calzephyr: (my little pony)
Something neat I found at the antique mall, but didn't buy. She was $10 as is and there's actually a big spot of pony cancer on the leg I'm holding. Apparently pony cancer can spread, so I really didn't want her around, sadly. To be honest, I thought she was a fakie, but she's actually called Princess Royal Purple and from year 9. The eyebrows were badly mashed and fuzzed up, so much so that again I thought it was something someone had glued on for fun. Too bad! According to the MLP Collector group on FB, she may have been a little overpriced for the condition. Click for larger!

calzephyr: (birds)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Oh geez! Collecting was a large part of my life for some time, but now that I'm almost 40, being childless and having a small house has shaped what I collect.

Until I took a class in material culture, I never really understood why I collected, so here's some tips for anyone reading this. I had often heard that people collect things to fill a void. A collection may be one of the few things someone has control over in their life, so naturally they put a lot of effort into collecting and maintaining a collection.

Collecting involves a consumption cycle, from the acquisition to disposition phase. It's the acquisition phase where people get the most satisfaction, or the thrill of the hunt. You may spend a lot of time preparing the space for the thing to be displayed in, or reading about it, or imagining and sharing all the feelings and hopes you have for this object. Then, once said object is acquired, it's on to the next thing of great desire. I realized that it was this part that I really enjoyed too.

There's also a social aspect - if you collect something, you're bound to meet other people that share your passion. Hurrah for the Internet!

So on to the things I collected - stamps (very accessible for a young person), model horses, My Little Ponies, Kinder Surprise toys and books. All those collections have tapered off. I'm actually in the disposition phase of collecting model horses. Scarcity of collectors meant that they used to hold value - and acquiring a discontinued model horse required a laborious back and forth process involving snail mail (remember, long distance prices were $$ back in the day). Thanks to the Internet, the bottom fell out of the market. Now I have a hard enough time giving them away for free, or practically free!

I still see a lot of fun things that I would like to collect, but I stop myself and just admire online pictures instead.
calzephyr: (Christmas)
The Christmas drawing will be late this year...thank goodness for photographs :-D Have a lovely holiday and thanks for being a part of my year peeps.

calzephyr: (Christmas)
This would have been a fun gift! I bought myself Spirograph Cyclex Kit for Christmas this year. My only complaint is that the wheels can't be mixed and matched like the Klutz toy.

Originally posted by [ profile] progbear at Incredible Super Stamper
Not exactly a Spirograph, but still fun to make concentric circular artwork. Good luck getting that jingle out of your head!

calzephyr: (birds)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I wish She-Ra would come back. There are some new toys from Matty Collector, but they just don't seem to capture the spirit of the cartoon very well - instead of being strong and feminine, She-Ra looks kind of strong and hulking and more like she would gut you than help you! Female action figures have historically suffered from poor sculpts sadly!

Anyway...I think the reason that She-Ra hasn't made a comeback is the same reason that Wonder Woman can't get her own movie - she's too much of a feminist character to package in a bunch of tropes. For all the complaints about Filmation cartoons, they really got a lot right with the pro-social messaging in She-Ra, such as that physical strength and compassion don't have to be mutually exclusive.
calzephyr: (birds)
Just sharing this because I thought it was super cute. There's a Canadian version of American Girls (not affiliated with that series) and they gave one of the girls a cockatiel named Piccolo. I might have been more interested in Barbie when I was a kid if she came with a big cage of budgies, LOL!


Mail call!

Nov. 27th, 2014 09:01 pm
calzephyr: (Crafts)
The Crayola "light up drawing pad" arrived on Wednesday and I was so thrilled. Can't beat the free shipping when it's that fast, plus instead of being pink, it's more on the purple side of pink. True to the description, it's lightweight, portable and usable in a brightly lit room.

I like that it has raised edges and fits an 8.5x11" piece of paper almost exactly. Definitely a plus for kids or adults. It came with a package of pencil crayons, a pencil, blank paper and some tracing templates for the horse and girl fashion show. The paper could be of better quality, especially the paper templates, but you can always download and print more from their website. The only small problem in an otherwise well designed product is that the battery cover is held on by two small screws, so a miniature screwdriver is needed instead of a full size one.

