Friday, January 24, 2014

Invasion of the fashion dolls

Opening the boxes
I've never had any fashion dolls - even as a kid, they were just not my thing (sure, the occasional barbie-type gift might pass through my hands, but ultimately they would be passed along to my sister).  But having seen so many interesting ones lately (the perils of meeting BJD collectors whose entry to doll collecting came through fashion dolls rather than action figures), I've found myself tempted by a few.

And now that I have access to more dealers and more reasonable shipping costs (crossing the border does have its benefits!) I found a couple of dolls on sale and decided to see what they're like.

The dolls in question:  "TJ" from Integrity Toys' mid-range Dynamite Girls line and "Martha Jones" from Tonner's Doctor Who licensed line.  Interestingly, despite the difference in size and company, they were packed in exactly the same fashion.

Dynamite Girls TJ
I was most impressed with the Dynamite Girl - she's tiny, but the face paint is still quite detailed.  The articulation is fairly natural, her hair is decent and the outfit is fantastic - loads of detail, decent materials, and so many individual pieces!  Just the details on her tights are worth raving about - I was very impressed at the quality for something so small scale.

She also fits nicely on the included stand, which is always good (the stand itself had both saddle and waist attachments)  I'm not sure if the differences between this line and Integrity's higher priced Fashion Royalty line are worth it though - from what I've heard the differences are primarily in the accessories rather than the dolls and clothes, and that doesn't strike me as a huge selling feature. In any case, I was very pleased with this doll, and would probably have been happy with her even at full price (I ordered her at 25% off).

Tonner Doctor Who Martha Jones
Unfortunately, I was less than thrilled by the Tonner.  The doll itself is of good quality - a nice smooth plastic with an even colour,  but it looks nothing like the actress.  In fact, the face is so undetailed that it could be anyone - she's a pretty enough doll, but you don't look at her and automatically recognize the character.   That would be forgivable if the focus of the doll were the outfit, but the details on the clothing were minimal.

Considering that this is a fairly large doll, the simplicity of the jeans and jacket was disappointing - there are really no details on either (there is a simple pattern on the tank under the jacket, but again: standard quality).  The zippers on her boots were also a challenge to unzip (they needed to be opened in order to get them on the doll).  As with TJ, she came with a stand, but it's saddle-type only and because of the thickness of the denim, the doll doesn't actually fit on the stand.

Because of all of that I'm not really certain that she was a good value, even at the 60% off price that I paid.  I certainly would never have wanted to pay the $175.00 sticker price.  Still, she's not a bad quality doll - just a bit generic.


  1. I agree with your assessment of both these dolls. I have a FR Adele, a NuFace Lukas, and 1 DG T.J. I like the coloring and the faces of all of them, but I think I paid more for Lukas because he had a leather coat and boots. Although I found Lukas' lace-up alligator-patterned boots tiresome. My fingers cannot tie those tiny laces ;-P

    Most Tonner dolls look alike to me. Like your Martha Jones. Bland. Good quality, but a bit cookie-cutter. Possibly they use the same face mold for all of their taller fashion dolls?

    1. That's a good question about about the face mold reuse - I've tried researching it (although not very seriously), and haven't found a definitive answer one way or the other. It would explain the lack of face details though!

      I'm a little envious of those lace-up boots though - I think I know the ones you mean, and tiresome or not, they're brilliant-looking! ;)