Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zeenie Dollz "Yana" and "Evee"

Zeenie Dollz are 13" articulated fashion dolls built around a theme of animal protection and environmental preservation.  The dolls were designed by a mother and daughter team and introduced onto the market last year.  At the moment, there are six characters to choose from, and they retail for a whopping $50 on the Zeenie Dollz website and for $40 or less on Amazon.  The dolls are also available at Wayfair, Walmart (online), and a few other locations.

The Zeenie Dollz are called "Eco Warriors," and each has a character description focused on protecting some region of the environment.  For example, the character named Kazumi is the steward of the polar regions.  A portion of the purchase price of each doll is given to organizations like Heal the Bay, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and Greenpeace.  The Zeenie line is manufactured with an effort to be ecologically friendly, which means that the dolls and packaging are made from non-toxic, recyclable materials.  Initially, I thought that the dolls were made from recycled materials, which would have been awesome, but this is not the case.

A doll line with a nature-friendly, animal-loving theme is right up my alley, so I was eager to get my hands on a few of the Zeenie Dollz.  In this review, I will de-box Yana (the protector of the oceans) and will also take a quick look at Evee (the protector of the skies):

Zeenie Dollz Yana and Evee
Zeenie Dollz Evee (L) and Yana (R).
Zeenie Dollz are packaged in biodegradable plastic boxes with a cool design.  The plastic is thin and my box had a few dents, but the doll was well-protected.


The box has a flat back, but is pleated twice at the top to create three front panels:


The folded top of the box is held in place with a long tab.  Releasing this tab opens the box:


The doll is displayed against a colorful cardboard shell, and this slides easily out of the open box.



Yana's backdrop has an ocean theme and is accented with several cardboard pop-out messages.  This doll comes with a dolphin pet, a silicone bracelet, a stand (yay!), an identification tag, and a tiny brush.



The bottom of the box has the Zeenie slogan: "saving the planet...that's our style!"


The box art is attractive.  The Zeenie Dollz website explains how the idea for these dolls began with a single sketch.  I'd love to see if that sketch resembles the drawings on the box, because these drawings are very pretty.


The back of the box has a short description of Yana and drawings of the other five dolls in the series:



If I had chosen my doll from these pictures alone, I would have picked Kazumi.  I love her outfit and her hair, and she's in charge of protecting a very precarious region of the planet.


At the very bottom of the box is the statement that the dolls are made from recyclable plastics and a vague mention of the charitable donations.


The dolls are made in China:

Join the club.
The cardboard that supports Yana is folded into three pieces.  The back flap unfolds to reveal several attachment sites and the base of the stand:


Both Yana and her stand are held in place with a large cable tie.  This was actually the only thing I had to cut to get Yana out of her box.  I was able to just slide the accessories free of their wire tie attachments.


There's a nice economy to this packaging.  There is no tape anywhere.  In addition to the cardboard, only three wire ties and one cable tie were used to secure the doll and all of her accessories.  The de-boxing procedure was simple and stress-free.

The biodegradable packaging is fantastic.  I love to see doll companies moving in this direction.  The Our Generation dolls at Target are also making an effort to have environmentally-friendly packaging, and many dolls (like American Girl and Tonner) come in cardboard boxes that are easy to recycle.

The recyclable plastic in the doll is harder to appreciate.  Are people actually going to put these dolls in the recycling bin?  I certainly wouldn't--especially after meeting Licca-chan.  Would the dolls even be accepted for recycling with all of their hair?  I would have been much more impressed if the dolls were made out of already recycled materials.  

Last, the environmental cost of importing dolls from China should not be ignored by a company striving to improve the planet.  

Here's Yana with all of her goodies:


She comes with a tiny red brush that is shaped like a scallop shell:


It's pretty much useless, but has a cute design.


Yana also comes with a child-sized red silicone bracelet with the Zeenie Dollz slogan:



Yana has a small plush pet dolphin named Serena.  This pet is way too small to be a real dolphin, of course, but is very cute nonetheless.  I am not sure why Serena has a long loop of string attached to her back.  Maybe she's meant to be used as a zipper-pull?

I cut the string (and the large tag) right off.
Serena's fins are made out of felt and her mouth is stitched with black thread.  Her eyes are decals.


Yana comes with a cardboard Eco Warrior membership card designed to look like a luggage tag:


The back of the tag has a place to write a name and address.  This is too fragile to actually be used as a luggage tag, but it would be fun for travel games.


Perhaps the best accessory is this waist-grip stand.  It's sturdy, effective, and very easy to use.  The base of this stand is so familiar, but I can't place it.  Does anyone recognize this design from another doll line?  Update: it's a Blythe stand!  Thank you, Sharon and KiciaKocia!


Yana desperately needs a stand, because her ankles are wobbly and there's no way she'd be able to balance on her own.


