Saturday, January 7, 2023

Bratz Mowalola Felicia by MGA Entertainment

Happy New Year!  I've spent the last week or two reflecting on my year and trying to decide how to get 2023 off to a good start.  One thing that kept popping into my mind is how surprised I was to see Bratz dolls on the shelves back in 2021 when I first re-started the blog.  The Anniversary collection was on display at Target the first time I went there for a research mission, and I remember being really surprised to see those familiar faces!  It was like going back in time.

I wasn't too excited about the dolls I saw on that particular shopping expedition, but many of the releases since then have been real head-turners.  Bratz has done several artist collaborations in the past year, including small collections with designer brands like GCDS, JimmyPaul, Cult Gaia, and Mowalola.  I find these dolls especially exciting because they're basically guaranteed to offer something new and fun.

I don't have much of a track record for reviewing Bratz dolls (I've only written two reviews and hosted one guest overview), but because history gave me a chance to remedy this shortcoming, I decided to jump into the Bratz world with both feet this year.  I want to see what this iconic brand has to offer these days (and perhaps take a look at some older releases, too).  I'll start things off with this colorful girl, Felicia, who is one of the Bratz and Mowalola collaboration dolls:

Bratz Mowalola Felicia, by MGA Entertainment, $60.99.

I won't pretend that I knew anything about Mowalola before I saw the pair of Bratz dolls that she designed, but I've learned a little bit from the internet.  

Mowalola Ogunlesi is a young fashion designer whose inspiration comes from Nigeria (where she was born) and London (where she lives now).  Her stuff is very edgy and dramatic, with a lot of bright colors and unconventional textiles.

She has an online shop with a small selection of items in a big variety of styles.  I really like this tee shirt:

And this strange plushy--although it's sold out:

Mowalola also has a collaboration with New Balance running shoes.  

But of course my favorite items in the Mowalola shop are the two Bratz dolls--both sold out now.  In fact, it appears that one of the dolls, Jade, is sold out almost everywhere at this point, although Felicia is still available at the normal price.

Before Jade sold out, I managed to get her from Target, so I can show her to you quickly:

Bratz Mowalola Jade, $60.99.
I love the box art:

I'm not going to completely de-box Jade for this review (or ever?), but I removed the plastic cover so that I could get some glare-free pictures for you:

Her yellow and red mesh dress is definitely the show-stopper:

I'd love to see a human-sized version of this dress.
But she also comes with an extra outfit that's not as dramatic:

Her Bundle bag matches the style of the bags for sale on Mowalola's site:

That bag looks like a sloth face to me.
Here's an example of a full-sized Mowalola bag:

Jade herself has super-long, blonde-streaked hair with some short ponytails sticking up at the top:

And her facial screening is great.  She even has heterochromia!

Look at the tiny heart-shaped reflective dots on her eyes!
I like Jade, but I chose Felicia for this review because another one of the Bratz dolls in my lineup is Holiday Felicia, who is a collaboration with Cult Gaia:

Brazt Holiday Felicia with Cult Gaia bracelet, $54.99.
This is actually the first of the special edition Bratz dolls that I fell in love with, so she influenced all of the other dolls that I bought.

She has a dramatic face, and her bright yellow dress reminds me of Beauty and the Beast!

I'm excited to de-box this Holiday Felicia and compare her to Mowalola's version of the same character.

But before I get to Mowalola's Felicia, there's one more special edition set that I want to show you.

This is the collaboration set with JimmyPaul, and it is such a delight to behold!

Bratz JimmyPaul Roxxi and Nevra Pride set, $79.99.
The box is covered in flowers and color, and looking at it makes me so happy!

The set features girlfriends Roxxi and Nevra:

These two were on sale at Amazon for $30 over the holidays, and I could not resist them.  $30 is insanely cheap for what you get here.  

I might never take this duo out of their box, simply because the box itself is a work of art.  I did remove the outer plastic, once again, to give you a closer look:

These dolls are dressed for a celebratory day at the Pride parade, and all of their accessories compliment that idea.

The details on these girls are wonderful.  Look at Nevra's straw hat and rainbow coat!

