Friday, August 2, 2013

Kawaii Crush "Katie Cat Meow Meow" Doll by Spin Master

I am always interested in what Spin Master is doing.  Even before this company produced my favorite play dolls--the Liv girls, they had me running all over Maine looking for that special, impossible-to-find Bakugan dragon for my boys.  Spin Master's latest doll line, Kawaii Crush, was announced at Toy Fair in February.  These anime-style dolls represent the trendy Japanese kawaii culture, epitomized by popular characters like Pokemon's Pikachu and Hello Kitty.  Kawaii means "cute" or "lovable" in Japanese and has taken on the secondary meaning of "cool."  Kawaii culture centers around everything looking cute--be it physical appearance, collectibles, jewelry, art, clothing...even vehicles and food.  For example, Lolita fashions, like those embraced by some of Groove's Pullip dolls, are common in kawaii style.  Kawaii merchandise seems to be very, very popular right now, and not just in Japan.  In Maine, I see a little bit of this craze...if only in the knitted animal hats that are being worn by people of all ages.  While I wasn't really captivated by the promotional pictures of the Kawaii Crush dolls, I assumed that these toys would be popular.  Spin Master seems to have their finger on the pulse of what's trendy, and a real a knack for making toys that fly off the shelves...at least initially.

Just so you know, it is very difficult for me to review these dolls objectively.  Although my rational brain totally understands that Spin Master didn't stop making Liv dolls in order to make Kawaii Crush figures, my emotional brain can't help but compare everything this company produces to my beloved, discontinued Liv girls.

Kawaii Crush "Katie Cat" and Liv "Katie."
I noticed the Kawaii Crush display the other day at my local Toys R Us.  It took me by surprise, actually.  I was hunting for my favorite doll of the moment, Pinkie Cooper, and just happened to walk past an end-of-aisle shelf that was featuring these new dolls.  There were a ton of toys packed into this display, and my initial reaction was to reel backwards a bit.  It was a visual overload:



The boxes are all brightly colored with large, cartoon faces and a lot of highlighted text.  There were two larger dolls (maybe around 8" tall?) in big boxes that I found incredibly unappealing.  They have strange, open-mouthed faces that don't look right in such a large size. The features are exaggerated to the point that they are unnerving to me.  Here's Zoey Boey Fru Fru:

That's not cute to me.
This doll looks better in these pictures than she did in real life.  I can't quite convey the in-your-face scale problem that she has.  At the store, my thought was that there's no way I'd ever pay $19.99 for a doll like this.  I mean, even her hair bow frightens me a little.

Gack!
Here's the other large doll--Tammy Lamby Lu Lu.  She might be slightly better than Zoey because she's not wearing enormous glasses and her hat (or, her plastic sheep helmet) is cuter than the bow, but still...there was no way I was going to hand over $20 for this.  Uh, uh.


I thought instantly about the Lalaloopsy line when I saw these dolls.  They're both large, colorful, plastic dolls with huge heads and strange eyes.  I dramatically prefer Lalaloopsy dolls.

Thankfully, as with Lalaloopsy, there is a smaller, cuter, less expensive version of the Kawaii Crush dolls.  The smaller figures are about 3.5" tall, and illogically, they seem to have more detail than the 8" monstrosities.  Some of the smaller characters come in playset packs, and I actually found these playsets off-putting, too.  The problem with these sets is not the dolls, but all of the tiny plastic stuff the dolls come with.  It seems like overkill to me.  I mean, one smiling cloud is really cute, but when there are more smiling clouds than I want to count, it starts to be major stimulus overload to me:


I don't know, maybe I was in a bad mood that day?  All of the faces and the colors and the saccharine names (Morning Glory Go Go!  Luna Lite Night Night!  Mandy Candy Dot Dot!  Sunny Bunny Hop Hop!) just made me want to take an aspirin and put on my sunglasses.  The whole product line is IN YOUR FACE.

However.  Deep breath.  I did find the small packs with the 3" dolls to be very cute--and I especially like the little knitted animal hats that some of the figures are wearing.  These were appealing enough for me to be quite happy about paying $5.99 for a closer look.  My favorite figure in the display was Katie Cat Meow Meow. 

The smaller packages strike a nice balance with the decorations and accessories.  I like the cat head cartoon that frames the plastic bubble on Katie's box:


This set comes with a doll, a pet and a few outfit accessories.  I don't feel like I am paying for a lot of little unwanted extras.