Yana's hair is unruly right out of the box and so it was hard to see her face at first:


She has a lot of hair for a 13" doll, and most of it is pulled back into a thick, messy ponytail:


Yana's ponytail is ornamented with two fabric flowers that are mounted on a tape-covered wire:


The wire wraps around the ponytail and is easy to coil on and off:




Here's the ponytail without the flowers:


I was having a hard time appreciating Yana with her hair this scraggly, so I decided to take the ponytail down to see if I could tame the mess.

Yana's thick hair is brown with a few streaks of light blue.  The fiber is fairly soft and smooth at the top, but it's frizzy and coarse at the ends.  The bangs are also quite puffy and difficult to manage.  It is not my favorite hair fiber.



The hair is rooted nicely and the scalp is painted brown to hide any gaps:



The hair around Yana's face sits right next to what looks like a seam in her head.  I didn't take the doll apart, but it appears that her head is made in two pieces, and the hair is rooted into the upper piece, which is then glued to the face.



In order to expose Yana's face a bit better, I re-tied the ponytail so that it incorporated all of the shorter strands of hair.  Here's the before and after:


This hairstyle isn't great, but makes it easier to see Yana's face.  

Yana has a broad forehead and enormous, slanted oval eyes.  Her eyes seem even bigger because of the thick, elaborate makeup.  In contrast, she has a narrow chin and a tiny nose and mouth.  This face has features very similar to those of a stereotypical space alien.  That sounds very critical, but I don't necessarily mean it that way.  If Yana had been designed to represent a benevolent creature from another planet, sent down through the galaxies to help Earth, that would have been a very creative premise, and this face would fit perfectly.  It's only when I imagine Yana as a regular girl that the features seem too otherworldly.


There's some marbled discoloration in Yana's face--you can just see it across her nose in the picture above.  There is similar discoloration in one of her hands.  It's not too noticeable, but again, it made me think the dolls must be made from recycled plastic.

Yana's eye makeup includes two dark bands of color, one teal and one pink.  The bands get thicker towards the outside of Yana's face, and the pink bands crowd the edges of her eyebrows.  Her upper and lower eyelashes are painted, and some of the bottom lashes have little green dots decorating their tips.


The plastic inset eyes are very pretty and realistic.  They are a light amber brown color and have a lot of iris detail.  I think I would prefer these eyes if they didn't have the extravagant makeup all around them--or maybe just if the eye paint was more translucent.  The eyes are so large and fancy on their own that they don't need much adornment.  The eyebrows are also very nicely drawn and detailed, but they get a little lost next to the gaudy eyeshadow.


The mouth has a little smirk and is painted opaque pink.


It may not be apparent from these pictures, but Yana's head is not hard plastic like most of the rest of her body.  She has a soft, flexible head that appears to have a harder internal structure underneath it.  The face feels like vinyl or a silicone/vinyl mix.  It catches the light differently from the rest of the body and attracts a lot of dust and lint.  

Yana is wearing plastic earrings that have a blue spherical base with little pink fish hanging down:



One of the things that made it difficult to choose which Zeenie Dollz to buy was the wonderful array of outfit pieces.  Lina has an incredible jungle print jacket, Sini has an adorable dog and cat dress, Yana has ocean shorts, Kazumi has a polar bear sweater dress, Evee has a bird shirt...too many temptations!  After careful consideration, I decided that Yana's ocean shorts were my single favorite piece of clothing, and so I started with her.

So, let's take a look at the outfit that won me over:


In addition to her amazing shorts, Yana is wearing a bright blue frayed jean jacket vest over a red mock turtleneck shirt:


The vest has wonderful stitched detail for being so small.  There are even tiny little decorative silver buttons:



The sleeves and bottom of the jacket have trim that is intentionally frayed.  This is a nice touch and is designed so that the unraveling edges do not compromise any other part of the garment.


All of the other edges are carefully sewn, but things get a little messy on the inside of the jacket where the frayed sides of the seams are hidden:


Under the jacket, Yana wears a red three-quarter sleeve shirt:


It is made out of a soft knit and is nicely constructed:

It even has a tiny stitched "v" at the neck.
The shirt closes down the back with velcro:


Now, let's take a look at the amazing shorts!


The attention to detail here is remarkable.  The pockets are real and even the belt loops are separate sections of blue ribbon with a wider red ribbon belt strung through:


The red belt is accented with a tiny, but highly detailed, pink starfish:

An excellent echinoderm.
The print on these shorts is great--it has seahorses, scallops, starfish and a bunch of happy-looking true fish:


I love these shorts.  They are among the best pieces of 12" doll clothing that I own.

When I removed the shorts, I discovered that Yana's shirt is actually a bodysuit:

At least the shirt stays tucked in.
Yana is wearing blue sandals.  These appear to be made out of the same soft, bendable material that composes Yana's head.


The shoes are pretty basic, but they slide on and off very easily.  


