Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Star Darlings "Sage" from the Disney Store

It seems impossible to me that it's already December.  The sunny, 50 degree weather here in Maine certainly doesn't help me wrap my mind around the fact that there are only 16 days left until Christmas.  I had at least five dolls that I wanted to review before the holidays, and while that won't happen, I do have an interesting newcomer to show you today.  She is called a Star Darling and is designed around a theme of wishes and magic--which I figured would help me get into the right mindset for this time of year.

The Star Darlings are characters in a series of Disney fantasy books geared towards 8 to 12-year-olds.  There are currently two books available for sale and an additional four books ready for pre-order.  Five of the characters from these books have been released as dolls, and they can be found at the Disney Store for the whopping price of $29.95 each.

I was drawn to the Star Darlings series because of the promising description of the dolls.  They have inset eyes, colorful hair and plenty of articulation...and they don't look like typical Disney Store dolls.  Fresh on the heels of the Disney Descendants dolls (made by Hasbro) the Disney Store has introduced yet another toy designer to their entourage: Jakks Pacific.  I think the Star Darlings resemble the Jakks Pacific Disney Fairies quite a lot, but they don't use the same body or face.  I'm always excited to see truly new things on the market, and so I eagerly ordered myself a Star Darlings doll the moment they appeared on the website.  I chose Sage because she is the heroine of the very first book in the Star Darlings series:

Disney's Star Darlings "Sage" doll, $29.95.
I also bought the first book in the Star Darlings series: Sage and the Journey to Wishworld:

Here's my interpretation of the basic premise of these stories: Wishworld is another name for Earth, and Sage and the other Star Darlings are magical beings from another planet called Starland.  Starland is powered by wish energy, and this resource is in jeopardy.  Sage and her friends study at the Starling Academy, learning how to grant the wishes that humans make when they do things like blow out birthday candles or see a shooting star.  Armed with this special wish-granting skill, the Star Darlings must travel to Earth to grant wishes and reclaim valuable wish energy for their planet before time runs out.

I like the cover art--it makes Sage look sparkly and mysterious.  I also like the illustration on the inside of the front cover:

The inside of the cover also has some useful information about Sage and the Star Darlings.  The description of Sage says, "Sage wants to be the best Wish-Granter in history.  She just can't wait to get started at Starling Academy.  Sage is a natural leader and is always ready for a challenge.  She's cheerful, but is prone to being impatient and losing her temper."

Opposite this description of Sage, there's a summary of the importance of the Wish Pendant, which is a critical tool for identifying the Wishers that need help on Earth:

There are several pages at the front of the book that contain small biographies of all twelve of the Star Darling characters.  Here's the page that includes Sage's bio:

This page also has Libby and Scarlet's information.  Both of these characters have been made into dolls, too.

I started reading this book, but I'll admit that it didn't immediately grab my attention.  I'm too wrapped up in reading The Girl With All the Gifts right now, which, but the way, could not be more different from Sage and the Journey to Wishworld.  I'm far from the target audience for this series, though, so my opinion doesn't mean anything.

The Star Darlings dolls come in large, sparkly window boxes with lots of decoration.  These "Star Glow Edition" dolls come with a light-up doll stand and a Wish Pendant:


The bottom of the box has a picture of Sage (the same picture as the cover of the book) and a small hole in the plastic window that allows access to the button that illuminates the fancy doll stand.

One side of the box is covered in cardboard while the other is clear plastic:

The cardboard side of the box has a familiar poem written on it:

The back of the box is very colorful and sparkly, with pictures of all the books and dolls in this first release:

The five characters that are available as dolls are Scarlet, Leona, Sage, Libby and Vega.  These are all nice names, but I find it strange that only one of the girls has a star name while all of the others have fairly ordinary Earth human names.  Granted, humans named the stars so star names are technically human names, too...but I still think it would have been more unusual and creative to assign the characters names like Capella, Deneb, Shaula or Betelgeuse.  Well...maybe not Betelgeuse, but you get the idea.

Update: with many thanks to Presto and an anonymous comment, I now understand the names.  The characters are based on the zodiac signs, so their names are related to a particular sign (Libby for Libra, Sage for Sagittarius, Leona is Leo, etc.).  That's pretty clever!

I love the bright colors in these dolls' hair, outfits and skin, but some of the eye and lip colors don't appeal to me.  For example, I find Vega's lips too blue and Libby's eyes too pink.  I think Scarlet is my second favorite doll, and then Leona.