I invited some of my other Spin Master dolls to Katie Cat's de-boxing.  The thing that struck me as I looked at all of them together, arranged in order of their production, is that they demonstrate a clear progression.  Moving from the Kawaii Crush doll on the left, to the original Liv doll on the right, the dolls get increasingly more articulated, versatile and realistic:

Kawaii Crush "Katie Cat," La Dee Da "Dots of Style Dee," Liv "Brites" Alexis, Liv Katie (re-dressed).
The progression presumably mirrors what the market demands, but I see it as reverse progress.  


Liv Katie was especially interested in this newcomer.  Maybe it's because she shares a name and a manufacturer with Katie Cat...but very little else.



The smaller Kawaii Crush packages really are cute.  Katie Cat is nicely displayed in a plastic bubble within a decorative cardboard frame:


The doll is easy to see, and the domed plastic even makes the top of her head visible for inspection.


The brand name, Kawaii Crush, is cool.  I like saying it.  I have to admit that I kept thinking about the Hawaiian island Kaua'i when I first saw this toy.  It also makes me think about my favorite brand of piano, made by K. Kawai.  Whatever the associations, this name is great and the added connection to the Japanese fashion fad makes it even more interesting.

The logo is cute, too.  This is a nice balance of smiling inanimate objects:


While I find the names of these toys to be silly as a group, I like the name Katie Cat on its own.  If I just leave off the "meow meow" part, I think it sounds spunky and appropriate.  Also, on these smaller packages, the cutesy cartoons and details don't seem overwhelmingly excessive to me--I find them charming.  For example, the face in the lower corner of the box is fun, as are the scattered colored squares with faces:


On the back of the box, the plastic bubble extends downwards in a keyhole shape.  This part of the plastic is lined with cardboard, so you can't see the doll from the back of the box:


On the cardboard, there's a photograph of Katie Cat and her pet kitten, and a brief description of Katie's personality.  She enjoys fashion and knitting.  I like that she knits her own animal hats.


Near the top of the box in the back, there's a row of cartoon drawings of the other dolls in this series:

I like the monkey and the sheep.
Not a sheep--a penguin!  Thank you, BlackKitty. :)
The array of animal interpretations sparks my desire to collect a few different versions of this doll, but the faces all look similar enough that I can't see ever wanting more than two or three.

From the dolls in stock at my store (no monkey or sheep), I had trouble choosing between Katie Cat and Owlena.  Katie Cat has a great name and I like her darker complexion and green eyes.  Owlena's name sound too much like Howleen to me, but she has a hat with molded knitting stitches, which is awesome.  I decided to get both dolls:



In these smaller sets, the doll is wearing an animal hat that coordinates with her pet.  The pet is also wearing a hat of some kind, and the doll has an extra hat accessory that matches what the pet is wearing.  

For example, Owlena has a yellow pet owl and is wearing a yellow owl hat.  Her owl is wearing a tiny fisherman style hat, and a matching hat for Owlena is included in the set:

Everything matches.
Owlena's hat is wonderful:


Owlena's mouth looks like a beak.  This might be on purpose:


I am not going to de-box Owlena for this review.  I'll focus on Katie Cat for now:


I ripped the plastic bubble free from the cardboard, and ended up with three pieces of cardboard and two large pieces of plastic:



The main plastic bubble opens and inside of that, there's another piece of plastic that has the doll and accessories attached:



Katie Cat is held in place with yet another piece of plastic that is fitted over the lower half of her body and taped in back:


The little pet kitten is held in place simply by the molded shape of the plastic holder:


Katie's wardrobe accessories are displayed against a black and white cardboard cartoon of a doll.  These pieces are held in place by a separate strip of plastic and some tape:


Here's everything that was in the box: Katie and her cat hat, a pet cat wearing a bow headband, a matching bow headband for Katie, and an extra skirt that looks like a ball of string:


Katie herself is pretty tiny.  She's about the same size as a mini Lalaloopsy doll:



Katie's hat is really cute, but it doesn't have the molded stitching pattern like Owlena's hat, which is a bit of a disappointment.


