Monday, May 28, 2012

A Review of Hayden's House...as the Last of the Liv Dolls Leave the Shelves.

For a few months now, there have been whispers that Spin Master is shutting down production of the Liv doll.  A friend on Flickr warned me about this a while ago, and it was confirmed on Dana's blog last week.  Now, even Wikipedia reports the sad news (although I read Wikipedia with a skeptical eye).

This decision is surely based on low profits, so my question is--why weren't Liv dolls more successful?  Well, I want to hear your thoughts on this, but here are mine for starters.  First of all, the beauty of Liv dolls is that they are highly customizable.  In theory, you could buy just one Liv doll and then change her wig and outfit every day for endless new looks.  At most, it seems like you might want one of each character, and then you could focus your spending on accessories and new wigs.  Two problems with this from a marketing standpoint--first, people don't feel the need to buy very many dolls, which is good for buyers but bad for business.  Second, Spin Master didn't make enough outfits, wigs and accessories for these smaller items to carry people's enthusiasm or turn a profit on their own.

My second thought is related to the first.  The earlier waves of Liv dolls were all very similar.  Except for different outfits and wigs (and some small changes in face shape and eye color) the dolls were almost identical.  This contributed to consumers feeling that they didn't need every single doll that came out.  In addition, I can imagine some resentment in people who felt like they had to buy a whole new duplicate doll just to get a cute outfit or wig.  Spin Master seems to have tried to remedy the sameness in their dolls by making some drastic changes to the most recent doll's bodies.  In my opinion, these changes were a big mistake.  The Twist and Dance dolls' gimmicky bodies are virtually impossible to play with, and the Liv for Color and Brites dolls, while not awful, have definitely lost the Liv magic.

My last hypothesis is much simpler--Monster High dolls came out right after Liv and these creative and seemingly rare creatures stole everyone's attention and allowance.

So.  Whatever the reasons, the news is sad.  The silver lining is that Liv merchandise is on clearance everywhere and I am taking advantage.  I have always wanted the Toys R Us exclusive Hayden's house:
Hayden's house playset
I don't really have a lot of interest in Hayden's actual house, except perhaps out of curiosity.  What I really love in this set is Hayden's dress and her wig.  This is exactly what I was talking about before, though.  All I want is that gorgeous flowered dress and maybe the wig and I have to pay $45 dollars to get it?  I don't think so.  The very idea makes me crabby.


However, apparently if this set is on clearance for $30 and you throw in the fact that Liv dolls are disappearing, it's enough to make me cave in and hand over some money.

Hayden and her house come in a large cardboard box with a plastic window over the doll.  The back of the box has a colorful enhanced photograph of several of the Liv girls enjoying Hayden's modest home:


The photograph is strange to me for several reasons.  First, look at Hayden's face.  She's gone all seductive in this picture with that sly smile and those upturned eyes:

Hey there, cowboy.  You want some muffins?
Also in the picture above, look at the horse.  I mean, Hayden has a horse, so that part is accurate.  But Hayden's horse is named Nutmeg and he's a palomino and he has big brown Liv doll eyes.  What's up with that horse in the window?  That's a real horse.  That just messes with my brain.  Hayden is clearly a doll (albeit a strangely enhanced doll) and yet she's got a real horse looking in her window.  It's not right.

There's a cardboard insert inside the outer box that just slides out.  The house isn't even attached to anything--it's just loose in there.


Hayden is secured to the box using all of the usual tricks.  She has rubber ties at her wrists and ankles, tiny little plastic ties holding her dress in place, and larger plastic ties going through her wig and into the back of her head.  There are also a few accessories taped to the box on one side:

Hayden has a tea pot and a cup tied to her hands.
Here's everything out of the box:

Hayden is practicing semaphore with the tea pot.
Before I removed the rubber ties holding the teapot and cup to Haden's hands, I took a few pictures.  She doesn't really hold these items very well without the ties, so this was my big chance:

Try to ignore the fact that she's pouring imaginary tea all over the floor in this picture...
The plastic bands actually leave lined marks on Hayden's hands.  I am hoping these will go away after a while.  Also, look at Hayden's right hand--the pinky finger is splayed out.  I am guessing that this is because of the placement of the tight rubber bands, because none of the other Liv hands look like this.  I suppose they could have made a special hand for this Hayden so she could hold her coffee cup, but that would be surprising.