Here's a slightly closer look:

There's yet another copy of Sage's book cover illustration on the back of the box...but this one has a full-length view of her outfit:

I like the graphic design of these characters more than I like the appearance of the dolls.

The bottom of the box advertises the five books in the series (there's also a sixth book that's a general guide to Starland).  The box also features a close-up of the Wish Pendant accessory and promotes the free Star Darlings app.

I think Vega (blue hair) looks especially cool on the cover of her book.
I was able to remove the cardboard back of the box separately, leaving behind the backdrop and the plastic window:

Then I pulled the plastic window away from the doll...

...which left me with only the cardboard backdrop, so I could see Sage's display very clearly:  

There were two pop-out cardboard decorations displayed next to Sage:

And the Wish Pendant accessory was mounted in its own blister pack:

It didn't take long to remove Sage from this backdrop.  She was attached with several easy-to-snip long plastic ties.  Miraculously, there were no plastic ties in her head!  And yet she was very securely held in place against a molded plastic base:

No Head Ties!
The packaging seems overblown compared to other Disney Store items.  This box makes the doll and her accessories seem fancier than they are.  I definitely prefer the modest packaging that houses traditional Disney Store dolls, however, it wasn't difficult to get Sage out of her box.

Here's everything that was in the box:


Sage comes with a heavy purple plastic stand that is referred to as a stage.  It has a thick light-up base and a detachable pole with two leg grips:

The stand looks pink in these pictures for some reason, but it's actually purple.

The base has three small lights that are set against a mirrored background:

The words "Disney Star Darlings" are molded into the clear plastic right above the lights:

Each light is capable of casting several different colors (green, blue, purple, and yellow).  The lights flash through a colorful pattern and then flash three times in unison with only purple light.

The bottom of the stand has a battery compartment, what looks like a star-shaped speaker, and an on/off switch:

The star-shaped holes are not a speaker, though, because the stand does not make any sound.

Sage comes with a black and white instruction pamphlet that explains how the light effect works, and also describes how the Wish Pendant is meant to be used:

The pendant opens and closes and can hold a selection of small charms that represent wishes:

Let's take a look at the real pendant:

The star chamber and all of the charms are made out of plastic, but the chain itself is painted metal:

The gold star links in the chain are made out of plastic.

There are twelve soft vinyl wish charms in a variety of shapes and colors:

Most of the charms have a flower on them somewhere, but there are a few non-floral shapes, like a crescent moon, a trio of blue rocks and a yellow triangle that looks like a shark's tooth:

The charms don't imply any particular kind of wish--that is left up to the user's imagination.  For example, to me, the pink star could signify the wish for a new puppy.  Just to name a random example.

The plastic star chamber of the pendant swivels open

As the instruction pamphlet says, the chamber will not hold all twelve of the charms at once:

Don't be greedy with the wishes, Emily...
I chose a few charms that looked interesting to me and closed the chamber.  Here's a top-down view of the whole necklace:

The thick purple plastic section at the top of the necklace is a clasp.  It pops open and snaps closed, but is a little hard to use.  I always feel like I'm going to break the necklace when I pull on the clasp.

Here's a close-up of the pendant with its charms inside:

The necklace doesn't seem very durable overall, and it doesn't really resemble the pendant that's on the cover of Sage's book.  It could be a fun accessory, though, especially for those who are engrossed in the Star Darlings stories.

I'll take a quick look at the stand again later in the review, but Sage doesn't actually need this stand to balance on her own, at least when she's wearing shoes:

Sage has long purple ringlets with magenta highlights and tinsel strands scattered throughout:

Two small sections of hair from the side of Sage's face are braided and pulled back into a ponytail.  The braids actually incorporate sections of hair from the top of Sage's head, too.  This is an intricate and attractive style, but it leaves some gaps in the hair that expose the scalp and look messy:

Sage comes wearing two pieces of plastic jewelry: a purple headband and her own Wish Pendant:

The headband is held in place with a clear rubber band:

It's entirely purple with a star design in the center:

The Wish Pendant has a painted silver star at the bottom:

This necklace follows the design of the book cover art better than the full-sized necklace, but it does not stay on the doll very well.

The Star Darling dolls all have colorful inset eyes.  This is one of the details that drew me to them initially.  I really like the effect of inset eyes in general, and have enjoyed this feature on other dolls like Liv, Bratzillaz, and Pinkie Cooper.

