Beri's face is generically cute, just like my Taffy's was. She's got blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a dainty pink smile with teeth showing.
Her right eyebrow has a slight paint foible with this extra blob of brown at one end. Not a huge deal now, and not something I would've minded as a child either. What I DID notice is the tilt of her eyebrows. Doesn't she look ever so slightly devious? Maybe she lied about being blueberry flavored and she's actually been baked with ghost peppers? Either way, this child looks ever so slightly mischievous. I may have to watch her to make sure no mayhem unfolds. LOL
Regarding poses, Beri is minimally jointed. Her vinyl head rotates and her harder vinyl arms move up and down. Oddly, her arms are all one piece, so they move up and down in tandem with each other. Beri's bodice is painted onto her torso and surprise, surprise...it's blue! Now here is where things get interesting. Beri's outer skirt attaches around her waist with Velcro. It's clearly supposed to close in back, but look at this layering effect in back!
I'm sorely tempted to see how this will look in front, and since this skirt will be coming off anyway, y'all will get to see how it looks as well! But first, the skirt. It's really pretty.
The waistband has a bit of significance for Beri, as it depicts other fruit flavors that were available in the Cutie Fruti line. Grape Suzette, Cherry Chip, and Suzana'nana are all depicted here. Beri's own motif is also present, but it's on the back of my doll's waistband.
Now the lower skirt.wrapper of a real cupcake. It is this lower skirt that makes Beri's transformation from cupcake-themed doll to actual cupcake possible. When her skirt is folded up and her hat is on right Beri looks like this.
Usually I end a review with a summary of the bad things and good things about the doll in question, but I'm not going to do that because Beri Blue has virtually no pitfalls at all. The gimmick is simple and user-friendly, and yet she's not a particularly fragile little doll. I would've thought that after all these years that rubber skirt would've stiffened and started to deteriorate, but after twenty-five or so years Beri's is still in working order. Okay, so she has one small paint gaffe...it's one that I would've overlooked as a kid and am willing to overlook now. Maybe I'm a bit biased since I loved these Cupcakes when I was a little kid, but Beri is a delightful little doll to have. I haven't been reunited with my childhood friend Taffy Tammy, but given my fondness for blue over pink I daresay that Beri Blue is even better!
I'm not sure how well these dolls sold when they were a new thing, but I doubt that they did the best because by 1992 the Cupcakes were out of production. Tonka didn't even stay along for the whole ride; they produced the dolls only during 1990 before turning production over to Kenner. Kenner is no longer in existence, being bought out by Hasbro...but that didn't occur until 2000. So I have my doubts about the success of these Cupcakes. If they weren't successful then that's a shame, because in all my life I've never seen an idea as original as this. The Monster High dolls are original enough, but who would ever have thought to take a baked good and pretend that they magically became little people? This truly was a unique little line of dolls and I think they're due for another revamp. Or maybe not; there have already been four revamps in the past. The revamp I'm most interested in is the second one, done in 2005 by Radica. They released a trio of dolls based on the old Candy Sprinkles line, and another trio based on the old Cutie Fruti line. This meant that both Taffy Tammy and Beri Blue got a revamp. Neither the new Taffy (left) nor the new Beri (right) looked much like their predecessors.
The revamps may not look a lot like their predecessors, but they're mighty cute nonetheless. I wonder if they smell as nice as their Tonka/Kenner sisters did? It certainly would be interesting to find out! As an aside, Beri's new self had a modified name. Her name became Blueberry Bell. Bell??? Why not Belle, I wonder??? These dolls DO look a little like stereotypical Southern Belles, after all. Oh well, I guess "Bell" was more original.
The other three reissues were done by Fun Source (1998), Emco (2015), and Estrela (2012 to 2015). Estrela appears to be strictly for the foreign market, which is too bad for me because they're adorable. Emco's line changed the name a little to "Cupcake Surprises." This Emco line exasperates me a little, because I was in and out of the toy isles all through the year and never saw their Cupcake Surprises even ONCE! If I had I'd have grabbed one in a New York second. Their faces aren't as cute as the old Tonka/Kenner dolls, but the idea is still alive and well in the Emco dolls and while I'm not happy that I missed out, it's still great to see that they were available as recently as last year. It's good to see toy companies breathing new life into a doll line as original as this, even if it's only for a year. For me though, the oldies will always be the best!