Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kidz 'n' Cats "Evita" Doll by Sonja Hartmann for With Heart and Soul

Kidz 'n' Cats are slim, articulated 18" play dolls designed by Sonja Hartmann for the German doll company, With Heart and Soul.  These dolls were first introduced in 2009 with a small collection of seven dolls bearing two different face molds.  Since then, three new faces have been added and a total of 37 dolls have been released.  The collection is named for the fact that most of the dolls are accompanied by a small plush cat dressed in a matching outfit.

I have been interested in these dolls since 2009.  I have always appreciated the fact that Sonja Hartmann designed an 18" play doll with multiple joints, offering a welcome contrast to the relatively inflexible dolls like American Girl, Carpatina and Magic Attic.  I also admire the realism in the Kidz 'n' Cats features.  These dolls do not have exaggerated proportions like large eyes or huge heads, but rather strive to accurately represent the features of real children.  I also enjoy the funky, wholesome way that Kidz 'n' Cats dolls are dressed.  They come in a colorful variety of multi-piece outfits made from an array of eye-catching, differently textured fabrics.

I purchased Evita back at the beginning of last summer during one of Samantha's Doll's incredible 40% off sales.  The dolls cost around $150 at full retail, but great sales like this can occasionally be found.  Of the five possible Kidz 'n' Cats face molds, Evita's is my least favorite.  I selected her because she was one of only a few dolls in stock at the time, and also because I couldn't find very many real life pictures of her and was curious about how her open-mouthed features would look in person.  I should admit that I wasn't thrilled with the pictures of Evita's stock outfit, either.  Basically, Evita was an odd choice for me, given that two of my favorite things about Kidz 'n' Cats (their faces and their outfits) did not seem to be well-represented by this particular doll.  After a week of ups and downs with Evita, I am ready to share my mixed emotions:

Kidz 'n' Cats "Evita," by Sonja Hartmann.
I should back up for a minute and explain some of my earlier interactions with Kidz 'n' Cats dolls, because these experiences influenced my assessment of Evita.  Back in 2009, I purchased one of the seven original dolls, a blonde, blue-eyed girl named Helen.  I love Helen's pouty baby face and nautical clothes, but she didn't come with a stuffed cat.  Her outfit is fairly simple, too, so I purchased the extra Paulette outfit to give her some more wardrobe options.

Helen.                                                                                                                           Paulette outfit.

Unfortunately, I was not very interested in play dolls at that time, and Helen's quality was not what I expected.  Many things about her were lovely, but she had a rattle in her head, her wig cap was visible in several spots, her hair was too long and thin, her eyes were wonky, and I found her very hard to dress.  In fact, the brown tank top that accompanied the Paulette outfit wouldn't fit on her at all.  I quickly gave her away to the daughter of a nearby friend.  

I had another chance to see a Kidz 'n' Cats doll over the summer because my youngest niece received Grace for Christmas last year:

Grace.
My niece is a fantastic gymnast, and she wanted a doll that could do gymnastics with her.  When I was a kid, I made my feisty Siamese cat do gymnastics with me, so you can see that my niece has already surpassed me in the arena of common sense.  Anyway, American Girl's McKenna doll was an obvious choice because of her fabulous gymnastics equipment, but McKenna herself was too inflexible for my niece's rigorous gymnastics routines.  Grace seemed like a good alternative, especially because she looks quite a bit like my beautiful niece.

By the time I met Grace, she had been played with for about a half a year, and I was shocked by how she looked, especially by the state of her hair.  Her eyelashes had also fallen off and been re-glued at least once:


I was able to brush the knots out of her hair (it took a while) but the ends are still very rough and the hair could not be restored to the shiny smoothness shown in the catalog pictures--at least not with brushing alone.




My niece and I had a lot of fun posing Grace on the gymnastics equipment.  This isn't the American Girl equipment, but it's similar.  The American Girl-sized leotard doesn't fit Grace very well (the Magic Attic gymnastic set is much better...) but the hand grips on the bars work fine and Grace is able to do some pretty convincing routines.  We both really wished that she could point her toes, though, to get that perfect "10."






The little plush cat's velcro arms make her pretty good on the bars, too!



Here's Grace with part of her original outfit (which is beautiful and very rugged):



I love how Grace's cat has a matching purple dress and bow:


Here they are with their monkey family friends....


By the end of my visit, I fixed Grace's eyelashes and brushed out her hair and actually grew pretty attached to her wonderfully realistic face and her great flexibility.  Grace's clothes are beautiful and the little stuffed cat is a fun accessory with tons of personality of her own.


Ok, so now you're caught up with my limited Kidz 'n' Cats experience.  When Evita arrived in the mail, I was pretty excited and immediately opened her shipping box to take a peek.  The box is attractive and the presentation of the doll is great:


A thin layer of protective plastic peels off of the front of the box to give an even clearer view of the doll:


Kidz 'n' Cats are clearly marketed as play dolls.  The advertising says that they are "made for children to play with and enjoy."  This seems at odds with the "14+, Collectible Doll"  statement on the front of the box.


The plastic lid of the box is held in place with a pink cardboard strip that says "Kidz 'n' Cats."  This strip wraps around the bottom half of the box and snaps in the back with a real plastic snap


I like that I didn't have to rip the strip in order to remove it. 
This little sticker at the top of the box was exciting to see:

Many joints = happy Emily!
Anyway, despite the beautiful box, right off the bat I was pretty disappointed with Evita's face.  I was hoping it would look even better than the promotional pictures, but I actually think the opposite is true.


She has a vacant stare and her mouth shape is very two dimensional:


My first instinct was to sell Evita or send her back to the store.  Two things made me decide to give her a second chance.  The first thing is simply that I got her for an excellent price.  The second thing is that despite her tangled hair, my niece's Grace doll made a very good impression on me and I was feeling extremely positive about Kidz 'n' Cats in general.

Evita comes with a little grey kitten who looks identical to Grace's pet.  The cat is tied to the undecorated cardboard backdrop with thread:

I got a cat this time!
Evita also comes with a grey purse which is displayed right underneath the cat:


The box has a different design from other 18" play doll boxes I have seen.  The white backdrop is set into the cardboard base of the box at an angle.  The angled cardboard displays the accessories nicely.  It can fold out to reveal a secret compartment.  I wish they had tucked a little surprise behind that flap.  That would have been awesome.


The doll is attached to the cardboard with several wire ties and one large plastic cable tie.



