Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moxie Girlz "Friends" Mini Dolls by MGA Entertainment

On the same day I found my Our Generation mini dolls, I also saw the new (Target exclusive) Moxie Girlz minis for the first time.  It was a mini doll kind of a day, I guess.  The Battat minis grabbed the spotlight, but I wanted to show you some of the Moxie minis, too.  These dolls are pretty cute, but what really impresses me about them is their price.  They are $2.99 each, which is hard to beat.  I think Walmart's Sparkle Girlz are less expensive at just under $2.50, but I can't think of much else.  Even some of those blind bag foil-wrapped toys cost more than this.

Today, I will review Tally (the redhead...of course), and compare her to Neve and Amorie:

Moxie Girlz Friends mini dolls, $2.99.
The Moxie Girlz Friends line seems to have at least three varieties of doll so far--all marked as Target exclusives.

There are full-sized (10") Moxie Girls Friends in minimal packaging:

Moxie Girlz Friends basic 10" dolls, $4.99.
There's another group of 10" dolls with slightly nicer (animal-themed) outfits, extra shoes, and pet dogs (that don't poop):

Moxie Girlz Friends doll, $8.99.
I wish I hadn't been in a hurry when I took these pictures, because I never thought to peek at the dolls' feet.  Based on Bryten's normal-looking blue loafers in the picture below, I wonder if these dolls have regular feet...you know, ones that don't pop off?  They might just have detachable bare feet.  That's been known to happen.  If anyone has investigated the feet, please let me know.  I'm crazy-curious all of a sudden and can't find any information online.

Ahhhh!  What's behind the cardboard?
The third group of Friends dolls includes four different 5 inch minis.  There's a blonde doll with fair skin (Neve) an olive-skinned doll with long dark hair (Cameo), a dark-skinned doll with curly hair (Amorie) and Tally, the freckled redhead.  I bought all of them except for Cameo, whose hair looked too coarse and tangle-prone for me.

These little dolls come in open-faced cardboard packaging:


All of the boxes have the same bright design--an outdoor scene in bold colors:


I wonder why it isn't "Friendz?"
The open front on these cartons is nice because it's very easy to see the dolls.  The packaging is also minimal, which I love, and almost entirely cardboard (simple to recycle).  However, I noticed that several of the dolls have dark smudges on their faces and messy hair.  Presumably the dark smudges are just dirt that can be washed away, but I think the scruffy appearance on some of these dolls might deter their sale.  I see some big clearance markdowns in the future.

My Tally's face is nice and clean:

Moxie Girlz mini doll "Tally."
The dolls are held in the packaging with several plastic strings (one around the waist, one around each limb, and one around each ponytail).  These are easy to cut, but there are also two tight plastic ties in the doll's head (these caused me to accidentally snip Neve's hair).  There are also tiny little plastic ties at the edges of the dress, which can leave behind unsightly holes.  


Here's a close-up of the front of the package with Tally removed:


My Tally has a tough time standing up on her own, and when I do get her to stand, she tips off to one side...


...and then usually does a face-plant:

Timmmmmber!
She is also always looking upwards--partly because in order to get her to stand she has to lean back a bit, and also because her eyes are painted to look up:

Moxie Girlz mini Tally
Or maybe just because she's really short?
These upward-looking eyes are typical of Moxie Girlz, as are the overall shape of Tally's eyes--with their slightly droopy outer edge and pointed inner canthus.  Tally has a pouty, large-lipped mouth, a small nose, and thick (but short) brown eyebrows:


Her eyes are painted against a flat surface with no raised details, so her profile makes her forehead region seem very tall.


Tally has lime green irises with a darker green outline.  There's also a small brown highlight around the lower edge of each pupil. Like other Moxie Girlz dolls, she has heart-shaped reflective dots in her eyes:


She has thirteen evenly-spaced round freckles across her face.  This uniform shape and distribution is not my favorite style of freckle, but these look ok.

