Many of you contributed to a clearer understanding of what is going on with the headband variation in the Runway series. Thank you! I was able to see this for myself at my local Target last week. Here's a summary of the three confirmed versions of the Runway dolls:
United Kingdom: doll with a headband but no brush.
United States: doll with a brush but no headband.
Target (US): doll with a headband AND a brush.
Anyway, I have been eagerly waiting to de-box Pinkie's pet dog to see if she is as charming as her owner. When Kitty asked in the comments section when I might do this review, I jumped at the suggestion! Thank you, Kitty--it was a perfect weekend for playing with puppies.
|The Jet Set Pets: Pinkie Cooper's dog, "Li'l Pinkie" and Pepper Parson's dog, "Saltine."|
Li'l Pinkie is Pinkie Cooper's dog. I don't know why this dog can't have her own unique name--talking about Pinkie and Li'l Pinkie is going to get confusing. Li'l Pinkie comes in fairly large, square-front box that matches the color scheme of big Pinkie's box:
I was a little turned off by all of the glitter and glitz inside Li'l Pinkie's box. The rhinestone outfit, ear bow, bracelet and glitter ears all seem like overkill, not to mention out of place with the vintage simplicity of the packaging.
The back and the side of the box have large pictures of Li'l Pinkie that look nothing like the toy. The back of the box also has smaller pictures of the other two dogs, Saltine and Sprinkles:
The blurb on the back is similar to the text on big Pinkie's box, but in this clip it mentions that Pinkie and her friends are hard at work making the world more stylish and dog friendly:
Li'l Pinkie is attached to a plastic shell that is secured to a pink cardboard backdrop:
The plastic shell is held against the cardboard with four tabs and a plastic tie:
The tabs aren't taped down, which is nice. Instead, they have a second insertion point into the cardboard that keeps them in place:
The packaging started to seem excessive when I had to get out the scissors to free Li'l Pinkie from the plastic shell. She was held in there by the shape of the molded plastic, but also by several clear rubber bands and some thread.
Li'l Pinkie comes with an elaborate dog bowl stand, a dog bowl, a tiara, an ear bow, a bracelet, a coat, and a leash:
The tiara is made out of grey plastic and does not have any painted details:
The dog bowl can be removed from the stand...which makes the stand look a bit like a fancy toddler potty:
I like that Li'l Pinkie is eating what appears to be regular kibble. That's what my dogs eat. This kibble looks gross though, for some reason:
|It looks soupy.|
Li'l Pinkie looks over-encumbered with all of her outfit accessories:
The leash is made out of a strip of fake leather that is metallic pink on one side. Li'l Pinkie doesn't have a collar, the leash is just looped around her neck:
The long end of the leash is arranged in a bow shape and tied with thread:
I undid the loop from around her neck:
And took the thread out of the leash:
Here's the leash on its own:
Li'l Pinkie's coat closes in front with a small square of velcro. It's easy to remove but will occasionally get stuck under Li'l Pinkie's ears or caught in her neck seam:
The coat is made out of a thin multicolor stretch fabric decorated with shiny silver dots:
The coat has three rhinestone decorations, two on one side and one on the other:
I was happy to see that Li'l Pinkie has a spotted body. I wish big Pinkie had spots like this.
Here's her bracelet up close (this can be shared with big Pinkie):
The less Li'l Pinkie is wearing, the more I like how she looks. She reminds me more of an English toy spaniel now, with those squinty eyes and feathered legs:
Like big Pinkie, Li'l Pinkie's ears are removable and interchangeable. Li'l Pinkie's ears are made out of hard vinyl and attach to the head with a simple peg. The decorative bow is attached to a loop of elastic that slips over the peg:
These ears have a small layer of clear plastic that sits between the ear and the dog's head. Probably this helps protect Li'l Pinkie's white head from being stained by the bright pink ear.
The pink ear bow has a rhinestone decoration that matches the ornaments on the coat:
The ears are heavily coated in fine pink glitter. The glitter doesn't shed as much as I assumed it would.
With her ears removed, Li'l Pinkie is left with two simple holes in her head:
Here's Li'l Pinkie completely de-glitzed. She looks a bit silly without any ears, but it easier to see all of her other features this way:
Li'l Pinkie's head rotates (all of the way around!):
She has a seam along one shoulder that makes it look like one of her legs can move...but it can't.
