Disney Store 2016 Classic Snow White – a review and head swap

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I am slightly embarrassed to admit that, for the longest time, Snow White was my least favourite Disney Princess. Fortunately, it changed completely over the course of this year πŸ™‚

The first thing that changed my mind was watching the animation. Or perhaps re-watching it? I’m not certain, because if I ever did watch it, it must have been a very small child, so my memory is failing me. Despite it being very different from recent Disney films, I found it very charming, and Snow White herself – very likeable, actually.

The second factor was the release of Disney’s Limited Edition “Snow White in Rags” doll. Her face was the sweetest! The doll filled me with more appreciation for the character. Even though I wasn’t able to buy her, I was thrilled to find that the same flawless face-sculpt was used in her playline (“classic”) release! Inevitably, here she is…

Snow White 2015 Disney Store

This is the 2016 version of the doll. I intentionally chose her over the currently available version, becauseΒ I liked her simpler dress and appreciated the addition of the bird figure.

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the back of the box

The theme of 2016 at Disney was definitely glitter…

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She has a glittery yellow skirt…

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Glittery red cape…

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And glittery… legs?

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Unfortunately, yes. The glitter sticks to the rubbery material of her legs. Not to worry, though! She’s going to be transferred to a Made to Move body anyway.

The bodice has remained mostly the same for the last few years, and is satin-like. It is permanently attached to the skirt. The cape is also attached for good.

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Snow White wears yellow flats. I would think them quite cute, if not for the fact that they seem to point upwards at the toes?

Please ignore the fact that I had not removed the rubber bands holding them in place πŸ™‚

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Overall, I like her dress. It is relatively simple and fairly faithful to the original animation. I wouldn’t mind if it did not have all that glitter, but I’m not upset about it either. I’ll take it over more elaborate patterns and rhinestones. However, I wouldn’t be too too upset if they sold her even without any clothes at all, because, as I mentioned, it was her face that won me over…

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Her face is somewhat round – if only relative to other dolls. Her eyes are light brown, and her lips – oddly – are not red as in the fairytale, but pink. No problem. She still looks very cute. It may be her red band or her bob hairstyle, but there is something distinctly retro / pin-up girl about her, and I love it!

To keep the style secure, the hair is heavily gelled, so it’s hard to touch. I am OK with it, as long as it helps to preserve the shape. There are some specs stuck in the styling product, and yet, some loose hairs did escape its hold.

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She also has plastic tabs in her hair due to the way she was packaged :/

As other princesses in the 2016 line, she comes with a little friend – a blue birdie that clips onto her hand! It is rather cartoony looking, but I suppose its appropriate for a Disney character. The quality is pretty good, I only wish its feet were painted the same colour as the beak – something I may have to fix on my own.

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Disney Store dolls do come with some articulation. Their arms, elbows and wrists move, however, it is not a very wide range of motion. They can’t quite reach their chest or touch their face.

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The legs only have an internal joint, but I was positively surprised how far it can go, considering.

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Overall, this amount of articulation is infinitely beyond what a basic doll with stiff arms and legs can do, and is probably more than enough for play. That said, I fell in love with this doll so much that I wanted to give her even more poseability…

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Her being as white as snow and all, I had to pay up for the lightest, “purple top” Made to Move Barbie 😦 I was very seriously considering putting her on the pale curvy body instead – I even think it would suit her style. Unfortunately, she would not be able to wear her princess dress anymore – I checked on my Curvy doll.

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I softened both heads by placing them in plastic bags (to keep them dry) and then in hot water. They say you shouldn’t use very hot water. I did anyway. For me, nothing bad happened. I wanted very as soft as possible.

I pulled the heads off. There is not particularly smart or safe way to do it that I know of. I can only recommend holding the neck as close to its top as possible – there is a rounded piece of plastic inside this part that, as you pull on the head, will push against the tapered top of the neck. Mine started to show little cracks 😦 Luckily, it did not crumble all the way, there are just thin lines, and they are hidden under the head anyway.

I preemptively tied some rubber bands on the peg of the new, MtM body – apparently the Disney Store head might bobble otherwise.

Now, pushing the head on is the easy part.

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Seeing the stress in the peg and the neck, the procedure was close to a disaster, but in the end, everything worked out! Perhaps I should just be extra careful not to drop the doll, to prevent the damage from progressing.

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The colours of the skin are not *identical* – her face is slightly more yellowish, but they look perfectly passable together.

