Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bratzillaz "Meygana Broomstix" Doll by MGA Entertainment

Bratz dolls are not really my style.  I can honestly say that I have never walked the aisles of a toy store and been tempted by a Bratz character.  I don't even like the name.  Remember that I am a huge Cinderella fan, and looking at the world through that lens, the Bratz dolls come off a bit like the bratty stepsisters.

Anyway, Bratz dolls first appeared in 2001 and have been dominating an impressive chunk of the fashion doll market ever since.  Mattel and MGA Entertainment have been suing each other back and forth over these dolls since about 2005--MGA claiming that the My Scene dolls are a rip off of Bratz and Mattel claiming that they actually own the rights to Bratz because the Bratz designer allegedly came up with the idea for these dolls while he was working for Mattel.  A third party is suing Mattel and MGA for stealing what he claims is his idea.  Sheesh.  It's a big mess, and for a while there, I remember there was some serious tension among collectors about whether or not Bratz would be permanently pulled from the shelves.

Things seem to have calmed a bit on the legal front (after lots of money flew back and forth) and Bratz is alive and well and legally owned by MGA.  I have always been mildly interested in this legal battle (I mean, who wouldn't be?  Two behemoth doll companies locking horns is the doll collector's version of watching the World Series) but as I said, I have never been interested in purchasing a Bratz doll...until last week.  Last week I plunked down $20 for a Bratzillaz doll, and I'll tell you why in a sec.  First, here's a picture of the doll I chose (the redhead, of course):

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana
"Meygana Broomstix" Bratzillaz doll by MGA
There are a lot of "x" and "z" names in the doll world, don't you think?  I remember my dad telling me a story about the research that went into naming the Exxon oil company.  Surveys revealed that the letter "x" made an extremely positive impression on people, so Exxon decided to go ahead and add two "x's" and see what would happen.  Just FYI, this story may or may not be true.  Personally, I think cutsie consonants are distracting, but there's a good chance that research says otherwise.

Ok, back on track--why did I buy this Bratz doll?  Well, I have been in a vulnerable state ever since Liv dolls were discontinued.  Feeling my pain, one of you kindly emailed with the consoling news that the newest line of Bratz dolls would have a high level of articulation and inset eyes--two of the features I love so much about Liv.  I scoffed at first, thinking I'd never buy a Bratz doll, but then I saw them in the store.  They're pretty neat.

 Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

The character I bought, Meygana, looks like this in her pictures:


And like this as a doll:


That's confusing.  I think a green-eyed doll with wild silver hair (like in the picture) would be very cool, but I also like the actual red-haired doll with blue eyes.  I'm just not sure what the two have in common.  
Anyway, on the back of the box, there's a fair amount of information:


Meygana has the special magical power of helping people fly and making their "dreams take flight."  Actually, on the box it says she can, "help you fly," which I assume means me.  She can help me fly.  Cool.

I can't fly...yet.
She's friends with a mini flying horse, "Wingsy."  He doesn't make an appearance as a minifigure in the box.  I guess the Bratzillaz pets will be sold separately.  I wish he'd come in the box.  He's pretty cute:

The name is so boring, though.
Why not something like  Zelfirino?
There are magic secrets to be unlocked online, but I probably won't go there.  

You can see all five of the available dolls pictured on the box: Jade, Sashabella, Yasmina, Cloetta and Meygana.  The names are plays on the regular names of the Bratz lineup--Sasha, Yasmin, Cloe and Meygan.  My Toys R Us had all of them, and I liked Meygana and Yasmina the best.  Cloetta made my short list because she has mismatched eyes, but she also has lips that are different colors on opposite sides, and the overall imbalance in her face didn't quite do it for me.

The picture totally makes it look like each doll comes with a pet.
(well, ok, it does say, "pets sold separately").
The dolls are all teenaged witches who study together at a secret Hogwarts-like institution. A big difference between this and Harry Potter is that while Harry and his friends studied things like the dark arts and potions, I think these girls study mostly fashion--to help them "bewitch and beguile."   I learned this from going to the Bratzillaz website and watching the video (which is the only material there right now).  I wish I hadn't watched that video.

Meygana's box is a plastic bubble with a double-layered cardboard back.  If you rip off one layer of cardboard, you see this:

Intimidating.
Removing the plastic is pretty easy:


Meygana comes with a broom-shaped brush, what looks like a broom-shaped purse around her neck, a collector's card and a stand.  Wingsy is just a cardboard cutout.

It looks like a broom guitar.
Getting Meygana off the cardboard was hard.  This section, at the back of her head, was the hardest:

That's red thread, plastic holders, tape AND plastic ties.  The works.
Every different kind of mechanism is holding this doll in place, so you have to pull her up gently, bit by bit, and cut a myriad of connecting materials as you go.  Then, the cardboard is so littered with plastic and tape, it's a huge pain to recycle.  Just like the Winx Club Bloom doll's box.


On the back of the card is the spell that is supposed to make me fly (it doesn't work, but it's possible that I was mispronouncing "Bratzacadabra").  I guess it's more of a metaphorical flying they're talking about.  Bummer.


The broom-brush is a great idea, and it would work pretty well as a brush...if you could actually brush this doll's hair (more on that later):


The stand comes in two pieces that fit together easily.  It is made of a flimsy plastic, but it holds the doll well.  It reminds me of a Pullip stand without the telescoping arm.


Here's Meygana fresh out of the box.  She has goggles and a tiny witch hat tied to her head.  She has one long plastic dangle earring (the other one fell out), a cape, and this strange broom item hanging around her neck.  

