Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review Fusion #2

I am delighted to have another Review Fusion today!  I wasn't sure if this idea was going to work, so I'd really like to thank all of the reviewers who have been willing to share posts with one another and contribute to these fun combinations!  I love grab bags and surprises, and I think this ever-changing blend of dolls and perspectives feeds into that passion.  I hope you enjoy the mix, too.

I am in the midst of trying to inject some order into my madness (in other words, rearrange my doll room) and so having the help of such wonderful guest reviewers is amazing.  Today, I have two reviewers, George and Amanda, and they will be talking to you about a Mattel Winx Club Bloom doll and a Disney Store singing Cinderella (eeee!).  The cover picture this week is an extraordinary photograph that I have been holding on to for months, waiting for the right moment to share it with you.  This exquisite girl is a new Cutie Face Makie (like Effie) named "Ever."  Ever is owned by Amy and was customized to Amy's specifications by Sioux.  You can see more of Amy's pictures of Ever on her gorgeous Flickr photostream.  I think Ever is magical:

Makie doll, "Ever."  Photo by Amy, used with permission.
First, I would like to introduce you to George.  George noticed that while I have chatted about Winx dolls a few times (especially the redheaded Bloom character) I have never reviewed any of the Mattel Winx dolls.  He kindly offered to write a review of Mattel's Bloom for the blog, and I eagerly agreed.  The Mattel dolls are considered by many collectors to be the best versions of the Winx fairies, and so I have always thought that they should make an appearance here.  Thank you, George, for making this happen, and also for your wonderful patience as everything got put together!

Hello Everyone, I’m George, a doll collector of various doll lines including Winx Club.  By the way thank you so much Emily for the opportunity to write this review. 

Today I will be reviewing the Winx Club Charmix Bloom doll. This doll is not one of the recent Jakks Pacific dolls, she is one of the Mattel dolls. These dolls came out in 2004 and their last line in the States was “Picnic” in 2008. The dolls are now discontinued and are extremely rare. Bloom was released in a basic line in early 2006, to support the second season of the TV series when it was airing on 4Kids. Back then she cost $10, but now prices can go up to $70 on eBay.

To my disappointment, the eBay seller who sold this doll to me took her out of the packaging before shipping her to minimize the shipping cost (which may be the reason why the doll smells really bad), so I could never take a picture of the box. However I found a picture online so you can get an idea of how the box looks:

Bloom comes with 4 accessories: a cardboard Bloom card, her signature crown, a heart-shaped fluffy waist purse, and a heart-shaped gem.

Bloom has gorgeous vibrant red hair. She is the only Bloom I own where they got her hairstyle right. 

She has two side-bangs and small bangs on her forehead. Above her hair she wears a small golden tiara with three bumps (I don’t know how they're called). The tiara and side-bangs are held in her head by red string:

The collector's card has 2 sides. One side has Bloom in her fairy mode, and the other one in her Season 3 basic outfit. Both sides also have a picture of her Pixie Lockette.

The purse and gem create Bloom's "Charmix," a power-up that the girls got in Season 2 in order to be able to beat a villain:

[Emily chimes in: since I haven't watched the Winx Club show, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the Charmix power idea.  For anyone else who hasn't seen the series--it's just what George said: the fairies earned temporary enhancements to their powers by confronting their weaknesses. The power-ups come in the form of a brooch and a hip-bag of some kind. Each fairy's Charmix looks different.  Bloom's fuzzy purse goes around her waist, and the brooch is meant to be worn just below the neckline of her top.  You can see a picture of the cartoon Bloom wearing her Charmix here.  Sorry for the interruption....back to George!]

The purse slides on easily and stays on pretty well. However, I could only get the gem onto the shirt once, and it was in the wrong spot because the mechanics used to make it stay in only allow for it to be placed at the bottom of her shirt, like this:

Here's the full outfit:

Bloom comes with a blue top. It attaches to her neck and back with velcro in order to stay on. The upper part is made of a normal blue fabric with printed blue sparkles. The bottom part is made of some foil-like material to represent the that the outfit is two-toned. It also has a golden gem on the middle

The skirt is made of the same material as the upper half of the top. It also breaks about halfway down on the left side to reveal some more of her leg. It is hemmed with wire to be able to pose the skirt as if it was being moved with the wind. The skirt also has some plastic to prevent it from riding up the doll’s body. On her sides Bloom wears white glittery gloves that only cover her arms. However they do go over the top of her hands.

