A little blog about my dolls, toys and more.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Kidz 'n' Cats "Kiki"

1/20/2014 Posted by Lucy No comments
So lets take a more detailed look at the Kidz 'n' Cats doll that arrived here last week. She is the "Kiki" mould (but has been renamed to Lily) and she arrived brand new from My Doll Best Friend (you can read my review of them here).

I already talked about her box and the booklets etc. that she comes with in this previous post, so we'll skip past that and start by talking about her stock outfit. It consists of a floral underdress, a long yellow drawstring side vest with a "Hawaiian Island" print, yellow capri leggings, blue espadrilles, white undies (which I think are standard for all the dolls) and a flower hair-clip to match her cat's. I haven't got a picture of it here on Kiki/Lily but you can see all the components of it in the photo below. It is very well made, but unfortunately not the style I like to dress my dolls in so it was taken off pretty quickly. Kiki/Lily is wearing an outfit made by Gotz instead at the moment which is also nicely made, but the Kidz 'n' Cats outfit is definitely superior to it in quality, if not style.

Her whole body is made from vinyl and she has 11 points of articulation which is one of the things that appealed to me about Kidz 'n' Cats dolls and something we will look a bit more closely at in a minute. Her torso is fairly slender but her shoulders are fairly broad. She has a belly button and a defined bottom and her tummy is slightly rounded which you can see when you look at her from the side. Her knee joints are quite visible from behind but the rest of her joints blend in fairly nicely.

Her wig/hair is absolutely beautiful which was a brilliant surprise as I had already half started planning removing it and getting a different one, but she'll be staying as she is. Its lovely and soft and shiny, though I have noticed a couple of strands come off when I've been posing her etc. Her eyes are quite detailed but I do wish I could alter how they are set a little as they are slightly starey depending on the angle you get her from. I noticed that some of the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls look like their lips have been stuck on with a sticker or like they are wearing lipstick but Kiki's don't look too bad. As you can see, Kiki has nice tan skin which is a really lovely colour and is complimented well by her hair and eye colour. Her hands, feet and cheeks are slightly blushed too which gives her an even more natural look.

Her range of head movement is pretty good; she can look in all directions and it holds its position well without tipping backwards or forwards. She can look quite far up but not as far down. However, I think I may be able to improve on this with some modifications I have planned for her.

The range of movement in her arms and legs is a little disappointing for me, but I am used to very highly articulated ball-jointed dolls so when I remind myself that she is a vinyl play doll, I can't complain too much =) She has joints in her elbows and wrists and her range of wrist movement is very good but the elbow movement is quite restricted. Her left arm/elbow also doesn't seem set correctly in comparison to her right. The only way it can't comfortably bend and hold its position slightly is to the left, as shown in the photo, which is ok but I would prefer it if both elbows could move and hold their positions in both directions. However, I don't know if this is intentional and the same for all Kidz 'n' Cats dolls, or just a flaw with my Kiki. Its something we can work around though and again, I am hoping I can improve on it slightly with some modifications I am planning for her. 

Her knees do bend but not very far and they don't hold their position well. She stands well and I can get her to stand with one knee bent as shown to look like she is walking etc. but if you wanted to sit her on a wall or something, they would not bend and hold very far so they would stick out a bit. As I said, she stands well but if you notice in some of the previous photos, if you don't position her well she can look a little bow legged. At first I thought a joint at her ankle would be nice too so you could position her feet, but unless they improved her knee joint I think an ankle joint would make her too unsteady and difficult to stand.

She can sit straight with no problems and her legs go fairly straight rather than in the wide V shape that vinyl dolls often default too. You can bend her knees slightly when she is sat down but not too much. However, sitting on a chair or wall or something, is not quite as successful. Her knees don't bend and hold their position enough so they end up sticking out quite a bit. When I have issues with my ball-jointed dolls holding their poses, I glue suede them by putting glue around their joints which means they don't swing about so much. However, this is not sensible to do on a vinyl doll but a friend has told me about some adhesive suede discs that you can buy from a BJD company called Dollmore which I am going to order and try and see if they make a difference. I'll report back when its done ;)

Overall, I am really impressed with the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls and Kiki has been a great introduction for me into the world of vinyl dolls. I am positive that I will be adding one of the boys to the family when they are re-released again soon, but that is as big as my Kidz 'n' Cats family will be. To finish off, here are a few extra pics of Lily, as she is now named, exploring the garden.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

"Makie" Dolls

1/18/2014 Posted by Lucy No comments
Makie's are 10 inch poseable dolls, made using 3D printing right here in the UK and are apparently the world's first printed toy. You can design your own doll using the options on the website and choose things like hair style, eye colour, right through to the shape of their mouth and eyes etc.

I first read about them online early last year and was intrigued by them, but to be honest, their faces disturbed me a little and the high cost was off-putting when I had no idea what they would be like in person. When I first discovered them, I believe they were only available in one skin tone but looking at the website now, they have four colours to choose from, several eye colours, and a variety of hairstyles and outfits (no shoes) for both males and females. What they don't come with however, is a faceup. I think the idea is that you can do it yourself but I am useless at stuff like that so having an option to have one done for you would be a nice touch.

The concept is really very appealing but as mentioned earlier, the high cost (an average of £99) was off-putting when there are other dolls available for the same price or less that I am more familiar with in terms of their quality and craftsmanship and would therefore choose first having not seen a Makie in person before.

This week however, I have been lucky enough to have a little visitor in the house! My sister-in-law found this girl at a car boot sale for the amazing price of just £2!! If you buy a Makie new from the website, they come in a cardboard shipping tube and with a certificate of authenticity etc. Unfortunately this little lady did not have those things with her but for £2 we can't really complain ;)

Despite my reservations, I have to say I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by her. I was expecting her to be quite flimsy, but the quality is much better than I was expecting. She is really quite sturdy and can pose very well. She can stand pretty easily if you get her feet in the right position, and sits very well without falling back etc. I did try and get her to stand on one foot but was unable to do so, however I think with a little practice and patience it would be achievable. As you can see, she is definitely a female ;)