Boy Story is a line of 18″ boy dolls. They have multiple points of articulation. Boy Story’s Action Dolls have ball joints at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and knee. Action Dolls come with a certificate of authenticity. They come dressed in some pretty nice looking fashions, which vary depending on your doll, but include underwear, a shirt, a second layer, jeans and shoes. Action dolls have a vinyl head and limbs that are connected to a cloth body. They use ball joints, but aren’t strung, which may eliminate problems with loose limbs after years of active play.
They have molded hair and inset eyes. Currently, there are two styles available: Mason, caucasian, and Billy, black/AA. Both have unique face molds and outfits. They retail for $99.00 or $115.00 if you want the doll to come with a book starring the character Mason or Billy. Baseball loving military kid Aspen and Asian character Kenji are two other dolls we may be seeing in the future.
There are three things I really like about this line. First, I love the ball joints, which offer 11 points of articulation. I’ll admit, the knee joint looks really strange to me, but overall, they look like they’ll allow the doll to pose well.
Second, I like the outfits. There are so many pieces to them and they look authentically male. My problem with some male 18″ doll fashions (fashions for most of the dolls on the market, 18″ or otherwise) are that they often times look too girly. Mason’s button down the front shirt and Billy’s striped hoodie look interesting and authentic. The doll’s shoes look pretty nice, as well! Third, I love the inset eyes and unique face sculpts. Boy Story did a good job crafting the faces of their dolls.
Boy Story launched their Action Dolls in 2016 after a Kickstarter campaign that saw over $28,000 from 238 backers. The brainchild of sisters Katie and Kristen, the ball was set in motion when Katie, pregnant with her second child, went in search of a doll to give her oldest son to help introduce the idea of having a new sibling. When she couldn’t find anything that fit her criteria, she and her sister decided to create their own brand in this niche market.
On April 13th, 2016, the idea found its way to Kickstarter, got funded and the momentum hasn’t died down since! Just this February, the line found its way into the Launchpad, a section of New York Toy Fair that focused on new and exciting brands that were making their debut appearance at the trade show.
Not attending New York Toy Fair this year, I missed my chance at seeing these dolls in person, so my thoughts, at the moment, are based on the promo shots. I’d love to see what these guys look like against other 18″ doll brands. In the promo photos, for example, the dolls look like they are very big, in terms of proportions. It would be interesting to see how they measure up against other dolls of this size.
Last year, A Girl for All Time launched their Your Modern Girl series with a Kickstarter featuring dolls Maya and Nisha. Unlike their historical dolls, who all belong to the same family tree, Your Modern Girls are unique contemporary dolls that come from all walks of life. In this sneak peek reveal, I’d like to introduce you to Bex. With a release date of late 2017, Bex is English with an Afro Caribbean background.
Bex met her best friend, Maya, while rollerblading and they are both members of their local hockey team. She loves reading and writing poetry (in secret). One day, she hopes to start a band with all of her friends.
Bex has a new unique face mold. It looks like she has round features versus the long features that many of the other A Girl for All Time dolls have. Bex, also, has some pretty awesome hair. I love the curls! Her outfit is my favorite of the three girls in the Your Modern Girl line. Actually, of the three in the line, Bex might be my favorite doll so far.
Bex will be available to order later this year. Until then, keep an eye on A Girl for All Time via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And in the meantime, let me know what you think of Bex! Share your thoughts in the comment area.
Facebook seems to be a great place to find new and interesting companies. I discovered (the now discontinued) Makies there, then the recently discussed Dolls from Heaven and now this company– Cuddle Clones. With a vision of “Happy Pets, Happy People” and a mission “to capture the emotional connection between people and their pets”, Cuddle Clones creates one of a kind plush replica’s of your beloved four legged friends. Based on a provided photo and other facts, such as ear/tail position and distinguishing marks, Cuddle Clones can make a huggable, customized plush clone of your favorite pets, whether they’re cats, dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits or other large and small animal creatures. (See examples here! Click ‘View By’ to see all their different kinds of creations– they’ve even made a chicken!) A portion of the cost of your Cuddle Clone is set aside for animal related charities.