Is that a disco ball purse?
The outfits are over-the-top, but that's definitely the vibe at Pride!

I also love the elaborate decals and fringed hem on Nevra's pants:

And look at her shoes!
From what I can see, the coat is fully-lined in pink satin, too.

Roxxi is also great:

And I love her crazy lip print dress, with zippers, buttons and that dramatic Bratz belt:

I'm so torn, because I'd love to get these dolls out and inspect all of their amazing little details, but I don't want to disrupt the beautiful presentation.

I am going to take Mowalola Felicia out of her box, though!  So I should probably get started on that.  But I hope my pictures of the other sets give you an idea of why I'm so excited about the new Bratz dolls.  There's such a great variety!

Felicia's box has the same wacky shape as Jade's box, but the colors are even more bold and striking:

The shorter side of the box is relatively plain:

But the taller side has a repeat of the cartoon version of Felicia:

I really like the graphic rendition of these characters:

I hope the doll can pose that well!
The back of the box is plain, with a reflective metallic silver pattern accented by a green star

The bottom of the box says, "doing what you want is Mowa's world, no rules!  Exactly what you need to be a drip gawd."

A drip gawd?
Lay Lay taught me what drip means.  That refers to a trendy fashion style.  So I'm gathering that a drip gawd is somebody who is like the god of fashion.

Let's see if Felicia can fill those shoes:

Her shoes are certainly big.
The red and white target theme on Felicia's box is really appealing, but it kinda makes this doll look like a Target exclusive or something (which she isn't).

There's even a target design on the fabric handle of the box:

Felicia's accessories come nicely arranged around her in the box. 

She has an extra dress:

Some splotchy sunglasses:

And a yellow salamander bag!

I think it's funny that we were just talking about fire salamanders, and now this doll has a salamander theme!  Maybe 2023 is going to be the year of the salamander for me.

Salamandara salamandra MHNT 3
Buckle up.
Felicia herself has a dark skin tone, yellow hair that's so bright it hurts my eyes, and a blazing red shiny pleather outfit:

Here's everything that was in the box:

In contrast to the eye-bending brightness of Felicia's primary outfit, her extra dress is very subdued:

The dress came mounted on a fashion form held up by a stand:

That's pretty elaborate.
The stand is too short for Felicia, so it's included entirely for the purpose of holding up the fashion form or mannequin.

The stand has a star-shaped base, but the base is made out of two pieces (that came attached to one another):

I can't for the life of me figure out why this would be made in two pieces.  The pieces do not come apart easily (why would you want them to?) and the seam looks bad.

The dress came with a molded plastic piece inserted at the bottom of the skirt and plastic-tied into place.  This was a pain to remove and left behind a hole in the dress:

The dress was also difficult to remove from the mannequin.  I had a hard time pulling it over the hip area:

That doesn't bode well for easy dressing and undressing.
Here are the mannequin and the stand on their own:

These extra pieces feel like overkill to me, but since the whole set revolves around fashion, it makes sense to have a nice way to show off the outfits.

Here is the dress on its own:

The dress is made out of black mesh, with shiny black opaque splotches that look like salamander spots and feel a bit like imitation leather.

The dress closes at the top with velcro:

And it has a net lining from the waist down:

I think maybe the net lining is to keep the slightly tacky splotches from sticking to the doll's body.

The sewing is even, but the edges are not reinforced:

Felicia's plastic sunglasses have the same salamander pattern as the dress, but it's easier to see against a clear background:

No way Felicia can see out of those glasses, though.
These glasses have some scratches on the front that look green:

The sides of the glasses are completely clear:

Felicia also comes with a star-shaped brush:

This doesn't look very practical for actual hair brushing, though.

Last but not least, here's the yellow salamander bag!

The design on this bag is amazing.  I would totally buy this if it came in my size.

The salamander print is on both sides of the bag, too, which is nice:

I love how the last squiggle is the Mowalola "M."
The bag is more lightweight that I'd imagined, though.  It almost feels like it's made out of paper.

The sewing is ok, and it's nice that the bag includes a bottom panel for extra fullness, but there are some areas with crooked or overlapped stitches:

Little areas like this stand out on such a sleek bag:

The bag is pretty great, but with some more attention to detail, it could have been epic.

Felicia comes with some MGA pamphlets and a certificate of authenticity:

From looking at the directions for the mannequin stand, I guess the star base was originally intended to come in two pieces, and then be assembled after de-boxing:

The certificate of authenticity was sealed inside a shiny black envelope:

It's a nice-looking certificate, but the dolls are not numbered or anything like that:

Felicia came attached to a simple base stand that connects to her shoes.  This allowed her to stand up perfectly right out of the box

She has a sly side-glancing expression:

But her eyes are not at all wonky and she can look right at the camera without any problem:

Her yellow hair is bobbed in front, with blunt-cut bangs that are plastered to her forehead with tons of gel.

The back of the hair is really long, and reaches to the very bottom of Felicia's shoes.  There's a lot less gel in the long hair than there is in the bangs, but the hair came separated down the middle and was reluctant to let go of that position:

This made it easy to see the rooting pattern right away...and it's not great:

I brushed the hair to see if I could cover the gap in the back:

The ends were hard to brush at first because of some big clumps of gel:

In fact, all of the long hair felt pretty coarse--like low-quality hair fiber.  The hair certainly felt nothing like Rainbow High hair.

I wasn't very impressed with the cut on Felicia's hair, either.  The bangs are mostly even across the forehead, but the edges are really rough:

Here's the other side:

I was hoping that if I loosened the stiff bangs, the sloppy edges would be less obvious.  But I didn't want to disrupt the hair right away, in case I made things worse.  So I'll come back to that later.

Felicia has grey eyes with little star reflective dots in them.  She doesn't really have any eyelashes, but her eyes are heavily lined in black, with three swooping curl decorations that hint at lashes.  Her eyes are also encircled with rose-colored eye shadow:

Here's a slightly closer look at her face, where you can see the tiny hair detail in her yellow eyebrows:

And also the sloppy cut of the bangs.
Felicia's lips are a dark peach color, and she has two teeth peeking out:

The face paint is nice overall, with no obvious flaws.

I had to clip back the stiff yellow bobbed hair in order to get a peek at Felicia's tiny little rounded ears.  They're very cute:

Felicia's primary outfit consists of a jacket, a mini skirt, a shirt, stockings, and shoes.  Here's a closer look at the top part of the outfit:

The jacket and the skirt are both made out of shiny red imitation leather, and each has a black Mowalola "M" on it.  The design on the jacket is obscured by the zipper, so it doesn't look as good as it does on the skirt.

The back of the jacket is plain, and the back of the skirt has a small velcro closure:

On the bottom, Felicia is wearing yellow and black striped stockings.  Her shoes have a coordinating, but less uniform, black and yellow stripe pattern: 

It's easy to disconnect the shoes from the stand:

And when the shoes are off the stand, it's easier to see their design:

They're super-high wedge heels, with an inset cutout of the Mowalola "M."

The shoes are so big and solid that they actually allow Felicia to balance on her own with no trouble whatsoever!

Who needs a stand?
And, of course, like all Bratz dolls, the shoes are essentially the doll's feet, and they are detachable:

With the shoes out of the way, I was able to remove the stockings.  Here they are on their own:

They are simple tubes of fine mesh fabric, with one seam down the back and finished edges at the top (but not the bottom).

Let's go back and take a closer look at the rest of the outfit, though.

The jacket has a working zipper that opens to reveal an underlaying bikini top:

The fabric of the jacket is quite stiff, so it was hard to keep it laying flat:

The seams are neat, but the jacket is unlined, so it doesn't look as good on the inside as it does on the outside.

I find the collar a bit unsightly, since the zipper is folded over and leaves a large area of excess at the top.  Maybe this was intentional--as part of the design?

But the box art gives no clue about how the jacket should look when it's open.  Here, it's zipped all of the way up:

The collar looks great when it's zipped all of the way up, but I found it difficult to zip the jacket when it was on Felicia's body.  It's possible to do...

But it's much easier to use the zipper when it's on the mannequin and Felicia's chin isn't in the way:

Another small problem with the jacket is that the insert pin on the right side of the zipper is not made out of plastic.  It looks like compressed fabric--perhaps with a bit of glue or other sealant.  Because it's not as rigid as a plastic pin, it can be fiddly to get it inserted into the zipper pull and the bottom stop.

That sounded like a lot of complaining, but I actually like the jacket and think it looks good on Felicia.

With the jacket removed, you can get a better look at the underlaying bikini top:

Both sides of the top are vague star shapes made out of thin white imitation leather:

The points of the stars act as straps, and close in back with tiny bits of velcro:

Here's the bikini on its own:

This feels like a very delicate item of clothing, but the white offers nice relief from all of the bold colors, and I love how there are even mini side darts sewn in!

Felicia's skirt (which can't be removed unless her shoes are off) is tiny:

There's a mesh strip on the inside to keep it from riding up:

The mesh is actually in a "Y" shape, which I don't think I've seen before:

Underneath all of her clothing, Felicia has a plastic body with vinyl limbs and 15 (!) points of articulation:

I tied her long hair back into a ponytail to see if that would give us a better view of the body:

But is was hard to make a ponytail that didn't have a lot of scalp peeking through!

Anyway, now we can see the back of Felicia's body clearly:

Her back has some factory marks (including a 2001 copyright) and skimpy painted black underwear:

So I guess this Bratz torso hasn't changed since 2001 (?) which is surprising.

Felicia's neck can spin around, but she looks more and more upwards as her head rotates back:

With her head facing completely the wrong way, she's pretty much looking at the ceiling:

At first I thought that her head could only spin, which would have been disappointing, but the joint was just stiff at first.  After a little loosening, her head can bob up and down very slightly, and can tip from side to side quite a lot:

Her shoulders are rotating hinges, so they can lift straight upwards:

And can also spin around:

Felicia has an extra joint just above her elbow, and this can only spin.  It allows the lower arms to rotate independent of the shoulder and elbow:

I don't really get the purpose of this joint, though, since Felicia's elbows also have rotation.  The upper arm joint brings nothing new to the table.

Furthermore, that joint is not very stable.  It would often pull apart when I was bending Felicia's elbows:

And it can pop right off, too:

The elbows and wrists are both rotating hinges with good range of motion:

Felicia can't easily touch her face or head, though:

And while she can rest her hands on her hips, the hands tend to drift away:

Felicia's hips are not hinged, so they can only more forwards and backwards.  However, because of the flexibility in her rubbery legs, she can do something that resembles a side-to-side split if pressure is put on her head:

This seems like a bad idea, Emily.
But she can only do that for so long before her feet pop off.

She's much better at front-to-back splits!

This is much more natural!
Her knees are internal click joints, so they can't bend very much:

They allow her to sit in a chair, though:

I mean, her huge feet prevent her from siting in a chair any better than this anyway, so it hardly matters what her knees can do.

Because Felicia's shoes attach to her legs with a peg-and-hole, there's extra rotational movement in her ankles, which allows her to turn her toes inwards and outwards:

I don't think of Bratz dolls as being especially well articulated, so I didn't really have high hopes for Felicia's body design.  However, the arm articulation is certainly better than rubbery-armed dolls like the Sadie and Yasmin I reviewed many years ago.  I've owned Bratz dolls with better leg articulation than Felicia's, though, and wish MGA had opted for rotating hinge knee joints.  That said, some styles of hinged knees can be unstable, and that would have been awkward for a statuesque fashion doll like Felicia.  At least the click knees allow her to balance well.

Speaking of statuesque, Felicia is the same height as a standard Barbie like my Lina.  And she's about an inch taller than my older Create-a-Bratz doll, Sadie:

From left: Create-a-Bratz, Mowalola Bratz, and Signature Looks Barbie.
Sadie and Felicia have slightly different torso shapes, so while they might be able to share some clothing, it's not going to be reliable.  Also, the two dolls cannot exchange feet/shoes.

I'll be able to compare Felicia to other Bratz dolls as the year goes on.

