Monthly Archives: May 2013

2+3=5

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Before you guys say anything, I’d like to tell you that no, this is not a post about basic addition facts.  In fact, I’d wager a guess that none of you find this post name to be groundbreaking.  It’s common knowledge.  However, when applied to the Winx world, it can explain why Season 5 is perceived as bad by fans (and not just because Alfea has yet to put up the magical barrier that they do in nearly every dangerous situation, therefore making Tritannus not as much of a threat).

A bunch of people have felt as though this season was copying past Winx plotlines.  However, I’ve found that most of these recycled stories come from either Season 2 or Season 3.  Therefore, 2+3=5.  Why might they have done this?  Well, I’m not really sure about why they would rehash parts of S3, but I can understand why it feels a bit like S2.  After all, they lost a lot of plot by compacting S2 into a one-hour special, which might make them feel like they could get away with more.  But this isn’t so much a post about why they do the things they do, but rather about a list of comparisons, some obvious and some surprising, that I’d like to make:

  • Both S2 and S5 have the Winx bonding to magical creatures, pixies in S2 and selkies in S5.  The problem most fans have is that there’s a certain nostalgia that comes from the pixies, who were very well-received.  However, ever since S4, the pixies were kind of left in Pixie Village and sadly enough, forgotten.  That, plus the fact that the selkies all have similar designs and not a lot of personality.  If I had to pick a favorite selkie, I’d pick Serena just because I think the flame print on her tail (while oxymoronic) is also cool.  (By the way, my favorite pixie is Piff, since I think sleep powers are surprisingly cool, especially during finals weeks, and also because I’ve always had a soft spot for babies.)
  • There are also the obvious Tritannus-Valtor connections.  The fact is that both had headquarters on Andros for a while, both turned mermaids into mutants, both acted as Icy’s love interest, both harmed Queen Ligea in some way, and both targeted Aisha (at least, Valtor targeted her when the Winx first went to Andros).  However, this can serve as a sort of disadvantage to Tritannus, as Valtor is a popular villain and Tritannus is much less developed.  I even want to draw a comic that has Tritannus signing “I am the undersea Valtor…”
  • Both S3 and S5 have Aisha meeting with a new love interest.  However, Roy and Tritannus share a common problem: they are overshadowed by past characters.  Except Roy just might have it worse.  Nabu’s ambiguous “death” left a lot of things open, and many Winx fans (not just Nabu’s fangirls) still ship Aisha/Nabu.
  • Some people notice some similarities between Enchantix and Harmonix, and Stella’s regular dress looks a little like Bloom’s Enchantix dress.
  • There are also those who believe that Darkar was also a mainly undeveloped villain, like Tritannus.
  • The Emperor’s Throne deal seems a bit like the Codex…
  • Depending on the dub you watch, the Shadow Fire might have a curse on it just like Sirenix.
  • Both S2 and S5 have a Musa spotlight episode dealing with her mother’s death, and both contain original songs.
  • Timmy and Tecna also have issues communicating in S2.
  • Both S3 and S5 have Diaspro trying to mess with Bloom and Sky’s relationship.
  • S3 and S5 both have looks at all of the Winx home realms (except S3 never showed Zenith).
  • The home realm sequences slightly develop the characters, a bit like the Charmix episodes.

If you have any other comparisons that I didn’t bring up, post them here!  Finding similarities can actually be pretty interesting…

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MAKING OUR MARK: Child Labor and Toys

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Hello, and I’m sorry for not posting in a while.  I’ve really been thinking about how to approach Zenith of Corruption, and inevitably, this new column.  After all the good feedback I got from the 4kids/RAI dub article, I decided to create this new feature.  First off, this is entirely different from the “Thursday Your Say” on Una di Noi, and I’m not copying that site in any way whatsoever.  Rather than being a simple opinion column, “Making Our Mark” emphasizes current issues that have a connection to Winx fans, or sometimes even directly to the program itself.  Issues used in “Making Our Mark” are more controversial than those in posts that I normally put up here, but from your reactions, you seem to encourage these types of rational discussions.  So, here it is.

Like the dub article, this one starts with another source.  Except this time, it’s not a music video: it’s a book PDF.  Now, I wasn’t able to find just the story that pertains to this discussion, so when you get to the link, just read pages 85-88.  So anyways, here’s the story:  http://www.vday.org/~assets/board/Emotional-Creature.pdf  Come back after you've read it, okay?

Unfortunately, this story isn’t as fictitious as you might think, as Mattel has been proven to do just that: http://ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=38 .  So, how does Jakks Pacific play a role in this controversy?

The answer is that their position is, as of yet, unconfirmed.  The Winx dolls are, in fact, made in China, but it could be an entirely automated process, or they could even be moving progress to America for all we know.  Now some of you might get mad at me for this, but I believe in “innocent until proven guilty.”  What I request more than anything about this is awareness. One of the posts on this website came from a Jakks Pacific employee.  She, more than anyone, can confirm or deny what we all may be fearing.  This isn’t so much a post about boycotting Jakks as it is a plea for a definite answer to how our dolls may be made.

But for now, I’ve been thinking, and there are some things about the way Jakks operates that might mean that they are by no means contributing to this problem.  Here’s what I mean:

1. Barbie dolls, the main Mattel items that have been confirmed to use child labor, cost less than Winx dolls.  I went on ToysRUs. com for research, and found that a basic Barbie ballerina doll costs $7.49, and a simple Barbie convertible costs $16.99.  Even the convertible costs less than Winx items.  Therefore, this could be a sign that Jakks uses more humane methods.  And remember: no matter how expensive they may become, it’s worth it if we know that no children were harmed or used for any purpose other than playing with the dolls.

2. Winx dolls have increased their prices.  At first they were around $15-$19.  However, I have seen that some of the Harmonix dolls are priced at around $22, and the Bloom Pink Enchantix that put this blog on the map costs $29.99.  Price increases could signify that they may be increasing pay for workers, if not move completely to America altogether.

3. Jakks is a smaller company than Mattel.  Therefore, as a “dark horse” with an increasing presence, they might not feel the need to go to such lengths to assert their dominance.

4. There are far less lines of Winx than there are of Barbies.  With less designs, there are less demands on the company, meaning that there are far less Winx dolls out there than Barbie dolls.  This could give Jakks the extra advantage of more time to make each one, and therefore not even need child labor.

5. The Winx dolls are created to be more detailed than the Barbies.  Take the Blue Bloom Believix, for instance.  She has multiple types of lace and bright blue rhinestones on her wings.  This type of attention to detail requires a precision that may not be met by simple child labor.  The wings on the Winx dolls are very likely to be done by a machine, since human efforts might not be enough to create them.

You can go the way you want to on this issue.  You can choose to attack Jakks if you desire.  But I choose the path of logic, the path that can’t just jump to conclusions without even knowing if they’re true.  We can’t just rely on “guiltiness by association” when there are toy companies out there with good intentions.  I believe that deep down, Jakks is one of them.  But we don’t need to riot now.

We need to know first.