Monday, August 27, 2012

Novi Stars "Alie Lectric" by MGA Entertainment

The Novi Stars have been in stock at my local Target for a few weeks now.  I spent a considerable amount of time squatting in the toy aisle and examining them when they first appeared, but I didn't feel any urge to buy one.  They struck me as pretty small and simple for a $20 doll--actually my first thought was that they resemble Happy Meal toys.  That's probably not a fair comparison, but the price definitely seems high.  Since that first encounter, I have heard some encouraging things about the line and gotten a few requests for a review, so I decided to give these little aliens a proper investigation.

The first release of Novi Stars includes five characters, each with a different special feature.  Mae Tallick is a pink robot who talks, Alie Lectric is a green alien who lights up, Ari Roma is purple with big hair (she smells), Una Verse is silvery ice-blue and has glitter inside her legs and Nita Light has a white head and a transparent body and glows in the dark.  I didn't see Nita Light until yesterday (at Walmart).  If I had seen her sooner, she probably would have been my first pick (I love things that glow in the dark), except for the fact that she comes with a big plastic pod and is therefore more expensive than the other dolls.

Of the four dolls available at Target, I knew instantly that I didn't want Ari, the smelly one (even though she has neat-looking purple hair).  I also didn't want Mae, the one that talks, because I like to invent personalities for my dolls.  So, it was between Alie and Una.  Una is the "prettier" of the two, but I was not very impressed with her glitter feature in real life.  It just didn't seem that exciting.  Also, the glitter was all pooled at the bottom of Una's legs and I knew I would worry about the water leaking out or drying up over time.  Besides, Alie is green, which is perfect for my first alien doll:

"Alie Lectric" Novi Stars doll.
Something that surprised me as I looked at and read about the Novi Stars is that they're not all the same, even if you disregard their special features and different colors.  For example, Mae is a wigged doll while the rest of them have rooted hair.  Also, the levels of articulation are different--Mae and Ari have hip articulation, Una and Alie do not.  So, keep in mind that this review is only addressing one version of these dolls.

Alie is a little 7 inch doll in a huge box.  The box is about the same size as a La Dee Da or a Liv doll box, but the doll is half as big.  The box is an asymmetrical plastic tube with lots of decorations.  Alie comes with a glow in the dark stand and a little pet.  These two accessories don't do much to help fill up the box:



The back of he box is shiny and colorful with decorative cutouts.   It's covered with information about this new line:


The Novi Star slogan is, "What on Earth is going on?"  This makes me think of another doll line I saw at Toys R Us the other day called "Out of this World."  These dolls don't look much like the Novi Stars, but are similar in that they are humanoids from a fictional world, each with their own special feature.  The O.O.T.W. dolls' features are hard to discern from the boxes, but I think one of the dolls projects little pictures on the wall and another can answer all of your questions (Magic 8 Ball style?).  Those little dolls retail for $9.99.

What on Earth is up with the capitalization?
The Novi Stars are, apparently, "here on Earth to try new things, update the fashion trends and make new friends."  Why, oh why, does fashion have to be such a huge part of every doll's personality?  I mean, I love a fashionable doll, but can't they be, say, rocket scientists who happen to have a good sense of style?  


My other problem with the paragraph above is that if Alie is trying to update the fashion styles on Earth, this golden dress might be considered new and trend-setting:


But what she's actually wearing??  


That's a black denim dress with pink stitching and a rose accent.  That's like, totally going back in time to the 1980s.  Believe me, I know.  

The back of the box also has some details about Alie, set up in a very similar way to the back of a Monster High box, but nowhere near as creative:

She blushes in different colors around cute Earth boys.
The capitalization on the back of this box is out of control.  "Earth" is capitalized some of the time, but not always ("Earth math," but then "earth boys," etc.). The name of our planet should always be capitalized.  Many of the other capitalization choices seem equally random.


My other grievance with this part of the box is that light years are a unit of distance, not time.  Saying that you're "200 Trillion Lights Years" old (all capitalized...) is no better than saying you're five feet old or thirty nautical miles old.  


