Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The City Girls by Tonner Toys

Of all the beautiful dolls being released this season, I have been most excited to see the new Tonner Toys City Girl line.  Ever since their unveiling at the 2012 Toy Fair, I have been checking the Tonner blog like an addict, waiting for the release day.  To give you a little background, Tonner Toys is Robert Tonner's play doll label and Robert Tonner (for those just tuning in) is the designer of my favorite doll of all time.  So far, Tonner Toys has produced the cartoonish Little MissMatched dolls with their contagiously happy faces and colorful mix-and-match outfits.  The City Girls are a line of more realistic-looking ~16" fashion dolls designed and priced for "beginner" collectors.  So, basically they're the younger, more durable cousins of my Cinderella dolls...selling for about half the price.  That's more than enough to get my attention.

I think there's a hole in the play doll market that is begging for a release like this.  We have a wide variety of $20 fashion dolls to choose from (Barbie, Monster High, Bratz, Disney Store princesses), and you can find plenty of collectable fashion dolls for $100 and over (Tonner, Pullip, Integrity, Sybarite, Momoko, etc), but the intermediate market is sparse.  As the holidays approach, what do you get for that careful young doll collector who is ready for something special?  Or what do you get for yourself when the budget is tight and a regular Tonner doll is out of reach?  Maybe these dolls are the answer.

On November 9th, the long-awaited email hit my inbox, telling me that not only were the dolls in stock, it was a Free Shipping Friday!  Twist my arm, Mr. Tonner.

City Girls "Houston" and "Astor" by Tonner Toys.


I was drawn to Astor first, mostly because of her short red hair.  I love red hair.  There are actually four characters to choose from; Astor (red hair), Houston (dark skin and hair), Billy (dark hair) and Brook-Lynn (blonde--she is only available at FAO Schwarz right now).  Brook-Lynn and Houston are basic dolls and sell for $39.99.  The others are fully dressed and sell for $49.99.  There are three outfit packs at the moment, and these cost $24.99.

Astor.
The dolls come in a plastic tube with a cardboard insert.  The front of the tube displays the doll and has a small cardboard decoration at the bottom.  I like the skyline cutout and the simple black and pink City Girl logo:

It says, "beginner collector" a lot on the box.  This is a big selling point.
The back of the tube has a picture of "Taxi!" Billy and smaller pictures of the other dolls and outfits in the series:


The bottom of the tube opens easily (maybe a bit too easily--two of my dolls came with the bottom of the tube falling off...) and the cardboard slides out smoothly:


The presentation of the doll is very nice.  Astor is arranged with her legs crossed and her sunglasses perched on the top of her head.  Each doll has her name and a small description to the right of her head. Astor's reads: "Color Block Fashion Astor, fitness model, age 23."  I found it interesting that she's a fitness model, and not just a model.  I looked up her full bio on the Tonner site and found this:

"Astor is a strong and determined survivor.  While in the hospital she made up her mind to beat her medical condition and start doing triathlons   She succeeded and is now a competitive triathlete and fitness model with major contracts.  She devotes a lot of time to training & friends but just as much to charity runs to help find a cure."

By not naming her medical condition, perhaps she can be meaningful to a lot of people.  The other girls' jobs are not quite as poignant.  Houston is a personal shopper, Billy is a bakery owner and Brook-Lynn is an event planner.  


Astor is held in place with four wire ties.  Because the ends of the ties aren't exposed on the back of the cardboard, I just snipped each wire with heavy-duty scissors.  Very easy.

Hi there.
Here's Astor out of the box.  She still has a wide plastic band around her bangs to hold those (and her glasses) in place:


The leopard print purse is attached to her shirt with a little plastic tie.  I understand the desire to attach the purse, it makes the displayed doll look more put together, but the plastic tie leaves holes in the outfit which detract from the quality of her overall appearance.


The purse is very basic.  It has some ribbon cording on one side, but the other side is plain fabric.  


