Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Project MC2 McKeyla McAllister Doll Review

Goodness, these lapses of silence between posts are getting ridiculous! Thank you for your patience, everyone. At long last, here is my long-overdue review of my Project MC2  McKeyla McAllister doll.
 
I haven't done this warning in a bit, but this review will include pictures of an undressed doll with a developed figure later on in the post. If this offends you in any way, you might want to skip it. :)  

This is a post that has been in the works since early August. I first heard about the Project MC2 dolls this past summer when I came across some stock photos someone had shared on Flickr. I loved the dolls' faces and was excited to discover they were produced by MGA Entertainment, the same company who made the Moxie Teenz dolls I loved so much (and also Lalaloopsies, on a completely unrelated side note). ;) McKeyla was my favorite, partially because her eyes were almost the same color as mine, and partially because I thought she might make a great younger sister for my Moxie Teenz Tristen doll. 

I found McKeyla at my local Target in August. I got her home, deboxed her, and started taking a ton of pictures for my review post. Then, before I was finished, my bloggy friend Emily over at The Toy Box Philosopher did her own wonderful review of McKeyla, which you can read HERE. This tends to happen to the two of us every once in a while since we have such similar interests. ;) 

Be sure to check out her post. It's well-written and full of more scientific knowledge than I could ever hope to include in anything I write. ;) (I'll admit it...I pretty much got this doll because I thought she was cute, not for the scientific aspect.) :}

I decided to wait on my post for a while. Then school started, and my Skinny Jeans course at the gym started, and the next thing I knew it was November and I still hadn't gotten the post up...until now.
So, now that I've gotten all of that exposition out of the way, let's get on to the review! :)

The Project MC2 dolls all share a scientific, "studious is cool" theme. Each of the four characters have a different set of interests, and each doll comes with a simple science project for kids to try.

Here's McKeyla, still in her package.

Her accessories (more on those in a bit).

Box details from the front:
As you can see, she comes with a DIY lava lamp. 

The top and sides of the box, with lots of school and science-themed decorations. You'll also notice the doll line's motto, "Smart is the new Cool":
Each of the doll's boxes have elements from the periodic table that form little messages, such as oxygen magnesium for "OMG". I really don't care for this phrase as I don't like using God's name that way, even in abbreviated form. And now I'm really hoping that these actually are elements (sorry, Mr. P, high school chemistry was a long time ago). ;) 

Again, if you're looking for a more scientific angle on this review, check out Emily's. I read hers and instantly realized my scientific inferiority. ;) (P.S. I'll probably refer to Emily a bit in this review because we shared some similar thoughts on some things. However, I purposely didn't reread her whole review before posting this so my thoughts would be fresh and my own.) :)

The back of the box is quite busy.

First, we have McKeyla's profile picture, featuring a photo of the actress who played her in the corresponding Netflix miniseries (more on that later in the post). We also have her catch phrase, "I'm smart, get over it!"

On a side note, I wish toy companies would feel they could encourage girls' interest in using their brains without encouraging them to be rude about it. :(

McKeyla's bio from the back of the box. It's a little trendy for me, but like I said, I pretty much bought the doll because I liked her face, not because I fell in love with her predetermined personality or couldn't wait to try out her lava lamp experiment. ;)

Speaking of which, the back of the box also shares simple step-by-step instructions for making the lava lamp.

At the bottom of the box is a picture of all four dolls. As is often the case with stock photos, the dolls themselves look fairly different from these photos. And even in their actual doll form, none of them look all that much like the actresses who portray them, aside from Adrienne. Camryn is the most different in doll form. I thought she was Hispanic until I saw the picture of the actress portraying her, who is of Asian descent. I wish they could have gotten Camryn's doll to look a little more like her. That being said, all four dolls are stunning in person. They have such sweet, expressive faces, especially McKeyla and Bryden.

The Project MC2 logo. 

The back of the box had this punch out section that I thought might help me open the package.

It didn't end up being all that helpful.

However, I was able to get the clear plastic cover off fairly easily. 

