Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Project Mc2 McKeyla with Painted Eyes?

I'm struggling a little to get up-to-speed with eBay sales, but I did manage to get a widget posted in the sidebar here for anyone who wants to monitor the auctions.  I'm starting everything at just a few dollars with no reserve.  Shipping can be high on some of the larger dolls, though, and I'm still working on getting those costs as low as I can.  There's weird stuff going on with box dimensions that I don't fully understand yet!  I'm certainly not looking to make a profit on shipping.

Anyway, I swore I wouldn't buy any more dolls just for review (and I swore I was done with Project Mc2...many times) but I couldn't resist this new Project Mc2 McKeyla doll.  She's a simpler version of the Lava Light doll that I reviewed back in 2015.  She has fewer accessories and painted eyes.  At this point, she's not mentioned on the official Mc2 website, and I've only been able to find her on the secondary market for ridiculously high prices (currently $70 on Amazon?!).  Some of the Amazon buyer reviews suggest that she's a knockoff, but I had to get my hands on her to see what I could learn.  Back when I bought her, she was "only" $29.  I guess that's the price of curiosity.

Project Mc2 McKeyla's Lava Light doll...with painted eyes.
For those of you who don't feel like going back and scrolling through my old review of Lava Light McKeyla--no worries. I've copied and pasted a few of those pictures here for comparison.

This is what the original Lava Light doll's packaging looked like:

review
Original Lava Light McKeyla.
And here's the newer doll:

New Lava Light McKeyla.

Here's the back of the original box:

Original Lava Light McKeyla box.
Here's the new McKeyla's box:

New box.
Notice that the original box has a photo of the actress who plays McKeyla in the upper left hand corner.  The new box has replaced that photo with a photo of the old doll--the one with inset eyes!  That's extraordinarily careless:

I'm not the doll in this box.  Get over it.
Many of the graphics and descriptions on the box are taken from the old packaging and simply reformatted to fit the smaller size of the new box.

The original dolls from the first wave.
The original Lava Light doll came with a ton of accessories:

review
The original McKeyla's Lava Light accessories.
That doll came with a backpack, a comb, a notebook, a tablet, a stand, and a lava light project.  Frankly, the only accessory I really liked from that group was the lava light.  I might have even made a few comment in my earlier reviews about how I wish MGA would leave out the little plastic accessories and lower the price.  

Maybe that's what they did?

The original McKeyla doll came with an outfit that included shorts, a tee shirt, a jacket, a hat, leggings, and boots:

The original Lava Light McKeyla.
The original Lava Light McKeyla.
She also had an awesome ring on her left hand:


One of the Amazon reviews I read said that the new doll does not have the ring.  Bummer.

Here are a few more photos of the original McKeyla:

Before and after her hair was brushed.

The original Lava Light McKeyla.
Ok, now let's go back and look at the new doll:


MGA Entertainment probably covered their bases with this statement on the bottom of the box:

"Contents, including specifications and colors, may vary from photos depicted on package."
The new doll comes with her own version of the lava light instruction booklet:


The box contents have been updated, but the ring is still listed:


I checked my doll more closely, and sure enough!  The new doll has the little ring.  Yay!

But the photograph on the instruction booklet is still of the older doll with inset eyes:

Misleading evidence.
At this point it's probably obvious, but I'll say it anyway: based on the appearance of the doll's packaging, instructions, and clothing--she's not a knockoff.  She's just a pared-down version of the earlier doll.

I wasn't originally going to take the new McKeyla out of her package, so I pulled the backdrop out of the box to get a few clear pictures:


The plastic lava light accessory is just like the original.  It lights up and everything:


McKeyla has the highly-articulated, flat-footed version of the Mc2 body.  Her owl shirt, shorts, leggings, and boots are the same as the ones that came on the original doll:


I was fully prepared to be offended by the new face and the lack of inset eyes...


...but I actually think the new face is very nice!


