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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cutie Pops vs. Bratzillaz, part two

One doll down, one to go.  With Candi out of the way, Meygana Broomstix takes her turn.

This is actually not the Bratzillaz doll I planned on owning; Jade J'adore was the one I had my eye on.  Jade is my favorite of the Bratz, and I love her eyes.  But Meygana is the doll I received for my birthday, and I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  The red hair is probably what sealed the deal; my mother knows I love red hair, and she's the one who got her for me.  And I only want one of these dolls.  So that's that.

Now...let me give you the lowdown on Meygana by herself.  She is 10 and 3/4 inches from head to toe.  She is actually shorter than Candi, though in pictures she looks a little taller.  This is partly due to her thick-soled shoes, and partly due to her stand, the combined height of which bring her to 11 and 1/2 inches.  Her hair is curly and a gorgeous shade of red.  Her skin is VERY pale, pale enough that I had a hard time photographing her.  And her eyes!  Oh, those stunning eyes.  All Bratzillaz have inset eyes, and each character has a different set.  Meygana's are aqua blue with glitter.
Her eyes remind me a lot of LIV doll eyes...
...and also Moxie Teenz eyes.
Now that I look at the three sets of eyes together, it's difficult to pick who's eyes I like the best.  But Meygana's are very beautiful.  They add to the enchanted, witchy, otherworldliness of the doll.

But there's more to Meygana than just those eyes.  The whole doll reminds me a lot of both the LIV dolls and the Moxie Teenz, both of whom are now sadly defunct.  All three are highly jointed and with glass eyes.  The three dolls are similar enough that they deserve a comparison of their own; I'll address that in a future blog.

Before we move on though, check this out!  That strand of hair is STUCK IN MEYGANA'S EYE!!!
I'll bet that feels good...NOT!!!  Miss Emily's Meygana Broomstix doll has this very same problem; the only difference is that her doll had hair caught in the right eye, while mine has hair in the left.  No wait...both eyes had hair caught in them, but the hair in the doll's right eye came out while I was trying to comb her hair.  Miss Emily had to use tweezers to get the hair out of her Meygana's eye.  I was able to remove it with my fingertips; it slid out quite easily.  This is a gross analogy, but if you get a Bratzillaz doll with hair in her eyes, treat the hair like you would a tick and pull slowly.  Sorry, the nail-polish-remover-on-the-back technique won't work here!  Not unless you want to remove Meygana's facepaint.  LOL

Speaking of facepaint, let's examine the rest of Meygana's face (I took this picture before I pulled those hairs out of Meygana's eyes).
She's got typical Bratz features, with huge, full lips and boldly painted eyes.  Her eye shadow is a shimmery aqua shade that matches her eyes perfectly.  There are also creases painted in the eye shadow to create the look that a natural eyelid might make.  I love that touch.  I'm not a fan of the eyebrows, though; they look too dark and too...BROWN to match perfectly with red hair.  Meygana's lip color is better, but if you look close her mouth is painted slightly off-kilter...just like Candi's mouth!  It also doesn't follow the mold of her mouth precisely; one can see the unpainted corners of her mouth peeping out from under that paint.  Not a huge problem, but again, keep an eye out for poorly painted dolls.

Here's Meygana's outfit.
This never would've passed muster at my old high school.  Meygana's outfit is typical of Bratz/Bratzillaz dolls, hip and trendy, but a little on the skanky side.  No biggie, I guess.  Dolls are supposed to represent the fantasy world, right?  And in the fantasy world one is not bound to earthly traditions, conventions, and rules.  Hmmm...remind me to say that to the next progressive who tells me that Barbie's proportions aren't realistic.  I've gotten that a couple of times in the past week.

Yeah, back on topic.  This is Meygana's top.
It's your classic sleeveless crop top with a gold pleather bolero sewn on.  The the rest is a varigated blue knit.  The Fashion Magic Academy's crest is sewn to the top.  And that brings us to a question that the Toy Box Philosopher herself pondered.  Miss Emily muses about the identity of the item in the lower left corner of the crest on.  Four items arranged on the crest, the other three items being a high heeled shoe, a diamond ring, and either a bikini or an underwear set (gasp!), but what's that fourth thing???  You have thirty seconds to answer the question.
Tick, tick, tick...

