Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tangkou Update: "The Chinese Girl"

At the end of some of my reviews, I find myself wondering how my opinion might have been different if I had chosen to review a different doll from the same line.  Over the next week, I plan to do a series of quick "update" reviews.  In these posts, I'll look at dolls that are very similar to ones I have already reviewed, just to see if my initial impressions hold.  It's a good time for requests, by the way, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments if there's a doll you'd like to see up close.  I already have a few requests to look at Billy and Brook-Lynn from Tonner's City Girl line, so I'll be sure to do that.

I am going to start by looking at another Tangkou doll.  If you remember my review of Loli, I ended up feeling that she wasn't quite worth her price ($75) and I was left wishing that I'd purchased one of the less expensive dolls.  I love the idea of an affordable Pullip-style doll, and wanted to give Tangkou another chance to deliver.  I chose The Chinese girl, who cost me $34.99 on eBay (plus $19 shipping).

"The Chinese Girl" by Tangkou.
You can buy this doll directly from Tangkou, but she costs a bit more ($49 plus $19 shipping).  She is limited to 2000 pieces.  Incidentally, Loli's price has dropped to $69.99 since my review.

I was relieved to see that the Chinese Girl also has the "easy to active boby:"

I expect nothing less. 
The doll comes in a cardboard window box with a decorative cardboard slip cover.  The slip cover art is beautiful, but not quite as fun as Loli's sea creature design:

I wish she came with that chair!
The inner box is black with hot pink decorations.  The box has a plastic window to show off the doll. She's lovely, although she doesn't really look Chinese:

She's also a "bestseller."
A yellow cardboard drawer with a plastic molded lining slides out of the window box.  The doll is secured to the plastic with one wire tie that is easy to cut.

After my experience with Loli, I wasn't too surprised to see China come out of the box with a foot and both shoes missing:

It took me longer to find the foot than you'd expect.  See if you can spot it:

Not quite as challenging as Find the Maggot.
I was starting to think that maybe it was lost forever, but then suddenly--there it was:

Upside down in her hair.  With the shoe still on.
Right away, I knew I would like this doll more than Loli.  I love her coloring.  She looks quite beautiful, even against the unattractive mustard backdrop:

This doll comes with all of the same accessories as Loli: a plastic stand, a pair of underpants, a plastic comb, a button for her eye mechanism, a small plastic jewelry box and a pink passport.  In addition to all of this, China has a purse that matches her qipao.

The purse has a thin pink satin ribbon drawstring and a pearl strap:

It actually opens and inside, there's a little string of pearls for China to wear.  What a fun surprise!

The purse is a wonderful accessory and I love that it can open and close.  The necklace doesn't have a clasp, so I think I'd have to slip it on over the doll's feet if I wanted her to wear it (it won't fit over her large head):

I was excited to read the passport because I remember being in stitches over Loli's strange biography.  Remember how she was beaten by a cat and scarred for life, lashing out randomly as she struggled to come to terms with her trauma?  

Unfortunately, China's passport is in Chinese (thank you, invie!) and so I can't learn anything about her personality or her altercations with small mammals.  

Instead of a photo collector's card, China coes come with a fancy-looking plastic credit-card style certificate of authenticity:

Let's look at the doll herself.  She comes with her pale blue side-glancing eye chips showing:


Her missing foot snapped right back on, but the feet on this doll are awkward.  It's hard to keep the toes pointing forward, the ankle joints look clumsy, and the shoes make her lean backwards.

China's hair is amazing.  She has this big thick mane of rooted brunette hair.  It is pulled back into a simple ponytail, but she has a small section of hair around her face tied back separately, and this gives her an elegant, sophisticated look:

The hair is fairly coarse, and feels like it has a lot of styling product in it.  The ponytail is huge.  It's a big nest of intertwined squid-like curls.  It's like a giant kraken is attacking her head:

It's alive!

The hair is so thick and heavy, it throws the whole doll off balance. She is always leaning back, and it is impossible for her to sit in any of my doll chairs without toppling over backwards.  The ponytail looks like it will be a nightmare to brush:

I'm gonna need a bigger comb.
It took me several minutes to brush out her hair, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The texture of the hair improved considerably as I brushed out the styling gel.  She lost a lot of hair in the process, but you'd never know it by looking at the doll:

Here's the brushed ponytail:

Tamed beast.
It's a bit frizzy at the ends, but feels a lot like real hair.  I like this rooted hair so much better than Loli's blue wig.  The fiber on the wig is a lot softer, but this hair is better looking and easier to manage.

