Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Hearts For Hearts Girls Surjan and Nyesha Review :D

Any of you who have been readers for a while will know that one of my favorite current doll lines out there is the Hearts for Hearts Girls line from Playmates Toys.  The Hearts for Hearts Girls are dolls representing cultures all over the world.  They are approximately 14 inches tall and have sweet faces and soft, beautiful hair.  (To see my numerous other Hearts for Hearts Girls posts, be sure to check out my Doll and Toy Reviews Page, and look under the "Hearts For Hearts Girls Doll Reviews" category.)

Like any H4H fan, I was thrilled to hear from the Toy Fair reports this past February that two new dolls were in the works: Nyesha from New York and Surjan from Nepal.  I wasn't expecting to see them this year, though, especially after the delays with Mosi and Shola's releases.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got a call from my mom today, saying that Nyesha and Surjan were in our local Target!!  As I mentioned in the last post, things are a bit tight on the financial end for us right now.  My mom was a complete sweetheart, though, and bought both dolls for me so I could do a review for all of you. :D  Thanks, Mom!!  You're the best!

Here are the lovely new gals in their boxes. :)

We'll take a look at Surjan first.  You'll notice that Surjan and Nyesha both are in the new packaging without the big cardboard flap with the doll's photo on the front.

Some box details from the front:

Top of the box

Interestingly enough, on both this box and Nyesha's, Surjan does not make an appearance on the side that shows "all" of the dolls.

The back of the box.

A closer look at Surjan's box photo...

...and a little snippet of her story.  

The bottom of the box.

Surjan's packaging is just like the other Hearts for Hearts dolls I've reviewed, with a cardboard box that slides inside the outer box, and a clear plastic insert to which the doll is attached.

A clearer look at Surjan's pretty face.

The back of the inner box has just two simple twist ties (the soft, "environmentally friendly" type that don't poke you). ;)

Also like the other dolls, the inside of the box shows her location on a map.

Here she is in just the plastic insert.

She is held in place with more twist ties and some thread on her hair.

Surjan is a stunning doll with a lot of great details.  Her outfit is pretty much identical to the photo on her box.  I was pleased to see the similarities after the huge costume differences between Mosi's stock photos and Mosi herself. 

I love the fact that Surjan's earrings are actual metal loops... well as her nose ring.

Her necklace is plastic and shaped to fit the curve of her neck and shoulders.

It opens and closes in the back just like Rahel's necklaces.

Here's a closer look at Surjan's pretty outfit.

I love all of the little details, such as the actual embroidery around the hem.

The bodice

Different layers of material on the sleeves.

Her shoes are pink plastic sandals.

I decided to take the clear bands off so they wouldn't leave marks on her feet.  They do tend to fall of pretty easily without the bands, though.

Here is Surjan from the back, with the first close look at her hair.  I was a bit disappointed by Surjan's hair.  The Hearts for Hearts Girls' hair has always been one of my favorite things about them.  They usually have the most silky, beautiful hair that holds up to lots of play.  This hair had a different texture to it and was not nearly as smooth.  I get that some hair is more textured than others, but this seemed to be more of a quality issue than a matter of racial accuracy, 

Surjan's outfit has Velcro closure in the back.

Let's take a minute to check out a few of her accessories.

The little cardboard name circle that in earlier dolls used to have an online code for the website (which is no more)... has trivia on the back instead.

Like all the other H4H dolls, Surjan comes with a little booklet, telling her story.

A few sample pages: 
I have not had the chance to read the story yet.  To be honest, I buy these dolls more for themselves than for the stories.

A girl-sized charm bracelet, another item traditionally included with these dolls.

Surjan's comb, which I will NOT be using. (Plastic combs destroy doll hair!)

Here's a comparison between Surjan's stock photo and Surjan herself.

I wasn't able to tell from the stock photos online, but Surjan seems to share Tipi's face mold, although her lips look slightly fuller.  What do you think?

Her eyes are the exact same shade as Lauryce's (and Shola's, too).

Let's move on to Nyesha now! 

Nyesha, ready to be opened. :)

Box details: 

Top of the box

See?  Still no Surjan!

The back of the box.

Nyesha's stock photo/box photo. 

