Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paddywhack Lane Doll and Playset Review (and a few Truck Pictures)

Wow, that's something I never thought would be in a blog post title. :}  Truck pictures on a doll blog...

Nevertheless, I thought you guys might enjoy seeing just a few pics of our new (to us) vehicle, a generous gift from my uncle. :)

The truck is a Honda Ridgeline and is the most beautiful mixture of light blue/grey/green, depending on the lighting.

The front seats are nice and roomy...

...as are the back seats. 

It's got a funny little bed in the back with a secret compartment that opens up for extra storage.

The truck needs some cleaning on the inside and has a pretty good-sized dent/crunch on the front left bumper, but other than that it's in great shape.  It runs really well and will be a perfect fit for our family. :)  It came at the perfect time, too, a definite answer to prayer.

But enough vehicle-related topics...let's move on to dolls! ;)

When my mom and I were out of town this past weekend, picking up the truck, we stopped by a Ross and found some great sale items.  I've seen the "Paddywhack Lane" line around for a while now, especially at Barnes and Noble, and was curious to see what they were like.  I couldn't justify spending the extra on them, but when I saw that the big sets were $4.99 and the individual dolls were just $2.99, I decided to try them out.  I ended up with one big set and two individual dolls (because I have 3 daughters and I'm smart enough to buy 3 of everything). ;)

The basic premise of the Paddywhack Lane dolls is that they're all little kids who love to dress up.  However, they know that what's on the inside is more important than what's on the outside.  Or, as it says on the box:  "It's what you believe on the inside that makes you...you!  The outside's mostly fabrics and stitching."  It's a cute idea, although I have to admit I don't care as much for the animal/bug costumes.  I preferred some of the other sets, which included a ballerina and a pirate.  I really wanted to get the garden set, though, since it had the best accessories, and I knew if I brought home a ballerina, a pirate, and a butterfly, everyone would want the ballerina.  (Any of you who are moms of girls will completely understand.)  So animals/insects are what I ended up with!

Here are the two individual dolls, still in their packages.

First we'll take a look at Lindsay the Bumblebee.  Here's a view of all the different sides of her box:

The boxes open easily, and the figures are held in plastic packaging with twist ties.

It wasn't too difficult getting her out.  The hardest part was getting her antennae out without bending them too much.

And here she is out of her package.  Lindsay comes with her bee hat and costume, some glittery wings, a plastic pot of honey, a picnic blanket, and an elastic bow.  I still haven't discovered the bow's purpose.  It's too tiny to fit on her head and doesn't really work on the honey either. :}

Lindsay's hat comes unattached just to the right of the bow under her chin.  It's fairly easy to get the hat opened and closed, but I think little hands might have trouble getting the hat off.  It isn't too tight or anything, but it's shaped to fit well on her head and can be difficult to get off without rubbing against her head or face.  I'm guessing there are going to be a lot of paint rubs on her head and face by the time she's seen some serious play.

I also had a difficult time getting her wings over her shoulders, even when I removed her hat first.  The plastic on the wings was very stiff, probably from all the glitter.

And speaking of glitter, these wings are SERIOUSLY glittery.  I could see glitter falling every time I moved her.

My fingers and everything else were coated.

I thought it was funny that her costume included a little stinger. ;)

Here's Lindsay enjoying a honey picnic.  I think she and Pooh Bear would get along splendidly. ;)

It was pretty easy to get her into a sitting position, but I did find it difficult to get her to stand properly.  These dolls are very top-heavy, especially with their hats on, so that may cause some frustration for little ones.

A closer look at her honey pot and bow.

Here's a closer look at her sweet little face.

I especially love her pigtails.  The yellow bows are plastic and are molded to her head (non-removable).

Now on to Ella the Mouse! :)  Here she is in her box:

Here's Ella deboxed.  She came with her mouse hat and costume, a piece of plastic cheese, a mouse nose, and a pet mouse (I sense a theme here). ;)

Her mouse nose stays on pretty well, especially with her hat on.

A closer look at her cute pet mouse.

Ella's costume includes a mouse tail. :)

Here she is without her hat on.

She has a long ponytail in the back, accented by a silver ribbon (it's just plastic and molded to her head).

Ella's accessories, costume and packaging were similar enough to Lindsay's that I didn't feel the need to go into as much detail with her. :)

The final set I came home with was a larger one:  Lauren's Wildflower Garden Playset.

Here are some more views of the box:

I have to say that this set was by far the most impressive of the three.  This backdrop to the packaging looks nice enough in the box...

