Friday, March 1, 2024

Blind Box Mermaids by Penny's Box and LuckyDoll

I was happy to read in the comments of the World Peacekeepers review that some of you are as excited about Lena and Ian's relationship as I am.  Lena doesn't really want me to talk too much about it here yet, but I can tell you that they've been chatting on the phone and have made tentative plans to get together again.  I hope the romance can stay alive without the beautiful sunsets of Culebra!

Speaking of Culebra, before we went on our trip, I hunted around for water-themed dolls that I could bring with me.  The best options were some blind box BJD mermaids that looked like they might be waterproof.  I've written a lot of reviews of this type of doll lately, namely the Street Series Adou boys and Natural Wonderland Antu girls from Penny's Box, and the Come4Free Bonnie dolls.  But I figured it couldn't hurt to explore one more style of blind box BJD.  

This time around I'm going to introduce a little competition into the mix by comparing the Penny's Box interpretation of a mermaid to similarly-sized mermaid characters from LuckyDoll.  This is a bit of a surprise-themed post since I'm not going to reveal which mermaids I got right away, but the timing didn't quite work out for a Sunday Surprise.  Nevertheless, here are the two contestants, still hidden away inside their boxes:

Tidal Secret Language by Penny's Box ($39.99) and Mermaid Chuchu by LuckyDoll ($29.99).

Right off the bat, there's a pretty big price difference between these two dolls--especially since the LuckyDoll mermaids can be found on sale for $19.99 these days, but the Penny's Box discounts are not as good ($32.99 was the best I could find).  Nearly $40 is a lot to pay for a blind box doll, and I'm more comfortable with the $20 options.

Still, the Tidal Secret Language boxes are beautiful and tempting, and the featured doll is lovely:

I like the look of those long molded braids, but I wonder if they interfere with the doll's articulation?  Maybe I'll get that character and we can see!

One side of the box has small photographs of all of the different dolls, and the other side has some text:

I can't read the text, but it looks about the right length to be this little blurb from the promotional materials:

I do want to hear the story!
It's a pretty little poem-type thing, and it has more verses that are associated with each different doll.  Here are all of the possible dolls:

The first two are named Shimmer and Jellyfish.  Shimmer's dress looks like a flower, and Jellyfish's dress looks like a jellyfish, which fits with the little poem:

Shimmer (left) and Jellyfish (right).
Shimmer's verse of the poem is as follows:

That's nice.
And Jellyfish's poem is this:

I DO like you just because it's you, Jellyfish.  Don't worry.  However, and I don't mean to be rude, but jellyfish can have their own color.  I especially like the orange ones:

That's a lot of color.
The next two dolls are Dawn and Leaf:

Dawn (left) and Leaf (right).
I really like Leaf and her green color scheme.

Dawn's section of the poem is getting into cryptic territory, though:

The island that nobody cares about?  That's sad.  And I didn't think that mermaids had wings.  But more importantly, what does "kiss the storm about the fate" mean?  Is it supposed to be "kiss the storm about the face?"  Not that that makes any more sense.  I'm confused.

Leaf is also confused:

She's just a little shell who likes sleeping in.  I can relate.  But if she's a shell, why is her name Leaf?  So many questions.

The last two dolls are Ruppia and Cang Coral:

Ruppia (left) and Cang Coral (right).
Cang Coral??  I hear you asking.  Well, yes.  That's what I think it says in her promotional shots, anyway:

Don't get distracted by the removable underwear.
That font makes it look like Gang Goral, but I think it's supposed to be Cang Coral.  

The problem is, I can only see Gang Coral every time I look at that picture, and then I think of a gangster coral, which is a weird visual.

Say hello to my little friend.
Anyway, Ruppia's verse is by far the deepest:

That's a fair question for a fish.
But Cang's poem makes me worry:

Maybe the gang coral got them.
The last doll is a mystery:

This sort of thing usually drives me nuts because I'm dying to know what the doll looks like, but in this case it's quite easy to find pictures of the secret doll online. 

