Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fianna Fins...Finally!

I'll try to keep this quick because I have already reviewed Meygana Broomstick from the Bratzillaz Midnight Beach collection.  At the end of that review, my feeling was that while I wasn't too interested in getting any of the other main characters in creepy glow-in-the-dark alien-green, if I ever saw Fianna Fins, I might consider getting her.  Well, that review was back in December, and I haven't seen a single Fianna in stores until now.  That's a long time to wait, but this is actually a great time to buy Fianna.  All of the Bratzillaz are on sale at Target.  Last week the sale price for the Midnight Beach dolls was $10.48, now they're just over $7.  In fact, Bratzillaz dolls seem to be on clearance at many of the local stores, making me wonder about the future success of this line.

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins
Bratzillaz Fianna Fins and Ripple.
Fianna's box is just like Meygana's box: it's a plastic window box with a cardboard back:


Fianna has a mermaid's purse witchmark.  She can control the weather and she enjoys her meteorology class:

Um, Fianna?  Enough with this heat wave in Maine.
The first thing I noticed on the back of Fianna's box is the picture of her cute seahorse pet, Ripple.  After my fun with the Lala-oopsie sea horse, Sunstar, I was especially excited to see this little fish:


I figured if the model of Ripple is half as cute as this drawing, it'd be worth the price--especially on clearance:


One of my favorite Bratzillaz features is the fantasy inset eyes.  Some of the Midnight Beach dolls come with their eyes hidden by shaded sunglasses:


You can't even peek in from the side of the box and get a glimpse of the eyes:

No peeking!
Because there are occasional problems with poorly set eyes in these dolls, not being able to inspect the eyes before buying was risky.  On the other hand, I had never thought to search for images of this doll online, so I really had no idea what her eyes would look like.  I love surprises.  The idea that I couldn't glimpse this doll's eyes without opening her box was almost as tantalizing as the Cabbage Patch mini dolls with their secret genders and surprise names.  

I mean, the drawing on the box gives away the basic design of her eyes, but there's no way to tell exactly how they'll look.

The design is very promising.
I think it would have been fun to have lots of different, fancy eyes in this particular wave of dolls--and have them all purposefully hidden by sunglasses.  MGA could have promoted this as a special feature: Which eyes will your doll have?  Remove the glasses to find out!  If there were lots of different eyes, and the eyes were randomly assigned to the characters, then the chances of finding two identical dolls would be low.  This would make any given doll much more special.  To make it even better, maybe there could have been some ultra-rare (glow in the dark?) eyes thrown into the mix that would only show up on a few hundred dolls or something.  To me, that kind of thing is irresistible. 

Anyway, I was pretty happy just to have Fianna's eyes be a mystery to me for a little while.  

Hi there.
Fianna comes with a mermaid bathing suit and a brush.  For some reason, her left arm comes encased in this plastic holder:

That could be fun for hospital games, I guess.
The box proclaims that the skirt can become a cape:

Ok, great, but what about the mystery eyes?
By this, I assumed that they meant that the shiny blue part of the skirt would become a cape.  It wasn't immediately clear to me how that would be possible:

That'd be a funny-shaped cape.
Here's a comparison with Midnight Beach Meygana.  The two dolls have virtually identical types of accessories: they both have a convertible skirt/cape, a bracelet, earrings, a witch (party) hat, sandals, sunglasses, and a swim top.


In contrast to Meygana's simple gold hoops, Fianna has over-the-top silver dangle earrings with molded gem shapes:

Nice, but what about the eyes, Emily? 
Eyes, please?
Fianna's witch hat has the exact same pattern as Meygana's hat, but it is a lighter blue.

Oh good grief.  Eyes! Eyes! EYES!
Both dolls have the same sunglasses mold, but Meygana's glasses are black and have a semi-transparent lens area and Fianna's are opaque blue...completely hiding her secret eyes.


Are you ready to see Fianna's eyes??

YES!  Show the eyes!  Show the eyes!
Ta da!

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins
Ka-POW!
Wow.  These are fancy eyes--and there's glitter everywhere.  I had built up quite a bit of excited anticipation for seeing these eyes and I must say, I was definitely not underwhelmed.

