Friday, February 28, 2014

Ruth Treffeisen Play Doll, "Cristi Blue"

There has been a lot of excitement in the wake of the recent Toy Fair in New York City.  The American International Toy Fair is an enormous trade show held by the Toy Industry Association.  This event takes place in mid-February, and usually attracts over 30,000 attendees.  I was not one of the attendees this year, but it's a dream of mine to be a part of this toy extravaganza some day.  I am grateful to the Doll Diaries team for their wonderful reporting, and also to my friend Lily who sends me updates about specific dolls that catch her eye.

This review was inspired by the Toy Fair in a peculiar way.  I got a lovely email from the Paola Reina America doll company, sharing with me some of their pictures from Toy Fair and alerting me to the fact that their beautiful and extensive line of dolls would soon be available for purchase in the United States.  I eagerly visited their online store and drooled over many of the dolls.  I highly recommend a visit to this site--but I'll warn you that it's dangerously tempting.  While I was browsing, I noticed that the 13" Paola Reina America "Las Amigas" line strongly resembles an older doll that I bought almost a year ago.  My doll is "Cristi Blue" (also known as "Carla III") from the 2007 Ruth Treffeisen play doll collection:

Ruth Treffeisen play doll
Ruth Treffeisen play doll, "Carla III" or "Cristi Blue," 2007.
When I purchased this doll, I didn't know anything about her, I simply fell in love with her sweet, freckled face and red hair.  In fact, even after doing a few online searches, I wasn't able to track down a ton of information about her.  This site was very helpful.  My searches were complicated by the fact that this particular doll seems to have two names: "Carla III" and "Cristi Blue." Ruth Treffeisen's redheaded character is usually called Cristi, so this seems like the more appropriate name, but my doll's box is labeled Carla III.  I will stick with Cristi for now, just to avoid confusion.  

Ruth Treffeisen is a German artist, renown for her beautiful porcelain and vinyl art dolls.  Ms. Treffeisen introduced a vinyl play line in 2006 that centers around a blonde, blue-eyed German girl named Carla.  The collection also incorporates several of Carla's friends--Cristi, Carol, Mei, a boy named Boris, and several others.  The Carla dolls are made in conjunction with the Spanish Paola Reina company.  Paola Reina sells many of these dolls, but Ruth Treffeisen reserves a small number that she dresses and sells under her own name.  My Cristi Blue is from the Ruth Treffeisen collection.

Cristi got lost in the chaos of my review queue, but seeing the similar-looking Las Amigas dolls on the Paola Reina America site rekindled my interest in her.  At first, I assumed that Cristi was a Paola Reina America doll--just like the dolls on the new website, but an earlier edition.  That's not completely correct.  Paola Reina (in Spain) manufactures the dolls, Ruth Treffeisen dresses some of these dolls (like mine) and sells them under her name, and Paola Reina America is a separate, Canadian company that has exclusive distribution rights for the Paola Reina dolls in America.  

I went a little nuts at the Paola Reina America online store, and currently have two of their dolls on order.  I will review those as soon as I can, but in the meantime, here's a teaser picture of the Paola Reina America display at the New York Toy Fair (picture is property of Paola Reina America, used with permission):

Paola Reina Toy Fair
Doll wonderland.
The dolls in this display are from the 13" Las Amigas collection.
As you can see from these pictures and from the Paola Reina website, there are clear similarities between Ruth Treffeisen's Carla dolls and the Las Amigas dolls.  The face molds are the same, the dolls' names are the same, and even the box art is similar.  Ruth Treffeisen's play dolls are the same dolls that are sold by Paola Reina, but the outfits and method of retail are different.

I bought my Ruth Treffeisen doll from Samantha's Dolls where she currently retails for $64.  Paola Reina America's Las Amigas dolls cost $54.99 and are not sold at online retail stores--only through the Paola Reina America website and in select brick-and-mortar shops.

Cristi came in a colorful cardboard window display box.  The box had a thin sheet of plastic over the window, but I removed that to avoid the distorting glare:

The source of the name confusion.
The design on the box reminds me of balloons or Christmas lights.  It's very cheerful and bright.  The back of the box is relatively plain, with some red text repeated in seven languages:

The dolls are phthalate-free and recommended for children age 3 and older:

I can't remember the last time I reviewed a doll that was not made in China.

