Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Barbie Signature Looks by Mattel: Part One

Before I start talking about the Barbie Looks dolls, I want to mention a new development that I hope will keep the blog sustainable: I'm on Patreon!  Many of you suggested that I start a Patreon page a few years ago. I was too silly to take that advice then, but I've seen the light.  You can find my page here, and it's also linked in the right hand column.  A few dollars a month from you would make a huge difference to me. This will also add some new ways for us to connect, and you might even get a discount in my store!  I love my work, but I need to not loose huge amounts of money be more savvy about the business side of things. I'm excited to get my first patron!

With that out of the way, we can move on to the fun part of this post!  As many of you know, I was enthralled by the Barbie Made to Move dolls when they first came out.  With all of the dolls I sold or gave away during the last few years, I've kept my Made to Move girls.  They have extraordinary articulation for their price point, and I also think they're very attractive.  During the process of getting back up-to-speed with recent doll developments, I was delighted to discover that Mattel has expanded their highly-articulated offerings to include petite dolls, curvy dolls, tall dolls, and male dolls!  Dude!

Today I'll review the two highly-articulated male model dolls in the Barbie Looks collection, and then in a few days I'll showcase three of the female dolls from the same line.  I've had a lot of fun with this group!

Barbie Looks Model #5 (left) and Model #4 (right).

These two are identified as Model #4 and Model #5, but that's really impersonal (and sounds a lot like Mambo Number 5) so I'm going to call them Malik and Kyle.

Malik (left) and Kyle (right).
The MSRP for these dolls is $20.  They're currently sold out at, though, so the prices have risen at places like Walmart and Amazon.  I paid about $30 for each doll.

I originally intended to purchase only Malik, since he's the more interesting of this pair, but I thought the promotional photos for both characters were good, and I wanted to see the different clothing.  I was also curious about Kyle's facial hair, since I've never had a chance to inspect how Mattel handles that particular feature.

This review will focus on Malik, though, so I'll look at him first.

All of the dolls in this series come in simple, shiny, white cardboard window boxes.  There's no backdrop pattern, just plain white cardboard.

I like the minimalist design of the packaging, although the stark white backdrop compliments the dolls wearing black better than it does those--like Malik--who are wearing white.

Most of the dolls I ordered came in boxes with some degree of wear around the edges.  This is not a problem for me, but for collectors who wish to display the dolls in their boxes, it might be disappointing.

The back of the box has a portrait of all six dolls in the collection:

This is a wonderfully diverse group.  All of the female dolls have different body types, and all six of the dolls have different (unique) face molds and different skin tones.  Bravo, Mattel!  Perhaps some day we'll see different body types for the guys?

I like all of them.  I bought all of them except for Model #1.  I think Model #1 is gorgeous, but I'm also pretty sure that she has the same body as the original Made to Move dolls, so I didn't feel like I could justify reviewing her.  In retrospect, I should have bitten the bullet bought her, too.  Her skin tone and face mold alone would have been worth a look.  Oh, well.

The text on the box describes the dolls as "ready to style, pose, photograph and post."  This is funny to me because of course it's exactly what I do with most dolls.

The bottom of the box says "dolls cannot stand alone."  We'll see about that.

The white backdrop slides easily out of the window box:

Malik came nicely posed against the backdrop, with his limbs secured in place:

All of the Barbie Looks dolls come with a certificate of authenticity and a plastic stand.  The plain paper certificate is taped behind the backdrop like this:

The certificates on most of my dolls were a little ragged around the edges because of this storage method, but I couldn't care less.

I was able to free Malik from his restraints by cutting the flexible plastic bands around his shoulders and waist.  There were none of those pesky little plastic ties in sight!

The included stand is very lightweight and fits together from three separate pieces:

Functional, unremarkable stand.
Malik, however, does not require a stand to balance on his own:

I didn't feel very confident about this statement right away, though.  I actually had a hard time maneuvering his legs to get him to balance on my first attempt.

I could see that there was something underneath the right leg of his (very thin!) pants:

Turns out there was a strip of cardboard wrapped around Malik's right knee, to keep it from bending in the box, no doubt:

The left leg was also turned outwards 90 degrees.  That explains why it was also hard to pose:

Ok, let's start over again now that I have Malik's legs sorted out.  

He stands very well on his own!