Sage's enormous purple eyes are set into a large head with highly caricatured features...and lots of glitter:

My doll's eyes are a little crossed and look upwards.  Some of the other characters have side-glancing eyes, which I find more appealing.

Sage's iris design is printed onto a flat circle and set underneath a clear outer dome.  This technique does not convey as much depth as some of the other inset eye designs I have seen.  The pupils are large and are surrounded by six different reflective designs: a cross, two stars, a dot and two colored ovals (pink and blue).

*Thank you to Dainty for correcting me about the eye design in the comments section! I very much appreciate this input.

It's like she has wish charms in her eyes!
Sage has iridescent glitter above her eyes and on her lower eyelashes, and an additional small dot of glitter on the star beneath her right eye:

Sage has unusual upper eyelashes.  She merely has a thickened band of black above each eye with molded vertical ridges that simulate the look of lashes:

Sage has a closed-mouth smirk that is slightly lopsided: 

The paint application on her lips is imperfect, with a few smudges above her mouth and an uneven amount of paint at each corner of her smile:

I can't be sure if any of the Star Darling dolls share the same face mold.  Two of the characters have smiles with exposed teeth (Leona and Libby).  Here's Libby (I love her freckles...but her pink eyes freak me out):

The other three characters have closed mouths that are very similar to Sage's mouth.  Scarlet appears distinct in that she has an even more lopsided smile than Vega and Sage.  She also has an endearingly quirked eyebrow.  Here's a snapshot of her from the Disney Store website:

In the books, the Star Darling characters are described as having shimmering skin.  In keeping with this description, Sage has a coating of shimmery pink paint on her face.  Unfortunately, the paint on my doll is wearing off around the nose:

The worn paint makes Sage's nose look yellow compared to the rest of her face.  I hope more of the face paint doesn't wear off over time.

Sage's favorite color is lavender, and this purple preference is clear in her outfit.  She's wearing a short layered dress with a tight bodice and long, sheer angel sleeves:

Despite the mix of fabrics, the dress is sewn together all in one piece.  It opens half way down the back with a velcro seam:

The sheer fabric along the back seam--just under the velcro--is unraveling and has a slightly messy appearance:

The sheer overskirt has two glittery silver stars painted onto it.  This layer lifts up in front to reveal a metallic polka-dotted underskirt: 

The two layers of the skirt are attached only along the back seam, so the overskirt does not completely lift away from the underskirt.

The sleeves have a tight fit, but they also have two bands of elastic sewn into them to help them stretch out and accommodate the doll's hands.

The bodice of the dress is made out of a stretch knit with metallic purple dots on it.  The v-shaped neckline and waist are decorated with magenta ribbon trim:

Underneath her dress, Sage is wearing striped tights with an elastic waistband:

The tights are made out of a silky fabric that feels nice.  The tights do not feel at all flimsy or fragile.

They are decorated with little metallic silver stars:

The tights have purple socks attached at the bottom--these are sewn directly to the upper part of the tights.  Notice how Sage's boots look like they're on the wrong feet in this picture.  They actually aren't on the wrong feet, that's just the way they look.

Here's what the tights look like without the boots:

Sage's clothing is very nice.  I like how each Star Darlings outfit uses that character's signature color...but incorporates different textures and prints to make the overall effect really interesting.  I like the mix of clothing styles in the collection, too.  I'd love to see all of the other dolls' outfits up close so that I could inspect all of the details.

Sage's soft vinyl boots have a slit half of the way down the back, but they're still a little hard to pull off.  The boots are purple with lots of molded details and a few painted silver stars:

They have three molded straps with large buckles...and what looks like a snake scale pattern along the bottom.

Sage has a shimmery, peachy-pink plastic and vinyl body with eleven points of articulation:

Her torso and upper legs are hard plastic while her arms and lower legs are vinyl.  Sage's head is difficult to compress, but I think this is because it's made out of a very hard vinyl--not because it's filled with glue.  Hard to tell for sure, though.

The plastic parts of Sage's body have a bit of a shimmer to them, but this doesn't appear to be caused by paint, it's just in the color of the plastic itself.  The body color does not match the head color perfectly--the head is a few shades paler.