My coffee-drinking hand kinda looks like that, actually.

Her eyes are pretty wonk-o.
The fabric of the dress is so pretty.  I just love it.  The colors and the simple, well-made style are so appealing.  The dress has little gathered sleeves and a perfectly fitted princess-seamed bodice.  The ribbon belt doesn't seem necessary to me, so that will probably come off.  Hayden is also wearing a small pink bracelet, pink ballet-style shoes and orange star-shaped earrings.  

The tea pot coordinates well with the dress.
The earrings don't really match the outfit...

...or the tea pot.
Hayden's wig is interesting.  It has blonde hair on top and brunette hair underneath and is tied in a long, thick side ponytail:

If this thing is gonna be permanently tied to my hand,
at least it could have some coffee in it.
A strand of brunette hair comes up and wraps around the rubber band holding her ponytail:

I love this effect.
It is a very full wig, and has some serious volume when it's all combed out:


I took the ponytail down to see exactly what was going on with the hair:



The wig is actually even more complicated than I thought--the brunette hair in the front is rooted on the under side of the wig so that it flips up and covers the front of the clear wig cap:


With the ponytail down, this rooting technique looks weird.  You can see the little braid that holds the brunette hair in place, and the center part in the blonde hair doesn't line up with the part in the brunette hair.
It looks like a wig sitting on top of another wig.
Wig-wig.
Back in a ponytail, though, everything looks fine and the wig cap is completely concealed.  The rounded hairline seems a bit unnatural, but I still enjoy the color combination.


I'm a little tea pot...

The house is mostly plastic, with one wall made out of cardboard and decorated with colorful designs.  The front door doesn't open...in fact, if it did, it would open right into the oven.  Not very welcoming.  There are two small bags of accessories and one sheet of decorative stickers that go with the house.


The house opens up to reveal two walls--one very plain white and green wall with a window and a shelf, and another wall with a small kitchen and the fake window with the horse peeking in.  There's also a plastic headboard for the bed.


The bed is a long piece of pink plastic.  It is very low to the ground and a bit flimsy.


The kitchen is pretty cute.  It is made of silver and turquoise plastic and all of the doors open, which was a nice surprise:



The other wall is meant to be decorated with stickers, making it look like a small study area.



I am going to leave the stickers off for now.  I like the simple green wall with its white wainscoting.

Here are all of the accessories removed from the bags.  It's an odd assortment:


There's a pan of undercooked muffins (the muffins don't come out):


In addition to the tea pot and mug, there's also one copper-colored cooking pot, one plate, one fork, one knife, two spoons and what looks like an egg carton attached to a milk carton.  There are two hooks that can be used to hang the cup and pot on a rack over the kitchen cupboards. Hayden doesn't really seem like she's expecting any guests.


There's also a cloth blanket for the bed and a hard plastic pillow.


Here's everything all set up in the kitchen:


If you look at one of the pictures on the side of the box, it looks like the roof of the house is way above Hayden's head, even at its lowest point:


In reality, though, Hayden towers above her house:


Although the bed is very low to the ground...


...it has the right length for her to comfortably lie down:


Now, let's go back and look at this picture again, and this time notice how tall Hayden is next to the counter.  She's reaching out and resting her hand casually on the oven:


She can't do this quite as gracefully in real life--the counter is too low.

Yep, this is relaxing.  I am relaxed.
Hayden can't really pour tea for her friends, either...