The thing that struck me about the hat right away is how flexible it is.  It is made out of a very, very bendable, thin rubbery material:



The details on the hat are great--it has black painted eyes with hearts inside of them, a cute pink nose, pink ears, and painted grey tabby stripes. There's a molded ruffled edge that frames the doll's face, and the hanging strings are shaped like cat paws:



The thing I don't like about this flexible rubbery material is how greasy it feels...and the greasy spots it leaves on all of my porous surfaces.  It also attracts dust like crazy, as you can see in this picture:

Fuzzy kitty.
Underneath the hat, Katie Cat has a big chunk of pastel pink hair.  The hair is also made out of a flexibly rubbery material.  The hair is so thick in back, though, it doesn't actually bend very much.

It looks like her hair should be one of those fancy erasers.

Katie has a tiny little body nestled in between her mass of hair:


She has some yellow clothes painted on her body, and some white knee-high socks painted on her legs.  Over the painted clothes, Katie is wearing a removable short pink skirt and some yellow shoes with little faces on them.


The clothes are made out of very bendable material (like a silicone vinyl mix, maybe?) and so they come off really easily--a little too easily, some of the time.

So, one thing I notice about Katie Cat is that since her mouth is frozen in an exclamation, and her unarticulated arms are always in the same position, she constantly looks like she is pointing to the ground and squeaking some kind of exclamation, and then mentioning what's happening underneath her.  Like this:

Holy cats!  Look at all of these clothes on the ground!
Here are Katie's little yellow shoes up close--they're made out of the very bendy vinyl and they slide around and come off of her feet really easily.  The shoes have slits down the back, but I think they'd probably stretch to fit on her feet even without the slits.



The skirt is cut all of the way through in the back so that it can slide on and off easily, too.  The shoes and skirt are so tiny, it's hard for my big hands to manipulate them.  It's probably easier with little kid hands.


Katie can't stand up straight without her shoes because her little legs aren't quite long enough.  She can only stand up by tipping forward and bending at the waist.  You can see her tiny pointer finger peeking out from behind her wall of hair:

Flaming flea dip!  What are my feet doing way out there?  
I tipped her up with my finger in this picture so that you can see the space between her feet and the ground.  I tipped her a bit too much, but if the hair is flat on the ground, her feet don't touch unless she's leaning forward.  I promise.

Mercy me-ow!  I'm levitating!
Her legs and feet are funny--her legs get wider and wider towards the bottom, and then she has these short, rounded feet.  They remind me of Pokemon feet for some reason.



The (extremely short!) yellow painted dress is a little sloppy, but it is so small, you can't see the imperfections as clearly in real life.  Katie Cat seems to have some molded details around the tops of her legs--not sure if these are supposed to be the tops of her long socks, the bottoms of her underwear, or maybe garters?  

Unidentified molded lines.
Katie Cat's body is made out of hard plastic.  Her arms look like they could be bendy and flexible, but they're not.  The arms do have a tiny amount of flexibility in them just because they're so thin, but they would break if you bent them too far.  Katie has a single hinge joint at her waist that allows her legs to move:


The hinge is secured with a metal rod that is visible on either side of the hips:



Katie has funny little hands with huge pointer fingers.  The thumb and the pointer finger are the same width and the other three fingers are skinny:



The smaller fingers are more visible on the left hand:


Katie Cat's neck is articulated with a ball-and-socket joint.  This is my favorite kind of neck articulation because it allows for a wide range of head motion, but the motion is a bit wasted on this doll because her bulky hair prevents her from moving much in any direction.  The neck joint allows her body to move from side-to-side and a little bit forward and back...but that's it:



I am wondering if the dolls that have pigtails (like Owlena) are better at posing?  Katie Cat's hair really gets in the way and seems like a poor design.  It's like having a third, huge limb:

Jeepers, fleapers!  I'm leaning on my hair!
Her hips can bend to a 90 degree angle, but she can't sit down because of her stiff hair:

Meowzer!  Look at my funny feet!
Katie's extra clothing accessory is a yarn ball skirt.  It looks a lot like a little yarn ball:


In fact, it looks so much like a yarn ball, it doesn't look much like a skirt--but I still like the idea.


Here's Katie stepping on the yarn ball skirt so that you can see how flexible it is:


Katie also has a hard plastic cat ear headband with a yellow and pink painted bow:


The bow has an eensie little cat face in the middle that is very hard to see:


There are no painted details on the back of the bow:


Here's Katie Cat in her extra outfit:


And with her cat hat and the yarn skirt:

Leaping Lolita!
Look at all of the greasy spots my hair is leaving!
Katie's pet kitten comes wearing a matching headband:


The little kitten is made out of grey hard plastic:




Jiminy Catnip!  Look at how cute my kitty is!
It is almost impossible to get this little kitty to stand on its own. I managed to do it (twice!) but I have no idea how.  Most of the time, the figure just topples over because of the large head.


