And now, Scary-Crayon reviews... Cutsie Pets Glam Gal & Pup

Yeah. I'm going to come right out and say it upfront: you probably shouldn't buy this toy. Not that that'll be a problem, since you'll probably never even see this toy -- I've only seen the line at one fairly distant Dollar General, and I look for toys all the time so that means it's really hard to find -- but still. This toy kinda sucks.

Even the name irks me, because -- while I understand their meaning -- "cutsie" has to be one of the least appealing spellings of that word possible. I get "cutesy," "cutesie," even "cutesey" are all fine (well, that last one is a bit annoying, too), but I'm inclined to pronounce "cutsie" like "cut (me, seriously, I need pain to feel and you obviously need proof that I don't bleed green blood,) see(?)" rather than the intended pronunciation "cute (look how her small yet perky breasts bounce ever so slightly as she unwittingly runs right into my trap,) see(?)." And I'm totally blaming this toy for making me write potentially depressing and definitely creepy parenthetical sentences to indicate pronunciation, because I wouldn't have to do that if Manley had just gone with one of the more obvious and intuitive spellings of the word.

I was going to add that "cutsie" such an impractical spelling that, if you key "cutsie pets" into Google, Google will automatically correct you -- but Google does that for every variation of "cutesy," so Manley (the company responsible for the Cutsie Pets line) gets a pass there. Still, it's worth noting that a proper search for "cutsie pets" and "manley" doesn't turn up a single reference to the Cutsie Pets line... or even a single Google result at all (though this article might have changed that). Which goes to show you how obscure this toyline is.

Cute & Fun? LIES I SAY.Beware the evil of Dolgencorp.

All that umbrage (wow, I don't think I've ever written that word before, yet it's so appropriate for half the discussion on the site!) and I haven't even shown you the toy yet -- so here you are, the Cutsie Pets Glam Gal & Pup in package. (At this point, my totally awesome reason for buying this obviously crappy toy should be incredibly apparent, but we'll delay discussion of that for the time being.) Because this smiling twinkle-eyed freak with a head as big as her flippin' dog is more clearly horrific than adorable, the the box desperately tries to convince you otherwise by claiming that the set is "Cute & Fun!" on both the front and back of the box. It also boasts of the included puppy and accessories and notes that the set includes "A Cherished Friend!"... which I suppose could be either the dog or the so-called "Glam Gal." And on the back, below these sell lines, there's technical info about the item number and distribution details. Apparently the toy was distributed by Dolgencorp, which is obviously an amalgam of "Dollar General Corporation" but sounds kinda like some hideous ogre beast thing. The doll does look like something that a hideous ogre beast thing would produce.

In all honesty, as much as I'd like to rag on the packaging and call it horrible, it's kinda cute -- and it's even collector friendly, which is more than I can say for the packaging of most actual collector figures. The worst thing about this box is really the largest of its contents... and the fact that it's a window box that gives you a pretty good view of it. But ah, let's proceed to get an even better view of the Glam Gal.

it puts the lotion on its skin, then it eats your nose and chinThis gal is not the least bit "glam."

So here's the Glam Gal out of the package. First thought: what the hell makes her a "glam" gal? There's nothing especially glamorous about her -- with her ill-fitting polka-dotted blouse, uneven purple dress, and tacky turquoise sneakers, she looks like a frumpy future crazy cat lady -- and save the pink Jem hair her style certainly doesn't evoke any of the glam fashion of 80s rock bands. This gal is definitely not "glam." I'd even argue that she's not necessarily a "gal," either -- or at least not one from Earth. With her humongous head, deep space-black eyes, and ultra-glossy skin from the neck down, this gal looks downright extraterrestrial.

With the exception of her eyes and smile -- which are fairly crisp tampographs for a $2 doll -- the toy fails with respect to technical merit as well. I've mentioned the ill-fitting and uneven clothes, but she's also limited to basic-5 articulation (which is to say that she has swivel joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips) and can't even stand upright unless you take off her shoes. She can stand without them, since her bare feet are really flat, but why should she have to go around barefoot just to keep from crawling on her knees or lying on her back? Is this toy supposed to exemplify an anti-feminist worldview? Perhaps the Glam Gal's species gestates within the female skull.

SO ADORBZIs it a water bowl or a bathing tub?

But forget the alien Glam Gal: the pink pup is clearly the winner of this set. Granted, there's not a lot to him -- he's a cute pink dog with a swivel neck -- but still! He comes with a yellow water bowl (though I guess it could be a really stupid hat for the Glam Gal) and a cloth ribbon leash, and since his head is hollow soft plastic it can be easily popped off and on to remove or replace the leash. Yeah, his eye paint makes him look slightly crazy and his collar isn't painted at all, but he's still an adorable little pup.

He's also the only reason I bought this set: this toy dog looks more like my pal Bacardi than any I've seen yet -- and believe me, I've been looking! Sure, it's not a perfect match (the real-life Bacardi is a lot more scraggly and probably a different breed than whatever this dog is supposed to be), but that pink dog will make for an excellent cartoon-style toy representation of my furry friend once I've repainted it. And so, while this set is in no way worth the $2 I paid for it -- and while the Glam Gal is a terrible toy -- I was more than willing to pay the price to have a tiny Bacardi to paint.

Like I said, I really, really can't recommend the Cutsie Pets Glam Gal & Pup set on its own merits. The line name is poorly spelled; the Glam Gal is a freakish doll with nothing glamorous about her (unless "glam" means something totally different on planet Brainwomb); you can get toys on par or better for half the price (see Dollar Tree); and the line is apparently so obscure that you'll have an incredibly tough time hunting it down even if you do want one of these toys. Still, if one of the dogs in the line reminds you of your own "cherished friend" -- and there are various dogs that look unlike those of other toylines, which tend to stick with more common breeds (Collies and Labradors) or very realistic sculpts that probably don't match your particular dog -- I'd understand if you went against your better judgment in this instance. ;)

-- Wes --
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