Friday, January 6, 2012

BFC Ink Pen Pals Britt Doll Review

I wanted to start with a warning!  Later on in the post, I will be comparing the body styles of my 2 BFC Ink dolls.  They will both be nude, and have somewhat developed figures.  If this is offensive to you, please skip this post! 

She's officially here!!!  Britt arrived yesterday in the mail.  Here are some pictures of her in her box:

The back of the box has pictures of the other Pen Pals dolls.  They look closer to the actual dolls than the earlier stock photos I found online (except for Britt...I think her earlier photo looks more like her).  You'll notice that they still are shown with the older, non-articulated body style, though.

There's Carmen from Mexico...

...Britt from England...

...Nicolette from France...

...Elsa from Sweden...

...and Lily from South Africa.  Sadly, I've been told that MGA Entertainment has decided not to make the Lily doll, so only the previous 4 dolls are available for purchase.

I was a little concerned when I first opened Britt.  You'll notice from this picture that her eyes are slightly off (the eye on the left is looking up and the eye on the right is looking straight ahead).  It doesn't bother me for the most part, unless I sit there and stare at her. For this reason, though, I would definitely recommend finding one of these dolls in person, if it's an option for you.  I've heard reports of them being in Target and Kmart stores.  Unfortunately, neither of my local stores have them yet.  There's a picture of Carmen on Flickr that's even worse HERE.  I debated returning Britt and exchanging her for another one, but I wouldn't have gotten the shipping refunded, and I was worried that I might end up with a Britt that had a worse problem (especially after seeing that Carmen doll).  Anyway, just try to buy them locally if you can!  Or order online and pray and hold your breath until they come! ;)  Britt is still beautiful, in spite of her wandering eye. :)

Her eye issues aren't as noticeable from the side view.

Another frustrating thing about Britt was that she had these shiny marks on her forehead...

...and on the side of her face.  Thankfully, they came right off with a magic eraser.  I've had dolls with similar issues in the past and a magic eraser didn't remove the marks.  I was sure glad it worked this time!

So here she is fresh out of the package without having her hair brushed or anything like that.

Her hair was really crusty with some sort of gel substance (to keep the side part in place, I suppose).  It reminded me of the way Barbie dolls' hair feels sometimes when they've put gel in the curls.

It's difficult to capture on film, but her shirt has a very slight pink tint to it. 

My camera was being really stubborn for this shot...her capris are actually a lot darker (as they appear in the other photos).

Cute pink shoes.

Britt's hair leaves much to be desired, which I expected going into it.  The BFC Ink dolls are not known for their high-quality hair.  These photos were taken before I did anything to her hair.

As you can see from the above photos, the layers in her hair are pretty awful.  They remind me a lot of Gianna's hair.  I know these are less expensive dolls, but you'd think they could do something about this at MGA!  I mean, yikes!  

Her hair is also pretty thin.  Putting it in pigtails would definitely reveal some scalp.  She would make a great re-wigging project, though.

Here she is after having her hair brushed out.

This is the only shiny spot that didn't come off of her face with the Magic Eraser...right at the hairline.

She looks much nicer! :)

Unfortunately, the minute I began brushing her hair (using a wire brush like I use for AG dolls), the gel type stuff started flaking in her hair.  I couldn't get a really clear shot of it, but it basically looked like she had little dandruff flakes all over.  My hair does the same thing when I leave gel in overnight and then brush it the next day.  Ick!  What a mess!  It took a long time to get rid of all of the little flakies.

Her scalp also has some pretty thin strips in it, as you can see here.  Oh, this also gives you a better view of her hair flakes, towards the bottom right of the picture.

Here are some shots showcasing Britt's flexibility:

And here are some shots of Britt with Katelyn, my other BFC Ink doll:


Now for the body comparisons.  I know I did this before with photos of Katelyn and Gianna, but I thought it would be helpful to see it again, especially since I have both dolls here at the same time this time around. 

So here are Katelyn and Britt.  Katelyn has the original BFC Ink body style, and Britt has the newer, more articulated style.  Aside from the differences in the arms and legs, which I'll get into in a minute, notice the slight difference in the hip joints and chest plates as well.  Another difference is their heads.  While Britt's has a few more posing options, I pretty much can't get Katelyn's head to stop looking down!  Her head only moves from side to side, while Britt's tilts up and down as well.

Here's the back view.  You can see even more here the difference in the chest plate.  Also, I found it interesting that Katelyn is made with a duller plastic than Britt's.  

Here's a shot of Katelyn's legs...

...and Britt's.  