Made in Spain!
Cristi is attached to a solid red background with two soft elastic ties that encircle her feet and her neck:

It was extremely easy to remove Cristi from her box, and it would be almost as easy to put her right back in, if necessary.  

She has a soft vanilla scent that I find pleasant.  It's not an overpowering smell by any means, but it's still noticeable on the doll a week after I de-boxed her.  I believe all of the Ruth Treffeisen play dolls come with this aroma, which might be good to know for those with a sensitivity to perfumes.

Cristi can stand on her own very nicely and is about 13 inches tall.  My doll's hair was quite disheveled when it came out of the box:

Ruth Treffeisen play doll

Cristi has a tag attached to her dress bearing a print of Ruth Treffeisen's signature:

She is wearing a gorgeous blue dress with a shirt coat.  The back of the shirt closes with a single delicate white button, but then the flares open towards the bottom, giving the outfit a unique shape:

I like the name Cristi, however, for some reason, this little girl does not look like a Cristi to me.  She doesn't look like a Carla, either, so I decided to name her "Zoey," instead.

Ruth Treffeisen play doll
Carla III  Cristi  Zoey!
Zoey's hair had clearly been squished against the box for a long time.  The hair in back was very flat and some of the hair plugs were exposed.  This allowed me to get an early look at the nice rooting on this doll.  The hair is thick and even:

The hair fiber is a gorgeous, natural red color, but I have to admit that the hair isn;t quite as nice as I assumed it would be.  It is shiny and very smooth at the top, but the ends feel coarse.  Zoey has a layered, shoulder-length hairstyle, and I wonder if it's the layered ends of the hair that add to the roughness in this area?  The hair brushes out easily and there is no shedding.  The wavy texture of the hair tends to make the style look uneven and unruly--especially at the bottom:

A simple hair cut could fix this.
Zoey comes with a blue headband that matches her dress.  I used this headband to pull some of her thick hair away from her face so that I could get a clearer look:

Zoey's bangs are parted down the middle and stick out on one side.  I'll have to fix this:

What drew me to this doll initially is her heavily freckled face and detailed, realistic features.

Ruth Treffeisen play doll

She has stationary grey-blue eyes with long, thick applied upper eyelashes.  Her eyebrows are roughly sketched out as a series of five faint brown bands.  I wish there was a little more detail in this area--the simplicity doesn't match the rest of her face.  In contrast, her ginger-brown freckles are hand painted and look amazingly realistic--especially from a distance:

Zoey's eyes look blue from far away (especially when she's wearing her blue dress), but up close they have a grey-ish silver cast.  

These are somewhat similar in style to the eyes used for that Vanange doll I showed you briefly with my Salon Doll review.  Here's a reminder of what those eyes looked like:

Vanange doll, "Luz's" eyes.
What's odd is that I love Zoey's eyes, but I was not impressed with how they looked on the Vanange doll.  I think the scale has something to do with it.  Zoey's eyes are much smaller, with relatively large pupils, and so it's harder to see the tiny details in the iris.  

Zoey's eyes have a gorgeous, sparkling depth to them:

Zoey's mouth has realistic lip detail and is painted in a glossy, natural pink:

I love this doll's baby-faced profile.  It seems to me that she has a very prominent upper lip, though:

Also, if you look really closely in the picture, above, you can see that two of Zoey's hair plugs (just above her ear) were either pulled out, or were never rooted in the first place.  I only noticed this while looking at the close-up pictures.

Her ears have an admirable amount of detail for a doll this size:

Zoey's dress is antique blue (silk?) with white ric-rac trim.  The skirt has a sheer organza overlay:

The stitching doesn't quite hit all of the narrow ric-rac, which makes me wonder how durable the trim will be.

The top of the dress is a separate piece:

The inside of the shirt is fully lined. The tag warns that the outfit should not be washed at all.  This is too bad, because in most other ways the dress seems like a perfect miniature of a regularly-sized garment.

The back of the shirt has some faint red stains from the cardboard box.  I assume that this doll was stored in her box for quite a while since she was first released in 2007 and I purchased her in 2013.  

The details in the construction of this outfit are wonderful:

Underneath the shirt jacket, Zoey's dress has a plain white cotton tank top.  The dress looks less formal like this and it makes a pretty sundress:

The waistline of the dress is perfectly gathered and the neckline and sleeve edges are finished with tiny zig-zag stitches.