The edges are hemmed, but it's a bit sloppy in places:


Here's a comparison between the City Girl purse and a Moxie Teenz purse:


All of the Moxie Teenz come with a large purse, and I am very impressed by the quality and design of these bags.  I consider them to be the best of the best in play doll purses.  The details are fantastic:

Moxie Teen Arizona's purse.
The City Girl purse is not really in the same league.

Here's Astor's face with the plastic band removed.  Her hair is plastered down around the top of her head and there's a modest amount of gel holding it in place.  It's not crispy, thank goodness.


The glasses are stitched to the top of her hair, but I just pulled them out--no scissors necessary.  


The glasses have white painted plastic frames with clear lenses. There's a long piece of shaded plastic  attached to the back of the lenses to make them dark:



Here she is with her glasses removed and her bangs relaxed:

The hair is a bit uneven (longer on her left).
I love her hairstyle and the vibrant, comic book color of her hair.  The hair is soft and nicely rooted.  The bangs are especially well-done.  I don't normally like bangs on a rooted doll, but these look good:


She has a sweet, slightly vacant face.  Her open mouth reminds me of a Bratzillaz face, but her wide, innocent eyes are more like a Winx Club doll or a Disney Princess.


Her eyes are lovely and look hand painted.  They have a lot of detail.  The irises are several shades of blue ranging from baby blue to teal.  Her eyeshadow is very pale pink and goes well with her blocky ginger eyebrows.  She has painted upper and lower lashes.  I am not crazy about the partially open mouth.  The white painted teeth don't run the full length of the opened mouth and the lip paint doesn't match up very well with the sculpted features of the mouth (this is hard to see in the pictures):


Overall, the face is refreshing.  It is missing the unnecessary seductiveness that is cropping up in so many play dolls.  If I could change something about the face, I would give her a bit more of a focused look.  She doesn't really look at the camera--she's always staring off into space.  For a line of dolls meant to represent successful city women, the face is a bit too dreamy.  Maybe she hasn't had her coffee yet?

The outfit is fantastic.  I love the mix of fall colors and the simple, practical style.  I never would have thought to pair a bright red shirt with a plum skirt, especially with that orange hair...but it works:


She's wearing a modest tank top and a tight two-toned tube skirt.  On her left wrist, she has three thick bangles in white, pink and gold:


The skirt is made out of a stretch cotton knit and has an elastic waistband:


The red fabric of the shirt has some drape to it and behaves a bit more like silk or rayon.


The construction is solid, and both pieces held up well to all of my frantic changing sessions.


The tank top closes in back with a single strip of velcro.  The velcro doesn't run the full length of the back, so there's a little slit at the bottom of the shirt.  The only problem with the outfit is that the plastic ties from the packaging leave permanent holes in the fabric.  These are especially visible in the red shirt.


Astor is wearing red high-heeled sandals.  The shoes have plastic soles and flexible vinyl on the sides. They are a little hard to get on and off, but I love them.  They look great:


The shoes are painted and some of the red paint came off on the bottom of the doll's feet, although there are no areas of missing paint on the shoes themselves.


Astor has 12 points of articulation.  Her neck can turn from side to side, but she can't look up and down at all.  This limited neck articulation combined with the upward-glancing position of her painted eyes makes it difficult for her to look straight ahead.

Ok, you out there, let's do some poses together.  You can keep your clothes on.
She has a torso joint with great side-to-side mobility.  This joint adds a lot to her posing repertoire:

Lean to the side.  Wasn't that easy?  Now, let's try something more advanced...
Her arms are articulated almost exactly like the regular Tonner dolls.  She has excellent range of motion in all of her arm joints, and her wrists can bend and rotate.

Now, pat your head and pretend you're holding a small pig.
Seriously, haven't you ever carried a small pig?
She has ball and socket hip joints that allow for almost full side-to-side splits:

See how long you can hold this pose....
...and full front-to-back splits:

If you get tired, this is a good way to relax.
Here's the hip joint up close:

Back off, Emily!
Astor's arms and lower legs are made out of a different material than her torso and upper legs.  There's a noticeable color difference in between these two areas. The plastic torso and upper legs have a yellowish tone to them and the slightly bendable arms and lower legs have a pink tinge.  You can see this difference pretty clearly in the pictures.  Also notice how she is always looking up and away from the camera.



