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Armando N. Roman RSS Feed (Hillsboro, OR)
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Monster High Creepteria with Cleo de Nile and Howleen Wolf Doll
Monster High Creepteria with Cleo de Nile and Howleen Wolf Doll
Price: $34.99
4 used & new from $34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You want scary cafeteria food? You should've seen the pizza our school had in 1994., October 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You know, I'm starting to think that the big Monster High school house playset that came out a few years ago should've been made a little bigger with all these playsets coming out! This new Creepteria is a great addition to any Monster High fan's collection, and sure to be a hit with all the students.

The Creepteria may only be a couple of stools, a table and the food stand, but it's still really cool when displayed. I love that they have a guillotine for cutting food. It fits perfectly with the Monster High world and is exactly what you'd expect them to have. For anyone wondering, no, you can't get hurt using this thing. I tried pressing it against my finger and it didn't leave anything more than a little line from pressure. You also get a lot of small accessories for the Creepteria like food, plates and cups. The food can be 'cut' by the little guillotine so both girls can share some of the bigger items.

Both Cleo and Howleen look way different from their last iterations that my daughter got a while ago. It's been a long time since I've seen a new one of either of the girls, partially because so many new characters have been getting released, and partially because some dolls get way more attention than others when it comes to new outfits and styles. Luckily, Cleo and Howleen look great here. They're on the usual Monster High doll body, so there's nothing new here, and their outfits are way less complicated than usual. It's actually a nice change of pace! I'm especially liking Cleo's purple and blue streaked hairstyle and simple makeup. Her outfit is a little fancy, but nothing compared to some of her earlier looks.

There's only one reason I took off a star, and it's because you really need to position the dolls just right in order to get them to sit down like you see in the stock picture. Monster High dolls can stand up without any problems most of the time because of how their shoes are. Sitting down like that is a different story. Even then, this shouldn't stop your little Monsters from enjoying the set, since they'll probably be moving the dolls around a lot anyway.

The price point is perfect- you're getting two basic dolls (as in no accessories) and a small playset for them to use. You're not paying more than you would if you bought everything separately, given that one doll usually runs you 1/3 of the cost of this set. Go for it!


The Charles Bronson Book of Poems: Birdman Opens His Mind Bk. 1 (The Birdman opens his mind)
The Charles Bronson Book of Poems: Birdman Opens His Mind Bk. 1 (The Birdman opens his mind)
by Charles Bronson
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $27.21

5.0 out of 5 stars A look into the Bronco's heart., September 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 0:28 Mins

If you're looking at this page, chances are that you're already familiar with Charles Bronson, so the man needs no introduction from me. Ever since I found out about him a few years ago, he's become a hero of mine, mainly for his physical feats and managing to hang in there, despite spending so much of his life behind bars. One way he managed to settle down over time was through art. Birdman Opens His Mind is a collection of some of his illustrations and poems, which were a hassle to get published because the 'powers that be' don't want his work to be publicized. Any fan of his is in for a treat with this book.

The majority of the book is art with poems on the same page. There are some poems on their own being presented in their original form (his handwriting on pieces of paper) and typed up just for this book. The poems themselves, while a lost of them follow the same pattern, can be very touching. Bringing up his deceased father at one point, it's hard to believe that some people honestly think that there is no good in Charlie's heart and that he's "just a madman". How he's managed to stay as sane as he is while being in solitary confinement for so long is beyond me, but I'm glad he has. Charlie writes about the general feeling of being in prison and the asylum, people he's met, people who have passed away, and even a spider that passed away, who seemed to mean a lot to another prisoner.

The drawings, while crude and minimal in some cases, still offer a glimpse into Charlie's everyday life, and what exactly he's been put through. Drawings of him in devices that keep him from being able to move, straightjackets, being shaved and naked, etc. He's written about a lot of this in his other books, but seeing it in a picture, even if it's a drawing, helps put things into perspective. There are a lot of pictures that I'd stare at for a couple of minutes because there was so much going on. Charlie even snuck in an autographed photo of Russian model Ksenia in here!

Sure it's full of misspelled words and the punctuation is off at times, but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying the book, provided you're already familiar with the Bronco. The one thing I will mention is that I wish the organization was a little better. Some pages have the art displayed a certain way on one page, causing me to hold the book sideways...then the page next to it will display it on the flip side and I have to turn the book again. It's not a big deal since all I have to do is turn the book, but it could've easily been fixed before publication. No big deal!

