Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cutie Pops Crown Cuties Doll, "Crystalina"

I have been a reluctant-turned-loyal fan of the Cutie Pops since their release last year.  I have reviewed one of the first wave dolls (Cookie) and one of the more basic Swirly Brights dolls (Magenta).  In a nutshell, my only substantial complaints with Cutie Pops so far have been that their eyes are a little crazy and they aren't very well articulated.  Overall, I like the interchangeable hair and eyes on these dolls and find them to be a fun, economical alternative to dolls like Pullip and Blythe.

I had some moments of concern over the summer when I noticed that Cutie Pops were getting less expensive, and they were not being re-stocked at Target and Toys R Us.  I worried that the dolls weren't selling well and might be poised for discontinuation.  I needn't have worried--Cutie Pops seem to be doing fine, and Jada Toys has rolled out an interesting triumvirate of new dolls for the fall.

I will look at each of the three new varieties of Cutie Pop (Crown Cuties, Hattitude and Fashion Pups), but I'll do it in a series of three short reviews...short for me, anyway.  At the end, I'll weigh in on which of the new dolls is the most exciting.  I want to start with a Crown Cutie, arguably the most different of the new dolls.  There are two Crown Cutie characters to choose from, Crystalina and Pearlina.  I chose Crystalina because I like her ice-blue hair:

Cutie Pops
Cutie Pops Crown Cutie, "Crystalina."
Crystalina can be found at Target (an exclusive?) and costs $16.99.  This is slightly less expensive than the first wave dolls, which originally retailed for $19.99.

Crystalina's box is more similar to the Swirly Brights packaging than it is to the first wave's frustrating heart-shaped containers.  She is in an asymmetric cardboard box with a large plastic window:

What makes the Crown Cuties different from the other Cutie Pops is that they have really long ponytails and a crown which is meant to support big, up-do hairstyles.  The back of the box has a description of this new hairstyling concept:

The hairstyles look great on the box.  It's nice to see a Cutie Pop wearing something other than simple ponytails:

There is a photograph of both Crown Cuties at the bottom of the box.  Crystalina looks darker-skinned in comparison to Pearlina, but she seems pale in real life, so it might just be a shadow effect.  I have never seen Pearlina in person.

Right away, I was thrilled to see that Crystalina has much more normal-looking eyes than the earlier Cutie Pops.  I think she looks more like a Pullip doll now:

Still the heart-shaped eyelashes, but that's ok.
The plastic crown is not attached to Crystalina's head.  Instead, she has a cardboard tiara displayed over her head.  The real crown is secured to the box right next to her, accompanied by another description of the hairstyling procedure:

They make it sound very simple:

Snap!  Twist!  Wrap!  Clip!
There might be a lot of possible hairstyles with this doll, but not an endless supply, as it says here:

To infinity and beyond!
Crystalina also comes with a few extra "pops" (the decorative pieces that snap onto her clothes), two hair clips, and a pair of closed eyes.  The Swirly Brights didn't come with closed eyes, so I was really happy to see them show up again in this wave--especially with a doll that costs under $20.

The doll is secured to a large purple backdrop which slides easily out of the main box.  It takes some effort to get the doll and her accessories removed from the cardboard, though.  The most time-consuming part is finding and cutting seven or eight tiny plastic ties out of Crystalina's dress.  While the de-boxing procedure is easier than it was with the first wave dolls, there's still a lot of extraneous packaging here:

Here are all of the extras that come with the doll:

A lame comb,  3 pops, two eyes, two clips, a crown and a hair extension.
The pops that come with this set have a royal theme:

There's a pink feather plume:

A blue and silver crown:

And a red and white cameo.  The face on this charm is hard to see clearly, but it looks nice from a distance:

The two clips are simple and grey.  This style of clip can be found for sale at a lot of stores like Target and Walmart--even the grocery store, so it would be easy to pick up some extras.

