Sunday, August 14, 2022

Glamour Girlz by New York Doll Collection

Today's post is the third in a series of six short-ish reviews that will compare some of the 14-inch dolls that are on the market right now.  You can find the other two reviews here and here, or you can click the "14-inch comparisons" label to see all of them together.  After this review, I'm going to take a quick break from the series before returning with the final three brands.

Today's doll is from the New York Doll Collection, which is not a company I'd even heard of until a few months ago.  I was looking at the I'm a Girly dolls on Amazon, and the answer to a clothes-sharing question mentioned this brand.  I immediately did a search to learn more, and the first New York Doll Collection dolls I found were the 14-inch Glamour Girlz.  This company also makes 18-inch dolls, which I may or may not review at some point in the future; I saw them in person recently and was not completely sold on the faces.  But I was eager to buy one of the 14-inch girls because I knew I was going to do this series, and the Glamour Girlz offer one of the less-expensive 14-inch options.

It might shock you to learn that this doll, who I've named Ellery, is the only redheaded character in my 14-inch series!  She represents redheads well, though, with lovely copper hair that--spoilers--is easily her best feature:

Glamour Girlz doll by New York Doll Collection, $30.99.

The New York Doll Collection website sells these dolls for $30.99, but I was able to find Ellery on sale for $23.39 with free shipping.  That's the lowest I've paid for any of the 14-inch dolls (so far).

There are only four dolls in the Glamour Girlz collection, and it looks like all of them have the same face mold and the same eye color, so I didn't have to agonize too much about which one I wanted.  The dolls are not named, but rather described by their hair color.

There's Black Hair:

Blonde Hair:

Brown Hair:

I like this outfit best.
And Ellery, a.k.a. Red Hair.

Ellery came in a cardboard window box decorated with simple heart-shaped graphics:

The sides of the box are purple:

At the bottom of the box, it says "face mask included!"

That's a fitting accessory since New York had such a tough time at the start of the pandemic.  I'll never forget driving to Manhattan to pick up my youngest from college back in March of 2020.  I remember that the streets were so empty that I was able to pull a u-turn on Riverside Drive, which, for anyone not familiar with the city, is eerily abnormal.  

Anyway, I know that this company is fairly small, since Amazon designates them as a small business, but I'm not sure how long they've been around.  The face mask suggests they're quite a recent enterprise, but neither the box nor Ellery herself have a date stamped anywhere.

Despite the New York name, I think this company is headquartered across the river in New Jersey.  So we're practically neighbors. 

The back of the box is a little strange:

At the top, there's a blurb about the dolls:

The content of this blurb isn't very original, and the capitalization seems completely random, but it emphasizes the hair and the joints.

Let's keep those bold claims in mind throughout the review, shall we?  "Arms and legs are poseable to give you hundreds of ways to play," and the "high quality hair can be braided for hours and hours of fun."

The most bizarre thing about the back of the box is that there are photos of the four dolls, but they've all been altered by a filter to look...well, creepy:

I guess this is a budget way to get cartoon versions of the dolls on the box?

The blonde-haired character looks kinda sweet, like a watercolor version of herself, perhaps:

But the brown-haired girl??  Yikes.  I mean, her face is melting and her eyes are dark voids.  It looks like the eyes have been scribbled out:

If your kid draws a picture like this, expect a call from the teacher.
That's not a good advertisement for the doll.

Underneath the spooky versions of the dolls, there's a bit more text, including the website address for this company...and a reminder about the poseable body and quality hair:

Opening up the bottom of the box allowed the backdrop to slide out:

And I only had to snip a few ties to free Ellery (and her mask!) from the backdrop:

Ellery balances well on her own, and the mask is cute.  It's bright pink with the New York Doll Collection logo printed in white and yellow:

The elastic straps fit nicely over her ears, and the fabric covers her mouth and nose securely:

Ellery's natural posture tips her head downward a bit, so she's shy about looking at the camera:

But if she leans back a bit (or I kneel down more) I can get a good look at her face:

She has a sweet, fairly generic face with wide-set eyes and a smiling mouth.

