Dolly Review: My Sibling/My Pal Dolls (Outfit Review, Too!)

While at Blogger Bash‘s exclusive ‘Sweet Suite’, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Loretta Boronat and her My Sibling and My Pal dolls. This independent company has been producing high quality 18″ boy dolls with a message for a decade and, by the looks of it, will continue to do so for many years to come!

Let’s break the line down for you. First, we’ll talk about the My Sibling Dolls. This line has a grander cause behind it than just filling the ‘boy doll’ niche. The message of the line is one of awareness. Each doll represents a child who has a sibling with a disability, like Autism or Down Syndrome. To emphasize the point, each doll comes with a simply made booklet with a short story written by Loretta that lets you learn a little more about the doll, his sibling and how they relate to each other. Booklets also include a bit of information on the disability the sibling has and the company’s efforts to “help solve the autism puzzle“.

One thing I really love about this line is that the dolls are prepped and packaged by adult workers with various disabilities through a local US sheltered workshop. Finding a job without a disability can be hard nowadays, let alone finding one when you have a disability like Autism or Down Syndrome. These workers work on everything from dressing your doll, to preparing the booklet, to packaging your doll and prepping it for shipping. They offer training based on one’s skills and “strive to develop more opportunities for these adults, by optimizing their abilities and overlooking the stumbling blocks in the way we design the jobs.” I love this and wish more companies would consider doing this.

Also worth noting is that all the clothing these dolls are outfitted with is made in the USA.  Besides the dressed doll, My Siblings Dolls offers other outfits and accessories, sold separately, including onsie PJ’s, camo pants, basic playwear, sunglasses, shoes and even a doll sized sleeping bag! Not all the small accessories are made in the USA, but the outfits are. There are quite a lot of clothing options available, so if the doll isn’t for you, maybe you’ll see a cute outfit for your custom 18″ boy doll. For dolls, the company offers some customization services. (Learn more about that here.)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

For review, I received My Sibling Dolls Andy. Andy was one of the first dolls to be released. He has medium skin, wavy brown hair and brown eyes. As I said, he’s 18″ tall, partially vinyl, partially stuffed. His head, arms and legs are vinyl, while his torso is stuffed. Some dolls with stuffed torso’s are flopsy, but Andy is stuffed very densely. Because of this, he can stand really, really well with or without shoes! (An accomplishment, especially for a doll put together with a stuffed torso!)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy has a nicely sculpted face with small details that some other brands might forego. His face looks uniquely ‘boy-ish’. The placement of the features is perfect. I especially love the small details on the lips.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy’s hair is rooted and very soft! The style is super cute, too! I love the layered waves. Not all the dolls have this style, you can order dolls with less volume to their hair. So, if this isn’t your preferred style, they most likely have a doll with a hair style you like more.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy’s outfit is simple (a two toned t-shirt and jeans) with a blue color scheme. It uses velcro closures for easy changing. Andy wears a hat, which fits well. And his shoes? I love them! I also especially like the Autism Awareness bracelet he wears. (You can order one in adult and children sizes on the website for yourself or your child.)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The second doll sent for review was My Pal for Baseball. The My Pal line is a little more broad in theme. Each doll represents a hobby or cause. There are many to choose from, like World Peace, Autism Awareness, Tennis, School, Going Green, Hanukkah, Christmas, First Eucharist, Giving Thanks and Soccer. For those in a military family, you can also get a My Pal the Patriot doll, which comes in various skin tones/hair styles.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

My Pal for Baseball comes in two different ‘looks’. We chose to review the light skin version, with straight brown hair and blue eyes. The body and head are the same as Andy’s. The skin is much lighter than Andy’s medium skin. My Pal for Baseball stands as solidly as Andy does.

His hair is cut in a short boy cut. It arrived a little too perfect for my taste, but after messing with it a bit, it looked very nice. They did a good job on the cut. That can be one of the hardest things to get right on boy dolls.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The baseball outfit is a nice piece, too. There’s a little bit of neck to stuffed body showing, but the color match is good enough that you barely notice.  Again, they use velcro, so it’s easy to take the outfit off/put it back on. Besides the blue uniform top and white pants, you also get a pair of white tennis shoes (not black cleats like the webpage says), a catcher’s mitt (made of fabric) and a cool baseball cap with the My Pal logo on it. It looks very authentic and super cute!

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Both dolls have trouble staying in a sitting position. Their hips joints allow them to sit in a straddle, but you’ll probably need to prop them up a bit for them to really stay in a sitting position. Just like the My Sibling line, you’ll get a booklet with various facts and tidbits about the theme of your My Pal doll. In My Pal for Baseball’s case, the booklet included information about the game and the current teams in the league.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Also sent for review were two other items: a suit and doll sized sleeping bag. The suit comes in a variety of fabrics (five!).

