Friday, September 26, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Adventure Collection

Strawberry Shortcake has been on my mind a lot since my recent Strawberry Shortcake week posts.  I really ended up liking my Bridge Direct Strawberry a lot (I've even gotten kind of used to her smell...and it's not nearly as strong now).  When I heard about the exclusive Toys R Us set, it was something I really wanted to add to my collection.

I normally would hesitate to spend $40 on a set of five small dolls, but considering that each doll is between $8 and $10 individually (depending on where you purchase them), and that it was my birthday and I had guilt-free money to spend, I made an exception. ;)

Here's the set in the box.  It includes Orange Blossom, Cherry Jam, Strawberry Shortcake, Lemon Meringue, and Raspberry Torte.

The back of the box.

A closer look at some of the details:

I love how the top of the box looks like a strawberry. ;)

Details from the front: 

The insert from the box slides out...

...and the dolls are held in place by tape and twist ties.

Once you loose the twist ties, you can lift this clear plastic piece out and separate the dolls.

Here they all are!  Such cuties.  When I first saw this set, I wasn't sure whether I'd rather hold out for a set of dolls in their original outfits.  Their play outfits kinda grew on me, though. ;)

Orange Blossom is by far my very favorite doll from this set.  This is her only Bridge Direct release in this size so far, so I'm thrilled to have her.

Back view.  Her hair is very long and thick, making it difficult for her to stand unassisted.

I love her adorable outfit with the polka-dotted shirt and little shorts.

Her shoes are really cute, too.  Little orange Mary Janes with orange decals on the sides. 

Her arms move out as well as back and forth, just like my earlier SSC from The Bridge Direct.  All of the articulation on these dolls is the same as my first Bridge Direct doll.  (For that reason, I won't really be going into articulation on the dolls this time around.  If you want a more detailed review on all of that, read my previous review HERE.)

Orange's sweet face.

She had a little bit of gunk on her face from whatever product they put in her hair...

...but it came off easily with a Lysol wipe.  That is something I should note, though.  While all of the dolls have nice, soft hair in the back, they all have extremely crunchy bangs.

Next we have Cherry Jam.  She's a cutie, too, though she's never been one of my favorite characters.

Back view.

Random side view that I didn't include with any of the other dolls. :} 

Her shirt has large cherries on it, and she has striped shorts.  The shorts have a tendency to not want to stay up around her bottom when you put her in a sitting position. :}

I love her little sneakers!

Cherry's face up close.

Her hair had a few loose strands that were pretty much impossible to fix without taking out her entire ponytail.  I might do that at a later date. 

Here's Strawberry Shortcake in her sweet little play outfit.

Back view.  Just like Orange, she has long, thick hair that makes her topple over unless she's sitting or leaning against something. 

A closer look at her strawberry-themed shirt and matching shorts.

Such adorableness! :)  I didn't capture this on camera (except in the back view pics of Cherry Jam), but both Strawberry and Cherry's sneakers have slits in the back, making their shoes very easy to remove and put back on. :)

Strawberry's sweet face.

Here's Lemon Meringue, my second favorite from this set.  Her outfit, her hair...everything about her is so cute.

Back view, with a great shot of her hairstyle.

I love the bright stripes and lemon art on her shirt.

Her shoes from the side...

...and the front. :) 

My Lemon Meringue has a tilted head.  These dolls can only look side to side (not up and down or tilted), so it doesn't affect her head articulation.  I actually think in this case it adds to her personality, so I don't mind it.  

And here's Raspberry Torte.  She's been one of my very favorite characters since the Kenner days for her scent alone.  And while I don't find this Raspberry's scent quite up to par with the original, it's not horrible.  In fact, after a few days out of the box, I can barely smell her at all.  

Back view of Raspberry.

Her shirt has a raspberry surrounded by strawberries on it.  When I first saw this set, I thought that she was wearing a one-piece dress.  The shirt and skirt are separate, though.

Her shoes are like Orange Blossom's, but in pink and raspberry. 

Raspberry reminds me of my original SSC from The Bridge Direct with her very short-looking neck.  I had a reader point out that her own SSC doll had a longer neck, and I definitely see some variety even between the dolls in this set.  Just be aware as you choose your own dolls to look carefully at them before purchase if these things matter to you.

Just like my other SSC, these dolls have molded toes in their feet.  Since they don't have striped tights, I think my girls like their feet better. ;)

Cherry Jam's foot (on the right) appears to have some faint staining from her shoe, so be aware that may be a minor issue with these dolls. 

I thought you might like to see a comparison between my original SSC from The Bridge Direct and my new one.  I think both are sweet in their own way, and as you can see, they are both unique enough to not seem too similar for one collection. 

Back view.  The newest SSC's hair is much longer and not as shiny.

I also thought you might like to see comparisons between the Hasbro dolls of the same size.  Granted, it's not a full comparison since these dolls are not in their original outfits, but it still gives you an idea of the differences.

The Bridge Direct SSC and Hasbro SSC.  

TBD Lemon and Hasbro Lemon.

