Sunday, December 14, 2014

The "Honey Lemon" doll from Big Hero 6

I stumbled on the Honey Lemon doll one day while I was casually browsing through the Disney Store's online collections.  At that time, I didn't know anything about the Big Hero 6 movie--I just noticed that there was a new redheaded Disney doll who looked really fun and full of character.

A few weeks ago, Christina recommended Honey Lemon to me over on Facebook, and I figured it would be a good time to actually see the movie and think about doing a review of the doll.  I still didn't know the story of Big Hero 6 when I went to the theater last week (the title doesn't give much away).  I knew the movie was loosely based on a Marvel comic book series by the same name, but that's about it.  I don't want to give away too much about the movie to any of you, but it's really a delightful, action-filled film with tons of heart.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and was even laughing out loud (and crying a little, too) on several occasions...even though I was the only one in the theater.

I think the Disney Store has only made articulated dolls out of two characters from this movie so far: Honey Lemon and Go Go Tomago.  Neither of these girls are the star of Big Hero 6, though.  The movie is carried by an engaging 13-year-old genius, Hiro, and his huggable robot companion, Baymax.  Still, Honey Lemon is a kind, brilliant, zany addition to the story and it's a treat every time she is on screen.  Although I'd really love to have a Hiro doll in my collection some day, for now I am happy to have the cheery, redheaded Honey:

Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon doll
The Disney Store's "Honey Lemon" from the Big Hero 6 movie.
The Honey Lemon and Go Go Tomago dolls have been sold out at the Disney Store for a few weeks, but I think the original retail price was $16.95.  At this point, unless you have a local Disney Store, the only way to get one of these girls for the holidays is to pay more on Amazon or eBay.

Honey Lemon came in an asymmetrical window box with modern graphics:


There's a small picture of the character from the movie on the front of the box.  Her facial expression in this picture reminds of Anna's determined look in Frozen...but her hair doesn't look very red:


I like the design of the box.  The decorations are minimal, but the bold red and black color scheme is very eye-catching.


The back of the box has another picture of Honey from the movie, and a short description of the doll's features:


In this picture, Honey's face doesn't look much like Anna at all:


Despite the box's unusual shape, it's very easy to get open. I untaped and released two flaps at the top of the box and then the cardboard insert slid smoothly out.



The backdrop has a very faint greyscale city scene.  Honey is attached to this backdrop with a series of clear rubber bands, thread, wire and plastic ties...but there are no (zero!  Zip!) plastic ties in her head:  

Saved by the helmet.
The first thing I noticed about the Honey doll is that she has really, really long and skinny legs:

Reminds me of Winx Club.
These extreme proportions are very accurate to the spindly, super-tall movie character.

Honey was also held in place by a molded plastic base.  She comes with six colorful balls that were packaged in their own plastic shell off to one side.  Here's the packaging wreckage:


I bought the Honey Lemon doll before I saw the movie, so when I actually watched Big Hero 6, I was able to recognize the Honey character's face instantly from its resemblance to the doll.  

However, Honey's appearance at the beginning of the story wasn't exactly what I expected.  She looked like this:


First of all, she's a brunette.  She has (appropriately) honey-colored hair.  Also, she's wearing awesome red (dark pink?) glasses and ordinary street clothes.  She changes her outfit several times throughout the movie, but is usually wearing some shade of yellow.

Without giving too much away (I hope) she does end up looking like the doll by the end of the movie:


Let's compare that picture to the actual doll:


The doll's outfit is a nice reproduction of the movie character's costume.  They're both wearing a belted purple dress, maroon tights and orange armor.  They're also both carrying a purse, but the doll's purse has a bear on it and the movie purse does not.  More on that later.



Honey has very long, spindly legs that are slightly warped, so she had no real hope of standing on her own.  I used my Integrity saddle stand to get her on her feet:


Honey's helmet arrived a little crooked, so it was hard to see her face at first:


Once the doll is de-boxed, the helmet can move around easily on her head, so I was able to get it properly aligned:


The visor of the helmet even opens and closes, so I could get my first look at Honey's face without even taking the helmet off:

Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon doll

The helmet is made out of pink hard plastic and has painted orange decorations:


The visor is made out of slightly cloudy transparent plastic.  It is connected to the rest of the helmet with two pegs that allow it to hinge up and down:


The ear-like protrusions on either side of the helmet look like they should move, but they don't.


