Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cutie Pops Fashion Pups Doll, "Coletta"

This is the third and final review in a series highlighting the new Cutie Pops dolls.  I reviewed the Crown Cutie doll Crystalina first, then the Hattitude doll Dakota, and now I will end by looking at one of the dolls in the third group of fall releases: the Fashion Pups.  These dolls are more like the traditional Cutie Pops: they each have a two-ponytail hairstyle, extra hair, an extra pair of (closed) eyes, and plenty of pop decorations.  The Fashion Pup dolls also come with a pair of small vinyl dogs.

There are only two Fashion Pup characters, Coletta and Dalia.  These dolls sell for $24.99 (I have only seen them at Toys R Us so far), making them the most expensive of the new dolls.  I am holding on to some hope that they'll be less expensive when (if?) they arrive at other stores.  I bought both of these sets and decided to review Coletta:

Cutie Pops Fashion Pups "Coletta."
I actually ordered Dalia first, because I assumed she would be my favorite.  Coletta's fruffy, overly-pink theme didn't do anything for me initially, and her pet poodles looked weird.  In contrast, the promotional cartoon of Dalia was very promising, and I liked her normal-looking dalmatian dogs.

This is what Dalia's cartoon looks like:

She's like an updated version of my beloved Candi.
And this is the photograph of her on the back of the box:


I've chatted about this with many of you in the comments sections of the other Cutie Pops reviews, but I'll say it again here: Dalia looked for all the world like an African American doll with blue eyes.  I was picturing Candi with a new hair mold.  In reality, Dalia is much lighter than Candi, and much lighter than her cartoon:


At first glance, the real Dalia was a disappointment. 

Right after I got Dalia in the mail, I saw Coletta in person at Toys R Us.  She actually looked much better to me than her promotional cartoon, and I was completely charmed by the poodle pops in her hair bows:


I left the store with Coletta and came right home, eager to review her.  

Before I review Coletta, though, I have to say that after my initial disappointment with Dalia wore off, I found that I really like her.  Dalia looks more Latina than African American, and while she's not what I expected, I appreciate that she doesn't have the same exact vinyl color as the other three dolls I bought.  I wonder if she's the same shade as Bianca?  

I'll show you a few pictures of Dalia before I review Coletta.  Here she is in her box:


I love the name Dalia.  It really suits this doll.  Unfortunately, Dalia's cute dogs don't seem to have names.  Dalmatian spots are caused by the skin pigment melanin, so I think I'll call this pair "Mellie" and "Nina."  

Nina
Mellie.
I love Dalia's new molded hair.  The layered bangs are great and I wish all of the new dolls had this mold:


The pops in the Fashion Pup line are neat:


The dog face pops are the best by far, but there's also a fire hydrant pop (Coletta doesn't have this), a generic heart pop, and a purse pop.  I think the fire hydrant is a reference to the dalmatian's history of being a fire fighting escort breed--not a reference to the assumption that dogs always pee on fire hydrants.  Or at least I'm hoping that's the association.


Here's Dalia's yarn hair:


Despite her misleading promotional pictures, Dalia looks like a great doll.  The bigger problem might be that Jada appears to be dropping Candi's darker vinyl color, which is sad because Candi has been my favorite Cutie Pop for a long time, and I was excited to see upgrades to her character.  I also hate to see a decrease in ethnic diversity.  That's backwards.

Anyway, now I'll get back to Coletta.  She comes in the same style and size of box as the Crown Cuties.  I have to say, these new boxes (while large) are an improvement over the first wave boxes:


The back of the box has photographs of Dalia and Coletta.  Coletta is in the foreground on both boxes.


Coletta looks slightly bug-eyed and clownish in her photograph.  That hair reminds me of the Bratzillaz Switch-a-Witches!


The poodles look like they have blue skin, with purple and pink fur:


In reality, Coletta's hair is not quite so poofy, she has lovely eyes, and her poodles both have purple skin:


The poodles are posed on a cardboard staircase with printed bricks:


These two poodles don't seem to have names, either.  I have two poodles in my house, and the great thing about poodles is that they don't shed very much.  Their hair is constantly growing and rarely falls out.  The down-side to this is that they have to be clipped every several months, or they'll get shaggy and get depressed.

Hair goes through a growth cycle with three different stages: the anagen stage, the catagen stage and the telogen stage.  The anagen stage is when the hair is growing, and the telogen stage is when the hair has reached its full length and is waiting, dormant, until a new hair comes along to push it out.  Hair sheds (falls out) at the end of the telogen stage.  Most dogs (and humans) have the majority of their hair in the telogen phase at any given time.  Poodles are different in that they have most of their hair in the anagen, or growing phase.  

That's the long-winded explanation for why these poodles' names are Ana and Genny:

Genny.
Ana.
Coletta's extra pops are hearts and purses (just like Dalia), and she has little Eiffel Towers instead of fire hydrants.  Poodles are a French breed and the Eiffel Tower is French--I get that, but France has some other neat landmarks, too.  Why is it always the Eiffel Tower?  I'd like to see a Mona Lisa pop or maybe the Arch de Triomphe.  Or a baguette.  Just for a change.


Here's Coletta's purple yarn hair:


De-boxing Coletta was pretty simple.  She didn't have a single tiny plastic tie holding her clothes to the cardboard.  That was a wonderful surprise!


There are a lot of pieces in this set.  There's a doll, the two dogs, a dog leash, extra hair, extra pops and extra (closed) eyes:


Here are the three loose pops up close:


I have to admit that the Eiffel Tower is nicely done:



The purse is the most intricately painted pop.  It has areas of silver, blue, black and white.  The paint is not necessarily always between the lines, but the overall effect is fine:


Coletta's closed eyes are pink with purple hearts:



I was so happy to see the yarn hair with this set.  Neither the Crown Cuties nor the Hattitude dolls have yarn hair, and I have always loved this feature of the Cutie Pops.  I am glad it's still in the mix:




Coletta is attached to her dogs with a single pink string leash.  The leash is looped around her wrist:


I'll take a closer look at the dogs a bit later in the review.  

