Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review of Ashton Drake Alice in Wonderland Doll,Happy 163rd Birthday Alice Pleasance Liddell, and One Cool Cat

  I have to start off with a welcome to some new followers. Bambuc isn't exactly new, but I think I somehow managed to miss welcoming Bambuc when she joined. So, welcome Bambuc! You can view her doll blog HERE. For those of you who don't speak her language, she has a handy translator on her page. Our two newest followers are Freja, (She collects Liv dolls and you can see her blog HERE.) and Lisa from Once Upon a Doll Collection. Thanks for joining us!
  On my birthday Ken told me I had a gift coming. Well, it came a couple of days after my birthday, but I've been putting off showing it to you until the weather was right for the pictures I wanted to take. Today is going to be the day though,because today is the 163rd anniversary of the birth of Alice Pleasance Liddell, the girl Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland book was written for,and the doll is Ashton Drake's Alice in Wonderland.
The last page from Lewis Carroll's hand written original "Alice" book.That's Alice Liddell at the bottom.

    You may have read my Alice Week posts last May,(The Alice posts start HERE.) in which case you'll know that Lewis Carroll's Alice books are one of my favourite things. (Or should that be two of my favourite things?) I collect Alice things, different versions of the books, (With illustrations by various artists.), and Alice dolls. I also love the dolls of Dianna Effner. The Ashton Drake Alice is both: Alice, and a beautiful Dianna Effner sculpt.
Alice is 12" tall.

In fact, this doll was a 2011 Doll of the Year award winner.

She came in a shipper box, and this Ashton Drake box.

She was tied into her box with three white satiny ribbons.

But she was easily freed from her box by untying the ribbons. Then came the task of removing all those styrofoam sheets. Her accessories were in plastic, and her hair was in a hair net.
   She comes with her plush white rabbit...
His arms and legs are button jointed, so they can move.

He has one eye 'missing', as if he has been her favourite toy for quite a while.

...and this 'Drink Me' bottle.

Alice's mother obviously didn't teach her not to eat or drink stray things she found laying around! Sort of a bad example for kids these days. But then, maybe not. I mean, look what happens to Alice when she does partake of her finds.
NOT attractive. That one makes Audrey Hepburn's neck look short.

A white rabbit is frequently made as Alice's accompanying doll. I always think Alice's cat Dinah would be the most obvious choice. 

Alice with Dinah at the beginning of Through the Looking Glass.Throughout both books Alice frequently mentions Dinah.
 Even a Cheshire Cat would be really nice.

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”When I was in Cheshire I wanted to bring home a Cheshire Cat souvenir of some kind from there. The selection was pretty poor, so I didn't get a Cheshire Cat. I did buy my Complete Lewis Carroll book there though. I bet these days there are Cheshire Cat souvenirs galore there.
Alice's hands aren't made in a way that enables her to actually hold her 'Drink Me' bottle, which is  disappointing. She has to keep it in her pocket.

Her fingernails are painted.
She can also barely hold her white rabbit.

Her arms don't bend enough to hold the bunny tight, and her wrists can't bend enough to be of any help either.
  Alice has what Ashton Drake describes as "11 rotating joints'. These include her neck,shoulders, hips, knees,elbows, and wrists. The claim is that these ball joints allow her to be posed in "a variety of realsitic poses."

I was a bit disappointed by the limitations of her posing ability though.

She can sit down, and her knees do bend, allowing her to do a walking pose as long as she has some help standing up.

But her ankles don't bend.
She can barely put her hands behind her back. Alot of this look is achieved by camera angle.

On the plus side has a realistic translucent skin tone...

...that Dianna Effner face sculpt...

...and great curly hair.

 She also has a beautiful dress...

With lots of nice lace detailing.

The dress and slip are one piece that just looks like two. The apron is a separate piece though. Both dress and apron snap in the back.
...bloomers that match her apron...

Darn! Who put that rabbit hole there?!

"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well."
...striped stockings and Mary Jane shoes.I'm afraid to try to 'unbutton' the shoe straps in case the button is just for show! There doesn't seem to actually be a button hole. I can't wait until I get my new glasses in a few weeks! As it is, I can't see up close when I'm doing things because I can't wear my up close glasses and still see to get around! I am surely bound for bifocalsville!
Nice, well made shoes. The stockings are thigh high and unfinished at the tops.
Alice can stand on her own on a nice level surface, something my yard is not. She needed some help out there.

Her legs can spread out to the side, which helps her stand.

She stands ok on my vanity, but not on the lumpy ground. Those are pear blossom petals on the ground here, by the way.

