Raiin Monkey

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Build A Bear's Newest Pokemon Plush

Hi guys! If you follow me over on Instagram, then perhaps today's post is a long awaited one for you! I am finally going to be showing you guys the latest addition to my Build-A-Bear Workshop Pokemon plushie collection! Some of you might have seen a photo already on my social media, because I really couldn't resist sharing my adorable new cuddly friend! Haha, that just sounded super cheesy XD but I don't care! I love teddies, stuffies, plushies, whatever you call them, and I don't see myself stopping buying them anytime soon! I know there's lots of you out there who share this love of soft toys, and this post is one for you :) Enjoy! 

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

I know that everyone has been complaining about the weather we've been having in the UK over the last two weeks, but I'm about to contribute! I mentioned in my previous post that the heat wave has a crappy effect on my health, basically it makes my fibromyalgia flare up. I have spent all of July thus far in a constant state of exhaustion; I've been getting headaches a lot more than usual and my body is sore af. Having insomnia means that I'm used to doing most of my blogging at night-time, but because of the way the heat has been making me feel, I'm finding that by the end of the day, I am too drained to concentrate or do much of anything. It's really annoying me to be honest... I just want to write up all the ideas I have but it's been such a challenge. I've been wanting to show you guys this plush for ages now! Sorry it's taken me forever to get this post up >.<

Exactly a month ago today, my best friend & I had a day out in Manchester city. Literally the whole purpose of this trip was to visit the Build A Bear Workshop and pick up the newest Pokemon plush release, but because Manchester is such an awesome place, we decided to make the most of it and do other fun things whilst we were there :) We went for a meal at TGI Friday's (which was delicious by the way!), did some shopping in the Arndale centre and at the fabulous Affleck's Palace, and we also went geocaching. We only found one cache, but it was the biggest one that I've ever found so I was super happy. I can't believe the cache was so close to the hotel that we usually stay at whenever we go to a gig or something in Manchester, as if I never thought to look if there were any nearby! If you haven't heard of geocaching before, check out my post all about it. 

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

Something that I absolutely love about the Build A Bear Workshop experience is that, as the company name suggests, you get to 'build' your own plushies! Upon entering the store, you are greeted by a pretty big selection of different plush characters; there is a display showing each one that's available as a finished example, usually wearing something from the various clothing and accessory collections to make you wanna buy an outfit for your own. These outfits are adorable so it can be hard to resist getting something for your new plush to wear, haha! When I got my first ever Build A Bear plush as a teenager, I bought it a full outfit, shoes and everything :D Anyhow, underneath these example plushies, you will find the 'skins', which are basically the plushies without their fluffy filling. I always have a good rummage through the drawer to make sure that I find a perfect one :)

After choosing which plush you want, you can have a look at a selection of different sounds that you can put inside it. For example, there's a meow to go inside a cat plushie, and there's even a beating heart (which is more of a feel, than a sound of course)! Until my latest visit to the store, I'd never felt/listened to this beating heart, but one of the shop assistants wanted me to experience what it felt like and to watch my reaction... it was so weird XD But if you want one of these inside your plushie, then go for it! It's cool that the option is available, haha! 

The most fun step of the plushie building process comes next... I don't know what to call it, the stuffing? fluffing part? But it's when the 'skin' you've chosen actually becomes a cuddle-worthy plush! The middle photo above shows the machine which contains the fluff filling, and during this process a shop assistant controls the adding of the fluff but you get to put your foot on the black pedal you can see in my photo, and that is what causes the fluff to come out of the metal tube into your plush. I hope that makes sense! You can see that I'm holding a little chequered heart... you have the option to add one of these inside your plush, they are only £1 and all of the proceeds of the sale of them go to charity as far as I know. I make sure to get one of these hearts everytime :) It always makes me blush because just before closing up the stitching on the back of your plushie, the shop assistant always tells you to kiss this heart and make a wish, haha!

Once you have your plushie all fluffed and snuggly, you can explore the rest of the store and choose any outfits, including the costumes that are specifically made for the one you've chosen. Getting a whole outfit can get expensive, so most of the time I don't buy one. However, there are occasions when I can't not as the outfit is just so flippin' cute! Like the onesies that were released along with the Eevee and Vulpix Build-A-Bear's, omg they are so sweet! The final stage before heading to the till, is to fill in your details to get a certificate made for your plush. You don't have to do this but again, it's fun. You get to fill in the name you've chosen for your new plushie, and there are a few examples on the computers in store to help you if you can't decide on a name yourself. Keeping scrolling to find out what I named my new Jigglypuff! 

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

How adorable is Princess Candyfloss though!? Hahaha, yes I'm 25 years old & yes, that is the name I decided on for my plushie! XD I think it's the perfect name for her! She makes me think of a big ball of candyfloss because of how round she is, and also because of the shade of pink she is. I think she's such a gorgeous shade of pink! I also really like the colour they've chosen for her eyes, it goes so well with the pink. Turquoise is one of my favourite colours! 

Something else I love about this plush is just how chubby it is... it's so cuddly! It just looks so much like actual anime Jigglypuff, I'm impressed! The only thing that's different is that Jigglypuff has blue eyes VS these turquoise ones, but I love how they look so I'm not bothered about that and sometimes her eyes on the show do appear to look more of a turquoise colour. (I don't get why the birth certificate thing lists her eyes as green though?). Her little pointed ears look awesome, and I love how small and cute her arms are too! Omgosh, just everything about the Build A Bear Jigglypuff is too adorable! 

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

Jigglypuff Pokemon Build A Bear Workshop

My favourite part of the Build A Bear Jigglypuff design overall has to be the little swirly tuff on her head! It's squishy and just looks so cute, they've done a great job in recreating this feature from the original Pokemon. How cute is Jigglypuff's facial expression as well!? She looks so happy... like someone finally listened to her song without falling asleep :D It would have been awesome if there was a marker pen accessory available for this plushie, don't you think??

Another thing that is so awesome about Build A Bear's Pokemon Plushies is the fact that they come with their very own Pokemon card, and they are really cool because they look the same as the real thing other than the company's logo. They are so nostalgic to me! I've put all of my Build A Bear Pokemon cards up on my wall, and they look awesome lined up together. I think they are such great little freebies to receive with the plushies; who doesn't love a freebie!? 

