Mulan in the gardens

Springtime continues, and so do opportunities for many pleasant walks in the nature ( I’d probably miss most of them, if I wasn’t motivated by my dolls).

Still in the botanical garden, I found a spot that suited Mulan quite well.

It was a peaceful day with very few people in the garden, which I certainly appreciated. The sun was gorgeous too, but sometimes a challenge as well – too much direct sunlight and the doll’s lashes cast very dramatic shadows. (This picture, I felt, was still OK, but many had to be discarded)

I really wanted a photo of Mulan looking up from her fan, but I couldn’t quite get it right. This is the next best thing I was able to achieve – not what I had in mind, but I kind of like it anyway 🙂

The ground was not only covered with petals, it was overgrown with moss –  nature kindly provided doll-sized ‘grass’ for me 🙂

I hadn’t been to the botanical garden for years prior to this spring, and I didn’t realise it even had a Torii gate, which made the setting even better! By the time I discovered it, my camera battery had already died, but agreed to start back on for a few more pictures, as if understanding the gravity of the situation 😉 I would have been inconsolable otherwise.

The sign said that this was a Japanese gate… but perhaps Mulan is travelling?

Having rediscovered the botanical gardens makes me want to come back again soon. Different sections had a different feel about them. On the other hand, some cityscapes would be a nice change, if only I can find the courage to take a doll to a place that public. I really want to, but it’s an internal battle 🙂

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re all enjoying spring and enjoying your dolls 🙂

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Hasbro Royal Collection Deluxe Mulan

I gladly say that, in my opinion, Disney Store makes the best Disney Princess dolls there are. However, I have to say I have found an exception. I think Mulan dolls by Hasbro are better depictions of the character, and this one is the most elaborate of them all so far:

Now, if you already know you like this doll, you should know that at the time of posting this, the doll is on sale for 10,78 USD from 29,99 USD on Amazon.com (it is an Amazon Exclusive), so feel free to drop the reading and go buy her immediately :). If you’re not so sure, perhaps this review will help you decide whether she is worth adding to the collection. Oh, and perhaps I should mention I’m not paid to say any of that – I thought I’d share what I think is a cool find 🙂

My package traveled very far very fast, and unfortunately the box cracked in transit. That’s not a huge problem, since I was going to unbox her anyway. It is a very pretty box, though, that I think in-box collectors will appreciate:

I certainly appreciated the lovely images that looked very true to the animation.

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This is the first Hasbro doll in my collection. I must say that when it comes to the unboxing process, it was every bit as tedious as with other brands. Countless, countless tiny tabs, there is always at least one more hiding when you think you got them all. On the positive side, if you want her shipped to Mars, she won’t budge in her box.

At first glance, I’d say Mulan looks very sophisticated and overall gives an impression of nice quality.

She has a face that is reminiscent of the animated style of the film, finished off with ‘real’ eyelashes:

She is wearing removable earrings and a lovely crown with a lotus flower. The crown is attached with both a comb and some thread, for good measure. I am uncertain how well it will stay on with the thread removed.

Her hair is styled. Nothing extremely complicated, but just elaborate enough. She has some green tinsel in her black hair – this, I’m not a fan of…

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The hair is long, it reaches well beyond her hips. It is smooth and completely free from any styling product.

Her dress, a ‘hanfu’, I would (ignorantly) assume, is made of satin-like material, printed with flowers and some glitter accents. The blue and red middle section is permanently attached to the dress (unlike the sheer, light blue shawl, in other pictures – after you remove the one last hidden tab, that is).

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The sleeves are quite impressive:

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Her shoes are not quite as thrilling – they basically scream ‘playline!’:

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They are on an incline, but without a heel or a platform – it’s like she’s wearing flats and standing on the tips of her toes.

There is a two-toned fan that she can hold on her own. I think it’s a very nice accessory:

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Finally, the set includes a stand. Like the shoes, the stand looks kind of childish, but is nonetheless a welcome and practical addition. It’s going to be neccessary, given the shape of her shoe-soles.

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That concludes the list of accessories. Now onto her articulation! She has articulated elbows and wrists, which I believe is an upgrade over the classic Hasbro princesses. Unfortunately, the joints do not allow the arms to bend nowhere near a 90 degree angle:

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The knees do not bend at all, the legs are just solid plastic. The legs do go to the sides a bit, as above, and front and back, as seen below.

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The articulation is, therefore, mixed. Even an internal knee joint would have allowed the doll to sit on chairs with a semblance of grace; no such luck. The arms, although limited as to the angle of movement, do allow just enough poses to make photography options more varied.

Since Mulan is my only Hasbro doll, I was wondering what kind of clothes that I already have might fit her. Supergirl’s outfit (DC Superhero Girls) fits, but that’s not really a viable option:

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Original Barbie clothes sort of fit, with some room to spare:

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Now, Petite Barbie clothes fit really nicely!

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Barbie shoes are definitely too small, but some Ever After High / Monster High shoes can be squeezed on – if you don’t mind that she’s levitating a tad:

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EAH / MH clothes, however, are way too tight. So much so, there are no images available 🙂

Finally, let’s talk about the overall impressions.

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Unlike e.g. Disney Store Limited Edition dolls (but perhaps somewhat like their Special Edition releases), I feel like this Deluxe doll by Hasbro is intended for children, but perhaps as an extra special gift. This is of course no reason not to buy one for the collection! When it comes to her appearance, I don’t think she is lacking in any way at all. Her ‘compromise’ of an articulation gives away that she isn’t as top notch as she could possibly be, but it is her shoes and the overly sweet and childish-looking stand confirm in my mind that she was meant for a younger audience. And that’s fine – after all, adults shouldn’t have all of the Disney fun.

Is she then worth her price? She is beyond a doubt worth her discounted price. When it comes to the full price – close to 30 USD – I think she should have the full articulation to fully deserve it. That said, it won’t matter if she’ll make you happy with her striking looks alone, especially for those who decide to keep her in her lovely box.

Personally, I think she looks beautiful and have no regrets 🙂

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