How else can I end this review? FREE BRONSON!

...or is it FREE SALVADOR now?


Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Unrated Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Unrated Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Jason Segel
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $9.59
55 used & new from $1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Why won't anybody go snorkeling with me?, September 29, 2014
I first watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall a few years ago when it first came out, and just watched it again recently. The movie always stuck with me over the years, although I’ve only watched it two times now. It still holds up, and I’m surprised by how well it deals with a hard breakup. The trailers may make this look like a goofy comedy, with some of the cast members being Judd Apatow regulars, but it still manages to be pretty mature about things at the same time. Anyone who’s going through a bad breakup, or has been through one in recent memory, could definitely use something like this to give them a little nudge in the right direction. You just gotta move on, and sometimes, jt takes meeting someone new, and performing a rock opera with vampire puppets.

Peter Bretter composes the music for the show Crime Scene, which his girlfriend Sarah Marshall stars in. The two make a great couple, going to red carpet events together and Peter keeps tons of pictures of the two of them around his home. Everything seems to be going well until Sarah calls him one day, saying that she’ll be home early. She breaks up with him (as he stands there in the living room naked, no less), leaving him a heartbroken mess. Five years together, gone just like that. Peter tries to ease the pain by sleeping with a few girls, but it doesn’t help. So rather than keep going that route, he goes to Hawaii! Surely he can forget about Sarah there, with the beautiful scenery and such a healthy environment, right? Well, she just happens to be there too, and with her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow, the lead singer of a huge rock band. How the heck is he going to get over this relationship now?

Just about everyone’s been through a bad breakup, but something like this?? The chances of seeing your ex, right after you’ve been dumped, at such a remote location are slim, yet crazier things have happened. Getting over someone you cared for, especially for such a long time, is tough. Knowing that it’s over for good is even tougher. That’s what Peter has to go through, and luckily, he’s in Hawaii. The poor guy is miserable as soon as he finds Sarah out there in the hotel lobby, and being such a small island, they bump into each other (along with her boyfriend) many times. Peter’s legitimately trying to get over it though- he tries surfing, checking out local hot spots, and befriends Rachel, the girl who sets him up with a place to stay at the otherwise completely booked hotel. We get to see Peter go from a wreck, to slowly getting better, only to get a little worse while on vacation. He boozes it up the majority of his stay, which gets in the way of what could be a great time (ex issue aside). Over the course of his stay, Peter gets some sound advice from the locals, including Rachel, and it’s up to him to act on it.

The biggest shocker for me was that all of the characters are great, and mesh together perfectly. Scenes where Peter and Sarah argue aren’t overdone, and they aren’t one-sided. Normally with a movie like this, the audience is supposed to be on the main character’s side through thick and thin. One talk they have reveals that Sarah wasn’t completely wrong in her decision to leave Peter, and I’m glad they gave her that dialogue. Russell Brand, who a lot of people can’t stand for various reasons, does a good job as Aldous here, despite essentially playing himself. Yes, this is Sarah’s new boyfriend, the guy she dumped Peter for, but he’s surprisingly cool and doesn’t try to be a jerk about anything. This is the kind of guy you’d have a hard time hating if you were in Peter’s shoes. I think. Secondary characters like Jonah Hill as a restaurant waiter, and a Christian couple on their honeymoon are great when they show up, and they’re never overused. Hill’s character is obsessed with Aldous, constantly sucking up to him and he even tries to clean up Aldous’ shirt while he’s still wearing it after it gets dirty. This could have gotten annoying fast, and fortunately, it doesn’t. There are a lot of genuine laughs here, and I almost lost it when the commercials for Crime Scene came on. It’s a big slap in the face to stupid shows like CSI: Miami, and it’s made fun of throughout the film.

I highly recommend Forgetting Sarah Marshall, for comedy fans or anyone who wants a romantic comedy that has some real laughs in it. The blu-ray/dvd includes a ton of great special features, including more puppets. If you’re going to buy the movie, get the physical copy instead of the digital version.


Playskool Sesame Street Smartphone
Playskool Sesame Street Smartphone
Price: $11.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Thank god Horatio the elephant and Humpty Dumpty aren't on this thing., September 28, 2014
A month ago I had my daughter in the shopping cart, looking for toys to get her for her first birthday. One thing she had her eye on was the Sesame Street smartphone here, because she loves the show and characters. And since she always goes after phones, it made sense that she'd love this. I let her hold it and she wouldn't let go! It was a sure thing for her birthday, and of course she loves it even more out of the box.

