If “Attractionistas” isn’t the dumbest name for a line of dolls, I don’t know what is. (It’s gotta at least be in the running for the title!)
Anyway, I mentioned earlier that I ordered a doll I’d never seen before from the Disney Store’s Web site, and this is her:
I was, quite frankly, stunned by the size of the shipping box I found on my front porch, and the reason for the size of that box was that this doll’s box is a horrible waster of space. Seriously, this box is nearly 17″ (43 cm) tall and is 9″ (23 cm) wide. The doll herself is only 12″ (30.5 cm) tall, I might add. This doll–and the others in her series–was manufactured for sale at the Disney theme parks, right? So, seriously, would you want to try wandering through Disneyland/Disneyworld while carrying that massive box around? And I can’t even imagine what you’d do with it if you wanted to go on one of the more interesting rides, like Space Mountain! I bet there’s stacks of these things at the bottom of every rollercoaster ride, where people have dropped them. (That’s if anyone actually buys them, anyway…)
The amount of wasted space is particularly evident when you see the internal packaging:
Look at all the empty space above and below her! Beside is slightly less egregious, since one’s used to that in dolls from other lines (Monster High’s been pretty bad about that lately) but the space above and below!!!
I just don’t know how to express that space wasting apart from an excessive number of exclamation points.
Anyway, packaging gripes aside, let me backtrack a bit to the name of the doll line. They’re called “Attractionistas” because each doll in the line is tied to one of the rides at Disneyland. This one, as you probably guessed, is tied to the Haunted Mansion. I picked her for two reasons: one, I have a thing for purple hair, and two, I thought she’d fit in well with all my Monster High dolls. The one for Space Mountain had nifty blue hair, but a fairly dull costume, and the one for the Pirates of the Caribbean was quite nice, if a bit similar to the Disney Store doll for The Pirate Fairy. The one for the whirling tea cups, however, was very much a “why bother?” type of thing, because she was so very similar to a certain Ever After High doll that she even shared the same name: Madeline. (Seriously.)
Okay, moving on.
Before you think “well, at least they included a nice stand!” let me tell you that I provided the stand myself; she came only with her hat and her bat. (Really wish I’d gotten more of those stands while I could…) I’ll talk more about the hat and bat in a minute, so let me address the doll herself.
She seems to have fairly standard fashion doll construction, much like a simple Barbie: she’s got points of articulation at the shoulders, hips and neck, and her knees have that internal clicking bend, but her elbows are rigid, unlike the Disney Store dolls, which usually have at least the elbows fully jointed, if not the knees as well. On the plus side, “standard” in this case also means “solid,” as she seems quite sturdily made. Her Victorian-era inspired dress is primarily made from a velvety material, and although the open skirt isn’t hemmed, it has at least been treated with something to keep it from fraying. The interior of the skirt is printed with the same pattern that’s on her leggings and hat band. I was last at Disneyland in 1999, so it’s a little hazy in my mind, but the pattern definitely seems familiar, and I think it’s either the carpeting or the wallpaper in one of the sections you walk through to get onto the Haunted Mansion ride. (But I’m not positive about that. Like I said, last there in 1999.) Her faux leather corsety-belty thing is only present on the front half of the dress, as if they literally didn’t plan on having anyone remove her from the packaging. A belt that goes only halfway is more than a little weird, in my opinion, but it’s not like they asked me. 😛 The metal-looking “fasteners” on the front of her dress are actually plastic, and sheerly decorative, as the dress actually opens in the back with Velcro. (That’s to be expected, of course.) Her fingerless gloves, which match her overskirt, are not connected to the dress, and can be removed. Her boots are plastic, and seem altogether too small for her, since her feet are essentially classic Barbie feet, thus rather tiny by comparison to her height and her over-sized head. (See, that’s why the My Scene Barbies had jumbo shoes; they balanced better with the jumbo heads.) Given the pale skin and the dark clothes, I suspect she’s probably already stained somewhere, and will probably get even more stained as time goes on, but since I’m not planning on re-dressing her, that doesn’t feel much like an issue at the moment.
I don’t know if it’s because she spent too long in her box, or if she was just attached a little too firmly, but both her hair and her dress are very flat in the back. Her hair is all around glue-stiffened, of course, so I’m going to have to try and loosen that up. (Actually removing the glue is too much work, but I find I can generally loosen it enough with fingers and/or doll comb (which she didn’t come with, naturally) that I don’t need to go all out.) On the other hand, she was really easy to get out of her package, and had very few universal annoyances. I guess security’s regarded as being pretty tight at the parks. (Well, after you paid that much to get in, why would you need to steal a doll, right?)
I like her face; there’s a slight smirk to the lips that gives her some character, and having the whites of her eyes be yellow gives her even more of a supernatural feel than the ghostly grey skin. Though she also seems to have a bit of blush to her cheeks, which seems a bit odd for a ghost. 😛 (Of course, technically, according to the ludicrous story on the back of the box, she’s not actually a ghost, but a…an…an I-have-no-idea-what.) Unfortunately, mine has some glue–left over from her hair, no doubt–on her face, on and below her left eye. (Doesn’t really show up in the photo, though.) When the bit on her eye catches the light and reflects it at you, it makes it look like there’s a scratch in the paint on her eye, while the section of glue below her eye makes her look like she’s crying. Minor technical glitches with this particular doll; hopefully others of her don’t have the same problems. Rather, I’m sure they don’t all have glue dribbled in exactly the same places as mine, but I hope others don’t have dribbles of glue at all. There’s a fair amount of glue on her face below the bangs, too, and it’s all over the back of her head, though…so…yeah, I think all of these dolls likely have glue in various places on their heads, just hopefully not usually in a terribly distracting location.