This time around, I finally decided to get a sound put inside my plushie. I've never opted to get one before, even if the sounds were super cute because I like to hug my plushies and use them as pillows when I'm relaxin' in bed so I thought it would be annoying if a sound kept going off all the time, haha. However, the Jigglypuff sound is seriously so adorable!! In fact, there are four different sounds in one, and I love them! The sound thing was put inside one of her feet, and because of the size and shape of the plush, it's not gonna got off if I use it as a pillow. Oh, I almost forgot to comment on just how soft my Jigglypuff is, well all of my Pokemon plushies from this store are so soft and made from excellent quality material. I love how nice they feel! 

Build A Bear Workshop Pokemon

Here is my entire collection of Build A Bear Workshop Pokemon plush :) LOOK AT ALL THOSE COLOURS!! *all the heart eyes emojis*. I have been continually impressed with the quality and design of each of the Pokemon plushies. If you've been following the release of the Pokemon collection, you'll know that I am missing the Meowth plush. I do think it's cute but he was never one of my favourite Pokemon and I don't want to collect the plushies just for the sake of having a complete collection... I just get the ones of Pokemon I love. Sorry Meowth! 

So, which is your favourite of all of my Pokemon plushies? Are there any Pokemon that you would like to see Build A Bear release next? My favourite Pokemon is Vaporeon so I obviously would love to see a Build A Bear of Vaporeon, as well as the other Eeveelutions. I would also be very happy with a Marill, a Clefairy and a Togepi! I hope you all enjoyed my post :) 


Thankyou for reading!


Do you have a favourite Pokemon?

Do you have any of the Build A Bear Pokemon? or any other plush from the store?
I'd love to hear all about them! 

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

June 2018 Kawaii & Geeky Wishlist

Hi lovelies! I literally blinked and it's the end of June! What is even happening this year!? I've been saying this at the dawn of every new month so far in 2018, but it's just ridiculous how quickly these days are going by... don't you agree!? It's been a pretty good week for me, probably because it's been filled almost entirely with reading :) It's seriously been too hot to have the motivation to do anything else. Everytime I move, I am achy and all hot and flustered and I just can't be bothered doing much of anything! I'm sure that everyone is feeling this way to be honest, unless you love the sunshine then you'll have been having the time of your lives in this current heatwave we've got going on in the UK! As much as I like the sunshine, and the way it makes the natural world come to life with little creatures and vibrant colour, it makes my chronic illnesses flare up and thus I am left sore and lethargic, making the novelty of the improved weather conditions fizzle away after about a day of actually having to deal with it!  

So I'm not having the greatest fun, but all in all this week has been nice, I've been lost in a magical world between the pages of the current Harry Potter book I've been reading, and on Wednesday I hung out with my best friend. We ventured over to Bolton to The Light Cinema for a one-day-only screening of a new Japanese movie called Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms, which was a wonderful movie, although a definite tearjerker (no, you cried three times!). My best friend had never been to see a movie like this one at the cinema, so I was happy I got to share the experience with her. It is still making me giggle that we spent the entire train journey talking about nothing but Harry Potter #nerrrrds :D It seems to be all that's on our minds lately, and I was over the moon yesterday to finally get tickets to the Harry Potter convention happening next month! Eeeee!! I'll stop talking about Harry Potter now guys... but not for long haha! On with this month's kawaii & geeky wishlist... 


June 2018 Kawaii & Geeky Wishlist


1. Funko Pop! Vinyl The Lost Boys David figure I have been a fan of the 1987 horror movie The Lost Boys for as long as I can remember. I was pretty young when I first watched it and I just loved it so much! I have always been a fan of spooky stories which progressed to a love of horror movies in my early teens, and back then vampires were my thing! Because of this, I thought that The Lost Boys was awesome, and still do to this day :) It was also the first time I laid eyes on Kiefer Sutherland, who has been a MCM of mine ever since and after each role I've see him play, his character David, leader of a gang of teenage vampires, is still my favourite (80's trench-coat wearing, motorbike riding, bad boy Kiefer is just too hot, haha!). You can imagine how happy I was when I spotted that Funko had released three new Pop's from the movie, including this one of David with the noodles (which is a movie reference!). I NEED it! 

2. Pusheen Surprise Plush! Series 7 Pusheenimals There's always some kind of blind box on my wishlist! I just love surprises so much, especially when they come in the form of cute collectibles! Even though figures are one of my most favourite things to collect, I cannot resist the adorable plush keyrings that GUND keep releasing! Lately I've been spotting a lot of merch from them with Pusheen dressed as another animal, and I am such a fan of that kind of them... like I love Hello Kitty in cute animal costumes! Then, these new series 7 plush keyrings appeared on my Pinterest feed and I squealed with joy, because omg they are so flippin' cute! I would be happy to unbox any of the animals available, and I am going to try and get one as soon as I find them available on a UK store :) 

3. Pusheen Lion Plushie As I just mentioned, these latest Pusheen designs are being brought to my attention, and there's quite a few things available :) I am hoping to see some stationery soon, but for now this is my favourite of all of the recent releases that I've seen. How cute is Pusheen as a lion though!? This plushie reminds me of those lion's mane hat things that are made for cats! If you haven't seen a cat wearing one of these yet, you need to have a google because it's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen!! I have a lot of plushies, but I can't see myself stopping buying them any time soon. They just keeping making more and more amazing ones, and I cannot help but need them in my life :D I have a problem! 

4. Louis Theroux Tee If you're a regular follower of mine, then you'll already know how much I love crime documentaries or those that are about controversial/taboo topics, and we all know that the King of this genre of media is Mr Louis Theroux! It makes me happy to know that there are lots of fellow fans of Theroux out there, and there is quite a lot of merchandise available online for dorks like me who want to show how much they love his work! Usually most of the items I find online that I would love to buy end up being either on a US website so shipping cost is off-putting or the clothing isn't available in my size >.< However I just came across this shirt on Truffle Shuffle with an awesome slogan on the front that is available up to a 3XL. I would love to get one! 

