Monday, September 2, 2013

La Dee Da Fairytale Dance "Cinderella and Prancie" Playset

I have reviewed La Dee Da dolls a few times before.  I wasn't too thrilled with my Runway Vacay Cyanne doll (her hair is very thinly rooted and her outfit simple) but I do enjoy my Dots of Style Dee's bright, rainbow hair and colorful outfit.  I seem to have a thing for rainbow hair.  I haven't followed the La Dee Da dolls very carefully since those two reviews, though, because I felt the line was somewhat dismissible.  The dolls are cute--but never struck me as special enough to hold my attention.  Well, my opinion changed when I saw the new La Dee Da dolls at Target the other day.

La Dee Da has two new groups of dolls so far this fall.  The first group I noticed is called Fairytale Dance.  I was interested in these dolls because I have been thinking about Ever After High and the new line of Fairy Tale High dolls and wondering why so many companies are getting into the fairy tale game all of a sudden.  Even Cutie Pops has a new princess-themed line.  I don't mean this as a complaint--I like fairy tale dolls because I am always optimistic that there might be a Cinderella character.  Much to my delight, there is a La Dee Da Fairytale Dance Cinderella (exclusive to Toys R Us), and what's even better is that she comes with a horse.  Eeee!

La Dee Da Fairytale Dance "Cinderella and Prancie."
This set costs $42.99.  Which is a lot.  The horse is also for sale separately for $24.  Cinderella herself doesn't seem to be available anywhere except in this set--at least not yet.  I am going to start this review by saying that if you have $43 to spend on La Dee Da dolls, don't get this set.   You can go to Target and get three Fairytale Dance dolls ($14.99 each) for the same price.  Even with my enthusiasm for Cinderella, I wish I had spent my money differently.

That's not to say that this set is all bad--I mean, it does have Cinderella and a horse, after all.  

Cinderella and her horse are displayed side-by-side in a huge cardboard window box.  Cinderella is in a running position with her hair streaming out, and the three small accessories (a plastic brush, a unicorn horn and a sheet of stickers) are spread out and accompanied by lots of pop-up cardboard signs and plastic supports.

In other words, the box could easily have been half this size:


The pop-up signs describe the accessories in several languages.  Apparently, the stickers are for the horse's hooves:

Stickers!
Cinderella is played by La Dee Da's "Dee" character, and the horse's name is "Prancie."  Groan.  The real Cinderella's horse is actually named "Major," but maybe there were copyright issues with that?  Also, I think Dee is only dressed up as Cinderella for a party, so probably Prancie is meant to be Dee's horse, not the horse from the Cinderella story.  Anyway, Prancie is not the most original name I have ever heard.


Cinderella is shown riding sidesaddle on the box, which I hope doesn't mean that she won't be able to ride normally:


The back of the box looks packed with information, but it's just a few snippets that are repeated in many different languages.  I always enjoy seeing the variety of languages on these boxes.


A large section of the back of the box is dedicated to showing all of the possibilities for playing with Prancie.  This seems a little forced:

Stickers!
Style!
Turn into unicorn!
The majority of text on the back of the box is Dee's introduction.  She's having a dance party and has made a Cinderella dress that "would rule the day with Prancie." I hope that sentence makes more sense in a different language.


There's a small photograph of the other dolls in this collection:


These dolls are great.  I have spent a lot of time idling next to the La Dee Da displays, admiring these four dolls.  The only character who doesn't seem special to me is Dee as the pinky-pink Frog Princess.  Isn't Dee going to the party as Cinderella?  Does she have two costumes?  Does she have a clone?  It's confusing.  Anyway, Cyanne, Sloane and Tylie are great.  It's hard to pick a favorite.  I want all three--which is one of the reasons why I wish I hadn't bought this expensive Cinderella set.

Here's Cyanne as Rapunzel at the store.  If I had to pick, she'd probably be my favorite of the whole collection:

Her boots are shaped like castles!
The Fairytale Dance line has a lot of cute little creative details.  Tylie the Ice Queen has a snowflake pattern in her eyes and blue hair, and I love Cyanne's modern interpretation of the Rapunzel dress.

Maybe even more exciting than the new Fairytale Dance dolls, though, are the La Dee Da Art Show dolls. There are only two characters so far, but they're fantastic.  I hope you don't mind if I go off on a bit of a tangent and show you these dolls, too.

The first Art Show doll is Cyanne dressed to represent Impressionism.  My picture is out of focus, but that dress is like a beautiful purple Monet painting--and Cyanne's hair matches!

