Saturday, January 5, 2019

Doll-A-Day 2019 #5: Review of Maru and Friends Noah

  Here's that review I've been promising you. It's our doll of the day today,Noah.
  Noah is the latest arrival at Maru and Friends. He's one of the Mini Pals. He's also one of the newest dolls around here. He's only the second male from Maru and friends,following 2017's Chad. (You can see Chad's review HERE.) Maritza at Maru and Friends has kindly sent Noah along for a review.
  Noah arrived on a very rainy day.His outer shipping box was a bit wet,even though he was retrieved straight from the step as soon as the postal person rang the bell. It dried out and I opened him later when I had a chance to do his photos. His shipping box is white.

Inside was his regular box.

I've detailed the closures on the Maru and Friends boxes my other reviews of Maru and Chad,so I won't repeat myself. If you're curious though, you can check out those reviews.The Maru boxes have a very citrus-y feel to them,with their bright orange boxes and graphics. Maybe the look was inspired by their location. The company is based in Florida. Noah's box has an orange ribbon handle.

I wish there was a ribbon handle on the bottom too. He's wedged in that box pretty tightly.
 There is a clear window so you can see the doll before opening it.

Noah was attached to an insert,which slid out easily.

His box contained this certificate of authenticity. Noah is a limited edition of 500. Like Chad before him,he's described on the Maru website as being 'a collectible doll,not a toy. Intended for young adults 14 years and over'. The other Mini Pals and regular sized dolls are for play.

And this Maru postcard was also included.It shows all the other dolls in the Mini Pal line.

His neck,legs, and arms were protected by foam sheets.

He was only tied in by some white ribbons, so he was easy to remove.

His hair was held in place by a hairnet.

The foam was easily slipped off. Once his hair net was removed, there was cute little Noah in all his glory.

Noah was sculpted by famed doll artist Dianna Effner,as are all but one of the Maru and Friends dolls. Her dolls are some of my favourites. You may have seen my Ashton Drake Alice,Goldilocks, and Little Red Riding Hood, and my Ultimate Collection Willow. You can see why. Noah has a sweet child's face.

He's similar to Chad, but I can't decide if it's the same sculpt or not.

Chad seems to have a more pointed chin,and Noah seems to have chubbier cheeks.

You can see the nice detail in their eyebrows here.
They are Mini Pals,so they are smaller than the original Maru dolls. The Mini Pals are 13" tall.

Unlike the first series of Mini Pals,which Chad was part of,Noah has firm vinyl arms and legs.

The original Mini Pals have soft vinyl arms and legs that are bendy,(but can't hold a pose.).

This is Chad's arm.

Noah has the same articulation though: neck,shoulders,and hips.

Although the articulation of the Maru dolls is limited to 5 points,they make the most of them.

Maru and Friends are strung,not jointed,which gives them more freedom of movement.. Their arms and legs can move out to the sides,as well as up and down.


Noah can't stand unsupported as well as the larger dolls,like Maru and Jamie. His balance doesn't seem to be as good. But he does stand better than Chad. I don't know if that's due to his firm vinyl as opposed to Chad's soft vinyl.
Noah stands better when leaning back a bit...

...or having his legs spread somewhat,but he still managed to do this.

    Maru and friends can tilt their heads and look up and down to an extent.

With their expressive faces, this makes for some very cute poses.

Another difference from Chad is,Chad is wigged instead of rooted,but his wig is glued on. Noah has a removable wig.

He has two strips of Velcro on his head to hold it on.

Like all the Maru dolls, Noah has very little detail to his ears.
I would love to get him a red wig. He could even be made into a pretty little girl with the right wig. The wig he has is a mixture of blonde and red shades that make a realistic mix, for a natural looking hair colour.

I think the wig makes his hair look a bit thick. Chad's hair looks more realistic.

 Noah has faint,but realistic freckles sprinkled across his face.

He has a much fairer skin tone than Chad.

His inset eyes are green glass, with detail in the irises. Chad's description doesn't say his eyes are glass,but Noah's does. They both have applied lashes.

  When Chad arrived he was already having a problem with one of his lashes coming off. Noah's are glued in much more firmly,so that problem seems to have been solved. 
I see a great resemblance between Noah and Jamie,another Maru and Friends doll.

Noah doesn't have blushed cheeks like Jamie. Maybe they thought it would make him look more like a girl. I think he could use a little colour to his cheeks though.  By the way, you can see Jamie's post HERE.
We actually had a little sun today! It wasn't even really cold out,even though it was 42 degrees, (Fahrenheit),while I was out photographing them.

Jamie also has the blonde hair made up of multiple shades. They also have the same green eyes,and freckled faces.

Remember the head tilt I mentioned earlier? Here it is.

While Jamie is dressed for winter,and could easily have gone outside for a photo shoot while it was freezing out, Noah is dressed for summer,and would have looked out of place in the cold.