5. Official Ravenclaw House Tie I have said this before on my blog, but just in case you've missed it, I am a Ravenclaw and am full of house pride! I'm curious to know what Hogwarts houses my wonderful readers are in, so let me know in the comments guys :) Anyhow, each year I go to Manchester Comic Con, and for this year's convention I was thinking of cosplaying as a Ravenclaw student so I've had my eye on this tie for a while now. Now that I have tickets to the Harry Potter convention, I really need to get myself this tie, alongside with all of the other elements needed to put together my Hogwarts uniform so that I can cosplay and live out my dream of going to Diagon Alley to get my school supplies... the con will apparently be set up like Diagon Alley!! The fangirl in me is getting giddy just writing about it!

6. Typo Flipout Notepad I have always wanted to visit a Typo store since the first time I ever heard of it whilst watching YouTube videos. For a stationery lover like me, it sounds like heaven, and I was always a little envious when watching people's stationery haul videos, because I really wanted to check out a store for myself! Little did I know that they had an online store, but my lovely friend Stacey from over at Simply Stacey, told me about it and I am so happy! This alien notebook is just one of the items that caught my eye, just because I love colourful alien prints, especially those with iridescent and/or psychedelic-looking themes. I have been lusting over so many items ever since I was able to have a nosey on the Typo website, and I am desperate to do a haul... hopefully I can soon! I can't believe that I never thought to check if they had an online store so thankyou Stacey!! 

7. Bloomsbury Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Ravenclaw Edition Did you guys know that this Monday is the 20th anniversary of the date that the Chamber of Secrets (the second book of the Harry Potter novels) was published?! That's so long ago! It's amazing to think that the Harry Potter novels have inspired the lives of fans for so many years! I was in Year 6 at Primary School when I read the Chamber of Secrets (as a kid I only ever read the first two books, but I am reading them all now as an adult, haha it feels weird to call myself an adult because I sure don't feel like one :D but yeah, I'm on the 6th book at the moment!). So it feels pretty nostalgic to remember my first impressions of the book, and to recall how much I giggled when I read Dobby's parts... I loved them so much that I made my mom read them aloud to me because it just made them sound so much more funnier! I have been meaning to get the first anniversary edition that Bloomsbury released for Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone for a while now, but to be honest I wasn't a huge fan of the black cover, however these next Hogwarts House editions are just so pretty with their bright, solid colour covers! I would love to build up a whole set of these as Bloomsbury release more over the next several years :) 

8. Funko Harry Potter Mystery Minis Series 3 This month's wishlist has almost been taken over by Harry Potter themed items (sorry not sorry!) and there were quite a few items that I didn't include on this wishlist too because then it might have well been June 2018 Harry Potter Wishlist :D This item was actually the first thing that I remember thinking OH MY GAWD YES MIGHTY NEED this month. I love Funko Mystery Minis and I have collected a few of the figures from Series 1 and Series 2 of the Harry Potter editions, mostly because I was after my favourite characters from each set but when I started getting other characters I decided to just collect as many as possible, and so whenever I get the chance I pick up another of the blind boxes. With the new release of Series 3 HP Mystery Minis, we get Remus Lupin, whom I adore and so I need to get that figure, as well as Filch's cat Mrs Norris who I want because the cat in the movie is so pretty :) I love that Funko Mystery Minis always include some of the more secondary characters (is that even what they are called!?), I hope that makes sense... but they don't just give you a chance to get the main characters. I'm going to run out of room to store all of my figures soon! These Mystery Minis are only available for pre-order right now, so I'm going to probably have accumulated even more figures before I even get my hands on these, oops!

9. Pokemon Centre Summer Life Pikachu Plushie So we've come to the final item on my Kawaii & Geeky Wishlist this month, and I've saved one of the best until last! The Pokemon Centre have been creating so many fabulous collections lately and I just wish so much that I lived in Japan so that I visit the store for myself T_T Like have you guys seen the new Pikachu wedding collection!? I'm not getting married anytime soon considering I'm a single pringle but omgosh who could resist those gorgeous items! Another collection that I'm lovin' right now is the Summer Life one; I mean how could you not fall in with this plushie of Pikachu in an adorable floral dress with a big sunflower in her hand? There's another version of this plush available too, with Pikachu in a pair of super cute dungarees carrying a net. It reminds me of bug collecting on Animal Crossing! I wasn't gonna include this plushie to my wishlist at first because I'd already added the Pusheen one, but it was too sweet not to! 



Thankyou for reading! 


What do you think of the items I've featured in today's post? 

What products are you guys lusting over right now? 

Also, remember to look after yourselves in this current weather everyone!! Lather on that suncream, so you don't get sunburnt like I have (It hurts!!), and remember to drink lots of water/juice/whatever... just stay hydrated! :) 

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Mary & The Witch's Flower Review

On the 10th of April this year (I know it's taken me forever to write this post, oops!), I went to a fan screening of the new Japanese animation movie by Yoshiaki Nishimura, who was one of the producers at the iconic Studio Ghibli. If you've been a regular follower of mine, you'll know I absolutely adore the movies by Studio Ghibli, with their amazing attention to detail, heart-warming stories and wonderful, relatable characters! My personal favourite movies have to be Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle & Spirited Away. Of course, My Neighbour Totoro is up high on the list too, because it's so flippin' adorable! Totoro is basically me in fuzzy troll form :D (If you're a fan of Totoro, you might enjoy my Totoro cosplay post!). What are your favourite Ghibli movies guys?

If you are a fellow lover of this fabulous film-making company, you'll know that the legend himself Hayao Miyazaki announced that he was going into retirement and that he would not be making anymore movies back in 2014 after creating animation masterpieces for 30 years, so the future of the Studio Ghibli that we know and love was uncertain. However, Yoshiaki Nishimura is here for the modern generation and old generation of Ghibli fans alike, to bring us more movies with his new company, Studio Ponoc! Nishimura worked on many Ghibli movies including Howl's Moving Castle (2004), The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) and When Marine was There (2014). Those movies were fantastic, so I had high hopes for his first feature film, Mary & The Witch's Flower! (By the way, it has thankfully since been confirmed though that Miyazaki has come out of retirement to help with the creation of a new movie, yayyy!). 

