Friday, September 22, 2017

REVIEW: Spirit Riding Free dolls

I remember seeing these girls in ToyFair pics and thinking they were cute, and when they finally showed up in stores, I kept looking at them, but I was too busy buying other new stuff.

Well, Walmart got them in and I managed to resist for a month or so, but then I noticed they were only $12.88 and bought Lucky and Abigail. Prudence had sold out, but I found her yesterday at a farther Walmart.

I haven't watched the show yet, but I did buy the book, written by Suzanne Selfors, same author as the second Ever After High series.

These girls have nice articulation, especially for $12.88. They're articulated at the neck, shoulders and hips, of course, but also the elbows, knees and wrists. I think maybe Jakks learned something from the deluxe Disney Fairies and Winx. But also, this is a more action-oriented line, so they need articulation to sit on those horses.

My Lucky has one leg that's a bit off, so she stands kind of oddly.

I love her outfit: cream top with red horse design, brown and red pants, and lovely boots with the bold red design. My only complaint is that the boots are too wide, but this is a common thing in doll boots nowadays. They have that slit up the back to get them off the doll, but then they gap too wide when they're on.

Abigail is the girly one of the three with her pink top, but I love her pants and boots a lot. I mean, the top is really cute, too, and it fits her well, but I just really love the lower half of her outfit. It's an interesting combination with the top.

She has a short blonde bob, which I love. You know I'm always gonna support dolls with shorter hair.

She has the same wide boot problem as Lucky, but not quite as wide.

Prudence has a great top. I love the design of this, especially the hemline. Her jeans are a soft material. I don't care for the shoes though. They're cute enough, but if she sits, her jeans pull above them and I wish the shoes went up higher to cover that bared ankle.

All of the girls have decent hair. Prudence's was a bit odd though, because she had two pieces sewed to her head. The first is obvious in the photo, but the second stuck out so oddly that I ended up cutting it off. I'm not sure why they did this, because the art of the character doesn't show any loose bits.

The body is less spindly than the Winx body and much bigger than the Disney Fairies one. I grabbed Silvermist there without thinking about her painted-on bit, but oh, well. You can see how different they are regardless.

I like how they've done the hip joints on the Spirit dolls. The hips on the other two are so unattractive!

Lucky does have some staining, too, as you can see.

I like that the girls are flat-chested, because they're girls, but they've also got more meat on their bones, so they look healthier. Spindly skinny bodies are fine for fairies, but not so much for little girls.

Here's a height comparison with some more popular dolls. The Spirit dolls are quite large compared to Monster High. Lucky is more of a size with Mal, but then her huge head makes her look much bigger than Mal.

Again, I think they're a great doll for the price! They'd even be a great doll for more than that.

I'm planning on reading the book shortly to learn more about the girls, but I do find the modernity of the line to be its most confusing thing.

The clothes on the dolls are very modern, but the story takes place during the late 1800s. I'm placing it in the 1870s for now, because at the beginning of the book, Lucky and her friend have books by Jules Verne and the publication date of one is 1869/1870. Also, her father is working on the railroad. Although the railroad was finished in 1869, so there's a bit of a conflict with the book publication there.

My point is that it's not even the 20th century when this story takes place. There is no way clothes like these existed back then. Tight pants on all three girls? A shirt as short as Lucky's? Denim was invented in the early 1870s, but jeans on a 12-year-old girl then? All three of them should be in dresses.

I like the diversity of the line, but that, too, isn't exactly historically accurate for the 1870s. A black student in the same school as white kids was a huge deal in 1960. This story is set 90 years earlier! The line seems to be glossing over racial aspects entirely, not just because of Prudence in school, but also because Lucky's mother was Hispanic, yet there's no mention of any trouble with her father's family, who are rich and white. Lucky also attends a fancy finishing school without any sort of racial jabs. It's not that I like reading about racism, but if you're going to set your line in a historical time period, I feel it should be at least a little accurate. 

I love the dolls. I think I'm going to like the book, which means I'll probably also like the show, but the historian in me is cringing. I'm not sure why they didn't just set it in modern times and make Lucky's horse a descendant of Spirit much farther down the line than being his son. The historical inaccuracies are frustrating.

But I'm going to try to ignore all this and just enjoy it as it is. The dolls are super cute and well-made, and if you buy them at Walmart, you're really getting a great value!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NEWS: Enchantimals

Holy wow, Enchantimals might just have a crab girl!

I haven't been posting the new Enchantimals finds, because the pics aren't official promos. Until now.

For more of Sandella Seahorse, go here:

Crabigail, as I am calling her, is in Sandella's listing, though she is not part of Sandella's set. To see her, you have to click one of the pictures in the listing and then you get taken to the photos section. There are frequently extra pictures there.

