So why did I want a My Twinn doll now, you ask? Three reasons. One, I question the longevity of this company. They're constantly having sales, they've phased out the larger dolls that can't share clothes with the more popular eighteen-inch models, they've gone under twice before...and most telling, their Facebook page is strangely silent. Logan's Ladies even questions My Twinn's future in this article! So there's Reason #1. Reason #2 ties in with Reason #1. My Twinn's Adopt A Friend dolls were recently on sale, and during said sales these dolls are about fifty bucks, down from the eighty that they usually go for. Reason #3 has more to do with my ornery personality than anything; I wanted to rattle the cages of those now boycotting My Twinn and their products. They have the right to boycott, of course...and I have the right to be ornery, so I'm doing it! Three reasons, fifty bucks, and a week later, I had my doll in my hands. Say hello to Xenia Esmeralda Papadakis, my Adopt A Friend.
Audrey, also has a lopsided mouth, but she is far more serious. The Ariel head looks like it has a heart-shaped face, but I'm no expert on face shapes so I may be completely wrong. Either way, Xenia's face is a departure from the American Girl's rounded features.
woolly worms, but they're also off-center! I knew from Miss Emily's post that this could be a possibility, and indeed Xenia's online picture clearly showed this flaw, so I was ready for it. To be fair, the eyebrows have great detail; they have individual little hairs drawn in. Maybe these crooked eyebrows were the reason why Xenia landed in the Adopt A Friend section? That section is for dolls with slight flaws, after all, and poorly painted eyebrows might classify as a slight flaw. They do draw the viewer's attention away from the eyes, though. Here's what the eyes are like.
Sabrina shows (you'll have to scroll to get to the picture in question), but Xenia dodged this bullet.
I don't usually talk about ears, but I like Xenia's. They stick out a little and I find that endearing. Some Adopt A Friend dolls have been modified to wear earrings, but Xenia's are unaltered.
...and to a Carpatina nose, which is more like Xenia's.
Bad lighting vs. good lighting
These three have all the same attributes: black hair, olive skin, and brown eyes. Even the pajama set is the same! Now that I think of it, Xenia's goofy eyebrows aren't so bad after all. They're really the only thing that makes Xenia different from the other two dolls. The three dolls aren't exactly the same, but they're so similar that they could easily be the same doll.
Before moving on, I present a deliberate digression. The Adopt A Friend page is full of dolls with the Ariel head (I lost count after thirty-two). My other favorite head, named Denika, appeared maybe fifteen times. If you've ever seen a Denika-headed doll, then you know why there would be so few of them on the Adopt A Friend page; Denika dolls have wide, happy smiles and would be hard for a collector (or child) to ignore. Given the prevalence of Ariel heads on the Adopt A Friend page, I'm left wondering if it's one of the less-popular molds. It might also be that the Ariel head looks...well, it looks less than flattering in some Adopt A Friend pics. Xenia and her two doppelgangers have semi-decent pictures, but check out this poor little gal!
Remember when I said that Xenia had good angles and bad angles? So do all the other Ariel dolls. I'm sure this one is a very pretty little doll in real life, but that picture is HORRIBLE!!! Those pale eyes don't help much either; they make ANY My Twinn doll look slightly possessed! Denika, by contrast, tends to photograph well; it is possible to catch a Denika head in a bad angle, but you have to be consciously trying to do so. Therefore, I think that unflattering pictures may have something to do with the dominance of Ariel over Denika on the Adopt A Friend page. Or it may have something to do with the fact that I've grown quite adept at identifying the Ariel head. Ariel is quite distinctive. Denika, believe it or not, has a doppelganger of her own hanging around the Adopt A Friend page. Her name is Vanessa, and I have a hard time distinguishing the two. But even if I did get a few Denikas and Vanessas mixed up the number I got was still half that of the Ariel count! So go figure on that one; maybe I just picked a mold that isn't as well liked. I'm okay with that.
Molly has a lot of hair, but nowhere near as much as Xenia does! A few strands did shed when I brushed Xenia's tresses, but not enough to thin it out. This hair is so thick that I have to use real ponytail holders to keep this controlled, not just ordinary rubber bands. I hear that rubber bands aren't great for doll hair anyway, so there's that problem solved. The ends of Xenia's hair are curled, and they bounce around when she is moved.
Molly and Kirsten have these ends too, but they were designed to have center parts so their short ends cover their heads better. See?
With the head out of the way, let's move on to the body. Let's move out as well; Mama's cutting board was too small to serve as a decent backdrop for the trio of dolls you're about to see, so I took Xenia for her first foray outside. Denise (American Girl) and Sadie (Our Generation) came too.
BahamianAGDollLovers report difficulty in getting their girls to stand (Bahamian's doll looks a lot like Xenia, by the way). This problem with the stiff hip blindsided me, though...and I'm not too happy about it. Granted, none of my eighteen-inch dolls are graceful sitters, but at least they can sit without much fuss. Xenia doesn't have that luxury. Her joints are for the most part, a disappointment, with the exception of the neck joint. It swivels without any problems.
But having stiff joints isn't so bad if you've got comfy clothes, right? Xenia came dressed in THIS!!!Little T. Xenia got lucky. She came fully dressed, and she has a pair of white undies underneath. The dominant color of this pajama set is yellow, and the shirt has a peace sign with the words "peace" and "love" printed on.