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Snow White’s singature dress still fits. She looks so ready to pose with woodland creatures in a field somewhere (although it may have to wait until spring…)

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While it was important for me to maintain the option to dress her in her fairytale attire, I am the most excited about dressing her in more contemporary clothes. I am already working on some outfits ^^

There is no such thing as an ugly Disney Store doll – they certainly know their trade and their princesses – but I am glad I was able to find this version in particular. The face paint is on point, adorable and faithful to the film, the outfit also has a genuine Disney look to it. This Snow White was ready to be enjoyed by a child the second she was released from packaging. With the addition of the head swap, she is more than ready to be enjoyed also by the slightly more picky doll enthusiasts. I firmly believe this doll will bring me loads of enjoyment – starting very soon πŸ™‚

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Blue Violet Petite Barbie Fashionista – a review and outfit sharing

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I tend to like my dolls highly articulated, but sometimes I will see one so cute that I have to reconsider my principles. Say hello to the “Blue Violet” Barbie Fashionista πŸ™‚

Blue Violet Fashionista box

Recently, I have been focusing more on Barbie clothes. Unfortunately, buying them separately isn’t always that great of a bargain. I have figured that it pays more to get a nicely dressed Barbie Fashionista and expand both the doll and the fashions collection in one go.

Due to my recent interest in pastel hair, I was especially intrigued by the “Blue Violet” Fashionista and in the “Tutu Cool” oneΒ – both are very cute and come with nice outfits – especially much needed tops. I hate sewing tops πŸ™‚ (Other than that, there are plenty of pastel-haired options!) Unfortunately, I had some trouble finding either one – until I ran into a single “Blue Violet” during recent shopping trip. Yay!

Blue Violet box back

I kept seeing number 34 and 37 above, but, for some reason, this Petite was nowhere to be found.

This doll comes with two tops, two bottoms, two pairs ofΒ  shoes, two bags and a dress. Not a bad boost to the Barbie wardrobe!

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Out of the box, she wears a black and white t-shirt that closes with a velcro, a pair of shorts with tights attached to them, yellow shoes and a bow. It’s a colorful and imaginative outfit.

I’m only not a fan of the shoes. They look a bit weird and it feels like the soles are at on odd angle that makes her lean forward. You also have to be very careful not to tear the tights while pulling the shoes on.

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The top can also be paired with denim capris. They are good enough, versatile jeans.

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They don’t have a lot of detail, and only a simple jeggings type finish at the waistline.

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The second top is pink with a peplum and a black collar. It is adorable! Unfrotunately, the collar is a tad crooked.

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It goes well with the jeans and the second pair of shoes.

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I like these shoes. They have a smart retro feel to them.

Finally, there is a sleeveless dress with a lemon print. It is my least favourite piece, perhaps because it is so simple in its cut, or perhaps it’s just me always looking for separate top and bottoms πŸ™‚

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The print looks fairly realistic and is covered with some pearlescent glitter. It sheds a little bit, but nothing too too crazy.

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Here is a closer look at the bags. I happen to have the heart-shaped one in a different colour, but the pink one is new for me. I would love for all Barbie bags to open, but even though these don’t, they are nice enough accessories to enrich an outfit.

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I do love all the fun clothes and accessories that I received with the doll, but the doll herself is no less cute. She has a very kind looking face. It is the ‘Mbili’ mould. I definitely approve of her soft, neutral lip colour.

Blue Violet Fashionista portrait

Perhaps the most fun aspect of her look is her two-toned pastel hair. It makes me think of cotton candy and magic πŸ™‚ The doll’s name evidently comes from this hairstyle, however, the ‘Violet’ part looks almost pink.

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Actually, if you look close enough, there is a third, white-ish colour mixed in there:

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As mentioned in the title, this doll has a Petite body. She is somewhat shorter than the Original. Her chest and hips are also slightly smaller. This doll happens to only have articulation that allows her to rotate her arms, also move them to the side, the same with her legs – they go back and forth and somewhat to the side.

I’ve read that she matches the Yellow Top Made to Move, but then she would no longer be a petite… I don’t believe there yet exist a Petite MtM of any skin tone.

The option of putting her on an Original MtM raises an important question: do petite Barbie clothes fit an Original Barbie body? This is also important to me because I am hoping to use the fashions with other dolls. The answers is… so so, with some excpetions.

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This Ariel head is on the Purple Top Original MtM. The peplum top looks a bit short, but I think it could be worn with a high waisted skirt.

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The capris look alright to me. They don’t feel particularly tight either. The top exposes a bit of the belly, but is perfectly wearable. I did not have any trouble closing it in the back either.

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The dress looks pretty short on her. Perhaps a pair of tight leggings could salvage this this outfit?

Finally, the shorts with tights are a definite wardrobe malfunction. They are just a tad too short to pull up all the way. Even if you’d cut off the tights, I’m not certain the velcro would close around her waist.