Sage is wearing molded star underpants with a bow accent in front:

The plastic parts of Sage's body have some strange (but minor) defects.  For example, she has streaks running down the length of her belly, and she has two molded rectangle shapes on the front of her chest:

My Sage also has some scraps of vinyl along the edges of a few of her joints, and a scuff mark down one side of her neck:

The back of Sage's head is marked with a simple "Disney" copyright.  There's no mention of Jakks Pacific:

You can see another area of rubbed-off paint in this picture--near the neck joint.
 Sage's head spins around but does not tip up or down at all:

I wish her head flexibility was better, but I like that even when she's looking directly to the back, her head does not tip up at much of an angle:

Sage has hinged rotation in her shoulders, elbows and wrists.  She can hinge her arms upwards this far:

And can spin them all of the way around.

The arms are not removable at the shoulder, but the peg attachment of these joints is visible when the arms are being manipulated into certain positions.  This makes the joint feel and look fragile.

Sage's elbows cannot bend even to 90 degrees, which is frustrating.  Her upper arms are straight-cut at the elbow joint, and this limits the movement of her arms considerably.

She can touch her forehead with both her elbow and her wrist bent as far as they will go, but she is unable to touch her face without bending the vinyl in her arms to force the position.

Sage's wrist joints also cannot bend to 90 degrees in either direction:

She can almost hug her arms together in front of her body, though, which looks pretty natural:

The arms come apart at the elbow and at the wrist, although I did not find this necessary during normal dressing and undressing.

Sage also has hinged rotation in her hips.  Her legs can only split this far without rotating them outwards:

But the legs rotate very smoothly out to the side, allowing for excellent side-to-side splits:

Sage can also do front-to-back splits...

With the back foot looking funny at first...
 ...and the rotation in her knees allows her feet to be re-positioned nicely:

All of Sage's joints have a slightly disappointing range of movement, but the knee joints are the worst.  These do not bend very much at all:

That's it.
The knee inflexibility makes it pretty awkward for Sage to sit in a chair:

This is how we sit in Starland.
Here she is from the side, sitting up as nicely as I could manage:

She's not very elegant sitting on the ground, either, but this is mostly because her legs stick out to the sides quite a bit:

And her knees don't bend anywhere near enough for her to sit cross-legged:

Sage's fashion feet mean that she can't stand on her own without shoes, but she stands pretty well in her boots:

She does not have a huge range of poses that she can strike while standing on her own, but she can do this!

I was eager to compare Sage to my Jakks Pacific Fairy doll, Periwinkle.  I honestly thought that these two had the same body when I first opened Sage.  As you can see, they are actually quite different in size:

The dolls do have a lot of similarities, though.  For instance, they have incredibly similar (if not identical) upper arms.  They also have parallels in other areas (hand shape, torso style, knee shape).

These two dolls also move in practically the same way.  Periwinkle has slightly better articulation in her arms (her wrists bend to 90 degrees):

And she can also sit on the ground with her legs closer together...

But remember that for Periwinkle, this comes at the cost of shaving off the inside of the hip joint with her hard plastic torso every time she sits down:

Maybe not worth it.
I also wanted to take a good look at the difference between Sage and the Hasbro Disney Descendants dolls (which are also being sold at the Disney Store).  Here's Sage with Mal:

These two obviously don't have the same family resemblance that Sage and Periwinkle do.  Mal is differently shaped--especially in the torso.  Her contours are much more natural:

Mal has practically all of the same joints as Sage, but her joints are better engineered.

I much prefer the Hasbro body and was hoping that this would be the basic style of any new dolls sold under the Disney Store umbrella.  Oh, well.

Because Sage has a brand-new body (as far as I know...) I'll show you a bunch of comparison shots with other dolls and then post a brief chart outlining what I discovered when I tried on some different clothes.

First, here she is with Ever After High's Apple White:

Star Darlings and Ever After High.
The biggest difference between these two is in the width of their chest and shoulders.

Here's Sage with my new favorite play doll, Made to Move Barbie by Mattel:

Star Darlings, Made to Move Barbie.
Teresa is much larger than Sage in most dimensions.

Here's Sage with Project Mc2 Bryden:

Star Darlings, Project Mc2.
I thought Bryden's ultra-skinny torso might make her similar in size to Sage, but she's still wider in the torso and longer in the waist.

Here's Sage with a Disney Store click-knee Rapunzel:

Star Darlings, Classic Disney Store Princess.
The Classic Princesses are much wider in the chest and hips than Sage.

For fun (because I just found her) here's Sage with my Equestria Girls Rainbow Dash:

Star Darlings, Equestria Girls.
Rainbow is tiny compared to Sage!