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

There's still all kinds of plastic and rubber bands attached to her arms and to her broom, and a bunch of red thread that got stuck in her hair:


The hair.  Oh, my goodness goodness.  This is hands-down the worst hair I have ever seen.  If I said that before (I probably did) scratch that and replace it with this hair.  This hair is coarse, frizzy (not just at the ends, but frizzy everywhere...) and tangled.  I could not run a brush (or my heavy duty comb) through this hair even once...or even part way.

It's road kill hair.
It looks like a crazy, flattened mat of tangles, right?  It is.


The hair takes up all available energy when trying to manipulate this doll, so I quickly removed the goggles and the cape to reduce the complexity.  The cape is thin and pretty cheaply made with no hems or finishing of any kind.  It closes at the top with a small velcro square:


There's still a plastic tie stuck in the cape from my box extraction.  There's also a small clear plastic loop on each side of the cape that I think will fit around the doll's hands or wrists:


The goggles are great.  They are brown and gold and have molded stitching detail and a white elastic strap:


Ok, back to the hair.  The only parts of the hair you can attack with a brush are the very ends, and in these areas, the brush just kind of sticks into the hair, moves a centimeter and then you have to pull the brush out because it gets stuck.  Then, you stare in dismay at the huge mess you've made:


After fluffing the hair, it becomes harder to get the doll to stand, because this mass of hair is heavy.  She wants to tip over backwards like you can't believe:


Forget flying, I wish there was a magic spell to fix this:

Clown costume hair.
Under that mass of hair, Meygana has a neat face.  She has side-glancing sapphire eyes that are probably the most beautiful and interesting inset eyes I have ever seen in a play doll:


The eyes are surrounded by very heavy blue opalescent eyeshadow.  I am not crazy about the shape of the Bratz mouth, but I like the dramatic color of Meygana's lips and the hint of teeth in her smile:

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

I put that earring back in, but the earrings are very poorly made.  The right one keeps falling out:


The design is pretty...


But on both earrings, the short peg that inserts into the ear is crushed.  Maybe it's hard to see in this picture, but the white area on the peg is where the plastic is bent--like it was jammed into the ear with some degree of force and it couldn't handle the pressure.

That peg seems way too short to stay in the ear anyway.
The ear hole is large and crudely cut.  

Ow.
That's the last you'll see of the earrings.  I tossed them aside and moved on.  Here's the broom that was hanging around Meygana's neck:


It's not a purse (it doesn't open, anyway) and it's too short to be an actual broom.  It's heavy and cumbersome and poorly made (that back panel looks like it should open, but only because it's falling off).  Another accessory tossed aside.


Here's Meygana, unencumbered by her accessories:


Now I can appreciate that she has a tattoo of two wings on her arm:

That's her "witchmark," to help with the flying spell.
Next, I wrestled the plastic hat out of her hair.  This was held in place with a clear rubber band, and then secured by two little ponytails of hair.  It didn't come off without a fight.


The hat struggle left Meygana's hair looking like this...


...at which point I decided that I couldn't proceed with the review if the hair wasn't fixed somehow.  I had to use a real human-sized ponytail holder to secure this mega rat's nest:

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

With the hair out of the way, the outfit is revealed.  Meygana is wearing a blue print tube top that is connected to a gold bolero jacket.  On the bottom, she wears a pleated denim skirt with a gold pleather waist band.


Both pieces close in the back with velcro:


The gold fabric is pretty nice--it's surprisingly soft and pliable.  I can't help but contrast this skirt to the cheap blue vinyl skirt of Winx Club Bloom's outfit.  This skirt is much nicer and looks like it will hold up well to play.

There's no hem on the bottom, though.
The skirt has sewn-in black panties to prevent it from riding up.  Much better than a plastic thong.


The top is nice, too.  The cap sleeves have well-concealed elastic on the ends for easy dressing.  The design is fun and I love the colors.  It's almost steampunk.


The tiny plastic crest has silhouettes of a shoe, a ring, a bikini and, what?  A perfume bottle, maybe?  It says "fashion" at the top and "Magic Academy" in the middle.  They could have given the Academy a name, I think.  "Stylz and Spellz?"   "Fabrix and Magix?"  Anyway, the crest is very reminiscent of Hogwarts, and the colors are exactly those of Gryffindor.


Meygana is wearing black boots with pointy toes and painted gold buckles.


The pointy toes are a cute nod to stereotypical witch shoes.


With the horrible hair out of the way, Meygana's fascinating face is much easier to inspect.  My doll has a tiny black spot in between her eyes that I can't remove.  She also has a shiny patch on her forehead.


Her eyes are incredible!

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

The eyes have detail, depth and a bit of sparkle.  I love the side-glancing position because it gives her so much personality.  The eyes are fancy enough that I think they could have laid off the eye makeup a bit, but from what I understand, Bratz dolls are not known for subtle makeup.


Look at this eye, though:


A strand of her unruly hair actually got stuck inside the eye socket.  At least now I know that these dolls are rooted before they have their eyes set.  Interesting tidbit.

I had to get out the tweezers to remove that hair.  
Underneath the clothes, Meygana does, indeed, have a highly articulated body.  She has 12 points of articulation, and good range of movement in all of those joints.  Her ankles are not articulated.  


Her vinyl is very pale--almost white.  It's be tricky to match her head to a replacement body.


Do you notice the gap in her waist joint?  Maybe it's just my doll, but this looks sloppy:

She has a stocky little torso.
She can kneel pretty well, but nothing like a Liv doll.


The gaping waist joint has a good amount of rotation:



She can sit pretty nicely, but that beehive of hair is too heavy...


...and she tends to topple.

