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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Collection Oddities: Sailor Moon Light Up Vanity Case Review

As just about everyone who collects Sailor moon knows, Irwin toys Canada released a whole load of sometimes wonderful and sometimes weird merchandise that was never seen anywhere else in the world. So as we recently added one of theses oddities to our collection, we decided to showcase it. So here's my brief review of The Sailor Moon Light up vanity Case.
First order of business the box, It's got the same basic look as all other Sailor Moon toys from this period: dark blue box, North American Sailor Moon logo and item title on a pink "ribbon". Both the front and back of the box are the same except one is in English and one in French. It differs from the boxes of most SM items though in that it doesn't really use any images from the anime. Instead they opted to have a particularly frightening looking young girl sneer into a mirror. Sneering girl also isn't actually using any of the items contained in the kit nor is she even half-heartedly attempting to look like one of the senshi. I recognize that this item in no way correlates to anime or manga and was basically just a random money maker, but you'd think they'd have tried a least a little bit harder.

Moving on...The incredibly helpful blurb of text on the box says: Get ready for a big adventure with the sailor moon vanity case. Comes with everything you need to look like a superheroine! When you open the lid the lights come on and you'll find lights of storage compartments. Going somewhere special? Just grab the handle and bring your handy vanity case along!

With a description like that we can hardly wait to take it out of the box, right!?
Note the aforementioned handle and the mind-blowingly awful picture of the senshi stuck in a heart shape on the front. It's as though someone at Irwin thought to themselves, "You know what would make a good image to use on this vanity case, that fanart I had my three year old sailor moon hating nephew draw."

Now let's turn our attention to opening the case in vain attempt to think of something other than that awful awful image of the senshi on the outside.

Unfortunately, opening the case doesn't help a lot in that respect. :( The same deranged three year old nephew apparently drew the battery compartment image of Serena/Usagi as well, though he improved a little bit this time. As you can see the little blurb wasn't lying, there are lots of comparments full of goodies and while we didn't bother to put the batteries in to test them you can clearly see the lights which flank your little mirror. Though honestly the whole thing seems way out of proportion why would you need lights that large (and two of them no less) for a mirror that small? Which also begs the question, if you're going to make something like a vanity case why make it with such a small mirror? Generally speaking, I think even superheroines would like to see the entirety of their faces while getting prepared to save the world rather than viewing awkward thirds of it.

So far this isn't really a spectacular item is it? But, that's only because we haven't discussed all the goodies that will help you transform into a sailor scout, even when you're on the go!

Henshin HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~ (hardgay style)
So here's what comes in the case starting from the left:

*Super awesome plastic hairbrush decorated with a sailor senshi sticker illustrated by Deranged Nephewtm!

*Large plastic clip on earrings which loosely resemble Usagi's.

*2 small plastic hair curlers with a little plastic base to hold them upright. (I know when I painstakingly curl my hair with just two rollers I need them in upright position at all times)

*A small make-up palette of some sort. I want to say it's lipstick because of the colors, but given the applicator I think it's supposed to be eyeshadow. Though it really doesn't matter because the palette itself is a sticker and the applicator is solid hard plastic. Which while much better for parents really sucks the joy out things for a little girl.

* A moon and star themed decorative hair comb which is made out of plastic too soft to really make it wearable.

*Two pink plastic bangles, one of which is solid and the other is made out of pop beads and would be completely unwearable due to being just one bead short to properly bend and hold together. Even using it for display to take pictures it was difficult to make it stay together apparently it would have cost Irwin too much to add that extra bead to every single kit so sending out defective bracelets was the ONLY option available.

*A metal chain with a plastic bauble that's an unholy hybrid of both the star locket and transformation brooch. Ours is super special due to the sideways facing sticker.

*Two moon and star themed hair clips. Like the hair comb, these are made out of incredibly soft plastic which makes them very difficult to wear. Which is actually a shame because otherwise the cutest and most wearable item the case contains.

*A generic strand of plastic pearls. henshin for us :(

The only things that could be remotely useful for cosplay as far as the accessories go are the earrings, and the locket/brooch hybrid. Possibly the pearls if used as a hair ornament for princess serenity.

Overall though this has to be one of the most poorly researched and hastily put together officially licensed sailor moon items ever. It's really only of interest if you're a completionist and/or just like official oddities.

Luckily for us we're in that second category and tend gravitate towards collecting weird things so it's right at home in our collection and we're happy to have it. :)


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