I couldn't help myself and tried out the horse fashion show :-D

calzephyr: (yay)
I ordered the Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad from Amazon and can't wait for it to arrive. After about twenty years, the fluorescent light in my lightbox died and rather than find a new one (which I will eventually) I ordered this one because it runs on batteries and is portable, plus quilters gave it good reviews on Amazon. I also thought it was purple, but It comes not only with female fashion sheets, but horse fashion sheets too, so that "(h)orse lovers can embellish their horses with wings, flowing manes, saddles, and bridles" :-D

It's funny, you know, Lego is the go to villain for gendered toys, but I'm not sure if anyone has really noticed how bad Crayola is for it as well. The blue lightbox comes with superheroes and rock stars. Any trip to Amazon, Staples or Michaels reveals any number of Disney branded products for girls and boys, and even non-branded products, like the airbrush or marker maker sets, come in pink as well as blue. The blue airbrush has stencils like sharks, while the pink one has butterflies. Bleh, make it green or yellow and include all the stencils!

Speaking of gender neutral toys though, I finally found the Crayola Draw N Do Desk on eBay. Not only was it super cheap, it was in great condition, like new, with all the pieces and even the instructions. My favourite part was a poster that the first owner had filled out about all her favourite things :-) Anyway, I was really after the drawing gears, and it was exactly as I remembered it. The only difference was that the box was just in English, and not French. It arrived before I went on vacation and it was just thrilling to get in the mail :-D
calzephyr: (procrastinating)
The "C" part I was missing from making something in Rhino was...necessity. In my class, we dutifully made (or, struggled to make, heh) containers, tori, cups, jewellery, pipes, etc. I don't have a need for any of those things, and I recently found my WIIFM (What's in it for me) in a big way. I was making some spiral drawings for a future artist trading card night with the Klutz Spiral Draw book. It comes with four wheels and it seemed like four wheels was just not enough. Why weren't there circles, an arrow, a keyhole, just like...wait a minute, oh poo!

If only... )

Anyway, thank goodness the future is here because I can make my own wheels for the toy, which I am going to figure out how to send out to Ponoko today (a local laser cutter didn't have the right material). It looks great, but let me tell you, it took a long time to get to great :-D

calzephyr: (my little pony)
We've gotten back into the habit of watching movies again, yay! Although one movie my husband didn't want to watch with me was the 1986 My Little Pony movie. I was inspired to look it up after watching the season finale of FIM and thought the rainbow that wound through everything at the end was a little familiar...and it seems it was just a little something borrowed from G1. I never got to watch the movie when it first came out, although I did (and still do) have the movie sticker book. Honestly, it would have been cheaper to just take me to the movie Mom and Dad! It's actually a pretty cool sticker book, it came with a 3D viewer so you could sneak a peak at any missing stickers. Anyway, asides from the horrible voice acting for the ponies, it's really not a bad children's movie at all. I enjoyed it!

We also finally saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was way funnier than we expected. The nerdy love story was great along with the elastic animation and jokes. Someone remembered how to make a movie fun! We actually watched this movie after being mildly traumatized by another movie, for another post.

Yesterday we watched Hop, which came from the same studio as Despicable Me, which we watched on Friday night. Finally! We get embarrassingly behind on movies. Such a fun and sweet movie with lots for adults. Hop, though, was a trip to weirdsville and not as well made. The CGI/live action blend is technically brilliant, but there are places where the story stops, starts and falls right out of the bottom! There were also some minor racial stereotypes that were poorly thought out. After it ended, I said to my husband that it seemed like a metaphor for coming out and he thought that the main human character, Fred O'Hare, had had a break with reality and was hallucinating. Kids won't notice it's cut and paste quality, but...

Minor spoilers )
calzephyr: (Crafts)
The genius of The Lego Movie is that you're paying to see a two hour long commercial (with property placement) but the name of the actual product is never mentioned until the very end. Yet at the same time, it’s a ridiculously fun and funny movie, kind of like The Minifig Matrix.