...because the tea pot is hollow on the bottom:

What the...
Despite some enhanced advertising, the set is better than I thought it would be.  The plastic is pretty sturdy and the fact that all of the kitchen doors open is an unexpected perk.  I might be more impressed with this house than I'd usually be because of my recent purchase of a Barbie kitchen.  Let me tell you quickly about that.  I bought the Barbie kitchen set because I needed a chair for my 12" dolls.  I also just really like kitchen sets.  This is the set I'm talking about:


I can't believe I bought this set for the chair.  I think the whole set was $33, which is a lot, and the chair is so flimsy and slippery, I rarely use it.  It looks nice, though:


Anyway, this set was such a disappointment, I packed it off to the Goodwill before I even finished taking pictures of it.  The plastic is incredibly flimsy.  The whole back of the kitchen is really thin plastic and cardboard, and so it literally teeters every time you touch it.  I wish I had thought to save the accessories, though, because they would be great with the Liv kitchen.  Oh, well.


Even the doll is cheap.  She has a cute dress, but there's nothing else special or interesting about her.  Anyway, I am getting off topic.  The point is, compared to this set, the Liv house playset is great.  The kitchen is sturdy, the doll is wonderful and there's a ton of play potential.


Here are some more pictures of Hayden and her house:


Hayden with the ribbon belt removed from her dress:



I try to use the Barbie chair as often as possible, just so I don't feel so bad about spending $30 on that set.   It took me about eight minutes to get Hayden posed like this, though:


So I took two pictures:


Brown Horse is watching you...



I don't own all of the Hayden dolls, but I do have four different versions, and they're all slightly different:

Twist and Dance, House, Wonderland, It's My Nature
The dancing Hayden has very dark, night club makeup.  I like her eyeshadow, but I am not crazy about her pearlescent lips.

Twist and Dance with House
The Liv in Wonderland doll has a very sweet face with raised eyebrows and pink, glittery lips.  I like this face a lot, but I prefer House Hayden's eyebrows and natural makeup.

House and Wonderland
The original It's My Nature Hayden is great, except I have never been crazy about her huge, dark eyelashes and glimmery lipstick.

House and It's My Nature
Bottom line?  Despite the fact that all Hayden dolls are fairly similar, this version of Hayden is probably my favorite.  Her face paint is subtle and natural and she has great eyebrows.   I adore her simple, well-made flower print dress.  The wig is not as versatile or attractive as some of the other wigs, but it works fine in a ponytail style and it is thick and nicely rooted.   The house is better than I thought it would be, but with the flimsy bed and cardboard wall, it is not a top-notch toy.  It could definitely use more accessories.  With all of the Liv accessory sets on sale for $0.98 right now, adding something like the breakfast set or the barbecue set to the kitchen would really help.  I really enjoyed using the house as a photo background, and so for those who film or photograph their Liv dolls, this could be a welcome addition.  A basic Liv doll generally costs $14, so with the in-store sale price, the house part of this set cost me about $16.  I'd say that is extremely fair, especially given the price of the poor-quality Barbie set.  

If you're looking for a kitchen set, or you don't have just the right Hayden in your collection, this might be a good purchase....especially as it gets cheaper.  It would also make a great gift for a child who is new to Liv dolls, although, sadly, getting someone hooked on these awesome toys might not be the best idea right now.

Summary:
Age Level
5 and up
Value
Overpriced at $44, a good deal on sale for $30.
Quality
The doll is highly articulated and nicely made.  Watch for poorly set eyes.  The house is mostly plastic and is fairly sturdy.  The back wall is cardboard, and this might not wear as well as the rest of the house.  Scant accessories.
Packaging
Great packaging.  Almost all cardboard, very easy to remove house, not too bad getting the doll out.
Collectable?
No.  Although the discontinuation of the Liv line might make some items increase in value.
Versatility
Hayden is extremely versatile.  She has the older, highly articulated body and her clothes and hair can be changed.  She has a friendly, neutral expression.  She can share clothes with Barbie, Disney princesses and many other 12” dolls.
Overall
If you’re buying this set just for the doll, $30-39 is still too much.  If you have an interest in the house, the sale price makes this a nice purchase and an excellent alternative to the similarly-priced Barbie sets.


