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Thursday, December 31, 2015

On dolls and floods

As y'all may or may not know by now, the 2016 Girl of the Year was unveiled today.  Her name is Lea Clark.  She appears to be Caucasian (again) with light brown hair and a Josefina head.  She is the third, repeat, THIRD doll to have a bit of an ecological twist in her story, the other two being Kailey and Lanie.  Granted, she does like photography, which sets her apart from surfer chick Kailey and do-nothing Lanie.  But more than ever it seems like American Girl is scrabbling for ideas for their Girls of the Year.  Talolili and I discussed that a bit on Facebook earlier; we both agree that Lea is cute, and I personally am looking forward to seeing what her wardrobe will contain, but for the most part Lea feels like yet another rehash.

Grace, meanwhile, is sold out.  Some of her items are still up on American Girl's website, but Grace herself is gone.  Gone away, into the archives and into American Girl History.  May the folks who got her thoroughly enjoy her.

Regarding My Twinn, the speculation wheels are still spinning, particularly in the Facebook group that I'm a member of.  One person heard that the company is folding completely, another heard that they'll be back up by January sixth, and a third heard that they may take an extended holiday and then come back.  For reasons that I've discussed in the past, I'm inclined to think the first reason is the correct one, but I may be completely wrong.  Another bone of discussion concerned a picture that I took.
Twenty-three inches is a lot more than eighteen!  Rael is a full head taller than Xenia, and that size difference triggered the discussion.  One woman remembered a slogan that My Twinn had long ago, one that showed a Twinn next to an American Girl doll.  The text accompanying the picture proclaimed "We're heads above the competition!"  Another woman commented, "What a shame it didn't stay that way!"  I'd been sensing an air of unhappiness around the group for a day or so, so I sniffed around for the root of it...and discovered that the root was one particular woman, a lady whom I'll call Miss L, and her dolls.  Miss L bought...oh, I think she bought twenty-one of the 18-inch models in the short time they'd been available, and in that short time eighteen of the twenty-one had eyes that clouded over and/or changed color.  Brown eyes turned a funky pinkish-lavender, blue eyes turned cloudy, and it was just a mess.  It was really sad, because Miss L bought dolls with beautiful faces. 

Miss L isn't the only one, of course.  Two of Miss Emily's four dolls (Frances and Ramona) have eyes that either faded or changed completely.  Frances's eyes changed in less than a year.  BahamianAGDollLovers has a similar story to tell; she uploaded a video about her MT doll Dera on February 15th.  On December 4th she reported that Dera's eyes had turned purple.  Again, the time frame is less than a year.  My Xenia is fine so far, but quite frankly, I'm just waiting to see what happens with her eyes.  I figure it's just a matter of time before hers turn too.  I knew that it wasn't unheard of for the eyes of 23-inch models to turn, but as Rael shows it's not as widespread as it is with the 18-inch dolls.  This suggests to me that the larger dolls were of higher quality all around than the smaller ones; I know this is true of Rael.  I don't mean to put Xenia down because I like her, but Rael is superior in almost every way.  Her eyes are bright, her eyebrows are well-drawn, her body is soft, her hair is shorter and less coarse, and she poses rings around Xenia.  She poses rings around all my dolls, in fact!  Anywho, I'll keep my eyes on the My Twinn website and see what goes down, and I'll be watching Xenia as well.

As a last little dolly tidbit, I've determined that unless something very serious comes along, 2016 will be the year that I get my first ball-jointed doll...or at least, my first resin ball-jointed doll.  Ju-hwang is a ball-jointed doll, but she's made out of plastic and isn't allowed on Den of Angels.  Anywho, my doll will be the grail doll that I spoke of in a prior post, an Angel of Dream boy named Tao Huandao.  I have a story cobbled together for him (most ball-jointed doll owners have backstories for their dolls), but I'm not going to reveal it now.  LOL, gotta keep you waiting!

In non-doll news, the rainstorm that hit during Christmas dumped a crap-load of rain on the central part of the country.  Every body of water in the area, from the drainage ditches to the Mighty Mississippi, is out of its banks.  This is what it's like in Cape Girardeau, a place that I called home for part of my early adulthood.

