Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quick Review of EAH Ballet Holly O'Hair, With an Appearance by Signature Holly

I'm not in favor of the direction that the Ever After High dolls seem to be moving in. Too many of them have next to no articulation, and molded bodices and legs. While the newest Signatures are similar to the original waves, even there the new dolls are missing several items, like earrings, that were included with older dolls. But since the new ballet line, featuring Apple, Holly and Briar, is quite inexpensive, at $5 a doll, I sprung for Ballet Holly and Briar just to get the new faces. Just so you know, the ballet dolls do NOT come with stands. I used one just to make picture taking easier.
Basic, basic, basic. Holly's arms don't even move out to her sides.
Holly's molded on bodice follows her theme with the flowers and braided trim.
The molded legs are gorgeous, but bending knees would have been nice.
Her hair isn't a bun so much as a roll.
She can't even sit well, not just because of how her legs stick out, but because her torso and legs can't quite make a 90 degree angle.
These new faces have appeared at the same time as the new faces for Monster High. I don't think there's as much difference between the EAH faces as between the new MH faces, though. Here's signature Holly with Ballet Holly.
Our ballerina's head is smaller, and she wears less makeup. Honestly, I think Mattel would only have had to put a little more curve at the sides of the lips on the molds they already had to give our EAH girls a smiling face. Maybe little girls also liked the smaller head when they did market research?

These dolls are fine for play by very young girls, and the price reflects the simplicity of the doll. I just hope the entire line doesn't go this route. After all the time and money Mattel has put into the storylines and the "themes" for each doll, it seems a waste to dial these dolls down for the younger set. The new signatures are okay, although lacking some of the details that the earlier waves had, that made them stand out. They're also lacking the diaries that came with every doll, which makes sense if the target age can't read very well yet, or read at all. In some ways the new Epic Winter line is an Epic Fail, though. Molded leggings (although with bending knees), less jewelry and fewer painted details make these dolls compare poorly to waves like Spring Unsprung or even Dragon Games. If Mattel makes more money overall selling to a younger age group, though, simpler is how it will be. I guess older EAH collectors will have to pick up older dolls they haven't bought yet, and/or work on customization.

Speaking of ballet, my youngest daughter the Dancer expressed an interest in Ballet Holly. Since I was already planning to do a head swap, the Dancer will get a new Spring Unsprung Holly's head on the ballet body. She also loves her Misty Copeland doll, which she received on Sunday. Misty is going to stay in the box.


11 comments:

  1. Wait wait wait.

    The arms don't even move out to the sides?! Pretty soon we'll be seeing EAH dolls like the super-cheap Barbies, I guess, where there aren't even removable clothing tutus. Or just painted-on swimsuits and that's it.

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    1. Yeah, Presto, I'm afraid we're going to end up there, with even cheaper dolls. Honestly, they have Barbie to include in the super cheap lines, why throw EAH into the mix. I guess 3 year olds really are the biggest market for playline dolls.

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  2. I'm not a fan of the sculpted clothes myself, but I wonder if they're aiming these at a slightly younger market? That's the impression I've gotten with some of the sculpted-clothes Barbies and Disney dolls, so maybe Mattel wanted to make sure that EAH hung on to the same buyers?

    It's really a shame that the doll doesn't have a stand though - if any doll deserved a stand it would have to be the ones in ballet poses, right?

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    1. I'm fine with them aiming some EAH dolls to a younger market, but it seems like they're also pushing the whole line that way, and losing what made EAH awesome for the adult collector.

      For the price point, they can't afford to include a stand with these. Plus, little kids won't use stands, so why bother?

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  3. Nice comparison..this is the first I've seen of this "super-budget" line. Wow, $5 is a steal! I guess it's a good option for really little kids, but to be honest, my daughter is going to be 4 next week and she LOVES the regular EAH dolls (mine, eek!) and she loves to take their outfits off and mix and match so I'm not even sure if she would even play with this doll. I'm not sure how much younger they are aiming for. Glad to hear that your Dancer likes her new Misty doll!

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    1. Five dollars is a great price for these dolls, definitely. I would hope in these economic times, Mattel would really be doing its homework on what sells, but I would imagine there are lots of girls out there like your daughter, too.

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  4. I must admit I prefer articulation and removable clothes but one of my sewing students said her granddaughter loves Barbie and her favourites are the fairy Barbies and the ones with moulded bodices. Mattel would have a good idea of its market and is probably aiming to cover various price points by making some cheaper dolls.

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    1. I don't mind about the cheaper dolls, but I'm disappointed that there aren't *any* dolls being produced with the quality that the first waves had. For example, there aren't any dolls being produced with stands, or earrings. I'm chalking it up to the economy still being awful, but it's disappointing nonetheless.

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  5. I agree with the point you make about the new direction Monster High and Ever After High are taking, by making the whole line look cheaper. I wouldn't mind that they made a line targeted to younger kids, as long as they keep the quality and design in other lines. To make a comparison with Barbie, it's ok if you have tons of mermaid/butterfly Barbies, as long as you keep a line for older kids, like the Barbie Style Luxe.

    I've just discovered this blog and I'm enjoying it. Cheers!

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    1. I agree; there aren't any dolls coming out now that match previous releases. That's where I'll really miss the quality and details.

      Thank you for stopping by! I've been reading your blog for a while, but I haven't commented. I'll have to change that.

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