Out-of-focus works for Impressionism.
The second doll is Dee dressed to represent pop art:


I bought the Dee doll because I think she's amazing.  Everything from her box design to her bold, graphic dress and multicolor hair is so creative and fun:


I really hope Spin Master expands this Art Show line.  The concept is awesome, and there's a ton of material out there.  I want to see a cubism doll--or a surrealism doll in time for Halloween!  Individual artists would be fun, too--like Picasso, or Escher.  I felt excited and inspired after I saw these dolls.  They even made me go back and give the older La Dee Da Garden Party wave a closer look.  Those dolls are pretty fun, too.  The three groups together on the shelf (Garden Party, Fairytale Dance and Art Show) make for a wonderfully diverse, creative collection of dolls.

Anyway...back to Cinderella and her oversized packaging.  As I said, the box makes it look like there are a lot more than just three accessories.  Here's what was left after I removed all of the toys:


And here's everything that came out of the box.  Notice that there's no stand:


The tiny pink brush is dismissible.  Why not a stand instead?


Here's Dee as Cinderella:


La Dee Da dolls really need stands.  They have spindly little legs, tiny feet, and no chance at all of standing on their own.  Why has Spin Master stopped including stands with the dolls?  Grr. To make things worse, I seem to have lost my Dots of Style stand, so Cinderella is stuck sitting in a chair or leaning up against a wall:

That's ok, Emily.
These glass slippers hurt my feet, anyway.
The first things I noticed about Cinderella were her elaborate hair and her decorative eyes:


Her hairstyle is actually quite simple--it's just a side ponytail:



But perched on top of her head is this wonderful pink vinyl clock accented with a glittery tulle ruffle and overset by a dove and heart symbol:


The details in the clock are great.  I love how the time is set for just before midnight.  There's still time to find love!

The back of the headpiece has a small comb that sticks into the hair:


The headpiece is also tied into the hair with thread.  I am not going to take the headpiece off, because this is one of the doll's best features, and there's no obvious way to put it back and have it stay in place once those threads are cut.


Cinderella's right eye is more elaborate than her left eye.  It is surrounded by four pink hearts.  This extra decoration provides a nice counterbalance to the headpiece, which sits on the left side of her head:


Each eye has little white clock hands inside the black pupil:


The eyeliner at the corner of each eye is shaped like the hand of a clock.  I love this detail:


Both eyes are framed with four shades of eyeshadow and plain brown eyebrows


The eyes are side-glancing, and the clock hands add to that effect, while giving her eyes some sparkle:


Cinderella's dress is not as creative as some of the other parts of her design:


The dress is satiny pink with a tulle overlay. It has a simple tube bodice with a single ribbon sleeve.



The belt and heart accents are made out of stretch knit fabric with shimmery pink dots:


It's the same pink fabric that's in my Dots of Style Dee's pants:


The skirt has two layers of tulle--a thin blue layer and a coarser pink layer with pink glitter.


Cinderella's glass slippers are actually pink jelly sandals:


They're very flexible and have a small amount of silver glitter embedded in the vinyl:



Cinderella's body is exactly the same as my Dots of Style Dee's body.  While some of the newer dolls have one or both arms bent (see the Pop Art doll, above, as an example), Cinderella has the older, straight-arm body type:


These dolls have 7 points of articulation.  I really wish they had bendy elbows.

Whoa!  Your hair decoration is much cooler than mine!
Both of these dolls are the Dee character, and they look similar.  The different mouth paint gives them slightly different expressions, though.  Dots of Style Dee has bright full lips:


And Cinderella's frosted pink lips are a little thinner and don't curve into as much of a smile:


I like the Cinderella doll, but I wish she had a few more creative features.  While her eyes and headpiece are wonderful, her dress and shoes are a little plain.  

Now, let's take a look at Prancie the horse:


Prancie is made out of lightweight, hollow, shiny white plastic.  She has a long pink and blue mane and tail and an abundance of blue vinyl tack.

Her mane comes tied to a plastic holder to keep it from getting tangled:


There are three small pink plastic star clips in the mane



Here's Prancie with the plastic removed from her mane:


The bridle has a funny center strap that runs down the middle of Prancie's face.  This is to hold the silver unicorn horn.  The unicorn horn is neat.  I love unicorns, and I like the idea that Prancie can be transformed into one of these mythical creatures.  The horn is made out of light blue bendable vinyl and is painted with metallic silver:



The unicorn horn is fun, but it falls off a lot.  I kinda wish it attached directly to Prancie's head, so that she could Always Be a Unicorn.

