Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review Fusion #1

I have been getting quite a lot of guest review requests these past few weeks for some reason, which is really wonderful.  I love how guest reviews can change my feelings about certain dolls (I bought my first Bratz!), how they can help encourage me to write a review that I had been putting off, or how they simply remind me of the fact that dolls make people happy for so many different reasons.

The problem with these guest review requests (as those who have emailed me know too well...) is that I am painfully slow to get things organized and published, and the waiting times are getting long.  In an attempt to lessen this problem, I have decided to combine guest reviews together into occasional "Review Fusion" posts.  This should allow me to share more perspectives while still doing my own reviews each week.

I have also received some amazingly gorgeous single photographs by email over the years, and have been looking for a good way to share a few of those with you.  My plan is to start each Review Fusion volume with a beautiful photo, and then move into the actual reviews after the jump.

I knew exactly which photo to share first: this is a Pullip doll, "Nanette," posed in front of the Great Wall of China.  This amazing picture was taken by LagoonaLicious, author of the Skelita Calaveras review from last year:

"Nanette."  Photo by LagoonaLicious.
I have three wonderful reviews to show you today.  First, I would like to introduce Beth, a fellow adult doll enthusiast who is fascinated by the Ever After High "Raven Queen" character.  I do not own any of the Raven dolls, and so I was particularly interested to hear Beth's take on this Rebel girl who is reluctant to follow in her mother's footsteps.  Over to you, Beth!


Basic Raven Queen by Ever After High

Alright, let's get started!

I am going to be reviewing the Basic Raven Queen doll (the first one released) with her basic outfit and purse. But first, let's get to know a little about Raven Queen, herself. 

Raven is the daughter of the Evil Queen, the most sinister and wicked storybook villain of them all. She comes from the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in which she poisons Snow White with an enchanted apple. Like all the other characters at Ever After High, Raven must sign the Storybook of Legends and pledge to follow her fairy tale parents. For Raven, that means becoming the next Evil Queen and sealing her fate as the most hated villain of them all. 

However, she is hesitant to do so because if she were to become the next Evil Queen, she wouldn't have a “happily ever after”, like her story mate, Apple White. Like Apple, every protagonist in each of the fairy tales finds their true happiness by the end of their stories, and the tale ends with “and they lived happily ever after.” Instead of wanting to follow the path set before her, Raven thinks that she has every right to find a “happily ever after” of her own, and change her destiny. She just wants to be her own person, and have people like and respect her for that. 

She winds up refusing to sign the Storybook of Legends, and creates the whole Royal/Rebel dynamic within her school. She is, of course, seen as a hero by those who, like her, are antagonists of their respective stories and thus, don't have a “happily ever after."  All of the characters in this situation are known as the Rebels. This infuriates Apple White, and the rest of the “Royals” for that matter, because if Raven doesn't poison her with the apple, there will eventually be no “happily ever after” for her. So, throughout the series, Apple tries her best to convince Raven to embrace being evil and eventually poison her. 

Now that we know a little about Raven, let's look at her doll. She comes in the usual Ever After High book-themed box, with the usual book mark story, a brush, and her purse (which doubles as a mini boombox!). She also has a silver stand packaged inside her box, and it can be seen via the key shaped hole in the back. The back of the box talks a bit about the Royal/Rebel dynamic and a little about Raven herself. 




Raven is secured inside her box with several clear rubber bands, pieces of plastic, and even a few plastic ties (yuck!) securing her head in place. I cut her out very carefully as the last Raven Queen doll I de-boxed had a lock of her hair accidentally lobbed off when I went to cut her head free. I might have said a few words I can't repeat on here. Anyways, Raven comes with her mini boombox purse, a silver colored key shaped brush, a silver stand, and her bookmark story. 


Her clothing and accessories are some of the most awesome I've seen on an Ever After High doll. First off is her tiara, which is an awesome silver color and is adorned with seven spikes of varying height. It's secured with a rubber band to her head, which I simply (and carefully) cut off. Without the rubber band, it slipped right out of her hair. 


Speaking of Raven's hair, its very interesting and lovely, I think. Its black with purple highlights throughout. It's gathered near the top, and twisted into a small half ponytail. The rest is free flowing, and falls to just above her knees. I am not an expert in types of doll hair, but from what I've read about Ever After High dolls, I am pretty sure its saran. The rooting is fairly decent, though not incredibly thick, its just right to be manageable and easily brushed during play. 


Raven's complexion, while not as pale as Apple White's, is pretty fair. She wears pale violet and silver colored eyeshadow, with black eyeliner and mascara. Her eye color is lavender. Her lips are a deep plum with the typical Ever After High glossy highlights on her lower lip in the form of three dots of silvery paint. 


