Saturday, January 28, 2023

Glo-Up Girls by Far Out Toys

Ever since I wrote the FailFix review back in November (which feels like yesterday in my head...), I have been wanting to take a look at the Glo-Up Girls.  Both types of doll have a makeover theme, and both come with their real faces hidden, so that you can't see exactly what features each doll has.  While the FailFix girls came with mask-like, silly faces to cover their permanent features, the Glo-Up Girls come with a fabric sleep mask that conceals their eyes, nose, and cheeks.  It's a little risky to buy a doll when you can't see their whole face, as we saw with some of the wonky eyes on the FailFix girls, but it's also pretty exciting!

The Glo-Up line of dolls is based on glo-up culture, a social media sensation that involves people sharing photos of their personal transformation over time.  The transformation is usually physical (an improvement in style or appearance), but can also relate to changes in attitude, confidence, and lifestyle.  The term "glo up" originates from a Chief Keef song, Gotta Glo Up, which is inspired by the name of his label, the Glory Gang--or Glo Gang for short.

As is often the case, I came upon the Glo-Up Girls only by chance, during one of my expeditions to Target.  The first wave dolls were released in July of 2021, so by the time I saw them in the store late last summer, they were on clearance to make way for a second wave.  In this review I'll take a look at the redheaded character, Rose, and see how she--and the Glo-Up Girls concept--changed from the first wave to the second wave.  Here's first wave Rose before I even knew what her face looked like:

Glo-Up Girl, Rose, by Far Out Toys, $19.99.

The Glo-Up Girls come in complicated boxes with a plastic window on one side, and a compartmentalized cardboard section on the other side that displays all of the accessories:

This packaging style is reminiscent of dolls like OMG or even Boxy Girls.

In addition to not being able to see Rose's face, she also comes in pajamas so that you don't know what her outfit or accessories look like.  

I can imagine that it's hard to create shelf appeal with a doll whose face and outfit are hidden, but Far Out Toys countered this with absolutely gorgeous box art.  Rose looks wonderful, with flowing red hair, big green eyes, and subtle freckles:

There are six other dolls in the Glo-Up collection, and their portraits (all just as beautiful as Rose's) are displayed on the left hand side of the box:

Here's a closer look--they're all amazing:

I think Sadie looks especially cute, with her pastel ponytails and pom-pom earrings:

That raised eyebrow is awesome.
There's so much movement and personality in these pictures!

The box art adds a ton of appeal to the brand, and made me desperate to know what the actual dolls look like.

But of course the back of the box shows a photograph of Rose, fully-dressed and without her mask, so all of the suspense was instantly ruined: 

The set also apparently comes with a face mask for me!  I've never used a face mask before, but I have to say that the model in this photo isn't really selling it:

It looks like she's going to hit me with that doll.
Those pictures give away what the real Sadie doll looks like, too, so I might as well show you the promo pictures for each character.  If you shop online for these dolls, there's no surprise whatsoever.

Here's Sadie:

She's my favorite.
This is Alex:

Erin has two-toned hair that reminds me of the Bratzillaz Switch-a-Witch dolls:

Kenzie has a fur coat and shiny pink boots that remind me of the JimmyPaul Bratz set:

And the last girl is Tiffany:

At first I assumed that Rose's review would be a Sunday Surprise, but because there aren't really any surprises left, I decided to make this a regular post.

The cardboard side of Rose's box has a flap that opens and closes with a velcro tab.  This allows a peek at the accessories, but it also makes the whole box feel wobbly and unstable:

The inside of the flap has pictures and instructions for how to reveal the face mask, and how the small bath bomb is hiding a mini makeup brush for Rose:

It also looks like she has color-change nails, and that the makeup brush can be used to wipe Rose's face and "reveal her makeup!"

So maybe there will be a surprise after all?
De-boxing was an ordeal, but I managed to extract the plastic tray that holds all of the accessories:

The face mask and the bath bomb are at the top, and I'll save those for later:

That picture doesn't make me want to use a face mask, either.
Here are the rest of the accessories:

I often look at the accessories first, but this time I was eager to get Rose out and look at her face (even though I knew what she would look like).  

She came mounted on another plastic shell (with about six plastic ties), with her feet inside a plastic foot bath:

I wonder if her feet are the surprise?
Even though I'd seen a photograph of Rose's face at this point, I have to admit that I was still pretty curious!