45 comments:

  1. Whenever I see that doll that comes with the Barbie kitchen you've bought, I can't "see" that she's wearing a dress. What I see is a cute kitchen apron with nothing underneath it. Is that weird? :) I think it's the matching oven mitt that does this, haha. Or maybe it would help if she had some leggings..
    House Hayden's flats are incredibly cute. Not sure what they were trying to do with that wig though.. and I love the last picture with the proper Nutmeg peeking in. So much better. :D

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    1. Now that you mention it, the dress looks exactly like a cute kitchen apron! With nothing on underneath!! That Barbie, she's a minx.

      The wig is definitely strange. Not meant to be taken down, apparently. I appreciate the flats, too. At 5' 11", that's the kind of shoe I like wearing. :)

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    2. (I know this is an old comment but =p) Well actually, my Alexis (from the wave w/ the dogs) has the exact same flats in purple...

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  2. Your reviews make my day! I was LOL'ing the whole way through...esp. about Mr. Ed! :) <3 this blog!

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    1. Well, your comment made my day, so now we're even. :)

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  3. I found some of the Liv accessory sets for 98 cents today. They haven't really dropped the price of the other stuff at our TRU yet.

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    1. Huh. I guess the stores do things in different time frames? At my TRU, they started giving away free accessories with any Liv purchase, then they dropped the price of the accessories, and only recently did everything go on sale. I hope you get the sales soon!

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  4. I completely agree with your thoughts on why Liv dolls are being discontinued, they didn't make them special enough right away. They should have done more dolls like the Alice in Wonderland themed ones. I bought a beach Daniela, but I still haven't seen them on sale much.

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    1. Yeah, the Alice in Wonderland dolls were really nicely done, weren't they? Sigh. It's hard to believe that the sales numbers on those dolls weren't good. Maybe at that point it was already too late?

      Sorry you don't have the clearance sales yet--it's funny, my Walmart had the Making Waves dolls on sale for $6 and then just recently they marked the three dolls that were left (still in the big clearance bins) back up to $14! I had to laugh at that.

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  5. awww...these are damn sad news!I adore Liv dolls!they are my favorites now :) you have an absolute right pointing the fact about their look - their faces,makeups are nearly the same....but never mind!I love them!

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    1. I agree! It's very sad. Liv dolls are responsible for getting me excited about the play doll market again. :(

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    2. I know. I just got my FIRST two liv dolls today. I got jake and schools out Hayden. I love them both so so so so much and plan on getting 2 more. �� ;o) but anyway I really love these dolls and reading this review really crushed me. I remember seeing liv dolls and not liking them, but then almost 2-3 years later I desperately want them. Last year I wanted the Alice and wonderland Hayden but then forgetting about it because I had no one to buy it for me, then I come back to find someone else had bought it. It was on clearance for 13.47 and I have to say, I was super disappointed the dint buy it sooner. I love making liv doll movies and taking pictures of them. They are amazing. And I can easily understand what you mean when you say they all basically look the same. Under the same note why is it so hard and expensive to get Katie? Is/was she THAT popular? Anyway, I will surely be buying more liv dolls so my allowance before they all leave the market. Thanks for the reveiw!!!

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  6. Hello from Spain: I like the dolls LIV but in Spain almost did not get to the shops.Very few are sold in toy stores. Besides the few LIV dolls you can buy are veryexpensive compared with Barbies. I really like the house of the LIV. I had not seenbefore. I have the same kitchen Barbie. I love it. Keep in touch.

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    1. That's too bad, Marta! It's funny how the distribution of Liv dolls is so different across the world. You saw very few of them in Spain, and here in the US we got most of them, but I never once saw the Girl's Getaway line. Still looking for those...

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  7. Oh I must write another thing I just thought of though.. I had heard that the reason most Barbie furniture like sofas and armchairs is so low on the ground to accomodate for the rubbery click legs which can barely bend, so to touch the ground with their feet the dolls need sofas that would be 20cm off the ground in real life.. But Livs certainly don't have that problem, so WHY is the bed so low! (but if you wanted to fix that, it should be a fairy easy project using some hot glue and maybe 4 identical bottle caps or large beads or something of that sort. Cooled down hot glue comes right off if you mess up or want it back to how it was too.)