There she goes...
Her lower legs are rubbery vinyl, like we saw with Winx Club Bloom and the new Disney body.  These legs are really bendy.  I'm not sure why this material gets used again and again for the lower legs.  This doll, at least, doesn't have any warping or deformity, but the flexibility of the legs makes her wobbly when standing.  Also, there's a subtle color difference between the flexible body parts (the hands and lower legs) and the hard plastic:

Her hands are very straight and flat--a bit robotic.
There she goes again.


The hip joints have great flexibility and she can do full splits in both directions:

The difference in the color of her lower legs and hands is pretty noticeable here.

Here's a lineup.  Meygana can't look straight ahead because of her ginormous ball of hair.  

Barbie Fashionista Artsy, Liv Katie, Meygana, Disney Rapunzel (new version), Monster High Clawdeen
The thing that stands out in this lineup is how short Meygana's torso is.  She looks a bit stumpy.  I had to pose her with that wide-legged stance to support the planet of hair.

Meygana's body is not as well made or attractive as a Liv body.  Liv's posing is much sturdier because she is made completely out of hard plastic (well, except for her hands).  Liv's joints are also tighter and she handles better.  However, Meygana can keep up with the posing to a certain degree:

There'll be no body swapping with that color difference.
Meygana's head rotates and it can bend from side to side.  She can't look up or down very much.


Katie is the all-time kneeling champion.
You can probably tell from the pictures that she's not going to fit any of the other doll's clothes very well.  Maybe she fits regular Bratz clothes?  I don't have any to test this.  Maybe one of you can help?

Monster High clothes are too small.  Barbie (left) and Liv (right) clothes are too loose:


Disney dresses gape at the neck and are too long.  Her pale vinyl makes her look a bit like the Bride of Frankenstein in these pictures.


Winx Club Bloom's skirt actually fits Meygana pretty well, but Meygana's skirt doesn't quite pull up high enough on Bloom.  Meygana's large hands don't fit into Bloom's crop top sleeves.

Bloom's face looks so blank compared to Meygana's.
Meygana's shoes fit Liv and Monster High (they might be a bit big, but they look fine).  Meygana's feet are just big enough that they can't fit into Liv or Monster High shoes.

So, I don't like to modify a doll during a review, but this doll's hair is so awful, I can't really do anything fun or creative with her while that scraggly mop is in place.  

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

I mean, was this the look MGA imagined for Meygana??

Fashionable teenage witch?  I think not.

It might look dramatic or fun in the pictures, but in my opinion, this hair completely ruins the doll.

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

I boiled and combed her hair until my wrist actually hurt.  The tangles and frizz are not confined to just the ends of the hair.  The mess went up so high towards the scalp that I couldn't do anything with this hair until I gave it a significantly shorter, very layered cut.  And then I boiled it again.  And again.  And after about forty five minutes, I got this:


It's not a perfect cut, and the texture of the hair is still a bit coarse, especially at the ends. 


Talk about magic, though--after the haircut, this doll suddenly came to life.  

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

I started posing her and putting some of her accessories back on (which is easy without the tangle of hair) and realized that I was having a lot of fun.  

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

The cape that I so quickly dismissed is actually neat.  You can loop it around her hands for some dramatic poses.



Even the goggles look much better with the new haircut:


This girl loves the camera!

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

She can be sweet:

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

Or sassy:
Talk to the hand.
Or a bit seductive...

Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana
Hey there, Mr. Potter.
Bottom line?  Wow.  This is a tough one, because although there are many creative and effective ways to fix a doll, I don't think that it should be required.  Especially in a children's toy.  This is why I typically shy away from cutting hair, re-shaping legs, re-positioning eyes or anything like that in my reviews.  A play doll should come out of the box in good shape--ready to be played with.  This doll is a total nightmare out of the box.  I found her un-playable.  There's no excuse for this kind of hair--Disney and Spin Master have proven again and again that's it's possible to have great hair on an inexpensive doll.  So as not to be hypocritical, I asked myself why other dolls' unruly hair doesn't bother me to this extreme.  For example, Lagoona frequently suffers from tangles and frizz. I think Lagoona's hair bothers me less because she has less hair, the tangles are less severe, and you can still pose her and play with her (and she looks great) despite the bad hair.  It's also that I was able to fix Lagoona's hair in five minutes with one boil and no cutting.  Meygana takes bad hair to a new level.

This review should probably end with the hair and my unequivocal stamp of disapproval.  However, Meygana won me over a bit at the end with her hypnotic eyes and her posable body.  Even her hair, when cut, is pretty great with its flame red color and soft waves.  I had a wonderful time posing her and photographing her.  Her clothes are interesting and well constructed, and even that cape (while cheaply made) adds significantly to the fun of the doll.  I wish she'd come with a mini Wingsy instead of some of the other pointless accessories.  I'd change a few things about the body--namely the bendy legs, the short torso and the unattractive waist joint.  On the whole, though, this doll poses better than the Winx Club doll, the Disney dolls and many of the other new lines.  I like her much better than the Winx Club doll, which is definitely not what I expected.  For a person who never thought she'd like a Bratz doll, and who was so frustrated by this doll's hair, the degree of appreciation I have for Meygana is remarkable.  Maybe there was a little magic involved.

I might have to inspect one or two of the other characters to see if the problems are pervasive, or just unique to Meygana and my particular doll.  

Summary:
Age Level
5 and up.
Value
If the hair had been decent, $20 would be a fair price.
Quality
The hair is awful and hopelessly tangled.  The doll is highly articulated and the inset eyes are beautiful and unique.  The outfit is skimpy but well made, the cape is cheap but fun. Some of the plastic accessories are poorly made.
Packaging
Mostly plastic, takes a fair amount of effort to get the doll out.  A huge pain to recycle the cardboard.
Collectable?
No.  This is a play doll.
Versatility
Very posable. Has a witch theme that is obvious but not restrictive.  The pale vinyl and heavy make-up are dramatic, but the doll could pass as a normal person. Doesn't share a lot of clothes.
Overall
While this doll has several great qualities and is surprisingly fun, I can’t recommend her because of the factory hair.  Maybe try one of the other Bratzillaz instead.