She wears teal blue ankle boots with a darker blue on the soles. 

Overall the doll’s outfit is very accurate to her TV counterpart (unlike the Jakks Pacific dolls). However there is one thing that disappointed me, and by disappointed I mean I almost had a breakdown!

Bloom has cheap plastic wings stitched to her outfit. At first I thought the seller had tricked me somehow but after more investigation I discovered that all dolls in this series have stitched wings instead of light-up, magnetic ones.  I think this was to make the line more affordable. In my opinion, this ruins tons of mix-and-match possibilities the magnetic wings had. Bloom can’t even wear those because she has no magnet on her back.

Bloom has a very small and slim waist with very long legs, which makes her look kind-of funny. She has 9 points of articulation (at the knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, and her head). These joints are a bendable plastic that can make some bizarre poses.

Lastly I would like to add a small comparison with the Jakks Pacific dolls. They are 3 inches taller than Mattel dolls, and have from 7 to 11 points of articulation.  The Jakks dolls' fluttering wings are obviously better than the stitched plastic wings that the Mattel doll has. The hair quality is far superior on the Mattel doll, though.

Overall Bloom is a very good doll. If you find her for a reasonable price you should definitely buy her.  I think she is better than the Jakks dolls (except for the wings, sadly).  :(

Thank you for reading this review, and thank you for letting me write it, Emily.

Thank you, George!  Next, Amanda is going to show you a version of one of my personal favorites--Cinderella.  Amanda's collection is limited to Disney dolls, which makes her something of an expert in this domain!  I have been eyeing this particular version of Cinderella myself, (she's now on sale for $9.99) and so I had personal reasons for being quite interested in this review.  Tell us all about this coy beauty, Amanda!

Hello all! My name is Amanda, and I'm a New York-based college student and performance artist who loves collecting Disney merchandise and memorabilia.

One of the first Disney films I fell in love with as a kid (along with Mary Poppins!) was Cinderella, so needless to say, I have a lot of stuff from that movie. Figurines, a Christmas ornament, even my own glass slipper on a ceramic pillow- and, of course, a pair of “Disney Store authentic” dolls. But they only became a pair because a doll I originally didn’t want started to grow on me.  And then she went on sale!

The doll I am reviewing here is last year’s singing Cinderella doll, which explains why she was on sale, along with the other singing dolls (Rapunzel and Belle) to make room for this year’s crew. The dolls went from almost $25 to about $15, so I caved in and bought the one whose glowing online reviews were among the reasons I became drawn to her. Otherwise, I don’t care much for the singing dolls, and prefer the Classic Collection.

But onto my only exception--the other thing that drew me to this Cinderella was the fact that she’s wearing the pink dress that the mice made for her in the movie, something you don’t see a lot of Cinderella dolls wearing. Cinderella's cardboard/plastic box is large and attractive for containing not only her but a cute Gus the mouse and bonus housemaid outfit. A round cutout on the back of the box reveals a button that you can press to hear her sing “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”

She is not motion-activated like the newer Anna and Elsa singing dolls, but for me, I suspect that this is a good thing! Like Anna and Elsa’s dolls, however, Cinderella sings the same one verse of her song when you press the button.

I am proud to say I got her out of the box using only my fingernails and a set of keys--no scissors!

Here she is fresh out of her box.
Per the norm for Disney Store dolls, her elbow and wrist articulation is great, maybe even better than that of my Classic dolls. It’s a lot more fluid.

Whaddaya want from me?
She can hold Gus the mouse, who is painted pretty perfectly.

She has slightly different face paint from my Classic Cinderella: her eyes are lighter and her lipstick is pinker. She also has a new hairstyle to match what she had at that point in the film, before she met the Fairy Godmother. It is sealed in place with some kind of gel, and even if I could take it out, I wouldn’t be able to re-create the style. Her shoes are simple pink flats, meaning that she cannot stand on her own, but glass slippers with this incarnation would be movie-inaccurate.

