Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Fresh Dolls Mia from Positively Perfect

I vaguely remember reading some reviews of the Fresh Dolls line back in 2017.  While I did think about picking one up, since I was on a semi-hiatus when it came to toy collecting at the time, I never got around to it.  Fast forward two years, and while checking out the toy selection at Dollarama (the Canadian discount chain), I noticed three different Fresh Dolls on the shelf.  Remembering my earlier interest, I picked one up.

The Fresh Dolls line are a fashion doll (11.5"/29.5cm) brand within the World of EPI umbrella who previously brought us the Positively Perfect line of 14.5" (37cm) soft-bodied dolls for toddlers. The Fresh Dolls line consists of seven jointed fashion dolls, each of which is differentiated by their unique outfits (a range of formal to casual) skin colour (a range from medium to dark that's described on the official website as "deep mocha, caramel, latte, and even blended") and hair colour/texture (smooth to curly, long to short, and blonde to black).  There has since been a release called The Fresh Squad, which consisted of three male dolls, also fashion doll size.

The particular doll that I picked up ("Mia") has curly hair, medium-dark skin, and wears a patterned jumpsuit and faux-leather jacket.  This doll is one of the basic releases and originally retailed for $10.99USD, but the Dollarama price was $4.00CDN. The deluxe releases originally retailed for $17.99USD.

Let's take a closer look!

The basic release dolls are packaged quite simply. with a cardboard back and front plastic shell. The doll is attached to the shell with elastic at the waist and feet, which makes her surprisingly easy to remove from the packaging.
In the box.

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The back of the box, which shows the rest of the first wave release dolls.
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Free from the shell, but still on the card.
Her delightfully springy hair expanded when the plastic shell came off.
The doll has 9 points of articulation: neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees. The knee and elbow joints are hinge joints, which limits her posing somewhat, but the hip and shoulders are ball joints.
The plastic of Mia's body is lighter and harder than an otherwise similar Barbie doll. This gives the doll a a hallow feel when you tap her limbs.
Free from the box and posed for a walk.

The outfit is very lightweight, and while I love the faux-leather feel of the fabric jacket, the jumpsuit (which is a very thin fabric) feels like it might rip easily. The sandals are made of a flexible vinyl, and the doll is also wearing hard plastic, gold-coloured ball earrings.

Seated.
Compared to other playline fashion dolls, the additional jointing is a nice feature at this (original) price point (standard Barbie Fashionistas are only slightly lower priced and lack the elbow and knee joints), but the cheaper-seeming plastic construction (and fabric of the outfit) makes me wonder how well these dolls would hold up to play.
In between DC Super Hero Girls Bumblebee and Barbie Fashionista #121
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A parting glance.
Some of these dolls are still available for the original prices on the official website, but as I've frequently seen them at much lower regular prices at Dollarama in Canada and Big Lots in the US, I would definitely say that at those prices these dolls are a wonderful value.

Creating a new line of playline fashion dolls that will compete directly with Barbie (as these do) is always a challenge, and I think this line has done a reasonable job of creating a doll that's distinct but still looks at home with other dolls of similar size.

I don't know that this line will ever see an expansion, both because the increasing diversity of Barbie offerings leaves less of a gap in the market, but they company does still attend major toy events, so we'll see.  And if they do, I'll be excited to see what they release!

If you've picked up one of these dolls (or one of the Positively Perfect dolls) I'd love to hear about your experience!

14 comments:

  1. I wouldn't mind picking up some of these dolls, if the heads were more similar in size to Barbie. At least to me, they look significantly longer. Your concern about holding up to play is interesting, since they seem to have been made mostly for girls to play with.

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    1. Hinge-jointed knees always worry me when it comes to playline dolls. I've seen so many of them end up being broken during attempts to over-bend them. But maybe I'm overly concerned about that! ;)

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  2. Great review. This dolls don't seem to be avaliable in Europe, unless someone imports them, which means they would sell them at a ridiculous high price. If I could find one, I wouldn't mind getting her, as this dolls seem to blend quite well with Barbie dolls.
    As you said, I guess it's hard to compete with Barbie, specially if you're more of an "indie" company not a huge company like Mattel. The price point of this dolls makes you think if Mattel couldn't be offering better doll to their consumers for just a couple of dollars more.
    I hope they do well, as I would love to see what do they bring to the table next.

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    1. It's too bad they weren't popular enough to see them mass-imported to see the price kept lower!

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  3. Hi there!
    Well another doll not retailing in Aussie stores...however, I found Mia on Amazon.au for $26.45. No others though. :( So I guess I'll not see this one in the flesh. Great review JS.
    Cheers,
    X

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  4. These dolls look great but I've not seen them here in Australia. We never get the good stuff. I'm even surprised we actually got, well, it's available for preorder, the Mattel BTS dolls.

    The jointing looks great on these dolls and I have to say, I love the faces. Thank you for the review.

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    1. That's too bad that they haven't made it down to you guys in Australia!

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  5. Congrats on finding Mia at such a great price. I have the entire first wave, the Fresh Squad, and Aria from wave 2. I also have their portrait doll of Froggy (the vlogger). My interview of Dr. Lisa is published on my Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black blog. She is a remarkable woman who has gathered a large following of adult collectors of the Fresh doll line.

    dbg

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    1. I'd forgotten that the Froggy doll came from them! The Fresh Squad male dolls look wonderful - I wish I'd been more on top of that release, because they're quite pricey on the secondary market now.

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  6. She's very nice and what a great price! I like the outfit, it's a shame that it feels like it might tear though, but hopefully it will be fine as it really suits her.

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    1. I definitely couldn't pass her by at that price! :)

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  7. Congrats, she is lovely. Never say no to a doll at a great price! :)

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  8. Congrats on your find! I love Mia's curly hair. I don't have any Mias yet - might get one - but I do have Lynette. I'd like to get Aleyna and Aria next.

    If I see some of the others on sale, I might try them as body replacements for some of my Barbie and other fashion dolls.

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