Cape Girardeau is located right on the Mississippi River, so close that it requires a flood wall to keep the water out when the river gets high.  The wall is five hundred feet long and twenty feet high, and the side that faces the city is painted with images of famous Missourians.  Experts estimate that it would take a flood stage of 55 feet to top the wall, twelve feet above the highest flood crest recorded in Cape.  Now...that being said, notice that in the picture above the water already is at flood stage.  Cape city officials ordered the flood gate closed long ago, so as far as I know the downtown area is okay.  But if we have a bad winter with a lot of snowfall, even up north, things could get ugly.  Malden is twenty-five miles from the Mississippi River, but after the flood we had in 2011 I know anything is possible!  I need to ask Mama if we've got flood insurance...y'know, just in case.  It may never happen to us, but better safe than sorry.

I know it's already the new year for some of y'all, but I'm still watching the clock.  We've got two hours to go here in Malden.  See y'all soon, and thanks for helping make it a great year here at Confessions of a Dolly Lover.  Your comments, opinions, and input have been greatly valued.

Happy New Year,
RagingMoon1987

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Day at Grandma's, part two

Sister and Brother-in-law finally made an appearance, so today we got to open presents.  The weather in Malden is horrible, so Xenia and Denise had to stay home.  I guess they'll have to meet Shirley some other time.  Grandma was ecstatic; she cheered and hugged Shirley like the long-lost friend she is.  But wait, there's more!  I also got something.
Remember when Xenia and Denise thought they heard someone in one of my boxes?  They were right.  This is a 23-inch My Twinn.  She has an Ariel head, just like Xenia does.  I knew something was up because I found her on Etsy and showed her to Mama, and then very shortly after she disappeared.  Mama says she's been here since shortly before my birthday in October.  I've chosen the name "Rael."  So now Denise and Xenia have a new friend to meet!  I won't review Rael since I feel that's looking a gift horse in the mouth.  If you want an in-depth discussion of 23-inch My Twinn dolls, see Miss Emily's post or Char's post at Doll Diaries.

In addition, Mama ordered a tie-dyed bathrobe from apriljunebug on Etsy.
The weather, as I said above, is atrocious here, and the robe is thick and hooded, so I'm using it as a coat right now!  

Unless Mama or I find a surrendered Denika on Etsy, eBay, or in a junk shop, Rael will probably be my last of these.  The company is once again shutting down, and I don't know if it's for good or if it's just temporary.  The Adopt-a-Friend page where I got Xenia is completely barren, and the items that are left over have had their prices slashed to pieces.  I'll include a link to the website (click here), but there isn't much left.  I'm sorry to see the company go (again), but I can't say it was a tremendous surprise.  The constant sales, the discontinuation of dolls Rael's size, the inactivity of the Facebook page, and the sudden disappearance of dark skin tones were all red flags.  Plus, the company has tanked twice before.  I assume that the high price and complex process of customization, declining quality, and competition from companies like American Girl are what sounded the death knell for My Twin, but that's strictly an assumption.  The scuttlebutt online is that MT wants to give it another whirl after the new year, but quite frankly, I'll believe that when I see it.  In the meantime I'll love Xenia and Rael, and I'll resolve to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas!

Merry belated Christmas and God bless,
RagingMoon1987

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day at Grandma's

It's Christmas Day, always a big affair in the Moon House.  Or it usually is.  My sister and brother-in-law aren't home yet, so we're pushing back gift opening until tomorrow.  That hasn't stopped certain little snoops from getting into the packages, though.  When I told Xenia and Denise that a Shirley Temple doll was in one of the boxes, they started digging.  (Denise's dialogue is red, Xenia's is blue, and mine is purple.)
"Shirley?"

"Are you in there?"
No, Xenia.  That's my sister's stuff.  Shirley is in Grandma's pile.

"Which pile is hers, then?"
"Wait a minute, I hear something in that box."
"Which one?  The big striped one?
"Yeah, that's the one"
That's my pile, Xenia.  Shirley isn't there.

"Well something is in here.  I can hear it."
"Hello?  Is someone there?"

TO BE CONTINUED!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Necessity is the mother of invention, part two

I wasn't expecting to make a second post like this, but my stupid anxiety problem reared its head again, and when I get antsy, I get crafty.  After visiting Ravelry (per a reader's very smart suggestion) I found patterns for some of the other dolls that I've got.  The last time I talked about Monster High dolls, so this post is going to be for the Bratz.  Yeah, I know that the relaunch brought some new clothing packs with it, but get this:  the new Bratz don't have the same body as the old ones do.  Based on what I've read, the new clothes don't fit the old dolls well.

