EAH Bunny to Bunny head swap

Bunny Blanc re-headed

Not long ago I bought one of the recent dolls from Ever After High – The Archery Club Bunny Blanc. I did it specifically because I liked her reboot face more than the original:

Signature Bunny Blanc (left) vs Archery Club Bunny Blanc (right)

However, I found everything else to be far superior on the original release, and that including her body…

My intention from the start was to swap the heads on these two. I had never swapped heads before, so I was certainly a little nervous! I tried finding some advice online. I did find a few photos and videos, but all in all, I feel like nothing out there can thoroughly guide you through the process. You need to feel it for yourself to judge how much force you need to apply, and wiggle things around until the head comes off.

Nonetheless, here are a few tips that may make the process a little easier:

  • Carefully heating the head will soften it – some people recommend using a hair dryer, or putting the doll in a plastic bag and dipping her head down in very warm water (I went with the latter method)
  • Try removing the head from the ‘bad’ body first – the body is more likely to break (the parts inside the neck) than the head, so you probably want start with the poorer body for practice
  • This is what the neck peg looks for Ever after High. See the plastic getting white from the strain? These are the most endangered parts. Also, it is these thin prongs that you will need to somehow wiggle out through the narrow neck hole, probably one at a time.

 

EAH neck peg

I make it sound scary, huh? It was a little scary for me, but many people do this regularly with no casualties ๐Ÿ™‚ Pulling the head off is the difficult part. Slipping the new head on isn’t much of an issue.

Overall, everything went well for me – hurray!

Personally, I feel like this Bunny face-up is the prettiest and the most true to her character so far. I was expecting to see lots of head swaps with it, but I couldn’t find a single photo online. I do have a theory now why it may be so. Unfortunately, the skin tone match between the two dolls I used isn’t perfect:

Her body has a peachy undertone, and her face has a cool bluish undertone. The difference is easily noticeable when you look for it, but I feel like it isn’t particularly distracting otherwise. She kind of looks like some of us look like with make-up on, maybe? The difference is also less clear when she has her arms down, the white fluff of her vest obscures her neck.

Another thing worth taking into account is that her new head is slightly smaller, and her headband sits more loosely. If you move the doll it may slide off, but it stays on fine on display on the shelf.

Finally, the Archery head doesn’t have her ears pierced. I have seen a tutorial suggesting that it is possible to pierce them yourself, and I’m considering it. Frankly, though, her earring were never all that visible to begin with, so I’m not in a huge rush.

Overall, the re-headed Bunny is not perfect because of the slight colour discrepancy. It also bugs me that I reward the manufacturer’s mistakes with both releases by buying not one, but two dolls! But all in all, I feel like the resulting doll looks very much like the doll we deserved in the first place – both sweet like her character and properly articulated. A slight mismatch or not, I do enjoy her in this form way more than any of her official releases.

P.S. I almost forgot! This is what she would look like in her Archery clothes:

 

 

 

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EAH “Archery Club” Bunny Blanc: Review & Comparison

Archery Club Bunny Blanc

Archery Club Bunny Blanc with her bow

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:

Bunny Blanc box

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.

EAH Archery Club Bunny Blanc

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Which release does it better? Will have a look at both later ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Signature Bunny Blanc vs. Archery Club Bunny Blanc

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think about the latest releases from Ever After High? Also, stay tuned for the upcoming Bunny-to-Bunny head-swap ๐Ÿ™‚

Bunny Blanc, the Cute and Friendly Witch!

Doll collectors do not play with dolls. But they do maaaybe change their doll’s clothes for fun from time timeย  ๐Ÿ™‚ Recently, when I was mixing outfits between my Ever After High dolls, I noticed that Bunny dressed in Cerise’s cloak and hood looks somewhat like Wendy the Witch (a character I didn’t even know I remembered until that moment). I decided to expand on this association and celebrate this Halloween by turning Bunny into a witch – but she’s too cute to be scaryย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I made her a hat and a few magical accessories. To be fair, opting for a hat instead of the hood left her resemblance to Wendy significantly lessened, but I guess that’s OK.

I cannot entirely explain my inclination to dress the doll in jeans and a t-shirt. I know this isn’t proper witch attire, but I was visually pleased with this combination and it stuck. I guess the modern touch is in keeping with the spirit of Ever After High, where fairytale legacy meets fashion every day. Speaking of the series, perhaps we’ve finally found someone willing to poison Apple White so that her story can go on?

Normally Bunny would never consider poisoning anyone, but perhaps she would understand that it simply has to be done if she were in Apple’s shoes… Oh wait, she isย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Just kidding, though, Bunny is too damn cute to be a real witch, she’s just cosplayingย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I must admit that I wasn’t entirely pleased with colour balance in some of these photos, and had trouble trying to remedy the situation. In my defense, I had to work in quite distracting conditions…

haunter

That’s what I get for doing the work last minute on a night like this.

Have a spellbinding Halloweenย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Meet Bunny Blanc

Meet Bunny Blanc, a very exciting new addition to my collection.

Bunny Blanc & blackboard.jpg

She is a Mattel doll from the Ever After High brand, and definitely something different for me.

Ever After High?

Until recently, I knew next to nothing about Ever After High. I had seen the logo somewhere, but I assumed it was a part of the Monster High brand (because they are undead… so they live for-ever after..?). Then I saw an EAH doll for the first time at Christmas, because my niece received Apple White from the series as a gift. When I asked about her, my sister-in-law explained that the character was the daughter of Snow White, at which point I assumed it had something to do with the Disney film ‘Descendants’. It doesn’t, strictly speaking.