Scroll quickly if you don't want spoilers!

She's named Tide and has two different face plates and a beautiful ornate headdress.

Her dress looks amazing, too.
Tide finishes out the poem:

I feel like there could be a whole seminar on understanding this part of the poem.  Like, are the blue eyes a metaphor for the sky, and giving birth to fresh vitality is a description of the tide washing things clean?  Or did this girl fall for a guy with blue eyes and have a baby?

I'm more interested in the description of Tide's skin color, though.  It's "a special white, the same color as the wall."  The expression "white as a wall" should be a thing.  Like, then Snow White might have been Wall White, which sounds pretty badass.  And Mary Had a Little Lamb could have gone like this:

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as wall,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb went with, y'all

Okay, I'm getting out of control.  Let's get back to the box, shall we?  The back is fairly boring, with some text and QR codes:

The top of the box has a pull tab that tears away so that the flaps can be opened.  Do you see a hint of color in the box?

I do!
I see a lot of red!

That can only be Ruppia:

Ruppia comes with a dress, a bikini top, extra hands, a pamphlet, and a clear collectors card.

My doll's card was printed askew and is lopsided and out-of-focus:

That's too bad.
The pamphlet is large and is crammed with information.  I'm not really sure what the front side is describing--perhaps just the body features of the standard Penny's Box dolls?

The back has detailed instructions for how to remove the head pieces, attach the bikini, and replace the hands:

Ruppia's accessories all come in little plastic bags:

At first glance, her dress looks gorgeous!  I was excited to get my hands on it, but decided to look at Ruppia herself first.

Because Ruppia has a fish tail, she can't really balance on her own:

Fish out of water.
She can prop herself up on one arm in a slightly awkward-looking pose:

For $40, I wish she'd come with a water-themed stand.  That would have been a great tool for display.

I was able to hold her with my hand to get a clearer look at her face and head.  She has fancy red printed eyes with light pupils that look similar to other Antu doll eyes:

The pale pupils bother me a little, but when I played around with digitally darkening them, I realized that I prefer the light color!
I am born in darkness.
Ruppia's hair is cherry red, with pale blue tips and shaggy bangs that surround a red horn.  

She has a molded criss-cross part in the back, and a coiled bun on either side of her head:

There are loose ringlets of hair in front of her fin-like ears:

Ruppia's upper body is the same as the other Antu dolls that I've reviewed.  She has elastic-strung joints in her neck, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.  Her wrists aren't very flexible, but her elbows are double-jointed, so she can touch her face pretty easily and rest her hand on her hip:

And then of course, she has a long segmented tail instead of legs!

The tail has five joints and some molded detail.  You can see the elastic stringing pretty clearly through the tail:

The tail allows Ruppia to sit in a chair, but she's not very secure in this position.  She needs her hands and tail fin to balance her:

Mermaids don't really need chairs, though.
Included in the bag with the extra hands was a pair of clear fins:

The extra hands are great, but I've never gotten around to replacing these blind box BJD hands.  It looks like something that could go horribly wrong.

The fins are easy to use, though.  They snap into the top of Ruppia's tail with ball and socket joints:

The fins fall out fairly easily, so I left them behind when I took Ruppia to Culebra.

After playing around with Ruppia for a while, I realized that her four tail segments allow her to balance on her own:

She's not super-stable like this, but it was enough to allow full body shots without my hands in the way.

Next, I took apart Ruppia's head pieces for closer inspection.  Just like other Penny's Box dolls (and similar to Nendoroids and Nendoroid dolls), the hair is in two parts that can be pulled away from the face:

The face itself attaches to the body by way of a plate at the top of the neck:

Here's Ruppia with her head fully disassembled:

With the hair out of the way, it's easier to get a close-up of the facial screening:

I like the subtle blush on Ruppia's cheeks, and the stylized shape of her eyelashes and eyebrows.

