Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Monday, July 22, 2019

Mattel Wild Hearts Crew Cori Cruize Doll Review

I finally found another doll besides Jacy Masters at my local Walmart. At first, I had just been thinking about grabbing Jacy, even though I wasn't particularly fond of her outfit. But then I saw someone post on Instagram that Jacy was not a rebody candidate, as her neck is noticeably thicker than even the Curvy Barbie necks, so I decided to wait, in case I did choose to rebody.

There were still only three of the dolls available at my Walmart last week. Apparently, available in early July means "If you're lucky, you'll find some at your Walmart, and if not you can pre-order and get it whenever." I really liked Charlie Lake the best, from the pictures, but I didn't want to wait forever to get this review done, as other people have managed to get their hands on several of these dolls and reviewed them already.

According to Mattel's website, Cori Cruize is a musician, who creates her own songs. However, her full paragraph description is actually Charlie Lake's. You can absolutely see the care Mattel took with this new line. Anyway, you can tell Cori is a musician, because she has a Walkman. No, really, it looks like an actual old school tape cassette. Isn't she just so cool and rad?

Part of Cori's hair is done in cornrows, which are really hard to see from most positions.
Underneath her jacket, Cori wears a sleeveless unitard. Her accessories include earrings, a necklace, a belt, shoes and her cassette player. Her given motif is flames, which are on many of the items that come with her.

I know many of you were interested in her body type, so let's get into that. It appears that there are at least a couple of different body types in this new line, but as I said, finding all these dolls was impossible, and I wouldn't want to buy them all anyway. They all are decently articulated, having bending elbows and knees, as well as the usual shoulder, hip and neck movement that standard Barbies have nowadays.

Cori definitely has a fuller figure than the Made to Move dolls. However, she has a much thinner waist, proportionately, than the Curvy crew. I didn't get exact numbers, but Cori's bust, waist and hips are all smaller than Curvy's measurements.

The other big question is often clothes swapping. After all, our girls can always use more clothes, right, even if they get "stolen" from another doll? Sadly, none of the different variations I tried were very successful. I couldn't even get Cori's unitard past Curvy's thighs. However, even though Made to Move is slimmer proportioned, the unitard didn't work for her either. It didn't close in the back, and her torso is slightly longer, so that the unitard pulled up rather awkwardly.

I decided to try a Curvy dress on Cori, and although it looked acceptable from the front, where it hit on Cori's backside was rather... unfortunate. I imagine a tee and an elastic-waist skirt might work better.
I decided to try clothes on Cori that fit my older Barbie dolls, since they had larger busts and hips than some of the current Barbies. Yes, the dotted skirt is from a Made to Move doll, but it is currently being worn by a Fashion Fever Teresa, so it works for older Barbies too. For Cori, not so much. The blouse technically fits, except for being very loose at the shoulders at the back. The skirt went over her hips, but wouldn't close completely.

Lastly, Mattel made Cori's feet a completely new type, because what else does Mattel do? I was hoping the feet would at least be similar to a Curvy body with arched feet, and while the Curvy shoe does mostly fit, Cori's foot is slightly longer.
Since I still have Mattel's Ginny Weasley outfit lying around, I tried one of her shoes on Cory, and it does slide on completely, but was a bit loose, and the arch is not the same.

I have quite a few thoughts on this doll, compared to previous Mattel lines, but first I would like to ask if you now feel some of Mattel's other recent dolls are overpriced, considering this doll sells for only $14.97 at Walmart. Yes, she doesn't have articulated ankles and wrists, but she does have more accessories than you get with many standard Barbies. And how much of a mark-up should wrists and ankles be, anyway? Maybe I'm off base about this.

This new line is touted as being the next in the Monster High/Ever After High mode. One article says the dolls are "offering a new bridge between kids, tweens, and adult collectors alike." Hmm. Didn't know Mattel acknowledged that adult purchasers mattered at all for playline. Anyway, I don't even like Monster High, but I call absolute nonsense on the WHC being successors. For one thing, Monster High had an engaging storyline with the dolls right from the start: they were different from the world around them, because they were monsters. They turned into bats or were sewn together or had lupine characteristics. I don't remember any monster dolls being available in the playline market before. The WHC girls are different because: Mattel tells us so. They wear their hearts on their sleeves! They're into music and photography and skating and dreaming! HashtagDaretobeDifferent!