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    1. Oh--that makes total sense! Those click knees don't bend much at all, do they. But with Liv dolls, the opposite is true. I am definitely going to try and raise the bed up because it would be a much better prop if the dolls could sit on it more naturally. I love your large bead suggestion--that could look really nice, and it would make the bed more sturdy, too! Excellent idea. :)

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  8. Pssst, there's a way you can get some playset stuff without buying the whole set. Mattel has a replacement parts service, though I don't have the link on-hand. I saw someone on flickr bought some of the furniture that came with one of the Barbie townhouses through this service. Regarding buying a playset just for one part (the exclusive doll or a chair), a lot of sellers on ebay offer things separately. You can aways offer up the parts to people, who also aren't looking to buy the whole set just for the part they want.

    I've considered getting another Liv house that uses the same basic parts as this house. I think it was a cabin, and it seems that the graphics and accessories are the only things different. I've noticed that most playsets nowadays aren't the pack-up-and-go types like I yearned for in the 1990s. I loved being able to pack up everything, head to a friend's house or theater rehearsal (community theater = my childhood), open it up, and have the whole world there ready to go. Polly Pocket compacts and the Littlest Pet Shop store-carry-case were great examples. The Barbie Princess Charm School playset is the only current example I can think of immediately. It's basically a revamped version of another playset from the 1990s. I forget the name, but there's one of them on etsy

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    1. Oh--I really like that Barbie playset, especially the older one. It looks like the bed folds up into the wall, and there a bathtub! With stairs! I wish Spin Master had attempted something more versatile like that with Hayden's house. Those remind me of the fold out Matchbox sets that my son used to love: http://www.amazon.com/Matchbox-Deluxe-Pop-Up-Playset-Dragons/dp/B000BN4FD4
      They are very carefully engineered so that they can be pretty elaborate when they're open, but the whole thing folds up like magic into a very small box. Great toy.

      I definitely should have tried to find a way to get just the chair from that Barbie set. I've smacked my head several times over that. I think I got seduced by the idea of having another kitchen set...I figured it would be useful to have around as a prop. In the future, I'll definitely check out eBay or the Mattel site you mentioned--that sound like a gem. Thank you for the suggestion!

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  9. I have about 15 LIV dolls that were specifically purchased for body swaps for my Barbies. They make great bodies for the dolls I want to make a little shorter. I guess if I played with LIV dolls as is, I would agree with you on making them too similar. I will miss the articulated bodies, the clothes and the playsets. I have the cabin which is very similar to this house. I really like it's versatility. I also have the new Barbie kitchen. I bought it primarily because the kitchen cabinet turns into a TV. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when it came. I LOVE it! I have the Kenmore kitchen, the My Kitchen Littles kitchen and a few others. This one is nowhere near the quality of these two, but it was really cute in my dio. I never care about the dolls that come in these sets. They just go into the 'unspecial' doll pile. On the right doll that dress is beyond cute. When I used it in one of my stories it got quite a few compliments.

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  10. I think every aspect of Liv dolls were great except for their faces. They creep me out, which is a major turn-off to me when I comes to kids' dolls. I can't see past it. :/ That's the only reason I can see them going out of production. Perhaps children aren't as interested in articulation as collectors, doll photographers, and adults are.

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    1. A lot of kids (9 - 13yr old) seem to enjoy LIV and Monster High dolls, more than I would have imagined. I talk to hundreds of kids in this age range regularly through YouTube. They produce a lot of LIV videos. Seems like they like the bigger headed dolls more than they like the Barbies. The LIV dolls and clothes were more expensive so maybe that had a greater impact. I never paid full price for any of my LIV dolls or their accessories. The Monster High dolls are expensive, too, but the popularity with the adult collectors are more than likely helping to keep the profits up in that line.

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  11. Wow! The set is kind of a disappointment... especially for 45 dollars.
    Awesome review and I laughed so hard when you pointed out 'Brown Horse is watching you...' LOL!

    - Jason

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  12. I'm so bummed about Liv being discontinued. I only recently got hooked on her...because of this blog, actually! But I've been buying up as much Liv stuff as I can get my hands on...the newest release of dolls excluded because of the body changes. The Liv outfits are actually quite lovely. I have a whole bin of them now. Well...guess it's time to go back to Tonner! Haha.