The smartphone is very sturdy and is sure to last a while. It's thick, made of hard plastic, and the main button has enough room on the sides so that it won't get stuck easily. It has two modes- demo and full, as well as an option to turn it off. Demo is what it's set to for kids to try out in stores. Press the main blue button on the front to start it up, and the squares on the 'screen' light up. You can then press any button/app to hear it talk and hear some sounds while it lights up. Switch the phone to the full mode and things change up a bit. Press the blue button and one of the apps will light up, as if one of the characters is calling. You can only press the lit up one to make anything happen. Pressing any other apps doesn't do anything. The character will say a few lines of dialogue, with seconds of breaks in-between, letting your child give a response. When they're done talking, you can press any of the apps to hear what they have to say, or press the blue button to have one of the characters 'call' you. It's pretty cute and there are a lot of different things they say.

This toy is great with all the voices and lights, and with it being so sturdy, it's sure to survive any drops to hard floors or being thrown around as babies and toddlers love to do at some point. I took off one star because the audio is on the quiet side and there's no way to turn it up. Yeah, I'm sure there are plenty of parents out there who think this is a good thing, and with it being a phone, your child is likely to hold it to their ear most of the time, but it's still a lot quieter than the quietest setting on the average toy in this age range.

My daughter loves her phone and it's cute seeing her face light up when Elmo and Cookie Monster start talking. She'll hold it up to her ear and nod her head a couple of times, excited to hear her favorite characters. It sure beats the rotary phone toys I had in the mid-80s.


Shopkins Supermarket Playset
Shopkins Supermarket Playset
Offered by Bubbly Blends
Price: $37.08
59 used & new from $30.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Are the LPS pets going to join forces to bring us Littlest Shopkins? Oh no...I hope not., September 27, 2014
This review is from: Shopkins Supermarket Playset (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I know, I know...another toy line that's made up of little tiny figures. Hey, at least these ones are bigger and more fun than Squinkies! My daughter recently started talking about Shopkins, and I had no idea what they were. I follow along with everything she's into, from Monster High dolls to Pokemon to Minecraft to Littlest Pet Shop, but Shopkins didn't ring any bells. When I saw what they were, I was a little surprised to see them trying to make shopping items collectible. Then again, if it sells, it sells! Here we have the Supermarket playset, and it's the first Shopkins item I've gotten a chance to look at. I gotta say, they did a pretty good job with this, and I'm curious to see what else they come up with down the road.

This set comes with two exclusive Shopkins characters- soap and margarine. They're both pretty cute and are sure to be the reason some kids will want this playset. Kids should have fun with the main side of the playset- the market checkout area with a conveyor belt, monitor for groceries, and areas for all the accessories it comes with. The conveyor belt moves shopping bags along with the turn of a wheel, and you can move the included shopping cart to the end of it so your groceries/Shopkins can fall right on in. Your Shopkins can even go in the little seat where toddlers would normally sit! Also included are shopping bags and a basket, which can hold the Shopkins too. What I like is how simple the design is while still having some features that you might not expect, like the shopping cart being able to be pushed into others, just like when you see tons of carts stuck together in a cart return.

Turn the playset around and you'll get the exterior of the market, which features an elevator and shelves on the windows. The elevator has a little lever you can lift to tilt your Shopkins down the chute on the other side, right into a basket or shopping cart...or let it go tumbling and hit its head on the conveyor belt stand.

Fun to play with right out of the box, this playset is a surprisingly good one! You get a playset with some fun accessories, two exclusive Shopkins figures, and it doesn't need any batteries or require assembly. The one thing I'm not a fan of is the price. We've bought Littlest Pet Shop playsets that had as much, or almost as much to do, and they cost quite a bit less. Shop around for a deal before jumping the gun and ordering this. It's a great playset, but not enough to justify the full price.


HomeFlav Wooden Photo Frame Picture Frame 3.5x5 inches
HomeFlav Wooden Photo Frame Picture Frame 3.5x5 inches
Offered by HomeFlav
Price: $7.99
2 used & new from $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, even Ikea furniture feels sturdier than this., September 26, 2014
Normally I'm not a fan of thick frames for small pictures. To me, they take away from the image you're displaying, and seem like you're trying to show off the frame more than anything. When the frame is one solid color or basic wood, it just looks weird. Still, I tried out HomeFlav's little photo frame here after being pretty happy with their water bottle I recently got (weird connection, I know).

