Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Marta" from the Las Reinas de Paola collection by Paola Reina

I know many of you have been curious about which doll I had to set aside during my ridiculously busy week, and so I am thrilled to finally be able to introduce Marta, a 23.6" vinyl play doll from Paola Reina's "Las Reinas de Paola" collection.  With Marta, I feel like I am reviewing a doll from a brand new company, even though Paola Reina has been making play dolls for almost twenty years.  The reason the company feels new is that, up until this year, the Spanish-made Paola Reina dolls were not easily available in North America.  Fortunately, Paola Reina America has been established as the North American distributor for these dolls, and so we will start to see them available for sale in shops all across the continent.  The dolls will also be available directly from the Paola Reina America website soon.

I was fortunate enough to be able to do some early shopping at Paola Reina America, and my dolls were shipped to me directly from Spain.  I think this is the first official perk I have enjoyed as a doll reviewer, and I am extraordinarily grateful.  I must have spent over an hour on the website choosing which dolls to buy, and I probably changed my mind five times.  I ended up with two dolls, and I don't think I they're the ones anyone would have expected me to pick (no redheads!).  Of the two, I want to show you Marta first, because her size and coloring made a very strong impression on me from the moment she came out of her shipping box.

Las Reinas de Paola
"Marta" from the Paola Reina "Las Reinas de Paola" collection.
The Paola Reina company started making high-quality play dolls in 1994.  As a refreshing change from most play dolls on the market today, these creations are manufactured in Spain using only European materials.  The company offers a nice range of baby dolls, from the small Los Peques character babies to the larger, realistic infants in the Los Manu collection.  I was most interested in the child dolls, which include the small Las Amigas girls ($50-$60), an intermediate ~16" Soy Tu collection ($80), and the large, impressive (and highly articulated) Las Reinas de Paola dolls ($120-$130) like Marta.

The best way to show off the variety of dolls available at Paola Reina America is to share the Toy Fair pictures that the company was kind enough to send to me.  The following pictures are the property of Paola Reina America, used with permission.

First, here is the display from the New York Toy Fair:

Paola Reina Toy Fair
Can you imagine being there? Ah! 

What a gorgeous display!
And from Toronto, where you can see some of the dolls up close:

Soy Tu "Norma" (L), Las Reinas Marta (R) and Alma (on the screen).
I love the winged, pink-haired Las Amigas angel doll in front.
I like that this company has traditional play dolls, but they also have some more creative styles.  For example, there are several witch dolls with wonderful rainbow hair and multi-colored tulle skirts.  There are also winged, pink-haired angels like the one in the picture above, and even a Las Amigas Monster collection...with pink, white and even green dolls that look like young Monster High characters!

Something for everyone.
Many of the Paola Reina dolls are designed by the German artist, Ruth Treffeisen.  As you might recall,  I purchased a Ruth Treffeisen play doll, Cristi Blue, a year or so ago without knowing anything at all about her.  It turns out that my Cristi (reviewed here) is one of a small number of dolls manufactured by Paola Reina that Ms. Treffeisen dresses and markets under her own name.  Cristi is essentially the same as a Paola Reina Las Amigas doll--just with different clothing and a different marketing strategy.

Marta's presentation is very similar to that of Cristi Blue.  The biggest difference is size: Marta is huge.  Her box is four or five times as big as Cristi's box.  Marta's box has a thin plastic window in front, and a white cardboard back with a colorful heart design:

Here's Marta's box next to 18" My Twinn Annie, who is the same size as an American Girl doll:

That's a very big box.
This little decal on the front of Marta's box explains one of the main reasons why I was excited about the Las Reinas de Paola dolls--they have more joints than the smaller dolls:

The warnings on the back of the box are the same as they were for Cristi:

Safe toy, but not for kids under 3.
Marta is attached to a five-sided cardboard backdrop with a minimalist landscape design.  When I pulled this backdrop out of the main box, I could smell the vanilla scent that is present on all Paola Reina dolls.  It's a very realistic vanilla scent.  Marta's fragrance is stronger than Cristi's, probably due in part to her size, but also because she is newer.  It's a pleasant smell that reminds me of baking, but it is noticeable enough that it might bother people with sensitivity to perfumes.  I suspect that the smell will lessen over time.