I'm a unicorn!
The bridle has some pink painted details, like a big heart that sits just below the unicorn horn, and a line of pink dots that decorate the pennant flag reins.  


There are silver painted tassels on each side of the bridle just next to Prancie's eyes.


The bridle also has a fuzzy pink plume at the back.  This makes me think more of a circus pony than a royal steed:


The fuzzy, crimped threads are glued to a plastic support in the middle of the plume.  Trying to fluff up the threads or rearrange them just makes the plume look messy.


Ga-boing!
Prancie has a clock and heart design on the left side of her rump.  It's a lot like a cutie mark.

My Pretty Prancie.
There's a ton of baby blue tack on this horse.  The saddle has some nice molded detail, but doesn't have the pink painted decorations that are shown on the box:



The saddle has movable stirrups:


The stirrups are even decorated on their bottom edge:


The saddle is attached to a martingale with a pink painted star on the front:


The martingale attaches to the underside of the saddle's girth:


Here's the saddle removed from the horse.  It is made out of a thick, bendable vinyl.




Here's the martingale on its own.  The strap that loops around Prancie's neck comes apart, so it's easy to remove this piece of tack.


Here's the fancy bridle with all of its attachments:


The plume can be removed:


The bridle comes apart in two areas--the strap behind the ears detaches, as does the chin strap.  This makes the bridle easy to remove, but hard to get back on.  The little peg attachments are bendy and fiddly.  

The reins are articulated and can rotate a full 360 degrees around their attachment point.  


Here are the reins up close:


And the back side of the hollow molded tassels:


Prancie looks happy to have all of that heavy tack removed:

Bu...bu...but...I thought I was a unicorn!
Although now she looks a little plain and ghosty on her right side:

Casper the Friendly Ghost Horse.
It's also easier to see how extremely thin her body is, both in profile and when looking down on her from above:


Here you can see how shiny the white plastic is.  It reflects every light in the room:


Prancie is not at all articulated.  She is made out of four pieces of thin plastic.  Each half of her body is a single piece of plastic, and then she has a separate piece to round out the insides of her legs.  All of the seams are visible on her belly:


If Prancie is held up to a light, several internal supports are also visible.

Shadow pox.
The hooves are painted pink and do not have a lot of shape or detail:


The hooves do have a ridge surrounding the entire bottom surface, which might be an approximation of a horseshoe:


The sticker sheet that comes with this set is meant to be used on Prancie's hooves.  There are eight stickers and two different designs:


The blue stickers have grey star and moon shapes against a blue patterned background:


The stickers do not stay on the hooves.  They started peeling away almost immediately after I put them on:


Here's the other pattern (again, already peeling away):


Most of Prancie's facial features are painted, not molded.  Prancie's eyes are not as detailed as Cinderella's eyes.  Prancie has white hearts reflected in her pupils, and a blue heart pattern in her irises:


She also has full painted eyelashes, pink opalescent eyeshadow, and arched pink eyebrows:


Prancie's mouth is very small and is only visible on the left side of her face.  She has a cute little cartoon grin:


It took me a while to notice this, but Prancie's eye positioning is strange.  Her right eye is looking down and her left eye is looking up and back.  I can see why the designers did this--they probably wanted her to appear like she's looking to her left.  


However, because these eyes are not even the slightest bit forward-facing, and because horses rarely show any white in their eyes, the effect is bizarrely wonky, especially if viewed from the front:

Scrambled eyes.
I think the best options here would have been to have both eyes looking straight out to the side, or have both eyes looking down.

Here's a real horse looking straight at you, just for reference:

AAV-Stute-2
Maybe I could be a unicorn??
The mane is all one piece, and is slotted into Prancie's neck seam.  The mane slides down toward the withers quite a bit, leaving a large area of exposed seam (and a view into Prancie's neck) at the top:


It's easy to pull the mane back up and fill in that unsightly hole:



You can even separate a piece of the mane and slide it all of the way in front of the ears...to make a very long forelock:


This horse has a ridiculous amount of hair.  It's very reminiscent of My Little Pony's larger figures, or even the new Lalaloopsy Light-Up Ponies.  It's also a pain to keep it looking neat.