The unconventional star and moon shapes in Fianna's eyes make it unclear where her gaze is set, but I think these eyes are better than Meygana's beady, black pupils.  I do love the lightning-shaped detail in Meygana's irises, though:


Bratzillaz Fianna Fins

From a distance, the moons look convincingly like the highlighted edges of regular pupils. It's actually quite clever.

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins

The eyebrows stand out to me on this doll.  Everything else about her is so pale and nautical, the dark brown brows don't fit.  Maybe white would have been better...or even yellow?

Fianna's hair is very different from Meygana's silky red mane.  Meygana's smooth hair was such a nice surprise, it's a bummer to see this scraggly blue mess:


I can feel a lot of styling product in this hair.  The additives cause the hair near the doll's head to fall in sticky clumps.  The bottom of the hair is rough and coarse, with the dolly equivalent of split ends.



The rooting is fine, and the scalp is painted blue to hide any bald patches:


When it's brushed out, the hair looks a little better, but I will probably try to wash or boil away some of the excess styling goo...and maybe trim those icky ends.


I think a real mermaid would probably have terrible hair.  I know how coarse my own hair gets every time I swim in the ocean.  Still, I'm sure this isn't what MGA was thinking when they designed Fianna.  Silky, smooth blue hair would have been so much better.

Despite the simplicity of Meygana's gold swimsuit, it is one of my favorite things about her.  It is an easy suit to get on and off, it has a modest, realistic style, and it goes well with her red hair and gold accessories.  Fianna's suit is more confusing.  It has a simple bandeau top with clear plastic straps, and then a mermaid-style skirt bottom: 

You could not swim in that suit unless you were...a mermaid.

The whole suit is made out of a metallic blue stretch fabric with textured fish scales.  




Fianna's witchmark is clearly visible on her upper arm:

 

The bottom of the suit is very fitted and again, it doesn't look like it could double as a cape:


Actually, the whole skirt isn't supposed to be a cape--just the very bottom part comes off and this is the piece that can work as a cape:


Here's the skirt without the white ruffle underneath:


That ruffle was held in place with plastic ties, and once they're cut, there's no way to re-attach the ruffle to the bottom of the blue skirt.  I assumed that the ruffle would just fall off if I tried to use it as a part of the skirt again, but in fact Fianna's shapely calves keep it nicely in place.

The waistline of the blue skirt has some pleated drape to it and another red plastic starfish ornament.


Here are the clothes removed from the doll:


The skirt has a thin white strip of "underwear" to keep the waist from riding up:


Here's the white underskirt or cape:


It is stiff and crinkly with an iridescent sheen:


The underskirt makes a slightly strange cape.  The two petal-shaped halves make it look more like wings than a traditional cape.



Fianna's shoes are the exact same mold as Meygana's shoes, but Fianna's have light blue straps.


Fianna's bracelet matches the color of the starfish ornaments on her outfit.  The bracelet has some molded details, but it's very hard to see what they are:


Once I understood the cape concept and saw that it worked, I started to really like Fianna's outfit.  The fabric is great and the mermaid skirt could add a fun new mystical dimension to kids' Bratzillaz games.  With her pale coloring and that skirt, Fianna really does look like a marine creature.  The eerie, glow-in-the-dark skin tone that makes Meygana look so pasty and undead really works on Fianna.  I mean, many underwater creatures actually do glow in the dark.  Bioluminescence is cool.

Fishy-fresh vs. ghastly-green.
There are no surprises with Fianna's body.  It is the same as Meygana's body, but with differently colored underpants.  



As with all Bratzillaz, the bendy, wobbly lower legs make it almost impossible for this doll to stand straight--even with the help of a supportive wall:


The body does glow in the dark, and this feature works best if you set the doll near a light for a little while:


The glowing doll is fun to look at, but the light dims very quickly:

 Going, going...gone.

