Friday, August 25, 2023

Magic Mixies Pixlings by Moose Toys

As a habit, I try not to disrupt my review queue for a brand-new doll line.  That's mostly because the frequency (and length!) of my reviews is not compatible with keeping up-to-speed with the ever-changing doll market.  But also, there are so many video reviewers out there these days who deliver quickly on all of the hot new releases, I don't need to fill that niche.

However, I made an exception this week because so many of you emailed or messaged me asking about Moose Toys' brand new Magic Mixies Pixlings!  I had one of the dolls sitting on a shelf waiting to be added to the queue, but your enthusiasm inspired me to buy two more dolls and move the review to the top of my list!  So let's see what these popular little Pixlings are all about:

Magic Mixies Pixlings by Moose Toys, $17.99 each.

I've been looking forward to the release of these dolls quite a bit myself, in part because the last Moose Toys dolls that I reviewed, the FailFix girls, are really great.  I also think that the Pixlings are similar in some ways to the Enchantimals, and since I just finished a bit update review on those dolls, I have them fresh in my mind and am interested to see how the Pixlings compare.

The Pixlings are the newest addition to Moose Toys' Magic Mixies line, which is a group of toys centered around mixing potions to generate a mystery pet or mini figure.  I'll confess, though, that up until a week ago I knew practically nothing about any of the Magic Mixies toys.

I wanted some context with which to evaluate the new Pixlings, so I headed to my local Target to see what Magic Mixies products they had in stock.  I found this large set that I vaguely remember seeing last Christmas:

It can tell my future?!
Judging from the box, the idea is that you cast a spell (and maybe mix some potions?) and a glow-in-the-dark, prescient pet appears.  I'll confess that I was curious about the future-telling element of this toy, but for $53.99, I wasn't curious enough.

Another option at my store was this set of small animal figures called Mixlings:

They're cute.
There are four visible figures and one mystery figure that comes hidden inside a plastic cauldron.  This set costs $19.99, though, which is a lot.

I decided to bring home a few of the cheapest Mixling toys for further investigation.  For around $5, you can get a single-cauldron set that includes one Mixling and one accessory:

Magic Mixies Mixlings blind box cauldron, $4.99.
I might as well do a mini review of this toy while I'm at it.  That way, if there's anyone else out there who doesn't know much about the Magic Mixies brand, we can learn together.

The cauldrons are pink, and have a large hanging tag that describes the contents:

There's also an overview of the mixing feature printed on one side of the cauldron:

It looks like I'm going to mix up a potion inside the cauldron, say a few magic words, and somehow this will cause a Mixling to appear.

The tag outlines the various types of Mixling that I can expect to see:

Underneath the plastic wrapper, the cauldron is made out of glittery pink plastic and has an inset plastic gemstone on one side:

The top of the cauldron lifts off to reveal the potion ingredients:

The ingredients were stored in a shallow plastic dish, but the majority of the cauldron was sealed with a paper lid:

That I was NOT meant to remove!
The potion ingredients include one pouch and a cup for water.  There's also a small instruction sheet:

The procedure is disappointingly simple.  All I'm supposed to do is open the packet and mix the contents with water--on top of the paper cauldron lid:

Then I'm supposed to say "Magicus Mixus!" and my Mixling will appear:

I might say "Magicus Miximus" instead.
I mean, it's pretty clear that the water will dissolve the paper top of the cauldron, which is not super-exciting.  But let's see how this goes:

The potion packet had some white powder inside.  I sprinkled this on top of the cauldron:

Next, I filled the tiny water cup and dumped that over the powder.

The powder and water fizzled slightly for a few seconds, but it wasn't even worth making a movie.  Okay, okay.  I made a movie, but it's lame:

Once the fizzling subsided, I stared at the mushy-looking paper in the cauldron for a while:

And then I stared at it some more:

And basically nothing happened.

Finally, I broke the rules by removing the paper cover myself.  This was a little gross, but I could easily poke through the soggy paper and see the toys underneath:

This mess reminds me of my poop toy review.
The inside of the cauldron was all wet, of course, but the Mixling and its accessory were protected in plastic:

I got a colorful little bear-like animal and a purple plastic potion bottle:

The potion bottle is dismissible, but the figure itself is cute, with big blocks of color on its right ear and tail, and rainbow decorations around its eyes:

Here it is from the back:

The molded patterns make it look like this guy is a mix of mammal and gemstone.

There's a Moose Toys mark on the bottom and a hole that looks like it could attach to a stand or some other kind of accessory:

I'll confess that I bought a second cauldron, and so I tried the potion mixing reveal again, but this time with really hot water.  I had the exact same result as with room temperature water: nothing happened until I manually disrupted the paper cauldron lid.  Sigh.

But the second Mixling is more interesting:

This cute dragon-like critter has a lot of molded and painted detail on its body:

And I like the mix of fur and foliage in the design:

The seam lines are pretty obvious, but that doesn't bother me too much.

The most interesting thing about this Mixling is that it's holding a crystal ball type structure:

There's an orange ball suspended inside a plastic casing.  It's intriguing.  However I couldn't get the orange ball to move no matter what I did.

I inspected the accessory:

This looks a bit like a magic wand and a bit like a key.  It has a translucent blue plastic gem at one end, with some visible metal inside:

I figured this must be a magnet, so I touched it to the mysterious ball that the Mixling is holding, but again--nothing happened.

