Holly and Poppy O'Hair are Ever After High characters meant to be the twin daughters of Rapunzel. Rapunzel is one of my all-time favorite fairy tale princesses (second only to Cinderella...) so that made this set desirable no matter what, but the extra-wonderful thing about these twins is that they have red hair. One of the girls, Holly, follows in her mother's footsteps and has really long red hair.
What I think is interesting here is that the original Rapunzel story ends with the prince climbing the tower only to find that Rapunzel is gone. He doesn't reunite with Rapunzel until years later, when he finds her in the forest--wandering around with her twins. These twins are a boy and a girl, but I like how the twin Ever After High dolls give a subtle nod to the Grimm brothers' tale.
Right now, the Holly and Poppy set is hard to find (*update: in stock at Target.com!). I was fortunate enough to get one from Amazon before the regular stock sold out. I paid $34.99, but the secondary vendors have marked them up to $70. I'm sure they will come back in stock, as there haven't really been any consistently rare Ever After High dolls so far.
|Ever After High's Holly O'Hair and Poppy O'Hair, $34.99.|
Poppy and Holly have a typical book-shaped Ever After High box...it's just slightly wider than the single doll boxes.
The back of the box is divided in half, and each twin has her own interview. Holly was born slightly before Poppy, so she will inherit the Rapunzel legacy. She is a Royal. She's cheerful, loves books, and is fascinated by all of the stories at Ever After High--a self-proclaimed fairy tale fangirl. She's afraid of heights and likes Daring Charming (uh, oh!). She also has her own blog--way to go, Holly!
Poppy is a free-thinking hairstylist, and does not have her own Once Upon a Time. I guess this is why she's a Rebel? She's best friends with Cinderella's daughter, Ashlynn Ella, who is one of my favorite Ever After High dolls. She is hoping to find her own fairy tale, even though she can't take over the Rapunzel story (but frankly, that tale isn't really her style).
|Her box art character is great.|
Each doll comes with a bookmark-shaped short story, too. I read both of the stories, but they don't add much depth to the characters.
Here are Holly and Poppy with the plastic front of their box removed:
The two dolls are packaged close together, so it's hard to see what is going on with the hair. Holly is on the left and has really long hair. Poppy has short hair with a purple streak in front. The purple elements in this set are a nice reference to Disney Rapunzel's color scheme.
Of course I was already excited about all of that red hair, but two more great details caught my eye at this stage--Poppy's hairstyling bag (with removable accessories!) and Holly's brush-shaped earrings:
Each doll comes with her own stand, and these stands have clear waist grips. There are also two brushes and the two bookmark stories I mentioned:
Holly and Poppy both have multi-piece outfits and purses rubber-banded to their arms:
|Can you get these off our arms...please?|
I'll show you Poppy first. I'll admit that I was slightly less excited about her, mostly because she doesn't have as much red hair as her sister.
She is wearing a short belted dress with a unique vinyl scarf:
She has black leggings and bright pink boots that match her headband:
Her black purse came packaged in its own plastic shell--to keep the three accessories from falling out:
Here is the purse with the plastic removed:
The purse doesn't open, but it has three external compartments that hold a hair iron, a comb, and a pair of scissors. The purse is mostly black, but it does have a few silver painted accents, and some neat molded details like the three safety pins lined up across the top:
If you peek closely at the picture, below, you can see the three compartments in the outer pocket of the purse:
And here are the three styling accessories up close:
|The scissors are especially great.|
There's a lot going on around Poppy's head, so I wanted to get a closer look at this area first.
Poppy's hair has a side part and is longer on the right than it is on the left. It is also crispier on the right than it is on the left. The streak of purple hair is slicked down with styling gel and shaped into a little curl at the end.
The pink headband is molded to look like a tied handkerchief. It is attached to Poppy's head with a clear rubber band. The short ends on this handkerchief look like little ears:
Look, Mom--I'm a bunny!!
With the headband removed, Poppy's hair is left with some unattractive dents and creases:
I didn't want to boil wash this hair because I've had trouble in the past getting shorter styles to look as nice after they've been washed. Instead, I gently tried to relax the hair with my fingers and with one of the brushes. It looks slightly less plastic now, but some of the ends are uneven and it's covered with tiny white hair gel dandruff.
|You never get a second chance to make a first impression.|
On the left side of Poppy's head, where the hair is red and short, she has an elaborate scissors and chain earring with two attachment holes:
Tucked up under the purple hair on her right side, Poppy has a smaller scissors earring with no chain. This piece won't come out because it has been glued into her head. Sadly, these dolls have the hard, glue-filled heads.
