Looking for something?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A tale of two Danielas

Saturday was a damp, windy, drizzly day, good for sleeping in.  So guess what my nutty family decided to do?  Tick, tick, tick...time's up!  We went shopping!  Yes, shopping, so close to Christmas and we're shopping.  Shopping instead of sleeping in.  Sleep is a valuable asset to both students and teachers alike (my mother is a schoolteacher), so this is a significant sacrifice.  Anyway, we braved the elements and went out (heck, it was better than staying at home watching TV).  My mother was searching for Christmas trinkets for her students and for her mother/my grandmother, and I...well, I'm still looking for B.F.C. Ink dolls.  Nope, still haven't found any!  None at the Toys R Us we visited a few weeks back.  None at any of the Wal-Marts we've been to.  None at the rather seedy Big Lots that we went to today.  But tucked away in the far corner of said Big Lots, between rows of generic-looking Barbie dolls, I did find this little gem.
This is a Moonlight Dance Daniela, and she cost ten bucks American.  I forget what the Moonlight Dance line of LIV dolls originally cost; I assume it was about twenty like the other LIV dolls.  If so then I got her for a very fair price indeed.  If you look close you can see that the front flap that originally covered the box is torn off.  Sometimes that has a factor in the pricing of a doll, so I'm wondering if I got the deal because of the damage.

I had seen the Moonlight Dance LIV dolls about a year ago, during my online search for doll clothes.  The line consisted of the four original girls, Sophie, Katie, Daniela, and Alexis, and all four dolls are very attractively dressed.  I admired both the Daniela and the Alexis from this line, but the only dolls available in my area by then were the Making Waves dolls, so I gave the Moonlight Dance dolls up as "ones that got away," purchased Daniela and Jake from the Making Waves line, and busied myself buying up clothes and wigs.  Daniela and Jake made me very happy and still do.
As the year shifted from 2011 to 2012 I and many other collectors watched as the LIV dolls released new lines, showed significant hits in quality with those new lines, and then finally were phased out altogether.  Collectors snapped up what few dolls remained, so that is why I am now both shocked and pleased to find the Moonlight Dance doll I initially coveted!  I can only wonder why such a nice doll turned up at Big Lots in the first place, unless the Toys R Us next door couldn't sell her due to the damaged box and gave her to Big Lots on a discount.  TRU's loss was my gain!

Tangent over, I had intended to give you a review of the Making Waves Daniela that I already had, and now I have the Moonlight Dance Daniela as well.  Since I have the same character from different lines, I'll do a comparison instead.  The differences are mainly superficial and cosmetic, but I'll show them to you anyway.

Here are both dolls in their stock outfits.
Both dolls are the same height, by the way.  Moonlight Dance Daniela (hereafter referred to as MD Daniela) is wearing shoes add a few millimeters to her height.  She has that beautiful green dress that I loved so much, black hose, black boots, black arm warmers, and "gold" jewelry.  If you look close you can see that the dress's bodice has a shiny bluish sheen to it; this aspect is unfortunately very difficult to photograph.  You'll just have to take my word for it, it's gorgeous.  And it's well-sewn; the hems are not much to look at if you turn them upside down, but luckily there's not much reason for that!
Making Waves Daniela (referred to hereafter as MW Daniela) is wearing a blue-and-white two-piece bathing suit.  She has a pair of blue star-shaped earrings, but they're currently MIA so she's wearing a pair from another outfit.  She also carries a small purse and a pair of blue sunglasses, which look very cute when perched on her nose.  And FYI, I got her pants on backwards in the left picture!
The Daniela I found had no shoes, which I found odd, because Amazon.com advertised this particular doll as having shoes...and RED earrings.  Mine, as I stated, had blue earrings.  This suited me just fine since red would not have gone with the overall blue of the outfit.  But why on earth would Amazon just...LIE about such a thing?  That was what I thought they did, anyway...until I looked closer at the stock photo they were using!
The shoes are obvious in the picture, and if you enlarge the photo you can clearly see that Daniela is wearing RED earrings, not the blue ones that mine came with.  The only explanation that I can give is that Spin Masters originally meant for these dolls to come with shoes (which NONE of the Making Waves dolls did) and red earrings.  The red certainly does not match the overall outfit, but go figure on the shoes.

Compared to the classy, conservatively dressed Moonlight Dance line, the Making Waves dolls look a little cheap and basic.  In response to those criticisms, I will point out that MW Daniela's swimsuit is just as well-made as MD Daniela's dress.  In fact, the hems are cut closer, so they look less ragged when turned inside out (I still don't recommend doing that, since that's not the way these clothes are supposed to go).  My particular doll did cost less than the average MD doll, but the decrease in price probably reflected both the smaller, simpler outfit and the introduction of smaller boxes.  This may or may not be true, but either way my MW Daniela is certainly not lacking in quality.  I'll show you this further on down.

As an interesting little side note, Daniela was not the only doll to look different from her early stock photos.  This blog entry from LIV Doll Source has an image of how Jake was originally supposed to look, and an image of the actual product.  There's quite a difference between the two!

