The Madame Alexander Travel Friends line appears to be the playline equivalent to their International Collection (which I have a couple of dolls from)- the dolls are the same size (7inches/18cm), and are intended to represent specific countries (currently represented are India, Kenya, Germany, China, Mexico, Ireland, France, Russia, and Italy). I was originally tempted to pick up more than one (for a while France, Kenya and India were all in my cart), but temperance prevailed, and I only bought one - "Namaste", the Indian doll (the others are similarly named: the French doll is "Bonjour", the Kenyan is "Jambo" and so on).
The packaging is colourful, but not particularly sturdy - my doll's box was crushed in the mail, and although obviously that's less of an issue for people who pick them up in person, it didn't make for much a first impression. Still, I can imagine that these would have quite a bit of shelf appeal since the doll is fully visible from inside the packaging.
|The box has a plastic window that makes up the front,|
top and part of the sides of the box.
|The back of the box.|
|Namaste can strike a variety of poses, but needs |
support to balance in most of them.
|A clearer view of the jointing: the marks on her upper legs are|
from the edges of the hinges from her knees - I can imagine
that they might easily poke through with play.
|The outfit is colourful, but a little challenging to get on and off (it's a bit tight|
at the waist). The metallic loops at the neck and arms are an attractive touch
but would rip easily with play (I nearly snagged one on the dolls thumb myself).
|Compared to one of the Madame Alexander International|
Collection line India dolls.
Despite not being as impressed by the joints as I'd expected based on the promotional photos, I think the doll is a solid playline alternative to Madame Alexander's shelf-dolls with similar themes. And while I wish the outfit was a little sturdier, I think this doll could easily share clothing with a variety of fashion dolls, so from a play perspective that's probably not the end of the world.
|Namaste in softer light.|
I'll be curious to see how the lighter and darker vinyls
of other dolls in this series look in owner photos, since
I found this doll to be more natural-looking than I'd
expected based on the sales photos.