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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday review: Kenner Lime Chiffon

Even though I'm a product of the eighties and remember a handful of the awesome toys that were available during that decade, I never owned a Strawberry Shortcake doll until now.  The reason why was that Strawberry Shortcake was an early eighties thing, and I'm a decidedly late eighties thing (born in 1987, hence that number in my handle name).  However, in spite of my monetary woes, I did have enough to get this doll as a little treat for myself.
This is Lime Chiffon, one of Strawberry's cronies.  My particular doll is the Kenner version, dating from 1981; the only other Lime Chiffon that I'm aware of was made by Toy Head Quarters in the early nineties, and I understand that the THQ dolls smelled pretty raunchy.  I think Lime may be one of the lesser known characters, as Wikipedia's list of characters has her listed in the twelfth spot.  For a comparison, Miss Emily's pet character Blueberry Muffin got the third slot, and Orange Blossom (whom I adore) got the seventh slot.  Oh well, I'm not in this for popularity anyway!  According to the same list, Lime is a ballerina who loves to dance and spin.  She's apparently pretty flighty (like me) and her pet parrot Parfait is implied as the smarter of the two.  So let's take a look at my little poppet.  If you know me fairly well then it should be fairly obvious why I chose Lime Chiffon over Orange Blossom.  She's green, and I LOVE GREEN!!!  Interestingly, the only thing lime-colored about Lime is her hair!
Lime's hair is short and curly, and it still retains a faint whiff of her old scent.  The remaining odor smells more like vanilla than lime, but it's a pleasant smell, very much like the baked goods that these dolls are supposed to emulate.  The hair is thick around the front and sides, but the back is thinning quite a bit.
The Etsy seller warned about this on the sale page, so I knew this doll would have that problem.  From what I understand thin root jobs were fairly normal for these dolls anyway, so it's all good.  It's nothing that can't be concealed by this hat.
Strawberry and all of her friends came with some sort of head gear.  Sometimes these dolls had vinyl hats, but Lime's is made of cloth...and strangely, it's pink.  It's a nice, soft shade of pink, one that I enjoy wearing myself from time to time, but it looks a little peculiar when paired with all that green.  It matches other pieces of Lime's costume though, so I'm okay with it.  This doll's overall color scheme reminds me of another doll I own, in fact.  Remember this gal?
Makes me wonder if Strawberry Shortcake helped inspire the Lalaloopsy dolls.  Okay, back to the hat.  I originally thought it was supposed to be styled like a hennin, but according to the original artwork it's apparently supposed to look like a cake!  See?
Well...maybe it's supposed to be a cake.  It could also be one of those nasty sugar-free ice cream cones; it's got a diamond pattern that's similar to the pattern on one of those cones.  
Either way Lime's hat is clearly meant to look like some sort of sweet.  It's topped with a soft green bow that matches Lime's hair.
The fabric is soft and so the top of this hat collapses a lot.  To remedy this I stuffed it with a Kleenex.
As the Etsy description promised, the hat does a fantastic job of covering Lime's thinning hair.  Now to the face.  These Kenner dolls have very minimalist faces.
Lime's eyes consist of a crescent of green paint highlighting the pupil and three little eyelashes.  She doesn't have any eyebrows, so I'm thankful for those thick bangs; the dolls without eyebrows look a little...well, a little odd.  Freckles were common with this bunch, and Lime is no exception.  She has one cluster of freckles on her nose, and a cluster on each cheek.  The cheeks are also lightly blushed, though my doll has a slight rub on one cheek, which I was aware of before purchasing this doll.
Lastly, the mouth.  It too is painted simply, being a reddish brown line of paint done up in a pleasant, friendly smile.
Less is definitely more with these dolls.  I originally thought that they might have looked better with larger eyes, but having seen the THQ dolls I've changed my mind.  The THQ wave is cute, but those dolls look a little TOO banjo-eyed for my liking!  My Lime isn't 100% perfect herself; if you look very closely, you can see that her eyes are ever so slightly off-kilter.
The right eye is lower than the left, not a lot, but enough that I feel it should be pointed out.  It's not a glaring mistake, so I'm more than willing to overlook it.

The majority of these dolls wore dresses, and Lime is no exception to that rule.  Her dress is...well what a shock, her dress is green!  Fittingly, it's the same shade of green as the baked good that is my doll's namesake: lime chiffon pie.
This looks like a style that my ball-jointed dolls would wear!  I don't know if lolita fashion was as big in 1980 as it is now, but this definitely has that cutesy vibe about it.  And yet this dress is deceptively simple.  It has puffed sleeves with scalloped edges (these are pink in the original artwork)...
...and a knee-length skirt with a daisy chain hem.  The daisy chain has a few loose threads, but nothing serious.
The back closes with a small strip of Velcro.
The presence of Velcro surprised me because Miss Emily's Blueberry Muffin has snaps on her dress.  I prefer snaps on doll clothes because Velcro can snag or lose its tack, but this Velcro isn't a huge piece.  It's also the old kind that sticks for years, and I'm glad of that.  

