After almost a week of waiting, my local Justice finally got some of the Ever After High dolls in. So far, they only have Madeline Hatter and Raven Queen, but since these two happen to be my favorites, it worked out just fine. :) As I mentioned before, my mom is the sponsor for this post...so thanks, Mom! :)
I'd like to start by mentioning that later on in this post, I will be reviewing Raven's articulation and will have her completely undressed. So as I always say, if you're offended by pictures of undressed dolls with developed figures, please do not read this post.
Now I'll admit that these are not the type of dolls I'm normally attracted to, and I realize that not everyone will like them. That's okay. I love the concept behind the dolls and the show. I'm not sure that I'll be 100% behind everything they do with it, but for now I'm enjoying the new experience of seeing a doll line at its very beginning. ;)
From the moment I first saw the webisodes, my favorite characters were Raven and Madeline. I love the idea of the daughter of the Evil Queen not wanting to be evil. Raven is a conflicted sweetheart who doesn't want to follow in her mother's footsteps, but everyone around her insists that she has no choice. (Sidenote from Beast'sbelle here: you ALWAYS have a choice to do the right thing.) ;) Madeline is just a fun, kooky character. I love the fact that she's the only one out of all of them who can hear the narrators. ;)
So without further ado, here are the pictures you've been waiting for:
Madeline Hatter and Raven Queen
A closer look at Maddie's box
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with what they did with the expressions on these dolls. They all look so serious. Again, it's that downward tilt of the front of the eyebrows (just like the newest Disney Store Belles). It almost makes them look a little snooty or something. The expression fits Raven (not because she's snooty but because she has a kind of a dry, defeated sense of humor...I don't know how else to explain it), but Madeline and Apple at least should have more cheerful, bubbly expressions, don't you think? I don't understand why they decided to paint all four dolls with the exact same expression. :(
Anyway, we'll save Madeline for the next post. She seems to be a favorite and has had the most online reviews so far, so I thought it would be fun to review Raven first. :)
Here's Raven in her box.
A closer look at her face.
One of the things that is so clever about the Ever After High packaging is that the boxes look like old storybooks. :)
The back of Raven's box (we'll look at this in more detail in a moment).
The other side of Raven's box, designed to look like pages.
As the box states on the back, there is a bookmark with part of Raven's story in it included.
You may need to click on these next few pictures to see them better. This top part explains the difference between the "Royals" and "Rebels" at the school. Basically, the "Royals" are the children of storybook heroes, guaranteed a happily ever after and perfectly content with things the way they are. The "Rebels" are the children of the villains or "less important" characters who are not guaranteed a happily ever after (usually the exact opposite is their choice).
A synopsis of Raven Queen's story. As you can see, sorcery and black magic are mentioned, so this may be too much for some of my readers. My view is usually that magic is a necessity for Fairy Tale stories, but I prefer it to not be a major focus. Time will tell which way the Ever After High tales choose to portray it.
A few facts about Raven.
Pictures of the other three dolls being released.
Artwork of Raven.
A few words about the Ever After High website.
These dolls were pretty heftily priced for play dolls. Justice does usually have a store-wide 40% off sale going, so that knocks a bit off of the price. Still, some of you might want to wait until the dolls are available in other stores for less.
Contents of the box.
The date and brand.
Here's a closer look at Raven's story bookmark, found at the top corner of her box.
One of the things I really appreciated about this doll was the way she was packaged. It was very easy to remove the outer see-through plastic part without damaging the box.
All off without a hitch!
I had heard from a YouTube reviewer that the back of the box made a great backdrop, so I wanted to keep it as nice as possible.
Raven...almost set free!
Raven's stand was located inside of the box. I was able to carefully cut the tape and open the top of the box without damaging it.
The stand comes in three pieces...
...and is very easy to assemble.
Raven's key brush.
The brush part. I will most likely not use this brush for her hair. I've found that the wire doll brushes I use for my 18" dolls work well for fashion dolls too and don't seem to be as hard on their hair.
Raven's bookmark easily slid out at the top...
...and the bottom. Do be careful removing this. One YouTube reviewer ended up ripping part of her story because of the way she removed the bookmark. :(
Here's the bookmark, free from the box.
The story folds out from behind the bookmark. I apologize ahead of time for the blurriness of this picture. Even if you click on it, I don't think you'll be able to read Raven's story. I'll try to get better pictures of it soon. :}
The second half of Raven's story.
The back of the story.
Here are the instructions for Raven, front...
Removing her from the box was much easier than I anticipated because she was mostly held in place by rubber bands. I would still recommend cutting them instead of trying to work them out, though, especially if you want to save the box.
Something that did NOT please me was the fact that she had about FIVE of those annoying little plastic thingees in her head. I never did get them cut all the way down...I was too worried that I would cut her hair.
And here she is, free from her box and in her stand!
Her spiky crown
A closer look at her outfit. That collar looks so uncomfortable! ;)
And here are her fishnet stockings and big clunky heels. Quite the look... :}
If I tried to walk in shoes like these I'd break my ankles.
Raven has a big, blingy bracelet/ring thing on one wrist.
Unfortunately, since the ring is attached to the bracelet and not her hand, it doesn't stay in place when her hands move.
