Honestly, I've only watched two episodes. I like it. It's goofy fun. But I can't speak much about the characters or plot yet, because I've barely scratched the surface, so if I get anything wrong, let me know.
The series is basically Winx meets Ever After High. The main character Rose gets a key that takes her into FairyTale Land, where she learns she's the granddaughter of Cinderella. So unlike EAH, these aren't the sons and daughters, but a step more removed. Rose begins to attend Regal Academy, a school for these fairy tale descendants. Each character has a specific type of magic that they wield using a magic wand.
I had seen stuff about this series, but kept writing it off until I stumbled across the Joy doll on ebay from an Italian seller I've bought from many times. She was so cute with her short, mint green hair and big eyes that I had to have her. I watched a couple eps of the show and decided to purchase Astoria, the granddaughter of Rapunzel, along with her. I wavered between her and Rose for a bit, but ultimately, Astoria won out. (I did just buy Rose tonight though! I'll do a separate review for her once she arrives.)
These dolls are extremely cute and it's nice to see Giochi finally get into the world of articulated bodies. They did a pretty good job. I wish we'd seen these on some of the Winx dolls!
Joy has short hair that's got what I refer to as "the goth bangs." They come to a point in the middle of her forehead. She also has an angled cut, so her hair is similar to Mal's from Descendants, but the longer pieces are shorter than Mal's.
Her hair is pretty sparsely-rooted. It does cover her head, but there's not much to work with there.
Joy has big olive green eyes and wears hot pink lipstick.
Her layered tops are actually only one piece, but I don't really mind. They still look good. She's got a purple crop top with a crowned frog on it (she's got some extremely froggy habits in the show) worn over a green striped longer shirt that tucks under her skirt and there's a short vest over the top. All that is one piece. Then her skirt goes on over her long striped leggings. She has one striped arm warmer, which I had trouble getting off until I realized her arms come apart at the elbows! I didn't expect that from Giochi, so good job on them.
The body is quite nice. I particularly like the hand shape and the range of motion is decent.
One thing that I don't care for is the reuse of items from different lines.
Each of the girls in this signature "Real Friends" line comes with a pair of high heels as well as the shoes they wear in the box. I recognized these heels right away as being from the old Hi-Glamm line. As soon as I undressed Joy, I saw that she wasn't on anything like the Hi-Glamm body so how did the shoes work?
The answer is they don't. The shoes fit onto Joy's feet fine, but to have both heel and toe flat on the ground like a person would actually stand, Joy has to have her knee bent. And it's a pretty drastic bend, as you can see from this photo. My Hi-Glamm Kit is there to show how these should actually be worn.
Thankfully, the shoes the girls come wearing are super cute, so I wouldn't even want to use these heels anyway.
One more thing before we get into clothing exchanges. Look at this expression. Ha! I l love Joy. I love her bangs, but I also kinda wish they were shorter so these brows could be seen.
So these girls have a thicker body, which means the usual question of MH/EAH is a no. The shoes wouldn't work either, even though Joy's got some big feet, because the angle is all wrong.
I grabbed the doll nearest to me and put her clothes on Joy.
That's the dress from Project MC2's basic Ember doll. I even got the shoes on there, but not every pair of shoes will work. Neither of my Adrienne's shoes worked on her, so they have to be more closed in. The dress fits great though.
I know Descendants are also similar in size, so I grabbed Jewelbilee Mal and gave Joy a dragon dress.
The dress works perfectly, though she has to bend her knees a little to wear the shoes. Not as much as with her own purple heels though!
I'm not a big redresser anymore, especially when the stock outfits are so cute, but it's nice to know these girls do have some options.
Time for Astoria to take over for a bit. I was a little hesitant to pick the Rapunzel girl for my second doll, because Giochi long hair is not the best. I have the Winx mermaids with their insanely long hair and it frizzes very easily. Astoria's feels nicer though and since it's nicely tied at the end with a ribbon, I'm not going to take that out and brush it. No tempting frizz fate! She is just as sparsely-rooted as Joy, so that's just something to expect from this line. Don't buy them with the intention of restyling their hair, because if you change its position, the scalp may show through.
Astoria has a different expression than Joy, which suits her quite well. I can't wait to see Rose's eyebrows. She's such a goofy character that I hope she looks at least a little bit funny.
Astoria's eyes are turquoise and her lips are a darker pink than Joy's.
She wears a top that's also meant to look layered, but it works a little better than Joy's because it's not a vest. Vests that open in the back and aren't real vests throw me off a bit, even though one-piece tops really don't bother me much. The top is actually three different materials, too. The sleeves are different from the rest of the yellow.
There's Astoria's nice, long hair. She can turn her hair into vines in the show, which is really neat. Kinda wish there was a vine in there somewhere!
And finally, here's a shot of the girls' kinda useless pair of heels and their brushes.
Remember I said mentioned the reuse of items from other lines? Well, Hi-Glamm was Giochi's own line, but those brushes are from Hasbro's My Little Pony line from the early 2000s! They were useless on ponies, so they're really gonna be useless on dolls.
Despite the show being on in the US, right now we don't have these dolls. I'm not sure if we're going to be getting any products for the line at all. So the only way to get these is by importing. They cost me more than your average playline doll, obviously, but I think they were worth it.
I'll be back with more Regal Academy in a couple weeks when Rose arrives. In the meantime, I'm going to watch more episodes of the show!
Did I mention the Snow White descendant is a boy? That's pretty neat.
PHOTO CREDITS: Mine!