Rose stands on her own reasonably well, although her hinged ankles make her unstable (nowhere near as unstable as some other dolls I know, though).

Yup, feet.
The foot bath has a molded flower pattern on the bottom, and a purple half-lid that is removable:

Here's Rose on her own...with her face mask still in place.  I wanted to draw out the suspense for a little while longer (even though we know what she looks like).

She has really bright red hair with some chaotic curls and waves, and a braid down the left side.

Straight out of the box, I could see Rose's scalp through a thin area of hair on the very top of her head:

The rooting is good in some places on the head, like around the face and lower down on the back near the neck, but there's definitely an area that's lacking:

Brushing the hair helped to conceal the scalp a little bit:

The hair fiber feels fine, but it's not great.  It doesn't feel silky, and the waves make it look messy and scraggly most of the time--even right after it's been brushed.

Rose comes wearing a two-piece pajama set with a blue plaid print accented with flowers:

Like a picnic blanket.
One thing I noticed right away was that the seam allowance around the neck is sticking out.  I wasn't able to fix it:

The mask matches the pajamas...

But I think it's time to remove the mask, don't you agree?

Let's see the real Rose...

No freckles??!!
I couldn't believe that she doesn't have freckles.  I guess that's a surprise, but it's not exactly a good one.  But it occurred to me that maybe the freckles would be revealed with the makeup brush?  We'll see.

Otherwise, she's pretty!  I like her big, bright green eyes.

The mask has an elastic strap, so it can be used again:

Rose's rounded face and big eyes look so familiar to me.  I think she reminds me a little bit of Ever After High or Enchantimals dolls:

She has pale green eyes framed by black painted lashes and pink eye shadow.  Her eyebrows are a light burgundy color, and have more than fifteen individual hair lines drawn in:

I like how the hair lines change direction towards the outer edge of each eyebrow.

Her lips are a medium rose-pink, with a line of exposed teeth:

We know that this doll is going to have a makeup reveal of some kind, and so her actual face paint must be obscured or covered in some way.

Evidence for this is the skin-colored residue on the roots around her hairline.  I suspect this powdery substance is covering her whole face:

In profile, you can that Rose's complexion is more pale on her face that it is near her ears, and I suspect this is also because of the face-concealing substance:

I don't like Rose's profile quite as much as I like her face front-on.  She has a massive, tall forehead and there's something funny about her mouth.

I tied Rose's hair back so that we could get a better look at her pajamas:

The tee shirt and shorts are separate pieces, and the tee closes in back with velcro:

These pieces are very simple, and I don't love the print, but they are functional, and I bet kids enjoy having a pajama option for their dolls.

Here's a quick peek at the stitching:

You can see why the collar seam was flipping upwards--it's incredibly tiny:

Underneath her pajamas, Rose has a plastic torso with vinyl limbs and eleven points of articulation:

The shape of her body is nice...and quite familiar, I think.  It's not overly skinny, and she has some hips and thighs!

There are some Far Out Toys marks on her lower back, with a 2021 date:

Rose has fairly good neck articulation.  She can look from side to side:

And she can also tip her head from side to side:

Much like the ily 4EVER dolls, Rose can look up and down, but she can't hold her head in the down position.

She can hold her head when it's turned to the side and looking slightly down, though.

Her shoulders are rotating hinges, and they allow her to lift her arms straight up to about a 120 degree angle from her body:

Her arms can also spin around:

Her elbows and wrists are rotating hinges, but neither joint can bend to 90 degrees:

Although the elbows can bend a few degrees in the wrong direction:

With this arm articulation, Rose cannot touch her mouth...and she can only touch the very top of her massive forehead:

And in order to rest her hand on her hip, her hand has to sit below her not really on her hip.

She can cross her hands in front of her if they're in a low position, too:

Rose has ball-jointed hips that allow her to slide into partial side-to-side splits:

Or she can do full front-to-back splits:

But her two legs do not lie in a completely straight line:

When the legs are bent like this, it's easy to peek into the wide joint and get a look at the ball and socket:

Rose can sit on the ground with her back straight:

And she can sit with her legs together:

Or apart:

I assumed Rose would have internal click knees, given all of her other joints, but alas: she has no knee mobility whatsoever:

I've never wanted a click knee so badly.
I tried with all of my might to bend those knees, but they are solid.  They're strong, too, because I was reluctant to admit that there were no joints!

