Tag Archives: Disney

Slightly random custom doll

So I had some spare doll parts from other customs, and I decided to combine them

Disney store mulan head on a raven queen body. The hair is pretty damaged, so im still considering giving her a trim. 

For some reason I just got inspired to make her a witch. The cloak and hat are from bratzillaz yasmina clairvoya

I made the dress, though its hardly my finest work. Its kind of just a sack with a belt and lots of bits of net

Without the belt you can see its really just shapeless. She’s got raven queens tights on and the necklace is actually shriek wrecked clawdeen

I thought it kinda worked with the moon on it. And everything else is just pinched from casta fierce

Including the ridiculous broom/microphone stand

Here I tried to pose her like she’s riding it. 

I also touched her face up a tiny bit

Just did the eyebrows and lips. I think mulan just has quite a distinctive face, so i wanted to tweak it a little bit. In my head she’s mostly a nice witch. 

Hasbro Moana doll repaint

I picked her up on sale. Loved the film, this doll… not so much. The thing is though, the art of the doll on the packaging makes it so clear what could have been, and its really only a slight difference

Just the tilt of the eyes, and the eyebrows really. So I decided to try and recreate the doll on the packaging

Heres what I managed. Its not really the same as the box art

I think its mostly the eyebrows, which is annoying, because I put quite a lot of effort into trying to match those. Moana is such a determined character, those eyebrows are a big part of that, but for some reason they just insisted on coming out softer. The disney store doll is much better

But I was never going to match that, she’s so good. In the end, I might have the hasbro doll be a different character. She does fit some Barbie clothes

I dont think trousers would work, because her feet are a lot bigger, but the stretchier skirts and tops work great

I think she’ll be cute as a modern girl! Though possibly not in that blue dress 🙂

Disney Animators Collection Merida Custom

I continue to be bad at doing this whole blog thing. Life goes on I guess, and I’ve got other stuff to be doing. I think it would help if there were less steps to the process. At the moment, I take the photos on the camera, then transfer them to the laptop and make the post from here. If I had one of the fancy phones with a good camera and internet access, I could do both the photos and the writing from the same device, plus, I could do some writing on the move. I am starting to think that switching to a smart phone is inevitable, eventually. Everyone just seems to assume that you have one, and so it causes problems when I cant answer emails until I get home or whatever. The expectation is that you can always check your emails, and I think people rely on that. I get emails or facebook messages about last minute changes of location, for example, after Ive already set off, and so I miss them. Anyway.

After christmas, I went around some charity shops with my family, and one of the things I found was an animators collection Merida doll. Im always excited to get second hand animators dolls, because I really want to customise them, but I dont want to do that to a doll that I’ve bought new. Merida is especially exciting, because she is my favourite disney princess, and so I was especially looking forward to doing her. She’s actually my third animator custom doll, but I havent shared the second one just yet because although her face is done, she still needs a outfit. She cam naked, and I wanted to make her into a totally different character. Merida, on the other hand, came full dressed down to the shoes, and I didnt want to change her anyway. I just tried to redo her face to make it look  closer to the animated character, using stills from the film as a reference

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Im not totally sure how I feel about the finished result. As I was working on her I was quite happy, and still from some angles I like her, but I feel like from most angles she looks a bit cross-eyed.

Not sure. I might have another go at her in the future. As well as looking different from different angles, she also looks different in the photos I took. In real life her eyes are darker than that, but for some reason they photographed a much lighter shade of blue.

Another problem I had is that working from a reference picture meant that I had to deviate from my usual style, which is usually an upwards gaze with big pupils, so I wasnt as comfortable working with her as I might have been. But, lets face it, a cutesy look like I often do is totally not appropriate from Merida. She needs a lively face, with lots of cheeky expression

Alice in Wonderland- customised Elsa doll

So far, so good in my resolution to post more. Its not as if I dont have anything to say after all, I am FULL of opinions.

