Friday, 28 February 2020

Friday Five: My Little Pony

Friday Five

Beginning life in 1981 as My Pretty Pony, the MLP franchise went on to conquer the world. Or the attentions of young girls and adult men, at any rate! I can't say I'm a fan of the modern reincarnation - where are the pastel colours?? - but G1 is a whole different matter.

Here are my five favourites...

#5. Applejack

Applejack always looks kind of shy. Or, you know, as shy as a plastic pony can look.


#4. Bubbles

There are other ponies that sit on their butts, but Bubble is the cutest.


#3. Star Dancer

The only thing better than a plastic pony is a glitter plastic pony!

Star Dancer

#2. Starshine

Rainbow hair and wings - what's not to love? :) I bought a Starshine for Marianna's nursery shelves when she was a baby.


#1. Daffodil

Cute pony for my favourite flower. <3


Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments! :)

For more like this, click the image below:
Friday Five

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Beverly Hills, 90210

Beverly Hills 90210 by Mattel

Beverly Hills, 90210 was a US teen drama which originally aired from October 1990 to May 2000. It spawned a whole franchise of TV shows and, more pertinently for the remit of this blog, a 1991 range of tie-in dolls by Mattel.

Beverly Hills 90210 Dolls by Mattel


★ Brandon - box front / box back.
★ Kelly - box front / box back.
★ Brenda - box front / box back.
★ Dylan - box front / box back.
★ Donna - box front / box back.
★ Gift Set (Brandon, Brenda & Dylan) - box front / box back.

Beverly Hills 90210 Boxed Dolls

Beverly Hills 90210 Peach Pit Snack Shop Playset


★ Peach Pit Snack Shop - box front / box back.
★ 4x4 Cruiser - box front / box back.

Beverly Hills 90210 Doll Fashions by Mattel


★ Brandon - box front / box back.
★ Kelly - box front / box back.
★ Brenda - box front / box back.
★ Dylan - box front / box back.
★ Donna - box front / box back.

Beverly Hills 90210 Dolls

For more like this, please click the image below:

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

A - Z of Fanfiction Recs

A-Z of Fanfiction Recs

February 15th was the sixth annual International Fanworks Day, and in (belated) honour of the occasion here is an A-Z of some of my all time favourite fanworks. I'm using the Archive of our Own's content rating system which runs the gamut from family friendly 'G' to not safe for work 'E'.

A is for... Agatha Christie

Poirot Comes Clean by Jade56 [ 3600 words | rated T | 2017] I mean, you could argue that the TV show isn't just one long chronicling of Poirot's pash for Hastings but you would be wrong. Obviously. This is the sweetest little love confession fic, and I always imagine it being set some time around Suchet!ABC Murders, when Poirot is so thrilled to have Hastings home he's even happy to have Cedric the caiman stinking out the apartment. They're at peak domesticity there.

Poirot and Hastings

B is for... Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Divided by Jackson [? words | rated E | 2001] Okay so this is actually three fics, Divided in which Toth's stick splits Spike into his demon and human halves - the latter of whom falls big time for Xander - and its sequels Two's Company and Male Bonding in which Spike stops fighting it and puts his energies into convincing Xander he's not really such a terrible guy.

I first read this when I was about 14 and, omg, it set me up for everything I've looked for in fic ever since. Spander in general, really, because the Big Bad falling to pieces over the Regular Joe is what I'm all about.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Spike and Xander

C is for... Breakfast Club

Higher Education by Resonant [14,000 words | rated E | 2005] Growing up and getting a clue fic with John Bender and Brian Johnson. It gets recced all over the place, I know, but only because it really is that deserving.

Breakfast Club Brian and Bender

D is for... Detroit: Become Human

It's not even out yet but I'm gonna go with Detroit Evolution, a feature length fan film by Michelle Iannantuono of Octopunk Media. Fan films are nothing new, sure, but what is essentially a live action Reed900 slash fanfic is definitely something to write home about. Based on the soppy gazes they're giving each other in the trailer, I like to think my own effort to be the change I wanted to see in terms of prevailing fanon paid off in some small way.

E is for... Edit

I have a huge soft spot for recut trailers and Scary Mary is still the original and best.

F is for... Sweet F.A.