The ankles are rotating hinges, though, so they can flex and point:

And they can also turn inwards and outwards:

Rose's loose ankles and rigid knees are limiting, but I still managed to get her to balance in a walking pose--with no tricks!

The first doll that I wanted to compare to Rose was my Rainbow High Jett Dawson.  The similarity in their body shapes is impossible to ignore:

Glo-Up Girl (left) and Rainbow High (right).
The difference in their caliber of articulation is also hard to ignore!  It's harsh to say, but Rose is pretty much a Rainbow High doll with a more generic head and inferior articulation.

These two dolls can share clothing really well, which I'll demonstrate after I de-box Rose's outfit.  I guess that's the disadvantage of looking at the doll before her accessories!  Live and learn.

Rose stands about 10 inches tall, so she's shorter than my entrepreneurial assistant, Lena:

Glo-Up Girl (left) and Signature Looks Barbie (right).
And, just for fun, here she is next to Marnie, one of my FailFix girls:

Glo-Up Girl (left) and FailFix doll (right).
Marnie's coloring looks very bright compared to Rose!  Marnie can't stand on her own, which is too bad, but her articulation is better than Rose's.  For me, having articulated knees is so much more important than having articulated ankles.

I couldn't think of anyone else to compare to Rose, so I put her back into her pajamas so that she could open up all of her accessories!

The first thing we opened was this slightly messy tissue paper pack that came stuffed behind all of the other accessories in the box:

Inside the tissue paper was a little vinyl purse:

It's all one color and does not have an opening.  After seeing some of the Mini Fashion purses, this falls flat:

Here's the other side:

The next accessory we inspected was this makeup bag.  It's more interesting than the purse.  It even has Rose's name on it!

There's a molded quilting pattern all over the bag...

And a molded zipper pattern outlining an actual opening!

Not only can the purse open, but I found something inside!

It's a little bottle with a gold top:

And the gold top has a molded rose:

The top comes off to reveal a lipstick!  How fun!

That's a pretty great doll accessory--and an honest-to-goodness surprise.  Opening this was easily the best part of the de-boxing experience.

Next, we opened this plastic packet:

What could it be?

It's a bracelet, a sheet of stickers, and a pair of plain yellow earrings:

The bracelet has a molded bead pattern and a wraparound style:

I'm not exactly sure what the stickers are for.  Maybe they go on Rose's face?  Or perhaps they are for the earrings?

I put the daisy stickers on the earrings and they look really cute...although I don't think they'll stay in place for very long.

The next accessory came packaged in this cardboard shopping bag:

If treated carefully, the bag could last for a while and be a nice 1:6 prop.

The contents of the bag were wrapped in tissue paper...

Which held Rose's entire outfit:

The outfit includes a sweatshirt, jeans, and a cami top:

The jeans are too stiff to lay flat on the table, so I set them aside until Rose was ready to get dressed.

The last accessory came in this cardboard shoe I'm guessing it's the shoes:

The top of the box lifted open:

And an orange tissue paper bundle came out:

Sure enough!  It's a pair of purple wedge-heeled sandals:

With her whole outfit revealed, I started to get Rose re-dressed.

The jeans have a high-waisted fit, with lots of printed details:

The waistband is a nice touch, but the pleats in front are sloppy, which distorts the printed pockets and fly:

The cuffs of the jeans are rolled up and stitched into place.  Too bad they're a bit lopsided:

The jeans close in back with velcro and have some more printed details:

With those pleats in front and the angled stitching in back, these remind me of the jeans I used to wear in the 80s. I've glo-ed up since then.

The cami top is yellow with a checkered print, ribbon straps, and a ruffled neckline:

This is my favorite piece from Rose's outfit, but it's hard to get the ruffles along the neck to lay evenly:

The cami closes in back with velcro:

I had a hard time getting Rose's sweatshirt on over her hands:

But the hands are actually designed to come off, so I could have saved myself some trouble.

At first I thought I'd put the sweatshirt on upside-down.  It looks really strange:

But, no.  That's what it's supposed to look like.

Next I added Rose's earrings.  These go all of the way through her ears and stick out the other side:

Better than going straight into her brain, I guess.
Last, I added on the bracelet...which is clearly not a bracelet:

That's a little big.
It looks really good as an anklet:

But, inspecting the box pictures more closely revealed that it's supposed to be a necklace:

Here are a few portraits of Rose in her complete outfit:

I like the little flashes of yellow in the shirt, on sweatshirt, in the printed stitching of the jeans, and on the earrings.