China is wearing a short qipao made out of a woven muslin with a floral print.  I was expecting the fabric to be silky and shiny, but I like this material:

The neckline has a corded seam and some bead accents that look great:

The dress is carefully sewn.  It has a well-fitted bodice and the neck and sleeve edges are finished with cording:

My only issue with the dress is that it is short to begin with, and then the slits on either side make it very short:

These slits hang open too much and look a bit sloppy.  They also make it difficult for the doll to sit modestly:

The dress comes off easily and has a clear velcro closure in the back:

The skirt is lined in white cotton, but the lining stops at the top of the slit:

She's wearing gold colored pumps with a low heel:

The heel is too short, and so the whole shoe leans backwards.  Because this doll already wants to lean backwards due to her big hair, these shoes aren't helpful:

The shoes are made of painted flexible vinyl, and they have a strange brownish-gold color.  They're kinda ugly.

China has different eyelid paint than Loli.  

I prefer this simple pink and black design to Loli's strawberries and waves:

China has the same eye mechanism trouble as Loli.  She often gets caught in between eye colors...

Ah!  there's a kraken attacking my head!
This happens much less frequently with China than it does with Loli, but that could just be because I've had Loli longer and her eyes have been through more changes.

China has the same four eye colors as Loli: pale blue (side-glancing), pale purple (straight), bright green (side-glancing), and dark blue (straight):

 I think I like the sly green eyes the best on this doll...

And I like the dark blue eyes the least.  They look too vacant:

The face paint on this doll is subtle and pretty.  She has pink cheeks, a pale pink mouth with a slight painted smile and a rosy haze around her eyes.  She does not have any painted eyelashes, eyebrows or eyeliner:

In contrast, Loli's eye makeup is yellow, and this gives the whole face a wan, unhealthy appearance. In addition, Loli has a lot of painted detail around her eyes, including dark brown eyebrows, heavy eyeliner, and painted upper and lower lashes. The lashes, in particular, give Loli's eyes a wide, startled, crazy look:

In contrast, China's face has a healthy glow and looks very serene:

China has the same body as Loli.  The two mechanical flaws with this body are that the arms tend to come loose at the elbow joint:

And those ankles do not stay put.  They are incredibly frustrating.  Here's a typical foot position for this doll:

Or these:

I let her hair down so that I could inspect the rooting.  This doll has a ton of hair.  I know some small dogs who don't have this much hair.

The rooting isn't great.  There are several big shiny bald patches:

There's a vague pattern to the root plugs in most areas, but it gets a bit random near the side part:

It's hard to comprehend how this doll can have such a haphazard rooting pattern and still have such thick, gorgeous hair.  Despite the bald patches, I still much prefer this hair to Loli's wig.

Here are some comparison shots of Loli and China.  The big dark blue eyes make both dolls look a little weird, but Loli is definitely in Corpse Bride or zombie territory here.  Maybe that cat attack was worse than we thought?

With the side-glancing blue eyes, China seems like she's eyeing some lovely wildflowers that she'd like to pick, while Loli looks like she's eyeing China...for lunch.

The amethyst eyes make China look sweet and exotic...and they make Loli look anemic and possessed:
The green eyes look great on both dolls, but I can't help but wonder what Loli is whispering to China... have to do what to them??
During the photo shoot, both girls got out of control.  The combination of multiple joints, heavy heads, wacky ankles and malfunctioning eye mechanisms made for some very, ah, interesting behind the scenes shots:

Malfunction!  Malfunction!
Here's The Chinese Girl at her best:

Bottom line?  I adore this doll.  She is the perfect budget-friendly alternative to a Pullip.  She has some flaws that you wouldn't see in a more expensive doll, but for $35, she has a lot to offer.  I like The Chinese Girl as much as I wanted to like Loli.  

It's China's hair and face that make the difference.  While Loli's blue wig is hard to manage and doesn't look very good, China's thick rooted hair is fun to play with and looks great.  Loli's yellowish, overdone makeup and shiny face make her look like a less expensive (slightly spooky) doll.  China's subtle peaches and cream face is gorgeous, and it captures my heart to the point that I can overlook a lot of her flaws.  I highly recommend The Chinese Girl, especially if you can find her for under $40. So, in this case, choosing a different doll had a big impact on my overall impression of the Tangkou line.

