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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mattel Royal Ball Cinderella Review

My first doll reviewed for this blog will be Disney's Royal Ball Cinderella made by Mattel.
The Ella (her real name in the live action film) doll was released earlier this year just in time for the movie's release. I had a few bumps in the road getting her here as my local Kmart was sold out and all other stores within a 50 mile radius didn't carry her. I eventually ordered her from Kmart online and picked her up a few days later were I was saddened to discover that her face paint was messed up. The eyebrows weren't fully painted on (poor Ella). After two calls to Mattel, my replacement Ella arrived in nearly perfect shape and her she is for this review!

Cinderella comes dressed in a beautiful blue and purple tinted gown that appears to be made from satin and tulle. The dress features yellow, blue and silver fabric butterflies on the bodice and skirt, and she also comes with her "glass" slippers. Each shoe has a gold butterfly on the top and they both easily stay on Ella's feet! Ella has a small braid on the top of her head and "tinsel" in her hair to make it resemble the look featured in the film. The dress is also VERY glittery all over. She does not come with a stand which seems to be a big mistake on Mattel's part. I realize this doll is targeted at little girls who love princesses and may only care about the sparkly dress, but the fact that this doll has a higher price tag ($39.99) than most Disney Barbies and even black/pink label collector Barbies, it certainly would've been nice to get a stand. Luckily, I had a spare one here that Ella took for herself.



Ella is slightly articulated and is able to move her arms and legs but her legs aren't bendable. For play I think she is severely limited but she definitely makes a great display piece for any Disney or general doll collector. My Ella's hair was also very flat when I took her out of the box and slightly loose on the left side. The clear rubber bands that that keep her hair in place seemed to be loose on mine so her style began to fall. Still, I think she is a very lovely doll and I intend to redress this one and keep the other in her box. I think Royal Ball Cinderella is well worth her price tag despite the cons mentioned and now most retailer have her on sale, so I'd get her if I were you before she becomes too hard to find. Many Disney dolls tend to go up in value over the years and I expect the same for this beautiful princess.



      Pros

  • Face sculpt is a great likeness of the actress Lily James
  • The dress is so beautiful and I love the colors and butterflies
  • The glass slippers are very detailed and STAY on! 
  • The small hair braid is a nice touch that's movie accurate
  • VERY lovely box art design perfect for display
    Cons
  • The dress gets glitter everywhere
  • Face paint CAN be iffy so check carefully!
  • Little articulation that kids may get bored with
  • No stand is included
  • Hair is flat in the back from the box (I don't really mind this much but wanted to mention it)
There is also a wedding version of Ella made by Mattel that comes dressed in a beautiful cream colored gown as well as a Fairy godmother doll and Lady Tremaine. Disney has produced their own versions of the characters as well. They have Ella in her ball gown, a set of Ella and Price Kit in their wedding attire and dolls of Lady Tremaine and the Fairy godmother. I prefer the Mattel Ella dolls myself but I also like the Disney Fairy Godmother. She looks more like Helena Bonham Carter in my opinion than the Mattel doll.


 I think all these dolls will be a hit with both kids and adults alike, and I hope to see more of the characters in stores in my area. I hope you enjoyed the review and if you decide to get your own Ella or one of the other characters or have even seen the movie please comment below!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dolly Dress Discussion: Return of the Vi and Va dress

RagingMoon1987 here, and this one's for D7ana!  After I reviewed the Vi and Va dress (link here) D7ana wanted to know if any of Barbie's siblings could wear the dress.  I thought this was a fantastic question, but I didn't have any modern Barbie siblings at the time.  Two weeks and three new dollies later, I now have the materials required to answer D7ana's question.  I ruled out Barbie in all her body sizes, early 90's Skipper, and Teen Skipper because they're too big, and Kelly and Chelsea because they're too small.  However, present-day Skipper, present-day Stacie, and 90's Stacie looked promising.  So here's the results that I got.