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The next thing to consider is what options are available to the Petite doll. Actually, I’d say that Original Barbie fashions fit her quite well.

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original barbie outfit on a petite

petite Fashionista Hello Kitty pack

It looks like the Petite “Blue Violet” will be able to borrow clothes from her doll friends, and in some cases even return the favour. Given my aim to expand my Barbie wardrobe, I’m mostly satisfied.

Overall, this doll is somewhat limited by her poorly articulated body, but there is a unique feel to her and her fashions that for me justifies the purchase for a Barbie enthusiast. Even though she can’t do much in the way of posing, I may still make her some clothes and take some photos out of pure appreciation for her charm πŸ™‚

I also think she would make a good gift for a child. The included outfits open up the door to a lot of mixing, matching and overall play – even when other dolls and fashions are not around.

Blue Violet Fashionista

2018 Curvy Made to Move Barbie

New Made to Move Barbies have hit the local stores! And, it so happens, I was lucky to get my hands on one of them – my favourite of the series – the curvy one with strawberry blonde hair.

I don’t know if the new dolls have been nicknamed by the collectors yet – like the ‘pink top’ and ‘purple top’ etc. in the past. For now, I will call her Peach – she looks like a ‘Peach’ to me πŸ™‚

Peach was packaged in the same type of blister box as the previous series. What immediately strikes me as different is their updated outfits. They are the same cut as before – tops and leggings – but now there is a knot on the top, and the leggings have a floral pattern.

This doll wears a grey top with a light blue hem and a peachy/orange stripe. The flowers on her black leggings are blue with reddish leaves. Unlike older Made to Move outfits of this style, the top fastens with a velcro. It used to be that they had to be pulled over their head or up through their legs.

Her hair goes to her waist. It is a strawberry blonde colour with soft curls. I think it looks lovely πŸ™‚ It is feels pleasant to touch, too. The rooting is relatively sparse, but everything looks good “on the surface” πŸ™‚

The hair is composed of two blended colours. It is a frequent feature nowadays, but I’m still pleasantly surprised every time at how nice and natural it looks.

Peach is also wearing a headband. It is in fact a simple black rubber band, making it perhaps not the most practical or durable, but it does look cute. Paired with her hair colour, she reminds of Disney’s Aurora.

Seeing Curvy Barbies on YouTube, I was always under the impression that they are barely curvier than the original body type. I was wrong! You can definitely see the difference in person, it is somehow more obvious when you hold the doll in your hands.

Purple top Made to Move body with Ariel’s head vs. 2018 Curvy Made to Move

The most different aspect about it is her thighs. They are definitely wider. She is broader in her hips too, but it’s not as striking. Even though the other differences are subtle, they did not straight up give her the ‘original’ Barbie limbs. Her arms, hands and feet are also of a different shape.

In this photo, the Curvy is on the right

Skin tone wise, this Curvy is considered equivalent to the Purple Top/Lea, however, she seems even lighter, ifΒ  only slightly. It might be an unintentional factory difference.

Her face is so sweet. She has pink lips and brownish-greenish-greyish eyes – an earthy, natural hue πŸ™‚ She has fairly prominent eyebrows, but they are in balance with her other features. The lips are a very sweet pink, and the only part of her face which looks like like it has make-up on it.

On the negative side, there are some quality issues. First of all, the overwhelming majority of the dolls of this model that I saw while shopping had wonky eyes – this one is the only item that was spot on. Two more could have been considered passable. The rest, four or five of the ones that I saw, had eyes that were very obviously askew. Given this experience, I would not be willing to buy this doll online, except only as a ‘body donor’.

Secondly, the trade off for the perfect eyes on this token was slightly odd lips – even though it’s hard to tell without comparison. They are slightly tilted and there doesn’t seem to be enough of the white for the teeth. Luckily, lips should be relatively easy to repaint.

Also, the quality of the print isn’t great. The pixels are quite obvious when you look at them, but thankfully not immediately noticeable from afar.

Finally, there was a little drop of something under one of here eyes. I’m not sure yet if it will come off, I’m a little afraid to try to remove it with nail polish. It’s not a big deal, though.

The drop under the inner corner of her left eye (right side in the photo)

That’s all the problems in the face area. There are, however, very visible mouldlines on her body as well.

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As far as the articulation goes, all her joints are functional. Only one of her elbows is very stiff but still movable. She can do pretty much everything that the original “Made to Move” can:

The only exception is the range of her head movement. She can’t look down pretty much at all (but she can look up and to the sides just fine). I don’t know if it’s an isolated defect, a downgrade in the 2018 series of MtM dolls or an unfortunate feature of all Curvies. It’s a shame indeed for me. I find that tilting the doll’s chin downwards makes for much better photos – it makes it look more like the doll is at the viewer’s eye level.