The dress turned inside-out.
The blue headband matches the dress perfectly and has an elastic section in the back that allows a snug fit and easy use.

I paid about $35 for Zoey with Samantha's big sale.  I would say that this outfit comes very close to being worth that price all by itself.  It's easily a $20 outfit, with wonderful construction, soft, natural-feeling fabrics and a beautiful, classic design.  

Zoey's shoes are made out of a white foamy imitation leather.  They have long straps that wrap around the ankles and tie in a simple knot in front.  I am not crazy about these shoes since they are fiddly to get on and off and don't seem very sturdy.  Most of the parts appear to be glued together.  I think younger children would have a lot of trouble with these shoes.

The straps are pulling away from the sole of this shoe on one side:

At this point in the review, I got frustrated with Zoey's unruly bangs.  So, I dampened her hair and put a sock on her head overnight:

I need to get this girl a hat!  Not everyone can pull off a head-sock this well.
The next day, Zoey's bangs were straight and shiny and lay evenly across her whole forehead:

Underneath her dress, Zoey is wearing some loose plain cotton underpants. She's also still wearing her pearl necklace, which does not have a way of being unclasped.  I ended up cutting the necklace off, which is a shame.  I have seen doll necklaces similar to this one that are made with elastic string.  These are nice because they don't need a clasp, but they can still be stretched enough to fit over the doll's head.

Zoey's body is all vinyl.  It is a soft, pliable vinyl with a very nice weight and feel.  The body is not strung like a Carpatina doll or a My Salon Doll, but rather has encapsulated joints on all of the limbs.  Zoey has five simple points of articulation:

Zoey's head can spin around, but it does not tilt up or down.  Furthermore, the head is mounted at an angle so that when Zoey is facing forward, she is looking down towards the ground:

I would prefer that Zoey be able to look straight ahead, but the downward angle of the head gives her a sweet hint of shyness.  

However, this angle means that as Zoey looks back over her shoulder, her head rotates up... the point where she's looking skyward by the time her head is turned 180 degrees.

Nice cobwebs, Emily.
I am not particularly fond of this style of neck joint, because I feel like it forces the doll's head into awkward angles that cannot look directly at me or at the camera.  

I think the sculpted details of Zoey's body are wonderful.  She has a very natural shape with a rounded belly, a slightly swayed back and great proportions everywhere.  Her head is a little large, but nowhere near as oversized as most play dolls these days.

The details in her hands and feet are also nice:

I think she has particularly cute knees, with molded knee caps and little dimples at the edges:

Zoey's posing is limited.  She can sit straight-legged in a chair or on the ground:

And she can do front-to-back splits:

She can also strike a few walking poses, but that's about it.  Many play dolls in this size range only have five points of articulation, but they often have rotation in their joints for a little extra movement.  I think Zoey's limited articulation would be ideal for younger children.  She is very easy to dress and handle.

Zoey is about the same size as a Hearts 4 Hearts doll--but she has a much smaller head.  She is also similar in size to my Zapf Little Princess Cinderella.

Lauryce and Zoey can share clothes very nicely.  Lauryce is slightly larger in the torso, so the fits aren't perfect, but they're very good.  The shoes are not interchangeable--Lauryce has bigger feet.

Zoey and Cinderella can also share clothes very well.  Below, Zoey is wearing the outfit I bought for Cinderella, not the original Zapf dress.  Since this outfit was made for Tonner's Betsy McCall, presumably Betsy could share clothes with Zoey, too.  

Zoey can force her feet into Cinderella's flexible shoes, but the fit isn't great.  Not sharing shoes is kind of Cinderella's thing, though, so that's fine.

Zoey's dress looks wonderful on Cinderella:

Zoey could make a reasonable younger sister for some of the smaller-headed 18" dolls.  For example, she looks good with lovely Clementine, A Girl for All Time's 2013 release:

When I first bought Zoey, it was with the idea that I would compare her to a similarly-sized Corolle doll from the Les Chéries collection.  I have Clara, the redheaded doll, on hand for this review.  I haven't even de-boxed my Corolle doll yet, but I already notice many similarities between these two:

1. They are both made out of soft vinyl
2. They are exactly the same size
3. They both smell like vanilla (different scents, though)
4. Even the names "Carla" and "Clara" are anagrams!