So, I turned to the collector's sheet for clues:

This pamphlet ended up being super helpful!  It reiterates the five different types of Mixlings: Glowlings, Lucklings, Aqua Chanjas, Loxies, and Flutterfliers.

Apparently each of these Mixling types has a special feature, which explains a lot. 

The first Mixling I got, the little bear-type critter, is an Aqua Chanja named Gremin.  And that purple potion bottle was meant to be used to dump water of different temperatures on him to unlock a color change feature:

I didn't use the potion bottle at all (it's too small to be effective) but sure enough!  Under hot water, Gremin has a bright red tail:

And in ice water, the tail turns pale yellow:

I wish more of the colored areas changed, but the temperature-sensitive tail makes the figure more interesting.

My little dragon Mixling is a Luckling named Cupidee.  And that wand accessory does, indeed, have a magnet inside, but I was supposed to touch it to the gem shape on Cupidee's head:

Silly me for not bashing him on the head.
The ball moved to reveal a special symbol that tells me my fortune:

According to the key on the collector's sheet, I'm lucky in love!

These little tricks make the line more appealing to me.  Honestly, I wasn't really getting the point until I realized that they all do something special.

If you're curious, the Loxies have hair that flips up when you bash them on the head with a magnet:

The Glowlings glow in the dark:

And the Flutterfliers have wings that appear when they're swatted with a magnet:

Now I'm pretty curious to see how the other figures work--especially the Loxies and the Flutterfliers.  But the cauldron gimmick is a swing and a miss for me.

I need to remember that this review is about Pixlings, though--not Mixlings!  I just wanted to have some context under my belt before I looked at the Pixlings.

There are three regular first-wave Pixling dolls: Deerlee, Marena, and Unia, and they each cost $17.99:

From left: Deerlee, Marena, and Unia.
These dolls have been a little hard to find for the past few weeks, but they are currently on the shelves in some Target stores (where I got mine), available for shipping from Target, and can be ordered on Amazon with a bit of a delivery delay.

I was checking the availability status on Amazon the other day and found this bogus "Bundled Gift Set" offering for $39.99:

It's basically a regular Pixling paired with a strange little bear figure (which is not a Mixling!).

The description says absolutely nothing about the bear, and the bear only appears in that one photo.  It's just a random, cheap-o bear that somebody threw into a box with a Pixling so that they could jack up the price by $22.  Twenty-two dollars!  That's shockingly brazen.

There's a bundled set for Marena, too.  She comes with a flat-looking pink rabbit:

I want to giggle at the utter ridiculousness of this scam, but I fear some people will fall for it.

The Pixlings come in large, elaborate, bottle-shaped plastic containers with a prominent jewel-like handle at the top:

Like the smaller Mixlings, the idea here is that you mix a potion that will reveal the doll:

The back of the package has a bit more detail about the process, but it's still vague:

We're going to mix a potion, say "Magicus Mixus" again, and the doll will appear:

I'll tell you right now that the dolls are only six inches tall, and these bottle packages are enormous.  I was really surprised when I saw one in real life for the first time.

The bottles are about three times taller (and way heavier) than the Mixlings cauldrons:

Blind box Mixling cauldron (left) and Pixling bottle (right).
And almost as tall as a regular Barbie like Lena!

All this for a six inch doll?
The first thing I did was remove the hang tag:

The tag mentions some content available on YouTube Kids, and so I went to investigate.  From what I can tell, there's an established cartoon about the Magic Mixies, and the Pixlings are new crossover characters.

I watched the one episode I could find that includes the Pixlings, and I didn't completely understand what was going on.  It's a bit chaotic.  One thing I do understand now is where the packaging design comes from: the potion bottles in the show look very familiar:

Overall, the show episode actually detracted from my interest in the dolls, but perhaps it will appeal to younger audiences.

Anyway, the inside of the tag has a list of contents and some warnings:

Frankly, the warnings are a bit alarming:

Read: remove contact lenses if not already dissolved.
The doesn't fill me with warm fuzzy thoughts, but I guess it might give me a burning sensation.

The package itself is also covered with bossy directions:

Don't use scissors!
It's a little intimidating.

DO NOT UNSCREW LID!  On pain of death.
I somehow managed to get the outer plastic cover removed without any harm to myself or others.

The plastic bottle is transparent on one side and frosted on the other side, with a visible white tube running down the middle.

There's a large hump on the back of the bottle, which is caused by a plastic shell with several potion packets stored underneath it:

Here's the view from the back:

The potion packets and their plastic shell were rubber-banded to the bottle, so all I had to do was cut the rubber bands and everything fell free:

I survived low-level scissor usage.
There are four packets, numbered 2, 4, 5, and 6:

What happened to 1 and 3?
And a looong instruction sheet:

The numbers on the potions must correspond to steps in the directions.
The instructions include a QR code that links to a how-to video, but where's the fun in that?  I wanted to see if I could figure all of this out on my own.

I hauled everything up to my kitchen and got a plate to protect my table--as recommended by the instruction pamphlet:

There's a lot to wade through with these instructions.  First of all, I'm told (yet again) not to open the lid.  I got it.  

After that, the first step seems pretty simple: put everything on a plate and remove the paper ring and acetate:

The paper ring was easy to remove, but the acetate was more confusing.  