Peach would not fit in any form fitting clothes borrowed from the original Barbie, but she looks great in the ‘one size fits most’ fashion pack outfits that I own. She cannot fit some of the classic Barbie shoes either, but you can buy shoes packs designed especially for her. I wish she came with a pair of sneakers of her own to make it easier for people who don’t already own a wide selection of Barbie accessories.

Looking good in the Barbie teacher outfit and ‘Curvy’ shoes πŸ™‚

I bought the 2018 Curvy Made to Move doll for two reasons: first, because I thought she was adorable character and a new doll body type for me – basically, an overall interesting Barbie in her own right. The second reason was to try and see how well she could substitute for the hard to get ‘Purple top’ MtM as a ‘nostalgic’ skin tone body donor. As for the first reason for purchase, I am satisfied. As for the second one – I’m not sure. She would fit some characters and some face shapes, but not all, in my subjective view. Especially that if you rebody a Disney Store princess onto a Curvy – like I intended – she won’t fit her original dress anymore.

As is often the case with playline dolls – the only dolls I end up collecting – this Curvy MtM can definitely bring joy to the kid and the collector alike, but is not exactly a top quality product that you can trust blindly. Overall, I think she deserves a place on your shelves and in your hearts, but finding one that is really well made may require some extra caution and diligence.

 

Famosa “Club Hello Kitty” Kelly doll review

Before I started collecting dolls, I use to ask for all sorts of gifts for special occasions – if given a say, which we usually practise in our family. Now, whenever I can, I ask for dolls. This year, I’ve even had to bring home a doll as a souvenir from the seaside – even though there is nothing inherently ‘seaside’ about her:

I had heard of the Spanish company Famosa, knowing them as the makers of PinyPon – a toy which I’ve never owned, but always thought was very cute…

…but I had no idea they also produced fashion dolls.

I was very intrigued when I saw the dolls. First of all, they had articulation, with double-jointed knees and elbows! The clothes were really cool, and the dolls were really inexpensive. I only wasn’t sure about the style of their faces, but overall, it was definitely worth a try. Of the four dolls available, I grabbed the one named Kelly.

This doll cost me 25 pln, which at the moment is equivalent to 5,60 euro, 6,70 usd or 5,2 gbp. To put this into perspective, Barbie Fashionistas typically costs 40-50 pln. Although I imagine prices vary from country to country, because of the costs of transport and other things, but anyway, she is the price of half a Fashionista to me and that’s great πŸ™‚

For a moment I worried that at this price the doll may be a fake. One of the things that convinced me that it’s not was the quality of the packaging. It’s fantastic! Cute themed graphics all over…

Pretty shiny embossing on a matte background… and an outline of Hello Kitty’s face with a bow on the side.

The card in the back of the box is also shaped like Hello Kitty with a themed print on it:

The back gives you a sneak peek at other characters, complete with some polka dots for decoration.

Wow! I really love this box design. It looks really neat and well thought through.

Inside, there was a small poster showing the dolls in more detail.

I also quite liked the one on the right – Yanina. However, nothing can beat… Kiss-inspired Hello Kitty πŸ˜€

Unfortunately, when I sat the doll down, it creased Hello Kitty’s head 😦 I would consider this a bit of a design flaw – but the outfit is overall is fun. It’s pretty nicely made too – I especially like the gathered sleeves and the interesting choice of fabric. It goes with the rock/metal theme.

I was blown away by the tights. Actual, fabric tights are so rare in dolls lately, I’m usually happy if the doll at least doesn’t have painted legs. But this doll has nice, patterned mesh tights. And she was so cheap!

The only problem with the tights that they have discolored the doll’s feet. Oh well.

She comes with a purse that, unfortunately, does not open:

To be quite fair, her shoes are not the best I’ve seen. First of all, they are pink. The product shot shows Kelly wearing grey shoes, which I think would have looked way cooler on this Hard Rock gal.

Secondly, they only fit with the tights on, and only stay on securely if you leave the rubber bands on. Thirdly and finally… I thought these dolls were supposed to be young teens, so these shoes don’t seem appropriate?

Um, maybe they just really aren’t tweens… Don’t get me wrong, the tattoo is an awesome touch, it’s just weird that she looks like a tattooed kid.

The outfit is topped off with a Hello Kitty-esque bow, a common theme in this doll line:

I like how it’s a real fabric piece, but it also looks cartoony. It is, however, a little hard to put on, because the band is a rubber band that pulls on the hair along the way.

Speaking of the hair, she reminds of Raven Queen because of the purple highlights. I like her bob cut – short hair in dolls is not exactly unheard of, but less common. Her hair is not very soft but it’s generally nice, thick and totally free from gel or glue.