The frame will fit any 3.5x5 inch photo perfectly. Your picture won't slide around or be lopsided in this frame. The back features a stand so it can be set up, and the backing opens and closes with 4 little metal tabs. There's also a small hook on the back so you can hang it up if you want. Others have mentioned that theirs are essentially useless and came off easily, but mine is just fine. I don't mind the natural wood look to the frame, and I should mention that mine isn't a weak brown like you see in the stock image. That could vary for everyone, but mine's more of a red-brown.

I honestly don't have any problems with the frame aside from pictures looking a little goofy when displayed. It's a small picture with this thick frame around it! The construction also leaves a bit to be desired. At this price, maybe that's to be expected. Even then, I feel like this thing would break into multiple pieces if it hit the ground. Mine also came with some of the edges chipped up.

If you're going for a natural wood look with your photo displays, and have a special small photo you want out, this would work just fine.


YogaAddict Yoga Socks and Gloves Set, For Any Type of Yoga and Pilates
YogaAddict Yoga Socks and Gloves Set, For Any Type of Yoga and Pilates

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even Dhalsim would approve of these., September 25, 2014
If doing Downward Dog on your yoga mat has you sliding around a little, you may want to give these gloves and socks from YogaAddict a shot.

I ordered the M/L size, which is aimed at men or women with large feet. My shoe size is 10.5 (11 in Nikes) and the socks fit me fine after a bit of work. The gloves fit perfectly- not too tight or too loose, and I was surprised to see how warm they kept my hands despite being fingerless. Both the gloves and socks look exactly like they do in the stock image. The infinity logo is sewn in and sure to hold up over time. The actual gloves and socks, however, may not. It's recommended to wash them by hand, and it's easy to see why. If you've ever gotten budget mittens in a grocery store, that's exactly how these feel. The material stretches quite a bit and is sure to get holes in no time if you're not careful. You can hang dry them, or cheat and throw them in a pillow case, then give them a quick trip to the dryer. After a few washes, mine are already starting to ball up.

As for their main function- helping out with yoga, they work great. The little rubber nubs on the bottoms provides excellent traction and grip, and I was able to stay in a couple of poses that I'd normally gradually slide out of. It's funny how something so simple like rubber nubs can solve the problem. Wearing these while on a hardwood floor or gym mat feels just fine. I even wore the socks while sparring on a concrete floor of a parking garage and didn't have any discomfort there either.

I highly suggest breaking these in for a few hours before using them for yoga or pilates right away. I had a lot of trouble getting each toe in their right slots because of how tight they were. It took a couple of minutes to get everything in, and even then, I did some basic stretches involving my feet to really get adjusted.

Overall, I recommend these socks and gloves if you need any help with keeping a stance in yoga. They feel nice to wear around the house too! The price is a bit high for gloves and socks that aren't made any better than budget mittens, apart from the rubber nubs, but if you're only using these for a couple of hours a week, they'll be fine.


Trash Pack Sewer Truck
Trash Pack Sewer Truck
Price: $19.99
11 used & new from $19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Where was this when the Backyardigans had trash day?, September 24, 2014
This review is from: Trash Pack Sewer Truck (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I asked my daughter if she wanted a toy sewer truck, the look on her face said everything. She had no interest whatsoever in it. Then, I showed her pictures, and she quickly changed her mind. Neither of us have heard of the Trash Pack toys before, so this big truck was the first thing we've got from it. To be honest, it's actually a pretty cool looking toy, and reminds me of the Toxic Crusaders toys from the early 90s.

The sewer truck is made to pick up and store Trashies- little trash creatures that make up the Trash Pack world (I guess). It looks just like it does in the stock image, with tons of colorful stickers and moving wheels, letting you run down anything in its path. The sewer truck's main function is to suck up any Trashies around by using a giant hose at the top of the storage tank. The portion that the suction hose is connected to can be tilted left and right, giving you a bit of freedom when it comes to sucking up Trashies. Sadly, the truck doesn't actually suck anything up- the hose just goes over the Trashies, and kind of locks them in place. Pick the tube up, straighten it out, and they go tumbling into the truck. You can then tilt open the back of the truck and let them all pour out. I was surprised to see just how much room there is in the truck; you can store a ton of Trashies in this thing! If your child is a fan of these toys, you might want to get a few more Trashies to go along with the truck, as the two it comes with, while cool, could use some friends.

