Monday, September 18, 2023

Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini Dolls by MGA Entertainment

I was touched by all of the kind comments in the last review!  Kit is doing great and life has calmed down.  I also really enjoyed hearing about your school mascots.  There's such a fun (and occasionally shocking!) variety out there.  Several of you used the comments to help me out, too, which I appreciate.  You identified bodies and showed me how to unlock Addison's full singing feature.  I'm always grateful for your help...and your humor.  Black Kitty's admission that "for the longest time I thought cheerleaders, like zombies, only existed in movies" had me in stitches.  Thank you so much for your contributions.  They are a hugely precious and important part of the blog to me.

This week, as the weather turned a bit colder and it started to feel like fall might actually be on its way, my thoughts returned to the fall of 2021, when I decided to re-start this blog.  The first review I did back then was a Sunday Surprise post featuring a few Na Na Na Surprise dolls.  Now, two years later, MGA has miniature versions of some of their Na Na Na characters!  I love miniature things, and so I was very eager to get my hands on these little dolls.

Today's post was intended to be a Sunday Surprise, but I didn't work quite fast enough to make that happen.  Still, I'll try to retain some of the surprise elements in this review as I de-box dolls from both the first wave and the newly-released second wave of the Na Na Na Surprise Mini lineup:

Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini dolls by MGA Entertainment, $9.99 each.

I'm actually going to de-box six dolls in this review: three from each wave:

That's $60 worth of dolls right there.
MGA has found a nice balance with these dolls in terms of the surprise element.  The packaging is mostly mysterious, with identical boxes that thoroughly hide the enclosed doll.  However, there are subtle little symbols on the boxes, and these give away which character is inside.

For example, in the promotional photos for Series 1 of the mini dolls, you can see a pointy diamond symbol on the front of the unicorn character's box:

The unicorn is named Britney Sparkles, and I think she's adorable.

Here's a closer look at the pointy diamond symbol:

So, basically, you can make the doll a surprise if you want (by ordering online or not memorizing the symbols) but you can also seek out specific characters or avoid repeats by paying close attention to the symbols.

Most of the dolls that I got were genuine surprises, since I ordered them online and didn't know the symbols until recently.  To prolong the suspense, I immediately removed all of the symbol stickers from the boxes:

No way to know who's inside now!
The first wave boxes are bright pink blister packs with rounded edges and cardboard backs:

The plastic is semi-transparent, so you can see that there are several bags packaged inside:

The cardboard back has some text at the top, and drawings of all twelve characters in the series:

Here's a closer look at the characters:

They all look pretty cute to me.  I like the redheaded fox, Roxie Foxy, and Britney Sparkles the best.  I actually really hoped that I would find Britney in one of my boxes, but (spoilers!) I did not.  I can't even find her on eBay, which is weird....and sad.

Let's see who I did get, though!

There's a perforated panel on the back of the package that folded down to reveal...another perforated panel:

Apparently I wasn't aggressive enough with my first attempt.  

The second panel folded down to reveal some pink plastic bags and a collector's sheet:

The collectors sheet has drawings of all twelve dolls again, but this time their names and secret symbols are revealed!

These dolls are miniature versions of characters from Series 1 and 2 of the larger Na Na Na Surprise 2-in-1 dolls, and the symbols for each character are the same.  

For example, the larger version of Britney Sparkles also comes in a box with a pointy diamond on the front:

8-inch Na! Na! Na! Surprise 2-in-1 Britney Sparkles.
Anyway, for those of you interested in the symbols, here's a closer look at each half of the sheet:

Some of the symbols are similar, so you have to pay really close attention.  For example, the little tiger, CJ Cuddles, has a conventional diamond symbol that might easily be confused with Britney's shape.

Here's the other half of the sheet:

Aubrey Heart looks very sweet, and I love Sarah Snuggles' shirt.

Inside the plastic package, I found three plastic bags:

I decided to jump right in and open the largest of the three bags first.

Peeking in, I could see another plastic container and some confetti:

Most of the confetti was stuck to a strip of tape at the top of the plastic container, but that was fine with me because I didn't want confetti all over my floor:

I got confetti all over my floor anyway.
The confetti comes in several different shapes and a few different colors:

I'm not really sure why the doll had to be inside a plastic bag and a plastic carton?  These dolls are not fragile.  They might be breaking new records for the amount of waste surrounding a four-inch doll, though.

The pink plastic carton is semi-transparent, but I still can't tell which character it is!  Perhaps the ear shape is a clue?