There are little toe impressions in the bottoms of these shoes!


Yana's body is made mostly out of hard plastic.  She stands 13 inches tall (with her feet pointed...about 12.5 inches with her feet flat) and has 14 points of articulation.  


The first thing I noticed about Yana's body was its unusual color.  She has a very faint greenish tint in her body and face.  This color is the reason that I assumed Yana was made out of recycled materials--sometimes those plastics have a funny tinge or texture.  

It's always hard to appreciate color nuances in photographs, but here is a picture with several of my other dark-skinned dolls so that you can see the relative shade of Yana's body:

Queen of Hearts Alexis (Liv), Yana, Moxie Teenz Bijou, Barbie Fashionista Artsy,
13 Wishes Clawdeen Wolf (Monster High).
Some of the other dolls have a pinkish tone to them, but Yana is more green.  It's not awful, by any means, but it is noticeable.

Yana's hands and feet are made out of bendable vinyl.  I like the feel of the soft hands, but they make dressing a little tricky, especially with the tight sleeves of the red shirt.  


The flexible feet combined with hinged ankle joints make the doll unable to stand on her own. 


Yana has a simple rotating neck joint.  She cannot look up or down.


Yana has hinged ball-jointed shoulders with great flexibility.  Her elbows are also rotating hinges, but their movement is limited by the shape of the upper arm--she can't flex her elbow much past a 120 degree angle.  Yana's wrists have great movement, and her bendy hands add to her expressiveness.


Yana's torso joint can spin all of the way around, but it does not flex from side to side or front to back.


Yana has hinged, ball-jointed hips with great movement:



Her knee joints are hinges, and they do not have any rotation.  She can kneel extraordinarily well, though:


The ankle joints can flex and rotate but they rotate a little too freely.  They tend to spin around a lot.

Here's a sampling of Yana's wonderful posing repertoire:





To make this doll perfectly articulated, I would add some additional flexibility to her elbows, add rotation to her knees, allow her head to look up and down, and make her feet hard plastic.  These are minor complaints, though, and I only mention them because she's already so close to perfection.  She has fantastic articulation and is very, very fun to pose.  

Yana's body reminds me strongly of a Moxie Teenz doll.  Here she is next to Melrose:


At 14 inches high, Moxie Teenz are an inch taller than Zeenie Dollz, but these two have almost identical articulation and lots of similarities in their body shape.  The torso joints are the biggest difference: Melrose can bend from side to side at the torso, but can't swivel around.  Yana can swivel around but can't bend from side to side.  The shapes of the two torso joints are notably different, too:


Melrose's hands and feet are hard plastic and larger than Yana's extremities, but the shapes are virtually identical:


The color difference between Yana's arm and hand is especially noticeable in these pictures, I think.



The biggest difference here is in the feet: Melrose has better molded detail in her toes:


Yana has an unconventional height.  I couldn't find a single other doll that is exactly the same size as her, but I'll show you a few of the comparisons I looked at.  First, here's Yana with two different sizes of Monster High doll:

Headless Headmistress Bloodgood, Yana, Clawdeen Wolf.
Yana is posed on her stand, which gives her a miniscule boost in height, but the stand base is very thin.

Here are the actual heights of these three dolls, just for reference:
Headless Headmistress Bloodgood: 11.5"
Yana: 13" with feet pointed
Clawdeen Wolf: 11"

Yana can't share clothes with the Monster High dolls because they are much skinnier and shorter than she is.

Here's Yana next to my Bleeding Edge Goth Doll, Leda Swanson (she is 12.5" tall), who I thought might be a close match in size:

BEGoth Leda Swanson, Yana
At 12 inches tall, the Winx dolls (and the similarly-bodied Fairy Tale High dolls) are close to Yana's height, but again, these dolls are quite a bit slimmer than the Zeenies.


My Once Upon a Zombie Rapunzel has a nice figure, and so even though she's shorter than Yana, clothes sharing starts to become an option.  


While Rapunzel's dress is too small for Yana, the Zeenie clothes work fine on Rapunzel...

But that doesn't make it a good idea.
Here's Yana next to Liv Hayden and Disney Store Rapunzel (both 12" tall).  Yana is taller, but the torso proportions of these dolls are very close:


Disney Store dolls and Zeenie Dollz can share clothes extremely well.  I did not notice any problems in fit.


Liv dolls also wear Zeenie clothes beautifully.  Yana's shorts are amazing on Hayden.  Unfortunately, Liv clothes don't work as consistently on Yana.  For example, Hayden's shorts are way too tight and her cami top has an awkward, lopsided fit:


On the other hand, loose-fitting or stretchy Liv outfits look great on Yana.  This blue Liv dress seems like it was made for her--it even matches the blue sandals:


For some reason I wondered if My Scene Fab Faces Kennedy might be a good match in size for Yana, but she's a little thicker through the ribcage area:


Not to mention a little creepy...