Time's up!  Have you got an answer???  I think I might; the mysterious fourth item looks a lot like a pair of earrings.  Did you guess correctly?  If not, don't worry too much, because I could be completely wrong!!!  LOL

Meygana's skirt is short, again typical of Bratz clothing, but at least it has sewn-in undies.  It resembles a shortened version of a schoolgirl's uniform, with the pleats.  Again, there is pleather triming the top, not unlike a belt.  There is no hem, and some rogue threads are sticking out, but the skirt is woven so tightly that raveling may not be a problem.  As long as I don't pull on it, it should be fine.
The cape concerns me somewhat.
The cape is made of thin, drapey knit material with a certain amount of stretch to it.  It reminds me of Featherageous Jade's dress to a certain extent.  And if you read that blog, you may recall my concerns regarding the durability of that dress.  My feelings are the same for this cape; if it gets treated too roughly it could ravel or snag or tear.  The cape does have plastic loops that hook over Meygana's hands, though.  I think that's a cute touch.  That way she can look like she's actually holding and manipulating the cape.  She can even hide behind it if she wants to.  Plus it is hemmed.
Meygana also has a hat, and some steampunk-looking goggles.  Both are currently held on to Meygana's head with elastic.
When she was fresh out of the box Meygana's hat was held on with red thread and two strands of hair.  Removing it was a lot of fun...NOT!!!  The hat's elastic is uncovered, and that concerns me.  Remember how well elastic tends to hold up during play?  It tends to break.  It also tends to get brittle and melt as it ages, and if the elastic melts into this head of hair it will be a right mess.

Meygana's boots are big, and they're real shoes, too!  They don't just fit on a peg, but on an actual doll foot.
They look like they'd fit on Monster High feet.  Lagoona CAN wear them, but they look clunky on her dainty frame.
Lagoona CAN wear Meygana's boots, though.  Meygana can't wear Lagoona's shoes.
"Unhand those boots, scoundrel!"

Lastly, the earrings.
They are a very pretty design, not unlike some of the pairs of earrings in my room (I have hundreds).  This is an area where my doll differs from Miss Emily's; her earrings were apparently roughly treated during the assembly of the doll, and the post was bent up something awful.  It was bad enough that one of the earrings wouldn't even go into the doll!  I got lucky; both of my dolls' earrings are in good shape.

Regarding accessories, Meygana is fairly well endowed.  She has a two-piece stand that holds her up at the waist, a broom, a hairbrush, and a card with a "spell" on it.
First off, my card is different from Miss Emily's.  Hers has a full spell on it, and mine does not.  Also of note is the broom with the gold cord (the other broom is the hairbrush).  It is too small to look rideable, and it doesn't open so it can't possibly be a purse.  It serves no purpose whatsoever, but it looks cute.  It reminds me a bit of a guitar, so maybe I can position it in Meygana's arms and make her look like she's windmilling it.
Judging from the comments on the Bratzillaz website, the spell on Meygana's card (or rather, the spell that SHOULD be there) is what Meygana uses to call up her special power.  Each Bratzillaz character has a special power, and Meygana's is to fly.  Hey, I thought ALL witches had the power to fly!  Maybe we're talking about a different flight from broom-riding.  Perhaps Meygana has the power to fly without her broom.  Either way, each character also has a witch mark somewhere on their bodies that coordinates with their power.  Meygana's mark is a pair of tribal-looking wings on her right arm.
I'm going to skip a body review since I have a full review planned for another blog, so lets go to Meygana's hair.  At first glance, it's fine.  It's red, it's curly, it's thick, it's full, what's not to like???