Comparison Summary:

The Chinese Girl
Stand, comb, underpants
Jewelry box, passport, 
Eye mechanism button
Stand, comb, underpants
Jewelry box, passport, 
Eye mechanism button and
Purse with pearl necklace.
14 points
14 points
$69 plus shipping (price lowered)
$49 plus shipping, $35 on eBay
Blue wig.  Very soft fibers, 
but too long and looks scraggly.
Rooted.  Fairly soft, some bald 
patches, but looks great and is very thick.
Much better than Loli's hair.
Face paint
Lots of eye detail, yellow 
highlights. Gives her a slightly crazy undead look.
No eye detail, pink highlights.  
Gives her a beautiful serene look.
Blue dress with separate
petticoat, socks and shoes.
Qipao dress and shoes.
Fun doll, but overpriced. 
Fun, beautiful doll. Good value for the price.


  1. I like her a lot more than Loli, I mean Loli is cute but China is stunning. I really like her hair and her coloring in her face is more appealing as well.

    Since you said that you're looking for some dolls to review or whatever, I would like to request seeing the Dynamite Girl dolls, More up close. I've not seen a really good review for them and I'm very interested in seeing how these dolls compare. Also have you ever seen the Kurhn dolls on ebay? They're like the Japan barbie.

    1. Hi Amber, Moni recommended the Kurhn dolls under my Loli review, I think. I looked at them for ages on eBay and finally ordered two of them and they actually arrived last week, so I can definitely do that, although they might require more of an in-depth review since they're new to me.

      I also have a Dynamite Girl in the "review queue," so I'll bump her up to high priority. She looks awesome! :) Thank you so much for the suggestions!

    2. Great! I can't wait to see those reviews :)

  2. This China girl's face paint is much more like the Tangkou I bought, which is France with the short gray shaggy wig. The rooted hair on China is really gorgeous and that dress is beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Barb! I'm glad your France has a face more similar to China because I think it's a gorgeous face. Is France's passport in French? I do speak a little French... :)

  3. I always liked this girl's style. She's my favorite when I was looking at tangkou girls.

    Just some quick info, Her passport makes sense...since it's in Chinese not Korean. She is Chinese girl after all. (I'm Chinese...but Chinese, Korean and Japanese characters all look different to ppl who know at least one of the languages.)

    1. Thank you so much for the correction, invie!! I'll change that right away! It does make sense that her passport is in Chinese. Can you tell us what her passport says about her personality? :)

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    1. Hi Natasha,
      Oh, my gosh, aren't the Tangkou feet awful?! Glue is a great idea. I don't need those ankles to spin around! You're exactly right about the stand, too. These girls definitely need sturdier stands. I am so glad you like Loli--you found a great price. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these girls--it's neat that you like Loli precisely because of her spooky face! You might enjoy the Pullip vampire series. The Byul from that group is especially eerie.

      I have been so busy, I haven't even opened up my Kurhn box to peek at what's inside yet! I have to admit that I am pretty excited to see these dolls in person. I ordered one that looks like she comes with a ton of kitchen accessories. I LOVE kitchen accessories! :) I'll try to do this review soon.

      I, too, have heard the rumor about Tonner's Sindy doll--it's very cool that he's resurrecting them. I never had a Sindy doll myself, but I love her face and the history interests me. I also love all things Tonner. I'll keep an eye out for her in the spring! Thank you so much for the reminder.

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  5. China looks great! I think you pinpointed Loli's worst qualities in her yellowish makeup and wig, as China's face and rooted hair make a world of difference!

  6. Wow, she is pretty! I love her hair

  7. Another great review!Just to point out how thoroughly you do these;I've had this doll for 2 months and didn't notice her purse could be opened, much less that she had a necklace inside it!:) (You're right, the only way it got on was pulling it up by her feet.) She's definitely beautiful and I love her and her make-up but those feet annoy me too, if those dolls weren't so light skinned that I can't find a good match, their bodies would already have been replaced.