Here's Coletta:


Before I did anything else, I checked Coletta's knee joints.  Both my Crystalina and my Dakota dolls had bad knees and I was getting jumpy and paranoid about Coletta.  Indeed, Coletta's right knee had trouble bending right out of the box.  It's always the right knee that's glitchy, making me think (without any actual expertise in this area...) that there's a manufacturing defect just in this limb. 

There's a design detail in both knees that I think exacerbates the stubborn joints: when I try to bend the hinge joint of the knee, what actually bends is the peg that attaches the lower leg to the thigh.  This absorbs a lot of the stress away from the actual hinge of the knee, so the knee doesn't bend.  

You can see the big gap that forms as the peg bends and puts stress on that area:


So, the skinny knee peg bends (threatening to crack the leg) while the hinge stays stuck.  I wonder if a more robust peg would help?  The peg is presumably made out of the same bendable vinyl as the lower leg.  If the peg couldn't bend because it was stronger, the hinge might be more inclined to flex.  So--perhaps the lower legs should be made out of a harder vinyl or plastic and the attachment peg should be thicker?  That's all I can think of.

In any case, Coletta's knees are better than Dakota's, so I'm not too upset.  I do hope that there's some attention to this detail in the future, though.  

It's easy to get distracted away from the knee joints with this doll, because she has so many fun little things to look at and play with.  Her curly ponytails and poodle pops drew my attention first.  The ponytails have strange little cardboard pieces in them:

Not sure what those are for.

Coletta's hair bows are made out of a purple stretch knit with metallic silver dots.  One of the poodle pops is pale pink with neon pink fur and a purple bow:


The other poodle is white with a light blue bow:



Here are the pops removed from the bows.  They look a little dinged up and poorly-painted in some areas, but these details are too small to be seen clearly in real life.



Coletta has the traditional straight-cut molded bangs.  I was slightly disappointed that she didn't have a new style of molded hair like Dalia and Crystalina.  She has pastel pink painted hair and sparkling pink painted lips:


She has the exact same eyes as Crystalina.  Coletta's eyelashes are all painted the same medium purple color, though, rather than alternating colors like Crystalina's lashes.


Here's a side-by-side comparison of Crystalina's eyes (L) and Coletta's eyes (R):


Underneath her eye pops, Coletta has blue painted eyes:

Step away from the paint, Emily.
Coletta's lips have a small paint defect at the top--on the left side of the picture (the doll's right).  This is something I noticed on Dakota, too, but forgot to mention.  In general, I have found the Cutie Pop dolls incredibly free of paint errors.  Granted, this is a pretty minor defect and quite hard to see:




Here's Dakota's mouth, just for reference--it's basically the exact same defect:



Coletta is wearing a pink satin dress with a glittery jacket.  Both the dress and the jacket are trimmed with soft white "poodle hair" fabric.  I love how Coletta's white curly ponytails have the same texture as the trim of her dress:



The glittery jacket is attached to the dress with one small plastic tie.  Curses!  I thought I might be able to avoid those silly things with this doll.


And, of course, there's a cardboard support under the skirt...attached with three more of those infernal plastic ties.  I have to admire how these cardboard petticoats always match the color of the doll's outfit.  That's attention to detail.


The jacket feels stiff--partly because it is absolutely caked with tiny little pieces of pink and silver glitter:



The fake fur collar is lined:


There's a fair amount of glitter shedding with this jacket. 

Apparently, the glitter is in the telogen phase.

Under the jacket, Colette's dress has two transparent rubber shoulder straps and the appearance of a strapless bodice:



The dress holds three pop decorations.  Here is the dress on its own, with the three pops removed:




The pops that were on the dress are re-painted repeats of the three pops that I have already shown you:




Coletta is wearing fantastic pink and white frilly boots:


I was delighted to see that these shoes weren't just re-paints of Crystalina, Pearlina, Dakota or Dalia's shoes.  They seem to be unique:


I paused at this stage to play with Coletta a bit.  She has a lot of different variations to try out, which is really fun.  

With her yarn hair and dress (no jacket):


With her closed eyes and poodle hair:



Here she is with her jacket back on and no pops in her hair, trying out Dakota's brown eyes:


I also tried Crystalina's butterfly eyes (which go really well with Coletta's pink theme):



Switching the pops around is fun, although the blue purse pop shown below falls out too easily.  That's the first trouble I've ever had with a loose pop, though, which is good.


Now, let's take a closer look at those two purple poodles, Ana and Genny:


The leash slipped right off Coletta's arm, but it wasn't as clear to me how it would detach from the dogs' collars.  At first, I feared I would have to untie tiny knots like this one:


In fact, the leash is tied to a removable plastic piece that inserts into the dog's collar area.


Here's the hole in Ana's collar where that little plastic connector fits:


Genny's collar has the same feature, and there's a second plastic piece on the leash that fits in here:


Here's Ana, off her leash:


She has a strange face with a very broad, almost sinister smile...and what looks like a dimple:

Daughter of the Big Bad Wolf?
She has attachment sites for two pops.  One of these sites already has a pop in it--a purple bone with a pink bow.  This pop blends in really well with Ana's coloring and doesn't do much in the way of eye-catching decoration.  The other site is empty and can hold any of the pops that come with Coletta.



I think it's funny...and a little absurd...that you can put a poodle head pop on this poodle's leg:


She looks like a strange two-headed mythical creature, or like she's a mutant marsupial, carrying her puppy in a leg-pouch.

Kanga-poo.
And of course the bone pops can be used on Coletta's dress, too:


Genny is sitting down and has the same dimpled smile on her face.  Her bright blue pop provides better contrast to her fur than Ana's pop:


Both dogs look like they have articulated necks, but when I tried to rotate Genny's head to face the camera, this happened:

Definitely not articulated.
Ouch.

I should be able to glue Genny's head back on with no trouble, but it would have been really nice to have an articulated neck.