THIS IS WHAT!!!  I can't get that hairbrush through that mass of tangles!!!
Deboxing the doll was a real trip, by the way.  That hair was sewn to the package!  Anywho, MGA Entertainment's hair has been declining in quality for some time.  I spent some years out of the dolly loop, so I first noticed this problem when I purchased Style It! Nadine eleven months ago.  Like Meygana, Nadine (seen below) has a head full of curly nylon hair, but hers is mercifully short.  All you have to do is shake her and her hair snaps into place.
In the year that has elapsed since that purchase I've either bought or received three more Bratz Style It! dolls (Tessa, Maci, and Shania), one Moxie Girlz doll, one Moxie Teenz doll, Bratz Catz Jade, Featherageous Jade, and Meygana.  Oh yeah, there's also a Lalaloopsy in the mix, but she has molded hair.  Of all of the dolls with rooted hair, only Bratz Catz Jade has soft, smooth hair.  In fact, her hair reminds me of the old Bratz dolls, the ones that were available when I was a teenager.  The others have course, rough, matted hair prone to snags and tangles, and trying to keep them looking halfway decent has been an uphill battle.  This is enough of a struggle for straight-haired dolls like Tessa, Tristen, and Featherageous Jade, but imagine how it is for a doll with long CURLY hair???
"Help, it's eating my head!!!"

This hair is actually the main reason why I wanted to find Jade instead of Meygana, since I understand that this is a problem common to a lot of Meygana dolls.  Jade's hair is styled in a short bob.  Amazon.com already has reviews from displeased buyers, and most of the complaints are about...you guessed it, the hair.  Miss Emily's doll's hair was bad too, so bad that she had to cut it!  She said it was the absolute worst hair she'd ever seen on a doll, and she's reviewed many dolls with bad hair so she knows what she's talking about.  I may end up cutting my doll's hair as well, particularly if the tangles get out of hand, but that will only be as a last resort.  I try NEVER to resort to cutting a doll's hair because I'm a complete spazz with scissors.  I can't even cut my own bangs, for crying out loud!   And believe it or not I actually like that mess of hair to a certain extent.  It looks tangled and windblown and...well, it looks kinda witchy, like she's been riding her broomstick.  Hey, if you rode around on a broom all night long, would YOUR hair look neat and tidy?  Still, this is a toy, and I remember how angry and frustrated I would have been if I'd gotten a doll with hair like this when I was a kid.  I'm willing to bet there are plenty of kids out there who will feel the same way.

Now, let me hearken back to the Cutie Pops half of the review.  Here's Candi's hair next to Meygana's:
Remember I said that these dolls both retail for around twenty bucks, and yet the quality of their hair couldn't be more different.  Candi's is smooth, doesn't shed, and is relatively tangle-free.  Even the accessory hair is like that.  Meygana's hair, put bluntly, is awful.  It looks okay from a distance, but it's awful.  It is rough, tangled, matted, and also sheds like mad.  I can finger-comb her curls, but it's a HUGE chore to do and I always manage to catch a knot.  Definitely not cool.  Now, I will admit that I have not used the brushes enclosed on either Candi or Meygana, but I don't think I want to.  Such a task is usually unnecessary with Candi and next to impossible with Meygana.  But given the fact that these dolls are both worth the same price, and are both toys marked towards a similar age group, I think MGA Entertainment could find something better for their dolls' hair.  I wonder why they use that nylon crap in the first place?

Meygana's poseability is a different story entirely.  Like I said, I'm not going to do a full body review because that's for a later blog, but let's just say she's a lot more poseable than Candi is.
"Do you mind looking the other way, Fish Girl?"

She has joints all over, including the wrists, waist, and elbows (Candi has none of these).  She can reach up and cover her face, blow kisses, play around with her cape, cross her arms, and windmill her broom-guitar-thing.  Her hips are not as great; she can do the usual forward-and-back movement and stand with her legs splayed, but that's about it.  Below the hips are jointed knees that bend to a ninety-degree angle.  Hmmm...now that I look at that picture, perhaps I should include Lagoona in the body review.  After all, she IS poseable.  I'll see how long it takes to put together a three-doll review and get back to you on that.

