Thursday, 4 February 2016

Show And Tell - My Madballs Collection

Here's a brand new feature where we're going to be showcasing the amazing toy collections of our lovely customers.

Madballs were launched by AmToy in the mid 1980s, part of the American Greetings group. Their gross out humour was on a par with Garbage Pail Kids, so of course children loved them and parents hated them. There was also a cartoon series and computer games based on the toys. During their lifetime people complained of injuries as a result of the hard materials used to manufacture the balls. They later changed to a softer foam. The distinction between these materials is important to most collectors. 

Madballs are back again with versions of the original characters available to gross out a whole new generation. Lets get the ball rolling and meet Johnny and his collection (Haha. Sorry!)

Johnny James Walker



Sydney, Australia 

When and why did you start collecting?

Madballs were my favourite toy as a kid in the eighties I revamped my obsession about 10 years ago and here we are, I used to have a lot of movie props/collectibles but now its just the toys.

Favourite item in your collection and why?
My favourite is Fist Face the purple foam 1985 Madball pictured.

Latest addition and where you got it?My last toy was a while ago I think it was Snake bait loose also pictured. I find these treasures on ebay, esty  or Parry's Game Preserve.

Something interesting or a fact about your collectionThere are foam balls and rubber ones most collectors try to get one or the other. I'm different I like both. I also love similar handmade items like my crab and my snail.

Your holy grail item you dream of findingI would love to find another Splitting Headache Madball or another Screamin Meemie baseball bat these 2 items are super rare. I own 1 of each but id buy another if I saw one.

Thanks Johnny. I especially love the display case that means they're all able to be on show. Such a great idea. 

Do you have a toy collection you'd like to share with us? Send us an email - we'd love to hear from you :-)

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Lucky Dip Club Review - January Unboxing The Donut Dinerette Surpise Box

If you are yet to come across the delight that is Lucky Dip Club, then you're in for a real treat. Leona explains it much better than me - but essentially it's a monthly surprise box through the post full of vintage and kitsch inspired treats showcasing the best new designers and Indie business'.

There are lots of exciting changes for this year. Unfortunately the lovely twine that used to wrap around the outside has gone, but instead there are now really cute stickers to seal and decorate it. I hear that there will eventually be custom printed boxes in the future which sounds exciting. Also, the collectable charms that came in 2015's boxes are replaced with a new monthly enamel pin. Enamel pins are so popular right now, so this is a really nice addition to the box. Probably the most interesting change is the brand new exclusive Girl Planet mini magazine. All the features that used to be limited to just one fold out sheet now have space to breathe with lots of new articles and longer interviews with more pictures. If editior Zabby's colourful Instagram feed is anything to go by, I'm really interested to see each edition. Has this peaked your interest?? Thought so! Lets have a look inside this month's box.

First thing, as always is the gorgeous attention to detail. I'm a really sucker for stationary and packaging. The colour coordinated tissue paper, envelopes and paper bags all sealed with stickers are a real treat to take your time opening. This month every item has been exclusively illustrated by Mel Stringer. She's not an artist I'd come across before, but that's one of the great things about Lucky Dip Club - it's like Leona knew we'd be totally into her!

This month contains a super cute dry wipe 'Donut Forget' magnetic board and pen,  donut necklace, an art print, embroidered patch and a donut sticker set. I think my favourite items are this months pin and the launch of the Girl Planet magazine. All in all I think it's really great value for money and I love supporting such an influential indie business. Most importantly I'm at a time in my life when basically the only thing that comes through my letterbox are dreary bills, so who can say no to a monthly box of sunshine?

Monday, 1 February 2016

Our Shopkins Collection

We were out shopping and Emmett found these at the counter. The little shopping basket series 3 came in were so cute. This was a while ago, before Shopkins became the biggest selling new toy line in the USA. A quick look on Instagram will show you queues round blocks for the release of series 4.

I'm a big fan of anthropomorphic toys (basically anything inanimate with a face) Shopkins tick all the boxes for cute and the collectable factor is very addictive. I feel they are definitely going to be a collectable for the future. Already some of the rare figures command huge prices on ebay. Also, anything that promotes community with children is a good thing - there are various Shopkin swapping parties advertised online and I also really like the nod to the collectibles of the 1980's like bubblegum cards and Lil' Babies figures that you could trade with your friends.

Series 4 is definitely the best series so far with the addition of super cute Petkins with animal faces. Also a first for this series are the Shoppies dolls. They're really cute too and have already been a big crossover hit with doll collectors. I think the prices are reasonable. The smallest set for this series has two random figures in blind bags in a stackable crate (the crate is available in white, pink and fuschia) This retails for around £2.49 in most shops. I think this was our favourite set as the stackable crates add a lot of play value. We bought the bigger pack so that we knew we'd get some of the Petkins. The paint job on the cabbage sold us too!

I painted up this thimble shelf to display them in my office when we're not playing. Cute, huh?