Friday, May 16, 2014

Dorothy & Toto from "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return"

The animated movie, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return premiered on May 9th and is getting perplexingly polarized reviews--people either love it or hate it.  I watched the trailer, but probably won't see this movie myself since it seems to be intended for a pretty young crowd.  I do have a general fondness for the original Wizard of Oz movie, though, based on our family's tradition of watching this classic every year when it aired on television.  I always forgot from year to year that the movie starts in black and white and then bursts into color once Dorothy gets to Oz.  For some reason, that effect was perpetually magical to me.  Anyway--because of this fondness, I always stop to look at Wizard of Oz merchandise at the toy stores.  A few weeks ago at Toys R Us, I noticed a brand new group of attractive-looking Dorothy dolls and stopped to investigate.  Seeing these dolls is actually how I first learned about Legends of Oz.  The new dolls are made by Bandai, and are designed to resemble the animated Dorothy from the movie.

Bandai's initial release of Legends of Oz toys includes three different 11" Dorothy dolls ($16.99-$24.99), a larger scale 15" child Dorothy ($19.99), and two sets of small secondary character figurines ($11.99 per set).  I was drawn to these toys not just because of their association with the Wizard of Oz, but because all of the dolls have very sweet faces.  I decided to review the 11" Dorothy that comes with a Toto companion, since this particular doll is in the middle of the price range and I am a fan of Cairn terriers (note: Dorothy can't actually hold Toto on her own):

"Dorothy & Toto" by Bandai, $19.99.
Bandai is a huge Japanese toy and video game company.  I think they're the third largest toy producer in the world.  However, when I think of Bandai, I don't think of fashion dolls--I think of Power Rangers and Pokemon.  This company does have several doll lines, though, including Sailor Moon figures, Strawberry Shortcake dolls and Harumika.  Harumika has just released a new group of smaller dolls called Locksies.  I saw some of the Locksies at Smyths in Edinburgh.  The dolls are a little bit funny looking, but I like that the Harumika fashion design concept is being updated and continued.

I'm pretty sure that this Dorothy is only the second Bandai doll I have ever owned, so I really didn't know what to expect in terms of quality.  The faces on these dolls are all very nice, but when I peered into the boxes I wasn't too excited about what I saw.  None of the dolls have any visible articulation in their lower limbs, and I feared that the limbs were made out of cheap hollow plastic.  In addition, my doll's outfit appeared simple for her $20 price, and the black Toto accessory looked featureless and nowhere near as appealing as the goofy animated character from the movie.  Here's a picture of the animated Toto:

Now, compare that charming picture to the photograph of the Dorothy doll with her Toto accessory:

Not quite the same dynamic.
Because of these less-than-promising observations, it actually took me a week to decide that I wanted to purchase one of these dolls for review.  I'm glad that I did, though, because there were several nice surprises.

The packaging was not one of the nice surprises.  Dorothy and Toto come in a cardboard-backed window box.

The plastic window had tabs that were sandwiched between two sheets of cardboard.  The cardboard was taped and glued together with a vengeance.  I tried pulling the two pieces of cardboard apart to free the plastic tabs, but this didn't go well:

Stubborn cardboard.
Clear tape circles were placed all around the edges of the box, too.  I tried cutting the tape circles and cutting some of the plastic tabs, but in the end it was simple, primitive, tugging and ripping that finally got the job done:

Once the plastic was separated from the cardboard, the de-boxing got easier.  Both Dorothy and Toto were held in place mostly with clear rubber bands (no plastic ties in Dorothy's head!  Yay!).  It only took a few snips with the scissors to free them from their plastic holders.  There's a lot of hard-to-manage waste with this packaging though:

Dorothy comes with a purse, and this accessory provided a little extra challenge at the end of the de-boxing.  This purse was nailed to its support with about six tiny, tightly-fitted plastic ties.  I wonder if the machine used for applying these attachments is super-fun or something?  I picture it as being like a miniature nail gun--its wielder gleefully zapping plastic ties everywhere possible while the other workers look on with envy.

Plastic ties everywhere.
I did manage to cut all of the ties (from the back, with the clear plastic acting as a protective guard) and remove the purse.  It's made out of a lightweight denim fabric and has a bronze satin ribbon handle:

Even the flap is plastic-tied shut.
The purse is simple and small, but seems well made.  The box advertises that the China Princess figure can fit inside of this purse.