Good thing she has a spare head.
These poodles are sort-of cute, I guess, even though I don't relate very well to their smiling faces.  My biggest problem with the dogs is that they're not Cutie Pop dogs.  This is a Cutie Pop dog:

Candi's dog, Lolli.
Lolli is crazy and colorful and overdone, but I like her.   She retails for $9.99, but went on massive clearance at Target a while back.


She has five points of articulation plus an interchangeable tail and ears (which provide basically three more points of articulation).  She suffers from the crazy-lollipop-eye syndrome that Candi has.   




Rather than making two new unarticulated purple dogs, I wish Jada Toys had improved or modified Lolli's design instead.  Some more normal eyes would make a big difference, and a poodle fur variation of this style of dog could be really fun.


Her are some picture of Coletta with her pooches:



Here are a few more pictures of Coletta modeling her different combinations of hair, eyes, clothes and pops:



I like how Candi's polka dot hair bows look with Coletta:




I tamed her poofy hair a little bit by tying it down to the plastic base of each ponytail:




Bottom line?  Of all the new Cutie Pops this season, the Fashion Pups series is the most similar to the original first wave dolls.  Coletta comes with extra pops, extra eyes, extra (yarn) hair...and a single pair of hair bows.  She's very much like a pink version of Chiffon...with a few notable differences.  The most refreshing difference is that Coletta has the same new, more normal-looking eyes that grace all of the fall releases.   I think the styling on this doll is an improvement, too.  I prefer Coletta's outfit to most of the first wave dresses.  The last notable change is that Coletta has ditched the useless comb accessory and is accompanied by newly-designed, unarticulated dogs.  The new dogs are fine (way better than the comb at any rate...), but in a perfect world, I would choose one of the larger, old-style dogs over these newcomers.  Better yet...I'd like to see the dogs sold separately and a lower price for the doll on her own.  

Aside from being underwhelmed by the dogs and finding the price a little high, my only complaint about Coletta is (or was) her color palette.  She's very pinky-pink, which is not normally my thing.  I am more fond of natural hues like forest green and tree-bark brown.  I have to admit, though, that Coletta's pastel paleness grew on me and eventually won me over.  She reminds me of a big bowl of strawberry ice cream with whipped cream and pink sugar on top--and, like a bowl of ice cream, I find Coletta impossible to resist.  

Speaking of pale, Jada Toys seems to have hit a nerve by making the vinyl color of the other Fashion Pup doll, Dalia, lighter than it was in the promotional pictures.  While I appreciate Dalia as she is, I agree that she's nothing like what I expected, and her pale appearance makes me worry that the Cutie Pops are shifting towards a more homogenous look.  Jada Toys seems to be testing the waters in a number of different ways this season, so I'm not going to jump to any conclusions just yet.  

Picking a favorite from this new collection of Cutie Pops was not easy.  Each style of doll has something interesting to offer that the other dolls are lacking.  For example, Hattitude Dakota has nice, natural coloring and rare brown eyes.  I also like the casual simplicity of her outfit and her single ponytail:


On the other hand, Crown Cutie Crystalina introduces an addictively fun new way of playing with doll hair, and provides lots of long, silky, blue (blue!) hair to enhance the experience.  In addition, this doll's permanently attached ponytails might be a nice feature for little kids who struggle to keep the removable hair in place.  The new shape of Crystalina's molded bangs is a big plus, too.  

As an aside, I have now seen Crown Cutie Pearlina in person, and she might be even better than Crystalina.  Pearlina has purple eyes and some wonderful little birdcage pops to accent her elaborate ball gown.


I started these reviews assuming Dakota would be my favorite--mostly because of her coloring and her bear hat.  Halfway through the Dakota review, I realized that I like Crystalina more.  Styling that wonderful blue hair was way more fun than I expected.  After reviewing Coletta, though, I am shocked to announce that she is my favorite of them all.  What it comes down to is that I think Jada Toys got almost everything right the first time--with the very first dolls they released.  The first wave dolls came packaged with enough accessories for a huge assortment of mix-and-match customizations, without the need to buy any extra sets.  The Fashion Pup dolls echo that achievement, while upgrading the appearance of the eyes and the appeal of the fashions.  That's hard to beat.  

Jada Toys still has a bit of work to do.  I think the knee articulation absolutely has to be addressed.  There's something flawed in the design of all of these dolls' legs.  Also, I'd love to see more attention to the mix of accessories included with each doll.  The Hattitude line has some conspicuous omissions (no closed eyes, extra hair or hair bows), while the other dolls come with accessories they don't need (Crystalina's comb) or accessories that push the price of the doll a bit high (Coletta's dogs).  While I adore the new range of hair colors, I would love to see more neat eye colors, and very much hope the diversity of vinyl colors doesn't fade away completely.


Here's my ranking, in a nutshell:

1st: Fashion Pups: these dolls stick with the original Cutie Pop formula...which really works. Improvements in the eyes and clothes give the new dolls something special.

2nd: Crown Cuties: the new hairstyling technique is a blast, and the hair colors are bright and wonderful.  I miss the removable hair a little--especially the yarn option.

3rd: Hattitude: while Cutie Pop veterans might eat these up, and they are nice bargain dolls, I would never gift this doll on its own to a new collector because of some critical accessories that are missing.


So, if I had to pick one doll from this trio, it'd be Coletta.  I am hoping that Jada Toys doesn't pick just one, though, because I'd love to see this whole new range of styles and prices extend and expand into next season.  This is a solid lineup of dolls, and I am impressed by Jada's ability to put together a varied new collection that builds on past success while branching out in some promising new directions.

59 comments:

  1. I really don't like these dolls. For some reason they give me the creeps. I prefer LaDeeDa dolls.

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  2. Hi, Emily,

    This is my first time commenting on your delightful blog. :) I stumbled across your blog about two weeks ago and have spent the better part of the past two weeks reading tons of your reviews...I only reached the end today, and I was so bummed - until I saw that you had written these recent reviews about the new Cutie Pops dolls! It made me happy to know that you still post about all your doll-related adventures. You really have such a talent for reviewing these dolls - you are so thorough and informative, but your personality, humor, and love for dolls really shines through! It makes for a very fun read, and I feel like I've learned so much!