What makes it even better is that it doubles as a fold-out play scene.  I think this is such a smart idea.  It reminds me of what MGA Entertainment has done with their mini Lalaloopsy packaging. 

The doll and accessories are in a plastic tray and held in place by twist ties, just like the smaller dolls.

Here's Lauren with all of her goodies.  I absolutely love all of the adorable little accessories that are a part of this set.  She comes with her fold-out backdrop, her ladybug hat and costume, removable ladybug "wings", a white picket fence, a wheelbarrow, three bouquets of flowers, three pots, a row of plastic "dirt", a watering can, a spade and trowel, a pet bunny, an elastic ribbon, and a bag of seeds. 

Here's Lauren herself.

Her ladybug wings (or should I say shell?) were a lot easier to get on than Lindsay's bee wings.  The plastic was much more flexible and easier to work with.

Here it is from the back...

...and here's what it looks like with her hat.

I love the cute little fence.

Her bunny is sweet too, but I think the mold could have been cleaned up a little better...or perhaps it's the paint.  Either way, he has some odd little lumps on his face that shouldn't necessarily be there.

This little patch of dirt is very clever.

The bouquets of flowers fit inside it just perfectly.  It's gardening that even I can handle! ;)

The flowers also fit in the white pots, so little ones can transfer their flowers from pots to the "soil" during playtime.

They come out of the pots with no trouble.

Here's Lauren's pretty row of flowers. :)

Her plastic seed bag.

The trowel and spade.

Her watering can.  The handle is so thick I couldn't get her to hold it, which was a little disappointing.

I love the cute little wheelbarrow. 

It's just the right size for her.

Here's a closer look at Lauren without her hat.

She has shorter hair than the other girls and has a little orange bow (also plastic and non removable). 

Ella and Lindsay help Lauren with her gardening. 

One of the things that made me curious about this line was the claim on the boxes that the dolls had "9 poseable joints".  The joints are in their heads, both shoulders, both elbows, both wrists, and their legs.

Their legs move at the hip but do not move anywhere else.  I'm guessing the reasoning behind this was for stability.  This was probably a good idea since it's already so hard to make them stand as it is.  Oh, and for those of you who are curious, their shoes are non-removable.

Their arms, on the other hand, are quite poseable for a small doll, and can move in a variety of ways.

My only complaint is that the joints can be a bit difficult to maneuver.  There were several times when I was worried I might break the arm while posing it.  The real test will be how long the arm joints hold up with my daughters playing with them. ;)

There was a little bit of staining on Lindsay's arm, most likely from the black stripes of her bee costume.

Their heads move simply from side to side: 

I noticed that Ella's elbow joint looked a little loose.  Even after "fixing" it, this was the tightest I could get it.  Her arm will probably have issues in the future, but at this point it seems to be holding up okay.

Identifying marks on the dolls' backs.

I was curious about the compatibility of these dolls with some of the other smaller doll lines out there.  I was pleased to discover that the Paddywhack Lane dolls can wear Kelly dresses.  Their bodies and shoes are too thick to fit into Kelly pants, though. 

The older style Kelly dolls can also fit into the Paddywhack Lane clothing.

Here are a few size comparisons for you, too.  Paddywhack Lane Lindsay with a Mattel Kelly.

Lindsay with a mini Lalaloopsy.

Lindsay with a mini Blythe doll.

An added bonus is that many of the Paddywhack Lane accessories are compatible with some of my other mini dolls.  Here they are enjoying all of the new goodies:

Overall, I think I'd give these dolls a 4 out of 5.  They're super cute and their accessories are great.  I especially loved Lauren's set.  The gardening tools and pretty backdrop will be very useful for photo shoots or play in the future.  I can't give them a 5 out of 5 because of the difficult time I had getting them to stand, the fragility of their arm joints, and my concern that over time the hats are just not going to hold up to normal play.  I'm also wondering how long their costumes will hold up.  In my experience, the satiny type material that the costumes are made from has a hard time lasting through the rigors of playtime.  

I don't know that I'd spend the regular price on these dolls, but if you find them at a discount somewhere like Ross, Tuesday Morning, or TJ Maxx, I would definitely recommend giving them a try, especially if you collect mini Lalaloopsies or other small doll lines.

If you'd like more information about the Paddywhack Lane dolls, you can visit the website HERE.

More reviews to come, many of them pulled from the blog archives. ;)  Talk to all of you again soon! :)