  8. she is a pretty one!i only wish she could have an eyebrows....bald patches are not that bad,as she's got a tonnes of hair anyway :)

  9. Ahaha, oh Loli. Demon doll at its finest. Shine on you crazy diamond ;)

    China is adorable and so very fresh and innocent looking in comparison. You should watch this duo closely as Loli's prooobably not the best influence. :D

  10. Wow, it's safe to say that you like the Chinese girl better :)
    Honestly, I like them both. The yellow make-up on Loli isn't really attractive, and for me it's the same as with the blush on the Chinese girl. I'm not really a fan of her heavy blush.
    Overall, I'd have to say that I like the Chinese girl a bit more than Loli but I wouldn't mind having them both xD
    Thanks for this great review Emily, I can't wait for all the other updates :D

    By the way, I don't know if you're really interested in Monster High clones but a store near me got a bunch of ''miss creepy'' dolls that look a lot like (very cheap) MH :O
    So, let me know if you want any of them, I couldn't find a pic of them on the web (as soon as I saw the search results of miss creepy dolls I looked away, brrr don't try google!) but they're not really expensive or anything.

  11. I absolutely LOVE the eyelids of this doll! Another great Chinese doll is Cady from PenPalGirls ( I really like cultural dolls...any other suggestions?

  12. Hello from Spain: Loli and China are very expressive. I like their eyes and their hair ... China looks great!. Keep in touch

  13. I would welcome review of Ellowyne Wilde. A started to spare money for her,so I would like to know if it is worth.I would prefer to buy doll with rooted hair with insert eyes, but I will be thanksfull for comparison with other dolls - Moxie teenz, Barbie. Tangkou dolls seem to be nice, but her feet are realy awfull.

  14. I love her outfit and her thick hair. I agree that her shoes are ugly, but she is so much prettier than Loli. Now I have to add her to my wish list. Thanks again for another great review.

  15. Hi, Have you seen jerryberry dolls?, they look nice at least in the photos, they look like little cartoon characters. this is the link

  16. I definitely think China is cuter than Loli, but I do wish she had eyebrows. I wonder why they didn't give her eyebrows?

    Hey, Emily, while you're taking review requests, do you have any Asian BJDs? I've been doing a bit of research on them, and would love to hear/read your thoughts on them.

    Thank you!

    --Anonymous :)

  17. Oh, I love these dolls! I had planned to get a Tangkou when they first became popular, but I could never get into it! I think I prefer my Blythes.

    Loving your reviews, by the way! I've read some of them before but I recently started reading the bulk of them.
    Speaking of which, have you heard of the new Lottie dolls by Arklu? They are really cute!

    1. Also I forgot to add that if you do some searching, you might be able to find the rest of her parting around that bad spot. It looks like it was just brushed to one side at the end!

  18. Hi Emily,
    I think the Chinese Girl is a beautiful doll too; it is unfortunate about her feet and the eye malfuntions! I have been giving some thought to the request for reviews, and I was wondering if you had any other dolls in the Pullip family that you could review (I was reading your Pullip review again and noticed the line where you mentioned addressing other members of this doll family later). Another thought would be a line of dolls called "Get Real Girls". If you've never heard of them, I apologize for opening that can of worms! They are a now discontinued line of fashion dolls that have articulation similar to Liv dolls (flat feet though) and regular sized heads with the standard rooted hair and painted eyes.
    Thank you for another great review!

  19. I just love your blog, by the way! Anyhow, could you possibly do a review on any of the Monster High Scaris dolls? Preferably Rochelle? I would also like a closer look of the Houston City Girl doll? Thank you so much!

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  21. Another great review! I haven't seen any Monster High doll reviews lately and I was wondering if you could do more reviews of Monster High dolls, if you have any that are still unreviewed. And maybe if you could do rewiews on Robecca Steam, Operetta, or Spectra dolls(from any doll line), as they are my favourite characters. Also, do you have the Sweet 1600 Clawdeen doll or Scaris: City of Frights Skelita Caleveras doll? I would really love to see reviews on them too. But if you do not have the above dolls, any will do, as long as it's Monster High. Thank you!

    1. Oh and, if you have already deboxed the LE Merida doll, or are willing to, could you do a review on her? It's okay if you want to keep her in her box. But pleeeeaaase do reviews on MH dolls!

  22. I finally bought my first Pullip. Really was not such as expensive as I thought and I enjoy her very much. Really a bargain after all.
    I'm still considering the Tankgou China girl, specially after your review, let's see if Christmas is a good time to feel less guilty about spending money on more dolls.
    I would like to suggest a review about J dolls, that are a kind of sister line of Pullip but with a "normal" size head, or Dal dolls, that are also a kind of Pullip's sister line.
    ...but I'm also expecting your review of the Kurhn doll. You make really very good reviews and I learn a lot when I read them.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  23. I love Loli, I don't know why.

