/sewn into short, parted bangs in the front, and, while I know it's next-to-impossible to tell in these photos, a portion of the long hair in the back is tied off into a high ponytail.
The unclad doll has very little in the way of anatomical detail. She's got an "out-ey" belly button, but no breasts, buttocks crease, etc. The seam where the back of the right hip attaches to the body has come undone on my sample, and there's an errant strand of thread hanging off of the right hand, but, other than those two things, she's in pretty good condition.
The figure is stuffed with polyester fiberfill and her internal wire armature is coated with plastic (a safety feature to help prevent injury if the wire ever pokes out of the doll). If she gets dirty, the figure should only be surface washed and air dried.
The doll also has a small pouch, that opens and seals with a strip of velcro, in the small of her back. I believe that this opening was used to stuff the doll in the store, and it's also where you placed the heart from the "heart ceremony" or an optional voice box accessory if you wanted your doll to talk. Of course, a child could also use the pouch as a secret hidey-hole to stash
illegal drugs small treasures (alas, mine didn't have a roll of $100 bills stuffed inside, but I can dream).
My doll came with a white-and-pink T-shirt, that sports the legend "Farm Queen 03 Friends Couture", a pink camouflage mini skirt, and pink satin panties. The skirt has working pockets (the buttons are only ornamental though) and two, white elastic loops attached to the waistband, but I have no idea what purpose those serve. At first, I thought that they might be suspenders, but they're too short for that. If anyone reading this knows what they're for, please send me an e-mail and let me know! I was a bit surprised to find that the doll had removable panties, as most play dolls have that article of clothing permanently sewn, or painted, onto their bodies. In fact, with the exception of diapers on baby figures, I believe that this is the only doll I have in my entire collection, male or female, with removable underwear.
The shirt is too short and the panties are tight, but they both fit my 18" MGA BFC Ink Addison doll.
The skirt, on the other hand, was a no-go, as it wasn't wide enough to wrap around this figure's hips.
It's too large, but this dress is the only other doll outfit I currently have that will fit a girl of these dimensions.
Vinyl/plastic figures make up the bulk of my doll collection, but I'm also fond of the plush variety, especially when they sport a bendable internal wire armature for posing like this one does. The only real downside to obtaining a F2BM doll secondhand is that you aren't getting the original experience, and memories, of putting her together yourself (of course, given that all of the F2BM stores closed in 2009, and it's the tail-end of 2014 as I write this, that's a moot point). I'm pretty happy with this gal, so, if I run across another one in nice shape, for a good price, I'll probably pick her up a friend (they were available in a variety of facial expressions, hair colors, and ethnicities--and there are some boy dolls too!)
Toy line/assortment: Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia.
Manufacturer: Mattel (2005).
What I paid: Fifty cents on 12/10/14 from the Ishpeming, Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Size: 12.3 cm (4.8") wide x 29.8 cm (11.7") tall.
Articulation: Neck, shoulders, and waist.
Notable features: Thermal color-changing hair and disappearing body paint.
Recently, I mentioned how I had almost bought a mermaid doll, but didn't, because her tail fin was missing. Well, I later ran across a similar, but intact, specimen and scooped her up. This is Shella, one of the lovely, half-fish ladies from Mattel's Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia line, which is based on Mainframe Entertainment's 2006 computer-generated, direct-to-video movie of the same name. Said film's plot follows the events of the previous 2005 Fairytopia movie, and involves the fairy Elina giving up her hard-won wings for a fish tail in order to assist the mermaid Nori in saving the merman prince, Nalu. I haven't seen the movie, nor am I inclined to, but, after reading about it on Wikipedia, I noticed that the actress Nicole Oliver is listed as providing the voice for a "Shellie" character, but I didn't see a "Shella", so, I'd guess that they're meant to be one and the same, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Some toys don't have enough detail and then there are ones that go too far, and I'd say that this one is an example of the latter. Mattel's sculptors/painters didn't know when to stop embellishing Shella. She's got all sorts of floral and marine designs all over her body--Shella is just too "busy". I find the sculpted rose accents (especially on her shoulders) to be a particularly bizarre design choice for an aquatic woman. My first impression of Shella, in the store, was that some child had drawn all over her body with a marker; it was only after inspecting her more closely that I was able to see that all of her body paint (which disappears with the application of hot water) was actually supposed to be there.