It's very easy to put all of the head pieces back together, and the seam isn't horribly distracting:

Ruppia was a little annoyed that I'd left her naked for so long, so I got out the bikini to see if I could figure out how to attach it.  It comes with a sheet of 10 adhesive dots:

The dots stick to the back side of the bikini:

And then the bikini sticks nicely to Ruppia's chest!

I found it tricky to get the bikini perfectly straight, but it stays on very well.

Finally it was time to check out Ruppia's beautiful pink dress:

It has a velcro attachment in back that makes it very easy to use.

I love the asymmetry of the skirt.  It looks long and glamorous, while also leaving space in front to showcase Ruppia's tail.  The ruffled accents along the hemline are also very pretty and well-sewn.

The dress has pearl-lined chain straps, a little golden star accent, and the most delicate and even-looking bodice pleats I've ever seen:

And the dress looks gorgeous on Ruppia:

It's such a beautiful shape on her, and I like how the pale pink softens her bold hair and tail color.

In order to get a full look at the dress, I had to suspend Ruppia from the ceiling--so she could swim around the room:

I think she liked the experience.

She looks ready to be in the water, though, don't you think?

Here are a few more photos of her with just the bikini top:

The tail is so dramatic!

And I like how when she's suspended in air, you can appreciate the flexibility of her tail:

She's a delightful little doll!

I tend to have a hard time buying only one of these mystery dolls, and this time was no exception.  I really wanted a shot at Tide, and was hoping to get Leaf, too.  I love her green hair.

So let's open another box!

Who could it be?
I peeked in and saw some pink:

So it's not Tide or Leaf.  Sniff.  That left me thinking I'd gotten Shimmer or Jellyfish, based on the promotional photos.

But it's not!

It's Dawn.
Her collector's card is printed correctly and looks good:

I like Dawn because her colors are muted and fishy-looking:

And she has a really cute molded bow on the back of her head:

Also, Dawn's elastic is not as visible as Ruppia's, thanks to her more opaque tail:

Dawn's dress is not as dramatic or detailed as Ruppia's, but it's cute and well made:

I took a few suspended pictures of Dawn in her (crooked) bikini:

I believe all of the dolls have the same tail and fin molds, but the hair molds are different.

And here she is in her dress:

I prefer Ruppia because of her dramatic dress and her bright red coloring, but I appreciate the way Dawn's coloring makes her look like she's already underwater.

The hair and face pieces on these dolls are interchangeable, so it's also possible to mix and match.  I wanted to try Dawn with a bit more color--like Ruppia's bright red hair:

The hair and outfit clash pretty badly.
My favorite combination is Ruppia with all of her original features except the face plate.  I think she looks better with Dawn's blue eyes:

That's a beautiful doll.
Here's a full body shot:

I'm extremely pleased with the Penny's Box mermaids.  They feel substantial in my hands, look beautiful, and the clothing is really well made.  The monochromatic face paint and pale pupils are not my favorite choices, but I like the hair molds, the multi-toned hair colors, and the fin ears.  I also really like the structure of the tail.  Its five segments allow for some realistic, fish-like posing options, and the dolls can even balance upright on their tails.  I didn't do any hand changes for this review, but face and hair swapping between the two dolls is certainly a fun option.  I know things are expensive in the BJD world, but I'm still not quite sure that these dolls are worth $40.  I'm pretty happy with the $33 sale price I found, but wish I could choose a specific character.  $20 is about as much as I'm comfortable spending on a blind box toy.  On AliExpress there are vendors who let you pick the mermaid you want, and I might do that if I ever buy another one of these.

Price is one of the reasons that the Mermaid Chuchu dolls appealed to me.  That, and the redheaded girl who is featured on the box, of course:

Look at how cute she is!