She sits nicely, both on the ground and in a chair:


Of the dolls I own, the play doll that comes closest in size and quality to Astor is a Moxie Teenz doll.  Here's Astor next to Tristen:


These two have very similar articulation.  The Moxie Teenz have ankle joints (which I love--their feet can be flat or fit into high-heeled shoes).  The Moxie Teenz torso is much shorter, and while this is probably more realistic, it looks funny next to the willowy Astor.  Moxie Teenz can also look up and down.  For Astor, things are always looking up.

Clothes sharing is not going to be reliable with these two dolls.  In particular, some Moxie Teenz pants won't quite fit Astor's longer frame. However, Tristen can wear Astor's clothes and the two dolls can trade most shirts.

Astor wearing Moxie Teenz Melrose's top and jeans
The jeans don't quite pull up high enough, but it's close!
Tristen's skirt (attached to the pink lace tights) doesn't quite pull up high enough:

Dude.  You are really tall.
Playing with these two dolls together, it's the faces of the Moxie Teenz dolls that really stand out as being special.  They have so much expression in their huge inset eyes and sweet features:

Moxie Teenz Melrose
Moxie Teenz are selling for $14.50 right now at Toys R Us, which makes it harder for me to swallow the $50 price tag on the City Girls.  Part of the price difference is because the City Girls are higher quality dolls.  Also, I have to keep in mind that the Moxie Teenz originally sold for $26, and, as I understand it, are now discontinued.  I hope the City Girl vision is more sustainable.

Here is Astor next to "Far East Stella," a Tonner fashion doll with the Tyler Wentworth body:


The City Girl body has more childlike proportions, with much narrower hips and a smaller chest.  I find the color difference in the plastic pretty striking.  Stella looks almost grey in comparison to Astor's peach complexion.  These two aren't likely to share many clothes.

Here is a comparison between Astor and Cami, who has the slimmer Tonner Antoinette body:


These two have much more similar proportions, although Astor is still narrower overall.  The color difference in the plastic is still noticeable, but what catches my eye here is how much more detailed and realistic the Cami body sculpture is.  Cami and Astor can trade clothes, although Astor's skirt is pretty tight on Cami and Cami's shorts bag a little bit on Astor:


I was impatient to have some more clothing options for Astor, so I opened one of the fashion packs.  This set is called "Cape Town" and includes a shirt, a cape, a pair of jeans, two bracelets and a pair of shoes:


The shirt is a long fitted burgundy knit tee that almost looks like a dress:


Again, the fabric is riddled with small holes made by plastic ties used in the packaging.  Also, notice the hemline of this shirt--it won't lay flat:


The jeans are made out of a very slinky stretchy black fabric.  They're incredibly soft--not at all like regular jean material.


The cape is the most detailed item of clothing in this set.  It is made out of an olive colored cotton knit and decorated with pink satin trim and two rows of fake gold buttons.


The cape closes in front with two pieces of velcro.


While the cape is stitched, hemmed and finished very nicely, you can see several holes in the fabric from those darn plastic ties.


The purple clogs don't have as much detail as the red sandals, but they're pretty cute:


It's not immediately clear how the two plastic bangles are going to fit over the doll's hands:


In fact, the bracelets don't fit over the hands at all...the hands come off:



While all of the clothes I have fit over Astor's hands with no problem, it's certainly easier to get her dressed without her hands in the way:



The burgundy shirt has real trouble at all of the seams (they flip inside out) but I just adore the overall look of these clothes.  They are casual, modest, nicely made items that I can picture a real woman wearing.  I also love the color palette and am surprised by how well it compliments Astor's red hair.  There is clearly a lot of thought behind the fabric selection and design of these clothes.

The cape has somewhat of a straightjacket effect (there are no arm holes) but it looks great:


One thing I started to notice with Astor at this point is that all of her poses involve bent knees.  It's actually very hard to get this doll to stand up straight.  Her knee joints buckle way too easily.  This is incredibly frustrating for someone like me who is trying to pose a doll for pictures, but it's hard for me  to gauge what kind of impact this would have on a child who is playing a game.  As a kid, I don't think I ever cared that much whether my dolls could stand up straight or not.