Bottom of the box 

I won't go into as many details as I unpack Nyesha since her packaging is exactly the same as Surjan's. ;)

Nyesha's map location.

Free from the box!  Surjan has a pretty face and a cute little outfit.  There are a few mild changes to her outfit, mostly shades of color and such.  Overall, though, her outfit is very comparable to her prototype doll.

Her earrings are blue "jewel" studs.

A closer look at her shirt, skirt, sweater, and tie combo.

Her shirt, tie, and sweater.  The sweater and shirt are actually all one piece, but are sewn to look like they are separate. 

Her sweater and tie are both attached to her shirt front with threads.

Her skirt is attached from front to back with a thread.  In this picture, you can also see closer detail of her skirt.  Oh, and both dolls came with white undies, which you can also see here.

I love her sparkly silver tennies! :) 

Here she is from the back.  Check out that wild hair!!

Her sweater/shirt has Velcro closure in the back, as does her skirt.  

I have to say, I was even more disappointed with Nyesha's hair than with Surjan's.  The curls are cute, but unruly, and feel much dryer and more prone to tangles than earlier versions of Hearts for Hearts Girls hair.  Rahel is the only other doll that had super curly hair, but hers held up amazingly well to Little Gal's crazy toddler play.  Nyesha's does not feel like the same quality, and I can only imagine the tangled mess it will become in the hands of a less-than-careful little one.   

I was also a bit bummed because her hair looks quite different from her stock photo.  More on that later, though.

This particular doll had some pretty thin rooting in some areas, too.  I could find huge, bald patches like this by just moving a bit of hair aside.  By contrast, Surjan's hair seemed nicely rooted without these obvious thin spots.

I feel I should mention, however, that in my own experience, Hearts for Hearts Girls hair can vary quite a bit between dolls.  I experienced this when I added Mosi to my collection.  The Mosi I ordered from had really bad hair.  It was thin and almost greasy-looking, and her bangs were chopped really short in front.  Later, when I was at my local Target, I saw another Mosi with beautiful, soft bangs, so I picked her up.  The difference was like night and day.  You can see the comparison pictures of the two Mosis HERE.  

All that to say, it's possible there are other Nyeshas out there with thicker, better hair.  I would definitely recommend buying them in person so you can choose the one with the best looking hair. 

She's still a very sweet little doll, in spite of her hair issues. :)

Here are some of her accessories:

Nyesha's name circle...

...with trivia on the back.

The charm bracelet in her package.

Her pink plastic comb.

Her storybook pamphlet.

A sample of the pages inside.

Here you can see a look at the differences between the stock photo and the doll herself.  The main difference that instantly stands out is the hair.  Look at the beautiful, full, poofy curls on the stock photo!  Even the prototype doll at the Toy Fair had a similar look.  I wish they'd been able to capture the same style in the doll herself.  I also noticed that she does not have the little orange hair clip in the picture.

One of the things that became quite noticeable about Nyesha and Surjan as I reviewed them was the incredible softness of their plastic, both in their heads and limbs.

With little effort, I could squeeze Nyesha's leg almost completely in on itself.

By contrast, the earlier H4H dolls have much firmer plastic.  I don't think this affects the quality of the dolls, and it didn't seem to affect their ability to stand or anything.  Just an interesting change between releases. ;)

I determined that Nyesha shares Consuelo's face mold.

She is almost identical in coloring to Nahji.

My two newest girls.

I love both dolls for different reasons, but I think Surjan is my slight favorite. :)

So, it's time for the ratings!!

Pleasing Qualities:
   Surjan: 4.5 out of 5
   Nyesha: 4 out of 5
      Both of these dolls have the same sweet faces and fun outfits of the earlier releases.  Their unique coloring and cultural backgrounds make for great diversity in a doll collection, and also provide great conversation starters for families.  I am disappointed in their hair this time around.  As I mentioned in the post, the hair on this doll line has always been one of my favorite things about them, so it's sad to see that the hair is not quite up to par with the earlier dolls.  That's why I gave each doll a deduction.  I gave Nyesha a slightly larger deduction because her hair seems to be worse in quality than Surjan's.  Still, I love both and am glad to have them in my collection. :)  Also, I feel I should mention that I am basing my ratings on the dolls I have on hand.  If I were to find dolls with better quality hair (comparable to some of the older releases), they would both get perfect scores.