I was surprised my daughter liked this toy as much as she did. Not because it's aimed at boys or anything, but come on...a sewer truck?! Somehow, the guys who made it pulled it off. It's big, can store a lot of toys/Trashies, and isn't too overpriced. I still think it could use some kind of extra feature like sounds or lights, anything really. Little fans of the Trash Pack will probably love this thing, so for anyone who plays with the toys, it should make for a great gift.


Jinx Minecraft Overworld - Enderman Plush, 17"
Jinx Minecraft Overworld - Enderman Plush, 17"
Offered by ONLYWHOLESALE
Price: $16.99
30 used & new from $16.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't think this dude has ever done squats., September 23, 2014
My daughter loves everything Minecraft, and now that she has all the small plush characters, she wants to move on to the big ones. One that she quickly lost interest in over the last couple of weeks is the large Enderman, which is surprising because this is one of her favorite characters in the game. When I got a chance to check him out, I could see why. The Enderman may be bigger than the Creeper, Zombie and Skeleton, but they somehow goofed on the design of the toy.

The Enderman stands at about 17 inches tall, and is made of the same super soft material as the smaller Minecraft plush characters. Being a bigger, more expensive version of the Enderman, you'd think that they'd at least copy the little one and just make him bigger, right?

Wrong.

The big Enderman here looks off, especially compared to the little one. His arms and legs are way too thin, and are sure to wear out over time if he's played with a lot. Look at the game model for the Enderman, and then tell me the arms and legs here aren't too thin. His eyes are also white, and lack pupils. What really got me as how he's missing the little sewn-in black squares that the smaller plush Enderman has. This thing is all black fabric and white eyes, nothing else.

There is no sound or light up feature either, which is a big no-no in my book if you're going to make something so basic in this scale. Why not have the eyes light up when you squeeze his hand or stomach? Anything would've helped!

There's not much else to say about the 17 inch Enderman because it's such a minimal plush. With the large Skeleton, Creeper and Zombie, there's more to them. If you or your child is a big Enderman fan, I recommend the smaller plush instead, or go with the cool action figure that comes with two accessories for about half the price. When I reviewed the smaller plush characters, I always said that it's hard to screw up converting such a simple design into plush form. Well, they managed to do it with the big Enderman here. If you absolutely must have it, look for a good deal.


Gund Grumpy Cat Plush Stuffed Animal Toy
Gund Grumpy Cat Plush Stuffed Animal Toy
Price: $15.69
101 used & new from $12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If they ruined my face that much, I'd be grumpy too., September 22, 2014
A few weeks ago, my 11 month old daughter grabbed at something in the store and wouldn't let go for anything. It was Grumpy Cat. So, with her birthday coming up, I figured it'd make a great gift. I didn't get a good look at it in the store at the time, but I'll tell you right off the bat that the reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because it doesn't look like the stock image at all.

Grumpy Cat stands at about 10 inches and is incredibly soft. The fur they used on this thing is so soft, it's no wonder my daughter loved holding it so much. His eyes and nose are plastic, but really set in there, so there's no real concern of them coming out. Mr. Grumpy is well-stuffed and stands up just fine on his own. They even threw in some big circles to act as paws on his feet too. There's no sound feature- this is a basic stuffed animal, meant to be cuddled or displayed. Grumpy Cat also comes with a tag on his left ear, with an image of the real Grumpy Cat himself looking beyond grumpy.

So what's different from the stock image? I'll upload a photo so you can see for yourself, but the two main things are that the face is smooshed, and loses a lot of the detail, plus the final product is a lot fluffier, making him look a bit fat. The fur on its head sticks up a little, and the dark brown fur on the face looks a little tattered. I don't know what it is, but the dark brown fur also has a rough feel to it compared to the light brown fur. Poor Grumpy Cat's whiskers are also just white strings that droop down instead of sticking outwards. Part of me wants to drop the score down to 3 stars because of how much different he looks, but it's not -that- bad.

For anyone wanting something a little more comical, the Grumpy Cat plush by Ganz should be right up your alley. They may have messed up on the face, but anyone who sees this will instantly know who it is. Little Zoey will be happy to have her own Grumpy Cat at her birthday this weekend. Hopefully she doesn't pick up any bad habits from him, like displaying such a disapproving frown.


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