I thought Ellery deserved a better photo filter than the one that's on her box, so I found a free site that gave me some cool artistic options like this one:

I love this color palette!
This one is my favorite:

Her eyes look better in that photo than they do in real life!

Anyway, there are a lot of really cool filters that make Ellery look great.  I'm not sure why the New York Doll Company went with the melty-face one.

Here she is from some other angles--again, always looking a little bit downwards:

And here she is from the back:

Her hair is parted slightly to the left of midline, and is double-tied into two ponytails that are accented with a headband:

The right ponytail has a section of twisted hair that's looped around and tucked underneath:

I wasn't initially sure if the second set of rubber bands (the ones lower down on Ellery's ponytails) were meant to be part of the hairstyle or if they were there just to help control the hair in the box.  So I left them in place for the time being.

Ellery is wearing a dark red knit dress that reminds me of a coat dress.  It has a huge ribbon bow at the neck and some ruffles that run along the top part of the two princess seams:

I really like the style of this dress, but unfortunately (and I assume this is unintentional) the ruffle on Ellery's left side is longer than the one on the right, so the whole thing looks lopsided:

The dress has elastic-gathered cuffs on the sleeves and a velcro closure in back, so it's pretty easy to take off and put back on again.

The inside of the dress isn't lined in any way, which is not a great choice with a bright-colored garment like this:

The sewing is neat with generous seam allowances, but there's no serging on the fabric edges, so they look a little messy and ragged:

Ellery's outfit also includes a pair of black vinyl sneakers:

The vinyl on these shoes is stiff, so they're a little hard to get off.  They're pretty easy to put back on again, though.

They have some molded details, including zig-zag treads on the bottoms:

The last item in Ellery's outfit is the headband.  This is made out of a dark red ribbon with a section of elastic at the back that makes it flexible.  It has a fuzzy black bow on one side, and was held in place with a plastic tie that was concealed underneath the bow:

I'm not sure how I got to this point in the review without taking an up-close look at Ellery's facial features, but let's do that now!

She has a nice, serene face, but her right eye is wonky, so she looks spaced out:

One eye out the door.
Her acrylic eyes are inset, and do not open and close.  They have some iris detail, but it's not very realistic.  It reminds me more of rocks than it does of actual eyes.  The colors also seem too light, and there's not a lot of depth:

Ellery's eyelashes and eyebrows are painted in a light brown color.  I think if the eyelashes were a bit darker, it would help give the eyes more presence.  I mean, these eyes are better than dark, scribbled-out voids, but that's a low bar.

Ellery's mouth is formed into a relaxed smile, and her lips are painted pale, opaque pink:

I'm not crazy about that color.
Here she is in profile so that you can see the cute shape of her nose, and her rounded, simplified ear:

Since she's always looking down, I rotated this picture to give you a straightened look at the same profile:

Her eyes have deep, wide sockets, and so they look really big in profile!

Ellery's body is made entirely out of vinyl.  The vinyl is not as hard as it is on Gwynn's body and not as soft as Emmi's vinyl.  She has five points of simple articulation:

Will that be enough for "hundreds of ways to play?"
I like her pink molded underwear.

I often get tired of taking off and putting on doll underwear, so this is a nice change...and these can't get lost, or confused with another doll's underwear.

Sadly, Ellery's torso is quite badly stained from the red dress:

It's worse on her back than it is on her front:

A little lining around the neck of the dress would have helped a lot.

Ellery's hands are nicely molded with slender fingers.  Her middle and ring fingers are connected--as they are with American Girl dolls--but the other fingers are completely separate:

Glamour Girlz hand.
Here's Gwynn's hand for comparison:

Gwynn Tan's hand.
It's like Ellery has Gwynn's hand mold, but somebody went in and made some of the fingers more separate.

Glamour Girlz hand.
Here's Gwynn's hand again:

Gwynn Tan's hand.
Ellery's feet are fairly unremarkable:

Her joints behave exactly like the other dolls in this series, but I'll take a sec to show you how they work.