This set is very similar in content to the Headless Headmistress Bloodgood Monster High set.  The prices are almost exactly the same, too.  I have noticed that the Headless Headmistress sets are on a big clearance sale at my Toys R Us (around $25 the last time I checked) suggesting that the price was a bit too ambitious on these toys when they first came out.  I am positive that this La Dee Da set will have the same problem--if not an ever bigger problem.  While both sets are overpriced, I think the Monster High toy offers a better value.  A lot of that is because of the horse.  

Here are both horses together:


Nightmare has a lot more character than Prancie.  Both horses are made out of hollow plastic, but the Monster High horse is larger and feels more substantial.  She has great, exaggerated detail throughout her body, and her stern eyes and blue body color give her a ton of personality.  Prancie looks generic in comparison.

Get a haircut, small skinny white horse.
I also like that Nightmare's mane is not so long that it constantly gets in the way.  It's soft and comb-able, but not a nuisance. 

Please don't eat me!  I'm a unicorn!
I have to admit that I never noticed how concave Nightmare's inner legs are, though.  That's strange:


We have another case of reverse progress with these doll horses.  Starting with Spin Master's wonderful, articulated Liv horse (Nutmeg) on the left, we've regressed through the unarticulated but still amusing Monster High horse all the way down to a thin plastic unarticulated figure that feels more like a Dollar Store toy than what I would hope to see from the company that gave us Nutmeg not so long ago.  Sigh.


Let's see how Cinderella and Prancie get along together.  I let Cinderella wear Dots of Style Dee's matching pink leggings so that she could ride her horse with some modesty.  


She has a little trouble mounting...



And Prancie's mane gets everywhere...

Pffft!  Get it out of my face!
But she can sit astride her horse nicely and doesn't need to ride side-saddle.  Thank goodness.  At this point, though, Cinderella's neck joint broke.  I wasn't doing anything particularly stressful to it, I just tried to turn her head while she was in the saddle.  The neck still moves around, but it's loose and a little floppy, making Cinderella always face upwards:

Oh, dear...I'm feeling a little lightheaded...
Cinderella's feet don't reach the bottoms of the stirrups.  This is frustrating since the saddle was made specifically for La Dee Da dolls.  


The stirrups can be rotated upwards, though, and this helps keep Cinderella in place:


I wish Cinderella had at least one bent arm.  I think this design would have been better for holding the reins.

Despite these frustrations, Cinderella and Prancie look pretty cute together:



Prancie's mane was getting out of control, so I braided it and tucked it back up under her bridle, making it look like she has a short forelock.  I like the neatness of this style a lot better, and the forelock gives Prancie some additional personality:


Here are a few more pictures of this duo.  As I manipulated Cinderella more during these posing sessions, I noticed that her dress has a hard time staying up.  That single spaghetti strap doesn't do the trick.  I didn't always notice the slipping dress before I snapped a picture, so please forgive the occasional...ah, low neckline shot.





I decided to take Cinderella's ponytail down to have a closer look at her rooting pattern.  She has platinum blonde hair with two pastel pink sections on either side of her face.  


The rooting is the same as my Dots of Style Dee--not perfect, but not too bad, either:


The pink sections near Cinderella's face are much more tightly rooted:


The hair is soft and long and has a shaggy cut and a small amount of wave:


It can easily be pulled back into the original hairstyle:


One segment of pink hair in the front is rooted further down Cinderella's forehead than the rest of her hairline, and I think she looks cute with that section of hair swept low across her eye:


Here are a few more pictures of Cinderella and Prancie.  The side-glancing eyes are fun because these two often seem to be looking at each other affectionately:


Or noticing embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions...

Um, don't look now, but you might want to fix that dress...


Bottom line?  I really didn't want to write a negative review of these toys because my overwhelming feeling about the La Dee Da fall lineup is positive.  I find the Fairytale Dance dolls surprisingly neat considering their overdone fairy tale theme.  I think the Art Show line is brilliant and I would love to see it expanded in the future.  I was giddy with excitement when I saw the Cinderella and Prancie playset (perfect for me!) but I have to admit that after examining this set more closely, I wish I had spent my money on different La Dee Da dolls.

I really like Dee as Cinderella--or at least her head.  Her clock-themed headpiece is a wonderful reference to the fairy tale, and the clock hands in her eyes do surprisingly well at enhancing her flirty, side-glancing stare.  The clock hand scrolls at the edges of her eyes are an inspired extra detail.  Cinderella's dress is a little less impressive.  The single, thin strap is not adequate for keeping the dress up, and so poor Cinderella is often exposing her chest.  Also, while there's nothing wrong with the style of the dress, it's plain, and doesn't have any fun details that are specific to the Cinderella character.  Repeating the dove motif from the hat in the pattern of the dress would have been more interesting than just tacking on some generic hearts.  I wish Cinderella had come with a stand rather than the small brush and useless stickers.  The biggest disappointment with this doll is that her neck joint broke just hours after I got her out of the box.  I am tempted to dissect the head and see what happened in there, but despite her flaws, I like this doll too much to completely ruin her.  

