Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas News and Kawaii Crush Cuddly Pet Collection "Hannah Banana Nom Nom" Review

I realized that I didn't really get any just plain Christmas pictures this year without dolls or people in them, so I won't be sharing pictures of my Christmas vacation. :}  I should have Emma's version of Christmas up on Tess and Maggie's blog later today.  

We had a wonderful time with our family.  It was great to all be together, especially since the girls and I have been sick so much lately and we haven't spent much time out of the house! :}  We visited, ate snacks (including Aunt V's traditional fudge and gingerbread), shopped, exchanged gifts, enjoyed the five adorable little girls (my three and my brother's two) and watched Duck Dynasty (a new Christmas tradition).  In the evenings, Mimi and I watched some Doctor Who with my parents (they're still on Season 6).  It was so fun to re-watch the early Matt Smith episodes and see how much my parents enjoyed them. :)  Oh, and on Thursday, Mom and Mimi sent Dad and I on a daddy/daughter date.  We saw "The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug" together.  More on that in a later post, but we had a wonderful time.  It's been a while since I've been able to spend some one-on-one time with my dad. :)

I actually didn't get too many doll-related gifts this year, but I did get some wonderful things.  The softest blanket known to mankind from my brother and sister-in-law, a new comforter from my parents, an AMAZING set of Sharpie markers in just about every color imaginable (cue the cool art projects!), and lots of other fun stuff. :)

We got home Friday, and yesterday I seized the opportunity (while Hubby was home) to do some after-Christmas sale shopping.  One of my favorite places to shop after Christmas is Target.  I love shopping there because they usually have some pretty serious toy clearances after Christmas, and they conveniently put everything in one aisle.  They also have some great sales on Christmas stuff (most of it was already down to 50% off).  The toys were down to 30% off.  There were Barbies, La Dee Das, and other doll-related items on sale.  The large "Goldie Luxe" Holiday Lalaloopsy was down to $24.99 from $50.  

One of the other things that was on a great sale was the "Kawaii Crush" line.  In fact, it looked like Target had really overstocked for the holiday season.  There were a TON of them, and they were all in the clearance section.  Apparently, they haven't sold really well.  

Now, I'll admit, I wasn't sure whether I liked these or not when they first came out.  I liked the idea of them, but I wasn't sure whether I liked them in reality.  However, when I saw that the individual dolls from the "Cuddly Pet Collection" were down to $2.98 a piece, I figured I would try them.  Especially since they still had "Hannah Banana Nom Nom", one of my favorites (I like the name). ;)  There were three other individual dolls there as well, so I picked up one for each of my girls (Christmas or birthday presents for 2014!). :)  Since I can't open those yet, I thought I'd review mine. :)

So here's Hannah Banana Nom Nom in her package.  Kawaii Crush is made by Spin Master, the same company that created the LIV dolls.  

Here's the back of the box.

This part of the package shows the other dolls available in the Cuddly Pet Collection.  My target only had the last four in the lineup...although now that I think about it, the one with the owl hat may have been there too.

The back of the package includes a little "bio" on Hannah.

A closer look at the packaging:
Everything about it screams "cute". ;)

It took me a while to get the packaging open (I probably chose the hardest way to do it), but once I got the plastic separated, the plastic piece holding Hannah and accessories in place came out easily.

Her bio was a separate piece, presumably so it can be kept.

Here's everything in the plastic holder...

And here Hannah is, free from her packaging.  She is just over 2.5 inches tall.  I was disappointed to discover that I couldn't get Hannah to stand up on her own because of the length and angle of her hair. 

The only way I could get her to "stand" was to prop her up against something, and even then, she tended to lean to one side because of the way her hair slopes.

After doing some pictures for another post and showing her to the girls, however, I discovered that she CAN stand on her own. :)

She does lean forward a little bit, but she can stand.

What I didn't realize was that their heads move as well as their hips, so when I repositioned her head a bit, she was able to stay up.

Her hair is made of a soft, flexible plastic, but it is still thick and firm enough that it doesn't move without assistance.

Her hat is made of the same flexible plastic and is designed to look like a knit hat.  It is removable.

Her shirt is painted on her body, but her skirt and monkey socks/boots are removable.  Unfortunately, my skirt is a bit stretched, so it doesn't stay in place very well.

When you remove the skirt, Hannah has a painted on one, so she's never undressed.

Here she is without her hat...

...and here she is without her hat, skirt, and boots.

A view of her hair from the back.

Some sort of identification code at the bottom of her hair.

The Kawaii Crush dolls have legs that move into a sitting position. 

The legs are attached to the hips with some sort of hinge.

Both legs are one solid piece that moves together, as shown in the following pictures:

 Unfortunately, because of their ultra-long hair they can't really sit...unless you find a really tall chair or stool that will allow their hair to hang over the back.

I was able to get Hannah to sit on this thermos top.

She also sat on this 18 inch doll cooler, but only when her feet were in the hole on top.

When I tried to have her sit on the edge, the angle of her hair made it impossible for her to stay there on her own...

...and she fell every time.

 I feel this is an unfortunate design issue.  I think there will be a lot of frustrated little girls playing with these dolls if they can't sit without finding the perfect seat (in Hannah's case, one with the perfect curve to accommodate the curve of her hair).  I'm thankful I at least figured out how to make Hannah stand, but that took a while for me to discover.  When a doll can't sit or stand, it becomes too much of an annoyance to play with.  And I should know.  I have three girls, and I've watched them play. ;)  I'm hoping that the dolls I got for them stand on their own easily.