I'm praying Crabigail makes it into production. She is so completely awesome, she might just beat out Sage Skunk as my favorite. I wonder what her name actually is.

Amazon has another listing but no pics yet:
Preena Penguin and her pet is Jayla.

There have been other pictures found, but I only like to post official promos, so if you want to see the other newbies, go here:

There's a duck from a Mattel catalog. Amazon does have a duck listing, but she didn't come out with the other first series dolls, so I dunno if she'll ever make it:

Then we've got Raelin Raccoon (super cute), Petya Pig (the pigs are way cuter than the doll), and an unnamed lion in a hairplay-based set (meh, but also growing on me due to the colors).

Trademarks have also appeared for Saffi Swan, Cherish Cheetah and Hixby Hedgehog.

I'm keeping an eye out for the penguin's pics now, even though we kinda know what she looks like from the animation. More posts as pics are revealed!

REVIEW: Gorjuss Ruby Doll

No boxed picture for this one, because her hair was all over the place and my mom wanted to see her before she left for work. They all have the same box anyway.

This poor girl has had adventures!

I ordered the last Ruby in stock from Amazon UK. This was before we knew Irma was going to be a thing. Well, by the time they shipped her, Irma was absolutely a thing and yet they still sent her into MIAMI. You know, mostly evacuated Miami. I complained bitterly to customer service and had to explain to the rep what a hurricane was.


I had to explain what a hurricane WAS.

The rep assured me Ruby would be with me by the 20th and if she wasn't, they'd do something about it.

I'm actually shocked that she was right. Ruby arrived today...on the 20th. She sat in pre-customs for a week and then began moving again.

The package had no damage, but poor Ruby is the worst condition one of these girls I own.

Her hair was slopped all around in her hairnet. Her purse was dangling in front of her body, but she also has these three dark stain lines on her right hand, which could have been caused by nothing but the purse. And she has red stains on her body from the dress. I'm more annoyed about the hand stains, because if her purse had been secured, they wouldn't have happened, but that's not on Amazon, that's on Paola Reina, the company that makes the dolls.

I did complain to Amazon UK and received almost $16 back, a 35% discount, so I got her for about $36. That's nice of them, because I said there was no way I was sending her back, but I would have if she was US Amazon.

I definitely still plan on buying Ladybird and On Top of the World from them.


Ruby has dark brown hair like Toadstools. She is the only doll so far to have pigtails. She also has two long bits hanging on either side of her bangs. Sometimes they sit nicely, sometimes they annoy me. Her pigtails are nice, thick and curly though. The hair on these dolls is great quality.

She has a simpler outfit that consists of a red dress with white polka dots, cream lace edging on the skirt, neck and sleeves, and a small black ribbon bow at the neck. She wears thin black ribbons on her pigtails, too. Then she has a lovely underskirt edged in the same cream lace, striped stockings, red mary janes, and a brown purse with a picture of a gray cat on it.

I like her a lot, but she's my least favorite of the four I have. She would have been anyway, even without the staining, because I just really love my first three. I do love her dress a lot and her red shoes, but if you decide to buy some Gorjuss dolls and want Ruby, definitely be prepared for staining.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

REVIEW: American Girl Nanea

American Girl's newest historical doll arrived at my house today!


You see, Nanea was offered early to certain super special members of the AG Rewards program.

The rewards program that only gives you points if you shop on their website or in their stores.

Despite their partnerships with Amazon, Kohl's and Toys R Us.

I bought Melody and her pajamas on Amazon. I bought almost all the Wellie Wishers from TRU. My mom got me Lea from Kohl's. So even though we spent all that money, and it was a lot of money, I got no points for any of it, so I wasn't in a high enough tier to order Nanea early.

That left me with some pretty nasty feelings toward American Girl, because I've been with them from the very start and I HATE elitist behavior like that.

So I didn't buy Nanea right away and was angry that they'd tainted her for me, because I had been SO excited for her.

I did end up ordering her about a week ago and she arrived today. Now I can finally enjoy her and read her books, which I've had since early August.

Nanea Mitchell lives in Hawaii. She has a white father and Hawaiian mother. (If there's any more in there, I don't know. I haven't read the books yet.) She makes the second Hawaiian character that is half white. I don't understand why we can't get a fully Hawaiian doll. I really don't. Jess, the Girl of the Year from years ago that debuted a fabulous new Asian headmold, was also half white. Sigh.