Do you want to guess who it is based on the ear shape?  

Judging by the drawings of the characters on the box, it pretty much has to be Roxie Foxy or one of the two cats: Katherine Whiskers or Tuesday Meow:

Tuesday Meow (the black cat) is interesting.  I wonder if she's meant to be like Wednesday Addams?

But I didn't get Tuesday.

I got Roxie Foxy!  Yay!

She was my second favorite from looking at the box, and I got her just by chance!  I feel pretty lucky.  

Her symbol is a triangle:

Roxie has messy, bright red hair, lovely green eyes, and a fuzzy orange fox hat:

Let's see what's inside one of the smaller bags.

Ooh, I see something that looks like a fox tail peeking out!

I found a red dress and a fox boa:

The fox boa is a little odd.  At least there isn't a fox head on one side.  Let's assume it's meant to be fake fur.

Finally, I cut open the smallest of the three plastic bags:

I see fishnet!
This bag had a pair of shoes and some soft fishnet socks inside:

It's interesting that all of the clothing is vinyl except for the socks.  They looks pretty cute, though.

The shoes are adorable.  They are bright red sandals with black soles and painted faces on the toes:

Roxie is unable to stand without her shoes because she has tiny feet with raised heels:

So, in order to get some good photos of her body and articulation, I had to put her shoes and socks on:

I had to be careful not to poke her toes right through the netting!
With her shoes and socks, Roxie balances quite well:

She has five points of articulation and painted red underwear.  The underwear has a basic design and consists of panties and a strapless camisole or bra.

The underwear on the equivalent eight-inch doll is more risqué.  Here's my eight-inch version of Roxie:

Eight-inch Roxie Foxy doll.
This Roxie has a fabric-covered body just like the larger dolls that I looked at in 2021.

But you can see that her printed underwear is elaborate, with full fishnet stockings and a lace-topped push-up bra with a diamond accent:

Na Na Na Surprise dolls have actually been removed from the shelves in several British stores after there was parental backlash to this style of underwear.  I have to admit that I would feel uncomfortable giving this doll to a young child.  The cute fox theme and fuzzy hat suggest a different kind of toy.

Fortunately, the mini dolls all have plain, single-color undergarments and are less likely to be unpalatable to parents.

From the back, you can see that Roxie has long, straight, bright red hair.  The hair is hard to brush and control, but the fiber feels nice.  MGA tends to choose really nice hair fibers:

Because of the shape of the hat, and because the hat is glued permanently to the head, the hair has a tendency to split apart down the middle in back, leaving a gap that's hard to eliminate.

This is what the hair looks like if I don't make an effort to even it out:

The hair around Roxie's face is also hard to manage.  It's trapped under the fox hat, so it can't be moved around very much:

There's a section of hair that's pulled across Roxie's forehead and secured over her right ear.  You can peek in under the hat and see the clear rubber band that holds this hair in place:

The problem is that the hairs from this section can pull loose from the rubber band, and there's no easy way to get them back in place.

I wish that the hat was removable, but it's still very cute.  The flocked texture feels soft and fuzzy, and there are some colored details--like the brown and pink ears, and the little stripes of white on the sides:

The hat frames Roxie's face nicely, too, highlighting those enormous green eyes and puckered lips:

The eyes have multicolored green and yellow irises with very realistic reflective dots.  There is some mild pixelation in the paint, but it's not as bad as the Pixlings or the Zombies 2 dolls that I just looked at.

The eyes are definitely the standout feature of the face.  They have the illusion of a lot of depth and shine, and the detail and precision are great for such a small doll.  I didn't not notice any defects.

The lips have some white shimmer marks painted onto a coral-colored base.  At first the marks looked like scuffs to me, but they're intentional:

Roxie's head is ball-jointed, which I love.  All doll heads should be ball-jointed.  This means that she can look around in just about any direction.  

She can look down or up:

And to the sides:

Her head also tips back and forth:

How do I know for sure that Roxie has a ball-jointed head, you might ask? 

Because the head pops right off--just like it does on MGA's L.O.L. Surprise dolls.  We can easily see the ball and socket:

Easy for you.
The body is also way easier to manage without the messy hair, so I'll leave the head off for a little while.  Roxie won't mind.

Here's the body from the back--without all of the hair in the way:

You can see the back side of the red underwear, and also some factory marks, including a 2022 MGA copyright:

The shoulders have simple rotation, so they can only spin around:

The hips are also rotational, but they're weird.  I remember this from the larger Na Na Na dolls.