Here are a few more pictures of Fianna:





Despite my disappointment with Meygana's little horse pet, Wingsy, I couldn't contain my excitement about Fianna's adorable seahorse pet, Ripple.  Here are some pictures of Wingsy that appeared on my facebook page a while ago, just so that you can appreciate the contrast between these two pets:




Now, here is Ripple:



Ripple is not hollow plastic like Wingsy.  He is made out of solid, glow in the dark vinyl and has a nice weight.  He has painted details, including lots of light blue spots and a little molded jacket:


His upward-glancing eyes are irresistible:


So, when I said that the Lala-oopsie sea horse was a unique toy, I guess I was wrong.  Not only is there another seahorse on the block, but he's super-cute.  I love these two:


To me, Ripple stands apart from the other Bratzillaz pets.  He is nicely weighted and surprisingly realistic, despite his dapper waistcoat.  His glow-in-the-dark quality is less gimmicky than Wingsy's flapping wings and light-up eyes.  Not only does he pose very well with Fianna, but he's a cute little figurine in his own right:

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins


Bratzillaz Fianna Fins

Bottom line?  Sadly, Fianna's hair is not anywhere near as nice as Midnight Beach Meygana's hair, but it is considerably nicer than the first wave Meygana's hair.  I guess this underscores the fact that you can't make any generalizations about Bratzillaz hair.  

I love the color of Fianna's hair, and I find that the blue tones in her hair and face paint make the greenish hue of the glow-in-the-dark vinyl seem appropriate.  She looks like a strange, otherworldly creature who lives underwater.

Fianna's outfit is cute, and it could be used as a slinky, tight beach dress...or it could be imagined as the tail of an actual mermaid.  The detachable part of the skirt works better than I assumed it would, and makes an interesting wing-like cape.  The jewelry was not designed with any eye for this doll's mermaid theme, and it lacks creativity.  I like the idea of the starfish accents, but they're a little clunky--especially the one on the doll's bikini top. Overall, though, this outfit is great--especially for a basic doll.

Fianna's eyes are extravagant and tacky, but I like them.  I like them even more because they were hidden from me when the doll was in her box.  That was a great surprise.  I still find the eyes to be the most original feature of these Bratzillaz dolls, and I wonder if MGA would have better success with sales if they focused more on the eyes.


Last but not least, Fianna's pet, Ripple, is a winner.  After seeing Wingsy, I did not expect much in terms of quality with this little seahorse.  I assumed he would be made out of light, hollow plastic.  In fact, Ripple is a solid, well-designed little figurine with an adorably endearing expression.  I hadn't really been feeling like I needed another Bratzillaz doll, but Fianna's dramatic eyes, whimsical outfit and perfect pet make me glad I took a chance and brought her home.  

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins

32 comments:

  1. I was umm... Shocked, to say the least when I saw those gorgeous eyes. (Good shock, not EuroGirl wig shocked)

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    1. LOL! :D I think that the EuroGirl wig shock definitely defines BAD shock! I was surprised by these eyes, too! I think I even said, "wow!" out loud when I removed her glasses.

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  2. ripple looks adorable! :) fianna looks really cool, im sad about the hair quality of the doll though

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    1. I am sad about the hair, too. This doll with MB Meygana's silky hair would have been near perfect....well, except for those ridiculously bendy legs. Grr.

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  3. God, she's cute! That is a Bratzillaz I can grok! And damn it... BLUE. Y U NO WANT ME TO HAVE MONEY, TARGET.

    I wouldn't worry about the future of the line so much. My Target too, has a lot of Bratzillaz and Monster High stuff on clearance. I know for a fact that more Switch-a-Witch sets are coming - they're pretty cool looking - and so, to me, it stands to reason that there'll be more complete dolls too.

    Now, to find Fianna Fins locally.

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    1. I hope you can find one! I checked out another Maine Target last weekend and they didn't have any. MGA must not have made as many of these dolls as they made of the main characters, which is silly. Knowing how you love blue, I can see why you'd like this girl! :D

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  4. I've noticed a trend with glow-in-the-dark things bewteen MGA and Mattel.

    While some of my Monster High things that are supposed to glow in the dark, they really just fade instantly and hardly glow at ALL, even after sitting for a good hour in sunlight (I tried XD).

    MGA's Novi Stars stuff actually glows pretty bright after a few minutes in the sunlight like the Bratzillaz.

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    1. usually it's not recommended to leave glow-in-the-dark things under direct sunlight, but under indirect sunlight and artificial sunlight it's ok. I don't remember exactly why it works like that, but I've heard this thing since I remember.