Poppy also has a coordinating ring and bracelet. The ring is another single pair of scissors, and the bracelet is a nondescript mix of purple rope and silver beads and chains. I think the bracelet would have been more striking if it was all chains--maybe hanging down at different lengths.
Poppy's purple hair casts a shadow on her face, so I tied her hair back to get a better look at her eyes and mouth. Both Poppy and Holly have the same face mold as Apple White...or it's similar enough that I can't see any difference. I wish a new face had been made for these girls.
Poppy's eyebrows match her hair really well. She has turquoise eyes accented with three shades of glittery pink and purple. Most Ever After High dolls have black lines in their irises, but Poppy's eyes are pure blue.
Her lips are a rosy, sparkling red color. There is a silver reflective decoration on the lower lip, but it isn't the typical three-dot style that is seen on older Ever After High dolls.
|She has flecks of the hair styling dandruff all over her face...|
just like Hunter.
I really like the look of Poppy's silver scarf. I don't know if I have seen a doll with a vinyl scarf before. It limits her upper arm movement, but it's easy to get on and off--certainly easier than trying to arrange a scarf made out of fabric.
It fastens in back with three peg and hole connections, but these don't stay together very well.
It is decorated with a small pink flower and a purple chain:
Poppy's silver scarf is mentioned in the bookmark stories--apparently it's Holly's favorite one of her sister's many scarves.
Underneath the scarf, Poppy's dress has a pink and black bodice and sheer red sleeves:
The bodice looks a little uneven, and I am not crazy about the color combination, but I love the sleeves:
The skirt of the dress is purple and red with a printed white braid design. There are metallic silver designs applied over the braid print, and these include a few detailed scissor silhouettes.
The dress has a high waist but is belted at a more natural waistline.
The back vinyl belt has a molded braid pattern:
Without the belt, the dress hangs in its natural a-line shape:
Underneath the dress, Poppy is wearing black leggings with sheer cutouts along the sides:
The fabric along the sides has a red lacing pattern--reminiscent of a corset, but very modern-looking in this context:
The shoes are bright pink boots with silver heels:
I really like the scissor decorations on the backs of the heels:
Overall, these boots are a weak point in the outfit. The style doesn't match. With the watercolor palette of the dress and the cozy drape of the silver scarf, I'd expect Poppy to be wearing either Ugg-style fuzzy boots (silver or grey to match the scarf) or elegant little black boots to match the sleekness of the dress.
With the boots and headband removed, I like Poppy's outfit quite a lot.
Underneath the dress, Poppy has a band of white paper wrapped around her waist. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me since the dress is not particularly dark and doesn't strike me as being a staining hazard. Perhaps the color from the dress could stain where the belt pushes it close to the body? Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
Poppy's vinyl color is darker than Apple's pale white, but paler than Ashlynn's more tanned appearance. What's also apparent in this picture is that Poppy's eyes are the only ones in this group that don't have lined irises.
|Apple White, Poppy O'Hair, Ashlynn Ella.|
Now, here's the doll I have been most excited to see up-close...Holly! Holly loves fairy tale stories and could not be more excited to inherit her mother's legacy. She keeps her hair long, and enjoys styling it and braiding it. Apparently the braids from her magical hair are unusually strong.
She comes with a purse tied to her wrist, and also a small braided section of hair that is tied to the opposite wrist:
This purse is nowhere near as interesting as Poppy's styling bag. It is pink with a molded fringe and a purple decoration on one side:
|This one doesn't open, either.|
The back side of the purse does not have the purple decoration:
The handle is mostly a plain black strap, but it has a small tassel on one side:
Holly wears her long red hair with a side part--parted on the opposite side of the head as her twin sister. A large section of hair falls across her face on the left side, held this way by a translucent purple tiara:
The tiara comes rubber-banded to Holly's head:
The purple color and poppy design on this crown makes it seem more like something that should belong to Poppy:
The tiara has small combs at the back to help it stay in place. These grab enough hair to make a mess when the tiara is pulled out, but they don't grab enough hair to keep the tiara from moving around.