The acetate is covering a hole that I'll need in order to add all of the potion ingredients, so it's kinda important:

The bright red sign says "remove," but the arrow is pointing straight in towards the center of the bottle:

How do I pull in that direction??
I panicked for a minute, maybe because I'd been traumatized by all of the warnings on the package, but eventually I pulled the tab straight up--which was the right thing to do.

All of the acetate came out:

So far so good.  What's next?

Okay. That's a lot of text and a bit of hysteria.  

I have to cut potion bag #2, then FOLD END OF BAG INTO THE OPENING, and then pour in the PIXLING POWER ELIXIR:

This step yields a small amount of blue fluid at the bottom of the bottle:

The next step is to fill the POTION BOTTLE to the line with water:

This was actually tricky for me, because the fill line is printed on the left side of the bottle and I'm right-handed.  So in order to be able to see the fill line while I was pouring, I had to pour with my left hand.  I only spilled a little:

At this point, the bottle was filled about two-thirds of the way full with slightly lighter blue liquid:

The next step was to sprinkle in the Dream Dust.  I was sure this would be glitter, but it's not!

The Dream Dust was actually five pieces of paper confetti with a star design printed on one side:

I dumped those into the hole at the top of the bottle, but most of them got stuck to the gold plastic apparatus:

Something tells me that they're not essential to the potion, though.
The next step was to add the #5 potion bag, which I hoped might wash some of those paper stars into the bottle:

Adding that potion bag filled the bottle almost to the very top with blue.  My suspicion is that both potion bags had the exact same thing in them: water with blue food coloring.

Then, I was supposed to add a SPARKLE HORN.  This was another piece of paper:

Who was the donor?!!
With the horn safely drifting into the blue depths of the bottle, I moved on to step 7, which was to remove the golden ring to reveal the magic words:

I have a feeling I know what the magic words are going to be, but let's play along.

The golden ring popped off fairly easily, and underneath was...

Surprisus, surprixus.
"Magicus Mixus" again.

I had some idea of what the magic effect was going to be, because the bottom of the bottle is labeled with a warning sign declaring the presence of "CLARIFYING LIQUID:"

That explains it.
So I suspect we're going to watch that blue water turn clear.

The last step was to activate the contraption at the top of the bottle:

This involved spinning the crystal gem until it couldn't spin anymore (i.e. turning the tube with the doll in it around), and then pushing down HARD TWICE on the gem.

The movie I took of this whole process was way too long to post here, but this is how it looked at the start:

And here's a GIF of some of the transitional photos:

The doll began to appear almost instantly, which was very cool and a bit spooky.  Then the blue just swirled around and around and didn't progress any further.  I had to push down on the gem again and shake the bottle to finally make the water completely clear.

And this is how it looked at the end!

I was skeptical about this whole gimmick when I first got started, mostly because of the horrifying amount of additional packaging and waste it involves.  But I have to admit that the reveal was pretty fun and magical!  It doesn't justify the waste, by any means, but at least it wasn't a dud--like those cauldrons.

And the doll looks very cute!

So what was going on with that potion?  Well, I can't know for sure, but you can do a very similar thing with regular household ingredients.

Food coloring, bleach, water, and baking soda.
Fill a glass with water (and put a toy surprise inside, of course) and then dump in a ton of food coloring so that you can't see what's in the glass.  Darker food coloring (like blue) works best.  Then add a few teaspoons of baking soda to the water:

Once that is all mixed together, slowly pour in some liquid chlorine bleach:

Here's what happens:

I didn't mix in my baking soda well enough at the beginning, so I had to use a ton of bleach.  That's why the water in the glass looks yellow at the end (bleach is slightly yellow).  But you get the idea.

For those who don't feel like watching the movie, here's the end result:

Pretty cool, right?

So the warnings on the packaging are probably all because of the presence of food coloring and bleach, both of which can damage surfaces and be irritating to skin.

The Pixling's reveal activity reminds me of the Project Mc2 dolls.  The difference here is that the Pixling activity can only be performed once, and the science isn't explained.  I liked some of the Project Mc2 experiments because they had items that could be used over and over again.  

For example, do you remember Ember Evergreen's planter?  I still have it--seven years and a cross-country move later:

That's the same air plant, too.
I may not have loved all of the Project Mc2 experiments, but at least there was some effort to keep them from going directly into the garbage.

Whew!  After all of that, it's finally time to get the doll out of her packaging and take a look at her.

In order to extract the doll, I was allowed to finally unscrew the dang lid:

The lid was attached to a smaller tube that kept the doll protected from all of the liquid:

I actually had to unscrew the lid twice in order to remove the doll: once to separate the lid from the bottle, and another time to separate it from the smaller tube.

Inside the lid, you can see the small compartment that was holding the clarifying liquid.  This was punctured by some plastic teeth when I pressed down HARD TWICE on the gem:

The leaking leftovers in that little compartment are a deterrent to re-using this lid.  All of the clarifying liquid would have to be washed out really carefully and the lid left to dry for a long time.

With the lid finally gone, I simply had to pull the doll out of the tube:

She was held in place with a molded plastic shell, but no plastic ties or rubber bands, thank goodness.