The first pattern I attempted is a Sticka till Barbie pattern.  Sticka till Barbie has knitting patterns for Barbie, Bratz, and...Monchichi???  I thought Monchichi was furry enough to go around nekkid!  Anywho, this is Bratz pattern #31.  Model is Style It! Tessa.
The pattern calls for "yarn suitable for 2 mm knitting needles," so I chose this sherbet-colored wool blend, the name of which has unsurprisingly escaped my mind.  The finished product does not have a lot of stretch or drape to it, and that's proven to be a bit of a detriment because I made the dress too small.  It fits Tessa like a babydoll dress, and I think it's supposed to fall lower on her waist.  Sasha can wear it better due to her older body, but it's still a struggle to get it on her.
If I try this pattern again it will probably be with baby yarn.

This next dress is from Sticka till Barbie as well, though I can't remember which pattern it was.  Model is Style It! Maci.
The pattern called for fine-gauge yarn on size one needles, so I used Aunt Lydia's Crochet Cotton.  The results came out fine except for one slight problem:  the pattern was a Barbie pattern, not a Bratz pattern.  Apparently Aunt Lydia's stuff is a little TOO fine-gauge to suit this pattern.  So I adjusted the placement of the dress's snaps a bit and made it fit a Bratz body.  It's just a tiny bit too big on Maci, but it's hard to tell.

Next pattern is from Appletree art n crafts group knits.  Sultana Vafeiadou drafted this one.  Model is first-wave Jade.
I used sock yarn again, Red Heart Heart and Sole in "Bayou" on size one needles.  I got the gauge too tight again, not ridiculously so, but enough that it's a pain in the butt to get this on Jade.  If you knit a bit on the tight side, I recommend a size two knitting needles instead of a size one.

Fourth dress comes from Nina's At My House.  I used size four needles and I Love This Cotton! in "Sock Monkey."  Model is a budget Meygan, the one whose hair I had to cut.
This pattern is extremely easy; the only stitches required are the knit stitch and the purl stitch.  Therfore, this is an excellent pattern for a beginning knitter.  I modified the pattern to make the skirt a little fuller, and as a result this dress fits the best.  I didn't have to take in the back or bend Meygan 's arms to get the dress on.

With Monster High and Bratz out of the way, that leaves the Lalaloopsy Girls and the Equestria Girls.  My search for Lalaloopsy Girl patterns has so far been fruitless, but I did find some things to make for the Equestria Girls.  Stay tuned for a third installment of this series! 

Best wishes,
RagingMoon1987 

Friday, December 4, 2015

My Twinn scuttlebutt

It's been a long, difficult week for me.  The woes with the furnace triggered a nasty anxiety flare-up and I ended up back on my medicine.  I feel better now that the problem with the furnace is rectified (it needed a new filter, silly me), but it may take another day or two before I feel 100% again.  I consider myself blessed to have a patient mother and an equally patient repairman.

Alrighty, with that out of the way, dolly news time.  When I reviewed my new My Twinn doll I had my doubts about MT's longevity.  They're always having sales, they phased out the 23-inch dolls and the dark skin tones, and their Facebook page was never updated.  

Wait a minute.  WAS???  Yep, if you try to find MT's Facebook page, you get a lovely redirect page instead.  Not that it mattered much, since the page's admins never monitored any activity on there anyway.  Heck, I sent them a picture of Xenia when she arrived.  I wanted to show them that she'd gotten here in one piece and to say thanks, but I got no response whatsoever.  

The sudden disappearance of My Twinn's Facebook page doesn't prove that the company is floundering once again, but it's definitely not a good sign.  That makes me glad that I got Xenia when I did.  However, I urge y'all to take my words with a grain of salt.  I have read nothing either confirming or denying My Twinn's closure.  When and if I do, I'll post an update.

Both Talolili and I have posts in the making, so keep your eyes peeled!

Love,
RagingMoon1987 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mattel's Andy Warhol Barbie

Well, it's the first day of December and Mattel has finally given us some official information regarding the next doll in their Platinum Label Series: Warhol Barbie. The doll has an edition size of 999 will retail at $100 and is supposed to go on sale on 12/3 at the Barbie Collector and The Ron Robison  sites, but strangely enough, Bloomingdale's started selling the doll days ago. She's sold out there now (of course) and I'm stumped as to how people found out about her being there so quickly. I was Googling (It's totally a real word) this Barbie nearly everyday LOL but rarely got any news. There's also unfortunately a lot of negativity surrounding the design of the doll from collectors. From her hair looking "Terrible." To the outfit and accessories not being authentic to Andy Warhol. I for one think the doll is a nice representation of Barbie paying homage to Mr. Warhol and not her actually trying to BE him. I imagine she just sees him as her role model for inspiration, to be unique and artistic.


My two main concerns are that the actual doll will look like the prototype images and that everyone who wants her will get a chance to buy her as there's so much competition for these limited dolls (scalpers ruin it for everyone). I also don't think Tokidoki or even Moschino had this sort of reaction from fans. Don't get me wrong, they had their issues, too, but I believe it was mostly aimed at how Mattel chose to sell and promote the dolls and not the actual dolls themselves. That doesn't seem to be the case with this one, though. As usual, there are even some Warhol Barbies already up on eBay but at inflated prices. Over 5x the original cost... I for one will be trying to get her on December 3rd and I wish the best of luck to all those who are after her. She's quite the interesting Barbie doll.

~Talolili


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Living la vida loca, part two (not doll related)

Late last night I spoke of our latest gadget woe, that being my belief that the new AC/heater unit was on the blink.  I threw the breakers, went to bed, and endured a sleepless night due to nerves, a cold nose, and tummy trouble.  I finally nodded off around six and didn't rise again until eleven-thirty.  My mother slept well, despite the fact that she hates the cold, and the fact that she was almost as concerned as I was when she hit the sack.

Anywho, we are blessed enough to have crossed paths with a heating/cooling crew that works on Sundays if there's some sort of problem, and he came right down.  He promptly ordered the breakers turned back on, gave the electrical work a thorough examination, looked at the outside unit, and diagnosed...what else but a dirty filter!  He also explained that the noise we heard was innocuous and that the smell should clear up with a new filter.  After teaching me how to change the filter, he scratched my cat's chin and left.

I wasn't 100% convinced that the filter was the problem, particularly when I smelled the odor again, so I pulled out the filter, gave it a good shake, and put it back in.  I still get occasional whiffs now and again, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was.  Now all I've got to do is wait for the new filters to come (we had to order some online) and pray that nothing else goes wrong between now and then.  Oh yes, I also plan on going back on my meds; my anxiety nearly drove both Mama and me nuts this weekend.

Hats off to Carlos Warren and Son for helping us out today!  It was a Sunday and the weather has been less than stellar today, but a repairman came anyway.  Kudos to him!

Love always,
RagingMoon1987

Living la vida loca

Exactly half a year ago I was complaining about how hot it was in the house.  Now I've got reason to complain about it being cold.  Look at Pix E. Flutters' hair!
Pix's hair doesn't turn pink unless her surroundings drop below 66 degrees Fahrenheit.  Apparently it's that cool in the house right now.

In case you haven't guessed, our furnace went out.  Yep, the brand new one that we got installed back in late May.  On Thanksgiving I got a whiff of something funny when the unit kicked on.  It smelled exactly like something burnt out.  Then the unit began making strange noises.  My mother can't smell well because of allergies, so she thought I was losing it until earlier this evening.  She heard the noise for herself, so now we're sitting around with the unit off and the breakers thrown, per a friend's suggestion.  We may be able to have it looked at tomorrow, and I'm praying that the men can fix it without a lot of fuss.  Please cross your fingers for us; Mama and I have a large group of pets, and I hate for them to be uncomfortable.

Cheers, I guess,
RagingMoon1987

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Little Thanksgiving Fun

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and if you're out shopping today, stay safe out there! Our Thanksgiving dinner went well but it was rather quiet here so I decided to take some of my Dollfie Dreams out for some autumn fun!

I went to a local doll convention last weekend and it rekindled my interest in "playing" with my dolls. I have been neglecting them a bit because of my work schedule but I've been working on fixing that. Besides taking these photos, I learned how to make basic necklaces at the con and it's so fun! Chichi is sporting one in these pics. I also really can't believe I've never photographed these two ladies together but I'm really glad I took the time to do it. For those unfamiliar with Dollfie Dreams, they are basically just huge anime dolls. Made in Japan by Volks, just slightly under 2' tall and highly customizable. You can change their eyes, wigs, hands and more. They're made of soft vinyl and are similar to BJDs but they are lighter and have an internal skeleton (frame) instead of being strung with elastic.