Today I want to share one of my few finished customs. I have tons that are repainted, but waiting for an outfit so I can properly present them to the world. I finished this outfit on sunday night, and promised myself I could write about it once Id done a certain amount of my uni work. Since its been a fair while since I shared a custom, Im hoping you’ll be able to see some improvement on earlier work. I feel like recently I’ve made a bit of a skills breakthrough with the faces, and this doll is from the early stages of that breakthrough.

So, this doll was a Disney Animators Collection Elsa, that I bought on ebay for fairly cheap due to her condition

These photos are from after Id spent a bit of time with her hair and done a clean up. I mean, she’s hardly trashed, but you’d be a bit cheeky to charge much for her when she can be bought for around £20 new, sometimes less if there’s a sale on. I’ve wanted to repaint an animators doll, but they are a little expensive to buy new for that reason, and also, they are so gorgeous in their own right I dont really want to take off the original face. However, Elsa wasn’t a favourite of mine out of the dolls, and I decided to go for it.

First of all, her face was actually kinda hard to get off. The eyebrows really wanted to stay. I left her actual eyes as they were, because I liked them, taking off everything else includng the thick black lines, which Im not sure if they are eyeliner or lashes. I think she’s too young for eyeliner, but then you cant see the individual lashes. Whatever, all that was left was the pupils, irises and sclera.

Then, I had to decide what to do with her. I dont always go into these things with a character or look in mind, but I wanted to make her into someone specific. I considered a bunch of different blonde characters (rerooting isnt really my forte), like Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls, Harley Quinn, Alice, Tinkerbell, and one of the blonde sailor scouts. Then the actual Animators Collection Alice came out, and I didnt really like her. I think her face looks a tad derp when I’ve seen her in person. So, Alice it is! Or my version of her, at least, I dont find making carbon-copies very much fun.

Here’s the new face

I struggled to get a good close-up shot, as usual. Im not sure if I need a new camera, since mine is old, second-hand and lacking instructions, or if Im just bad at it. Anyway, she does have freckles, which you can only sort of see. I also made the whole outfit from scratch

No pattern, I just fit it to the doll as I went along. The dress and apron are separate, although I sewed a petticoat/underskirt directly to the dress instead of making that separate. She still doesnt have any shoes currently

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And, the back. That giant bow is sewn, with metal snaps underneath. I tend to favour snaps as fastenings rather than velcro because they are easier to sew by hand. I do use a sewing machine sometimes, but I like to take my sewing about with me, so I still do a lot by hand. The apron is supposed to be longer than the dress skirt, which I know is a bit unusual. Not quite as much as this picture makes it look though, its only a little shorter. The lace is from my mums stash, and I think is quite old, whilst the underskirt, which you can just about see here, is recycled from something else too, making it old-ish. Finally, here’s some more photos of Alice, just because

Im pleased with the fact that Ive managed to make her look different to Elsa. A frined of mine, one who does know her princesses, didnt even realise that was the sculpt til I’d told her, which seems like an indicator of success. Im also fairly happy with the outfit, there are a few fit issues but the overall look is good and the issues are only small ones. For instance, I think I made the neck of the apron too wide, but i dont know if anyone else would even notice that one. Im also please with how the hair turned out. It was just a trim and a brush, but it’s sitting exactly how I wanted it to.

I hope you like her! Its kinda nerve-wracking sending my little baby out into the world, open to criticism. I mean, people have seen her, but my mum and my friends aren’t very well going to say they dont like her, are they

Hasbros Princesses Jasmine and Merida

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They really are here now! Smyths had all of them on display on friday. The website says that they’ll be available from feb 1st, and they wouldnt actually scan on the till, but the staff just scanned something else of the same price so that I could buy them anyway. With these two, there is a very apparent difference in height.

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Jasmine is definitely the shortest, and I love her face as well.

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But even with Mulan and Merida there is still a subtle difference.