She's so pretty! :D

But oh my goodness...this doll was hard to get out of the packaging! As I struggled with plastic tie after plastic tie threaded through her hair to numerous pieces of clear plastic casing, I flashed back to opening my Moxie Teenz and how long it took me to get them out of the packages. Ugh. Not fun. 

She had a band around one wrist...

...clear plastic around the other...

...and one section of hair sewn to her jacket. 

After a while, I finally freed her from all of the thread, plastic, and more, and she was out of the box! :)

The first thing I noticed, which caused a bit of concern, was the amount of hair that was coming out of her scalp. :( 

Never a good sign.

I also noticed that the one strand of hair that had been attached to her clothing was stiff and crunchy with gel.

And then I noticed this, which caused even more alarm. Her right arm was unattached at the elbow! 

The forearm had a little peg at the elbow...

...and her upper arm had a hole for the peg to fit into.

So thankfully, I was able to fix her arm fairly easily. I'm not sure if these dolls are designed to come apart, or if mine just had a faulty joint. 

McKeyla has a lovely face that is wonderfully photogenic. I love the unique color of her eyes. It's close to mine, although mine have a bit more gray added to the green. :)

McKeyla had a hard time standing up on her own. Part of this was her hair and part of it was her design. I'll go into that a little more in a bit.

McKeyla from the back. Her hair is super long. Unfortunately, it's not the greatest quality. I didn't get a chance to play with it much, but I have no doubt it would turn to a tangled mess pretty quickly.

Let's take a look at McKeyla from head to toe. :)

On her head is a fuzzy black fedora. Oddly enough, she appears to be wearing it sideways. Unless that's a new trend I don't know about. ;) Maybe we're supposed to be wearing them sideways now. Or, if she's a hipster, maybe wearing her fedora the usual way is too mainstream. ;)

Another look at the fedora with slightly different lighting. You can see part of one of the plastic ties that attaches the fedora to her head. (Why, MGA, why?)

The bottom of the fedora is not flocked like the top.

We have to pause a moment and get another good look at this gal's sweet face. I love her pretty eyes, "real" lashes, and the light spattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks.

Her outfit consists of a cute owl shirt, a denim and leather-look jacket, and a pair of extremely short overall shorts.

She has an MCring to go with the theme. 

The ring comes out, leaving a rather messy hole in her hand. 

The ring, like most fashion doll rings, is just a square with a peg at the back that fits into the hole.

McKeyla also has light gray patterned leggings and red boots. 

The leggings end at the ankles. And just FYI, it's super hard to get the boots back on over these things once you take them off! :(

Her boots are super cute. I forgot to get a picture here, but in the earlier picture that shows McKeyla from the back, you can see that MGA put slits in the back of the boots to make them easier to get on and off.

Here's the outfit without the jacket.

The owl shirt is pretty adorable, although the owl looks slightly perturbed. ;) Emily's doll's version of this shirt had the glasses in a rather inconvenient spot, but as you can see, this doll's shirt has better placement.

 The overall straps are very thin and stiff, so they stay in place with little problem.


Her overalls are also extremely short, and the hem of the shorts likes to get caught in her odd hip joints, which is a bit of a pain.

McKeyla comes with instructions and several accessories.

Here are the instruction pages, which include more details on the lava lamp experiment: 

McKeyla also comes with a rubbery-plastic backpack, a plastic composition book, and a plastic tablet.

The backpack is cute and has nice paint detail.

It has straps at the back that fit nicely over McKeyla's shoulders...


...like so. ;)

A view from the back.

The backpack opens and has a post and hole to keep it closed when needed.

The composition book from the front...

...and the back.

It hinges open and has an empty slot for the tablet to fit inside (this is part of the plot in the corresponding Netflix miniseries).

McKeyla's tablet.

It fits perfectly inside.

I thought it was a shame, however, that the notebook would not fit inside the backpack. You'd think it would have been designed to fit. When I first opened everything, I assumed the whole reason the backpack could open was so the notebook could fit inside. Apparently not.

McKeyla comes with this blue test tube comb...which I would NOT recommend using on her hair. ;)

She also came with a plastic stand.

It has the MC2 theme on the base.