While the Fab Faces dress is tight (and very short) on Yana, I found that regular Barbie clothes actually fit well.   Here is Yana in the Fab Faces dress (L) and in Barbie Midge's dress (R):


And Midge can wear Yana's clothes nicely, too:


Despite the Zeenie Dollz atypical height, there's huge clothes-sharing potential with this line.  I am especially excited about how many of my dolls can wear those fabulous ocean shorts!

After I finished looking at Yana, I started to wish that I had a second Zeenie doll to examine, especially since I found Yana's coloring so odd.  In particular (surprise, surprise) I was wishing that I had Evee (the redhead).  I'll quickly show you some of Evee's features so you can get some idea of the range in this line.


Evee is the protector of the skies and she comes with a pet parrot (a macaw) named Lulu.

I think they mean to say she "defends all avian species."  An aviary is a bird house.

It's strange that the picture of Evee on the box does not have red hair.  She actually looks very little like the doll:


Evee's accessories are equivalent to what came with Yana:


Evee's brush is even smaller than Yana's and is in the shape of a wing...?  Or maybe a swirl of wind?


It is equally useless for brushing hair.


Lulu the macaw also comes with a long string attached to the top of her head:


Her crest, feet and beak are made out of felt.  My bird's beak is twisted a little bit to one side, so it looks like she's whispering out of the corner of her mouth.  It's really cute.  Her wings are made out of a spongy material that might be painted felt.  I can't tell for sure.


Her eyes are decals, just like Serena the dolphin's, but they have funny white borders:


Scarlet macaws do have white around their eyes, but these white patches look funny to me.

Evee has red hair with purple streaks. It is styled into two pigtails and, like Yana, she has a lot of longer strands of hair framing her face:


Evee's eyes are brilliantly colorful:


I love the orange jacket, but the high collar made it difficult to get a good picture of Evee's hair and face.  Here she is without the jacket:

I want this shirt in my size.
She has wispy bangs and two longer tendrils of hair at either side of her face:


She has a rooted center part in the back of her head:


Evee's hair was also quite messy and tangled right out of the box.  It feels slightly smoother than Yana's hair, but is essentially the same texture.


I took the hair down to try and brush it out thoroughly and get it away from the doll's face.


Again, this is very thick hair with coarse, frizzy ends.




The rooting pattern on this doll is different from what I saw on Yana.  Presumably this is to accommodate the pigtail hairstyle.  Evee has densely-spaced hair plugs all along her midline part and a similar row of hair along the equator of her head.  In between these two thick rows, she has a row of much sparser rooting.  The alternating density of the rows probably helps keep the hair from being too thick and poofy.


I pulled Evee's hair back into a single ponytail and tried to get the bangs out of her face.  

All of the Zeenie Dollz have the same face mold.  Evee has eye makeup very similar to Yana's, but she's missing the second thick band of eyeshadow.  Instead, she has a thin line of gold paint just above her eyes.  I prefer this slightly simpler look, and the gold brings out the yellow in Evee's irises.


The seam between the two halves of Evee's head is easy to see with the hair pulled back, and the rooting looks a little sparse just above the hairline.  This hair was clearly not meant to be worn in a single ponytail.

That's quite a profile!
My doll has a lot of brownish discoloration along one side of her head.  I am not sure if this is dust that has adhered to the soft vinyl, or dirt from the manufacturing process.  The high-friction surface of the face makes it hard to wipe away dust and dirt.  This makes me worry about how difficult it will be to keep these dolls clean through the years. 


Evee has purple eyebrows and highly detailed blue eyes:


I love the color combination in this doll's eyes--it's beautiful and realistic:


Her lips are painted bright red:


I like Evee's outfit--I actually covet it for myself.  The mix of purple and orange is striking, and I like the longer shirt with the cropped jacket worn over it.  Evee has simple purple earrings, but she also has a black choker necklace and a chain of five individual black bangles.  The bracelets are a bit of a pain to manage during dressing and undressing, but they look good with the outfit:


This jacket is similar in construction to Yana's jean jacket vest, but it has long sleeves and far fewer loose threads and frayed edges.  It looks very well made and I love the color.


The purple shirt underneath the jacket is made out of a thin jersey knit and has a pretty bird design.  There's also a sprinkling of applied rhinestone accents:



The shirt is not finished as carefully as some of the other items of clothing.  For instance, the edge of the shirt next to the velcro strip looks a little ragged: 



Also, the narrow hems tend to invert, exposing the rough inside edges of the fabric:


Evee is wearing wonderful black and purple striped socks and shoes that remind me of ski boots:


As an aside, the Zeenie Dollz feet tend to look like this with the ankle joints collapsed and the feet pointed upwards:


And Evee's legs often looked something like this when I was getting ready to pose her:


Anyway, here are the shoes up close:


I don't know that I've ever seen doll shoes like these before.  I like their unique, sporty style.