Besties! 

 "I'm gonna make a leaf angel!" Chichi is a mess...

I have a few more DDs here at home but Chichi and Riko are my "youngest" characters so I thought they would fit these scenes best.
"Riko" is my shy half vampire who is formerly a Ranko Kanzaki Idolm@ster character doll. I fell in love with her at first sight. Her eyes and cute little smile are just adorable.

 "Chichi" is a Chihaya Kisaragi Idolm@ster doll. She's my spunky lil' tomboy. 


If you look up the character names along with the company you'll see mine are a bit different from how they normally look. I've kept the eyes the same but everything else is completely unique to them. I like to create my own little personalities and stories for these dolls but some people like to keep them in character and there's nothing wrong with that. Whatever makes you happy, go with it!

I've also just heard that Volks is going to be releasing some new Idolm@ster dolls soon. I better not look too into it, bad for the wallet! Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

~Talolili

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Barbie Fashionistas "L.A. Girl" review, plus a discussion on Fashionistas in general

I feel a little silly reviewing this doll since these modern Fashionistas are very similar to the majority of the dolls I've got.  However, I've been wanting this particular doll for awhile, so I'm reviewing her anyway.  This is the Fashionistas doll commonly known as "L.A. Girl."
L.A. Girl gets her fan-given nickname from her shirt.  I don't know why this particular doll is so popular, but like Moschino Barbie, she is.  Maybe it's the hair.  L.A. Girl has blonde hair like 99% of the Barbie dolls in this world.  However, there are two things that set her apart.  One side of her head is buzzed. 
Instead of rooted hair, L.A. Girl has pale yellow flocking.  It's just like Venus McFlytrap's hairstyle.
As if a buzzed head weren't edgy enough, L.A. Girl also has pink streaks in the hair that she DOES have.
The streaks are cotton candy pink rather than the hot pink that I've grown to associate with Barbie.  I've spoken often about my dislike for the overuse of pink in doll lines, but I love these streaks.  They jive well with the rest of L.A. Girl's hair.  According to a prototype picture that Monkfish found, there were supposed to be pale blue streaks as well.  Why Mattel nixed this is anyone's guess.  As an aside, L.A. Girl's rooted hair came with a fair amount of styling gel in it.  This brushed out with no fuss and left the hair in soft waves.  Unfortunately, it also wants to fly in L.A. Girl's face a lot.  That's a bit unfortunate, because L.A. Girl has a lovely face.  Check this out.
Her eyebrows are blocky and brown, suggesting to me that she does more with her hair than streak it pink and shave one side.  Her eyes are brown, rather than blue like most blonde Barbies.  Her eyeshadow is subtle, consisting of a cream inner band, a light brown outer band, and a fair amount of mascara.  L.A. Girl's lips are bright red.  She has a closed smile, another departure from the usual Barbie face.  She also has a beauty mark on her right cheek, which I love.  Again, I don't run into too many playline Barbies with beauty marks.

As I looked L.A. Girl's face over, I realized that although she's part of a Barbie line, her appearance is very...well, it's very UN-BARBIE!  At one time the Fashionistas came with individual nicknames, mostly silly crap like "Glam" or "Sporty."  I also learned that the first wave of Barbie Basics were to have nicknames as well.  If this had been done, my #3 girl on the right would've been Alexis and...I think #10 would have been Christie.  I can't get the website to load, so don't quote me on that second one. 
I named them Vivian (left) and Steph, but I digress.  In light of this revelation, I wondered if L.A. Girl and her Fashionista friends had nicknames.  My hunch turned out to be right...sort of.   
According to Carlyle Nuera, these names are fan-given names and not official ones.  It turns out that he designed several of these dolls, so he'd know if the names were official or not.  Anyway, according to my fellow fans, L.A. Girl's name would be "Elizabeth."  The name "L.A. Girl" is a bit of a mouthful, so I think I'll call her Elizabeth from now on.