Facepaint and eyes
Another difference between MD Daniela and MW Daniela is the way their faces are painted.
Their lip color is different, obviously.  MD Daniela has a shimmery shade of light pink.  It's difficult to pick up properly in photographs.
MW Daniela has lovely cranberry-colored lips.  I am unsure whether this is supposed to be her natural lip color or a shade of gloss, but it looks very pretty regardless.
Less obvious is the difference in eye paint.  Both dolls have lovely brown inset eyes, and both dolls have long, thick, painted lashes.  MD Daniela's eye shadow looks like this:
This isn't the best picture, but she has gold eye shadow, and what appears to be either pale lavender or light gray shadow closer in.  Also, if you look closely at my MD Daniela, you can see that she is somewhat cross-eyed!  This doesn't surprise me much since these are small dolls with inset eyes, and the smaller the doll, the harder it is to properly position the eyes.  Having slightly wayward eyes doesn't bother me much, since it makes this particular doll look more like an individual person.  Heck, I have a lazy eye myself!

MW Daniela's eye shadow looks like this:
She has pink eye shadow close to her eyes, and shimmery nude stuff higher up.  Not what I'd wear to the beach, but it's not hideously garish, like some of the Twist and Dance dolls (the doll in this link is Sophie, by the way).  My MW Daniela has straighter eyes, but I wasn't even paying attention to such things when I bought her, so I was just extremely lucky.

Body (WARNING:  some dolly nudity will be present here, so proceed carefully)
Both of these dolls have the older body, the one that is highly articulated and also fairly sturdy.  Their elbows, ankles, and wrists bend and rotate, and both of them have "kneecaps," or the extra pieces that enabled these dolls to kneel so well.  MD Daniela is on the left in the picture below, and if you look closely you can see that her tights left faint marks on her legs.
Both dolls kneel superbly well.  MD Daniela's tights are no hinderance whatsoever.
The only difference of note is the presence of painted-on undergarments on MD Daniela.  MW Daniela has the same molded-on design, but her panty lines are...well, they're nude!
I'm not sure if all LIV dolls are wigged (I've never handled a Twist and Dance doll, so I don't know for certain), but the Moonlight Dance line and the Making Waves line both sport wigs for their female dolls.  In this case the differences are in the wigs; both my Danielas have the same painted hair.  Well...mostly, it's the same.  MD Daniela's hair is a teensy bit lighter, and there are some differences in the hairline.  But for the most part it's the same hair.
Here are the wigs.
The base color for both wigs is the same; it looks black in these pictures, but the color is actually a very dark brown.  MD Daniela has long blonde strands as well, but I'm not a huge fan of this look.  I don't mind peek-a-boo dye jobs; I have one LIV wig that's colored that way, in fact.  But all the strands are the same length!  The blunt cut of the dark fibers just looks weird to me.  It looks okay when it's actually on the doll though, so I can live with it.

Both dolls have bangs and parts in their wigs.
MD Daniela has a side part and side-swept bangs, while MW Daniela has a center part and a full set of bangs.  Not a huge deal since these dolls can switch wigs quite easily.  MW Daniela doesn't look particularly enthused about switching, but that's too bad for her!  LOL
And that, ladies and germs, concludes the auction!  I would say that once you've seen one LIV doll you've seen them all, but that's clearly not the case.  Yes, it's quite obvious that both of these dolls are Daniela dolls, but they have just enough flourishes to make each one separate and individual.  They're different enough that if I had found these running loose in a junk shop with no wigs or clothes, I'd have been able to say "yeah this one is from one line and this one is from another."  But I'd also have been able to say "both of these dolls are Daniela."  In short, I'm pretty happy with both my girls.  I'm particularly happy to have a third LIV doll in the mix, and I'm tickled pink that it happens to be the very doll I wanted to begin with, with that gorgeous green dress.

In closing, I would like to note that my local Wal-Mart has also had a sudden influx of LIV doll equipment in the clearance rack.  I saw five different outfits and one doll left (It's My Nature Alexis, also missing the front flap off her box).  I bought one outfit and am going to wait until after Christmas to return for the clothes.  I may rue that decision, but that's what I'm going to do.  If Alexis is still there then I may grab her too, but if I can't get her then that's fine.  I still have my lovely ladies!  In the meantime I'm going to grab some munchies, kick back, and wait for the end of the world to not happen.  You probably won't hear from me again until after Christmas, so I want to wish all of my followers and readers a safe, blessed, and very merry Christmas.  In the midst of all the gifts, food, and family, take some time to remember the real reason for the season, especially if you are a Christian, like I am.  Take some time to thank God for sending His Son to live with us, know us, and die for us.
Say goodnight, ladies!

Merry CHRISTmas and God bless,


  1. I think the only thing I didn't like about Livs is the fact that their promotional material never matched the dolls produced. I know that's the norm, but Liv always did it too far and it made you want the version, particularly clothing, that was in the photo instead of the one you actually got.

    Great post and a Merry Holdiay to you as well.

    1. I noticed that! It seems almost like the folks at Spin Masters couldn't make up their minds about how a final product should look. They were cute dolls, and the earlier ones were of superb quality, but changing the product got a little ridiculous after awhile. Thank you for your comments and a very merry Christmas to you!

  2. Hello from Spain: I like LIV dolls. I have some in my collection. Too bad there are no more stores LIV in my city. You made a great buy and very cheap. Keep in touch

    1. This, along with an Alexis that I found in Wal-Mart a couple of days back, is the last of the LIV dolls around here as well. They are becoming increasingly hard to find. Thank you for your input!