With the two outfits I've opened so far, the mix-and-match options are great. The red shirt and sandals work well with the black jeans:


And the purple clogs perfectly match the skirt that came with Astor:




I want to quickly show you a basic doll, Houston.  I was curious about the basic outfit and also about how many of the minor paint and articulation defects are common features to this line and how many are just flukes.  Here's Houston:


Right out of the tube, this doll is striking.  I love her darker coloring and long hair.  She comes in a pink satin robe and has pink sandals that are the exact same mold as Astor's red shoes:


Her bright green eyes look wonderful against her complexion, but I am noticing some of the same facial screening problems that I described with Astor.  Her tooth paint is not quite complete and the eyebrows are set slightly lopsided (both eyebrows are shifted to the doll's left).  The painted detail in and around the eyes is great, but look at the bottoms of her eyes--doesn't it look like she's been crying?  There are little spots of white paint under each eye that look to me like pooled tears:


Houston's hair is long and soft and looks fantastic.  It's tied back in a simple ponytail, and the ponytail holder is covered with a loop of hair.  It's youthful and elegant:


The pink robe has a synthetic feel to it--it's not as smooth and silky as it looks.  Under the robe, Houston is wearing a see-through cropped lace tank top and lace shorts:


Some minor flaws: the robe and the back of the doll's leg each have small stains on them.


While Houston looks fine wearing her lace sleepwear...


...I think she looks best in Astor's red shirt and the black jeans that came in the Cape Town set:


The green cape from Cape Town brings out the beautiful color of her eyes:


Houston has the same floppy knee problem as Astor.  These dolls just do not want to stand up straight. If I wait too long to take a picture, one or the other of them will start buckling:


It is possible to get everyone standing up straight and looking at the camera, but I have to say, if I were a real photographer and these were real models...I'd fire them.  They stare off into space and slouch way too much.


Since I have no self restraint, I can show you some pictures of the other girls in this line, although I'm not going to remove them from their boxes at this point.  Here's Billy:

I love her hazel eyes!  
She has a yellow and black taxi-themed outfit and is carrying sunglasses and a purse that looks a bit more interesting than Astor's purse:


She has black clogs that are the same mold as the clogs in the Cape Town set:


Brook-Lynn is a basic doll (again, found only at FAO Schwarz right now) and she is wearing the same outfit and hairstyle as basic Houston.



I also bought this special edition Astor, who is dressed in a yellow ball gown.  This doll sells for $59.99


My doll came with both of her hands missing and the bottom of the tube loose.  Fortunately, the hands were still in the box and I could snap them back on.  The doll must have been jostled around in the box pretty significantly in order for those wire ties to pry off both hands.  


The face paint is similar to that of Color Block Astor, but this doll has a more royal blue tone to her eyes and has an additional line of gold eyeliner.  This doll also has a more elaborate hairstyle, no bangs, and big hoop earrings:



She's wearing the high-heeled sandals in gold:


Here she is all put back together and straightened up.  This doll's dress reminds me of Moxie Teenz Leigh's yellow dress, although I can tell that this dress is of a much higher quality.  I'd love to do a side-by-side comparison of Leigh and Astor, but I have never found a Leigh with straight eyes.


Here are some final pictures of Astor and Houston in various outfits:





Bottom line?  My expectations were so high for these dolls, there was no way they were going to completely live up to their hype.  Details like the loose knee joints, the inflexible necks, the mismatched colors in the body and the slightly blank facial expressions made me feel disappointed, at least initially.

The thing is, these dolls have something interesting and unique to offer.  The longer I played with mine, the more I could start to see them for what they are and not for what I assumed they would be.  They are a wonderful size and weight and have nicely sculpted, highly articulated bodies.  The faces, while a bit spacey, have lovely hand-painted eyes and an innocent expression that is a refreshing break from the unrealistic glam that tends to pervade the play doll scene.  The clothes have some minor flaws here and there, but my overwhelming impression is that they are tasteful, well made and realistic.  These are clothes I would wear.  I love the color palette, and I enjoy the mix-and-match potential of the separate pieces.  While the collapsing knees drove me nuts, the dolls move really well.  They behave a lot like Tonner's more expensive dolls when you manipulate them--falling almost effortlessly into neat poses.  The arms, in particular, are very much like the arms on the Tonner Cami and Antoinette dolls.  I would love to have a City Girl doll to give to every child who has ever admired my Tonner collection.  