A critical difference (at least in my eyes) is that Zoey is made in Spain by a relatively small company while Clara is made in China...and Corolle is owned by Mattel.  I love many of Mattel's dolls, of course, but they seem to own everything these days, which troubles me.

I will do a companion review to de-box my Corolle Clara and compare her to Zoey.  At this point, I would also like to add one of the Paola Reina America Las Amigas dolls to this review so that we can see all three together!

Paola Reina and Corolle
They're hoping to share clothes.
Here are a few more pictures of Zoey:

Ruth Treffeisen play doll

Ruth Treffeisen play doll Cristi Blue

I took Zoey outside for a few pictures so that you could clearly see the colors in her hair and eyes.  The problem is, her dress is so summery that I feared it would look silly with all of the snow that's still here in Maine.  I had a hard time finding areas of my yard with no visible snow!

Her hair catches the light beautifully to show off the bright red color.  

I decided to take Zoey to a nearby beach to see if perhaps the waves had washed away some of the snow.  Here are some pictures from our adventure:

Zoey was untroubled by the cold and eager to explore the island landscape.

We took a windy walk on the sand flats, looking for pretty shells and watching the sea gulls drop their clams down onto the rocks.

Zoey spotted many rocks that she could climb on...

Paola Reina Las Amigas doll, Carla

Her favorite rocks were these red, orange and yellow boulders--I explained that the beautiful colors are probably from iron and other mineral deposits.

Zoey was excited because the colors match her coppery hair:

Ruth Treffeisen play doll Cristi Blue
Look, I'm camouflaged!
There was a huge driftwood tree washed high up on shore, and this was also excellent for climbing....

...and for name-carving:

As the sun went down and the wind kicked up, we found some shelter next to this small cave.  I think the colorful rocks and dark cavern set off Zoey's coloring perfectly.

Ruth Treffeisen play doll Cristi Blue

Bottom line?  As with the Licca-chan dolls, it is Zoey's face that completely won my heart.  The detail in her sculpted features is exceptional for a play doll.  Also, the care and realism in her face paint is remarkable.  The freckles, in particular, look amazing.  This is what I'd envisioned for My Twinn Annie's freckles.  Zoey's wide eyes sparkle with a realistic blue-grey color and are framed by thick, auburn lashes.  Her hair is a perfect color, but the texture and cut leave something to be desired.  While the hair has a beautiful sheen and is nicely rooted, it tends to look messy and feels coarse at the ends.  

Zoey's soft vinyl body has a natural shape with great proportions.  The vinyl feels wonderful and I enjoy the faint vanilla scent.  The articulation is minimal, with very simple rotating arm and leg joints.  The head is attached at an angle that forces Zoey to look increasingly upwards as her head turns.  This is not my favorite style of articulation, but the doll is well designed for younger children.  She is easy to dress and holds positions very well.  The flexible vinyl allows her arms and legs to bend and accommodate tight sleeves or pants, but is sturdy enough to support the doll sitting or standing on her own.  I also think Zoey's size is great for small hands. 

The dress has the appearance and feel of a collector's doll outfit while being sturdy enough for play.  Details like the careful hems, real button, gathered waist, and fully-lined jacket match the quality of full-sized garments.  One down side is that the dress cannot be washed.  I like the classic style of Zoey's dress, but some kids might prefer a more modern style.  The shoes are the weak point in Zoey's outfit since they are difficult to get on and off (a young child would struggle to tie the imitation leather straps) and one shoe is already coming apart at the seam.  I also wish that the necklace was designed to be removable.

For those of you who read my first review of Zoey, you know that there was a steep learning curve for me with this doll.  In particular, I didn't recognize the differences between my Treffeisen doll and the newer Paola Reina America Las Amigas dolls.  I don't have a Las Amigas doll for comparison (yet!) but I have gathered quite a bit of information to help me understand the distinction between these two groups of dolls.  First of all, Las Amigas dolls are less expensive than the Ruth Treffeisen dolls, and will only be sold through the Paola Reina America site and at select brick-and-mortar shops.  Blog reports from Toy Fair and correspondence with the Paola Reina America company lead me to believe that the Las Amigas doll have an even higher standard of quality than Zoey.  I am also impressed by the originality of the Paola Reina America outfits I have seen.  Many of the current dolls have dresses with modern, highly creative designs.  In addition, the dolls have shoes and accessories that look cuter and easier to use than Zoey's shoes.  The Las Amigas line also introduces some fun new characters, like winged Angels, a rainbow-haired witch, and a colorful assortment of Monster children.  Best of all, just like Zoey, all of the Paola Reina dolls are 100% made in Spain.