Her head spins around, and tips more upwards as it spins.  This means that when Ellery is looking to the side, she's facing the camera very nicely!

And when her head is pointing backwards, it's tilted up a little bit:

Her arms spin around, but do not hinge away from her body:

However, as with the other dolls, the softness in her vinyl allows her hands to be held together with a rubber band:

And this puts some stress on the shoulder joint:

Ellery can sit on the ground if her legs are angled apart:

And she can do front-to-back splits, although her arms are really short, so she has to tip to one side if she wants to use a hand for support.

Frankly, that's not a lot of posing options.  So where do the "hundreds of ways to play" come from?  If you ask me, they don't come from five simple joints.  You might be able to make that argument for dolls with incredible articulation (like the Makies, for example.  I miss them).  But let's be honest: for the Glamour Girlz, the hundreds of ways to play come from kids' imaginations.

Here's a look at all three of the 14-inch girls together:

From left: Ellery (New York Doll Collection), Gwynn (American Girl), and Emmi (Madame Alexander).

Things that stand out to me are:
1. Ellery's arms are really short, as I mentioned before
2. Emmi's vinyl is very bright and opaque
3. Emmi is the only one who looks straight ahead
4. Gwynn has the nicest vinyl
5. Emmi's body is a bit larger than the other two
6. Gwynn is the only doll who isn't stained
7. Emmi looks the oldest, followed by Ellery and then Gwynn

Things you can't see in a photograph are:
1. Emmi has the softest vinyl, then Ellery, then Gwynn
2. Gwynn probably has the best balance of the three, then Emmi, then Ellery, but it's really close

Here are just Ellery and Gwynn together:

New York Doll Collection (left) and AG Gwynn Tan (right).
These two have very similar bodies.  I  assume they can share most (if not all) of their clothing.  But again, why did they give Ellery such short arms?  It's distracting.

Since Gwynn always looks up and Ellery always looks down, it was hard to pose these two together!  This is a more typical shot:

New York Doll Collection (left) and AG Gwynn Tan (right).
As predicted, Gwynn can wear Ellery's dress, headband, and shoes:

Gwynn wearing a New York Doll Collection outfit.
I think she looks great in these colors, but of course I don't want her body to get stained, so I probably won't let her wear this dress.

Gwynn wearing a New York Doll Collection outfit.
The mask does not fit Gwynn; it slips off her ears too easily:

Every kid in 2021.
Ellery can wear Gwynn's outfit, too (although the sleeves are a bit long for her tiny arms):

Ellery wearing an American Girl outfit.
Emmi also looks good in Ellery's red dress:

Emmi wearing a New York Doll Collection outfit.
I think the style of this dress suits Emmi's implied age better than it suits Ellery.

The rich color makes her look very pale, though!

The mask fits nicely over Emmi's larger ears, too:

And Ellery looks cute in Emmi's youthful outfit:

Ellery wearing a Madame Alexander Kindness Club outfit.
The style of this outfit suits her nicely, I think, but the colors clash a bit with her bright hair.

Nobody should wear that color of pale mint blue.
At this point I wanted to see if I could take that second set of rubber bands out of Ellery's hair without disrupting the twist.

The hair is super soft and silky.  It's just as nice as Gwynn and Emmi's hair, which was a delightful surprise!  I also love the color.

However, the twist was being held in place by the second rubber band, so it started to unravel:

I'll take the hair all of the way down in a sec, but first I wanted to put it back up so that I could get a few more pictures of the original style:

Ellery is cute, but those eyes are pretty vacant.

And that bow on her dress is way too big.

Once I'd snapped a few more pictures, I took Ellery's hair all of the way down and brushed it out:

The twist caused a bit of frizz initially, and the rooted part in the back was reluctant to relax:

As wonderful as the hair feels, the rooting is not very dense.  There are some fairly big bald patches on the pale scalp--especially towards the front of Ellery's head:

These areas show up sometimes even when I'm not purposefully moving the hair apart:

They can even show up when the hair is pulled back into a ponytail:

One more row of hair in front would have been great.
A lot of dolls have scalps that are painted in a color similar to (or darker than) the color of their hair, so as to camouflage the thin areas.  This would have been a good idea with Ellery.