Hiking boots?
They even have some serious treads on the bottom:


While Yana had a greenish tinge to her body, Evee has more of a creamy yellow cast.  


Her lower body is moderately stained from the black leggings:


Here's Evee with Liv Hayden and Rapunzel, mostly so that you can see the difference in coloring.  

Sorry...for some reason I got the dolls positioned so that it looks like Evee is patting Haden and Rapunzel on their bottoms.

I think she got Rapunzel's attention....
Even next to a pale doll like Bratzillaz Meygana, Evee ends up looking pallid.

Hands to yourself, stranger.  
And Barbie Midge looks downright sunburned next to Evee:


After I took most of the pictures for the review, I boil-washed Yana and Evee's hair and cut off the last inch or two of length--which was the only way to get rid of the worst frizzy zones.  The hair feels better now, but the new ends will eventually become frizzy themselves.

Here's Evee with her new style:


And here is Yana with her shorter ponytail (and trimmed bangs).  Her hair is still pretty messy and coarse, but at least I can see her face.


In some pictures, Yana reminds me of A Bug's Life character.  I love that movie.

Here are some final shots of these two girls with their makeovers:

Zeenie Dollz Evee



Zeenie Dollz Evee


Zeenie Dollz Yana


Of the two pets, Yana's dolphin Serena is my favorite.  She has a lot of personality for a simple little plush.

Zeenie Dollz Yana


With all of the bright colors and fun styles, I figured that mixing and matching clothes would be a lot of fun with these dolls.  In the end, there aren't too many pieces that can be mixed.  Evee's orange jacket doesn't fit very well over Yana's long sleeved shirt...


...and Evee's long shirt hides too much of Yana's fabulous shorts.

Still, the dolls look great in each others outfits, and so sharing clothes is great fun.  Here's Yana in Evee's outfit:


The orange jacket looks amazing with Yana's eyes:

Zeenie Dollz Yana

And the colors in Yana's outfit are great for Evee:


Zeenie Dollz Evee

Bottom line?  There's a lot to love with this new doll line.  Even before I saw the dolls, I appreciated the theme of environmental awareness, and I especially admire the message about compassion towards other creatures.  I also like that the dolls' stories help kids think outside of their own lives to the greater world surrounding them.  I am always happy to see small, family-based companies that are producing dolls with special, heartfelt meaning.  I usually don't mind paying higher-than-normal prices to support companies like this, either, so the $40-$50 tag on these dolls didn't scare me away.  The price is way too high to be practical in the long run, though.

Beyond sharing the message of compassion and environmental awareness, the Zeenie company is also trying to practice what they preach.  A portion of the hefty purchase price of each doll goes towards charity, and the dolls themselves are manufactured with an eye towards being ecologically low-impact.  The packaging on these dolls is great.  It is colorful and attractive, yet composed almost entirely out of cardboard and biodegradable plastic.  The idea of having a recyclable doll is not as impressive to me.  I just don't know how practical it is.  I wish that the dolls were made out of recycled materials instead.  

All of the Zeenie Dollz have unusual coloring, but Yana's is the most unnatural.  It's not always apparent in pictures, but it was the first thing I noticed about the dolls when I saw them in person.  Yana has a slightly greenish tone and Evee is very pale with a yellow cast.  The odd coloring is exacerbated in the dolls' faces because of the appearance of the matte-finish soft vinyl.  

These dolls have beautiful, detailed, plastic inset eyes.  Yana's eyes are amber brown and Evee's are a brilliant turquoise mixed with yellow.  However, the size and shape of these eyes, along with their extravagant ornamentation, is a little over the top.  I have certainly grown more accustomed to the Zeenie faces over the last few days, and I know many people will enjoy their exaggerated look, but it's a style that probably won't appeal to everyone.  I would love to see how these dolls would look with simpler face paint and maybe a broader mouth to balance their top-heavy features.

The hair is nicely rooted I like the colorful highlights that coordinate with each doll's outfit.  The hair fiber is not great, though.  Both of these dolls came out of their boxes with messy, frizzy hair that was hard to tame and tangled at the ends.  The hair is much nicer after a quick wash and cut, but it is still prone to frizzies and flyaways.  

Yana and Evee have wonderful articulation.  They have joints that are very similar to those of the Moxie Teenz dolls--only the torso joints are different.  In a perfect world, there are a few minor things that I would change, but my only real complaint is that I don't care for the soft vinyl hands and feet.  The feet make the doll unstable and the hands make dressing a little harder than it needs to be.  Also, the color match isn't always great between these two areas.

One of the best things about these dolls are their clothes.  The clothing is nicely made across the board, but a few of the pieces are exceptional.  Yana's shorts are incredible, and both of the jackets are highly detailed and well-constructed.  I love that these colorful, versatile clothes can be shared around with Liv dolls, Barbies, Disney Store dolls, Once Upon a Zombie dolls, and probably many others.