Here's a picture of the figure set that includes the China Princess. The princess herself is about 3 inches tall:

While Dorothy and Toto are recovering from their box extraction, let me take a minute to tell you about another reason why Wizard of Oz dolls are special to me.

When I was younger, my sister and I had all of the Mego Wizard of Oz dolls.  Dorothy and Glinda from this set were probably the dolls I played with more than any others, because they were just the right size to ride on my Breyer model horses.  Not only did I invent Wizard of Oz games with these dolls, but Dorothy and Glinda branched out to become a huge variety of other characters in my mind--from princesses to modern day girls.

I've shown you this picture before, but here's my old Glinda (in Dorothy's dress) outside with some of my horses:

She was the owner of a huge horse farm.
A year or two ago, I purchased an old Mego Dorothy that was still in her box.  I think she cost me about $3.99:

The back of this box has a picture of the Emerald City playset.  My sister and I also had this--it was made almost entirely out of cardboard, so it didn't last, but it was really fun:

Recyclable playset.
Here's Dorothy herself--she's eight inches tall and comes with a Toto figure and a big plastic yellow basket:

This Dorothy's face looks a little bit like Judy Garland, I suppose, but it's not very expressive--I always preferred the Mego Glinda doll because of her red hair and big smile.

Little Toto has not weathered the years very well, but you can see the nice molded detail in his coat and his painted red tongue:

Not sure why they didn't paint the collar and tag.

I wish they'd given his eyes a little color, though--he's got a creepy, blank-eyed stare and the hair above his eyes makes him look grumpy:

I've been in a box since 1974.  What did you expect??
Because I spent so many hours with these dolls when I was a child, they were in the back of my mind throughout this whole review.  Now that you've met them, let's go back to the Bandai Dorothy...and her little dog, too.

This Toto looks like he is made out of dense black foam (like a yoga mat or a worry ball) but he's actually made out of black hollow vinyl.  His body is pretty hard, but he will compress if he's squeezed.  

He stands upright, resting on his haunches with one forepaw raised higher than the other:

I expect figures like this to have a visible (often unsightly) midline seam, but Toto is seamless. 

His dark color hides his features, but he does have painted eyes, a painted collar, and his own cute painted red tongue:

Maybe if the whites of his eyes were showing just a little at the edges he would have more expression?

So...even though this Toto is unarticulated and his eyes are hard to see, he's cuter than I expected.  Dare I say it, he also looks more like a Cairn terrier than the Mego Dorothy's dog.

Dorothy does not come with her own stand, and when I got her out of the box she would not balance on her own--despite some pretty large boots.  

The boots came encircled with plastic for some reason.  I removed this plastic and put the boots back on.  The boots are very loose, and slide on and off easily.  They also wiggle around a lot and leave big gaps around Dorothy's calves.

I put the boots back on the wrong feet (they are loose enough to fit either foot easily) and for some reason this fixed Dorothy's balance problems:

She still doesn't balance very well, and she can't stand in anything other than a perfectly upright position, but it was nice to be able to get her to stand alone.

Dorothy has a friendly face with a serene, inquisitive expression.  Unlike the original Dorothy, this doll has blue eyes.  She is wearing her hair in the traditional long pigtail style, though, and has blue gingham in her dress that hints at the original Dorothy's signature outfit.

I looked up a synopsis of the Legends of Oz movie to learn a little more about this particular Dorothy.  I read that the new movie is based on a book written by the great-grandson of Frank Baum--The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author.  The story takes place right after Dorothy returns to Kansas from her first adventure in Oz.  Apparently the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion have all been captured and Dorothy's help is needed to rescue them.  

So--this is supposed to be essentially the same Dorothy that we saw in the original movie, at around the same age.

Dorothy has raised brown eyebrows and bright blue eyes.  The style of her eyes and face reminds me of a Winx doll:

She has rosy pink lips with a little bit of shimmer in them: 

Dorothy's profile is also similar to the Winx doll profile.  She has a gradual slope to her nose, a tall forehead, and small ears:

Her hair appears medium brown from a distance, but is actually a mix of auburn and light brown strands.  It's a very pretty color--almost red in some lighting:

The ends of the braided pigtails are coated with styling product and shaped into little curls:

Dorothy is wearing a short denim pinafore with a collared gingham shirt.  The hemline of the dress is asymmetric, but the whole skirt is so short that it's difficult to see the difference in length.  For a long time during this review, I simply thought that the skirt wasn't laying flat or had been cut unevenly by mistake.  In the pictures below, the shape of the skirt is clearest from the back: the skirt is shorter on Dorothy's left than it is on her right:

The dress has a bronze satin ribbon belt that matches the handle of the purse accessory:

This outfit looked very simple to me at first, but the detailing is actually quite nice. The gingham shirt is well-shaped--with a collar that lies flat and crisp cuffed half sleeves.  The details in the denim dress are stitched in gold thread.