Since the stand itself is just a plastic rod, it's not the best doll stand I've ever used, but it works better than I expected it to.

As you can see from the previous pictures, I decided to remove McKeyla's hat. (I changed her pants, too, but I'll share more on that in a bit.) Removing her hat was not an easy task. It's been a while since I deboxed her, so I'm having a hard time remembering what I did. The plastic ties were so tight that I couldn't figure out a way to cut them off without messing up the hat. I'm thinking that I may have pulled the hat off without cutting the ties, but that seems unlikely. Anyway, the point is, I managed to get the hat off.

The plastic ties from the fedora were still in her head, and it was super hard to cut them out without cutting her hair, too. I managed to pull it off, though. I am really looking forward to the day when doll companies decide to stop putting these things in doll heads.

She's even prettier without her hat. :)

A closer look at her eyes and freckles from the front...

...and the side.

Now that they're exposed, here's a look at her cute, understated ears.

Her head had less mobility than I expected. It turned back and forth.

It could tilt from side...

...to side, but no farther than this. I couldn't get her to look up or down at all. I found it interesting that Emily's version of McKeyla had a much better range of motion in her head, so I'm wondering if this varies from doll to doll.

One of the things that surprised me the most about this doll and was also a pretty big disappointment was the cheap feel of her plastic. She is all hard plastic, firm enough to feel solid instead of hollow, but light enough to feel poorly made. I hate to even say that, but when I held her, she felt like a doll that was not sturdy and would not last. 

As I did the minimal posing required for this post, her joints would loosen, as pictured above. I was able to correct this, but the fact that it was happening at all concerned me. 

Still, I love her sculpt. The hands are nice... 

...and the feet, too.

Her knees have an interesting articulation.

A view from the back. 

While they can bend nicely for a sitting position...

...she is nowhere near able to sit on her knees. This is as close as I could get her to it.

She also is not able to sit up very straight, but this is mostly because of her shorts and the way they interfere with her hip joints.

When I undressed her, she was able to sit a little straighter.

She does fairly nice sideways splits in clothing. (Pardon the change of outfit...more explanation of that later.) :)

I decided to move on and do my usual pictures of different poses.

And that's when the trouble with her elbow began again. Throughout this photo shoot, almost every time I moved her right arm, the forearm fell off. It got very frustrating.

Still, I pushed through and got some great pictures:
Seriously, this doll cannot take a bad photo. ;)

I decided I'd go ahead and undress McKeyla and get a better look at her articulation. Her sculpt isn't bad appearance-wise, although like most fashion dolls out there, she's pretty skinny.

Because of her light plastic body and the weight of her hair, she tips over really easily.

I was able to get her to stand with a bit of support from the cardboard backdrop behind her.

McKeyla from the back.

Without her clothing, she has a bit more flexibility. 

She can do sideways splits.

Front to back splits, not so much. ;) It's basically the design of her hip joint and the way the her bottom curves around her hip that prevents her leg from going back.

And yes, I put her in a princess dress, 'cause that's how I roll. ;) I love making my dolls a little more feminine and delicate. This is a Disney Store Rapunzel dress that really brings out the green in her eyes. She could almost pass as Melody (Ariel's daughter) in this.

The dress is a bit gappy in the bodice, but it works.


I decided to try her in a high-necked Barbie dress, too. 

Again, it's a bit gappy at the top, but it's doable. Especially with the higher neckline.


Next, I thought I'd try out some LIV clothes on her. I love how this outfit looks.

Especially with the bandana.


I decided to go back to her original shirt but keep the longer, more modest bottoms for the rest of the review. :)

When I first saw these dolls, I imagined them to be about the same size as Barbie dolls. But they're actually a bit shorter. I apologize that I don't have the actual height of the doll. (Again, check Emily's post because I'm sure she included that.) However, I did take just a few comparison photos with some of my other fashion dolls.

Here's McKeyla next to one of my LIV Daniela dolls.

And here she is next to my Moxie Teenz Tristen. I was really hoping these two would make good sisters. However, seeing them together changed my mind. They're just the wrong scale for each other. Height-wise, McKeyla would have to be about eight or nine years old. 