Hidden away underneath the doll, at the bottom of the tube, there was a round collector's guide:

The guide has a small blurb about the Pixlings, and how they come from a world where potions flow from waterfalls and fountains!

That could be problematic.
There's also a brief description of the character I got, who's name is Unia:

Unia is a unicorn and her POWER OF DREAMS is well known across the universe.  Her potions can make a-my dreams come true.  You-oo, you, you.

The back of the pamphlet shows the other two characters, Deerlee and Marena:

There's also a QR code that links to a page with more potion recipes:

I was curious to see what other potion ideas were available, so I followed the link.

The potion recipes are different ways to fill the large plastic packaging bottles.  For instance, Unia's extra potion idea is to stuff a bunch of cotton balls and sequins into the bottle and fill it with paint-tinted water:

Here's the detailed recipe:

The end result looks nice, but I was hoping for something more like a cool science experiment.

The most interesting part about the potion recipe page is that it reveals a fourth Pixling character!

Her name is Flitta and she looks like a butterfly:

She's really pretty!  Flitta is actually a Walmart exclusive and is available now in Walmart stores and online.  If I'd known about her, I would have included her in this review, but I didn't realize there was an exclusive character until now.

Eclair kindly told me about yet another Pixling character who is coming soon, and that's Wynter, the snow bunny.  She appears to have a complete fabric outfit:

I seriously don't think I've ever written a review where it took me this long to get to the actual doll!  But here she is:

The ring that was covering the magic words on the large bottle doubles as a stand.  It has a small peg that inserts into the bottom of Unia's right shoe:

Unia can balance on her own without the stand, too, but she's not very stable:

She has a cute face with lots going on.  There are large decal eyes with an embedded plastic star in between, a horn sticking out of the forehead, a red nose, tiny freckles, and some wing and star decorations underneath both eyes:

I feel like it's worth mentioning that I bought a second Unia because my initial attempts to document the de-boxing went awry.  One of the hazards of the trade, I guess.

The second doll has a really bad facial defect:

Her left eye decal is completely misaligned with the face mold:

That's very Salvador Dalí.
I'm relieved that I didn't have to do the entire review with this doll, but it's important to know that significant defects like this are possible:

It's a hard thing to overlook.
Let's go back to the first doll and her normal eyes:

She has long, wavy hair that's tied up into a single high ponytail:

The hair is a mix of light pink, dark pink, and purple.  The hair fiber feels silky and nice:

I took Unia's hair down briefly, just to check the rooting pattern:

After I'd brushed the hair a few times, I could already see a bare patch at the top of the head:

Oh, dear:

The rooting pattern isn't great, and so I guess Unia will be keeping her high ponytail!

Behind the hair, you can see that Unia has a little pair of purple wings:

The wings are made out of soft vinyl and insert into a hole in Unia's back:

In addition to the wings, Unia has several other features that help identify her as an anthropomorphic character.

Her ears are long and elf-like, and I suspect are meant to resemble horse ears:

Here's a better view of the ears:

The translucent blue-ish green horn also helps support her unicorn identity:

But Unia's face is mostly humanoid.  She has really large eyes drawn in pale shades of purple and pink.  The eye decals are pixelated and not as vivid and clear as I would like.  However, I think it's fun that the pink star has some three-dimensional glitter detail, and I absolutely adore the star and moon shapes in her freckles!

I also like that Unia's mouth is molded and painted with a bit of an overbite.  It gives her a distinct look.

Overall, I find the doll much more appealing than the YouTube cartoon version:

No contest.
Unia's outfit is mostly painted and molded to her body, but she has a removable fabric skirt:

Just like the Enchantimal outfits.
The skirt has two layers: a tulle top with opalescent stars and moons:

And a blue and purple underskirt with cloud patterns and an ombré effect:

The waistband is made out of silver elastic:

The permanent portion of Unia's outfit includes a pink molded top with blue and purple painted accents, with some star decorations on the bodice and at the hips:

The bottom star is a little awkward.
Unia also has removable vinyl shoes:

These are wedge-heeled sandals with iridescent blue soles and sparkly purple straps:

One side of each shoe is decorated with a small pink star:

And, as we saw, one of the soles has a hole for the stand:

Underneath her shoes, Unia has flat feet:

However, she's not able to stand on her own without her shoes.

Unia is six inches tall in her shoes, and has seven points of articulation:

Her neck is a ball joint, which is easy to see because her head can pop all of the way off:

I love ball-jointed heads!  Unia can look in pretty much any direction she wants.  Up and to the side:

Or down and to the side:

And she can tip her head back and forth:

Her shoulders are rotating hinges with good range of motion.  She can lift her arms straight up past the level of her shoulders:

And she can spin her arms around:

Her elbows are also rotating hinges, but they can't quite bend to 90 degrees:

Unia's wrists are not articulated.  And what's odd is that her wrists and hands are painted with a flesh tone:

These areas have to be painted because her upper body is molded out of pink vinyl to represent the upper part of the outfit.  

But painting the hands a flesh color is strange because Unia's face is purple.  So her hands don't match her head:

To be fair, Unia's hands match her legs slightly better, but I still wish all of her body parts were the same color.

Painted hands are also a problem because the paint can peel off.  Case in point: Unia's left pinkie finger had an area of missing paint...