Malik has a nice face mold, but his face came covered in little white flecks:

Here's a better look:

I'm not sure what the white flecks are--probably flakes of hair styling product.  Wherever they came from, these flecks were easy to wipe away with a cloth:

Malik's face has full lips, strong cheek bones, a square chin, and large eyebrows.  The eyes are not small by realistic standards, but they do seem small by Barbie standards:

What's up with that reflective dot at the very bottom of each eye?
The eyes don't have as much detail or definition as other Barbie eyes.  For example, they don't have individual eyelashes painted on, which is unusual.  I found these eyes difficult to photograph. 

The screening of the eyes looks slightly blurry/pixelated to me--without the crisp edges that Barbie eyes often have.  There's also no shine to the eyes.  Barbie eyes aren't typically super shiny, but the paint often has a subtle sheen that adds some realism.  I don't see that here.  As if all that wasn't enough, there are specks of red at the bottom of the irises, which look strange up-close:

Has he been crying?  Allergies?
A lot of the eye detail doesn't matter so much because it's difficult to see the things I'm mentioning without a zoom lens.  But there is a vague blankness to Malik's eyes, even from a distance.  This blankness can also come across as intensity from a lot of angles, though, which adds to Malik's charm.

Malik has a defect in his right eyebrow.  Since his head was turned to the left when he was in his box, I suspect that this area bumped up against the plastic window of the packaging:

I've seen a few photos online of other Model #4 dolls with this same defect.

Malik's hair is one of the things that made him my first pick of the male model dolls.  He has long micro braids that are tied up on top of his head in a bun-like style:

The promotional photos made this style look more like a regular bun--without the fringe of braids hanging down in back:

Underneath the braids, most of Malik's head is covered with dark flocking:

Here's the style from the back:

Looks like a window tassel from this angle.
The micro braids aren't secured at the ends, and a few of them are coming ever-so-slightly unraveled.  I think that whatever styling gel was used in the hair is enough to keep the braids reasonably secure.

The bun at the top of the head was created by twisting two sections of braids and then securing those twists with a black rubber band:

The style is okay, but I was itching to see what the braids would look like if they were let down. 

I'll get back to the hair in a little bit, but at this stage I was eager to inspect Malik's articulation.  A well-articulated doll can really make my day, and I had high hopes for Malik!

To access the articulation, I had to get rid of the clothing.  So I'll take a brief detour to examine Malik's outfit.

The outfit is very simple and includes a white mesh tank top, white pants, and white shoes.  The tank top has tiny little hemmed edges that tend to stick up, especially around the neckline: 

The tank top has to be removed over the head, which is a bit difficult to do:

The shirt was also stuck to Malik's back, which I did not expect:

There were two small squares of transparent sticky material holding the shirt in place.  I suppose Mattel didn't want the shirt flapping around too much in the box?

The sticky squares were easy to scrape off with my fingernail.  They didn't leave any residue:

The last obstacle to removing Malik's shirt was his hairstyle!

Has anyone seen my shirt?
Thankfully, I was able to maneuver the neck of the shirt over Malik's bun.

The pants are made out of lightweight fabric and have very simple stitched details:

It's possible to see some of the side seams, a tag, and a hint of Malik's skin tone through the thin pant fabric.

The shoes are simple vinyl sneakers with molded details but no color.  I don't think there's any difference between the left and the right shoe:

The sneakers have a high-top Converse style...and Ken's name written all over them:

Even on the bottom:

Either these are Ken's shoes and Malik is borrowing them, or Ken has become a fashion designer and that's his label.  The latter wouldn't surprise me, but I thought Ken was an occupational drifter, just like his girlfriend?  I didn't realized he'd settled into a profession.

In any case, the outfit is fine.  I like the tank top, although I wish the seam edges didn't stick up.  I'm not crazy about the lightweight white pants.  White pants don't appeal to me much in any form, but these seem cheap.  The fabric doesn't stretch at all, either, so it's hard to move Malik's legs when he's wearing his pants.  The shoes are unremarkable...and possibly Ken's.

I would have have happily paid more than the $20 suggested retail price for this doll if his outfit had been just a bit more detailed and interesting.  Or perhaps I should rephrase this to say that because I paid more than retail for this doll, I wish his outfit had more detail.

In any case, the clothes are off!  Let's take a look at all of those wonderful joints.

Malik has an impressive 18 points of articulation, 22 if you count his double-jointed elbows and knees:

He has Ken written on his underwear, too:

I really hope Malik didn't borrow Ken's underwear.
This body style was copyrighted in 2019:

The head can move from side to side a lot... fact it can spin all of the way around!