  The satin belt isn't removable, but the belt loops are realistically sewn:

The dress is all one piece, and it is very easy to get on and off.  The back closes with two separate pieces of white velcro:

Even though the shirt is attached to the rest of the dress, the shoulder straps are free, giving the outfit a convincing layered appearance:

The longer side of the skirt has a stitched, decorative pocket flap:

All of the seams in this dress look sturdy, and there are no loose, frayed ends in sight:

I wish the dress was a little bit longer.  First of all, you can see all of the way up Dorothy's skirt while she's still in the box, and she doesn't have any cloth or painted underwear.  I find this off-putting.  Second, I think the asymmetric style of the dress would be more apparent if the overall length was longer and the difference between the two sides could be greater.  Otherwise, this is a nice, sturdy dress that compliments Dorothy, is easy to get on and off, and is pleasantly reminiscent of the original movie dress.

Dorothy can't stand without her boots, so here she is propped up on a Zeenie Dollz stand:

The first thing I noticed about Dorothy's body was its weight.  She is not a light, cheap-feeling doll.  Her torso is hollow, hard plastic but her limbs are made out of solid, flexible vinyl.  This isn't the sticky, rubbery vinyl that is found in some dolls' legs (like Bratzillaz or the click-kneed Disney Store dolls) but a substantive, smooth material that flexes without being wobbly.  I don't think I have ever seen a doll with this style of limb before.  

The bendable limbs do not have any internal joints, so Dorothy technically has only five points of articulation.  Her head can look around and tilt up and down a little.  Her arms are articulated at the shoulder, and can rotate all of the way around and lift up and down:

The rest of the arm is bendable, but can't hold any positions without pressure being applied:

Dorothy's hips only have limited forward and backward movement.  She is not able to do side-to-side splits at all.

Her legs are not as bendable as her arms (probably just because they are thicker) but they still allow other poses to be held temporarily:

I think articulated knees would make a big difference with this doll, but I am not sure what kind of knee joint to suggest.  Internal joints are too fragile, and hinged knees wouldn't work with this material.

Dorothy cannot do full front-to-back splits, and so she can't hold this position...

...without tipping over onto one of her arms for support:

Dorothy's unarticulated knees and heavy legs make it impossible for her to sit in a chair, but she can sit on the ground, without even using her arms as supports:

Dorothy has molded, unpainted underwear with her copyright information on the back:

This doll's feet have slightly raised arches and a nice, graceful shape:

Her hands have more detail than her feet, with molded nails and some separation between the fingers:

Dorothy's body proportions are on the natural, realistic side of the fashion doll spectrum, and remind me most of Liv or Disney Store bodies:

Liv in Wonderland Alexis, Dorothy, 2012 Rapunzel.
Liv Alexis can share Dorothy's dress, although it seems even shorter on her:

The boots are too big.
This dress goes nicely with Alexis' coloring:

And Alexis has articulated arms that can actually hold little Toto:

Dorothy fits into most Liv clothes, especially loose-fitting tops like this coat:

However, the bodices can be slightly tight on some outfits.  This Liv dress is tight through the chest, making the skirt stick up in front:

Dorothy also fits into many of the Disney Store Princess outfits, but again the chest area is a little tight and the dresses don't always close perfectly in back.

Here's Dorothy next to J.C. Penney Elsa, who has internal knee joints and rubbery legs.  I also put Moxie Girlz Kellan in the picture because I thought perhaps her torso size would be similar to Dorothy's, but she's actually quite a bit smaller.

J.C. Penney Elsa, Dorothy, Moxie Girlz Kellan.
Dorothy reminds me of my Kurhn doll, so I wanted to get a picture of these two together.  I also added Barbie Midge as a reference:

Barbie Midge, Dorothy, Kurhn.
Dorothy and Barbie can share clothes, but yet again Barbie's outfits are a little tight in the chest for Dorothy (that was a surprise).  Midge's blue dress works nicely because the top is made out of a stretchable knit.

Dorothy's dress is really short on Midge:

And the boots are way too big.
I was eager to unbraid Dorothy's hair for closer inspection, but since I can never seem to get hairstyles back into their original form, I took a few more pictures of her with the crispy pigtails first:

Of course Toto wanted to join in...

When I unbraided Dorothy's hair, I was relieved to find that it is only crispy at the ends.  There isn't any styling product anywhere else.  The hair comes down in crimped waves with a rooted part in the back:

There were a few chunks of styling residue:

I broke up the stiff clumps of hair with my fingers and then brushed everything out with my wire brush:

The hair is smooth and silky at the top, and rougher at the ends where the styling product was.  It has a lot of volume:

The hair fiber feels soft and springy and is easy to brush.  It is rooted in rows near the doll's face, like this:

And the rooting becomes more random at the sides of the doll's head, like this:

It's fun to play with the volume in this hair:

I tried re-styling Dorothy's hair into a single ponytail, but it took a few tries to tame the waves and get it reasonably neat:

Despite her blue eyes, Dorothy reminds me of Disney's Belle with her hair like this:

So I had to put her into Belle's dress for a minute:

She makes a nice princess.
This isn't a comparison review, and there's really no good reason to compare the Bandai Dorothy to my old Mego Dorothy, but I'll still say that overall, Mego Dorothy's articulation is far superior:

Bandai Dorothy had to be wired into that chair...
But Bandai Dorothy's face is definitely my favorite of the two:

As for the little dogs, despite my nostalgic attachment to the Mego Toto, I find myself enjoying the Legends of Oz Toto much more than I predicted I would.

The last thing I did with Dorothy is give her hair a quick boil wash to straighten out the braid crimps.

After only one quick dip in the hot water, the hair came out smooth and soft and easy to manage:

Here's one last sequence of pictures with Dorothy and Toto--Dorothy back in her original braids.  Note: her hands are tied together in these photographs since they cannot hold this kind of pose on their own.

Bottom line?  I was anticipating a stiff-limbed, hollow plastic doll with a cheap outfit and an inexpensive-looking, unarticulated pet dog.  That is not what I found.

First of all, Dorothy's body construction is unlike anything I have reviewed before.  She has dense, flexible vinyl limbs that do not feel sticky or rubbery.  There are no internal knee or elbow joints, so the doll can't hold poses in these areas.  This makes her stiff and difficult to photograph, with a very limited number of possible poses.  She can't sit in a chair at all.  I wish that her hips, in particular, had some additional side-to-side movement, since this would increase her posing repertoire and also help with her overall balance.  However, her limbs bend easily, making it possible to manipulate her into a wide variety of temporary poses.  For a child holding her and acting out a game, I imagine this would be very satisfying.  Overall, the body has a nice, solid weight--there's nothing cheap-feeling about it.  

The outfit is a little skimpy.  I wish the skirt was longer so that the asymmetrical style would look less like a mistake.  However, the construction of the dress is great.  It's all one easy-to-use piece, despite looking convincingly like a separate shirt and pinafore.  The details are good--especially in the tailoring of the blue gingham top.  The boots are not as nice as the dress.  They are rubbery and loose, and while they slide easily on and off Dorothy's feet, they wobble around a lot and don't help with the doll's balance as much as they could.  The purse is a cute, simple accessory and goes nicely with Dorothy's outfit.

The hair was one of the best surprises.  It has a beautiful two-toned auburn brown color, and aside from the crispy curled ends of the pigtails, it is silky and free of styling gel.  It is rooted well enough to have a lot of volume, although the frizziness of the brushed-out braids makes re-styling a little tricky.  A quick boil wash makes a wonderful difference and I highly recommend this if you're going to take the doll's hair down.

I still don't think that the little Toto figure is as cute as the animated character in the movie, but he has more expression and detail that I expected, and I am impressed with the solid, seamless construction of his body.  He makes a nice companion for Dorothy, although I wish that she was able to hold him without the help of rubber bands.

Overall, Dorothy is not the kind of doll that I, personally, tend to look for--mostly because her articulation is so limited.  I find her face and hair beautiful, but she simply doesn't hold poses expressively enough for me.  However, this doll wasn't designed with someone like me in mind.  Dorothy (like the Legends of Oz movie itself) is intended for young kids.  She is sturdy and well-made, and her bendable limbs will come to life in the hands of an imaginative child.  Beyond being a nice souvenir from the movie, this doll's nonspecific face and clothes-sharing options make her quite versatile.  Like the Mego dolls from my past, this Dorothy could gracefully take on any character that her young owner might wish.


  1. Hi Emily,
    I have been reading this blog for quite a long time and always check to see if you have reviewed certain toys before I decide to purchase them. Have you thought about doing the Princess and Me Elsa or Anna 18" dolls from Toys R Us? I really like them, but not a single person has done a good review! Thanks, Anonymous

    1. You know, even those dolls are getting crazy hard to find around here! I don't think I've seen Elsa since before Christmas! I will keep an eye out in case she comes back into stock. :)

  2. awesome review of the dorothy doll!
    anyways i just wanted to ask, is it true that you guys dont have the first wave MH dolls in your area?
    I find it weird cause toys r us's(and other major toy stores) in our country(philippines) still have them.We might be outdated or something! whats the latest mh dolls in your country? we have frights camera action,and the one slo moe...

    1. The latest MH dolls right now are the creepateria dolls, an economy line (skinny box) that has a Cleo, Draulara and Howleen. They are awesome, I have Holween and she's pretty cool. We have frights camera action, sort of have Slo mo ( he's super rare). We also still have lots of dance class 5 packs, picture day, 13 wishes Twyla. There's also coffin bean and Zombie shake. That's pretty much what's going on right now. We don't have first wave dolls, I wish I could get them! I will keep that in mind if I ever go traveling.

    2. We haven't had first wave MH since around 2011 ! The newest lines we have are Creepateria and Zombie Shake :)

    3. oooohhh....thank you guys for replying!So we are outdated!
      we still don't have ever after high here! but we have the recent disney princess dolls(scented ones) which is weird..another weird thing is that I see the slo mo doll almost everywhere!

  3. What a cute doll! I wasn't aware of this line, but it looks like it's one to watch.

    And even though it was only included as an aside, I thought it was interesting to see the old Mego version as well. Impressive articulation on that one!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed seeing the Mego doll! She has her faults, but that girl can balance extremely well and her articulation is amazing. She reminds me a bit of the Juku Couture girls!

  4. By far, the best doll review site on the web. Thank you so much!

    1. That is extremely kind of you, Andrea! Thank you. :)

  5. Hi Emily! Dorothy looks like a cute doll....cute enough for me to add her to my list of dolls to look out for! She (her facial features) reminded me of MGA's Best Friends 4 Ever dolls, but when I look at pictures of them, they look much younger (an example is here:

    Thank you for the great review, as always!

    1. Oh, wow! The Best Friends 4 Ever dolls are really sweet! I love that redheaded Noelle. Thank you so much for sharing that link! :D

  6. This doll looks quite cute, but I still like the old Mego Dorothy. The Mego Dorothy will remain my favorite, because I picked her up at thrift for about $1.25 and loved her since. On side note, the Mego Dorothy can wear Kurhn's shoes.

    1. Can't beat that price! Amazing! She is worth so much more than that, I think. I hope you got all of the little outfit pieces, too--like her socks and ruby slippers! Thank you for the shoe-sharing tip--I would never have tried Kurhn shoes on Dorothy or Glinda!

    2. I only got the doll, hair ribbons and dress, but I find did some boots by mixing and matching with the other dolls that I own. And I knitting a jacket that fits her from an old skipper pattern.

  7. Hi Emily, I found a Dorothy doll at a thrift store last week and her hair looked very similar to the Legends of oz doll ( but then again what Dorothy doll's hair doesn't? ) but, she's a very old doll so the rubber bands in her kind melted into her hair and when I tried to brush it the rubber bands were actually part of her hair. : P Now she's all better but it was a weird experience.
    Anyways, the Legends of oz doll is very pretty but the Mego doll is a bit scary. Sorry for writing a novel in the comments.

    1. Hi Alice, that's a great description--I know exactly what you mean about the rubber bands, because it has happened to me before, too! Isn't that the freakiest thing? Glad you got her all fixed up. :D

  8. I really like her face and hair, but the lack of articulation is a deal breaker for me. I have a Mego dyna-mite doll as a memory of my childhood, when I spent hours playing with and posing her. You were very lucky to have so many Mego dolls and play sets. Have you seen the Classic TV toys website?
    They have Mego clone dolls. Unfortunately they don't have wizard of oz, but there are some interesting and funny things to look at. The doll quality can be a bit hit and miss though. They also have a small selection of clothes for mego sized girls for as little as $2.

    1. That is a fun website--thank you for the link! My old Glinda could really use some new clothes, so that's a great resource!

      The Mego dolls can do anything, can't they? I found that they were especially good at riding horses. :) I think these dolls are the reason why I am so picky about articulation as an adult. I was spoiled when I was young! ;D

      The faces didn't even bother me as a child because I think my imagination took over and made them all incredibly beautiful. I do feel very lucky to have had them. My old Dorothy and Glinda are among the dolls I will never part with. I will have to see if I can find a picture of the Mego Dyna-mite dolls!

    2. I may end up getting a Mego myself--I'm an 80's baby, so I missed out on those dolls.

      You're not the only one who's picky about articulation--one of many things I hated about Barbie as a kid was the lack of elbow and knee joints. I didn't like having her arms always at a 90-degree angle, or the fact that she couldn't sit right in a chair or on a dollhouse stool. I don't know if articulation like Midge's is new, or if it was just out of my parents' price range, but WOW what a great difference! (This was one of the things that grabbed me about Monster High from the start!)

      Just having those rubbery limbs like the new Dorothy, instead of hard, hollow vinyl, would have made all of my dolls more interesting to me as a kid.

      As for the new Oz movie, it looks like it's great fun for kids, but it's kinda weird to me. I've read all 15 of L. Frank Baum's Oz books, and any of his Oz sequels would have made enchanting (and funny!) movies, yet a much newer book was chosen. It is interesting to know that it's based on a book from one of Baum's descendants, though, instead of having been made up completely from scratch for the movie. :)

  9. Hello Emily I really Love your reviews! This doll is very pretty, I was giong to ask if you have thought of reviewing the new Fashion Royalt dolls, I know you have done it before but they have uodated the body sinc, (the shrunken bottom you were talking about is now gone lol) And i would love to read your oppinion.

    1. Hm. I had not thought of them for a while! It's nice that the bottom has been changed! ;D Those dolls can be hard to track down, but I will start keeping a look out. Thank you for the suggestion!

  10. Hi Emily,
    Have you heard about Obitsu dolls? They are a brand of Japanese dolls that have very good articulation, like Liv dolls. They come in multiple different sizes, but I recently bought two of the 27cm ones, which is around 11 inches. I was wondering if you'd like me to write a review for your blog about them, or if you just want to hear more about them!

    1. I have heard of Obistu--yes! It would be really fun to have a review of those on the blog! Right now I have a backlog of guest reviews, but shoot me an email and we can chat. :)

  11. Like you, every time I go in TRU, I'm drawn to this doll because of it's sweet face. Plus it kept reminding me of another doll but I couldn't put my finger on which one... Then it dawned on me ! This doll's face reminds me of the Kurhn doll !

    1. There are definitely similarities between this doll and Kurhn! They have the same innocent sweetness. This Dorothy really does stand out from the crowd at TRU, doesn't she? I felt like I was being pulled in by a magnet the first time I saw that face. I like her much, much better than the most recent Barbie Dorothy!

  12. Hi Emily! Here at DollDiaries we recently got sent this same doll to review and I agree with everything you said 100% I gave her hair a rinse as well and its great now! What a sweet doll, and another fabulous review from you!

    1. Hi Natalie--your pictures are amazing! I found your review this morning and need to add a link here so that everyone can enjoy those glorious outdoor photos. Thank you for stopping by--I am so glad you are having fun with your Dorothy, too. The hair washes so nicely, doesn't it?? :D

  13. I enjoy reading your reviews. I find them to be very informative. I am also a doll/toy collector. I also like articulated bodies above all else and can't stand the limited range/movement on most dolls here. I'm not sure if you heard about a company called Phicen. I just recently discovered them and am in wow with their seamless bodies. They are cheaper than Hot Toys and seem more anatomically correct to me. They also seem to be improving their bodies with each new version. I think it's interesting none the less to any collector.

  14. you should check out an Alexis Oshay doll by Via E I think its a waterproof 18 inch doll!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Ha, when I read "Mego," all I could think of was:
    You're all welcome. ;)

  16. I always look at this doll in TRU, thinking she might make a nice Belle. She's kinda cute but I wish there was a little more detail in the eyes or something.

  17. I'm a big Wizard of Oz fan myself. We got this doll, and I like her. Thanks for the great review and comparisons. Have you found any other shoes that will fit her?

  18. Bandai must have had poor quality control on these dolls, or we were both very unlucky and found two of the worst ones. I bought mine at Ollie's, just the other day, and while her dress isn't asymmetric in the way that yours is (it's a little longer in the back than it is in the front, but not on the sides), her LEGS are clearly asymmetrical, and so mine can't stand at all.

    Then again, I had no patience to keep trying the way that I did with my new Coffin Bean Venus McFlytrap, who I knew should be able to stand up on her own. Luckily, Venus managed it, after several tweaks to her positioning and weight distribution. I suspect Dororthy's boots aren't helping either. I tried them on my Venus, because her feet are the same size as Dorothy's and almost the exact same shape. Alas, as you noted, there is a lot of give inside, and I think that's what is causing the problem for Venus. The boots aren't gripping her feet tightly enough, so Venus couldn't stand in those as easily as she does in her own shoes. Again, I may have lost patience too soon, but after figuring out how to distribute Venus's weight, I got her to stand easily enough on her own, multiple times, so it shouldn't have been so hard with Dorothy's boots. I was really hoping I'd have a more neutral pair of shoes that Venus could wear with some other clothes.

    I'm also not a huge fan of hot pink, but Venus wears it well. She was the prettiest ghoul left at Ollie's. My other options were Coffin Bean Twyla, Frights, Camera, Magic Lagoona, and I Heart Accessories Operetta (all lovely, but less impressive in face, accessories, or clothes.) My Venus has an amazing half-shaved head with hot pink flock on that side, which shows off one of her ears really well. I've never seen that hair style in a female doll before! I also loved her various shades of green and the plant theme. Her little cup, with a sprout in it, is also very cute and she holds it well. I'm not as impressed with the movement restrictions of her tight dress, but I love her all the same.

    They also had exactly one Pinkie Cooper and Li'l Pinkie left, the Beverly Hills set, so I got more hot pink, but I dearly wanted Pinkie after your reviews. Paying $4 dollars for both was an unbelievable steal! I'm just sad they didn't have any of her friends. I really wanted Pepper, too! P.S. Beverly Hills Pinkie's hat is fantastic on her. She really needs more hats. Also, I think the removable ears on L'il Pinkie are great, since I can reposition them to allow for her turning her head. I forget if you mentioned that part in the pet review, but given how long her plastic ears are (she has the blonde ones that strongly resemble Pinkie Cooper's ears), it would be impossible otherwise. :)

    Er, but I'm digressing. I bought Dorothy, because I remembered your generally positive review. I really like her face and I have a Takara Jenny and a Takara Licca (and what might be a StarDoll, before I read your review and knew about the website.) I didn't think the lack of articulation would bother me too much, especially not for $4 dollars, but I'm irked to know my Dorothy has such a simple flaw as this. It's really subtle when she's barefoot, but the boots make it a lot more obvious, and it's something I noticed when she was wearing Venus's shoes too. This sucks, because I like the size and shape of her feet and hands, and I've got a lot of old Barbie clothes that I thought would probably fit her.

    I think I'll try putting Dorothy's head on one of the many Dollfie/Obitsu bodies that I have squirreled away. I bought them, because at one time I wanted to try painting doll faces, so I have a lot of blank heads too. I never quite got up the nerve to try, but I have lots of clothes and accessories for these many potential dolls.

    I have been inspired by your blog to maybe give custom doll heads a shot after all, but I don't know when. XD

  19. Pffffft. Of course, wouldn't you know it? I decided to try Venus one more time, right after posting. It was a struggle at first, but I managed to get her to stand up in those boots without any support. Venus tends to need some support for anything other than upright, whereas more creative poses are easier in her own shoes. That makes me a lot happier though, since it means I can get some more use out of Dorothy beyond her head and Toto (although I may get lazy and keep her as she is anyway. It's not as if every doll has to stand on their own.)

    I think the key factor are the blunt toes that Venus's shoes have, versus the more pointed toe of Dorothy's boots, plus I'm going to guess that the right and left designation is very important for Venus to stand properly. I'm not sure I trust her as much in these boots, but Venus is doing so much better than in my previous attempts. It just takes more perseverance and patience with these boots. :)

  20. Very nice review, fair and nuanced, nice to see the old Mego Dorothy,as for her articulation I mean she was technical an action figure XD

    Oh by the way Mego has recently come back and they've reissued their Mego Dorothy and Wicked Witch dolls-err action figures have you seen them yet? They're only at Target howevrh