Monday, February 29, 2016

Review of the DC Super Hero Girls dolls

DC Super Hero Girls Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn by Mattel.

Please meet Pamela, Diana and Harleen.
Otherwise known as Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn.
The DC Super Hero Girls dolls officially debuted yesterday, February 28th, as a Target exclusive.  There were a few stores here and there that released them ahead of the official Feb. 28 shelf date, but they were few and far between.  I went to Target to see them in person, and whatdaya know ... they'd devoted a whole endcap to them. At $20 apiece, though, I didn't feel I should buy all six characters at once, so three came home with me and three stayed.

By the time I got home with them, all of the characters were sold out on online except for one. SOLD OUT. Freaking sold out on the first day they were available. I have a feeling I should have grabbed those last three characters while I had the chance. The one last holdout that didn't sell out on the first day, Bumblebee, was sold out by the following morning. 
They're Mattel dolls, though, and when Mattel finds a toy line that sells, they keep on producing it. So I'm very sure that even if the initial dolls sell out completely, there will be many more in later shipments.
So yeah ... wow. Sold out online in the first 24 hours is insane. Congrats, Mattel. 

So here are my three prizes, and my review.

First off, the articulation is great. Better than Monster High. They have bending elbows, wrists and knees like Monster High dolls, but the joints are a nicer quality and don't feel loose. The DC Super Hero Girls can sit up nicely with their thighs together, and stay in position wonderfully without flopping. I'm super excited about this body and give it an A+, which is a first for me for a Mattel doll.

I love that the bodies aren't too skinny, and look muscular. Love it!!! The hair is soft and fine, too, with unique details. Wonder Woman has blue streaks in her hair to reflect her comic book roots. I thought Poison Ivy's hair was solid red at first, but it's actually a rich mix of red and orange hairs.

Speaking of Ivy, the fabric of her dress is wonderful. It's a see-through rose leaf print fabric over solid green. I'm not so in love with her hair accessory. I think it could have been done better. I want to replace it with some fake mini-vines from a craft store.

Harley Quinn has some details that are disappointing, but overall she's great. She was obviously never meant to be redressed, as her tights are painted on, not fabric. The design on her shirt is printed, but the fabrics used for her clothing (and the clothing on all the dolls) is a much nicer quality than expected. I honestly expected cheap-quality fabrics like you see on many playline Barbie dolls, but these fabrics feel nice and are sewn well.

Her mask is removable. I lifted it up to see if there was any staining or marks under the mask. Nope. The mask is held onto her face with tiny plastic ties on either side of her head, but you could snip them if you wanted to, to take the mask off completely.

I can't even tell you how much I love that Harley comes with a giant mallet. LOL! Her hands grip the mallet firmly so that she can hold it nicely without the mallet falling down, but unfortunately, it means her fingers are permanently stuck in a curled claw position. It makes her hands look awkward if you take the mallet away from her. Wonder Woman has the same issue. Her hands are curled to hold her lariat, and look awkward once you take the lariat away. I wish these dolls had come with an extra set of normal hands so you can switch them out, but there are no extra hands. Mattel totally could have done it, as their hands ARE removable. You can pop the hands out of the wrists and back in again. Perhaps it was a child safety issue because of the small parts. I don't know.

Wonder Woman has some great detail on the fabric of her shirt, and the stars down each leg of her pants. Her silver cuffs have some really ornate molding detailing. I noticed the cuffs are actually not removable unless you pop her hands off first in order to slide the cuffs off. I'm totally OK with this, because it means the cuffs won't fall off accidentally and get lost. Although the hands come off, they are held in fairly tightly. They won't be sliding out of their wrist sockets unless you want them to and intentionally pull them.

So that was my long and enthusiastic review. It looks like Mattel has a second series of these dolls planned in which they'll be adding the characters Katana, Catwoman, Cheetah, Hal Jordan, Beast Boy, Star Sapphire and Hawkgirl. I'd love to see a future varation of Poison Ivy where she has green skin and lips, but that's not on the table yet.
By the way, I mentioned that these dolls were a Target exclusive, but I saw a rumor that they won't remain an exclusive forever, and will be sold in other stores eventually. I don't know how long they'll be Target exclusives. If I find out, I'll re-edit this post with the new information.  I did just find out that they'll be available internationally in July, but haven't discovered whether this means just overseas Target stores, or other stores as well.