They're both standing on their own here.

His outfit includes a sweater vest with a sailboat.

The sweater vest closes in the back with Velcro.

It's that nice, flat Velcro Maru and Friends clothing has. Much more realistic than the thick lumpy Velcro I hate so much. Under his sweater vest Noah is wearing a light blue oxford weave shirt. The shirt also closes in the back with Velcro.

His hands have nice creases and wrinkle detail. It's not overdone, but looks fairly realistic.
His shoes actually have laces,but they are slip-ons.

And they have texture on the bottoms.

He has a straw hat.

It fits pretty well and does stay on.
  He also has blue and white gingham shorts. As usual with the Maru and Friends dolls, the clothing is very nice. The fabrics are high quality and the clothes are well made. They're better quality than some real clothes sold at retailers around here. (I won't mention any names.)

  Maru and Friends has a new outfit for the male dolls called Button Cute, which you can purchase HERE. It's a navy blue sun suit,or romper, with tiny white polka dots,shoulder straps and short legs.
I'm not sure what age these dolls are supposed to be. The outfit looks like something you'd see on a toddler, but the male dolls looks older than that. (So do the girls for that matter.) I would say the boys look to be about 6 or 8. When is the last time you saw a 6 or 8 year old boy in a sunsuit? I would say the outfit mentioned as being for Chad, Americana Cool, is a better choice, (You can see it HERE.) It consists of a white dress shirt and blue chinos, and TWO bow ties! The tie fabrics are plaid and stars. I don't know about the bow ties. I guess bow ties have had a resurgence recently. My son would have loved them.  
  So, what's my final opinion of Noah? He has one of those adorable Dianna Effner faces. I love that. His eyes are beautiful. I was glad to see the eyelash problem has been solved. I think the firmer vinyl is a better idea for a collector doll than the soft vinyl of the previous Mini Pals. He's not meant for little kids, so being a little less cuddly feeling isn't an issue. His stringing makes him nicely posable with his minimal articulation. He could use some blush to his cheeks. Over all,he's a very nice doll. I would love to see Maru offer other wigs for him. I'm not sure why he should cost so much,but then I always say that because I collect on a limited budget. For other people,his price wouldn't be an issue.  (He sells for $125.) But I think he's better quality than the American Girl Wellie Wishers, which are a similar size,and about half the price. Mind you, I have only ever seen a Wellie Wisher through the plastic in the fronts of their boxes and through the display window at Toys R Us, and I've never held one in my hands. Noah's vinyl looks a better quality though, although I think he could use a little more colour to his face. He has a much more realistic skin tone than the Wellie Wishers. I think a good comparison would be the difference between a photo,(Noah), and a cartoon, (Wellie Wishers). That is, I think the Wellie Wishers have more play doll colouring than the Mini Pals. In the end the real decision maker would be his price. It all comes down to what you can afford. He is a quality doll, while being a much cheaper alternative to the Dianna Effner Little Darlings and Boneka dolls,which have a similar head sculpt.
  And here are a few more pictures because the dolls are so cute.

  See you tomorrow for another doll.


  1. He's adorable. He would make a great twin for the Jamie mini pal.
    Oh and yeah, now ties are everywhere in little kids clothes now. I think every dres shirt we've bought our boy came with a bow tie.

    1. I know I bought outifts with ties for my son when he was tiny, and he's 23 now. He loved his suits and ties. He got really mad one year because the school started taking class photos twice a year and I wouldn't let him wear his suit both times because I wanted some variety!

  2. Noah is a cutie. I am an Effner collector so I like her sculpts. I don't have any of the minis. I have a Tanya, who is 20 inches. I do have Little Darlings and Bonekas in my collection. I am glad that Chad has a pal.

    1. You're so lucky to have the Little Darlings! It seems they aren't being made any more. The website is years behind. Do you know if they are even still being made?

  3. The Maru and Friends Mini Pals are so cute! I'm not sure how many 8-year-old boys I'd even see wearing the outfit that Noah comes with, anymore. We did have one family at our church who dressed their four little boys in matching outfits like that; they looked so nice together.

    I could see Prince George or Louis wearing a sunsuit like that at 8. :) So Noah's either royalty, aristocratic, or his parents are well off and like the preppy style.

    1. I don't think even the royal boys would wear that suit at 8. I know my nephews in England wouldn't have been, or be, dressed that way at 8,or put up with it if they were! Noah's original outfit is definite preppy style though. Maybe Mater and Pater take him to the country club in that outfit.

  4. He is such a cutie and I really do like he outfit. Here in Spain it wouldn't be unusual to see a boy his age wearing something like this, especially for a Sunday paseo or for Samana Santa, the children tend to dress in very classic looking clothes here.
    Thank you for the review :)


Thanks in advance for your comments.