Here is Evita with her accessories.  Both of her wrists have hanging tags:


The smallest tag has the Kidz 'n' Cats logo and the two larger tags are care instructions and a small catalogue:


I was surprised to read that you can shampoo the hair on these dolls.  I have always assumed that it would be bad to get wigged hair wet.  Wouldn't it be too hard to get the wig cap completely dry?  Apparently it's ok to use a hair dryer at a low setting, too.  I am not sure I'm brave enough to try this, but it was very interesting to learn.  Watch out, My Salon Doll!


The photographs of the outfits are beautiful and tempting.  Too bad I know that the Paulette outfit has a shirt that doesn't fit.


This page displays my two favorite Kidz 'n' Cats dolls--Tara and Jakob.  I love everything about both of them.  Unfortunately, Tara is super hard to find.

The kitty's orange long johns are amazing.  I love them.
Evita's purse is made out of stiff silver imitation leather.  The body of the purse has an extra white lace layer over the silver:




The purse has a sturdy working zipper:


And a working buckled strap with reinforced holes:


The little grey kitty is wearing a white cotton knit ballet outfit with an opalescent sequined collar and a short tulle skirt:


Her front paws have squares of velcro so that she can grab onto things (and do gymnastics!):


Her clothes are removable, including her ballet-style shoes.  The ribbons on her shoes are tied to her legs at the bow, though, so I left them in place.


Her white head ribbon in sewn in place, too.  I think the cats in this series are fantastic.  They are very well made and have a ton of personality.  


As I mentioned at the beginning, Evita's face was not what I was hoping it would be.  There are some endearing qualities about her features, but there's just something that doesn't look right:


While her eyes are a nice size, they are very widely spaced, especially when compared to the other Kidz 'n' Cats faces.


Here she is side-by-side with Grace so you can see how striking the difference is:


The other difference I noticed between Grace and Evita is that Grace's lip paint is very delicate and natural, while Evita's is opaque and overly pink.  It looks like she's wearing cheap lipstick.

I think the biggest problem with Evita's eyes is that her right eye is placed further away from her midline than her left eye.  Here's a grid I made to check this: the red arrow on her left eye stops right in the middle of the pupil. On the right side, the same arrow only reaches the edge of the iris.


Evita's eyes are quite beautiful.  They are plastic, but they have a realistic three-dimensional pattern in the irises:


She has subtle painted eyelashes, and a strip of applied lashes.  The applied lashes are very heavy and burgundy-colored:


I think the painted lashes are very nicely done, but the color of the other lashes really bothers me, and the thick fibers detract from the delicate eyes:


It's risky to manufacture an open-mouthed doll with visible teeth.  If this kind of expression is done well, the doll can be full of joy and personality.  Done badly, though, this expression can be a real liability.  Evita's face is stuck in between a smile and a worried gasp:


I see the potential in this mouth shape--there's a hint of shy sweetness in her half-smile, but the monochromatic opaque paint color and blocky teeth ruin the effect for me.



She has a fairly flat profile:


Evita looks best in half profile, an angle that underplays the distance between her eyes and shows the most depth in her mouth.


I tried some graphic modifications on Evita's face--moving her eyes closer together and blocking two of her teeth.  I think the eyes look better, but I might have made the mouth worse:

Normal Evita                                                                                                            Altered Evita

Evita has very, very long hair.  It is a beautiful natural brown color with highlights.  It is very similar to My American Girl Keira's lovely hair.  The fibers are straight, smooth and shiny, and the hair feels wonderful to the touch.  



The length of the hair is impractical for a young child, but it does offer a lot of styling options.





The wig has lots of short strands near Evita's scalp.  These strands help conceal the dark brown wig cap, but they stick out in some funny ways, especially on the very top of Evita's head:


As you can see in the pictures below, the hair is prone to static frizz.  Rubbing it with a dryer sheet helps a little.



It's hard to imagine Evita's gorgeous hair ending up like my niece's Grace doll.  I would not have predicted that outcome, since the hair seems so smooth and easy to manage right out of the box.

Evita is wearing a white and silver two-pice outfit with grey cowboy boots:


The shirt does not open in back, but the skirt has a sturdy zipper and an adjustable silver imitation leather belt:


The white shirt has fabric flowers sewn onto the sleeves, making the doll look more broad-shouldered than she is:


The tee shirt fabric is a thin synthetic knit with a slight sheen.  If you look closely, you can see something showing through from underneath the shirt.  It turns out that Evita is wearing a netted training bra with thick edges that are visible through the shirt:


The shirt is made out of a stretchy fabric, but it still takes some wrestling to pull it over Evita's head.  I really wish it had an opening in the back.  


The little flowers are stitched into the sleeves and the thread is glued to the back of the shirt.  The flowers are not finished around the edges, and so they shed tiny little pieces of white thread all over the place.



The top of the skirt is made out of the same shiny knit as the shirt, and is decorated with more fabric flowers and flower-shaped silver sequins.  The bottom part of the skirt is made out of white lace and has a thin underskirt.



The belt is adjustable, and has reinforced buckle holes.  It's pretty flimsy, though, and it has an odd discoloration around the edges that makes it look dirty:

Gross.
The colorful Kidz 'n' Cats logo tag is sewn into the back hem of the skirt:


One of the skirt's belt loops broke while I was dressing the doll.  I glued it back together.


Here is Evita's lacy underwear:


Evita's boots are grey (not silver) imitation leather accented with white lace. They have sturdy zippers running down the entire back of the boot, which makes getting them on and off very easy.


The boots have nice stitched details and seem sturdy.




After examining Evita's clothes, I was struck by how many things about this doll seem like a little girl trying to be an adult.  Her hair is too long for a small child, her lip color looks artificial, and her glitzy cowgirl outfit and lacy underwear are a glaring deviation from the youthful printed fabrics, rich-colored knits and cozy scarves that the other Kidz 'n' Cats dolls wear.  Even Evita's name strikes me as too grown-up for such a little girl.  The name might have a different feel in Germany, but when I hear the name "Evita," I think of Madonna, showgirls and Argentinian politics.  I think I'll call her Evie instead.  
Don't cry for me, Argentina....
The first Kidz 'n' Cats bodies had nine points of articulation, but in 2011 a wrist joint was added.  Evie is from 2012, so she has eleven points of articulation.  Her body is made out of hard vinyl and is strung with elastic.


Like A Girl for all Time's Clementine, Evie has fairly broad shoulders for a little girl. Unlike Clementine, though, Evie has a good range of motion in her arms:





You can see in these pictures that my doll's right lower arm is more yellow than the rest of her body.

Strung joints don't hold their poses as well as hinged joints, so Evie has limits to the things she can do--especially with her legs.  Her joints are strung very nicely, though, with just the right amount of play in the elastic.  She is strung tightly enough to stand very solidly on her own, but all of her joints move easily and don't snap back into a straight position.  