I like pretty much anything that is horse-shaped, but I find it difficult to muster a lot of enthusiasm for Prancie's cheap-feeling hollow character.  There are just too many details that seem poorly thought-out.  The eyes look fine when the horse is viewed from either side, but from the front, she has a wonky, scramble-eyed appearance.  The mane is too long and is constantly getting in the way.  Also, the mane is attached in such a way that it tends to slide down and bunch at the bottom of the neck.  The hoof stickers are a clever idea, but they don't stay attached to the hooves for even five minutes, making me wonder if anyone tested this feature before the playset went into production. The features of this horse are at best generic, and at worst copied from My Little Pony.  The tack is this horse's best feature.  There are a lot of pieces, and the molded details are fun.  I like that the tack is easy to take off, but some of the smaller fasteners are hard to re-attach.  The unicorn horn has promise, but it falls out easily. The tack makes Prancie look perfect for a circus horse, but not convincingly royal.  Because Prancie is a horse, I still have more fondness for her than I probably should...but I feel silly for dropping so much money on this set.

So, I'll end by repeating what I said at the beginning: $43 is way too much to pay for this set.  There are no accessories to speak of, and the horse should add no more than $10-15 to the price of a regular doll.  If Cinderella could be purchased on her own for $14.99, I'd definitely recommend her--hoping that my doll's neck issues are an isolated problem.  If the set was in the $25 range, it might be worth spending the extra $10 to have Prancie as a cute prop.  Until the inevitable clearance sales hit, though, go check out the Art Show La Dee Da dolls or the single Fairytale Dance girls instead.  Those look like winners.


37 comments:

  1. Gah, she is ridiculously pretty. I love her pink hair. If I get another one from this line, it'll be Tylie, because one, all the blue just makes my heart sing, and for two, The Snow Queen is my favorite fairytale of all time, so I was so happy to see it represented in this line (I'm filled with absolute dread over what Disney is going to do to the story I love so much with "Frozen." Idina Menzel? Voicing the Queen? Noooooo!)

    The horse reminds me so much of the horses that came with my She-Ra figures when I was little. With the added cutie mark. O.o

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    1. Yes--Tylie is perfect for you! :D She very blue, and also the prettiest of the group, I think. She has these neat geometric snowflake eyes. I probably gaze at her the most when I am at the store. I don't really know the Snow Queen fairy tale, I am embarrassed to admit. I found the book free online, though, so I can get caught up.

      Oh, but the She-Ra horses were so detailed and realistic and beautiful! That's how I remember them, anyway. ;) I wanted one of those horses SO badly when I was a kid. I can see my whole morning lost in nostalgic Google image searches now. Sigh...

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  2. I'm a little disappointed about Prancie. I think he looks great in his stand-alone circus outfit, but this set is not for me. If I ever see the Circus Prancie set on clearance, though, I'd be hardpressed not to bring him home! I like the colors and "cutie mark" more on that version.

    Also: thanks for the heads-up about the Headmistress set! $25 is a much more reasonable price.

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    1. Yes, $25 is great for that set. I was glad to see the prices go down on a Monster High doll instead of the other way around! :)

      I'll have to take a closer look at the stand-alone Prancie. I haven't see him in the stores yet. Is he actually meant to be in a circus? That might explain some of this horse's outfit! Thank you for that information!

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    2. I really don't know if he's supposed to be a circus horse or not; that's just how Target has him titled: http://www.target.com/p/la-dee-da-circus-horse/-/A-14508467#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=la+dee+da+horse I really love the different colors here, though I also really like what you did with your horse's mane!

      I don't know if Prancie's male or female (I noticed we're using different pronouns). He's probably a girl, but when I first saw him I designated him male on sight. Funny how that works. :)

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  3. The art dolls look great! As a former art history student, there's no way those dolls won't end up in my collection.

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    1. The only problem with the Art Show dolls is that there aren't more of them! It's so exciting to think about other dolls that could be in this group. Since you know about art, it'd be fun to hear your thoughts! It'll be hard for me to wait and see what happens to these dolls in the future. What a creative idea.