Here's Honey without her helmet:


At this point, her hair was still tied back with a clear rubber band. There was also a clear band keeping her purse and armor in place:


With a few quick snips, I was able to remove the purse.  Here it is with the extra ball accessories:


In the movie, Honey is a chemist, and she invents little balls (chemical bombs) that all have different effects--like creating a sheet of ice or a pile of sludge.  The shells for these balls line the strap of the purse.  Honey can insert a shell into the purse, program the chemicals she wants for that ball, and then the completed weapon will be ejected at the opposite end of the purse.  

With the toy purse, the little balls fit into the hole at the top of the purse, and then exit through a hole in the back:


Even though the ball is sitting nicely at the back of the purse in the picture, above, in reality it comes shooting out of that hole at high speed, falls on the floor, and goes rolling off under a table where it can't be found.  At least in my experience.


The animal design and the action of the little balls bring to mind the Moxie Girlz and their Poopsy Pets.  

I'm not really sure why the toy purse was designed this way.  The pooping animal association is not in line with Honey's personality, and I don't think the purse in the movie had an animal face on it at any time.  From what I remember, it simply has a heart-shaped control panel and a small, flat, circular compartment that opens to release the completed bomb.  If anyone has a clue about why there's a bear on this purse, please let me know.  I feel like I must be missing something. Probably need to watch the movie again more carefully....


So...the plain pink heart should be a complex, multi-buttoned control panel...

*Update: Kevin tells me that the control panel design on the movie purse is actually the periodic table--so that Honey can select specific chemicals (you can see a picture here).  That is totally awesome and now I really, really wish the design had been carried over from the movie to this accessory.  Thank you, Kevin!

This should be a periodic table!
And (cute as it is) there shouldn't be a bear face.



Here's Honey with all of the rubber bands and accessories removed from her outfit:

Disney Store Honey Lemon doll

She has long, straight red hair with blonde highlights.  The red hair is an interesting choice since neither the movie character nor the original comic book character have red hair.  I shouldn't complain, though, since I am a huge fan of red hair in general.


The quality of the hair fiber is very nice, and the rooting pattern is dense and regular:


I wanted to remove Honey's armor before I took a closer look at her face.  The plastic chest plate is hard and stiff and limits the movement of the doll's head and arms.



The armor comes in two pieces that attach to one another with a series of pegs and bars:



It's pretty easy to pull the armor apart, and then if all of the connecting points are aligned nicely, it's simple to re-attach.


After the two sides snap together completely, the connection feels very secure.

My doll's armor has a slightly warped neck piece that makes one of the connection points hard to attach:



With the armor gone, Honey can move her head around freely.


She has an elongated, oval-shaped head with large green eyes and a small forehead region:

Disney Store Honey Lemon doll

Honey's side-glancing eyes are reasonably well-placed (better than my Elsa doll, certainly...) although this doll's right eye looks downward more than the left:


She can still look at the camera in a convincing way:

Disney Store Honey Lemon doll

Each of Honey's eyes has an emerald green iris with an olive green border.  This character's eyes struck me as more hazel than bright green in the movie.  I should definitely watch the movie again to double-check this....  

Honey has very large dark pupils with two reflective dots:


The design of Honey's eyebrows is somewhat unique: she has plain brown brows with a small area towards the center that is lighter in color and has a few lined details.  She has no individually-drawn eyelashes, and just a faint brown layer of eyeshadow:


Honey's lips are a bright opaque pink.  She has a lopsided smile that reminds me of the Rapunzel and Merida dolls:


Here's another view of Honey's face with her hair pulled back:

Ok, so the eyes look super wonky here.
This doll's short forehead and elongated, protruding jaw are quite distinct from the head shapes of many of the other Disney Store dolls.