Zoey is a delightful little doll.  She offers a nice alternative to Corolle and Hearts 4 Hearts, and would make an ideal gift for children in the 4-7 age range.  Despite that recommendation, the quality of Zoey's clothing and the beauty and detail in her face make this doll very appealing to me as an adult collector.  She displays well next to many of my art dolls, and I suspect she appeals to a much broader audience than her target market.  A series of dolls with charming faces like my Zoey (but with better availability and more outfit choices) seems like a dream.  This appears to be exactly what Paola Reina America is offering with their Las Amigas line.  I could not be more excited about this possibility, and I can't wait to share the Spanish-made beauties of Paola Reina with you!

Ruth Treffeisen play doll Cristi Blue


  1. I have never been tempted by a toddler doll before, but she is so charming and I think she would make a lovely display doll (or template for!!) Her freckles are a lovely change to the monochromatic, evenly spaced freckles that seem so common nowadays...

    1. I totally agree! I love, love, love the asymmetry in her freckles! I don't think I've ever run across a picture of a customized Paola Reina doll, but that's a good idea. As much as I like the factory eyes, some high-quality glass eyes could be amazing on her--maybe even side-glancing eyes? That's very fun to think about!

  2. Not made in China, beautiful face, awesome clothes! I'm so excited! I hope I happen across a sale on these someday too!!

  3. Mattel really does own everything. They just bought Mega, a Canadian toy company that's a bit like Lego. Zoey is adorable, I really like her dress. And she's not made in China!

    1. Oh, wow--Mega as in "Mega Bloks?" Geez. They really do own a lot. I had no idea! I used to buy those building sets for my boys. There were some Mega Bloks Dragon sets that were our favorites. :)

  4. She is darling! I love your outdoor photos. As I was reading your review, I was thinking that I'd like to see you compare her to a Les Cheries. (My daughter has six of them, and I was noticing similarities.) I'm looking forward to it!

    1. Thank you, Kelly! I have been wanting to review a Les Cheries doll for a long time, so this is the perfect excuse. It's neat that you noticed the similarities to Zoey. With Clara still in her box, I am already struck by how similar the arms and hands are. It should be a fun review. Hearing that your daughter has six Les Cheries makes me suspect that they are very nice, too! :D

  5. I read your review with great interest, the information is very thorough and the pictures are exceptional. Zoey is so charming, she is definitely on my wish list! I first heard of Paola Reina last year and I was under the impression that the red head character form the Las Amigas collection is named Cristi and Carla is the blond one with blue eyes.

    1. Hi Nathalia! Actually, I was very confused about the names, too! Before I bought this doll, I tried to research her online and saw her listed as "Cristi Blue" (which makes sense with her red hair) and "Carla III." When I re-wrote the review, I changed the name emphasis to Cristi, because I think it makes more sense and is less confusing.

      I was also wrong about my doll being a Las Amigas doll--she's not! You are absolutely right--all of the redheaded Las Amigas are named Cristi. :)

  6. Living here in Spain as I do, I have seen these dolls a lot but never out of their boxes, just in the shops! Your excellent review has me looking at them in a new light now!!! Thank you!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Sharon! I am very glad to hear that! The dolls are definitely worth a closer look. ;)

  7. A beautiful doll which I have been longing for, for ages.

    1. She has the kind of face that's hard to forget, doesn't she! So realistic and sweet. I hope you can get one some day!

  8. Oh my, she is gorgeous! The only problem I wish I had her.

    1. Sorry, Lulu! Much of the Paola Reina line is creating similar problems for me right now, so I am very sympathetic! It's dangerous to visit that site!

  9. I have Christi doll from "Summer" collection and she looks exactly like Carla! There is blonde Carla in that collection too, I don't really understand why they changed their names. Also I'd like to say my doll has a little more articulation in the neck area: She can move her head up and down. Not very much though. It looks like it's something that they added in newer dolls.