I've never written a full review post that's dedicated to just one movie before, but I am gonna give it a go anyhow! So if you haven't seen the movie, and don't want to read any *spoilers*, why not check out some of my previous posts instead? I hope my review is a good one for those of you who are sticking around to read it :) Enjoy! 

Mary and The Witch's Flower: Movie Review

Animation

This movie was just so visually beautiful! It had all of the amazing quality of a Studio Ghibli movie. My absolute favourite thing about Ghibli movies has always been the nature! The way that they illustrate the natural world around us is so unique to them! There's always so much intricate detail in the scenery and natural elements in Studio Ghibli movies, they rival any Disney movie when it comes to their attention to detail! They don't forget to add all of the smallest details, including things like raindrops on leaves and rivers glistening in the sunlight. Every Ghibli movie just excites my inner nature geek! It allows me to really visualise being there alongside the characters, immersed in the adventure. It adds a level of realism that other animation movies just don't. They tend to rely solely on characters that their target audience can relate to, to really sell their stories. Studio Ghibli does both! Yoshiaki Nishimura has definitely brought with him all of these qualities from his time working with Studio Ghibli, and his team at Studio Ponoc have delivered a movie that is just as amazing when it comes to creating stunning, naturalistic scenery :) 

There's just something about Japanese animation, aka anime, that has always appealed to me! Even though movies like those by Disney and Pixar are now making characters that look more and more human-like (not that they didn't before but I hope you get what I'm trying to say! With the progression of digital animation, characters such as Moana & Rapunzel have a look/design much more like an actual person.), anime still does that better in my opinion and they have been doing that for years and years! Other than their characteristic large eyes, anime characters for me have always resembled actual people more and this made them more relatable to me. Gosh I feel like I'm not articulating my thoughts very well XD What I love about Studio Ghibli is that all of their characters are unique and memorable, which isn't always the case with some animes I've watched. Studio Ponoc have designed such wonderful characters for Mary and the Witch's Flower too! 

I always love the costume designs when it comes to Ghibli movies! Like Kiki's iconic, simple purple dress and big red bow! I think that no matter how simplistic or extravagant an outfit a character wears is, they are still eye-catching and perfect at mirroring the personality traits of the characters themselves. For instance, Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle (2004) wears a plain, practical green dress and this matches well with her focused and determined characteristics. Studio Ghibli are also great at colour-coordinating too! Studio Ponoc have really given us everything that Ghibli would have in terms of animation and character design. In their first ever feature movie, the protagonist, Mary, wears a red coat that matches so well with her ginger hair. Before I get carried away with talking about Mary's design, I'll stop here and save that for the next section of my post, haha!

Mary and The Witch's Flower: Movie Review

Characters

I was really happy to discover that Studio Ponoc has carried on the tradition of bringing us the wonderful, relatable characters that Studio Ghibli have always done! Something that I especially love about Studio Ghibli characters is how unique and personable they are. You can see so much of yourself in the way the characters behave and interact with their surroundings, fellow characters and situations they are faced with in the movies. These characters, especially the ones in the lead roles, usually have to overcome something that will test their courage or loyalty or determination, and this is Studio Ghibli's way of teaching their viewers both old and young something valuable, some kind of life lesson that they can take away after watching the movie. Studio Ghibli movies are full of emotion and often make you think about how you would react if you were faced with what the characters are. This is what makes the movies so good for child audiences, just like Disney movies were important for my personal development and empathy growing up. I wish that I had grown up with Studio Ghibli in my life when I was a small child. This Japanese film production company approach things in a much more raw way than American animation movies in my opinion, they seem to have less of a sugar-coating if you get what I mean. 

Another aspect that I especially admired about Studio Ghibli movies was their bringing-to-life of strong female characters. In so many of their movies, the lead role is a female character, and they often have wilful, determined and powerful personalities and have to face challenging tasks that require intelligence and bravery. It is refreshing to see women portrayed in such a way, and it makes me so happy that these movies are aimed mostly at children. It is important for kids of all genders to grow up with female role-models that are frankly badass! It was great for me when I was young to see strong protagonists like Disney's Mulan, that didn't let stereotypes or societal influences hold them back! What is so great about Studio Ghibli movies is that many of these iconic women are in fact children themselves, so it allows young audiences to believe that they are capable and have the courage to stand up for what they believe in, to be who they are and that they are able to face whatever is in their way. Studio Ponoc have followed in Ghibli footsteps, bringing us some more awesome girl power!!


Mary and The Witch's Flower: Movie Review

A 13 year old girl called Mary is the heroine of this movie. She is a very relatable character, who reacts to the scenarios she faces in such a realistic way. For instance, at the beginning of the movie, we see a very bored Mary, who is staying at her Great Auntie's house deep in the English countryside. She's fed up of having no one her age to play with and being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I can imagine that many children often have to visit their relatives in the summer holidays when they are off from school, and experience a very similar boredom being away from their friends and maybe surrounded only by adults, etc. After eventually deciding to venture outside and exploring the new world around her, she stumbles upon the witch's flower and her adventure begins! I always loved stories when I was younger where the characters would randomly find something magical, and be transported into a fantasy world of some kind. In the days when your imagination is whimsical and endless, it is easy to believe that these sorts of things can really happen, and along with Mary's typical teenage attitude, I imagine that children will be able to really associate with the lead character and be captivated by the storyline. 

I don't want to go into too much detail on the other characters in the movie, to leave at least some things for you all to discover for yourselves. However, I will mention that as most animation movies do, Mary & The Witch's Flower has a character that befriends the lead character and the typical bad guys. I will mention them more in the next section :) 

Storyline 

I'm not going to reveal too much here, because again I want to leave some parts of the movie to the imagination (although there will still be spoilers because it's impossible to discuss the storyline without telling you more about what happens!). I'm just going to briefly describe the storyline the best I can, and share my thoughts and feelings about it with you guys. 


