|Hello Kitty "Li'l One" doll by Ty|
When she first caught my eye, this doll reminded me of Barbie's sister Chelsea. Because of this, my review will make a lot of comparisons to Chelsea. I assumed these two dolls must be about the same size, but in fact Chelsea is quite a bit bigger:
The doll comes in a very small cardboard window box. It has a very simple, bright green insert:
|I like the green handle on the Ty doll's box.|
There was a whole rack filled with these little dolls. I looked at each one carefully and finally settled on this girl because of her cute Hello Kitty companion and coordinating outfit. You can get a glimpse of the other options on the back of the box, but if you're really curious, there are much better photos online.
|They all seem to have the same face and |
there's not a lot of ethnic diversity.
There are a few dolls with trademarked companions including two different Hello Kitty dolls, a Smurf doll and a Snoopy doll. The rest of them have alliterating perky names like Pretty Peyton, Beautiful Bella (which is redundant), Awesome Ashley and Awesome Abby (maybe they could have brainstormed a different "A" adjective? Amazing? Adept? Athletic?). Anyway, all of the dolls in the picture were in stock except the two darker skinned girls and this one:
|A Monster High fan, I think.|
The little Hello Kitty toy pops right out of a plastic holder, but the doll is held in place with a few pieces of easily-removable string. You're left with mostly recycling:
The little plastic kitty is adorable. I like the bright pink overalls with a green shirt underneath. Very preppy.
Although the Hello Kitty figurine is a good accessory, most of the other pets were not as interesting as the Chelsea pets.
The doll comes with a brush, which seems like a good idea. Look at her hair:
The problem is, this is after I brushed her hair:
|Static shedding bed head.|
The good news is, she has pink streaks in her hair! I couldn't even see these when she was tucked in her box. Her hair is a nice strawberry blonde color, and the streaks are fun. Her hair reminds me of my MiM doll wig.
Although the hair is soft and smooth, it is pretty thinly rooted.
|You can see the top of her head through the hair.|
Her face is kind-of cute, with her big brown eyes and expectant eyebrows, but she has practically no nose, nothing even pretending to be nostrils, and a very low hairline in front. Also, there's something not right about her upper lip:
|That's a peculiar hairline.|
She has a very large, protruding upper lip. It could just be that her lip looks big in comparison to her non-nose, but I think there's something else going on. She has some white paint in her mouth to resemble teeth, but they look like they are coming from the bottom of her mouth only:
|It's a funny face.|
The outfit is adorable. She is wearing a long-sleeved pink top with an appliqued Easter Hello Kitty scene. The shirt is sewn onto a green gingham skirt:
The pink top opens in the back with velcro, but the skirt part does not have an opening:
|That's a big tag. I guess she was made in China.|
It is a bit tricky to get her enormous shoes through the narrow tube of the skirt:
|Notice her hair shedding everywhere...|
Her body is very simply articulated. She can turn her head, but not look up or down. Her arms bend at the shoulders and her legs bend at the hips. Her shoes do not come off.
|I like her big feet,|
This is the biggest split she can do:
She can only stand on her own if she is standing perfectly upright.
|This pose requires a wall to lean on.|
Looking at the Ty doll and Chelsea side by side, I think the Ty doll has a better proportioned head. Chelsea's head is really large.
|The Ty doll's makeup is more natural than Chelsea's.|
She's be a good little sister to Chelsea, except for the fact that I already think Chelsea is too small (in 1:6 scale) for the age of child she is meant to portray.
Underneath those clothes, the two bodies are similarly constructed. The quality of the plastic seems comparable. Chelsea's body has more sculpted detail and looks more realistic overall. Also, Chelsea's hip articulation is more flexible (she can do a full split).
|Chelsea has better underwear.|
Because of the size difference, the Li'l One can wear Chelsea's outfit (even though it's too big) but not the reverse.
Chelsea can share the Hello Kitty toy, though:
|I like Chelsea's smiling eyes.|
The mouth on this doll was bugging me, so I got out a toothpick and some white acrylic paint and drew in another line of teeth. Do you think it's any better?
|Now she looks like she's about to say something.|
She has a bit of an overbite now (which I think it cute). Here are the two faces side by side--before on the left and after on the right:
Bottom line? There are some cute elements to this doll, but I still prefer Chelsea.
This doll's Hello Kitty theme is her best feature, and will make her interesting to Hello Kitty collectors and enthusiasts. The themed outfit matches the quality and design of the Chelsea clothes. The Hello Kitty mini figure accessory is great--you could easily pay $3.50 for that alone. The fact that the shoes don't come off might be a huge plus from a parent's perspective, and it makes this doll safe for younger children (but then you'd have to remove the Hello Kitty figure).
This doll's head and facial features are her weakness. Her hair is thin and rooted too far down on her forehead. Her face sculpture has some features that don't look quite right, and there is no variety in the faces of the different dolls in the line. I do find her endearing, but I much prefer Chelsea's detailed, cheery face.
In the end, I can picture a small child leaving the toy store content with this small companion. At the particular store I visited, leaving with something cute for under $10 is not easy, so this doll fills an important niche. If a Li'L One and Chelsea were side by side at Target, though, and each was selling for retail, I'd pay the extra dollar or so and get another Chelsea instead.