Or, how am I the only person to want this? Even Yuletide hasn't provided for some of the stuff I'd love to read fic about. Like dusty old silent movies with forever unresolved plot points and short lived modern procedurals. The one thing I'm always looking for recs of is Superman/Jimmy Olsen. You'd think it would practically write itself...

Superman and Jimmy Olsen

G is for... The Limehouse Golem

Gas-Lamps Gleam in a Golden Line by merle_p [4000 words | rated M | 2020] I only saw the film recently and even as the credits were rolling I was already looking for fic to give me a happier ending. This is the perfect epilogue, building on Kildare and Flood's relationship.

The Limehouse Golem

H is for... Sherlock Holmes

Hidden Depths by Susannah Shepherd [7,000 words | rated E | 2002] "Watson inadvertently lets slip that his war injuries are far more extensive and crippling than he has formerly admitted. Holmes encourages him to confront his fears and find new hope." Nearly 20 years later and my heart still hasn't got over this one.

Sherlock Holmes

I is for... Inspector Morse

The whole franchise is a treasure trove of fic but I'll rec for Lewis as it is the crowned prince of the 'undercover as a couple' trope, like Bait! by Wendymr [23,000 words | rated T | 2014] which has the pair playing pretend to catch the bad guy - at least until it isn't pretend anymore.

Lewis and Hathaway

J is for... Jeeves & Wooster

Jeeves and the Literary Gifts by triedunture [13,000 words | rated T | 2010] "Jeeves gets his mitts on some Victorian fiction of a rummy sort and it is SO good he must find the author. Now who do you suppose that might be?" Lots and lots of lovely pining and Wodehousian prose.

Jeeves and Wooster

K is for... Kiss

As in all the ones Disney refuse to allow. Still, Poe and Finn are just about the only thing I liked about the new Star Wars movies, even if fandom does have to pick up the slack for TPTB. Check out the super cute little six page fancomic Finn's Shirt by Stitchy.

Star Wars Stormpilot

L is for... Life on Mars

Previous Convictions by Elfbert [70,000 words | rated E | 2009] "It's 1948 and 19 year old PC Gene Hunt is trying his best to impress... but when the criminal he's trying to catch turns out to be a wayward teenager he takes pity on him. The decision has repercussions he could never have imagined - for both himself and the youngster."

This prequel to the show follows Ray's transformation from street thief to Detective Sergeant - and his falling for a certain floppy haired young plod, into the bargain - finishing just where the actual series picks up. I first read it while it was still being posted in instalments, over on Livejournal, and have never quite escaped its vice like grip on my heart!

Life on Mars

M is for... M*A*S*H

Radar's First Time by Scribe [100,000 words | rated E | 2005] Scribe (RIP) was a gift to multifannish readers everywhere, writing amazing fic for any and everything. This one in particular is a first person pov crossover between M*A*S*H and The Manchurian Candidate which should be every bit as terrible as that description sounds. Needless to say it isn't - in Scribe's hands the crazy just becomes the only interpretation of canon which can possibly make sense.


N is for... Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Letters From the Northern Continent by thehoyden [8,000 words | rated M | 2010] "It just figured that the first time Julian Bashir set foot on Cardassia after the war, it would be halfway around the world from Elim Garak." Basically, Julian finally - finally - catches a clue after years of Garak flirting with him over lunches at the Replimat.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine - Garak and Bashir

O is for... Star Trek: The Original Series

And the reboot, I guess. Hold Hands and Play Nice by BirdyMarie and Kedreeva [110,000 words | rated E | 2016] is fake dating to avoid the wrath of weird aliens at its very finest.

Star Trek The Original Series McCoy and Chekov

P is for... The Professionals

Arcadia by Sineala [90,000 words | rated E | 2012] In which Bodie has been keeping a secret about his maritime experiences. When he and Doyle are sent undercover to catch a spy on a cruise ship his past finally catches up with him. There are really no words for how much I love this fic. I've read it over a dozen times and I'm sure I'll go on to read it over a dozen more. It has action, mystery, romance, and all the glorious pining angst you could ask for.