The braided hair extension is attached to a larger blue clip:

Crystalina's closed eyes have a butterfly and swirl pattern against a pink background.  The heart eyelashes have the same color pattern as the open eyes--alternating light blue and burgundy:

The silver crown is made out of plastic.  It has three arrow-shaped pegs that insert into the doll's head:

There are little bumps along the sides of the crown that look like they are for keeping the hair from slipping around too much:

The crown is painted entirely in silver, but there's a translucent blue heart decoration at the very top:

Conspicuously absent on this crown are attachment points for pops.  I guess the crown can not be decorated.

Here's Crystalina:

Another new feature with this doll is her molded hair.  It doesn't have the straight bowl-cut bangs that the earlier dolls have.  It's shaped into an elegant chignon:

There are three rather glaring holes on the top of her head:

Bowling ball head.
Her bangs are long and layered and swept to one side.  It's a little strange that one side of her head has sideburns and the other side just has a curl from her bangs:

Crystalina's ponytails are not removable.  Interchangeable hair is one of the hallmarks of the Cutie Pops, so I was surprised to see this feature.  I was assuming that I would be able to share Crystalina's blue hair with my other Cuties.  Humph. 

The ponytails are connected inside of the head and exit through two holes:

The hair is soft and long.  Because it is permanently attached to the doll's head, it is very easy to brush.

I like Crystalina's face.  The relatively normal eyes and textured hair give her a softer, prettier appearance than her predecessors:

Here are Candi (first wave) and Magenta (Swirly Brights) for comparison:

Crystalina's eyes are blue, and she doesn't have cookies or lollipops reflected inside of them--just small white hearts:

She has exaggerated full pink lips with a little smile:

As with all Cutie Pops, Crystalina's eyes are removable, but she has painted eyes underneath them...with heart-shaped holes in the irises.  

These holes are hard to get used to.  She looks hypnotized...or possessed:

Look into my eyes....
Maybe it would look better if the insides of the eye holes were painted black?

Look deep inside the hollow caverns of my eyes...
Actually, painting the eyes was an easy experiment for me to try.  Here's Crystalina with some black acrylic paint in the backs of her eyes:

Eeep!  What have I done??
That might be even worse than the soul-sucking skin-colored holes.  Her pupils are freakishly huge.  

I added some reflective dots to her eyes to see if that would bring her back from the undead:

Better?  Hm.
I'll see how that paint lasts over time.  

Here are the closed eyes--I wasn't sure which eye went on which side.  The open eyes have a clear shape that can only fit on one side of the head, but these closed eyes are more ambiguous:

                                                                    Butterfly on the outside...                                                                ...or the inside?

The closed eyes actually have "R" and "L" marked on them, but I'm still not sure if that means the doll's right or my right?

I went with the doll's right, but I don't think it matters much.  This is the "wrong" way:

Looks fine.
And this is the correct way:

Also looks fine.
Crystalina is wearing a fancy blue dress with five attached pop decorations.  The dress has a glittery pink tulle underskirt and a long glittery blue tulle train in the back.  It's fairly generic, but the pops add a nice three dimensional effect and a little customization fun:

The bodice of the dress has a shiny pink inset in the front and is decorated with blue tulle puff sleeves and two pink bows.  The skirt is made out of a shiny blue fabric and has an applied pink glitter design.  

When the pops are removed, they reveal heart-shaped pink plastic attachment sites:

I noticed some more tiny plastic ties in the dress.  These were holding a cardboard support in place:

The support didn't make much of a difference.  The skirt is still nice and full without it:

Here are all of the pops that were on the dress:

There's one large, heavy rhinestone pop with a painted silver border:

There are two butterfly pops--one pink and one blue:

There's another crown:

And another cameo:

Here's the dress all by itself:

The pink ribbon bows are cute, but the sewing is heavy-handed.  If I wanted to remove those bows for some reason, there'd be little holes everywhere a stitch was placed:

There are also little holes left by every single one of the plastic ties that was put through this skirt:

The pink tulle underskirt is nicely gathered and attached to the rest of the dress:

Crystalina's shoes are fairly plain.  They are blue high-heeled wedges with a painted pink bow in the front:

The paint job on the bow is half-hearted:

Aside from the differences in the hair, the Crown Cutie body seems to be exactly like the older Cutie Pops bodies.  Crystalina has seven points of articulation (neck, shoulders, hips and knees):

She has very limited side-to-side movement in her hips.  Also notice that her lower legs are much yellower than her upper legs.  Her lower legs and arms are made out of a slightly bendable vinyl, and her upper legs and torso are made out of hard plastic.

