Archery Club Bunny Blanc
Signature Bunny Blanc was my first Ever After High doll. She captivated me with her unique design, colour scheme and personality. A lot of time seems to have passed since then, and a lot seems to have changed in Ever After High. Let’s see what the latest release of this character has to offer!
Shall we start with the packaging? It is in many ways similar to the older one:
The common themes are the purple-to-red gradient and peach-toned background. What’s different is the background print – now featuring an archery target and arrows. Neither packaging strikes me as a masterpiece, but the original looks perhaps slightly more finished. Another difference lies in the shape. While the former was more boxy, the new one is more of a blister with a slanted front:
The back of the blister introduces us to other characters in the line:
I have seen some beautiful box art with EAH, but this is neither really good or really bad.
The important part is of course the doll – straight out of the box:
Note that there is no stand included in the set. This one was generously lent by another Royal.
Her strongest aspect is probably her face, arguably the best one on Bunny so far.
I do think she looks sweet and friendly, much like she does in the show, and she is not cross-eyed! For me, that’s a straight up upgrade 🙂 However, having red and watched numerous reviews, I am aware that this point is up for debate. Some think it’s great, some think there is too little resemblance to the old one. Some even think she looks like an elderly lady 🙂 Which release does it better? Will have a look at both later 🙂
There is a very slight smudge of dark paint near her left eye.
The hair is gelled stiff. I’m not particularly bothered by that – unlike the ‘glue-headed’ dolls from a few years ago, the hair can be easily restored to full glory with a simple wash – and I certainly will do just that.
Her headband has a fairly nice sculpt, unfortunately, it is lacking any painted details whatsoever 😦 The details resemble a wreath of leaves and a pocket watch.
Next up is her outfit. Unfortunately, I can’t that I’m impressed this time around…
Her dress is the plainest piece of fabric I’ve ever seen on an Ever after High doll. It is very loosely in-keeping with Bunny’s theme, but only through the general minty colour. The floral design looks un-inspired and the cut is nearly the simplest it can be. As an amateur sewist I can confirm that sleeveless dresses are one of the simplest options to make, so, whenever I can, I like to buy toys with more elaborate clothes. Even I can make something that looks like this.
Worse still, the pattern only goes halfway to the back!
I cannot be persuaded to believe that Mattel is too poor to make a dress with pattern all over it. The dolls are not at all cheap enough to make up for this, too. This does upset me. Not even knock offs do this, to the best of my knowledge.
If there is a positive, it would be this chest-piece. It could certainly use some paint, and the choice of colour is questionable, but the sculpt itself is very intricate. I do see a decent design with a lot of potential for customization. As it is out of the box, it isn’t enough to help the overall impression by a lot, though.
We now come to perhaps the most hated aspect of recent EAH releases – the infamous moulded on leggings. I must say I agree. Not only are they the same garish, un-Bunny colour, they also have protruding sculpted details. This means it would be extra hard to cover them up with fabric tights or leggings. I think I could potentially get over moulded tights if they were smooth and a more gentle colour, but the real stuff is of course the best option.
I’m conflicted about her shoes… They are not what I wanted to see, and not something I needed in my collection. Once again, they lack any painted detail. On the other hand, I guess they aren’t ugly…
I think they are fine in themselves, but they do not really fit the character or the theme. I mean, yes, there are many floral accents in the outfit, but I’m not yet convinced they make sense.
The shoes may still see some use from me in a more fantasy-themed stylisation. Even in that case, I still have one point of criticism for them: while they are overall floral and delicate, the heavy wedge detracts from the dainty feel.
The shoes feel soft rubbery, perhaps slightly more so than the signature Bunny’s.
Bunny’s bow completes her collection of light pink, unpainted accessories:
They certainly tried to give it some style with intricate carvings. The hourglasses and the cute bunny tail do indicate that this is Bunny’s own property. This time around, I wish it was a little simpler and more versatile, but this is totally just my inclination to re-use and share accessories between dolls speaking.
Are you curious what her pink-purple legs look like, all clothes removed? I sure was.
It looks odd, given my knowledge of how tights and underwear work, but I suppose it’s best not to dwell on this.