TBD Orange and Hasbro Orange.  I really love both of these ones; Orange was one of my favorites from the Hasbro releases, too.  I just love her design and coloring! :D 

I think Raspberry Torte is the one who has changed the most between releases.  I do think my newest Raspberry is awfully cute, but I have to admit that I prefer the less bright coloring of my Hasbro Raspberry's hair.  What do you think?

I'm sorry I didn't include a Cherry Jam comparison, but I don't currently have a Hasbro Cherry Jam. 

One of the things my girls and I love about the new hand molds is that you can make the dolls look like they're holding hands. :)

Pleasing Qualities: 4 out of 5
   I'm really thrilled with this set.  The dolls are fun, bright, and cheerful with sweet expressions and colorful outfits to mix and match.  Small details like their slightly dual-toned eye color and their adorable clothing add to their appeal.  Just looking at them makes me smile.  The crunchy bangs don't really bother me since the rest of their hair is product-free, and I understand that they use the product to make the characters as accurate as possible. 

There is one minor issue which made me go ahead and dock one point.  It comes down to the scent once again.  While Strawberry's scent is still a bit strong and not as pleasing as the original SSC scent used in other years, it doesn't bother me as much as it did at first.  The thing is, Raspberry Torte has such a faint scent I find myself wondering if she's even scented at all.  After two days out of the box, I can't smell any sort of scent on Orange Blossom or Lemon Meringue at all.  Cherry has a light scent that's not bad...a bit soapish, perhaps, but not terrible.  And while no scent is better than an unpleasant scent, part of the draw for these dolls is their fun smells.  Having "scented" dolls with hardly any scent is rather a disappointment.  

So, to sum up, I'm docking a point because I'd love to see some improvement in the scent department.  Best case scenario, Hasbro would share their scent secrets with The Bridge Direct. ;)  The box does have scent holes at least, so any of you interested in this set can smell the dolls first and see what you think. ;)  

Other than the scent issue, I have no other complaints, and I'm very happy with these dolls. :)

Posability: 5 out of 5
   I'm sticking with my original conclusion on this part of the review.  These dolls are a bit more posable than past SSC dolls, and SSC has never been known for being incredibly articulated, so I feel they deserve a 5 out of 5.  In the future, it would be great to see some added articulation to the legs, such as hip joints with similar articulation to the current shoulder joints, giving the dolls just a bit more movement in their legs.

Playability: 5 out of 5
   These dolls are a great size for little hands, are fairly easy to dress and undress, and have sweet, cheerful faces with bright colors.  They're a great option for playtime.  It's also refreshing to have another option for parents who don't want their children playing with dolls that have developed figures.

Price: 4 out of 5
  This one took me a while to score.  On the one hand, spending $40 at once on a set of dolls like this seems like a lot.  However, like I stated before, when you think about the fact that the dolls are around $8 to $10 each, you're either saving $10 or spending no more than you would buying each doll on its own.  Add to that the fact that Orange Blossom is not available individually and Raspberry Torte is only available as a Sweet Beats doll for $12, and it all works out pretty well.  The pricing is consistent with the rest of the line.  You also have a lot of mix and match options with the five pairs of shoes, five tops, and five bottoms on these dolls.  If your kids are anything like mine, that's half the fun. ;)  That being said, I think the price of each individual doll is perhaps a little high to begin with, so I'm giving it a 4 out of 5.  

Thoughts From Oldest Gal

Middle Gal and Little Gal are lice-free, but since Oldest Gal and I are still working on getting rid of ours, Middle Gal and Little Gal are staying at my mom's house right now so they can go to school. :}  Because of this, you will only hear thoughts from Oldest Gal this time around.  However, I can say that both of my younger girls LOVE this set and would love to have it for themselves. ;)

Here's what Oldest Gal (age 10) thought (typed by her):

The new Strawberry Shortcake dolls are pretty cute. Bridge Direct does a good job with the faces. Some of the outfits are truly adorable.   

Strawberry Shortcake's hair is just luscious. I can't believe how beautiful it is (like I mentioned in Mommy's other Bridge Direct Strawberry Shortcake post)! Her smell is breathtaking. Literally. As in, kind of smelly. Her outfit is just "meh." Her shoes are pretty cute, though.

Lemon Meringue is one of my favorites. Her hairstyle is really kid-like, if you know what I mean. It's something that a kid would wear in real life. Her shirt is also really "kiddish." ;)  I can't get over how cute her shoes are!  

 Raspberry Torte's hair is such a vibrant pink! Her face is okay, though. Her outfit is "meh"; so are her shoes. She's the only one in the group with a skirt. I'm not sure how she feels about that.

Cherry Jam's hair is pretty cute. Her shoes are pretty cute. Her face is pretty cute. But I love her high tops! They're so AWESOME!  

Orange  Blossom is my other favorite doll. Her hair is, like, thrilling! :D Her outfit is "cuteriffic!" Her shoes, however, are "meh." Overall, she is my favorite doll in the whole set, regardless of her shoes.

So, overall, I would probably give this thing a 4 1/2.  

Berry nice to talk to you! ;D