Moxie Girlz mini Tally
Connect the dots!
Tally has nice molded detail in her lips, but the paint is skewed to the left a little, giving her a lopsided mouth:

It's a little sassy.
Tally's shoes come rubber-banded to her feet, and I wondered if this was contributing to her balance problem:

Because the shoes look a little squished and warped.
I snipped the rubber bands and removed the shoes.  Unfortunately, the tight rubber bands leave behind some unattractive marks on Tally's ankles:

These might fade over time, but they haven't gone away yet.
The little pink dress shoes are made out of a very flexible vinyl. The indentations from the rubber bands do not stick around at all on this material:



All of the mini Moxie Girlz Friends dolls are wearing simple sundresses. Tally's dress has a red sparkly bodice, a pink polka dot skirt and a baby blue imitation leather waistband:


The hem of this skirt is coming out, and there are four visible holes left over from the plastic ties in the packaging:


The dress has a single, stiff piece of velcro in the back, and is pretty easy to get on and off.


Tally doesn't stand on her own any better without her shoes, but it's still possible to get her to balance for a little while before she topples over:


She has skin-colored molded underwear and five points of articulation.  Her arms and legs are made out of flexible vinyl (which isn't at all sticky or rubbery) for added movement.


Tally is made in China and has the MGA United Kingdom address stamped on her back:


Tally can sit on the ground and raise her hands up in the air:


She can also do front-to-back splits:


And actually (as I learned towards the end of the review...) she can do these splits better than it shows in the picture, above.  Her hip joints needed some time to loosen up, but they actually have a great range of motion both forwards and backwards, like this:

Ta-da!
I don't have a lot of dolls in this size to compare to Tally, but here she is next to a Ty Li'l One doll (which are all of a sudden starting to show up in Toys R Us stores):


And here she is next to Barbie Chelsea:


Tally and Chelsea are about the same size, but Tally is the smaller of the two, so she can easily slip into Chelsea's cute bubbly dress:


However, Chelsea's shoes are too big:


Chelsea can't fit into Tally's dress.  It's tight through the entire torso.  Also, Chelsea's dress opens all of the way down in back while Tally's dress only has a partial opening, which doesn't accommodate Chelsea's bent arm very well:



Trying to put this dress on Chelsea put a lot of stress on its unfinished neckline.  I don't think the thin sleeves could handle many more of these fittings:


Tally's shoes fit Chelsea better than they fit Tally, though.  They look very nice:


Tally's bright red hair came in two curly ponytails, but these got quite unruly as I was posing her.  Brushing the ponytails didn't help matters very much.

Moxie Girlz mini Tally

The hair feels pretty coarse--especially at the ends.  This type of wavy texture never seems to do well with the lower quality hair fibers.


The hair is plenty thick for such a small doll, though, and the scalp is rarely visible.  The rooting is tight around the hairline, but there's an area near the top with wider-spaced rows:

This patch is hidden well most of the time.
I boiled Tally's hair and trimmed the coarse ends.  The hair still sticks up a lot, but by drying it with a paper towel wrapped tightly around Tally's head, I was able to get it to lay reasonably flat for a while:


It's still coarser at the ends.
Here's Tally next to my other new redheaded mini, Our Generation Mini Kendra:


These two dolls have similar coloring, but the quality of the Our Generation doll is superior.  Not only are Kendra's clothes better-made and more durable, but she stands up and poses better, her face is more appealing (at least to me) and her hair has a soft, silky texture with a lovely shine.

Kendra's freckles are better, too.

It also occurred to me later in the review that I could show you Tally next to some of my large-headed minis, like this Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll:

LPS Blythe doll, Moxie Girlz mini.
And a mini Pullip:

Mini Pullip, Moxie Girlz mini.
With the Pullip doll fully-clothed, she looks almost the same size as Tally, but this type of doll has a really skinny body...


