January 10, 2012

Unboxing the Lalaloopsy Treehouse, Part 1 (Box, Dolls, Accessories)

Last year, I "treated" myself by getting the fabled Mini Lalaloopsy Treehouse playset. Like any other self-respecting toy nerd (is there such a thing?), I do occasionally occupy myself with meticulous toy-unboxing photo shoots. And seeing as this was an extra-special purchase and this blog is no stranger to meandering anecdotes about treehouses, I felt this deserved at least some sort of proper documentation.

Because this post turned out a bit longer than I thought, Part 1 shall cover my initial impressions of the packaging, the dolls and the itty-bitty extras. The Treehouse itself (features and all) will be covered in Part 2.

Here we have the as-of-yet unopened Treehouse in all its shiny, plastic glory. I can't be alone in hating toys that look overly intimidating and expensive while still in-package. Then again, I guess this must partly explain the cult of mint-condition toy collectors.

The back of the box, which offers at least one "serving suggestion" play-wise. Even as a kid, I always found appreciation for the sheer volume of eye candy that goes into the back of toy packaging. And I'm not just talking about fancy-pants graphic design: these kinds of elaborate in-action set-ups may have been my first glimpse into the mystical world of toy photography.

I'm starting to wonder if there should be a family of technical terms specifically designated to different tiers of toy packaging. For instance, here we have the inner shell of the packaging as recently extracted from its main outer shell window box. This is your basic dual-component boxed package, with several product supplements encased in blister card with the odd clear scaffolds and eyecatch inserts thrown in. The blogger is now clean out of gobbledegook and should really stop making stuff up and get back to the damn review already.

In any case, almost anything that isn't glued or taped down is secured in place with those pesky little plastic ties that are difficult to cut. At best, you will probably need either a big pair of sharp scissors or a deft hand with a box cutter to pry everything free.

Included with the playset are the mini versions of the artistic Spot Splatter Splash and the pirate Patch Treasurechest (who comes up with these names?!), both in their respective "Original Flavors." This has been a source of grief for Patch fans who want his classic look in mini form without the extra-pricey clump of giant tree thrown in. The patently un-pirate-y Skeleton Edition didn't exactly help matters.

And Spot? Well, basically she looks exactly the same as the Series 1 version, except her pet zebra is blue now!

Tiny plastic junk you will find under the couch three months later Accessories! The inclusion of the button stool from Berry's Kitchen and the pin cushion... cushion from Pillow's Sleepover Party are slightly baffling to me, but hey. All's fair in love, war and saving costs on retooling. (Also, am I the only one wondering why pin cushions almost always come shaped like tomatoes?)

Other accessories you will find here are a hammer, a saw, a paint brush, a bucket of fuschsi ah, sod it hot pink paint, a sub sandwich, a carton of apple juice and a ladder made of pencils. (Or sculpted to look like that, anyway.) If we assume that the dolls have personalities like that of children, aren't they a little too young to be working with a saw? (Then again, the last generation of kids built their own tree houses and soap box racers for leisure. We had World of Warcraft and Twitter.)

The above picture also shows the "crow's nest" lookout and a flimsier, free-standing variation on the telescope that originally came with the Dot Starlight mini. I know it says the crow's nest "spins" on the packaging, but the spinning action is actually sort of rubbish. There's just a hole on the bottom of the barrel that attaches to this flat peg on the smaller tree. Still, the crow's nest is a fun touch for any imaginary clubhouse for inanimate plastic people.

Next time, I cover the actual Treehouse!

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