Looking for something?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire

Yesterday, the twenty-first day of November, 2012, was a very dolly day for me.  We went out to search for schoolbooks for my sister and odds and ends for Thanksgiving dinner, and I had my eyes peeled for a very special doll.  I did not find the doll I was looking for, but I did find this.  WARNING:  this post contains dolly nudity for the sake of body comparison.
For those of you who do not read (a bad thing), do not follow trends (a very, very GOOD thing), or who like living under a rock (a strange thing), this is Katniss Everdeen, the lead character from the popular book/movie series "The Hunger Games."

Time for my usual backstory.  Usually I hate trends, and my feelings for trendy book series are no different.  I never read the Harry Potter series (though that is on my bucket list) and I avoided the Twilight Saga (that set is NOT on my bucket list; I want nothing to do with Twilight).  I probably would've made it a clean sweep with the Hunger Games, but in March of 2011 (the 25th, to be exact) I broke my ankle and was laid up for six weeks.  To keep me occupied my sister gave me some books, and one of them was the first book from the Hunger Games series.  I couldn't put it down.  I'm not going to say much about the book series, except that Katniss is the dominant character and protagonist.

A year and a half later I have read both the first and the second book, but not the third, and haven't even come close to seeing the movie.  But when I found out that Mattel and several other doll companies were jumping on the bandwagon with characters from the series I was stoked.  It wasn't a huge shock, given the number of Twilight and Harry Potter dolls running around out there, but I was still pleased.  But you know how the Barbie Collectors website can be; they get awesome products in, sell out in a short period of time, and then never get the doll back in stock (that happened with Tokidoki Barbie).  So my hopes were not high on getting Katniss...until I saw her at Super Wal-Mart today.  For twenty-five bucks, no less!!!  The BC website had her listed for thirty!  Okay, both those prices are rounded up to the nearest dollar, but five bucks saved is five bucks saved.  Selah!

Enough storytelling, let's take a gander at Katniss.
The doll is pretty faithful to both the movie actress and the book's description of Katniss.  Her hair is brown and tied up in a simple braid, which is worn over the right shoulder...just like Katniss did in the book and the movie.
There are also two bits of hair framing either side of Katniss's face; these are lacquered down pretty stiff with hair spray or gel or God knows what.  The left piece is also sewn in place.
The braid is banded at the top and bottom by brown rubber bands.  I assume this is to keep things neat in that box.  The end of the braid is also gelled, for reasons I'll never know.  That too is probably an attempt to keep things neat.  Presentation in the box seems to be everything these days.
I'll probably brush that out.

Katniss's face is pretty.  She has gray eyes like the character is supposed to, though on the doll they look more blueish-gray.  Her eyebrows lack a lot of detail, but they match her hair nicely.
It all looks fine...to the naked eye...

The paint around her eyes confuses me a bit.  I'm not sure if she's supposed to be wearing eye makeup, or if Mattel simply painted around the eyes to accentuate them.  If the latter is true, then it worked out fine.  Also, take a gander at the right eye.  Is it just me, or is there more black paint around that eye than around the left one?  It looks almost like Katniss chose wear some eyeliner on her right eye...and only her right!

The rest of Katniss's face is completely neutral.
She has no blush, and her lips are a natural-looking pink.  Her expression is serious but pleasant, not angry or scared or sad or vengeful like the character in the book might have looked.  I originally thought that Mattel chose the Kayla/Lea sculpt for Katniss, like they did for this doll:
Fashion Fever Kayla, an example of the Kayla/Lea face sculpt.

But I turned out to be wrong.  According to Talolili's Flickr site, Katniss utilizes the Goddess sculpt, like THESE dolls (I'm not going to post that picture here because those dolls are not mine like the Kayla doll is).  The Goddess sculpt is a good choice, but frankly, neither of that nor the Kayla/Lea sculpt would have been my first choice.  My pick would have been the Louboutin sculpt, like on this doll:
Model No. 14 is still high on my dolly bucket list, by the way (this one is not mine either, but she's a publicity pic so I posted her here).  Before Mattel even announced that there would be Hunger Games dolls I looked at 14 and thought "she'd make a great Katniss."  She's just a tad more serious than the Katniss doll.