...so clothes sharing isn't an option:


 And finally, here is Tally next to my full-sized Moxie Girlz doll, Kellan:

Moxie Girlz mini Tally

I was hoping that these minis would make good siblings for the larger Moxie Girlz dolls, and they do to an extent, but Tally's features seem a little too grown-up for her relative size.

I can definitely see the family resemblance, but I might actually prefer Tally's little face to Kellan's.  I like Tally's pouty lips, and her eyes seem more in proportion to her face than Kellan's large orbs:

But Kellan's freckles are better.
The second doll I chose from this series is Neve, because there is just something pleading and dear about her face...I couldn't leave her behind:

Moxie Girlz mini Neve
Moxie Girlz mini "Neve."
Neve stands up much better than Tally.  Her body is nice and straight, but she has a tip in her head:


The head tilt is exacerbated by a part in the hair that starts at the back midline and crosses over so that it appears as a side part when you look at the doll from the front.


Moxie Girlz mini Neve
Moxie Girlz mini "Neve."
Neve is wearing a sundress with red sparkly knit fabric at the neckline (the same red fabric that's in Tally's dress), a purple corset-shaped bodice, and a striped knit skirt:


I like the full skirt on this dress, and the shape of the bodice is neat.  This is my favorite dress in the series.

Neve is wearing the same style of shoe as Tally, but hers are lavendar:

Neve's ankles and shoes were also warped by the rubber bands.
Neve has the same face mold as Tally, but her absence of freckles gives her quite a different appearance:

Moxie Girlz mini Neve

Neve's lips are a pinker shade than Tally's.  These lips are quite badly painted, though--to the point that it looks like she's just had a pink popsicle or a messy lollipop:


The design of Neve's eyes and eyebrows is the same as Tally's, but Neve has bright blue eyes with a darker blue border.  

This doll has a few dirt smudges  and scuffs on her cheeks.
Of these two dolls, I prefer Neve.  There's a sweetness in her tilted little face that I really like.

Neve (left) and Tally (right).
The third doll I bought is Amorie.  Her hair sticks straight up and looks hard to manage, but I love the combination of her dark skin, natural makeup and grey eyes:



Amorie also stands up better than Tally, so perhaps Tally is the exception:

Moxie Girlz mini Amorie
Moxie Girlz mini "Amorie."
Amorie's dress is my least favorite of the group.  It has a yellow bodice and a nice blue striped skirt, but the pink imitation leather belt is crooked and doesn't continue to the back of the dress:



I am also not crazy about the color of Amorie's shoes--although the style is exactly the same as it is on the other dolls.


But look at this wonderful face:

Moxie Girlz mini Amorie

Amorie has slate blue eyes with a dark grey border.  I like these unusual eyes combined with the natural gloss on her lips and the dark extravagance of her hair.  I'm never going to take her hair down because I am afraid of how poofy it might get (memories of Extra Special Grace leap to mind...), but the volume of hair does make it a little hard for her to stand right next to the other dolls.

These little dolls can't pose in a huge variety of ways, so my photo shoot with them was fairly short, but  I did manage to catch this picture of the whole Moxie Girlz crew meeting Chelsea's beloved pet fish:  


Although I grabbed Tally off the shelf first, and assumed that her red hair and freckles would make her my favorite, it's actually Amorie and Neve who I like the best.  Neve's tilted head and messy face make her seem vulnerable and shy, while Amorie strikes me as more bold and outgoing, with her big hair and piercing eyes.  These two are very cute, and they have a surprising amount of personality for such small, bargain dolls:

Amorie (left) and Neve (right).
Bottom line?  I would definitely recommend considering one of these cuties if you see them at Target.  Some of the hair is coarse and unruly, and the outfits have unfinished seams that can't take a lot of abuse, but they cost $3.  I don't know of another doll on the shelves right now that offers this much personality and playability for $3.