Roxie can start to do front-to-back splits (although she can't balance upright in this pose):

But the more her legs spin around, the more it looks like she's doing side-to-side splits...

And then the legs swivel around to face in the opposite direction--still in the pseudo side-to-side split pose:

This means that Roxie has one of the doll traits that I find most annoying: she can't sit.

She can start to slide down into a chair:

And this looks fine for a while...

And then it all goes horribly wrong:

So, even with her large head back in place, this is the best that Roxie can do in terms of sitting:

So, she doesn't have many posing options, but her head flexibility is great.

After getting a good look at her articulation, I let Roxie try on her red dress:

Like the L.O.L. Surprise clothing, this dress is made out of vinyl and has a slit opening in the back:

To complete her outfit, Roxie has the strange double-tailed fox stole:

I actually couldn't get the stole around Roxie's neck while her head was in place, so I removed her head again.  

The stole slipped on very easily without the head:

I added the head back again, but the bulk of the stole makes Roxie's hair stick out all over the place:

Especially in the back:

The hair looks best if I part it in back and move it off to each side of the stole, like this:

As cute as these dolls are, the permanent hats create a lot of issues with the hair.

In terms of size, mini Roxie is about half as tall as her eight-inch counterpart:

Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini Roxie Foxy (left) and Na! Na! Na! Surprise 2-in-1 Roxie Foxy (right).
Both dolls have messy hair, but mini Roxie looks more put together overall.  The larger Roxie has wrinkled fabric on her neck, bowed legs that I had to heat into a straighter position, rumpled clothing, and a fox stole that looks like roadkill.

Because she'll never get her own review, here's another picture of the larger Roxie:

Her hair is prone to messiness and flyaways, but the fiber is nice and there's a lot of it!  Roxie's bendy, hollow limbs make her much less stable than her mini, and she is just barely able to balance on her own.

Large Roxie has pretty green eyes, but the detail and definition is better on the mini dolls.

The larger dolls have permanent hats, too, which is a bummer.  The hair is sewn directly onto the edge of the hat:

I think that the permanent hats are disappointing in both scales, but easier to justify on the smaller dolls. That said, because the larger dolls have soft hats, they don't have as many problems with their hair being pushed into strange positions.

Another interesting size comparison is with a traditional L.O.L. Surprise doll:

L.O.L. Surprise doll (left) and Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini doll (right).
The Na Na Na Minis are significantly taller than the L.O.L. dolls, which I think is nice.  I find the tiny L.O.L. bodies difficult to dress and maneuver.  I really like Roxie's four-inch size.

She's still a very small doll, though!  For instance, she's smaller than a Magic Mixies Pixling like Dearlee:

Magic Mixies Pixling (left) and Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini doll (right).
She's also shorter than Mattel's Barbie Extra Mini dolls:

Barbie Extra Mini doll (left) and Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini doll (right)
And she's way shorter than the Enchantimals, like her fellow fox-like friend, Felicity:

Enchantimals Felicity Fox (left) and Na! Na! Na! Surprise Mini Roxie Foxy (right)
My first impression of the Na Na Na Surprise Mini dolls was good!  I like Roxie's fox-themed character, especially her bright red hair and pretty green eyes.  I also really love that she has a flexible ball-jointed head.  I wish that the cute animal caps were removable, though.  It's really hard to manage the hair without being able to remove the hat, and I fear Roxie's hairstyle will just get messier and messier over time.  I also wish that the hips had better articulation.  I find it frustrating when a doll can't do something as simple as sit in a chair.  And of course the excessive plastic waste with these toys is tragic.  But I don't expect much else from MGA at this point.

Roxie was feeling lonely and was eager to free her friends from their boxes, so let's not keep her waiting any longer.

Will you be my friend?
Because of the little symbols on the packages, I knew that I wasn't gong to find a duplicate this time around, but I had no idea who was inside:

And I still wasn't completely sure who it was when I was looking at the inner plastic carton:

There are little clues, though, like the absence of pointy ears.  Can any of you tell who this is already?

Let's go back to the picture from the box:

The absence of prominent ears makes it seems likely to be Minna Moody (the black sheep), Nina Nanners (the pink monkey), or Michael Manchester (the dog).  But I can see a bra and panties through the carton, so it's probably not Michael. 

I won't keep you in suspense any longer.  

Here she is!

It's Minna Moody!
She has cute little droopy sheep ears and purple underwear that matches her hair:

Minna's symbol is a square:

It's hip to be square.
I like the name Minna, although it makes me think of fish, not sheep.

