Thursday, April 16, 2015

In Which I Review a Lottie Outfit and Lottie's Horse, Without Owning a Lottie Doll

When I ordered my Madame Alexander Travel Friend dolls from zulily, there were also some Lottie items available. I didn't really want to be ordering yet another small doll at the same time I ordered the MA dolls, and the MA ones seemed more appealing to me. However, I thought the pony might work with dolls that I already have, and I ordered an outfit because, why not? I chose the blue velvet party dress.

Wow, that Lottie is a small girl! Would you like to see what doll I found that could wear her outfit?

Here she is, your blast from the past, Miss Holly Hobbie!


(Actually, I think this might be Holly's friend Heather, but we'll stick with Holly.) Holly is a six inch vinyl doll from some time around the 1970s. As you can maybe see, there's a bit of a ripple on the front of the dress. I'm not sure if that's a fitting issue, or a sewing issue. The dress closes up fine in back. The weird angle the dress takes below the Velcro closure, I'm guessing is because Holly has a bit of a bottom, and I don't know if Lottie does.


Holly actually has quite an appropriately proportioned little girl body.


Holly was also able to put on Lottie's jacket, although the sleeves are rather long. She's wearing her own shoes and stockings, because Lottie's shoes and tights just won't fit Holly.

I'm gonna party like it's 1979! What?
Lottie's left shoe on the left, one of Holly's shoes on the right
However, I did find a doll who could wear Lottie's shoes perfectly, Barbie's little sister Kelly (as opposed to the current sister Chelsea. What do you think they did with Kelly? Send her to live with her grandparents? Reform school?)


In length, the tights seem best suited to another of Barbie's sisters, Stacie (older body.) Stacie is 8" tall. However, Lottie's figure must be much thinner than Stacie's, because there's no way Stacie could get those tights on.


Here's a picture of the back of Lottie's dress packaging. I don't know if the jacket would fit Lottie more like the illustration shows. I also included a closer view of extra outfits available to buy from Lottie's manufacturer, Arklu. There's a sticker at the place where it lists where the outfit was made. That suggests to me that they've changed the location where outfits are made, since the packaging was printed. No, I didn't think to take the sticker off.



Here's a picture of Holly and Stacie standing next to each other, to show the difference in height.


Did you notice that Stacie's outfit looks very much like an English style riding outfit? Yep, that's another reason I was motivated to buy Lottie's pony. A few months or so ago, I bought a couple of riding outfits Mattel made many years ago for the Stacie doll. Actually, this doll isn't strictly a Stacie, just has the Stacie body. She's Anne of Green Gables, from Mattel's When I Read, I Dream series. We're going to call her Fiona.


As you can see, Fiona is ready to ride, from her riding helmet to protect her head (thin plastic covered in a velvety feeling layer on top), to her boots, which have heels to help keep her feet in the stirrups. The white ribbon around her neck, made to look like a shirt collar, was tacked with thread onto a chest-shaped piece of plastic under the jacket. Fortunately, the ribbon holds its shape so nicely, that making it look right under the jacket was not a problem. However, the piece of plastic did leave a mark on the back of the velveteen jacket. The jacket is also a dust magnet.


The jodhpurs are made of a stretchy material almost like tights. They have patches at the inner calves and the knees, where there will be a lot of wear. Jodhpurs originally had extra material around the area of the outside of the thighs, to allow for room to maneuver while riding. With today's materials that have built-in stretch, they can be made to fit close to the body. I put the jodhpurs on over the tights that Fiona was already wearing, just because I didn't want the bother of taking them off. I was happy the pants fit that way. I couldn't get them tucked in the boots, but I don't know if I could do that without the tights either.


And our first glimpse of Fiona and her pony! Arklu gave the pony the name Seren, which means star in Welsh. Seren is a Welsh mountain pony. I'm not overly fond of the name Seren, so I renamed her Merlyn, which means pony in Welsh, according to the internet. I might use the name Merry.

For some reason, Fiona manages to rock this wine-colored jacket with her red hair.
Here's some pictures of Merlyn's box. It's too bad a brush wasn't included, since the packaging specifically mentions brushing her mane, and I'm sure little girls will love to do that. A plastic apple and/or carrot would have been a nice touch also. We get a view of Lottie's riding outfit, sold separately. That doesn't come with a brush, apple or carrot either. The pants do have patches inside the legs, like Fiona's do.