Disney Store Honey Lemon doll

I really like Honey's glasses in the movie, so I tried a few pairs of glasses on the doll:


She photographs best in these lens-free Liv glasses:


Under the plastic armor, Honey is wearing a high-collared magenta dress over a maroon turtleneck and maroon tights:


The dress has a removable orange vinyl belt:


The dress has a velcro seam at the top:


The belt has a peg-and-hole closure and is easy to get off, and fairly easy to snap back on again:


Under the belt, the dress has a vaguely 70's style with a geometric print and a raised waistline:


The sleeves of the maroon shirt extend down over part of the hands.  There's a single opening over the fingers and a separate thumb hole that looks like it might be a pain during dressing:

That's very fashionable, though.
The top of the dress has some nice detail--with the maroon turtleneck peeking out underneath the two sides of the pink collar:


The dress and the turtleneck come off in one connected piece:


The turtleneck is stitched to the dress in a few areas, but is mostly separate and has the full length of a regular shirt:


Here's the dress turned inside-out so you can see the length and construction of the turtleneck:


The collar area seems especially rugged.


Under the dress, Honey is wearing knitted tights with an elastic waist and wedge-heeled shoes (not super-practical for combat...but oh, well).  The tights actually stop at the ankle, so I guess they are more like leggings.


The shoes are very accurate to the movie, with three pink straps across the front and a two-toned heel:


I was surprised to see that underneath all of her clothes, Honey has what is basically just the regular Disney Store body--with a new lower leg mold:


The lower legs are attached with hinged knees, making this doll more like the Disney Store dolls of 2012.  I never know what to hope for with Disney Store knee joints these days.  The internal knees are way too fragile, but these hinges are pretty inelegant.  Disney really, really needs a new knee design (rotating hinges, please!!) but in the meantime I suppose the hinged joints are better than the flimsy click knees.


I was interested to see Honey's new leg mold for another reason, too.  While this character is unusually tall and skinny, the other girl in Big Hero 6 (Go Go Tomago) is a shorter Asian woman with an athletic build.  Now I am insanely curious to see what changes exist in Go Go's body mold!  I think it's very exciting that the Disney Store is altering the shape of their doll bodies to suit individual characters. 

I especially like the foot shape of this new mold--it has a lot of toe and arch detail that isn't in the regular dolls:



My doll's right foot has one overgrown toenail, though:


Honey can pose like any other Disney Store doll, although (unlike the other hinge-kneed dolls) she doesn't have articulation at her ankles.


She can sit on the ground, but can't position her knees very close together.  She also can't do side-to-side splits very effectively, although her flexible lower legs try to make up for this shortcoming...


Her front-to-back splits are excellent:


And she can kneel really well:


She has decent balance in several poses...as long at they don't involve perching solely on her highly-arched feet.


And...like her fellow hinge-kneed Disney Store dolls...Honey is not the most graceful chair-sitter.  In fact, her long lower legs make this pose even more awkward than it is for the Classic Princesses. 


Here's Honey next to Mother Gothel--who has hinged knees (and the same color of maroon underpants):


Honey has a darker skin tone (her character is Hispanic) and less warping at the knees, but otherwise she has exactly the same body mold as Mother Gothel--with the exception of the lower legs.

With both dolls kneeling to hide their lower limbs, you can see that the rest of their bodies are the same:


And here they are from the side, showing off the difference in length and shape of the two leg molds:


So, Honey can share clothes (but not shoes) with any other Disney Store doll in this scale.  Pants might not be a perfect fit because of the different leg lengths, but dresses and shirts can be shared very well.  

To demonstrate, here's Mother Gothel in Honey's dress:

Mother Gothel in Honey Lemon's outfit.
She's definitely channeling Deanna Troi in this outfit....

Even the helmet fits:

Mother Gothel in Honey Lemon's outfit.
I also wanted to compare Honey to Anna, since they both have red hair, and because the picture of Honey from Big Hero 6 reminds me of how Anna looked in Frozen.  I don't think the dolls look very much alike, though:


Anna's legs are grossly misshapen and she looks ultra-pale next to Honey.  She can stand on her own, though (just barely).