Like the Penny's Box mermaid boxes, this packaging has photos of the dolls on one side and some text on the opposite side:

And, once again, I'm not sure what the text says, but I'm guessing that this blurb from the promotional materials is a translation:

It's a charming little story for a while there, with Chuchu's everlasting youth, glowing fishtail, and all of the colorful colors in her crystal bottle house.  But they really throw a wrench in the whole thing at the end with the garbage bottle, don't they?  Talk about a buzz kill.

The back of the box also has a lot of text that I can't read, but this looks more like company information, copyrights, and perhaps a few warnings:

I hope "beware of garbage bottles" is among those warnings.
Here's a closer look at the six known dolls (and one secret doll) in the set:

These mermaids look more similar to each other than the Penny's Box mermaids did.  And they all have very similar hairstyles:

The redheaded girl is the most distinct, with her long braids and darker color palette:

The secret character appears to have the same short hairstyle that most of the other dolls have:

Once again, it was quite easy to find promotional photos of the secret doll.  I have a hard time telling her apart from the other purple-haired mermaid:

She's sweet, though.
I like this picture of all of the dolls together, because the characters look more distinct, and each occupation is translated:

I didn't realize Fast and Furious was an occupation.  I guess for Vin Diesel it was?

Anyway, I like the yellow Gourmet and the redheaded Dancer the best and hope I get one of those.

I pretty much immediately knew that I didn't get the Gourmet or the Dancer, though.  Do you see that peek of blue?

It's looking like the Adventurer:

Adventurer doesn't sound like much of an occupation to me either, honestly.
Sure enough, it's the Adventurer:

The dolls come sealed between two plastic shells with their side fins displayed separately.  Loose in the box was also a collectors card and a little bow-shaped bikini top:

The collectors card is great.
Some of the advertisements for these dolls suggest that they come with extra hands and a piece of tail jewelry:

You can see the tail jewelry in some of the smaller promotional photos, too:

Unfortunately, the production dolls do not include extra hands or jewelry.

Here's Adventurer (who I'll call Tiffany) with her side fins:

Tiffany had plastic film covering two of her tail joints, and I'm not exactly sure what purpose that served.  It was easy to remove, though.

The side fins attach with ball and socket joints, and can be moved around.  This is good because Tiffany needs them for balance!

Her arms are too short to prop her up.
Her stringing is really loose, though, so when I tried to balance her on her tail, the middle tail joint collapsed:

She flops forward at the waist really easily, too:

Oh, my.
I finally managed to get everything positioned just right so that she didn't tip over for a minute:

Her head is still really loose, though.
She has a cute, worried-looking face with a hint of teeth showing.  She also has inset eyes, which was a fun surprise!

The hair mold is much more interesting than it looked in the box pictures, too.  I like the playful shape and the subtle mix of colors.  It makes Ruppia's hair look like a helmet in comparison.

Here's Tiffany from the back:

I like how the large base of her tail gives her body a curvy shape.

Like Ruppia and Dawn, Tiffany's hair is in two pieces that connect around a separate face plate:

That huge slit at the waist is really distracting.
The neck mechanism looks very similar to what we saw on the Penny's Box dolls, but the heads are not interchangeable between brands.

Here's Tiffany's face without the hair in the way:

I appreciate her wave-like eyelashes and the droplets of water under each eye.  The paint is also bright and clear, with no pixelation or defects.

Tiffany's face is smaller than Ruppia's, and has big incut sections on either side of the forehead.  And her fin-like ears are really big!

Penny's Box face place (left) and LuckyDoll face plate (right).
Seeing the two faces side-by-side, Ruppia's expression looks a bit vacant to me.  The inset eyes make a big difference.

From the back of the head, you can see how Tiffany's inset eyes work:

There's a separate eye piece that is fairly easy to pull out:

The eyes are a mix of three different blue colors, and the pupils are blue, too.  I appreciate how the pupils are outlined in a very dark color.  This gives them more definition than Ruppia's pupils.