Minna's outfit doesn't have anything to do with sheep, either, but I really like it.  She has a tee shirt, shorts,  shoes, and socks:

The tee shirt is black with the word "misunderstood" printed in white.  I guess most black sheep are misunderstood:

The jean shorts have a lot of detail, including a red plaid shirt that's wrapped around the waist.

Both the tee and the shorts have slits in back, although the slit in the tee goes all of the way down and the slit in the shorts is only at the top:

The shoes are black, with painted Union Jacks on both sides of each shoe:

Here's Minna in her full outfit:

Minna's purple hair has a small amount of wave in the fiber, which makes it feel thicker than Roxie's hair.  It's really nice.  It also doesn't have an obvious gap in back.

Minna has purple eyebrows to match her hair, and bright turquoise-blue eyes with hints of yellow and purple:

Her eyes are very pretty.  It also looks like she has more definition in her lips than Roxie, but I think it's just that the paint is darker and there's some lip liner:

Minna can't move very well in her clothing.  Her shirt pulls apart in back and lifts up when she moves her arms:

But I think she's really cute and I might even like her better than Roxie:

Here are the two first wave girls together:

Mini Minna Moody (left) and Roxie Foxy (right).
Minna has a slightly lighter skin tone than Roxie.  I like Roxie's hat better, with all of the color detail and those cute ears, but I like Minna's outfit and hair better.  As beautiful as that red color is, Roxie's hair looks thin and messy by comparison.

There's still one more first wave doll to unwrap, though!  Who could it be?

To change things up, this time I'll see if you can guess just by looking at the outfit:

Maybe this is too easy.  There's a banana-themed shirt, and a somewhat ugly pink and blue striped skirt with leaves all over it.  There's also a pair of sandals with worried animal faces on the toes.

Here's a closer look at the shoes:

I love the woven detail in the heels of these shoes, but it's hard to tell what the animal faces are meant to be.  They look like bears or pigs...with ears coming out of their cheeks.

The group picture gives away who it is, if you hadn't already guessed:

It's Nina Nanners, the pink pig!
Here's everything that was in the package:

This doll did not come with socks.
Nina's symbol is a cloud:

Why not a banana?
I know that Nina is supposed to have a monkey theme, but the ears on her hat are not very simian:

More like a pink sheep. Or an aquatic gopher.
She has really thin pink hair that has a gap in the back:

Nina's eyes have less detail than Minna and Roxie's.  They're all one shade of blue, with some white iris lines and the standard, mirrored reflective dots:

I have yet to see a facial defect on any of these dolls.

Nina is my least favorite of all of the dolls so far.  Her hat doesn't read monkey to me, and the neon pink color hurts my eyes and clashes with the more subtle, salmon pink of the hair.  The outfit is also somewhat forgettable.  The shirt is very cute, but I don't feel like it matches the skirt.  Or maybe it's just that I don't like the design of the skirt very much.  The shoes are fine, though.

So I was feeling lukewarm about Nina.  And I was also feeling curious about the hats on these dolls.  I mean, I know that there's no hair under the hats.  It's pretty obvious.  But I wanted to see for myself.

So I peeled Nina's hat away from her head.  This was easier than I expected.  It was held down by only a thin layer of glue:

It still hurts, Emily!
And yep.  The hair is extremely sparse, with just a single row of rooting that stops above the middle of Nina's eyebrows on both sides:

This is so embarrassing.
The hat doesn't come all of the way off because it's rooted into the head with a small tab of vinyl.  This tab could easily be cut, but I decided to leave it in place:

Thank you for not doing brain surgery, I guess.
Here's one more view:

Is this humiliation really necessary?
And then the hat can be rolled back down into position like nothing ever happened:

Sure.  Nothing ever happened.
Nina may not be my favorite, but she helped satisfy my curiosity about the hats, and so I'm grateful to her for that.

Take your gratitude and just...urgh!
Here are the three Series 1 girls together.  I wish Britney Sparkles was in the mix, but I'll find her eventually:

From left: Minna Moody, Nina Nanners, and Roxie Foxy.
This trio was very excited to see if their Series 2 sisters (or brothers?) are as fun as they are!

The Series 2 dolls come in sparkly teal boxes that are the same size and shape as the Series 1 packaging:

And, once again, the back of the box has a picture of all six dolls in the series:

These characters are all mini versions of the larger Series 3 and 4 dolls:

The panda and the poodle stand out to me.  I also like the two bunnies with their colorful eye makeup and 70s outfits.