The kitty has molded, but not painted, tabby spots on her head.  She also has black painted eyes with little white hearts in them and a pink painted nose:


The eye stencils are a little off the mark:


I thought that maybe the kitty would be able to share skirts with Katie Cat, but the skirts are actually too small for this little feline:


Here's a picture of some of the accessories with two coins so that you can see how small everything is:


I wanted to show you Katie Cat's head last, because I had a bit of a mishap while I was examining her hair.

Katie's eyes are large vertical ovals.  This is not my favorite style of anime eye--they sit too low on the doll's face.  I prefer, for example, the more compact eyes of these Hatsune Miku figurines.


Katie's eyes are painted lime green with some darker green lines in the irises.  She has small white heart reflections in the upper part of each eye and thin pink eyebrows.  Her open mouth is painted in two shades of pink to give the perception of more depth.


Katie's hair is very loose along the right side of her face, so I made the assumption that her hair was removable.  I think this would have been a nice feature, especially because the doll can't move very well with the chunky hair in place.  Sadly, the hair is not meant to come off.  

Trying to get the hair off revealed some interesting details.  First of all, look at the large blemish on Katie's forehead that was hidden under a lock of her bangs:

It looks like the plastic was melted by a chemical in that area.
Also, when I started lifting up the hair, I could see Katie's tiny ears:

Hey, you!  Stop doing that!
So, when I got to this stage, I realized that the hair was not supposed to come off.  Still, I am always fascinated by the way dolls are put together, so I took a few more pictures before I put her hair back where it belongs:

Great balls of fur!!  Put me down this instant!
The ridges in the rubbery hair fit into the slots in the plastic head.  The white spots on the head make me think that there must have been some glue applied to this area, but it didn't attach to the hair.


Inside the head, it looks like there's a plastic screw that holds one side of the head to the other.  It's tricky to see exactly what is going on in there:


The hair is glued tightly to the back and the left side of Katie's head, which is how I knew I wasn't supposed to be trying to remove it.


I think it would have been really fun if these dolls had interchangeable hair.  It would be a reference to some of the other customizable Asian dolls, and it would give me the option of swapping out this wall of pink hair for a more practical style.

There's not much more I can show you in terms of Katie Cat's posing ability.  She can't sit in a regular chair because of her hair, but she can sit on a stool, or on any kind of makeshift stool that is low to the ground and supports her hair:

Thundering tabbycats!  What is this thing I'm sitting on?

Or, she can stand on a conventional chair:

Awesome saucer!  You got me a real chair!
Here' Katie Cat in a lineup with some of my smaller dolls:

Cutie Pops mini, Littlest Pet Shop Blythe, China Girl, Cabbage Patch mini, Katie Cat, Lalaloopsy mini, Only Hearts Club Jess, Mini Pullip, Ty Li'l Ones, Barbie Chelsea (in back).
I purposefully chose a mini Pullip and a Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll that have animal clothing for this shot.  I wanted to make the point that the animal hat theme is common in kawaii culture, and also nothing new to the doll world.

Because of the animal theme, I decided that I should add in a Calico Critter and a Li'l Woodzeez character, too:


There was a whole wave of Littlest Pet Shop Blythe dolls that wore animal clothing and came with matching Pet Shop pets.  This is "Cub" from that wave:


These dolls have inset eyes, rooted hair, removable clothing (including shoes) and four points of articulation.  As an aside, there are some amazing clearance sales on these dolls right now.

Well, shiver my whiskers!  She can sit on the ground!
Here's another doll from that same Littlest Pet Shop series.  This one is called "Bunny:"




Last, here are a few shots of Katie Cat playing around with her older Spin Master siblings.  

Katie with La Dee Da Dots of Style Dee.
Jumpin' catfish!  I'm standing on Dee's arm!
Liv Katie didn't really know what to make of Katie Cat.  I don't thing she understands why I insist on making such a big deal about the connection between her and this small figurine.



They don't have much in common: Liv Katie's hair is legitimately removable, she's crazy-articulated...and she's the best chair-sitter I know:


...but I guess the two dolls have a few things in common besides their name and their manufacturer: they both have green eyes and they both look good in hats.  It's something.