But McKeyla's face is much more mature than that of an eight or nine-year-old. I did find the differences and similarities in these two faces interesting.

Here the two are with my Moxie Teenz Gavin doll. Tristen and Gavin are sister and brother in my doll universe. :)

So, as much as I love all three dolls, I decided that I wouldn't have McKeyla join my Moxie Teenz family. It's just not quite the right fit. ;)

"Need a hand with this review?"

And then her arm came off yet again, reminding me of more pressing problems than conflicting scales. :(

I popped her forearm in again and then noticed the look of her elbow joint. It didn't look like it was going to hold out forever. The plastic looked like it might split.

I noticed similar issues in her wrist joints:
Her left wrist had a split that was starting to affect her wrist mobility. 

That's when I made the tough decision to return her to the store. It was a hard choice, but I just couldn't see spending $25 on a doll that was literally falling apart after one day of ownership. Yes, I did take her out of the box and pose her, but I was not rough with her...certainly not as rough as a child would be playing with her. 

It would be one thing if it was just a matter of popping her limbs back in place, which would be annoying but doable. I just didn't like the look of those joints, and I figured it would be better to return her before it was too late.

Because I decided to return her, I can't demonstrate the lava lamp or check on how tall she is or anything else. I was super sad to part with this doll but it seemed like the smart thing to do. :( 

Before I move on to my ratings, I wanted to briefly mention that the dolls have a corresponding three-part Netflix miniseries, also called Project MC2. I'm not going to spend too much time on the miniseries, but I will share just a few thoughts. 

I think the idea behind the miniseries is good. Getting girls interested in science and technology is a great idea. However, I hope I don't sound like a total snob, but I personally found the show itself pretty painful to watch. For one thing, the acting was horribly stilted and unnatural, full of overacting, awkward pauses, and odd facial expressions. I actually found myself cringing during a lot of it.

For another thing, and I'm going to totally date myself here, but I really don't get the point of talking in hashtags...or any of the other "cool" cutesy talk used in this series. And honestly, I'm not interested in having my girls walking around saying "hashtag amazeblogs", or "totes adorbs". Maybe I'm just getting old and unable to relate to tweens. I don't think my oldest or any of her friends talk that way, though, and I'd rather not have them start.

Okay, so those last two complaints are a bit on the petty side. On a more serious note, I had a problem with the portrayal of the male characters in this series. I've noticed a disappointing trend in today's entertainment. In order to create strong female characters, the screenwriters seem to feel the need to dumb down the male characters, especially in family shows. This one was no different. The prince character in this series was a spoiled, selfish young man with no thought of anyone but himself. And yes, he changes in the end, but still. I get that we need to get rid of the cardboard cutout prince charming portrayal, but do we always have to swing to the other side of the spectrum? Does every man have to be either evil, stupid, or annoying? In so many of today's sitcoms, those seem to be the choices we get for our male characters. Couldn't there just be a normal guy who is nice overall with an odd hobby or a weird quirk on the side?

I also was not impressed with Cam's dad at one specific point in the story. After Cam's dad shared concerns with Cam and Bryden over weird activity going on at his place of employment, Bryden (the techie of the group) offered to hack into the company's security system to see if they could find anything suspicious. Cam's dad assured her that she couldn't get into the system, but she hacked it in a matter of seconds (slightly unrealistic, but we'll ignore that for now). His response? "Man, you're good at that!" Then they proceeded to look over the footage.

Um, does anyone else see a problem with this? He did tell the girls he was going to talk to security at the end of the scene, but don't you think he'd have some sort of repercussions from allowing a minor to hack into his company's security footage? Just sayin'. 

It's been a long time since I watched the whole thing, and I only rewatched the first episode for this review, so that's all I'm going to say about the show at this point. It had some cute parts, but overall I didn't find it all that appealing. I decided it was not something my girls needed to watch.  