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Here is Jasmine with the Disney version. I think they look better together than the two Mulans did, because they match better in the large head

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My Disney Jasmine usually lives in Rapunzels wedding dress, because it looks gorgeous on her. I think that thats the main disadvantage of the Hasbro dolls, their clothes sharing options are limited. Disney store princesses, mattel princesses and Barbies can all share clothes reasonably well. Its not perfect, but it mostly works, and Hasbro princesses are quite different in body shape. When Jasmine is wearing her own outfit, however, the two could be sisters

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Its perfect, because they look similar, but not identical, like real family members would be.

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Their skin tones arent quite the same, but again, I think that thats realistic. My brother doesnt have skin anywhere as fair as mine. And, Disney Jasmines body looks more developed and mature. As well as being shorter than the other Hasbro girls, I think Jasmines body is a bit younger looking over all.

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Its quite subtle, but Mulans arms are slimmer, for instance.

I also dug out my Mattel princesses for this review, now that I have a few of the Hasbro girls as well for a comparison.

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Here are my three Mattel girls (As I mentioned previously, Im not bothering with my mattel Merida because she’s very customised). They are all from around the same time period, as Im sure you can tell.

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Despite the differences in the sleeves, you can see that the skirts are basically variations on the same design

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Faces are pretty similar too. None of the character that the Hasbro girls have, and Snow White in particular really looks nothing like the film character. I keep her hair tied back because its incrediby unruly otherwise.

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Bodywise, well. Jasmine can get into Belles dress, but its definitely too long, and Belle cant even pull Jasmines dress over her hips. I definitely like the Hasbro girls better than the Mattels. Apart from the fact that they even made the characters I like most, they have so much more character.

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Here are my two Meridas. Disney store has more detail in her face, but Hasbro Merida has better eyes. Almost all of the Disney store ones seem to have a bit of ‘derp eye’.

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In terms of hair, which is one of Meridas most dominant features, Disney does look closer to the film. But, that said, its kept that way by a massive load of hair product. Hasbro has lovely soft, product-free hair, and it does still look nice even so. Both of them, I think would be ruined by brushing it unfortunately.

Heres Merida in two of my Mattel dresses. They look nice without being a perfect fit I think.

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And she does look nice in the Disney store dress, even though its far too long

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I tried an outfit swap between Merida and Jasmine, to see what difference the heights make. They can pretty much swap. Jasmines top is a bit of a tight squeeze on Merida, but I love this dress on Jasmine.

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And Disney store Merida can still wear her dress, even on Barbies body, so I can get a nice little line up of blue dresses going. I love these new Hasbro dolls, can you tell? And of course I adore Merida in general

The Hasbro Princesses are here- Mulans review

As Im sure a lot of people know, Hasbro is now making Disney Princess dolls. I dont know if they have ever done them in the past, but I know that for the entirety of my doll-collecting years it has been Mattel that has the licence to make them. I do have a handful of them, all bought quite a while ago when, quite frankly, I didnt know much at all. My doll collection in its infancy started with Disney Princess dolls, from the Disney store for the most part, but living an hour away from an actual Disney Store, and with a Mattel-carrying supermarket much nearer, I found myself tempted. Now, I live in a big city with better shops, and living alone instead of with family means I can put a bit more time into my hobby, which includes more research and effort into getting dolls. Ive basically been not into the Mattel versions since then, the one exception being a Merida I bought to customise, who you can meet later. Thats an exception because Merida is my favourite princess, and I want her in every version, even if I dont leave her unaltered. By contrast, I still love the Disney store princesses, and I do have quite a few of them, including Jasmine, Mulan, and Pocahontas, three of my other favourites. I like most of them, honestly, though I havent bothered to get Cinderella, Snow White, etc, the earlier princesses, because I dont care much for their story. But Mattel basically only made the caucasian princesses, it seemed like. Ive seen a few Tianas, but thats about it. Hasbro, on the other hand, seems to have decided to make all of them. With distinct face moulds! They are also reportedly different heights based on the characters age, but I cant test that because I only have one. Whilst Ive been seeing american doll lovers getting and reviewing them all of this month, Ive not seen them in the UK til now.