A view from behind. Her hair is nice and soft and feels like it's nice quality. It has the tendency to look a bit flyaway, and I'm not sure how well it will hold up to rough play. I'd guess about the same as a typical Barbie's hair (especially since Ever After High dolls are made by Mattel as well).
A closer look at her hair.
She did have a bit of a bald patch, but a little careful rearranging of her hair made it much less noticeable.
A look at her cute little ears. She is obviously made to be able to wear earrings, but she didn't come with any.
Her head has a fun range of motion:
Her neck piece/collar thing is made of soft plastic and comes undone at the front, just behind the jewel.
Ah, much better. But gracious, what a long, scrawny neck she has!
Her belt is made of the same type of plastic material and comes undone in the back.
Her skirt (and her top, for that matter) both close with Velcro in the back. I was glad to see that the rough side of the Velcro is facing out, so it will be easier to keep it from snagging her stockings when changing her.
A look at her shoes from the front...
...and the sides. They appear to be made of leather and chains. Nice.
Okay, and not being a Monster High girl, this part completely creeped me out!!! The only way to remove her bracelet was to take off her hand!
I know that the dolls are made to have removable hands, but I honestly felt like I was going to break her hand off! I don't think I'll be using this feature much...
A look at all of her accessories.
Her top and (part of) her tights
Her belt, bracelet, and shoes
Her collar, belt, and purse
I'll now be doing a review of her articulation, so she will be undressed for the next few pictures.
Here's a look at her body and points of articulation. I've seen on other online reviews such as this one that she's slightly thicker in the waist, hips, and arms than a Monster High doll.
I love how her big toes are separate from the rest of her toes. :)
Some arm articulation. This is as high up as her shoulders will go when they're straight out.
This is as far to the side (while facing forward) that her shoulders will go.
This is as high as her arms will go.
This is as far as I could get her legs to spread.
She has very nice articulation in the knees.
I could get her to sit on her knees with very little difficulty.
Ick...and here we come to another part I had a hard time with. Her knee joints can turn all the way around. Ouch!! The nice thing about this is it allows for much more posability with her legs. You can make her toes point in, for example. It's just a little hard to watch the knee swivel all the way around. It makes my knees hurt!! :}
I had a whole lot of fun playing around with her posability. I especially enjoy the range of motion in her knees and wrists, and I love how expressive her hands are.
I'm very pleased with Raven overall. I'm thrilled with her posability. Her hair is soft and fun to play with, and her clothing and accessories appear to be well-made for a fashion doll. I don't know that they're worth the $36 original price, but with the 40% off discount, the price is a little more reasonable.
I personally think the styles are a little mature for really young girls. I don't know that I'd necessarily want my daughters to collect these dolls yet. I do appreciate that the necklines of the dresses are all nice and high, but I wish the skirts were longer and the heels were a little less outlandish. It would have been nice to see the dolls with slightly gentler looking faces as well. A lot of this is personal preference and style, of course, so it will be up to each of you to decide if this is a direction you want to go for your little ones.
What concerns me the most where kiddos are concerned is the difficulty I had getting Raven's shoes back on after I had removed them for the review. It was almost impossible getting them on with those stockings of her. I was sure I was either going to ruin her stockings or break her leg...or something! I've decided that my Raven will not be changing clothing or shoes again anytime soon. I can't see that being a viable option for a little girl...at least if other little ones out there are anything like my daughters. ;) So moms, be aware that your littlest collectors will probably need a bit of help dressing and undressing these dolls. I'm also a bit concerned about the fragility of the removable hands. Honestly, I'd probably not even tell my daughters that the hands came off. ;)
The story is fun but does mention magic and spells. At this point it's not overly invasive (it doesn't have Raven chanting spells or anything), but I can't guarantee the series won't go that way.
So overall, I'd give Raven a 4 out of 5.
In my next post, I'll do a review of Madeline Hatter, Raven's best friend. :)
I thought you might like to see a couple of pictures though, just to tide you over. ;) As you can see, Madeline is a bit shorter than Raven, keeping consistent with the webisode character designs.
I figured you might also enjoy seeing a size comparison between the Ever After High dolls and some of my other dolls.
Rapunzel and Belle are not sure what to make of these newcomers. ;)
Here's a lineup of a Moxie Teenz, a LIV doll, Raven Queen, Madeline Hatter, and my Disney Store Belle doll.
Moxie Teenz Tristen and Raven
LIV Daniela and Raven
Disney Belle and Raven
Here's Raven next to my Pullip doll.
And just for fun, here she is with one of my daughters' Strawberry Shortcake dolls (Plum Pudding, to be precise).
And with a little mini Blythe doll.
I vaguely remembered someone comparing the Ever After High dolls to Lady Lovely Locks, even pointing out that Raven had similar coloring to Duchess Raven Waves. So just for fun, I took a picture of Raven with one of my Lady Lovely Locks dolls. :)
I also thought that the Littlest Pet Shop dogs or cats might be compatible with EAH dolls.
What do you think? ;)
I thought you might enjoy getting to read Raven's story that came attached to her bookmark, so here it is!
Overall, I like the story...it will be interesting to see where they take it...
Well, that's all for Raven Queen. Hope you enjoyed the review. Stay tuned for my review of Madeline Hatter, coming soon.
Also, if you have any questions or want to see a picture of something I missed, be sure to let me know in the comments. :)
For more information on Ever After High, you can click on the following links: