The weather is finally getting to be springlike, but the grass is still gray and the ground is muddy and disgusting. Our border collie Piper's poo has appeared en mass after the snow thawed and left it high and dry. Pretty gross, but the spring rains will wash it all away and my grass will benefit from the fertilizer...I hope.
I had my blood drawn again yesterday to check out that abnormal thyroid result. You have no idea how much I hate having my blood drawn. I am BAD with needles. I had three children without pain medication or even an epidural. I don't take pain bills for my bad back, (or shoulder, or...well, you get the idea.) unless I get to the point where I can't even move.I even have my teeth drilled without numbing. But come at me with a needle and I totally freak.(I have to admit, the last two ladies who drew my blood both did a really good job and I hardly felt it.) The whole idea is just too much for me. I can't handle the very thought of the needle. But it's over and all's well. We'll soon see what the doctor has to say about my thyroid.
Today we're having a look at one of my recent birthday gifts from shopping trip number 2.
Beware of naked plastic, all ye who enter here...
She's a Madame Alexander Travel Friends doll.
There are quite a few dolls in this series. The countries include France, India, Ireland, Germany,Kenya, Russia, Italy,Mexico,and China. The boxes all have 'Hello' written in the native language of the character in front of the name of their country. The dolls are all pretty, (Of course they are. They all have just about the same head mold.), and the clothes are all really cute.
Toys R Us didn't have all the countries that day. On the shelf were France,India, Kenya,Ireland, and Germany. I loved France and Germany's outfits,(Lederhosen!), and I nearly went for Ireland's red hair. In the end though, I had to pick India as the doll that was actually the prettiest. Looking at the whole group I have to say I like every body but Russia.I don't care much for China's outfit though.
The boxes of the dolls are made of a very thin cardboard. It could be looked at as seeming cheap,or it could be seen as a good idea, as it's probably more biodegradable.The front is all clear plastic, so the doll shows really well.
The back of the box gives some information about the character and the country she's from.
|Snow White. I love her!|
|The Frog Princess, another favourite from this line.|
|And Beauty, my other favourite.|
|The India 'logo' is printed several places on the box, in case you forget what you just bought.|
The tape circle at the top of the box was easy to remove and the insert with the doll attached slid out easily.
My first look at her without plastic between us. She's just beautiful. Her hair is pulled out of place a little on her right side.
But then look at this mess!
|They are really afraid I'm going to get this doll out of the box. I'm afraid I'm not. Not only are there wires, plastic, and stitches, the whole thing is covered with a whole sheet of tape!|
|The giant sheet of tape from the side.|
|Once the tape is removed there is still all this!|
|This plastic thingy was forcing her velcro open. Now it doesn't want to stay closed.|
Her hair is really long and her braid is thick.
|Her joints are very stiff and have to be forced. It feels like they will break.UPDATE: Please read the comments, and buyer beware!|
|She holds a pose well, but those joints just feel precarious. How long would they last with regular play?|
|They plastic looks a bit cheap, not what you expect from Madame Alexander. The vinyl head looks a better quality than the body.|
|Her dress is pretty, but it doesn't look very good quality. The top part looks a bit cheap, and is badly put together. It pulls to one side on my doll.|
|It doesn't even seem to fit very well in the back either.|
|The petticoat is actually a separate piece.Some of them seem to be stitched to the skirt with a single thread, but mine wasn't stitched at all.|
The Madame Alexander logo on her back.
Some of the white paint from her underwear has come off on her legs.
|The mold lines on the front of her legs are rough.|
I'm not good with hair, but I figure even I can replicate this hairdo.So I decided to take it down and see how the quality of the hair is.
|Very thickly rooted. It looks pretty nice.|
|It's VERY long. The texture is smooth, but it very quickly became annoyingly fly away.|
|I tried to comb it so that it would hang nicely around her face. It pretty much just wanted to go back to the way it was before I took it down.|
|Pretty though, isn't she?|
|Here she is with Our Generation mini Kendra for comparison..|
|India girl looks really nice, but India's dress can't close in back on Kendra.|
|Madeline jacket and tights with random cheap doll skirt.|
|Madeline shirt and overalls. The legs are a little short.|
|The shirt fits perfectly.|
Clothes for the original Stacie, (Barbie's sister), fit nicely, but the dresses are slightly long.
I've seen other people dress these dolls in American Girl mini clothes, and they look good.
My usual complaint with Madame Alexander dolls is that they all look alike, even the guys! It's been suggested by a few people that the Travel Friends strongly resemble the 18" My LIfe As dolls.That's true, but I think these girls are cuter, with sweeter faces.
Final thoughts: The Travel Friends dolls are pretty, and their outfits are cute. (The others seemed better made, with fabric that seems less cheap than India's.) The articulation is nice, but I'm not sure how long the joints would last with regular play. Maybe they're sturdier than they feel, but who knows? The joints are fairly hard to bend into place, but maybe they'll loosen up over time.The quality of the plastic doesn't seem the best, but the vinyl head looks very nice. The hair is thickly rooted and doesn't seem to shed much with combing, but the hair very quickly became horribly fly away and wouldn't lay well. So I'm not sure if I'd recommend these dolls or not. Our Toys R Us is selling them for $10, which is a pretty good price for this type of doll these days. But other Toys R Us stores around the country, and the Madame Alexander site itself, sells them for up to $16.95! That's what I would consider overpriced for a doll of this quality.
Later this week we'll review Kendra too.