I really like how this doll moves, and I think she can strike some adorable, natural-looking poses:




Evie's knees bend easily, but if there isn't some kind of pressure holding them in place, they won't stay at a right angle.  This makes her chair-sitting pose slightly awkward....


...but better than Clementine's equivalent pose:


Here is an up-close peek at one of Evie's hip joints.  The two legs are connected through the body by a double strand of elastic:

There are several stains and bits of grit inside this joint.
The arm elastic runs through a white plastic tube.  This construction is very similar to the My Salon Doll stringing.


Here is the neck joint with the neck on the left side of the picture and the head on the right:


The neck has a solid plug with two holes.  The elastic is threaded through the two holes and then runs up into the doll's head, through a length of PVC pipe and is presumably secured to a flared anchor piece.

Evie is a few inches taller than Clementine, and has more realistic body proportions:


I really wish Evie could wear Clem's gorgeous dress, but it doesn't close in back because Evie's chest and waist are wider:


Clem can wear Evie's outfit, although the belt is necessary to keep the skirt from falling down.  

Do I have to wear this??

Getting the tight shirt over Clem's head was a struggle, and it left her short hair in a mess:


Evie is similar in size to Carpatina Erin.  Erin's torso is a little longer and her shoulders are narrower


Evie can wear Erin's Guinevere dress, but it's a tight fit through the chest:



Evie can wear Magic Attic clothes (and shoes), too, especially if the tops have a little stretch in them, like Heather's pink striped shirt:


I gave up trying to get Evie's shirt over Erin's head.  Why, oh why, didn't they put some snaps on the back of this shirt?  It would make dressing so much easier.


The skirt and boots fit fine.

That's a special look.
Here's a comparison picture with BFC Ink Kaitlin, even though these two can't share clothes.  The biggest differences are the shoulder width, the waist size, and the thickness of the arms.  Evie can't even start putting Kaitlin's shirts on with her big arms:


Evie makes My Salon Doll Sydney look very angular--especially in the jaw.


These two dolls will be able to share some items of clothing.  Sydney can wear Evie's skirt, but I don't know about the shirt because I got fed up taking it off and putting it back on again.  Evie can wear Syd's outfit, although the shirt is a little big.  The shoes, as anticipated, are a perfect fit.


Evie is quite a bit slimmer than American Girl and Our Generation dolls.  She looks strikingly realistic and well-proportioned next to My American Girl Keira:


Evie can wear some items of American Girl sized clothing, like this Springfield Collection dress:


Keira can not squeeze into Evie's shirt or skirt.

So, this is where my review should have ended.  I could have snapped a few more pictures of Evie and called it a day.  The things is, I wanted so badly to love this doll, I had to try a few things to make her better.  The easiest thing to fix was Evie's thick, maroon eyelashes.  I felt like the lashes were interfering with my camera's ability to focus on those pretty blue eyes.  I knew from my experience with my niece's Grace doll that the eyelashes could come off pretty easily, so I pulled Evie's eyelashes off:

Ahhhh!

She looked too deer-in-the-headlights like this, so I replaced her lashes with some natural brown wispy lashes I had laying around:

From my eyelash stash.
I also tried to find some clothing that might be more appropriate for a young girl.  Here's Evie in a striped Our Generation shirt and EuroGirl pants, sporting her lighter eyelashes:






I took her outside, thinking that this would be the end of my review:






I think at this point Evie's odd face was growing on me quite a bit, but I still couldn't get past her funny mouth.  


So, I did a dumb thing.  

I got out my acetone (which I try to stay far, far away from) and erased Evie's mouth.  I was lucky that I didn't completely ruin the vinyl on her face.  Acetone is often a terrible idea and I have melted a few dolls trying to remove paint in this way.  I don't recommend it.

Are you kidding me?
Still, the investigator in me was excited to see what was underneath all of that pink paint.  This is hard to see in the pictures, but the shape of Evie's mouth is actually quite nice--different from what the crude paint suggests:

She needs to floss.
It was really, really hard to re-paint this mouth, so I have a whole new level of respect for the original face paint.  Here's my first attempt, which was too bright and red:




I re-painted this face about five times and never really felt like I captured the original facial sculpture as well as I wanted to.  I finally gave up and accepted an attempt that I felt was decent.  Also, since I was clearly in over my head, I decided to give Evie a haircut while I was at it.  And, as if all of that wasn't enough, I ripped the flowers off her shirt, and sewed a single flower back on to the middle of her neckline.

Here's Evie as she is today, with a re-painted mouth, a new haircut, new eyelashes and a modified shirt.


Side-by-side with the original:


I am pretty smitten with Evie now.  Her new mouth is better, but my increased affection might be because I enjoyed the project of changing her features, or perhaps because I spent a prolonged amount of time just getting used to her face.  Whatever the reason, I am glad to have a doll that I can enjoy.  She looks like a more natural five or six year old child to me now.  She even looks happy from most angles...and she is certainly fun to pose:









Ever since I reviewed the Paradise horses, I have been curious to see how well the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls can ride.  I took Evie outside again and let her ride Avena.  Whether these two are realistically in scale or not, I find that they suit each other well:


And the joints in Evie's arms and knees make her an excellent rider:






Bottom line?  This was a difficult review for me to get through.  I think it's because I had so many preconceived ideas about Kidz 'n' Cats and really thought I knew what I was going to say.  Based on my brief experiences with Helen and Grace, I was going to say that the dolls have wonderfully lifelike faces, fun clothes (with some sporadic quality and fit issues), and the best articulation of any 18" play doll I've owned.  I was going to warn about the potential for frizzy, tangled hair and strongly recommend a haircut or a permanently braided hairstyle for dolls that will be used for play.  All in all, I was confident that my bottom line would be overwhelmingly positive, mostly because of the beautiful faces and great articulation on these dolls.  I think that's basically the review I would write for Grace.  Evita threw me for a loop, though.

I didn't see this before, but now when I look at a group picture of Kidz 'n' Cats dolls, Evita stands out as the one who doesn't belong.  Even Galina, the only other doll that shares Evie's face mold, seems cute and appealing.  I find the contrasts between Evita and my niece's Grace to be symptomatic of my biggest problems with Evita.  Grace's face mold is simple, and yet it is one of the most realistic doll faces in this scale, and it radiates a complex, versatile personality.  Evita's factory face is wall-eyed and vacant in comparison.  Her lips are painted with a flat, opaque pink and her open-mouthed expression looks more scared than happy from most angles.  Grace's eyelashes might have fallen out too easily, but Evita's heavy, strangely-colored lashes mask one of her most beautiful features--her detailed blue eyes.  Grace's outfit features a sweet cotton pinafore with layered tiers of lavender print.  Evita is dressed in a shiny, synthetic pageant cowgirl outfit.  Her thin tee shirt shows her bra, is difficult to get on and off, and has fake flower decorations that accentuate her broad shoulders-- the only feature of this doll's body that might be considered unattractive.  