So, yeah, I really wish the head could look up and down, I wish the face had a bit more personality in it (side-glancing eyes would be super cute), and I wish the knees would stay put.  However, I can see past these flaws when I get caught up in posing one of these dolls or trying out a new attractive outfit combination.  Also, I have enough experience with Tonner products to feel pretty confident that the little flaws will get worked out over time.  

This is a line I will watch with great interest.  In particular, I'll be coveting all of the outfit packs that are released, and looking for new dolls with different face molds or expressions.  I can't wait to see what the repaint artists will do with these girls.  There is great potential here.  In the meantime, I have a young fashion-forward niece who might enjoy a City Girl for Christmas....


Summary:
Age Level
5 and up per the box, although I think slightly older children will get the most out of these dolls.
Value
The dressed dolls are the best deal at $50.  They're worth this price for the overall quality and design of the product.  Watch for free shipping specials.
Quality
The quality overall is very good.  The doll is highly articulated and larger than most play dolls.  She has hand painted features and nicely rooted soft hair.  The clothes are made of quality fabrics and are well sewn. The design of the clothes is fashionable and tasteful.  Some small facial screening flaws can occur.
Packaging
Very good.  It is easy to remove these dolls from their plastic tubes and cardboard backdrops.
Collectable?
Not really....but right on the edge.  These are play dolls and are not limited in production, but they will surely attract the attention of adult collectors.
Versatility
The generic face and high level of articulation make this a versatile doll.  She comes with a compelling backstory, but it doesn’t need to dictate how she is played with.  There are three separate outfit packs available now and some clothes sharing potential with Moxie Teenz and Tonner’s Cami and Antoinette lines.
Overall
This doll has some frustrating flaws that I would love to see fixed.  However, she fills a niche in the doll market and her good qualities outweigh her bad.  I’ll be back for more.  Recommended.




***
As requested: Cami in the Cape Town outfit.  The top is tight, but still looks good.  The pants are really tight--I didn't think they'd make it over her hips.  They look fine, but the fabric is pretty stretched.

The fabric is really stretched across her hips.
The shirt is very form-fitting!
The part under the velcro bulges out unless the shirt is pulled all of the way down around her hips.

51 comments:

  1. These are very cute! I agree as to the more innocent facial expression, and the clothing seems to actually have a sense of fashion to it (capes are not common, but how great it looks!). My fave would be Houston ... Thanks for the great review, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. I agree, Barb! Houston is really pretty and she's my favorite of the two I've opened. Even though she's still in her box, I also think Billy is great. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too! :)

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  2. I've liked the Billy doll since this line was previewed at Toy Fair, but the eye paint on the production dolls is a turn off, especially at the $50 price point. That seems "budget" to Tonner (thanks for the favor, dude) but it's still a lot of money to collectors who are accustomed to getting two or more Monster High dolls for that price.

    If I had never seen a Moxie Teenz doll before your comparison of the two dolls would make me run out and buy one. :) I might be biased though, I really like the Teenz! Their inset eyes and eyelashes make them look like the more expensive doll.

    Thanks as always for the detailed photos and thoughtful review. A+++, would read again! I'll keep my eye on the City Girls and look forward to seeing them again in your blog.

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    1. Oh, I know! I LOVE the Moxie Teenz! Can't understand why they didn't make it on the market for longer. Right now, getting one of the original (wigged) Moxie Teenz dolls for $14.50 is an unbelievable deal.

      I have to admit that I probably give Tonner a bit of a pass on the price point. I am so used to paying over $100 for his dolls that the $50 price made me giddy. I do think the quality is good, though, and should easily put them in the over $20 category.

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  3. Awesome review. They are really cute.