My Hannah had a few discolored spots on her feet.  I found it interesting that they were pink when her shoes were blue.  Maybe it's from her hair.  

Hannah came with an extra little outfit, a fluffy little dress.

The dress is made of the same flexible, rubbery plastic that the hat and boots are made of.  It has a split in the back to allow for easy dressing.

Hannah also has a spare hat (this one is designed more like a baseball cap) to go with her extra outfit.

Here is her adorable pet monkey, which I think is one of my favorite things about the set.  The monkey wears a little hat that matches Hannah's monkey baseball cap.

A view from the back.

Just like Hannah herself, the monkey does not stand on her own unless she is leaning against something.  As cute as she is, I wish the company would have made her standing up straight instead of at an angle.  If they had, she would probably be able to stand unassisted.  Still, I've put up with Lalaloopsy pets that don't stand by themselves, so I suppose I can put up with this one too. ;)

So cute! :)

I thought it would be helpful to show Hannah with some of my other small dolls, giving you an idea of her size.  From left to right, we have a mini American Girl doll, a Chelsea doll (formerly known as Kelly), a Kelly doll, a mini Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll, a current Strawberry Shortcake doll, Hannah Banana, and a mini Lalaloopsy.

Hannah is closest in size to the Strawberry Shortcake and mini Lalaloopsy dolls.

As you all know by now, I always love finding mini dolls or toys that work as playthings for my 18 inch dolls.  The Kawaii Crush dolls and pets definitely pass the test, as Hayden is demonstrating in this picture.

So, final thoughts?  I think these dolls are really cute.  Their fun names, adorable pets, and cute, removable accessories will make them appealing to their audience.  Originally, when I couldn't get Hannah to sit or stand, I was pretty disappointed.  I've watched my daughters grow frustrated with dolls they can't get to stay standing.  For them, arranging and doing "set ups", as they call it ("Mommy, come see my set up!") is a major part of their play.  My original score for this particular doll was a 3 out of 5.  However, now that I discovered a way to make her stand, I'm raising the score to a 4 out of 5.  She's super cute, and at $2.98, I got her for a great price.  

Emily at the Toy Box Philosopher blog did an excellent, detailed review of one of the other dolls in the Cuddly Pet collection, and hers stood up on her own just fine (although she had similar sitting problems).  You can see her full review HERE.  

If you'd like to find out more about Kawaii Crush, you can visit their website HERE.  The site features webisodes (with an overdose of cuteness and techno video game style've been warned), ;) games, pictures of the different available products, and more.  It will be interesting to see how this line does. 

And if you're interested in getting some of these dolls for yourself at a great discounted price, you can visit your local Target, or shop for Kawaii Crush at HERE.  I'm especially partial to the PB & J Slumber Party Pack, which was not at my Target (if it had been, I would have been reviewing that, too). ;) 

Stay tuned for a review of "Jamie's Sunglass Shop", coming up next. :)


Nina said...

I love the Kawaii Crush line! I want the one with the penguin really badly! I don't like the design of these dolls though. But I can overlook that!:)

Gemma said...

I have seen these dolls before and think they are very cute.

I have always been unsure whether I should start collecting them or not but after reading your review I don't think I will.

I received some Lalaloopsys for Christmas so I think I'd rather spend my money on them.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Nina! :) The penguin one was one of the dolls there for just $2.98 at my Target, so you might stop by your local Target, just in case. :)

Gemma, I also prefer the mini Lalaloopsies for their quality. The Kawaii Crush have grown on me in an odd sort of way, though. ;) I don't think I would purchase them at their regular prices, but at a discount they're tempting. ;)

Emmaline Grace said...

Have you seen the Doctor Who Christmas special yet? I don't want to spoil it if you haven't, but it was very sad :(

beastsbelle said...

Lol...actually just sitting down to watch it now. My aunt warned me to have a lot of tissues handy. ;)

Kitty said...

Hi! I recently found your blog and I must say you are doing a very good job with everything... I follow several doll related blogs (Including Toy Box Philosopher... actually I think she was one of the first blogs I found...) and yours really stands out (Especially since we have very similar interests)! Thank you for all your hard work and time on your blog (dare I say blog(s)!)! ~~Kitty :)

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much, Kitty! :) And you're welcome, too. ;) It's great to hear from new readers. I've done everything I can to make this a fun, helpful place for doll lovers and collectors of all ages. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

I really love The Toy Box Philosopher blog. I only discovered it about a year or two ago, but she has so many helpful posts that I've really enjoyed. She's very fun to talk to as well. :)

Have a great day!

N said...

The idea behind the Kawaii Crush dolls is cute, but I feel that they've just got too many design flaws to make me interested in purchasing them. It's great to hear your thoughts on them, though.

Nina said...

Thanks for the tip!

beastsbelle said...

No problem! :)

beastsbelle said...

N, glad to help. :) I always like hearing as much as possible about a new line before deciding whether or not to add it to my collection. I figured I'd pass my thoughts along. ;)

Christmas Toys 2013 said...

Wow, such a cute of fun dolls! I wish I had that one this Christmas. Well anyways, thank you for sharing :)

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome! :)

Delilah said...

Did you notice how Hannah's hair differs from the box art and production images? I know it's pretty subtle but I really prefer the box art hair with less thick strands swooping out if that makes sense! :3

beastsbelle said...

I did notice the difference. There were differences in the production images on the other dolls as well.

Personally, I like the swoopy strands of the actual doll (although I can understand why you would prefer the stock photo), but she'd probably and stand better if her hair was a little calmer! ;)