I was impressed with Marta from her catalogue pictures, but she's even more beautiful in person.  Two special details weren't clear until I saw her in real life: the unusual color of her brown eyes and the faint, realistic spray of freckles across her nose.

Las Reinas de Paola
I love dolls with freckles.
Marta is very securely anchored to her box, but it's also very simple to remove her.  She has three elastic bands holding her down--one around her neck and one around each leg.  These bands are looped around plastic hooks that are inserted through the cardboard:

The plastic piece under Marta's head is designed to support her neck and provide hooks for the elastic band:

Marta is quite heavy and can stand on her own, although she has very small feet that require some adjustment to get just the right balance.

Marta has a darker complexion than my Cristi Blue doll, but my indoor photo set-up makes her look yellower than she actually is.  I'm working on getting some better lighting to avoid this problem.

Marta's has two crude ponytails that keep her hair under control in the box.

The hat was plastic-tied into Marta's head, which was a little disappointing.  I think of this as a trick used for lower quality play dolls.  I had to very (very!) carefully cut the hat out of Marta's hair.

I love the color of this doll's hair.  In fact, her coloring was the primary reason that I chose her over the other Las Reinas dolls.  

With her hair brushed out, Marta looks like a shampoo commercial. The hair is gloriously thick and shiny and is cut in a long layered style with a slight curl at the ends:

Paola Reina "Marta"

The hair fiber is nylon, which I tend to think of as a bad thing because of my experience with dolls like the original Bratzillaz Meygana Broomstick.  However, high grade nylon can be very nice.  It is a thick, shiny fiber, which might not work very well for smaller scale dolls, but is great for Marta's large mane of hair. 

The hair brushes out very easily, but it is dense and needs to be separated into small sections.  The hair isn't frizzy or coarse, but it's not slippery-smooth, either.  It doesn't tangle easily, but it does require frequent brushing in order to maintain the wonderful glossy glow that is has in the pictures, above.

The hair is rooted, which surprised me because the bang style makes it look like a wig.  The rooting pattern is not visible during normal hair handling, but pigtails would not be attractive:

Marta has the Paola Reina mark on the back of her neck:

Now, let me show you Marta's face.  The Las Reina de Paola dolls have very distinctive faces.   I think there are three different face molds in this collection, and Marta shares a face with Mei, Lidia and the Witch.  

Marta has very full lips and wide, rounded eyes.  The painted detail on the face is beautiful, especially the freckles.  They are so delicate and realistic: 

Paola Reina "Marta"

Marta has inset brown eyes that do not open and close.  They are ever-so-slightly wonky in their placement.  I have never seen brown doll eyes like this before.  They are amber-colored and have a metallic sheen to them that reminds me of a tiger's eye gemstone.  

Marta has long, delicate applied lashes on her upper eyelids.  Her lower lids are bare:

The eyebrows are painted with feathered brush strokes and look very realistic--it's a shame that they're hidden behind the doll's thick bangs.

Marta's exaggerated lips have a lot of sculpted detail and are painted with a very natural-looking translucent pale pink gloss:

Only after I had inspected Marta's eyes did I realize that I'd had her necklace turned the wrong way around.  The necklace actually has a painted leopard spot pendant that matches the color of the eyes almost perfectly:

Marta is wearing a multi-piece outfit that includes a fuzzy leopard print hat and a matching vest.  The hat is elasticized at the back for a snug fit:

Two opposite corners of the hat are tied together with a brown cord decorated with pom-poms.

The main body of the vest is made out of fuzzy leopard print, but the two front panels are lined with ultra-soft light brown fake fur:

The top corners of each front panel are folded over to create small lapels.  These are held in place with black shiny decorative buttons:

Most of the edges are finished, save for the arm holes, which are not stitched on the leopard print side.

Underneath the vest, Marta is wearing a white cotton peasant-style blouse:

Paola Reina "Marta"

I love how Marta looks in this blouse:

Paola Reina "Marta"

Paola Reina "Marta" doll

Paola Reina "Marta"

The pendant looks great and conceals Marta's neck seam very well.  However, the necklace gets in the way of the white buttons on the blouse, so I decided to take it off.  There's no clasp, so it has to be untied, but the knot is easy to re-tie.