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  4. o woww!loving the dark-skin one!they much alike Moxie apart from glass eyes....nice articulation!

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    1. The dark-skinned Houston is my favorite so far. Part of me is sad that they don't have inset eyes like the Moxies, but I've had a lot of trouble with my Tonner dolls who have wonky inset eyes so I think it's probably good that they're painted. :)

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  5. A very thorough review, as usual.

    I have a Houston with a floppy right knee and wonder if it's because the joint is being strained in the position it's tied down in the box.

    I love your comment about firing them if they were real models. :)

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    1. That's a good thought--the wire ties sure did a number on my Astor's hands, so it makes sense that they could damage a knee, too. I was also wondering if it had to do with the lower legs being that different type of vinyl? Maybe it's hard to get a tight joint? Sorry you have the same problem. :(

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  6. Very nice! I must say my first impression of these dolls were very good! I think I like Billy the most, but the special edition Astor is just stunning!
    I love the fashion pack Cape Town, it looks great on Houston!
    I find the color differences distracting though, it's really visible.
    Overall, I really like these dolls and would be attemped to buy one if they were available here and for a regular price.
    By the way, I totally agree on you about the Moxie Teenz bags, my basic Tristen's bag (thank you Emily!) is so amazing, I want a large version for myself! :D

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    1. Thank you for your awesome input--as always! Billy is great. I like her eye paint the most and she has a cool outfit. She's the one I'd pick if I were giving a gift.

      The color difference in the vinyl is not quite as noticeable in real life as it is in my pictures...but it's definitely noticeable.

      You're very welcome about the MT purse--Tristen's is especially nice. I'd take one of those in full size, too! :)

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  7. Thanks for the great review! I really like this doll and her qualities definitely outweigh her flaws however the one problem I see is their size. There's so much stuff already out there in play-scale that it seems a shame to make a doll in a size that can't use any of it, especially if you don't manufacture any alternative play-sets yourself.
    I remember the fate of 16-inch dolls like Crissy and Cynthia at my house
    :much as I loved them the fact that they had no house and furniture quickly turned them into a knickknacks sitting on a shelf most of the time. On the other hand all the dolls that could fit in Barbie's Houses and use her accessories got played with daily for years. Knowing this would make me hesitant to buy these for a child and yet they aren't collector dolls either.I suppose they might look good in American Girl furniture but that doll is so obviously a child compared to these modern young women so would the styles mesh?
    I wonder if being neither fish nor fowl won't hurt their sales.

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    1. That a great point! The City Girls can't share any of the Monster High or Barbie accessories. Also, their accessories would have to be pretty big, and as a parent with a small house, that idea scares me!

      It'd be good to know if the City Girls fit American Girl accessoires. Char at Doll Diaries would know, I bet! :)

      Perhaps Tonner knows something about the target audience--maybe collectors of a certain age are not as interested in houses and accessories? Maybe there are play sets planned for this line the future? I don't know. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out!

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  8. Thank you very much for the great review! You're so detailed, and your side-by-side doll comparisons are fantasic!

    I have one picture request-- could you dress up Cami in the Cape Town outfit (or, at least, as much as will fit)? I have been wondering whether the fashion packs will be good, less-expensive options for my Cami doll.

    Thank you again! I started reading your blog this summer and absolutely love it!

    --Anonymous :)

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    1. Thank you so much! :)

      That's a good idea. I'll try to squeeze Cami into the Cape Town outfit and put some pics up for you later today!

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    2. Thank you for posting the pictures!
      It looks like the Cape Town outfit sort of fits Cami, but definitely not ideally. I might go ahead and get it, though-- it's awfully cute.
      Thank you again for your help!

      --Anonymous :)

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  9. I have been waiting for the City Girls for months now, and now that they are out I don't like them as much. Billy is my favorite though and I love the Networking Outfit, but now that I have read your review I want a Moxie Teen first.
    Thanks again for another great review.

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    1. Well, the Moxie Teenz will get hard to find before the City Girls do, I bet. Also, the current Moxie Teenz price ($14.50 if you can find them in a real Toys R Us store and not online) is such a good deal! You can't go wrong.