Alie thinks Earth math is easy, but doesn't get static electricity.  My two cents?  Math is the only thing that probably doesn't change much from galaxy to galaxy, and she's just being lazy with static electricity.  Static electricity is simply electrons moving from one thing to another.  That's way less complex than, say, space travel.  

So, can you tell that I had to start teaching again today?  Yeah.  I'll stop lecturing and get back to de-boxing.  

On one side of the box is a very large picture of Alie.  This looks great:


There are several elements of this cartoon version of Alie that I like better than the doll.  For starters, the graphic Alie's got attitude (and a better dress).

On the opposite side of the box, there's a hole in the plastic so that you can test out Alie's light-up blushing feature and make sure the batteries haven't worn out yet:


The bright pink plastic handle on the box is supposed to double as a "hairband for you!"--but my kids say it doesn't fit me, so I can't attest to it's functionality.  I love the idea of having parts of the box be useful.  I don't actually think this box needs a handle, though, so it's a bit of a gimmick overall.


The box opens in a very different way from other boxes I have encountered.  There are these plastic tabs at regular intervals around the top of the plastic tube:


The tabs slide out of slots (there's no tape--it's pretty easy to get them loose) and then the top of the box lifts right off:


Looking down into the box, you can see that the doll is attached via plastic to the back of the tube, which is made out of two layers of cardboard:


The plastic tabs continue down one side of the tube...


...and along the bottom:


So, you can remove the bottom and then just uncurl the whole tube into a long strip of plastic and cardboard with the doll still attached:

Ta-da!
More than half of the tube is made of shimmery cardboard, but it's covered with taped-on plastic attachments that hold the doll in place and plastic holders for all of the signs and accessories inside the box.  This plastic is a hassle to remove from the cardboard.

When I got to about this stage of opening the box, I began to notice an unpleasant smell.  I was outside, so I figured it was some rotting fungus or something like that.  It was a sickeningly sweet type of smell.  It turns out that the smell was coming from the doll.  I specifically did not want the stinky Novi Star, Ari Roma, so this was an irritation.  The good news is that now, about three days later, the smell is mostly gone, but I can still get a whiff of it if I put her right up to my nose.


With the box opened up flat like this, it's very easy to get the doll and her two accessories out. 


She's tied in there with some clear rubber bands (very easy to cut) and plastic ties across her chest and anchored to her head.  The accessories are attached with just the clear rubber bands.  


So, while the box is vastly oversized, I do appreciate the originality in the design and the ease with which the doll can be removed.  

Here's Alie with her pet and her stand--the pet doesn't stand up:

Face plant.
Alie can stand on her own if you're really, really patient and then don't move or breathe.  She also comes with a cute little glow in the dark stand that is easy to use--Alie's shoes just pop into those footprints.  The stand is in the shape of, uh, well it's like a cross between a skull, a moon, a flying saucer and a walrus:


The little pet is named Hi-Def (aka Face Plant) and is a hollow plastic pink-winged green alien.  It almost looks like a baby version of Alie with wings.  Maybe it's like the larval form of this alien species?  It has no face, but rather a silver mask (face plant protection?) with a heart in one corner and a crack or something (face plant damage?) in the other corner.  Honestly, the pet does nothing for me. Monster High pets are way better.


Here's Alie all by herself.  She a cute little alien:


Her hair hides her backpack, which is the source of her color changing abilities:


MGA hair has not been impressing me lately, so I was especially interested in this doll's hair.  She has hot pink rooted hair with black strands mixed in.  The black hair is underneath the pink and only really visible from the front:


The hair feels pretty good.  It's not coarse or tangled or anything, although it does have some white gel in it--more noticeable in some places than others.  Alie's hair is styled in an angled cut, with shorter hair in back than in front.


The rooting is fairly thick and she has plenty of hair.  I don't think you could put her hair into two ponytails without the scalp showing, but the length of the hair is going to limit styling options anyway.

Her scalp is painted pink under the hair--no green showing through.
She has bangs, which are fairly well done, although I tend to prefer dolls without bangs.  


She also has a portion of her hair tied into a bow-shaped knot on the left side of her head.  The bow is held in place with a clear rubber band and is a bit crispy.  