Skipper
Skipper looks super cute in the dress from the front...
...but in reality she's too big for it.  The dress doesn't even come close to closing in the back.
The shoes and the bolero that go with this dress didn't fit either.  The bolero MIGHT have fit, but it would've been ridiculously tight.  No, no, no, not the dress for Skipper.  Next dolly, please.

Stacie, present day
The results of this test shocked me.
Stacie couldn't wear the shoes, but the rest of this outfit fits her almost like it was made for her.  The Velcro doesn't match up all the way, but it's a close enough fit that I'd put this on Stacie again.  It's tricky to get the bolero over her bent elbow, but once it's on she's good to go.  The shoes don't fit.

Stacie, early nineties
Here's what this Stacie looks like.
First of all, that hat matches surprisingly well!  I thought leaving it on would be a big mistake, but it brings out the red in the flower on her waist.  That being said, this dress doesn't fit Old Stacie as well as it does New Stacie.  The bolero was easier to get on, but it's pretty tight across the shoulders.  Also, the Velcro doesn't close all the way, and unsurprisingly, the shoes didn't fit.  Still, I'd probably put this on Old Stacie in a pinch.  It makes me wonder what the other three Vi and Va dresses would look like on her.

As a little bonus, here's Princess Malucia in New Stacie's original outfit.
It's loose all over, but I like it enough to leave it on Princess Malucia while Stacie is wearing the Vi and Va dress.  I guess if the princess wanted to go incognito she could wear this to school.  I may have to drag out her original dress and try it on Stacie, since their body shapes are similar.

So there you have it!  Vi and Va dresses will work on either size Stacie doll, but are not recommended for Skipper of any size.  This is still good news, because clothes that will fit either Stacie are hard to come by.  90's Stacie has been discontinued for quite some time, and I don't think Mattel even makes extra outfits for the current Stacie.  Mattel, if you read this, PLEASE do that!  Barbie's sisters deserve some name-brand garb too.

And now, I have a question for myself.  Since Vi and Va are MGA dolls, I wonder how well their clothes would fit other MGA dolls like Bratz and Moxie Girlz?  Since I've got both in a couple of body sizes, that will have to be looked into.  Y'all likely haven't seen the last of this dress.

Ciao,
RagingMoon1987

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Barbie siblings, then and now

RagingMoon1987 here, and I've done a mini-shopping spree.  Hey, when's the last time I DIDN'T spend money???  I really need to grow up a little.  Anyway, I heeded the call of Barbie's Dreamhouse sisters and added a Skipper, a Stacie, and a Chelsea to my play group.  Let me tell you, they don't make these girls like they used to.  Check this out.

Skipper
From right, these dolls are an unidentified Skipper from the mid nineties, Totally Yo-Yo Skipper from 1998, and Barbie Sisters Fun Day Skipper, whom I bought a week ago.  I also have Tropical Splash Skipper somewhere in my room; she is the oldest of my Skipper dolls and comes from the big-headed, bug-eyed late-eighties/early nineties era.  I find it odd that Skipper appears to have grown up and then back down again; I'd have expected the newest doll to look...well, if we were to go with age progression then I'd expect her to look a lot like Barbie!  Fun Day Skipper looks a lot like her 1964 self, to tell the truth.  Heck, her chest is even flat!  The other Skipper dolls in that picture have some chest development, and 90's Skipper even has a bit of an hourglass figure going on!

Stacie
Happy Meal Stacie from 1993 (left) and Barbie Sisters Fun Day Stacie from this year (right).  Neither of them photographed well, but I think you get the drift.  The difference here makes a little more sense, with an obvious age progression showing here.  In 1993 Stacie was clearly a young girl, maybe six, seven, or eight.  Not a tiny child, but not necessarily a big one either.  Modern-day Stacie would fit into the "big kid" category; she looks like she should be about ten or eleven.  She's got a slimmer build than Happy Meal Stacie does, and her legs are longer.  In other words, Stacie's hit the gawky stage!  Poor child, I hope she weathers that stage better than I did (LOL).