The charm looks like it is made out of the opalescent interior of a shell.  It is painted on one side with a slightly iridescent abstract leopard pattern:

The painted side is difficult to photograph.  It looks like it should have some depth, but it's very two-dimensional.  The colors are a beautiful mix of orange and black.

With the necklace removed, the joint seam is exposed, but it's also easier to see the graceful lines of the blouse:

The blouse opens in the back with velcro, but the velcro only goes down about three quarters of the way.  This makes the blouse difficult to get on and off:

It has wonderful details, like two smocked lines at the elbows, beautifully gathered cuffs, and two pearly white buttons adorning the collar:

The blouse is fitted loosely through the torso and then has a tighter band that sits over the waist.  It's just a gorgeous, impeccably made piece of clothing.   

The skirt is an interesting contrast to the blouse.  It is made out of a dark, heavy tweed that is densely gathered at the waistband for a thick, full drape.  The hem is decorated with two tiers of fine white lace:

Underneath the skirt, Marta is wearing cream colored tights with fake fur leg warmers that match the lining of her vest:

I expected her to be wearing boots under those leg warmers, but she's actually wearing delicate brown dress shoes:

The straps open and close with a working white pearly button:

As much as I enjoyed examining Marta's beautiful outfit, I was eager to get a closer look at her articulation and her body mold.  She is made out of heavy, hard, high-quality vinyl and has 13 points of articulation.

She has a slender, elongated torso and chunky, visible hinge joints at her elbows and knees:

Her body has the Paola Reina mark just above the right hip joint.

The neck joint can only rotate around, there is no up and down movement.  This is always a bit of a disappointment, but is common for most larger play dolls.  I was relieved to see that (unlike Cristi Blue) Marta's head does not looking increasingly upwards as she turns her head--it stays level:

The shoulder articulation is also rotational, with no hinged movement.  Many larger play dolls, like American Girl, Carpatina, and 18" My Twinn, have strung joints, which allows them to change the angle between their arms and their body.  It seemed strange at first to manipulate a large doll that could not lift her arms this way.  However, the hinged movement in the elbows and the additional rotation in the wrists actually give Marta more overall arm movement than dolls like American Girl.  It's just a different kind of movement that takes some getting used to.

Marta can almost touch her face, if her head is turned, her elbow is bent, and her fingers are rotated towards her head:

The elbow joint has a large metal peg that is clearly visible:

The wrists have a simple rotating joint:

The lower limbs have what is essentially the same articulation as the upper limbs: the hips can only rotate, the knee joints are secured with large metal pins and have simple hinged movement, and the ankle joints rotate exactly like the wrists.  

The maneuverability of the ankles is critical for helping Marta to stand.  Because her feet are so small, it's often necessary to adjust the feet to an angle that will support her large, heavy body.

When Marta bends at the hip, her leg moves up and away from her body.  This causes the knee joint to turn outward and the lower leg to angle towards the opposite side of the body:

This articulation is great for doing the splits...

And perfect for kneeling...

But not so great for sitting in any kind of a chair:

Here are a few other poses to show Marta's flexibility:

At 26" tall, I assumed that Marta would not be able to share clothes with any of my other dolls.  She's much taller than 18" My Twinn and American Girl dolls, but as you can see, her torso width is actually quite similar:

I wondered if Marta might be able to wear American Girl sized shirts, at least, but her arms are too thick and long.

Karito Kids come closer in height to Marta, but have a more slender frame:

For fun, here's Marta next to Cristi Blue so you can see how much larger the Las Reinas de Paola dolls are than the 13" Las Amigas:

Marta is very similar in size and proportion to the older My Twinn dolls like Hazel:

The stuffed torso of the the My Twinns is larger, so their skirts and pants don't fit Marta very well, but many of the tops and dresses would probably work on a Las Reinas doll...if you roll up the sleeves and don't mind a slightly loose fit.

 I like this orange sweater set with Marta's coloring:

Marta's coloring really comes to life when she's outdoors, so I'll end the review by showing you some photographs of her visiting a few frozen Maine locations.  First, I took her to the frog pond near my house:

She immediately noticed that the pond was still frozen solid and wanted to walk across it.