She has rubber click joint legs, which enable her to sit as best she can underneath the long gown, which impairs her leg mobility a bit. The dress itself, however, is a gorgeous color and nicely made, with not much glitter shedding to speak of! Cinderella also can move her legs to the side, something my other classic dolls cannot do.

We're auditioning for a lead role in the Planes sequel.
Of course, diva that she is, my Classic Cinderella had to swoop down from her perch and get a closer look at this doppelganger. You can see the differences in their face paint, but the mold seems to be pretty much the same.

The looking glass of the future...
Throw in Rapunzel and you can do Charlie's Angels!
Or Titanic!
Here's another one of my favorite photos of Cinderella:

This year's singing Cinderella hasn't been released yet, but judging by the other singing princesses that have been released, Disney is adding even more accessories and changing the outfits as well. I would love nothing more than if they kept Cinderella in this unique pink gown and hairstyle and only improved on her included accessories and song (as I said, it's only one verse). Despite the rubber click joint legs, the articulation in the arms and wrists is the best out of all my Disney Store dolls and her face paint had absolutely no errors. For a discounted price of $15, she was an absolute steal considering her quality. It affirmed my commitment to only purchase Disney dolls from the official Store. Even though the normal price of the singing dolls is higher than that of the Classic Collection, you still won't find more movie accuracy or better articulation in any other brand for the same price.


  1. LOVE these reviews! Would you allow me to do a review too? I have several dolls it'd be interesting to have reviewed! I'm honeysuckle jasmine on flickr, by the way!

  2. I thought all the singing Disney dolls were 17" tall. I wonder if there's a singing Little Mermaid in this 12" size? If I can find one on sale or $10 I'm definitely getting it!

    1. There used to be singing dolls in the 17 inch scale; sadly, Disney seems to have discontinued making them. And there is actually a singing 12 inch Ariel (as well as Aurora, Rapunzel, Tiana, and Merida) retailing at Disney Stores right now. She's $29.95, if I recall correctly. But I think the higher price is well worth it, considering how she comes with a number of accessories and her tail can actually move with a push of a button. The packaging is gorgeous, too. I really like how detailed this year's singing dolls are, in terms of the dolls themselves and how their accessories allude to details in their respective films. ^-^

  3. I really enjoyed this review. So many great dolls and lots of information. I have seen Ever before on Flickr. I think that she is one of the most beautiful Makie's out there and I love her name so much! I am interested in the concepts behind Winx but haven't found the time to watch any of the shows. I think that the dolls are super cute and I really like their long legs. Shame about those wings. I have only started to venture into the world of Disney dolls as I have finally acquired my long long sought after Anna and Elsa dolls. I will be dropping by the Disney store more often from now on. :) I hope that you are well Emily. x

  4. Is it okay if I send you a a picture of one of my dolls for a Review Fusion later on?


  5. Are you going to review the 2014 Rapunzel doll? Sorry if you already said something somewhere and I missed it.

  6. Yay, another Review Fusion! These are neat.

    In a fit of irony... I was hoping, at Goodwill on Monday, to score a fixer-upper doll rare enough to resell to fund my practice-doll budget (so it wouldn't have to be a huge haul -- $10 on a $1.50 doll would do it)... and I passed up a Mattel Winx doll because I didn't know what she was and the look didn't fit my own projects. Presumably whoever gets her will appreciate her more.

    (But thanks to the Maleficent comparison post a while back, I knew exactly what the very confused man at Walmart was looking for and was able to help him determine it wasn't there and send him off to Target with an idea of where he should look there.)

    1. OMG I'm so jealous! I would be so thrilled to find one of the Mattel Winx dolls at a thrift store. I have a Flora Charmix and a Tecna season 1 casual and both are incomplete (and they were that way when I got them). My Goodwills suck; the "best" doll find I found at one this summer was a $3 generic dollar store type doll meant to look like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Lame. I did find a complete Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie at a local run thrift store earlier this month, so that's great. It goes for about $25+ on eBay but I got her for $2.