Monday, September 30, 2013

Disney Store Frozen Dolls: Anna and Elsa

I made a special trip to the one town in the region that has a Disney Store just to pick up these lovely ladies. Do I regret it? Well... yes and no. Hold that thought.

We're not telling you a THING about our movie!
All the dolls in the line have the same spoiler/information-free box back showing Elsa and Anna.

It's a cold, cold, cold, cold woooooorld!
Here's Anna, freshly freed from her plastic prison. She says "hi". Anna is adorable. She looks like Heidi, or maybe like a doll from "It's a Small World". Her cap and cloak are separate pieces, and her blouse and bodice make one piece. Her flower-patterned skirt is separate.

That "shadow" is a stain from one of the mittens.

She also has teal mittens, which have a little bit of plastic inside them to keep staining of Anna's pale hands to a minimum. Her gold-patterned, pointy-toed boots have a slight heel, which makes her a little taller than Elsa when they stand side by side.
Here's Anna, minus her cold-weather gear. She had orangish-red hair in braids, with a streak of whitish-blond in her right one. Her face looks a LOT like Rapunzel's did in her movie. She also has a light dusting of freckles on her cheeks and a subtle little half-smile. The vines and flowers on her bodice have a little glitter, which seems unnecessary to me. She has green eyes (again, like Rapunzel), and if you look close, you'll notice that they have slight sculpting to enhance her eyelashes.

She's pretty photogenic.

Anna's braids, from the back.
That just looks cheap in comparison with how finished the rest of her outfit is.
I was a little disappointed to discover that the half-blouse (or whatever you'd call it) has unfinished edges, but that's my only complaint about her outfit.
*crack* "Ow! My ankles!"
Anna and Elsa both have the hard plastic jointed legs, so they can kneel. (Elsa's a queen, I'm not making a queen KNEEL!)
Of course, the problem with these legs is that there is no such thing as sitting gracefully with them. Anna gives it a decent try...
Not really, no.
But without that skirt in the way, you can see that it looks pretty ridiculous. It seems like the kind of thing that could easily have been fixed with a minor tweak to the body mold, so it surprises me that apparently no one in the test group for the fully-jointed dolls ever attempted sitting them down.

All kinds of awkward.

Here's Anna, attempting again to make this "sitting" thing work. Even if she pretends to be a catalog model, it's just not happening.
Here's Anna undressed, so you can see all of her joints. She comes with painted-on undies. You may notice that her feet are REALLY small. Those are tiny feet. You know who else has tiny feet?

J-Doll is shorter, though.
J-Doll does!
Foot twins!
In fact, their feet are almost exactly the same size!

I love that skirt.
So that means that Elsa and Anna can swipe shoes from J-Doll, and also nab shoes from ReMent sets like these! They look pretty good, too!
Anna, sporting the world's most embarrassing comb-over.
This is another unfortunate downside to Anna... her sparse rooting. I get that it was necessary to have thinner rooting to make her braids the size that they are, but sheesh! Some kids out there are going to be very unhappy when they succumb to the temptation to take out those braids!

"Here I am, all you lucky people!"
Let's take a look at Elsa. If Anna was pale, Elsa is super-pale, with a faint pinkish/lavenderish tint. Her eyes are a bluish-green color, and have a sort of exotic look with thicker painted eyelashes than Anna's. Her long super-pale blonde hair is in a single thick braid, with some feathery-looking twirls of shorter hair lining her face and adoring the top of her head. They give her a sort of bird-like quality.

There's a lot of product in them to keep them in place and in shape, but I haven't washed it out yet. It makes me think of gypsum "flower" formations that appear in some caves.  In a good way, I might add.

It could stand to be a bit thicker, though.
She seems to have better rooting than Anna, too.

The stiffness of the cape/overskirt does make it flare impressively, though.

Elsa's teal gown initially was just a clusterfluff of glitter nonsense when I looked at her in the box. Her dress has long, sheer sleeves, attached to the bodice, along with a sort of cape-like outer layer of glittery snowflakes that conceals a really beautiful dress. More glitter on the bodice, but none on the side-slit skirt. As you can see, Elsa wears matching flats. Surprisingly enough, this dress has held onto its glitter very well so far. I was expecting a sparkling apocalypse when I opened the box. All that glitter makes what should be a light, gossamer piece of the costume into a stiff, hard to manage piece I wish I could just remove at times, though.

"I'm not sulking, I'm meditating."

Like Anna, Elsa has trouble sitting gracefully.