Mismatched bowed legs.
At this point, I've accepted that the dramatic curve in the lower legs of the Cutie Pops is intentional.  All of the dolls have it.

Banana legs.
Crystalina's knee articulation isn't great.  One knee bends freely, but it doesn't even reach a 90 degree angle:

The other knee wouldn't bend at all the first time I tried.  I had to work on flexing it slowly and carefully for quite a while before I could get it to budge.  I was pretty sure I was going to break it.  This is exactly the same problem I had with my Swirly Brights Magenta.  I guess I can no longer dismiss that as an isolated incident.

Even after I bullied both legs into bending, the flexibility in these joints is limited:

I had really hoped to see improved articulation with this season's dolls...not the same problems cropping up again.  Sigh.

The ball-jointed head articulation is great with this doll, though, and despite several frustrations, she can strike a few fun poses:

I put Crystalina back into her dress in preparation for trying out the hairstyling crown.

The crown's three prongs insert into the holes in the doll's head:

It was trickier to get the crown attached than I expected it would be.  The plastic is kinda flimsy, and I was nervous that one of the pegs would break as I was trying to wriggle the crown into place.  I did manage to get it on without damaging anything:

I also tried taking the crown off again, and this was even more nerve-wracking than putting it on.  I can't imagine that the crown could be put on and taken off too many times before it would break.  It does not seem well-suited to small children.

The directions on the box are a little vague, but I got the general idea: first, twist the hair into cords...

...then wrap it around the crown and clip it into place.  

So, I twisted:

And wrapped...

And clipped:

Ooh.  That's ugly.
I added my own new step--"tuck."  Clip the hair into place and then tuck the loose ends into the crown.

Still pretty ugly, though.
Let's just say my first hairdo did not look like this:

Yeah, right.
The styling is, shall we say, a little harder than it looks on the box.  Here we go again:

Twist (and shout).
Clip (and tuck).


I still wasn't very impressed with myself.  And it looks even worse from the back:

I resorted to getting out the paper instructions to see if I could glean any useful tips or suggestions.  This pamphlet just goes through the same old "snap, twist, clip, wrap!" rigamarole:

I did learn something new, however: apparently the crown is a "one-time snap which could not remove:"

In other words, don't take off the crown, silly.
That's a bad call in my opinion.  I think that the crown is so tall and fragile, it should be designed so that it can be removed.  If it's not meant to be removed, why not just permanently (and securely) attach it to the doll's head?  I take that back--I'm glad that I have the option of removing the crown, however ill-advised it might be.

So, I buckled down and practiced a few times, adding in the braided hair extension for some extra flair:

I was fairly happy with this:

And actually quite proud of this!


With the fancy hair decorations, the large eyes, and the sparkly, tulle-heavy dress, this Cutie Pop princess is strikingly similar to the new La Dee Da princesses.  Even their articulation is the same.

Crystalina can close her eyes, though, which is such a cool feature:

Despite my early struggles with the crown, by the time I had completed my third or fourth hairstyle, I realized that I was having fun.  In fact, once I stopped trying to imitate the hairstyle on the box, and just worked on some of my own ideas with the hair, I had a lot of fun.

I tried eliminating the "twist" step and just wrapped the hair flat:

I tried pinning the hair up without wrapping it:

I tried braids...

And I found that if I tied the ends of the hair with clear rubber bands, I could have a little more flexibility in how I moved chunks of hair around:

I actually found it very hard to stop playing with this doll.  The hairstyle possibilities might not be endless, but there are apparently enough of them to keep me busy for hours.