    I am not a collector myself, but I do enjoy playing with and looking at different dolls (all toys, really) and I own a few. The way you write makes me want to start collecting...but I'm an unemployed full-time college student (read: broke) and don't have the money or space! But maybe one day, I will start a collection of my own, because you have ignited in me a new appreciation for dolls! :)

    My favorite reviews to read were the ones you write about your J-Doll, Pullips, and all those sorts. :) I am very interested in Japanese culture, so it was exciting to read about those dolls! I especially love those Pullips, they are so cute! It does seem they have their flaws, but they seem really special. I particularly enjoyed your review of the Elisabeth vampire Pullip doll...because my name is Elisabeth, too (spelled the same way and everything - not something you see often)! I will have to save for a long time before looking into buying a Pullip, but I think they are worth the wait. :)

    Now that I've rambled all over your comments section, I'll say something relevant to the review! When I read your first reviews of the Cutie Pops, I didn't really like them. Like you say, there was something about those over-the-top eyes...I couldn't relate to them. But now, with these new ones you've reviewed, they are starting to grow on me! The new design elements are a definite improvement and they seem really sweet. I hope the company continues to improve and incorporate different skin tones into their line so all sorts of kids will be able to enjoy and relate to them.

    I guess I'll finish off this comment by saying thank you! Thank you for sharing all these lovely dolls with us. It's a real treat to read your thoughts. I love how you appreciate all dolls, from fancy Tonner dolls to the budget-friendly Monster High. It's not the price tag that makes a doll special, and you have really reinforced that opinion for me! It's so nice that you take time out of your busy life with your job and family to share your thoughts here. It must be time-consuming to research and write all these reviews, but they are all gems! I know I will continue visiting your blog and following you on your doll journey as long as you decide to write about it.

    Take care! Thanks for the great new reviews!

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    1. I am a student on limited funds as well. Most of my doll purchases have either been on clearance or from thrift stores.

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    2. Hi Lissy,

      I know all about being a broke college student. If you have a Tuesday Morning nearby you may want to stop in occasionally. I know I saw a few J-dolls on sale for $19.99 at my local one last week and they've been known to stock a few Pullips in the past for $39.99.

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    3. Hi Lissy! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! I am really glad that you have enjoyed reading through the blog. It's great to have you here! I can still remember being a broke college student--it was at that stage of my life that I first realized I wanted a Lee Middleton baby doll. Back then, the $100 price tag seemed impossible, and I was a little embarrassed to admit that I even wanted one...but I did eventually buy one of those dolls, and it was my first doll purchase as an adult. The beginning of an era, you might say. :)

      Building a collection slowly over time is very special, I think. I really love to look back over my collecting years and remember all of the different dolls I was interested in during different phases of my life. You have all of that ahead of you--it's a great adventure!

      Thank you again for your nice comment, Lissy. Oh, and Holly's tip is a good one! My Tuesday Morning closed (boo!) but they have supplied me with many great deals over the years.

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  3. Other than the eyes on the poodle ones, the new dogs look like purebred puppies compared to the original generic mutt dogs. I kinda wish they hadn't gone with dogs tho. I would have loved to have seen the dolls come with a pair of cute little kittens instead.

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    1. Yes--kittens would be a great idea! It's a little funny that they keep doing dogs. Maybe cats are more difficult to design? I could never draw cats. :/

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    2. I would be way into a cat-themed line. I love Pinkie Cooper and Fashion Pups for their cuteness, but I am just not a dog person. The dog-themed pops don't do a thing for me, while cat-themed pops would send me over the moon! The only cat-themed dolls I've seen recently have been Bratz Catz, and those really run counter to my tastes in both fashion and dolls. Thank goodness for the recent rash of Monster High werecats! I can get cat monsters, at least. I wonder if one of the reasons we see more dog-themed lines than cat ones is that dog ears more easily translate into hairstyles, while cat ears are just funny little triangles.

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  4. I still like the Crown Cuties the most. Although I think the best Cutie Pop is Candi with Crystalina's eyes. I wonder what kind of Cutie Pop Jada will roll out next. I hope they aren't as gimmicky as the Fashion Pups or Hattitude dolls. You are absolutely right on the Fashion Pups. They are NOT Cutie Pops dogs. They're like those plastic dogs that came with Liv in that one line. But even those were cuter and more detailed than these. I think Cutie Pops is starting to decline. I LOVED the first wave, hated the second wave, and I like the Crown Cuties, hate the Hattitude dolls, and don't like the Fashion Pups either. Honestly, these Cutie Pops are going the way of Liv. Again, the Hattitude dolls and Fashion Pups are eerily similar to the Liv Brites.

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    1. Oh, I hope Cutie Pops aren't going to go the way of Liv! One thing they have going for them that Liv failed to achieve is differences in the head molds. The new hair gives me hope--as does the way Jada Toys responded to complaints about the eyes. Taking that one step further to make new facial expressions might help...as would a wider variety of vinyl colors, of course. And maybe some forward-facing eyes?

      The dogs are very gimmicky, and I like the Liv dogs much more-at least they are realistic. Coletta without her dogs for $16.99 would have been awesome. I'd almost always rather seem something unique but bizarre (the older Cutie Pop dogs) rather than something generic (the new Cutie Pop dogs).

      I have never de-boxed a second wave Cutie Pop, so that's a missing piece in my evaluation of the progression of quality. Is it the outfits that you dislike? Was the hair bad? I would be very curious to hear more of your thoughts about those dolls!

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    2. The second wave is the Swirly Brights, right? I hated the lack of variety with the pops. Her hair was also a nightmare. I kept Chiffon's outfit, and pops, but Chiffon took a trip to the Goodwill, with no pops and no clothes.