Here are the two dolls' faces side-by-side:


The eyes are going every which way in that picture.

Update: here are some comparison shots of Honey with Rapunzel and with Merida.



Of course Honey can wear other Disney Store doll clothes perfectly, too, so here she is impersonating Anna:

Honey Lemon in Frozen Anna's outfit.
The blond streaks in her hair fit the character really well!

Honey Lemon in Frozen Anna's outfit.
One last comparison I wanted to make is with the Winx Club dolls.  When I first saw Honey, I wondered if she might be able to share clothes with Bloom, but as you can see, the two dolls are fairly different in size:

But quite similar in their proportions.

Like the other Disney Store dolls, Honey can wear a lot of Liv clothes.  I wanted to try and recreate Honey's more casual look from the movie, so here she is in a yellow Liv top with red Monster High glasses:



I was not really looking forward to putting Honey back in her original outfit.  I figured those thumb holes would give me grief and then wouldn't look very good.  It actually wasn't a big hassle to get the sleeves on, and I was able to make the cuff seams lay flat so that they look nice:


Here are a few more pictures of Honey in various pieces of her original outfit:


For most poses, Honey needs the help of a doll stand:


Her red hair is especially fun to play with.  It's very soft and smooth (though a little static-prone...) and I love how the different streaks of blonde can peek out in various ways.

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll


Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll

The helmet is also a fun, sturdy accessory.  The moving visor is great, although it's much easier to photograph the doll when it's lifted away from her face:

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll


The purse is cute, but the strap is short, warped, and pretty stiff, so it's hard to get this accessory to look natural.  Also, those balls are really tiny, and the doll doesn't come with any way to store them.  I've already lost one.

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll

The armor is fairly easy to get on and off and looks cool from the front.   The side seams are a little obvious when the doll is turned, but this doesn't bother me too much: 

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll



Honey Lemon doll

For some of my last pictures, I tried to re-create this pose from the box:


I had to have Honey facing the opposite direction because of her eye placement, but here's my best attempt:

Disney Store's Honey Lemon doll

... and of course I think she looks better with the front of her helmet raised:


Bottom line?  First of all, I really enjoyed the Big Hero 6 movie and am already looking for excuses to see it again.  It's always fun to have a souvenir from a great movie, and this definitely adds to the appeal of the Honey Lemon doll.  I'd probably rather have a Hiro or Baymax memento from this particular movie, but Honey Lemon is a nice doll in her own right and would be fun to have even with zero knowledge of the movie and its characters.

Honey Lemon is very much like other Disney Store dolls in terms of quality.  Her character face is nicely done and her hair feels great.  Her eye placement is a little wonky, but I've seen worse.  Her articulation and body style are exactly like other hinge-kneed Disney Store dolls, except that her lower legs have a new mold with longer length and unarticulated ankles.  Honey's outfit is made out of synthetic fabrics, but it's soft and well-constructed.  The outfit pieces are easy to get on and off--with the possible exception of the thumb holes on the shirt sleeves.  The body armor and helmet are neat additions to the outfit.  I like everything about the helmet and am only slightly less enthusiastic about the armor--mostly because it limits Honey's movement.  The purse is also a fun and visually appealing accessory.  I don't really like the way the chemical bomb balls come flying out the back of the purse, though.  This design makes the toy difficult to play with.  Also, since the purse does not have a storage compartment for the balls, they are too easily lost.  Overall, I feel that the outfit pieces and accessories in this set justify its $17 price.

Despite a few minor inconsistencies, this doll is an excellent replica of the Honey Lemon character from the movie.  Her face, body type and outfit resemble the character really well.  I recognized Honey Lemon's face in the movie immediately--simply because of her similarity to the doll.  The doll's outfit is also very accurate in its color palette and detailing.  I do wonder why the doll has bright red hair, though, and why her purse is adorned with a kawaii-style teddy bear.  