I realize a lot of you may think I'm being overly picky about this whole thing. I mean, it is a kids' show, after all. But the way I see it, if there are movies out there like Inside Out, Tangled, Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, or TV shows like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with great storytelling and awesome acting that I can truly enjoy with my daughters, why waste my time and their eyeballs on stuff that is less-than-stellar? There are only so many hours in the day. I want to use them well. 

As far as getting my girls interested in science, they have some pretty awesome science teachers at school that are making science fun. And they don't even speak in hashtags. ;)

All right, ranting over. Honest. :}

P.S. You are perfectly free to disagree with my ideas on this. Each of us have to pick our parenting battles in our own homes. ;)


All righty, it's time to take an overall look at my poor little McKeyla.

Pleasing Qualities: 4 out of 5  
In spite of all of her issues, McKeyla has some great features, especially the detail in her face. Her outfit is pretty cute, too, aside from the too-short shorts that get stuck in her hip joints. ;) I'm docking a point for her poorly-designed body and low-quality hair.

Posability: 3 out of 5  
Sadly, I have to go pretty low on this particular doll for her posability. In fairness to the doll line, if mine was simply defective and I was able to review one with an arm that stayed in place, I'd give her a 4 out of 5, because she does have some nice posability in her arms.

Playability: 3 out of 5  
According to Amazon.com, the recommended age for these dolls is ages six through twelve. To be honest, I would not purchase this doll for my seven-year-old. These dolls would be much too fragile with their cheaper plastic and dainty joints for her to play with without breaking. Even my nine and eleven-year-olds, who are more careful with their things, would be frustrated by the quality of this doll. Her hair would also not lend itself to rigorous playtime.

Price: 3 out of 5
I hate doing all of these threes, but I honestly can't see spending $25 on a doll that is so poorly made. I think at this point I'd rather spend the $14 on one of the simpler dolls with straight arms and legs, although I'd miss the extra articulation of the more expensive dolls. Perhaps the less articulated dolls would be sturdier, though.

Bonus Category (up to 5 points available): 3  
I'm starting something new with my review posts, a bonus category. Because here's the thing. Even with my low ratings and all the issues I had with this doll, I loved her. This was probably the hardest doll I've ever had to give up. I completely fell in love with her beautiful face and delicate features. I loved how photogenic she was. And to be honest, even though I realize I run the risk of facing some of the same issues, I've been tempted to buy another one. I'd debox her, redress her, and leave her on display somewhere so her arms would hopefully stay in place. It's tempting, but the fact that I'm running out of space and trying to be wise with my doll budget makes me hesitate to give in. While I struggle over the decision, I'm giving her 3 bonus points for capturing my heart in such a way.

I think that the Project MC2 line has such great potential, and I would love to see MGA redesign the bodies to make them stronger and more durable. Better quality hair would be wonderful, too. These dolls are so lovely, and the idea of promoting science, technology, engineering, art, and math through a doll line is brilliant. However, at this time, much to my regret, I can't fully recommend them.

But I still want to get another McKeyla. Silly me. :} 

16 comments:

Karina B said...

Aw, I love her face!! She's gorgeous! Too bad she wasn't very good quality, cause she is beautiful! It's great to see another review from you, by the way!

clarascraftcorner14 said...

I really love her face! Amazing eyes. :) Happy to read another one of your detailed reviews!

Aileen said...

I don't think it's a problem if both you and ToyboxPhilosopher review the same doll. I read both blogs and enjoy having different opinions on the same doll. That being said I do love this doll's face and eyes but agree that the body makes it not worth the money.

MyLittleMegara said...

Yay, new review! I am very sorry about the problems you had with McKeyla. She seems to have so much potential, but just doesn't really work in the end. :(

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Karina! I love her face, too. I even thought of trying to do a body swap, but the hole for her neck is so small, I'm not sure what kind of doll body would work for it. :(

Hi clarascraftcorner! :) She does have the most amazing eyes, doesn't she? :) Glad you enjoyed the review. More to come! :D

Thanks, Aileen. I've had other readers tell me the same thing. I have a lot of respect for Emily and her reviews. It's actually rather humorous how often this has happened to us. ;) Thankfully, she's really sweet about us doing similar reviews. I try to give her a heads up when I'm reviewing the same doll or toy.