What saved Evita in my eyes is that I love her body proportions and her articulation.  Her articulation is different from that of a Monster High doll or a Tonner doll because the joints don't hold their position very well.  However, the doll moves in a very natural, fluid way.  She can stand perfectly and solidly on her own, and yet she folds into my arms and can move her limbs well enough to achieve some fun poses--including a very realistic horseback riding position.  While my niece's Grace's couldn't hold a lot of static gymnastics poses for the camera, in our live-action game, she could wrap herself around the bars and vault off the beam in a satisfyingly accurate way.  Because I had so much fun with Evie's articulation, I felt moved to look past her uninspiring outfit and peek underneath her flat face paint.  I am so glad I did.  My novice painting skills might not have done the original face mold enough justice, but neither did the factory paint.  There's a cute smile on this doll, it's just tricky to make it shine through.  Unfortunately, Evita's odd eye placement is a problem that is not fixable.   

There are some exciting developments in the Kidz 'n' Cats world that make me very optimistic and enthusiastic about the line as a whole.  I am most excited about Heart and Soul's newest doll, Henriette.  Henriette, also know as the Wunschpuppe or "wish doll," is special because collectors were given a choice between three different hair colors and three different eye colors, allowing for nine slightly different versions of this doll.  Henriette also has a gorgeous new face mold and wonderful clothes that are tasteful, flattering and fun.  I was thrilled to learn that while most Kidz 'n' Cats dolls are made in China, Henriette's small edition will be handmade in a studio in Germany.  This might eliminate some of the quality issues that bothered me with Evita.  I will review Henriette because this line definitely deserves another serious look.  

As for little Evie, I have grown very fond of her, but it was a bumpy road.  Unless you fall in love with this doll's unusual face at first glance, or you enjoy a good repainting challenge, I would recommend selecting a different doll like Grace or Henriette--or pretty much any of the other adorably realistic Kidz 'n' Cats characters.

62 comments:

  1. She's really pretty


    Ps:Firstie

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  2. The fact she has lacy underwear scares me slightly haha. I feel neutral about her. Not a huge fan of the mouth, makes her look kind of bucktoothed imo.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not crazy about the underwear, either. I'm not sure whether or not it's intentional to have it show through the shirt? Given the thin fabric of the tee, a nice tank top or cami style piece underneath would have been great.

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  3. I really like your very thorough reviews. This is a very unattractive doll. Your alterations are an improvement.

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    1. Thank you so much for saying that, Robotica, it makes me feel better. I was so stressed that I was ruining her--I am not usually a fan of altering dolls too much...especially not expensive ones! :/

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  4. I really think your improvements helped out this doll quite a bit. The biggest turn off was her mouth, but since you repainted it she actually looks a lot better. I think it was mostly her old mouth didn't look like she was smiling to me. She just looked kind of unhappy, I guess. :b

    Also, I've read through all your reviews here and I really like them! I actually find myself looking at other dolls in the stores now, having found a new appreciation for them. :D

    I was wondering if you know of a way I can get emailed when you post new entries.

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    1. Hi Anto! Thank you so much for your nice comments. I totally agree with you that the old mouth wasn't smiley enough. I enjoy happy dolls, and so I was hoping that she'd have a big grin.

      As for emails, in the right hand margin, right under the Follower icons, there's a "Follow By Email" feature. I actually have no idea if this works or not, but you could try it and let me know! :D

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  5. nice review I am shocked that she that nice

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    1. Thank you! I am glad that she surprised you in a good way. :)

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  6. I was just going to suggest that the side teeth need to be shorter and smaller and the lower lip fuller, but you got it right! It's a huge improvement. The lace underwear is kind of creepy still.

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    1. Thank you, BlackKitty! I'm glad you agree with my approach because I thought about it quite a lot but still didn't feel confident. Smiling mouths are tricky! I didn't get the side teeth quite as small as I wanted because my paint brush was too big, but I tried to make them higher in the mouth than the front teeth and angled them up a little at the outer edges. It was a pretty fun project--at least the first three times I painted her ;)

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  7. I like her, I think she has a sweet face and I don't mind her buck teeth-It is nice to see "flaws" every once in awhile. A treat as always, Tina

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    1. Hi Tina! She has a shy sweetness about her, doesn't she? And I agree that faces don't always need to be perfect. That might get boring. ;)

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  8. Hehe, it looks like she got scared and and is making her mouth wide:)

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    1. Hi Claire! It's strange because the shape of the mouth underneath all of that paint has a nice smile, but you're absolutely right--when it's painted, she looks a little scared! Scared of me and my acetone bottle, maybe? ;D

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  9. I think your revamp was terrific. I agree she didn't look quite right. My thought was that one needed to repaint over the lips matching the original color but getting that bottom lip fuller which seems to be the biggest part of the problem with that mouth.

    I'm looking at Kiki. Thinking Journey Girls are a better deal though the quality isn't there--doesn't look like the huge price differential between that line and the K&C one is worth it. And the JGs have very pretty faces.

    Thanks for the review, and again, she looks adorable. The "ita" ending is a cultural thing. I like Annie better than Annita and Evie better than Evita but the "ita' means "little" and is an endearment in certain languages.

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    1. Hi Catherine--thank you for the naming information! That makes a lot of sense, and it makes me like the name a little better, too.

      Kiki is beautiful--that's my favorite face mold (same as Grace). It's neat that you mentioned the Journey Girls because I was looking at them just today. I still need to review one, and Dana with her horse shirt is all but irresistible. I agree that they have very appealing faces--and each one seems different. The JG price is great, but I know very little about them. I've never held one--just peered into boxes!

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    2. Hi! The journey girls are really pretty and their clothes are well made. Their eyes are stationary and have 'real' eyelashes. The only problem is their hair is rooted thinly. But if your up to a rewigging job then the journey girl is your doll!

      Sources: I have 4 of them

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  10. I'm glad you like her in the end, I also think she looks better after her haircut and repaint. It's almost hard to imagine that she shares the same face mold as Galina!

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    1. Galina seems lovely. She's much harder to find, though. I think her soft brown eyes don't come across as startled-looking as Evie's pale eyes, and her mouth paint looks better (she seems to be smiling). And, of course, Galina has red hair. :)

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  11. You know, before you did your modifications, I could not see her expression as anything but scared as well. After, it looks like a shy start of a smile. I know you said the same thing, basically, but I was thinking it before I read what you wrote. I enjoyed her transformation, I guess I'm trying to say. She looked like a victim before.