Before I move on to clothes, let me show you the other 2015 Fashionista that I own.
Before Elizabeth was released, this doll was the It Girl.  She has a Desiree head, just like Vivian does.
The catch is that this doll has the head done in pale vinyl.  I don't think that's ever been done before; the Desiree head is a common mold, but it's usually rendered in tan or dark brown vinyl.  Anyway, this doll too has a fan name.  Hers is "Kenzie."  I find this odd since the last Kenzie doll had the Lea face and very, VERY red hair, but Kenzie was the only member of the Mystery Squad that I liked so I'm pleased to have her namesake aboard.

Alrighty, clothes.  Elizabeth comes dressed in a two-piece getup, a departure from the one-piece dresses that Kenzie and a couple of my other dolls have.
They don't make doll clothes like they used to!  These Fashionista clothes tend to go heavy on stiff synthetic crap, and Elizabeth's getup is no exception.  Here's the L.A. Girl top that gave her her first nickname.
The bad news is that the top is made of that stiff shiny stuff I just complained about, the kind that likes to catch and snag on unkempt fingernails.   It's badly wrinkled from the packaging, too.    The good news is that it's well-hemmed and solidly put together.  The material actually has a pretty pattern, too.  When seen from a distance the fabric merely looks pale blue.  A closer inspection reveals a faint floral pattern.  It's printed all the way around too.  See?
The skirt is a black A-line job.
It has a few surprising details.  The front is made of smooth black pleather and has a silver zig-zag sewn down the front.
The sides have semicircular patches that are made of a softer material with subtle little sparkles on it.  The back of the skirt is made up of a third type of material that has a bit of stretch.  Neither of these sections photographed well.

Rounding out the look are these black flats.
These shoes are pretty nondescript.  They have molded straps and molded buckles, and they have to be rubber banded to Elizabeth's feet.  That disappoints me a bit, because I like it when my dolls' shoes can stay on without help.  The rubber bands are the clear kind, so they don't show too much.

Elizabeth's accessories are also average, consisting of a plastic clutch and a necklace.
These are very ordinary accessories, but they add a nice splash of color to Elizabeth's ensemble. 

You may have noticed in the shoe picture that Elizabeth has flat feet.  This is a fairly new thing that several of the new Fashionistas have.  It's something unique and different, but that renders Elizabeth unable to wear nearly all of the shoes I own.  Some of the accessory packs come with flat shoes, and some of my LIV shoes may work, but for the most part Elizabeth's options are few in the shoe department.  Good thing her stock shoes are so versatile.  Little black flats go with just about everything.

But then again, Elizabeth's body is just plain strange.
When the first Fashionistas made their debut, they were highly articulated.  Only their immobile ankles prevented them from being modern-day Living Barbies.  Elizabeth's mobility is poor in comparison, though it's nowhere near as bad as a Stardoll's mobility.  She has five joints:  hips, shoulders, and neck.  Her neck and shoulders are your standard ball joints that are all but ubiquitous on Barbie dolls.  Her hips have a bit of lateral movement, enough that she can stand with her ankles crossed.
That's the extent of it, though.  Elizabeth can't do side splits, but in her defense most of my other dolls can't either.  The hips do have a respectable amount of forward and backward movement, enough so that Elizabeth can sit...
...and do a back-front split.
Elizabeth's knees do not bend at all, which I gather has become commonplace for modern-day Barbies.  Some of the Fashionistas have both knees set in a straight position like Elizabeth does, and some have one knee bent and the other straight, like Kenzie does.  Dolls with one bent knee have one hip popped out to the side and one shoulder higher than the other.  Since Kenzie has a bent knee, her body has scoliosis the popped hip.
Elizabeth has straight knees, so her torso is not bent.

Both dolls have an arm frozen in a bent position.  This is both good and bad.  Kenzie and Elizabeth can wave in a convincing manner...
...they can play with their hair a bit...
...and needless to say, they can stand with one hand on one hip.  Other positions are less graceful.  In fact, I had a hard time finding poses that WEREN'T on the robotic side!

I find it odd that these Fashionistas are supposed to be play dolls, and yet their bodies are more similar to Model Muse bodies.  In case you don't know, Model Muse bodies are the highly rigid bodies equipped by dolls that are meant for adults.  Moschino Barbie, Tokidoki Barbie, and the Basics I shared above have the Muse body, as do plenty of others.  I have few complaints about the Muse body; it's graceful and it has a pretty shape, so it has its place in the Barbie world.  I don't like it on playline dolls, though.  If a doll is meant to be played with, then I would prefer that she have a more flexible body like the bellybutton body, or like the body of the fantastic new Made to Move doll.  But then again, a high number of joints can mean more weak spots, more places where a doll can break or fall apart.  I highly doubt that Kenzie and Elizabeth will encounter that problem.

