Sunday, December 14, 2014

The "Honey Lemon" doll from Big Hero 6

I stumbled on the Honey Lemon doll one day while I was casually browsing through the Disney Store's online collections.  At that time, I didn't know anything about the Big Hero 6 movie--I just noticed that there was a new redheaded Disney doll who looked really fun and full of character.

A few weeks ago, Christina recommended Honey Lemon to me over on Facebook, and I figured it would be a good time to actually see the movie and think about doing a review of the doll.  I still didn't know the story of Big Hero 6 when I went to the theater last week (the title doesn't give much away).  I knew the movie was loosely based on a Marvel comic book series by the same name, but that's about it.  I don't want to give away too much about the movie to any of you, but it's really a delightful, action-filled film with tons of heart.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and was even laughing out loud (and crying a little, too) on several occasions...even though I was the only one in the theater.

I think the Disney Store has only made articulated dolls out of two characters from this movie so far: Honey Lemon and Go Go Tomago.  Neither of these girls are the star of Big Hero 6, though.  The movie is carried by an engaging 13-year-old genius, Hiro, and his huggable robot companion, Baymax.  Still, Honey Lemon is a kind, brilliant, zany addition to the story and it's a treat every time she is on screen.  Although I'd really love to have a Hiro doll in my collection some day, for now I am happy to have the cheery, redheaded Honey:

Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon doll
The Disney Store's "Honey Lemon" from the Big Hero 6 movie.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Lammily Doll

Lammily is a unique new fashion doll who was released at the end of December.  The mainstream media is very interested in this doll, and has been since her conception in early 2013.  In fact, I didn't learn about Lammily through the usual doll collecting channels, but rather from my brother-in-law, who saw an article about her in The Atlantic last May.

Lammily was designed by graphic artist Nickolay Lamm, and the reason that she has captured such widespread attention is that she was designed to have the body proportions of a typical American teenager.  Unlike Barbie (and most other 12-inch fashion dolls) Lammily does not have an impossibly tiny waist, large chest, oversized head or spindly legs.  Mr. Lamm used body measurements published by the Center for Disease Control to ensure that his doll would not only be realistic...but would be average.  The word "average" does not tend to conjure visions of loveliness, but Mr. Lamm challenged this preconception and branded his doll with the inspiring logo, "Average is Beautiful."

I pre-ordered two Lammily dolls immediately after reading the article in The Atlantic (the dolls are $25 each).  This is exactly the kind of crowd-funded, vision-driven project that I love to see in the doll world.  I was inherently enthusiastic about the Lammily concept, but an email I received from Nickolay Lamm last May added to my excitement.  Mr. Lamm wrote seeking some advice about the doll's articulation--and you guys can probably guess that I, uh, had a fair amount to say on that subject.  Conversations back and forth with Mr. Lamm over the past few months have given me a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind this unique new doll.  I have been on pins and needles to see how all of Mr. Lamm's ideas came together in the debut doll, and am beyond excited to share my initial impressions with all of you:

The Lammily Doll
The Lammily doll makes her entrance.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lalaloopsy Girl "Spot Splatter Splash" by MGA

I've said this before, but I am not a big fan of the traditional Lalaloopsy dolls.  I like the mini dolls a lot, but the larger characters are not my thing.  I think they look very enticing in the store--with their cute faces and clever, colorful, diverse themes, but I have never fully bought into the idea of a plastic "rag" doll.  The dolls don't seem especially cuddly to me, and they can't stand (or even sit) on their own, which limits how they can be used for play.  Because of this opinion, I don't review very many Lalaloopsy products.

Recently, several of you have recommended that I purchase one of MGA's new 9-inch dolls from the "Lalaloopsy Girls" collection.  I've noticed these dolls in passing a few times at Target and Toys R Us over the last few months, but couldn't initially appreciate the appeal.  I mean, how many sizes of Lalaloopsies do we need?  Besides, it didn't look like these new dolls would be able to stand on their own any better than the originals--a feature that would irritate me in a fashion-style doll.

It was actually a comment over on Facebook that convinced me to open my mind and finally take a closer look at these dolls.  Tanya's comment mentioned that she, too, was skeptical about the dolls at first, but ended up falling hard for these spaghetti-limbed newcomers.  I took her words to heart and bought the Lalaloopsy Girls version of "Spot Splatter Splash:"

Lalaloopsy Girls "Spot Splatter Splash"
Lalaloopsy Girls "Spot Splatter Splash," $14.99.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Our Generation Retro Doll "Joy" by Battat

At this time of year, I like to walk through the aisles of the toy stores in my area and pick out the dolls and accessories that I think would make the best gifts.  I don't have many doll lovers on my actual shopping list this year, but I still like to see what new items are in stock for the holidays and choose my favorites.  Most of the time I just make a mental note of the items I like best, but this year I purchased a few of my selections so that I could share them with you here on the blog.

I have been keeping a close eye on the 18-inch play dolls that are available near me (Journey Girls, My Life As and Our Generation).  While all of these brands have something new to offer for the holidays, Battat's Our Generation line is by far the most appealing to me.  I feel great about purchasing dolls from this company because I know that they use only recycled and recyclable materials in their packaging, they promote charitable work, and they avoid using harmful chemicals in the production of their dolls.  I also think that the Battat dolls are very attractive and well-made for their reasonable price.  Furthermore, whenever I am visiting my local Target store, the Our Generation section always seems to have the most constant stream of young admirers.

Today I'll show you my favorite new Our Generation doll...along with an outfit set that I thought would go really well with her:

Our Generation Retro Joy
Our Generation Retro Doll "Joy," with pieces from the "Winter Wonder" outfit pack.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review Fusion #4

It's hard for me to believe that November is half over already!  There is so much excitement at this time of year in my house, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the academic quarter ending, the first snowfall of the season, the big musical production at our high school, visits from family, and of course the beginnings of holiday shopping.

Amidst the happy pandemonium of the next couple of weeks, I'd like to try and do some shorter reviews of the dolls and toys that seem especially popular or interesting this holiday season, but I also want to squeeze in a few more guest reviews before I get too busy.  This Fusion post will attempt to address both goals: I have two really neat guest reviews to share with you, and I'll also offer my own quick evaluation of one of the most sought-after toys in this neck of the woods lately: My Size Anna.

My Size Anna (Target, $59.99).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Kate" and "Tara" by Wildflower Dolls

Today's post will not be a traditional review, but more of a showcase for a special kind of doll that I learned about recently: Wildflower Dolls.  These dolls have handmade, limited edition heads mounted on highly articulated brand name 1/6 scale bodies.  As you know, I am a huge fan of highly articulated doll bodies, but it is the extraordinary faces of the Wildflower Dolls that have enchanted me.

I first heard about Wildflower Dolls from my friend Séverine (the same friend who took the Avengers Black Widow picture).  Séverine was showing me some pictures of her doll collection, and one particular photo of spunky redheaded sisters immediately grabbed my attention.  These sisters caught my eye because they have my favorite kind of unruly red hair, but also because they have facial expressions that brilliantly capture two very different, very playful emotions.  When Séverine told me that her dolls were custom-made, I assumed that their prices would be out of reach.  However, when I visited the Wildflower Dolls Etsy store, I was amazed to learn that these charismatic creations can be custom ordered for under $200.  Better yet, some of the pre-made dolls can be purchased for under $100.  This realization marked the beginning of my own Wildflower Dolls adventure--a process that brought these two beautiful, happy sisters into my home:

Kate #45 (left) and Tara #32 (right) by Wildflower Dolls.