So, in this movie as I mentioned earlier, we follow the teenage Mary as she explores her new surroundings in the English countryside. She is fed up with spending all day inside the grounds of her Great Auntie's house and so decides to venture further afield, into the woodland nearby. Not only does she discover the flower after which the movie is named, she also comes across a broomstick hidden amongst overgrown plants and trees. We already know how this broomstick came to be here because of the very beginning of the movie, but I'll let you find that out for yourselves. Anyhow, Mary is playing with the broomstick later on and it suddenly takes flight! It flies her to a magnificent school for witches and wizards! With the help of the 'witch's flower', Mary finds herself being able to do magical things beyond her wildest dreams and everyone at the school is immediately impressed with her, claiming her to the greatest witch they've all seen in a very long time! I'm absolutely lovin' the whole magic school angle, because it's very Harry Potter-esque and I'm definitely a Potterhead :)

All is not as it seems at this school, and some of the teachers, including the headmistress, are working on a.. what shall I call it?... 'project' (haha!), that involves the creation of some very strange creatures. Mary soon discovers what the teachers are trying to do and it involves the scenario that we saw unfold at the start of the movie, as well as the pretty but peculiar  witch's flower. Our lead character finds herself in a challenging situation when she learns more about what the teachers want the flower for and is fighting to protect it; then things get worse when a local boy who is a friend of the family, whom Mary has been teased by on numerous occasions, gets taught up in it all. The teachers need him to complete their project (I can't stop laughing that I've called it that :D) and so they kidnap him. Now, Mary has to rescue him as well as help save the day! It is a test of friendship and bravery with some magic thrown into the mix as Mary tries to put an end to the strange goings once and for all! 

Okay, so I think I explained it well without giving too much away... that was hard to do! :D




All in all, I really enjoyed the storyline. I always love stories involving sorcery and mystery, featuring legends or people discovering lost treasures or artefacts that lead them into a world of magic and fantasy! As I was writing that sentence, my brain automatically pictured Jumanji (1995), and I now have a mighty need to watch it! But yeah, Mary & The Witch's Flower has this and more, and I really like how the flower plays into the magic, it's like something out of a Hogwarts Herbology lesson (can you tell that I have Harry Potter on the brain guys?). I can't help comparing the story a little to the Studio Ghibli movie, Kiki's Delivery Service, however that's mostly because of the witchy theme. The adventure and action parts of the movie are much more comparable to Spirited Away, where the lead character Chihiro has to do everything she can to rescue her parents from a witch and her 'minions', Mary in this movie has to do the same to save her newly-found friends.

I cannot recommend this movie enough to those of you who are fellow fans of Japanese animation movies, and if you've never watched one before I still think you'd definitely enjoy it if you're a Disney fan or you like anime series anyway. I went to watch Mary and The Witch's Flower with one of my best friends and he'd never seen any Japanese animation movies other than the Pokemon ones, yet he loved it! It really is a fabulous movie, especially for a first production and now I am so looking forward to seeing what Studio Ponoc do next! Based against other Japanese movies I've seen, mostly using Studio Ghibli movies as a comparison, I would give Mary and The Witches Flower a 4 out of 5 stars, so I think that shows much I liked it! I hope you all enjoyed my review, I'm pretty sure I rambled a little haha :) Let me know in the comments if I've persuaded you to watch the movie, and I'd love to hear what you thought if you do. Have an awesome day guys, and make sure you stay hydrated in this heatwave (and even if you're not in the UK, drink that water people!). 



Thankyou for reading!




Have you seen this movie already? 
I'd very much like to hear your opinions!

What has been your favourite movie of 2018 so far?

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Guts and Glitter Haul | Review

Happy Saturday Everyone! I hope you've all been having a wonderful day enjoying this glorious sunshine we've had! This Thursday was the Summer Solstice which marks the beginning of summertime, and ever since we have been blessed with lovely weather. I hope this continues over the next couple of months, although I'll be happy with just a few weeks of respite from the typical British weather! If you've took advantage of the sunshine and done something fun today, I'd love to hear all about it in the comments :) Anyhow, today's post is going to be all about a little haul I did at the start of the month, from a store that I have had my eyes on for a while after stumbling across their fabulous products on Instagram (I just love Instagram so much, it's been great for bringing awesome stores to my attention!). Enjoy! 

Guts & Glitter Haul

I fell in love with the products by  UK-based independent business Guts & Glitter as soon as I set eyes on them! They are the perfect combination of two of my favourite things, kawaii culture & horror. I am always conflicted between both sides of my personality: one part loves all things cute and fluffy and adorable and pastel-coloured, and the other is a fan of everything dark and macabre, of spookiness and gore, and is a sucker for anything relating to horror movies! So I really appreciate anything that meshes together the best of both worlds so that I can express myself wholeheartedly. There was one specific item that I was really lusting over, so as soon as I had a little spare cash, I ordered it right away, but of course I couldn't resist adding another goodie to my shopping cart. Here's a link to the Guts & Glitter etsy too, which is where I placed my order :) So yeah... here's what I ordered!

Guts & Glitter Haul

I was so over the moon when I received my package from Guts & Glitter... the items just looked even better in person! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how bright and eye-catching the colours and designs are! I can't express how much I love my new Pennywise the Dancing Clown pin!! This is the item that made me follow the store as soon as I saw it, and then I discovered all of the other fabulous products the store made. They have a wonderful selection of horror-esque and nerdy items, and lots more. Go and check them out guys :) 


Guts & Glitter Haul

What's there not to love about this pin!? Pennywise is one of my most favourite horror characters and I absolutely loved the recent adaptation of the classic story, which this pin is designed after. If you don't know who Pennywise the Dancing Clown is, he is the main villain/monster, in a novel titled 'IT' by famous horror writer Stephen King. The book was made into a movie, well actually a two-part mini series, in 1990 which starred the amazing Tim Curry as Pennywise. Then last year, there was a remake/re-imagining of the movie by director Andres Muschietti, in which Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard played the iconic clown and did an incredible job too! Bill Skarsgard, just like his brothers who are also actors (Alexander Skarsgard & Gustav Skarsgard), is gorgeous and so I'm sure a lot of fellow fans can relate to how I feel being attracted to a creepy clown XD It's no surprise to be honest because my best friend is always teasing me for fancying the characters in horror movies. I have a problem, hahaha! 