The Professionals - Bodie and Doyle

Q is for... Quantum Mechanics

I.e. the favoured hobby of geeks in a universe robbed of Star Trek by virtue of living it. It was also the science behind Star Fleet's teleporters, the operation of which aboard the USS Enterprise-D was the job of Miles O'Brien. Chief O'Brien at Work by Jon Adams is an ongoing comic "for fans of crappy jobs, space travel, and ennui." It'll make you laugh until you cry.

Chief O'Brien at Work by Jon Adams

R is for... Recs

AKA the zillions of other curated rec lists out there! For a starting point, check out Epic Recs, Crack Van, Fanfiction Recommendations, and the weekly multifandom newsletter The Rec Center.


S is for... Southland

Son is on a Midnight Run Like DeNiro or We're All Just Train Wrecks Waiting for the Crash by hackthis [38,000 words | rated E | 2009] Picks up immediately following the season one finale and takes the obvious Ben/John tension where the show wouldn't. It's so perfectly done, it really feels more canon than canon itself.

Southland - Ben and John

T is for... The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper is a creepy short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, exploring mental breakdown back in 1892. The Yellow Wallpaper (the spinning jennie remix) by lunabee34 [1700 words | rated G | 2016] takes the premise that the supernatural aspects are very much actually happening and runs with it.

The Yellow Wallpaper Illustration by Abigail Larson
Awesome art by award winning illustrator Abigail Larson.

U is for... Unicorns

Central Intelligence was the kind of movie where you can switch your brain off and just have a good time - and I really don't mean that to sound like a bad thing! Everything Is Better With Unicorns by misura [2400 words | rated T | 2016] is a pitch perfect - and snort out loud funny - epilogue wherein Bob embarks on (continues?) his grand seduction of Calvin.

Central Intelligence Bob and Calvin

V is for... [Fan]Vid

One Foot In Front Of The Other by ORiley42 [4:18 mins | rated G | 2018] One of my all time favourite songs and one of my all time favourite ships - Harvey Bullock/Jim Gordon from Gotham. This vid just encapsulates everything that made me love them. ♥️

W is for... What We Do In The Shadows

The Plan by Rivine [2,000 words | rated T | 2019] "Nandor decides to do something about other vampires wanting to eat Guillermo. It goes wrong." Each and every character voice in this is beyond perfect, it's just like watching the show.

What We Do In The Shadows Nandor and Guillermo

X is for... MX-43

Okay, I admit it, I was struggling to find a suitable entry for X but Almost Human really is an awesome sci-fi show that deserved to be on our screens so much longer. As far as I'm concerned Det. Paul and his MX-43 are the original Det. Reed and RK900. Anyway, check out Pokémon, Beyoncé and a Cute Christmas Sweater by sosioban [130,000 words | rated T | 2014] for some zany robot hijinks.

Almost Human

Y is for... Yuletide

Yuletide is an annual fanfic exchange for tiny fandoms - outside of giving in and just writing it yourself it's the only way you're ever going to see fic for a lot of them. Like Are We In Love Yet by Misura [2400 words | rated M | 2017], a fic for the gone-too-soon C4 comedy The Aliens in which Dominic finally wears Lewis down...

The Aliens Lewis Garvey and Dominic

Z is for... Zines

Before the net fandom was at the mercy of the zine. Or photocopied pages from someone else's copy, I'm not judging. These days you can find lots of vintage zines online, including The Price and The Prize, a 100+ page Kirk/Spock anthology originally published in 1981 and deemed so shocking by UK customs that most copies were seized as soon as they entered the country on grounds of breaching the Obscene Publications Act. Personally I find vintage zines fascinating to see how fandom has - and hasn't! - changed over the years.

Star Trek Kirk and Spock

For more fandom stuff, please click the image below:
Fandom - my life as a fan

Monday, 24 February 2020

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Hasbro teamed up with Marvel to release a range of 11 inch tall 'Secret Warrior' dolls in 2018. The main line was fully articulated, then there were budget 'training outfit' and secret identity dolls with fewer joints and some molded clothing - much like Mattel's Super Hero Girls dolls.

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors Dolls

Secret Warriors

★ Patriot - box front / box back.
★ Ms. Marvel - box front / box back.
★ America Chavez - box front / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / box back.

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Training Outfit

★ Dante Pertuz - box front / box back.
★ America Chavez - box front / box back.
★ Ms. Marvel - box front / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / box back.