EDIT:  I've discovered they're going to be in other stores besides Target in July as well, in addition to being sold internationally in July.  It looks like in July they'll be pretty much global.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Star Darlings dolls

Star Darlings Scarlet and Sage.
I took these photos a month ago and I just realized I never posted them.  These are the Disney Star Darlings dolls.  I love the facial expressions on these, although the hip articulation stinks.  There.  That was a one-sentence review right there!  Hee hee.  Still, their elbows, wrists and knees do bend, which is more than I can say for many dolls.  Surprisingly, these dolls come in two different body types, and supposedly the shorter body seen on the characters Vega, Scarlet and Leona sits better than the taller body, although I have yet to test this out myself.  The problem I had with the hips is that although they can sit down, the more you lean them forward, the more their thighs separate.  If they're sitting in a fully upright position, their thighs cannot stay together.  If you can sit them so they're leaning back slightly, though, it looks fine, as you can see in the picture below.

From left:  Piper, Scarlet, Vega and Sage.

They're based on characters from the Star Darlings series of books, and the 12 characters are based on the 12 zodiac signs.   The dolls all have the last name Starling (although there is no Clarice).  Disney is currently promoting them not only with the book series, but also an Internet-only cartoon on Youtube that's pretty stinking charming. 

If you get these, I recommend buying them in person, not over the Internet.  I've noticed some derp eye and/or paint flaws in a few, which tells me there needs to be better quality control at the factory.  Still, they're super cute, I think.

One of the $14.99 dolls, Wishworld Piper.

The cheaper "basic" line for $14.99 is supposed to be the girls disguised as humans for their visit to Earth ("Wishworld"), so they're dressed more human-like and have more human hair colors.  The basic dolls have the same arm and leg articulation as the $19.99 dolls, but slightly simpler outfits.  The dolls you see in Toys R Us and Target are exactly the same as the original Disney Store versions, except without the charm necklaces and stands the Disney Store versions came with.

Sage, from the $19.99 line.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy having a look at my pictures.

The more expensive dolls also come with plastic rings and school I.D. cards.

Wishworld Scarlet's boots.  Awesome!  They make me want to get silver paint so I can paint in the details.

Poor Vega's a bit cross-eyed.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Review of Agatha Primrose

The Tonner Doll Company just debuted their newest doll line a couple of days ago. It's their new 13" (33cm) Agatha Primrose line, apparently modeled after my teenage years. LOL! She has a teen look, with an inquisitive facial expression that can be interpreted various ways. Sometimes she looks like she's just about to say something. I think she has that look on her face Disney characters get when they just discovered something wonderous, like she just discovered fairies in the garden and wants to tell you about it. 

This is "A Touch of Anime" Agatha Primrose. She was an event doll, and the first Agatha ever released. The face sculpt is new for this character, so I'll show you pictures from several angles so you can really see the sculpt.

The body is reused from an older line, the 13" Revlon dolls from a few years ago. This means of course that she can wear all the nice Revlon clothes that were released back then. The cream lace dress in a couple of the photos is a Revlon outfit called "Shimmering Crush." I had a problem with this outfit, though, because the shoes broke immediately as soon as I put them on Agatha's feet. Just wanted to warn you about that in case you were thinking of getting the outfit.

Anyway, the body articulation is superb. She has bending wrists, ankles, knees and elbows. The joints are tight and stay in position when you move them, just like other Tonner dolls, and she can sit up nicely with her thighs together. She can actually cross one leg over the other and sit that way as well, which is unusual for most dolls. Here's a photo to show you what I mean.

The default outfit for this doll is a coral-and-white Japanese schoolgirl outfit meant to look like clothes you might see on an anime character, as if Agatha was wearing it to attend an anime convention. The design of the outfit is a little quirky. The bow is off-center, which is driving me crazy. I'm so tempted to replace the bow entirely, as well as reposition it.

The eyeglasses she comes with are interesting and charming, but I prefer her without.

Some people on the doll forums were comparing Agatha to Tonner's Deja Vu dolls because of the open mouth and wide-spaced eyes. I totally see that! I think Agatha is a lot prettier, though, as well as looking much younger. I thought I'd show them side-by-side, since I haven't seen anyone do this yet. Once you put them next to each other, the differences become apparent.

L-R:  Agatha Primrose compared to Deja Vu.

Just wanted to share these pictures with you. Agatha is my new obsession. I just ordered two more with some birthday money (my birthday is TODAY!), so I'll be able to show you Tech Savvy and Yoyo Mode Agatha Primrose in a few weeks.

See ya!