Her outfit is fine, but that sweatshirt doesn't look great to me.  I like how it balances the purple in her shoes, but I do not like the cut.

I think Rose looks much better in Jett Dawson's awesome black and white outfit!  Even the shoes fit:

Too bad I don't have a lot of Rainbow High clothing for her to try!

Jett can wear Rose's clothing, too, although I'm not sure this is a glo-up moment for her:

And the shoes are very tight.

Because Rose has patches of thin rooting in her hair, I was curious to see if by taking down the braid, I could redistribute the hair and cover the exposed scalp a little better.

I'm not sure what I thought would happen when I released that tight braid, but this is what happened:

Clearly no amount of brushing was going to fix that frizz, so guess what happened next?

I mean, you're right.  I did boil wash Rose's hair, but first I explored her last two accessories.  Remember these?

Ok, I chickened out and didn't use the face mask.  I thought I might try it, but then I got paranoid about what it might do to my face.  Sorry.

I did investigate the bath bomb, though!  I popped it into some hot water:

It fizzed and dissolved:

And before too long, I was able to see the makeup brush:

I rinsed it off in some clean water:

Here's a better look:

That doesn't look like a makeup brush to me, although I'm no expert.  It does look like a paint brush, and I know a certain hard-working assistant who's doing some home renovations and might want to borrow it!

Now, are you ready for Rose's big makeup reveal?  Her glo up moment?  Here we glo!

I used the little brush to wipe the left side of Rose's face.  I didn't touch the right side so that we could compare before and after:

The water turned milky-white, so it was clearly rinsing something off, but I honestly can't see any change.  Can you?

I guess her eyebrows are red now, which is great, but I literally can't see any other differences.  Bummer.

Cold water makes her nail polish turn purple, though, which is kind-of fun:

In the photo, below, the foot on the right is hot and the foot on the left is cold:

Color change features can seem pretty magical, but I don't know how practical they are for dolls.  It's not great to get most dolls wet on a regular basis, although sometimes I can activate a color change feature by just holding that area in my warm hands...or putting the doll in the cold garage.

Anyway, after testing out all of the glo up features, I went ahead and boil-washed Rose's hair:

I think I dipped the braid kinks into the boiling water too many times, because that section of hair looks a little fried now.  I suspect it's because the hair fiber is not heat-tolerant, and it melted.  So, I'd advise against a true boil wash with these dolls.  Probably hot tap water would have done the trick without ruining the hair.

The hair is not a disaster, and the braided section straightened out nicely.  It looks a little out-of-place with the rest of the hair, though, since there's a lot of thickness in that area and the hair isn't cut into the same gentle layers:

The newly-red eyebrows look nice with Rose's hair.  I like how they're a tad darker than the actual hair:

Here's a GIF of Rose's before and after faces.  See if you can find any more little differences:

Overall, she just got slightly less pale, I think.

With her elegant new hairstyle, Rose wanted to try on Jett's fancy red Rainbow High dress:

It clashes with her hair, which is too bad, but the fit is great.

Rose decided to put her original outfit back on--minus the strange sweatshirt:

Rose is a really cute doll, but her lack of knee articulation and her poor hair quality drag her down.

I have yet to see the second wave Glo Up Girl dolls at my Target, but they've been available online for a while now.  

I noticed in the promotional photos that the newer dolls do not have concealed faces.  They come with their full face and their full outfit on display.  

Here's second wave Rose:

The box design very similar to the first wave dolls.  The art is certainly just as beautiful:

The same characters are available in this line as in the last, and once again their portraits can all be seen on the right side of the box:

Sadie has short hair and looks super-cute:

And I like Erin's look, too:

As with the first wave, the back of the box has a photo of Rose and some other little pictures and text:

I gather Rose's style is vintage, which makes sense with her 80s jeans.

Just like with first wave Rose's box, a cardboard flap opens up on the front to reveal the accessories:

I pulled out the plastic tray of extras:

This time I'm going to de-box those first!

The large shiny cardboard pieces intrigued me because they are different from anything that came with first wave Rose:

There are two such pieces, plus a little instruction booklet:

The back of the instruction booklet advertises the Glo Up Girls website...which does not have the best name:

Gloup Girls?
But inside the instruction booklet, there's an explanation about what the cardboard pieces are:

They can be folded into little picture frames!

Do kids still get physical school photos that come in this small size?  Maybe so.