It can tip from side-to-side, too:

And look up or down while doing so:

I thought that the head's up-and-down movement was limited at first, but it just takes a bit of effort to push the head into a downward-facing position:

The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulder.  The hinges allow Malik to lift his arms up to shoulder height:

But if the hinges are rotated, the arms can be moved to just about any angle:

There's a rotating joint just below the shoulder that allows the arms to spin around:

The double-jointed elbows are amazing, although the upper part of Malik's elbow joint is stiff and difficult to move.

I love all of the poses that are possible with these arms!

What's not to love?
With help from the rotating hinge joints at his wrists, Malik can easily touch almost any part of his body:

What are you suggesting, Emily?
He can do his version of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."

Or wave goodbye while scratching the middle of his back:

Lucky Malik.
If I knew any legitimate martial arts poses, Malik could probably do those, too!

He has a joint in his chest that allows minor forward and backward movement:

And significant side-to-side movement:

In fact, the side-to-side movement is extreme enough to be pretty unnatural:

I don't have a joint like that in my body.
Is this lump supposed to be here?
Malik has ball-jointed hips with good flexibility.  He can do side-to-side splits to this extent:

And his front-to-back splits are excellent:

In fact, that picture, above, doesn't even show off Malik's best front-to-back split.  He can do a split with no space between his legs and the ground.

There are rotating joints just below the hips, and these allow the legs to spin all of the way around:

For better or for worse:

The back of the legs are probably the most unsightly part of an otherwise attractive body.  There are molding artifacts at the backs of the thighs and knees, and the back of the knee joint is chunky and prominent: 

At least they don't say "Ken."
I don't mind the appearance of the knee joints, though, because double-jointed knees are amazing!

Maybe you noticed in that previous photo that Malik has another small area of damage on his torso.  Here's a closer look:

It's only a flesh wound.
Malik's last pair of joints are the ankle joints.  These are rotating hinges, so they can swivel all around and also flex and extend:

There are so many different ways that Malik can sit, it'll be impossible to describe them all.  You can see that he's able to sit on the ground with his legs straight out, like in the previous two photos, but he can also sit with one leg bent:

Or in a chair:

Or very relaxed in a chair!

He can also kneel:

Balance in a walking position:

Or fake another martial arts pose:

He can even balance (unassisted) in a handstand--no joke:

I think the hair is helping.
I couldn't quite get him to balance on one foot for long enough to snap a photo, but it was close.  I had to hold his leg for this shot:

Long story short: Malik's articulation is amazing.  He handles like an action figure.

Here's Malik next to a Hot Toys Truetype body so you can see what I mean:

The Hot Toys body has a few additional points of articulation (neck, waist, feet), but none of them make a big difference in the posing potential.  And I think the Mattel body is less exaggerated and more attractive.

There's just one other small thing to note about Malik's body.  This isn't necessarily a defect, and it's hard to see it in the photos, but he has areas of overly-shiny plastic throughout his body, especially on the arms:

The shininess isn't a problem, necessarily, it's just that it's not uniform.  Some areas (like the shoulder) are much shinier than others.

After that wonderful posing demonstration, I let poor Malik put his clothes back on:

Tia, who helps me with size comparisons, was delighted to meet Malik.  In fact, she insisted that I buy her a new dress for the occasion:

I like your hair, do you like my dress?
Malik is 12 inches tall, about an inch taller than Tia:

Malik has the same number and type of joints as the female Made to Move body:

Many of the joints look a bit different, but the range of motion is very similar between the two dolls, and Malik's balance is significantly better than Tia's.  In fact, she's leaning on him in most of those photos.

I said I would get back to talking about Malik's hair, and this seems like a good time to do that.  The original hairstyle is fine, but I had a picture in my head of how the braids might look if they were let down, so I wanted to explore that option.

There's a lot of styling product in the hair, and so even after I removed the rubber bands, the braids refused to hang straight down; they wanted to keep the shape that the rubber bands had imposed:

This isn't quite what I'd been imagining.

Medusa hair.
A dunk in hot water might relax the shape of the braids, but it might also remove the styling product.  Since I suspect that the styling product is the only thing keeping the braids from unraveling, I didn't want to risk anything.

Bendy as they might be, the braids themselves are nice.  They're all very uniform in size, and I'm quite surprised by how well they're staying together.

