Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bratzillaz "Yasmina Clairvoya" Doll

I reviewed a Bratzillaz doll pretty recently (Meygana Broomstix), but Meygana's hair was such a disaster, I decided that it might be worth looking at another one of these newcomers before passing my final judgement on the line.  Also, I am experimenting with some different backgrounds for my pictures, and this doll works really well with my new favorite grey background.  Let me know what you think.

The other thing I want to mention before I get started is that I seem to have 99 followers.  This is really exciting for me!  I think that when our group gets to 100, there should be another giveaway, which is the only way I can think of to party online.  I also think that at least part of the giveaway should be open to the first 100 followers only.  Not to be snobby and exclusive or anything, but just as a way of saying "thank you" and celebrating you awesome first 100 followers.  There will probably be a giveaway for non-followers, too, just to be fair.  I'm still working on the details...and I still need one more follower (no pressure).

In the meantime, here is the second Bratzillaz doll I bought, Yasmina Clairvoya:

"Yasmina Clairvoya" Bratzillaz doll.
Why Yasmina?  Well, I was tempted by Sashabella's cat eyes, but the Sasha at my store had wonky cat eyes, which are not so great.  I picked Yasmina because of her purple hair and her coy side-glancing eyes.  Also, her hair is straight, and so I thought it would be a good contrast to Meygana's curly mess.

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll


I like that Yasmina can see into the future and can, "help me be ready for anything that comes my way."  This is particularly helpful as I face the beginning of another semester of teaching.


I was perplexed by why Meygana had grey hair on the box and red hair in reality.  Yasmina has grey hair in her picture, too, so it seems that all of the characters have this dichotomy:


I have to admit, I really like the grey hair.  I hope MGA produces a line of dolls with this version of the hair.  Yasmina's pet is a bizarre cyclops thing with braids and a monocle.  He looks a bit like Sheldon J. Plankton from Spongebob:

I think he's a calanoid copepod.
You can get your own stuffed calanoid copepod here.
This box is exactly the same (just as irritating) as Meygana's box.  You have to cut the front of the box off and then wrestle the doll out of her various creative forms of excessive packaging:


This plastic arm brace is my favorite.  It's like a plastic cast, molded to hold her arm in exactly the right position.  I suppose a creative kid could use this as a cast and have some fun hospital games, but it seems like overkill.

Get this thing off my haaaand!
The cast is tied securely to Yasmina's gold plastic monocle:


Yasmina comes with a stand, a broom-shaped brush (just like Meygana's) and the spy glass.  She's also wearing a purple witch hat and an earring.  By my count, this is one fewer accessory than Meygana has.  Meygana came with a stand, a brush, a hat, earrings, flight goggles and a strange broom thing hanging around her neck.  


Here's Yasmina free from the box and set up on her stand:

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll

I was really interested in Yasmina's hair because of how awful Meygana's hair is.  Let me quickly share something that a very knowledgeable friend on Flickr taught me about doll hair.  She told me that there are three basic fibers used for doll hair.  Here are the three types and some examples of dolls that have that hair:

Nylon (newer Bratz, Winx Club)
Kankelon (Liv, Monster High's Ghoulia and Spectra)
Saran (lower quality = M.H. Lagoona, higher quality = Tonner dolls). 

All nylon hair is coarse and messy and the curly nylon is just ridiculous.  It should be outlawed. Kankelon tends to be soft and manageable, as does the high quality saran.  MGA seems to use a lot of nylon, which is a shame.


Despite this hair looking smoother and shinier than Meygana's hair, I think it is also nylon.  It's very coarse and frizzy at the ends.


The hairstyle is ambitious, but falls short a bit with the execution.  From the left, you can see a small bald patch under one of the braided buns.  Look how flat her profile is, too:

What happened to my nose??
The braids come together in a neat way in the back, with the loose bottom of each braid hanging down over the back of her head like a bobbed hair cut.  You can see how rough the ends of the hair are in this picture:


Underneath the hair from the ends of the braids, the rooted hair is pretty thin:


It's rooted in a specific pattern to accommodate the hairstyle, so it would probably be difficult to re-style.  The right side of the head also has a small bald patch:



She has two long braids hanging down on either side of her head.  One braid is a bit messy in the middle:


The cape looks messy, too.  It bunches up around her neck and has some threads left from being sewn into the box.