 Bratzillaz-Doll-Meygana

85 comments:

  1. Really too bad about the hair. I look at her in the store because she was the only one that really appealed to me in the promotional photos, but in person she didn't look as good. But after your hair fixes she looks amazing!!

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    1. Thank you Molly--I am no stylist, but any kind of haircut would make a world of difference with this doll. It just couldn't get any worse than it was.

      I was surprised by the dolls in real life, too. I really thought I'd want Cloetta with her funky eyes, but she just didn't click for some reason in person.

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  2. I actually bought Yasmina, Jade and Cloe at Toys R Us a week ago, they're okay but not all that great. I especially don't like their rubbery legs. They feel odd.

    Also, when ever I pick up these dolls, I can't help compare them to Monster High dolls. My friend and I make jokes all the time about it too.

    By the way, I LOVE the haircut you gave Meygan! She looks great with it. :)

    Great review, too! :)

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    1. You found all three of them! Wow! How is Yasmina's hair? I'd like to buy her, too, I think, to give the line one more chance.

      Of course I totally agree that they're not as great as they could have been....and those legs definitely feel odd! Monster High places the bar pretty high. I do think the eyes are special, though.

      I am amazed that Meygan's haircut came out at all, you should have seen me in the process--mad as a hornet and going crazy with the dog's electric razor! Not pretty. ;)

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    2. Haha! Yes I did. I was originally going to pick up the entire Monster High 'Ghouls Rule' line but I didn't like how Toys R Us makes the dolls more expensive. I haven't taken Yasmina's hair down, but it feels dry at the ends of her braids. I don't think I am going to take her down, actually. :P

      The prototypes(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7112/7509932042_8292702ead_h.jpg) for the Bratzillaz had much more details! It's really a shame that they didn't come with all the additional details. (gloves, leggings, extra jewelry)

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    3. I have the doll on the picture

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  3. Great review as usual :) Meygana is much prettier than the standard Bratz dolls, and I really like the (somewhat steampunk) outfit a lot. With her hair up, she also looks quite stylish!

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    1. Thank you, Barb! Yeah, she kind-of pulled off that ratty beehive look, didn't she? She wants to be elegant so badly, but that hair is a huge handicap. The outfit is surprisingly good. I am so used to cramming big hands through small sleeves, I was relieved and happy to see how soft and flexible the gold top is--very nice, indeed.

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  4. She has real feet!!!! That's not normal for a bratz doll. I guess that seems to be one of her best qualities. They do seem like a competition with the monster high girls. Although I don't think they are better. She is pretty though but WOW her hair!!!! EWWWWWWW It does look 100 times better after you fixed her up.

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    1. LOL! I'm afraid to ask what Bratz dolls usually have instead of feet...?! Are they like Moxie Girlz in that the foot and shoe come completely off? Interesting! I'm really glad you pointed out that difference.

      These Bratzillaz remind me of the BEGoth dolls, too, which I will review soon... ;)

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  5. I'm really glad they gave the poor girl feet. I never cared for Bratz, either, until I read an article about the creator and part of his goal was to make a line of dolls that were very ethnically diverse. Not that they couldn't have been diverse without dressing like hookers, but at least he tried.
    I have a couple of barbies with the ultra-pale skin (like on of the princesses of china)--I'm tempted to get one of these as a body donor.

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    1. That's a good angle to have when looking at the Bratz dolls. I do tend to have the mantra that I'd rather see a doll company or a doll designer try something new and fail than never try at all.

      Thank you for the tip on the ultra-pale Barbies! I'll keep an eye out for those now.

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  6. This was such a fun and informative read again, thanks! I've never really warmed up to the Bratz dolls because they barely have a nose, their makeup is garish and the separate feet/shoes concept is just annoying. These Bratzillas look like fun and Meygana's eyes are gorgeous, not to mention the fiery red hair colour, but I'm still on the fence about buying.

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    1. Thank you, Alice! On the fence is a good place to be with this doll--I'm still on the fence even after I bought her! They do have practically no nose--you're right! I was too distracted by the hair to even notice that. It's nice that these dolls have feet, though. I didn't realize that this was a novel concept for the Bratz dolls until just yesterday when April pointed it out.

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  7. How hard was it to get her hair to look like that, cutting wise? I'm awful at cutting doll hair, so I'm wondering if I should bother trying to pick her up if she ever goes on sale when I have money. :)

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    1. It wasn't too bad--I am no expert at cutting hair, in fact my boys won't let me NEAR their hair...I just used a big comb and and electric razor (because I don't have any really sharp scissors in the house) and combed until the comb got stuck, then shaved off everything on the far side of the comb! I am shocked that it worked at all, actually! ;)

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  8. I have to say, just like you, I've never considered Bratz - always hated their 'trout pouts'. But those last few pictures are great! Good lord, I think your blog is going to bankrupt me! XD I will have to learn how to cut hair, though...I can't believe there's something out there with worse hair than the create-a-monster wigs!

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    1. Oh, my gosh, I know! Those Create-A-Monster wigs are still close to the top of my all-time bad list. I never tried boiling or cutting them, though...they left here too fast. ;)

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    2. Hi again! Thought I'd drop in to say that I managed to get Meygana here in the UK and...how peculiar...she comes with her pet! It's strange to say the least, and may explain why they're so much more expensive here, even more than usual. But it's pretty unfair to US customers who have to hunt the pets down if they want them.

