SpartanNerd Unveiling…Gundam Sweet Beats!

Girls.  Maybe I have girls on the brain?  I recently ordered some more “Fluttershy” My Little Pony card sleeves for my Liliana, Heretical Healer Commander deck.  I reviewed “Rey (Jakku) & BB-8.”  And today I decided to unveil my secret project, mentioned almost a year ago.

I have slowly worked on this project, with the SpartanTeen and SpartanKid hotly curious about what I was going to do.  (In their minds it was a kind of contest.)  I promised them I would do something they never saw before, something almost entirely original.  And something with a cheap budget.

The SpartanTeen put together a fantastic Master Grade Gundam Sinanju.  SpartanKid put together SD Build Burning.  But I went a completely different direction altogether.

Today I unveiled “Gundam Sweet Beats” to the SpartanChildren, and am revealing her to the world!

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Gundam Sweet Beats is a combination of spare parts from two different Super Deformed kits and also the Strawberry Shortcake “Sweet Beats” doll.  Review Here.

Sweet Beats usually just hangs around strawberry plants.

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Sometimes she rips it up on guitar.

But in a rare mood, she completely transforms into a glorious giant robot, powered with strawberry scent!

Now to talk about the project a little bit.  I mentioned in my review that the doll has an unsightly waistline, as well as hair that you can’t do much with.  Well I made the waistline problem EVEN WORSE by melting a slot into it so that the jetpack can fit on her properly.

The hair has been improved.  I tried to make it really straight, like typical asian little girls to match the anime idea.  I never could get the natural “wave” out.  But still, I discovered by combing it compulsively, it slowly improved.

The “crown” piece from the gundam…well I thought I would “implant” that into Strawberry Shortcakes head.  Bad move.  Then she just had a hole in her head, and the crown wouldn’t stay on.  I super-glued some hair in place to cover the new wound, and went to plan B, which was attach it to the sunglasses, which I didn’t care for anyway.  Remember when I said the sunglasses needed something else?  Super Deformed Gundam’s decal stickers were perfect!

I had to do some destructive modification to some of the gundam parts, and Sweet Beats has FAT FEET.  So it was hard to get those feet pieces to become shoes.  But they work.  Barely.  The waist piece had to be cut, melted, and shaped to fit around her properly.  Those little engine things over her shoulders are actually the jet engines from  somewhere else on a different gundam.  And the things on her wrist are wrist pieces.

Finally, I thought I would go all out with the hair bow, and there still is a little work to do.  I intend to super-glue that to a real hair bow.  I thought about using the little one that came with Strawberry shortcake, but decided I wanted to keep that like it is.

I complained a little bit about Star Wars Black Rey (Jakku) having sloppy paint.  But of course my painting is WAY WORSE.  So maybe I should stop complaining?

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I got the idea for this project from the end credits of Gundam Build Fighters, which features a child in Gundam armor doing things.

I designed the project so that the pieces can be removed, and the doll can be played with as intended, in regular Strawberry Shortcake mode, or rockstar mode.

There ARE some “Gundam Girl” figures out there.  I wrestled with the idea of doing one of those…I also considered things like getting a Harley Quinn figure or Super Girl and gundamizing it…as much as people want to say that comic characters are over-sexualized, it was actually hard to find a female figure “nude” enough.  (It was my idea to make a sexy figure at first.)  In the end, it was better to go with cute.  And the super deformed parts match the “cute” motif better.

Gundam Sweet Beats will be on display in my music classroom!  I keep a lot of toys on display, but as I mentioned before, I don’t have many girls toys.

I’m not going to rate my own work.  Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

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SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Strawberry Shortcake “Sweet Beats Doll”

Why, SpartanNerd?  Why?  Why do you never cover girls toys?

Truthfully, because I didn’t play with them as a kid…I have a (nameless, shameless) brother who played with Barbie and My Little Pony as a kid.  Mostly to disrobe and pull the hair out.  (He had a problem with pulling his own hair out when he slept.  So my parents tried this with some success.)

I’ll admit to playing with some She-Ra with my girl cousins.

I really don’t have anything against girls toys, though.  I have been meaning to pick up a Monster High doll, which I find incredibly cool looking, but haven’t ever gotten around to it.  Instead, I am going to test the waters a little bit with Strawberry Shortcake.  She’s a good candidate because of her 1980’s nostalgia factor, for me anyways.  I also have a side project that I need a small doll for, and this item was perfect.

I remember just a little bit about Strawberry Shortcake.  It seems a lot of scented stickers and items like that were associated with her.  I don’t remember if she had a cartoon, though.

So here’s the box.