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    1. Hi Kristy, I am very glad that you see the shy smile in her new face! Thank you so much for saying that. I was pretty nervous to monkey around with her face paint. However, it's not much fun to have a scared-looking doll in the house! Made me feel jumpy and guilty. :O

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  12. I really like this doll. I almost bought her recently (before this review came out), but decided on a different Kidz n Cats doll instead, Kiki. Just so you know, their wigs can be replaced rather easily by simply peeling off the original wig and gluing on another wig (size 8-9"). If your niece wants her Grace to have a new wig, it would be fairly easy to replace it.

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    1. Oh--Kiki looks gorgeous. Congratulations! She has my favorite face mold of all of the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls.

      It's nice to know that about the wigs--and thank you very much for mentioning the size! I always stress about getting the right size. I did offer to re-wig Grace for my niece, but you know, I don't think she minded the hair very much and I didn't want to make a huge deal out of it. I mean, if the girl can stick her roundoff back handspring layout, who cares what her hair looks like?? ;D

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    2. Ack! My Kiki came and I measured her head. She's a 9/10" wig, not an 8/9". Kiki is the same sculpt as Grace. Sorry about that.

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  13. Before the modifications, she looked---well, like she was grimacing in pain, but bearing it for the camera. She looks better, but I don't think that face mold would appeal to me. Maybe another one, if I ever got one--but I'm such an AG fan.

    I wonder if your niece may have used a plastic hairbrush on the doll. That's what plastic brushes can do to synthetic doll hair, hence my flinching from them. A good hard conditioning and a attack of the bray spray would probably do wonders. And you can wash wigged hair, you just want to be careful. Most wig caps are made of a mesh that dries rather quickly, so there's little risk of mildewing.

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    1. I can see why you flinch around plastic brushes, Neth. The hair was awful. Shudder. Thank you for the intel about washing wigs, too. I know you've mentioned that dryers and even curling irons can be used (with care!) but I never thought I'd see a manufacturer's tag that recommends it! On my next visit to see my niece, I'll go armed with a wire brush and some braid spray! I like a good restoration project--it's very satisfying. :)

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  14. Hi Emily!

    I think your makeover was a definite improvement. With her more natural eyelash and lip color, she looks softer somehow (and more like the age she is meant to portray). I kind of like her face, even the mouth shape at certain angles. It's almost eerie...she looks like she wants to say something, but can't quite get up the courage or find the right words.

    My favorite picture is of Evita and the Paradise horse together with their faces close and nuzzled together. That's an instance of where I very much like Evita's expression/mouth shape. They look like best friends and as if Evita is sharing a secret with her trusted companion. It's very sweet.

    Despite Evita's shortcomings, I think I like the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls most out of all the large play dolls. I just love those realistic faces. I can't wait to read your review of Henriette. She's beautiful, and I'm curious to see which eye and hair color combination you picked!

    Thank you for the wonderful review and have a great week!

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    1. Hi Lissy! Thank you so much for your nice comment about that picture of Evie and her horse. She gets along very well with the Paradise horses--it's one of the things that really endears her to me. I have a soft spot for horse-lovers. :)

      I am very excited about Henriette. Her face is gorgeous with that partly open mouth (and no teeth!). She looks pensive and content to me. I'd love to share which hair/eye combination I picked, but maybe it should be a surprise??

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  15. I just went on the website and Henriette is sold out!!! I hope you already bought her because she's fantastic!!!

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    1. Henriette is still available at Madame's Dollhouse as of today (Nov. 4, 2013.) The green eye version is sold out, but they still have blue or brown eyes available. :)

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    2. Yep--Sydney's right (whew!). The dolls disappeared from Madame's a few days ago, but they seem to be back! At least some of them, anyway. That's a great price, too. I pre-ordered from Samantha, so I was fortunate to have my pick of all nine combinations. I can't imagine a bad choice, though, and I can't wait to see all of the variations when they start showing up online!

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    3. Oh, sorry...Yeah, she's still available, my fault :)
      Well, Evita is such a a sweet doll.My Barbie doll has the same lower lip problem that Evita does.
      This is the doll I'm talking about:
      http://www.tesco.com/direct/barbie-mariposa-and-the-fairy-princess-talayla-doll/424-4730.prd

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  16. Another very interesting review. So very detailed. Evita did grow on me as well and looks so very much better in the end. (In fact her mouth stopped bothering me when you put her in the striped shirt and jeans with the long pony tails, before you repainted it.)

    If you saved the flowers from her shirt you could use them to extend the back enough to add a snap or Velcro closure. it would take some engineering, but I know you can do that.

    Thank you for all your hard work.

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    1. Hi Melody! I liked Evie better in that striped shirt, too, but I had already imagined repainting her, and once I get an idea in my head, I am colossally stubborn. :)

      That's a great idea to extending the shirt and try to engineer a snap! I think it would definitely be worth it. A plain white tee shirt is actually a great doll accessory to have, and I'd love to be able to share the shirt around with some of my other girls! Thank you for the excellent suggestion!

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  17. I don't know if buying a doll at discount is much of a deal when you don't end up liking the doll. I've been awaiting this review because I have a lot of interest in these dolls. Thank you very much for this review.
    With the articulation and those sweet faces, they are much more tempting to me than an AG doll. I hear they can share clothes with the Journey girls? I'm gonna find out!

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    1. Meant to add...I did buy a Journey girl today, Kyla, although it was hard to choose because they all have such pretty faces. Chavonne is so pretty! In the end, Kyla's eyes and outfit won me over. Her box was mashed in the corner so I asked for a "dent-box sale" from Toy's R Us and was granted 10% off. Score! (I admit I didn't look very hard for a non-dented box. I knew my doll wouldn't stay in it and I was hoping for the discount.) I will get a Kidz and Cats soon and hopefully thus will end my foray into the 18" doll market. The clothes in both these lines of both these lines have captivated my interest. I look forward to your posts very much. Because of you I have a gorgeous auburn-haired tan-skin Lorifina (she looks Latina and I LOVE that about her), a few J-Dolls, a couple Pullips, and a pink-haired green-eyed MiM doll. You seriously should get a commission, haha

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  18. I've been blog stalking for your Kidz n Cats review.. yay!! She does look SO much better after your work, and I do believe that spending time and energy on a doll does promote the elusive bonding experience. I have Mike and he arrived desperately needing a haircut. Now that he's had a trim, I'm in love!

    Would you consider doing a post sometime on doll photography? I'd love to know more about your equipment and lighting setup and also some tips on the fantastic poses. I'm sure 90% of it is just a natural "eye", but I'm still curious! You take such wonderful photos and I'm amazed at how you can bring these various boys and girls to life!