      Also, as a CAM aside, Mattel is selling extra torsos and upper body parts on their website. Why they couldn't just include them with the original dolls I don't know, but I'm going to get the dragon now (along with a decent wig!).

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    3. Actually, Mattel does include an extra torso in the CAM packs now! :D
      They even re-released the older CAM packs with an extra torso, so the CAM packs are complete now, except for the shoes and I think some of them only have 1 wig. Really strange.

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    4. Yeah--I noticed that at the store yesterday--two CAM torsos and one wig. They listened! It's also great that Mattel has extra torsos for sale on their website. Good move.

      I still haven't seen those Bratzillaz pets, Frankie! It's great that they come included with the dolls in the UK! Sorry it makes them expensive, though.

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  9. Okay, so I went from reading this post thinking "What a shame- here's ANOTHER gross cheap-looking doll..."
    Then I got to the part where you magically fixed her hair and by golly! Now this is a doll I am dying to get! She is stunning! :-)

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    1. You pretty much perfectly summarized my reaction as I was reviewing her! It's so funny how much difference a hair cut can make. It makes me want to take myself to the salon and see what magic they can work...

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  10. Hello from spain: Great review as usual you do. This doll is very original. I like her hair and the clothes. Keep in touch

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  11. Thanks for this! We *just* bought this doll today and it's good to know I can fix the hair. I'll probably wait until my daughter plays with her enough so it's a super mess. She's more likely to let me chop it then. I am not a doll collector, I just have a little girl who loves dolls, could you explain to me what you mean by "boiling" the hair? Obviously I know what boiling is ;) but how does the process work on doll hair?

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    1. Well, I should definitely step aside and let some of the more expert hair people answer this for you...but I can quickly tell you what I did because I am super impatient, so you'll at least know the quick version.

      I boil a coffee mug of water in the microwave, and then dip the doll's hair in it for about a minute. I usually comb the tangles out with a thick comb and then dip the hair one more time. For some dolls, like Lagoona, this simple process works really well to remove tangles and smooth the hair. For dolls like Bloom and Meygana (who I'm told have nylon hair) the hair can be slightly improved with boiling, but it's still gonna be a pretty frizzy mess that needs some trimming.

      Now...hopefully someone will step in and tell you the best way to do it... ;)

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  12. Hello Emily,

    I loved the review, and wanted to share my (limited) experience with Bratz/MGA dolls. I too am not a fan of the Bratz line - I hated the fact that their feet came off, the REALLY tiny bodies and the heavy facial screening. Unfortunately for me, that was the popular doll when my oldest were young, and they have received a small number of them from well meaning friends and relatives. Moxie Girls were a slight improvement - their facial screening is better, but their feet still come off (and they peg size is different so you can't share feet/shoes between the two lines). The hair issue is hit and miss with all MGA brand dolls - some have beautiful silky hair that is no problem to handle and others have that nightmarish cloud of tangles that I walk away from (which is saying a lot...I can't count how many times I have sat down and absentmindedly brushed and smoothed out a dolls tresses, just because I knew she could look better). The earring problem is not new either; I have a Moxie Teenz Bijou whose earrings fall off if you turn your back to them (really). Not everything is bad though...if I remember correctly, I have no complaint about clothing for MGA dolls, EXCEPT for the fact that there seems to be little in the way of accessory clothing avilable. It seems to me that MGA's focus, for the most part, is on the appearance of the doll, rather than the quality, an opinion that is based on the handful of that manufacturer's product that dwell in our house.
    I am tempted to get one of this line, to see if they would be a suitable replacement for the Liv dolls, but, I am so prejudiced against all of their dolls that I don't know if I could. A harsh opinion maybe, but it's a struggle to purchase something that will ultimately be so disappointing!

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    1. I forgot to add that maybe the magic will work during a full moon on a Friday the 13th around one of the equinoxes at a certain altitude...there always seems to be a catch with spells!

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    2. I knew I was doing something wrong with that spell! You know what's weird, though, it WAS Friday the 13th when I tried it! It was just the full moon I was missing. ;)

      I like your perspective of looking at the MGA products as a group. That's fun to think about! You’re on to something with the appearance idea, too. I even have an example—the other day as I was packing up my extra Pen Pal BFC Ink doll for eBay, I kept thinking, “she looks so cute! She’s just darling! Why didn’t I like this doll in my review..?” It’s because she looks better than she is.

      Of the MGA group, I like the Moxie Teenz the best by quite a lot. I was pretty smitten with the original release (I agree with you about the earrings, but I usually remove most of that plastic jewelry...). The Teenz have nice wigs/hair, too, especially when compared to Meygana (!).

      I totally agree with your bottom line as well, and don't think it's harsh. After paying for disappointment enough times, it doesn't make any sense to go back for more! If you end up getting a Bratzillaz doll, I wouldn't expect a Liv replacement, but I hope you'll find them an interesting improvement on the regular Bratz dolls.

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  13. she looks great good job!!! I have one of the 10" jointed 'rock star' bratz dolls (with peg feet); not sure if she's smaller than this one but mine can wear BFC Ink clothes perfectly, juku and stacie... hope you find some cute clothes!!!

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  14. I love the hair transformation, and how you described the boiling process. When I wore synthetic braided extensions I would put foam rollers in my hair to get the smooth ringlets and do them the same way you described.Dipping them in hot water for a full minute.

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  15. She would fit regular Bratz clothes. But I don't think you want to do that because - at least, when I was younger - the Bratz clothes mostly consist of very short skirts that don't cover everything, and tops that show off a good chunk of their stomachs.

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    1. It nice at least that MGA made them able to share clothes with regular Bratz, even if the style of the clothes isn't appealing. It seems so silly to come up with a totally new shape of doll, unless there are big plans to release wardrobe separates.

