Dolly Review: My Ballerina Dolls Clara

Remember those posts I did about a new doll line called My Ballerina Dolls? Well, I finally have one in my hands! It’s time to give her a proper review. As we learned in the interview I did with creator Tiffany Koepke, this line has deep roots in the Ballet world. Inspired to create a doll that could pose like a real ballerina, My Ballerina Dolls currently features one doll, Clara, with others to follow.

My Ballerina Doll

At 22″ tall, Clara is a big doll. To put this into perspective, your typical MSD ball jointed doll is 17″ tall and American Girl and Madame Alexander Play dolls are around 18″ tall. So, Clara is at least 4″ larger than you’re probably expecting. Her jointed body has an athletic build to it, with thick thighs and a defined waist. If I had to compare Clara’s proportions to anything, it would be asian ball jointed dolls. The one place where she differs from them is in her jointing. She’s not strung. Her joints are more like what you’d expect on an obitsu body.

My Ballerina Doll

Let’s dive in deeper to the review, shall we? What originally attracted me to this doll line in February was the anime aesthetic of the face molds. Clara looks like she could have just stepped out of a ballet themed anime with her big eyes, defined nose and chin and round cheeks. Her inset eyes are blue with an element of purple mixed in and, as opposed to being flat (like a pullip eye) have more of a cone shape to them. Originally, I thought you may be able to change the eye’s through the use of a head cap, but that seems to have not made the cut.

My Ballerina Doll

Clara wears very little makeup, which means she can play a number of different characters. She has a few painted lashes above her eye and pink lips. I love the fact that she doesn’t have a ton of ‘stage’ makeup on her face. She has a very clean, fresh look to her. Perfect for the role of Clara, as well as many others.

My Ballerina Doll

Clara wears a three-tiered lace and chiffon nightgown. It fits her really well and looks great. I love the most outer layer of the skirt, which is a lace material. The main problem I have with the outfit is that as I’ve played with her and photographed her, I’ve noticed a lot of strings hanging loose or catching on her joints. The creators will probably want to look into that. I also find the short skirt (bottom most layer of the skirt) a bit distracting. Why is it so short? Wouldn’t that hinder her movement if dancing in real life? I just don’t quite like how it cuts the outfit underneath the really pretty lace.

My Ballerina Doll

Moving along, let’s talk about Clara’s hair. Good news! She’s wigged with a removable wig and silicone wig cap. The thing the company needs to re-work the most for me is this stock wig. I love the direction they were going with the styling, but there are a few problems.

My Ballerina Doll

Her long brown hair is styled in a braid. The braid itself is done really, really well– much better than I could ever do on a doll wig. But here lies the problem. It’s really hard to style a doll wig and not see the netting under the hair. Because of her well-crafted braid, you can see the black netting used for the wig.

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

The wig also comes off as thin, due to the amount of hair that is styled in the braid and side bun. The bun is covered with a wire beaded bun cover. Speaking of the side bun, I had to laugh at the bobby pins used in the hair styling. They’re practically human sized hair pins.

My Ballerina Doll

For all the work on the wig, though, the styling isn’t bad. I just think they need to work on covering the wig netting and finding smaller, loss obnoxious bobby pins. However, because the wig is removable, you can easily switch it out with one your prefer. Her head seems to fit Pullip sized wigs (8-9) rather well, some with and some without the silicone wig cap. (If you can think of other good sizes for her, let me know in the comment area!)

Jointing; The fun part and probably the most important part of this review. How is she jointed? Well, here’s a quick run down. First off, it’s important to note that she’s made of a mixture of vinyl and hard plastic. This mixture gives her a uniqueness to her skin not seen in a lot of play dolls.

My Ballerina Doll

As I mentioned earlier, Clara isn’t strung. She has more of an obitu’ish body. Clara has a head that will move fluidly in all directions. This is super important, as a ballerina would have to move her head in specific directions for different ballet positions. Her head stays in those positions really well.

My Ballerina Doll

Her torso has two important joints– her waist joint and a bust joint. My doll’s bust seems to sit forward on the body, leaving a weird gap when she stands. That being said, most likely clothing will cover this, so it’s not a huge deal. These joints allow Clara to bend forward and backward, as well as twist slightly.

My Ballerina Doll

Her arms have a number of joints, as well. She has a shoulder joint that moves freely in all directions, then a joint in her upper arm that turns. Her elbows are double jointed and will bend up and down. Clara’s wrist is jointed, as well, but in a slightly different way than her shoulder. Her wrist will tilt up and down, but can’t swivel in any direction. In order to have her palm face in a different direction, for example, you have to turn the joint in her upper arm, so you can then manipulate the wrist joint and get it in the position you need it in. It sounds confusing and I can’t even tell you the number of times I tried to swivel the wrist joint while posing her, but you eventually get used to it. Ideally, I think the company should look into making the wrist joint a little easier to adjust, without having to move the upper arm joint.