Finally, here's a four-picture summary of all of Katie Cat's subtly different looks:



Bottom line? Despite my fixation on comparing Katie Cat to my other Spin Master dolls, I realize that this is not a fair correlation at all.  The Kawaii Crush dolls are not in the same category as Liv and La Dee Da.  Katie Cat is more like a collectable figurine--not a fashion doll.  

What other dolls are in the same category as Katie Cat, then?  Well, other small kawaii figurines like the Hatsune Miku I linked to earlier, or these Persona 4 Golden characters might make for a relevant contrast.  There's a whole world of amazingly neat anime figures out there!  It seems like most anime figures are meant purely for display, though, and so they are carefully crafted and painted and have an appealing artistic style with tons of personality.  Katie Cat shares some characteristics with these figures, but she does not have the same level of quality or artistry.  This is fine--she's meant to be played with.  So, maybe a comparison to a small play doll like Polly Pocket would be more appropriate?  In this case, while Katie Cat has the same type of flexible, rubbery clothes as Polly, Katie has very few posing options and sparse, fiddly clothes.  And her hair doesn't come off.  I don't think she's as versatile or as fun as Polly Pocket.  So, does this doll miss the mark on being a desirable collectable while also being too clunky for play?  Possibly.  It might also be the case that she's struck some kind of perfect balance between the two worlds--Polly Pocket goes kawaii, or something like that.  

Honestly, I don't know enough about this market to be particularly insightful.  For my money, I'd rather have a nicely done Nendoroid petite figure than a half dozen Kawaii Crush dolls, but Kawaii Crush certainly offers an accessible, inexpensive alternative...and an option that might be more appealing to younger children who want to play with their dolls and not just display them on a shelf.  

So, while I'm not an instant Kawaii Crush fan, Katie Cat Meow Meow has managed to heighten my interest in both the $6 mini play doll market and also my fascination with the higher quality anime and kawaii figurines.  She's also given me an excuse to play with my Liv dolls for the past few days...and that's always a good thing. 

40 comments:

  1. It's cute, but maybe if it has better quality, or the details were better finished, I'd consider to buy one. I've pondering about buying a mini Lala-oopsy, since they look really cute; and I've seen them as more detailed than this.
    The whole idea is great, but it wasn't well developed. The materials seem too cheap and the painting doesn't look good. Spin Master should have continued with the original Liv dolls.
    Anyway, interesting at least.

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    1. (on a side note, "Kawaii Crush" reminds me of "Sugar Rush" from Wreck-It Ralph... and those dolls perfectly can pass for racers on the all-candy world Vanellope comes from xD)

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    2. I prefer the mini Lalaloopsy dolls, too. The ones with floppy legs can't stand up, but the dolls have such adorable themes--I always stop by that section of the store just to see what new dolls are there. I love their cheerful faces.

      The painting isn't great--you're right, but to be fair, it doesn't look quite as bad in real life as it looks in some of those magnified pictures.

      I love your Sugar Rush reference! I wonder if that's a coincidence? There's definitely a similarity in those name and these dolls would totally fit in that world! Kawaii Crush dolls look like they're on a sugar rush, too, that's for sure. ;)

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  2. I have to ask, which one is the sheep doll? I see blue panda, cat, rabbit, owl, pink panda, monkey, cat again, and penguin. They forgot to draw the sheep?..
    About the sticky rubbery hat: have you tried rubbing it with baby powder? I have a feeling it could work.
    And finally, my opinion on the dolls. The chunky hair is a real disappointment. I always think that if they absolutely have to have plastic hair, it should be no longer than a bob. Long inflexible hair that surrounds the doll like a sarcophagus - not fun! The pet and the whole kitty theme are adorable though. Katie Cat is me. I need to find myself a ball-of-yarn-skirt now :)

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    1. Oooooh! It's a penguin! :D You're right! I like penguins, but I thought it looked like a droopy-eared lamb! Darn it. They didn't have this one at my store--just the panda, the owl, the rabbit and the cat. Thank you for setting me straight! :)

      The hat is actually not that sticky now that it's been out of the box for a while. I have some baby powder, though, just in case. I have cheap silicone baby doll that needs baby powder every now and then or she gets really dusty. :/

      The hair is a sarcophagus! That's a perfect analogy. I really wish Katie had cute pigtails or, like you said, a bob would be great. The hair is such a liability for this particular character.