Bottom line?  I ran through a full spectrum of opinions as I reviewed this doll.  Initially, I loved her promotional pictures because of her fancy hairstyle, princess-themed pops and bright blue hair.  Right out of the box, I was thrilled with her relatively normal eyes and the new molded hair, but dismayed by the fact that her ponytails were permanently attached.  My disappointment intensified as I realized that she has the exact same frustrating knee defect as my Swirly Brights doll.  I almost gave up on her completely as I wrestled with the fragile plastic crown and the learning curve of the hairstyling technique.  At one stage, I was grouchily thinking that if I couldn't re-create the beautiful up-do that attracted me to her in the first place, and I couldn't share her cool blue ponytails with my other Cutie Pop dolls, then what in the world is the point?

Well.  The point is that once you get used to it, the new hairstyling technique is surprisingly, wonderfully entertaining.  The hair is silky, tangle-free, and really fun to play with.  The ponytails are also long enough to allow a wide range of different styling approaches.  Not only is it unnecessary to follow the "twist, wrap and clip" technique, but I actually recommend that you forget about it entirely and let your imagination run wild.  Once I did that, I had a hard time putting the doll down to type up this review.  

One concern I have with these dolls is that younger children might not have the dexterity to master the hairstyling technique.  Little ones might also need help with the fragile crown and sticky knee joints.  On the other hand, these same young kids could benefit from a Cutie Pop doll with hair that doesn't fall off.  As an adult collector, the fun of the crown hairstyling feature is more than enough to justify the permanently attached hair.  I would have been happier if the crown itself was sturdier, and if it had some attachment sites for pops.  More hair extensions would be nice, too, especially if they didn't have such bulky clips.  And of course I would always be happier with better articulation.  Still, two of my criticisms from the last wave of Cutie Pops were resolved in this doll--her eyes are much more normal-looking, and she comes with an extra pair of close-eyed pops.  That's good progress.  

I don't know how the Cutie Pops do this to me every time.  Even though this review was a bit of a bumpy ride, and even though Crystalina has a few flaws that I don't easily forgive, I find that I'm completely charmed by this blue-haired newcomer.


  1. You know, I really hadn't thought much of the line. I mean I love bright colorful things, but this was like Skittles vomit. But once again, your review has me thinking I might want to break open the wallet and try this hair-do princess line (she looks so sweet with her eyes closed!). You and your well-written reviews are very bad for the bank account, you know? :D

    1. Skittles vomit!!?? LOL! :D That's going to have me giggling for the rest of the day! This line is definitely a glittery color explosion...but darn it, I find them so cute. And you're right--it's those closed eyes! Such a neat feature. As for the bank account...I feel your pain. I almost talked myself into buying Pearlina! Gack! Try to focus on the terrible knee joints, the mismatched leg colors, and the crown that might break. Those are good wallet-closers. ;)

  2. I have a min Cutie Pops on my desk at work. My only issue with them is that they are designed with pigeon toes. While the phenomenon happens naturally in some people, I don't think it wise to encourage young girls to stand that way.

    1. That's a good point, Melody! The toes make it hard to pose the dolls, too, so I'm with you. As a compromise, they could give Cutie Pops articulated ankles, then they'd be able to stand with their toes in (or out) and not have dramatically bent legs! The pigeon toes are certainly a strange design choice.

  3. Love your review as always. I bought Pearlina a few weeks ago and just love her, it helps that purple is my fab color. Now I might have to get this one too. Thanks again for another great review.

    1. Thank you, Starr! Isn't the hair fun on these dolls? :D
      I am so curious about Pearlina now! Her dress looks wonderful. My Target doesn't have these dolls in stock at the store, so I haven't seen her in person yet. Glad to hear you love your Crown Cutie, too!

  4. Her blue is sooo beautiful! I've never seen a Cutie Pops in person... but would it be possible to jam some of the pops into her hairdo? I assume they would "pop" right out... but maybe they'd be good for display?? Wonderful review as always, you're definitely my favorite blog!