And with just a bit of picking, all of the paint on that finger is staring to peel off:

That's called a degloving injury.
With her combined shoulder and elbow articulation, Unia still isn't able to rest a hand on her hip:

But she can touch parts of her hand to her mouth:

And she can touch her ears...but that's mostly because her ears are so big!

Unia has ball-jointed hips, but very little side-to-side leg movement: 

And she can't do full front-to-back splits, either:

But she can sit on the ground--using her hair for a bit of extra support:

Unia's hips can also rotate inwards and outwards a tiny bit.  This is hard to appreciate and doesn't make much of a difference with her posing abilities, but you can see in the next photo that her left leg is rotated outwards (with some of the joint space exposed) and her right leg is rotated inwards, so none of the joint space is visible:

In terms of size, Unia's six inch height makes her much smaller than a standard Barbie like my accommodating assistant, Lena:

Magic Mixies Pixling (left) and Signature Looks Barbie (right).
But she's a hair shorter than a regular Enchantimal like Felicity:

Magic Mixies Pixling (left) and Enchantimal (right).
Both of these girls have molded or painted outfits with removable skirts, and because they are roughly the same size, they can share those skirts.

Felicity's skirt is a bit tight on Unia:

And Unia's skirt is loose on Felicity:

Unia also shares a clothing style with some Chelsea dolls, like my Tilly Toucan:

Magic Mixies Pixling (left) and Chelsea doll (right).
Unia is taller than Tilly, but Tilly is wider at the waist than Unia.  Still, thanks to the forgivingness of elastic waistbands, the two can share skirts:

Here's Tilly in Unia's skirt:

I was also curious to see how Unia measured up to a Barbie Extra Mini doll.  They're close in size and proportion:

Magic Mixies Pixling (left) and Barbie Extra Mini doll (right).
Unia is not as well-articulated as the Barbie Extra Minis, but I like her facial style better, and her magical theme is a lot of fun.

Here are a few quick portrait shots of Unia:

She'd probably be really cute in some outdoor photos, but it's raining here in Jersey, so I had to stick with indoor shots.

It's hard for me to think of Unia as a unicorn.  I see her as a little horned fairy, and think her name should be Iolanthe.

She's a cutie, for sure, but I wish that her hands weren't painted.  I also hope that my experience with the eye decal defect and peeling hand paint is uncommon.

This review is already scandalously long, but I figured I might as well show you the other two Pixlings that I bought.

It took me forever to figure out how to tell which doll was inside which package, but the diamond-shaped plastic gemstones on the gold lids give it away: Unia is purple, Deerlee is pink, and Marena is blue:

Deerlee's package (left) and Marena's package (right).
I feel like there could be more of a contrast between Deerlee and Unia's gem colors.  I can tell them apart when they're right next to each other, like this:

Unia's lid is on top, Deerlee's lid is below.
But the difference is subtle, and I'd be totally lost if I only saw one of them in the store, sitting by itself.  Why not make Unia's color dark purple like her wings?

Anyway, it's obviously not necessary to go through the whole potion gimmick to get the doll out of the package.  You can just unscrew the lid (gasp!) and pull out the tube with the doll inside:

Sidestepping the reveal activity accentuated the waste in this packaging, though.  Throwing out all of the potion bottles and plastic excess felt horrible.

Deerlee's name is not very subtle.  I'm not sure I like it.  And I'm not just saying that because the autocorrect on my computer can't handle it.  Fawn is an equally un-subtle name, but it sounds better to me.  I might re-name this girl Fawn after the review, but for now I'll stick with Deerlee so that I don't confuse everybody.

Deerlee is the brave Pixling with a SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE.  Her potion gives people confidence to go their own way--and call it another lonely day.

Deerlee is really sweet.  She has antlers and droopy deer-like ears:

Here we go again with the sexual dimorphism issues, though.  Usually only male deer have antlers.  I think caribou (reindeer) might be an exception.  So I guess Deerlee is a caribou?  Or a transgender deer?  If she's a caribou, then I think her name should be Taran, after the species name (Rangifer tarandus).

In any case, Fawn Taran Deerlee has poker-straight light pink hair with a streak of darker neon pink:

Unlike Unia, Deerlee's hair is well-rooted, with no bald patches:

And as with Unia, the hair fiber is wonderfully sleek and smooth.

The only thing I don't like about the hairstyle is that it includes two sections of shorter hair in front of the ears that come plastered down against Deerlee's face:

I loosened these gelled sections with my fingers, which makes them look better--but now they hide the adorable deer ears:

Deerlee can tuck this short hair behind her ears, though, which is good:

She reminds me a little of the Enchantimal sheep, Lorna, but her ears are done in a much better way!

Deerlee's face has well-placed eye decals, and the coloring in this area is darker than it was with Unia, so the pixelation is not quite as obvious:

Deerlee has a flower-shaped gem in the middle of her forehead, and a flower under her left eye.  I really like how the upper part of her head is painted a darker mustard yellow, and is accented with fawn-like spots:

Deerlee's outfit is less generic than Unia's.  It's like a cross between an Enchantimals outfit, with all of the flowers and cuteness that entails, mixed with some Cave Club fur accents and edginess:

The skirt is short, made out of a mauve floral print jersey.  It has two pleats in the front, and what looks like a tail coming out of the left pleat:

At first I thought that I had the skirt spun around in the wrong direction, and that the tail should actually be in back, but no.  There's velcro in the back, and there's a ribbon between the legs that keeps the skirt from spinning around too much.  So there's just a random tail coming out of the side of Deerlee's skirt.