I hate having to do somewhat negative reviews, but I knew that as a parent I would want to know about the quality of this doll, especially if I were getting it as a Christmas present.

Hi, MyLittleMegara! :) McKeyla does have a lot of potential. Like I said in the review, I'm really hoping that MGA will work on improving the quality of this line. With a few tweaks to the design and the materials, they could be wonderful dolls.

All4 Barbie said...

Hello from Spain: I really like your review. I like her eyes. She is fabulous . keep in touch

Vanessa said...

What a shame the joints were so bad. I really wanted to support this line. I may just get one of the non-articulated dolls. I recently watched the show for the first time. You are right about the acting, but I enjoyed the show for what I think they were trying to accomplish, which is get girls interested in science. As a former science geek myself, I was so enthralled with all the science stuff. My 12 yr old male cousin, who is a computer whiz, was able to hack into a system in no time at all, so it is possible. This show had me wanting to get back into my electronics and create. I just wanted to give the positive side of the show. I got my electrical engineer degree in 1990 and had so many people trying to discourage me along the way. Shows like this, which aren't perfect, can encourage girls who think they may be interested in science.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I use all kinds of slang with my daughters, Hannah, including totes adorbs, which I don't think is a hashtag thing. Of course, I used all kinds of slang in my teen years, including "Gross me out," and "Gag me with a spoon." (Guess how old I am!) My daughters also are 16 and almost 20, so much older than yours.

Mr. BTEG and I are encouraging our younger daughter, the Dancer, to pursue a STEM degree at college, because she's done well in all her math and science classes so far. If she didn't have an interest in those subjects, though, we wouldn't have a problem with that either.

Mr. BTEG has been in IT for about twenty-five years. I just talked to him, and he said that 1. in order to hack into an employer's private files, he'd need to educate himself with some things about the system 2. it could take from hours to years and 3. you would very likely end up doing time if caught.
These new doll lines for girls (and shows) are just so shallow. I personally think they're more insulting to girls than otherwise; they're trying to make science "cool" and "fun," like girls won't be interested otherwise. Blah.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks, All4 Barbie. :) Glad you enjoyed it. She does have gorgeous eyes, doesn't she? :)

Hi Vanessa! Thanks for stopping by. It was so hard to give this girl up. I'm actually tempted to try one of the non-articulated dolls, even though I'm not as into dolls with minimal articulation, just to see if it would hold up better.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the show. I can see how it could be appealing to someone interested in engineering. And as I said, I do appreciate what they were trying to do with the show. I just personally was too distracted by the way in which they did it. I never had an interest in science or engineering growing up, so that probably didn't help my interest level, either.

Lol, as a kid, I wasn't into mixing education with my entertainment. I hated Sesame Street because I could tell they were trying to teach me math when I wasn't at school. ;) That, and it bugged me that the puppets' mouths weren't forming the words correctly. Yeah, I was a weird child. ;)

Of course, as a mom, I have more appreciation for educational entertainment. We LOVED playing "Blue's Clues" for the girls and seeing how much they learned.

I'm sure there are a lot of girls out there who will enjoy this show. To be honest, my girls would probably enjoy a lot of it. I'm pretty picky about what I let them watch. Is this the worst show ever? No. It's just one I decided we'd pass this time. Still, I'm glad you were able to enjoy it, and hopefully it will fulfill its goal of getting girls interested in science, engineering, and technology.

Thanks again for sharing your perspective. :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Barb! Good to hear from you. :)

I guess I made that paragraph confusing. I was specifically talking about hashtags in speech and then I moved on to slang without differentiating between them. Sorry about that.

I suppose complaining about "totes adorbs" is perhaps a bit harsh. Lol, I actually think I may have used "gag me with a spoon" myself. So, I stand corrected. Girls do use slang. However, as you stated, my girls (especially my two youngest) are young enough that they haven't really picked up a lot of slang yet. They are also at an age where they like to quote movies and movie characters, especially my youngest. I am thrilled by the fact that my girls read a lot and have a good vocabulary. While some slang isn't horrible, I would rather let it come naturally instead of having it introduced in such large amounts at this point in time. I don't think it's "bad" to use slang or speak in hashtags, I just don't find it all that appealing, especially in large doses.