      Not to cause trouble, but just so you know: the City Girls are included in Tonner's 30% off Black Friday sale, so that makes them a better deal... ;)

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    2. Hi! (from London)

      Are you talking about the 1st- and 2nd-wave Moxie Teenz dolls or the ones with rooted hair? If the former.....*long, loud wail*. If the latter, I'm not so interested.

      There are no Moxie Teenz dolls to be had anywhere in the UK now. Only on eBay. I knew I should have moved to the USA years ago. LOL!

      No, seriously, how does one get hold of an American Moxie Teenz without bankrupting oneself? Any ideas?

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  10. I'd seen a few days ago on Facebook the release of these dolls, so I wasn't expecting your review! When I first saw them I thought they were very cute! There's something charming and sweet from their face.
    I was wondering, as you're a Tonner collector, do you have any Ellowyne Wilde? Also a bit random but maybe you know if the FAO website ships internationally? I'm checking it and it looks like they don't :(

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    1. I don't currently have any Ellowyne dolls--just the Rapunzel doll with the same body. I had a basic Ellowyne with inset eyes and sold her. I'd like to get another (painted eye) Ellowyne some day. They're very appealing!

      I agree--it doesn't look like FAO ships internationally, but Tonner does.

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  11. Hello from Spain: I like these dolls. I had not seen before. I like the color of skin and hair. They are girls actual. The clothes are very fashion. I like a lot. Keep in touch

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  12. Have you tried to make a review for an American Girl Doll? I have one myself, and they are very pretty, but have limited pose ability.

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    1. Oops. Horrible grammar there. Sorry, I'm tired. :P

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    2. No worries about grammar! I was too tired to even notice. :)

      I am tempted to take a closer look at the American Girls but haven't bought one yet. A little girl let me examine hers one day and it was nicer than I thought it would be--despite the limited articulation. They're pricey for a doll that I'm not likely to keep in my collection, but it's something I have been thinking about a lot lately--especially since the American Girl accessories look incredible.

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  13. The plastic looks very cheap, The little bunny tooth is uneven.This is a OK doll just Ok, not great because of those little flaws and lack of details. For people that don't are interested by who made the product probably they go and see what is around at the store, before buy this.

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    1. The plastic does look cheap in the pictures, I agree. The mismatched color is not quite as obvious in real life, but it's definitely noticeable. I'm not sure why some dolls have their lower limbs in a different kind of plastic--this makes it almost impossible to get a perfect match!

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  14. This is crap - two clored body?!
    What the check! Tonner is going down...
    Thank you for this. I wont buy those dolls now! :)

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    1. The body does look odd in the pictures. As I mentioned above, it's not quite as noticeable in real life, but there's definitely a difference. The body moves nicely and has a good weight to it, though, so that balances out the strange color a bit--at least in my mind. :)

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  15. I mainly like them for the price and the clothes!! The fact that they have the Tonner name on them as well, Is very appealing to me :D

    I think, I may have to look into getting my hands on one, especially Astor.

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    1. I agree, Amber, I think the clothes are great and the price is good (especially this weekend--they're on sale for 30% off!). I also have to admit that the fact that Tonner made these dolls definitely adds to their appeal in my mind. I'm a huge Tonner fan. :)

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  16. Hi, I keep reading stuff about you talking about Toy Fair. Do you go every year? If so, how was it that you were able to get admission?

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    1. Sadly, I've never been to Toy Fair. :( It's a long-term dream of mine and I looked into going last year, but it's only open to retailers, I think. I just sit at home and look at everyone's great pictures! :)

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    2. Emily - you can go to ToyFair for free. You just need to apply for a Media pass - and by having this blog which is updated frequently with such high quality reviews - they will grant it to you.

      I went last year on a Media pass and it was the best thing I did all year!! I am planning to go back this year.

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  17. how do you add the Read more here link?

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    1. On the design page, in the blog post section, there's a "page link" setting where you can add custom text. I think you automatically have a link to the full post, but it wasn't noticeable enough to me, so I added the bold text. :)

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  18. ok thank you!
    love your Blog btw you inspired me to make one of my own :)

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  19. I would love to see a review on the other girls or fashion packs especially! I klind of want Houston now. You'd think they would also be sold at Toys R Us... Love your blog by the way!

