The other reason I wanted to get some good pics is that the back of her box shows all of the new dolls for this year. This time around, they decided to give each doll a name, which I love! Not that you have to keep the name, but somehow it gives them a little more personality. (Plus, you might not end up with doll names like "Reverend Mother", "Strawberry Shortcake", or "Blah Blah Blue Blue"...all of which have been doll names in my household, by the way!). ;) I thought you'd enjoy seeing pics of all of the new girls. :)
Here is sweet Sadie. She has red hair and pretty blue/green eyes. She was the only one available at my Walmart so far. The Friends Boutique dolls retail for around $28.99.
Here's a closer look at her pretty face.
I was so excited to see all of the different dolls for this year on the back of her box! :) It's always fun to see all of your options before you pick which one is coming home with you.
I must confess, Emily is my very favorite out of all of them. Once again, the brown haired, brown eyed doll wins me over! :} But seriously, I'd be tempted to buy her just for her absolutely adorable hat!! Her shirt and boots are pretty cute, too. I'm not a huge fan of leggings myself (which is funny, because I love the Cozy Sweater outfit from AG this year...which comes with leggings), but I guess they work with this outfit.
Here's Sadie as she appears on the back of the box. I must say, I know I'm no fashionista, but I really don't get the whole blue scarf/blue headband/red tulle/red tights thing. I mean, didn't anyone ever teach her about matching colors? ;) Maybe she's being patriotic?
I think Ella is my second favorite doll from the current line. As I've shared before, I absolutely love this African American face mold. I wish her hair was just a tad darker, but she's still sweet. Her outfit is cute, too. And everything matches.
Now we come to Lola. She's a cutie, too. I don't know how well you can tell from the pics, but she's a brunette with blue eyes.
Here's Sophia, a curly-haired blonde with blue eyes. I love her outfit...except for the shoes. I mean, I like the shoes...just not with this particular outfit. I think it would look really cute with some Mary Janes. Maybe I'm just getting too old. ;)
Lastly, we have Avery. She has long blonde hair and blue eyes. I wish the pink in her scarf had a little less of a salmon color and more of a pink color, personally, but now I'm just being picky! ;)
Here's the description from the back of the box. I laughed when I saw the asterisk after "fabulous hair for styling". I know they did that just for their little explanation at the bottom, but since the hair is the least "fabulous" part of these dolls, I found it pretty humorous.
The label on the front of the box.
I've reviewed these dolls before. For a detailed review, you can read my post HERE (interestingly enough, my Friends Boutique review remains my most popular post of all time...most likely due to the odd lack of Internet information on these particular dolls).
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this line of dolls. On the positive side, they are a fairly affordable starter doll for a young one interested in American Girl or other more expensive 18" dolls. I found it interesting that the box says ages 3 and up! These dolls have sweet faces and (for the most part) cute outfits. There is also usually a line of accessories to complement the dolls (although I personally think that the Target Our Generation accessories are superior in quality). Their poseable legs and arms give more options for play and display.
On the negative side, their poseable limbs make it more difficult for them to stand, and getting them to sit can be tricky too. Their limbs don't turn in their sockets quite the same way as normal doll limbs because they are more rubbery. And on that note, I have heard of at least one person having a latex allergy type reaction to the plastic in the legs and arms, so if you have latex allergies in your family, you might check into the doll's materials further before making a purchase. Some people have also commented that the Friends Boutique dolls have an odd smell to their plastic. I didn't really notice this with my doll, but most plastic smells don't really bother me, so I'm not the best judge.
The other main problems I have with this line are the fact that their heads are much bigger than some of the other 18" dolls, so sometimes they look a bit out of proportion next to them, and the fact that their hair is such horrible quality doll hair. As I've stated before, rewigging is always an option, so if the hair is the only thing holding you back, maybe it's time to try your first rewigging project! ;) [Helpful side note here: I've discovered that wigs made for Blythe dolls fit these dolls perfectly! My favorite Blythe wig seller is eBay's shopoholican. :)]
I actually prefer the Madame Alexander doll line that was released in 2009, the year before the Friends Boutique dolls first came out. They were called "Friends 4 Life", and they had the same cute faces as the FB, but had regular arms and legs instead of poseable. I think these might provide more stability and less frustration for little doll collectors. You can read my review of a Friends for Life doll in my doll comparison post HERE and decide for yourself. :)
And speaking of preferences, I also prefer the Costco Alexander Girlz dolls to the Friends Boutique dolls. Their faces are sweeter and their head size is a little more compatible with American Girl dolls and others of similar size. I just wanted to include a Friends Boutique doll post because I know as a mom and a purchaser of dolls myself, I like having as much information as possible before committing to a new doll. There is so little info out in cyberspace about the lower end Madame Alexander play line dolls...I think it's a shame!
So, what do my readers think? Which doll line do you prefer? I'd love to hear your thoughts.