    1. Thank you so much, Dagny! You know, that's a great idea--I bet I could find a way to prop some of the pops into that crown...maybe a glue dot would help hold them in place? If I don't find a way for Crystalina to wear her extra pops, Candi is going to steal them! ;)

  5. Crystalina is a beautiful doll! I can just imagine all the possibilities for hair that weren't in this review. I think I should go get Crystalina so I can enjoy her hair too!

    1. I'd love to see what you would do with this hair! I bet you'll think of something cool that never even occurred to me. There's a lot of room for creativity with these dolls! :)

  6. I'm so glad to see you reviewing this season's Cutie Pops. As soon as I saw the simpler eyes, I thought, "Yay, Emily will be happy!" I wasn't a fan of Cutie Pops at first, but you won me over to them with your review of Cookie. Like you, I was at first very turned off my all the hearts and glitter.

    Of all the dolls I own, these are the only ones that I really play with the same way I would have as a kid. I don't display them; I don't photograph them; I just take them out of their drawer, brush their hair, restyle them, and put them away. This new crown hair play thing will no doubt have me playing for hours on end like you. I'm glad you chose Crystalina to review, as she was my favorite of the two. I am such a sucker for blue hair.

    By the way, I had the same problem with my Magenta's knee. It clean snapped off the other day. I've been verrrry gentle with my Cutie Pops' knees since then.

    Well, thanks for the swell review!

    1. Hi Casey! You were right--the simpler eyes are a huge hit with me! I had been meaning to paint over Candi's crazy eyes (I think we chatted about that!) but I never found the time to do it, so these new dolls are exactly what I'd been hoping for.

      Sorry about your Magenta's knee. There's really no excuse for such cruddy articulation. I should be much angrier about that. I guess I keep comparing these dolls to Pullips, though, and I've bought a few $100 Pullips only to have their feet break or their legs fall out repeatedly. Compared to that experience, a gimpy knee on a $17 doll is no big deal! Still--it can't be that difficult to fix the problem.

      I think it's just that I am so smitten with these dolls, I am happy to look past a lot of small problems. They make me feel like a kid again, too. What is it about them? They really have a shopping list of features that should make me dislike them, but I always end up loving them instead. :)

    2. Yes, we had chatted about eye repaints. I've found that I want to do so, so much more with customization than I actually have time to do. I wanted to paint over Chiffon's eyes immediately, but it kept getting bumped down on the list. I wish I had a whole separate life where I could just customize dolls to my heart's content! Anyway, I love the new eyes and I'm glad you do, too. I was also really happy to see that one of the Hattitude dolls (hate that name, love the dolls) has brown eyes. I've been looking for a good replacement for Candi's original eyes as well.

      I'm not too mad about my Magenta's knee because I bought her used at Value Village for $2. I definitely got more than $2 worth of fun out of her. I had thought maybe my Magenta's knee problem was an isolated incident, but it seems it's a problem with that doll in general.

      It's true that these dolls have their problems, but behind it all I feel like the creators are really trying to make a good toy. They seem to genuinely want to inspire creative play and put the power of doll customization in little girls' hands. I think that's the thing that makes me love them through all the glitter, hearts, and stuck-on candy. I'm happy to see that with the Hattitude dolls they're trying some more edgy fashions (well, less sugary anyway.) I think they're getting closer to that happy place between endearingly cute and saccharine. Also: when you do your Hattitude review, I suggest you try the hat on one of your Pullips. If you haven't already. It looks adorable!

  7. I wasn't initially sold on Cutie Pops but they are becoming more and more appealing. The hat dolls and the one with the black and white puppies really caught my attention. I really like the hair on this one even if it's for styling and not for popping on and off. The paint you added to her spooky eyes helps but it still seems a tad strange. I think it's the lack of eyebrows.