Hello Kitty

Now onto her face… I’ll be honest, at first I thought it looked horrid πŸ™‚ I think that I’ve spent so much time dealing with Mattel and Disney Store dolls that other styles automatically look ‘wrong’ to me. Over time, her face has grown on me to where I don’t feel like I have to try to repaint her, but I still think there is room for improvement. I have a big issue with how their eyebrows make them look, which is another reason why Kelly was my favourite – hers are mostly covered.

Just like many Mattel dolls lately, quite a few of the dolls on the shelf had a degree of eye-wonk. I found one which is free from that affliction, but the trade of was sloppy lip paint.

Let me also mention that her head is not vinyl. That’s pretty unusual. It is made of fairly hard plastic, but it’s not shiny. The head has a decent range of motion.

Even more impressive are her leg and arm joints…

She has double-jointed, Made-to-Move-like elbows and knees. Her wrists are also articulated. The arms bend very well, the knees a bit less so. The following photos shows them bent as far as they can go.

She can’t do splits too too well. This is how far her legs go to the sides:

This is how Kelly compares to other dolls height-wise:

I think she could pass as a pre-teen child in comparison to most doll lines, but as I mentioned before, I am not sure if that was the intention, or if she is a young adult doll on a completely different scale – or whether she has an assigned age at all.

It so happens that she can sort of share clothes with Monster High and Ever After High dolls. While Howleen’s leotard has an excessively long torso section…

… more loose-fitting outfits work just fine. Just longer than on the original owners πŸ™‚

As for the shoes, she can borrow boot-style footwear from Ever/Monster High dolls, but not dress shoes or sandals. These need to be borrowed from the Curvy Barbie, especially ones with a raised heel. They all looks slightly awkward, but passable.

Now for some final thoughts…

I feel like “Club Hello Kitty” Kelly is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea at first glance – that’s judging by my own initial uncertainty – but given enough time and exposure, she has a chance to compete with other fashion dolls out there. Her face took me some getting used to, but seeing the overall quality – of the body, the clothes and accessories, the packaging – I believe it is not a case of sloppy design or manufacturing, but rather quirky design. I can most definitely say that this doll is the best value for money I’ve seen perhaps ever (barring some wild discounts) – with fun design, good detail and advanced articulation, all at a price below many a budgets doll. I absolutely recommend her… as long as you like her face or are good at repaints πŸ˜‰

Nobody is paying me to say this, but if you’re interested in this doll line (and read Spanish or use Google Translate or are satisfied with just looking at the photos :)) check out their website famosagroup.com/hellokitty/ especially the ‘Catalogo’ http://famosagroup.com/hellokitty/es/catalogo/ to see other dolls available.

 

 

Made To Move Ariel – the story of a doll come true

Like many doll lovers, I am a fan of My Froggy Stuff. Her crafts are so clever and cute! But for me, one the greatest Froggy inspirations was not strictly a craft, but a custom doll – her Made To Move Ariel. Ever since I laid my eyes on her, I was obsessed. Here is a link to the first video where Ariel first appeared as a re-bodied doll: https://youtu.be/mnxpMOSDVfI . She has been appearing on the channel ever since, even as a part of the Darby Show series, stirring up my envy πŸ˜‰

For a while now, I have been wanting to get one of my own, but it wasn’t easy.

  • The doll Froggy used was a 2014 Classic Disney Store Ariel. This face style is now retired. I would only by satisfied with the 2014 version or the 2013 version, which is very similar.
  • This doll was never available in my country (no Disney Store for me :(), so they are hard to find locally
  • They don’t seem to be especially highly prized on Ebay, but the shipping costs from abroad that I saw usually amounted to quite a lot extra cost.

Finally, a miracle! She appeared on a local bidding service, and really affordable too! Not long after, she was mine πŸ™‚

Well, with a small twist. Unlike the Classic 2013 and 2014 Ariel, her legs are articulated. Her outfit didn’t match any product photos either… but the face was spot on?

Following the number printed on her back…

I learned that she was a part of a really awesome “Little Mermaid” gift set from 2013 – a third viable option I didn’t even know about. If you’re curious about the set, I recommend checking out this picture on Flickr. This user’s photos are an awesome resource for all things Disney Store πŸ™‚

If you’re geeking out about the different Ariel versions from this period as I am, this photo, also from the user drj1828, showing a comparison of the Ariels from 2012 to 2014 might also interest you.

I don’t know where this doll’s substitute bra came from, other than evidently from another Ariel doll, not necessarily Disney Store made:

I quite like it. It’s even more movie-accurate than the original.