      There are a few newer Bratz dolls with evening gowns (Masquerade) and from just scanning the selection at Toys R Us, there are some cute regular-looking outfits, too. It sounds like this is an improvement from the dolls that you remember--thank goodness! I might keep an eye out for those dolls to go on sale--they can be clothing donors for Meygana. :)

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  16. I Think you should do the rest of the reviews on the bratzillaz dolls i like reading your reviews and pictures its nice to know about the doll idk but i like the look of theses dolls even though they have simular looks to other dolls.

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    1. Thank you so much! I do plan to do at least one more Bratzillaz review...maybe two. Two of the other grils are calling out to me. :)

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  17. There was a period that I loved Bratz, The first doll that I ever got off the internet was a Bratz doll!
    I loved everything about them, they never were ridiculously expensive, and so my collection began.
    I still have a lot of them, some second hand, some I bought at the toy store.
    Over time my interest in Bratz dolls became less and less.
    It even seemed that the Bratz were discontinued, untill earlier this year.
    I was surprised to see Bratz again at the toys store, I liked them but not enough to actually buy them or put them on my wishlist, I had the Monster High fever!
    But, I've heard a lot about the Bratzillaz so I think this review is very interesting.
    The Bratzillaz aren't released here yet but I think they will come to the Netherlands too.
    I'm surprised to see the differences between the Bratzillaz and the Bratz dolls I know, and have.
    The inset eyes, the articulated body.. it's all so different from what I know so well.
    But I really like these changes, especially the eyes, so if the Bratzillaz come to the Netherlands I will consider putting them on my wishlist.
    Even though her hair was so wild, you managed to tame it, it looked awesome after the boiling and hair cut!
    Ever thought about a career as a hairdresser for dolls? :)
    Overall I really like this doll, even with the problems.

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    1. Me, too, Dailey--I really like her despite the problems! Since she's my first Bratz doll, I am kind of coming at this line backwards from the way you (and most collectors) did. It's interesting to hear your thoughts from the perspective of someone who used to collect Bratz and then switched to Monster High. I wonder how much time MGA spent thinking about how to get collectors like you back on the Bratz team? Maybe they came up with a good solution. I still prefer Monster High, but these dolls have something intriguing to offer and seem to me to be a step up from the regular Bratz.

      Thank you for your kind words about the hair--I always feel lucky when hair cuts work out well for me. I don't have a good track record with cutting doll hair...better keep my regular job. ;)

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    2. Well, MGA got me a little bit back with this doll line, I have a lot of history with the Bratz dolls and now I'm even looking at second hand dolls on marktplaats.nl again! (marktplaats is a sort of eBay, but only for the Netherlands)
      But still, I think it's a bit too late for a comeback, though you can find me dreaming about having some of the older Bratz dolls and the Bratz house again!

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    3. Oh, and I think that if it's really, really, really needed you can pull a good hair cut off :)
      Just don't try to fix Liv wigs xD

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  18. Very useful to read your review. Thank you. When I saw the coloring of this doll I thought immediately of Disney's Brave doll, Merida. Not sure about the timing of the two lines, but the similarities are there and don't seem coincidental. Pale skin, inset blue eyes, flaming red hair (with frizz problems), blue cape, magical story, horse. Many people went crazy (me included) with Merida. Seems like the manuf aimed to kill more than one bird with one stone: compete with Monster High, borrow from the Brave craze, throw in a dash of Harry Potter and possibly achieve success. I think the designs are impressive. Wonder if a pale Obitsu body would make sense. Glad to know about the imperfections, although I'd probably just keep them untouched like figurines. Super bkgrd info and job with the hair, too, btw.

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  19. Yes--I think you're really on to something with this, "compete with Monster High, borrow from the Brave craze, throw in a dash of Harry Potter and possibly achieve success." With some features of Liv dolls thrown in for good measure, too, I think.

    It's fine (and probably necessary) to re-use ideas at some level, especially if the final product is something fun and slightly different, but on the other hand, I do get tired of the recycled themes sometimes. It's much more exciting to see a new doll line that is truly offering something unique.

    Pale Obitsu is a great idea! My Obitsu bodies are tan, but I could use them to try out the fit and then order a pale body if it worked well...

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    1. It's scary to think how suggestible people can be. I looked at your Merida pics and remembered my doll which I have packed away. She doesn't have inset blue eyes! I must have confused the pictures from the film with the doll...I saw Meygana in the store and her hair doesn't seem as vibrant as Merida's. But she'll still form a nice addition to my red-haired doll sub collection. Gorgeous Philip Heath you have btw. :)

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    2. Well, in your defense, Merida's painted eyes look like inset eyes. I think it's the shape and the vibrant (shiny) color that gives them that effect.

      Thank you re. the Philip Heath--I adore her. I am drawn to redheaded dolls, too, for some reason. Maybe because I always wanted red hair and then my youngest son ended up with it? Hmm...

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  20. Hello,I just wanted to ask...cause I really want this doll...when u boil the hair,does it lose color?

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    1. Good question! It didn't loose much color, no. Not like some other dolls. I boiled Meygana's hair many times, too. Maybe five times? It might have lost a tiny bit of color (the water in my cup was tinted pink) but I'd never be able to tell looking at her now.

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  21. Hi,Im new to dolls,and I boiled her hair many times,and nothing happened,I tried brushing it and shampoo and conditioner....she still have the frizzies they're untamable it seems...the ends ANNOY me...how did u fix the frizzies on her?

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    1. Actually, for me the boiling wasn't nearly as helpful as just cutting the worst parts off of the hair. The boiling basically makes it possible to get a comb through her hair so that you can give her an even haircut.