   Surjan: 4 out of 5
   Nyesha: 4 out of 5
      The posability of these dolls has not changed at all.  While they stand pretty well and are fairly sturdy because of their simple articulation, I'd love to see a bit more flexibility, especially in their sitting position.  They have to sit with their legs splayed out to the sides, and they don't tend to sit very well without leaning back on their hands.  This makes them particularly hard to display or store in anything other than a standing position.    

   Surjan: 5 out of 5
   Nyesha: 4.5 out of 5
      Like I've mentioned before, these dolls make GREAT starter dolls for little ones who are not quite ready for a full 18 inch doll.  They're very lightweight and their smaller size makes them easy for small hands to play with them and carry them around.  My three girls have spent countless hours with their Hearts for Hearts Girls and love playing with them.
      I gave Nyesha a slight deduction just because I think her hair is going to be difficult to deal with.  Even though Surjan's hair has some issues, too, I think it will be easier to brush out and work with since it has only a slight curl.  Still, if you're looking for a doll for a younger little one, I'd definitely recommend going for one of the Hearts for Hearts Girls with straighter hair, like Consuelo or Lillian. 
      On another note, the boxes do say ages 6 and up, and I would really recommend sticking with this for Surjan because of her metal nose ring and earrings.
      And again, these scores are based on these particular dolls, but even if the hair was better, I think I'd keep the scores the same.  Even if Nyesha's hair was better quality, it would still be difficult to maintain because of the extra curl, making her slightly less playable than Surjan.

   Surjan: 5 out of 5
   Nyesha: 5 out of 5
      As always, the other great thing about these dolls is their very affordable price.  The dolls retail for around $25 each, which is much more compatible with a tighter budget than some of the higher end play dolls. :)

I know it's been a while since I've shared reviews from my daughters.  I had hoped to do so with this post, but since they're already in bed, I figured I'd get up as soon as possible.  I'm hoping to be able to incorporate more reviews from the girls in the coming weeks. :)  

The Hearts For Hearts Girls will always be some of my very favorite dolls.  It's so nice to have dolls with little girl figures and a variety of colors and cultures represented.  I know we'll enjoy many more hours of playtime with these gals in the years to come. :)

Will any of you be adding Surjan or Nyesha to your collection? 

For more information on the Hearts for Hearts Girls, you can check out their Facebook page HERE or the Playmates Toys website HERE


Nicole said...

Wow, Nyesha is really cute. Not sure about Surjan though. It is quite peculiar that she's not on the box. (Consuelo is beautiful BTW)

Anonymous said...

Nice to see your review on these. I got Surjan myself a few weeks ago, and I just love her. I actually think her hair is really nice - it feels very smooth and silky to me. All my other H4H dolls are packed up right now (didn't want them getting dusty during re-roofing) so I can't compare her at the moment, but I will do so eventually. I wonder if it's just an individual doll difference. One thing I noticed though with both my Surjan and Tipi dolls is that their right eye socket is strange - you can see the white part of their eye above and below their iris. It's especially bad on Tipi. Anyway, I'm hoping to get Nyesha later. It's too bad about her hair - it looks so beautiful in the photos!

GeckoLass said...

Wow many thanks to your Mom. We are looking for the dolls but nothing in our stores -the sum total of H4H dolls seen is 2 in our stores. Sigh. I adore Nyesha but wish her hair was curlier- even tho I know how hard it is to care for long curly hair! Surjan is cute and her dtess is adorable.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks for the comments, girls. :)

Sailingintheark, it's entirely possible that I just got a Surjan with bad hair. As I mentioned in the post, I had an experience with two different Mosi dolls that had completely different hair quality.

I'm sorry to hear about your Tipi and Surjan eye issues. Mine seem to be just fine, but I'll have to take a closer look.

It is a bummer about Nyesha's hair. She's really a cutie!

Megan Rose, I passed your thanks along. ;)

It can take a while for stores to get them in stock...I hope your stores get them soon! They can also be found in Toys R Us, so if you have a local store, you might check there as well.

Curly hair is a lot tougher to maintain, but it sure can look cute! ;)

Kirren said...