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Each suit includes a white shirt with tie, suit pants and a suit jacket. The look, from head to toe, looks adorable. My Pal for Baseball looked like he stepped right out of Mad Men when wearing it. Shoes are not included in this outfit.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The sleeping bag is colorful and soft. It’s big enough for at least one doll, if not two. It has an elastic band to fold and wrap the sleeping bag just like you would a normal sized one. The bright colors go hand in hand with the Autism awareness bracelets and other products sold in the online store.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Check out the website to see all the products from this independent doll company. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As a thank you to the company, visit their website and let me know in the comments which doll is your favorite. What do you think of My Sibling and/or My Pal dolls? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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September 15, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: Disney Parks Attractionistas Holly

I actually bought Disney Parks Attractionistas Holly sometime last year, but am now just getting around to writing about her. She’s no longer available at the Disney Parks, so far as I know, nor is she on DisneyStore.com, but you can still find her on eBay.

The Attractionistas dolls are 12″ vinyl dolls themed around popular Disney Park attractions. The original series had six dolls, with two being added later on (Holly and Briar). I was lucky enough to visit DisneyStore.com one day and see both Holly and Briar on the site.  I am kicking myself for not picking up Brair (themed around Splash Mountain), who was nowhere to be found on the website when I looked again a week later.

Attractionistas Holly

Holly is themed around the popular Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The story goes like this: “Classic stars of the silver screen sought rest and relaxation at the Hollywood Tower Hotel during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In 1939, during a gloomy Halloween night, 5 unfortunate hotel patrons were riding in the elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again. Whatever became of them and wherever they may have gone has remained a mystery to this day. The hotel closed down that night and has remained abandoned ever since.”

Attractionistas Holly

Holly caught my eye for a few reasons. First, I loved her monotone coloring. Her grey skin, silver eyes and blue-ish grey hair make her look as if she stepped out of an old black and white movie. Holly has a super cute 1940’s inspired hair style that adds to the mood of the doll. She’s very ‘old Hollywood’.

Attractionistas Holly

Her fitted red bellhop outfit is the second thing that caught my eye. It’s so cute and looks great with Holly’s coloring. Holly comes with a hat, gloves, shoes and purse. I love her purse’s design. While it doesn’t open, it is shaped like an old film reel tin! It’s very cool. Of course, Holly wears stylish knee-high boots to complete her look.

Attractionistas Holly

Terra is Holly’s pet Owl. He’s a solid molded accessory and super cute in his own right! Terra wears a hat that matches Holly’s. Overall, I’m happily surprised to see that Terra wasn’t an afterthought (which happens sometimes with pets).

Attractionistas Holly

Attractionistas have mostly hard vinyl bodies. Their legs are made of a more rubber like vinyl, which gives them clickable knees. They can feel a bit weird, but I found Holly to have less sticky legs than my other Attractionistas, Pearl. Her shoulders move up and out and her head turns well. Her hips should have movement, but it’s constricted, as she wears a tight 1940’s era pencil skirt.

Of all the Attractionistas produced, Holly is my favorite, even if the Tower of Terror is a ride that I would never, ever go on! (I don’t do rides that fall great distances! Nope! Never!) You can still find these on eBay and you may be able to find these at Disney Parks (but I suspect they went on clearance a long time ago).

What do you think of Holly? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

September 8, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Dolly Review: Junior Reporter Sammi and Astro Adventures Outfit (Lottie)

Junior Reporter Sammi is a new edition to Lottie family! Sammi is a writer for the Branksea School News, covering all the awesome Sports Day activities. He’s outfitted with all the essentials: a denim blue bag, pen and a yellow notepad (not pictured).

Lottie and Friends

The miniature newspaper Sammi comes with features artwork done by real life Lottie fans! They take their tagline “Inspired by Real Kids” pretty seriously! Can you imagine how cool it would be to know your picture was featured in a real doll prop?

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Sammi has dark brown eyes. His dark brown hair looks a little longer than Finn’s. It’s styled differently, too. (Finn has a side part style.) There’s more texture to it, as well, though not as much as we saw with Mia. I think Finn’s eyes are the best feature of his face. They ‘pop’ and look especially great with his thick brows.

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As expected with a Lottie doll, Finn wears a well designed outfit full of separates! His shirt is grey with a cool headphone graphic on the front. Over that, he wears a cute yellow vest, which could easily be used on other Lottie dolls and with other Lottie fashions! The look is completed with jeans and red sneakers. He also has a hat, which, honestly, is the one piece that I’m not over the moon about. I don’t think it does much for his look. (You can see it in the video review.) I prefer seeing Sammi’s full head of hair!

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Inspired by real kids ideas, the Astro Adventures outfit is one of my favorites from the company. Who wouldn’t want a cool astronaut outfit for their dolls? Check out how cool Sammi looks in this four piece outfit (body suit, boots, under helmet piece, helmet)! The actual helmet comes in two pieces that snap together. It’s sturdy, but be careful with it as you put it on and take it off of your dolls. This outfit fits all Lottie dolls, boys and girls!