    1. Oh, wow! I had never even noticed that these dolls have no eyebrows! Good call.

      It's a good lineup of Cutie Pops this year--I agree. I think the dolls look more interesting than last year's relatively generic group. I am excited to get a closer look at a Hattitude doll (maybe today?) and either Dalia or Colette (with the dogs). I like that the company is experimenting with new ideas!

  8. I'm so happy you did this review! My daughter has the movie cutie pop set (which she loves!) and I was debating between this one and the bear hat one as a Christmas present for her. I think this one is pretty cute, but you've convinced me that the hat one might be a better choice for her. She loves switching out the hair and wouldn't have the dexterity for this kind of complicated styling.

    1. Hi Kristina! I am glad this helped with your decision. Those hats look really fun and the Hattitude dolls are less expensive, which is nice. I am excited to take a closer look at Dakota later today.
      I love the Movie Night set, too. I guess Starr was the first Cutie Pop to have a hairstyle that wasn't straight ponytails! Her outfit looks so fun with those food pops. I like the older style of dog, too, and Popcorn is the cutest of all in my opinion! :)

    2. Hi Kristina, I'm sure Emily will cover it in her review, but I felt I had to mention that the Hattitude girls only come with a single ponytail so perhaps your daughter may enjoy another type of doll if she really likes doll hair.

      I bought the Fashion Pups Dalia from Walmart for $10 and for that price one gets a doll, two pet dogs, an extra set of ponytails, extra eyes, and extra pops--a great deal all in all!

    3. Hi Holly,

      Was that a special price on the Fashion Pups doll at Walmart? Last time I checked they cost $20 at my WalMart, so I've been holding off. But if they're $10, I am so there!

    4. I'm not sure, Casey. I found mine stuffed behind some Bratz so I have no idea what its listed price was. I checked the price at the price scanner and it said $10.00. This was last Saturday. I was honestly surprised, but it did say "Pups Fashion" so it wasn't ringing up as a Hattitude doll (which was my first thought!). So maybe I should say your mileage may vary if other Walmarts are offering it for $20. Best of luck to you--hopefully yours will have the same price now, too!

    5. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to go check my Walmart tomorrow and see if I can get the same awesome price.

  9. I love the hair you did right before "bottom line"! It seems like you should twist it looser to achieve the style on the box. It doesn't behave at all when it's in a tight rope like that. After this review I want a styling crown that holds piles of hair, attached to my skull :'(

    1. LOL! Me, too! I want a skull crown to help control my hair! I used to have this "magic wand" gizmo for my hair that made perfect little buns every time. I think that was the only success I've ever had with real hairstyling! ;D

      You're exactly right about the tight curls of hair on Crystalina, too. Those make the styling much harder. Once I relaxed the twists, things got much, much easier!

  10. I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed in the newest Cutie Pops lines if only for the fact that there are no darker dolls! I fell in love with your wave one Candi, but never found her in stores--wave two Candi didn't speak to me; I may just have to buckle down and order her online.

    I was most especially disappointed in the new Fashion Pups Dalia. As you can see from the official Cutie Pops facebook page, she appeared darker in her promo drawing than she actually turned out to be: This is no slight against Dalia herself, just in how she was represented to the public last month before she was released.

    I'm also very interested to see what you think about the Hattitude and Fashion Pups lines. I have my own opinions, but I want to see what your own first impressions are before I spout off my opinions!

    As for Crystalina, I think she's a lovely doll. I really like her pops and her hair color, but I'm not a princess doll collector. It looks like she's really fun to play with!

    1. Hi Holly--I agree about first wave Candi! She is my favorite Cutie Pop doll by far. In fact, not to give too much away, but one of the best things about Hattitude Dakota is that she supplied the normal brown eyes that Candi has been missing!! I'd be fairly content to pay $9.99 just for that! ;)

      Dalia was definitely misrepresented. I like her (love her dogs!) but I bought her online (having only seen promos) and I was very surprised by the actual doll. I was hoping more for Candi 2.0. :/

    2. It must've been such a shock opening up your package, expecting to see Candi 2.0 and not finding her.

      I bought her in person at Walmart since I thought she was a good deal at $10 and I wanted to check out the new Fashion Pups, but I still haven't opened her--I guess I'm still just disappointed. She might be going to a little cousin for Christmas instead. I really wish I'd bought Candi 2.0 when she was on clearance at Target just so I could redress her in Dalia's outfit and call it a day. I'll make my final decision on Dalia after I read your review and see her out of the box!