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  19. At least she's smiling now - she did look like was was biting her lower lip for some reason. And she did have that 7 year old pageant girl look. The mesh bra surprised me. Too mature. Way too mature. I like a lot of hair on dolls, but I like it even. I still cannot believe she is the same mold as Grace - perhaps the lip colors make them appear differently. I had a Carlotta and returned her same day. Her hair was very thin and had lots of fly-away frizz I just couldn't tame. I loved her outfit and her look and debated for months whether to try another (this one was on my top 3, believe it or not) or a boy named Mike with a tattoo, a little too mature also. I don't have any Kids 'N Catz in my collection now, but I gave Henriette a look before I watched her sell out. I liked medium brown hair with the hazel colored eyes. I liked her mold and her outfit and felt for her construction, she was reasonably priced. But something stands in the way between these dolls and my collection. Maybe it's their hair. I certainly like the 11 joints. Maybe I should look at Princess in Mint again. Your review was very revealing and honest and I think the make-over did her a world of good. Ivanca has been my favorite of your purchases so far. Being the long time My Twinn collector, I've been face-chasing my way as little 18" restructured Twinns made in the body of AG with the realistic mold of the predecessors, my last 3 23" Twinns came home last week. I'd love to see a comparison review between your Hazel and a new Playmate. I also had that blond Nautical girl on my radar as well, white hair, navy clothes, but her hair looked thin to me too. Cutting it made Evie's so much thicker. I want to read that review of Henriette! Maybe I should have not have turned her down!!

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  20. As a cat lover, any toy line that includes a feline accessory with every figure has already won half the battle in my book (these stuffed cats seem to have a stronger resemblance to mice than felines to me though--regardless, they're still cute). I particularly like the picture with the cat's paws fastened around Evita's bicep. Maybe your Cheshire Cat Mini Pullip should have made a guest appearance to give her two cents on your new plush kitty?

    I agree that Evita's face could have been better, but I think that her outfit and purse look great--the ensemble doesn't look too grown up to me, although I can see your point about the undergarments. Compared to most 18" dolls, which are fairly limited in the poseability department, I like that these girls are better articulated, similar to MGA's BFC Ink gals. I'd definitely prefer one of these over most of the other 18" play dolls you've looked at thus far, just for the greater posing versatility.

    While I feel that her original eyelashes were better (the darker color contrasted better with the surrounding skin), I think that you did a good job repainting her mouth and teeth. I usually only experience acetone disasters when I use it on harder plastics, not vinyl (I dampen the end of a Q-tip with acetone, dilute it slightly with a quick dunk in tap water, and then use that to clean and/or remove paint errors on figures/dolls and My Little Ponies).

    I never knew that there were 18" scaled gymnastic sets for dolls until reading this review, which is interesting. I can see how that'd be a really fun thing for a children to have that also do real gymnastics themselves.

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  21. Black color natural leather underneath breast corset strapless, together with halter shoulder straps along with sterling silver buckles.
    Functions:
    Manufactured from top quality materials that thinks at ease.
    After you don the corset strapless, the body look slim, stylish along with hot.

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  22. I've become very interested in these dolls lately mainly because of this persons flickr photos of them http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessielynndesigns/. She does amazing photos of the Kidz 'n Catz dolls, So I'm very happy that you reviewed them, because I had no idea where to even go about looking to see where to buy them. I was so hoping that these dolls fit AG clothes and it seems they do? I loved what you did to Evie's face..Her new mouth is soo much better than it what it was stock! Her eyes don't seem to spaced due to the new lashes you gave her and her mouth repaint. I'd love to have a articulated 18' doll, I think I'm totally in love with these dolls, With the right face I think they could be a great muse for some photography.

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  23. This review made me want a Kidz n cats doll! I think I want Sophie. My sister really wants Kiki. :)

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  24. Hi, Emily. I'm Anonymous, the My Twinn nut better known as Heather. Well, I did it! After many years of collecting My Twinn, 1 Karito Kid (Ling) my AG Molly - I found the 1 Kidz N Cat doll I truly ever wanted and he sold out and retired on me. Mike. I think your review gave me the gumption to start the search again. He popped up on Ebay - just like that. And I've searched a lot. They're so articulated. I've been looking for 18 months. He doesn't have a cat (strange), but a tattoo. A dragon tattoo. I loved him from Day one. Even Samantha's sold out and never was able to stock him. I looked in Great Britain and he was sold out there too - My Doll's Best Friend has an awesome selection - Char has her on the dolldiaries site. Anyway, I think the changes to Evie are big improvements. She DOES have a smile and I like the simple tee. Her cat is awesome. And the shorter hair suits her. I liked your photoshop rendition. I hope Henriette is stunning. I wonder what combo you chose - I would have picked hazel eyes and golden brown hair. She was nearly sold out when I got my e-mail and was still hunting for a particular Twinn (who came home 3 weeks later). Ebay is something - I searched all the time. I have never seen the the redhead with the kitty in the longjohns, but I think Henriette is a prize. 300 worldwide is a low number. Now for some outfits . . .

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  25. I bought Galina, which is the only other facemold with teeth at the moment. And to me....she looks completely different from Evita. Maybe the fact that her eyes are darker, I don't know. You mention about not liking to do makeovers on dolls....but that is EXACTLY what I do. Especially when they are a mass produced doll. I also use Acetone for remove face paint and have not had a single problem. But maybe it is the way it is applied. My preference is to send the doll to a professional doll artist to have makeovers done.The person I use has redone over 100+ dolls for me and they are stunning when they are done. On my Galina, she added better, thicker lashes...(including bottom lashes since the original ones are just painted one) I had her add creases to the doll's lips and repaint the inside of the mouth. She also added freckles and reblushed the doll's cheeks. She is over-the-top GORGEOUS now and completely unique. This artist has painted for Helen Kish, and spent years as a staff artist for the My Twinn company when they were based out of Denver. She has carved teeth in dolls that didn't originally have teeth, can make dimples, paints the most gorgeous realistic brows on the planet....and I will probably end up sending her all of my KnC dolls. I wish I could show a photo of my made-over Galina. She was well worth the investment. Maybe if you did an eye change on your doll and switched to a darker eye color....you would like her better.