(I couldn’t get her to hold the bat, so I used the stand to prop him in place.) The plastic hat is attached to the head via a black elastic string that would probably break very quickly in the possession of a child. (Especially if someone took the box seriously when it said “3+” and gave her to 4 year old!) The veil connected to it is apparently intended to hang down in front of her face, as I’ve done here, based on the location of the Velcro on the hat band:
You may be wondering why there’s Velcro on the hat band at all. I can only guess it’s there so you can change out her hat band, but I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not. (It may be to give you better access to the holes through which the elastic band are run, so you can re-string the hat if the band breaks. If that’s the case, then 1000 bonus points to them for thinking ahead! Because I can totally see that elastic breaking for me, and knowing it’ll be pretty easy to replace it makes me feel a lot better about that.) The nice thing is that since the hat band isn’t connected to the hat, you can turn it, and thus you can have the veil not covering her face without having the hideous Velcro showing right in the front. Speaking of the veil, it seems to be attached to the hat only by means of glue, so it might well get pulled out and lost in a child’s hands. (Or maybe not. Probably depends on the child.)
So the box informs me that this bat is named Grimm. One’s first thought there is a sarcastic “oh, that’s creative!” but on reflection, it’s much worse than being lazy: it doesn’t even make sense. The fairy/folk tales recorded by the Grimm brothers did not contain any ghosts at all, as far as I recall (ghost stories, as we think of them, tend to fall into a different category altogether, and even back then would not have been viewed as Kindermarchen), and bats would not have been terribly plentiful, either, if present at all. (I admit that I have not yet read all of the tales. I can only read so many of those in a row before I need a break…only once I start reading something else, then I forget I was trying to get through that, and never end up going back to it. It’s like with stopping reading Ovid’s Metamophoses to escape the sexism.) So there’s really no plausible reason to name the bat Grimm, other than the obvious English cognate of “grim.” But that’s just sort of…well…lame. In my opinion. Anyway, about the bat itself, there’s not much to say. From the front–as you can see–there’s the optical illusion that the bat has a Donald-like bill, but it’s actually not there. The bat’s just a solid piece of plastic, with flat feet so it can stand on the table/shelf/floor/what-have-you, but it would have been much better if they’d given it perching feet, so it could sit on her hand like on the illustration on the back of the box. (Though that would also require her to have poseable elbows…)
So, jumping backwards in time, when I ordered this doll, I was thinking that they were trying to make their own version of Monster High with her, at least to a certain extent. So despite that the Web site said she was 12″ tall, I was expecting her to be roughly Monster High sized: I thought the 12″ was a rough approximation, not a decidedly precise figure. Thus I was surprised when I saw how large she was. By comparison:
Here she is with Marisol Coxi, the largest Monster High doll. (Uh, not counting Gooliope Jellington, that is. What with her being in a different scale than the standard dolls.) I took off Marisol’s bright pink shoes not to show off her uniquely large feet, but because they’re massive platform shoes (like she’s not tall enough already?) and would have made the comparison inaccurate.
I took a lot of other comparison shots, but I think I’m going to cut to the chase here and skip ahead to the one that really feels relevant. (The others are in the gallery link at the end.)
So it turns out that these dolls weren’t so much influenced by Monster High as by BeGoths. The head shape is different, but the bodies are very similar, though Gracey’s bust is smaller than Greta’s. (Greta looks a bit taller in the photo, but that’s because I didn’t remove her honking big boots, which have a bit of a platform to them. But I wasn’t sure how easily they’d come off, and didn’t want to risk damaging her.)
In the end, I’d say she’s a pretty nice doll, though not a spectacular one. She’s well worth $20…which is a bit of a problem, because she costs $30. (I did at least have 10% off, but…) If these dolls were $20 instead of $30, I’d definitely pick up the Pirates of the Caribbean one, and possibly the Space Mountain one, too. But to me $30 is just too much for a doll of this quality, especially considering she has such basic articulation and almost no accessories. I can see how that might not bother people while they’re at the theme parks–everything in a theme park is overpriced, after all–but buying them online, it feels a bit like a rip-off. Well, not a rip-off, per se, but certainly it feels like I over-paid. I may check the Web site around Black Friday, see if they put them on sale or something.
Anyway, if you were wondering what else was in the rather large box with her:
I’d been thinking of picking her up at the Disney Store earlier, but they had already stopped carrying her, which is why I ended up only getting mini-Rapunzel. So since the Web site still had her in stock (and on clearance!) I added her to the cart right away, before I even started looking around to see what else to get to use the “10% off $40” coupon on. I haven’t opened her yet, but I already have Tinkerbell and Periwinkle and…uh…Zerina? Zarina? Whatever her name is, the pirate one. (Yeah, I don’t watch the CG movies, I just buy the dolls associated with them. Because, among other reasons, Tinkerbell is not supposed to talk. Period. End of story.) Anyway, since I already have other dolls in this general series, I know what to expect from her, and I know she’ll live up to my expectations, is all I’m trying to say.
What I don’t understand is why there’s a Cinderella label on the bottom of Fawn’s box. Last time I watched that movie–and I admit that it’s been a while–the only fairy in it is the rather annoying Fairy Godmother. So what’s that got to do with Fawn here? Maybe it’s just an ordering online thing. Something to do with the movement of goods through the warehouse and packing departments or something. (Yes, there was a matching Cinderella label on Gracey’s box, too.) I dunno. It’s weird.
Anyway, if you want to see the pictures I didn’t put in the post, the link to the gallery is here.