The characters appear again on the collector's sheet.  This sheet is arranged differently from the Series 1 version, but you can still find all of the dolls' symbols and names:

They've made it more difficult to see each doll's name this time around; they're listed at the bottom alongside the symbols--not next to each character.

You have to be even more careful looking at the symbols in this group, because there are two cow characters, each with a cow head symbol, and two cat characters, each with a cat head symbol.  There are also two dog characters, with bone and bow tie symbols that are quite similar.

There are three mystery bags in the Series 2 boxes, and these are all blue.  The largest bag has a metallic glitter design that matches the box:

Let's peek inside that large bag!

I see a ton of glitter stuck to the tape again, and I also see that the plastic carton is transparent this time around, so it's pretty easy to tell which doll I got right away.

It's the Dalmatian character, Dottie DeMil:

Dottie has a fuzzy Dalmatian hat over two-toned hair.  She also has bright red underwear and matching red gloves.

Here's Dottie's picture on the collector's sheet:

I like her a lot, but she's definitely channeling Cruella de Vil, with her name, the two-toned hair, the red gloves, the black dress, and of course the fur coat.

Dottie's outfit includes a dress, a flocked coat, shoes, and black fishnet socks:

Here's a better look at the coat and dress:

I understand why the coat has a Dalmatian print given Dottie's theme, but the obvious reference to Cruella de Vil makes this feel a little icky.  How many puppies did it take?

The shoes are black and white pumps with red soles:

The red paint drips over into the white portion of the shoe in several areas:

I got Dottie dressed, but the bulk of the fishnet socks causes the shoes to fit poorly and warp.  As a result, Dottie can't stand up on her own:

Shoe failure.
The shoes fit really well without the socks, so I set the socks aside.  

Now Dottie can stand on her own!

Ta da!
Here she is from the back:

The coat is very flexible, and so despite its size and bulk, it's easy to put on and take off.

But the sleeves prevent Dottie from moving her arms when she's wearing the coat.

I wish that the spots on the hat matched the size of the spots on the coat, but that's a small criticism.

Dottie has mint green eyes with a bit of lighter green eyeshadow.

Her bright red lips match her outfit nicely, and I love her little beauty mark!

Dottie's hair comes styled into two ringlets, one white and one black, that hang down the sides of her body.  I like this style because the ringlets keep the hair under control, and they also accommodate the hair's natural tendency to split apart in back.

I like the Dottie doll even more than I like the drawings of her character.  Her hair is more attractive and easier to manage than both Roxie and Nina's hair, and her outfit feels more elaborate than some of the Series 1 dolls, too.  The flocking on the coat is puppy-soft, but it's too bad that those fishnet socks don't work with the shoes.

I find the reference to Cruella de Vil a little off-putting and strange.  As I mentioned, it makes the Dalmatian coat seem creepy.  I'm also not typically a fan of two-toned hair like this, and feel like it was done as a direct copy of Cruella.  But one de Vil reference that I can appreciate is those red gloves!  They look amazing:

Here are all of the dolls so far:

From left: Minna Moody, Nina Nanners, Dottie DeMil, and Roxie Foxy.
Dottie has the same pale complexion as Minna, and those two dolls have outfits that stand out to me as being more impressive as well.  Poor Nina is the odd ball out in this group.

All of the girls were eager to rip into the next Series 2 box!

This time I'll show you the shoes first and see if you can guess the character based only on those:

Here's the collector's sheet again if you need a refresher:

Any guesses?

I peeked into the large bag and saw a lot of black and white:

This narrows it down to Juli Joyful or Bianca Bengal, both of whom look awesome.  Bianca would be especially great because she has a different skin tone from the other dolls I have.

But, it's Juli Joyful!  She's a panda character:

Her symbol is a section of bamboo:

I'm a little confused by Juli.  She represents a panda, and pandas are native to China.  But her shoes look like geta, which are traditional Japanese sandals.  Maybe there are similar sandals in China?  This is certainly not my area of expertise.

Juli's outfit is the simplest of them all so far, with just a dress and a pair of shoes.  But the dress is large and pretty:

I love the cherry blossom design!  Also very Japanese.

The dress looks like it has two layers: an opaque blue outer layer and a translucent blue underskirt.  The underskirt is actually just an indentation at the bottom of the dress:

Here's Juli in her outfit:

Her dark brown hair is in the same ringlet style as Dottie.  I like this style much better than the straight, stringy-looking hair on dolls like Nina and, to a lesser extent, Roxie.