The tiara leaves behind an area of exposed orange scalp, where the hair was pushed out of the way in both directions:
The bald patch can be fixed by just brushing the hair back. The hair brushes out nicely everywhere, and doesn't seem to have a huge amount of styling product. The fiber is soft and smooth. It gets a little frizzy at the ends, so it might require a bit of maintenance over time. This hair is nicer than Apple White's tangle-prone hair, but it still can't match the Disney Store's Rapunzel hair. That's still about the nicest play doll hair I've seen.
I think the color is beautiful and perfect:
I tied the hair back into a single braid so that I could get a better look at the rest of the doll. This would probably be a good everyday style for Holly if she's getting played with and carried around a lot:
The best thing about braiding the hair is that it shows off Holly's wonderful brush-shaped earrings:
On the right side of Holly's face, the back of the brush is facing outwards:
|Notice the small smudge of paint above her right eyebrow...|
It's hard to see, but the backs of the brushes have a little molded pattern on them:
Let me take a minute to show you Holly's other pieces of jewelry. The hairbrush earrings are by far the best, but she has several other fun pieces, too. On her right hand, she's wearing a small golden yellow ring:
This is very hard to see, but it's in the shape of Rapunzel's tower:
|'Cause every girl wants a tower ring.|
Holly's bracelets are both braids--one is a mix of three red braids, the other is a single gold braided band:
Holly's necklace is strange. This is my least favorite piece of her jewelry. It has two painted white poppies (again with the poppies?) against a bumpy gold background that looks like some kind of alien substance or festering boils:
|It also kinda looks like a bib.|
Hmm. So maybe I am wrong about these flowers being poppies? I am not a flower expert by any means. Both twins are named after plants, so perhaps Holly's tiara and necklace are meant to have holly flowers? Let's take a look at some real flowers--and please tell me what you think.
First, here are a few poppies. These have 4-6 petals and come in a variety of colors:
Now, here are some holly flowers. These are white, but the shape looks nothing like the decorations on Holly's outfit, and they don;t seem to have enough petals:
Maybe the flowers are meant to be hollyhocks? These can be white and look a lot more like what Holly is wearing:
I could be convinced that the flowers are meant to be hollyhocks, but the doll is called Holly because "Hollyhocks" is not the most elegant name.
Anyway, here's Miss Hollyhocks up close:
Her face is very similar to Poppy's, but she has shimmery pink eye makeup instead of purple. Her eyeshadow is also less dramatic--she doesn't have the outer band that reaches all of the way up to her eyebrows.
Her lips are slightly lighter, but she has the same reflective pattern on her lower lip:
Here are the faces side-by-side so you can see the small differences:
Holly's dress has a knit tube-top and a shiny printed skirt. She is also wearing a sheer pink jacket with braided trim and a gold belt:
The skirt is shorter in front than it is in back and is lined with a thin layer of purple netting. The fabric is variegated purple with a print of falling flowers that are pooling at the bottom of the skirt. These flowers really look like poppies to me. The flower pattern is overlain with shiny gold interwoven strands that are reminiscent of hair:
The jacket's sleeves are puffy at the top, but then taper into straight sleeves that match the ones on Poppy's dress. The gold and black braided trim looks great, but it makes the coordinating braided vinyl belt look fake in comparison:
The belt is made out of gold vinyl, but it has a black antique finish that gives it some depth.
With the belt removed, it's easier to see the lines of the dress. The knitted bodice is shirred along the sides, and the fabric falls into nice folds across the front:
The shape is easier to appreciate without the jacket.
I really like the bodice of this dress, but I don't like the shape of the skirt. The asymmetrical hemline could have been really dramatic, but it bunches up in back and something about the length and/or angle of the cut is awkward. Maybe if the whole dress had been longer it would have worked? If the fabric was more flowing, perhaps? Or if there was a sheer underskirt that was all the same length? It's really close to being wonderful, but to my eye something is missing.
In contrast, the shoes are amazing. I just love them. They have the same antiqued gold coloring as the belt, but the intricate brick and ivy design makes this technique really shine.
The straps of the shoes are braids, and the body of the shoe is designed to look like a castle tower with climbing ivy vines.
