Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review of the 2015 Bratz

I told myself I wouldn't buy one of these.

My initial reactions to the new, revamped 2015 Bratz line were negative.  Their proportions looked weird to me.  Their heads and feet are now even bigger in relation to their super-short torsos, which makes their bodies look even more disproportionate than they used to.  It makes them look less human and more alien ... or, if I want to give it a nice spin, it makes them look more "fairy-like."  Yeah, that sounds nicer.  Let's go with that. 

Yet there were some things I liked about the new dolls.  Against my better judgement I ended up buying one anyway, because I was dying to see one up close and review it.  A couple of years ago, I was gushing about how awesome the Bratz were, so despite my initial negative view of the 2015 collection, I wanted to give them another chance.

I chose the only pink-haired lady, because I have a weakness for cotton candy-colored hair.  The hair is really nice.  It's soft and doesn't feel cheap or stiff.  This particular doll is called #SelfieSnaps Cloe.  Yes, they actually put the hashtag in there, apparently because every single thing made for the under-25 crowd has to have a hashtag now. 

I've come to the conclusion I like to see her standing more than sitting, because when she sits, it's painfully obvious how short her torso is compared to her um ... generous head size.  She CAN stand on her own ... barely.  I have a feeling that some Bratz won't be able to stand and some will, and it'll be completely dependent on what kind of shoes she's wearing.  Not that she HAS to be able to stand.  There are a million brands of doll that can't stand on their own, but are wonderful to buy, anyway.  (*Cough* Barbie *Cough.*)  I just thought I'd mention it. 

She CAN sit nicely, because she has bending knees.  I love this!  It's one of the few features on the new line that I really, genuinely love.  The knees have simple, hinge joints and when you bend them, they hold their position quite nicely.  Her arms are not articulated, though, so they pretty much just hang in this awkward position no matter whether she's standing or sitting.  Really, elbow joints would have made such a huge difference.  Sigh.

I was also disappointed to see that she can barely look up or down, mainly only side-to-side.  If you try to make her look up, the head moves barely a centimeter, and then only if you force it.

This one came with a knit hat cut in an unusual, elfin shape.  It's like a cute little Smurf hat.  I'm not sure why the hat is so much taller on one end.  Are hats like this trendy now?  I have no idea.  It makes me want to sit in my rocking chair and scream for people to get off my lawn.  I like the hat, though, and the fabric is soft and a nice quality. 

She also came with black eyeglasses.  I love that!  They have plastic lenses, but the lenses look a little foggy.  I wasn't digging how she looked in her glasses at first, but the more I look at her in them, the more I like them.  I'm glad they're eyeglasses and not the more predictable sunglasses that every fashion doll seems to have.

All the new Bratz dolls come with a bunch of accessories, which is kind of fun.  This one came with a cell phone, and the phone has two different cases you can put it in:  one that looks like a pig (cute!) and one with a bow on it.  The blue hair brush she comes with is hulky and awkward-looking, with the shape of lips on the backside and super-thick plastic bristles.  I would rather have seen a comb than this chunky thing.  The rest of the accessories are less interesting.  The necklaces are cheap-looking and don't look good on the doll.  The clutch purse is unattractive, and doesn't open.

I do like the clothes on this one and indeed, the whole line.  One of the strengths of the 2015 Bratz is that their clothes are pretty nicely-designed and look good, in my opinion.  They're sewn and finished like typical play doll clothes, but they're cute and the fabrics used are decent. 

I really like the shoes on #SelfieSnaps Cloe.  You can't go wrong with winged shoes, ya know?  The feet are still detachable, like previous Bratz incarnations, but when the shoes are this adorable, I don't mind.  The details on the shoes are great.

Despite the positive things I've said here, I'm still not sold on this new line of Bratz dolls.  The proportions still bug me, although I can see getting used to them after a while.  I think they would have been really nice dolls if only their torsos were larger/longer in proportion to their heads, or their heads and feet were shrunk again to their pre-2015 sizes.  I just don't understand why MGA Entertainment felt the heads and feet needed to be even bigger.  I can't imagine a board meeting where they would have gathered to discuss how to refresh the line, only to say, "I know what will save the line. ... Let's make the head and feet EVEN BIGGER!!!  And we'll give all the dolls iPhones."  (*Sound of applause and pats on the back.*) 

Um, no.  Just no. 

My other criticism is that I see they're pushing the same four characters all over again.  They released several different variations of Cloe, several different variations of Yasmin, several different vari ... you get the picture.  I wouldn't want 10 different variations of the same character, particularly if I already had better versions of those same characters from a few years ago.  Hasbro is currently doing that with the My Little Pony toys, and although it sold well at first, it's now killing the line (pushing endless minor variations of the same six characters over and over again).  I liked this pink-haired doll because she was different, when every one of their other Cloes all looked more or less the same in hair and eye color, but with minor variations.  MGA does have a few other characters in the sidelines with different looks, so let's hope they bring them out soon.  I heard they're already planning to bring out another character soon (Raya), but it's yet another blonde.  Sigh.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ikuzi Dolls

A very nice lady contacted me recently about the debut of a brand new line of 18" child dolls called Ikuzi Dolls.  She's in the process of getting this new line off the ground with a Kickstarter campaign.  I took a look at the Kickstarter page and her web site, and was completely enchanted by these girls!  Anyway, I told her I would be pleased to show off the dolls on this site.

They have a soft cloth lower body and a vinyl upper body, so they can wear v-necks and spaghetti strap dresses, and all those other cute things that would show the cloth on dolls like American Girl. 

Their hair is rooted, not wigged.  Right now there are three skin tones.  The creator, Ozi Okaro, says she plans to offer more skin tones and separate outfits eventually.

They come with a padded pink fabric bag with a handle, which doubles as a carrying case for the dolls.

Here's a link to the Ikuzi Dolls web site.

And here's a link to the Kickstarter campaign, which is the only place you can order these dolls at the moment.

Photographs are property of Ozi Okaro and are used with permission.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Project MC2 dolls

I mentioned the Project MC2 dolls in a previous post, but didn't go into detail.  I ended up buying the last two characters at my daughter's urging.  I figured the dolls deserved their own post now that I have all four of the articulated dolls (the $24.99 versions). 

There is a 3-episode Netflix series that premiered recently about these characters.  The dolls were released before the show, which is pretty interesting on a couple of levels.  It seems like the main point of the show is to sell the dolls, not the other way around.  (Not that this is unique in the toy world or anything.) 

I watched the three episodes, and it turns out the clothes for the dolls were taken directly from the show.  (Or was it the other way around?)  Anyway, I have a suspicion there was some diabolical planning associated with this.  It seems to me like the show and the dolls were both planned at the same time, rather than one following the other.   I'm guessing the sculpts for each of the dolls were created and the molds made before the actresses were even cast in the show, which would explain why none of the dolls look like the actresses except in general coloring.  Just a theory, guys.  I could be wrong.

But aside from my conspiracy theories about their origins, these are adorable dolls! 

Just hanging out.

Some of the fashions are super cute, and others have me scratching my head.  LOL.  Some of the more off-beat fashions translate better to the living actresses, who manage to make the clothes look good in the show. 

I took a few pictures of arm posing.  Their arms stay up when you lift them, so you can pose them.  They can touch their foreheads, but can't quite touch their noses or chins (well they CAN, but their arms won't stay in position that way).  They can also sit nicely, with or without crossed ankles.  They can't sit with crossed legs, though.

This one comes with a beaker.  HOW CUTE IS THAT!!?!

Anyway, I thought I'd show off the four dolls.  Hope you like my pictures.