Sage and Moxie Girlz Kellan are quite similar in size:

Star Darlings, Moxie Girlz.
But Sage is larger than the new Bratz dolls--especially at the waist:

Star Darlings, Bratz.
Here's Sage with another Jakks Pacific doll, Winx Club basic Bloom:

Star Darlings, Winx Club.
Other than Bloom being so much taller than Sage, these two look fairly comparable--especially in the waist and hips.

Last, here's a Bratzillaz Meygana, who is probably the doll I own that's most similar in size to Sage:

Star Darlings, Bratzillaz.
I tried a fair number of clothes on Sage, and made a chart to summarize my findings.  

A few words about the chart: the clothing I tried is from dolls in the left column, while the rows indicate whether I tried a dress, a top, or a bottom on Sage.  The comments refer to how the other brands of clothes fit Sage.

Clothes Chart for Star Darling Sage:

Moxie Girlz

Pants fit
Barbie's Stacie
Stretchy dress fits

Too big
Super-tight stretchy shorts fit—that’s it.
Disney Store Classic
Too big

Jakks Pacific Fairies
Too small

Disney Store Fairies
Better than Jakks, but still loose on top

Pinkie Cooper
Much too small

Winx Club
Doesn’t close all of the way in back
Ever After High
Too tight

Project Mc2

Loose…but better than pants
Too loose
Tried 2 dresses, both fit pretty well

And here are a few shots of Sage in the Bratzillaz dress that fit her the best:

Star Darling Sage in Bratzillaz dress.

After I finished the clothes swapping, I decided to take Sage's hair braids down so that I could check the rooting quality and see how easily her hair would brush out with all of that tinsel.

The hair has a soft, smooth texture and is easy to brush.  The tinsel does not cause any immediate problems.  I think the mix of purple tones is really pretty, too:

The rooting is ok, but not perfect.  There are some sparse areas in the back, including a few empty rooting holes on my doll.  This reminds me a bit too much of the Khaki Girl Monster High knockoff....

The hair certainly does not feel thin overall, though.  It has a lot of body and feels dense.

The tight braids caused the hair at the sides of Sage's head to be really kinked, so I smoothed all of the hair back into a tight ponytail:

Here's Sage back in her original outfit with her simplified hairstyle.

I tried posing Sage with her stand, but with those two leg braces, it's really hard to get her to hold any pose that doesn't involve standing straight up and down.

I played around a little bit with the lighted "stage" feature of the stand, too. The tiny lights are very bright and easy to see when you're looking straight at the base of the stand, but they do not project upward enough to illuminate the doll in any interesting ways.

This is what Sage looks like with her stand lit up in the complete dark:

The light feature is ok, but overall I find the stand to be a bit cumbersome and gimmicky.  It will be great as a sturdy display stand, but it does not invite creative posing.  Kids might have more fun removing the pole and leg grips and just using the base of the stand as a play stage.

I didn't have much patience for the stand, and spent most of my time posing Sage on her own...


...even though I quickly ran out of poses.

As is often the case with dolls who can't tip their heads, I had a hard time getting Sage to look at me.  This always makes it difficult for me to connect with a doll.  

Sage tends to stare off into space, looking slightly upwards.  Maybe the Star Darling dolls with expressive side-glancing eyes (like Scarlet) would be more engaging?

Bottom line?  I was pretty excited about the potential of this new Star Darlings line: neat fantasy adventure theme (with books!), exotic inset eyes, colorful hair, interesting clothing, high level of articulation...what's not to like?  Well, nothing, really, but I still find myself underwhelmed by Sage.

I can't comment much on the story behind this doll because I never finished her book (which is not a judgement on the book).  However, I will say that while the book cover art fits with the shimmery, ethereal other-worldly mystery of the characters, the doll herself doesn't convey the same mystique.  Frankly, she looks a little silly.  I think that part of this effect is because her eyes--while inset and detailed--are huge and slightly crossed.  She simply ends up looking spacey or goofy half of the time.  That's a fine personality for a doll in general, but it doesn't seem to mesh with this particular storyline.  I prefer the realistic depth of the Liv inset eyes or the fantastic extravagance of the Bratzillaz eyes.

My other big hang-up about this doll is her articulation.  Much like the Jakks Pacific Fairies, Sage has a ton of joints, but none of them move as well as they could.  She ends up feeling clumsy and limited.   Her head rigidity is especially frustrating for me, as is her inability to sit nicely.  There might be an element of bad timing in this assessment, since Sage follows right after my review of the astonishing (and inexpensive) Made to Move Barbie.  Everything is relative, though, and Sage will need to face her current competition.