Guts & Glitter Haul

I especially love this enamel pin because it is of this new 2017 Pennywise! There's just something much more menacing about a clown who instead of having the stereotypical big red bobble nose has a painted-on nose... I guess it's because I always associate those big red noses with parties and fairs and comedy (oh, and red nose day!), whereas the face painting of the newer Pennywise makes me think of serial killer who's painted his face as a mask almost. The 90's pennywise looked more like your friendly neighbour clown gone bad, whereas Bill Skarsgard's character especially in his white outfit looks like he's escaped from an asylum. Does anyone else feel the same way? Anyway, I prefer the new design and so it makes me happy that this pin is designed after it! 

I love how Guts & Glitter's version of Pennywise has such a adorable, chibi look! The colours that the artist has chosen go so well together too. I really like the clown's green and yellow eyes, they look so much like anime eyes and they are making me wish that someone would make an animation movie of IT... how awesome would that be though!! 

Guts & Glitter Haul

I have always wanted one of these double pins that are connected by a chain but I could never find one that I wanted to wear myself until I spotted this one! I think that it is such a cool idea to have Pennywise attached to his balloon, which if you haven't seen the movie/read the book, is his signature 'accessory'. He always carries a single balloon around with him, and often plays tricks on people using balloons. I very much like that the balloon pin is heart-shaped to keep in with the kawaii theme of the design. I love the little shine detail in the corner of the balloon too :) 

Both of these pin badges are such great quality and super pretty. The bold, black outlining of them makes them stand out even more and I like that the chain is also in the matching black colour of the outline. This pin is available in a different variation, which includes a pink heart balloon and a gold chain and outline, but I much preferred this one because I think the black outline is a nice contrast to the bright colours of the pins themselves. I cannot wait to rock this pin out and about! 

Guts & Glitter Haul

As my regular readers will know, I've been collecting vinyl stickers over the last few years. I started doing this because I was saving up for a new laptop, and ever since I was teenager when I first saw photos on tumblr of laptops covered in cool stickers, I wanted to create my own someday! When I finally got my first laptop, which my mom kindly bought for me when I was starting university, it was purple and I decided not to decorate it with stickers as they wouldn't stand out as much on it as they would on a black laptop. However, since then my purple laptop's best days have been and done, and I am thankfully the owner of a new black laptop, which I have been slowly adding more and more stickers to. I had built up a small collection of stickers by the time I got my new laptop, some of which I'd received as freebies from orders and others I'd bought each year that I have been attending Manchester Comic Con, but as of this year I was all out of stickers to add to my laptop. When I did my little shop at Guts & Glitter and spotted that they had a fantastic selection of stickers for sale, I just had to get one for my laptop... it was so tough to choose just one though! 

Guts & Glitter Haul

In the end, I settled on this 'Spooky Girl' vinyl sticker! I had the option to get it in a matte style or a glossy one, and I chose matte for a change as all my other laptop stickers are glossy. There were also two colour variations available, this pink one and a green one too. I like the contrast between the horror aesthetic and the bright pink colour/ frilly-edge heart shape of the sticker, so I chose that. Is it weird to say that I am a fan of knives? Probably, but oh well :D I can't deny that I like them, and this one is the iconic hunting knife (buck 120 knife?) that is typically seen in horror movies. I like that it has a pink handle which gives it a kawaii feel, if a knife can even be considered cute that is! The blood-spatter detailing appeals to the gore fan in me, and the caption 'Spooky Girl' is also perfect for me because well I'm a weird person! All in all it's just an awesome and brilliant quality sticker. 

The other sticker that you can see in my photographs was actually a freebie! I think it is so lovely when artists include a little thankyou note or a free item along with your order, it just makes it more personal and who doesn't love a surprise!? Thankyou so much Guts & Glitter  I love my new 'I heart Derry' sticker. Again, if you've seen the movies and/or read the book, you'll understand the reference of this sticker to the storyline; Derry is the name of the town that the story is set in and the balloon itself is included in the scenes but I don't want to say anymore because eeek! spoilers. I really like that this sticker has the same design and colour-scheme as the sticker I bought, but since it's smaller I'm going to save it to use in a crafty project or in a journal one day. 

Guts & Glitter Haul

TA-DA! The 'Spooky Girl' sticker has now been added to my laptop, and I love how much it pops! I think it is gonna be very noticeable no matter what stickers end up surrounding it as well, which is wonderful. Overall, I am definitely impressed with my first shop from Guts & Glitter, and I will certainly be buying more stuff from them in the future. I love that the artist also makes kink-positive products too and I hope to some day see some more themes added to that collection, such as petplay :) Another thing that I loved about purchasing from Guts & Glitter was how great the prices were! The Pennywise enamel pin was only £11 which I think is amazing considering you basically get two pins in one! And can you believe that the 'Spooky Girl' sticker was only £1!? Also, the P&P was only £2.50 for me as I'm in the UK and that was for Royal Mail signed for shipping, and my order arrived in the lovely metallic pink padded envelope too. It's so much more exciting when mail arrives in pretty packaging. So, if nerdy stuff and horror are up your street, then I recommend checking out this store!


Thankyou for reading!




What do you think of the items in today's post?

Also, do you have a favourite horror movie(s)? 


I'd really appreciate it if you followed me over on my social media :) Find me here:

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

It's Time For A Pop Update

Hello guys! If you follow me over on Instagram, you might have noticed every day this month I've been taking part in a photo-a-day challenge run by Funko (although the competition is only running until 15th June because it started mid-May), which involves sharing a picture of a Funko figure based on a specific theme. It's been super fun joining in and having a way to share the love with fellow Funko fans, and it's just an added bonus that each day there's a chance that you could be randomly selected to win a prize! For a couple of the prompts I have used some of the newest editions to my Funko Pop collection, and this reminded me that I haven't written up an update to share with you all for ages now! So that's what today's post is going to be all about :) I hope you all enjoy reading! 

