I became interested in LittleMissMatched when I heard the announcement that the Tonner Doll Company, who makes my favorite doll, acquired the license to produce LittleMissMatched dolls under the umbrella of their brand new "Tonner Toys" label.
There are four Tonner Toys LMM dolls: Sporty, Uptown, Rock 'n' Roll and Artsy. It's funny because they sell for $40 on the LittleMissMatched website, but they are $26.99 at Toys 'R' Us and FAO Schwarz. I haven't seen them for sale anywhere else yet...not even Amazon.
I searched the aisles of Toy 'R' Us for a LMM doll. I had to come back a few times because the few dolls that were in stock had very visible and disappointing face paint flaws or facial marks. I finally found an Uptown doll that looked perfect, and was on sale, so I grabbed her:
|LittleMissMatched Uptown Girl|
The box is very appealing. I love the bright colors and the graphics. I am upset by the apostrophe on "100's," though. I am a total and unabashed snob about this sort of thing and think that while casual letters/posts and personal communications can have these punctuation errors and it's no biggie, a company should have better proofreaders. They're being paid to proofread. Now that I've said that, of course, you have permission to totally slam me in the comments section every time I publish poor grammar. Open season.
It's very easy to get the doll out of the outer box:
She's held in there by five of those wire twist ties (twisted only a few times so they're easy to get off) and then a silly plastic thing holding her hair:
I freed her very easily, but she still has the plastic thing sewn to her hair. She comes with a nice sturdy pink brush, a great little bag, and an extra striped sock:
Here's the plastic thing in her hair:
I'm not sure how I was supposed to remove this, maybe it had one of those pull strings like you find on some bags of dog food? You know, where you pull the correct string and the whole thing just zips off (or, you pull the wrong string and the whole thing is hopelessly knotted...). I didn't see any such string, so I just snipped the plastic in several places and ripped it off. I did snip a tiny bit of hair doing this.
Next, I used the pink brush to brush her hair. Here is a picture showing the hair that fell out the first time I brushed her hair (lower left) and then the hair that fell out the second time I brushed her hair (upper right) and then the little curl of hair I cut while de-boxing her. The third time I brushed her hair, nothing fell out.
She's got plenty of hair, so this isn't a big deal at all. What might be a big deal is that while the hair is soft and smooth at the top, the ends are pretty coarse, so she might be prone to some serious tangling. Look at the color, though--it's fantastic!
She stands really well on her own! It's not just the boots, either.
She's about 15" tall with large features:
|Next to Gold Label Cami for size/scale comparison|
Her face is amazingly cute and happy. I can't help but smile when I photograph her. This is exactly the type of innocent-faced doll I feel good about buying for my nieces:
Doesn't she make you smile? Oops...I left in one of the plastic ties that nails her headband to her head.
Her coat is held on with a belt that is sewn to the coat--that always frustrates me because I never feel 100% confident that I am supposed to cut the thread holding it on! Anyway, it came off easily and all is well. The coat also has velcro fasteners in front:
The coat is attached to the dress with plastic ties. Argh!
Here's the coat on its own:
The design and fabric are really great. I love that it is sewn with red thread! It has cute details like the little flaps on the shoulders, but the sewing is a bit messy:
It has a slightly ratty appearance overall with some loose threads here and there. Her fingers catch on the seams of the cuff when I try to put it back on. When the coat is on her and fastened, it looks much better.
Underneath the coat is this red dress. At first, it looks like there are a lot of issues (black thread? What's up with the belt? Is that a stain on her arm? It looks kinda bunchy up top):
That is a stain on her arm, and it didn't respond to a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which many stains do, BTW). However, the dress is super-cute, the black thread came right off (it was from the coat's belt) and the little red ribbon belt straightens out and looks adorable:
It is a little bunchy up-top, but this isn't as obvious in person.
The doll is posable, but the movement is stiff. She has joints in her neck, elbows, shoulders, upper torso, hips and knees.
She can sit and bend her knees in towards each other (which I think looks really cute) but she doesn't sit totally upright, which is weird:
The boots have slits in the back, just like Liv doll shoes, but they were pretty hard to yank off! I love the way the boots look, though, and I love all of the colorful socks. The white patterns on the socks are from iron-on plastic-like material, not plain cloth, so the socks with a lot of white (the striped ones, for example) are stiffer than the ones with less white.
Here are some pictures of the doll without her clothes on so you can see the jointing more clearly:
She still stands on her own!
Here's a close-up of the bag. It is really nicely done, and she can store her extra sock:
She has a really cheerful, bright overall look with excellent mixing of colors and patterns. This girl certainly has her own quirky, unique style, and I think that is the whole point of LittleMissMatched.
The bottom line? There are some flaws, in my eyes, such as the stiff movement of the doll's joints, the limited flexibility, the slightly messy stitching on the coat and the difficult-to-manage boots. The fairly coarse hair looks like it could tangle really easily. I worry about staining from that dark coat since she already has a mark on her arm.
I love her colorful wardrobe and am tempted by many of the clothing accessory packs that look equally stylish and colorful. She is such a visual treat. I think it's especially nice that she comes with three mismatched socks to salute the LittleMissMatched company's roots. Her red dress is adorable and very well made. I love the color of her hair and her bright green eyes. What I love best, though, is her impish grin:
She's just so happy, I find it contagious. Overall, this is a very fun, visually striking product and a solid start for the Tonner Toy company.
3 and up for safety, probably 5 and up for play/dressing.
Good for the $26.99 price tag, not $40.
Overall good. Some things are fair (joints, hair, paint defects in many of the dolls in the store), some things are good (coat, boots), some are great (dress, socks, face, overall look).
Good. Lots of cardboard, pretty easy to de-box.
She is a very specific caricature, which might limit the play options. Lots of fun clothing choices for this line, though, that can all be mixed and matched for some funky, colorful looks.