The tail is a different story. It’s a little small and just barely closes…

Especially if you try to sit the doll. Then all the secrets spill out:

Like the fact that it originally belonged to a Simba Ariel.

Other than the size problem, I quite like it. It is again pretty movie-accurate in colour, shape and finish. I especially like the fin.

Her hair was in a surprisingly good condition, even retaining the original curl. I only had to comb through it with my fingers and slightly smooth it down on the top of her head. I did not want to use a hairbrush so as not to turn it into a poof.

Most importantly, I am very happy with her face. I don’t claim that this is the objectively best Ariel sculpt in the world, but it is by far my personal favorite. I think she looks cute, curious and sassy πŸ™‚ I also like her big, striking eyes.

Finding the doll was a big step forward, but I also wanted her on a Made to Move Barbie body. The above-mentioned My Froggy Stuff video said that the pink, blonde MtM is the perfect skin tone match for her. The football player is supposed to be her equivalent too, so I ordered one, and… a big fail.

Not even close! Apparently, European, or perhaps Central European MtMs are way darker 😦 Compared to Ariel, she looked like a spray tan accident.

I thought maybe I should keep Ariel as is – after all, she has above-avergage articulation too:

Invisible comb and mirror πŸ˜‰ In fact, this is how close she can get to touching her face. She can kind of touch her head.

She does have a considerable number of joints, but there is something off about this doll’s body…

When she sits, her knees are quite far apart.

Her calves are softer than the upper leg and sort of bendy.

Worst of all, she can’t really stand straight. Her hip joints are loose and she flops back and forth. This would be especially problematic when posing her for photos.

When watching Classic DS dolls reviews, I had heard many a time that their articulated legs are awkward, so much so, some people said they prefer the unarticulated ones (or with the bend and snap, old-Barbie-style rubbery legs, to be precise). It was unfathomable to me. I now understand where they were coming from – this model is very wobbly.

So, there was just one, expensive gamble to make… The Purple Top Made to Move Barbie.

And, it turns out, it works!

To my eye, MtM Lea is pretty much perfect for Ariel. She was unfortunately quadruple the price of the blonde >.< Apparently she is rare now. And I still had to swap their heads without ruining the costly donor…

Lea’s peg was covered in glue when I took it out, but no major damage was done
Removing Ariel’s head was fairly easy

Thankfully, the operation was successful! Let me also mention that, as per Froggy’s advice, I wrapped thin rubber bands around Barbie body’s peg – apparently, it’s too loose otherwise. The trick worked for me. I’m very sorry, but I did not think to take a photo of how it looked. I do recommend the video for that.

Here she is, looking pretty good!

Her Ariel top still fits, but her tail not so much. I think it’s a fair trade off, since it was off from the beginning anyway. I wonder if I should try to resize it or make a new one from scratch?

Made to Move Ariel

Plus, the purple top retains her signature colour πŸ™‚ Now she is a ‘purple top’ Ariel πŸ™‚

When I first saw her, I thought – is her neck supposed to be so long and slim, or did I not push it down all the way? But less then a minute later I was used to it, and it feels just right.

The improvement in articulation is unquestionable, but there was never really a doubt which body is the better one.

Overall, I am ecstatic about the fact that I did not break anything, and about how lovely she looks. I’d like to announce that Ariel will be the doll to travel with me to the seaside this year for a photo shoot πŸ™‚

Also, by a total coincidence, the day I am finally read to post this, My Froggy Stuff has just released a video about yet another Made to Move Ariel πŸ˜€ https://youtu.be/dWzANxsslJc

 

Barbie Fashion & Accessory Pack Haul

It has happened. I have started to give in to collecting Barbies too.

Starting a collection of a new kind of doll usually means starting with nothing clothing-wise. While I have patiently sewn and collected Animator’s and Ever After High outfits over a few years, I have decided to take the easier approach this time and buy a few basics to jump-start my Barbie wardrobe. Let’s see if they live up to expectations!

Note: Due to a problem with my SD card, I have lost nearly all my photos of the accessories still in the package. The above photo only shows a few of the items I will discuss. The remaining items were packaged in a similar style bags with the pink-striped background as well.

But first, let me briefly introduce my today’s model:

I bought this doll on sale for practically next to nothing. I shall call her Tania. I have had her for a couple of months, wondering whether I should give her away as a gift, but I always felt the little girls in my life already have enough blonde Barbies. In the end I decided to harvest her for her clothes and shoes. Every little helps πŸ™‚

It’s a doll from a budget line – as ‘budget’ as it gets. She can’t lift her arms to the side – only up and down – and she can’t nod her head ‘yes’, only ‘no’ – to the sides. Despite that, and the fact that she is a fairly generic blonde Barbie, she has a very sweet smile πŸ™‚

Her dress is made of a t-shirt-like fabric. It has a velcro-type closure in the back. Unfortunately, the print is only in the front, the back is solid black.