My local argos, the only shop which currently has them (though they are coming soon on a few other shops websites), only had one in stock. Just a single Mulan doll. Might have been a good thing, since it meant I didnt have to decide on who to buy. I like Merida, Jasmine, Pocahoontas, and Mulan. I might get Rapunzel later too.  I now want to go off on a little rant about argos, so Ill stick in a few photos to stop you getting too bored

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So, for people who dont live in the UK, argos isnt a shop where you can walk in and look on the shelves. You come into the front of the store and ask for what you want, and the staff will bring it from a warehouse in the back. So, you are pretty reliant on what the catalogue and stock checker say. Now, argos has all of the princesses listed with their own codes, so that you can check which specific girl you want, and ask for her. Except for my girls, Mulan, Pocahontas, Jasmine and Merida. So, you can see that they have one doll in stock, but you dont know who you’re going to get. They do this with quite a lot of different doll lines. All the Bratz budget lines they’ve stocked have been listed in this way for example. If you want a specific doll you can ask them to check for you, and only buy it if it is the right one, but its a bit of a fiddle. And you cant see that on their website. Not really a big deal, I know a lot of websites do the ‘order and get one of the assortment’ thing. But, they’ve only done it to those four. All the other princesses get their own code. And that just tapped into an issue I had with Arggos over the summer that caused me a lot of frustration. Because, if they can do it for most of them, they can do it for them all, and I am inclined to wonder if its a coincidence that they did that to three minorioty ethnic princesses.

So, story time. Over the summer, argos redid their DesignaFriend doll collection, with both new dolls and new outfits. They were very much in parallel to the range that had been offered before, each line had a redhead, each one had a fancy dress, etc. But there was one change that I very much liked. They had had a dress which was pink, and now, listed under the same name of lacey dress, in the same location on the page, was a metallic silver one. They both had lace on them, but apart from that they were quite different, and I decided that I wanted the silver one. I bought it, and happened to look in the box on the way home to discover that I had the old pink version, despite there no longer being any mention of that dress on the website or in the catalogue. I went back, and they explained that they’d put out the new set of outfits under the same codes as old ons, which meant that you couldnt tell which one you were ordering. I asked if they had any of the new versions to do me a swap, which they did not, and was offered an exchange for another DesignaFriend product. I wasnt going to get a refund apparently because I had originally bought it as part of an offer and it was non-refundable. Which I know is a thing, but I dont think it counts when Ive got the wrong thing due to their problem, honestly. I looked to see if I fancied any of the other outfits, but it turned out that none of the ones that they showed in the catalogue was in stock. When the stock checker said that they were, it was just the older versions. Finally, I decided to buy one of their dolls, giving them more money in the process because dolls cost more than outfits.

Heres more Mulan as a break

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Her face is gorgeous! Anyway, the DesignaFriends line, despite having every hair colour, and certainly at the time three different blonde dolls, only has one non-white doll. I already owned their previous version, who had quite nice curly hair, but the new version had straight hair. That was basically the only difference between the two, but it did alter the impression of her quite a bit. I definitely think that having those two hair textures available would make it more likely to find a doll that they could relate to. Hair play is a big thing for a lot of children, and so even if she is still just an ambiguously not-white doll, at least the girl could have a doll with similar hair. Baby steps I guess. Anyway, I decided to get the new straight haired version. Considering that every single one of these dolls has the same face mould, she looked different enough. And, when she appeared from the warehouse, it was the previous curly haired version. I just gave up and left with her, the whole thing was ridiculous anyway, but it made me mad that they did that especially. Two brown-skinned dolls are not interchangeable. When I saw that argos had done this primarily to non-white dolls again, I was just reminded of that. I actually emailed to complain, and was told in very polite terms to bog off.