Funko Pop Jurassic Park Velociraptor

I'm really glad that I took part in the #FunkoPhotoADay challenge because it's helped to reignite my passion for collecting these awesome figures! You see, I've been feeling  pretty annoyed with the standard of the Funko Pop's that I've been receiving from the monthly subscription service, Pop in a Box. I have been sent Pop's that have a crappy paint job, have marks on them, they just look poor quality and it's been seriously disheartening :( Not only have the figures themselves been bad recently, but they've also been arriving in boxes with scuffs and tears and dints, which might not seem like such a big deal but when you're a collector of figures like these, the condition of the boxes is just as important because you display them too. It is getting tedious having to keep writing complaint emails to the company, that more times than not, I'm just keeping low quality Pop's as you'll see in this post! I have definitely considered cancelling my subscription with them, but I don't know of any other services that matches what they do, with allowing you to receive surprise figures each month but to filter which Pop's you want and don't want to get. Ugh, I don't know what I'm going to do to be honest... but enough about the negatives, this IG photo challenge made me focus on the things I love about Pop! vinyl figures and I want this post to reflect that!

Jurassic Park Velociraptor Funko Pop

Since I've already given you a glimpse of this awesome Pop, I'll talk about it first :) I absolutely adore the dinosaur vinyl figures that Funko have released for their Jurassic Park and also Jurassic World collections! I have forever been fascinated with these prehistoric creatures; I just love them so much and so having figures of 'chibified' versions of them makes my heart happy! The velociraptor has been my favourite of the dinosaurs for as long as I can remember. I was always in awe of predatory species when I was a kid from watching wildlife documentaries and I just found creatures with impressive teeth and claws and hunting abilities so interesting. I used to love watching the TV series Walking with Dinosaurs and this show just helped to further my love of Velociraptors, and then I watched Jurassic Park and thought they were super badass, and I've been a fan ever since! 

As soon as I learnt that Funko were releasing a Jurassic Park collection, I couldn't wait to see how they would design their dinosaurs, and once I'd seen fellow collectors' photographs of them popping up all over social media, I was certainly impressed. I wanted all of the species available, but of course the Velociraptor was at the top of my list. I opted for the three dinosaurs on the Pop in A Box website, and the first one that I received was actually the Tyrannosaurus, which is also fantastic by the way, but with the multitude of boxes I have laying around with random figures inside, I have managed to misplace my T-rex so I cannot show it you guys today, oops! But here are a couple of snaps of it that I shared on IG if you wanna check it out :) After seeing the Tyrannosaurus up close, I was even more looking forward to getting the Velociraptor and yay, I was sent it soon after by Pop in a Box!

Jurassic Park Velociraptor Funko Pop

I mean, just look at it!!  It's so cool, don't you think!? There are so many things that I love about it's design. It's teeth are just great, they are super eye-catching and are such an iconic feature of any carnivorous dinosaur, so I'm glad that Funko designed them to be such a focal part when you're looking at the Pop. My second favourite thing about this Pop! vinyl are it's claws and just the overall hands and feet, they are another thing that springs to mind as soon as you think about this species... it's massive, sharp claws and the way they prowl, run and jump. And although it's hard to illustrate huge claws on a smaller figure, I think the way that Funko design them to still look awesome! Another aspect that I love about the Velociraptor figure is detailing on the skin. I love the shading of the paint job, which the different browns used. I also really like the spot effect, although I don't think this resembles the actual dinosaur much. Finally, I think that the Velociraptor's tongue is pretty cute, is that weird? XD, regardless I like how it looks anyway... please someone else agree with me that they think this tongue is cute, haha!

Jurassic Park Velociraptor Funko Pop

Even though, I adore this Pop and it makes it into my Top 10 of all of the Funko Pop! Vinyl's that I own, there are still something things that I would change about it. I really don't like the colour that they've used for the Velociraptor's eyes! Although we don't know 100% what colour eyes these prehistoric species would have had, I have always imagined the ears of this particular dinosaur to be a pale yellowy/green shade, not bright sunshine yellow! It's unrealistic to me and I personally wish that they'd used a paler shade of yellow at least when designing the eyes of this Pop. I also don't like the light pink colour that they've used to paint the skin/gum at the side of the dinosaur's mouth, it also too much looks a little too bright and I think it doesn't blend in well with the colour of the body. I wish that they'd used the same pale brown shade that they did for this feature on the figure of the Tyrannosaurus. The other things that I don't like about this Pop are due to the quality of it VS the design; it has a messy paint job on it's teeth and on one of it's eye (that makes the eye not perfectly circular). They are only tiny mistakes, but because they are such a light colour, they stand out more on a brown figure. All in all though, this is still a wonderful Pop and I have a mighty need for all of the other dinosaurs that have been released. 


Carrie Pop Movies Funko Pop Vinyl

I'm super happy to have another Pop! to add to my ever-growing Funko Horror collection, and how epic does this figure of Carrie look!? If you don't know who Carrie is, she's a character from a novel by Stephen King of the same name, which in 1976 was made into a movie (It was re-made in 2013, but we won't talk about that crappy movie, haha!). This Pop is designed after the Carrie from the 70's adaptation and is showcasing the iconic scene from the end of the movie. I'd say more but I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who is yet to watch it, and if you're one of these people... go watch it! It's so good :D 

Being a fan of the whole gory horror aesthetic means that I'm lovin' this Pop mostly due to the fact that Carrie is covered in blood! I love the way that Funko have designed this detail on the Pop, with all the blood pouring down Carrie's face but not enough to obscure her features. I don't know what more to say other than it looks really cool! I like that the Pop itself has a simplistic design, because it doesn't steal away from the eye-catching blood-soaked detailing or make the Pop too busy, if that makes sense. I also like how well the pink shade of the dress goes with the deep crimson colour.  Oh, and I also think it's cool how Carrie's hair actually looks like it's wet, because I've seen figures in the past with a similar blood-soaked effect that haven't thought to incorporate little details like this to give the character/scene a realistic look. 


Carrie Pop Movies Funko Pop Vinyl

I actually had a lot of trouble with this figure! Back in October 2017, I noticed an offer on the Pop in a Box website that was too good to resist, 5 Pop Vinyl for £40!, and so I did a little haul and this Carrie figure was one of those that I chose. When it arrived a month or so later (although the other four figures didn't arrive with it, they were all sent to me on different dates over several months), I noticed that there was a random white triangle on Carrie's chest, it looked so silly that I assumed it must be a paint job error considering it wasn't shown on the diagram of the character on the box. I emailed Pop in a Box to get a replacement, and they sent me forms that had a US address, so I had to pay really pricey shipping to send this Pop back. The staff member I corresponded with me never told me to ignore this address and give me the UK address instead, as I know now is what they are supposed to do. So I sent it back and was informed via email after a month, maybe two, that they had received it in the US. I was never offered any refunds for this postage cost, which was super annoying! 