Kelly/Chelsea
We've come to a part of Barbie's new life that I'm not very happy with.  In the nineties and the early part of the first millennial decade, Barbie had a toddler sister named Kelly.  She looked like the doll on the left, only blonde and blue-eyed.  Fast-forward to the current year, and Kelly is gone.  She's morphed into a little girl named Chelsea (right).  Again, there's an obvious age progression here.  Kelly's brunette friend looks like she might be about three or four, whereas Chelsea appears to be six or seven.  Her build is slimmer but shorter than that of Happy Meal Stacie, who looks like she'd be in Chelsea's age group.  Fine, fine, that's all fine by me.  I don't mind the fact that Chelsea has grown up.  But WHY did Mattel change her name???  What's wrong with Kelly???  When I saw these dolls in stores the first time I thought "Who the h**l is Chelsea?  What happened to Kelly?"  Yeah, I know it's just a name change, but darn it, I was so used to calling Barbie's youngest sister Kelly!  I'm having a rough time remembering to call her Chelsea now. 

By the way, if you like irony, catch this.  I thought Kelly's friend on the left was Lemonade Stand Nia.  WRONG!!!  My memory was so screwed up that I remembered a doll that never existed!  There was Lemonade Stand Tamika and Lemonade Stand Maria, but no Nia.  The doll on the left turned out to be an amusement park doll, and her name is...CHELSIE!!!  LOL, there's your irony!!!  Maybe Barbie disowned Kelly, dyed Chelsie's tresses blonde, changed the spelling of her name, and adopted her!  Okay, doubt that, but it really does make me wonder who is in charge of these names at Mattel.  I mean, Chelsie was the name of one of Barbie's Generation Girl friends back during the Millennium.  She was my favorite of the Generation Girls, in fact!  There were some other Chelsie/Chelsea dolls in the mix, but it would take all night to discuss those.

Where was I?  Oh yes, Barbie's sisters.  They sure as heck aren't the dolls my sister and I had!  Not that the new dolls are bad, but they're a far cry from Barbie's old siblings.  I daresay that of the four, Barbie has changed the least in the past twenty years.  Yeah, she got a body swap, but she's still clearly identifiable as Barbie.  When I saw these new, modernized versions of Skipper and Stacie, I had to read their packages to figure out who they were.  And as I mentioned above, I was VERY confused when I ran into Chelsea.  It made me miss the older dolls with their solidly built bodies and big, innocent eyes.  However, it was also a huge relief to see my childhood friends back on shelves.  I can't tell you how long it had been since I'd seen a Stacie doll, and there were whispers during my teenage years of Skipper's retirement.  So it's good to see those whispers silenced, even if these dolls are highly different from my old plastic companions.

As a last little tidbit, I want to address a question that one of our followers presented.  When I went over the Vi and Va dress a couple of weeks ago D7ana asked if the dress would fit any of Barbie's siblings.  I couldn't answer the question then, and I can't right now because I don't have the dress with me at the moment.  However, it's a very good question and I plan on addressing that very soon.  Sooooo...see you very soon!

Yours truly,
RagingMoon1987


Friday, March 13, 2015

Dolly Dress Discussion: Vi and Va Roxxi's dress

Ladies, gents, goofballs, it's RagingMoon1987 with some more chatter about doll clothes.  I do this so often that I decided to warn y'all in the title from now on.  Anyway, today my family braved the rain (not snow, thank God) and the resulting treacherous roads to run some errands up at Cape Girardeau, and while we were there I decided to pop into Target.  Remember when I mentioned MGA Entertainments new Vi and Va line?  Yep, they're here!  Or, they were at Target, at least.  I saw the birthday set and some new clothes.  I'm still holding out on one of the dolls because their eyes put me off somewhat, but the clothes are another story.  So far there are four outfits, which leads me to believe that there's one for each character.  Some of the outfits come with cute little anime-like mini dolls, but I just went with a single dress.  I got the one that's intended for Roxxi.
The dominant colors are yellow and orange, with blue and red accents.  I'm unsure whether the pattern on the skirt is supposed to be feathers, leaves, or ears of wheat, but either way it makes for an interesting looking garment.  The feathery/leafy material is stiff and unhemmed, but I doubt raveling will be a problem.  The petticoat underneath is orange with gold sparkles, and the bolero is a separate piece.  The dress is sleeveless and thus held up with clear rubber straps.  It's not perfect, but it's a cute dress. 

