Monday, December 30, 2013

Kawaii Crush "Jamie's Sunglass Shop" Review

When I went after-Christmas shopping at Target, I also picked up two of the larger Kawaii Crush sets, basically because they were only $6.98 instead of $10, and I thought they were really cute.  Target had "Jamie's Sunglass Shop" and "Mandy's Candy Shop".  I wasn't sure what my plans were for them, since there were only two sets and I have three girls, but at that price I figured I'd just keep them on hand for birthday party gifts or something (we get invited to quite a few throughout the school year).  Today we'll take a look at "Jamie's Sunglass Shop".

Here's the package from the front...

...and the back.

Jamie's full name is "Jamie Framie Pop".

Here's her bio from the back.

And a few details about the product. 

This package was much easier to open than Hannah Banana's.  The cardboard at the back comes off...

...and the front plastic lifts off easily.

Here is everything out of the package.   The set includes a mannequin head, a shop display, a cash register, a counter, five pairs of sunglasses, a big pink credit card (or bill of some kind), Jamie, and her removable headband.

One of the first things I noticed about the shop display was that it differed slightly from the package.  You can see that when the display is closed, there is a mirror in the front.

When it is opened, there is a heart with a face.

However, on the back of the package, the mirror is on the inside, so when the shop is open, the mirror is facing out.

When the shop is closed, the heart (minus a face on the package) is facing out.  I wish they would have stuck with this original design, because it just makes sense.  If customers were there, they would want to be able to try on the glasses and see themselves, and Jamie would want to keep the mirror out of the way of the sunglass display so others could still shop.  Also, having the non-mirror side out when the shop is "closed" gives a better idea of the shop actually being closed.  I'm probably way over-thinking this, but hey, it's what I do. ;)   

So on my playset, when the shop is closed (notice the cute closed-eyed sunglasses that come up over the top?), it looks like this.

Here's what it looks like when the shop is open.  I actually removed the little heart piece in front to try to turn it around, but then I realized that with the hinge only on one side, there was no way to change it.  It's probably going to bother me every time I look at it. :}

Okay, moving on from my strange, nit-picky obsessions. ;)  Here is the little plastic cash register.  It is all one piece and does not open or close.  I love the fact that there are little dollar signs in the eyeballs. ;)

The counter has a removable lid... you can use it to store the extra sunglasses when playtime is over.

Let's move on to Jamie herself.  I was thrilled to discover that Jamie could stand on her own.  I think she has a sweet little face and fun curls in the front of her hair.

A view from the back.

Here's a closer look at her headband with the over-sized heart.

As I mentioned before, it is removable, and rests on her head.  It stays on pretty well.

My Jamie has a little smudge on the top of her head.

A closer look at her outfit.  I think her skirt is cute.

Jamie's shoes.

Just like Hannah, Jamie's skirt and shoes are removable.  She does not have an extra outfit or a pet.

Her shirt, skirt, and socks are painted on.

Jamie is also hinged at the hips like Hannah.  Unfortunately, she cannot sit on her own at all because of those big, corkscrew curls in her hair.  They make it impossible for her to stay in a sitting position. 

Now we come to the sunglasses of the sunglass shop...and here's where we run into more problems.  Because of the tight fit of the sunglasses and the hair right at the sides of Jamie's face, it is next to impossible to get the sunglasses to stay on correctly:

This pair shifted just before I took the picture.

This pair I managed to get on, but they are pretty off-centered.

Same with this pair here.

I think this pair actually fit the best because the frames were a little wider, but they're still off.

I thought I'd try a pair on Hannah to see if it made a difference, but I couldn't even get them to go on.  Hannah's hair was even more in the way than Jamie's.

This is the little mannequin head that came with the set.

I did manage to get this pair of glasses on her, but it was a struggle.

This is, unfortunately, a big strike against this set.  If the whole theme is a "sunglass shop", and the sunglasses don't fit or stay on correctly, then the whole idea is kind of useless.  It was difficult for me as an adult to get the sunglasses on.  There's no way my younger two girls (ages 7 and 5) would be able to get them on.  I think even my 9 year old would struggle with them.  Another major concern is that because of the angle of the glasses, it would be very natural for a child to scrape the ear pieces of the glasses across the face to get the glasses to pop on.  I can't imagine the eye paint would hold up to that forever. 