She has a few black and brown spots on the front of one leg, and the large tan spot on her left side is heart-shaped and highlighted with pink paint:
The ears fit into either side of Li'l Pinkie's head, so there's no fiddling around to see which ear goes to which side.
The ears pegs can swivel around inside the holes in Li'l Pinkie's head, so her ears have some rotational movement that adds to her expressiveness:
Both ears angled back Both ears pushed forward
|One ear forward and one ear back.|
Here's a lineup of Li'l Pinkie with some of the other doll pets I own. She's about the same size as Meygana's Wingsy...but much cuter.
|Bratzillaz "Wingsy,"La Dee Da "Le Bun," Li'l Pinkie, Lala-Oopsie "Cashew."|
Oh--and here's Li'l Pinkie with my unopened Rainbow Dash for those who are more familiar with the My Little Pony sizes:
It wasn't immediately clear to me how to put the grey tiara on Li'l Pinkie's head. The ears get in the way:
I thought for a minute that the tiara might fit big Pinkie, but it's too small for her. It fits on Li'l Pinkie when she's bald, but it slides off too easily:
I think it's supposed to wedge in between the ears and the head, even though this leaves a pretty large gap:
Of all of the items in this set, I think the coat and the little ear bow (and of course Li'l Pinkie herself) are the most fun. The food bowl, leash, tiara and bracelet aren't as interesting to me.
Here's Li'l Pinkie with my big Pinkie so that you can see their relative sizes:
Looking at this picture, I realize that if Li'l Pinkie's glitter ears had been a pale pastel pink (like Pinkie's dress) she would have looked better to me. The bright pink ears just don't fit with the whole color scheme of the doll line.
If I just look at these dolls' heads, it seems like Li'l Pinkie should be Pinkie's baby sister, not her pet:
I really like her with these pearlescent white ears!
Li'l Pinkie is not very articulated, so I can't really show her off by demonstrating a lot of interesting poses. Instead, I decided that I would take her somewhere interesting for a day trip.
One of my favorite places in the world is Popham Beach state park in Phippsburg, Maine. This beach is so beautiful, I can't be there without a huge smile on my face. It always puts me in a good mood. It is hands-down the largest beach I have ever seen, and no matter how many people are jammed into the parking lot (lines on the weekend can be frightening...), the beach itself always seems vast and uncrowded--especially at low tide.
The reason I thought about Popham beach for this review is that the beach sparkles--much like Li'l Pinkie herself. Not only does the sun glisten off the tidal flats, but the sand at this park is rich with mica, which reflects the light like actual glitter:
Li'l Pinkie's squinty eyes look out of place in some situations, but her expression is perfect for basking in the sun:
I love this picture because Li'l Pinkie's shadow is in the shape of a heart:
My whole Pinkie Cooper clan came along for this trip. Pinkie is wearing the dress and hair from the "Pinkie's Night Out" fashion pack. I think the pink hair suits Pinkie really well--I mean, a doll named Pinkie should definitely have pink hair, at least every now and then. Also, the dress and bows match Li'l Pinkie's outfit:
I don't like the tinsel highlights in this hair very much. The shiny strands are longer than the regular hair, which can make the ringlets look messy.
Pepper enjoyed the rocky island at Popham Beach. At low tide, it is possible to walk out to this small, beautiful island and enjoy some spectacular views of the open ocean:
Some of the rocks on this island are covered in dark algae, which goes really nicely with Pepper's coloring:
Pepper's dog, Saltine, arrived at the beach dressed from head-to-toe:
Saltine has a gold leash that is more elaborate than Li'l Pinkie's leash. She is also wearing a coat that doesn't have any rhinestone decorations, but does have three different fabrics: a blue and black animal print, a sequined blue tulle, and a stretchy white knit with gold metallic dots. Saltine's ear decoration is a fabric flower made out of stiff leopard print material. She also comes with a gold plastic tiara and a blue food bowl holder. Saltine's food is even more gross than Li'l Pinkie's. It is poorly-painted and ends up looking like kibbles with sauce. Yuck. Here are a few pictures of Saltine's accessories:
Saltine's ears are ridiculous. Maybe they're supposed to look like poodle ears or something? They look like popcorn balls...or blue glittery broccoli. It would be impossible to get an English toy spaniel's ears to look like this. In a way, I am encouraged by these ears because maybe it means there will be more dog breeds (like poodles!) introduced into this line in the future? That would be great, but in the meantime, I think Saltine's ears are completely inappropriate for her:
Here she is without her
popcorn balls ears:
Like Pepper, Saltine has the tan spots over her eyes that are typical of the tricolor English toy spaniels:
Saltine has mostly black spots on her body, with a few tan spots on her left foot:
When my son saw Saltine's feet at the beach, he said, "why does she have PIG FEET!" We all laughed, but the feet do look a little funny with pink blush. The paws look almost like they're sore..or they get licked too much or something:
Saltine's largest tan spot is in the shape of a heart and highlighted in pink:
Here's the right side of her body:
I decided that Li'l Pinkie's glittery pink ears are better than Saltines pom-pom ears, so I let Saltine have the white ears and put Li'l Pinkie back in her own ears. The pups look really cute like this:
Here is Pepper with her loyal companion. I don't have Pepper's Night Out accessory pack outfit, but that outfit matches Saltine's coat and ear decoration.