I was able to use a hair dryer to gently heat Ellery's hair and smooth out some of the kinks:

Despite the sub-par rooting, Ellery has nice hair.  It looks and feels lovely and thick, and the texture is great.  It feels just as good as Gwynn and Emmi's hair.

I like Ellery's hair a lot, but the thin patches might prevent "hours and hours of play."  Rather than experimenting with lots of different, fun hairstyles, I found myself looking for the one or two ways to style Ellery's hair that would minimize the bald patches...and then leaving it alone.

Ponytails work well to hide the roots, as does the headband:

And little hair clips can pull the hair back to cover the thinnest areas:

Even though there aren't a huge variety of hairstyles to work with, it's definitely possible to make this hair look really nice.

I put Gwynn and Emmi back into their full outfits so I could get some group shots and summarize some of my feelings about how Ellery fits into the lineup.  

First, here she is with Gwynn:

Glamour Girlz doll (left) and American Girl Gwynn Tan (right).
The difference in the two outfits stands out to me right away.  Gwynn's clothing is more interesting than Ellery's, it has more pieces, and the quality of those pieces is superior.

Both girls have youthful faces, and they can both look a little vacant at times.  I like Ellery's closed-mouth smile and smaller eyes.  Gwynn's huge eyes look odd next to Ellery, but I like the natural colors in her face paint and her cute, toothy smile.  I wish both of these dolls had more prominent eye paint.

The style and length of Ellery's rooted hair is much more versatile than Gwynn's wig, and the back part makes ponytails look great.  It's too bad that the sparse rooting causes the scalp to show in several situations.  However, both of these dolls have hair that feels wonderful.

As a reminder, Gwynn's retail price is $65 and Ellery's is about half that ($31).  On sale, Gwynn was $52 and Ellery was--again--half that.  I had to pay for shipping with Gwynn, but not with Ellery.  Overall, I'd say that the relative pricing is fair, although both dolls feel overpriced at full retail.

Next, here's Ellery with Emmi:

Glamour Girlz doll (left) and Madame Alexander Kindness Club doll (right).
These two look like they should be in the same general price range.  More so than Ellery and Gwynn, anyway. And they are about the same price--but only when Emmi is on sale and Ellery is not.  Remember that Emmi's normal retail price is about $60 (which is too high) while her sale price was just over $32.

I appreciate Emmi because she's so clearly a Madame Alexander doll.  Her facial features are very typical of that brand, and she's not trying to copy any other 14-inch doll that I've seen.  Ellery doesn't feel like a copycat, either, and I like her expression.  I'm not crazy about either dolls' face paint.

These dolls have very similar hair, up to and including the patches of visible scalp.  Emmi gets away with it better, though, because her hair and scalp are black.  I prefer Ellery's hair color, though.  It's a beautiful red and the lack of a color streak makes it more broadly appealing.

Both girls both have simple outfits and it's a bit of a toss-up for me which one I prefer.  I like the style of Ellery's dress more, but the execution of Emmi's outfit is better (except for those strange socks!).

Here are all three of the dolls together:

From left: Glamour Girlz doll, American Girl Gwynn Tan, and Madame Alexander Kindness Club.
In the last review I said that I would prefer another Kindness Club doll to another WellieWisher, but I have to take that back.  I think I was just wrapped up with Emmi at the time and focused on her good qualities.  Looking at them all together, Gwynn is clearly the nicest doll.  But, again, her little girl appearance might not be what everyone is after.  In particular, kids in the ten-and-up age range might be looking for a more mature doll that they can relate to.  

I would say that the quality of these three dolls is in line with their sale prices, with Gwynn being the nicest at $54, Emmi the second nicest at $32, and Ellery a great bargain doll at $23.  I will be curious to see Ellery alongside Battat's Glitter Girls, since those two are in a similar price range.