The rest of the instruction booklet describes the makeover options with this doll.  They basically include putting hair gems and stickers on the doll (or on yourself), doing the color change nail trick (which will also work on the lips), and using different combinations of clothing and accessories:

I guess they dropped the whole makeup reveal feature, too.  And since that was basically a flop, I can understand why.  But that doesn't leave much in terms of a makeover reveal, does it? 

Let's see what the accessories are.

First, there's a large cardboard shopping bag

That looks like the Barbie font.
At the very bottom of this bag, there's a small roll of tissue paper:

And inside the tissue paper, there's an even smaller vinyl purse:

It's tiny compared to the bag that it came in!

The next package looks like a makeup bag, but it's made out of cardboard:

A perforated strip at the top pulls off...

To reveal a small comb and a bottle:

The bottle has the Glo Up Girl initials on it:

The top opens, and there's a little sponge attached!  It looks a bit like a lipstick or nail polish applicator:

The idea is that you can use this sponge to put cold water on Rose's mouth and nails--so they change color.

There are also some stickers and rhinestones that we now know are meant to be used in Rose's hair and on her face:

This little packet looks just like the one that came with the first Rose:

And it has two white barrettes and two red earrings inside:

The earrings each have different designs; one is a pair of hearts, and the other is a flower:

The last accessory is a shoe box:

This opens up...

And has a pair of sneakers and a pair of socks inside!

I feel like the accessories are not quite as good as they were with the first wave Rose.  The makeup bag is cardboard, not vinyl.  This is certainly better for landfills, I have to admit, but it's not as impressive or useful.  Also, there's no fun reveal like there was with the bath bomb and the face mask.

But the extra socks are cute, and I like the earrings.

We'll see how everything works with Rose herself:

I'll say right off the bat that this Rose has the exact same body as first wave Rose (still no knee articulation), and so I won't be talking about her body or articulation at all.

She has curly red hair that's nowhere near as bright as the first wave doll's hair.  It also has streaks of blonde in front that make it look even less red.

It also looks like a tangle-fest waiting to happen:

Or already in progress.
It's hard to show in photos how matted this hair is, but it does not look very fun to play with:

The rooting is basically the same as what we saw in the first wave, although the texture of the hair hides the scalp better:

Rose's face is quite different from the first wave version.  As I mentioned, there's no gimmick with her makeup--it's all visible right from the start.  And her features are more distinct, too, with greater definition in the eyes:

These eyes are also green, but there's less color showing.  The eye shape is smaller overall, and there's also a thick black rim around the iris.  The eyebrows are pixelated and have less definition, with only about ten hair lines:

Here's a reminder of what first wave Rose's eyes and eyebrows look like:

First wave Rose's eyes are a little buggy, but the new eyes are not better.  They've lost a little of Rose's cheery, youthful personality.  She looks more haughty now--certainly nothing like the box art.

This mouth is similar to the first wave version, with a bit more nuance in the lip paint, which is suspect is an artifact of the color change feature.

I tested out the color change feature by making Rose's lips warm:

They turn very red!
And then making them cold again:

Orange-ish coral.
This transition is fun, but I like the red color more, and as you can see from my earlier pictures, the temperature of my house keeps the lips more orange than red most of the time.

I won't go into huge detail with Rose's outfit, but let's take a quick look at it.

She's wearing a one-piece set that looks like a shirt and shorts, and over that she has a knitted sleeveless sweater jacket:

The shirt and short set is the most interesting piece in the outfit.  There's a lot going on here!

The blouse section is made out of a lightweight gauzy fabric, and I really love the detail in the cuffs.  I'm not as crazy about the yellow ribbon bow at the neckline.  But everything is sewn well, and seems to have more attention to detail that first wave Rose's outfit.

Here's the piece from the back:

I like the sock and shoes combination that Rose is wearing, and the socks are surprisingly easy to get on and off:

I prefer the outfit without the sleeveless sweater:

Because the two Roses have the same body, they can share clothing perfectly.  I didn't see any tempting opportunities for mixing and matching between their two outfits, though.

In fact, if you couldn't tell by now, I felt very little enthusiasm for second wave Rose, and was rapidly losing interest.

Sorry, second wave Rose.
A big part of Rose's transformation was meant to be trying out different combinations of clothing and accessories.  However, there's not much variety to explore.

She can wear her barrettes, her red earrings, and her alternate shoes and socks, but it doesn't change her overall look very much:

That's not a makeover.
Eager for more variation, I decided to snip off the offending yellow bow to see how the outfit would look without it.  

