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How Mattel Changed Summer (and a GIVEAWAY!)

29 July 2012, 22:21



Summer is a favorite time of year around here, but there are days that we have no choice but to stay inside. Whether it’s too hot out, with air quality rivaling the Ebola virus, or my house needing an inordinate amount of cleansing so that your foot actually removes itself from the wood floor when you step on it, there are summer days where we are forced to be spent within the confines of our air-conditioned walls (which no one should be complaining about, really). However, the issue with us having to spend a day inside is that my kids have inherited the same genes as my husband and me. And those are the genes of WE DON’T LIKE TO BE HOME.

So, when our UPS man delivered the large, brown Mattel box, I knew I’d just received my ticket to happy, indoor kids, a chip into some work due that week and a biohazard-free living zone. And maybe even a shower.

I gathered my two oldest girls over (ages 3 and almost 5) and told them that they’d get to play with some new toys. Immediately, the questions were fired at me, “Is it my birthday? Is it Christmas? DOES DADDY KNOW?”

Without feeling guilty (which, let’s be real, I never do), I answered that I didn’t buy these toys. These were given to us to play with, to see how much we like them. They hardly cared for an explanation other than “GO PLAY WITH THESE TOYS,” and helped me rip open the package.

When I pulled the Monster High Abbey Bominable out of the box for Averi, I’ll admit that my first reaction was one of let-down, because I had hoped for the Monster High Create-A-Monster Design Lab that I had asked to review, but mistakenly received this instead. My girls have never been into Barbie dolls. I thought for sure that this doll would suffer the same fate as all of her predesccors and live within a covered box next to the dollhouse in our basement.

But, something happened. She freaked out. With HAPPINESS.

I shouldn’t have put it past her. This was a girl who preferred black to pink for the first four years of her life and begged to dress up as a skeleton last Halloween. I should have known any kind of monster ANYTHING would win her over.

I couldn’t get it out of the package fast enough and when I turned to hand it to Averi, she had already set up an entire circle of friends for Abbey to join. Including, HOLY MOTHER OF MERCY, all of her old Barbie dolls. She had them sitting, chatting, discussing favorites and days’ activities. They had tea and snacks and soon created their own social circle.

I’d say, she had just started her own version of girls’ night out.

She loved this doll.

What happened over the next two weeks completely blew my mind, and it wasn’t because I drank too much Sangria. Averi included Abbey in EV-E-RY-THING she did. From being outside with her on the swings to riding with her to grandma’s house (and introducing her as “Abbey Bomb-able”) to sleeping with her at night (and holding her tight so that “nothing happens to her”). This doll has not left my child’s side since the moment she’s arrived.

What’s even cooler about it is that Averi is very interested in Abbey’s life. Just yesterday, I asked her to come over to my laptop and I pulled this page up on Mattel’s website:

And Averi instantly replied with, “OH. MY. GOSH. Mommy! What does it say? Does Abbey like PANCAKES, like I do? Can I feed her pancakes tomorrow? Who’s her best friend? Mommy, this is SO awesome.”

When I filled her in with all the details, she was enamored. We went through all the other Monster High friends and she couldn’t get enough.

I think what I love most about Averi’s newfound love for Abbey is that she now has an object to “mother” again. She is almost five and has slowly weaned herself from her former lovey-objects from toddlerhood. And it’s PAINED ME, because it’s a realization that she’s getting older. I was sad that she no longer needed these objects for comfort. I know it sounds crazy, and maybe more emotionally self-serving than anything else, but now that she has Abbey, she has found a new, cool thing to hover over. And, for me, it keeps her my baby just that much longer. Even if the thing she hovers over wears a dress that’s slightly too short or is maybe a tad too skinny. But, Abbey also has large, pointy, unattractive claws for hands and a pet peeve of dating monster boys. I can live with this.

And, holy smokes, I may have just gone way too deep over a doll. But I’m a mother of three girls. There’s a lot of Estrogen in this house. IT HAPPENS.

Speaking of Estrogen, I took an opposite approach with the toy I chose for my middle girlie, Lily.

For this sweet child of mine, I chose the MATCHBOX BIG BOOTS Chopper.

The thing about Lily is that she’s 3. She’s the middle child. While she is the only of her sisters who expresses her love for all things princess on a regular basis, she is also the one that loves to play loudly. And roughly. And not always in a way that doesn’t resemble a dinosaur walking through a china shop.

I knew she’d love something big and fun, that she didn’t have to be dainty with.

The BIG BOOTS Chopper was perfect. It has so many cool features (some of which are listed below) and the little men have magnetic feet, which allows them to attach to the many places where they can hang out on the helicopter.

Lily loved flying it around the house, pretending she was going to rescue her other toys from the floor. Her favorite feature was the rescue line that pops out of the side doors when she pushed the release button. She blasted those men at the bottom of the strings into pretty much everything, but she laughed nonstop and kept saying that her helicopter was “so tool.” (Which really means, “so cool,” but we’re still in a place of toddler talk and I have absolutely not one issue with the cuteness that exits her mouth on a daily basis. So I don’t correct her.)

This chopper has held its own. It’s sturdy, well put together and has withstood the bumps and bruises it’s received as it’s swooped in for landings across the playroom.

She even let Averi borrow it so that Averi could  help Abbey “get across the ski mountain” to meet her friends.

The girls loved their new toys and I now have some great ideas on what to give Averi for upcoming special events. I think Monster High just found a permanent place under our roof.

Now, for the best part….

You can WIN some awesome toys from Mattel as well! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below to WIN either a Girls’ Prize Pack or a Boys’ Prize Pack!


Make sure to visit the following sites from RI Digital Media Women (#RIDMW) as well to see their fantastic reviews of Mattel Products! And don’t forget to check out Mattel on Facebook and Twitter as well.


Cira’s Lyrics
Learning to Juggle
When The Kids Go To Bed 
Blush Mamas 
30 Something Mother Runner
Stephanie’s Mommy Brain
Mama Loves Books 


*Prize Note: 
Girl Prize Pack Includes: Barbie Dress & Design Studio ($21.99 APR), A Barbie Doll of the World ($29.95 APR) & Barbie I Can Be… Fashion Designer ($13.99 APR)
Boys Prize Pack Includes: Matchbox Big Boots Fire Truck ($25.99 APR), Hot Wheels Wall Tracks ($24.99 APR) & Hot Wheels Ballistiks ($24.99 APR)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Julie July 29, 2012

    I would love to win the boys prize pack for my two boys.

  2. MICHELLE DAVIES July 29, 2012

    Either one as I have 6 kids, 4 girls and 2 boys

  3. Cherilyn July 29, 2012

    Great giveaway! Thanks! The Barbie pack would be great for us!

  4. Ginger Furr July 30, 2012

    Would love either the boys or girls prize! I have both and lots of nieces and nephews who would love one of them for a gift!

  5. Donna Lindner July 31, 2012

    I feel better when I'm spending money and the product has gotton great reviews!

  6. Maggie F. August 1, 2012

    I would like the girls' pack, my little girl would squeal with each package!

  7. Stephanie August 1, 2012

    Oh definitely the boys pack for my little man!!

  8. Cheyenne Wilkerson August 5, 2012

    Sweet ^^

  9. Laura Anies October 25, 2012

    Wow have you seen these new Hot Wheels Ballistiks. They are very cool - they take after many of the newest toys that convert and allow you to do stunts.

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    Jen Senecal

    My name is Jen. I have a contagiously funny husband, three awesomely gorgeous daughters, a knack for design, a love for writing, an obsession with kids fashion, a secret desire to be a photographer and a curfew of 10 pm. WHO'S WITH ME?
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