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Strawberry Shortcake came in this nice package.  There is a large blister on the front allowing you to see the different accessories.  The back shows off all three dolls in this line.  However, didn’t I see an African American one at Toys-R-Us?  (Incidentally, this is one of my cheapest toys, coming in at just over $11.00.)  (I just net-checked.  Evidently the African American character isn’t in the band, but exists.)

Removing the doll from the package, as well as the accessories…

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There is quite a strawberry smell here!  That smell is rubbing off on the SpartanNerd’s hands, though.  And I suspect it isn’t “baked in” the plastic, like say, the smell in MOTUC Stinkor or Moss Man.  This smell will likely fade with time.  And that’s sort of sad, really.  That is an “action feature” of this doll.  You can see in the picture above that Sweet Beats comes with a guitar, oversized sunglasses, a comb, a soft-goods jacket, and a wireless mic.

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The figure stands nicely on its own…that huge mop of hair causes a little bit of balance issues.  This doll has only five moving joints: two shoulders on ball joints, two legs with back-and-forth only, and a rotating head.

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Strawberry Shortcake’s skirt comes off, and surprise for the SpartanNerd, so do her shoes!  You can see that the figure has painted leggings and a painted on glitter top.  Sadly, where the skirt covers at the waistline is very unsightly paint-slop.  Actually, it almost looks like the torso was meant to be two pieces, and maybe have a waist-swivel.  If so, it was decided to glue these parts together.  (Later, I also found the hair-bow to be removable.)

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Here is Sweet Beats with all of her other accessories, besides the skirt.  The jacket was tough to put on…You have to move the arms to where they point straight back, then put one hand into a sleeve, and then the other, and then move the whole jacket up the arms to the torso, fix the arms back, and then fuss with it to make it look right.  I suppose good fine-motor skills work for little children.  Also for the SpartanNerd.  The guitar doesn’t have a removable strap, so in order to make Sweet Beats hold it, you have to put her feet into the strap and have the arms down by her side, then position the guitar how you want.  (Her head is too big to put it on over the top.)  Sweet beats can’t hold the guitar’s neck properly because she has no finger articulation or wrist articulation.  Still, it looks cute.  The mic stands on its own just fine.  Mine is just a little bent, like some plastic on toys does.  Still, it isn’t too bad.  Finally, for me, the glasses have to go.

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They cover her eyes, which I find to be one of the doll’s best features.  Those glasses would be great if they had some kind of lenses, or even if they were just frames that fit over the eyes.  That’s just my opinion, though.

Finally, the real feature of this doll.  The hair.

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That is quite a lot of hair!  I spent some time combing it and playing with it…you really can’t do much with it.  I tried making a pony tail or pigtails using rubber bands.  Either I’m too manly, or the doll’s hair isn’t that style-a-ble.  The hair is fun to play with though.  (And now I’m thinking I might need to stop.)

I mentioned I had a project, and the hair has to do with that…Maybe I will get better at working it if I mess with it some more.  Notable, you can’t see from my pictures, but right at her hairline is what appears to be a painted on headband.  I believe this to be a device for concealing where the roots begin.  Also, her scalp is painted red.  This is why there is no caucasian color shining through.  But I thought it a little disturbing the first time I realized it.

So what is the SpartanNerd’s rating of Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats Doll?

I found some good stuff and some bad stuff.  I’m not sure I can hold this doll up to the standards of most of the other toys I have reviewed.  Most of the stuff I review is for the collector’s market.

As a toy, Sweet Beats would be a great doll for a little girl to play with.  (Or boy…)  The hair is a big part of this toy.  The guitar and mic add great style.  And the ability to change its clothes and shoes with other dolls in the same line also adds to its play-ability.

The biggest problem was the jacket.  Not easy to put on or take off.  The paint is the second negative issue, with that strange situation at the waistline.  And last I suppose is that the smell will almost certainly fade with time.

But I believe this to be a good durable toy for the young child’s market.  I believe she could take a lot of abuse.  I tried removing the arms, legs, and head.  No luck there.  I pulled the hair some, and some did come out.  But not that easily.  It is meant to last a good while.

For now I am going to give this doll, the very first doll I have ever reviewed mind you, a 3/5.  There is no denying the cuteness of Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats.  But she isn’t that playable for someone over the age of, say nine-years-old.  She looks cute when posed in the limited posing you can get with her, and she has some customization options with the other dolls in the line with her.  And maybe even with other lines of dolls.  (I don’t know.)

SpartanNerd Rates Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats Doll 3/5.  Do you agree or disagree, oh Hub-City Geeks?  Let me know in the comments.  And if you want to see more “girls toys” reviews from the SpartanNerd, let me know as well!