A little blog about my dolls, toys and more.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Review: Lottie Doll - Pirate Queen

2/21/2015 Posted by Lucy , No comments
I have been eyeing up Lottie dolls for a while now and was ordering one to send to a friend so deciding I might as well get one for myself at the same time :-D

For those that don't know, Lottie dolls are British made (by Arklu) and have been specially designed to be more child-like and age-appropriate than other "fashion" dolls on the market. They were just starting out when I first discovered them but they have since gone on to win a lot of prestigious toy awards and are stocked across the globe.

The Lottie I ordered for myself is one from the first release of dolls; Pirate Queen Lottie. All the dolls come in really bright, eye-catching boxes which all have a handle on top to encourage them to be used long after opening to carry them around etc. They are all adorned with a little ribbon and medal on the front which use colours inspired from the British and American suffragette colours which I think is a nice touch. The graphics on the boxes are really nice and bold and there is a little passage of writing on the backs telling you more about the inspiration behind the doll's character. Pirate Queen Lottie is inspired by real life pirate Grace O'Malley.

The dolls and the accessories are secured into the boxes using cable ties and the odd bit of tape (and the accessories are in individual plastic baggies) but its pretty minimal and it was easy to get her out. The quality of the box is really nice which is good for its intended re-usability that Arklu promote.

Here's the girl herself, straight from the box without any of the extra accessories yet. Her face reminds me very much of Licca dolls which are Japan's version of Barbie. She is a nice size and feels nice to hold. I loved small dolls and figures when I was a child as they were so easy to take around with you so I am sure this aspect of the Lottie dolls will appeal to today's generation of little girls too. Her hair feels nice and soft and there is plenty of it, no missing plugs or bits on the verge of falling out. It wasn't greasy either which I have often found to be the case with other play dolls. This Lottie has fair skin and red hair but they do a diverse range of skin and hair colours across their dolls.

Pirate Queen Lottie also comes with a little felt pirate hat and a plastic cutlass which she is modelling below. The hat fits very nicely and the cutlass does stay on her hand but its not a firm fit so it would knock off very easily. Fine for me, but I wonder if small children may find it frustrating.

The outfit is fairly well made, pretty standard really for stock outfits for play dolls. It consists of a stripy t-shirt which has a detachable skull and crossbones patch (its held on by Velcro, I think because the other dolls also have them on their outfits so you can mix and match if you have more than one), a little blue cord waistcoat, a pair of shorts, a pair of tights, a green bow belt/sash, a pair of pirate boots, the pirate hat and the cutlass. The boots are plastic and have a large slit up the back so they are easy to get on and off. All the clothes are easy to get on and off in fact, which is ideal for the market they are aimed at. The boots also help Lottie to stand unaided really easily.

Speaking of standing unaided, one of the things that is promoted as being a plus for Lottie dolls is that they can stand on their own. Its true, they can, and its a really fantastic touch because the majority of other "fashion" type dolls usually have pointed feet and can't do so. It did take a little balancing to get her to do it (you certainly wouldn't be able to plonk her down quickly and have her stand perfectly) but it was easy enough and something I think kids will find a real plus point (I know it used to drive me nuts when I was younger that my Barbie's couldn't stand on their own!). Their bodies are said to be based on the average proportions of a 9 year old girl, so as you can see, its a very plain and child-like body. No tiny waists and massive boobs to be seen which is very refreshing. 

Her range of movement is pretty good; she has ball socket hips and arms and her knees bend (2 clicks). Her head can move from side to side but not up and down, which might have been nice. I'd also perhaps liked to have seen her arms able to bend at the elbow but its not a big deal and kids probably won't be bothered by it and they are who the dolls are aimed at after all ;) 

She can sit very easily and doesn't fall backwards which is a huge plus point in my eyes! That was a real pet hate of mine when I was a kid, and it still is even now, so I was very pleased that Lottie has no problems with it. Another pet hate of mine is when dolls legs stick out to the sides when they sit down, which again, Lottie does not do so its top marks all round for her sitting abilities :)

All in all, I think Lottie is a sweet little doll. She feels fairly well made and has many aspects about her which I think little girls will adore. Unfortunately mine does have a little tear/split in the vinyl on one of her legs but its not a huge issue. I'm pretty sure I will be adding more Lottie's to my own collection (Branksea Festival Lottie and School Days Lottie are next on my list!) as they have endearing little faces and are a great size for taking out and about for photographing; and I will definitely be buying them for my niece when she is old enough. Lottie dolls are targeted at children aged between 3 and 9 according to the Lottie website and whilst my niece is nearly 3, I would be worried about some of the small accessories for her at the moment. Lottie dolls retail at around £16.99 which I think is an acceptable price. You can buy extra accessory packs which seem to retail at around £7.99 and can include an outfit, or pets for Lottie amongst other things. I haven't got any of them yet but from looking at images of them, I am not as convinced that they will be as worth their price as the dolls themselves are. Hopefully I will get a set in the future to try though and let you know. I've been eyeing up the Superhero Lottie outfit set so maybe I'll try it next month ;)


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