From the side, you can see that the eyes have an underlaying colored layer, and then a clear dome on top, which adds some depth:

I put Tiffany's head back together:

And then I tried on her little bikini top.  It's just a simple band of elastic with a big bow on the front:

The bikini top is cute, but it slides around a lot and I had to keep checking that it was in place.

Tiffany's arm articulation is similar to Ruppia and Dawn's in that she has elastic-strung joints in her neck, shoulders, elbows (double jointed), and wrists.  Her arms are shorter than Ruppia's, so they feel less flexible, but she can still touch her face and rest a hand on her hip:

The shape of her tail also allows her to sit in a chair quite solidly:

Tiffany was a bit more difficult to suspend than Ruppia and Dawn, but I wanted a few full-body shots:

My eye always goes right to that waist joint.
She's not as poseable as the Penny's Box dolls, and that big slit is a problem:

But I like the overall shape of Tiffany's body, and the body blushing is a nice touch.

Here she is from the back:

The back of her tail joint is not as attractive as it could be.

Tiffany is cute, for sure, but I feel that her floppy joints and odd waist design reduce her play and display potential.

Eager for one more chance to get the adorable redhead, I opened another box:

Once again, I could tell right away that I didn't get the redhead.  But did I get the yellow Gourmet?

I see a lot of yellow.
Nope.  It's the Musician, and she just happens to have some yellow on the top of her head:

I love musicians, so I'm happy with the doll anyway.  At least she's not a repeat.  And look at how cute her card is!

With those big brown eyes!
Here she is with her side fins and bikini top in place:

Without brown eyes.
The transparent tail on this doll looks strange to me.  It's like the torso disappears at the waist.  I prefer Tiffany's opaque tail design.

Her hair is molded into a shape that reminds me of tentacles!

Here's another view:

Actually, that hair looks more like sea anemones.
I decided to name her Daria (short for Cnidaria, which is the phylum of sea anemones).

Here's Daria swimming in my studio:

I like that each of the Chuchu mermaids has a different fin design, and I like the curviness of the tail mold, but that waist joint with the transparent tail is super awkward.

I pulled Daria's eyes out for a closer look.  They have the same design as Tiffany's eyes, but with different shades of red:

Red eyes can look creepy, so I swapped Tiffany's blue eyes into Daria's head for a few shots:

I really like how this looks!  A little bit of color contrast goes a long way.

As I was pulling Tiffany's blue eyes back out, though, the front dome part broke off:

I yanked the whole clear plastic part off, but now the eyes don't fit into Tiffany's head as securely as they used to.

They might be a bit brighter, though, without that extra layer of plastic?

Hard to tell.
I like the Chuchu mermaids, especially their inset eyes, large ears, and playful hair molds.  I think the shape of their tails is nice, too, with wide hips and fancy, poseable side fins.  And I appreciate how each doll has her own fin design.  However, the articulation in the tail is disappointing.  There are only two joints, and the primary middle joint is extremely loose.  Both dolls were constantly tipping over.  I also find the large slit at the waist joint to be unsightly, and Daria's transparent tail adds more trouble to that area.  And while the little bow bikini tops are cute, they don't stay in place very well.  These dolls are a decent deal for $20, but it's too bad that they don't come with the advertised hands or jewelry.

I haven't talked about size yet, but the Chuchu mermaids are 7.5 inches from the tops of their heads to the tips of their tails, and the Antu girls are about 9 inches.

I could only pose them side-by-side in their semi-reclined positions:

Penny's Box Tidal Secret Language mermaid (left) and LuckyDoll Mermaid Chuchu (right).
...and of course Tiffany can't stay in that pose for very long before toppling over!

So I tried posing them like this, with Tiffany balancing on her side fins:

But she can't really handle that, either.

I brought all four mermaids along with me to Culebra, eager to get them into the water for some more photos.

However, I had trouble finding a way to support the Chuchu mermaids underwater.  Their tails are too floppy to be used as a brace, and their torsos are shaped in such a way that I couldn't loop anything securely around their waists.