Back view of Katelyn's legs...

...and a back view of Britt's.

This picture demonstrates the farthest that each pair of knees can bend.  As you can see, Katelyn's knees hardly bend at all.  I was very disappointed by this.  Britt has no problem bending her knees into a normal sitting position.

Here is Katelyn's arm...

...and Britt's arm, jointed at the elbow and wrist.


So, as far as my final thoughts, I'd give Britt a 4 out of 5 stars.  She's a lovely doll (aside from the eyes looking in slightly different directions) with some great poseability.  However, her hair is a mess, and her ankle joints are already getting loose after 1 day of light posing.  Her knees, hips, and chest are still nice and tight, though, which is better than my Gianna was.  Perhaps the joint strength varies from doll to doll.

I would not recommend this for a child under 8, unless you had a very patient or careful child.  Getting her undressed was a bit of a chore, and the joints are very tight at first, so her greatest plus...her against her.  I think it would be difficult for a younger child to pose her without breaking her.  And eventually, the joints wear out and she can't hold a pose at all.  Not to mention the fact that her hair would be a mess within a few days!

So why do I still like these dolls?  There's something about their faces that draws me to them.  I love posing them and trying to express different emotions through their photos.  And as a collector who doesn't spend tons of time playing with my dolls, the possibility of worn out joints won't be as much of an issue for me.  As far as the hair goes, I will most likely end up rewigging these girls in the future.  I really like their hair color, so for now I'll just deal with the rather crummy hair. ;)  

Hope you enjoyed the post.  What are your thoughts?  Which BFC Ink Pen Pal doll is your favorite?


Miranda said...

I think that this was very interesting! I personally like Britt the best, because her dark brown hair REALLY makes her blue eyes pop! :D Besides, I'm a sucker for anything from England or France. XD But, I'm not a fan of Nicolette as much, because for some reason, she just doesn't look FRENCH to me. She's pretty, but she just doesn't represent her country as much as the other dollls do.

But man, Britt's hair is attrocious! I woulsn't want to re-wig her because I LOVE her hair, but after seeing how unevenly cut it is...


beast'sbelle said...

Hi Miranda. :)

My favorites are Britt and Nicolette. If I ever got Nicolette, though, I'd have to change her name. All I can think of when I hear her name is that Nicorette gum that helps people stop smoking. ;)

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that BFC Ink dolls are not going to have good hair. I have the same problem as you do, though. I love Britt's hair color and style, just not the quality or cut! I hope to find a wig that is a really similar color eventually.

Thanks for commenting!

Alice xox said...

She looks JUST like someone I know. In fact, it's almost scary how much she looks like her. Dang! Oh, well. She's very pretty!

I think these dolls do have very captivating faces! :) Too bad about her hair, but at least rewigging is easy! :)

beast'sbelle said...

Yes, rewigging is something I enjoy. :) I'm done with eyeswaps, though! ;)

Anonymous said...

They are so cute! They remind me of the Life of Faith Dolls, ever heard of those? Their body styles are almost like they're teenagers! What do you think?

beast'sbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. :) I am familiar with the Life of Faith dolls. Unfortunately, I didn't know much about them until the company closed down, so I've never been able to see one in person. :) I've heard they're very nice dolls, though.

akimbo said...

Wow, that hair is scary... Thanks for the thorough review! I need to check out my local Target, I love her face!

beast'sbelle said...

Yes it is! Lol...her beautiful face makes up for it, though. :)

Bree said...

Great review. I almost bought Britt before Christmas, and hesitated because I already had a full cart and a long gift list.

Today my Target only had 3 Elsas and 1 Carmen, so I snatched Elsa up (I'm a sucker for freckles).

I'm hoping some of the Carpatina or Magic Attic items will fit her, and she is *definitely* getting new hair! At the moment, my 5 year old is busy making her dance the Cha Cha slide and the Macarena.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Bree. I'd love to hear what you think of Elsa. Sadly, my local stores still haven't gotten these in, so Britt is the only one I've seen in person.

I think the Carpatina slim dolls may be a bit shorter than 18", but I may be wrong on that. The Magic Attic dolls are still wider around than the BFC dolls, but I think there's a chance some of their things might fit. It might be a bit of a loose fit, though.

I hear you on the hair. I wish they'd invested a little more in the hair department. I mean, we know it can be done! The Hearts 4 Hearts Girls, who are just a little more, have awesome hair! I think it would have been wise for the company to give these dolls better quality hair. The dolls are so cute otherwise...good hair would have made them pretty amazing!