The final word is going to be complicated, because there's so much that's good about this doll.  She's got joints, not a common attribute for Bratz dolls (or any doll, now that both LIV and Moxie Teenz are out of the picture).  Her glass eyes are glorious.  Not the most realistic of any doll, but very beautiful, regardless.  They are also very expressive.  If Meygana weren't an inanimate object I'd swear that she had thoughts and emotions.  All you have to do is tip her head in a certain way and she can look friendly, sad, innocent, dreamy, sultry, or even a bit insane (again, Miss Emily noted this first, and she was right on the money).  The outfit is of fairly good quality, though I'd keep a sharp eye on that cape.  As simple as it is, if it rips you can make another!  Overall Meygana, and the Bratzillas in general, are a lot of fun and a really cute concept.  Some deem it a ripoff of Mattel's Monster High dolls (a subject I touched on in the blog entry "Dolly Wars"), but I don't think they're as flagrant a ripoff as certain other dolls!

However, that hair of Meygana's is a right mess, and that is a pretty big factor here.  She's an otherwise-attractive and fun doll drowning in her tresses.  My doll already looks like she's been through a tornado, and I haven't had her but two weeks.  It wouldn't take a child five minutes to get Meygana's hair into a big fuzzy mass of irreparably tangled nylon fibers.  Hey, you know how tough kids can be on their toys.  Don't forget that cape, either.  It looks very flimsy.  Based on the hair and the wimpy construction of the cape I don't recommend this doll to young children unless they're the kind to put their dolls on shelves and look at them.  If I were picking for a child who plays with her dolls a lot, or who is very fussy about her doll's appearance, I'd skip Meygana and go with either Yasmina (who has braids) or Jade (who has a short bob).  If your child doesn't give a crap, or if you yourself want a doll that looks gorgeous on a shelf, OR if you're good with a pair of scissors, then go ahead and give Meygana a chance.  She is a witch after all, and she may just bewitch you with her beauty and charm!
Looks like my two birthday dollies have become fast friends!  Note that Meygana is wearing part of a new fashion pack in that last pic.  Just a little something I picked up on our last outing to the north town.  It consists of a hat, a pair of shoes, a shawl, and a backpack which I usually loop over one of Meygana's arms.  It doesn't match Meygana's stock outfit too well, but I plan on remedying that fairly soon.  I love that tartan shawl though; it gives Meygana sort of a Celtic vibe.

Oh yes, I also picked up something else.  The Bratzillaz come with pets.  Like the Cutie Pops, these pets are sold separately from the dolls.  Or they are in the U.S; I was told by a British buyer that the Bratzillaz in the U.K. are sold with their pets.  Meygana's pet is a pegasus named Wingzy, and I bought him with the outfit Meygana's wearing.  His eyes light up and his wings flap, and he's cute, but he's little more than a gimmicky add-on.
Wingzy has that same nylon crap hair, by the way.  The tips were so mangled that I did have to cut them.  I braided the rest to hide the rough cut job.  Gotta admit, that braid looks pretty cute tucked underneath his goggles!

There are also clothing sets available for the Bratzillaz, just like the Cutie Pops.  Eight customized sets are available (a dress set for every character, and cape sets for Yasmina, Meygana, and Jade).  But I like the sets so much that I may get Meygana all five.  I think Cloetta's set is the cutest; an image of what it looks like on Meygana can be found here.

Now that that's done, sweeping change of subject.  I have two ideas for a possible next blog.  It'll either be the aforementioned comparison of the LIV, Moxie Teenz, and Bratzillaz bodies, or another review.  Mama and I are going to Cape Girardeau to fetch my sister this Friday, and I have been saving up for weeks for one special doll.  She's completely unlike anything I've ever owned, and when (if?) I get her I will share her with you.  In fact, she has a male companion, so I may have another double review for you.

My Cardinals lost, but I'm not cryin' over that; after all they won the World Series last year.  My focus is on the election now.  If you're not planning on voting, I urge you to reconsider.  The freedom you hold so dear may depend on it.

Love always,
RagingMoon1987

2 comments:

  1. I found a Meygana in a thrift shop, and her hair was a disaster. I tried fixing it, but it's still a giant pouf ball. I have not worked up the guts to cut it yet, like Emily has done.

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    1. I heard that was true of all the first-wave Bratzillaz. Even the ones with straight hair were bad. If you do resort to cutting it and make a big mess, I know of a place that sells great doll wigs in a wide array of sizes.

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