Here is Jamie, all ready to open up the shop for the day.

The sunglasses do look really cute on the display shelves.

The cash register and the mannequin head fit nicely on the counter.

Hannah has decided to buy this pair, even though they don't fit her.  She already strikes me as kind of hyper and random. ;)

I had to chuckle when I saw how huge this credit card was next to the dolls. ;)

Here are Hannah and Jamie together.  Hannah is rather distracted by Jamie's cute headband. ;)

I really wanted to give this set a glowing review.  I was so excited that Jamie stood up on her own (without me having to reposition her head), and I loved all of the cute accessories for her shop.  But aside from the very minor problem of the turned around mirror, I just can't overlook the issue with the ill-fitting sunglasses.  I'm actually glad I opened this set instead of giving it as a gift.  It most likely would have been very frustrating to whatever little girl received it. 

I think the idea of this set was a cute one, but it just wasn't executed in the best way.  If the theme of the set is a sunglass shop, the sunglasses just have to fit for it to be a success.

I was also a bit disappointed by the fact that Jamie cannot sit at all, even though I was happy that she was able to stand on her own.  I almost wonder if the Kawaii Crush dolls would be better as non-movable dolls?  If they didn't have the ability to move into a sitting position, it wouldn't be frustrating to the kiddos that they can't actually sit.  Or perhaps their hair could be made of a more flexible plastic that would move so they could sit.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.  Jamie and her set get a 3 out of 5.  She is cute, and I love her shop accessories, but the sunglasses and her inability to sit are things I can't ignore. 

Even with all of these difficulties, the set is cute and has enough usable pieces that I don't regret I bought it.  It would be easy enough to find something else to put on the display shelves.  Again, the discounted price helped things, too.  Had I spent the full $10 on this, I might have been tempted to return it.

Have any of you tried the Kawaii Crush sets?  What do you think of them?


Nina said...

Personally, I don't like this set. Mandy's Candy Shop is cuter in my opinion. Still hoping to find that penguin set!

beastsbelle said...

I know, now I'm really tempted to open Mandy's Candy Shop and compare the quality of those accessories. :}

Charlotte said...

That mirror thing is a bit annoying. If I were you, I'd draw a new face onto a pink piece of paper, then glue it to the mirror side, and glue some mirror paper to the other side, so the customers can look at themselves trying the sunglasses on.

I was going to buy a Kawaii Crush (the purple panda) but after reading your Hannah Banana & Emily's Katie Cat reviews, I'm happy I didn't fork out £10 for one!

Ava Rose Milberger said...

I think the little figures are cute, but the names are just...groan to me. "Katie Cat Meow Meow" is not so bad, because if you take away the Meows, it's just a cute nickname, same with Hannah Banana. (Lol, my puppy's name is Hannah, and my folks call her Hannah Banana. )

I find that it's overly cute-ified. Too man smiles and anime faces.

beastsbelle said...

That's a great idea, Charlotte. Maybe I'll have to try it. :)

Yes, while I think these are cute, I definitely wouldn't pay full price for them, just in case. ;)

beastsbelle said...

Ava Rose, I had the same reaction initially. "Sunny Bunny Hop Hop", "Tammy Lamby Lu Lu"...yeah, some of the names are pretty over the top. ;) What's interesting to me is how the names really appeal to my girls. They think they're adorable names! So I guess at least some of the target market is impressed. ;)

Xan said...

Snap! I was hoping this set would be good, I was thinking of buying some of these dolls because my target has them all on sale. (the toys were in a basket on the clearance shelf) But I think they will be more of an annoyance than a fun toy, I think I'll just stick to littlest pet shop animals.

beastsbelle said...

I was too, Xan. :( I was very disappointed by the defective sunglasses.

I will say that I did end up opening "Mandy's Candy Shop", the other set this size, and it was much better. It was also priced at $6.98. I'm planning on doing a review Friday. I'll also be adding some more thoughts on the Kawaii Crush line from my daughters. They saw me reviewing the products and fell in love. They had some spending money from Christmas, and they all bought them. They've been happy as clams playing with them ever since. :} But more on that on Friday. ;)