As far as articulation goes, this doll has a reduced number of joints. The legs don’t bend, and they have a smaller range of motion to the sides. They do move all the way forward and slightly to the back. The arms and elbows move all the normal ways you might expect them to. The wrists are an exception, with no joints they obviously don’t move at all.
The joints in the arms were a little stiff, but overall functional. The head is as usual,with movement to the sides as well as up and down.
She can also hold her bow:
Before I got started on my comparison section, I thought it was only fair that I wash her hair, since my signature Bunny also has had hers washed. In the process I noticed that she looks absolutely adorable when wet! 🙂
I also noticed she looks very pretty, and somehow more mature, with her bangs swept off her face:
I really like her in this style!
With a little shaking, patting and waiting, she was soon all dry & ready. Despite the wash, the hair maintained the general shape and style, and that’s probably a positive.
Archery Club Bunny Blanc vs. Signature Bunny Blanc
Let’s see how the new Bunny compares to the original.
Looking at both doll side by side, there are two major things that strike me. First, the colours on the new one are more saturated and toy-like. The second observation is that the Archery bunny’s face is much easier on the eyes…
I had always known that signature Bunny has a problem with her eye print, but until I had another to compare, the problem was somehow less striking. Now there is no escaping the fact that she is wall-eyed.
The two dolls do have quite a different appearance for being the same character. The eye-colour is the same and even the make-up is almost identical – even though it didn’t have to be. It’s like they want to stress the continuity in the face of the new developments. The eye shape and the face-shape are very different, with a different expression, in a way that almost suggest a different personality or attitude. Personally, I think the changes are for the best. The new Bunny may be unlike her previous doll selves, but she seems more true to her character from the series.
Notice also that there is a slight difference in the skin tone. The Archery doll has more blue undertones.
Neither doll is flawless when it comes to rooting, but I think that the archer girl (here on the left) is looking a little better:
Her hair is also more shiny. It is also a tad more soft and overall very nice to touch.
Moving onto their accessories, let’s have a look at their hairbands. They are quite similar in the general shape. The older one obviously looks more finished with four colours vs. just solid pink for the new one. Both have a nice sculpt: the top hat suits Bunny’s style perfectly, but the simpler and more organic band on the right also has its place – it will go better with a different kind of outfit. I plan to paint in some details and use both as appropriate.
Next up I intended to compare their dresses, but their isn’t much room for comparison…
Not only because of the far superior design on the left, but also because the one on the right isn’t much of a dress to begin with 😦
The shoes are very different too, but I do not hesitate to say that the black and white boots are far better. They are designed to suit the doll’s personality. They complement the outfit. They have painted details (but note that I painted in the bunny tails myself). They were actually a big part of why I wanted to own this doll. The pink shoes do little more than prevent the doll from hitting her toes on rocks and furniture, and perhaps providing hope for a better use in the future with a different outfit.
While the dolls share the same petite figure, there is a big difference in articulation (with the original having full number of typical Ever After High joints).
Interestingly, both dolls have one irremovable item of clothing each. While the gloves are smaller, they still can get in the way of designing new looks. On the other hand, they are overall a positive accent in the original design, as opposed to the garish leggings that don’t even work that well with the doll’s out-of-the-box look. Bottom line, the hands are removable – did you know that Draculaura’s hands fit & match Bunny Blanc just right?
Let’s wrap it all up.
Neither Bunny is perfect, both of them have their strengths. The signature doll is definitely a richer and more sophisticated design. The Archery Club doll could perhaps be excused for being simpler, since she is supposed to be a budget doll, but I’m not even certain it’s fair, since the prices so far are very close (at least in my area). My conclusion on the price point aspect will be that I can understand a reduced number of accessories, but I do think the ones she does have deserve more attention than this. Finally, looking back to older budget lines, like the Mirror Beach, the ‘budgets’ in the past have been altogether more interesting – unless of course you’re an avid archery fan.
Signature Bunny Blanc was a great doll with a major flaw – a distracting face-paint defect. She was overall an imperfect doll worth having. The Archery Line Bunny can proudly claim decent execution of an unimpressive design. Her biggest strength is her lovely, show accurate face, and frankly, that’s why I bought her… to be a head-donor 🙂
What do you think about the latest releases from Ever After High? Also, stay tuned for the upcoming Bunny-to-Bunny head-swap 🙂