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  5. 'Despite her misleading promotional pictures, Dalia looks like a great doll. The bigger problem might be that Jada appears to be dropping Candi's darker vinyl color, which is sad because Candi has been my favorite Cutie Pop for a long time, and I was excited to see upgrades to her character. I also hate to see a decrease in ethnic diversity. That's backwards.'

    I completely agree. Candi's skintone was really lovely and I was excited to get more of her in, if only for the new hair but seeing their colors lightened was very saddening to me. I liked Candi and am hopeful her color will live on in the future, if not as her getting a rerelease then as another character's tone.

    As far on the trio goes - Crystalina is my favorite of the trio but I've been leaning towards her for a while already. The hattitude dolls I don't mind being short on extras, given the decreased price, but I do wish the hats were full while the pup line isn't 100% my favorite but I do like the work put into it. Lovely reviews for all 3!

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    1. Thank you, Andrew! Like you, I am going to cross my fingers that we haven't seen the last of Candi's vinyl color! I think that her darker shade would have looked fabulous with Pearlina's purple theme and wish they'd made that choice for the Crown Cutie line.

      I can see why you're leaning towards Crystalina. She is a neat doll! I like that Jada Toys took a chance with a completely different concept. Leaving out the exchangeable hair was a risk, but I think kids will appreciate the attached hair and new way to play with these dolls--I certainly do!

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  6. Wonderful and informative review, as always. By the way, there's a new Bratzilla wave coming out called "Back to Magic". Do you intend to get any of those dolls? I'd like to see a review, if it's at all possible.

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    1. Actually, it's already out. Sorry if I confused you.

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    2. Cool! And you named your dog Nina! That just made my day;) I'm starting to like Cutie Pops, but probably won't get one anytime soon. Only if one really catches my eye.

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    3. Hi Jenna! I haven't seen the Back to Magic girls around here yet, but I'm watching! :)

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    4. Hi Nina--I really like the name Nina! One of my favorites. :)

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  7. Oh, I love how you named your new Cutie Pop dogs! I agree that they don't look like "Cutie Pop dogs" to me, but I think they're cute in their own right. I think them making the head molds separately and not giving the dogs' necks rotational movement was a big misstep--I'm sure many children are going to find out the hard way that their dogs' heads aren't stuck.

    If anyone's still looking for the older dogs, I've seen them in my local Ross and TJMaxx stores for $5 or less in the last couple of months, though I'm seeing less of them now.

    I was shocked at how much TRU is selling Coletta for since I bought my Dalia at my local Walmart for $10--I already thought she was a steal since she came with so many accessories, but now I think she's even more of one! It's crazy how much the price can fluctuate based on store and location.

    I'm really glad I saw your review on Coletta since I wasn't interested in her at all until I saw her with her yarn hair--I love it! Thanks for another great review!

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    1. Okay, so I went to two other Walmarts today (not the one I got Dalia at--that one's out in the boonies) and only one was carrying the Fashion Pups... for $19.97. Interestingly, each Walmart also had the Cutie Pops Pets on sale for different prices--one for $9.98 and one for $5.98. I didn't realize prices varied so much among chain stores even within one town.

      In better news, I found a wave 1 Candi! She was hiding among (literally) over 20 Chiffons and was the only Candi in the store. I'm very happy with this find since I never saw her in stores before this point--I thought I'd missed my chance to have her without ordering her online.

      I was also struck by how awesome the original Cutie Pops dogs were yet again. Even if a child didn't like the dolls themselves, the dogs are a fun mix-and-match toy among themselves--heck, even a single dog could be messed about with by itself. The fact that they're moving away from them is a little saddening from that perspective, but maybe they weren't popular enough to support themselves.

      Speaking of dogs and dolls, I also saw Pinkie Cooper at TRU today on the MLP aisle--I'm not so sure she's going to do well there; I think she'd fit in better on one of the fashion doll aisles.

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    2. Yay! Wave 1 Candi! Now you just need some of those new brown eyes for her! ;) She's a great doll. Her rainbow eyes and rainbow hair are the best.

      Coletta and Dalia for $20 is great news!! Your $10 Dalia must have been a mistake--a great mistake, for sure, but that's really low. I was hoping these dolls would be cheaper at other stores. I can forgive the dogs if they don't seem to be adding much to the price!

      I agree with you completely about the older Cutie Pops dogs--they provide a lot of fun all on their own, unlike many of the other doll accessory pets on the market right now (cough, Bratzillaz!). Five dollars for a Cutie Pop dog is a great deal.

      The Pinkie Cooper dolls at my TRU don't even have a home! They're jammed in with some clearance items. I think stores don't know what to do with her. She almost belongs with the Calico Critters, but also shares features with many of the fashion dolls. MLP doesn't seem like a good choice, though, I totally agree. She's with Lalaloopsy at Target, and that's a much better fit.

      Thank you for all of your great information, Holly! I will be on the lookout to see what my Walmart charges for these dolls when they finally come in stock.

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  8. Huau I can only say that envy, power play and comment is really cool

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  9. The fashion pups line is definitely my favorite of these three releases. To me, it isn't a cutie pops without two interchangeable pig tails. I really love the colors and overall look of the crown cuties but the attached hair ruins it for me. I feel the mix and match possibilities of cutie pops is a huge part of the appeal, especially to an adult collector of these dolls. With attached hair and or less eye sets/hair sets/pops to me this is just another over styled under articulated play doll. I hope they continue to expand upon what makes these dolls appealing, which to me is the range of colors and designs they come in. Not more gimmicky accessories, pets and hair formats.
    I absolutely love Coletta and Dalia on their own, but I wish they were available more a la carte. This decision to include the dogs with them screams bottom line more than design decision. The cutie pups that were sold separately obviously bombed so they decided they'd force the consumer to buy these. I would definitely be more into cutie pops if I could buy the dolls minus dogs, pops and hair minus bracelets, etc.

    I am kicking myself for not picking up all the original cutie pops when they went on massive clearance to 4.99 temporarily.

    Once again, another fantastic review, Emily!