      I probably took a good inch or two off the ends. I get the feeling that the frizzies might come back, but for now, the ends are pretty smooth and the hair is very manageable. I'd recommend giving her a haircut! Good luck. It is very, VERY frustrating hair.

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  22. I love your reviews very, very much. I've red some of the dolls of my wishlist and based in what your reviews said, I will take my decision.

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  23. I bought my first Bratz last year. Second hand by Ebay. I really enjoyed it because all accessories and hair was so good quality that I bought more. This year I bought some of the released 2011 and the hair is really a mess. I boiled and conditioned twice on Bratz Express It Jade and made a hair cut of 1 inch and it did improve the hair for a while, till I tried the original hair style again and back, the mess appeared again. I really believe the Bratz have changed by time in quality and details. The last ones showed very poor quality hair and very rubbish accessories. My last one a Cloe Rock start has a very messy hair, not matter that glows in the dark, it is impossible to comb and the articulated body hardly stands because the hair is too much for the body to have the right balance.
    About the Bratzillaz, the collection goes straight into competition with the Monster High. I don't really like Monster's dolls, but the quality of accessories and hair is far superior to the Bratzillaz.
    If the new Bratz are going to incorporate the feet, what is going to happen with the big collection of feet on shoes I've got for the previous ones? One of the most attractive facts in Bratz dolls it is that you can interchange feet on shoes, clothes and accessories. Hope to get the first collections of Bratz on Ebay and forget about the new ones.

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    1. That's very interesting--so was your first Bratz doll from 2010, or even earlier than that? It would be good to know when the switch in quality occurred. I have also heard that there is some variation in quality (especially with the hair) within the same year, maybe depending on the type of hair (curly or straight) and the hair style.

      I am noticing that Meygana's hair is starting to get frizzy again, so I totally agree with what you're saying about how the boiling and cutting can help for a while, but in the end it is just bad hair.

      I am wondering if the regular Bratz lines will continue to have the detachable feet and it is just these Bratzillaz that will have regular shoes? I can see how frustrating it would be to have a great collection of feet and then suddenly have no new dolls that could use them. Reminds me of MGA changing their Moxie Teenz so that they didn't have wigs anymore. I didn't like that.

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  24. Anonymous Coward218August 7, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Dailey Star: Bratz were never discontinued, MGA was tied up in a lawsuit over the Bratz line of dolls, and as a result,we got Moxie Girlz and Moxie Teenz!

    Emily: LOVE your Blog! Thanks for doing it!

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  25. I really like these dolls, maybe because I'm a big Harry Potter fan! Too bad her hair is such a poor quality... but you did a great job with the haircut!
    I hope they arrive to Spain soon! I got my first Bratz doll when they came out and I was still a child, so I'm quite excited to see these ones :)

    By the way, I'm more of a doll observant than a collector, but your blog really makes me want to start collecting! The other I saw a Liv doll for only 10€ (she retailed for 31.40€!!) and thinking of your blog I couldn't do anything but get her!

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    1. Thank you, Moni! I hope I'm not going to cause too much trouble at your house...collecting can be dangerous! ;) That's a great deal for a Liv-what do you think of her?

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    2. Yes, I do agree that collecting can get quite addictive. But I'm a bit limited, being a college student and having a small room!
      I really like my Liv doll, I hadn't had an articulated doll before! I was actually with my parents and they encouraged me to get her, saying she was very pretty and a good deal! :)

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    3. What wonderful parents you have! That's great that they would be so supportive. I really think that it is better to have a few special dolls than to have too many...I just wish I could hold myself to that ideal! ;)

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  26. "They're pretty neat." That was my impression exactly when I happened across the Bratzilla dolls for the first time yesterday. I ended up buying Meygana for her "steampunk" inspired outfit, which I was planning to use to supplement the not-sufficiently-steampunk outfit of Monster High Robecca Steam. The more I look at Meygana, though, the more I'm thinking she might become the first Bratz doll that I actually keep. In fact, I may head back to the store in the hope that I can still find the rest of the Bratzilla series.

    I have not yet opened the package, but your photos and description accurately reflect my past experience opening Bratz packaging. They have been the most difficult boxes to open of any toys I've purchased. There is definitely no chance of saving the box for re-use, or of salvaging much of the box art.

    I discovered your web site this evening while looking for information about La Dee Da dolls (your review shows up prominently in search engine listings), and it's going to become one of my favorites, I can tell! I suspect that I'll be whiling away many hours perusing your archives.

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    1. Welcome to the blog!

      It's funny that we had such similar reactions to the Bratzillaz. I think Meygana will stick around as my only, lonely Bratz doll. I have to warn you, though, that I was not as impressed with Yasmina as I am with Meygana. Still, there's enough about this line that I find myself stopping and looking at the dolls every time I'm in a toy store. I really think it's those eyes--they are so clever! If you get any more of these, I'll be very interested to hear what you think!

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  27. Hi I came to your blog from your Flickr stream. This doll's red hair caught my eye.
    I loved your review, I don't think I've ever seen one done as thoroughly, it's like having bought the doll myself. Your photographs are also just perfect. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
    I really like this new body, I ended up with several Bratz dolls a couple of years ago and put almost all of their heads on belly button Barbie bodies.I hate those detachable feet.(I didn't have to behead any pristine Barbies,the ones I find in thrift stores are almost always nearly bald).
    Your review definitely makes me want to buy one when they turn up in Canada. I'm not too worried about the hair. My own very long curly hair could give this girl's a run for its money.
    Again, thanks for the great review.

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  28. Regarding your comment on "cutesy consonants," have you seen/heard of the Mystixx Vampires?