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  13. I picked up this Hayden/house set @TRU when they had the 50% clearance sale on all LIV stuff. I spent $19 on it which I thought was a great price since it came with a doll.. I'm waiting for another one of those sales and I'll pick up the cabin. I also have found the Making Waves dolls @Kmart(That's clearance and 50% off clearance price).

    I haven't bought a Barbie kitchen since the blue one that was similar to the one you got rid of. You can raise the height of the house by adding a base. I would use a box (paint it or glue paper to it).

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  14. It is so sad that livs are being discontinued right as I start bying themX( but I love your reveiws on them and I'am thinkg on getting this house set before there all gone!;)

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  15. Hi! I enjoyed reading about Hayden's house & loved the photos. I'm the designer of this playset, and it was fun to see the photos as you opened the package, and put it together. I hope you continue to enjoy it! Without giving away any trade secrets, I will add that it's typical for cost saving measures to be added to products between concept and manufacture. Considering all of our limitations, I was pretty proud of how it turned out!

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    1. Hi Stefanie--what an honor to have you comment on the blog!! It is wonderful to get a perspective from the actual designer. Wow. Having had a design of my own turned into a commercial product eons ago, I know what you mean about cost cutting measures...they can surely diminish the original design. How I would love to see your original design...

      In this case, the fact that so many moving parts were left is really great. It is a fun toy and makes a great backdrop for adults like me who still like to play with our dolls. ;) I also love the idea of a self-contained, portable playset. Cheers to you--and what a fun job you must have!

      Thank you so much for stopping by to comment! :)

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  16. Oh, and the horse in the window isn't Nutmeg! Hayden seems like the kind of girl that would have more than one horse nearby!

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    1. I knew Hayden was my kind of girl. ;)

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  17. Hi Emily,

    I just love your reviews - they always put a smile on my face. While I'm VERY sorry to hear about the discontinuation of the Liv doll line, I'm glad to have it finally confirmed. As well, if their recent offerings were any indication of what the line was to become, it's better that they stop making them. Suggestions for doll chairs - I've picked up all sorts of weird things that weren't meant to be chairs but were the perfect size for my (our) dolls. A recent example was when I found some votive/tealight candle holders at a menonite furniture store. They were in their 99 cent bin and they were metal, designed to look like cafe chairs. I picked up five (one each for the the dolly lovers at our house), and my husband knew what I was up to, but he stayed silent (because truthfully, he is just as bad at pointing out the little things that would be perfect doll furniture as I am at finding them). Anyway, the glass cups for the candles are somewhere in the house, waiting to be repurposed, and I made little cushions out of cardboard, flannelette and some stuffing (because the other dolly lovers, sensing some new furniture, were impatient), but I plan to make better ones in the future. Actually, now that I mention them, they have some other gorgeous candle holders that look like the old wood lifeguard chairs and would be perfect for Jake - I'll have to keep an eye on them to see if they mark them down. I also more recently found a bag of what looks like metal lounge chairs at Value Village. The cashier and I weren't sure what they were supposed to be, but both agreed that they were perfect for fashion dolls. Again, the other little dolly lovers got them, but the plan is to make a thin padded cover so that the Liv dolls can relax in comfort. I will have to borrow one of the kid's cameras to take a picture of these items so that you can see them. Thanks again! Joette

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    1. Oh, those candle holders sound perfect! And for 99 cents?? I need to expand my shopping horizons. The funny thing is that I'll see items like that, but never when they're on my list of things I "need." I love the creativity in how you approach accessories. Why settle for a terrible Barbie chair when there are treasures like this out there in the world? I'd love to see a picture!

      I couldn't have said it better about the Liv dolls--if they were going to reduce the articulation and quality, probably best to discontinue them altogether. I do find myself eyeing the clearance Brites and Color dolls in the store, though, but I think it's mostly for nostalgic reason at this point.