In addition to the dress and hat Lime is wearing the striped footwear that was so dear to Strawberry's circle of friends.  Some of the dolls wore socks, and Lime belongs to the tights camp.  Her tights cover everything from waist to toe.
These are knitted and have held up very well over the years.  They appear to have faded a bit in places, but the elastic and the fabric are still holding strong.  Topping off the look are these pink shoes.
These are one-piece mary-janes with a molded bow.  They are made of molded vinyl and are very squishy; I love playing with these little shoes, in fact!  They're a little tricky to get on Lime's feet when she's wearing her thick tights, so that squishiness also comes in handy.

Now that we've discussed clothes, the body.  These dolls don't have much of a body to show.  They're slender all over and fairly leggy.  Notice that my particular doll has one leg that's slightly longer than the other.
I wouldn't expect a doll this small to have a lot of joints, but Lime does have the five that keep her from being a figurine:  shoulder, shoulder, hip, hip, neck.  Her shoulders have simple rotational movement, as do her hips.
Front-back splits are easy for Lime, as is a basic sitting position.
Lime has to brace herself with her arms when in a sitting position, because she's a bit top heavy with that big noggin.  I thought that her neck might have some pivoting motion, but it doesn't.  It just rotates.
The first wave of these dolls had flat hands, but I don't think Lime was released until the second wave.  Thus her hands are curled, like they were meant to hold something.  I particularly love Lime's left hand; her little pinky finger is up!
Lime has reasonably big feet, bigger than those of dolls taller than she is.  
Like Miss Emily's Blueberry Muffin, Lime has holes in her soles.  They've been killing her forever.
Surprisingly, despite the size of her feet Lime is a little unsteady when in a standing position.  Again, this is probably because of her large head...and probably also because one leg is a little longer than the other.  So overall, this doll's body has no major flaws, surprises, or disappointments.  Her joints are tight and her limbs are molded in a way that complements her cutesy little girl personality.  The body is about what I expected, very average for a doll body.

That pretty much takes care of Lime, so let's quickly look at Parfait.
In the past I've talked about dolls that came with pets, and I've often mentioned that a pet can be left out in favor of some other accessory, but with Parfait I'll make an exception.  He's very cute.  He's made out of green vinyl that is moderately soft, not unlike the vinyl that is used to make cheap squeaky toys for dogs and kids.  His beak, feet, and wing feathers are all painted pink.  His eyes are kelly green and ringed with white, floral-shaped feathers.  Unlike most green parrots, Parfait has a white topknot.
The paint has a few rubs here, which I was expecting.  The seller was very honest about any flaws this duo might have, so again, there were no nasty surprises here.  I love Parfait's expression, by the way.  He looks cheerful and noisy, just like these blabbermouth birds tend to look.  So in Lime Chiffon's case I'll gladly accept her little pet for the cute figurine that he is.  All of these dolls have cute pets, by the way.  My favorite of them is probably Lemon Meringue's pet frog, Frappe, though being a cat fan, I also like Strawberry Shortcake's kitten, Custard.  Now that I think of it, picking a favorite pet may be just as hard as picking a favorite character!

This normally would be the place where I'd do good stuff/bad stuff, but the only bad thing I can muster up is the thin hair.  My particular doll's eyes are a smidge wonky, but not terribly so.  From what I understand, thin hair was the norm for these dolls, and if I had been the maker that would've been the one thing that I changed.  Other than that my little Lime is a fabulous doll.  Very simple, yes, but simplicity often makes for a good plaything.  Simplicity means no extraneous bits and bobs to lose, no batteries to replace, no parts that can break, just a cute doll that can let a kid's imagination run wild.  In addition to being cute and simple, these dolls smelled nice when new, and my doll still has traces of her original scent.  When I put all that together I can see why these toys were so popular with children of the early eighties.

Hugs and kisses,


  1. Thanks for this look at a rarer Strawberry Shortcake doll! I definitely don't think lolita fashion was a thing back then, though. :D Maybe it had already started in Japan, but I know Japan for a while had an American 1950s style vibe going on; that might be what they were doing in the 1980s.

    1. The pleasure is mine! I didn't know Lime was one of the lesser known characters until I started piecing this review together, believe it or not. Yeah, I didn't think Lolita fashion was as big in Japan back during Strawberry Shortcake's era, but this dress certainly has that aesthetic! So glad you like!