A doll with a worthwhile message, beautiful eyes, great articulation, wonderful clothes, and a reduced environmental impact should be a grand slam in my book.  While I don't feel like these dolls have reached their full potential, there are enough good qualities here to keep my interest.  I very much hope that the Zeenie company will stick around to produce a second wave of dolls.  With a few edits, this line could really become something special.

Zeenie Dollz Yana and Evee

40 comments:

  1. I like these dolls and even with some of the money going to help great causes the $40 price tag is a big deterrent (do you know how much gets donated to the causes?) I do lovet the eyebrows and the quirky little mouths:)

    Yana's skin color sounds like the Pullip Another Alice dolls; I own Another King and he has a greenish cast to his skin as well.

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    1. Yeah, the price is a little ridiculous. I paid $35 at Amazon (which included shipping). Had I paid the full $50 at the Zeenie store, I'd be upset. They do have a 1/2 off sale now at the Zeenie site, but you have to buy two dolls.

      I didn't ask how much of each doll's price goes to charity--I should have. I do know that they gave $250 to Heal the Bay last year.

      I remember the Another Alice dolls! They are great. That's interesting about the greenish cast, I could never tell in the pictures. It must be tricky to mix certain brown shades without overdoing the green.

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  2. I remember reading about these a few months ago. Actually Evee's color scheme and outfit is what caught my eye, although ultimately the price tag put me off, as well as the size. I saw a prototype on Flickr with painted side-glancing eyes, I think I personally prefer that to the final design.

    (Also, is it just me or does Yana have some kind of marbling going on in the material of her head? In the close up it looks like a line going from her left eye over the bridge of her nose. )

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    1. Yes! I saw that prototype too and I agree with you! I think they would be so cute with side-glancing eyes. I might try to pull the top of the head off and see what I can do about customizing the eyes...and maybe the hair, too?

      The price is definitely too high. I don't mind paying a premium for certain things, and I know it must be tough for small companies, but $50 is not realistic.

      Yes--Yana does have some marbling in her face and in her hand. Good call. I should have mentioned that. It's not too obvious in real life, but that streak over her nose is visible.

      Delete
  3. I just have to ask how you were able to capture that dolphin flying through the air in the 8th picture from the bottom? lol That has to be some sort of camera trick. As far as the dolls, I don't really like the faces. I think it's the little mouths that bother me.

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    1. Hee hee. It's magic! No, actually, it was a thin string hanging from the ceiling that I could crop out of the photograph using the "retouch" feature. Now you know all of my tricks! :D

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  4. I have mixed feelings about the Zeenie dolls. On the one hand, they are trying to practice what they preach, but at the same time, the high price tag means that the message could also be interpreted as "only wealthy people can save the environment". Would the message not be as powerful if these were dolls you could buy for $20, putting them in the hands of many, many more children who could start thinking about ways they can make the world a better place? I also wish that, rather than the vague but peppy-sounding "fighting to protect our (environment) from (icky, probably corporately-caused thing)", that the girls had a realistic environmental message. Sure, saving your aluminum cans to be recycled or picking up plastic trash bags when you hike in the woods sounds dull, but it's something REAL kids could do. And it's something that they could see makes a REAL difference. I'm just confused by reading the statement on the back of the Zeenie box. Do these girls have powers like the kids from Captain Planet that they use in their fight as "eco-warriors", or does Yana's fight to save the ocean entail collecting discarded plastic bottles at the beach?

    They're pretty cute dolls, but IMO they're trying far too hard to be special with the exotic pets (WHY would environmentally-minded kids have exotic pets?), the odd body size, the odd construction on the heads, and the crazy eye-makeup and the inset eyes AND the eco-warrior rallying cry. I wish they could have simplified things a little, brought the price point down, and made the girls more realistic, with goals that were better-defined and attainable to the average child.

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    1. Really excellent thoughts, Presto. I completely agree that the $50 price is prohibitive. It's going to prevent a lot of families from choosing these over less expensive dolls. I think these dolls are worth slightly more than many similar play dolls because of their clothes and accessories, and adding a little because it's a small new company is legitimate, but I'm not sure what the right price is. I'd say around $30.

      I was also thinking that I wish these dolls were more like regular girls--a lot of that is because I am still looking for a Liv replacement at some level. I think the company had more of a super hero persona in mind, though, like you said. However, the website does have a page titled "Have you Zeenie'D lately?" which is a list of regular things that kids can do to help animals and the environment, such as:
      Volunteering to clean up a beach
      Switching to low energy light bulbs
      Using cloth grocery bags
      Rescuing a pet

      But they don't seem to elaborate on these ideas at all. I'd love to see linked articles that would give more information, or maybe little stories about the doll characters engaged in some of these activities.