Within about a day, the bow started to come undone:


Her silvery heart-shaped antennae are made out of plastic and can be removed from her head.



With the antennae gone, it is much easier to brush her hair.  The hair sheds quite a lot with the first brushing, and is continuing to shed a few days later.  I'd say she's usually in the process of losing about ten strands of hair.


I used a Liv brush to brush her hair.  Here is how it looked afterwards:


The brush removed a lot of the white gel that was making her hair flaky and hard in places.  The hair doesn't lay as flat or look as evenly cut without the gel, but it's much softer to the touch.


Here's a bad patch of the white hair product before I brushed it out--I'm not sure you can fully appreciate it from this picture:


Underneath her hair, Alie has a shimmery green slightly soft vinyl head.  The vinyl of her head is green all of the way through, but the glistening finish is painted on.  I hope the finish holds up well because it looks great.  She has cute little alien/elf ears that are hard to see unless you pull her hair back:
That's what my puppy's ears look like when he's in trouble...
Underneath the bangs, she has purple dotted eyebrows:

Another reason why she shouldn't have bangs.
The eyelashes are very, very long at the edges and are caked with golden glitter mascara:



The eyes themselves are really pretty.  They have large black pupils with hearts and circles reflected in them.  I found it very hard to not have other things reflected in her shiny eyes when I was taking these pictures.  I tried to pick shots where you can see the clouds or the sky in her eyes--that's much better than my porch or the breakfast dishes.  She has irises that are colored with lilac glitter.  

You, with the back porch in your eyes.

She has no nose and her mouth has practically no molded contours.  It is tiny and green and painted onto a slight protrusion on her lower face:

The mouth paint on my doll is partially rubbed off.
Alie's body is made out of a completely different material from her head.  Her body is hard plastic and is a translucent lime green color with glitter flecks that are actually within the plastic.  Some of the other Novi Stars have glitter glued onto their bodies.  I think I prefer the glitter to be inside the plastic so it doesn't get all over the place.  


I wanted to get a better look at the body, but one of Alie's hands was stitched to her dress, which made her pretty immobile:

There was also a little plastic tie holding the two sides of the dress together.
I got that hand free...


...and then noticed that the other side of her dress is plastic-tied together, too.  Why?  Good question.


Here she is with both ties removed.  The dress hangs much more naturally this way:


So, anyway, I was playing with this doll's articulation, admiring the ball and socket joint of her neck that allows her to look up and down in addition to side-to-side...

I have alien feet!
...when her head fell off.  Just like that.

I have alien fingers!
I'm no expert, but maybe it's normal for alien heads to fall off?   In any case, I did find the wayward head handy for getting a better look at the body.  Without all of that hair, you can clearly see her arms, dress and backpack:


She has three points of articulation--both of her shoulders and her neck.  The arms rotate around a peg articulation, but they are also hinged and can lift up and down:


The backpack is much easier to appreciate with Alie's head gone.  It is made out of gold colored plastic and has a riveted heart and some gears and knobs that give it a steampunk feel.  I don't think the black denim dress looks steampunk at all, though, so I am confused about the overall theme of her outfit.  The backpack is cute, but I wish it looked like cool alien technology or something, not just a collage of recycled ideas.

80s teen steampunk monster fashion.
The backpack is held on with a rectangular peg.  It pulls right off (and falls off, too...) revealing a rectangular hole in the back of the dress:



The backpack is the source of Alie's colorful blushing.  The rectangular peg is actually a small light that inserts into Alie's back and lights up her hollow, translucent body.  The light is controlled by a heart-shaped button on the side of the pack:  


It shines a green light most of the time:


It also cycles briefly through yellow:


And will flash deep red for a millisecond before going back to green:


The dress is very small and simple, but seems well made.  The only area that concerns me is around Alie's waist, where the fabric is unraveling outside the pink stitches.  If the unraveling stops at the stitches, it'll be fine (it looks like a fringe), but if the unraveling continues under the stitches and up into the bodice...that would be bad.