If plush clones aren’t your thing, you can also order a customized figurines, slippers and more traditional memorials. (See examples here of Cuddle Clones Custom Figurines.) Being a pet parent myself, I love the story behind this company. The company was started by Jennifer Williams, who was inspired by her love for her Great Dane, Rufus. When he passed, she decided it was time to see if she could make an idea she had a few years prior, of immortalizing Rufus in plush form, into a reality. Shortly after, Cuddle Clones was born.
From the promo photos, it looks like Cuddle Clones is doing a great job and is definitely making special memories for pet owners. I did something similar with one of my pets, Sammi. Since she was a pure bred Golden Retriever, it was pretty simple for me to get a ‘clone’ of her from MyTwinn (before the company went downhill). Cuddle Clones seems to take that a step further by adding the element of customization.
Besides cloning your four legged friends, they also sell plush creations of your own unique creatures (examples) or lost toys from the past with their Plush Replacement service. See all their products here.
Recently, I became aware of a new doll line called Dolls from Heaven. Dolls from Heaven is the brainchild of The Kiczek Family. The Catholic family came up with the idea for a line of saint based dolls after realizing that there were no doll brands out there that aimed to “lead children closer to God through the lives of the saints”. With faith and determination, they conceived and created Dolls from Heaven, releasing their first doll, St. Therese of Lisieux, in July of 2015. These 18″ dolls have vinyl limbs and cloth bodies. They are wigged and have sleep eyes. Dolls from Heaven have hand painted lips and painted finger and toe nails.
St. Therese is a stunning looking doll, judging from the supplied images. Like other high-end 18″ doll brands, she retails $98.00 for the basic doll/book and $118.00 for the basic doll/book/extras. St. Therese comes dressed in her Carmelite habit and is packaged with the paperback “I am Therese”. If you decide to go the slightly more expensive route, you’ll get St. Therese’s cape, rosary and a holy card featuring Jesus. While I normally don’t splurge on extra accessories, in this case, I would probably go for the complete outfit, cape and rosary included. Other outfits, like her First Holy Communion dress and Sunday’s Best are also available. Below is a picture of Therese in her First Holy Communion dress. Notice her curly brown hair. It looks great with her eye color and skin tone.
Upon showing these dolls to my mother, she instantly fell in love with St. Therese, which was unexpected, as she doesn’t usually care about 18″ dolls made in the American Girl sort of style. I fully expect you’ll be seeing one of these dolls on her YouTube channel one day!
Dolls from Heaven’s 2016 release was St. Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc, as you probably know, was given “a mission from God to free her beloved France from the hand of its enemies.” She comes dressed in her armor ready for battle and the paperback “She is Joan of Arc” book. Her accessories, for those who want the complete look, include a St. Joan’s Banner, Green Cape, a St. Joan’s Medal, and a prayer card of St. Michael and St. Catherine of Alexandria.
I really love the armor on St. Joan of Arc. They did a great job with creating that look. Add the cape and the outfit is perfect. And because of St. Joan of Arc’s blonde hair, she looks unique to St. Therese, even though they seem to share a face mold.
If Therese and Joan of Arc weren’t exciting enough, I have a scoop to share with you! Care to know who the 2017 release will be? Dolls from Heaven was kind enough to give you, my amazing and fantastic readers, an exclusive sneak peek!!!! (Drum roll, please!) Dolls From Heaven’s 2017 release will be St. John Paul II! The basic doll will come dressed as a pope, with his extra accessories still being determined. Dolls From Heaven expects pre-orders to go live in March. Check out exclusive promo photos of St. John Paul II below!
If the Pope outfit is too much for you, he’ll also have a second outfit– a Navy Sailor outfit!
I love the idea behind this line and am excited to see Dolls from Heaven flourish. The characters and stories behind each doll will surely inspire both young and old. They also seem like great gifts for religious milestones.