The cape is made out of two layers of material.  The inner layer is a very thin black knit, and the outer layer is a heavier purple knit with a black geometric print and oval holes that allow the black to show through:


The neck has a small velcro square and a plastic shield ornament.


Light shines through the thinner black material:


The cape is not cut very carefully, and so the edges are ragged and droopy in places where the purple material was cut right in the middle of one of the holes:


Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll

The cape is really bulky and distracting, so I took it off to get a better look at her.  I think she's much cuter without the cape:

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll

I like her face.  I'm not wild about the hair around her face.  I think that the heavy bangs coupled with the two tendrils of hair on the sides looks cluttered, especially with everything that's going on at the back of her head. Also, the hair doesn't lie down smoothly, so with every extra hair detail, there's more opportunity for things to look out of place and messy.


She has a single key-shaped earring.  I didn't care for Meygana's earrings, but this one is fun and attractive and adds something special to her look:

It matches her eyes.
Her golden eyes and dramatic eyebrows make for an unusual face that's a bit intimidating:


The irises have a subtle purple tint around the edge, which looks fantastic and coordinates with the three toned eyeshadow:


My Yasmina has a small defect in her mouth paint.  The teeth did not get fully painted on the right side of her face:

You, ah, have some lipstick on your teeth, champ.
I thought Meygana had a very cute, well-made outfit.  I am not as impressed by Yasmina's outfit:


She's wearing a three piece outfit that consists of a corset top, a small jacket and a pair of yellow capri pants.  The short sleeves on the jacket show off her witch mark:

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll
Behold!  The Eye of Horus!
Yasmina's witch mark is an Egyptian eye, which helps her see into the future:


The shiny snakeskin bolero jacket is my least favorite piece.  It constricts Yasmina's movement and looks uncomfortable:


The jacket is tacked closed at the top with a small plastic tie:


If you cut the tie, the jacket hangs open and looks a bit better...but only if her arms are straight out to each side like this:


If her arms are at her sides, the sleeves of the jacket pull down and the shape of the jacket is obscured:


The black faux leather straps on either side of the jacket are a nice detail, but the strap on the right side of the jacket is not attached very well.  The edge hangs off on the bottom and the whole strap is a bit loose:



I like her outfit much better without the jacket:


She looks a little underdressed like this, but the purple corset tube top is cute and simple and has some nice details:

The gold trim looks a bit like suspenders.
The top closes in the back with a strip of velcro.  It is made out of a soft faux leather that is similar in texture to the gold fabric on Meygana's top.


The inside seams are a bit sloppy:


I like the style and color of the capri pants, but the yellowish gold material is really cheap and a bit transparent.  You can see her underwear and her hip joints:

Wardrobe malfunction.
The pocket really opens and is stitched nicely:


Here she is without her top and boots so that you can see the cut of the pants:



The boots are ok, but they don't add anything to the outfit and they remind me a bit too much of Timberland Wellingtons:


Or maybe the fashion version of a Bean boot.


Yasmina's body is the same as Meygana's, except for the color of the plastic.  Meygana is much paler than Yasmina.  


The gaps in the waist and hip joints seem to be standard for this line:


Yasmina's unique accessory is her monocle.  I don't usually get too excited about the cheap plastic accessories with these dolls, but this is a pretty fun toy.  You can pose Yasmina with it (her rubbery hands grip it nicely):

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll
You want me to look into your future?
And she can even look through it if you position her arm just right:

Hmm...I can see a cup with boiling water and...wait!  Is that my head?? Ahhhhhh!
And, anyone who ever played bug-eyed games with a magnifying glass won't be disappointed...

Sultry Eye
Silly Eye.
Evil Eye.
I didn't want to take the whole fancy hairstyle down on this doll, in case someone else wants her someday or something, so I just let down the two long braids.  This gave me a better sense for the texture and manageability of the hair.


The braids both come from a separately rooted section of hair that runs along the bottom of the head:


The hair feels cheap and gets tangled really easily.  You can see a little snarl if you peer at the bottom of her hair in this picture:


The hair is stiff, and the sections from each braid stay separate even when the braids are undone.  


Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll


I re-braided her hair and put her all back together for one last picture:


The Bratzillaz dolls are hard to pose because of their rubbery legs.  If you add a bulky cape and flyaway hair to this jello-leg scenario, you have the recipe for a certain amount of frustration and a short photo session.  

Let me briefly point out some comparisons between Yasmina and Meygana.  

They can't make eye contact...unless one of them is upside down.

Meygana is very pale and a little spooky in comparison to Yasmina.  They both have interesting eyes, but Meygana's are really special.


I think Meygana has an outfit that goes together much better than Yasmina's.  I like Yasmina's purple top, but the other pieces are cheaply done and don't look very good. 


I think Meygana's boots are fashionable and witchy and Yasmina's boots are clunky and drab.


Meygana's goggles are fun and Yasmina's monocle is great.  These two accessories are a pretty even tie in terms of the play value they add.

You could argue that Yasmina's hair is better because it's all done up in an elaborate style that was not meant to be taken down.  This conceals the problem of the tangle-prone hair, but I tend to prefer dolls with hair that can be styled and played with.  The real test would be to take Yasmina's hair down, boil it and cut it (like I did with Meygana) and then see how the two compare.


I like Meygana better overall.  Sorry, Yasmina.

Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll

In the end, Yasmina isn't that different from Meygana, but she did help solidify my opinion of these dolls.  The best thing about the Bratzillaz is their eyes.  The variety, creativity and quality of the inset eyes is great. This feature is the only thing that would tempt me back to buy another Bratzillaz doll.  It's funny how much impact one neat detail can have.  I really wish that Spin Master had taken the Liv line and made a special series of dolls with these interesting fantasy eyes.  That would have been an incredible group of dolls.  Can you picture it?  Liv dolls with their highly articulated bodies, coupled with soft, manageable wigs in different colors and then these striking, unusual eyes, reminiscent of the customized Blythes and Pullips?  Gah!  Why didn't they DO that?  If the Bratzillaz eyes fit into a Liv head, I'm gonna have to do some surgery.  That would be so cool.

Anyway, the eyes are a great feature.  There are some other treats to be found within this line, too.  Some of the accessories are really fun, and some of the clothing pieces are nicely made and stylish. The body has great articulation. The thing that drags the line down is that there are just too many lapses in quality.  The hair is bad.  Meygana's hair is awful and Yasmina's straighter, braided hair is still bad.  Not only is the texture of Yasmina's hair coarse and unappealing, but the braided hairdo leaves bald patches and has a strange underlying rooting pattern that limits the versatility of the doll.  Yasmina's outfit has quality issues.  While Meygana's cape was the only piece from that ensemble that seemed carelessly made, Yasmina has several of these wardrobe fails.  Her pants are transparent, her cape has ragged edges and her jacket is poorly designed.  The dolls are hard to pose and manage because of their rubbery lower legs.  Yasmina has a face paint defect.  The packaging is a pain...there are just a lot of problems that add up to make me feel a little disappointed.  All else could have been forgiven if the hair had just been nicer.

Yasmina looks great in her box and is photogenic.  She has a unique and appealing face with great eyes.  This will tempt many people out of $20.  My advice?  If you're a stickler for hair quality like I am, buy a Monster High doll instead.  Better yet, if you're crafty, buy a clearance Liv doll and find her some fun custom eyes (10mm), a bright wig...and maybe a monocle, too.

 Bratzillaz-Yasmina-Doll

39 comments:

  1. I have been tempted to pick up a couple of these but on your advising I think I will pass and give those new Novi Stars a shot.

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    1. The Novis Stars look cute and original...I'm curious to hear what people think of them! I looked at them in the store but had a hard time choosing the "best" one (since they all have their own special features), and then had a hard time with the price tag. :/

      With the Bratzillaz, I suspect that it comes down to how much you care about hair. I think some people don't mind the coarser hair on their dolls, but I find it a real distraction. The line does have some fun things to offer, and they're great to photograph with those cool eyes. :)

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  2. Nice to see another Bratzilla review! I think we've all gone and bought Meygana, as she really is special, so it's interesting to look in-depth at another.

    The problem with these dolls' eyes being their best feature is that if the eyes are not set properly, it can ruin the entire mysterious feel they project. My horse for better quality control, toy makers! Speaking of horses, I'd strongly suggest US fans do not buy any of the Bratzillaz pets. I almost had a fit over Meygana's pet Wingzy (which was included with the doll here in the UK). Badly designed, poorly made. Save your money!