I was eager to see how Felicia's second outfit, the black dress, looked on her, especially since it's so different from her original look.  So when I redressed her, I tried that outfit first:

Black and yellow can be a dangerous combination since it's so reminiscent of bees (or taxi cabs).  But because of the obvious fire salamander reference, bees and taxis are actually the last things on my mind when I look at Felicia like this!

And I love how the salamander purse stands out against the black dress, too:

I don't tend to get very excited about sunglasses as an accessory, but I have to admit that these look really great--especially with the back dress:

It's like the drip gawd take on Breakfast at Tiffany's:

Felicia's grey eyes pop a lot more without the distraction of that red jacket, too:

The red jacket can be added on over the black dress, though, and I like this combination:

However the sleeves of the jacket are so stiff that they seriously interfere with Felicia's arm movement--which, for me, takes away a lot of the fun:

Still, I left the jacket on for long enough to try it with the salamander bag, and the combination is pretty great--although I think I prefer the pure yellow-on-black look:

Another thing is, my first instinct was to chop off all of Felicia's long hair, because I like the clean lines of the bob.  For example, compare the previous photo to this next one, where everything else is the same, but the long hair is tied back and harder to see:

That looks good, right?

But that long hair adds some incredible drama, too:

It's basically a drip gawd mullet.
So I held off from cutting the hair.

I also wanted to try out a few outfit combinations where Felicia was wearing her white bikini top:

I like the break in color that this top offers:

But I don't think I like it quite as much as the black dress.

I put Felicia back into her full original outfit for a few portraits:

This doll did not dazzle me in her box, I have to say, but she certainly began to grow on me as I posed and played with her!  She is a sassy thing, for sure:

And I just love the salamander theme.

This pose might be Felicia obtaining true drip gawd status:

Especially up close:

I relied on the help of the base stand for that photo, and it's a nice accessory.  It allows Felicia to strike poses that she wouldn't be able to achieve on her own, like this:

But the stand has its limits.  There's not enough rigidity in Felicia's legs for her to balance on one foot, so she can only strike poses that involve both feet touching the stand in some way.

Stay grounded, Felicia.
Once I'd taken a decent number of pictures of Felicia in her original state, I decided to try and disrupt her gel-laden bangs to see what would happen.

At first, I attacked her head with a brush and comb, trying to loosen the stiff strands of hair that way.  This did not go super-well:

Drip gawd status revoked.
It caused a lot of stray hairs to stick out all over the place, and it only made the ragged cut of the bangs look worse:

It's slightly better on this side, but not much:

So, as I feared, disrupting the gel made the hair worse.  Much worse.  And so things went the way they usually do in these reviews...I gave Felicia a boil wash!

Bangs can be hard to wash, but after I swished all of the hair around in hot water to get the gel out, I sat Felicia down in the sink and dumped hot water directly over her head.  This allowed the bangs to lay flat and stay that way while they dried.

Here's Felicia after her bath:

The long hair is much silkier now!  The styling gel was making the fibers feel like they were lower quality than they actually are.

The shorter parts of the hair don't look too bad, either, although the line of the bangs is not straight at all anymore:

Eager to photo-test her new look, Felicia posed for a while with the red jacket...

But then we both decided that the jacket looks better on the mannequin:

So I snapped Felicia's final portraits with just the back dress:

I might have to go back and try to even up the bangs a little, but part of me likes the irreverence of the uneven cut:

It's more like the box art!

Also, the wash made the ragged bits at the edges of the bangs look slightly less conspicuous.

I had a lot of conflicting thoughts about Felicia throughout this review, but this is the point where I really started to enjoy her--with her hair washed and smooth, and with her wearing the simple black dress:

She is a striking and unique doll.

With a lot of attitude!

And I'm glad that I didn't cut the longer hair.  It's part of what makes Felicia interesting.

And even though the salamander bag is a bit flimsy, the design is incredible.  It pulls the rest of Felicia's look together brilliantly.

Mowalola certainly knows what she's doing.

Drip gawd status reclaimed.
Bottom line?  I'll confess that when I first saw the promotional photos of Felicia, I wasn't interested in buying her.  The color contrasts seemed jarring, and I wasn't sure I could get on board with the bright yellow hair.  In addition, she was posed very rigidly in her box, which didn't really allow any personality to shine through.  But as I played with Felicia and tried out all of her different outfit and posing combinations, I became more and more impressed.

As always, there are some details that I wish were different.  For one, the hair comes plastered with styling gel.  This is necessary in order to achieve the sleek cut of the bangs, I suppose, but it made the hair feel coarse and low-quality.  Also, the slicked-down areas only accentuated the imperfections.  With my doll, both sides of the bangs had areas of poorly-cut, ragged-looking hair.  The rooting on this doll is also on the thin side, and the scalp was often visible.  The design of Felicia's outfit is great, but some of the execution is not as good.  For example, the jacket looks amazing, but it looks best when it's fully-zipped...which is a hard thing to do.  Unzipped, the folded edges and excess of the zipper ribbon are highly visible.  Also, it can be hard to engage the zipper, and Felicia's arm mobility is limited when she's wearing the jacket.  The other outfit pieces are better, but the black dress is a little hard to get on and off, and I wish that the salamander bag had been made with more care.  If the bag had the same fabric quality and construction details as the Surprise Mini Fashions purses, for example, it would rank among the best doll accessories I've ever encountered.  Felicia's articulation is surprisingly good, save for the dreaded click knees, but I'm perplexed by the upper arm joints.  Those feel unnecessary and cause instability in the arms.

Those critiques might take a lot of words to describe, but they don't overwhelm Felicia's good attributes.  One of the best things about Felicia is her face.  The face paint is very well done, and I really like the unusual embellishments around the eyes.  I also think the grey color of the eyes looks wonderful against Felicia's dark complexion--especially with that sassy side-glance.  It's rare to see eyebrows that actually match an unusual hair color, but not only does Felicia have yellow brows, they're highly-detailed and natural-looking, too.  I also like Felicia's arm articulation, and was pleasantly surprised to see so many joints.  I'm not sure what the norm is for Bratz dolls these days, but I tend to think of rubbery, unjointed arms when I think of this brand.  It's great that Felicia's head is so mobile, too, because it helps accentuate her piercing gaze.  I never would have thought I could enjoy a doll with neon yellow hair--especially in such a strange style--but Felicia's hair grew on me.  I like the edginess of the color and the cut, and feel like they add a lot to the overall drama of the doll.  It doesn't hurt that after a good washing, the hair now feels silky and nice and is much more fun to play with.  But the best thing about the hair, and about Felicia overall, is her salamander theme.  The salamander elements are exotic, unconventional, risky...and look fantastic.  Smaller accessories can often be dismissible, but with Felicia, it's details like the splotchy sunglasses, the brightly-striped shoes, and especially the salamander bag, that bring the whole concept together.  I like the effect even more when the red elements of the outfit are gone.  Jade was my favorite of the two Mowalola dolls when I first saw them, but now I'm not so sure.  Felicia is pretty special.

With her extravagant packaging, slicked-down hair, and hard-to-use clothing, Felicia feels like a doll that was never meant to be removed from her box.  But the thing is, it was only after getting her out of the box and actually playing with her for a while that I was able to realize the magnitude of her greatness.  Do you remember how I began this review by showing you several dolls that I was reluctant to de-box?  Well, maybe I should learn from this experience and give those dolls a chance to shine, too.


  1. First impression- The combo of her dark skin, bright yellow hair, and red and yellow outfit made me think of the original Clawdia Wolf doll! But Felicia is cool herself, especially with the boots and bag.

  2. Oh wow! I haven't bought a Bratz doll since I was a young teen! Felicia looks great, and I absolutely adore how dark her skin is! I'm not usually a fan of bright hair colors, but Felicia rocks it!

  3. What I gather from buying MGA's products is their dolls are designed to be kept in box, especially those with glued on details on the clothes(the fit are often bad too).

    P. S. Collector/special edition Bratz are usually articulated, while the play line ones aren't.

    1. There aren't really playline Bratz at the moment, those are repros of old playline dolls

  4. That extra arm joint is bizarre - I don't think I've ever seen a doll with that before! I wish they'd spent that time and energy on actual, functional knee joints though; can click-knee articulation just die already?

    1. Sometimes I think the rubber click joint legs have a cute retro appeal, especially on adult collector releases. For play dolls it’s definitely a big limitation.

  5. Thanks for such a great and detailed review! I love the JimmyPaul dolls, and I saw the sale but I didn’t buy them because I don’t like to own dolls that live in boxes forever! That box really is a work of art! I think the solution may be to just get two sets! Haha. This Mowalola Felicia doll caught my eye too and wow she’s really something out of the box!! I loved your Drip Gawd at Tiffany’s look! She really shines!

    These collaborations really make me excited for Bratz dolls. The dolls have such a unique appearance that it’s incredibly interesting to see designers put their spin on it.

  6. I couldn't understand why there were Walkman logos all over this doll until you mentioned that they are Mowalola logos! I've never heard of her before but it must be a fairly big brand if MGA picked her for a collab. A quick search suggests that she is fully aware of the logo resemblance, but I was unable to find an official affiliation between Mowalola and Walkman.
    The doll is pretty striking and I love her eyebrows and salamander Walkman purse, but I'm shaking my head in disbelief at the logo situation.

    1. Oh, wow! You're right about the similar logos. I didn't pick up on that. They are almost identical. She has a "Walkman rug" in her shop with the logo, so she clearly knows. Hard to see how that's legal.

    2. It’s because she’s using it as a playful reference to the Y2K era. Fashion has loads of this- the label Moschino is famous for their accessories that look like normal household items like Windex!

    3. This might fly for a defunct brand but I don't buy the y2k explanation for Walkman who is very much alive and relevant. At the very least the doll could have been fitted with a walkman if it was truly meant as an homage.
      I don't know which parts of the Windex branding are trademarked. The bottle shape and colour scheme might be public domain. If it's only the name and specific font, they don't have anything on Fresh perfume. Furthermore, any trademark Windex holds probably applies only to household cleaners. Now this would be a better argument for Mowalola, since clothing and electronics are very different categories of products, except for the part where it's their logo that's pretty much traced pixel for pixel. Not a product or a look, but the brand's very identity.

  7. That salamander purse is amazing! Felicia's drip isn't really my style, but I can appreciate how clear and novel of an aesthetic it is.

    For me, I only unbox a doll if I know she is going to be in my collection long term. That's why I sometimes prefer purchasing secondhand.

  8. Arrrggghhhh! Emily, you’ve done it again! Just when I’ve put myself on a strict doll purchasing diet and you publish this! You can’t imagine how delighted I am, again, seeing clearly gay dolls available. And Felicia! Holey cow, is she dynamic! I’m so torn on the keep ‘‘em in the box business…on one hand, coming from the school of The Velveteen Rabbit, I believe toys should be played with…and, I wonder about the long-term damage to plastic especially staining, from being boxed for a long time. On the other hand, as we’ve seen, box art can be pretty amazing. First world problems, right?—MNGrl.

  9. Hello, Emily! After many years of reading and commenting on your blog (inconsistently as both DB and Dmitry), I've finally been convinced and inspired by your work to start my own as a place to put all my deep-diving thoughts into the dolls and other toys that have caught my attention. If you have the time (you might need it!), I'd be very honored and flattered if you'd check it out at

    1. Hello, DB! Sorry for my slow reply. I did stop in and enjoy your blog! Thank you for the link, and welcome to the tumultuous world of blogging! It was super-fun to get an up-close look and in-depth analysis of the MH Frankenstein set! My Frankie wishes that I'd bought her parents for her, too. ;D I'll humbly offer a piece of advice that I got back in 2012: give your blog 5 years before you give up on it.

  10. Despite growing up in the same time Bratz was really popular, I wasn't allowed to have Bratz dolls as a kid because my mom didn't, shall we say, approve of the way they dressed. It's interesting how they seem to have rebranded as a collection item for adults as opposed to a toy for kids.

    I do, however, remembering having other Bratz items. In particular, I remember babies and ponies. The Bratz ponies might be interesting to look into, I haven't seen much about them online.