I think it's great that you and your husband are encouraging your girls to pursue their interests without pressuring them into something they don't enjoy. I feel it's so important to let our kiddos discover their interests and talents and not feel like they have to be interested in certain things. Middle Gal loves science and even asked her grandpa to help her make a pulley system one day while visiting at his house. My other two don't mind science, but they're not all that interested in it. And that's okay. I love the fact that they are so different. That's what makes life interesting. :)

Thanks for the clarification on the hacking. I'm not a big techie, but it did seem a little too easy for Bryden to hack into a space station-type system with such ease. And I know hacking is not supposed to be a good thing, especially if you're a minor.

I guess that's what bothered me the most about that scene. As a mom, when I watch something to see if I want my girls watching it, I look at a lot of things. Attitudes of the characters, the overall message of the story, and the choices characters make and the consequences they face are all very important to me. Part of this is that I know my girls will be picking up on these things, even if they don't realize it at the time. Having an adult treat hacking as no big deal, and even complementing Bryden's ability on something potentially illegal is not a message I appreciate. Even if it was done for a good cause. I know that's only a small part of the series, and that I could use it as a discussion starter with my girls. But there were other little things that added up throughout the show that just didn't make it worth it.

As I said in the post, I think that MGA had a great idea and a worthy goal. Getting girls interested in these sorts of things is wonderful. But like you, I do wonder if perhaps trying a little too hard to make science "cool" and "fun" is going to backfire. I think it will be great for girls like Middle Gal, who would love having a doll AND a fun science experiment. But honestly, I could see girls like Little Gal (and myself) skipping the science part and focusing on the doll. Which makes it all the more disappointing when the doll has quality issues. It will be interesting to see how the line does and whether it accomplishes its goals. Like I said, I would love to see MGA tweak a few things and improve the line. It has a lot of potential.

A doll line along the same theme that I'd like to try is the "Goldie Blox" line, also reviewed by Emily at The Toy Box Philosopher. In those sets, the scientific part is more of the focus, and the dolls are cute too. I was reminded of them the other day when I saw them at my local Walmart. Maybe I'll have to try those, too. :)

Thanks again for stopping by and joining the discussion.

Deehellseven said...

Wow I've never seen this doll before (my country has such a limited collection of toys ugh). I really love her style of clothes! Especially that jacket because I used to have one like that; denim with leather sleeves. Her eyebrow game is strong xD and I'm quite amazed she comes with eyes that aren't painted on as well as painted on lashes + falsies. Reminds me someone of BJDs.

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
I really appreciate your review because I had been considering getting one of these because they remind me of Liv dolls (which I love so much!) but I definitely will have to wait until they go on sale. Like you said...the $25 isn't worth it and I'm not interested in the Science Project part of it so I would probably just toss that aside, lol.
I totally agree with you about the sassiness of the "I'm smart, get over it" comment...too b*tchy and I wouldn't want my girls talking to me or any other adult like that!
It's a strange culture our kids are growing up in and I don't even like to think of my girls with smart phones or anything else they will most likely come up with by the time they are teenagers. I'm sure our parents felt the same way about us.
Our dolls and toys from the 80s just had such a magical feel to them (MLP, Moondancers, Wuzzles, Care Bears, etc..) I just don't see it so much for our kids generation. My girls haven't shown any interest in this doll at all when we go through the isle and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy any for them. It might be worth it to see if one of the budget MC2 dolls would fit on an old Liv body (..ORRRR the new "Made to Move" Barbie bodies...have you seen them?...eeeeee!!) They do have such gorgeous faces though and that is what is drawing them to me still.
Great review!

MoxieFun said...

I love MGA:) and she reminds me Moxie Teenz a lot but also BFC Ink teen dolls. Your Gavin is amazing, in Poland he is "out of range".

Magnus said...