Nanea has the medium skintone, beautiful hazel eyes (shot through with this fab lime green that I love), and dark brown wavy hair. Like all AGs with wavy hair, she's got nonstop flyaways. Those front curls have a life of their own, too. But her hair is nice and silky. She's got a bit of a permasurprise expression, but I've seen worse ones, so I'm happy mine isn't that bad.

She comes with a hibiscus hairclip that thankfully is not a barrette. It's one of those that bites the hair and makes it more stable. I'm not sure that's correct for the time period, but they researched A LOT for almost two years to bring us Nanea, so hey, maybe they had those in 1941.

Nanea's outfit is a lovely orange/coral top that buttons in front, a pair of white shorts with an elastic waistband at the back, a silky pair of undies, and brown sandals. She does not have the modern "permapanties" some of the other dolls do. I love all the pieces except the sandals. I find them a bit dull and I wish they'd stop using that stupid clear elastic to hold shoes on. Just make another strap.

Here's Nanea with my Roslin, my fave AG doll ever. They're going to be hanging out on my scanner in the AG place of honor.

I love Nanea. I think her new headmold is lovely. I'm not a huge fan of the new painted eye corners, because one of hers is messed up, but I can't pick out dolls in person and Mattel customer service is trash, so I'm settling for it. Her outfit is excellent, minus the sandals, and I love that we're finally getting a Hawaiian character, although she leaves me still needing a fully Asian historical doll in the primary character position. (Sorry, Ivy, but being the best friend is not good enough for me. Although I love you.) I am looking forward to finally reading her books and bonding with her, although believe me, I'm not going to get over how AG runs its crappy rewards program anytime soon!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

REVIEW: Regal Academy Rose & Travis and Regal Vicky

I've been in touch with the Alpha Group, the makers of the Regal Academy dolls here in the US. I wanted to let them know about the problems I had with my Magical Joy and Astoria dolls. They offered to send replacements for both if I'd send the defective ones back, which of course I agreed to.

The dolls arrived quickly and the new Astoria's knee was fine, but the new Joy's left elbow remained frozen. Unlike with my previous Joy, I decided to try to manipulate the joint with a teense more force and see if I could get it to work. Nope. What I got was a broken elbow. I didn't use much force. A small kid could do what it took to snap that elbow piece. So I packed up my first Astoria and the new Joy and returned them, with notes on what was wrong with each doll.

Once the dolls arrived back, I got a phone call from a very nice employee and we discussed the problems. It turns out the entire first batch of the Magical Joy doll has arm problems, so if yours does not, count yourself very lucky. Because they couldn't fix my defective Joy, she offered to send me the Rose & Travis 2-pack and Regal Vicky. Naturally, I agreed (with much internal squealing in joy) and the dolls arrived today.

As far as I know, these are not available for sale in the US yet. They do have listings on Amazon, but nothing's come in stock.

Let's look at the 2-pack first.

Both dolls have the basic body, meaning they have no elbow articulation.

Rose is wearing her uniform, unlike the single-packed Rose in her casual outfit, so this isn't a repeat outfit. (I've learned there is a single-packed Rose in this outfit with the pumpkin box, but she is not currently out here in the US.)

Her shoes are super cute, as they should be!

Her jacket and shirt are all one piece, but the skirt is separate and so are the leggings.

Travis is so cute! He reminds me of an anime boy doll. The girls really don't, but there's something about his face that's like anime boy. Not that that's a bad thing. He's one of the cutest boy dolls I've gotten since...I don't even know who.

His little outfit is cute and well-made. Both of these do have jointed knees. The boys are a little bit taller than the girls.

I think Travis's hair looks good, although I wish it was a little wilder.

The only bad thing about him is that his head is wobbly. It's not awful and it's not something I've never seen with dolls before, but it is decidedly wobbly. And I didn't like that it's held down with the stupid plastic bit punched through it, because he's got a visible hole in his plastic hair.

I think this is a cute set and I hope these make it to stores, because I really want Hawk and Astoria!

Now let's look at Regal Vicky.

Vicky is my favorite doll from the US line. I love villains and her face is just so pretty. I was disappointed my signature Vicky had a little lip rub, because I don't think my TRU is going to restock these. (I'm fairly certain I'm the only person that's bought any...) So I'm super happy to not only have this gorgeous ballgown doll but to also have a Vicky with perfect lips!

This gown is great. You do not often see this color combination. It's got just the right hint of villain to it, too. The awesome high collar helps with that.

I took this photo to show just how high up that collar goes!

Vicky comes with her wand, which fits pretty well in her hand and stays there, even though it's heavy.

If you're looking for a doll with articulation and redressability (Is that a word? I'm making that a word.), check out this Regal line. (If they come out in stores.) Vicky has the full articulation of the Magical dolls (neck, shoulders, hips, knees AND elbows) without the permanent bodysuit.