Anywho, I got this dress with the intention of trying it on some of the dolls I've already got.  Pix E. Flutters, Pepper Parsons, and Princess Malucia were all on my mind since they have small bodies and few clothes.  Pix went first.
The bodice is big around Pix's chest and slides around a lot, and the shoes didn't even come close to fitting.  Other than that this is fine.  I like how this looks with Pix's coloring and build, and I like how it covers most of her painted-on tights.  The bolero helps to hold the bodice in place, though it's still a task to get the bodice flattened out. 

Pepper went next.
The dress fits Pepper better than it does Pix, but it's still a little big in the bodice.  Again, the bolero helps to hold things in place.  Since Pepper's blue stock shoes match the blue belt so well I didn't bother trying on the orange shoes, so I can't tell you if those fit or not.  I doubt it since they're roomy shoes, and Pepper has little feet.  Overall I'm very happy with this result; this new dress is longer than Pepper's stock dress, so it provides a little more coverage.  As a last little note on this section, Pepper's coloring matches Roxxi's the closest of my three dolls.  Since the dress flatters Pepper's coloring she'll probably get to wear this again...that is, if Princess Malucia will give it back!

Right, Princess Malucia.  She makes Angelica Pickles look like a polishing school valedictorian, so spoiled is she.  I doubt she'd be into sharing, which brings us to the dress.
I don't think Malucia looks as good in the dress as Pepper does, but it fits her better so odds are she's going to be wearing it for awhile.  Heck, the shoes even fit!  Not well, mind you, but they DO fit.  My main issue with this overall look is that the colors of the dress don't jive with Malucia's hair.  Valentina's dress would be a better match since it's pink.

My intention is to try and get all four outfits (of course), so odds are this one will end up belonging to Pepper.  I just think she looks best in it.  This little experiment has left me all the more curious about Vi and Va themselves, too.  Since Pix, Pepper, and Malucia can all wear Vi and Va's clothes, I wonder if it'll work the other way around.  I may have to get over my dislike of Vi and Va's eyes and have a looksee.  In the meantime, if you have a Lalaloopsy Girl, a Pinkie Cooper doll, or a Princess Malucia doll, I recommend Roxxi's dress at the very least.  The fit is not perfect on any of them, but it's close enough that all three dolls look good while wearing it.  I'm sorry to say I can't give you any information on the other dresses yet, but I've got that planned. 

Yours truly,
RagingMoon1987

Monday, March 9, 2015

Barbie's big five-six

It's amazing what fifty-six years will do to someone.  Check this out!
I daresay that Barbie is one of those rare beings that gets better looking as she ages!  LOL, anywho, another forty-four years and we'll be ready for Babs's centennial!  Hmmm...now that I think about it, that's a long time to wait!!!
Steph:  "How do you think we'll look in forty-four years?"
Barbara:  "I dunno, but I'm in no hurry to be a hundred years old."

Happy fifty-sixth birthday, Barbie!

Love,
Us at Confessions of a Dolly Lover

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hello everyone!

Hi all you dolly fans, I'm Talolili (real name's Ternessa) and I'm the new contributor to this wonderful blog! I'm so very happy to be here and I hope to make many contributions during my time here. I'd also like to tell you a little about myself and my descent into the doll collecting world.

 I've been into dolls ever since I can remember and like most little girls my favorite was the Barbie doll. I've had so many wonderful Barbies in my hands and I've always been fascinated by everything about her. The clothes, friends, accessories, and the fact that she could be anyone and do anything! She was just perfect.

 I remember finding an issue of Barbie Bazaar at my local Walmart back in the early 2000s and discovering the various vintage and collector Barbie dolls and once again I was obsessed! All the beautiful face sculpts and designs were just so different from what I was used to seeing in the toy aisle. The magazine also featured other dolls such as Blythe, Lollipop Girls, Susie and many others. This was also the beginning of the Silkstone era fashion dolls.