To be the first to know about new and exciting things from Dolls from Heaven, bookmark their website or like them on Facebook or Twitter. I hope to one day showcase these dolls in a review, so keep an eye out! In the meantime, let me know what you think of this line in the comment area. What doll is your favorite? Share your thoughts below!
Hearts For Hearts Girls are back! For those who don’t remember, Hearts For Hearts Girls first debuted in 2010 from Playmates. They quickly gathered strength by winning various awards and gaining a strong fan base due to the amazing message behind them. The line was inspired by real girls from around the world and showcased their journeys to succeed and create a better life for everyone around them. The dolls, 14″ tall with pretty faces and inset eyes, strive to “change the world, one heart at a time.”
I wish I could say I reviewed one here on the blog, but alas, I never got around to doing so, because in 2015, the line disappeared from toy aisles. At Toy Fair 2016, I could tell that while Playmates had discontinued the line, others who had worked on it were very passionate about the impact the Hearts For Hearts Girls doll line had and still could have on society.
Well, guess what? They’re back! Hearts For Hearts Girls have been resurrected with the help of MPA Sales, the company that bought the license from Playmates. Better still, Hearts For Hearts Girls adorable look and positive ideals have stayed intact! Like the original line, for every sale, $1.00 is donated to World Vision, a global humanitarian organization focused on helping kids in need everywhere.
The holiday 2016 line is set to bring back the favorites of the original run, which includes Nahji, Consuelo, Dell and Rahel. Hearts For Hearts Girls mission continues to be “to empower little girls to become agents of change in their communities, their country and around the world.” (By the way, where they say “little girls”, I’m reading it as “anyone of any gender or age”!) Below are pictures and bios (from the press release) of the four dolls that are being relaunched this holiday season.
Nahji from India:
Background: Nahji is a girl who dreams of a better life. Nahji is a smart and brave ten year old girl from Assam, India. In the region where she lives, girls go to work and get married very early in their lives. Nahji is determined to get an education and find a way for her family and community to thrive. She studies very hard and tells other girls her age, “When you believe in yourself, when you are strong in your heart, then you can change the world around you for the better.”
Dell from Kentucky:
Background: Dell has a voice that can move mountains. Dell is a cheerful and talented ten year old girl living in Kentucky’s Appalachian mountains. Her father was a coal miner, but when the mine closed her family had to move. Dell’s father and brother make beautiful guitars in their new town. Dell and her mother still visit the old mining town bringing food and blankets to the people in need. She loves the beauty and the music she hears coming from the mountains. She has a calling in her heart to make a difference by writing and singing her own songs.
Rahel from Ethiopia:
Background: Rahel is a girl with a giving heart. Rahel is a courageous ten year old girl living in Ethiopia. Lack of rain in their region dries up the crops making food scarce. When the rain finally comes, it brings mosquitoes that carry malaria, a terrible disease that affects many of her neighbors. One stormy night, a supply truck overturns. Rahel and her family journey into the bushes to help the driver bring the supplies back to their village. Rahel dreams of becoming a doctor so she can make a difference in her country when she grows up.
Consuelo from Mexico:
Background: Consuelo has a hunger to help others. Consuelo is a generous and imaginative ten year old girl from Mexico City, Mexico. She knows all about food as her parents own a bakery and everyone in the family helps out. There are many hungry children living on the streets in Mexico City and their yearning faces touch Consuelo’s heart. With her mother’s help, she created a restaurant in a back alley to feed these children, but is surprised when this becomes a challenge.
The four dolls you’ve just seen are available via Amazon. Currently, they are taking pre-orders with an estimated street date of November 20th, 2016. If all goes well, we’ll hopefully be seeing more releases in the coming year! For more information on Hearts For Hearts Girls, ‘like’ them on Facebook and check out their website, set to launch in November.
Did you miss Hearts For Hearts Girls? What do you think of their relaunch? Who’s your favorite of the four girls who are re-emerging this holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comment area!!!