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  4. oh, she's so pretty! if she were available here in Chile I would like her, but the horse for me isn't really necessary. Even so, it's cute too, although I would have put it in a separate set. The Rapunzel one looks adorable too... Ah, I want one, they're wonderful and creative u.u

    I wonder if La-Dee-Da dresses, Monster High or Pinkie Cooper dresses fit Novi Stars. And have you ever seen a Novi head in a bratzillaz body? I wish I could make an hybrid like that, since Novis haven't articulated bodies =(

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    1. Hi Alice,
      I don't think I've ever tried La Dee Da or Pinkie Cooper clothes on a Novi Star. Good idea! Monster High clothes are too big, in general. I will try it and get back to you! I have never seen a Novi head on a Bratzillaz body (not sure the head connection would work...), but I did try to put my Novi Star head on a Monster High Create-A-Monster body:

      http://www.toyboxphilosopher.com/2012/09/create-monster-design-lab-for-monster.html

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    2. Hi again, Alice. So, La Dee Da clothes are too big for Novi Stars (at least for the original ones), but the Pinkie Cooper "Pinkie's Night Out" dress (while certainly too big) isn't a terrible fit. It could work. :)

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    3. thanks a lot! I once saw a Novi Star with a Monster High body, but for that they had to cut the neck peg and sand the rest for doing that. For now I have Una Verse and I'm planning to get another one, maybe Alie Lectric or Tula Toned. It seems that the quality flaws you mentioned on your review were solved in later releases, as my Una (renamed Leela Kerrigan) doesn't lose her head or limbs easily.
      I'm going to look for a bratzillaz body on the second-hand market to try and put her head in a posable body, although I think she's pretty just like that.

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  5. TRU will take back the doll and exchange it for another one. It broke shortly after you opened it, that's on SpinMaster. Maybe they'll give you store credit so you can get the other fairy princess dolls instead.

    I swooned a bit over the La Dee Da art dolls at Target and was surprised they only have two characters in the set. Like you I hope they add more styles soon.

    I always like it when Nutmeg makes an appearance in your reviews. :)

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    1. Nutmeg is awesome. :) It's funny, because I can remember being disappointed about small things when Nutmeg first came out (the legs have some funny articulation, she can tip over a bit too easily) but that seems SO silly now. Nutmeg is the best articulated doll horse that has been released in a long time.

      I might try to take Cinderella back--that's a good idea. If I don't, there will be no feedback for the company about the quality. It's such a drag when an expensive toy breaks. :(

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  6. I definitely let out a "squee" of joy when I saw Pop Art Dee for the first time. It was $20 when it came out; I'm glad to see that Target has dropped the price to $15. La Dee Da as a line is a little hit-or-miss for me. The girls always look less like they're about to step onto a runway and more like they're about to step onstage for a school play. I feel like their literal takes on themed fashion would get them laughed out of any real design school. And I'm dismayed that they've stopped including stands with the dolls. On the other hand, though, their hair is incredibly soft, I like their sweet faces, and the dolls that I like I really like. I fell in love with City Girl Dee and Sunflower (something?) Cyanne, and love them just as much today as I did when I first saw them. I'm getting good vibes from Red Riding Hood Sloane, too. I love that white streak and the wolf clasp on the bag, though I wish the dress was less tutu-ish.

    This Cinderella and Prancey set inspired no "squee" when I saw it in the store. I was too busy being disappointed with the missed opportunities in the dress design. Pink tulle with hearts? That's the best they could come up with? How about a hanging ribbon sash that ends in clock hands? Or a satiny skirt that's ruched up to resemble a pumpkin? Even - as you suggested - just repeating the bird motif would have been better, since the original story did feature helper birds. Really, anything would have been better than defaulting to hearts! It's as if someone dropped in on the designers on a Wednesday and was like, "Toys R Us wants an exclusive horse-and-doll set. Have it done Friday." So Thursday and most of Friday were spent laboring over the clock headpiece, the eyes, and then "Oh, crap! She needs a dress. Um... Um... PINK WITH SPARKLE HEARTS! Done!"

    I agree $45 seems like way too much to ask for the set. Those hoof stickers are majorly disappointing. I personally didn't bother to check the price on this set because I'm not much for horses and I already have Headmistress Bloodgood with Nightmare. I enjoy Nightmare, but mostly because she's so weird and badass. As you said, she has a lot of personality. Also, as an aside, I recently stumbled upon Nutmeg at Goodwill. Thanks to you, I knew exactly what she was and that she was worth having. Her articulation really is impressive. I'm surprised how many poses she can strike and still keep her balance. I don't have her displayed at the moment, but I want to keep her around for photo shoots that may require a non-blue horse.