The dress closes a little sloppily in the back:

Juli has light brown eyes with hints of yellow mixed in.  Her purple eyeshadow goes nicely with her dress:

Juli's eye paint looks more faded and pixelated than some of the other characters, which is disappointing:

These dolls can't balance on their own in a running or walking pose, but the nice thing about Juli is that her dress is so wide and stiff, it can actually hold her up in a walking position!

She's tipped over to the side quite a bit, sure, but at least she offers a bit of posing variety.

Here are the two Series 2 dolls together:

Dottie DeMil and Juli Joyful.
Juli's skin tone is the same as Roxie and Nina's, so she has a slightly darker complexion than Dottie.  As much as I like Dottie, I like Juli even more.  I enjoy the uniform color of her hair, and that dress is lovely.  I just wish that her eye paint was a bit more vibrant and crisp.

So far, Series 2 is quite impressive!

Here are all of my girls so far:

It's a fun group!  It's impossible not to love Roxie, with her sassy fox ears and bright red hair, but my favorites so far are Juli and Minna.

The group was getting a little rowdy at this point, and actually booted the last doll out of its box so that they could play with the packaging:

Row, row row your boat...
Here's the last surprise of the day.  Can you guess which doll this is by peeking into the bag?

Here's the collector's sheet again to help you out:

The first thing I saw in that bag was horns.  There are only two dolls with horns: Tommy Torro and Annabelle Mooshe.  But Annabelle's head is white, not black, so it has to be Tommy!

Here he is:

I'm so glad I got a boy!  And Tommy has a new skin tone, too, which is awesome.

Tommy has a bull head symbol with a little nose ring detail that's very hard to see:

Tommy has an athletic outfit that consists of a red and white tank top with matching shorts.  Both the shirt and the shorts say "Malibu" on them:

The Chicago Malibu Bulls.
Tommy also has matching red sneakers, with white and black painted details:

The shoes say "Bull" on the outside:

The paint on these shoes is quite messy.

Here's Tommy in his full outfit:

I really like the jet-black bull hat with its white horns.  And the way Tommy's hair peeks out around the hat is super-cute, too.

Here are the hat and the outfit from the back:

I was having trouble with Tommy, though, because the fit of his shoes is way too loose, and so every time I moved him, his shoes would fall right off.

See the big gap around that ankle?
Fortunately, I had Dottie's black fishnet socks hanging around unused, so I gave them to Tommy.  They make the shoes fit perfectly, and they even match the outfit!

Fishnet to the rescue!
I wonder if Tommy was supposed to come with his own socks?  There aren't enough photos of him online at this point for me to compare my doll with others.

I think Tommy has an adorable face.  His face mold is different from the girls, with a wider mouth and differently-shaped eyes.  Tommy's eyes are light brown with hints of yellow.  They're a lot like Juli's eyes:

My doll's lip paint is offset from the mold quite a bit.  This exposes an unpainted section of the lower lip on Tommy's right side.

It's a bummer that Tommy is either missing his socks or has shoes that don't fit him.  The lip paint defect is also distracting.  But I'm really glad that I got a chance to look at one of the boy characters.  Tommy's face mold and skin tone add some welcome diversity to the series.  All of the girls have the same face mold, so I was getting a little tired of seeing the same expression over and over.

Tommy's athletic outfit is unimaginative compared to some of the girls' clothing, and the paint work is messy--especially on the shoes.  But I like the black bull hat, and appreciate how the color of the horns matches Tommy's hair so well:

He's a cutie.
The girls were a little surprised to see a boy in their midst at first:

But they quickly warmed up to him, especially Roxie and Dottie.  Those two can be quite flirtatious.

The dolls I enjoy most from this review are probably Juli, Minna, and Tommy:

These three all have different skin tones and hair colors, and I like the diversity in their outfits, too.

Here's the whole group one more time.  Which ones are your favorites?

Bottom line?  The number of dolls that I purchased for this review probably gives you an idea of how I feel about them.  I originally intended to look at only one or two dolls, but after I de-boxed Roxie, I was hooked.  