Other than my dislike of glitter on principle, the only thing I don't like about Elsa's dress is that the "cape" also has the gap to allow for the velcro closure, and since it is a separate layer from the dress, it tends to gape open oddly. A few basting stitches may fix that minor complaint, though.
Here are the girls together. Again, Anna's heels are what's making her look taller in the pic.My final analysis is this: Anna disappoints me to an extent. She frankly looks more like Rapunzel than any Disney Store release OF Rapunzel has, and her creative combover hides a set of large bald spots that may be hard to disguise if her hair is ever taken out of its factory 'do. Her outfit is beautiful, but it's probably just as well those mittens are sure to get lost, because they'll stain her hands. It would have been nice to have had some finishing/lining on the cape, but for a $16 doll she does come with a lot of clothing pieces. (Hat, cloak, mittens, top, skirt, shoes)

Elsa on the other hand, comes with only a one piece dress (plus shoes), but comes across as a better doll to me. She appears more distinct than Anna, and her hair (although stiff in places) doesn't seem nearly as disappointing. The more I examine Elsa, the more impressed I am by her dress and her casually-elegant looks.It would have been nice to have had more accessories to put her on equal ground with Anna in that regard.

It will be interesting to see how the general release dolls compare to these two.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hockey dolls?

I saw a 12" doll very similar to this at one of my typical thrift/junk/antique shop haunts recently, and I couldn't help but be intrigued. The articulation seemed great, but a cursory examination had me believing that his gloves didn't come off.

I wish I knew for sure..

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Frozen at TRU

I saw only two representations if the new Disney film Frozen on the last big out of town trek I did, and they were both at TRU. 
This toddler doll of Anna comes with a snowman (Olaf, I think?) companion and is adorable in her little braids. I question why she has a tiara, but I'm sure the film will clear that up.
This toy has a very young Anna with toddler-age Elsa. They "skate" around when the wheel is turned on the toy. Both of these were in the section with the "younger" girls toys.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dollar General Monster High Fakies

So I've been seeing some Monster High bootlegs/rip offs at Dollar General lately! The stores near me have two "lines" of them. One is called "Gothic Girl", and as near as I can tell, it's just two Draculaura look-alikes. The other is called "Ghastly Girlfriends" and has three dolls in the lineup. Let's take a quick look.

The "Ghastly Girlfriends" line has very obviously managed to come up with some genuine MH heads to make molds from. The heads are reproduced with obvious mold seams hidden in what hair they have. Don't be fooled by what looks like a lot of hair in that pic! Incidentally, all the dolls in this post were $3 each.

It feels like nylon hair, a little rough at the ends, but decently brushable. Expect to lose 1-3 plugs when you brush it the first time, though. These are fakies, so of course they're very thinly rooted with great empty spots lurking under the top layer of hair. The "Ghastly" Lala has a side-part and streaks of orange in her hair.

Here are the other two dolls in the line, Fakie-Frankie and Counterfeit-Clawdeen. More about them in a moment.
The dolls have the same bodies, but as you can see, they have very different heads. Their legs move front to back and will do a full front split, but their shoulder joint has a ball-style socket for more range of motion. I'm not sure what the "Gothic Girl" head is from. I need a better pic of their hair streaks. Gothic has a big chunk of fire engine RED in her hair. It's actually very becoming.

The "Ghastly" dolls all have the same pink shoes, which just barely stay on their tiny, tiny feet. They have nothing on under their dresses, either. Decoy-Draculaura here has a dress that would be kind of cute if it came close to fitting her at all. It's too big on her, and even with some cinching it's way too big on a legit MH doll. These dolls do have a decent range of motion, with five points of articulation, including a pivot joint for their neck. The "Ghastly" dolls also come with a toy mirror, which is absolutely useless but helps make the box look more substantial. It has a skeletal hand on the back.

The "Gothic Girl" doll only has a swivel joint for her neck, so she can't look up or down. I like her face better even though she has a flaw in her eye screening. Her clothing is made a little better than her "Ghastly" counterpart. The outfit is actually three pieces, including a pair of unhemmed panties that match her blouse. Her shoes are also a different mold than "Ghastly's".

Clawdeen: Looking a lot sweeter than normal.

Even though the blouse is a little big, Clawdeen still looks pretty good with "Gothic's" outfit cinched a little. This outfit would probably look good on Rochelle, for that matter. She looks good in stripes and lace.

Here are Counterfeit-Clawdeen and Fakie-Frankie out of their boxes. Once again, don't be fooled. They don't have a lot of hair.
"Clawdeen's" bald spot is especially grief-worthy.
"Frankie" and "Draculaura" have it a little better, at least.
Fakie-Frankie is cute enough, but the skirt of her one-piece dress is made of some sort of terrible papery material. The off the shoulder bodice is too big for a "real" MH doll even with cinching, and is pretty scandalously short. A little DIY altering could make this into a passable asymmetrical empire-waisted top, though.
"Oh great, just what I needed. Another freaking sibling. What's your claw or howl-related punny name?"
To give you an idea about how tall these dolls are compared to "real" MH dolls, here's Counterfeit-Clawdeen next to the real deal. The Clawdeen is the BEST of this lineup, in my opinion. Her hair is poofy and that helps hide how thinly-rooted it is. Her outfit is also TWO pieces instead of one! That means...
Coming soon: Monster Junior High?
Real MH dolls can wear it! The top needs a little cinching or altering, but the skirt is perfect. (or as perfect as a mismatched length in the back can make it) You gotta admit, Clawdeen makes it look good! Gothic Girl and her slightly above average fakie-clothing are also an excellent choice, though.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Moxie Girlz Magic Winter Cabin playset

So there I was in TRU, money burning an almost literal hole in my pocket as I stared down the clearance aisle. On the one hand there was the Liv "Hayden's House" playset that came with a Liv doll. $25. On the other, there was the Moxie Girlz Magic Winter Cabin set, which didn't come with a doll but listed off a whole bunch of accessories. Many more accessories than the Liv set had.

Hm. What to do?

The Moxie house was $10, minus the flash sale "Extra 25% off". Well, that was decided. For $7.50, I couldn't pass it up! I almost talked myself into buying them both. I honestly wish now that I had.

Does not include: Dolls, sled, snowman, log seat... etc...
This is actually the exact same thing as the Bratz Pink Winter Dream Cabin, just with less pink.
The selling point
I figured that either house/cabin would be undersize for my dolls, but that the big bunch of accessories would be guaranteed to be worth $7.50, at least.
Here's the inside, minus the roof.
I suppose the screw holes in the chimney should have been a clue, too.
And here's the outside. Notice anything odd? Why the heck is there a shelf on the outside of the house? Who does that? Good thing they show snow drifted up along the bottom edges of these walls, or I'd have put this thing together inside out!
After snapping the roof on, but leaving off the icicles (Finn would try to eat them), here's everything else in the box.
This bar needs some spackle or something.
The bar snaps together easily, but the pieces don't quite fit right. The stone pattern is very nice, though.
Not a "love seat", but a "low seat".
The chair is one hollow, very low to the ground piece of plastic.
$7.50 worth of stuff?
Here's the rest of the accessories. You've got a bar stool, a lantern for the outside wall, a snow shovel, a fondue pot with skewers, a radio, a fire, a croissant, a carton of cream, two mugs of cocoa, a two glasses of some other chocolately concoction, a muffin, and a tray.  Let's look at that snow shovel, shall we?
"This is snow shovel for ants?"
It's TINY. Way too small for the MH ghouls, at least.
"Seriously, can we get a taller shovel?"
It's a little better for an actual Moxie, but not by much. The shovel is included to enhance the gimmick of this set, the "real working snowfall" that comes out of the chimney. What is that snow, you ask?
"This isn't snow! This is bean bag bed!"
"This isn't even big enough for a bed!"
Millions of polystyrene pellets. Whoever came up with this idea either hates parents or has never seen what happens if you accidentally cut open a bean bag chair. This stuff is staying in the bag.
Abbey is flummoxed by the outdoor shelf.
"Acceptably toasty."
She thinks that the indoor/outdoor fireplace could be handy, though.
"Hey girls! Watch this!"
Just as I feared, the "walls" are really too short for the MH crew. The sea monster girl looks like a giant, but she's actually just standing there. Abbey is sitting down. The seat is so short that Heath might as well be sitting on the ground!
"Ladies! What can I get you? Coffee? Tea? Me?"
Heath would love to play bartender. Thankfully we have no alcohol in this set, so he's given the go-ahead.
"Finally! Being short is an advantage!"

Really, this set is perfectly scaled for Equestria Girls, Pinkie Cooper, or other 9"  or slightly under dolls. Bratz Kidz would probably be a good fit for it as well. In case you're wondering, that's a Kidz outfit Sunset Shimmer is rocking, there.

I really wish I'd gone ahead and gotten the Liv set, but the main draw of it was the underscale kitchen, and of course the doll. Since Liv is out of production, this has started to sound more and more like a missed opportunity to me, and I'm honestly sort of kicking myself for cheaping out but at the same time... ehhhh these underscale houses annoy me a bit. The roof should go OVER the doll's head, not settle at shoulder level! And out of production or not, $25 is a bit high for a Liv, imo. Found one NIB for under $13 yesterday, so...

At any rate, Heath and Abbey aren't complaining! For $7.50, I've got no real regrets on this set. I may donate the "house" part to Goodwill. The accessories were definitely worth $7.50 in my book.
Abbey may need her amulet, I think it's getting hot in here.