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  18. I have a quick and easy fix for bent or dented plastic. Just put it in very hot water (tea hot to boiling) and it should go back to it's original shape. I use this often for bent hands, shoes and accessories that get warped by the way they are packaged.

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    1. Thank you so much for the tip, komid. I am getting the sense that hot water is like magic with dolls and doll accessories! I have a Liv doll with dented hands, and I might start by trying this technique on her...I'd love to have her hands back to normal.

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  19. My little sister has the nature cabin thing, and its pretty much the same thing, but with different colors and no bed, and not as many stickers, or the bed accesories. (There is a hammock though, and firepit that lights up with batteries, and little marshmellows and hotdogs on the fire poker thingies for roasting above the fire.)

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    1. Just popping by to add my 2 cents worth to this point... the original Maple Lodge was designed for two + dolls (of course, it didn't come with any dolls!) So, there was an eating set for two: two plates, mugs, flatware, placemats, and stools. (The odd bowl in there was supposed to be a mixing bowl- with a larger spoon- so she could mix up her muffins!) There were also two roasting forks! Hotdogs and marshmallows!
      There was a place for 2 dolls to sleep: one was the hammock, and the sleeping bag. The Hayden House was just designed for her, so of course, only one set of dishes. It's been fun reading everyone's comments.

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  20. I really need to buy that. FAST. I still see Liv dolls often, but I only see like 5 of them in all of the stores I've seen them at. I so wish I had one!

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  21. I love your blog; it's extremely entertaining and informative. I have lots of comments I've yet to post, but every time I start I get much too involved. I'll try to keep this one short...ish.

    I think the doll you are calling the It's My Nature Hayden is actually the After School Cool Hayden. If you google "hayden face comparison", you'll see the different wave dolls in their original outfits.

    Apparently I've been living under a rock for several years, since I just discovered Liv dolls a few months into 2013. I didn't realize how fabulous they were until I was actually holding a naked wigless one from the thrift store and could see and feel her quality and beauty. Anyway, I'm SO into these dolls that I have several from each wave -- I've been paypalling my way into an embarrassingly large collection. Some waves even have more than one version, with slight differences in makeup color and placement, and sometimes even the face sculpt (perhaps it's the eye placement?), it seems.

    I was on a quest for It's My Nature Hayden, and I ended up with 5 used ones. Though there are small differences, they have pretty much the same face paint as the one in the google images. I have a couple of used After School Haydens as well, and they also match the corresponding Hayden in the google images.

    I don't have the House Hayden version, but her images on this page look almost exactly like the It's My Nature Haydens I own. The Nature Haydens have lighter eye makeup, more sculpted brows, and light peach lips. The School Haydens have heavier brows, heavy eye makeup, and bright coral shimmery lips. Just as you do, I prefer the lighter makeup. Did you get your Nature Hayden new?

    Someday I hope you'll write about "Life after Liv" or something similar. I admire your openness to new dolls like La Dee Da and Monster High, but I just can't get excited about ANY other affordable play doll out there. I even like my Liv dolls better than my Tonner and Ellowyne dolls.

    I'd also love to see a page devoted to the different Sophies. I can only count 15 different ones and you mentioned 17.

    Sincerely,
    Karen
    Pacific Northwest

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    1. Hi Karen! I was so excited to read your comment--I think you are a kindred spirit. :) I can get so engrossed in all of the different varieties of Liv, and I am so glad to know that I am not alone!

      I will need to investigate the Hayden identity! I might very well have re-dressed my Haydens and gotten confused! Yikes! I don't even remember buying After School Cool Hayden, though, but that doen't mean much. ;) Thank you for pointing it out! I will get back to you. I did buy my Nature Hayden new.

      I would love to do a page on my Sophie collection--that's a great idea! Some of the dolls in my list of 17 are kind-of duplicates, which is probably why it doesn't match your number. For example, the first wave Sophie came on her own, but also came in a gift set with the laptop and a few other accessories. Also, After School Cool Sophie came alone and with her scooter, and of course I had to have both. :P I might have also counted the huge styling head Sophie.