Moving on down, Raven comes with a very cool, though somewhat uncomfortable-looking collar. It's silver, with a dark wash added to give it a metallic look. It has a feather pattern around the shoulders and a high Elizabethan neck with what looks like small knobs or spikes running along the top. It fastens in the front under the purple brooch type adornment.


Her clothing is what I'd describe as gothic-chic, and comes in shades of violet, lavender, and black. 

Raven wears a dark lamé style top that has a nice purplish-green sheen to it. It opens in the back with a velcro strip. Her skirt is made of three layers, two of which appear to be a tulle type fabric, and flare out beneath the topmost layer, which appears to be made of a satiny material. It also opens up with a strip of velcro in the back. Under her skirt, Raven wears black fishnet stockings. 


Her belt is made to look like it's made out of two plates, and connected with a chain. It's silver, and has the same black metallic wash as her collar.


She comes with a bracelet adornment that looks like it's made up of several different silver bangles, and connected to a ring with a small chain. However, it's all one piece and the ring part isn't real. It's only an extension of the bracelet mold, made to look as if Raven is wearing a ring. 


Her shoes are black and spiky, with silver chains going down the front, and a slit up the back to help with putting them on and taking them off. They are a bit tough to put back on with the fishnet stockings though, so be prepared to put some elbow grease into it, though not enough to break the doll. 


Like all the Ever After High basic dolls, she comes with a bookmark story, which just explains more about Raven, and her first few weeks at Ever After High. 


Her purse is a black boombox with a silver mirror type of decoration on front, and a silver handle.




Altogether, Raven is an awesome doll, and I highly recommend getting her for your Ever After High collection.

***

For the next review, I'd like to introduce the lovely Maria.  Maria has always enjoyed playing with Barbies, but recently her interest in dolls has expanded to include thinking about how dolls are made and what the different brands have to offer.  Maria will talk about the Disney Store's Classic "Tiana."  Of all the Disney heroines, I probably know the least about Tiana.  Maria's fond review has inspired me to give this industrious princess another look.  Take it away, Maria!


The Disney Store's Classic Tiana Doll

A little while ago I was at the Disney Store in Chicago and they had a great sale on Disney store classic dolls. I made sure to pick  up a few, and one of them was a Classic Tiana doll.



I have always loved Tiana because she is hard working and independent. She also was wearing a nice costume! So here is my very first doll review of Tiana.

Tiana came in a nice, classic Disney store doll box.


I has a plastic front and sides, and a cardboard back



In the inside of the box there is a little cardboard sign that you can scan with your phone to see a movie moment:


On the back of the box there is a little description of Tiana.



It says: "Determined to make her dreams come true, Tiana believes hard work is the only way to success.  But when transformed into a frog, she finds herself in a magic-filled world of jazzy fun and must learn to add a dash of friendship and love to everything she does!"

Opening the box was a little bit of a production, but compared to the other classic dolls it was a breeze. None of those little white "I"s! Yay! 


Tiana is adorable.


She has purple eyeshadow and dark maroon lipstick. I love that she has dimples (you can't really see them on camera)!


***

The last review for the day--but by no means the least, was written by Morgan.  Morgan will be showing you a doll that I have admired myself over the years: mini Pullip "Aquarius."  Morgan and I share this zodiac sign, and so the doll is extra-special to both of us.  Morgan likes a huge range of dolls, including American Girl, Once Upon a Zombie, Monster High, Lottie, and Zeenie Dollz.  I hope Morgan won't mind me sharing that she also enjoys robots and geology...some pretty awesome interests, if you ask me.  All yours, Morgan!


Mini Pullip "Aquarius" by Groove

Hi, my name is Morgan and today I am going to review the Little Pullip "Aquarius" by Groove Inc. Pullip Style had an amazing sale recently, and I was able to snag this beauty. Aquarius, or "Aqua," as I have named her, is my first Pullip, and I love her dearly. She was a good fit since Aquarius is my zodiac sign. 


Aquarius is mermaid-themed, and it works really wonderfully. 


This is the box she comes in, I actually found that it works amazingly as a display box, and that's how I use it. 


She comes with a bottle-shaped purse and a star shaped stand (note: the purse's clasp is really difficult to use. I actually have to leave it closed and shimmy it up her legs.)


Her light aqua hair is adorable, with a top knot and long streaming crimped hair. She also comes with two fake rosebuds entwined around her bun. 


I love her little face!! She has inset deep blue eyes with both real and drawn eyelashes on top and drawn eyelashes underneath. She has and adorable wine colored smile, with small dimples at the corners. She also has and adorable ski jump nose and lightly drawn light brown eyebrows.


Her outfit consists of a mermaid-tail-ish skirt that starts as silver, turns to cream and finishes mid-brown and gold. 