    1. Hi Arisu! I had to come back and re-write my response to your comment with my new knowledge! You have an actual Paola Reina doll. The Paola Reina America website is very consistent with the names--you're exactly right that Carla is the blonde and Cristi is the redhead. Ruth Treffesien's dolls are fairly consistently named, too, so I still don't know exactly what's up with my doll's dual name.

      I am so, SO happy to hear that the neck articulation is a little different in the Las Amigas dolls! That's wonderful news. Of course, it makes me want one of those now, too....;)

  10. is simply adorable, I remember my childhood dolls of famous brands like Sebino and famosa

    1. She does remind me of Famosa dolls! I had to look up Sebino dolls--those are new to me. I have considered reviewing one of the newer Famosa Nancy dolls, but haven't gotten around to it yet. They are very reasonably priced. Thank you for reminding me of them! :)

  11. These dolls look more expensive than they are. Congrats for getting them closer to you!
    I don't believe in such a thing as an unwashable fabric outfit. If it's sewn, and not glued, surely it can withstand some washing by hand with mild shampoo! I think it could be ironed as well - under a wet cheesecloth, of course.

    1. Thank you, BlackKitty! The dolls are a great expansion to the market here.

      That's a good attitude about doll clothes--maybe Woolite and cold water? I'd love to get those red stains out, but I'd also hate to ruin the crisp, soft texture of the fabric. Having spot-cleaned my son's wool dress pants ("dry clean only") last week with great success, I might be in just the mood to give this a try! :)

  12. Wow! She is a cutie! I have always loved Paola Reina dolls. Her body reminds me of a Corolle Les Cheries a lot. I have 2 Corolles, them (and their clothes) smell great and are well made! I really want to get my hands on one of these cuties. But Paola's 23.6 inch ones are tempting me SO MUCH!

    And this is off topic, but I thought you'd might enjoy a little tip on a doll review. Maru and Friends is a company that I just LOVE and I'd love to hear what you have to say about them!

    I love all your reviews, Emily!


    1. Thank you for the nice note, Elizabeth! I hear you about those 23" dolls. Aren't they gorgeous? I hope they are as nice in person. I am wishing for silky hair and sturdy articulation....

      I'm anxious to write my Corolle comparison review, because I can see many of the body similarities with Clara still in her box. The Corolle dolls seem very nicely made, and it's encouraging to hear your enthusiasm! I'll bet the two dolls can share clothes, too, which would be great.

      That's an excellent tip about Maru and Friends--thank you! I actually have a Maru doll for review that I bought before Christmas--that's how tragically behind I am! Ugh! It's crazy around here. ;D I agree that the dolls look lovely, and some of the new clothes are fantastic.

  13. Great review! You're totally right about Zoey's face -- it's adorable! For some reason it reminds me a little of the character Ducky from the Land Before Time series. :)

  14. I have been looking at these sweet dolls for a couple of years. This is the one that steals my heart. I have been waiting for them to finally come to the U.S. Thanks for such a nice review and beautiful photos.

  15. Hello.
    I read your blog since time ago, but this is the first time that I´m going to comment. I think this time I can help you.
    I live in Spain and in my collection I have some Paola Reina´s dolls.
    Paola Reina makes their dolls by hand.
    Here you can watch a video about how the dolls are made.
    The factory is in Onil (Alicante) Spain.
    Ruth Treffeisen is a designer and she collaborated with Paola Reina to design a collection. But these dolls are also made ​​by Paola Reina
    For example, there is another line of dolls Paola Reina made exclusively for Imaginarium here in Spain, called Nicoletta, and although Nicoletta is labeled Imaginarium is also manufactured by Paola Reina and preserves the smell of vanilla that characterizes this brand.
    The new line Paola Reina´s Las amigas is a collaboration with two Polish designers and will be a limited edition called "The Friends of Lalla
    The concept is the same as that used with the line Ruth Treffeisen
    Queen Paola also has very successful in Russia too, which even has a collection of Las Amigas with Russian traditional dress, I love Kolia doll :)
    I advise you to also visit the official website for Paola Reina in Spain because it is much more complete than the American. :)
    Paola Reina doll can share clothes and shoes with Corolle but with heart 4 heart doll too.
    I hope I have been helpful, and please excuse me for my horrible english. :_(