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    1. You said it, Frankie! If the eyes aren't good, don't buy one of these dolls! I am sad (but not too surprised) to hear about the pets. I had planned to get Barkthalameow some day because that is one cool-looking cat/dog. :(

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  3. I love your reviews, I'm so glad you posted, I was having TBP withdrawl!
    I can't even find these dolls here, so I'm glad I don't want one, LOL!

    Hugs! Congrats on surpassing 100!!!

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    1. Thank you so much!! Eeee! It is very exciting. :) I am getting some ideas together for a giveaway--you did such a nice job with yours. :) So sorry about the withdrawal, I had some dear relatives visiting for a bit, so I had to put my dolls away to make room!

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  4. Meygana and Yasmina are the only two that have tempted me, but I don't really like their body proportions, and now I'm worried about the hair (hair is not my forte in any aspect of life!). I'm much more interested in the new Novi Stars when I'm in the store anyways!
    On a different note, have you heard of Makies (http://makie.me/)? They're 10 inch dolls that you can custom design, then the head is 3D printed. I haven't bought one yet, but I definitely want to. Designing the faces is fun on it's own.

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    1. Yeah, the body proportions on the Bratzillaz are definitely weird. I'll have to cave and get a Novi because they are causing quite a stir! I hope they have nice wigs. :/

      I have not heard of Makies, but they sound awesome! I am off to investigate! You always have such cool suggestions. :)

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    2. Oh, man. Makies are too much fun! I made a ton of characters, but they won't let me buy any of them--says "sold out." I'll keep my eye on that, though. What a neat idea!

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    3. I tryed makies it is soo fun!!

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  5. Congrats on 100+ followers! Does that number also count those of us who use google reader to follow your blog?

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    1. Thank you so much, Saffy! I'm not sure I can tell who is following on Google reader, though! I hadn't thought about that. Thank you for mentioning it. I'll definitely have some giveaways for non-followers, too. ;)

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  6. Have I mentioned that I get positively giddy when I see that you have a new review up? Because I do.

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    1. Aw. Thank you, Miss Lola. That brightened my day! :)

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  7. I like the new grey backround :D
    Congrats on you followers achievement!
    I wish I was one of the first 100 followers but I never use my google account except for commenting so I never really bothered about becoming a follower xD
    Wish I followed earlier though :)
    Another great review, very useful!

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    1. Thank you--I'm glad you like it! Grey is much more forgiving for pictures...and it goes with my theme colors.
      I'll have a drawing for the followers, but there'll be plenty of fun for everyone else, too! No worries. ;)

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  8. Yasmina's face is very cute - pity about the hair quality. I'm sure the manufacturer doesn't think that her hair will be let down because of the hair style but I know just about every little girl (and big one) will sooner or later want to play with their doll's hair. Your pictures are great and the new background works very well.

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    1. Thank you! I totally agree about the hair. For a lot of kids, that hair is coming down no matter what. Especially since with my doll, just from moving her around for the review, the hair is getting messy. When an up-do gets messy on one of my dolls...I take it down!

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  9. There are different qualities of Nylon too. Nylon is what My Little Ponies use and you would never accuse them of having bad hair.

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    1. That's good to know! I guess I shouldn't bash nylon across the board. You're right--I like the feel of the My Little Ponies hair.

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  10. I haven't actually seen any of these in the shops yet, but I do like the inset eyes much better xx

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    1. Yeah, the inset eyes are great (unless they're wonky). ;)

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  11. I've done a review of Novi Stars Una Verse here: http://souledseams.blogspot.com/ if you wanna check it out. Only Mae, the robot, has a wig. The rest are rooted with nylon (it seems to be a bit of a gambol on quality, mine had nice hair but I've seen pictures of Novis with frizzy crap hair)

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    1. Fantastic review! I love all of your pictures. I'm glad you reviewed Una because she is my second favorite. I had similar concerns about the fluid leaking out of her body. Eeek! I have Alie and will probably review her here at some point, but your site gives a ton of great information!