The eyebrows are lighter and less harsh than they were on the original doll and the green eyes are very well-painted and have a distinctive iris pattern that's reminiscent of the inset eyes:

painted eyes

Here's a close-up of the original McKeyla's face for comparison:

inset eyes
The original Lava Light McKeyla.
The original Lava Light McKeyla.
And here are the two dolls side-by-side:

Old Lava Light McKeyla (left) and new Lava Light McKeyla (right).

I tend to love inset eyes, but I think I like the new face more than the old one.

The new McKeyla's lips look quite different to me (she looks happier!), but I think it's mostly because of a different paint job.  I think the two dolls have the same face mold.

painted eyes

I really wanted to know if the quality of this doll's hair had improved at all, so I finally caved and took her all of the way out of the box:

painted eyes

This way I can show off her ring, too:


The hair on this McKeyla is shorter and less curly than the original doll's hair.  It was much easier to work with right out of the box!  

New Lava Light McKeyla's hair.
Here's a reminder of the rat's nest of hair that came on the original doll:

Original Lava Light McKeyla's hair.
The new hair is still coarse--especially at the ends, but it's a nice improvement.

painted eyes

This doll poses nicely and has good balance, at least while she's wearing her shoes:


painted eyes

Overall, I was surprised by how much I like this happier, simpler version of McKeyla.  

It's clearer from peering into the box that there's not much included for the project, too, which sets up more realistic expectations than the busy, full-looking boxes of the earlier dolls.


Bottom line?  As pleasantly surprised as I was by this doll, my feelings about her are dependent on what her actual retail price is.  Has anybody seen her out there in a store yet?  If she's priced under $10 (or maybe even under $15), then I think this is an interesting move on MGA's part.  They've trimmed the extras to offer a highly-articulated doll with a cute face and a fun project for an affordable price.  However, if this doll is selling for a similar price to that of the older project-based doll sets (~$20-25), I'm not as impressed.

painted eyes

24 comments:

  1. The linkto the Ebay listings doesn;t seem to be working.

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    1. Sorry! Very few things about eBay seem to be working. :) I'll see what I can do....

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  2. I saw these a while back online but am yet to see any in stores. I think it's a good idea to do this with the budget releases, the inset eyes on them meant the budget dolls were really expensive, like £15 over here which is waaaay too much for something that's supposed to be budget. The static body was the compromise (though given how flimsy the articulated mc2 body is, no great loss I think) but honestly if they could drop the price of the budgets to £10-12 with painted eyes instead, i'd love it. The clothing is excellent, I just can't justify £15-20 a pop for some fashions you know?

    And the painted eyes aren't bad, they do have some personality that's for sure. Even when cheaping out, MGA put effort in it seems lol.

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    1. I hear you. I actually like the under-articulated dolls better (crazy, right??!) and would have liked the idea of a new budget release with painted eyes...but, see the comment below. I guess these dolls are old news, not the new wave. :(

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  3. These were released a couple years ago, they were exclusive to Big Lots. The original retail price was $15. MGA also re-released the first wave budget dolls without the inset eyes, they were $8 each iirc

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    1. Oh wow! I knew somebody would have good intelligence on this variation. Thank you! I thought they must be new. Maybe I should have left her in the box! ;P
      $15 is fair.

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  4. Ooh i've never heard of these, but they're a good budget product(does that even exist anymore?)! It's neat that they offered an alternative instead of just cheaper clothing etc.
    Thank you for keeping up the cool blog!

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  5. Her new face reminds me of EAH dolls. But happier. I like it.

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  6. Just a comment about something that's none of my business: Your blog gets A LOT of views,and Ebay is so, pardon me, full of crap these days. If I had your viewership on my blog I'd just sell from there and avoid the million dollar Ebay fees.

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    1. You're probably right, Tam. Blogger is not great for setting up a store, though--not like WordPress. I'll hunt around and see what might be possible. So far, eBay's live chat has been super helpful, but I haven't been hit with any fees yet! Gulp!