      Good point about the exotic animals, too--not a good pet choice. I also get the sense that the company is trying a bit too hard with this theme. If they simplified the dolls and the message, I would certainly be more interested, but I wonder if it would be harder to get a grip on the market with a "quieter" approach?

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    2. I would be willing to bet that a lot of families don't and won't even know that these dolls exist, purely because of the high price tag. While I'm sure they're at upscale shops and boutiques on the wealthy ends of the coasts, I feel pretty confident that the "Toys R Us/Wal-Mart/Costco demographic" will never, ever see them. And that really is too bad. For the size and the obvious quality of the doll clothing (which I am rather amazed by!), I'd agree that $30 would be pretty fair. If the dolls WERE made of recycled materials, $40 would even be an acceptable price. (Oh man, I miss Liv so much.)

      I always find myself wondering if kids actually look at the websites, beyond just looking to see what other dolls/playsets are available. From a marketers standpoint, I feel like you have to put the heart of your message *right* into the customer's hands, not send them off to look up whatever lip service you have on your website. If they could lower the price point (and be upfront about how much/where they contribute), simplify and focus the message, Zeenies could be very successful. Maybe they could redo those face molds a little, too... make them less "aliens making duck-face" and more "wholesome, every day children"?

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  5. Another great review!
    The stands are the same as the Takara Blythe stands, so that's prbably where you've seen them before!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! I knew someone would be able to help me with this. :D

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  6. I must say, that their faces creep me out. I love their clothes, love eco them, but faces are no-no for me. Also, I'm not really keen of 50$ price tag. Yes, charity aspect and environment friendly materials, but they definitely do not look as 50$ doll.

    (By the way, they really remind me of Captain Planet and Planeteers cartoon, that I used to watch as kid)

    Base of stand looks like LPS Blythe stand.

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    1. They are not worth $50, you're right. The Amazon prices are slightly better, but the price will have to come down if these dolls are going to survive on the market.

      I see the Captain Planet similarities! Good point. And thank you for the stand identification! I could not for the life of me figure that out and it was really bothering me.

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    2. Ha, I was reminded of Captain Planet too, espeically with the Zennia "Mother Earth" and the Zeenies back-of-box photo. :) Zennia is very pretty though!

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  7. Ooh that parrot and baby flying dolphin (how did u do that) are so cute. The clothes are great and I love that they can share Liv clothes. But they are so expensive and will probably not be sold in our shops. Eeva's hair reminds me of Fancy Nancy. Thanks for a great review. Meg

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    1. Thank you, Meg! I used a little photo editing trick with the dolphin--she was actually hanging from a string. ;) The clothes sharing options are really fantastic with these dolls, which is great because the clothes are so nice! You're totally right about Fancy Nancy hair with those purple highlights! I hadn't thought of that.

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  8. Great review!
    I keep seeing on the website that the dolls ARE made from recycled materials. Am I reading that wrong or is that a mistake on their part? :/
    I'll probably be getting one or two of these lovely girls. I love the theme and their individual backgrounds, and if I can share some clothes with my LITD Barbie dolls then it's a plus! :D

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    1. It's not you--I emailed the company to clarify the recycling element and they said that "recycled" is a typo. A lot of online reviews have this typo, too.

      They share clothes very nicely with Barbie, at least with the clothes I tried. This is such a nice bonus. I feel like it's rare to find a new doll that can share clothes so well. I hope you enjoy the dolls! I have to admit that I am eyeing Sini... :D

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  9. Great review! I was interested in these dolls when I first heard of them, nice to see the actual dolls now in a review.
    That stand reminds me of a La Dee Da stand, but with a thinner base... :)

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    1. Thank you, Maggie! The stand does have a similar shape to La Dee Da--you're right! And come to think of it, the dolls have some facial features in common with La Dee Da dolls, too...
      I think it's a Blythe stand, though, almost exactly the same except for the metal rod, which is longer on the Zeenie Dollz. It always surprises me when these things are copied. I guess there are no rules against that!

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  10. These dolls look very cute! But as you already said, they have an odd skin colour. I like the idea behind the dolls, like, the save the planet thingies, but I think a Zeenie doll is not woth 50 dollars. (Even if you bear the charity donation in mind.. You don't know how many they donate eh..)
    I also find the material they are made of very weird, the texture of their skin looks really odd on pictures and even a little dirty.
    The outfits the dolls are wearing are very cute! I really love the bathing suit surprise, since Yana is like the "water girl". Just like you, I really like her shorts! They are really cute!(:

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    1. I also think that they tried to make like sneakers with 'hidden' high heels, talking about Evee's shoes.
      Something like this: http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/835353117/-font-b-high-b-font-heel-font-b-sneakers-b-font-women-s-elevator-shoes.jpg

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    2. The material of the head is weird, and you're right--this contributes a lot to the odd coloration. The faces do get dirty quite easily. The soft heads are like dust magnets, and it's hard to wipe away the dust. Hard plastic heads don't always look very good because of the shine, so maybe this was the only recyclable option?