The hair within the braids is a mix of black and medium brown:

Unfortunately, but understandably, each braid is rooted into the head as one big piece.  While the rooted braids are placed very close together along the hairline, they're much farther apart over the rest of the head.  This leaves the painted scalp easily visible:

That's a bummer.
Because of the rooting pattern, Malik's hair really needs to be gathered towards the back of his head and not left loose.

I decided to pull the braids back into a simple ponytail:

I actually prefer this style to the original bun.  It shows off the braids better:

I didn't play with him for very long before I got frustrated.  Those silly white pants have no stretch in them whatsoever.  They really limit what Malik can do when he's fully-clothed.  

Mattel has done a good job with other Made to Move releases by making the clothing flexible enough to support the amazing articulation.  Many of the dolls come in yoga pants or other athletic outfits that let the joints move freely.  Malik's pants could easily have been made out of a stretch denim that would allow better movement.

That's about the most exciting pose his legs can muster.
He can still move his arms freely, though, of course.

Those arms are so flexible he could style his own hair if he wanted to!

Although Malik definitely does not need a stand in order to pose and balance on his own, the stand comes in handy if he wants to do something crazy like tip-toe on one foot:

I think Malik is a very handsome doll:

Now let's take a quick look at Kyle:

Kyle's box is the same as Malik's except for the fact that the lettering is in a different color.

Are they matching box text to skin tone?
I like Kyle's black pants, although the pairing of those with white shoes is suspect.  And what is up with that shirt?  It's not good:

The tee shirt is so big and boxy--and a little lopsided, perhaps?  It's not very flattering.

Somebody should talk to Ken about this.
Kyle has a similar hairstyle to Malik's in that most of his head is flocked, but the rooted hair on top is nowhere near as nice as the micro braids.

Kyle's hair is basically a coarsely-layered hunk of blonde that's chopped off abruptly at the back:

The hair looks a bit better after the crunchy styling product is disrupted, but the cut is still odd:

I thought some of the flocking on the back of Kyle's head was rubbed off, too, but the black spot you see here:

is just lint from the shirt.  The lint brushed right off:

However, each time I take Kyle's shirt off or put it back on again, he gets more black lint in his hair.

I think Kyle's hair looks pretty good from the front, especially if there isn't too much of the yellow-blonde flocking in view, but it's interesting to me that none of his hair matches.  For example, his beard and eyebrows are different colors, and both of those are different from his rooted hair...which is different from his flocked hair.  Despite this, I think he looks fine.  It all works somehow:

Kyle has yet another unique face mold, with teal eyes, large eyebrows, a pouty lower lip, and painted facial hair.  I don't like this face mold as much as I like Malik's.  Something about the mouth makes Kyle look stubborn or spoiled.  Also, the angle of his eyes is such that he's always looking a little bit upwards.

You can see that Kyle has more detail in his irises than Malik does, and he has both upper and lower painted lashes:

There's a small defect in Kyle's left eyebrow, but his face paint is pretty good overall.

The beard is particularly well done, with hundreds of tiny hairs drawn in:

Those hairs look like they were painted by hand, but I doubt they were.  They're hard to see with the naked eye, so I didn't even know there was this level of detail until I looked at the photographs.  

The hairs in the beard are so much more delicate and realistic than the hairs in the eyelashes and eyebrows!

The hairs even continue underneath the chin--with a realistic growth pattern:

Kyle's facial hair is great.  I'm impressed.  However, the contrasting level of detail on different parts of his face is jarring.  I'm itching to get out a paint brush and try to customize Kyle's brows and lashes to match that beard!  I'd need a much smaller brush than anything I own.

I'm not impressed with Kyle's shirt, but let's take a quick look at it anyway:

It looks so boxy and unflattering to me.  I mean, look at how the sleeves perch on Kyle's shoulders.  Part of the problem is that the shirt is made out of a thick jersey knit that has absolutely no drape whatsoever.

This shirt also has trouble with a very small seam allowance sticking up around the neck, although this problem is not as obvious as it was on Malik's shirt:

Kyle had some sticky squares on his back to keep the shirt in place...and a lot of black lint everywhere:

Strangest back hair pattern I've ever seen.
The shirt doesn't open and close in back so it has to be lifted off over Kyle's head.  Getting the shirt off is not a big deal, but it's harder to get back on.  If Kyle's arms and hands weren't so flexible, it would be impossible.