My Ballerina Doll

While Clara’s hip joint seems to hinder her doing an arabesque, her hip joint allows her leg to go very high up when in the forward and sideways positions. I had trouble getting Clara’s leg to go back farther than a tendu. I tried her in various ‘split’ positions and ‘warm up’ poses, to see what Clara could do and I was pleasantly surprised. She can’t do a complete split in either direction, but she gets so close!

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

Clara has a hip joint that turns, located in her upper thigh, double jointed knees and an ankle joint. Her knee and ankle joints move up and down, but don’t tilt. The joint in her upper thigh is super important in posing Clara in fun poses. It takes a while to figure out how to manipulate it, but eventually you’ll get the gist. For example, for Clara to bring her toes to her knee (like she’s ready to pirouette), you have to first make sure she’s in a ‘turn out’ position by using the thigh joint. I am probably making this out to be super complicated, but really, it’s not. Like the wrist joint, I do think it would have been nice to be able to turn her toes out just through the ankle joint, but it works as is, too.

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

Here are some images of Clara in first, second and fifth position. She balanced in all of them, even fifth.

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

My Ballerina Doll

One of my favorite things about Clara are her ballet slippers. I love the nearly knee high pink satin ‘ballet boots’. They look super cool. (I want a pair!) There’s a lot of ribbon used to lace these at the moment, which means they’re easy to lace up and tie.

My Ballerina Doll

Since Clara is a character in the Nutcracker, it would be wrong for her not to come with her own little Nutcracker. This set comes with a wooden Nutcracker. He’s put together well. While he doesn’t have a nutcracker mouth (that moves), he looks great with Clara!

My Ballerina Doll

Overall, I’m impressed with My Ballerina Dolls. Their ability to pose is great, especially in regards to ballet poses. I can tell a lot of thought was put into that aspect of this line.

My Ballerina Doll

I am also impressed with the face mold. I love the anime aesthetic. It’s not something you see every day on American play dolls. It’s an inviting change. Another huge perk for me is that I can change Clara’s wig. It’s always fun when you can easily customize a doll.

Watch the video review here. It’s a little long, but I wanted to cover everything.

I really hope this company succeeds and lasts for a long, long time. I’m a fan and will definitely be keeping an eye out for The Prince.  You can order your own Clara on the companies website. Visit my Flickr for more images. What do you think of My Ballerina Dolls Clara? Do you have any other questions? Share your thoughts below.

 

*This product was received for a fair and honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

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October 23, 2015. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

10 Comments

  1. Cheri replied:

    I ordered my Clare imn Sept, received the doll and gave her a face up! Love the fact that she was plain with options to change her wif and face up. Then jointing is truly amazing! I even purchased the 2nd out fit! She will look lovely during the Holiday’s! I do hope that this doll becomes popular!!!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      How easily did the face up go on? Do you have a photo to share? I’d love to see what you did to her!

  2. barbtheevilgenius replied:

    The boots may help her stand, but for ballet she should be able to point her toes. At least she has turnout.

  3. Sue replied:

    This doll is available on Amazon if you search for Clara Marie Nutcracker. A friend of mine got one. She’s very beautiful in person.

  4. Jenna O'Carroll replied:

    I’m eager to see the boy, he looked quite anime inspired to me in prototype and I kinda dig it. I’m hoping he turns out very handsome, though then i’ll have to get him hhehe.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Your Jedi Makie is ADORABLE, BTW! Did you make the outfit?

  5. NYTF 2016: My Ballerina Dolls | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] My Ballerina Dolls made their debut at 2015’s New York Toy Fair. Since then, we’ve seen the release of the beautiful Clara Marie. (See my review here.) […]

  6. Mary Wernke replied:

    The only clothes that I think could fit her are long gone and were very rare to begin with. In 1988, Kenner had the Always Sisters dolls, with the oldest sisters being thin and about 24 inches tall. There were a few outfits sold for the oldest girls but they were in very few stores.

  7. Dolly Review: My Ballerina Dolls Snow Queen and Prince/Nutcracker | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] My Ballerina Dolls. A year ago or so, I reviewed the first doll in the My Ballerina Dolls series, Clara Marie. I expected we’d see the Prince this year, but the Snow Queen was a happy […]

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