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    1. Oh, I agree with SO much of what you said here! Here, here! ;) Those interchangeable pigtails are really special, and I was so glad to see them in the Fashion Pup sets. I do admire Jada Toys for trying some new ideas, but I had some similar thoughts about Crystalina and Pearlina, in particular, leaning too close to a more mainstream, glitzy fashion doll. If La Dee Da decides to offer customization and Cutie Pops keep trending towards the Crown Cutie style, we'll end up with two lines that are hard to tell apart!

      I also agree that the emphasis should remain on different hair, eyes, and pops...not extra gimmicks like the dogs. As much as I like poodles, I'd much rather have more hair or eyes than a couple of unarticulated dogs that don't add anything to the fun of Cutie Pop play. Holly mentioned that Dalia and Coletta are $20 at Walmart, though, so that cheers me up--that's very close to the price of the first wave dolls, even with the superfluous dogs.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  10. I find the pups line the most appealing. I still like Dahlia for her bangs and color scheme and dalmatians, even if she is pale. I'm black and it doesn't bother me too much that they changed her, I guess because I expect that sort of thing. They did the same thing with Lalaloopsy. Dot, one of the original 8 had darker brown skin. She didn't sell as well, and she is the only one out of the 8 to not yet have a Silly Hair doll or a younger sibling. Later on they made another darker doll, Swirly, but she was lighter than Dot. Since then they've released more than 30 dolls and none have been a darker shade of brown. There was also a light brown mini named Cinder Slippers whose skin was changed to peach in her big doll, though it is still light brown on her poster. Even black barbies are lighter than they were years ago, not including the S.I.S. line and some collectors dolls.

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    1. It's impressive that you've tracked this trend so carefully--too bad that it exists, but very interesting to see it in so many different lines. I would love to collect more information, because it seems like perhaps certain styles of doll are more affected than others? The Karito Kid Lulu is very dark, and yet she is one of the most sought-after of this series. I believe the same is true of the Hearts 4 Hearts girl, Rahel. American Girl has retained a great variety of skin tones, too. I'd conclude that 18" play dolls are not as prone to lightening as fashion dolls, but then Monster High seems completely immune to this trend--Clawdeen is very popular (my personal favorite) and Catty Noir couldn't be any darker! Hm. There's a lot to think about here. For instance, I am trying to remember exactly what happened with Liv...I know that Alexis started out with a medium skin tone, but then the Wonderland Alexis was darker and everyone was excited about her, and then the Making Waves Alexis was back to being paler. Lots to think about...

      Dalia is great--her dogs are way cuter than Coletta's poodles. I am very excited that Jada Toys is experimenting with new hair molds, too. I think Dalia's bangs are the best of the bunch. I hope they keep experimenting with new head shapes!

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  11. I'm still leaning towards, if I get a Cutie Pops at all, the Hatitude line would be the one I get. And that'd be dual purpose, to jack her hat for another doll and just to have her.

    I think Dalia can still pass for black though, if she passes a paper bag test, I think one could safely say that she is black, just more a light-skinned, high yellow. I don't know as much about this, but I'm sure Neth will come along and educate!

    I love love love that you drop science in your reviews! I learn so much! Yay for having a biology teacher as a friend!

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    1. Thank you, AJ! I wish you were one of my students! ;D

      To me, Dalia is very convincingly Latina--both her hair and her skin tone. She's a great addition in her own right, and I will hold out hope that Candi's coloring has just "skipped a generation." Maybe because Jada Toys is working on a new bang design for her? That would be worth the wait!

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    2. Oh dear, I wish I was young enough to be one of your students! ;D Science always was my favorite subject in school besides drama.

      I hadn't thought of that! She is quite convincingly Latina as well. I'll hold out hope too that they have an actual black Cutie Pops character coming.

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  12. Thanks for another great review. I would have to agree that the Crown Cuties are my favorite among the new releases, and I'm glad to see you got her crown off again. You're right about Dalia and Bianca having the same vinyl color, and my first reaction was also about maybe they are suppose to be Latina. Thanks again for another wonderful review.

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    1. Thank you Starr! And thank you for confirming Bianca's coloring. I have not been able to see the two dolls together for a comparison.

      You have sharp eyes! I did, indeed, manage to get Crystalina's crown off. :) I've removed it and put it back on about five times now. It's not too bad, I just do it very slowly and carefully...without that crown, she'd lose a lot of her appeal! :-O

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  13. Hmm...Dalia could pass for that shade known as High Yellow among the black community. Though it is frustrating that toy companies tend towards the lighter shades for ambiguously brown characters. And the constant idea pushed that white people won't buy dark dolls so marketing is a hackle raiser. My skin tone is not a marketing strategy, eergh.

    I'm not into the Cutie Pops simply because I'm not a fan of plastic hair on dolls unless they're really small, but the last three reviews make them at least interesting, if not my cuppa. Crystaline is probably the prettiest to me because of the lovely shades of blue. Putting the pops on the dogs feels so much like a pony cutie mark. I think it's always the Eiffel Tower the same way it's always the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, or the Space Needle. Quick, thoughtless visual shortcuts.

    Also, I love it that you drop your science passions into reviews. Science for the win!

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    1. Interesting observation about the pops resembling cutie marks! I had not seen that until you pointed it out. Very true.

      Wouldn't it be great if dolls had cultural decorations that were obscure--perhaps prompting kids and their parents to have little discussions about the symbols--maybe even Googling the countries and learning a little something? I'll admit to that being ridiculously idealistic. At the very least, it's a fun game to try and come up with good alternatives to the cliches...instead of Big Ben, maybe a double-decker bus? The London Eye? A Trafalgar Square pigeon? :)

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  14. I think my favorite look for Coletta was the sleeveless dress, no dress pops, and yarn hair. Dakota would probly be my favorite of the three, although it is hard to pick. Thank you for another great review!

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    1. Hi Juliet! I like Coletta best in the sleeveless dress with her yarn hair, too! Good taste. ;) I like to have those poodle pops in the mix somewhere, too, though. They're so cute.

