Lets look at Locksies

So, Ive been eyeing up the Locksies dolls for a while now, they’ve been hanging around on the shelves in one of my local bargain stores for months, and Id been getting increasingly curious. I could see the appeal, but I wasn’t really sure how much play value they had. Today, I finally just decided that for £2.99 a doll, and only £6.99 for the deluxe room set, a little disappointment would be ok. The dolls are super cute, and looked to be decent quality generally, so even if I didn’t get along with the concept, I knew I liked the doll themselves. I bought one of each set, a basic doll and the bedroom. I thought the room looked a lot more interesting, but I also wanted to know if there was any fun to be had in the most basic set.

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Heres my basic girl. There was also a brunette with green eyes, and purple streaks in her hair, a girl with purple hair who was also available in the room set, so I didn’t get her, and a blonde with a pink streak, who is apparently the twin of my doll. Theres some pretty clear pictorial instructions on the back of the packaging

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And there was also an exhaustively comprehensive sheet of them in the packaging

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That’s everything in the set, and I think the instructions covered about six different outfit options. I though that was a shame, since its supposed to be about using your imagination. The basic idea behind the doll is that you can push fabrics into a slit in her back to hold it in place

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So from the front, at least, it looks like she’s wearing real clothes

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…sorta, anyway. I struggled a bit. the slit in the back can only take so much fabric, and so layering doesn’t seem to work past about two things. The top she’s wearing there isn’t supposed to be loose, it just doesn’t fit properly with the skirt in there too.

Having messed around with her a little bit, I wanted to move on to the room set. That looked to have a lot more creative possibilities, so here it is;

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You can see the little purple girl, hanging out in the top corner. The dolls aren’t dressed at all in the packaging, they are just wrapped in card that is printed with what an outfit could look like, so no one gets upset by naked dolly. I can see why they didn’t dress them in the packaging, because if it was on the shelf for a while the fabric would come out with some killer creases. Theres also little cartoon versions of the four dolls at the bottom. You can tell who they are, because they all have different coloured hair, but the purple girl has a fringe and glasses, which the one in the box doesn’t. I think there is a version of her like that, though.

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On the back theres a few pictures of the different furniture that you can make, which was what I liked the look of. There was also a car on the shelf, which I was initially super interested in, because I wanted to see how we were going to decorate a car in fabric, but when I had a proper look, it turns out that the car turns into a dressing table, and that’s what you decorate, which is less awesome. And it didn’t come with a doll, so I didn’t bother.

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When I opened the box, and pulled out what I thought was just a cardboard inner piece, it kinda exploded out of my hands, because I totally wasn’t expecting there to be three different pieces. Everything is laid out very square and neat, like the person who designed the box was a bit of a neat freak. When I started dismantling it all, I got a bit scared for a while, thinking that there were no instructions, and I was pretty confused by the construction method for the furniture, but I found some neatly tucked away behind another piece. So, they do know how to stack, they just… didn’t. Not really a big deal, but that was definitely my first impression of opening this box, that whoa moment when I was temporarily overwhelmed by packaging.

The set makes a whole room

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I mean, it only has one wall, but doll rooms with all four are hard to play with, and the instructions suggest that you can join it up with other sets. Theres a reversible card to slot into the wall, for two different wallpapers.

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The furniture has these little pink u-shaped bits that hold those blue and pink blocks together.

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And then theres these two pink side pieces, which can be put in that way up to make a slightly sloping desk, or the other way up to make head and footrests for a bed, or backrests for a sofa.

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So, in this bed here that I made, the doll is leaning against a headboard, the blue rectangles make up the base, and then the gingham fabric is tucked into slots on the back of the pink rectangles. The fabric is square, so its not a great fit over two rectangles.

As I was opening the packaging, I discovered that the gingham fabric was somehow stuck under some cardboard, Im guessing it was put onto the insert and then the insert was folded into shape. Getting it out pulled a few stitches around the edge

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And then, after a couple of goes in and out of the slots, it had developed another pulled bit on a different side

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Kinda hard to see with it being such  a pale colour, but its quite clear when you’re using it.

As well as the furniture, we get some cardboard accessories

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A laptop, alarm clock and cupcake, which stand up, and some other random bits which are meant to attach to the wall as decoration, which they do, but not very well. The final thing, is that this set also contains more stickers. The first set also had them, so I guess you’re meant to use them on the dolls clothes, as well as the room. With some of them Im not totally sure what the idea is. There were these cute little sleeping masks

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Which were pretty self-evident, though they don’t stay on very well. I tried the stickers on the furniture;

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So, theres two hearts that I think are meant to be cushions, and I used a popcorn sticker to look like its sitting on the bed, and a candy floss sticker in her hand.

I did also experiment with putting stickers from both sets on the dolls

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The braces and pockets look really cute, so long as you don’t move the doll much

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Also a bow made out of a tape measure. I wasn’t sure what to do with that, so I put it on her hair clip. The basic doll seemed to have a sewing theme to her stickers.

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The belt wouldn’t stick curved around her waist, and she’s supposed to be holding the scissors in this one too, but that didn’t work out so well.

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I like the buttons down the front of her dress

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And I even used some tiny ones for earrings.

Overall though, not a massive fan of the stickers. They are a super cute way to add detail, but they aren’t super sticky, and of course, you cant just keep reusing them like the rest of they set. For me, that’s a bit of a problem, since the idea of it is that you can keep creating. I guess you might be able to buy more stickers in a suitable size though, if you wanted.

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The box showed fabric being tucked into the slot on the wall to make a graceful swoop, like a curtain pelmet or whatever you call it, but I found the shiny fabric quite stiff to work with

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And it holds creases too! Im hoping that will reduce over time a little maybe.

So, the next step for me was to try and get creative with this stuff. After all, that’s the ultimate test, because a child is never going to notice the quality issues of they’re having fun.

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These are my favourite outfits. That’s as many layers of fabric as I can get in back there. The purple haired girl is wearing a scarf around her neck because Ive found that piece of ribbon, being a bit textured, is too thick ot fit into the slot if theres any other fabric in there too.

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And here the girls are on a little sofa I managed to put together. With the stiffer fabric, rather than the gingham, tucked underneath, the sofa cushions wont sit quite flat.

So, overall, are these dolls good play value? I would say that for that low price, they are quite reasonable. Buy a doll-loving child one of the basic dolls and you’ll probably have them amused for far longer than that money would buy in ice creams or amusement arcade games or anything like that. I had a bit of trouble with the clothes system, and the connectors for the furniture really aren’t going to stand up to heavy play, they are quite flimsy. However, I understand that some of the other sets in this range have different types of clothing, like trousers, so that would massively expend the creative options, and I think that some of the other furniture sets look a bit sturdier.

And, at the end of the day, this is a nice doll. She’s got a bit of weight, and from what I can tell the rooting isn’t too bad either (I didn’t want to take the styles down, theres some nice curls and shapes held in with gel that I didnt want to disturb). And as well, she is really pretty. I wouldn’t pay much more for them, but I like ’em.

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