So, back to my beautiful Mulan. I dont have a Mattel Mulan to compare her to, but I do have a Disney store Mulan, so I did a little comparison for those two instead. Here they are side by side

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Hasbro Mulan is actually taller than I first thought. I think her larger head makes her body look smaller in comparison, but they work out at roughly the same height

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Hasbro’s head is just wider really. And, I think a little more cartoonish. She also looks less made up than disneys, which to me makes sense. Disney Mulan is dressed in her outfit from the matchmaker bit, where she is wearing makeup, whereas Hasbros dress looks to be based more on her everyday look, where she doesn’t. I think they both look a lot like Mulan in the film, either way.

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Horribly blurry photo, Im not good at this, but here you can see the difference in foot size. Mulan doesnt have her shoes at the moment (they arent lost, just not too easy to get to and I cba), but even if she did there’d be no shoe sharing

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Body shape wise they are pretty different too. I feel like the narrower shoulders that Hasbro Mulan has are following a bit of a trend. Although her body shape isnt at all the same as EAH and MH, they do have the shoulders narrower than the hips thing, which I reckon is quite recent. Barbies and other older dolls seem to be the other way around. I prefer Disney Mulans articulated arms, and the greater flexibility at her hips (Hasbros dont go outwards, only forwards and backwards), but I dont think that the lack of kneee joint is any loss for Hasbro. Im not sure why Disney store dolls seem to so struggle with articulated knees, but they seem to have a tendency to look odd, or bend wierd. I do also like the subtle painted on knickers. I dont subscribe to the idea that theres anything wrong with the sight of a doll not wearing clothes, but if we are going to do that, I think paint looks better than a moulded texture.

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In terms of clothes, they can sort of wear each others. The disney dress is a bit of a squeeze at the hips on Hasbro

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Yeah, I know, blurry photo. It just wouldnt focus well close up on that fabric.

I think Disney looks lovely in Hasbros dress

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From the front, anyway

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The reason it sits so nicely and loose around her neckline is becuase it doesnt even remotely do up in the back! Her shoulders are just way too wide.

Overall, Im really looking forward to getting more of these dolls. I kind of wish that they were more articulated, but Im thinking of trying to match them up with the new made to move Barbies for a body swap. Ive been wanting to use those bodies, and the tones look like they might work. That said, if they all have different heights, I dont want to lose that. I can see myself buying two Meridas, at least. Thank goodness they arent expensive. And if I hold off, see what else they release, there may be better articulation coming soon.

 

 

New stuff from the Disney store! Lilo and Stitch, and Tomorrowland

So, Im into the Animators Collection dolls. Im really trying to hold myself back on them, because they’re pretty big, but I love them. I had an exam today, and to celebrate afterwards I thought Id go to the Disney store and pick up Merida. She’s my favourite Disney princess, but I keep getting other dolls ahead of her for some reason. So, today was going to be the day. And then, the first thing I noticed when I walked in was…

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Its Lilo!!!! OMG she’s so cute and awesome and wantwantwant. As it happened, my store was out of stock on Merida, so there was no need to think twice, I bought her. I had no idea that she was even coming out! Did anyone know about this? Was it online somewhere that I missed? Who knows, Im in love. I found one other cool thing at the Disney store too (well I found lots of cool things, its the disney store, but you know)

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This is apparently an action figure, though Id call her a doll, of a character from the film Tomorrowland. I spotted her online before christmas, and I liked the look of her, but I didnt want to buy her unless I saw her in person, because the Disney store website pictures just werent that good. I mean, they looked very nice, but you cant get a good detailed look at her. Usually, when I find myself in this situation, I can turn to other doll bloggers, and youtubers, to get a closer look at them, but noone seems to have done this doll yet that I can find. For instance, Im already pretty sure I want to get my hands on one of the Star Darlings dolls at some point, because loads of american collectors who can already get them have done reviews. But for Athena, nothing, and when I went to look for her in the shop, the ladies who work their didnt think she was likely to appear in shops at all, they reckoned she’d be an online only. So, Id given up on that, but there she was today for half price, so I got her too. But first, Lilo!!!!! I am so so so happy with her, she looks just like the character in the film