      As for the doll, I don't like Bratzillaz line, but I have to admit that this one is really cute. And the inset eyes look always prettier than painted eyes, so this is definitely a win. I liked this one :)

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  5. I love her! I haven't been able to find her at all in my area.

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    1. She seems very rare. I'd think that MGA would make more of a new character, assuming that people already have Meygana, Yasmina, Cloetta, etc., and would prefer something new...but the opposite seems to be true!

      I hope you can find one--around here they're still re-stocking, so you never know!

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  6. She's quite cute, but that's definitely too much glitter for me. Probably some people say, that there is not such thing like too much glitter, but she have it even on her teeth...

    Ripple is really nice though. Not "Shut up and take my money" nice, but he's not as bad as Wingzy is.

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    1. The glitter on her teeth is over-the-top. That's for sure. It's a little harder to see that glitter in real life, though.

      I like the expression, "shut up and take my money nice." LOL! Too many dolls speak that way to me. ;)

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  7. Wow! Wonderful review! She´s by far,on my humble opinion, one of the best dolls produced this year... maybe I´m partial since I have some strange fixation with mermaids, and maybe that´s why I got completely infatuated with this doll the very first moment I laid my eyes on her. I´m curious as you Emily (well, not that widely, savagely curious), and I like to have at least one doll of each significant line, that´s why I chose Meygana (your wonderful review helped too) .
    Doll distribution is rather erratic/scarce here in Spain, and I was really tempted to buy her online, but the prices skyrocketed... till I was lucky enough to find her on amazon... I started dancing with joy the day she eventually came to me. She has the most beautiful eyes I ever seen, and the whole look works for me, I love the mermaid tail, the hair colour that matches perfectly her glowing skin... Did I mention how much I like this doll? I can admit her tackyness, her glitter overdose.. but she´s perfection on her own league, after all, she´s not a collector doll, she is meant to be played, and I find her an utter Sea Goddess.
    Thanks Emily for another fun-tastic review, I was delighted and can not believe my eyes when I saw which doll you were reviewing this time. Maybe you don´t know how much well you are doing by enlighten these gloomy days
    Chicovintage

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    1. I love how you describe Fianna! She's tacky, yes, and overdone with glitter, yes...but she's still a Sea Goddess!! And perfect for playing. That's exactly right. :D

      I would struggle to name any doll the best of the year (just because I have a hard time with stuff like that...) but Fianna definitely wins for the best surprise of the year so far. I was not THAT excited to get her. I've looked at several Bratzillaz already, and felt like I knew the scene. Fianna is different, though! She takes the awkward glow-in-the-dark beach theme and makes it fantastic.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words about the blog. :)

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  8. I have a lot of affection for the Bratzillaz, with Meygana being my favourite. I think that Fianna is very cute now, but I know that I would have LOVED her when I was a little girl. I know that there is a lot of debate about MH vs Bratzillaz but it has just struck me that they really do appeal to a different audience with the Bratzillaz being perhaps more appropriate for younger girls or those who prefer something a bit softer, cuter or more innocent than what MH offer. I really like mermaids when I was young so Fianna would have been very desirable to me. They only thing is that she would have seemed pointless to me unless I could take her in the bath with me and I am guessing that her glitter and that lovely paint on her eyes would not have faired well in warm soapy water. I think that the glow in the dark feature is cool. I love seahorses and Ripple is super cute. Although I do like the name Fianna very much it does not suit her. In Irish the name means band of warriors and stories of the Fianna are very much part of Irish folklore.

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  9. Gorgeous review - as always :)

    I really like this doll,
    but sadly they are not being sold in Germany.
    We used to have the Basic Bratzillaz at Toys R Us
    but the do not sell them anymore -
    the only one they have left is Sashabella and that is the end
    of the Bratzillaz- line over here.
    My TrU even cleared all the shelves and they are now used for Monster High stuff.