Ever After High is not licensed by Disney, but Mattel is no doubt counting on us making the association – EAH dolls are introduced by their packages as the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, the son of Alice, the daughter of Beauty and the Beast, etc. Perhaps the Disney fan in me should be offended at such cunning, but it’s not. I applaud Mattel’s intelligence in basing their characters on traditional fairytales, as everyone is free to do, but implicitly invoking a Disney feel. More importantly, I think they are simply doing a wonderful job design-wise. According to the article “The $500 Million Battle Over Disneyโ€™s Princesses: How Hasbro grabbed the lucrative Disney doll business from Mattel” the move to create Ever After High was apparently forced by the loss of Disney princess license. Unlike the author of the article, I believe that the limiting circumstances worked out for good and fostered unique creativity. Disney princesses may indeed be better from Hasbro, but their (sort of illegitimate) offspring shines coming from Mattel!

Back to Bunny…

I pretty much had no interest in dolls other than the Animators’ Collection until I saw an online photo of Bunny Blanc in her basic rendition. She was unlike any other doll I’d ever seen with her smart look mixed with a steampunk feel. Soon I knew I wanted her. Sometime at the begging of May I saw her in a local toy shop and took her home with me.

Bunny Blanc box

You may have to take my word for it, but the box states that she is the daughter of the White Rabbit – presumably the one from Alice in Wonderland. I do not want to know how that happened, but I do like the result.

Writings on the box are not the only thing which makes the product available in these parts of Europe (Poland in my case) different from what I initially saw online. On the negative side, the doll is missing the collar and pink scarf piece seen in the drawing, which does appear in the original release. That is sad news, but I decided to buy the doll anyway. On the more positive side – while many people find the doll’s eyes wonky – and I can see why – but I wonder if perhaps my version is somewhat less crazy-eyed, if not perfect. What do you think?

bunny blanc face & eyes.jpg

You may have noticed that her hair looks different in the above photo and in the box. Straight out of the box it was stiff and sticky, but thankfully it’s very easy to get in order. Just wash and let dry, no styling required.

I love many of the details on this doll. I think it was the boots that captured my attention at first. Whatever I could say, this picture will say it better:

bunny blanc boots.jpg

I will comment on the details, though. Notice how intricate they are. The white part is textured like leather, and the black part has numbers printed on it. The heel is sculpted like an hourglass. Both shoes are topped with bunny tails. My localised version doesn’t have them painted white as it should, but it’s OK, I’ll take care of that.

Bunny blanc boots hourglass.jpg

Her other accessories are related to the theme of time as well. Her purse is a clock, and in fact, the only way you can tell that it’s a purse is by the zipper on top. (Also note the key in the background below- it’s a brush. Most EAH dolls come with one of these.)

Bunny Blanc purse.jpg

Bunny's purse reverse.jpg

There is a clock on Bunny’s top hat too. The hat is attached to a headband with bunny ears. I’m not sure if the ears are a fashion accessory or if they are supposed to be genuine, living bunny ears in the doll world. The hat has the same design as the shoes.

I half-expected that the clock being gold all over is another omission, but it’s not. In fact, it’s the same even in the Ever After High cartoon. Nonetheless, I am tempted to repaint it to give it more detail.

Bunny Blanc's top hat.jpg

Time and clocks imagery is also present in the dress:

Bunny's dress.jpg

I like the colours. They complement the blacks and whites, but without disrupting the smart look. The skirt is asymmetrical- longer on the left, shorter on the right. It all consists of one piece – the skirt, the top and the vest are all connected.

I love her gloves and cuffs – so smart, so cute! The fingers look very graceful. One of the cuffs has a watch attached. It’s another element which I’m tempted to paint, but I am concerned it might overcrowd the outfit with too much detail.

Bunny Blanc gloves.jpg

Another feature which I’m very excited about is the doll’s articulation. She is articulated all over! Even her knees twist to the sides. The only part which I could imagine being articulated but isn’t is her waist. So much posability creates a lot of creative possibility in photography ๐Ÿ™‚

The doll can’t stand on her own – unless you balance her very, very carefully and stop breathing in her proximity, but she comes with a nice-looking stand.

Bunny Blanc with stand.jpg

In short, I love the design of this doll. There are many wonderful details – almost too many, yet they work together in a fantastically whimsical way. The colours are so much different from what you usually see on play dolls, more mature, but not at all boring. She ins’t perhaps the most versatile model for sewing due to her statement accessories – bold boots and black gloves, but perhaps as in the case of Mattel, the limitations may prove to be a springboard to unique ideas. That, or I can swap her hands and accessories with another EAH doll ๐Ÿ™‚

I was about to finish the photo session with some more creative photos featuring Bunny, but, alas, my camera broke in the process! This is by no means the doll’s fault, though ๐Ÿ™‚ My camera, the Fuji XF1, has unfortunately been known to be susceptible to a lens control error. It’s the second time it has happened to this camera, unfortunately this time it’s no longer on warranty ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But fear not, I can’t live without a camera, so I’ve already found a replacement. This means there will definitely be more photos, of Bunny Blanc and otherwise.

Look at the time! I’ve got to go ๐Ÿ™‚