For some reason the shirt has a band of flexible vinyl stitched along the inside of the bottom hem:

I don't know for sure what the purpose of the vinyl strip is, but perhaps it prevents the hem from curling upwards or under?

Many of the pieces of clothing in this line have these little Barbie tags, which I think are very cute: 

The waistline of Kyle's pants got crumpled up in the plastic strips that secured him to the box, so that area started out pretty wrinkled:

Kyle's vinyl pants do not have any sewn detail other than a double layer of stitches at the waistband:

They close in back with velcro:

These pants are made out of a slightly stretchy fabric, which is a big improvement over Malik's pants.

Underneath the pants, Kyle was hiding another one of those cardboard knee braces:

Kyle's knee joints are even more obvious than Malik's were.  This is because the vinyl in the knee is a different color than the plastic of the rest of the limb:

Malik's knees were also a different color than the rest of his legs, but the difference was so subtle that I didn't pay much attention to it:

Kyle is wearing vinyl sneakers that are very similar to Malik's shoes.  The molded patterns are different, but the basic shape is the same.  And again, I can't tell the difference between the right and left shoes.  They are interchangeable:

I slightly preferred the Converse style of Malik's shoes, but at least these don't say Ken all over them.

Kyle wanted to take a sec to model his full outfit for you:

The imitation leather pants don't limit Kyle's movement nearly as much as Malik's white pants limit him:

Kyle can even sit in a chair while wearing his pants:

After I'd taken a good look at both of these dolls, I wanted to play around with different clothing combinations.

First of all, I really like how Malik looks in Kyle's dark pants.  I wish both dolls had come with these pants:

The pants go well with Malik's original mesh tank top, too:

I think Kyle should have been dressed in a tank top more like this one:

That tank top comes from one of my Hot Toys action figures.  It fits Kyle really well.  I paired it with the white pants because Malik didn't want to give Kyle his black pants back yet.

The shape of this tank top is flattering, and the sleeveless style shows off Kyle's arm muscles articulation:

And his arm lint:

Here's Kyle modeling his new outfit:

He really can't pose much with his legs in those pants, so he had to come up with interesting upper body poses.

Grace Face.
Home Alone
This might be my favorite picture of Kyle...

Careless Whisper.
But because of the tight white pants, this is the behind-the-scenes view of the same shot:

And notice how strained this side seam is:

That's gonna blow.
Kyle can sit in a chair with the white pants...

...but he's not camera-ready from all angles:

In contrast, Malik will demonstrate the benefit of stretchy fabric:

And from the back:

Malik definitely enjoyed the freedom of this new outfit!

Very good for fake martial arts!

I asked Kyle to put his original shirt back on (which was not easy):

I like how these guys look together when their outfits are checkerboarded, like this:

But I made both of them put their full original outfits back on so that I could take some final pictures.

Not these pants again.
Kyle wanted to pose with the chair, just to show that he could sit without exposing himself again, I suppose:

Malik wanted to practice some more of his fake martial arts moves...

Although that's not really Kyle's thing:

Slap fight!
Please stop!
I finally convinced them to try a more normal pose for the final portrait:

I almost like Kyle's shirt in that shot!
Bottom line?  I'm just as thrilled with the male Made to Move body as I thought I would be.  It has all of the same joints that are present in the female Made to Move body, but with superior balance.  The articulation is similar to that of a standard action figure, and yet I find the Barbie body more attractive than most male action figures.  The one exception to this is that the knee and elbow joints (while amazing in their movement) look a little funny.  This is especially true with Kyle, whose knee and elbow vinyl does not match the rest of his body particularly well.

Both dolls have unique face molds, and these are a mixed bag for me.  I really like Malik's mold, but his eyes seem very small and under-detailed.  I don't think of Barbie eyes as being shiny, necessarily, but the paint often gives them a subtle brightness, and Malik's eyes are missing this feature.  In contrast, Kyle has very nice face paint, with clear eyes and intricately-painted facial hair.  In fact, the facial hair is painted so well that it makes Kyle's eyebrows look out-of-place!  But Kyle's face mold is not great.  I don't like the pouty lower lip, and something about the angle of the eyes makes it seem like Kyle is always looking skyward.  I had to jam his head down into its lowest position just to get him to look at the camera.