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  29. Hello Emily

    I just found your blog 3 days ago and it took me 26 hours to read it completely :D
    I LOVE your rewiews!!

    I just bought Meygana today ( they hit the stores in Germany just yesterday! ) and I really should have thought about it twice after reading your review .. *sigh*

    When I took her out of the box, she lost about half of her hair -
    and what was left of it is a tangled, sticky and somehow oily mess .. I am really
    disappointed by her.
    I have been a Monster High Collector for quite a while now
    and I have NEVER had such feelings to one of my MH girls.

    Well yeah - love your blog, keep the good work up.
    I fell in love with quite a lot of your dolls, who where never available in Germany.
    Bummer.

    All the best
    Lucy

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  30. OHMYGOSH! Her hair was terrrible,then you did magic, and it looked AMAZING! Maybe that spell she came with was so you could fix her hair amazingly!

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  31. Hi, i just wanted to ask, when you say you boiled the hair , how exactly she looks so much better and my daughter wants them for Christmas, but i'm dredding all the hair.
    Thanks,
    Maddy

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  32. hey i love your review check ou mine at dollieduo.blogspot.com thanx love ya

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  33. Toys R Us just had a sale on Bratz and these dolls were 13.99. I have never had a doll with hair this rough. It's like the color-change hair on some dolls I had growing up, and I hate the rough texture. I have her hair tamed but I need to learn how to boil. Your Meygana looks great.

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  34. oh, i saw her today at the shop. and wanna find it *_****

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  35. I'm not much of a Bratz fan myself but I was thinking about getting this one, she's very pretty an unique. But I'm still angrily boiling Winx Club Bloom's hair every now and then, and I thought that was terrible quality! Maybe if I can get it on clearance or something I'll get the doll, but not for full price. :) Bad quality hair just kills me.

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  36. I always HATED Bratz dolls, but when I saw the Bratzillas, I really wanted one. This review is helpful, but I still might get Meygana, but I probably will cut her hair. I HATE bad quality hair though!!!

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  37. I have Meygana, and her hair is bad, but not too bad. I wanted her because of the eyes, the hair color, and the steampunk outfit.

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  38. OMG! You really are a Toy Philosopher! Your reviews helped me a lot! I saw your review about the Liv Doll and wow, you impressed me! I bought the same Liv doll, the one with the house, and you are absolutely and actually right about everything. Every single detail is well-described. Thank you very much.

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  39. Perdon pero esos errores son porque no las cuidas, yo juego con mis Bratzillaz y juego y juego y juego pero las cuido mucho, no les corto el pelo ni les quiyo la ropa y ve que tan flexibles son, eso no es cuidar SI COMPRAS ALGO CUIDDALO POR LO MENOS EL PRIMER DIA

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  40. Your haircut looks amazing!! The doll definitely should have come like that in the first place. It/s still long enough to comb and is plenty dramatic. I want to buy one like yours! haha

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  41. Silly question: haven't you tried rinsing the hair with fabric softener?

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  42. hola soy mexicana y yo tambien compre esa muñeca y la sirena que sacaron de la misma colección y me parece que su cabello es genial yo si la pude peinar, que pena que le cortaras el cabello. todas tus revisiones son exelentes felicidades, pero en lo del cabello de esta muñeca no estoy de acuerdo. saludos.

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  43. I don't understand why people bought these dolls when they could have bought Liv dolls. They are close to Liv dolls but not as good.

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  44. SO I started reading your blog last week. Hi. I'm not really a doll person (all my Barbies are in the basement except for one that's still in it's box) but you've inspired me to start looking at them differentially. Your reviews are really helpful and also pretty interesting. This one was really cool with how the doll looked before and after.
    -Sara

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  45. I agree with you 100% on the fact that this doll has the worst quality hair imaginable. I have never seen anything like it in my life. I bought Meygana second-hand and I thought I would be able to tame her mess of frizzy hair, but the more I worked with Meygana's hair, the worse things got. The more I tried to restore and condition..the worse she looked. I do not make it a practice to cut a doll's hair, but I had to make an exception. Even after her haircut, this coarse texture and unmanageable frizz has me considering doing a full re-root on Meygana. I am just glad to hear that you also found her hair to be unmanageable. I feel so defeated. I have been working on her for three days. Tina

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  46. One more thing, (sorry to keep ranting about her hair), but I have to say, I experienced the SAME SAME SAME things you were talking about when trying to comb and tame this mess. I had not seen this particular post prior to my struggle. It's just too funny that we both said that we don't typically advocate cutting a doll's hair...
    This doll's hair is the exception to every rule.
    Your haircut looks really good. I wish I would have not tried to brush my doll's hair again afterwards. It's an OCD person's worst nightmare.

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  48. I'm going to get a New Year one Meygana. Thank you for demonstrating so-what should she do, and what you get with her. In the shop I saw and Jasmine and Sashabellu and Cloe and Jade, but I decided az Meygana. :)
    I'm from Serbia. You???

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  49. This is an awesome review. I had so much fun reading it. I shared your growing distress while discovering how horrible her hair really is, and then enjoyed your growing fun and delight while taking photos of your improved Meygana.

    Your review is well-rounded and observant. Your photos are amazing. I haven't the words to do them justice.

    I really enjoyed your review. So, thank you very much for that.

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  50. I just bought myself a Meygana doll. I don't like her face makeup, so I decided to repaint her. I am pretty new to repainting and only tested in on two old barbies before this repaint, but eventhough its not perfect her face turned very beautiful, because the face sculpt is well done and the beautiful glass eyes give her depth.

    I agree that her hair is messy but its still beautiful and voluminous, and like in your example, this can be fixed. :)
    She is really the best out of Bratz Dolls, and I don't regret buying her.

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