I suggested that it wasn't safe, but she just got exasperated with me and insisted that she'd be fine.

In fact, the ice was so thick that I even ventured about half way across myself.  

This picture totally looks photoshopped, though, doesn't it?  

I think because Marta is standing on ice it looks like her feet aren't really touching a surface.  I promise that she's actually standing on a frozen pond!

We took a short walk through the woods, but the sun was going down and it was getting pretty cold.

Marta found a nice log and was able to soak up a few last rays of sun before we headed home.

Las Reinas de Paola

Later during the week, when the sun came out in force, I took Marta to one of our state parks for a few more pictures.  In this bright sun, her eyes and hair come alive.

Of course Marta immediately wanted to scale some of the nearby boulders, and asked for a hand up:

It was wonderful to sit on the rocks and look out over the warming ocean. 

Las Reinas de Paola

Marta even spotted an osprey nest on a nearby island!

Can you find it?

Marta found a lot of pretty shells along the beach, including this one that reminded us both of her necklace:

Las Reinas de Paola

I thought that the yellowed Ascophyllum seaweed went really well with Marta's hair and eyes, and so I convinced her to lay down in it for a few last pictures.  She was reluctant at first, but then agreed that it made a pretty comfy bed!

Look at those eyes!
Las Reinas de Paola

Bottom line?  Marta took my breath away when I first saw her in the box.  Her size and weight alone are enough to make an impression.  It's more than that, though.  I must have spent twenty minutes just looking at Marta in her box--taking in all of the details of her face and outfit.  After gazing at her for a while, I think I said to my husband, "this is an epic doll."

Even before Marta arrived at my house, I was in love with the idea of the Paola Reina company.  The dolls are made entirely in Spain, with materials gathered throughout Europe--beautiful fabrics from France and Spain, and hair fiber from Germany and Italy.  The level of quality, caliber of manufacturing, and careful control over sales suggest that this company is driven by an underlying love for dolls--not necessarily the singular desire to net tons of money.  The Las Reina de Paola dolls cost between $120 and $130, which is comparable to the price of an American Girl.  I feel that the size and level of quality in the Paola Reina dolls easily justifies a much higher price.

Marta's articulated body has a pleasant vanilla scent and an impressive weight and feel.  She has a large number of joints (especially when compared to similar play dolls), but she doesn't move quite as well as I imagined she would.  She can't look up and down, although I appreciate that her head spins on a level plane and doesn't rotate upwards as she looks around.  Her shoulders and hips can only spin around a single axis--they don't have any hinged movement.  This led to several instances where I was trying to get Marta to strike poses that were impossible.  Perhaps the most disappointing feature of the articulated body is that it can't sit gracefully in a chair.  Still, the body is heavy, very sturdy, and holds poses extremely well.  The doll can stand on her own and keep her balance--even in windy, slippery conditions.  The joints themselves are chunky and obvious, but the overall appearance of the body is very nicely sculpted and realistic.  Marta's articulation is different, and takes a little getting used to...but the more I handle this doll, the more I like her.  She might be a bit of a handful for younger kids, simply because of her weight and size: I would recommend her for anyone over five.

Marta's clothes are outstanding.  She has a unique, multi-piece outfit made out of a wonderful mix of high-quality fabrics.  Each item of clothing is sturdily constructed with no shortcuts or design gimmicks.  These are real clothes.  I especially love the combination of Marta's gauzy peasant blouse and her heavy tweed skirt.  My only complaint about the clothes is that the blouse is difficult to put on and take off...and this would be such an easy thing to fix by just making it open all of the way down in back.

Marta's hair is made out of gorgeous, high quality, flame retardant nylon.  I love the hair, but it isn't quite what I expected.  It does not have the slippery-smooth feel of my American Girl Keira's hair, and it needs a bit of maintenance to keep it looking great.  However, the maintenance is easy.  The hair fiber doesn't tangle and isn't the slightest bit frizzy, so it is quick and effortless to run a brush through the full length.  The hair is deliciously thick, holds its style well, and the color and shine are spectacular.