Emmet is a construction worker in a big city where literally everything is awesome until he falls down a hole and touches a strange artifact known as the Piece of Resistance. Neo Emmet is rescued by Trinity Wild Style and they escape the Matrix City in a pretty hair raising chase into The Old West. There they meet Morpheus Vitruvius, where Emmet finds out that he's the One Special/Master Builder who has to battle the nefarious President Business. There are more Matrix references too :D

The plot is pretty thin, and the message about finding what's special about you is a little inconsistent, but the jokes and action make up for it. The CGI is fantastic, with the plastic pieces made to look scuffed, which keeps everything from looking too plastic. I would not be surprised if the producers were inspired by Life in the Dream House, as they take the same approach to toy collector jokes - like Benny, the 1980s space guy with the broken helmet and Vitruvius's staff being an old lollipop. There is going to be a lot of freeze frame fun.

One of the interesting, and perhaps unintended, parts of the movie comes near the end when Wild Style tells Emmet that she wanted to be the Special. Wild Style is a pretty talented builder who gets cheated out of touching the artifact when Emmet startles her. If the message from Lego lately is that it's only for boys, this is terrible. But, by the end of the movie, the message becomes that everyone is a creator. During the plot twist, Emmet tells Wild Style that it's her turn to be the hero, at least.

The movie certainly had an effect on us and it was hard not to impulse buy a bucket of bricks afterwards from Toys R Us, which thankfully never happened.
calzephyr: (tee hee)
So, I saw the weirdest things on YouTube last night and it didn't involve the genre known as YTP or the latest Cyriak animation. Nope, this trip to weirdsville involves the officially sanctioned, poorly animated and illogically written children's cartoon. It's true that we've come a long way from the 80s, where a show featuring Mr. T as a bodyguard to a squad of gymnasts hit the air (it's notable for being Maurice Lamarr's debut voice acting gig). Did I mention they were cross country travelling, crime fighting gymnasts? Am I the only one that remembers this? Thankfully the Internet never forgets:

But wait, there's more! )
calzephyr: (my little pony)
Some time ago I stumbled across YouTuber Lucky Penny Shop...not sure how, but I'm always checking in to see what weird and wonderful things they're reviewing, which is mostly toys. Love their enthusiasm and demos, especially when they pull out older toys. Here's just one video from an oddball set of McDonald's toys made in 1993 used to condition young folks into accepting McJobs. All the toys seem rather weird in that they don't produce the actual product in any form - the French fry maker cuts bread up into strips, for example - but I guess someone deserves props for thinking up something like this. The burger maker is by far the strangest of the bunch - and watching it in action as the narrator makes a cereal, chocolate and peanut butter burger patty is oddly gross, fun and...unique!

calzephyr: (books)
So it's been years since I have actively participating in collecting model horses, specifically Breyers, which used to be made in the US until the early 2000s when production moved to China. One of the last few models I bought was one of the treasure hunt Silvers (buy four, send in coupon for pegasus). I was breaking down the box for recycling when I noticed that there was handwritten Chinese script, written very neatly, on the flap of the box that would be hidden. I always regret not getting a picture of it (this being before I had a smartphone). I always wondered if it read "Help! I'm trapped in a box factory!".

Not that this story has anything to do with this, but you know. Writing is remembering, or forgetting, one of the two.

Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Fakies Is Magic!
Spotted yesterday in the toy aisle of a grocery store...if there was a purple one, I would have bought it :-) Feel free to share.

calzephyr: (tee hee)
Nothing says "I'm a crank on the Internet" like complaining about a children's toys, but I'm so tired of girl toys being shortchanged.

The toy in question is My Little Pony Magical Pony Express Train Set. This one piqued my interest because I love trains (a Calzephyr is a train) and My Little Pony. It seems like the perfect toy for a fan to have running around their Christmas tree. Except it couldn't even go around a pop can :( How lame!

I did some Googling to see if it came with extra track, or if extra track could be purchased. The answer so far seems to be no - you would have to purchase extra train sets or spring for the special edition which comes with three extra pieces. Such a tragic oversight! There are any number of wooden or plastic train sets on Amazon that come with loads of track, so it's a shame Hasbro cheaped out. The train can run without the track, but the fun of model trains is really in building a layout and changing it up. And then according to some reviews, the train doesn't always stay on the track either. And, good Lord, it comes with Pinkie Pie - the most annoying pony - but she's pink, so it's an automatic shoo-in. At ~$40US, it's a pretty expensive, useless toy compared to others of similar price like this one - KidKraft Bucket Top Mountain Train Set - that come with so much more. Girls like any number of toys and it's just sad to see a toy maker and toy franchise really drop the ball on something that could be a lot of fun.


calzephyr: (Default)

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