The dress is held in place with two separate strips of velcro which fasten around the opening that holds the backpack:


Aside from the huge tag, the inside of the dress is neat and tidy.  The only area that isn't hemmed is the backpack hole--that's just a hole cut in the fabric with no stitching.


Alie's legs are completely unarticulated, but her shoes are removable.  I'm not sure why this surprised me, but it did.  


The shoes are simple, but they're made out of an attractive sparkling gold flexible vinyl.


I'm guessing that all of the Novi Star shoes will all have to be this basic shape in order to work with the stands.

Here's the body with all of the clothing removed (well, except that bracelet, which is still tied on...). To me, this looks like a tall alien with a tiny little head:


Greetings, big-headed Earth creatures!
She has high heeled arches and four dainty little alien toes:


The peg and hinge articulation of the shoulders is very easy to see with the translucent plastic body. The pegs and hinges are made out of a white-colored plastic.


The arms pull out really easily:


The arm joints seem really fragile to me.  Those pegs are tiny.  I wonder how they will hold up over time?  With pegs that small, I'm thinking these dolls might have a hard time keeping their arms.

Reminds me of the early Monster High loose limb problems...

Here's what the body looks like if you attach the backpack and turn on the light:


The light does not lock in the "on" position, so if you want it on, you have to hold the button down.  This will make it hard to play with this doll with her light on, but I suppose it makes it easier to conserve batteries.  Speaking of batteries, the visible screw in the backpack suggests that it is possible to open the backpack and replace the batteries.

A Happy Meal toy wouldn't have that feature.
With three points of articulation, Alie doesn't have a lot of poses to show you.  She seems more like a little figurine than a doll--more for display than for play.




A simple ponytail shows off her ears.
It's really fun to use her light-up feature in the dark, though.  She'd make an amazing little night light:





This is undoubtedly a unique doll.  I like to see something creative and different on the market.  Aside from the Out of This World dolls (which look much more human), I can't think of a single other mainstream alien style doll, with maybe the exception of some toys that were made from movie characters.  

In addition to being unique, this doll is also really cute, and has the added fun of a special light-up feature.  I am slightly tempted to see what the special features of the other dolls are like.  What I keep coming back to, though, is that this isn't a $20 doll.  I'll admit that she's better than a Happy Meal toy, but does this look like a $20 haul to you?

Hm.
Value is relative, so let's look at a couple of other dolls for size and value comparisons:

Barbie Chelsea ($7), Alie ($20), Liv doll ( $20).
Alie might initially be a more exciting purchase than Chelsea (Alie lights up and Chelsea...has a fish), but Chelsea seem more versatile and enduring to me.  Alie can't hold a candle to Liv.

Here are a few more dolls thrown into the mix:

Lagoona ($14), Dee ($20), Chelsea, Alie and Liv.
If you handed me a $20 bill and told me to buy one doll from this lineup, I'd grab Hayden (the Liv doll) as my first choice, then Lagoona, then Dee, then Alie, and then Chelsea.  You know I love Chelsea, I'm just positive she isn't worth twenty bucks.

Even between these two...

Alie and S'Mores ($10).
I kinda think S'Mores is more fun and more durable....and I could get TWO of her for $20.


Bottom line? This is a simpler assessment than I thought it would be.  There's nothing strikingly wrong with the concept or the quality of this doll.  Both are fine...for a ~$10 toy.  The hair sheds a bit, but it's better than a lot of other MGA hair I have seen recently.  The body is hollow plastic with virtually no articulation, but it's a sparkly green color and has a light-up feature that's fun to look at. The head comes off a bit too easily, but it has a cute design with great ears and fancy inset eyes.  The arms also come off easily, and although this hasn't been a problem for my doll, the construction makes me nervous about the long term durability of these joints.  The idea of an alien doll is unique, and this doll is a cute, quirky manifestation of that idea.  If this was a line of $8-$12 dolls, I'd find them charming... and perhaps even slightly addictive.  