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    1. Are you speaking of Connie Marshall or Peggy Foggio? I have had custom face-ups of the newer VA Twinns this past summer and what a difference! I have a girl with eyebrows by Laurie Capps and glass eyes to replace her acrylic ones. Peggy Foggio sealed her lips in bronze and her curly hair was heat styled into banana curls. Connie has painted and carved teeth notoriously mostly in the Nora mold and the Allison mold which stuns me since Allison has the thinnest lips of all the molds. I'd desperately love to have a grinning Twinn. I can only imagine your Galina. I know the Denver artists and I had a boy with furled eyebrows made for me this fall. I've seen two Kidz 'N Catz with "face-ups" on "My Doll's Best Friend" website pinterest and I thought it was photoshop. Many people send out their dolls now. It's a great idea.

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  26. I am seriously amazed at the difference your slight modifications/customization resulted in the end that had me agreeing that she is a cute doll. I feel like the difference is subtle but at the same time the doll looks so far from how she started. I have a five year old child and I agree that your modifications helped Evita to bear a much greater likeness to a real five year old.

    On a completely different note, I recognized the non-gymnastics playset that your niece has because I have the exact same one!! I did not like the AG version because I felt it was too expensive and also not realistic enough for my taste. I suspect the one your niece has is from Ebay, correct? That's where we got ours and it has held up beautifully and I am so glad I got it instead of AG's one for McKenna or the one they just came out with in the MAG line. I do feel like I probably could have made it myself and not paid the over $100+ price tag that it was but at the same time, I have learned enough in life to know that just because I can do something doesn't mean I should and more often than not I like to pay other people to do things for me. (Am I lazy? I think of it more like supporting small businesses and other artists and craftsmen.)

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  27. Kidz 'N Catz Mike: Well, I've had two days with my retired Mike now to compare my experience to Evita. This review finally helped me move away from My Twinn and try something new. I paid full price for Mike. I did this because he is retired and hard to find. I've looked for 18 months and he sold out on me, even in Great Britain. When he popped up on Ebay, I took a day to think. De-boxing was the sour issue here. Mike was held in a HUGE gift box detailed in pink and it took 90 minutes to free the poor boy. He even had a cable zip tie around his neck and I had to find pliers. Once free, I learned I had to undress him to remove the protective tissue wrapping his vinyl limbs. His boxers are blue and white pinstripes. His socks are knee high and rugged. There was a stain of glue on one sneaker. There is a rattle in his head. His hair has some sticky spray in it. I'm learning to deal with it. He has thinner hair than some other Mike dolls I've seen in photographs. At this point, I was panicked if I made the right choice. Then I saw the dragon tattoo. Whoa. This is new. Scaled perfectly. And the clothes are incredible - no velcro - YES and the motorcycle jacket is identical to one I wore in a play. It brought back memories. The graphic on the back is wild. These clothes are a grade up. Once I held him, you feel his weight. This is quality vinyl and already mom and I are missing that we didn't reserve a brunette Henriette, but I am saving for red-headed Rieke. His eyes are a mosaic chip in layers of blue, green, and brown. Because he was the doll I wanted with the outfit I wanted and the face mold I coveted, the end result was dolly joy. He is diminutive and one eye is set higher than the other. And I did need to snip a few hairs. The poses he can strike are amazing. I love the new Evita. So does Mike. He needs a girlfriend. My mom thinks, Emily, that you are very talented and can do doll restoration and face-ups as a business. She commented on Evie's new grin, delicate lashes, and youthful clothing. She says the haircut did wonders. Thanks for this. I may not have had the courage to break away from my Twinns. I hope Henriette is dolly joy for you too.

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    1. Hi Heather! Thank you for sharing this thoughtful account of your Mike! I think it really helps to hear a detailed, real-life account of seeing a new doll for the first time. You describe your experience so perfectly, too--that stomach-dropping moment when you start to wonder if you've made a very expensive mistake? Oh, I have been there!!

      These Kidz 'n' Cats look so beautiful and real in some of the online pictures, I think there's always a bit of initial disappointment. They're small and there are certainly some minor quality issues. However, I agree that in the end, these dolls come out shining. They have wonderful vinyl and fun articulation. I am SO happy that this is your final assessment of Mike. He is so sweet. I see my little Evie sitting around the house and she really stands out to me now. She's a special little girl and best of all--she has me prepared for what Henriette will be like in real life.

      Your mom is very kind to compliment my painting. I am an amateur, for sure, but I enjoy simple enhancement projects that don't take too much skill. With Evie, it was just trying to let that adorable underlying face mold come through.

      I have been wanting to thank you for your information and tips on My Twinn dolls, too, because your comments under Annie's review have sent me off on a wonderful quest to find a Denver doll. I have my list ready for the sale at noon today (how exciting is that??!), but I also found an inexpensive Denver redhead Madison on eBay and am totally in love with her! I really enjoy delving into the history of these dolls and learning about Connie Marshall and all of the vinyl shades and eye colors, etc.. It is fascinating.

      Your "pleading" Matt is absolutely adorable and unique, too. Congratulations on that cutie!

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  28. Oh, I hope you had luck! There were a few redheads available and I thought of you as I sat there, budget splayed out, deciding who it would be, and then the fear someone had beaten me. Were you able to find a My Twinn?? If so, please, please do a review. The Westport dolls are charming and showcase the best of Denver. I found a Wilma wearing a prototype outfit with rare eyes and dove for her this morning. A Sharon in plaid caught my eye too and a gorgeous Theresa in a burgundy velvet gown with Masterpiece Forest eyes. I blinked and she sold. It was fun eye candy and window shopping, but I was down to business when I woke up today. I'm loving Mike more and more as I try new poses and he's in his new sunglasses. He's on the couch, thumbs in his pockets, ultra-cool. They do come out shining, that's for sure and a great way to sum it up. Matt is also a Madison mold, one of my favorites. it took about three months to plan him out. His wig is original, because he was made as a boy, but had traditional eyebrows and newer acrylic eyes. The T50 darkest brown eyes are favorites of mine. I saw that little eBay redhead Twinn. I can picture her now! Carol Ferrin and Kim Olsen are also noted for their artistry and some new artists like Bao are moving onto the scene. Hey, all redheads stand out to me!! They're the best! ;-)

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  29. I just got an Evita, and I find her rather ethereally beautiful, like a changeling. I didn't care for her clothing, *except* for the undergarments, which I love. Topsy-turvy for me, I guess! ;)

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  30. I have had a total of 11 KnC dolls over the past two years...Jakob, Mike, Alister, Robby, Nikola, Louisa, Helen, Grace, Galina, Rieke and Evita. When the 2012 dolls were released they were slightly larger than the previous issues...their face paint was brighter and harsher...not a natural look as the previous years and some of the features also seemed harsher. I have downsized my collection and as of right now I have Galina, Grace and now Olivia. I like the softer and more natural look of the dolls prior to 2012, but I do prefer the 11 joints versus the 9 joints. I am anxiously awaiting Henriette's arrival sometime this month. There is also another Wunschpuppe being released in January so I'm also excited to see her.

