Showing posts with label Sonja Hartmann. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sonja Hartmann. Show all posts

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Patron Post: Kidz 'n' Cats Jennet by Sonja Hartmann

One of the interesting things about blogging for a decade is monitoring which dolls have endured that expanse of time and which have been discontinued.  For example, it doesn't surprise me that American Girl is still alive, thriving, and pretty much unchanged from 2013.  And it's great that some smaller 18-inch doll companies, like A Girl for All Time, Carpatina, Maru and Friends, and even My Salon Doll are still making their products.  Other brands have not been as fortunate.  My Twinn dolls, which are close to my heart, were discontinued in 2016--possibly because of widespread eye problems.  The Extra Special Dolls met a similar fate.  But another casualty of the last decade, and one that took me by surprise, was the Kidz n Cats line by Sonja Hartmann.

I've actually written two reviews of Kidz n Cats dolls in the past: a comprehensive review of Evita in 2013, and a shorter look at two Henriettes in 2018.  And I guess we can count the brief review of the mini doll, Annie, too.  In all of those cases, there were a lot of quality issues and design disappointments that prevented me from thoroughly enjoying the dolls.  Frankly, I struggled to see why the brand was so popular.

But then my lovely new patron, Lillian, suggested that I take one more look at the Kidz.  She even suggested a specific doll, Jennet, who happens to be a character that I remember admiring a great deal back when she first came out in 2016.  So, because of some pangs of nostalgia over the loss of the Kidz n Cats brand, and because I cherish my patrons, today I'll be talking about Jennet:

Kidz 'n' Cats Jennet, by Sonja Hartmann (discontinued).

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Kruselings

Thanks to Gabby and Stephanie's recommendations, I have a real treat to share with you!  Today I'm reviewing the Kruselings, a collection of nine-inch play dolls that depict a magical group of friends who fly around and use special powers to protect the world from bad dreams.

I love the charming story behind this line, and thought the promotional pictures were beautiful, so I bought two Kruseling dolls.  After I saw those two dolls in person, I bought two more!  These cuties remind me of collector dolls in many ways (probably because of the artistic inspiration of their namesake, K├Ąthe Kruse) but they're actually play dolls aimed at kids between the ages of four and seven.

The overall concept of the Kruselings was conceived by Donaji Ayala Hernandez and the dolls themselves were designed by Sonja Hartman (of Kidz 'n' Cats fame).  The dolls are easy to find overseas and just now starting to show up in some U.S. stores.  I purchased my girls from both eBay and My Doll Best Friend, a wonderful shop in London. There are six Kruseling characters (five girls and a boy) and all of the girls come in two varieties, deluxe and standard. The deluxe sets cost £35.99 and include two outfits, the standard dolls are a little cheaper (£23.99) and do not have an extra outfit.

It's taken me forever to finish this review because I got greedy with the dolls and then took tons of pictures.  This review will feature the first Kruseling I chose, deluxe Sofia, but I'll also show you some pictures of deluxe Chloe, standard Vera, and standard Joy.  Here's Sofia:

Kruselings deluxe Sofia doll, £35.99 (~$50).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kidz 'n' Cats Evita Doll by Sonja Hartmann for With Heart and Soul

Kidz 'n' Cats are slim, articulated 18" play dolls designed by Sonja Hartmann for the German doll company, With Heart and Soul.  These dolls were first introduced in 2009 with a small collection of seven dolls bearing two different face molds.  Since then, three new faces have been added and a total of 37 dolls have been released.  The collection is named for the fact that most of the dolls are accompanied by a small plush cat dressed in a matching outfit.

I have been interested in these dolls since 2009.  I have always appreciated the fact that Sonja Hartmann designed an 18" play doll with multiple joints, offering a welcome contrast to the relatively inflexible dolls like American Girl, Carpatina and Magic Attic.  I also admire the realism in the Kidz 'n' Cats features.  These dolls do not have exaggerated proportions like large eyes or huge heads, but rather strive to accurately represent the features of real children.  I also enjoy the funky, wholesome way that Kidz 'n' Cats dolls are dressed.  They come in a colorful variety of multi-piece outfits made from an array of eye-catching, differently textured fabrics.

I purchased Evita back at the beginning of last summer during one of Samantha's Doll's incredible 40% off sales.  The dolls cost around $150 at full retail, but great sales like this can occasionally be found.  Of the five possible Kidz 'n' Cats face molds, Evita's is my least favorite.  I selected her because she was one of only a few dolls in stock at the time, and also because I couldn't find very many real life pictures of her and was curious about how her open-mouthed features would look in person.  I should admit that I wasn't thrilled with the pictures of Evita's stock outfit, either.  Basically, Evita was an odd choice for me, given that two of my favorite things about Kidz 'n' Cats (their faces and their outfits) did not seem to be well-represented by this particular doll.  After a week of ups and downs with Evita, I am ready to share my mixed emotions:

Kidz 'n' Cats "Evita," by Sonja Hartmann.