      I'm looking forward to reading both of your upcoming Cutie Pops reviews.

    3. Hi Holly,

      I bought Candi 2.0 (at a deep, deep discount) just for her dress and extra pops. If you'd like, you can have the doll, herself. I'd be happy to mail her out to you. My Cutie Pops collection is getting a little too big to handle.

    4. That would be amazingly generous of you. Is your email address still the same as the one on your 2011 resume? I'll send you an email.

    5. Yay! I'll be happy for her to have a good home where she's played with more often :) I don't quite remember which address I gave out on my 2011 resume, but the one I'm using now is Just drop me an email there and we can work out the details & get Candi to you.

  11. Hello! I was wondering if you knew anything about another doll!(I know, I ask a lot). My friend has a (bisque?) doll from about 1971 (I will have to look at it again). She says her name is Connie the walking doll and she used to be able to walk but she broke. I looked her up (and the markings on her neck) and it said that she was a saucy walker doll from Virga. I think either she is the older sister of saucy walker of she is a different doll. Can you give me any more info?



    1. Hi Liz! I don't know anything about this doll off the top of my head (although I thought the Saucy Walker was an Ideal doll...) but I love a good mystery! If you email me a picture, I will see if I can figure out who she is! :)

    2. Aah!!! (I messed up) she IS a ideal doll. I will ask my friend if I can take a picture of next week (I will be at her house then).

      Liz :D

    3. No worries! The Saucy Walker is a neat doll! I am excited to see pictures of Connie. :) Do you remember if she has "flirty" (side-glancing) eyes?

    4. I don't think she had those kind of eyes,but I would have to see her again to be sure. Can I email you the pictures once I get them?

  12. Are people seeing the new waves at Target and Walmart? They've disappeared from my local big box stores, except for TRU. I hope the new Cuties will show up at Walmart and Target soon.

    This week I bought Bianca (panda bear) from the Hattitude line. Jada Toys impressed me with their thoughtful design of a budget $10 doll. They could've cut more corners and saved a bit per doll, but Bianca's dress and boots don't look budget to me. And I don't miss the extra plastic junk: no comb, no dumb plastic bag, no problem! I wish more companies would cut the junk and pass the savings on to the customers. :) Last night TRU emailed a 20% off coupon so I think I'll head back and get Hattitude Dakota too.

    The local TRU doesn't have the Crown Cuties in yet, but Crystalina is already on my list. It's hard for me to pass on a doll with blue hair! :)

    My only concern ... it looks like Jada Toys has decided to go with "three shades of caucasian" for their new dolls. I don't think it's an accident that some of the dolls look darker in promotional photos. That makes me sad because the first wave Candi is my favorite Cutie Pop. They put her in wave 2 but nothing even approaches her vinyl color since then. Maybe they think one Candi a year is enough and they will use light tan, white, & whiter in the extra waves?

    1. I've seen both Hattitude and Fashion Pups at a local Walmart, but they only had one version of each.

      I'm disappointed in the lack of darker skinned dolls, too. Fashion Pups Dalia is such a let down.

    2. Hi Kristi and Holly,

      I agree that the lack of darker skinned dolls in the newer Cutie Pops line is disappointing. I'm just a silly white girl, but I love diversity in my dolls. Like, I prefer the black Barbie a million times over the white one. I hope that Jada will realize that the omission of a darker skinned doll in this wave left people disappointed, and fix it in the next wave. They seem to really be trying to improve the line. I bet they'll listen to the fans if enough people mention it.

