Monday, April 10, 2017

Lottie Pony versus LORI Horse

When Battat's LORI brand for 8" dolls came out with horses for their line, I decided to buy one to see what it was like. Then I decided it was natural to compare it to the pony that Arklu has produced for their Lottie doll. I completely reviewed Lottie's pony here. This will be a short review of the new horse, and some comparison comments. For brevity, I named the Arklu Welsh pony Merlyn, which is the Welsh word for pony. The name Elinor appeals to me for this new horse, so that's what she'll be called.

Elinor is an Andalusian horse. I've read that gray is the most common color for that breed of horse, so it makes sense that she is that color. Andalusian horses are also popular for dressage and jumping, so an English saddle is correct here too. From my reading, Andalusian horses are a prized breed, originating in Spain. It was a favored mount of European royalty and nobility. I just think she's pretty.
Now that we've introduced Elinor, let's talk about my deboxing experience. Merlyn only had a few twist ties, and she was free. Elinor had plastic ties around three of her ankles holding her to the box, and her tail was connected by a rubber band to her rear left leg. There was also a rubber band around her tail where it comes out of her body. There was a zip tie around her "waist" securing her to the box, and a plastic tab sewn into her mane; the ends of the tab were sewn to her saddle pad and bridle. I had to cut the zip tie with small wire cutters, and it was easiest to use the cutters on the leg ties as well. That seems excessive to me. Not every house has wire cutters just lying around.

Merlyn's box had a little blurb talking about her personality; Arklu gave her the name Seren. It also talked about how Lottie and Seren are friends, and how Lottie takes care of Seren. Considering Battat was so specific with Elinor's breed, there is nothing on the box about the breed, nor about personality or care. I think Battat dropped the ball here.

Now, let's do some comparisons between Merlyn and Elinor. When I reviewed Merlyn, I used a Stacie doll as she was the best size match among the dolls I have. Since Elinor was created for 8" mini dolls, I'm using Felicity here as my human model, since she's the horse lover of the historical AG dolls.

Here's Felicity riding Merlyn, and Elinor. Felicity does not look too out of place on Merlyn, except that the stirrups are too far down. From the outfit I have that was made for Lottie, she seems to have proportionally longer legs than the dolls that I have. Stacie's feet were awkward in the stirrups since she wasn't built to ride a horse. But at least Merlyn comes with stirrups. I also like the color of Merlyn's bridle and saddle, as being more realistic. And the furry saddle pad on Elinor, which is underneath the purple pad, reminds me more of Western style tack, as opposed to English.
I think Felicity is a bit too big for Elinor. And keep in mind, Elinor is supposed to be a horse, while Merlyn is a pony. LORI 8" dolls live like adults, with their own car, house, etc., so I guess a horse would a be a better size for them? Only Elinor looks like a pony when Felicity is riding her. If they weren't so specific about the breed, I could pass it off, but calling this equine a horse just seems silly. I looked up some pictures of Andalusian horses on line, and they look *much* larger in comparison to adult humans.

While Merlyn's box talked about Lottie feeding her apples and carrots, no accessories besides tack came with her. I think a toy bunch of carrots or an apple would have been cute. Elinor does come with a few accessories: a pail, a brush and a sort of grooming mitt. There is also a horse trailer and stable by LORI sold separately, which come with more accessories for horses. The stable includes a bucket of carrots and a bucket of apples! I don't know why I have this obsession with horse treats. :D
If you go to the web page for the stable or the horse trailer, there is a slide show where a few of the pictures show a doll wearing this mitt. Supposedly then, it will fit on the LORI dolls' hands, but not on Felicity. The way her thumb sticks out makes it impossible to get the mitt onto her hand.
I think the bucket is a bit small, but that's not a major issue.
One last thing about Elinor alone; she has her brand name on the upper inside of her rear right leg. While I suppose it wouldn't matter to a child, if you were thinking of her as a horse for a doll display, you can see the mark easily when she's just standing. Admittedly it's hard to see in most of the pictures I took.
Okay, now let's look at Merlyn and Elinor mane to mane, and tail to tail. First let's look at them from the side. Having Elinor's left front leg raised makes her unstable. I'm also not sure that her other three hooves touch the ground evenly; she was rocking a little bit on her feet while I was taking pictures. Having Felicity on her back also made her unstable.
I think looking at these two head to head really emphasizes their size differences. Elinor has a forelock, while Merlyn does not. Merlyn's eyes stick out just a bit oddly, while Elinor seems to have a thick head from this point of view.
Elinor seems to have a thicker mane than Merlyn.
When I wrote Merlyn's individual review, I pointed out that the hair in her tail seemed rather sparse, especially since it also comes out very easily. These pictures show that.
On the other hand, Elinor has a large opening where her tail comes out, and I'm not sure of the reason for that rubber band just past the opening. There was a rubber band on the outside of her tail, as I believe I mentioned above. I suppose that was to help keep the tail from being too fly-away.