Having a top that closes with a tab seems common with Lottie boxes
Very easy to get her out! Hooray!
The packaging gives a good view from three sides.


Lottie is apparently only 7 inches tall, so she is probably more appropriately sized to the pony than Fiona is. Here's a picture of my daughter when she used to ride, standing next to the pony she rode, who was owned by the stable. His name was Peter Pan. Like Seren's description, Peter Pan was very stubborn. My daughter was 13 in this picture, so many years older than Lottie is meant to be. My daughter is very short, but that's why she was given a pony to ride. :)


I'm sorry; I didn't want to take Merlyn's saddle and bridle off for these pictures. I'd like to keep the plastic pristine for as long as possible. However, I did get some shots of how they are attached.

Looking at this picture now, I wonder if the reins can be separated from the bridle.

This is a view of Merlyn while she is lying on her side.

Merlyn's body is largely split into two even pieces, left and right, down the middle. Her chest is largely two pieces also split left and right, and there are separate pieces inside of the top of her front and hind legs.



Some pictures of all of Merlyn's body. The left side is her near side, the side a rider mounts. The right side is the off side. The white part of her legs is called stockings.




I think Merlyn's mane and tail are pretty thin for hair brushing play, especially since some hairs are falling out on their own. It's difficult to see the dark hair on the dark body, but here is the mane and tail straight on.



We're looking directly at Merlyn, although she can't look at us well from this position, if at all. I'm not sure exactly how far a horse can see from each side.
Looking at pictures of Lottie's body, I'm not sure that she wouldn't have the same problems that Fiona does, trying to ride Merlyn. That is, most dolls don't have upper legs made to bend outward to allow the doll to sit a horse properly. From the side, Fiona's body doesn't sit directly on the saddle. However, her jacket is cut nicely in the back to accommodate a sitting position, at least.

The reins are not long enough to make them fit in both of Fiona's hands. It's likely rather dangerous to only hold them in one, but it's the best she can do. Good thing she's a doll.


Like Lottie's riding outfit, Fiona's comes with a prize ribbon, although only one. In the picture below, you can see why I don't want to mess around with Merlyn's bridle and saddle. Stress to plastic can cause discoloration at the stress point.


I don't know what real English style riders do with their prize ribbons. I clipped Fiona's on Merlyn's reins. My daughter hung hers from the string holding on her rider number.


Daughter is 12 here
I'm glad I ordered everything that I did, including the Lottie outfit. I may not keep it, but it was fun to compare its measurements to other dolls that I own. Merlyn will fit in well here. I will probably let some other dolls try to ride her, but with Fiona's ready-made riding outfit, it was natural that she get first try. If I find another doll who works better with Merlyn, I'll post pictures.

6 comments:

  1. Fun fun! I'd been wondering about the Lottie's horse - it's too bad about the thinness of the mane and tail, but aside from that, he looks like a solid sidekick.

    I've never soon those Holly Hobby dolls before, but the face looks vaguely familiar to me...

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    1. Arklu did do a good job with Lottie's pony. I can see Lottie's young owners taking Lottie and Seren on all kinds of riding adventures.

      There were similar dolls produced about the same time as Holly, based off of someone else's illustrations. Betsey Clarke, I believe was the name.

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  2. I finally got to see Lottie dolls in person recently at a Hallmark in Columbus. I don't know if other Hallmark stores carry them or if that was an independent thing. Lottie was cuter in person than in the pictures I've seen, and she does have some nice stuff. Try a Gymnast Stacie or Bicycling Stacie on the horse. The legs are jointed and I'm pretty sure they can spread out sideways enough to sit them on a horse.And of course, the outfit will fit, but it will be a bit looser on the thinner bodies of the jointed Stacie dolls. And Kelly? She's lurking somewhere, waiting to make a comeback...

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    1. I imagine a jointed Stacie body would work fairly well. I'll have to consider adding one to my group.

      I do have to buy a card for an upcoming event. Maybe I'll stop by our local Hallmark.

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  3. Hello from Spain: I really like your doll with the horse. Great kit. Also your daughter is lovely-. Nice photos.

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    1. Muchas gracias, Marta. I am glad you like the pictures.

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