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Watch the video review below!

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If you’re new to the line, be sure to check out my past Lottie reviews. This will be the last one for a while. We may bring one back for review closer to the holiday season! You can buy your own Sammi online or at your local mom and pop store. Be sure to ‘like’ them on FaceBook for instant updates on releases and competitions. What do you think of new friend Sammi or the super cool Astro Adventure outfit? Share your thoughts below!

September 1, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

SmartGurlz: The World’s First Coding Robot for Girls

The other day, I stumbled upon a doll review on YouTube for SmartGurlz: the World’s First Coding Robot for Girls. Invented by a mom, Sharmi, who was frustrated with the toys available for her daughter, Nina, SmartGurlz are “friendly self-balancing robots and action dolls that engage and encourage girls to learn to code. Connected via smart phone or tablet, SmartGurlz allows girls 6 and up to immerse themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).” They are currently available online via the SmartGurlz website.

SmartGirlz (Not My Images)

There are two elements to SmartGurlz. First, you have the STEM aspect of the line. The real star of this product is Siggy the Robot. Siggy is a segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter. You may have seen them being used by mall cops or tourists taking segway tours in major cities.

Siggy can be controlled via an app, available for Apple and Android devices called SugarCoded. Using the app, you can make your Siggy “dance, do tricks, drive in circles and navigate over surfaces inside and out.” Siggy has lights, as well. It’s scaled for most 11″ dolls and can hold about 6 ounces of weight.

SmartGirlz (Not My Images)

The second aspect of this line is doll that comes with Siggy. Eagle eye readers, upon seeing the dolls, will know exactly what caught my interest. The dolls are identical to Chinese Fashion Doll Kurhn! Each Siggy comes with a different rider: Jen, Jun, Zara, Maria and Emma. Each doll has a bio and unique interests. It’s clear to me that they made a deal with the people behind Kurhn when they were working on SmartGurlz, because their faces and articulated bodies look nearly identical to the Kurhn’s that are being released currently. While I like all the dolls, my favorites are Jen, Maria and Emma. Zara is interesting, as I’ve never seen a black Kurhn doll before.

SmartGirlz (Not My Images)

Jun looks identical to my Anniversary dolls. Jen seems pretty basic, too, but she has adorable freckles, which I love! While the dolls seem like a bit of an afterthought when you look at the marketing of SmartGurlz, they are definitely what caught my eye when looking into the line. Kurhn’s are one of my favorite doll lines. (They’re so pretty!) Inside the free app, you’ll find an e-book that will give you a more in-depth look at the doll of your choice.

SmartGirlz (Not My Images)

SmartGurlz are available to buy directly from the website. Zara is a pre-order, which should ship in October. The rest of the girls look like they’re ready to ship! They are currently on sale for $79.99 (regular price $99.99).

SmartGirlz (Not My Images)

What do you think of SmartGurlz? Let us know in the comment area!

September 1, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: Always Artsy Lottie and Birthday Girl Sophia

The good folks behind the “quintessentially British” doll line Lottie were kind enough to send me a box of samples recently. You’ve seen Mia. Here are two more: Always Artsy Lottie and Birthday Girl Sophia.

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Always Artsy Lottie is very cute (and I’m not just saying that because she looks similar to myself). She has a rooted short brown bob and brown eyes done in the usual Lottie style. She wears a simpler outfit than most in the line, which consists of a long sleeve shirt with pink stripes, blue pants, blue shoes, a yellow polka-dotted scarf and a blue beret.

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Always Artsy Lottie comes with some fantastic accessories, including three ‘paint’ cans, an artist palate and paintbrush (with thumb holes), an easel and some completed works of art. The easel is a great accessory. And one of my favorite touches? The cardboard artwork included with this doll feature pictures that actual kids drew and submitted to various Lottie competitions.

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Birthday Girl Sophia introduces us to Lottie’s kid sister! Because she has the same body as Lottie and friends, Sophia can fit all of cute looks worn by the other dolls in the line. Birthday Girl Sophia wears an outfit perfect for a party. Her long sleeve shirt has a cupcake decoration and is paired with a stylish silver tutu and striped leggings. She has a fancy pink drawstring purse that can go across her body, over her shoulder or worn like a backpack. (Not pictured, sorry!) Converse style shoes complete the look.

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Her extra accessories are doll sized paper cards: a party invitation, birthday card and thank you card. Sophia has long golden blonde hair, no bangs. It looks great with the blue eyes and pale skin.

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You can watch the video reviews below, including Junior Reporter Sammi.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Lottie and friends. These releases are no exception. You can get your own Lottie online or at various mom and pop stores. Like them on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date with Lottie’s competitions and promotions! What do you think of Always Artsy Lottie and Birthday Girl Sophia? Share your thoughts below!

August 30, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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