      If you ever find (or make) a ball-of-yarn skirt...please share it with us!!! :D

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  3. I do like kawaii stuff and manga&anime, really, but something in faces of those Kawaii Crush dolls creep me out. General idea and cute accessories are nice and everything, but faces are just nasty... (Plus, paint on them is too sloppy for me) No KC dolls for me - I will stick with mini Lalaloopsies and LPS Blythes.

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    1. You can't go wrong with the mini Lalas and the older LPS Blythes. Great little dolls! I think that the Blythes, in particular, capture the kawaii style without being gaudy, and while keeping a very high play value. I am not sure I like the new Littlest Pet Shop interpretation of a Blythe, but I haven't see one out of the box yet (too expensive).

      I totally agree about the KC faces--especially on those big dolls. Shiver.

      The funny thing is that these dolls just made me appreciate OTHER dolls more. Like Lalaloopsy, LPS, Polly Pocket, La Dee Da, and some of the newer dolls like Sofia the First...not to mention the collectable anime figures.

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  4. I'm torn about these. They're quite cute, but the strange arm posing and eternal :D face are offputting. Maybe they'll put some out with more of a relaxed smile and relaxed arms later?

    Also, um, just so you know, it's Hatsune Miku, not Hatsune Miko.

    Your reviews are wonderful as always! I'm wishing they hadn't discontinued the Liv dolls now though, because every time you do a review, it makes me want to get one!

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    1. Thank you so much for the correction, Pachi! I don't know why I think of her as Miko, but I always do that. Urg. ;)

      A few times as I was photographing Katie Cat I found myself thinking, "hey, she's really cute!" And the hats in this line are great, but I just can't picture playing with this doll. Not sure exactly what her niche is.

      Don't despair--there are still Liv dolls to be found out there in the world! Many of them, like the basic ones on Amazon, are even fairly inexpensive! :D

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  5. I liked the idea and concept behind these dolls but they all have 'duck' faces and poor paint. It's strange to put a hip joint when they still can't sit. I like the size because it would be easy to get a lot of dolls that size and they would not take up much room.

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    1. LOL! Duck faces! You're right. That reminds me of an older British move, Four Weddings and a Funeral. There was a character called Duck Face in that movie who cracked me up.

      The dolls are a very manageable size, that's true!

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  6. These cute little dolls remind me of Pinypon dolls (http://www.pinypon.com/) that are/used to be for sale in the Netherlands. Have you heard of them?

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    1. I don't know how I've missed those! They do look very similar. It seems like they're for sale at Toys R Us and yet I don't remember ever seeing them! I will investigate next time I'm out. :)
      Thank you for the link!!

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    2. I have considered getting some of these to display with my Pinypons, as they are similar in size. But not after this review. The paint is really sloppy compared to the quality of my Pinypon dolls, and that squishy material gathers dust like nobody's business! I have a few toys/ accessories made of that stuff and they stay packed away to keep them from turning into dust balls. I had high hopes for this line; I'll check them out in person but I feel I'll be leaving them on the shelf, for now.

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  7. Lol, their names!! I kept cracking up at the overly-cutesy names. ;) I was picturing coming home and telling my Hubby that I'd purchased "Mandy Candy Dot Dot" and "Sunny Bunny Hop Hop" and seeing his gag reflex. ;)

    Anyway, I think the concept is a neat idea, but I'm not sure I'm completely sold on them. To be honest, one of the things I find the most distracting is their mouths. Katie looks like she's about to lick her hands like a real cat or something. :} And Katie's hair is definitely a hindrance.

    Like you, though, I prefer the LIV dolls and LPS Blythes, so I'm a bit biased. ;)

    Thanks for letting us know about these dolls...I'd like to see them in person sometime.

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    1. You're right! Katie does look like she's about to do some very feline licking! LOL!

      I giggled out loud picturing your husband's reaction to the names! With a house full of boys, I am no stranger to that gag reflex! I actually find my husband's opinions very helpful, though. He's brutally honest and he doesn't always agree with me, but he often sees something very clearly that I don't. :)

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  8. I really like the Japanese fashion and wild new anime dolls like Pullip and I'm thinking of dunking in a pinkie toe. I like the bigger dolls actually. This is a good way to introduce yourself to these new characters if you've never had them before! Great review!