So, I settled for some portraits on the rocky shore:

With the help of an angled rock, Tiffany was able to strike the classic mermaid pose!

The rainy weather was a bit of a bummer, but it makes for some dramatic photos--and certainly mermaids don't mind getting wet.

I took some pictures of Daria, too, although she was nervous about being on the rocks with the choppy surf behind her!

But she found a more secure perch and was able to relax.

And I even got a classic mermaid portrait of her, too:

Dawn and Ruppia did really well underwater.  In fact, their adhesive bikini tops even stayed put:

Dawn's coloring looked washed out a lot of the time, though:

But she loved twirling and swimming around:

And exploring the depths of this new environment:

Dawn swam around the shallow reefs:

And even found some fish friends!

I thought it was interesting that most of the fish we met were more brightly colored than Dawn.  

Case in point.
I initially thought that Dawn's pale complexion was more fish-like than Ruppia's bright red accents, but I might have to change that assessment.

She's more like a dead fish, in the end.
Dawn ended up photographing better on the shore:

Her articulated tail allowed her to lounge on the rocks in several different ways:

And yes, she can do the classic mermaid pose, too!

I spent most of my time on this trip swimming underwater with Ruppia.  She was a wonderful companion, and enjoyed exploring the coral reefs with me and my husband.

Andy took all of the underwater photos of fish that you'll see here, and he reports that while the reefs are visibly suffering from the warming waters, there are still some healthy coral to be found.

Ruppia loved swimming along the reef and looking for fish friends:

I enjoyed watching her.  Her bright red coloring looks amazing against the sea floor backdrop, and her dress is flowing and dreamy.

Ruppia got lost in her own world and was startled to see me swimming alongside her:

She was happy to have the company, though.

She gestured that perhaps I'd like to follow her around as she looked for fish.

She swam back...

And forth...

Look at that dress!
And found some healthy coral:

Where there's healthy coral, there are sure to be fish.  And these little butterfly fish were particularly friendly!

Here's a closer look at one of them:

After a while, Ruppia decided that we should dive a bit deeper to see what we could find:

Deeper down, she made friends with a bright blue parrot fish!

I have no idea what they were saying to each other.

We also found this school of damselfish:

Here's a closer look at one of them:

After about an hour of exploring, Ruppia and I ascended for a little rest:

She lounged on the rocks in her bikini while her dress dried out:

And we both watched as another afternoon storm blew in.

Ruppia was definitely in her element on Culebra, and I know it was hard for her--and all of us (especially Lena) to leave.

Bottom line? I was surprised to find two different blind box mermaid dolls on the market.  There's actually a third company offering this kind of toy, too (Mermaid Island by AIYE) but I didn't discover them in time for this review.  I enjoyed my time with both the Penny's Box Antu and the LuckyDoll Chuchu mermaids, but since this is a comparison review, I have to break down the pros and cons of each brand. 

Face: I prefer the inset eyes and more delineated face paint on the Chuchu mermaids.  The Antu dolls have lovely faces, too, but I find the Chuchu expressions more engaging.  I wish that both types of doll had a bit more color variation in their faces.

Hair: I love the playful molded hair on the Chuchu dolls.  All of the styles have a hint of implied movement, which I think looks great--especially for an underwater doll.  I appreciate Daria's sea anemone buns; they make me want to see the details of the other hairstyles up-close.  The Antu hair can look a bit helmet-like in comparison, although I think Dawn's big hair bow is pretty.

Tail: the Antu tail is vastly superior to the Chuchu tail.  Not only does it look more realistic, but it has excellent articulation and holds poses well.  In contrast, the Chuchu tail has fewer joints and collapses extremely easily.  While both brands have transparent tails that reveal some of the elastic stringing, I think this looks especially funny on Daria.  The transition between torso and tail is not great with her.  The one thing I prefer about the Chuchu tails is that they all have different fin designs.