Astoria is also in this line and I really want her, so definitely fingers crossed we'll see more Regal Academy on the shelves soon.

And here are her shoes. Just simple heels, but pretty nonetheless. I kiiiiiind of wish they were gray, but we can't have everything!

I'm very grateful to the Alpha Group for sending me these dolls to make up for my Joy that can't bend her arm. They're excellent additions to my little collection and this Vicky is my new line favorite!


Saturday, September 2, 2017

REVIEW: Descendants 2 28" Mal doll

It's hard to contemplate the size of a 28" doll without having her in front of you. Mal is HUGE.

Just Play produced this small series of giant dolls as Walmart exclusives. They run a little less than $40 apiece, which is a very fair price, considering that's only double what the regular signature dolls are.

I ordered Mal from the Walmart website, only to have them never ship her. So I cancelled the order and tried the ship to store option. I thought the same thing was going to happen, but on the day she was supposed to be available for pick up, she shipped to the store!

She arrived yesterday, only one day after for the original pick up time. I couldn't get her until today though. You guys should see the ginormous box she was shipped in. Like yeesh!

It's hard to photograph something so big and properly show just how big she is. She's standing in front of my closet door there, but I think the last picture I'll put in this review will help with scale the most.

Mal looks exactly like what she is: a giant signature Mal. Her hair quality is excellent, which I didn't expect, considering the sheer mass of hair they used. The bangs stick out a bit with gel, but I'm not going to fuss with them.

Her bag is nicely detailed and opens, so it can hold a lot of stuff. I would have loved it if she came with her spell book instead of the boring stickers I just threw out. Or a can or two of spray paint!

Her clothing quality is excellent. The pants are a soft material and go on and come off easily. They're fastened by velcro, so no elastic involved. The jacket is great, too. Her hands do pop off at the wrists so it cam be removed easily. I got the left sleeve off just fine without removing her hands, but the right stuck on her glove, so it's a good extra feature for the doll to have. The jacket went back on without me having to remove the hands.

Naked 28" doll looks pretty much just like the smaller ones. The main difference is the big ones don't have knee joints. I'm guessing this helps their stability. Mal's pretty top heavy with that huge head and all that hair! I got her to stand with no tipping issues though.

So where do you put a doll that clocks in at over two feet tall when you have a sprawling collection like mine?

She ended up on my desk! And now you can get a real idea of her sheer size. She just fits under the lower shelf above. Like just barely.

I'm glad though, because now I can order Evie and not worry about where to put her. There's plenty of room in the other desk corner! I could probably even fit Uma on there, too. We shall see! I have other plans for my money this month, but eventually, at least Evie will join Mal on the desk.


Friday, September 1, 2017

REVIEW: Gorjuss Toadstools doll

I received my newest Gorjuss doll today! I bought Toadstools from Amazon UK, because the Santoro shop was sold out of her. I actually got a way better price, so I plan on getting as many as I can from there, but the sellers don't always ship to the US.

Toadstools isn't one that caught my eye when I very first looked at these many months ago. I was torn between Little Violet, Ladybird and Ruby then. But she quickly launched herself into a contender spot this time around.

I actually had in mind to get Ladybird next after Little Violet and Bluebird, but when I saw that Toadstools was sold out on Santoro, I knew I needed to track her down before she became impossible to find. The Amazon transaction was easy and she arrived in about ten days, not counting the day I placed the order.

Toadstools is one of the more detailed dolls, like Little Violet. Look at how many pieces her outfit is!

The short-sleeved navy coat goes over a purple dress. She has four striped items: stockings, armwarmers, a hat and her bag with its hedgehog and toadstool decor. Then she's got her bright blue boots. She's the only Gorjuss doll to wear boots. The other seven all wear mary janes.

Once again, every single piece is high quality.

Here she is in the purple dress. It's got nice detailing for something hidden under a coat! I think it's actually prettier than Bluebird's dress. That poor doll has the plainest outfit.

Toadstools' coat is spectacular. Every tiny purple button is a different shape: heart, star, square and triangle. I love the armwarmers with their thumbholes, too. I didn't do that myself. She was designed that way.

I had thought some of the dolls looked to have dark brown hair instead of black and I was right. Toadstools has dark brown hair in comparison with Violet's black.

I'm so thrilled to have all three of these girls standing on my coffee table right now! The only problem is now I want even more! I had planned on ordering American Girl Nanea next payday, but now I'm considering getting Ladybird instead. I'm not sure what to do! Well, I guess I'll still get Nanea, since my rewards coupon expires on my birthday at the end of the month, but that's how much I want Ladybird right now!