    1. Spi Der you have answered a lot of my questions too with your comments here.....thank you! After reading Emilys review I spotted a lovely Asian girl in the Nicolets range at Imaginarium (I live in Sevilla) and brought her home. She is so cute and now of course I want a redhead and a blond!!! Although I think I will buy the Paola Reina ones this time as there is more choice! I'm so happy to be helping the Spanish economy too by buying dolls made here in Spain!!!! ;)
      Thanks again Emily for your great reviews!
      Hugs Sharon in Spain

  16. First of all, I laughed so hard when I read the Dutch text on the back of the box! It's like a young child wrote it. Full of mistakes and the language used isn't what you'd expect from a professional company. Of course, I had to type the text all over and at least take out the spelling mistakes:

    Het is niet geschikt voor kinderen tot 3 jaar omdat het lekeline stukken bevat Conform EEG EN71 veiligheidsvoorschriften. Origineel produkt, reproduktie verboden. Bewaar deze verpakking als vettelyk bewyk waarmee de herkomst van het produkt kan worwn aangetoond. Verwuder eerst alle pop vreemde onderdelen, geei dan de pop aan uw kind.

    Het is niet geschikt voor kinderen tot 3 jaar omdat het lekeline stukken bevat Conform EEG EN71 veiligheidsvoorschriften. Origineel product, reproductie verboden. Bewaar deze verpakking als wettelijk bewijs waarmee de herkomst van het product kan worden aangetoond. Verwijder eerst alle onderdelen die niet bij de pop horen, geef dan de pop aan uw kind.

    Now for the doll haha! I love her sweet face. Especially those realistic freckles and lips, so beautiful. I also quite like the look of the outfit but it's a shame one shoe is coming apart. Overall, she's not my type of doll but I totally get your fondness of her sweet face.

  17. I've been waiting forever for Paola Reinas to be available in the US and (jumping up and down) I just went to that site in your link above. It lets you put dolls in your cart, but doesn't let you check out, just says "ecommerce coming soon..." :( Was there some other way you were able to order yours?

  18. I found many of the Las Amigas on Amazon UK for a considerably lower price then on the Paola Reina America site. I purchased 2 dolls and total was $67 usd *including* shipping to US.

  19. (I tried to post a comment and retrying again - sorry if it double posts)

    Hi there, I just came across this review and wanted to comment. I have two of the Paola Reina dolls (Dasha with strawberry blond hair I found on eBay, and Nora winter version that I ordered from a seller in the UK) and several Corolle Cheries dolls (a second hand Chloe, new Clara and Capucine). I love them all - I see that you planned to do a comparison but haven't found it on your site.

    The dolls are similar as you noted, with some subtle differences that I have discovered playing a bit with them. Firstly the body proportions are very close, but the Reina girls are slightly slimmer with slightly smaller feet. They are also made of slightly softer feeling vinyl compared to the Cheries. The hair is hands down better on the Cheries - more even, thick and brushable. It just feels more substantial and durable on the Cheries. My 4 year old daughter plays with one of the Cherie dolls and gets her hair tangled up, restyled, what have you, and I have always been able to brush it out again and looking perfect - it's amazing really.

    The Nora doll is my favorite black doll - and I love the variation of the face molds on the Reinas and the skin tones. She is lovely. Corolle makes a black doll also (Cecile) - I haven't held her in my hands, but am somewhat disappointed that her face mold is exactly the same as the white dolls. For me this limits the appeal of collecting all the Cheries. I do love Capucine though - she has such a sweet face (the only one with a different face and non-blinking eyes). She really does look asian, unlike some purportedly asian dolls that really are not.

    As far as clothes, I love the Corolle sets, though they are pricy. In comparison, the clothes that came with my Nora felt a bit flimsier as far as quality (not lined), but still good quality and very cute. I love the modern styles :-) I have also bought Hearts 4 Hearts clothing for these dolls and the quality and fit are nice (the shoes even fit!).

    Well, that's about it. I look forward to seeing your thoughts comparing these dolls.

    1. I had to correct my previous statement about the clothes that come with the Reina dolls - they are very well made, with great detail. The boots that came with my doll are fake leather with nice detail and velcro closure - much more kid friendly than the sandals described in the review.

    2. You can see more from this dolls on FB ---- "Carle et son petit monde fabuleux" ---- dressed by Ruth Treffeisen.