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  15. I love love love her yarn hair with the ribbons. So cute! Your Cutie Pops collection is fantastic. It must be so much fun being able to swap stuff around. The eyes on the new dolls are so much better. Thanks for the review. x

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    1. Hi Nat Cat! Unfortunately, it is one of those situations where having more accessories increases the fun by quite a lot. For example, I like Candi's hair bows on Coletta better than the bows she came with. Lots of options. These dolls beg for some kind of drawer organization system, though. There are tons of little pieces!

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  16. Hi Emily! Do you have any plans to buy or review the new 'Frozen' dolls from the Disney Store? I've seen in-box and stock pictures of them and the quality looks great! Especially the sisters twin-pack. They look so good they might be my first Disney doll purchase, as I think their faces look more accurate than Merida's and especially Rapunzel's did. I'd love to read a review from you first though!

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    1. I was looking at those on the Disney site the other day--I love Anna and her red hair!! I agree with you that they look absolutely fantastic. I haven't seen the sisters twin-pack, though! Did you see that online? I will probably cave and buy Anna eventually, but I think Casey has plans to review the girls, and she'll probably get to it before me...you could watch her blog: caseyrobinsdollyanna.blogspot.com

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    2. Thank you! I will be watching both of your blogs religiously! I found pictures of that two pack for you. I think the dolls in it are nicer than the $10 Disney Classics line:
      http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35200000/Anna-and-Elsa-Disney-Store-dolls-in-box-frozen-35248153-500-703.jpg
      and the stock image:
      http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35200000/Anna-and-Elsa-Disney-Store-Dolls-disney-princess-35206982-500-517.jpg

      Those are definitely the ones I'll be buying. The faces and hair are fantastic. I just hope I like them as characters.

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    3. Yes! Anna is the best! Sorry to keep you waiting on my review. I am in deadline crunch time right now, and have to paint & draw my way out or risk losing face to my clients. Still, I have all my pics ready for the other Frozen dolls (Anna, Elsa, Hans) and I kind of want to snatch a day - even with the deadline pressure - and just write up my thoughts on them. I stand by my statement that, after a thorough examination, I believe the Frozen dolls to be the best Disney Store play line dolls released to date. The faces are just unbelievably good, and Anna and Elsa in particular seemed to be pulled right out of the screen. They have fantastic chemistry when posed together, too. Anna is my favorite of the lot for her red-headed cuteness and folk-art styled costume. My only gripe with her is that her cape is missing some trimming and could be softer, but MAN is she a fantastic doll! Okay, I'm going to paint, paint, paint, and then write up my thoughts on Anna and Elsa. Hans will have to wait his turn for now.

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  17. You are a treasure, Emily. You know that? These reviews have been so interesting and fun to read, and have fostered some really great discussion.

    I was particularly excited to read your Fashion Pups review because I have not been able to make up my mind between the two dolls in the line. I was immediately drawn to Dalia because of her polka-dot dress and new bang mold. I initially dismissed Coletta as "too pink," but each time I looked at her I was a little more charmed by her abundant bouncy curls and ice-blue eyes. The dogs are irrelevant, as either way I'm going to give them away to a kid. With my lil Pinkie Cooper dogs parading across my windowsill, there's not much room for generic plastic puppies with no neck articulation. I' m not really wild about the pops selection on either doll, but slightly prefer Coletta's Eiffel Towers to Dalia's fire hydrants. And then there's the fact that I'm a total Francophile and even love the cheesy American representation of "Parisian" style (see: An American in Paris.) But then there's ALSO the fact that I have a weakness for black and white designs, especially when polka dots are involved. So in the end, even after your review, I decided that I still can't decide! So I've added both to my wish list. I'm hoping to catch them on sale. I can be patient.

    And as always, I love it when you work a little science into your reviews. You're like Mr. Wizard, but way more fun because you talk about dolls! Thanks again for the wonderful overview of the new Cutie Pops lines. I would like to see them do a travel-themed line in the future. The world needs a straight-up Japan-themed Cutie Pop! With sushi pops and everything. I only hope that their interpretations of different countries would be more creative than the La Dee Da line. Maybe they could celebrate the food of the world, rather than the fashion, for a change. Let's see some baguette and macaron pops for France, differently-shaped pasta pops for Italy, and sushi, sushi, sushi (and chopsticks, tempura, and soybeans) for Japan!

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  18. Awesome review Emily! I love the simpler eyes of the new Cutie Pops. I just posted on my blog about the customization I did to my Wave 1 Chiffon. I repainted her eye pops, removed the heart lashes, and replaced them with applied eyelashes. I customized her before seeing this year's line up, but if her eyes looked like these new ones, I wouldn't have had to customize her. I didn't care for the huge cupcakes in her pupils, and this year they have taken that out. Yay! I still prefer real eyelashes to heart lashes, but then I'm not within the targeted age group. :)

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review and all your wonderful pictures! Great job!!!

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  19. I personally love the calmer colors of the hattitude doll, but that may just be be persuading myself to fit my budget! Although I see the appeal in the bright colors of the other lines.
    Have you seen the new Once Upon a Zombie dolls? They look like spin offs of the Disney characters, and their articulation is a lot like monster high. You say you love hearing about new dolls so I thought you might like to know.
    Keep up the great reviews!

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    1. Wowness... I had to google this for myself (sorry for jumping in Emily!) Holy Monster High RIPOFF Batman! That "Little Mermaid" is Lagoona Blue, completely. Blonde hair, green eyes, blue lipstick? Holy smokes, that's blatant.

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    2. If you think Once Upon a Zombie is bad, you should see Fairy Tale High. No, not Ever After High. Fairy Tale High. These dolls make me really sad and angry. It's just so obvious that they aren't even trying to bring anything new to the character. I mean, could their Snow White reference the Disney version any more blatantly? They're, like, one bow short of a lawsuit.

      https://www.facebook.com/FairyTaleHS

      This seems like the kind of doll line that thinks kids are dumb and will buy anything if you put the word "teen" in front of it. (Oh, and "teen" Little Mermaid? Because she wasn't a teen in both the book and the movie?) Sorry, I'm going to have to stop here. These dolls fill me with rage. We can do so much better! Kids deserve smarter, more well-designed dolls than this! Okay. Stopping now.