  11. The Bratz comeback has made me fall in love with the brand all over again. I recently moved into my sister's old room and dedicated an entire display cabinet to my old Bratz collection. Even though not all of the collaborations and reproductions are to my taste, I appreciate what MGA is doing with the brand and I hope that some of my ''grail'' dolls will get reproduced, too. (Although I'm sad to see that they apparently cancelled the reproduction of the World Collector's Edition Tokyo Kumi doll).

    Just like you, I was a bit taken aback when the first pictures of the Mowalola dolls leaked. The extremely bright color combinations and unusual style (both in clothing and face paint) didn't really speak to me at first. However, after seeing more pictures and reading your review I definitely found more appreciation for these dolls. Felicia is such a striking doll, and even though her articulation is limited, her poses are stunning. Though I do love her accessories, I'm still not a huge fan of her actual clothing. I would probably redress her with clothing from the Pretty 'N' Punk line (which, conveniently, is next up in terms of reproductions!) All in all, I think taking her out of the box was an excellent choice to showcase her greatness, and she feels just as much as a museum piece out of box as she looks like one in box. Great review!

  12. Hey Emily! I've been following your blog for years, but this is the first time I comment. This is a rare occurrence where you review a doll that I own too, haven't finish boilwashing mine, did it a few a times and yet the gel on the bangs is still not fully removed, lol. I also noticed the thin rooting pattern, I thought it might be a quality control issue but apparently not. Your criticisms are definitely on point, I also find it frustrating how poorly and cheaply made are some aspects of this doll such as her thin rooting or the simply constructed bag. While these adult collector collab dolls are fairly cheap (60$) it doesn't excuse those issues (for example the first edition repro Bratz cost less but has better rooting and constructed bags). Despite that, they're very unique and beautiful dolls and I hope MGA will continue to make new adult collector Bratz dolls and maybe one day even new playline ones! BTW, The reason for the salamander theme is because Felicia is nicknamed Glam Gecko, it's great to see it finally expressed and implemented in one of her dolls.
    Wishing you happy new year!
    Long time follower

    1. If you allow me to give you a hair tip: replace the hair gel with fabric softener (undiluted or milky consistency if it comes thick). This will keep the hair soft and ruly. And boil washing alone won't get rid of the gel. Liquid or dish detergent will do the trick.

  13. What an unusual set of dolls, in the best kind of way. I had to google the designer, and the image search was such a pop of colour and shape, the doll team did a great job of capturing that.

    For all that striking colour, I very much agree that the black dress works best, it lets her hair and striking face paint shine, not to mention that amazing purse! I want one now, add me to the list!

    The pride set is great too, it really gave me some respect for Bratz as a brand. It would have been easy for them to slap some rainbows on it and call it a day, but the accessories are things you'd see at the parade, the girls are holding hands, and I'm spotting lesbian flag rep to boot! (big Bratz boots i might add!) I think I even heard they have another flag or two in there as well. :) That was care and planning.

  14. Felicia only got two releases as a teen doll during the heyday of Bratz. I'm glad to see that she's getting more releases now, and in colors that flatter her!

  15. Did you see the new movie M3gan? It’s about an AI powered robotic doll!

  16. I used to be an avid reader of your blog when I was much younger, and happened to come across this review just recently. I am actually one of the Mowalola designers that designed these dolls! I am so glad to see you review her, it really is a full circle moment.

    Having been a longtime bratz fan and doll collector making these dolls was really a dream come true and I am thrilled you picked up on all the small details I tried to infuse into the dolls. The faces were truly the most amazing part as the bratz team was able to perfectly mimic my original screening sketches with the small eye stars and intense makeup, as well as the little gap teeth. and of course Jades Heterochromia was something I had never seen in a doll and wanted to put into these girls.

    Love that you really noticed the salamander details, I wanted to reference Felicias nickname being glam gecko, so we pulled a lot of inspiration from salamanders and lizards. Likewise Jades bag is meant to resemble a cat since her nickname is kool kat.

    Im really glad you enjoyed her out of the box! as much as they seem like they belong in the packaging, taking them out to restyle and play with them for the Bratz photoshoot was the most fun, and coming up with different styles for their two looks was the best part!