      It didn't occur to me that Yana's bodysuit could be a bathing suit! That is perfect for her! :)

      The shoes do have high-heeled soles hidden inside. It's an interesting feature and I had no idea that they made shoes like that for real people! The shoes in your link actually look a lot like Evee's unusual shoes. I like them! Thank you for the link. :)

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  11. I checked their website, Yana is the prettiest there and I realized why! The particular doll they photographed is the only one whose irises are covered by the eyelids on the top and not the bottom, which looks natural. The rest of them just look crazy. It's a shame about the eye placement, those eyes are fantastic.
    I don't know why everyone is hating on Evee's colour. It's exactly my skin colour and while it's true I almost never find matching cosmetics, it's completely natural and nothing wrong with it except a little anaemia.
    And lastly FYI, Monster High with this amount of accessories cost 55-60$ where I live. Great review as always! I'd love to see these dolls in person.

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  12. Oh I remember these dolls, I didnt know of anyone having them until now. They're cute in a different way, I think your right they're body does remind a lot of a moxie teenz body. I like that they can west other playline clothes, because I too like everyone else think that $50 is not a price these dolls should be, I kinda don't see them going on and competing very well with the other playline dolls out there, even if they some what help charities.

    Based on the box art of these dolls id love to have Sini, Kazumi, and Zennia but once seeing Zennia, abed her hair color and how it looks nothing like the box art its disappointing. Not even her dress looks as good. But Kazumi is both adorable dollwise and box art wise. Plus I like her hair,seems nice and straight. Sini is cute with her purple hair, and her blue ruffled top is adorable, I just don't see buying one right now though I would definitely buy Kazumi

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  13. ok so I know this is soo off topic but I've been meaning to ask for a long time. what ever happened to singing Ariel? considering she was broken, I just want to know.

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  14. I like the idea of these dolls, and I kind of like the design, but then I read some of the tips they were giving kids. It kind of made me depressed, since a lot of their advice can go awry without proper context (just as an example that hit close to home: going vegetarian can be fine and dandy, but you should probably consult a doctor to make sure you're getting enough protein and iron in your diet).

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  15. I wish I could have Yana. She is my favorite and I love her eyes.

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  16. It's great to see a review of these - I came across a doll magazine with one of them on the cover a couple of months ago and wasn't sure what to think of them. I like the idea more than the actual dolls (mostly due to the face paint, I think), but it makes all the more interesting to me to see more specific and details photos of their joints and outfits.

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  17. i do not like these dolls.i mean,ok they have strange complexion because they are made out of recycled plastic,but the manufacturers could have at least given the dolls a nicer face.the dolls look really creepy to me,if you ask.

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  18. I have something interesting to say!
    I bought Zinnia from the Zeenie Dolls Ebay, and when I got her, I was surprised to find an envelope in the box along with the doll's box. They sent me a folding bag and a Flash Drive. I though that was nice.

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  19. I find the price to be prohibitively expensive for the product. I certainly respect the "idea", but the execution seems lacking. Their clothing is beautifully made, clearly, but that doesn't seem worth the fifty or forty dollar price tag. Unless the price drops, or I find that I like the faces much more in person than I do online, I just can't seem purchasing one of these dolls.

    I'm also comforted my the knowledge, that I was not, perhaps, the only one humming the Captain Planet themesong while reading this review. (I loved that show when I was a kid.)

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  20. Blythe stand, Pullip face, and Monster High legs? These dolls aren't very original.

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  21. To be honest: YANA CREEPS ME OUT A BIT!!!!
    P.S. Have you reviewed the Monster High Music Festival Venus McFlytrap? Her hair is so silky!

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  22. Did anyone else notice that they forgot the comma after "hi"?

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  23. Love your review - thanks for putting so much into it! The comparison of the bodies to other playscale bodies, the fashions, the posing. It's like I have them here almost ;-)

    I like the bodies and the fashions, but the heads are too big for my taste. And I do not like inset eyes - well, have not since Ideal's Chrissy. The pets look cute, but most of them don't seem "pet suitable."

    I also like that they use recycled plastic and that their brand includes the environment-friendly message.

    Many thanks again for the completeness of your review ;-)

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  24. I don't know, they want to pass the eco-friendly lesson, but yet the dolls are made in China, a place known for their not eco-friendly at all industry (not to mention all the labour issues they are famous for). I'm not telling that the manufacturer don't pay attention to these questions, but makes somehow unconfotable.

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  25. I'm pretty sure that the red bodysuit is meant to be a swimsuit. A water oriented doll needs a swimsuit, so they probably engineered it to convert.

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    1. (Posting from my mom's account, by the way.)

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  26. I saw the "Zeenia" one at TJMaxx for $10 XD

    came back here to make sure they were still so expensive

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