I like the idea of tweaking the traditional Disney Store doll body design to suit the specific look of a new character.  I also really like the fact that Disney is representing a variety of physical types that actually require the old body shape to be altered.  After seeing the little changes in Honey's body mold, I am even more eager to see the Go Go Tomago doll in person.  I am very curious about which elements of her body design have been changed and which (if any) are the same as other Disney Store dolls.  

The new bodies on these Big Hero 6 dolls also make me optimistic that perhaps Disney is ready to re-think the leg design of their traditional dolls.  I have a soft spot for Disney Store dolls--they always have charismatic, movie-accurate faces and great outfits.  However, the company's inability (or unwillingness) to address the faulty knee joints has significantly diminished my enthusiasm over the past few years.  I am tired of bow-legged and broken dolls.  Perhaps Honey and Go Go will be the inspiration that Disney needs to rescue their dolls from this one debilitating flaw.  That would be heroic, indeed.

Honey Lemon doll

30 comments:

  1. I think the bear on the purse was from an older honeylemon design.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, seeha--that certainly helps explain the mystery!

      Delete
  2. Great review as always, Emily. :) I'm a big fan of Big Hero 6, too, but didn't get a chance to purchase the Honey Lemon and Go Go dolls before they sold out online. I'm thrilled to see that they made her taller than the other standard dolls. I'm curious to see if Go Go has wider hips as she did in the movie, or if they're just padded with extra material.

    Thanks for doing this review! I'll have to link it on my blog for readers interested in the Honey Lemon doll. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi beastsbelle--yes! I am super curious about Go Go's body construction, too! I am really, really hoping that it's not just padding. Part of me wants to know right now, the other part wants the surprise of de-boxing her and finding a new body...or not. I'll watch to see if you get her before I do. It might be a while for me!

      Isn't Big Hero 6 a wonderful movie? I am trying to convince the rest of my family to go see it with me again tonight. ;)

      Delete
    2. Sadly, Gogo's body is just padded. :(

      Delete
  3. Glad to see you picked up Honey and enjoyed her! I reviewed her over on my blog as well, and I have Go Go waiting under the Christmas tree for me and I can't wait to see what they did with her, since Honey was so successful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, Christina! Your will power is way better than mine. ;) I am SO curious about Go Go now. She's another great character. Thank you so much again for your suggestion--I'm not sure if I would have seen the movie in the theaters if it weren't for you. I will hop over to your blog and read your impressions of Honey!

      Delete
  4. P.S. If you were able to take another photo, it would be interesting to do a comparison pic of Honey Lemon and one of the Disney Store Rapunzel dolls, since so many people have mentioned that they have very similar facial features. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually did that in my review on Honey Lemon for that reason, and I don't think they look much alike at all, at least in doll form!
      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kqE56OTMcto/VIO284c5mWI/AAAAAAAAIGM/99hS5hL5T0M/s1600/SAM_2766.JPG

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Christina. Great review! :) I'll have to keep an eye out for your Go Go review after Christmas. :)

      Delete
    3. :) It's killing me knowing Go Go is in my house and I don't have her in my hands yet haha. And thanks!

      Delete
    4. That's a great suggestion, beastsbelle! I held my Honey up next to one of the earlier Rapunzel dolls and wasn't impressed with the similarities, either. Thank you for getting the shot, Christina! I can add one, too, but probably not tonight.

      Delete
    5. I find this doll reminds me more of Merida than of anyone else....as if they tweaked the face length, nose and eyebrows, the gaze and smirk are similar to me without having them both to compare (yet!)
      I love everything about this new doll character. Great shots, Emily!

      Delete
    6. I think her smile looks like Merida's, too! I added in some face comparisons with Rapunzel and Merida, just to see them all together. :)

      Delete
  5. The purse is from a design that was in some promo: http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/3935605-3902035419-big-h-big-hero-6-s-honey-lemon-stop-messing-with-awesome-superheroes-disney.jpeg?width=1000&height=563

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just noticed that link isn't working, if you just search "big hero 6 honey lemon purse" in google images it'll show up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! I wonder why Disney decided to stick with an older design? The periodic table control panel would have been so SO much better in my eyes...as much as I appreciate cute teddy bears. ;)
      Thank you for this information, Stella!