Wow,when she was in the box, she looked awesome, especially her eyes. After the review though,with her loose joints,that wardrobe malfunction with her shorts(why are they that short anyway? I don't know a thing about modesty but even I know thats waaaay too short) and her hair,it''s a good thing I never saw her in stores in my area. I am glad you still showed her good sides.Thanks for giving a wonderful review!

and ooh have you seen the leaked photos of hasbros disney princess dolls?

heres Ariel,Snow White,Belle,Tiana and Aurora
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TuONZERfNRo/VjkYSHww1sI/AAAAAAAADqY/eiY58hJv474/s1600/disney-hasbro-dolls-mu%25C3%25B1ecas-snow-white-blancanieves-ariel-mermaid-sirenita-tiana-aurora-belle-bella-sleeping-beauty-princess-princesses-princesas-princesa-mu%25C3%25B1eca.jpg


and heres Jasmine Ariel,Cinderella,Rapunzel,Mulan,Pocahontas and Merida
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AHVDtu4GAaw/VjSy6DU-87I/AAAAAAAADqI/Mwk43FUTDqs/s1600/disney-hasbro-dolls-doll-mu%25C3%25B1ecas-princess-princesses-ariel-little-mermaid-jasmine-yasmin-cinderella-cenicienta-pocahontas-mulan-rapunzel-tangled-merida-2016-new-princesses-princesas-bloh.jpg

I find it weird that rapunzel,snow white,merida and ariel have oversized heads. But you must see belle! face-wise shes the most accurate belle doll ever! and hooray formulan and pocahontas'new wardrobes!

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Deehellseven! I do like McKeyla's jacket. Lol, it's funny you mentioned her eyebrows. I've never plucked my eyebrows, so I love it when dolls have thick eyebrows like mine. ;) Thicker eyebrows seem to be coming back in style, which is convenient for me. ;)

Her eyes are lovely, and she does remind me a big of a BJD. I've wondered if her head would fit on a BJD body. That's not in my budget at this time, but it would be nice to know for the future. :)

Hi Farrah Lily! I'm glad you found this review helpful. I hate it when there are more negatives than positives in my reviews, but I knew that I'd be super disappointed as a mom if I bought one of these for one of my daughters for Christmas and it came apart the first day she played with it.

I'm with you, though. If they go on sale, I'll definitely snag one. ;)

It is a rather odd culture, isn't it? There's so much entitlement and "girl power" to the extreme. It amazes me how many kids my youngest daughter's age already have smart phones and all that. But like you said, I'm sure our parents had similar concerns.

Like you, I loved the toys from the 80s and 90s that we grew up with. All of the fluffy, pastel dolls...or bright neon. ;) My girls love my childhood toys as much as I do. But we've also found some great current toys, too, as you know from reading this blog. ;) The toys from my childhood will always hold a special place in my heart, though. :)

Oh my goodness, I am SO excited for the Made to Move Barbies! :D I've been so disappointed with Mattel's lack of doll articulation. I just had the chance to read your Made to Move review and am now even MORE excited! :D I hope that Mattel makes more of the Made to Move dolls. It would be so wonderful if they used all of the wonderful new Fashionista faces on those bodies. :D

Hi MoxieFun! :) I hadn't thought of that before, but there is some BFC Ink in there too, isn't there? (Another short-lived doll line I enjoyed.) :)

I happened to find Gavin just as he was starting to disappear from the shelves. I'm so glad I did, as he's not available here anymore, either. He's one of my favorite boy dolls. I just wish I could find him some more clothing.

Hi Mangus! You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed the review.

I always try to enjoy the positives of a doll line even when I have to point out some of the issues. These dolls do have such gorgeous faces, and with a few changes they could be incredible. :)

I have seen the Hasbro photos. I want to wait to make a full opinion until I see the real thing. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of articulation and the over-sized heads of the princesses in these photos. It will be interesting to see if the final versions are the same...

Thanks for stopping by! :)

StrangePuppy said...

What a great and concise review! I came looking because I was convinced that someone had just stolen the Liv dolls face! I'm really happy to find that I'm not the only grown woman to be obsessed with these dolls! Next to them Barbie looks pathetic to me. Cheers for all the work you've done! Pam