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  9. I really like their names and their cute packaging, but I think I'll just stick with admiring the overwhelming "cuteness" of this line whenever I'm passing by them in a store.

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  10. The doll that has the best articulation is Enchanted Doll by Marina, but soo expensive =_=

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  11. I agree with you that I don't find these dolls especially appealing. They just look tacky to me. I can't imagine a little girl choosing one of these over a mini Lalaloopsy but sometimes kids like things that adults don't so you never know. Did you have any luck finding Pinkie? I just got the London doll today!

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  12. Emily, i know how much you love Cinderella, so when i was at FAO Schwarz and saw a Madame Alexander 8 inch Cinderella, i thought of you. you should try to find her, because even if you don't buy her, the box is configured so that you can touch her hair and dress. it's really awesome.
    From Anna G.

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  13. Oh my. They're sort of inching towards the "how not to do kawaii EVER" line, especially the bigger versions. Although I can see myself buying the large mini doll playsets and upcycling all the little accessories into jewelry. :)
    As a side note, the names such as "morning glory go go" sound a lot like engrish.. which I think if done on purpose, would be sort of close to offensive stereotyping. Hm.

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  14. the wide mouths are not a good idea on a doll, it makes it hard to put them in a good position, kids would have to pretend these dolls could frown or always put them in strange positions. i don't think this would be a very popular line among people

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  15. I think I like Figmas and Nendoroids better. ESPECIALLY the Vocaloid ones. Better quality and everything.

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  16. These seem more comparable to Pinypon. I've seen them at Toys R Us and Target. With Pinypon you can switch out their hair and clothing. I think real Japanese figurines are in a different league all together.

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  17. I definitely think Nendoroids are a better deal,the problems are they cost quite a bit,there may be bootlegs and shipping takes a while.Katie Cat is pretty cute though.I feel like they could have made the hair better by making it interchangeable and made out of hard plastic. Definitely get a Nendoroid or a Nendoroid Petit/Nendoroid Puchi.The Vocaloid ones can be kind of hard to find,so look for bootleg tips or buy from reliable places(AmiAmi,Hobby Search,etc.)The Miku 2.0 nendoroid is so cute,and came out recently too! I hope you like my advice on Nendoroids/Nendoroid Puchis.
    -That nendoroid anon

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  18. Aw, I really like them... all of them, but I have a thing for owls so Owlena in particular. The hats are just too adorable!!!! They are so cheap and cheerful and I would be tempted up pick one or two up to sit on my desk at work. I haven't seen them in the UK yet but I will keep a look out. My brother is visiting at the moment. He lives in Melbourne currently but he has lived in Japan. He informs me that the pronunciation of "Kawaii" (cute) is dangerously close to the pronunciation of "Kowai" (scary) :S

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  19. Where is you mini Rebecca review?

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  20. I love the clothes your Liv Katie doll is wearing in this review, wish I had them. All my Livs have dresses :/
    Any-whoo, this review was good, it's nice to see some of the smaller dolls/toys out there in the stores right now. But I have to say, that this little doll isn't something that I think I will be putting into to my collection. I love the name of the brand, like you said..it's an adorable name! and the packaging isn't too bad. But it does make your eyes go crazy, there's so much to look at on the packaging. You can't seem to figure out where to look first.

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  21. Hi Emily!
    What a fun and cute review, haha. I kept wondering how you were able to come up with so many kawaii phrases haahahahaa. I really like the concept of kawaii dolls made for the western market and the kawaii crush mini dolls are utterly cute. I especially like the accessories in the animal line and I love the hats. I've always wanted a mini laloopsy doll though so I don't think these will knock them of the mini doll thrown yet but it's nice concept.

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  22. Hi Emily! I think Katie Cat would make a great accessory for Katie the Liv doll....as long as they aren't too expensive (they don't seem to be listed on Toys R Us here, so I don't know). But I must say, great pictures of Katie!

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  23. The box... it said... 15+ O_O

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    Replies
    1. PIECES. If you look closer you'll see it also for 4+. YEARS BTW.

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  24. Correction: a few of the boxes said 15+ Katie Cat's said 4+

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  25. I actually really like these dolls (They're so cute!) especially Owlena. You probably woud have had better things to say if you reviewed owlena instead of Katie. I love smiling so the smiles don't bother me. They names are fine just as long as I think of them as fist names & last names (IE: Katie Cat would be the first name and Meow Meow would be the last name)

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