    XOXO MissAmerica2011 (on Flickr)

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  20. Hmmm, your review makes them a bit more appealing, but I can't get over their faces. While cute, they remind me too much of some Bratz knockoffs I've seen in dollar stores, right down to the simplified facepaint style and that unfocused, dreamy look.

    The two-toned body is a big turnoff. Tonner should have enough experience with dolls to get that right. And speaking of the body, how is the plastic? From the photos it looks fairly light and thin; the Moxie Teen body looks thicker and heavier in comparison.

    As another reader commented, while the prices are fairly cheap in relation to Tonner's other products, $40-50 for a City Girl of dubious quality is a bit much when someone, whether a young or adult collector, can go an buy a couple of Monster High dolls or a Pink Label Barbie (like the Tim Gunn and Basics) for less. The clothing of those dolls also seem more fashionable and interesting. I don't understand Tonner's attempts to appeal to younger collectors when what he offers is watered-down designs of other dolls collectors of any age could get cheaper elsewhere. Adult Tonner collectors will make up the majority of City Girl purchases, buying for themselves or for young would-be collectors, but without Tonner's adult collector base, this line would not make it mass-market, especially if the far superior Moxie Teen line could not.

    And it's sad that $50 for these dolls is 'cheap' for Tonner; I remember when you could preorder the RTW Tyler line dolls for $40-50, dressed in lingerie.

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  21. I'm completely in love with their faces, but the mis-matched skin tones are a huge deal-breaker for me. I've already ordered two of these girls. If the skin tones look better in person, then I'll be OK with them. If the skin tone mis-match is really apparent in person, then I'll be sorry I bought them. It's a shame, because I think their faces are darling.

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  22. Have you had much luck on what other clothes these girls can wear? Or what clothes they can swap with from doll to doll?

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  23. Keelee_von_CupcakeDecember 1, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    While I am not interested in these City Girls (I like my dolls to be a bit stranger), speaking of new Tonner Toys, I wish they would release Maudlynne Macabre! I seem to be waiting for her with as much bated breath as you and your new girls. :) I had hoped to see her in the fall, but December has arrived and no luck. Back to obsessively checking the blog...

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  24. Hi, just stumbled on your blog and I am in love with your reviews!!! So detailed!
    It's a shame these dolls are so expensive, well for me anyway. (tight budget) I'd love to have Astor for my collection. :(
    She's the most realistic, clothes wise, and this helps me to look pass some flaws.

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  25. I was wondering about shoe matches for the City Girls Dolls. Im curious to know if she can share foot wear with other lines, I'd love to see her in some boots. -Anna

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  26. Hi Emily,

    With the sale that Tonner has this weekend I've been considering adding one of the City Girls to my collection, but can't decide between the two versions of Astor. The difference in price is only a few dollars. I love the dress and styling on the Golden Swirls version, but the Color Block seems so much more versatile. Did you ever debox your Golden Swirl? Thanks!

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    1. I haven't yet--poor thing! I agree that the Color Block outfit is more versatile, but Golden Swirl might have really nice long hair (and no bangs!). It all comes down to what that hair does when you take it down. I wonder if there are any pics of it out in cyber space??

      I need to go check out that sale, too! Thanks for the tip! ;D

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    2. Oh, that's a great idea! I'm always afraid to take down factory hair styles that I couldn't recreate, but I think it would be worth it in this case. Her hair looks gorgeous down in this Flickr set:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/46167907@N08/sets/72157632148565730/detail/

      Toys R Us still has the fashion packs available online, so I can get her some casual clothes, too. Thanks for your help!

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  27. For some reason, seeing Astor makes me feel uneasy. Compared to her body, her face has a pinkish color, and to me it makes her look like she was choking on something stuck in her throat.
    I can't help but feel the need to go and help her get whatever is stuck in her throat out so she can breathe again.

    Good thing is, this doesn't happen with the rest of the dolls. Good review, as always :).

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