Underneath the skirt, Deerlee's molded outfit indulges a purple top with both floral and fur accents, some dark wine-colored underwear, and pink fingerless gloves with fur cuffs:

Here's the outfit from the back:

I really like that Deerlee's outfit and gloves are painted on--rather than her hands--and that all of her body vinyl is the same pale yellow color.

The last part of Deerlee's outfit is this pair of pink vinyl boots: 

That's a lot of boot.
The boots have red molded flowers spiraling around the outside, and brown fur lining at the top:

I like how the tips of the boots resemble cloven hooves!

But there are no heels on these boots:

That looks hip, but it means there's no way Deerlee can stand on her own.

She can't even balance with the stand all of the time:

I like the idea of using a piece of the packaging as a stand, but the stands are too lightweight and unbalanced to work very well.

Here are a few portraits of Deerlee:

Her hair is really pretty and is so easy to manage.  It almost always looks good:

This little deer is my favorite out of the three dolls that I bought.  I just wish she had sturdier boots...and didn't look like she had a tail growing out of her left leg.

The third doll that I bought and the last one that I will look at in this review is Marena:

I love the name Marena, although I'm more used to seeing it spelled "Marina."  It was actually a name we considered for our children, since it means "from the sea" and my husband loves the ocean.

Marena has the POWER OF LOVE.  Which is a curious thing.  It makes one man weep, and another man sing.

Marena came out of her tube waving at me, which is nice, but her hair was a pretty big mess:

The hair has big, loose curls, which is a style that tends to look messy on a lot of dolls.

However, the hair feels amazing and is really easy to brush:

It still looks a bit wild after brushing, but this is an improvement:

And the rooting is great; it looks even better than Deerlee's hair:

Marina doesn't have as many special head features as the other dolls, but she has wonderful fin ears and a circle inset in her forehead:

I also really like the scale pattern around her eyes, and her little pink nose!

It's hard to tell what color Marina's eyes are supposed to be.  They're highly pixelated, but they look brown.  She's also the only doll with visible teeth.  And I don't really like how this looks:

I can't think of a normal facial expression where the lips would be in that position and the teeth would be showing in that way:

Try to make a face like that.  I dare you.
There's also a small lip imperfection on Marina's left side, but it's not a big deal.

Marena's outfit is nice, though.  She has the most elaborate and sturdy-looking of the skirts:

The fish tail skirt is made out of a shiny scale print, and has a red ruffled tulle edge that's very pretty:

The construction looks good, and there's a ribbon to keep everything from riding up (or twisting around):

Marena might have a fancy skirt, but she has the simplest of the permanent clothing.  She's wearing a painted bikini top with skin-colored, scaly underpants:

The top is well-painted, and I like the uniform color of Marina's skin vinyl.

Marena is the only doll with molded decorations on her legs.  She has fins on both calves, much like Lagoona Blue:

She also has some simple sandals, with pink vinyl straps and scaly iridescent blue wedge heels:

There are little molded hearts on the side of each heel:

Marena makes a fun little sister for G3 Lagoona.  The two have quite a bit in common!

G3 Lagoona Blue and Pixling Marena.
It's interesting to see how Mattel and Moose Toys each handled things like ear shape, face paint, and coloring for these two sea-themed girls.  There are a lot of things about Marena that I like better.

Here are a few more portraits of Marena on her own:

Her hair is hard to keep under control, but I like the way it flows around her body--almost like she's actually underwater:

Marena is probably my second favorite of the group.  I really love her ears and leg fins, and I think her face paint is great. I just wish she didn't have that funny tooth area on her mouth.  I'd also prefer it if her hair was easier to manage: maybe shorter or less wavy.  And I think more blue hair and less pink would look awesome.  But that's getting really nitpicky.

I assembled the three Pixlings for a group photo:

The stands are pretty frustrating, especially when dealing with multiple dolls.  Deerlee is always tipping over, and Marena is almost as bad because of her heavy hair.

You can see in this next picture that all of the dolls were leaning backwards, their stands threatening to tip over:

I tried substituting in a Barbie Extra Mini stand, but it doesn't quite fit:

So I made do with the stands I had:

Marena and Deerlee won't look at me.
Which meant losing Deerlee in about half of the shots:

But after a lot of wrestling, and a few choice words, I managed to get everybody in line:

And then, despite the rain, I went outside and snapped one quick portrait of each Pixling in the natural light.  Here they are, in reverse order of my preference:

First, it's Unia next to a hibiscus tree:

And then Marena, in some long grass that reminds me of ocean waves:

And finally the lovely Deerlee, behind some spirea flowers that match her hair pretty well:

Bottom line: these dolls remind me a lot of the Enchantimals.  Both are six-inch anthropomorphic play dolls with big eyes and lots of themed face paint.  They also both have the same style of outfit, with molded or painted tops and removable fabric skirts.  The Pixlings don't have the same animal diversity as the Enchantimals, and they're about twice as expensive.  They also have pixelated facial features that can look faded compared to the bright, clear face paint of the Enchantimals.  But the Pixlings also have a few important features that I feel are superior.  First of all, they have good articulation.  I wish they had knee joints, but their arm joints and excellent head mobility are enough to make them more expressive and easier to pose than the Enchantimals.  Also, their hair quality is significantly better than the Enchantimals.  I didn't really enjoy playing with Felicity's hair, but Unia, Marena, and Deerlee all have silky-smooth hair that's fun to brush and pet.  I'd love to see the sweet faces, articulation, and hair of the Pixlings merged with the delightful animal diversity and vivid face paint of the Enchantimals.