Marta's face is very stylized.  She has rounded eyes and exaggerated, beautifully-sculpted lips.  She looks soft and kind and has a pleasant, versatile expression.  Her face is perfectly painted, with light blush on her cheeks, naturally pink lips, and amazing hand-painted freckles.  Her eyes are fixed in place, but they have a unique shimmering brown color that reminds me of exotic gemstones.  Marta's outfit and accessories compliment her coloring extremely well.

Marta feels like a precious, collectable doll to me.  She has the kind of special qualities that I am much more accustomed to seeing in my art dolls.  She reminds me of the Gotz and Zapf dolls from decades ago--dolls with high-quality outfits, mohair wigs, sturdy bodies and mesmerizing glass eyes.  I thought that play dolls like this had gone extinct, moved aside for the abundance of products mass-produced in China.  To have a creation like Marta in my hands, for a price well under $200, fills me with joy.  Welcome to America, Paola Reina.  I could not be happier to have you here, and I desperately hope that you will stay.

Las Reinas de Paola


  1. Yay, firsties! Anyway, Marta is a beautiful doll. Her hair is stunning. Her name seems a little out of character though. I don't know why, but she seems like an Angel or a Lily or maybe even an Ethel to me.

    1. I love Lily as a name for her, Mimi! That's perfect! Maybe the name Marta comes from the German designer's background? I always think of cute little Marta from The Sound of Music when I hear that name. :)

  2. Hi Emily, I discovered your blog only a few weeks ago... I am addicted. You write amazing reviews with wonderful pictures. Going through each review is like discovering each doll with you. I love the step-by-step photos you make as you review each doll. Fantastic helpful details!! Thank you.
    This Paola Reina doll looks beautiful. She has similar features to Corolle dolls.
    Did you notice a difference in the way her eyes are set (left and right eye are slightly different)?
    Thanks for a great review!!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Nadine! I'm really glad that you have been enjoying the blog. You have a good eye--I totally agree that there are a lot of similarities to Corolle--especially between the smaller Las Amigas dolls and the Corolle Les Cheries. I am eager to do a comparison review! Also, Marta does have slightly wonky eyes--you're absolutely right. I don't notice it much in person, thank goodness, but it's apparent in many of the pictures. I had a little trouble getting shots where she was looking straight at the camera...with both eyes, anyway. ;)
      Thank you again for your nice comment!

  3. It's wonderful that you were able to preview this new (to America) doll line. Your photos outside are marvelous and highlight beautiful Marta very well. Thanks for another great review.

    1. Thank you so much! It was really fun to photograph Marta outside. She just sparkles! :)

  4. I love her! I am super-excited for Paola Reina's American debut!

    1. Thank you! I am excited, too! I'll be wonderful (and dangerous!) to have these dolls so easily available in the States! :D

  5. I love your reviews and bought my first Cristi last week still under the influence of your review. I must say the charm is working!
    Marta looks beautiful but too big for me.

    1. Thank you, Line! Yay--you got Cristi! Isn't she wonderful? I adore the size and faces on the Las Amigas girls. Marta is very big, I agree. I think when I told my husband she was "epic," he said..."yes, but where are you going to PUT this epic doll??" ;D

  6. That doll is SO GORGEOUS (much like the scenery in your neck of the woods :). I think my favorite thing about her from your photos is that while she's blonde, she's not bland. She kinda looks like she might be from Argentina, at least to me. If only her price tag wasn't triple-digits, I'd seriously consider picking her up.

    1. Oh, very well-said, Tina! Marta is very atypically blonde (for a doll), I completely agree. Her darker skin and brown eyes make her more exotic. The outfit adds some cultural flare, too, but I don't know exactly where she's supposed to be from!

  7. I have only seen Marta (my personal pick if I were to buy one) dressed in photographs and have been waiting eagerly for your review. As usual, you are thorough and take exceptional photographs. This is a stunning doll. I am pretty devoted to your well addressed "club mentality in your AG review, so well said!) for American Girls and finding the older and retired all Denver and Hybrid My Twinns. This doll has taken me off guard. While I am not as fond of her hair as I am with AG and My Twinn, her mobility certainly beats the armature of 23" My Twinns and the 18" American Girl. I just adore it. Her outfit is breathtaking. Her eyes are like gems, the sparkle is quite evident. And she is on my radar, Well put, Emily, this IS an "epic" doll. this is wny I come to your blog for reviews! Enjoy her!!