It's the $20 price tag on this doll that ruins the fun for me.  I feel like I'm being played.  The expressive, creative and posable Monster High dolls are easily worth $20, especially when they come with pets and great outfits.  The new Cutie Pops are worth $20 because of the mix-and-match fun they offer and the sheer number and quality of parts that you get in the box.  You know I think Liv dolls are worth more than $20, with their unrivaled articulation, well-made and realistic clothing, and their gorgeous wigs.  Just because Alie comes in a big box and shares a shelf with these $20 dolls doesn't put this little plastic alien in the same league.  



Summary:
Age Level
4 and up because of small parts.
Value
Overpriced at $20.
Quality
Decent quality with the following issues:   head comes off easily, occasional paint defects, body is unarticulated hollow hard plastic, hair sheds, arms could fall off.
Packaging
Interesting new tube-style box that is easy to open.  Box is oversized with a lot of plastic decorations.
Collectable?
No.  This is a play doll.
Versatility
This doll has a unique design but is not very versatile.  She can’t move much and relies on her stand for stability.  This is more of a figurine than a doll.
Overall
If this doll were half its price, I would recommend it as a fun and quirky addition to the fall doll lineup.  I just don’t think the doll has the quality, playability or staying power to be worth $20.


62 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so happy to see a Novi Stars review. You said basically what I've been thinking about them, that they're not worth $20. But I'm surprised you found the packaging so easy to open. I've heard a lot of complaints about how awful it is.

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    1. Yeah, it's very weird that if others are having trouble with these boxes, I (queen of package pickiness...) would find them acceptable! I liked that it was very clear what I should do to get this box open--with some boxes, I feel like I have to just blindly claw my way into them! :)

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  2. This is one of the two Novi Stars Im planing to buy.I am a little disappointed with the lack of leg movement but I think Im still going to give them a shot.

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    1. I agree--I might have to take a look at Mae or Ari, just to see what the leg articulation is like. I think they have elastic strung hip joints.

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  3. I didn't know that two of the Novi Star dolls don't have hip articulation, I have Mae and her hips have elastic in them, but because of the odd angle of their legs she looks really strange when sitting. Personally I like Mae better (and her given personality is about music not fashion so that's getting somewhat better). I wish Alie had come with glasses like in her cartoon drawing. I do think girls would enjoy this line because they're different and kindof silly.

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    1. Oh, I know! I love those glasses! I wish Alie had come with those, too. I also like that Mae has a musical personality. I just assumed they were all fashion-oriented--glad I'm wrong. :)

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  4. I love this! It's the way a review should be! Amazing photos! Funny doll, where I live they aren't sold, but I wold love to have one

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  5. I saw a really cute hybrid of a Novi Star with a monster high body (I think one of the create a monsters...) It was adorable.

    thanks for the review!

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    1. I saw that, too, Eleanor! Kristi sent me a link. That is such a great idea and they look fantastic, didn't they? I am tempted to try that with Uni and Lagoona--I think they'd match.

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    2. It's UNA!!! NOT UNI!!!

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    3. its just a typo, chill.

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  6. If I spent $20 on a toy for my child and the head just fell off like that; I'd be returning the thing to the store. That's crazy! These just look cheap to me. With that kind of quality I think $10 is too high.

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    1. Yeah, the quality is disappointing for the price, that's for sure.

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  7. Amazing, at last Novi Star in one of your revision. I like this doll very much, specially because there are not creative character lines of alien dolls on the market, only some related to movies, but nothing really new.
    $20 should be a great value for me, particularly because in Chile, where I live, to get any kind of doll of your reviews increase the price twice the value between postage, taxes and some very tricky sellers on Ebay. I've got chances with Monster High, Liv are rare and Pullip or Blythe are a kind of dream to get just for the fair price. I don't like Barbies at all and my Bratz collection come with me from UK into my luggage. I hope to learn more about dolls following you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your perspective--it's good for me to keep in mind that we are able to get some dolls so much more easily here in the US, and for much less money. Still, if MGA had priced these at $10, then maybe you would be able to get one for $20 in Chile! That would be nice. :)

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  8. Always nice to see one of your reviews! :) I'm surprised...like you say, she really is more of a cute figurine than a doll. She'd look really quirky on my desk...maybe I'll wait for her to go on sale (they inevitably will - parents will also balk at what you get for the price).