Moving right along, Katniss's outfit.  It's very utilitarian, almost military looking (again, accurate to the books and the movie).  I'm not sure I want to undress her, given the fact that I may never get her pants legs to tuck into those boots ever again.  Then again I'd like to get a good look at her outfit...and the body she has underneath that outfit...but those boots are stiff and won't be going anywhere!  I can at least get her jacket and top off and give you an idea of what those look like.  The jacket looks a lot like some of the clothes I saw at Orchelin's today.  It feels like it's made of water-repellent material, which again is accurate to the first book (as far as I can remember...it's been a year and a half since I read that book).
It has an interior layer that looks like another shirt, and a fake zipper.  The upper arms and the front have gray trim.
And the inner hem of the second layer has red trim.
Also visible is Katniss's mockingjay pin, which is a key part of the storyline:
Yes, I said "mockingjay."  If you don't know what I mean, take a gander at the first book (and the movie too, since both have different explanations of the pin).

The shirt underneath is a basic black knit tank top.
Katniss's pants are olive green and fall to mid-calf.  
Both legs have big pockets which are nicely tailored.  
The flap opens, but the pockets are too tight for Katniss to put her hands in them.

Lastly, those shoes.  Or rather, those boots.  They are solid brown plastic, with three molded straps and two buckles.  They have no slits in the back, like the LIV dolls' shoes do.
They probably could come off if I pulled hard enough, but I just got this doll and am in no mood to break her.  

Katniss's accessories are few, a bow and a quiver with arrows in it.  Oh yes, and a three-piece stand, which has become standard for collectors' dolls.
There are three arrows, rendered in a metallic gray plastic that is somewhat flexible.  They are supposed to be silver, which again is a detail from the story.
They were originally lashed together with a rubber band, but that rubber band went to the bow.  Here's the bow:
It's made of a stiffer silver-gray plastic, with black thread for the string.  It has no handle or any way for Katniss to hold it on her own, hence the rubber band.  That may not be the most realistic way to attach an accessory to a doll, but she's at least holding the sucker!

I can only get Katniss undressed from the waist up, but that's enough for me to get an appreciation of her body.  Katniss is articulated like the Fashionistas, but her body is different from the two Fashionistas that I have.
Katniss appears to have a smaller bust than Artemis (Swappin' Heads Sassy, left) and Alexandria (first wave Wild, right), but that may just be an illusion.  She has a one-piece torso like Artemis's.  That part is harder to see in the pics, but if you handle Katniss for any length of time you can figure that one out on your own.  I also understand that Katniss has flat feet; I can't get those shoes off, but I'll take the word of other collectors.

Katniss does have joints, though; she has the traditional ball-joint shoulders and hinge hips that have both lateral and front-back movement.  She also has jointed knees, elbows, and wrists.  The flexibility of the knees is pretty good, too...especially since those pants are kind of stiff.
Those stiff pants may inhibit the knee's range of motion, but that's still a pretty good range.  The elbows, however, aren't so great.
Alexandria and Artemis can touch their heads.  Katniss cannot.  The wrist joints are alike all around, with both hinge and rotational movement.  Katniss is a little stiffer than the other two, but other than that there is no difference.
So I didn't find what I was looking for, but what I am very pleased with what I did find.  I was terrified that Katniss would turn into another scenario like Tokidoki Barbie, where I waited for months with money in hand, and then found all the dolls snapped up from the BC website.  Not this time!!!  There isn't much to complain about with Katniss; her joints are a little tight, but then again she's not a toy like Artemis and Alexandria are.  Her clothes don't come off, but I don't think they're supposed to unless you're really determined to put her in another outfit (and I'm not).  In short, I am definitely happy with Mattel's product and highly recommend the Katniss Everdeen doll to anyone who is both a doll collector and a fan of the Hunger Games series.  She may not be as nice as the dolls that Tonner has advertised, but she's more affordable if you're on a budget!

I had intended to include my other finds in this review; I found a new dress for my Lalaloopsy doll (that makes the third) and a Barbie clone that caught my eye for some weird reason.  But it's getting late, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving so it's going to be busy.  Or TODAY is Thanksgiving, rather...it's after midnight where I am.  Oh well, I can always do that in the evening, after I've gorged myself on turkey and other good stuff that my mom and grandmother have slaved away to make.  God has blessed me with an excellent family (for the most part), and I intend on taking full advantage of this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving,


  1. Congratulations on getting your Katniss on sale and for finding one with a well-painted face.

    1. Thank you very much! She's really beautiful. Lemme tell you...I got mine for what I perceived as a bargain, and BC's website wanted $30. But I saw a bunch of these dolls at Toys R Us and they were asking FORTY BUCKS for her! Talk about a difference in price range!