I think this is better:

I didn't boil Rose's hair (although I might try to wash it in the future), but I did make the mistake of brushing it.  I guess this might be considered a makeover?

Rose looks pretty dramatic like this, I have to admit, but I can safely say that this hair was not meant to be brushed:

Bottom line?  When I first saw the Glo Up Girls at Target (and then in more detail online), I honestly thought that they would be similar to the FailFix dolls, but less gimmicky and of higher quality.  That's not how I ended up feeling.  It doesn't have to be a competition between these two brands, and maybe that's not fair since they're quite different, but I find it helpful in reviews when there's something similar on the market that I can use as a benchmark.

One gimmick with the first wave Glo Up Girls is that their faces and outfits are hidden from view in the box, so you can't be sure what the actual doll looks like.  That is a pretty exciting idea, but there are photos on the back of the box that show the doll and outfit.  This ruins the surprise, but it's also somewhat reassuring when you're wondering if you should shell out $20.  The other first wave gimmick is that the dolls' makeup is meant to be revealed by wiping the face with a wet makeup brush.  This was a total flop.  I could barely see any difference when I washed Rose's face: her eyebrows got more red, but that's it.  

For better or for worse, the second wave Rose abandoned both of these gimmicks.  The newer dolls rely only on a few hidden accessories and some color-change nails and lipstick to create a makeover moment.  Color change features don't seem very practical to me, but the hidden accessories were fun for both Rose dolls.  I especially like first wave Rose's makeup bag.  But the extra packaging required to conceal the accessories is not worth it in my eyes.  So for me, the brand that achieved the best makeover scenario is easily FailFix.  Not only are the FailFix "before" faces hysterically funny, but they're also reusable (for endless makeovers).  Overall, the FailFix concept is so much more unique and well-conceived.  Without a working makeup reveal feature, the Glo Up Girls are left with gimmicks that feel generic and overused.

Gimmicks are not what should make or break a doll brand, though.  For me, that falls to the construction, durability, quality, and versatility of the actual doll and their outfit.  And here, the Glo Up Girls have some nice features.  For one, they feel heavy and substantial in my hands.  This is probably because of their solid vinyl legs.  Unfortunately, those solid legs do not have any knee articulation, which means that the dolls can't even sit in a chair.  The shape of the Glo Up Girl body is nice.  It's more realistic than many fashion doll bodies, with healthy curves and contours.  However, the shape is so similar to Rainbow High, I can't call it unique.  However, it's a wonderful bonus that this brand can share clothes and shoes with Rainbow High!  I like the Glo Up Girl faces; they are happy and sweet, if a bit bland.  But I like the first wave Rose's face better than the second wave version.  The eyes on the second wave doll are painted more vividly, but the eye shape has changed, robbing the character of some of her youthful appeal.  I am always a fan of red hair, and first wave Rose has lovely bright red hair.  However, the texture of the hair isn't great, and the rooting is thin at the back of the head.  Second wave Rose's hair is even worse: the color is diluted with blonde streaks, and the length and texture make the hair really hard to manage.  Overall, I prefer the first wave Rose to the second wave.  However, the clothing on the second wave doll feels slightly better-made and more creative than the first wave ensemble.

So, of the two makeover-themed dolls that I've reviewed recently, I find the FailFix crew more unique and well-made.  That doesn't mean that I dislike the Glo Up Girls, I just can't find very much to get excited about with them--expect for that box art.  The gorgeous drawing of Rose that I first saw at Target, so filled with movement and personality, gave me an intoxicating first impression of the character and the brand.  But as I spent time with the actual Rose doll, I got a bit less enthusiastic.  And by the time I was looking at the second wave doll, I almost lost interest.  And that progression feels like the opposite of a glo up moment.

Second wave (left) and first wave (right) Glo Up Girl Rose dolls.


  1. Wow, she really does look exactly the same post-glo-up. I feel like there's definitely some false advertising in there somewhere. The dolls are very cute and come with some fun outfits pieces though!

  2. I love that you reviewed these dolls! I feel like Glo-Up Girls haven't really made waves in the doll collecting community but I've always liked their look (more than FailFix if I'm being honest) and I think they're great candidates for restyles and other creative projects. I'm not super enthusiastic about the whole "glow up" concept if I'm being honest, but that more so has to do with certain very negative corners of the internet I've had experience with.

    I'm sad to see that the hair quality on these dolls isn't great, and all the printed-on details on the clothing can't hold a candle to the real details on Rainbow High outfits. The lack of knee articulation while they do have ankle articulation was a very weird choice, in my opinion. Still, the dolls certainly have this general prettiness over them that made me look them up many times over the past few months (something I didn't realy do with FailFix). I've especially been very interested in second wave Rose because I love the style of her outfit and the color palette they picked for her. I was actually a little surprised that you weren't too happy with her face!

    Sadly, the Europe/NL curse strikes again. I found some of the first wave dolls on a few sketchy websites, but no sign of the second wave dolls. And I'm afraid there will never be a sign of them because it seems to me that the line has (or will be) cancelled. It's somewhat odd because I don't think it's a gimmick or theme issue. FailFix did the same (even better) and they got cancelled, too. I guess MGA is just too strong in every section of the doll market, including the gimmick and surprise one (and the "just pretty dolls" one, if we're being honest). These probably would have done a lot better in the doll drought era of a few years back... alas! I'm curious to see if Far Out Toys comes up with any new doll lines in the future because it does seem that they have a talented design team behind them.

    1. People always talk up the details on Rainbow High outfits, but on both dolls I have the “real details” generally look AWFUL and are pretty poorly made. Stitching is wonky, the placement of things that are supposed to be symmetrical doesn’t match, there are loose threads and bits of fabric sticking out from seams everywhere. And the shoes are so darn hard to remove I don’t understand how they think kids are supposed to do it- I broke one trying to get it off.
      I don’t love printed details but I like them better than clothing that is supposed to be interesting but is not well made at ALL.

  3. I've got Kenzie and Tiffany from the second wave and they are really cute! I didn't see the first wave if it came out in South Africa so I wasn't familiar with the gimmicks. I love that they can share clothes and shoes with Rainbow High dolls. I'm enjoying my two girls! I want to get wave 2 Rose as well soon.

  4. Oh wow, that last picture really highlights how much the face changed between wave 1 and two, they look like siblings with a few year age gap.

    It's a pity the didn't hide the outfits, the makeover was practically non existent, so that was really the only surprise on offer

    1. I for one do not want to buy a doll if I can’t see it’s face & see how well it’s painted, and I sure AF would not spend $20 on a doll that I didn’t know what it looked like at ALL.

  5. lol Glo-down it is! they are adorable & reminds me of mattel testing RH looks only without fashion designer?;) hopefully w3 get these all fixed!^^ p.s I miss Tia comedian!^^

  6. I really like the second wave faces, I feel like they really upped their game with the eye paint there and the newer clothing, though clearly done cheap (all one piece) feel a bit better than the printed on jeans which I always find pretty tacky. I don't like gimmicks, I feel they add cost without adding value, but at the same time the lack of mixing and matching available with one piece outfits and no secondary pieces (I LOVE that the first wave ones had pjs) really limits that. Separate blouse and shorts would allow you to mix more bits with other doll's outfits for example. All in all a lot of the extra stuff that came with mine is just in a box collecting dust. I have no use for stickers or gems or random cardboard frames. Poor Rose seems to have some of the worst hair. Tiffany's hair isn't great but it isn't too frazzled and Sadie's hair feels plasticky but looks fine. Those waves/crimps resulting in frizz isn't surprising but is disappointing. If you can't brush the doll's hair what's the point?

  7. The box art is done by Cosmic Spectrum, her stuff is great!

  8. I appreciate that the pajamas in the first wave are different from doll to doll. The second wave girl, particularly when her lips are at their reddest, screams 1970s to me - she has the platform shoes, the harvest-gold plaid, the bow at her neck, crimped hair and extremely blue eyeshadow. But the fact that the blouse and shorts are one piece just destroys the outfit for me; you can't mix and match if it's basically just a jumpsuit. I always feel tricked when I buy a doll thinking their outfit is two pieces (a shirt and shirt, for instance, or a shirt and a sweater) only to find that it's just one piece masquerading as two. Then you can never change the styling on the outfit and it loses all versatility in one feel swoop. :/

    I feel like '80s and '90s jeans ("mom" jeans, for instance) are coming back in style now, so maybe that first-wave outfit is "on trend" as well as having some vintage elements?

  9. I have two and I love the faces, but the missing knee joint and the lack of mix-and-match potential in the second wave are big drawbacks for me.

  10. I love that there are two outifts!