    Please, Monster High, hurry up and make an alien doll, for all our sakes!

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    1. I think you're right, Frankie--they're bound to go on sale. I saw a few for $17 last week. Did you see the pictures on flickr of these dolls with Monster High bodies? That might inspire Mattel to get their own alien on the market... :)

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  9. Thank you for the review. I had seen photos of these dolls on the Walmart Website, but had no idea they were so small.

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    1. They surprised me with their small size, too! In contrast, the Cutie Pops are much bigger than I'd imagined. It's so interesting how photographs can be deceptive in this regard.

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  10. I was sorta disappointed in the doll line because they do not move much. I like the concept but $20 is overpriced. I'm waiting for a sale or clearance rack.

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  11. I really don't think $20 all that bad for Allie or Mae since they have electronic features. I have heard rumors of Monster High dolls that will light up or talk and I imagine those will be around $30. However charging the same price for Ari or Una is not fair since they don't have any electronic features at all.

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    1. That's a really great idea--MGA could have priced the dolls according to their different features. Then, if you didn't mind having an unarticulated doll who just has glitter and water in her legs, you could pay maybe $12 for Uni. On the other hand, if you wanted an articulated, wigged doll that talks, you could pay a bit more for Mae.

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  12. I've been tempted by these dolls (because they're so different) but I couldn't get past the $20 price. I decided to wait for a good sale, and if they sell out before then I won't lose sleep over it. :)Thank you for the review, like always you crack me up! walrus! face plant protection! hee :)

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    1. After seeing those Monster High hybrids, though, I want another Novi Star to play with! ;)

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  13. Alie Lectric is the one that I liked the most.I liked the sketches for this dolls but in real life a find the dolls a little bit disappointing. About the price, $20 is quite reasonable here in Spain because dolls are so pricey compared to the States.

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    1. The drawings are great, I agree! The price thing is tricky since I don't know how the prices get figured in other countries. My reasoning is that if MGA had set the price lower, collectors in all countries would benefit from this...but that could be wrong. :/

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  14. Thanks for this great (and funny) review!
    If these dolls were sold in the Netherlands I'd be tempted to buy one but I agree on every point you made, I also don't think she's woth 20 dollars but man, look at those eyes... those are hard to resist!
    Her pet looks cute (laughed at the face plant part) and the idea of a glow in the dark stand (walrus? hahahaha) is also cool, I think.
    I also think she's more a figurine/display doll than a play doll but if she would be on sale, I would buy here (if I had the money xD)
    One last thing, I think S'Mores looks soo cute! Would you mind doing a small, short, tiny review on her?
    Cookie is very cute but I think her dog is even cuter! And being cuter than Cookie isn't so easy..

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    1. She's reviewed S'mores in her facebook, in case you want to check it out :)

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    2. I don't have facebook :(
      Thanks anyway!

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    3. Ohh that's too bad! I logged out of my FB account and I can still see her page. Here's the exact link for you to try out! Hope that it works for you!
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.273087512790689.45867.214426975323410&type=3

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    4. Thank you so much! :D
      She looks very cute!

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  15. I was waiting to see what your findings would be for this doll...I haven't yet seen them here yet, but I also haven't been haunting the toy stores/aisles regularly for a number of weeks.

    When I discovered that this line was from MGA, I cringed, but, I hoped that maybe there might be something redeeming about it....unfortunately, I find the shortcomings you've reported outweigh anything positive about this doll. And then, if you're paying $20 US, I know it will be more north of the border.

    That said, I loved your review - excellent as usual! The most amusing part for me (sorry Alie-lectric) was when her head fell off unexpectedly. Poor thing. I'm looking forward to the next review.

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    1. Thank you. :) I giggle when I think of the head incident, too. As a collector, my initial reaction was horror...but as a reviewer? Kinda nice to have that big head out of the way! ;)

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  16. When I first heard about these dolls my first thought was, "Why couldn't the Monster High creators be these ones to make these dolls come to life?"

    Seriously, the idea is wonderful, but these dolls are not only overpriced, but incredibly dull in my opinion. Sure they can light up, but where exactly is the play value? They have very little movement, and like you mentioned, they kind of look like a high quality version of a happy meal toy. Happy meal toys end up in the trash, or donated to the Goodwill, they almost never end up being a child's favorite play thing.