Marvel Rising Secret Identity Ghost-Spider DollMarvel Rising Secret Identity Quake Doll

Secret Identity

★ Ghost-Spider Gwen Stacey - box front / contents / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / contents / box back.

Marvel Rising Deluxe Squirrel Girl Doll


★ Squirrel Girl (Target Exclusive) - box front / contents / box back.

For more like this, please click the image below:

Sunday, 23 February 2020

This Week - 23/02/2020

An eye for an eye and the world goes blind

It was half term this week so I've spent lots of time at home with Marianna. There has been lots of drawing, reading, and finishing off every game on the CBBC apps roster. M usually has quite restricted tablet access but we let up as it was half term and the weather has been so atrocious. Plus it meant I got to watch some of my new Kojak boxset as opposed to endless repeats of Frozen or Barbie's Dreamhouse Adventures. I've only ever seen the odd episode of Kojak here and there before so I'd never properly appreciated how massively uncool Kojak should be. Only Telly Savalas could pull it off, seriously.

We did have a little movie night on Thursday to watch the Horrible Histories Rotten Romans movie. Kim Cattrall as Agrippina the Younger, mother to CBBC alumni Craig Roberts' Emperor [Mummy's Boy] Nero, was legitimately hilarious. Luckily Marianna really liked it too or else it would have just been me cackling at this film aimed at six year olds...

On Friday night a bunch of us went out for a meal to celebrate my aunt and uncle's wedding anniversary. Anthony was most upset because he had to stay in for a change - it will do his liver good. ;D Saturday we went to my mum's to watch the rugby. ...The less said about that the better!

Deal of the Week -

20% off at Serenata with promo code referral link

This week I've posted guides to Project Mc2 and Vi & Va dolls, a couple of lyric sheets for Welsh post-punk three piece Adwaith, and two giveaways for Morgan & Cwtch and a couple of Michael Rosen parody books. For my Friday Five series I wrote a post on critically endangered European languages, as a tie in with International Mother Language Day.

Song of the Week -

FEMME - Adwaith

For more like this, please click the image below:
This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Morgan & Cwtch Giveaway!

Morgan & Cwtch

Last January we reviewed the lovely Morgan's Magic Moon by Christopher Parry. I was sold on the striking illustrations and the smooth flow of the rhyme, and Marianna was thrilled by the idea of a red headed protagonist with a small canine sidekick - just like her and my mum's dog!

So, today, I'm really pleased to be able to share a review of the next book in the series, Morgan & Cwtch. Cwtch, the name of the story's super cute dog, is a Welsh word for which there is no literal translation, but is basically a cuddly, snuggly kind of a hug.

As I said last time around, I absolutely love the stylized illustrations and the bright colour palette used by Jordan Brown. I am notoriously picky about the artwork in children's books - quietly swapping out books for editions with subjectively better illustrations is practically a full time hobby these days! - so that's no faint praise.

Morgan & Cwtch Illustrations

As for the story itself, the blurb sums it up well with: What do you do when there's fish at the window and you are under the sea? You open the door and begin to explore. Follow Morgan and Cwtch on their underwater adventures and how they come to the rescue of one of their new friends. This is a delightful children's story about helping others in need.

The story is easy to follow and, like its predecessor, the rhyme flows easily off the tongue - so important when a faltering syllable might seem like nothing until you've had to read a story twenty times over. I love that the central message is about helping others too. It sets up an easy in for further discussion without overly hammering the point home.

This time around Marianna was even able to join in with the reading; I really liked that Cwtch the dog's speech was highlighted with large letters - it provided the perfect starting point for Marianna to chip in and sound words out. The layout and text are both attractive and clear, which make it a joy to read even with little fingers wanting to trace out your progress.

Morgan & Cwtch by Christopher Parry

Marianna says: I liked it. My favourite bit was when they met the mermaid. And I liked the dog because he was really nice. He reminded me of Molly.

To pick up a copy for yourself, head on over to where softcover copies are available for £4.99. Alternatively, fill out the Gleam widget below to get up to five chances to win one:

Morgan & Cwtch Giveaway

Morgan & Cwtch Story Book by Chris Parry

For more like this, please click the picture below:
Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!

newerPageTitle olderPageTitle Home