I have a few smaller complaints with this doll, too.  First of all, for me, the elaborate light-up stage stand and plastic Wish Pendant are not valuable enough accessories to warrant the wallet-crushing $30 price.  I would rather have the retail price of a doll invested in the doll itself.  Again, it's hard not to make comparisons to the $15 Made to Move Barbie.  But perhaps for age-appropriate audiences these extras are a real treat.  The other little complaints I have about my particular doll are that she has rubbed-off paint on her nose and some funny marks and defects on her body.

I want to mention Sage's good qualities, too, because there are quite a few.  First of all, her hair has a beautiful pairing of colors and the fiber feels soft and smooth.  The curls could make this particular style prone to tangles, but for now the hair feels great and is thick and fun to brush.  Sage's outfit is also very appealing.  It has a great mix of fabrics and textures, and is easy to get on and off.  It's made well, too, with the possible exception of the unraveling sheer fabric in the back seam.  I also like the unusual pink skin tone on this doll, with its subtle touch of shimmer.  The execution of this effect might not be perfect, but the idea is really fun.  It reminds me a bit of the Novi Stars dolls.  I'm not quite ready to give up on the potential of the inset eyes, either.  While the placement of my Sage's eyes is unflattering, I like many things about the eye design in general and would love to see another character's eyes in person.  Last, even though the articulation doesn't perform as well as I'd like, this doll still has eleven points of movement...which is above average.

Sage did not live up to my expectations, but I'm not ready to give up on the whole line completely just yet.  It's difficult to appreciate the bold use of color in this collection by looking at only one doll.  I think a small rainbow of Star Darlings would enhance the appeal of any single doll.  For that reason, I would have preferred that the Disney Store sell these dolls in packs of two for $30--forget the large plastic accessories.  Another option would be to offer future dolls in a more basic presentation for a price well under $20.  If those choices ever become available, I might come back for a second look.



  1. To the best of my knowledge, there will be a slightly less expensive version of these dolls for more general release that does not include the stand, bracelet accessories, but with the same outfits. I tried to find the link that said this but it's been months since I saw that info so sorry that I can't verify it anymore than that. :(

    Also there are apparently two versions of the dolls, one where there are on Starworld, and more 'human' dolls when they go down to Earth. You can kind of see Sage with brown hair in this pic: http://www.laughingplace.com/w/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/StarDarlings2.jpg

    Lastly you might be interested to know that some of the dolls do not have the exact same body mold: http://40.media.tumblr.com/809d620ee251bae6c53c8440fa2f5edd/tumblr_nxxoi9BS5v1qffnloo1_1280.jpg

    1. Thank you for all of this great information, Esther! It's wonderful that there will be some basic versions of the dolls. I thought I saw pictures of those, too, but also lost the link. Not sure I'm as excited about the Earth versions of the characters because I think their unusual colors are a big part of what make them so interesting. I had no idea about the body differences! Whoa. Now I'm even more curious to see several of the characters together! Thanks again!

    2. I can't get the laughing place link to load, dying to see.

      Need Leona bad, but not $30 bad. I fired off an email to Jakks Pacific about the price, and received a generic response back. Glad to know there will be sanely priced versions soon.

      Thank you so much for this review

  2. I think Justice has versions of these dolls without the stand and pendant. I'm curious as to how the "Wishworld" versions of the dolls will compare when they come out. Btw, the girls are all themed around signs of the zodiac, which is one reason for the odd mix of names. Libby is a Libra, Sage is a Sagittarius, and so on.

    1. Thank you so much for explaining the names, Presto! I went back and added this information to the review. That's really clever and makes me appreciate the names a lot more. Lyra has always been one of my favorite constellations (with its star, Vega) and so I got sidetracked by that association. Typical! ;D I'll watch Justice for the basic dolls. I hope their price is good!

  3. Yes, Leona is Leo, Vega is Virgo, Scarlett is Scorpio, Sage Sagittarius, Libby is Libra... I think that explains their respective personalities, too?

    1. Thank you so much for explaining this! It's a really neat detail that I totally missed.

  4. I honestly really want Libby now. Oh my poor wallet.

    1. Sorry! ;) Libby's freckles are so great. I almost chose her for the freckles alone!

    2. I got to see them all in person a different justice stores. Most were sold out, so I had to search. I thought I would want Leona and Libby the most, but after seeing them--I actually like Sage. And Vega was quite striking. Leona and Libby were nice, but Sage, the whole package, stood out.