I'll admit that I'm cynical. I'm old enough that I've seen cycle after cycle of "it's okay to be different/be yourself even if you're different" messages aimed at kids roll around, not that I disagree with the sentiment. As I've pointed out up above, MH dolls really were quite different to the playline doll scene. And my beloved Ever After High did at least offer a new take on fairy tales, with the children of fairy tale characters. I mean, that's been done for ages in literature and movies, but not very much in doll lines. Plus, even though there were plot holes galore, the idea of whether or not the EAH characters should follow their parents' tales, or not, made for a storyline with a little appeal to  it.

Also, I personally liked the MH/EAH clothes a lot better than these new outfits. At least at the beginning of their respective launches, those outfits had more details, and painted accessories. Of course, they were more money, but all of a sudden, everything you got in those doesn't look so bad price-wise. Weren't they close to $20 US?

The doll line I would compare the WHC to, is My Scene. They were "edgier" than your standard Barbie. They had bigger heads. They wore more contemporary clothes. They had slightly fleshed out interests. Fifteen years from now, some doll company will probably produce a whole new line of doll friends that are completely different to these, and yet exactly the same. I guess I shouldn't be too negative about this; it's hard to make a group of dolls that absolutely stand out from any dolls made before. I think that I'm just reacting to the hype around these dolls, and maybe it's also related to the fact that I am that much farther away from the "just setting out to find yourself" stage in life than I was when my kids were into My Scene.

Some of my underwhelming feel for these dolls, though, I lay at the feet of Mattel. The WHC base outfits do not have the care and detail of My Scene, Monster High or Ever After High. The individual outfit packs, from what I've seen, are even worse. *One* item of clothing, a couple of small accessories, shoes that are recolored versions of existing ones, and some temporary tattoos for you and your doll. Hard to see tweens or adults getting excited about those.

I have seen people on Instagram excited about this line, and lucky you if you like it, I guess. They are something new from Barbie after Barbie after Barbie, or even release after release of Disney Princesses. But this group doesn't have a lot to draw this adult collector in, right from the start. It just feels like another gimmick line that will be discontinued in five years or less.

What do you think? Do you like them? Will you buy some? Were you only interested in taking their stuff for other dolls? Are they comparable to past dolls? Since I'm not interested in Cori as a rebody candidate, I'm going to try to sell her here for $7.00 to recoup some of my expense. Without her box, I can probably ship her in the continental US cheaply enough that she'll be close to the $14.97 plus tax that you would pay at Walmart. If you're outside the US and want her badly enough to pay for the higher shipping costs, let me know. I hope you enjoyed this review!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Asian Lantern Festival at Cleveland Zoo, with Asian Babysitting Skipper

My daughter The Dancer usually works on Sundays, but since she had off, I suggested that we go to the Asian Lantern Festival currently on at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, as we both wanted to check it out. A mutual friend of Mr. BTEG and the Dancer also joined us.

There were so many incredibly beautiful scenes set up, and we had a great time. Fortunately for us the weather was bearable, because we walked around the zoo twice, once during daylight, and once after the sun had set. For anybody familiar with the Cleveland Zoo, we didn't walk around the whole zoo, as a good bit of it was shut down, including the Australian Adventure section. I would have loved sharing pictures with my Aussie readers. :) Of course, we didn't have much time for extensive picture taking. We were at the zoo over three hours as it was, although we did see a show between our two walks, and also took a breather a couple of times.

I didn't take a lot of pictures with my doll, now named Mingmei. There weren't a lot of places to get her into the picture in an interactive way, since the lanterns were usually well behind fences. Also, as I said, I was with two other people, so I didn't want to take forever setting up shots. The Dancer did hold Mingmei for me while I took pictures. Here are the shots that I took. There will be more shots from the event, without Mingmei, below the fold, if you are interested. And although this event was called the Asian Lantern Festival, everything there was focused on Chinese culture and history.

In front of a parasol, which was one of several. I got a good shot of some other ones from the set-up at night, below the fold. I want to make a blog header out of this, but Google is not letting me at the moment.
A goldfish and bubbles. According to a sign, goldfish are symbols of wealth and prosperity in China.
Narcissus flowers.
A blue ball. There was also a pink one, and they both looked like giant Christmas ornament balls.
By the beautiful archway that stood at the entrance/exit of the zoo.