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  12. Thanks for the review! I was also a sucker for her eyes and hair color (since I adore all purples). I was first intrigued with her overall outfit because something about it reminded me of female comic book monster hunter character. But after your closeup photos and reading your descriptions, I think I may pass on this as well...I don't know if this is even avaliable at my closest Toys R Us, Target or Kmart anymore (sold out on their websites)...so I would have to resort to the ridiculous mark-ups on Ebay. I don't own any dolls, but have been interested in getting my first inexpensive unique one so I can determine whether this will become a passion of mine. Congratulations on making the 100 followers mark!

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  13. I am dead surprised with these dolls!loving their shiny eyes and a bit bitchy makeup :) articulation is fine,similar to Liv dolls (my beloved ones!) A shame with hair,as you've mentioned :(

    if I could get one over here (Poland) I would choose Meygana - the red haired one!Lovely! thanks for such a nice review!

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  14. Hey,I have meygana,yasmina and jade,but I really really am gonna try Sashabella paws later today.
    Jade isn't that bad though,she has 1 bald spot in the back of her hair,her outfit is well designed,and her shoes are..4 silver buckle shoes,she's really good

    I'm planning getting all the dolls,fashion packs and pets :) because you Inspired me to do reviews! :)
    But I really wanna know how to fix Meygana's hair,because it's awful :( I don't mind cutting it tho :),and does it frizz up again after a while?

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  15. Hi Emily,

    I love your reviews on the Bratzillaz. I have never been much into Bratz personally, except I will pick them up now and again if I see them at thrift stores like Goodwill (to clean them up and find them a new home) I've kept a couple I liked. I caved in and bought Meygana because of her articulation and the red hair and her eyes! I love red haired dolls, probably because I'm a redhead myself. I have to say, I do love this doll! I might get another later. I am inspired by your blog to try and fix her wild hair.

    Thanks for the reviews.

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  16. Hello!
    To start I have to say that I adore your blog, you make the best reviews I have seen so far and you're fun to read!
    About these doll line in particular, I have been tempted to get Meygana (something difficult because I live in Argentina, South America so I must deal with pricey stuff on Ebay -__-). But I dislike her body. Do you think her head would fit an Obitsu body?

    Thanks again and keep with this awesome blog!

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  17. Love this!! I am pretty sure I am getting Cloetta. She looks awesome! I don't have any BratZillaz yet, though I want 1 veryyyy much!! I looked at stylish Meygana and thought *oh boy she's sooo pretty!* But I still want Cloe<3 my best friends' sister just got Jade! Nice review<3

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  18. I just got a Yasmina today. I agree that her hair is pretty course and cheap. Oh well, I had to disagree on her outfit though because I love it. I LOVE the little vest thing and I think it looks wonderful. I guess each one has their own opinions though.

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  19. when i first looked at those dolls their heads seemed to oval like for their bodies but considering that i am a huge monster high fan & to me their height and head size suits them nicely so it's prob just me on the oval & head stuff
    I'm still thinking on getting some of the bratzillas

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  20. Yasmina looked a little confused as to whay Meygana was upside down. Great review, but as a die-hard Monnster High fan, I probably won't be grabbing one of these babies anytime soon. :P

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  21. Only one earring... too bad :(
    I was a little bit disappointed : A very expensive doll (well, here in France = 40 €) but not a very good quality... except for the lovely eyes.

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  22. She's a cutie! I was wondering, how do you think a blythe head would fair on a bratzillaz body?

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  23. My Jem dolls and Darcy dolls as well as the Star Darlings have lovely nylon hair. Maybe its a high quality type of nylon. Much better than saran imo.

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  24. I've just bought a second-hand Meygana with the intention of putting her head on an Apple White body and fashioning a wig for her (I hate rerooting, and I'm terrible at it). I was totally drawn in by the inset eyes so I'm glad I could find her pretty cheap.

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  25. I loved these dolls, they are way better than regular Bratz because of their cute and happy faces, normal Bratz look angry.
    As for Yasmina I dared to undo the whole original hairstyle and panicked when I discovered the sparse rooting and how difficult if was to give her another hairstyle without bald spots.
    In the end I made a bunch of braids that ended up as a complex, fancy looking bun (it looks good purely by accident, I was not even sure what I was doing until it was done).
    I never really liked the original hairstyle, it looked too dorky and childish to me, and I envision Yasmina as the Mother bear of the Bratzillaz group.

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