    I would love to get Fianna,
    but I am not willing to pay $60 - $80 with shipping to Germany ( ! ) on ebay,
    because I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

    I love your reviews - very good job !
    When I am unsure about getting or not getting a specific doll,
    I always have a look at your blog first -
    kind of like " What would Emily do/say" .. :D

    Also I am waiting for the Ever After High dolls to hit Germany -
    can't wait !! :)

    Keep it up - thanks for making me smile :)

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    1. Lucy, cry no more:
      http://www.amazon.es/Bratzillaz-521136-Midnight-Fianna-Mu%C3%B1eca/dp/B00B1MMXRY/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys&ie=UTF8&qid=1374235538&sr=1-1&keywords=fianna
      Here is where I get her, amazon ships to germany, i have bought some dolls from another countries amazon pages and the shipment is quite reasonable. Go girl, she´s amazing!
      Chicovintage

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  10. Wow, she might be the only Bratzilla to tempt me, especially if I find her on sale too! I love fantasy hair colors

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  11. I've looked everywhere for her, but I can never find her! I MUST HAVE HER. :)

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  12. I never really got into the Bratz line (the name, the make-up,the Mattel copying, the everything!). But she doesn't seem that bad. Maybe Finna will one day swim into my doll collection.

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  13. Sorry, re-posting because I did a terrible job of describing Jade's eyes lol

    Those eeeeeeeeyes!

    I've only gotten one Bratzillaz doll - Jade J'adore. And I got her because of her eyes - which have gorgeous red irises and heart-shaped pupils. And bizarrely, MGA chose to COVER those eyes with a strip of black netting in the box. I'd walked past that doll and passed it over online DOZENS of times before I happened to catch a picture of the netting-less doll on Flickr and fell in love immediately. Why on Earth they went and COVERED the best feature of the doll is beyond me - and I feel this is yet another one of those boners for them. These eyes are equally gorgeous and unique - and should've been displayed proudly in the box, not covered!

    ...although I agree with you that a line of dolls with gorgeous, unique and inventive eye designs that are covered in the box would be amazing.

    I just wish the Bratzillaz were made better. I'm SO dismayed by the overall quality of the dolls that I'm reluctant to get another one, even with eyes as beautiful as this one. But then again, on clearance...

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  14. I love these dolls and want more, but my local stores aren't getting any of the new ones in... all they have are clearanced wave 1s...

    I would chance buying them on the internet, but check out this SAW Wave 2 single pack: http://www.amazon.com/Bratzillaz-Switch-A-Witch-Doll-Single-Style/dp/B00B1MOZV6/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&qid=1374279208&sr=8-35&keywords=bratzillaz In the first promo shot, her eyes look GREAT, but in the second and third they're totally wonk! If even their promo pictures show dolls with wonky eyes, how can I take a chance ordering online?

    I really, really wish that doll companies would get their butts in gear when it comes to quality control. This isn't acceptable.

    Sorry to rant... I actually really like Ripple, which is surprising... I think all the other pets look very "cheap." Fianna is lovely. I wish they were selling her in my local stores.

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  15. Love her and your wonderful review. I finally found her locally myself also on clearence at Target.

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  16. Oh I'm going to have to hunt one of these girls down; I'd been avoiding the glow-in-the-dark line because it just hasn't been anything exciting, but this mermaid is FANTASTIC.

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  17. do you think you are going to get one of the back to magic Bratzillaz dolls?

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  18. I didn't know this doll had hair issues too. I've read and seen mostly good things about her but I still haven't seen her in person. Target has some good clearance. Even the SAW 2 pack is only 10 dollars.

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  19. I wouldn't worry too much about the line ending. The company has released pictures of two new lines of Bratzillaz coming out in the autumn. They're on the Bratzillaz Facebook page. :)

    Thanks for the review. I have several Bratzillaz, but I don't have this one.

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  20. Very nice and cute,I think it is interesting,my sister may love them.

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  21. For me, Vampelina is a must-have! She looks so amazing and she could be Draculaura's immortal enemy! ;)

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  22. Ahw, I really love her! Her eyes are gorgeous! I'm not a big fan of the cape but I like the actual mermaid style outfit. Meygana is still my fave though but Fianna comes close. And Ripple is just adorable!

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  23. Oh my, you're so lucky to get those bratzillaz when they're on clearance in Thailand they cost about. ~$60(2000 Baht)

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  24. I think she's worth it just for those fascinating eyes. The rest of her is decent, too.

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