    I have a five year old niece that loves playing with her dolls, and seems to be most interested in their movement and what pretty or fun to look at outfits they are wearing. That denim... dress thing Alie has on is one of the ugliest things I've seen this week. Yuck!

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    1. Say what you will about Ari and Una being overpriced but at least Mae and Alie are not overpriced for electronic dolls. The singing Bratz Style Starz and Funk and Glow Bratz are usually around $10 more than a more basic doll. Tho I do suppose they could have skipped the electronics and had them just be less expensive regular dolls instead or even just made Mae and Alie be $20 but made the other two single dolls around $10-12 As the review stated, not all the dolls can't move their legs and Mae and Ari have about as much movement as your standard Strawberry Shortcake or Polly Pocket doll.

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    2. Spirit, I totally agree with you that a Monster High alien would have been better. Looking at the pictures of hybrids with Novi Star heads and Monster High bodies on flickr makes me even more sure of this! The articulation on the Monster High bodies makes SUCH a big difference in terms of their expressiveness and the fun that you can have with them. I also agree that Monster High clothing (for the most part) is leaps and bounds more creative and interesting than poor Alie's denim dress...

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  17. Fantastic and detailed review! I was interested in the Novi Stars dolls when I first heard about them but when I saw them in store I was so disappointed. Faced with the same $20 challenge at Target, the Novi Stars dolls quickly went to the bottom of the list when compared to La Dee Da and Cutie Pops.

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    1. Thank you, Char! I think you're exactly right. My eye is drawn much more to the La Dee Da dolls when I am at the store--and I wasn't initially that excited about La Dee Da! Cutie Pops steal the show, in my opinion. They are the real surprise for me so far this season.

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  18. What is up with MGA and noses? Do there designers just hate noses? HOW DO THESE DOLLS BREATHE???

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    1. Well, you don't need you nose to breath, you can always use your mouth.
      And I can only breath through my nose for 50% so yeah..

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    2. At least you could dismiss it on an alien doll (they breathe through something else? Maybe? I vote for alien nose-toes.)

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    3. LOL! Toe breathing, for sure! :)

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  19. Hello from Spain: Star Novi original is very light. For me it is very expensive. I prefer whole body dolls with articulated. Your work is gorgeous as always. Keep in touch

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    1. Thank you, Marta! I definitely prefer the articulated doll, too.

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  20. I'm re-doing mine if i get one, What clothes fit them?? the only one I like is nita light. Has anyone see the hunger games tonner dolls?? I love katniss's face, but hate how bad they did gale. What kind of face/body does katniss have??

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    1. Nita Lite is cute. I am not sure what clothes would fit them--they are very small. I have seen several clothing packs for the Novis at Walmart, and some of the outfits look much better than the one that came with my doll.

      I have seen Katniss (well, not in real life, but the pics). I just finished the book, too, so am especially interested in her! She has the regular Tyler body, I think, which is better than the teen body in my opinion. The face looks like a new sculpt. I just have to decide between her and a couple of the Cami dolls who are calling out to me... :)

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  21. I thought (and still think, a little) that these dolls were a better response from MGA to the Monster High dolls' success than the Bratzillas. They feel more original.

    I splurged on Alie, too. I LOVE her expressive eyes. The face really was the seller on this one. The poor articulation, the flimsy standing, and the huge difference from the box art and the actual doll is irritating (MGA seems to be doing a lot of that lately.) And she's light years old? Yes, and I'm at least several hundred miles old too.

    As cute as lighting up ("blushing") is, the way it was done make it impossible for her to do much of anything. I guess aliens don't need to sit. Also, you must be lucky, the hair on my Alie is AWFUL. It's feels coarse and wiry, and it's tangled in places.

    I feel like Alie's sweet head might be better off on another doll's body. I think I'll be looking for a similar green to relocate her too. Maybe.

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    1. I like your assessment! There's definitely a disconnect in how MGA products look in the box and how they feel in real life. Lots of incentive to buy, and then a bit of a disappointment overall.