Here are a few more pictures of Ellery with her hair let down:

I like her calm, happy face.  She looks like a kind person:

Her posing options are limited, but she can balance quite well in a walking pose:

And the mask is a great touch.  I can imagine that this accessory might have made it easier for kids to accept (and maybe even enjoy?) their own masks.  I know that I have a few (pet-themed) masks that I love to wear, even when they're not required.  I've grown fond of them over the years!

Still, it's always best when you can take the mask off!

I had to take a quick trip to upstate New York last weekend to deal with some family issues, and I grabbed the chance to get a few outdoor photos of Ellery in a lovely meadow:

It was way too hot to be outside for very long, but I snapped a few shots in the shade:

(She's almost indecent with that short dress!)
Where Ellery looks very pale:

Too bad that left eye is so wonky.
And one in the bright sun, where the color comes back into her face:

Look at that hair!
I wasn't really looking forward to photographing Ellery outdoors, but she looked so sweet in this natural setting, she definitely grew on me.

She really needs a less formal outfit, though, and then I think she'd be able to relax into her element. 

Bottom line? I'm not sure Ellery lived up to the promise of joints that would give me "hundreds of ways to play" or hair that would offer "hours and hours of fun."  She has very simple joints, and her hairstyling options are limited because of the rooting.  However, there are still plenty of good things about this inexpensive little doll.

Her outfit is probably the biggest disappointment.  I like the idea of the coat dress, and the black and red palette is dramatic, but the oversized ribbon at the neck and the asymmetrical ruffle lessen the charm.  The fabric has also caused quite a lot of staining on Ellery's vinyl.  In addition, I feel like Ellery has a young-looking face, but the style and color of the dress are quite formal and might be better suited to an older child or an adult.

Ellery's hair is her best feature.  It's a beautiful red color, and feels wonderfully silky and smooth.  Unfortunately, the rooting pattern is sparse in places, especially at the front of the head, and this allows the pale scalp to show through more often than I'd like.  Overall, though, the hair is way nicer than what I'd expect on a $20-30 doll.

Ellery's face mold is pleasant, with a serene smile and nice proportions, but her lips are painted a very unnatural light pink color, and her eyebrows and eyelashes are simple and pale.  I'm also not crazy about her inset eyes.  The right eye is out of alignment, so she can't really look straight at anything.  Also, while the eyes have iris detail, they're lacking depth and seem a little vacant.  I feel like Ellery has potential, though, and with some more natural-looking lips and perhaps some better eyes, she could really shine.

With these ideas in mind, I decided to make a last-minute addition to this review.  I was curious to see what Ellery would look like with higher-quality (well-aligned) eyes.  As my luck would have it, Ellery's old eyes were held in place with a vinyl socket--just like My Twinn eyes!  So I knew exactly how to swap them.  I gently heated her head with a hair dryer and used a small, smooth screwdriver to pop the old eyes right out:

Talk about a blank stare!
Then I gave her some new oval glass eyes (16mm), which fit perfectly!

Glamour Girlz doll with replacement eyes.
These cost $15, so they increase her total price to about $38.  Not bad for a glass-eyed doll!

The new eyes are still slightly wonky, but I think they make a big difference:

Glamour Girlz doll with replacement eyes.
Ellery is certainly a candidate for a full face repaint now, because that expression is sweet and the hair is beautiful.  Imagine if she had some freckles and a new outfit?

Repainting this doll would certainly be "hours and hours of fun" for me, but that's a project for another day.

Before I go, here are two more quick shots of Ellery outside...

Seeing the world through new eyes.


  1. Great review Emily! Thank you😊I have to say that Ellery was already my favourite before her new eyes but the change sealed the deal. I just love dolls with serene faces.