I was never a fan of the larger Na Na Na Surprise dolls.  They're made mostly out of plastic, but try to masquerade as cloth dolls.  The resulting bodies are difficult to pose and balance, and can't even sit down.  Also, most of the larger dolls that I reviewed have no surprise element whatsoever--just wasteful packaging gimmicks.  And the original dolls have printed undergarments that make them a dubious choice for younger kids.  The mini dolls avoid several of these issues.  First of all, they're made out of vinyl, with no fabric facade.  Also, they balance well on their own (if they're wearing shoes) and have a size that makes them easy to manage.  The surprise element is handled nicely, too: there are little symbols on each box that give away what character is inside, so you can hunt for a specific doll or avoid repeats by learning the symbols.  However, if you ignore the symbols, you can treat yourself to a nice surprise.  To be fair, some of the larger dolls use this system, too.  Another advantage to the Minis is that they have brightly-colored, painted underwear with no designs or details that might be considered offensive.

Some of the issues with the larger Na Na Na Surprise dolls persist in these Minis.  For example, the leg articulation does not allow the dolls to sit, or even to balance in a walking position.  Also, like some of the larger dolls, the Minis have hats that are permanently attached to their heads.  This reduces the versatility of the dolls dramatically, and makes the hair difficult to manage.  The dolls with straight hair, like Roxie and Nina, have gaps in their hair that are hard to cover.  Also, the single row of rooted hair can look thin and scraggly.  The dolls with wavy hair (like Minna) or ringlets (like Dottie and Juli) look better.  The last problem is the packaging.  Like all MGA dolls, these Minis have way too much plastic waste for their size.  The dolls and their outfits are not fragile in the slightest, and yet they still come packaged inside two plastic containers and three bags.

I also think it's interesting to contrast these Na Na Na Minis to MGA's Little Outrageous Littles.  The L.O.L. dolls have remained fairly strong players in the doll market for almost a decade...but I think the Na Na Na Surprise Minis are better.  First of all, I find the Na Na Na faces more relatable and appealing.  Their highly-detailed eyes are more engaging to me than the relatively blank stares of the L.O.L. crew.  Also, I love the size of the Na Na Na Minis.  Because of their extra two inches in height, the joints and clothing are both much easier to manage.  It's also possible to pack more detail and flexibility into the outfits, which I enjoy.  It's like MGA took the best ideas from their Na Na Na concept and merged it with some good elements of the L.O.L. design.

For the past year or so, I haven't seen any Na Na Na dolls on the shelves of my local Target.  That's quite a contrast to how things looked back in 2021.  Back then, the Na Na Na products took up almost as much shelf space as Rainbow High.  I had started to wonder if the brand had been discontinued, or perhaps if some of the same complaints that impacted the British market had taken effect here.  But I'm happy to see that the brand has persisted--and found a new direction.  The Minis appear to be popular, too.  I even saw a display of these tiny newcomers at Target last week.  Perhaps the success of the mini dolls will send an important message to MGA, relevant to both their products and their packaging: often times, less is more.


  1. That black sheep character is my favorite, her outfit is adorable. These are sweet little dolls. I agree about the underwear of the bigger ones seeming rather risque. I think that to a younger audience they may not parse the same way, as fishnet stockings and other articles of clothing that I see as risque have become much more mainstream among young celebrities and as a part of mainstream daily wear fashion, but I would share your discomfort about whether the toy is totally appropriate, because they still have certain connotations to me. I know there has been a fair amount of controversy about some MGA dolls regarding whether their clothes were inappropriate for children's toys. It's interesting to see how dolls capture changing fashion trends, some better than others. Thank you for the post, glad to hear you and Kit have been doing okay!

  2. There is something about the smaller versions that makes them more appealing than than larger counterparts, with very few exceptions. I recently became enamoured with mini Bratz even though regular dolls never appealed to me. The sheep is my favourite from today's group. I still have some beef with their eyes. If you like the eyes, look away now because you won't unsee what I'm about to point out.
    There is some improvement in the eye design, and the small scale makes the issue less noticeable. But their reflections, like the whole iris, is basically mirrored. It just looks like such a lazy shortcut. They could easily flip the iris before adding the reflection, and that would not add extra work.

  3. I worry that you're going to get me hooked on these surprise dolls. I got my first L.O.L mini a couple of weeks ago and now I'm contemplating these! Silly of me, because I get so much vicarious enjoyment out of your reviews that I shouldn't need more toys of my own.

  4. This was a really funny review, thanks! I think Dotty is wearing an animal print and the reference is probably to a live action Cruella, so... Any puppy are damaged for her outfit! She only loves Dalmatians and fashion!

    I personally don't care so much about the dolls underwear or clothes because I think for the kids it's only a creative outfit and younger people don't associate it with the same that older people...

    My favourite maybe it's Juli, for me it's a girl who loves Japanese culture and pandas! Everyone loves pandas, isn't?

