Sunday, May 3, 2015

Madame Alexander Travel Friends Dolls Kenya, Italy and Russia

Remember when I said I would buy more Madame Alexander Travel Friend dolls if they were a good price? They appeared on zulily again, and I bought three more. They ended up being about $10 each including shipping, definitely a nice price for these girls. I'm tired and don't feel up to doing name research right now, so these girls will appear as Kenya, Italy and Russia throughout. There will also not be information about the bodies. I covered those in my previous post on Travel Friends dolls.


Here are the backs of the boxes, with the information about each country. Some of the words are a little bit blurry. If you want to see anything closer up, let me know.




I don't know too much about any of these countries. Mr. BTEG's grandparents came from Italy, and I have studied some Russian history. There are only a couple of curious things on these boxes, as opposed to the litany of errors from last time.

Ciao is only spelled correctly three times in this circle! The rest of the time, it is Caio!
Do you say Hujambo or Habari as Hello in Kenyan? Or could you use either?
Also, I didn't remember to get a closeup picture, but in the word Siberia on the back of Russia's box, the b in Siberia is kind of a strangely shaped lower case b that almost looks like an upper case G. The other letters are upper case. That's not really a mistake, exactly, just strange. So many of these boxes have errors, though! It looks so careless and sloppy. I can overlook some manufacturing imperfections in a $10 doll a lot easier than I can simple writing mistakes that I spotted in about a minute. Who threw these together?


Other bloggers have mentioned the plastic piece around the back of the dolls neck, with the plastic tie around the neck. Italy also had two of those awful little plastic tag thingys in the back of her head. And I figured out why the interior cardboard liner holding the dolls so often sticks to the box, so that you have to rip both apart to get to the back where the ties and threads and so forth are. You know that sort of glue strip that comes on the back of a credit card when you get it in the mail, to hold it on the paper mailer? There is a strip of that on the back of each liner, by the doll's head. On Italy, it covered up the little plastic tags, so I'm guessing the glue strip was to hold those in place. On Russia and Italy, the glue was not really sticky anymore, so their interior boxes slid out easily.


Out of the box
Can I say here that Italian skin fascinates me? My husband and my eldest daughter both have olive skin, and it really can have a faint greenish cast in the right light, especially during winter. Hard to replicate in a doll, however. When Mr. BTEG saw Italy, his comment was, "She looks just like my cousin Molly."

I took a picture of the three doll's arms, so you can see what the skin colors look like next to each other.


1-2-3 Let's Win!

Is it weird to say Kenya's hair felt sleek touching from one direction and rough when I touched it another way? It's beautiful in the sunlight, in any case.

Russia has a LOT of hair. It doesn't all lay straight from how it was tied in the box.
Italy's curls are very coarse.
Russia's outfit was the most ambitious as far as sewing, and it has the most issues. In pictures above, you can see that Russia's blouse is pulled over to the left. I wondered if that was a sewing issue. Instead, it was how the outfit was put on the doll.

This is how she arrived.
The neckline neatened up for the most part once I took the jumper off and redid the Velcro.
Russia's jumper goes on very tightly over her blouse. It could have been a bit looser.

The soles of Russia's shoes were painted white. To me, it makes them look like tennis shoes. Also, the paint was not done neatly.


Germany's shirt was unraveling in quite a few places on the inside. The only unraveling in Russia's so far is in the armscyes. The elastic around the neck is also not sewn on perfectly. The gathered effect at the neckline is nice, but it would probably have been easier to have a plain round neck.



Kenya's shirt and leggings are knit, so no unraveling problems there. Her skirt has been stiffened with what is probably sizing, kind of like starch. The seam at the back of the skirt is not finished, but may not have issues because of the sizing. The tag sticks out on the back of her shirt. I hate clothing tags. I hate them on my own clothes; I hate them on my dolls' clothes. And why did they have to be so big?

Kenya's outfit doesn't really seem to all come together. And I have no idea if the tribal print on her skirt is accurate. Also, the skirt is so narrow that it makes a little difficult for Kenya to sit.


Italy's simple sundress is the colors of the Italian flag, red, white and green. The bodice is lined. The waistline seam and the one on the back of the skirt are not finished, but are cleanly cut.

I bought Russia because I thought she was cute, but I was also afraid that Russia would look just like Germany, only with straight hair. Fortunately, their coloring is quite different. The face paint is different, and Russia's hair is strawberry blonde. I generally don't think of Russians as blonde, but it's a very big, diverse country, so it's possible. Although her hair is down like my Irish girl Nora, Russia's bangs are not as thick. You can even faintly make out her eyebrows through her bangs, looking at her the right way.

Germany on the left, Russia on the right
And last, a group shot of the whole crew. Germany is not wearing her original outfit, because I don't like the way it fits her. She is wearing Mini AG Felicity's outfit instead. Germany is also not wearing her shoes, because they are too big and fall off too easily.

Goodbye!

12 comments:

  1. Russians ARE blonde (and blue-eyed)! Italy is the cutest, I think :)

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    1. Well, yeah, there are blond Russians, just like there are blond Italians. But the average person would picture the average Italian looking more like my Italy doll than a blond. I wouldn't picture the average Russian as a blond either. I don't think I got that across in the post very well. I admit to liking the Italy doll very much too. :)

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    2. Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant typical Russians look like that. There are many ethnic groups in Russia that look all over the place, but actual pure Russians are fair, freckled and blonde, though not quite like Scandinavian people.

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  2. Replies
    1. Glad you like them and thank you for stopping by.

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  3. I love that you've gotten so many of them - it's fun to get to see so many of them in detail like this!

    On Hujambo/Habari - they're both (sort of) different ways of saying what could be "How do you do?" in English. Literally, I think Jambo is closer to "How are you?" and Habari is closer to "How's it going?", but the use is similar. You usually answer "Hujambo" with "Sijambo" (although I'm most familiar with using just "Jambo" as "Hello") and you'd usually answer "Habari?" with "Nzuri" (like saying "fine" or "good" in response to "How's it going?").

    That's probably more than you needed to know! ;)

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    1. Oh, we're always interested in languages at Casa BTEG, so the information is fun to learn, anyway. I'm glad someone out there knew the answer to my qustion! Her box seems to be the only one that I've seen that has two different ways to say Hello on it, so it caught my eye.

      I'm glad you liked seeing so many of the dolls together. I think I have all the ones I want now, unless MA comes out with some of the ones that were pictured at Toy Fair.

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  4. Love them! I'm glad I didn't see them on Zulily. I would have been tempted, even though I know they are too big for my stories. That was a great price.

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    1. Yeah, they're definitely not 1/6. Probably nice for little girls' hands. Price was a big factor in getting three more.

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  5. They have very nice faces :)

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