The underpants are your average white dolly underpants. They have an elastic waist and the same nice, big hems that the pajamas have. Overall the quality of this outfit is good, good enough that one could mistake it for a set of American Girl clothes if it weren't tagged. Speaking of which...time to play Dolly Dress Shuffle! Here's what Denise and Sadie look like in these pajamas
The pajamas are a little tight on Denise, but both dolls can wear this set with few problems.
Our Generation clothes are tight on Denise, and the shoes don't fit at all. Xenia's body so similar to Denise's that it seems almost unnecessary to try OG clothes on her, but I did it anyway.
Judging from the fit of the above shoes, I was prepared to write ALL Our Generation shoes off as no-go's...but then I found this.
Dream On, a retro fashion, and Flying Colors, a retro accessory set. Rhonda F and JGKelsey have both reviewed Dream On and both appeared to like the outfit, so I got it for myself. To my great surprise, the shoes that come with Dream On fit Xenia...with our without the socks that came with Flying Colors.
Before I go on, I've got some advice for those of you who own Maryellen or Julie (both American Girl dolls). It's really no-brainer advice, but here goes: these retro OG outfits and accessories will suit both Julie and Maryellen very well. Some outfits are clearly more seventies than fifties and vice versa, but if you want to widen your retro girl's wardrobe, these little items are great. Plus, they cost half of what American Girl's stuff costs. Selah! Just be aware that the shoes may or may not fit.
Where was I? Oh yes, clothes. My Life and Madame Alexander clothes usually do not fit American Girls or Our Generation dolls, but I tried some of those outfits on Xenia anyway and got some interesting results. This white dress fit, much to my surprise.
just like they were on Denise. I have yet to dig my other Madame Alexander clothes out of storage, but I can tell you that some dresses will fit the My Twinn dolls. If you've got a lot of MA or My Life clothes, then all I can say is play around a bit. Shoes fit without any fuss.
Before I wrap things up, here's Xenia with my Hearts 4 Heats doll, Mosi.
turn purple, and My Twinn eyes apparently have this same penchant; I even saw one doll on Facebook with RED eyes!!! Mosi and Xenia both look alright right now, but I'm going to watch them closely.
Alrighty, that's enough discussion. Time to sum it all up.
*Some of the Adopt A Friend pictures are poor. This is an issue with the website rather than with my doll, but beware all the same.
*The face has some odd bits that don't photograph well.
*Eyebrows are bad. This is a problem that varies from doll to doll; some have gorgeous eyebrows.
*There's a lot of hair, enough that it could be problematic if not properly cared for.
*Feet aren't completely flat, so it's hard to get this doll in a decent standing position.
*Poseability is poor.
*Eyes might change color. Not a problem yet, but I'm watching Xenia's eyes very closely...and Mosi's too, for that matter!
*The face is unique and full of quirky character. I don't own any other dolls with a lopsided smile like Xenia's.
*Lips are a pretty color, not too orange or too pink like other dolls.
*There's a lot of hair, enough to play with and style.
*Body is sturdy and soft. It's clearly built for play (though not a lot of abuse).
*The pajama set is cute and well-constructed. It's made me curious about My Twinn's other outfits.
*Vinyl feels both durable and pleasant to the touch. It feels nicer than an American Girl's vinyl, but it won't scuff at the drop of a hat like Carpatina vinyl will.
*Eyes are pretty. I hope and pray that they won't change!
*Eyelashes are well cut.
*Shoes from other doll brands fit, and some even help her stand up.
*American Girl and Our Generation clothes fit, as do Springfield dresses, clothes and shoes from Hobby Lobby, and some My Life outfits. As mentioned above, My Life clothes are hit and miss on the thicker bodied dolls.
I told you it would be a long review! Xenia is a nice doll and I'm glad to have her in my collection, but she's got some problems. Her eyebrows are ridiculously crooked (likely the reason why she was on the Adopt A Friend page), her hair is insanely long and high-maintenance, her joints do not move the way doll joints should, and she can't stand without some kind of support. That sounds like a lot of problems, but truthfully the joints are the only thing that I honest-to-God hate about Xenia. I can overlook the eyebrows, and the hair is a lot of fun to braid and style. I love the pajama set that she came with, and I'm excited to see what the other My Twinn outfits are like. Of course, the thing I love the most about Xenia is her face. As I mentioned in the beginning, I was surprised by the angles and the overall shape of Xenia's face, but she very quickly grew on me, and I was able to appreciate her for the unique little doll that she is. To sum things up, I like the My Twinn experience enough to buy from them again if they stick around. However, I desperately hope they come to their senses about dark skin tones, because I'd love to have a little black Denika doll to be Xenia's friend! Or I may go the customization route; I have an American Girl doppelganger (Molly), but that desire to have a custom-made doll has never fully left me.
As a final bit of information, this young lady offers a comparison of American Girl and My Twinn in simple, easy to understand terms. Her name is Kathleen, and she has an interesting blog about dolls and other things. Enjoy!
Hugs, kisses, and cookies,
UPDATE!!! Adopt A Friend's last light brown doll has apparently been sold. I hope whoever got her likes her!