Both these horses have issues. Merlyn's biggest drawback, I think, is the relative sparseness of her mane and tail. Elinor's is the realism of her tack, plus her size, if she is truly supposed to be the horse breed they say she is. The accessories Elinor does come with don't thrill me, and I think Battat could have had some description on Elinor's box. Merlyn has no accessories but at least we get some verbage about her and how Lottie takes care of her. I think the first choice on which horse to get would be what size doll you want to ride her.

Probably the next biggest factor would be availability. While Seren/Merlyn seems to no longer be for sale, there is a new Welsh pony, and a pony set that also comes with a Lottie doll, which I think is a good idea. Still no buckets, brushes or treats. Arklu will ship to the UK (of course), Ireland and continental Europe (EU), and the US. Shipping appears to be free to all of these places if you spend over 50 pounds, dollars or Euros. Lottie does have some cute things, but I also reviewed a Lottie dress in my review of Merlyn, and Lottie's clothes would definitely be a problematic fit for a lot of other dolls, just so you know. There were some stores that sold Lottie dolls in the US, but I don't know how many of them do still. The one specialty toy store in my area that I know sold Lottie products closed over a year ago.

LORI seems to only be available in the US, and only at Target stores, that I'm aware of, so that's not an option for a great many of you. :( On the other hand, if you do live in the US and also want to get the LORI horse trailer and/or stable, the LORI horse would be the one for you. At one point, there was also a LORI palomino horse, but I don't know if that one is still for sale. The LORI website only shows Elinor, and a Camarillo horse, which I might buy if I see her in store. I think her tack is much prettier than Elinor's.

Do any of your dolls like to ride?

11 comments:

  1. Anybody who wants the Lori stuff could always order from Target online, at least in the U.S. I doubt they ship internationally.

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    1. That's true; I'd forgotten that. I doubt they ship internationally either.

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  2. If they did ship internationally shipping would cost more than the toys.
    These take me back to my childhood when my sister and I would steal our Dad's model horses for our Barbies. But if these horses were real, with tails that long, they'd get really yucky really quick!

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    1. Those tails would get nasty, definitely. I think they're counting on how much little girls love to comb, brush and braid hair.

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  3. I love the shape of Elinor's head. I've been really impressed by the Lori line, especially for the price.

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    1. Yes, they've been offering some great stuff in the mini dolls size. I just bought the bathroom set; I will probably review it at some point. I have some other stuff that I want to get to first.

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    2. Oh brilliant! I've actually been wondering about the bathroom set (I've been thinking it would be fun to use for action figure photo shoots).

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  4. Given their stature, I always wondered what age the Lori dolls were supposed to be considering they drive and have fancy lofts. Visually they look the same age as Only Hearts Club girls, but monetarily, they are in Barbie league.

    I have the Liv doll, Nutmeg and I love the articulation and the size is perfect for Barbies too.

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    1. Yes, they look like little girls, but then do things like adults. Maybe since Battat is already making the Our Generation mini dolls, they decided to differentiate the LORI line by giving them adult accessories.

      The Liv horse does look cute, and the articulation is a bonus.

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  5. It is possible to get some of the Lori products in the UK and ireland, from a toy shop called Smyths, although its a bit of a limited range. I love the little accessories, but I dont feel like the horses work at all with these dolls, the scale is totally off!

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    1. That's good to know! I think my Felicity is "chunkier" than the LORI dolls, but I agree that she doesn't look exactly right on that horse. The accessories are great, though. I'm thinking about getting the camping set.

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