Those glamorous dolls and their high end fashions were just fantastic to little old me (remember I was used to pink and other sparkly bright colors). I was finally able to obtain the Silkstone Lingerie Model #6 back in 2006 and she officially started my adult Barbie doll Collection. Time for playing with dolls was over! I just wanted to display them in all their beautiful glory.

 The next few years  I sadly began to succumb to peer pressure and began to shy away from my Barbie dolls simply because it wasn't "cool" or "in" for a teen girl. I should've known I wouldn't be able to stay away from dolls long since right after starting high school I developed another fascination with very different dolls. Momoko, Jenny and Asian ball jointed dolls BJD/ABJD. I received my first Susie in 2006 and got a Momoko doll from my parents in spring 2007.

 After a lot of saving and selling I purchased my first BJD in 2009 and have added a few more of them in my collection since then. I also collect other fashion dolls such as Misaki, Tonner, Volks and now I'm getting into limited edition Disney dolls. If it weren't for dolls I'm not sure how my life would've gone, but I'm grateful I never out grew them for too long and I hope to enjoy them for many more years to come. Thank you for reading this and thanks for having me!

Sincerely,
Talolili

Monday, March 2, 2015

Here we go again...

Here it is early March, and we're staring down the barrels of yet another winter storm.  Here's what Poplar Bluff's weather folks are saying:

WINTER STORM WATCH POSTED. SIX TO TEN INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PADUCAH HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE
WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

* TIMING: RAIN SHOULD BEGIN CHANGING OVER TO SLEET AND SNOW FROM
NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST STARTING EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING.
ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL SHOULD CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY
MORNING WITH THE HIGHEST ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

* MAIN IMPACT: BY EARLY THURSDAY MORNING SNOWFALL TOTALS ARE
EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM FOUR TO SIX INCHES GENERALLY NORTH AND WEST OF A LINE FROM ROCKPORT INDIANA TO DEXTER MISSOURI WITH SIX
TO TEN INCHES POSSIBLE SOUTH AND EAST OF THAT LINE.

* OTHER IMPACTS: THIS MUCH SNOWFALL WILL CAUSE NUMEROUS TRAVEL
ISSUES ACROSS THE REGION. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD MAKE
PREPARATIONS NOW FOR THIS UPCOMING WINTER STORM AND STAY TUNED
FOR UPDATES AND THE POSSIBLE UPGRADE TO A WINTER STORM WARNING.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT WOULD GREATLY IMPACT
TRAVEL. STAY TUNED FOR LATER STATEMENTS. THIS WATCH WILL BE
UPGRADED TO A WARNING IF WINTER STORM CONDITIONS BECOME MORE
CERTAIN.

NOAA said something similar, and their forecast has progressively worsened over the weekend.  On Friday the forecast said something about rain and temperatures in the fifties on Tuesday (tomorrow), with a chance of snow on Wednesday and Thursday.  Now NOAA's forecast is predicting an 80% chance of rain tomorrow with highs in the mid fifties, a 100% chance of rain tomorrow night with temps just above freezing, and then a 100% chance of wintery mix on Wednesday.  Sleet, freezing rain, and snow are all possible, and the temperature isn't supposed to get above freezing again until Saturday...if we're lucky.

If you will recall, we had a nasty winter storm in mid-February, which I was concerned about for more reasons than one.  Guess what?  The snow from THAT storm isn't even all the way gone.  It's simply been too cold.  Today is the first day that any significant melting has occurred, and if it gets as cold as they're predicting tomorrow night that crap will probably refreeze!  If that happens we'll have ice under snow under ice.  Not nice.  Not nice for driving, or for walking, or for poor little doggies to do their business in.  Not nice for power lines either.  Once again the main objective will be keeping my little gecko warm...and THIS time we'll also be making sure the danged pipes don't freeze and bust! 

Can you tell that I'm just a smidge ready for spring?  LOL, whatever goes down, I'll keep y'all posted.

Yours shiveringly,
RagingMoon1987