|Bratzillaz Fianna Fins and Ripple.|
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:
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.
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.|
|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:
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!|
Are you ready to see Fianna's eyes??
|YES! Show the eyes! Show the eyes!|
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:
From a distance, the moons look convincingly like the highlighted edges of regular pupils. It's actually quite clever.
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.
The top has a red plastic starfish decoration:
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:
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:
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.