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    3. I haven't seen Fairy Tale High personally, but I've seen pictures and heard from Nethilia that they're not great. I'm still gobsmacked over Once Upon a Zombie and the blatant ripoff. NOPENOPENOPENOPE.

      By the way, I've followed you with my regular blog so I'll be seeing you on your blog too!

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    4. Hi AJ.

      I'd be interested to hear Nethilia's thoughts on the line. Did she write about them somewhere?

      (Emily: I would also love to hear your thoughts on Fairy Tale High.)

      And hey, I never did thank you for that guest review you did of Madeline Hatter a few weeks back. Thank you! It kept me from going mad (pun totally intended) while I waited to find her in stores. I haven't been over to your blog yet. I'm sort of new to all this and still finding my way around. But I'll head on over there and check it out, and I'll see you over on mine, too. And here, of course, because Emily has her act together way more than I do when it comes to posting updates.

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    5. Hi guys, I think Fairy Tale High is dreadful. I couldn't even stand to buy the Cinderella, which tells you something. I did buy Rapunzel, thinking she looked ok, but the dolls are so bland and bored-looking in real life, I might never get around to doing a review. I'll post a few pics on Flickr for you (here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toyboxphilosopher/10040623075/). It would not be a positive review unless they're hiding some amazing feature inside those boxes. Ugh. What a waste of money. :(

      Once Upon a Zombie is a different story. I am still on the fence with these. I'll freely admit that they're a shameless combination of all of the successful/popular dolls of late, but they have something of the Tonner Tim Burton dolls' look thrown in, too, and I have always been tempted by his "Corpse Bride" doll.

      I like that the zombie dolls seem well-articulated and have inset eyes. If the hair is good and the clothes aren't cheap, they might be fun. I ordered a few, so I'll give you the full scoop as soon as I can! It doesn't hurt that one of my favorite stores, Think Geek, is carrying them. I'd buy almost anything from that store. ;D

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    6. Natalie--thank you for the great tip! I do always love to hear about new dolls, and these were not on my radar yet! I'm on it. ;)

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    7. Oh, eugh... Emily, that Rapunzel doll looks so lifeless and devoid of charm! Almost vapid. I don't even know.

      I'm reserving anymore judgement on Once Upon a Zombie until I see one in person - though the Faux Generic Native Woo costume they put the Pocahontas in in her drawing made me rage.

      I look forward to your review! I just keep going back to looking at my Lagoona Blue and that Little Mermaid one and thinking "ripoff ripoff ripoff!!"

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  20. I think the eyes on Dalia's pups look like a simplified version of the original dogs eyes but without the heart lashes.

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  21. This is off topic but I was wondering if you could review Zelfs. They are cute but I can't find a decent review of them to show their details (height compare to dolls, closeups, etc). You usually save me from making bad purchases so I was just wondering.

    Thanks. ;-)

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    1. Emily: please stop me if I'm out of bounds here. I don't want to use your blog to link to my stuff normally, but in this case, I have a video review that I think may be helpful for this person.

      Anonymous: I'm very pleased with the quality of the Zelfs. I wasn't sure about them, but once out of the box they charmed me. Medium Zelfs are my favorite. They stand three inches high from head to toe (six inches if you count the hair!) Their bodies are made of vinyl and the screening of the little Zelf marks is very neatly done. The inset eyes are really lovely, and come in a variety of colors from character to character. The hair is pretty soft, not super soft, and it does tend to shed. Toys 'R' Us just marked the medium Zelfs down to $4.99, which is the best price I've seen. I think they're worth it if you like their Troll-like cuteness.

      I have a video review of Angelala and Lil'D here: http://youtu.be/3uK5rTXcDwA

      Hope that helps!

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    2. I bought a few Zelfs the other day--it was actually the little ones in the surprise planter containers that won me over. Those and the medium-sized ones are cute. The larger ones are too big for my taste. I will try to do a review in the not-too-distant future!

      Thank you for the link, Casey! The only reason a video link might have to come down is if it's slowing the load time, but it seems fine so far--so no worries! The prices are very reasonable, aren't they? I love that you can get a tiny one for $2.99. And it's a surprise which one you get, which I always enjoy. :D

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  22. I'm not a big fan of the Cutie Pops, Never was even when they first came out. They have their cute perks and whatnot, But they're just not a must have for me. I read all three of your CP reviews and all three dolls have very good things and some not so good things lol. At first I really thought that Hattitude Dakota was going to be my favorite from seeing the preview blog post picture thing, But when I started reading it and started to see how she looked from the back etc. She started going downhill for me, the Pups girl well she is cute..She's just too pink for me and I'm not a fan of her outfit. I wish her poofy hairs would have been more fluffy and fuller like in her animated picture. I think my favorite would have to be Crystalina, I love her colors..blue is one of my favorite colors. I like Crystalina's dress, even though her shoes didn't do it for me. I'm not a huge fan of the little charms things she came with, I don't think they were painted very well especially her Cameo pieces..I think they could have been painted better. Well all three dolls charms could have been painted better. Crystalina's pigtails seem a little thin for me, compared to the first wave's hairs their's seemed more fuller than hers. I don't think I will be buying any of these Cutie Pops, But Crystalina is by far my favorite outta the three.

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  23. I think I found the perfect gift for my niece this Christmas. These dolls are really cute and I am pretty sure she would love it too. And at $24.99 in value, I guess it is all worth it.

    ShopAtOliviasDollCloset.com

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  24. Dammit! I think I'm hoping to have to get Dalia and Pearlina! I thought I had dodged the bullet last year (the original cutie pops were cute but I chose MH over them) them seemed like the novelty would have worn off but here am again and I'm LOVING the new fringes ("bangs") I need some "Play Dolls" since MH are to cool so I just display them and never change their clothes or anything but cutie pops (being that their main feature is mis matching) seem like the perfect play doll!

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