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  7. I saw painted-eye MC2 dolls in my local Tuesday Morning once. I liked the look of them way better, but I still strongly dislike their overly-skinny bodies which is why I didn't buy one.

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    1. I totally agree about the bodies!

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  8. I have seen these dolls online, but I wasn't sure if they were original - good to know they are. They seemed to be based on the quality of the clothes, but nowadays you never know. I like this version of McKeyla, she looks cute, but she does not make me want her and rush to eBay to hunt one down for myself like some of the older versions did (and would still do if they had more reasonable prices) - I guess that's both good and bad at the same time (good because I have enough dolls already :) ).

    The eBay widget unfortunately doesn't work for me either. I'd love to see what you have up for sale, I tried to do a search too, but haven't succeeded in finding your account over there :(

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    1. Sorry the widget doesn't work for you! It works for me, so I can't tell if I've fixed it or not. The easiest way to find the auctions is to search "Kids n Cats Henriette" because she's rare and I think mine are the only auctions for her right now. I'll keep trying to fix the widget...thank you for the heads-up!!

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    2. Thank you for the response Emily! That is exactly how I was trying to find you first (after the previous post I suspected Henriette will be among the first to go up for sale), and in the end I did succeed, but the weird thing is: no matter how I tried (via ebay.com, with different options on where the items should be located, via ebay.co.uk and setting the search to also show international results; with or without quotation marks for exact reference, etc.), the auction did not come up, and I always got the result that there is currently no such auction up on the site. In the end I could find Henriette and thus your account by doing a Google search - but even in this case, searching for "Kids n Cats Henriette" and ebay as an added keyword did not work, only when I removed the "n" did I get to a page where your Henriette was suddenly among the search results. Weird... It must be an international search result refining/restriction thing, as while some of your other auctions do come up as recommendations at the bottom of the page, when I click "See other items" you suddenly do not have a single auction up for sale. I sometimes struggle to understand or find a sane reason behind how eBay search works :)

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  9. Hi she not new she part of a wallgreen exclusive line from way back in 2016 , her and a rerealese adrienne were 16$ while adrienne, cameryn amd mckeyla in the budjet outfits were 9$ . Recently like early 18 late 17 mga also rerealese some project that come with doll alone . It seemed that project mc2 are dead like fashion dolls in general ,too bad because they had so much potencial and i feel they were the last true fasion doll of this era ironicly they were about science

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    1. They had potential, but the ball was dropped when they failed to give any info about the projects beyond a set of instructions on putting something together. They crushed the ball with the show that had the girls portrayed as utter idiots and an insult to the intelligence of girls. I love me some makeup, and so does my daughter, but having the new projects be different makeup, which fails miserably according to every YouTube video I've seen further ruins this line.

      The dolls themselves as fashion dolls are very pretty, but as STEM-dolls, they fail.

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    2. Hi noelle sorry but i was talking only about the dolls ,yes the experiments and show were wack but the dolls were pretty, trendy and diverse and the potencial i was talking about was bettr bodies,fashion packs, playsets,more characters like i wish the brands would have been about the dolls only

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  10. She's really cute. I like her a lot and agree with you about price point...maybe $18.
    ~Xyra

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  11. Yo, if you are selling your dolls, do you think you could hold on to evangeline for me?

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    1. oh, gosh. Evangeline left here a long time ago. I don't even remember what happened to her. I'm sorry!

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  12. Your link to Ebay doesn't work. There must be something missing in the HTML because even going to page source and clicking on the link there doesn't take you anywhere. (using Chrome, might work on other browsers)

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  13. Have you heard that Mattel is releasing Harry Potter dolls later this year? The characters they will have are Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Dumbledore, and Minerva McGonagall. I found them on Walmart’s website. They cost about $21 each, and have 11 joints. Maybe if they sell well, they will do another series with other characters.

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    1. I am very excited for those!! Can't wait until they come out. :)

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