      Here's my list:
      First Wave
      First Wave bonus pack
      Sophie with dog (wave 2)
      Moonlight Dance (Target)
      It's My Nature
      It's My Nature gift set (with 4 dolls and dogs)
      After School Cool
      After School Cool with scooter set
      Walmart exclusive Sophie with purse
      Liv in Wonderland
      Making Waves
      Twist and Dance
      Girls Getaway
      Spa (Color Change)
      Brites
      Liv for Color
      Sleepover Party
      Styling head

      I think that's it! :D

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  22. I was thrilled to read your fast and fun reply yesterday! Thanks for the list; I think you are right about the bonus dolls throwing me off.

    When I said I'd love it if you wrote about "Life after Liv", I meant--but forgot--to ask if you have found any other dolls you like as much.

    I do think the Monster High dolls are pretty cool, but I just don't feel compelled to buy/play with them like I do Liv. I found a La Dee Da doll (probably the one I like best) and a nice outfit (probably the one I like best) discounted at Ross the other day and STILL could not conjure up enough interest to own them. When I go to Target, I walk down the doll aisle and imagine the immediate gratification of purchasing a Dogs wave or Nature wave Liv doll for $20. How awesome it must have been to find them in stores!

    My Ellowyne and Prudence dolls are very lovely...and fun, but they cannot pose as well as the Livs, and their clothes (and shoes) are much harder to change and far more expensive. I do like their size though. Same issues with the two Tonner dolls I have: Simplicity (Antoinette body) and The Waif (Teen body). And you're stuck with their feet being curved or flat.

    How do the more expensive fashion dolls like the ones you mentioned in your recent Poppy Parker review compare? You wrote that the Integrity dolls are fun to pose. Are they as fun as Liv? More fun?

    Have you ever handled a Ficon? I would love to see what they are like.

    …But I adore the combination of teen fashion doll, action figure, tomboy/real girl, and sweetness that Liv dolls exude. Even though I have liked some Barbie dolls in the past, I'm still more of a Skipper or Francie (Barbie's less developed sister and cousin from the 70s) kind of girl (as opposed to the high fashion/haute couture thing). Although I am kind of attracted to the slouchy/draped-across-the-furniture look that the high-end articulated dolls can pull off.

    I actually bought my first thrift shop Liv doll for a Barbie body transplant, but quickly lost interest in changing anything about her (except getting her naked body into a nice outfit!).

    Thanks for the chat!

    Karen, Pacific Northwest

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  23. I too found Liv dolls in 2013 and set off on a quest to buy some.My first was outdoor Sophie (bought locally online)but they only had 6 of these dolls. Next to ebay-amazon & got 3 Livs. Walking into local retailer I Found 3 Livs on the shelf (jul `13) and snapped up the beach wave at bargain of $13 each. So South Africa had a Liv wave & mostly missed it. Sigh I love these dolls.

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  24. Geez!! Can anyone tell me where to find a liv doll nutmeg horse?? Amazon quit selling em and there is none on eBay!!! I had one when I was younger but broke and I want a new one I loved it so much

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  25. these are my favorite dolls i've ever had and it makes me really sad to see them go this Christmas I was actually going to get Hayden and her horse.i wondered onto this website and it took me a while to read through I don't want them to go

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  26. I absolutely adore liv dolls especially Hayden she has that cute look on her. I got the Hayden school's out doll for my 11th birthday! 2 weeks after that I got 3 more liv dolls! (1 Katie Twist and dance,1 other Katie It's my nature and 1 Daniella spa doll) I really love liv dolls I would love to add the Hayden's house doll to my collection but they don't sell anywhere! ;'( -MrsPotatoCookie

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  28. i also won't , can buy according to prices
    i want a byul but been thinking about how expensive they're for months now and will have on Christmas only if the obsession don't go away, it was the same wit blythe i waited 2 years!
    i'm glad you could get what you wanted, i fell in love with liv and upon my search found they were going to be discontinued so i never bought
    as i see blythe, byul, monster high, bratzilla, cutie pixies, isn't dolls with hudge heads also what's trending now?
    have a wonderful day

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.