I have literally been planning this post since December. I bought this doll as part of a Black Friday sale. That’s how long I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to take pictures. (Although the lack of good photography space around here is a large part of it. To the extent that I literally took all these dolls over to my brother’s (much cleaner) house to take the photos.)
Anyway, AZIAM Yoga Dolls is a new(ish) line of dolls with a mission. And I’m feeling too lazy to try to paraphrase it, so I’m going to quote their website instead:
The AZIAM Girlz brand is dedicated to teaching girlz to love who they are, as they are. Using the basics of Yoga to teach positive self- and social- awareness, we have designed clothing, accessories, bags, yoga products, jewelry, headwear, games, programs and books to make the Yoga experience more colorful for our Goddess in Progress™.
And so on. So this is an independent doll line attempting to bolster girls’ self-image and helping them build up a positive outlook on life, et cetera. A noble goal, well worth supporting. (And OMG, when I was on the site to get that quote, I noticed they have a plush meditating cat. I think I may need that.) I’ve been keeping tabs on the prices since reading about their Toy Fair 2016 appearance at Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter.
So, way back in late November when I bought this doll, there were two dolls on the site that got the maximum sale. One was a Californian blonde, and the other was a Brazilian brunette. Obviously, I went with the brunette. (I mean, okay, yeah, I have lots of brunette dolls, too, but…I’m pretty sure blondes still outnumber everything else. (I’m looking at you, Mattel.) It would have been cooler if the redhead or the African-American had been on the sale, but they weren’t. I’m not even sure they were in stock. I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen that website list them as being in stock, in fact.)
So here’s Niyama in her box…in a really lousy photo. 😦
And here she is out of her box, in a much less lousy photo. 😛 In person, the first thing that always strikes me when I look at her is how odd her skin tone is. It doesn’t really feel like a shade found in human beings, though I lack the appropriate terminology to explain why. (I think the brown needs a touch more red in it? Maybe? I don’t know…it’s more of a gut reaction than anything logically definable, and the color doesn’t come through totally accurately in the photos.) Probably the first thing you noticed in looking at the picture is that her knee joints are really ugly. 😉 Nothing to be done about that; the design is necessary to give her the full range of motion required.
Okay, the title promises a (sort of) review, so let me get that out of the way before I get to the comparisons, which will make up the bulk of the post. (And will contain large amounts of nude dolly yoga, so be forewarned!) Her range of motion — as you’ll see in a moment — in the legs is impressive, and well worth the unattractive joints required. The clothes are nicely made, and her accessories, while nothing special, are quite acceptable. The box proclaims that her yoga mat can turn into a “Girl Power Cuff”, AKA a slap bracelet, which is true…and also means that her yoga mat is really, really narrow. You’ll see it in one of the photos below. As to her clothes, I don’t know if she can really share clothes with any other dolls. Maybe Barbie. I forgot to check that, unfortunately. (Although as I was dressing her again after the yoga photos, I started putting Barbie’s pants back on her by mistake, and they were fitting, so I think she probably can wear at least some Barbie clothing.)
One of the main selling points on any doll is, of course, the doll’s face. And that’s where it all gets largely subjective. Unfortunately, I look at the faces of this doll line, and I’m not impressed. Something about them just doesn’t speak to me. They’re a little like Winx faces, but not quite as charismatic, or something. But, as I said, it’s subjective. I don’t much care for the faces, but I can only speak for me: I’m sure there are others who like them, and I haven’t the foggiest where the majority opinion lies on the subject. (Actually, the majority probably lies with “never heard of it/don’t care.”)
Okay, so moving on to the comparisons! The main comparison, of course, will be a Made-to-Move Barbie. Specifically, the African-American one from the first wave:
But there will also be cameo comparisons with other dolls, two of them new. (One, in fact, literally arrived the day I took these photos!) So before I get on with the comparisons, let me introduce the new dollies.