  5. Hola las muñecas disney store y disney collector son hechas por Jakks pacific, por eso los zapatos les quedan a las Juku couture.

  6. I'm glad you did a review of these! I was honestly excited by these when the promos came out, but it's waned quite a bit. The faces are gorgeous and I love the hair that they used (nylon as opposed to the polypropylene that Jakks LOVES to use, a la Winx and Disney Fairies) and I can see myself owning Leona and the Pink girl who I keep forgetting about, but something about them is just, I don't know. Forgettable? Maybe it's because my focus is on fashion dolls and less on fantasy dolls. Personally I'm not a fan of the clothing. The intention is good and they look nice from far away, but the construction isn't attractive to me and I'm not a fan of the fabrics being used- but again, this is coming from a fashion doll/BJD collector where clothing quality is very important. For 30$, I feel like the pieces should have been separate.

    And on the subject of price, I can't understand it. The stand is really cool and all, but it doesn't seem smart to make the introductory line so expensive. I feel like the standard release should have come first, and then give these stands to a more elaborate, alternate outfit version?

    The body is super disappointing, but I can't say I'm surprised. If there's one thing Jakks is just not the best at, it's articulation. They make lovely body sculpts but for some reason they just can't fix the TINY issues that could but fixed to make the dolls pose better, like the elbow joints which need to be shaven away at, and the hips which just don't pose attractively.

    Still, I think it's really nice that they have different body types as opposed to just switching the legs and I really like the faces and hair.

    1. Something Jakks does that REALLY irritates me is that they make their 18"-Disney princess dolls, which retail at $40 for most and $50 for others, with cheap fabric shoes. I'm talking CHEAP, to the point of it would have been better to include none at all. Beautiful dolls ad costumes, but offensively bad shoes.

  7. Ugh. Another character/doll line with giant heads and alien eyes. No, thanks. Especially with the poor articulation.

    Thanks for the review, at least those are always interesting. :)

  8. The character designs remind me of the characters in 'Angel's Friends', which is a cartoon created by the same person who created Winx Club.

    These dolls are a mix of La Dee Da and Novi Stars, in my opinion.

  9. I think I read somewhere that other than the Descendants, all the Disney Store dolls are actually manufactured by Jakks but they aren't allowed to put their name on them.

  10. If you have Vega, maybe you can try the Bratzillas dress on her because it's blue. Haha.

    How did Scarlet get her name if it's based on the Zodiac signs? Is she a Scorpio?? But it sounds off, doesn't it?

  11. I read Libby's book first, and I enjoyed it and the webisodes immensely (Haven't gotten around to Sage's, waiting on the library).

    I'm surprised; After how long these girls were in development, I certainly expected something better for a 30$ that can hardly move when ones that are A) Not humanoid like beings and B) Often 10$ - 15$ cheaper can literally run circles around them.

    They seem to have been exempt from Disney Store sales too, which hurts them. I think the clothing, hair, and faceups are really nice, but not nice enough for the current price.

  12. Aside from my own star sign - Tessa/Taurus who is GORGEOUS - Sage is the one I'd most likely be willing to pay $30 for. The 'Wishworld' editions are the girls on earth with simplified outfits & more human skin/eyes/hair colors. We saw a Sage & Piper at D23 -


    hopefully the skinny box packaging means they'll be under $20

  13. I can't stand the horrendous hair rooting. I have a little Clawdeen bootleg doll and she has by far better hair rooting than poor Sage :(

  14. I actually sort of like Sage. My favorite things about her are her eyes and outfit. This is kind of off-topic, but have you seen the pictures released of what appear to be the new Hasbro Disney Princess dolls? These are the pictures:


    1. Not even remotely a fan myself. The super narrow skirts aren't very pretty, and I think that would irritate my daughter too. I hope these are very inexpensive dolls.

    2. These are so cute! Finally some Disney princess dolls that actually halfway resemble their princesses

  15. she looks a lot like rarity,from my little pony,also are gonna reveiw more bratz dollz because i want to know if i should buy them!

  16. she looks a lot like rarity,from my little pony,also are gonna reveiw more bratz dollz because i want to know if i should buy them!

  17. Hi Emily! First of all, ever since I've discovered your blog I've been enjoying your reviews immensely; they're always so in-depth and detailed. Thank you for writing them.