Clothing: there's not much comparison here since the Chuchu mermaids have only elastic band bikini tops and the Antu dolls have both fabric dresses and adhesive plastic bikini tops.  So the Antu clothing is better, but it doesn't win simply by default: it's really nice in and of itself.  Ruppia's dress, in particular, is beautifully made and looked gorgeous underwater.  It also suffered no ill effects from being submerged in the ocean for hours.  And I was amazed that the bikini tops stayed in place while wet, and during all of the moving around throughout the trip as well.

Body/Articulation: both dolls have similar upper-body joints, but the Antu girls have longer limbs, and so their arms are able to move slightly more.  Also, the Chuchu's neck and tail joints are so loose that they often feel floppy and hard to manage.  And I've mentioned already that the Antu tails have better articulation, so they clearly win this category.  I like the curvy shape of the Chuchu body, but I find the large slit in the bottom of the torso distracting.  The Antu bodies are more attractive and streamlined overall.

Price: the Chuchu dolls are certainly more affordable, especially with their $20 sale price.  However, looking only at the $29.99 and 39.99 suggested retail prices, I can say that the relative value is fair.  The Antu dolls are easily worth $10 more than the Chuchus.  But as I mentioned at the beginning, I struggle with the idea of paying nearly $40 for a blind box toy.

Overall: while I prefer certain elements of the Chuchu mermaids, like their faces and hair, it's the Antu dolls that completely won me over.  Ruppia, in particular, was a wonderful travel companion and seemed to come alive underwater.  The dolls that accompany me on trips often feel special for one reason or another, but they can also feel like props a lot of the time, or can even be frustrating if they don't cooperate during photo shoots.  The Chuchu dolls were sweet and entertaining props with a bit of frustration thrown in, but Ruppia came home feeling like a wonderful new friend.


  1. Ruppia really came alive underwater. These are wonderful pictures!

  2. I love the hints of blue in Ruppia's coloring. It really makes her look more dynamic.

  3. This post cements you as my favourite underwater doll reviewer! :D

  4. Ruppia is such a nice island vacation companion! I think you would have got more out of Dawn if she had her dress. She looks very jellyfishy to me. I like that their tails don't have human leg articulation - it always annoys me. The Chuchu mermaids are cheaper, but I struggle to see any value in them. Maybe you got fakes? The tail joint area is really begging for some coverage!

  5. That slit on the Chuchu dolls is...really unfortunate. Pretty much everything about this review makes me glad I opted for one of the Penny's Box mermaids. She's supposed to arrive today, along whth one of their dragons!

    1. I got one of the dragons too, they're awesome :)

  6. I found the Antu mermaids myself recently and got one to go with the Dreamlike Tea Party dolls I have - I got Shimmer. You're right that they're nice and solid in construction...aside from those side fins, which suffer from the same problem as the tails on the centaurs. I'm told you can remedy that by heating up the plastic before plugging them in, but I haven't tried it yet.

    the chubby figure on the Chuchu mermaids is really tempting, jointing issues aside, and I like that their faces look more...drawn on than printed? If that sounds right?

  7. I know you like horses. Have you seen Antu's little centaurs? They are too stinkin' cute.

  8. Wow, that joint is really distracting. It’s a shame about that and their poor possibility, because they do have cute faces! I love the Antu dolls but I agree that 40 dollars is just too steep for me to not know what I’m getting. Your underwater pictures never seize to amaze me! I love the pictures of the little red mermaid, she looks so at home and that dress is really stunning!

  9. Request: Moana, Mei ling, pinkie pie, Fluttershy, twilight sparkle and sunset shimmer from equestrian girls, merliah summers and hadley from Barbie in a mermaid tale 1 and 2, Ariel, all the trolls poppy and dj suki dolls reviews

  10. The underwater photos of Ruppia are so dreamy. Love her coloring and flowy dress.

  11. These Antu doll posts are making my wallet nervous! The little mermaids are all so cute, but I kind of like the Antu ones just a bit more!