Her head can tilt to either side.

She can't tilt her head up or down very much though.
This looks like quite an upward tilt but some of it is camera angle, and some of it is done by leaning her whole body back on her hip joint.

See? Oh yeah, some of my amaryllis' are blooming.
And so are the pear blossoms. In fact, most of them have fallen already.

The lilacs are almost completely bloomed.

I have been sniffing them every time I go in and out of the house, as we have some right by the back door.
And we have these purple flowers...whatever they are. They grow on that viney ground cover plant.

And of course, the wild violets are all over the yard.
The Cheshire Cat tells Alice,"You see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.' In this picture, the cat looks pretty 'mad', either type.
I love Dianna Effner's doll faces.I think I would like Alice upper lip to be a little wider, (horizontally that is.), but I still think she's beautiful. I love her dress and her cute shoes. The dress is very filmy, so it drapes realistically. I do wish she could get more posability out of those 11 joints. Just for your information this seems to be the same body used on Ashton Drakes' line of Dianna Effner sculpted Native American and "Cinderellas from Around the World" dolls. You can see those HERE. The Cinderellas use the same head sculpt as Alice,(And they're $20 cheaper than Alice!), but the Native American dolls more closely resemble the Little Darlings sculpts. (For the same price as Alice, $99.99.)To be fair, Cinderalla is described as being 'poseable', with no mention of the '11 rotating joints'. Her elbows seems to be bendable though, so who knows exactly how poseable she is. The Native American dolls are described as having 'rotating joints'. No mention of how many, although the dolls are supposed to have 'an incredible range of poses, allowing (them)  to convey traditional "dance" moves'.
   This Alice by Ashton Drake is alot more affordable than a Little Darling. She's still available on the Ashton Drake site. Ken actually got her elsewhere on line for slightly less than Ashton Drake's price. How do people do that?
  And here are some more pictures of Alice, because I like her.

   As for the "Cheshire Cat", I bought him on Ebay a few years ago.

Our cat, Mow, seems to have donated a hair of his own to this guy. That's it on the top of his head. Even cats have The One Hair.
He was hand made by an artist who usually did Monster High repaints. She said he was the first animal she had made, and would probably be the last. You see, he didn't sell the first time she listed him, and when I bought him, no one bid against me. I got him for something like $10.99, including shipping. I felt he deserved much more, so I didn't complain when she changed the shipping from 'Free' to $10 after I had bid. He was made from polymer clay, and then flocked.
He even has eyebrows!

She listed him as a 'pet for Barbie', but he's really a bit big for 1/6 scale. I loved the fact that his face was strangely human, but I suppose that would put a lot of people off.

 I wish I could remember the name of the artist. She did amazing Monster High repaints, and even made an OOAK 'Monster High pet'. Her photographs were amazing too.
   See you next time.


  1. She is beautiful. I've always loved Dianna Effner sculpts. When you want her to hold the Drink Me bottle, you could use a little of the white tacky stuff or a small rubberband. If the bottle is not heavy, glue dots make work, too.

    1. I thought about using a clear rubber band, but I didn't bother since I didn't have an appropriate scene set up for her with the Drink Me anyway. But I did want to mention that she can't actually hold the bottle. Does the tacky stuff leave grease marks on vinyl dolls?(Because I know it does on paper.)

    2. Which tacky stuff are you using? The kind I use isn't greasy at all.

  2. Hmmm. I don't use it myself very much, but they always used it at my kids' schools, and the English stuff, Blue Tac is very greasy.

    1. I guess I should have asked, what kind do you use?

  3. I missed rhis post earlier. This doll is so cute. What a details:) The photoshoot is great.

    1. Thanks so much! I had such plans for cool Alice pictures with this doll, and put off posting about her, (I got her for my birthday in March!), until the seasons changed so I could take them. They still didn't come out quite as I wanted, so I appreciate your compliment very much!

  4. Love your Effner "Alice" doll, she looks so pretty in all the pix! I plan on doing an Alice In Wonderland diorama, but I'll be using a blonde Riley Kish for my "Alice"...I have all of my dolls and props ready, just haven't had time to assemble it all, yet, hopefully soon...Sure did enjoy seeing yours! You should set up a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for her. ;) Linda In TX

    1. Thanks Linda. I'd love to see your diorama. Where could we see it?

  5. I just ordered this doll for my granddaughter. Can someone give me her measurements and shoe size? I would like to buy her some shoes and clothes before she arrives. Thanks. :)


Thanks in advance for your comments.