    1. Thank you so much, Heather! Her articulation is interesting. I always critique articulation because it is my passion, but it's so important to keep in mind exactly what you said--Marta is way more articulated than most other play dolls of this type. There's just something wonderfully old-fashioned and special about her. There are no gimmicks--she's just a beautiful, well-crafted, sturdy, lovable doll. A perfect childhood companion.

      BTW, have you seen the new Westport collection yet? Drooool.... ;D

  8. What a wonderful review and great photos as always!! I visited the Paola Reina booth while I was at Toy Fair and I loved the variety of dolls they had - that witch is so cute in person!! I hope to add one of their dolls to my collection later this year - deciding which one will be the challenge - probably 18" or smaller though.

    1. I wish I could have been at Toy Fair with you, Char!! Some year, maybe. Looking at the Paola Reina pictures (and at all of the wonderful photos on your site) I just want to be there and inspect all of the dolls up-close. It really looks like a wonderland to me.
      I will have a hard time resisting another one of these beauties--especially the witches!! Their hair looks amazing. I can't wait to see which doll you pick! :)

  9. Lovely review - those outdoor photos at the end are wonderful - for a lovely doll! That the lips have sculpted details is deeply impressive, so thank you for sharing the close-up photos of that feature. :)

    1. Thank you! The sunlight really shows off her coloring much better than those indoor photos.

  10. Hello from Spain: This doll has my name. I had not seen before. You make a great analysis. I like the articulated body .. We keep in touch

    1. Hi Marta! She does share your name...and your country! :D That's very neat. She's a good doll to have named after you! ;)

  11. So glad to see this review. I have been anxiously awaiting the company's arrival in the states. Mei will be my choice, with Alma second. Your reviews helped me decide against Clementine of A Girl for All Time (although I doubt I'll be able to resist their new Lydia doll in 2014) and I'm glad to see after your review my interest in the Las Reinas dolls seems justified. I was afraid I'd find the actual doll disappointing. As a doll collector it is encouraging to read that the dolls remind you of the older higher quality dolls, (I love vintage dolls too) and that the company shares a love of this art form beyond any economic value they might have. That alone would make me want to support this company. I am now waiting to receive Paradise Galleries' Su Lin doll sculpted by Ping Lau. That baby will make a great sister (or brother) for Mei, if the site would only start operating! As they say, good things come to those who wait!

    1. I think the site should be up and running by late April, so not much longer now! :) The company is being very responsible and waiting until they have the actual dolls before they take orders.

      Mei was my first choice, too, at first. She's gorgeous! Alma looks wonderful, too--I adore her outfit. It is not an easy decision, is it? ;) I was intrigued by Marta's unusual coloring and outfit and just had to see it in person. Honestly, I would have been thrilled with any of the larger girls. I hope you love your Mei!

      I have wondered about the Paradise Gallery dolls for years. They look quite lovely in the pictures, and while they used to get bad reviews, I have heard better things about them more recently. Ping Lau is an incredible artist, so I will be very curious to hear what you think of Su Lin! To own one of Ping's sculptures would be a dream....

  12. Marta without an "h" sounds rather Spanish to me. In German it would most commonly be spelled "Martha". Beautiful doll and a great review! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! It makes more sense to have a Spanish name, doesn't it? Also, Marta who commented above is from Spain, so that's further proof! :) I didn't realize that the German spelling would include an "h." Good to know--I am fascinated by names and name origins.

  13. What a sweet face Marta has and her strawberry blonde hair is a beautiful color that I've not seen on a doll before. Thank you for your thorough review, particularly her articulation. It's a bit strange looking, though, so I would keep her in fall and winter clothes year round. :) Someone has said this before, but I'll say it again: no one covers articulation as well as you do. I wonder, now that you have reviewed so many, which dolls would you say have the best and highest number of posing abilities? It seems that number of articulation points does not necessarily mean more posing abilities.