Skip maybe five months ahead into 2018, I was emailing the company again to enquire when the other figures from the original order would be sent to me, because the wait was getting ridiculous and at the same time, I expressed my concern that this Carrie figure had still not been replaced. To which they said, it was on it's way to me... coincidence much... but the new Carrie arrived within a week and I saw again that it had the same horrid triangle on the front!! I decided to google it to see if other people had been sent pop's with this what I thought was an error, to find that everyone's seemed to have it!! So I think now that it's supposed to be a shard of glass or something, it would make most sense for the scene it is depicting from the movie. I wish that the Pop in a Box company had told me that this was featured on all of the Carrie figures, because they did make me send them photographs of the 'error' I was complaining about... and it would have saved me any annoyance or unneeded expenses of shipping it to the American headquarters >.< ugh! 


Carrie Pop Movies Funko Pop Vinyl

I'm really not a fan of this random triangle on the figures chest/dress, I just don't think it looks like what I am assuming it's supposed to be, and it stands out so much that everytime I look at the figure I see it and it reminds me of all the kerfuffle it caused. How do you think it looks? I am also annoyed because the original Carrie I was sent was of a much better quality than this one overall, which has marks on her face (some of them can only be seen when the light catches Carrie's face). There's also a white mark on her eye, which is so noticeable because the figures eyes are black.  Just explaining what happened with this Pop has made me irritated, oh dear... I'm just fed up of being excited about getting a new Pop and then upon further inspection I find all of these mistakes that makes figures that are usually really photogenic look bad...

I do like this figure has a whole though, I'm just not 100% happy with mine. I'm still glad that I have Carrie now because I love the movie adaptations of Stephen King's novels, and it's always nice to have a powerful female horror character because there's not as many as there are male ones :) 

Eleven Stranger Things Season 2 Pop Funko

I don't want this post to become one big rant, but I mean, come on! This figure has a very obvious black mark right across the front centre of the face, so you can't miss it! It looks like it's supposed to be the character's mouth, but if you're familiar with this line of figures from Funko, you'll know that most of them don't even have mouths, unless there's a specific detail that's important to the overall look of the character like fangs or something. What is so annoying about receiving figures with a really visible manufacturing blemish is that someone who works in the packaging department of these companies isn't even giving the figures a quick look-over to make sure they meet their company's quality standards, like if it's a very small paint job mistake, it's understandable that it could be missed but when it's something so blatant, such as a mark like this or a highly damaged box, it's super disappointing as a customer... and it's happened to me several times now so it's not like it can just be put down to a one-off occurrence. It might seem like I'm being harsh, but it's not nice to keep getting items like this and I'm tired of having to keep complaining. Writing messages for me isn't an easy thing because of my anxiety disorder, and so I would rather not have to keep sending Pop! back. 

Eleven Stranger Things Season 2 Pop Funko

Stranger Things is a fabulous show, and I can't recommend it enough if you haven't seen it yet. It's a Netflix original sci-fi show, and it's got some excellent characters in it. One of them being Eleven, and the Pop! Vinyl figure above is of her. This is Eleven's, or El's, look for Season 2 and as soon as I saw it, I just couldn't not add it to my Funko wishlist. I already have a figure of Eleven from Season 1 and I just love how different she looks with hair like this! Even though the colour Funko have chosen for her hair is questionable :D Sorry Funko but several people have agreed with me that it looks like the colour of poop XD Odd colour choices aside, I like the textured look of her hair. It's different to the curly hair that I've seen on other Pop's which is good. It's always nice when things have that little something to make them unique. 

I love that they've chosen this particular stance for the figure; Eleven is in defence mode, with her hand raised as it is when she's about to use her supernatural powers. I love that! Each time I look at it, I remember how much of a little badass Eleven is! Her clothes might look simple but to me for some reason, they resemble the stereotypical horror movie outfit of a plaid/checked shirt & jeans, and since I'm a horror fan, this appeals to me, so I'm definitely liking the outfit :) 

Eleven Stranger Things Season 2 Pop Funko

The only dislike I have of this Pop! is the mark on her face; literally everything else about this Eleven figure is fabulous, her design is great and her quality would be brilliant without the mark. Her paintjob is very good, so it's such a shame about the mark... does anyone know how I could remove it without also taking off the colour underneath? Any tips would be very much appreciated :) Even though I'm a fan of Stranger Things, I actually don't want most of the Pop figures that Funko have released for the franchise. I only ever wanted Eleven in her hospital gown from Season 1 (which you can check out here), then Eleven and Mike from Season 2 (and if you're curious, you can have a nosey at the Mike Pop too), so I'm happy to have everyone I wanted now!


So, here's a group photo of the latest editions to my Funko Pop! Vinyl collection, bringing my current total up to 44! (including the Tyrannosaurus that I can't find!), and I'm not even done yet! I have a lot more figures on my wishlist... my bank account isn't happy! :D Have you guys seen the new The Lost Boys figures that have just been released? I NEEEED the David one! I would have 46 Pop! Vinyl now, but I finally got the last two figures I was waiting for from that October order, and they both arrived with damaged boxes :( I'm in the process of sending them back to get replacements, so who knows when that will all be sorted! I'll show you guys as soon as I have them. 

Anyhow, I hope this post was a good read and that I didn't rant too much! I just wanted to be honest with you all about how I've been feeling lately about the Pop in a Box subscription service. At the moment, despite being annoyed with them, I would still recommend them because of their prices and the fact that you can select the Pop's you don't want to receive. There are a few other subscriptions for Funko Pop's but you don't usually get to opt for receiving/not receiving specific figures as far as I know, and I enjoy the surprise element VS simply just purchasing the ones I like. I'm super happy to now have the Velociraptor, Carrie & S2 Eleven, and I'd love to hear what you guy think of them. Do you have a favourite? 

Thankyou for reading! 


What's your favourite horror movie or dinosaur? 
How about your favourite sci-fi character/book/TV show/movie? 

Have you bought any figures lately? 
Please tell me about them in the comments below!

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