These two have very similar hair style concepts: both have flocked heads with tufts of rooted hair on top.  The difference is that Malik's rooted hair is tied into tiny, multi-colored micro braids that are unique and attractive.  That said, Malik's original hairstyle can't really be left down because the micro braids are rooted into the head with large spaces in between.  Kyle's rooted hair, on the other hand, is strangely cut and looks odd from every angle except the front view (which I think looks fine).  If I'd been brave, I would have tried to shorten Kyle's rooted hair and create a more attractive style.  There's certainly potential in his hair; it just wasn't reached.  

Each of these dolls came with one good item of clothing and one bad.  Malik's mesh tank is nicely made and looks good.  The neckline seam tends to flip up a bit, but that's the only flaw I found.  Malik's white pants are not so great.  The thin fabric has no stretch to it, and so Malik's incredible body movement is severely hobbled when he's clothed.  Kyle's black pants have a bit of stretch in them, so he can achieve a much wider range of poses while he's dressed.  However, Kyle's blocky, heavy black tee shirt is unflattering and hard to put on.

There are a few minor factory flaws on these dolls.  Malik has a scratch on his torso, and both dolls have missing or disturbed paint in their eyebrows.  I suspect that something about the boxing caused Malik's eyebrow defect, because I've seen photos of similar defects on other Model #4 dolls.

The Barbie Looks dolls are marketed more towards adult collectors than towards children.  This is appropriate since several details make the dolls ill-suited for play.  For example, Malik's hairstyle does not seem designed to be let down, and play dolls can rarely maintain their original up-dos.  I'm skeptical that the micro braids would stand up to play over time.  Also, both dolls' shirts are difficult to get on and off, and this would be frustrating for a child.  Highly-articulated dolls can be tough for young kids to manipulate, too, and this can lead to joint strain and breakage.  For older kids, though, I think Malik and Kyle's engaging faces, versatile outfits, and great articulation would make them excellent for play.  For adult collectors, the factory imperfections and unpolished packaging might be a deterrent, but overall these dolls get more things right than they get wrong--especially for their original $20 price tag.

I hope I can say the same good things about the trio of female characters that I'm going to look at next!  Join me for Part 2 of this review and we'll see what unfolds.  


  1. Great review! I love the mtm line, the articulation is amazing! I was super excited when I learned there was to be a petite mtm doll, but when she came out I didn’t like her face. I was so disappointed. Her mouth is downturned, and she looks so unhappy, like she’s just trying to get through the day without slapping someone. What a shame baceause I love small dolls. (I’m hyped about the upcoming extra minis!) Thanks for the review!

    1. Hi Rinntara! Your comment made me laugh, but I'm sorry you're disappointed by the petite doll! She's not my favorite out of the group, either, but it's more because of her hair. Her size is wonderful. I don't know about the extra minis! Sounds intriguing. :)

  2. What a fun review. Thank-you,Emily!

    (Malik looks just like Richard Brooks :-D )

    1. Hi Maricha! Thank you. And you're right! Malik and Mr. Brooks have similar mouths and the same intensity in their eyes! Good call. :)

  3. I was hoping you'd review these pretty soon, and you didn't disappoint! I have too many dolls to get all of these, but I'm desperately hunting for #4 for a reasonable price. This series actually uses brand new face sculpts, and as such, they were given official names, in order: Lina, Elle, Kit, Jon, Sean and Victoria. I managed to find Elle, which is my favourite of the girls, but Jon/Malik is still forbiddingly expensive, especially considered his imperfections. I'm disappointed, but not surprised that he doesn't have a hair part. He looks really good in Kyle's trousers, which looked unremarkable to me. I suppose you won't resell these guys? They will be hard to replace.

    1. Hi Black Kitty. They have names!! Ack! I didn't know this, but of course I'm obsessed with names so I'm delighted that you told me! I can't think of Malik as Jon, though. He's such a Malik to me at this point (named after a wonderful young person I know). I should use the official names for the girls, though--thank you!

      I will sell all of them in the Virtual Garage Sale store once the reviews are done. I was thinking of selling them as a group, but I could split them up if you want?

    2. You're welcome! I like the name Malik. There was another handsome Malik doll from The Fresh Dolls, I think you reviewed him at some point. He got very expensive too...
      About the garage sale, I think individual items sell better than groups, but you probably have enough experience with sales to take the best decision.

    3. ...also, I don't know whether to trust this or not, but Entertainment Earth has #4 listed as a pre-order for Jan. 2022 at normal retail ($19.99).