    In general, I agree with you that a) this set is a little bland, especially for the price, and b) La Dee Da should DEFINITELY expand the art doll line. How about an Art Nouveau doll? Wouldn't that be something? Ah man, now I really want an Art Nouveau doll. Or Art Deco. Either is good. Get on it, La Dee Da!

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    1. Hi Casey! The La Dee Da pricing is all over the place. I double-checked my receipt and indeed, the Pop Art Dee was $14.99. However, all of the dolls are still $19.99 at Walmart. Be careful where you buy these!

      I'm so glad you agree about Cinderella's dress. I felt like I was being too picky, but there are so many good opportunities with a dress like this. Hearts is so "blah." The other outfits in the Fairytale series seem better. I get the sense that shortcuts were made for this playset, which is backwards. A $43 playset should be MORE special than the regular line...not less.

      I am so glad you found Nutmeg! I love her. Her tack looks so realistic next to Prancie's, and she has a wonderful weight and feel to her. I actually find that she tips over a lot, but it doesn't bother me too much. The other two Liv horses are possibly even more beautiful than Nutmeg. I can remember finding Walnut in the store and feeling like such a kid again with her box tucked under my arm. Those were the days. :)

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    2. Hi Emily. I wonder whether La Dee Da is experimenting with pricing leading into the Christmas season, or whether it's just a retailer fluke. By the way, have you noticed that the Pinkie Cooper deluxe travel sets cost $25 at Target, but only $20 at Toys R Us? It's rare that TRU beats Target on a price.

      Since my Nutmeg was a thrift store find, she came to me without her tack :( Wonder if I could find it on eBay for a reasonable price... I'd never seen Walnut before. She's very striking. She is to Nutmeg as Pepper Parson is to Pinkie Cooper. Personally, I prefer the lighter color scheme. But maybe I'm just partial because I'm a blonde. What I really love is the riding outfits and accessories that come with the Liv horse sets. I would wear Katie's riding boots in a heartbeat.

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  7. Great review! My La Dee Da doll, the I Love Le Bun Dee doll, has one arm bent and the other straight. It's interesting how different dolls have different arm combinations. And now I really want the Cyanne from the art show line!

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    1. Oh, that's right! I forgot to mention the I Love Le Bun doll--she's great, too! I love the bright colors on her and that skirt is adorable. Does she come with Le Bun? I can't remember. She's been marked down, too. I never really thought these little dolls would be so appealing to me! :D

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    2. No, she doesn't, but comes with 3 paper cutouts of him. There is a corasponding Le Bun on the market, though.

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  8. What a wonderful review! I really love Dee as Cinderella, but Prancie isn't my favorite. I wish they sold the doll and horse separately! Nutmeg is such a neat horse- but, here I can't seem to find any LIV dolls or their stuff.
    WHERE ARE THE LA DEE DA ART DOLLS HERE? I want that Pop Art Dee...now.
    I find her dress cute but not Cinderella at all to me. I love Casey's ideas about the dress.

    This is random but I have a few questions:
    What camera do you use? Your pictures always look so professional! I love the close ups that you do.
    Have you seen Catty Nior? She is GORGEOUS and if you see her, buy her. She is amazing and her dress is absolutely beautiful.
    Again wonderful review, and thanks!

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  9. Thank you, Vivienne! Isn't Pop Art Dee fantastic?? I wonder why she's not in your area yet? Send me an email about that--I have a suggestion. Liv stuff is mostly cleared out from the stores at this point, although I did see a Liv horse at Toys R Us this summer--on clearance, so you never know. Keep hunting! :D

    My camera is a hand-me-down from my mom. It's a little Cannon PowerShot Elph. It gives me some grief now and then, but mostly gets the job done.

    My Catty just came in the mail TODAY. She's amazing! I totally agree with you! She's much more beautiful than her promotional pictures. Did you find one at the real stores?

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    1. I'm so jealous you got her! I didn't preorder and I'm kicking myself.

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    2. I want Pop Art Dee because of her dress, really. I think it would look perfect on MH dolls.

      We just got our whole doll area restocked, there are the new Fairytale Dance Dolls, but no Pop Arts. Our MH doll section has another end cap because there is SO many of them- 13 Wishes, Haunt the Casabah, Scaris, Ghouls Night Out, Home Ick, Music Festival, and Catty.