      Alie does have a very sweet face and great eyes. I think your bottom line is excellent and gets right to the point--she is a neat little character who needs a better body!

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  22. I really like the design of Novi Stars, they are very pretty, even if the dolls are nothing comparing to the cartoon version(sooo gorgeouus o.o )
    I would like to get one, if they were larger and had some more joints...
    Is there some explaining of the head joint? Is the head supposed to be changeable?
    The shape of their bodies is really nice! Not skinny with unrealistic bends.

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    1. You said it--larger and more joints! Here, here. ;)
      The head coming off so easily would definitely be a perk to anyone who wanted to change heads between these dolls (or between these dolls and other dolls...). The fact that none of them have heads that exactly match their bodies to begin with makes this even more tempting. As far as I know, though, they aren't advertised as having changeable heads.

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  23. I was initially not going to get any of these dolls, but they grew on me. Despite their lack of articulation, I think they are very nice to look and and I've actually been inspired to photograph them a lot. I now have Alie, Una, and Nita.

    Would you definitely say that Alie's glitter is inside the plastic of her body? It seems to me that while it's not as flaky as Ari's appears to be, it's still very much on the outside: I can run a fingernail down her body and feel the glitter bumps. It would be really interesting if they've changed that...? Also, a word of warning: that "hair bow" is NOT rooted to her head! I undid mine because it got messy so quickly...and the hunk of hair fell away in my hand. XD

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  24. Your post is good - well researched and written! I saw the advertisements for Novi Stars on the TV and they looked really cute. I'm not much of a humaniod doll fan (I grew up with Beanie Babies animals); so, I wouldn't buy them for myself. Now, though, I know not to buy one for my younger cousins; I don't think they'd have fun with them.

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  25. Hi :3 I love reading your reviews. They're so full of details and they are really helpful when considering a doll. Plus I love the pictures and neat little things to find out. Anyway, I was curious about something and I wished to ask. I'm sorry if someone already asked or mentioned it though, I looked through most of the comments, just not all of them...

    What exactly was the problem with Ari's scent? Is it because the scent tends to smell bad, or fades or something?

    I have all of the Novi Stars (I was super happy that you made a review for Alie since she's my favorite) and I thought Ari had a pretty nice scent. So I got curious as to if it was a scented doll problem, or something else.

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  26. I'm so used to opening monster high dolls that opening the Novi Star doll was like an unbreakable fortress because the cardboard part didn't slip out of the plastic & the head of my doll fell out while i was trying to get the hair stuff out.

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  27. I love this review! It introduced me to your blog today which is also pretty awesome. C:

    I didn't think Alie was that cute until that picture with her hair in a ponytail. I bought Una Verse today at Walmart because she was on sale for $13, which is about the most I'm willing to spend on these dolls considering their size and quality. My biggest problem with the doll is the hair. (Next to her arm always falling out, that is. ;P) It's awfully dry and coarse. Any suggestions for treating it?

    I'd be interested in a review of the Novi Stars clothing packs. I think those are around $7 so I'd like to see if they're worth it before I pick one up.

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  28. S'mores is too cute! I have the cutie pop pet dott. I totally recommend dott

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  29. Do Monster High clothes fit on Novi Stars? I recently got Una Verse, but since I don't have any MH doll (shame on me xD), I don't know if their clothes fit

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  30. Half price at Target now, they're clearance.

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  31. Actually, there's a cuter Novi Star for low price (at least here in Spain), who's called 8-bit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RGMvMOf-DMM/UDaRjV_qthI/AAAAAAAAAkw/ho0gf5QHHds/s1600/novi+stars+pet+and+hair.jpg

    One of her ears is a button that activates her voice, which is robot-like, but, to my surprise, absolutely adorable. Plus, her hair is a wig and her legs can move. She's just cute. Downside? Her feet can't really get in the stand, and is a bit hard to make her stand on her own.

    I have an Alie doll, but second hand, and she lacked the dress and backpack. Right now she's...somewhere, I don't know where I put it.

    Amazing review, as always, would love to see you make another Novi Star review.

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