  12. Wall White is badass, as in Walter White from Breaking Bad.

  13. Wow, such magic creations! I really enjoyed the review, especially Ruppia.
    And did you really make underwater photoes?

  14. Penny's Box makes such beautiful little dolls. My favorites are their fantasy lines, and these mermaids are no different. They remind me a lot of the Winx universe (albeit a bit more pastel), which is funny since the Chuchu mermaid on the box looks like a carbon copy of Bloom. I don't love the surprise element, though. For that money, I'd rather just pick my favorite doll. But it doesn't surprise me at all that they seem to be the #1 blind box BJDs on the market right now (I will probably cave once they bring out full-blown fairy dolls). The Chuchu dolls also seem very cute, but the joints on these particular ones are quite unsightly. Overall, their designs impress me less than the Penny's Box mermaids, but a little competition in the doll world is always good.

    Loved the outdoor photoshoots and underwater pictures as always! Ruppia's pictures were especially magical (that dress!!)

  15. The jointing on the Antu dolls is a lot more appealing for sure. I like the faces of the Chuchu dolls and the shape of the sculpt overall but the joints are very ugly and don't seem to function too well. Huge difference when it comes to the clothing accessory as well! The Antu mermaid dresses are really nice and the Chuchu mermaids have nothing to cover up their weirdly jointed torso. That waist joint just looks gross or even uncomfortably suggestive to me unfortunately, not something I want to see on such a cute doll. However, your underwater photos are beautiful! Really enjoyed this post and seeing these sweet mermaids.

  16. I have an Antu centaur and was really curious about the mermaid dolls from similar brands, so this was an incredibly useful review. Looks like my centaur will be getting a matching mermaid friend at some point. :) The 'sit down' tail articulation of the chuchus really appealed to me, especially as she'd be sitting on my shelves, and the body shapes, faces, and unique tails were so nice, but in person, the Antus really stole the show. Mermaids in big dresses never made sense to me, but after those gorgeous underwater shots? I'm sold! Looks like I'll be adding fashionable mermaids to my sketchbook!

    As always, those underwater shots are the bomb. :) this is one of those reviews where you seemed to have so much fun. Just beware the gangster coral!

    I'm very curious how you felt the mermaids compared to the centaur you got? I recognize that review likely got dropped due to a busy schedule, but I'm glad you got to check them out. I remember your fondness for horses and centaurs from prior reviews. :)

  17. I've been mulling over the Antu mermaids for almost a month now - I want to get at least two but what if I end up not liking them? LOL

    Even so, this was a great review and the underwater shots were especially majestic!!

  18. I read those poems a while ago when the Penny's Box mermaid series came out and Leaf's one has stuck with me to the point I quote it all the time. I love it that much; confusion, weird grammar and all. Anyway, lovely review! <3

  19. that joint on the chuchu dolls is... unfortunately placed, shall we say. someone didn't use their brain during the design process. ^_^;;;

    it's a shame the two brands can't swap faces and hair. I'd love to see Tiffany's face on Ruppia's body. and those Antu dresses are just fantabulous. talk about amazing underwater photography!

  20. Loved this review ☺️❤️ Don't know if you have realized it, but another fun fact about Pennys Box dolls is that they are ALL compatible! So you can swap their heads, faces and hairs even between series. So you can even use the heads, faces and hairs from the antu tea party dolls you reviewed earlier ❤️

  21. I passed on the mermaid set from Antu, but it was great to see your reviews! I went from snorting with laughter at gang coral and wall white to being really impressed at how striking Ruppia is. She's the best of both lines, I think. Your underwater photos, especially when she is in the dress, are gorgeous.
    I wonder if it would be possible to find extra faceplates that fit to repaint, or even modify for inset eyes.

  22. I’ve been looking at both of these brands and WOW, the Chuchu dolls did not live up to my expectations, but now I might get all the Penny’s dolls.