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The risk with Lilo would be that she is young in the film, and so we already know what she looks like young. For Cinderella, for example, we never see her as a toddler, so I cant see any problem with her doll. Tiana, however, we see as a child in the film, and so when I see her animators doll, Im struck by the fact that I dont think they look as alike as they should, which really puts me off. But Lilo is perfect

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Her face is so endearing, and I feel like they stayed very true to the animation rather than cutting corners, or prettying her up to a more standardised face mold with pouty lips and stuff

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Even the print on her dress is positioned right, when it would probably have been easier to get fabric with that print all over it, and just use whatever placement of the leaves happened as it was cut out

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These sandals are gorgeous, although they do fall off quite a bit. Elastic bands would fix that though. She came with some on, I just took them off to photograph

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And then the fact that she comes with Scrump is just the icing on the cake, because Scrump actually is her soft toy. I think all the soft toys these dolls have are cute, but sometimes I find myself wondering why. When we have mini stuffed toy versions of the characters future animal companions, it just doesnt quite click for me, but of course Lilo has Scrump, that is perfectly realistic. The only criticism I have of Lilo is that she was harder to get out of the box than usual animators dolls. She had the dreaded plastic ties to the skull

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I dont understand why Disney felt that that was necessary. They were already plenty secure in those boxes.

Then, Athena

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Athena is a character in the film Tomorrowland. I havent seen it and dont plan to, it doesnt look like my sort of thing, but I did watch the CinemaSins to get an idea of the plot, and Athena is apparently a robot. She has two outfits, the dress which she seems to wear only in flashbacks that the hero has, and then this jacket and trousers thing which she wears in the main film when she’s being badass or something. I dont know, I just like the doll

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Her face is very much more realistic than a Disney princess doll, and she does look a reasonable amount like her character. The only difference which bothers me is that the character has really awesome freckles all over her face, and this dolls are a bit more restrained

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Her face has nice molded detail, like a bit of a brow bone, and eyelids that are actually a touch raised. Looking straight at her she isnt perfect, but then when I catch her out of the corner of my eye across the room, she looks exactly like she should

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Under her jacket she has this two-layer top thing, which makes it look like she’s wearing four layers in total, though two of them arent real garments

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The quality and detail in the clothes is very good. Seeing as she was described as an action figure, I had reasonable high hopes of her articulation. She does have elbow and wrist joints, as well as a rib joint which I wasnt expecting

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However, her shoulders are pretty stiff

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And theres no ankle articulation, and just a snap knee. I dont particularly know why I was expecting great things from Disney, which does always seem to have difficulties with its dolls legs, but she was sold as an action figure, which to me implies that she can do action.

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Her shoes are awesome

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but somehow when she’s wearing the second pair, the point of her foot and the heel of the shoes dont quite balance out, and so she cant stand flat on the floor

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Heres her Tomorrowland/flashback type outfit. In the flashback scenes her hair is up in a higher ponytail with ringlets, but she come swith her hair in the later style that she wears

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I tried to tweak it, but even if I got the high ponytail, Im not likely to get decent ringlets out of that. The hair is that really straight feeling fibre, which seems to go back to straight no matter what you do

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She comes with a Tomorrowland pin, but its just plastic, and I feel like it’ll break with a lot of handling. Finally, she has a hat and bag

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The hat wont stay on. At first I thought it was her hairstyle, but even when I took it down it still wouldnt. I really like her though, Im glad I was able to get her, and thrilled about Lilo