The thing is, the price seems so low that the temptation is to buy multiple little Moxie Friends.  If you're like me and grab three (or even all four) of these cute characters, you'll have spent $9-$12, at which point I think the adorable Battat Our Generation minis would make a higher-quality, more enduring choice.

I'm not sure if we're seeing the first of MGA's re-imagined doll lines with these girls or not, but if this Friends line is any indication of what's in store for 2015, I have to say that I like the attention to low-impact packaging, and I love the affordability, but I hope there will also be a few options in a higher quality bracket.

Moxie Girlz mini dolls
Neve, Tally and Amorie Moxie Girlz

38 comments:

  1. The Moxie dolls do indeed have regular feet :)

    Nice reveiw as always!

    ~Pabu

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    1. Eeee! Thank you for this information Pabu! My curiosity is calmed. ;)

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  2. Amorie is my favorite! I suppose for $3, I could buy another doll and steal her clothing for Amorie.

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    1. I think that's a good idea, Steph. I had a similar thought--especially because the Chelsea clothes fit pretty well. Amorie definitely deserves a better outfit!

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  3. Neve is my favorite, probably because the blonde hair and the dirty marks make her look vulnerable xD.

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    1. I agree! That Neve is so sweet. It's interesting how her face gives off such a different personality than the others, isn't it?

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  4. I cant believe it ! My name is Amore and there a doll called Amorie!!! Im totally buying that doll now! Also great reveiws you always do a great job!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amore! What a beautiful name. It sounds like little Amorie was meant for you! :D

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    2. Thank you!. Maybe your right about her being meant for me! My mom bought her and Neve for me. They are everywhere at our target.

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  5. I'm with you about Neve and Amorie they are very cute. I think minis are starting to be a trend, oh well just more dolls for dolls. ;) To me they like they have a lot of attitude with the eyes looking up and the " non smiling mouths " (how would you even say that in a way that makes sense?) I should really go to Target more often, last time there was bearly any OG stuff. To be honest at around 3$ I wouldn't criticize the quality to much. Cute review can't wait to go to target for Back-To-School now.

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    1. There do seem to be more minis now than before--good point. I love miniatures, so it's a wonderful trend in my eyes. These little Moxie Girlz certainly have attitude! Tally and Amorie especially. Tally looks downright irritated with me sometimes. ;) I am not sure how Neve manages to escape the sassiness, but she just looks so shy and quiet to me...even with the same face mold! Back-to-school shopping usually depresses me, but I like your attitude--maybe it won't bother me so much if I think of it as a chance to go to Target and peek at the doll section again...

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  6. I am thrilled that mini dolls are starting to pop up! They are very cute and easy on the budget...it's tempting to pick some up for stocking stuffers...based on your review, the quality definitely seems worth the price!

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    1. Stocking stuffers is an excellent idea, Farrah! Also, the Sparkle Girlz link I put in the introduction will take you to a blog (Black Doll Collecting) where you can see how Debbie used her mini dolls to actually decorate the tree! Here's the exact link (if Google will allow it...):
      http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2013/12/o-tannenbaum.html

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  7. Thanks for another great review. I bought Amorie because it was love at first sight. I couldn't resist that explosion of dark curly hair! I also wanted a new friend for Chelsea and you can't beat that price with a stick :-)

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    1. How true! I love your phrase, "explosion of dark curly hair." Perfect. :)

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  8. Would you be willing to buy the doll if the quality of the dress was improved and the price bumped up a dollar or so?

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    1. Hi Barb, yes--I would still buy. The same would be true for the hair quality. Slightly nicer hair and a dollar or two more in price would be great in my eyes. I should add that Neve's dress is surprisingly cute and well-constructed for this price range. If all of the dresses had been that nice, I don't think I even would have raised quality as an issue with the clothing.

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  9. These are cuter than I expected them to be!

    I wonder how the clothing and hair quality compares to the off-brand mini dolls that you find at places like Dollarama.