Strangely enough, although the Fashionistas' bodies are similar to the Model Muse bodies, they are not the same.
Vivian's Muse body sports longer legs and some bone structure at the collarbone and the rib margin.  Kenzie's Fashionista body has molded undies, as does Elizabeth's body.  It also looks like the two dolls have different waist sizes, but to verify that I'll need to play Dolly Dress Shuffle.  Vivian rocks Kenzie's dress, but her feet are too big for Kenzie's pink heels.
Since Elizabeth has flat feet, it's pointless for Vivian to try those black shoes.  I doubt the would have fit anyway, since Viv's feet are bigger than high-heeled Fashionista feet.  Elizabeth's clothes are loose on Vivian, particularly the skirt.
Vivian's original dress and shoes are in storage, so the Fashionistas first get to try on her purple minidress.  It's a wee bit tight on Kenzie, but it accentuates her curves nicely.  Elizabeth's body isn't as curvy as Kenzie's, but she too can wear Vivian's spare dress.
As I mentioned above Vivian's stock dress is in storage.  That's a bummer since it's got a deep neckline.  It would've looked interesting on the Fashionista bodies, I'll bet.  All is not lost, however.  My Muse-bodied Barbie Look doll has never been redressed so her gold frock is on hand.  But as it turns out, it doesn't matter whose dress is available...
...because neither Elizabeth nor Kenzie can wear Model Muse clothes!  Their hips are too wide, and I suspect that Elizabeth's waist would've been too wide as well.  For the record, Barbie Look's gold pumps fit Kenzie very well.
So what's the final say on my Elizabeth?

BAD
*I hate the way Elizabeth's top handles.  It is stiff, it holds wrinkles like mad, and it feels like it can snag.
*Shoe options are limited...for now.  Hopefully Mattel will get on the stick and make some more flat shoes.
*Body is stiff.  It can strike some very cute poses, but it can also look awkward.
*Accessories are mundane, though they are a nice color.
*Can't wear all Barbie clothes.  The current playline outfits are no problem, but Model Muse clothes are OUT!

GOOD
*Hairstyle is original for a Barbie.  If we were talking Monster High the style would be less impressive, but we're not.
*Face is pretty, and not generally so like Barbie can sometimes be.
*Clothes are more versatile.  Since there are two pieces, there's more room for mixing and matching.  The black skirt has lots of potential.
*The fabric print goes all the way around, something one doesn't always see nowadays.
*The black shoes are also versatile, a good thing considering Elizabeth's limited shoe options.
*I forgot to mention this above, but Elizabeth can sit down while fully clothed.  Kenzie cannot; her dress is too tight.
*Mobility, while not the best, is much better than that of some other dolls meant for play.  Stardoll, I'm looking at you.
*Sturdy.  Those stiff limbs are restricting, but they are also a potential blessing in disguise.

My feelings for Elizabeth and Kenzie are mixed, though they're not so mixed that I'm going to berate them much.  Both dolls are nice dolls; they stand out from their fellow Fashionistas, particularly with their unorthodox hair and their nonstandard faces.  I think the thing that bothers me most is that jointing.  These dolls look, move, and feel like they should be collectibles, but they're very clearly toys.  I particularly miss the knee joints; even the old rubbery click knees lend some realism to certain poses, like walking or sitting poses.

Frankly, I wasn't planning on reviewing this doll.  My intention was to find her, buy her, and quietly add her to my collection like I did with Kenzie and with countless other dolls.  However, I'm glad I did review her.  It makes me more aware of the Fashionistas' flaws, but it also makes me appreciate Mattel's efforts to make Barbie more interesting.  These new Fashionistas remind me of the Fashion Fever line, which existed during my teenage years.  Both lines appear to be experimenting with new faces, new hairstyles, new hair/skin color combos.  Though the Fashionistas are not perfect dolls, I applaud them for attempting to break new ground without giving up the play factor.  That makes them worth owning.  Therefore I recommend these for kids and collector alike.  They are an excellent way for a young child to get the feeling of a collector's doll without breaking the bank.  If you're an adult collector looking for some new faces, these will fit the bill nicely.

Happy Thanksgiving,
RagingMoon1987