      My mom actually was at the store and called me, (after I was JUST saying how much I wanted Catty) and there were 5 or 6 I think at our Walmart. The next day, all but 2 had been bought. I wanted to keep her in the box but she is so gorgeous that I couldn't. I did notice, while it might just be my doll and I don't mind it, that her arms don't go all of the way down. But overall, SHE'S PERFECT!

      Did you get Gigi Grant? Can I say ADORABLE?!?!? Her freckled face and huge eyes are super cute, and for some reason she looks great in Catty's dress.

      Vivienne, justagirlandherdolls.blogspot.com

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  10. Obviously what you need now is this Cinderella on horseback:
    http://www.target.com/p/disney-princess-cinderella-horse-figure/-/A-14583608#prodSlot=medium_3_48

    Some of the Disney princesses are being released with horses, and a tunic/leggings kind of look so they don't have to ride sidesaddle. I figured you'd like the Cinderella best. :)

    http://mylittledollcorner.blogspot.com/

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  11. Both horse sets seem to fall short. I'm finding Nutmeg to be more and more appealing. I still don't know about La Dee Da. The non-budget sets are okay. Sometimes the hair and outfits are great and sometimes they feel a bit too simple. I have two Tylies and the tea set but I have backed off the line a little. This new Ice Queen Tylie has peaked my interest again. I notice they have brushes. Personally I would rather have the stand. I would also swap the knee articulation for elbow articulation any day.

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  12. Love your review as always. I completely agree that this set is less impressive than the individual dolls. I purchased Snow Queen last week and the Impressionist Art Show doll. I didn't even realize that she was an Impressionist doll at first, I just loved her color scheme it reminded me of my favorite Monet painting, I had a palm to forehead moment when I finally read her box. I think the price point is very high for this set but the individual horse seems to be more reasonable, however thanks to your review I can confidently pass on her. Also thanks for the tip on the Bloodgood and Nightmare set I will have to keep my eyes open for it. Oh and Target still had some Liv items available online a few weeks ago, only a few but its better than nothing. Thanks again for another great review.

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  13. I just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely love your reviews!
    As for that weird sentence making more sense in the other languages on the box: The Dutch, German and French blurbs all just state that the Cinderella dress 'matches Prancie perfectly'. Not sure what is up with the awkward English ruling of the day there...

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  14. Imo, both of Dee's dresses for this lineup are disappointing pink nightmares. There's absolutely nothing Cinderella-like about this dress, and the only link I've noted to the Frog Prince fairy tale on her other one is her lily pad purse. For a fashion designer, she's not pulling much inspiration from her subject to make her clothes.

    The Art dolls are fantastic, though. I'm fighting myself over wanting them, ha ha!

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  15. I think Cinderella Dee's clock eyes are her best feature. The pink dress just doesn't say Cinderella though. They could have at least made it a blue and white Cinderella style dress. I really like Nutmeg way more than Prancie too! I like LaDeeDa, but I really miss the more realistic and articulated Liv doll line. I think my favorite of this year's new LaDeeDa line is Pop Art Dee.

    I also wanted to let you know that you have been awarded the "Elegant Blogger Award". You can see all the details here:
    http://onceuponadollcollection.blogspot.com/2013/09/elegant-blogger-award.html

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  16. Emily! What about mini Rebecca? You've had her since July.

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  17. The German version says that her dress "looks good together with Prancie."

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  18. Just curious to know if anyone else who bought this Cinderella has wobbly leg joints? I bought two, and both had legs that when she sat down were so crazy loose that that if you merely tapped her, her lower legs jiggled back and forth. One doll had both legs like that and the other just one. Don't know if I should bother taking her back if this is true of all of them. I picked out such excellent paint jobs.

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  19. Just wanted to say, Disney Cinderella isn't the "real" Cinderella. She's just the Disney one.

    Sorry. I'm a Cinderella nerd myself and I've read the old versions.

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  20. Hi Emily,
    I hope j don't sound rude saying this, but what you're describing as a "martingale" in all actuality is a breast collar. I use a breast collar on my gelding whenever I ride, so I believe me, I would know.
    A breast collar's function on a horse is too prevent sliding and keep the saddle in place, a martingale's function is to keep the horse's head in a certain position (albeit it's the lazy way, train your horses to have the proper head set people! Don't rely training gimmicks!)
    Hope I helped some.

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  21. Ah, I wish you had done a review of the pop-art Dee that you bought! She looks amazing!

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