    On to my question. Above you said: "Sage's irises do not have any depth--they're printed onto the surface of white eyeballs." I was disappointed, as I'd liked these dolls at first sight and had hoped for some depth. But then I saw something confusing: when I was viewing a Youtube review of this doll, it looked like the doll's eyes did, in fact, have some depth to them. Like the iris part was more bulbous and set into the white. Because when the reviewer turned the doll's head from side to side part of the design on the iris disappeared from view, which didn't seem like a likely thing to occur if the design had been painted onto the eye white, like you said. What do you think? Is it possible you received a different doll than the reviewer, since there's also differences in body molds?

    Thank you for your time! - Dainty

    1. Dear Dainty, thank you for your nice comment and your excellent observation! You are absolutely right about the eyes. The dolls DO have depth to the irises! I'm losing it, I guess! ;D The pattern of the iris is flat (all one dimension) but it's set inside the eye, under a bulging clear dome--exactly like you said. Thank you very much for this correction! I will change the review right away.

  18. I think they're very pretty dolls but it bothers me that three of them are SO similar in colouring. A purple one, a pink one AND a purple/pink mix one? What the heck is the point of that? Makes it hard for me to differentiate them honestly, and I long for like.. green or some other colour.

    The yellow one I think is interesting, she looks like she's golden and that's highly unusual. Scarlet is gorgeous too, loving the black in her outfit and those side glancing eyes.

    the price is RIDICULOUS though. All that for what? A light up stand? Woopdy do? I think that price point is really going to hurt the line's chances, I wish companies would understand that when you're trying to break a new franchise you CANNOT charge such high prices, you need to encourage people to buy and that means finding a sweet point price wise. I suspect they'll be at least £25 here in the UK and that just will not sell. Anything over £20 just shelf sits here, massively.
    Stores are overloaded with bloody Boo York MH because they decided £27 was a reasonable price for the dolls, suffice to say, most consumers told Mattel to bite them and now they're in B&M for £10 after only a couple of months. It's not a good sign when a popular brand ends up clearanced in a bargain store only a few months after initial release, but that's what the magical £20 price point does. over that price, you've basically shot yourself in the foot.

    I do hope we get some nice cheaper versions. I don't like the humanified ones, they seem... dull compared with the crazy hair colours you know? Human dolls are a dime a dozen, they don't stand out enough. But that stupid light up stand and the wish pendent seems to be how they're justifing the cost and honestly? Neither add anything to the doll itself. I'd rather the option to ditch those two pointless extras and just have the doll. I hate when companies force gimmicky extras on you and make you pay through the nose for it (like Mattel's Astranova playset. Let's face it, that playset is going to be played with once and then ignored. Yet we're paying £60 for it? COME ON)

    The articulation is disappointing, but it's better than nothing right?

  19. Hi Emily! I loved the review. These dolls are now hitting the shelves in TRU for only 19.99! They do not come with all the accessories but the dolls are the same. There is also another line for when the girls are on Earth. Hope you revisit the dolls to do a review on the basic line as I love your reviews and would like to hear your opinion :)

  20. There are now "Deluxe Editions available at Toys R Us and Target. They are $20 instead of $30 and come with rings in the shape of each Star Darlings Power Crystal instead of the necklace and light up stand. The Wishworld editions are $15 but they only have Scarlet and Piper so far. Cassie and Sage will be coming soon I think.

  21. These dolls are cute, but I won't get any dolls in the serious unless they make Pisces and Aquarius characters... If they ever do.

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  23. I got Sage and the pink hair one last night.
    They were sort of a rush purchase...
    I liked the hair a lot and inset eyes.
    Not feeling the costumes.
    I wanted the yellow haired one but she wasnt available.
    They basic ones with no stand retail here for around 24.00 usd.
    I havent deboxed them yet. Im pondering about returning them for some reasson :(
    Something about them tells me tu return them :(
    They are kind of expensive IMHO.
    Great site .
    Thanks for the review.
    Best wishes

  24. I just got the golden/yellow one.
    Not sure if Im going to keep them :(
    I havent deboxed yet. I spent a little too much on this mini collection .

  25. Hi,
    I know it's been half a year, but do you know what other doll lines shoes will fit the Star Darlings?


  26. Hi, Do you know what the Star Darlings's hair is made out of? It's soft and very different feeling from other dolls. I'm thinking nylon, but I really don't know. Thanks, Vicki