Her shoes were not visible in the box, so it was an unboxing-time surprise. They are very… sweet – they look like they came straight from the Fairytopia line – and perhaps they did. Probably not very useful with modern-style outfits, but hey, they might come in handy one day:

Now, to give her some new options!

Barbie Career Teacher Fashion Pack (DNT92)

POSITIVE:

+ the pattern on the shirt goes all around

+ the top closes with a velcro (so you don’t have to squeeze the doll in)

+ the skirt is ‘denim’ all over as well

+ feels well made

+ cute glasses and books

NEGATIVE:

– the skirt is a little bulky around the hips on the classic Barbie

Comments: I bought the set because I especially dislike sewing tops, and because I like the collar. It is to be expected, but the white ‘shirt’ is sewn into the top. The books don’t open, but they still make for pretty cool props. The skirt doesn’t have a velcro, only an elastic waist-band.

 

Barbie Dolphin Magic Tropical Set Fashion Pack (FBD85)

POSITIVE:

+ classic, realistic cut

+ cute opalescent pattern

+ closes with a Velcro

+ fun accessories

NEGATIVE:

– the swimsuit is not elastic at all and it doens’t fit very well

– the print is only in the front

– the swimsuit was pinned to the cardboard and the tabs left little holes in the fabric

– the velcro gets caught in the fabric and leaves marks in it easily

Comments: The bottle of the sunscreen bottle has a ‘peg’ that fits Barbie furniture with corresponding indentations (so as not to move or fall). It also has a loop that fits around the doll’s finger. Both these features are handy, but they also detract from the realism. The puppy is too unrealistic for my liking, but it is vinyl-like to touch and overall well-made.

 

Barbie Fashion Pack, Pink Plaid Shirt (DMB38)

I have no idea why it’s called ‘pink’, it’s definitely more red πŸ™‚

POSITIVE:

+ feels pretty well-made

+ made from cotton fabric

+ the pattern continues to the back

+ realistic cut and pattern

Comment: I hesitate to name any negatives, but I will say what would fit my taste a little better: I think the shirt should have the closure in the front, not the back, then it could be worn undone. It is also slightly more loose-fitting than I imagined, but it’s not objectively a problem.

 

Barbie Fashion Pack, Heather Heart Tank (DMB36)

POSITIVE:

+ trendy, contemporary look

+ fastens in the back

NEGATIVE

– slight defects in the hem

– not as well-fitted as I expected

– a little bit short

 

Barbie Fashion Dress – Sweet Casual Dress (DNT81)

POSITIVE:

+ feels well-made

+ velcro-type closure for easy dressing

+ pattern continues all around, the stripes align neatly

+ really brightens up the doll!

NEGATIVE:

– the ‘belt’ is only in the front

 

Comment: I wasn’t initially going to buy this dress because dresses – especially sleeveless ones – are relatively easy to sew. Since this one has a t-shirt top, I made an exception. I’m so glad I did! It’s so lovely and joyful-looking πŸ™‚

Barbie Accessories Original & Petite Doll Shoe Pack (FCR92)

POSITIVE:

+ a nice collection of basics for a decent price

NEGATIVE:

– …except for the orange ones, I don’t really need those πŸ™‚

– could use a touch of paint

– why put flat and high-heeled shoes in one pack? What if I only have one type of Barbie?

 

Comment: I thought the white sneakers were for the high-heeled foot type, but they really have flat soles – in case someone was wondering.

Barbie Accessories Curvy & Tall Doll Shoe Pack (FCR93)

POSITIVE:

+ again, an affordable boost to your Barbie shoes collection

NEGATIVE:

– again: lack painted details

Β – again: a mixture of flats and heels

Comment: Why areΒ there separate shoes for Curvy and Tall Barbie? It turns out there is a slight difference. They are slightly big on the Classic Barbie – which is OK, the manufacturer did their best to warn me πŸ˜‰ The shoes are still usable just not as snug-fitting.

Barbie Fashion Accessory Pack, Pink and Red (DHC55)

POSITIVE:

+ nice sculpted details

+ cute designs

NEGATIVE:

– mixture of flats and heels

Comment:Β Because I really like the shapes and textures of these items, the lack of painted details doesn’t bother me with this pack. I love the red boots and I definitely wanted some girly flats in my collection. I only wish they had skipped the pom-poms. I’m not a huge fan of the bracelet and the necklace, but it’s highly subjective.

* * *

This concludes my Barbie haul.

D’oh! I forgot to order a pair of jeans 😦 I guess I will have to do some sewing after all.