A complete sample of this toy should include a short pink tulle "fin" skirt that goes around Shella's waist, and a plastic teal applicator accessory, to use on the color-changing parts of the mermaid's anatomy. Obviously, I didn't get either of those items with my secondhand Shella. I don't care about the applicator, but the waist decoration would have been nice to have.
Marc Marrone informed me that a mermaid of this size should be kept in at least a 20-gallon aquarium, but I'm too cheap,
so Shella's going to have to learn to breath air like the rest of us or make do with that 1-quart plastic microwave bowl.
Like the rest of the doll, Shella's two-toned hair, accented with rainbow-hued metallic tinsel, is arguably a bit much, although given how over-the-top the rest of her already is, at least it's consistent, style-wise. (As an aside, I think this hair would look great on a Jem character.) When I got her, Shella still had a couple of transparent rubber bands binding some of her hair, which her original owner(s) never removed, as well as a single hot pink thread anchored into the top of her head (I would guess that would have been used to tie down Shella's multi-hued locks to the cardboard backing in her original packaging). After removing those things, I found that her tresses were a little course and tangled, but combed out pretty well, although, as usual, tinsel is less than cooperative in that regard. At room temperature, Shella's front locks are lilac purple, but, when subjected to heat, they become bubblegum pink, matching the rest of her head. You can use hot water (I boiled some in a microwave-safe bowl to use during this photo shoot, but that's too dangerous for young children to mess with), or, if you don't feel like getting the doll wet, warming her hair inside your closed hand for a bit also does the trick.
As a cautionary note, if you're going to use this doll as a bathtub toy, I feel I need to mention mold. If a toy isn't completely dried out, in a timely manner, afterwards, fungus may develop in moist areas (often inside the doll's hollow interiors, where you can't easily get at it), which can result in a mildly unpleasant musty smell. It's not the end of the world or anything, but something to keep in mind.
I haven't experienced any problems with mine, but after browsing through several reviews of this doll at Amazon.com, I noticed that more than one owner/buyer complained that her tail fin has a tendency to break off. Given that the previous Mattel mermaid sample I ran across, and didn't buy, was also missing that part of her anatomy, I think it's safe to say that there's some truth to this, so, I'm going to have to remember to be particularly careful in handling that fin.
Shella has a ball-jointed neck and shoulders as well as a pivoting tail, at the hips, which allows her to sit. There's also a cut line in the plastic, near the tail fin, that could be a rotation point, but, considering what I just wrote in the previous paragraph, I'm certainly not going to try twisting it (indeed, attempting to turn the fin may very well be why people have experienced breakage). I'll concede that a mermaid tail isn't the easiest thing in the world to articulate, but the mobility of the upper, human anatomy would have benefitted immensely from the addition of elbow, wrist, and waist/mid-torso joints.
Disney's Little Mermaid Ariel, Barbie in a Mermaid Tale Xylie, and Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia Shella.
Shella is a pretty nice mermaid doll, albeit a bit too fancy--had Mattel shown a little more restraint in her design, I think she'd be a better figure. That said, I really do like her. The color-changing feature is a nice bonus and always good fun for bathtub play. Despite my criticisms, I'd probably buy another doll or two from this assortment (Nori appeals to me), as I think it'd be neat to have a larger "school" of mermaid dolls to photograph. Design-wise, I actually prefer full-bodied dolls, with fabric mermaid tail "sheaths" worn over their legs, to solid, sculpted tails like Shella's. Not only do they look better, but the material covering allows you to utilize a doll's hip, knee, and ankle articulation for more realistic, and almost seamless, tail flexing.
Toy line/assortment: Sesame Street.
Manufacturer: Gund for Sesame (2011).
What I paid: Twenty-five cents on 12/23/14 from the Ishpeming, Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Size: 39.0 cm (15.4") long x 16.5 cm (6.5") wide x 15.5 cm (6.1") tall.
Notable features: None.
This is a plush figure of everyone's favorite childhood wooly mammoth, Aloysius Snuffleupagus, or, as he's more commonly known, Mr. Snuffleupagus or Snuffy. He made his first appearance on the Sesame Street television program on November 8, 1971. However, the puppet's original design was deemed somewhat frightening to children, so his features, particularly the eyes, were modified to appear friendlier in subsequent appearances.
For over a decade, it was a running joke that only Big Bird could see Snuffy, and most of the other muppets/humans on Sesame Street dismissed the wooly mammoth as Big Bird's imaginary friend, despite the occasional evidence to the contrary. Finally, in 1985, Big Bird, with the aid of Elmo holding Snuffy's trunk, so that the elephant couldn't wander off like he usually did, was able to successfully prove the existence of his elusive friend to everyone else. The reason for this change in story direction was actually a result of several recent (at the time) high-profile cases of children being sexually abused. The show's writers reasoned that, having Big Bird as a role model who told the truth, but was not believed by the adults of Sesame Street, was setting a bad example--they grew concerned that it might be teaching real victims of abuse to not trust adults to help them, for fear that they too would not be believed. Sadly, we've all seen, or heard of, cases where parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. have dismissed a child's complaints of abuse only to later find out that they were true, so, I can see the merit of the writers opting to change how they dealt with Mr. Snuffleupagus in their plots.
The Snuffleupagus plush's proportions, compared to the huge television puppet, are a little off (the head is too large and should be set higher on the body), and I feel that his fur could have been a darker shade of brown, but there's no mistaking who the toy is supposed to represent--I knew who he was the second I fished him out of one of the stuffed animal bins at the store (likewise, the shop's cashier immediately identified him with an exclamation of, "It's the Snuffleupagus!", when I plunked the elephant down on the countertop to pay for him). Snuffy's anatomical deviations from a real wooly mammoth, namely the lack of ears or tusks and the addition of a large, dinosaur-like tail, give him his endearing, and iconic, shape.
Snuffy is made out of polyester fibers with some internal polyurethane foam as a stiffener (which is good, as that keeps him from flopping around or losing his shape). His peepers are embroidered. I really like the soft, shaggy weave of his fabric "fur"--a wooly mammoth should be wooly after all. Snuffy can be hand washed, in cold water, with mild suds, and then air-dried, if the elephant should happen to get dirty.
Hey, kids, who wants to dance the Snuffle Shuffle with me?
Like many people around my age, or younger, I grew up watching Sesame Street, so that program's cast of characters will always resonate with me. My favorites are Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, and Grover, but Mr. Snuffleupagus certainly left a memorable impression on me as well. In recent years, Elmo always seems to get the most attention and merchandise, but I'll take Snuffy over that little red rascal any day. To the best of my recollection, this item was the first time in my life that I'd ever even seen a Snuffy collectible, so, I wasn't about to let the wooly mammoth escape my grasp.
Toy line/assortment: Loving Family: Sweet Streets.
Manufacturer: Fisher-Price for Mattel (2001).
What I paid: Fifty cents on 12/10/14 from the Ishpeming, Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Size: (Playset, closed) 12.5 cm (4.9") wide x 20.3 cm (8.0") high x 21.1 cm (8.3") deep; (Playset, open) 24.3 cm (9.6") wide x 20.3 cm (8.0") high x 11.0 cm (4.3") deep; (Ballerina Doll) 2.7 cm (1.1") wide x 6.6 cm (2.6") tall.
Articulation: (Playset) Building-halves hinge, shop door, studio mirror, and studio dance floor; (Ballerina Doll) neck, shoulders, and hips.
Notable features: Two-in-one playset environment and revolving dance floor.
Here we have a Sweet Streets Candy Shop/Dance Studio combo dollhouse environment and ballerina figure. This item was sold under the Loving Family banner, but it's much smaller, scale-wise, than the huge "Classic" LF dollhouse that I bought back in May. Getting two significantly different businesses in one structure is great, but I do have to question the wisdom of putting a dance studio adjacent to a candy shop, as some of the dancers may overindulge after rehearsals/performances and get out of shape!
Like most mass-market dollhouses, there's not much paint on this structure. Most of the color is achieved through plastic parts molded in different hues and the application of decals. Even so, it's an attractive piece, but it would have been even nicer had more of the sculpted details, like the lamps and bench/chairs on the sides of the building, been picked out with paint. My sample has an unsightly stress mark in the pink plastic of the "Candy Store" sign (a result of someone bending it), a small scratch in the dancing studio's mirror, and there are some orange scribbles that I couldn't remove, doubtlessly from a previous owner, here-and-there, but, other than those things, the structure is in pretty nice shape.
The building opens-and-closes, via a metal pin hinge joint, for different play/display and travel/storage options. Both halves snap together securely when shut and there's plenty of room to keep dolls and furniture inside so that you don't lose or step on them. There's also a pink plastic carrying handle projecting upwards from the roof of the dance studio. Said grip is pretty small for my big adult hands, but I imagine it'd be just right for young children. Both doors work, although the one on the dance studio is much cooler, as it revolves, in a secret wall-like fashion, and sports a wonderful relief sculpture of a dancing couple on its exterior surface.
The ballerina is relatively basic, as far as dolls go, but still nice looking with a fair amount of detailing and decent paint applications. She's supposed to be wearing a lace tutu, which would add some pizzazz, but mine didn't come with any. The ballerina has rotating cut joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips--for her small size, that's not too shabby. It's enough to get her into a variety of dancing poses at least. If she hadn't been included, I may very well have left this playset on the shelf--what good would the revolving dance floor feature have been without a ballerina to go with it?
Assuming she'll let me pay in Monopoly money, I'll take one of everything!
In addition to the ballerina doll, candy shop counter/register (pictured above), and removable upstairs eating booth that I did get, a complete sample of this toy should also include two different lace tutus for the ballerina, a lavender umbrella that would plug into the upstairs booth's table, a shopkeeper doll (a Caucasian brunette woman dressed in an orange shirt, white capris, green apron, and pink shoes), a pink changing screen, a blue vanity (that sports a mirror, bouquet of roses, jewelry box, and teddy bear details), and a blue stereo system with a pink boombox attached on top. Ideally, I'd like to have all of those missing items, but, if I could only pick two, I'd select the shopkeeper and umbrella.
The special action feature of this building is the rotating floor in the dance studio. Simply attach the ballerina's left foot to one of the protruding pegs on the disc (I'm puzzled that they didn't put peg holes in the soles of both of her feet) and turn the ribbed dial with one of your fingers to make her twirl about in circles. It's simple, but works well, and the visual effect is made more interesting by the large mirror in the background. Thanks to the multiple pegs, if you owned several Sweet Streets dolls, you could squeeze several of them onto the disc together for a group performance.
Star Wars' Zutton/Snaggletooth says: "Chalmun's Cantina can bite me.
Sweet Streets is where it's at, and I'll take delicious hot cocoa over that Wookie's overpriced liquor anyday!"
I don't know why, but I think Peter Pan's Smee makes a really great-looking store clerk, although I'm not sure that I'd trust him not to dip
into the till, or eat all of the candy, when no one's looking--he is a pirate after all, and you don't get a gut like his by skipping any meals.
For its size, this is one of the best shop/street playset environments I've ever come across. Incorporating two different businesses into one dollhouse structure is an excellent design choice and Fisher-Price executed it beautifully. Other than the minor damage and missing doll/furniture, I'm very pleased with this piece and I'd highly recommend it to anyone reading this who may be in the market for this sort of thing, either for themselves or a child.
The store that I purchased the Candy Shop/Dance Studio from also had two other Loving Family: Sweet Streets playsets for sale on the same day: the combination Pet Shop/Beauty Salon and the Country House. The former didn't appeal to me a whole lot, even though I love animals, but, in retrospect, and after looking at some more photos of the structure online, I'm kind of regretting not purchasing the Country House [it only came with one doll (a blond woman), and no furniture, but it was in great shape and a steal at only seventy-five cents]. I did seriously consider grabbing all three buildings (they looked pretty awesome lined up, next to one another, making a short street), but, as storage space is always a concern for me, I convinced myself that I should only buy one. I'll also admit that I briefly contemplated being evil/greedy and taking the doll from the Country House, and the furniture from the Pet Shop/Beauty Parlor, and sticking them ALL inside my Candy Shop/Dance Studio, before I brought it up to the cash register to pay for my toy purchases that day, but, that would have been wrong, so I did the right thing and left the accessories and figures distributed as they were.
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