The back of the skirt reveals that the cream colored part has small colorful blobs (flowers?). The skirt has cream lace lining and a Velcro closure in the front.


The top is a midriff sparkly halter top, with three dark blue sequins and a large light teal rhinestone on each side. The halter is thin silver trim.


Aqua's articulation consists of: ball-jointed head with rotating shoulders, hips and waist. She has painted-on shoes and underwear.  


She has the same shape body as the old Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll, but scaled a bit larger and with the added torso joint. 


These two dolls can share clothes, although Blythe is swimming in the mermaid outfit (no pun intended!):


Back in our own clothes we decided to strike a pose. 


Thank you for reading! You can reach me at my own blog, "The American Girl Doll Girl Forever."

***

Thank you so much to Beth, Maria and Morgan for the time and effort they put into these reviews!  I hope all of you will enjoy the mixture of dolls and opinions we'll get to see in the weeks to come!  

22 comments:

  1. Hello.As a long time ago, I follow your blog and I love it. All your dolls are spectacular, you must have a museum! I have a raven queen, and it's gorgeous. I gave my cousina mattel's tiana doll, which is lovely. I love pullips, and the minis are good too, but that body with as few joints ... I don´t like it. Sorry for my english. Kisses from Spain!

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  2. It's neat to see all of these dolls in the same review, you can really see how different they are.

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  3. I love the idea of fusion reviews! I like the photo in the beginning too - I wouldn't mind if there were more than one :)

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  4. The fusion review system seems like an efficient way to get through multiple guest posts. Perhaps with enough reviews you can start creating themed fusion posts - that could be really interesting. It's so cool to find out that both you and Morgan are Aquarians, because I am too!

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  5. Oooh! I didn't know it was kosher to send you single pictures and go 'HEY LOOK!' Heh, I might send you something. Or drop you an email with another guest review offer, if you're interested!

    And so I officially add a Pullip to my want list. Dang those are cute.

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    1. Thanks! They are really adorable, and the $30 for minis is a refreshing change from the $100+ bigger ones XD -Morgan

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  6. Hi from Puerto Rico! Love your blog. I have Briar Beauty and Blondie Lockes from Ever After High. Love them!

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  7. Hey, it's Kayleigh. I'll be sending you the pictures by tomorrow or Friday! Just wanted to tell you that in case you were wondering why I haven't been responding quickly! :)

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  8. I'm loving the review fusion post and that picture of Nanette at the top is just beautiful.

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  9. Love that idea! Also, I didn't know that Raven's purse was a boombox. (Did you know that Briar's purse is supposed to be a pillow?) Mattel is defiantly not doing a good job with their bags. (well, I can recognize what everyone else's bags are supposed to be)

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  10. So I was kinda bored since I have summer holiday (?), so I decided to visit your blog again. The first thing I saw was my picture! O: I was so surprised to see it, in a very good way. Also, I have never expected that guests reviews would become so popular, hehe, I am happy I suggested it. :)) I really like your review fusion idea :)
    Oh, I am so happy to see my picture :3
    - I can't stop smiling -

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    1. Omg, I can't write my own username anymore lol I feel so stupid now :p

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  11. Does the mini pullip's eyes move?

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    1. Sadly, no. :) but she makes up for it with her quirky personality :) -Morgan

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  12. Okay Emily so I have a question for you (it's kinda random lol) ;D
    So I read you blog a lot, and it's brilliant. I just want to know, what's your favourite articulation out of all the dolls out there? And the two runners up? Sorry to trouble you!

    -Amirita ;)

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    1. Hi Amirita, that's a tough one...off the top of my head, at this moment in time, I would have to say that Makies are amazingly well articulated and would be my top pick. Liv and Monster High dolls are among my favorites in the play doll world, and Integrity (Fashion Royalty/Poppy Parker) and Tonner (Cami and Deja Vu) dolls are my favorites in the upper price fashion doll world. See, even here I can't pick just three! Ah! ;)

      I keep thinking I should do a separate post about this--like a competition, but I never seem to get around to it!

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  13. I think it’s a good idea to combine several guest reviews like this--it's like a pot luck, a little of this, a little of that, and I love variety.

    I think Beth and Morgan, with their respective Ever After High Raven Queen and Aquarius Mini Pullip reviews, did a good job, but, while the photos are fine, I didn’t feel that Maria really told us that much about Disney’s Tiana —I would have liked to have seen a more detailed description.

    Out of the three dolls, Aquarius is definitely my favorite.

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  14. Hi Emily, I want to send you a guest review the next time I get a toy (I'm expecting a Rainbow Power Rarity Doll). Although it's a small pony, I will cram it all with info. One problem, I don't know how to SEND a guest review or MAKE one. I can assume it's a simple task with just typing and importing pictures. I've never done one so I would love to start out here. Please respond ASAP!

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