Overall, I am pretty pleased. My most pleasant surprise was how much I enjoy the yellow-blue-and-white dress. I really like the teacher set as well. My biggest disappointment was the swimsuit. I might have still bought it even if I knew its downsides because I have something special in mind for it, but it feels the most flimsy out of all the items.

It seems to me that Barbie clothes and accessories are more affordable then they used to be – or perhaps I have learned to find better deals online – but the cost of a decent wardrobe starter is still high. Normally I would choose to spend the money on a new doll, but going for the outfits lets me skip the sewing part – which is a chore πŸ˜‰ – and get straight to the photography part – where the real fun is for me πŸ™‚ And that’s a good deal.

The Ruby Red Barbie Fashionista

After discovering highly articulated dolls, I never thought I’d ever again be interested in any other kind. However, whenever I saw the “Ruby Red” Fashionista – usually online – I thought she looked lovely and that I should adopt her – eventually. Maybe I could put her on a Made to Move body? – I thought. Alas, the “purple top” MtM doll with the corresponding skin tone is both rare and now extra pricey. So I stalled.

This particular doll in the photos was the last one that I’ve been seeing in ‘offline’ shops in my area. Articulation or no articulation, I knew I’d be sad to one day find out that they are no longer available. I put my joint-count prejudice aside and let me take her home and love her for what she is.

According to the packaging, she is a part of the 2015 series of Fashionista dolls. She is definitely my favourite among the listed ones, although I also quite like number 23 and 25 (click here for a bigger image).

I was surprised how fun it was to open the doll (aside from the excess plastic tabs :)). I had not opened a Barbie doll in yeeeaars πŸ™‚ A lot has changed, but there is a familiar feel to the experience.

Out of the box, her bangs were gelled stiff (above) and her hair overall messy, so I gave her a wash at once (below).

Here is the back, before and after. Never mind the tab through the skull. They are used to it πŸ™‚

I feel like she would benefit from a quick trim too, but I haven’t had the courage so far.

Upon seeing her face to face, I do think her face is lovely:

It’s a kind of a simple, classy look. It is certainly in good harmony with her outfit. Her right eye might be a tad higher than the other one, but it’s nothing distracting. I knew I’d take her over a blind online purchase any day.

I also really like the way she looks with her hair tied – except it’s kind of hard to make a bun that will actually hold:

Speaking of her outfit, I pretty much love everything about it! Give it to me in human size and I’ll totally wear it πŸ™‚

Actually-wearable-if-life-sized fashions are a relatively new development in the Barbie world. From my childhood, I remember everything being pink and either puffy, or glittery or iridescent. I really can’t decide which style I like better in dolls. Each has a very different appeal.

I think this dress looks cute and classy, and the colours are well matched. I like the pattern, too. My only complaint is that the skirt part and the collar aren’t hemmed. They also took the easy route and the sleeves aren’t separate pieces – but they look fine anyway. Sometimes I take the same shortcut when sewing, so I’d better not criticise too harshly πŸ™‚ The dress is one piece, but I would expect it to be.

Oh, and there is a slight mistake with the collar which makes it curl up, but I can live with it.

Lea – which I believe is this character’s name – wears a bunch of white bracelets…

And simple black mary-jane flats:

…which let her stand on her own on smooth surfaces.

I love these shoes as well πŸ™‚ They aren’t necessarily flawlessly sculpted, but I do love this style – for toddler dolls, for adult dolls, for myself! I think they are cute and girly. I see them as a playful reference to school uniforms, but my love for this style started with Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland.

(I didn’t like the film as a kid, it was too trippy. But I did like the shoes)

Alice In Wonderland Disney Joy Pinterest Alice

I’m very happy to own a pair of similar ones for Lea and my future Barbie-sized dolls.

To accommodate these flats, Lea’s feet are flat as well – as in, no high heels for her. Other than that, I believe she is a classic body type – although it didn’t say on the box.

Her legs move front and back, and slightly to the side. So do her arms – except the range is greater in each direction. Her head moves pretty much any way you want it to, except, like most dolls I own, you can’t lower her chin quite as much as I’d like to.

 

There are a few aspects about the Ruby Red Fashionista that do whisper “budget doll”. Her limited articulation is perhaps the most painful one when it comes to doll photography – the number of possible poses really is small. At the same time, I am fully aware that advanced range of motion has been the exception rather than the rule with Barbie, and you simply have to decide if Barbie is your thing nonetheless. If you don’t expect this Fashionista to be something that she wasn’t meant to be (which at first was a challenge for me) she has enough to offer: a good design and a lot of charm.

If I ever do find her a Made to Move body it would be great. If not, she’s been a great source of fun even as mere eye candy πŸ™‚