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    1. Great question! I have considered the Sparkle Girlz once or twice before, but always pass on them because the quality doesn't look very good. However, now I am much more interested in how they compare to these little Moxies. Maybe a project for the weekend? It's a great idea to compare these to dollar store dolls, too--or even the little dolls that show up in the Target or TRU dollar bins.
      I will investigate!! :D

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  10. I don't consider these mini dolls so much as little sibling dolls. To me mini dolls, like the Our Generation Minis or the Mini Pullips, are meant to be the same age as the full sized dolls while little sibling dolls, like Chelsea and these, are meant to be younger than their older counterparts.

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    1. Interesting distinction! I have never thought about this before, and you're right that there's an important difference. I don't think I would call Chelsea a "mini" doll, so I'm not sure why I immediately started calling these Moxie dolls minis! Some little dolls are small because they're younger, and others are small because they're mini replicas. Excellent point.

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  11. Also around the same price point Walmart has little Sparkle Girlz dolls.

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    1. Yes, those little ones have a great price tag, too! Now I am tempted to do a comparison review.... ;)

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    2. I'm thinking the Sparkle Girlz, who have been around longer, are the reason the Target exclusive Moxie Girlz Friends line even exists. It's almost like they wanted some kind of cheap alternative to Barbie too.

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  12. Please do a review on Venus McFlytrap Zombie Shake she is AMAZZZIIINNGGG

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  13. great review! Id like all of them! if only target isnt miles away from here and i wasn't broke i would've bought 2 of each. Neve is my fave though,she looks like a little bit like disneys animator cinderella doll....

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  14. These guys are soo cute!! I'm going to have to get some for my niece; they'll fit nicely in her little doll house (if I don't steal Amorie first, her hair is beyond adorable!) Def. not bad for $3.

    If you have the patience doing a seam close to the edges of the neck and armholes will keep them from stretching out further.

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  15. Hello! I know this isn't related to this article but… I recently read your W.I.T.C.H. doll article and I was wondering what your Will doll would look like compared to a Kurhn. They seem to have similar eyes…

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  16. These mini dolls are very cute! But I think I'd be more tempted by the OG minis.

    Also, I thought I'd give you a heads up about a new large-scale doll line that seems to want to compete with American Girl. They're called Global Girls. I haven't heard too much about them, since I stumbled on them by accident through Facebook. It seemed like the sort of thing that would be up your alley, though sadly, they don't have a red-head character (not yet, anyway).

    http://globalgirl.com/en/21-dolls

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    1. Thank you so much for this tip, Miyu! I have one on the way...or I think I do. Not a lot of communication from the company.

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  17. There used to be a Moxie Girlz set with the blonde and her little sister in matching outfits. I reckon these dolls are in proportion to her. I think there was only one set like that. Maybe it didn't sell well enough and these girls are like the leftovers from what could have been.

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  18. She's cute! Great review. I love the side by sides and the full line photos.

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  19. Emily, I reviewed Tally over at my blog Planet of the Dolls, and I addressed some of the flaws you found in your Tally. If you get a chance, check out the comparison. I think I must have hit a better batch than you did. Mine doesn't have some of the flaws yours has. The clothes are still a chincy though. But at least all the dolls don't seem to have some of those problems you mentioned.

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  20. Still so behind but I agree that Neve and Amorie are very cute! I love little doll so will have to watch for them. I wonder if they would fit into Kelly's clothing? Hopefully, I will fin them and be able to know soon. Will have to send DH off to look tomorrow. I was at Walmart last week and the OG section was demolished. Every mini, every accessory set (except shoes) were gone. I am betting they will be on e-bay soon because I can't believe that much just sold in one week.

    My best,
    Suzi

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  21. There is also a dark brown haired doll. I bought all four. They are just to cute. Viv

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  22. In the last picture, the rubber band marks looks like the doll has bendable ankles!
    Also Neve is a darling!

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  24. I had a friend in GS named Neve (pronounced Nee-vus) but c'mon!!! Talley? Amorie? these are some odd names

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