I have a few critiques about each of the Pixlings I bought.  And unfortunately Unia, who I chose to feature in this review, has the most flaws.  Her hair looks and feels great, but that ponytail is hiding some sparse rooting.  Also, her hands are painted a color that does not match her head...and some of that hand paint is peeling off.  Last, one of the two Unia dolls that I purchased has a horribly misplaced eye decal.  My criticisms of the other two Pixlings are strictly subjective.  I don't like the visible teeth in Marena's mouth, and I wish her hair was easier to manage.  I like almost everything about Deerlee, but the tail-like fur on her skirt is weird and I wish her hair didn't block her cute ears.  She also has boots with no heels: a cool design choice that gives her no hope whatsoever of standing on her own.  All of the dolls come with stands to help them balance, which is nice, but the stands are lightweight, and don't work particularly well with Marena and Deerlee.

Overall, the Pixlings are basically Enchantimals with better articulation, better hair, and really cute faces.  Which is pretty awesome.  But that analysis ignores the elephant in the room: the excessive plastic packaging and the elaborate reveal activity.  I'll admit that I enjoyed the final effect of the reveal, but I found the instructions to be overly-complicated and bossy.  And the activity is something that could be done with simple, inexpensive household ingredients.  I wish this brand had taken an approach more similar to the Project Mc2 dolls; namely, I wish that the accompanying activity was something that could last for years and be repeated over and over again--not a one-time thrill that will land in the garbage after five minutes.  I hate to think what percentage of the Pixling's retail price is due to the packaging and the reveal gimmick.

So, yeah.  I definitely enjoy the Pixlings, and they'd be a wonderful addition to the doll world...if they cost around $10 and didn't threaten to max out an entire landfill all by themselves.


  1. They are relly cute. I wish Merena had a Mermaid Tail instead of Legs.

  2. I think the only reason people are going crazy over these are the adorable faces and whimsical designs. They really aren't that different than Enchanimals, they just seem much more appealing to most collectors. Anyways, thanks you so much for the in-depth review! I really want one of these because I'm a sucker for this fantasy inspired aesthetic and cute little mini dolls. The packaging is a huge turn-off though, so much waste and the chance of getting the wonkiest doll I've ever seen, like your 2nd Unia. I was going to wait to get them thrifted anyways, so I'm going to be able to avoid that, but it's still a shame. I'm most excited about Marena and Wynter, the snow bunny (who you didn't show, but looks really cute from the promo pics).

  3. Thanks for this review - I'd seen everyone going nuts over these and was thinking of getting a couple, but you're the only person who's actually confirmed the pixelated faces - which are an instant no from me, as it always looks like utter garbage to my eyes. What a waste of cute designs! D:

  4. Excellent review! Thank you for covering these so in-depth. I keep going back and forth on which one I might purchase, and now I've returned to my original inclination of opting for Marena. I'm with you on that tooth, however. Think I might paint over it. ;)

  5. If these were on more articulated bodies and were about 17 inches, I would love these. So, basically an adult collector's doll of fairy creatures,which would be awesome. I see the idea for Merena's mouth - some people (like myself), have a tendency to hold their lips slightly open and you can see ab it of teeth.

  6. I love that you reviewed these dolls, since I've been eyeing them ever since they were announced!

    I first learned about the Magic Mixies brand through the huge cauldron toy that went viral. I won't lie, the reviews I saw of that one made it seem incredibly fun, and the plushies you get with that toy are also extremely cute. It was (and is) a ridiculously expensive toy, however, and I couldn't justify buying it for myself. So that's why I like that there are smaller (and more affordable!) cauldron options with the Mixlings, even though they don't work as well as the big cauldron. I also appreciate that Moose Toys didn't cheap out with the small cauldron Mixlings. I had no clue they came with fun tricks (the magnet one you got seems especially great), and I somehow feel like if these were MGA or Mattel toys, the cauldron would've just revealed a useless plastic figurine, probably leaving glitter all over your house. Maybe it's because they're so incredibly cutesy that a bit of my adult-who-collects-toys shame is returning, but I honestly feel a pretty big urge to buy a a couple of Mixlings, haha. Imagine how cute they would look in my bookcase?!

    The one thing all the Magic Mixies products seem to have going for them is the incredibly strong designs. I don't know who Moose hired to design these, but everything, from the cauldron plushies to the Mixlings and the Pixlings, just looks so pretty and sweet. I guess cute fairy/magical creatures really are my kryptonite, haha! The Pixlings have some issues, to be sure, but I can't shake the feeling that they would look lovely in any doll collection alongside Monster High, Ever After High, Winx, Cave Club, Enchantimals, etc. They're not super versatile, but Moose was extremely clever in taking elements from other (popular) doll brands and perhaps even taking inspiration from the OOAK community, to come up with completely new dolls that are still distinctive and attractive to both kids and adults collectors. I think the Pixlings line is very promising, and as soon as Moose notices the interest from adult collectors, I can see them more or less ditch the potion-making element and start focusing more on improving the dolls.

