Friday, March 27, 2015

Travel Friends "India" and "Ireland" by Madame Alexander

Ok, first things first: I saw Cinderella last week and absolutely loved it.  I went into the theater with very (very!) high expectations, granted, and I can't say that those expectations were completely met, but I did really enjoy the movie and cried through about half of it (both sad and happy tears).  I think Richard Madden is absolutely perfect as the prince (named "Kit," apparently).  Cate Blanchett is luminescent as Lady Tremaine, but Helena Bonham-Carter's plucky Fairy Godmother doesn't have enough screen time.  Some of the characters are left underdeveloped (Fairy Godmother and stepsisters), while others (Lady Tremaine and the king) are given new depth.  Lily James sparkles as Ella, with a tender-hearted and lovable version of the character.  Her chemistry with Kit is fantastic.  Ms. James' version of Cinderella doesn't have quite enough spunk to trump Drew Barrymore in Ever After, that remains my favorite live action Cinderella movie.  I am off to see Cinderella again on Sunday, and probably two or three more times after that.  It's wonderful.

Today's review doesn't have anything to do with Cinderella, though.  This review is based on another excellent reader suggestion.  My friend Nadine (who knows how much I like miniature things...) purchased one of the Madame Alexander mini dolls at Toys R Us a few weeks ago, and she suggested that I do this review--thinking I might particularly enjoy the articulation on these new minis.  I had already seen Char's review of these dolls over on Doll Diaries, but wanted to get a look at them in person.  The minis, called "Travel Friends," are about 7 inches tall and are available for $12.99.  The collection includes 9 girls who each represent a different country (Ireland, India, China, Germany, Russia, Kenya and France).  I purchased Ireland (for her red hair, of course) and India (because I thought she was the prettiest):

Madame Alexander "Travel Friends" dolls
Madame Alexander "Travel Friends," $12.99 each. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Through the Woods" Ashlynn Ella--A Guest Review!

I am so thrilled to have my friend Muzzy as a guest reviewer this week. You might know Muzzy from her lovely comments here on the blog.  I am especially grateful to Muzzy because not only did she choose to review a character that I am very fond of (Ashlynn Ella!), but the timing of her contribution is perfect.  I could not be more grateful to have a helping hand this week (a helping foot would be awesome, too...) but also, this is the first week of the Cinderella movie (I haven't seen it yet...the agony!) and so a review of Cinderella's daughter seems highly appropriate.

I will let Muzzy tell you all about this new version of Ashlynn Ella, and then I will hop in at the end to share a few pictures and thoughts about my own new Ever After High doll, Duchess Swan.  Please welcome Muzzy to the blog with her beautiful Ashlynn!

Ever After High's "Through the Woods" Ashlynn Ella.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nancy Dolls by Famosa

I am still having a bit of a hard time getting around, and so my "field research" has taken a hit.  The nice thing is, I always seem to have a stash of dolls sitting around that I purchased ages ago but haven't reviewed for one reason or another.  This week, I decided to raid that stash of forgotten dolls and I rediscovered the two Nancy dolls I bought back in 2013.  Nancy is a 16-inch plastic play doll produced by the Spanish company, Famosa.  Famosa makes a wide range of dolls and toys and has partnerships with some popular brands like Furby, Hello Kitty and My Little Pony.  Currently, Famosa might be best known in the United States for their Pinypon line of small dolls and accessories--toys I'd really like to review some day!

I first learned about Nancy dolls in 2012 from Moni, through a comment she left on an old review.  I was reminded of this doll again in 2013 when I started to explore the many different options in the 18-inch play doll market.  Nancy stands out from this crowd because she's smaller and shorter than dolls like American Girl, and also because of her price point.  Nancy dolls tend to retail for between $20 and $25--unless they are discontinued and difficult to find.

Nancy dolls come with a few different hair and eye color options (there's a lovely-looking redhead, but she's hard to find here in the States).  There are also two skin tones that I am aware of.  Most (all?) of the dolls sold in this country have a tan-looking yellowish skin tone, but there are also dark-skinned Nancy dolls available--like the gorgeous Nancy gracing the product page of the Famosa website.  Another variation in the Nancy line is that some of the dolls have articulated knees and others do not.  In this review, I will look at one of each style: the unarticulated Nancy "Pink Sports Ballerina" ($19.99, Amazon) and the articulated Nancy "Little Red Riding Hood" ($24.99, Amazon):

Famosa's "Little Red Riding Hood" Nancy.