The front of each shoe has two painted white flowers. These are sloppily painted and easily the least attractive part of the shoe. However, the patch of white is a nice contrast, and it balances out the white flowers in the necklace. Personally, I think it would have been best to just leave out the necklace and the white flowers on the shoes--and maybe replace the necklace with a simple black braided choker.
Holly is wearing black netted stockings. These look good, but I know from experience with my Apple White that the netting does not hold up if the shoes are taken off and put back on a lot.
Holly's body looks just like other Ever After High bodies. She has the same skin tone as her sister. However, Holly's hip articulation is even worse than what I found in my Hat-Tastic Apple White.
This is as far as she can bend her right hip:
So, she can't sit flat on the ground:
Here's my original Apple White demonstrating how these dolls should be able to sit:
Holly can't do the front-to-back splits for beans, either:
And watching her try to sit in a chair is downright painful.
I wanted to take some pictures of Poppy styling Holly's hair, but this was tricky to do with a doll who can't sit properly.
Holly can't sit, but what's cool is that Poppy can actually hold her scissors:
So, I had to get at least one shot...with Holly's bum legs out of the picture.
Here are a few more pictures of these contrasting sisters:
Bottom line? I will break down the best and worst features of these two doll into a few summaries.
Poppy: her right earring is glued into her head and won't come out. This is a symptom of the larger problem of the hard, glue-filled heads that seem to be found on many of the Ever After High and Monster High dolls these days.
Holly: this doll also has a glue filled head, but she also has terrible hip articulation. Her hips do not bend enough to let her sit--on the floor or in a chair. I might dismiss this as an isolated problem, except for the fact that my Hat-Tastic Apple has the same problem to some degree, and Poppy's hips are stiff, too.
What could have been better?
Poppy: the boots and the headband. Poppy's pink, clunky boots don't fit with the sleek, artistic style of the rest of her outfit. I can imagine her in either fuzzy Ugg-like boots or short black elegant boots. The headband is not as bad as the boots, but the tied ends of the kerchief look like ears, and I think a simple black headband would have been better.
Holly: the skirt and the necklace. While I like the print and colors of the skirt, I find the cut unflattering. The bizarre necklace clutters an otherwise interesting neckline, and the white painted flowers look messy and out of place.
How cohesive and appropriate is the theme?
Poppy: her theme seems to be scissors and hair, with an artsy overall look. This is very appropriate for her personality, and also very cohesive. There are scissors in her earrings, her ring, in the print of her dress, in her purse and on the heels of her boots. The braided print of her dress references both her love for hair and her mother's famous locks. The braid also serves to help coordinate the twins' outfits with each other.
Holly: this theme is more scattered and unclear. Holly has flowers (poppies?) and braids...and castles and towers. And brushes. The dress is going for a romantic feel, but the awkward skirt interferes with this. I like the crossover elements of the twins' dresses--like the braids and the colors, but I think it would have been more polished if each girl had braids and then one extra thematic element of her own. Poppy has braids and scissors, Holly could have had braids and brushes...or braids and flowers...or braids and towers. Pick one.
What is the best accessory?
Poppy: there are so many great accessories, this is a tough call. I'd say it's between the scissor jewelry (especially the double earring), the scarf, and the hairdressing bag. I have to go with the bag because it is unique, fun to play with, appropriate for the character...and Poppy can actually hold the scissors.
Holly: this is slightly easier than it was with Poppy. I'd say it's between the earrings and the shoes, and I think the earrings are probably the best because they are so detailed and unique.
What is the best feature overall?
Poppy: I really like this doll's outfit (minus the boots). The vinyl scarf looks great and is an unusual accessory. The dress has youthful lines and fun fabrics. I like the dark, leathery leggings with their sheer cutouts, and how the criss-cross pattern in the cutouts is mirrored in the sleeves of the dress.
Holly: easy--her hair. The hair is long, soft and dramatic without being unmanageable. The color is perfection. Even if I couldn't find anything else to like about this doll, I'd still buy her for the hair.
With the glue-filled heads and unpredictable articulation, I would never spend $70 on this pair, but I think their fun hair and numerous--often fabulous--accessories make them worth their regular cost. Of the three Ever After High dolls I've looked at this weekend, I'd say that the O'Hair twins are more interesting and fun than Apple...and of the twins, Holly is my favorite doll. However, Poppy's great outfit, unique accessories, and spunky personality make it a much closer call than I ever expected.