Lol...these dolls definitely have the flexibility to do the Cha Cha and the Macarena (wow, that's a blast from the past!!). ;) Hope your 5 year old has fun. :)

beachbabydoll1 said...

Thanks for the great comparison. If you find a cute wig, let us know. I notice the same hair problems with my BFC's. Yet, I really like them due to poseability and they are more fun to dress due to an actual figure, but best of all relatively, inexpensive. Girls change their minds so frequently about their dolls. BFC dolls at least don't break the bank! Did you ever try to curl the straight hair? I've thought of it but didn't. I also thought about taking one to my hair dresser to cut her hair but chickened out. Sylvia

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Sylvia. I'll definitely keep you guys posted on the wig situation. :)

I have to admit, I've become a big fan of these dolls too, despite their flaws. It's so fun to pose them. :)

I've curled Barbie hair before, but never BFC Ink hair. I may have to try it sometime. :)

I've thought about taking dolls with hair problems to my hairdresser too, but I've never managed to actually do it. :}

Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Do you still have Britt? I have been doing chores all day to earn money....only to get onto amazon and discover she's unavaible.

beastsbelle said...

I still have her...she's one of the ones I've decided to keep.

I'm sorry to hear that she's unavailable...Middle Gal has been saving up for her too. Keep checking back, because she was unavailable on Amazon before and came back, so maybe she'll be on again. :)

Anonymous said...

Lets hope. Well, at least for now i can stop scrubbing toilets! :)

beastsbelle said...

Lol...well that's a plus! ;)

Anonymous said...

Those really are cute dolls!If only I had seen your blog before I got Natalie and Olivia!(BFC ink dolls Katelyn and Addison.) I absolutely love britt's face.
have you had to deal with the frizzy hair problem like I have? Natalie looks like she has a lion's mane, just five times worse. if you have how did you fix it? the only tips I can find are for AG dolls.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Anonymous. :) Sadly, the BFC Inks are known for their awful hair problems. You can try doing a Downy Dunk on your dolls, but unfortunately, this doesn't always solve the problem on a curly-haired BFC Ink. When the hair got too crazy on my dolls, I rewigged them. You can find posts on Downy Dunks and Rewigging in the labels on my sidebar. And if you click on the "Doll Product Reviews" tab at the top of my blog (right under my header picture), it will open to a page of all of my reviews. Under the BFC Ink section, there should be some pics of my rewigged Kaitlin doll.

Hope this at least gives you a starting point! :) Feel free to comment again or email me at if you have any other questions. :)

olivia said...

oh,I want one sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad,if ever you want to give one away I'm your girl!I've been looking for a cheep one for a long time do you hav eney pointers?where did you get yours?


beastsbelle said...

Hi Olivia,

I got my Britt last January when they were still being made. Unfortunately, the BFC Ink dolls are not in production any more, so they're getting very hard to find. The Pen Pal dolls are especially difficult to find for a good price since they were only made for a short time. Your best bet is to check eBay, Craigslist, and thrift stores. Try to be patient...I know it's hard, but it often takes time to find one for the right price. Craigslist or the thrift store would be preferable since they are selling for a lot on eBay right now.

And sorry, I'm not planning on getting rid of any more BFC Inks at the moment. If I ever do, I'll keep you in mind. :)

olivia said...

ok, I'll keep looking,thank you for answering all my guestions!

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome. :)

Anonymous said...

Can bfc ink clothes fit on hearts 4 hearts doll? Can you also let me know if there is a good 18 inch doll for a good price

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. The BFC Ink clothing is too big for the Hearts For Hearts dolls because the H4H are only about 14" tall.

I have a difficult time recommending an 18" doll at a good price right now. My standby used to be the Alexander Girlz by Madame Alexander that were released at Costco each year, but those seem to have phased out.

I do like the faces on the My Life As dolls at Walmart, but they don't have the best hair and they have posable limbs that I don't care for as much.

There are the Journey Girls at ToysRUs, but they have really bad hair and are rather top heavy as their heads are a lot heavier than their bodies. As a result, they don't stand up well and they also cannot share clothing with standard 18" dolls since they are so much slimmer.

To be honest, I'd recommend an AG or Gotz doll from Craigslist, eBay, or a thrift store. You can also check my Doll Product Reviews page here:

This page includes all of the doll reviews I've done so far so you can see the dolls for yourself and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, many doll lines have been discontinued with the economy the way it is, so having a choice about a new doll to purchase has gotten rather limited.

I hope this at least helps you to get started!

Anonymous said...

Thank you your the best!