    As far as the clothing issues, the Hartmann's had problems with seamstresses that were not following pattern directions and some pieces were made too small and others too big. The Hartmann's will replace any clothing that you have that is not a perfect fit.

    Henriette was not made in their studio in Germany...her parts were made at a factory in Germany and then the parts were sent to the Hartmann's studio for assembly and signing by Sonja. If you have a Facebook account you can join the Hartmann's Kidz-n-Cats Fanclub page. They are the administrators of the page and their daughter Gesa is on every morning so if you have questions or concerns, she is there to answer all of them. I heard a rumor that Henriette had been shipped this past week so I asked Gesa if this was true and she said they have not shipped her as of yet, but will be soon. My greatest concern with Henriette will be her face paint...I am hoping they went back to the more natural colors and not the bright cheeks and lips that has been used on the 2012 and 2013 dolls. And the vinyl on the 2012 and 2013 dolls was also shinier...there is more of a matt finish on the older versions.

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    1. I agree that they have hair that is too long. I re-wigged my Grace and have trimmed Galina's hair so that it doesn't peek through between her legs when I photograph them. I am not really a fan of any of the wigs, but I will say that the softest ones I have seen are on Louisa, Evita and Olivia...there may be others, but those are the dolls I owned that had soft hair. As far as the undergarments go, the ones that you see on Evita are the same on all the 2012 and 2013 dolls. The previous years they were made of a soft cotton and have pink trim. In 2009 and 2010 they were a one piece jumper that was even better than the two piece ones.

      The previous years dolls that are still in production...ie: Grace, Alister, Jakob...are now being made with the larger mold and have the brighter face paint. So if you are looking for one that has the softer features than you would have to find one that was made prior to 2012. As for your niece's Grace...if she was from the original release in 2011 than she would wear a size 8/9 wig as my Grace does. Those made in 2012 and later would wear a 9/10. Your Evita would also wear a 9/10. All the pouty faced ones, like Helen, wear a size 10/11 wig no matter what year they were released.

      For inexpensive clothing you can buy the Journey Girls outfits...their outfit and shoes are a perfect fit... :)

      Overall, your review was very detailed and accurate for your Evita, but keep in mind that not all Evita's will have these same issues. I have had two Evita's and didn't have these problems. One Evita I still have, but she is awaiting re-stringing as she came to me with very loose limbs, but I measured her eyes and they are even and well placed...although she too has the bright pink lips which I hate. Also, keep in kind that when buying an older issue doll that has never been removed from the box, you risk staining issues from their clothing. This has come up with dolls such as Jakob (yellow pants), Galina (pink tights), Grace (purple/pink dress), Ariane (pink sweater) and Nikola (purple tights). I have been lucky in my purchases, but I have seen some pretty awful pictures of dolls with stains.

      The Hartmann's are wonderful and have excellent customer service. I purchased Evita and Rieke online from a UK seller. Evita was like a ragdoll from the moment I received her, but Rieke was fine. Withing several months the bead that holds the string in Rieke's left had had broke and her hand fell off. I emailed Hagen and let him know of the problems with both dolls and he replied stating that they would send me two new dolls...he said they would only be in their undergarments since I already had the original outfits. Less than two weeks later I had a new Evita and Rieke and they also threw in a new cat...a pink ballerina that I have not seen with any other KnC doll. And I did not have to return the original two dolls to them. I have since given one of my Evita's and one of my Rieke's to friends and the broken Rieke was sold to someone that needed her for parts. I can't say enough about the Hartmann's... :)

      Well...I've certainly went on and on and on...sheesh...lol

      ~waves to Sydney, Sharon and Charlie~ :D

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  31. Your analysis on the doll is complete and perfect.
    I would like to know your opinions on the last doll Henriette
    which disappointed me greatly and I immediately sold.
    Besides the wig that was better, I found the biggest face (different mold), his body was thicker and longer?
    and not at all beautiful vinyl: matt and slightly greenish ... therefore
    makeup very dull face ...
    What do you think?

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    1. Well, initially Henriette is a big disappointment for me, too. Dealers are reporting that the dolls were badly damaged in DHL shipping, and this makes sense because the presentation of my doll was terrible. It looked like she'd already be removed from her box and played with. My doll also has mismatched eyelashes and a smudged face. I haven't even gotten her out of the box yet and have to decide what to do next--sell or review! :(

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    2. thank you Emily.

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  32. Thank you so much for your lovely doll reviews! They are such a huge help in deciding which doll to get when there are so many I can´t check out in person.
    Would just like to add that Evita as a name is not common in Germany at all. It even has a ring of "Lolita" (like the novel) - just not something you want in a kid play doll. I´m glad you renamed her Evie!
    Have you checked out the articulated dolls by Götz? They are a little taller than AG. My favourite is Luisa: http://www.goetz-puppen.de/shop/Puppen/Stehpuppen/Multigelenkstehpuppen/Luisa-von-Goetz.html

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  33. Ahh! I think calling her Evie is perfect.

    When I first saw Evie's pic, I was like "AHHH!". But I think she's grown on me. She looks just amazing in pigtails, by the way!

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  34. Thank you very much for the wonderful reading materials!

    I think you did great job on the mouth. I just wanted to suggest few things - never to use acetone to strip color from a doll's face. Non acetone nail polish remover works just fine, takes a tad more gentle rubbing (to get all the paint use a tooth pick wrapped in cotton). Most tutorials on doll repaint advise to thin the paint with water and use multiple colours to create a realistic looking lips. Mat sealer looks better.

    I'm truly sorry I did not find your review before buying one of the dolls though. At this price point, one expects a lot more.

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  35. You did a great job on this review. I have given 12 of these dolls to my grandchildren. Ariane,Evita,Laura,Pricess in Mint,Rieke,Sadine,Sophia,Tim,Robby,Mike,Camille,and Galina. My sister also gave 6 of these dolls to her grandchildren. So we have had the opportunity to play with the majority of these dolls and they are so much fun to play with. The kids love them! Some of the outfits are hard to get on and off but they are so cute. Your review of how other dolls clothes fit them is right on too. There are lots of sellers on ebay making clothes to fit these dolls. I make clothes for my grandchildrens dolls. Magic Attic patterns fit best. I have 2 complaints with them, some dolls stand up better then others and I don't like the hair on them. We have rewigged several of them. It is pretty easy to do, a 8-9 wig cap fits them best. And I wouldn't buy another one with curly hair, turns into a tangled mess you can't do anything with. These dolls are well worth the money!

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  36. She looks like she's trying VERY hard to smile at me. O_O

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