Pepper and Pinkie enjoyed taking a tour of Popham Beach's varied landscapes. During a walk through the beach grass, Pepper decided to wear the brownish-red side of her hair facing out. I prefer the black hair, but both colors look nice.
*I'm going to interrupt with a little update: here are some pictures that thweatted suggested in the comments--Pinkie and Pepper with their hair and outfits switched! I didn't think to try this, but it's interesting to see how they look:
First, Pinkie in Pepper's dress and hair. I think the brownish-red hair looks great with Pinkie's coloring, but the black hair looks best with the blue dress:
Now, here's Pepper in Pinkie's Night Out fashion and hair (you can see how messy the tinsel hair is in these pictures!). I don't think this works quite as well as Pinkie in Pepper's clothes. The pink side of the hair is ok, but the blonde side doesn't compliment Pepper. White hair would have been better.
Now, I'll take you back to the beach, where Li'l Pinkie found this tidal pool filled with sparkling sand:
Li'l Pinkie was brave enough to walk near the ocean waves as the tide was starting to come in. A feathered friend got caught in one of the pictures!
Pinkie wanted to show you this muddy marshy pond that was surrounded by the softest sand and mud mixture we've ever felt. It was so relaxing to walk through it!
As we headed home from the beach, everyone agreed to stop and sit on some driftwood for a final set of pictures:
Bottom line? I wasn't really expecting to like Li'l Pinkie and Saltine as much as I do. They seemed like over-dressed, over-priced, slightly funny-looking, unnecessary accessories. I have changed my mind.
Actually, I still think these sets are overpriced. I wish that the food bowl, food bowl stand and plastic tiara were left out in favor of an extra set of ears (or two). That might be worth closer to $10 for me. If each pet came with a normal-looking pair of ears and a fancy pair of glittery ears (for special occasions) that would be perfect. For instance, I wish Saltine had come with a pair of black ears--they'd be really cute on her. Her blue puff-ball ears would be more acceptable to me if there was a realistic option for everyday. I was a serious animal-lover as a little kid, and I think the glittery ears would have been a turn-off for me.
When I swapped the fancy ears for the plain white ones, I felt nothing but affection for these tiny dogs. They are loaded with character and those squinty, smiling faces are hard to resist. The faces also manage to capture some critical essence of a spaniel without being at all realistic. I even like some of the clothing accessories. The coats are nicely made and cute, and the hair bows work surprisingly well and add a lot of charm to those little faces. The ears stay on well, despite being very easy to take out and put back in. The articulated neck joint and movable ears allow for a nice assortment of expressions. The paint is well-done on my two dogs, and the little spots and hearts are fun, unexpected details.
As an aside, I had a chance to watch these dolls work their magic today at Target. I was lurking in the toy aisles when a little girl skipped past the Pinkie Cooper section with her dad. I pretended to be looking at some clearance Squinkies as I watched her reaction. She stopped her dad and grabbed onto Pepper's box, "Oh, Daddy. This is so cute!" Her father kept walking, reminding her that they were there to look at the new Monster High dolls. She moved to join him further down the aisle, but then stopped and went back to pick up Pepper's box again. There was something about the way she was looking at Pepper--straight in the eyes, like the two of them were forming a bond right there in the store. She glanced at her dad but was pulled back into gazing at Pepper's face, "Ok, Daddy...but this one is just so cute!"
That little girl is absolutely right. The whole Pinkie Cooper line is amazingly cute. As a group, they always seem like they're chatting and grinning and having a fabulously wonderful time no matter where they are. Much like the sparkling landscape of Popham Beach, these dolls never fail to lift my mood and put a smile on my face.