  24. Ohh I love this doll.. but, alas, to expensive :(

  25. I adore her. Your reviews are always so informative! And I agree, she's a big improvement over Loli.

  26. Your toy it's so beautiful, I like it vey much, I also bought one at wedding dresses
    , If you want one too. can visit this address, The backpacks are
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  27. Just wanted to tell you - Once I read a review of China/The Chinese Girl(can't remember where though) where she had the same passport as Loli and according to that review it's supposed to be "bitten by a cat" in the passport,not "beaten by a cat". :)

  28. I just found your blog and I'm loving it. I love dolls too, and have a few collectibles that I love. I have a few Blythes and I'm always tempted to get more. I love the review of the Tangkou Dolls - I only recently discovered them when I got Ms. Vampire as a late Christmas present. I love her! She's my first jointed doll of the sort, and her expressiveness makes me wish that Blythe could do the same without the terrifying prospect of customizing a doll I spent that much on.

    I also thought it worth mentioning that there may be a rabid cat problem in the part of the world where these girls come from, as Miss Vampire's card indicates that she, too, suffered a cat attack. Perhaps hers was a vampire cat? Actually, the passport is identical except for the collector's card. Too bad - I think it would be fun if they had different personality profiles.

    Anyways, keep it up! I'll probably cave and start collecting Monster High one of these days too - I've long been tempted but managed to resist thus far!

  29. If you don't want Loli I will take her! Lol

  30. I still like Loli, mostly because I like her slightly surprised OMG thing she has going on. Chinese girl is still cool though.

  31. your reviews are so enjoyable! i so look forward to them! i bought the aussie and the french girls! their short hair intrigued me and i already have pullips with long hair. i love my 2 tangkou dolls. you should get one with the shorter hair. they are very endearing too!

  32. I looked online and it turns out that she has the same profile as Loli. Shame.

  33. oh my god! I'm really worried now! I ordered Chinese girl Tangkou after seeing pictures of her with her eyes shut and could confirm she had nude eyelids with the white little bows on sides like those on French and Aussie Girl, now after seeing your photos and reading this review I'm terrified at the prospect of her having these English and Italian Girl type fishnet eyelids! don't get me wrong I absolutely adore them on my London girl but I like the eyelids to be unique to each doll or at least match the style and make sense, I'm still trying to understand why Aussie and France are so different from the rest with their casual unisex attire and short wigs? I don't have a problem with their different styles per se but why those two countries in particular? I mean what do the french and australians have in common culturally or stylewise anyway? and why are England and Italy basically the same doll with just different outfits? and why on earth is there a teatime decoration on Italy's artsleeve? and why oh why do Miss Audrey and Miss Grace share the same blue strawberry eyelids we first saw on Loli girl? they are perfect for Lolita in my opinion but Audrey and Grace should have had something more inventive and unique, something like florals for Grace and perhaps purple polka dots for Audrey! someone here said even their Lady Vampire had blue strawberries! surely she should always have the trademark red strawberries! I must sound like a real control freak and do admit I indeed have some obsessive compulsive tendencies but inconsistencies like these give me nightmares! I read that someone had apparently bought an Aussie and upon removing the glued wig discovered it was actually an Italy or England with their pink rooted hair all shaved off! I mean seriously can you imagine! there should definitely be some control there, I know they are experimenting but they should tell you that as in new edition with such and such changes! unless some seller/customiser had sneakily done that themselves as some little diy project of course! could people list their Tangkou dolls eyelids just for some comparison and consistency purposes! I would really appreciate it! (= xxx

  34. I have such a weird fondness for Tangkou dolls. I really can't put my finger on it, but they make me so incredibly happy. I found a Chinese Girl doll on ebay for relatively inexpensive, and she is just as stunning as you say. From the pictures, I wasn't that impressed, but in person she is a jewel.

    I also have Miss Italy, who is not as classy and lovely as Chinese Girl. She's still quite charming in an abundance-of-pink sort of way. I love her fuzzy hoodie and bubble gum hair.

    I know these dolls are not the collectibles that Pullip and Blythe are, but I find myself quite taken with the whole line.

    BTW like a few of my other dolls, I discovered Tangkou because of your blog, so thank you for that!