  2. I’m so glad you reviewed this doll because I don’t know how many times I’ve nearly hit the buy button. Their heads appeared too large for their bodies in the photos—and I didn’t even consider the staining! But when you did the body comparison she looked fine. That big bow would come off, and I’d open that seam and fix that ruffle. The staining is another matter; I have that stuff from Twin Pines, but it is kind of hit or miss. I rarely, if ever, store dolls in dark clothes or have them on display for very long.
    Still, it is really fun to see the three dolls together—Emmi looks so serious, Gwinn so expectantly little-girlish, and Ellery somewhere in between. The thought came to me that this is why we love the doll world—they all have their own character Even before they are played with!
    And lastly, Ellery’s new eyes made a HUGE difference, although when the Halloween shot of her empty eye sockets came up I thought. (After a visceral moment of horror)...Here Emily goes again, dismembering a doll head....😂

    1. MNGRL here(my comment above) my eldest granddaughter has the exact same color hair! Simply gorgeous!

  3. Gwynn is still my favorite in the 14-inch doll series so far, but Ellery takes second place for me! I agree with you that she doesn't stand out a great deal, but I guess having less stylized features might also make it easier for kids to unleash their imagination while playing with her, and perhaps even see themselves in her! It's a shame her outfit has some flaws, because it's my favorite so far. I love the color and it looks amazing on the other dolls too. The new eyes you chose for Ellery are so beautiful! They really transform her face and make her look even sweeter. If you do decide to repaint her, I'm sure she'll turn out absolutely fabulous - you have a great eye for these things.

    I also hope the family issues were resolved and that you're doing okay, Emily. You mentioned before that you were having a tough time in June, but I didn't want to pry.

  4. Thank you for this review! These girls have been rotating in and out of my Amazon cart, especially Black Hair, but I was unsure about the quality. It's nice to see the positives and negatives. That weird finger spacing looks like a reverse Vulcan salute!

    It's good to know the eyes can be swapped. She would look cute with a new faceup, especially eye detail and a less pink lip color. You have a knack for making dolls look special.

    Also, I hope everything is okay with the family issues.

  5. MNGRL here. Where would we get the glass eyes like you put into Ellery?

    1. I found them on Etsy: Eyes from Schoepfers :)

  6. I love the last photos with the new eyes and green foliage. She looks so much more focused now! Can we hope to see her again on the Twinn makeover blog?

  7. It’s so fun to see the different types of 14 inch dolls! I have a couple Wellie Wishers, but the others are new. Have you heard of the City Pals dolls that were at Sam’s Club around the holidays a few years back? They were 14 inch versions of the “My Life as” dolls. Each doll was from a different city, and their clothes and name matched the city. They even came with pets! I thought they were pretty good quality for a doll under $20, but I think they were only available for a season of two.

  8. Great review as always! Ellery is indeed the perfect candidate for a makeover! To me her lip colour clashed with her dress and seemed a little to fake for a young girl. I can imagine Ellery, Gwynn and Emmi being good friends. I am looking forward to the next three reviews and am trying to guess what brands will be reviewed. Glitter girls maybe? I do want to see a review of the new boy wellie wisher doll as I have been dying to get my hands on him. Looking forward to next time! Margaret here signing out 🙃

  9. the new eyes are such a vast improvement over the original ones. the original eyes are very weird; they remind me of the inset eyes on a much smaller and much older doll - like the luminous, almost sparkly inset eyes of a doll of the early 90s. (I can see it in my head but doubt I'm describing it adequately...) Anyhow, once her eyelashes are dark enough to be visible next to her new, lifelike eyes, she'll be quite lovely. from vacant to vibrant in these easy steps. XD

  10. @Emily For one of your older posts which the comments are locked in. Do Tonner dolls fit Barbie clothes? Please answer yes or no.

    1. Nope, the regular Tonner dolls are 16 inches tall, so quite a bit taller than Barbie.

    2. Oh ok, I just wanted too know so that I don't buy the clothes for alot of money then figure out that they don't fit, what doll clothes do fit Barbie's and if any where are they? (They could be from Ebay or not because I want to have every clothes for charachters.) Do you have any Narnia reviews and if yes, I will check them out on the website and if not can you please make your own.