      Delete
  7. I am afraid that Gogo's hips are just padding. The body is the same but the suit makes her thighs and hips look bigger. I was dissapointed because Gogo has a very similar body type to mine :-( but what can you do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nooooo! That's so sad. It negates a lot of my optimism for Disney's willingness to change things up. Oh, well. Perhaps the padding is a tiny step in the right direction, anyway.
      Thank you for revealing the truth--it's very good to know, and my curiosity almost had me hitting "buy it now" on eBay! You saved me. ;)

      Delete
    2. Movie merchandise is usually designed months before the movie is released based either on clips of the film or concept art that may be changed at later stages.
      Also, in the case of Gogo Tomago, I read from another doll blog that the padding was a wiser choice to keep the doll compatible with the rest of the disney store dolls clothes, which would be an issue I can see you ranting about. They actually did the same thing with the Kristoff doll.

      Delete
    3. Hm. The clothes sharing is nice, but I actually think that even with this under consideration, I'd still have been much more excited about a different, movie-accurate body style. It's partly because most of the Disney clothes are princess dresses, and that doesn't strike me as Go Go's thing. ;) Also, if Disney had taken a similar approach as they did with with Honey--using the same torso but different legs, a lot of the dresses would still fit (albeit on the long side...). One last factor is that Go Go's armor is painted to her arms, so she's not a great contender for sharing clothes, anyway.

      Delete
  8. She's adorable! I love red hair, too -- I might have to see if I can find her somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Emily I always love your blog, but Mother Gothel as Deanna Troi had me laughing out loud!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I reviewed Honey as well! FYI, she can wear some Winx Club shoes, if you're looking for footwear options for her. Some Monster high shoes are okay too, but her long toes do tend to make them fit oddly. (Plus her foot is a lot skinnier than the MH foot) I recommend closed-toe boots, the taller the better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Whoa does Honey have legs!

    I agree that she looks like a cross between Rapunzel and Merida. The face shape and side-glancing eyes like the former; the quirky mouth, the latter.

    I have so gotta get a Mother Gothel. She's got such cool hair ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review! I'm annoyed at myself for not getting this doll when she was in stock - should've known after Frozen not to wait until I've seen a movie to buy dolls! Oh well! DS shipping to Aus is a lot, anyway, so eBay will probably be around the same. Thanks for the very informative review. I'm really excited to see Big Hero 6! It looks cute.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great review as usual! I was lucky to get Gogo in store the day the movie came out and Honey online the same weekend. Aside from the wonky hip joints (I'm not a huge fan of in package posing because there's a far higher chance of it happening) and Honey's purse I really like them. I really like the Disney Store dolls but don't have a lot of them, just the WITCH girls and the BH6 girls. If they at least made a Hiro too that'd be great.

    I've seen pics of people dressing their Honey Lemons with Barbie dresses, so that's another option.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I personally love Gogo, but I have to say that Honey is not really my style. I don't particularly like her colouring combined with her colour scheme, but I do love her outfit on Mother Gothel! So yeah, I don't know whether I like the doll or not. I like her purse and outfit on their own, but it's the actual doll I'm a bit so-so on. I think her face is like a mash up of Rapunzel an Meridia, with some things unique to herself that I'm not too fond of. Still, a great reivew as always, and despite not being really my style, I can see why you like her. She's unique, from her cool helmet to her long legs and one overgrown toenail ;) That's why I'm actually why starting to gradually like her more, not loving her but not too terrible either.
    That probably made sense to nobody outside my head :)
    -Arieta

    ReplyDelete
  15. She seems so cute! I love her! I also REALLY LOVED the movie Big Hero 6!! Best movie ever! I hope you get GoGo and review her! GoGo's my favorite girl character in the movie, but Hiro is my favorite character of all! It *would* be really cool to have a doll of him! :)
    By the way, do her knees bend easily? I have an Elsa doll who's knees are really hard to pose because one of her legs is wonky...

    ReplyDelete