    They all are cuties.

    (I'm sorry for my English)

    1. * I mean: "any puppy were harmed during confection of this outfit"... Or some like that (I'm Spanish).

  5. Ahhhh they're so cute! I thought the original dolls were adorable, but their weird cloth body put me off for good. There's something about the smaller size combined with the eyes that read Bratz Lil Angelz to me, so I'm probably a bit biased since I loved those guys so much! Juli and Tommy are completely my favorite, with Tommy maybe even being my favorite! His eyes and lips are just so sweet together. He looks a little pouty and vulnerable which always make me feel partial to a doll!

  6. Yes, Tommy Torro should have socks. They’re cute black athletic socks with white and red stripes at the top. In the past you may have been able to contact MGA to send the socks. Nowadays I think they replace the product (small dolls) at random with a different character. Which is silly because it doesn’t fix the actual problem.

  7. MGA so often puts out artsy, trendy, edgy dolls that are truly stunning, so it stinks that they so often also dress very immature-looking dolls in mature-looking clothing. So few of their teenage doll lines have dolls with features more like children or toddlers, and even some of their actual toddler dolls are super inappropriately dressed. I wish they weren't so icky so often.

    1. *so MANY of their teen dolls look much younger, not so FEW. Typo.

  8. okay so, I can't read "the fox hat" over and over without thinking of the old joke... naturally I had to share it. I also can't get past the weirdness of that super-70s font they use for the NaNaNa logo. so out-of-place. (and I agree with you and the other commenters about the, uh, edgy fashion choices...)

  9. According to a cursory Wikipedia search, the Geta did indeed originate in China but were eventually phased out. As such it's current usage in Japan is most likely what people associate it with.

    China and Taiwan do also celebrate cherry blossom season, but are perhaps more famous for their plum blossoms (it's even the national flower of Taiwan!). I can see how a designer can get them mixed up; the flowers are very similar. In the end there's quite a lot of cultural overlap between China & Japan so it's not too surprising or even wrong when certain elements get mixed up.

  10. These are waaaay more appealing at a tiny size, it's amazing how a similar concept can sometimes just execute better when it wee.

    The detail they got on these is very neat, I agree with your top 3, with Mina being my fav. Very impressed with her outfit.

    Hopefully they time down the wasteful packaging and do something different with the legs' articulation, because otherwise they really feel like winners!

  11. I don't understand why they don't have cloth clothes. I know they are tiny, but the Barbie Extra Mini Minis are just as small, and they have pretty good clothes! I know you only compared the Minis, but I remember when you showed the Mini Minis that they had cloth clothes too. This rubber clothes thing sucks! Their shoes are all cute though.

  12. These are really fun for their size! And I appreciate that the symbols let you choose a character.
    As soon as you mentioned the hats being attached, I knew that whichever doll struck your fancy less would fall victim to an experiment. At least the only damage on Nina was to her dignity.
    I will admit, since all of the regular size NaNa dolls I have were found secondhand, it is nice that such an integral part of the design stays with the doll. I can't say the same about the shoes.

  13. The leg articulation is a shame, but the chubby shape of the body is so cute! And the ball joint is great… I really would love to use the body for a nicer head. Or maybe reroot a head so it has better hair? And cloth clothes obviously. This type of body would be really cute with one of those Ali express knockoff heads!!

    1. I wonder what if they can swap heads with an LOL doll?

  14. I never paid much attention to Na! Na! Na! because the dolls simply didn't really appeal to me. These mini dolls are actually the first ones that caught my eye. I just think they're very cute and, indeed, much more appealing than their LOL OMG cousins. Their small size make them nice little additions to collections without making you feel like you're committing to a whole new brand (something which I definitely shouldn't do, considering my lack of space haha). I also like their hard bodies more than the wannabe soft bodies, and the vinyl clothing reminds me of good old Fashion Polly. The biggest disappointments, however, are the lack of articulation/proper sitting ability, and the whole hair/hat situation. Those elements, combined with the price (which I think isn't actually that much higher than in the US, but still too much for a doll with such limited capabilities, in my opinion) are deterring me from purchasing. It also doesn't help that they don't come with stands. Couldn't they have used all that plastic from the packaging to make stands instead? Hahaha. They might balance fairly well, but I don't trust those tiny feet and shoes, and I've already had a couple of dolls without stands plummet from my shelves :( If I ever come across them for a very good deal, I won't pass them up (like you, Britney Sparkles is my absolute favorite), but I'm not actively searching for them.