      Kristi: I just bought Bianca too, and I was also planning to use the 20% off to get Dakota this weekend. Small world! I totally agree that the Hattitude dolls (ugh! that name!) take a nice approach to a budget line. No extra plastic bits? Fine by me! The only thing I miss is a pair of closed eyes, but I do love everything else that comes in the set. I even like the single ponytail as it gives the girls a different, slightly older look. I love the null pop, too, because it lets me add a bow (and cover the hole in the head) without having to add hair. Then I can pretend my doll has short hair like me!

    3. What about an Asian Barbie? They should make an Asian Barbie.

    4. Casey, what a great idea about covering the top of the hat pop with a bow! I wasn't sure I liked it as-is.

      I'm also white, so it's not like there isn't a demand for dolls of color among white consumers. I thought they did well with the first wave of dolls--it's really a shame they have gotten rid of all but white characters with the latest waves. I honestly wasn't going to get Dalia at all except she was such a steal. I hope they turn it around soon before they lose too many customers.

      Mimi, there are Asian Barbies as well, but I honestly almost never see them in stores; I can't remember the last time I saw one. The only reason I know they're still being produced is that I saw a few on Mattel's website. Unfortunately, there's not many different Asian Barbies--the only one that springs to mind was the President Barbie that came out awhile ago. If you want one, definitely check out Mattel's website! I definitely agree that more diversity is needed among Barbies, too.

    5. Hi Holly,

      I'm glad you like my bow idea. I moved Bianca's panda pop onto her bow and it looks so cute next to her hair.

      I really feel like we're moving towards a post-racial age in dolls (or at least I really hope we are.) That's why it is pretty disappointing to see Cutie Pops omit darker-skinned dolls in this wave. I suspect we'll see more variety next time around. At the very least, they'll probably bring Candi back. If people write in their complaints, I think this company will listen. They strike me as a brand that's really trying to improve with each wave. Still, I'm sorry for the let-down with Dalia.

      Yes to more Asian Barbies! I want one who looks adorably Japanese, who I can dress as a Kawaii girl, since I can't quite pull off the look myself.

  13. Crystalina has beautiful hair. By the way, Monster high recently made a doll with SIX ARMS called Wydowna Spider. I think you could find her on eBay. I'd like it if you could do a review of her at some point.

  14. Very good review!
    I may get one of these eventually. Purple is one of my favorite colors, but I am not sure I would get the Pearlina as there is something kind of Cinderella-ish about this one with the blue dress and updo.
    I will have to wait on buying more dolls for a while. I bought the three remaining first wave Ever After High dolls today to keep my Raven company. Justice has there 40% of sale starting today with an extra 20% off this weekend. They were like $17ish so I jumped on it!

  15. She's really pretty! I love her dress, and the pops!

    If you have time, could you please post a picture of your AG wearing Rapunzel (Princess and Me)'s dress? I've been wondering if they fit. Thanks!

  16. Thank you so much for igniting my love for dolls. I have been collecting articulated dolls (Liv, Monster High, Bratzillaz, Moxie Teenz, Moxie Girlz, MyScene Barbie and Barbie Fashionistas) for about a year, and have about 30 dolls in total now. My love for collecting dolls developed from reading your blog. So thank you so much! I must say I love the Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse dolls. They have the most fantastic faces.
    Sending much love and appreciation.

  17. Hi Emily,

    I don't think that I would ever have heard of Cutie Pops if it weren't for you. I have two - Candi and Éclair and I love them. I think that Crystalina looks very cute. I love her colourings and her hair even if it doesn't change. I never see these dolls in my local shops though. I wonder how popular they are in the UK. I found mine in Ireland.

  18. Hi Emily, I love your blog. I've read almost every post so far, and even if they're not about dolls I collect myself, I find the posts to be very informative and accurate (and funny). If I want to buy a new doll now, I always check your blog too to see if you've written about it. Thanks for the reviews! Linda, Belgium


  20. Good to see how sweet they look once you've painted the emty soulless eyes and added a little shine! I've been waiting to see a cutie pop with painted sockets and it's noce to see how good they look even if you lose the eyes!