    1. Thank you, Julia! You said it perfectly: "the number of articulation points does not necessarily mean more posing." I have found that to be very true. In fact, I often feel more disappointment with highly articulated dolls that don't move as well as I feel they should--which isn't very fair. In contrast, I don't care much about what the joints look like--Zapf Cinderella had some pretty ugly joints, but I love how that doll can move! I also don't mind the appearance of Marta's joints. They just increase her appeal as a solid, handcrafted toy.

      Off the top of my head, here are some of my favorite "movers" (in no particular order):
      Monster High
      Makie dolls
      All Integrity dolls
      Juku Couture
      Once Upon a Zombie?
      Zapf Cinderella
      Tonner Cami and Patience....

      ...ok, the more I write, the more I think of! I really need to put some thought into this and do a pose-off blog post. I have been wanting to do this for ages, but it keeps slipping away!

  14. She is beautiful, it's really interesting to see such a big doll and a doll with a different style of joints.

    1. Thank you, Molly! I did find it quite refreshing to see a completely different style of body!

  15. I'm delighted to see this new doll line made in Europe, not China! Thank you for another thorough review. You certainly do live in a beautiful place.

    1. Oh, thank you, Kelly! Maine is starting to come back to life, which is exciting. It is so pretty here in the warmer months. :)

  16. I really like Marta! She's prettier than I imagined.. Maybe I'll get her someday!

  17. Gosh, Marta is absolutely gorgeous! Once this doll line becomes available in america, I might have to buy one. The articulation seems a bit lackluster to me, but I've been spoiled by BJDs, haha.
    Anyway, great review!

  18. So pleased to read your review and benefit from your experience of the Las Reinas in such detail. I think I lost a couple of days just looking at the Las Reinas dolls when they arrived (I'm a UK retailer) so I can understand how you were mesmerised by Marta in her box. I love your description of her as 'epic' it fits. The collection of Las Reinas are truly stunning and different- I've been captivated by each and every one in the same way as you have with Marta. Beautiful photos outdoors, you had the perfect day- that must be how she got her freckles! Paola Reina deserves a lot of success and like you I think these dolls could carry a higher price tag. Really great review!

  19. Oh wow, is she gorgeous! I'm going to have to save up for one of these dolls--I just saw Sharif ( and fell in love. About the only one I like more is the Witch. The idea of sewing huge, detailed clothes for them just gives me the rushes! The little ones are sweet too--I love that they have such a variety of colors and clothing. Yes, I think this will have to be a doll to bring over to the Pacific Northwest and take pictures of.

  20. Absolutely stunning. And as you said breathtaking. She is so very beautiful and when you had her next to Christi Blue...even though the size is quite different the beauty in the facial features was still there. So I think all of the Paola Reinna America dolls will be wonderful.
    Your pictures throughout, but especially at the end are FABULOUS! She looks almost real.
    Thank you for a great review.

  21. Paola Reina dolls are now available for purchase on e commerce. Visit

  22. I bought an Alma doll and when she arrived here that huge box had proven to be problematic because she had broken loose from her attachments and damaged her cheek paint. IMHO that box is way too big, and if she breaks loose the plastic fittings will scratch and scrape. But, she is a cutie, and I have 23" My Twinns to keep her company. Her weight did catch me by surprise and she definitely moves differently to a Twinn. But she makes an interesting addition to my collection (Which I promised would never grow as large as my previous one).

  23. Hi! I really enjoyed reading your full review of your beautiful Martha. I bet you two are still having some lovely adventures and plenty of photo sessions.

  24. She's got a lovely face sculpt, but her eyelash placement doesn't look natural at all. It ruins the look for me, and I so much want to love her. Thanks for the review!

  25. Very glad the dolls made in Spain (where I live) are appreciated all over the world.
    You just made me want one of these! But I think if I ever purchase one, it'll be a Monster one, the one with the black cape (she's so adorable!)

    Thanks to you I know the quality is quite on point, so I won't be that afraid of getting one once I can.
    Thanks for the review :).

  26. I loved your review. I read it in the same day I received my Marta.I'd tell people how I totally agree with you, but I'm speechless with Marta adorable scent and stunning beauty!Thank you very much for the review!