    The potion-making element seems fun, but the Pixlings potions are not as well-thought out and exciting as the original cauldron magic. (I've seen a couple of reviews in which the blue water got into the doll compartment, yikes.) And though it's nice that Moose offers suggestions on how to reuse the bottles in art projects, I'm not sure that will completely solve the waste issue. I wouldn't personally throw the bottles away, but knowing me, I'd probably plan art projects for them, never actually do those projects, and just have them collect dust in a drawer somewhere -- taking up space that I'd rather use for other things.

  7. Hahahaha, I love the reviews where you document toy activities, always fun. I have very... Uh... Mixed feelings about these dolls, shall we say. A lot of pros and cons! I like their overall appearance and theme. They sort of remind me of the blind box bjd dolls you reviewed recently.

  8. Oh gosh, I didn't know this line was doing dolls! I wanted one of the cauldron pets back when they first came out, but they were (and still are) a bit more money than I can justify spending on that, haha! I would have loved this whole line as a kid, though - the magic theming really speaks to me in a way the Enchantimals don't - which I've been sad about, honestly! I'd otherwise love animal-themed dolls, but something wasn't really "clicking" with me about Enchantimals. The Pixlings are a lot more appealing to me right off the bat, so I'm excited to see where this goes!

    I really like the look of the dolls, though I do wish the face paint was a bit smoother (I'm super picky about that, though, so that's been a problem I have with a lot of toy lines) and I'd prefer if the clothes weren't molded on (a pet peeve of mine since I was a kiddo, lol). But! Rainbow High went through a kinda similar "evolution" from the poopsie pets, to the "Rainbow Surprise" dolls and the fantasy-themed blind boxes, to the fashion dolls now. Maybe we'll end up with some bigger/more detailed dolls in this line later!

    Thank you as always for the detailed review! So many of your reviews have either introduced me to dolls I'd never seen before, or helped me figure out one way or the other whether I did want to buy something. I always love visiting your page and seeing a new post at the top. :)

  9. The soft fantasy aesthetic is really cute, and I appreciate the articulation, but I can't justify paying for that much plastic waste. I really wish you companies would be better on that front.

  10. I love these dolls, I think they are beyond adorable! However, my first doll also had terrible facial screening; poor Marena's eyes had drifted down onto her cheeks! Luckily (since I got a refund for her without having to return the doll), I have some doll repainting experience and so could give her new eyes. Since the dolls are hidden away in their containers, the misaligned facial paint is a really unwelcome surprise...

  11. lurkins here. personally, I think they're much cuter than the enchantimals, which look wooden to me - less lifelike, less engaging. but boy howdy, that packaging - on the mixlings, too! it feels like a symptom of the whole blind-box/magic-reveal fad that's been going for way too long. they could at least have used a bigger portion of that packaging to make the one useful part, the stand, so that it didn't suck so hard. *sigh*

    but I appreciate the little experiment tutorial you provided. who knew?

  12. The designs if these little magical ladies are really sweet, with fun details like the gems, I certainly see the appeal. Especially deerlee, though marina is a close second. I think I would have enjoyed the magical gimmick as a kid, the doll appearing and making the potion seems quite fun, but og man. The *waste* is awful, especially in 2023. Having recipes for other options is a start, but having them completely reusable, or biodegradable, would have been better.

  13. I like that horny Fairy! Lol dad joke aside these are adorable & I see potential for oak artist! Esp wonder how these heads will work with mh body?

  14. Great, comprehensive review - but I just wanted to express my appreciation for the Fleetwood Mac and Huey Lewis song references! Made me laugh out loud!

  15. I was hoping you'd review these!!! I was holding out until you did, in fact. I tried SO HARD to get Deerlee, (purchased minutes ago at my local Target in fact!) but the purple/pink thing is difficult for me. Still, I like the unicorn gal just fine. I feel bad for not doing the potion thing-I just wanted the little doll inside.

    I might break down and order her online. The pixelated faces aren't as bad as Barbie can be in my opinion, and the shelf they'll occupy is too far away for it to bother me. A lot of charm, these girls! Love the review and photos as always. -Mocah

  16. I finally got one of these girls after watching so many video reviews on YT and reading your post here. Wynter was my pixling of choice, and i was so excited for her.
    When opening her i skipped the doll reveal / potion gimmick and just pulled her out of the plastic.
    Now, my disappointment was two-fold - first, the amount of packaging that came with her. Wynter has extra parts that - for some ungodly reason - add a whole carton display package situation in addition to the already plastic on plastic regular packaging of these pixlings.
    And then, sadly, second - my doll came with a displaced eye print as well. It's subtle, nowhere near as bad as the Unia you showed, but i did notice and cannot unsee that the right part of her face somehow doesn't line up right.
    While the reveal feature sure is great fun for the first time you open these, it might also be the reason i won't collect any more pixlings, or only get them second hand. That way, i can both see the doll before adding it to my shelves and avoid having to deal with more plastic to get rid of.

  17. Both of the Unia dolls have eye decal flaws, the first one's just isn't as apparent.
    Yeah, way too much plastic waste, and too much of a chance of a flawed or damaged doll.