I was able to find the two newest girls at Target while shopping today, and I picked up Nyesha. The hair on mine does seem to be better, and doesn't seem to be a thinly rooted as yours.

Meritre said...

Surjan's dress is so pretty!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your excellent reviews of all of the dolls. Your comments have been pretty spot on since I started reading your blog. I have several of the other dolls and just picked up Surjan today. Mine does have soft silky, hair. But I tend to agree with you, when I compare it to my earlier dolls, the quality of the hair just isn't quite the same. But she is really cute and definitely an improvement in accuracy of look from the model to the mass production unlike Mosi and even more so Shola. Keep up the great writing!

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

You're welcome, Marian. I'm so glad you've found my reviews helpful. That's what I'm here for! ;)

Thanks for letting me know about your Surjan. I saw a couple more in my local Target the other day, and at least one looked like she had better hair than mine. It really can vary from doll to doll. But yes, I'm thrilled they worked harder on the outfits this time around. :)

Have a great week! :)

Kathleen said...

Hey, I know you're really busy, and I'm sure you don't have the time to do this right now, but next time you have a chance is it possible that you could compare Shola and Surjan? We're debating on getting Surjan, but since right now we only own 3, and one is Shola, we'de love to see pictures of them side by side.

a.wyatt said...

I too was disappointed by Nyeshas rooting and lack of similarity to prototype hair .I plan on rod setting it with tiny curlers and heat setting with water.
Looking for a Najhi currently.I am also disappointed by the cheap molds.I believe the longer you keep expanding foam in the mold is the harder the plastic becomes so I wonder why they are so hollow now,makes me sad they aren't of same quality.Tipi and Surjan are both missing off the pack and that sucks.
If they release new girls in 16,I won't be getting them.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Kathleen! I'm so sorry that I didn't get to this yet. It will probably have to wait until after Mount Hermon, and you might have to remind me again. (I have to go get Shola from my aunt's house.) Both girls are lovely, but do have their similarities.

Hi a.wyatt. That's a great idea for Nyesha's hair! I'm sure it would look great that way. :)

The Hearts For Hearts Girls line is actually being discontinued, so there won't be any new girls in 2016. I'm disappointed to see this line go. It was one of my favorites, even though there were some issues along the way.

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Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Joanne! Sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

I got the sad news about the Hearts For Hearts Girls from an online friend who asked the Hearts For Hearts Girls representative. I believe it may have even been at the Toy Fair. So sadly, no more Hearts For Hearts Girls. :(

They had some problems with production, such as some of the doll eyes turning purple or blue, so I'm wondering if that contributed to their decision to stop production. It's really a shame. They are such lovely dolls.

Have a great day!

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Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hello again, Joanne.

The only way to get Hearts For Hearts Girls now is through secondary markets like eBay or other places online.

It sounds like you have great ideas for Ruta. If ANY other Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls were released, I would buy them. ;)

As for the eye color issue, so far we've had Rahel, Zelia, and Consuelo's eyes turn purple and Dell's turn a bright blue. :( I'm sorry that your Tipi and Lilian have the same problem. Sadly, this was a pretty common issue with the Hearts For Hearts line. I'm wondering if this was one of the things that led to the line being discontinued. I know for a while, they were replacing all of the defective dolls, so that would mean a huge loss for the company.

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Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hello again, Joanne. Sorry it took me a while to respond. There was no official announcement about the H4H discontinuation. In my experience, that kind of seems to be the way things go. A lot of these lines just kind of fade out of existence without a lot of explanation. If my memory serves me correctly, one of my fellow online toy bloggers talked to Playmates Toys at one of the Toy Fairs (perhaps last year's?) and they confirmed that the Hearts For Hearts Girls were no longer being made. Like I said, though, it's been a while and I can't remember exactly. They are definitely not being sold by Playmates anymore, though.

I'm not sure what other countries would have been represented. I would have loved to see Japan, China, or Korea represented. Canada, another South American Country, more European or African countries would have been cool, too. I guess we'll never know.

Surjan's earrings do not appear to be removable. They didn't come out when I pulled on them, and I didn't want to tug harder and damage her. So as far as I know, they are supposed to stay in permanently.