  4. So excited to hear about the Patreon!!! After so many years enjoying your reviews and works of art I'm thrilled to support the blogs! Thank you and I hope it does well for you! -Micah

    1. You were a wonderful supporter even before Patreon, Micah! Thank you so much for everything. :)

  5. Your reviews are a delight, Emily, and I am so glad you’re back! I’m excited to join your Patreon community.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. It's awesome to have you on Patreon! :)

  6. I didn't know they made male MTM dolls! I really like Malik (also, he reminds me a touch of Ashton Sanders).

    1. Oh, yeah! I can definitely see a resemblance there! A lot of similarity in the eyes.

  7. Excellent review as always! I have doll 2 from this line, and she's one of my favorite Barbies I've ever owned. It's really rare for me to have a doll that I can't think of a single imperfect thing about her! I named mine Hope.

    1. I totally agree, Nikki! Model #2 is stunning. Hope is a great name for her!

  8. Oh, I never saw the guys before, onyl heard about the hype about the petite one and got myself the curvy girl (even she costs around 40 here, cry).
    Thank you for the lovely review ❤️
    And I‘ll def. join your patreon, youmre bringing me so so much joy, but I‘ll have to wait till next month cause my evil dentist still wants my money :( I hope that‘s okay ❤️

    1. Those evil dentists, lol! Thank you Sév, but don't feel any pressure to join Patreon. I like just having your presence here on the blog again. :)

      The curvy girl is the prize of this collection, if you ask me, so that was money well spent. ;D

  9. Replies
    1. omg, you're right! I love Adam Lambert. That's a good compliment for Kyle. I'll tell him.

  10. Malik looks so great! I love his hair in the ponytail way more than the man bun. I find it really weird he doesn't have eyelashes though... Odd side note, when I rode the bus to and from middle school one of the boys would pull his eyelashes out to weird others out.

    1. Lol, Caroline! That's a strange thing for you to remember from middle school! I feel bad that you had to watch that, but also bad for that kid! I wonder if he even remembers that he used to pull out his eyelashes?? Anything to stand out in middle school, I suppose. ;)

  11. Great, detailed review, as usual. I like these guys. If you do decide to try a repaint 0n those eyes, I have found that a cat whisker works quite well for fine lines!

    1. Hi Tam! I can't even fathom the idea of using a cat whisker to paint! Ack! Although now I have two cats, so I guess it's possible....

  12. Welcome back! I have always enjoyed your reviews.

    1. Thank you, Monica! It's nice to "see" you again, too! :D

  13. I loved this review so much! And the photos were AMAZING. These two are such natural-looking models?? Their black-and-white checkered look when you mixed up their clothing pieces looked especially cool, and I really liked the ending photos when they were posing together!

    I must say, I burst out laughing at the behind-the-scenes look of the Careless Whisper photo. That was hilarious. XD And so was the Ken-brand shoes joke, and especially Kyle's slappy fight. XD He definitely looks like the slappy-fight type.

    Malik's hair looked so much nicer after you put it in a ponytail too! It's so much better than the bun-- like he was destined for a ponytail! He looks really good now.

    These two are so expressive, especially when interacting together! I hope we'll get to see them meeting your Looks girls when you review them too? :D

    Also, the Patreon is exciting!! I'm really glad you're opening ways for us readers to help support what you do!

    1. What a lovely comment, Spiral! Reading this made me very happy. Thank you so much! And thank you for being excited about Patreon. I'm excited, too, but I don't want anyone to feel pressured to join.

      And yes! All five of the characters I have got to mingle for a bit. That was probably the most fun of all. :) They're SUCH wonderful dolls.

  14. Congrats on your patreon! Always love your reviews and I'm so glad you'll be able to get some compensation from them! -L

  15. Oh boy - both boys are really... ahem... sexy :3 Kyle even reminds me of someone I know (but I can't put my finger on who!). And what a difference the poseability makes! Being able to strike all these poses really turns them from boy dolls into little plastic models. That careless whisper shot actually made my heart skip a beat - that is, until I've scrolled down and saw the behind shot, which cracked me up XD It is a shame that some of the original stock outfits are designed so poorly that they limit the poseability, which, I assume, is what many who purchase these dolls are initially after.

  16. Wow! Their incredible articulation and Malik's unique hair kind of made me want to buy him, and I'm not even a Barbie collector! Too bad about their clothes, though. Also, in that final shoot of both the guys together, they totally look like boyfriends to me. They'd make a cute couple!

  17. You did a great review of these guys! I got them too. I love Malik the best!