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Tag Archives: Maru and Friends

Fashion from The Dolls House

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The Dolls House Fashions - Group Shot

As I’ve mentioned previously, as well as the range of dolls, one of the best parts about The Dolls House company is the cool range of outfits available, which fit other 18″ dolls rather nicely. I treated myself to a parcel of new clothes from there the other week and couldn’t resist getting the gang dressed up and showing off their new togs.

From left to right above we see Bree, Katy, Helene, Grace, Maru and Alice, though there was some swapping of clothes later on, quite  a free for all amongst the girls in fact.

So without further ado, lets introduce the various outfits – imagine the girls have done their “little turn on the catwalk” and are just posing to show off the fashions to their best advantage..

Bree in a red silk kimono

i love this red silk kimono, the way the light shimmers off the fabric with its golden thread and other colours shot through is so effective, it comes with matching little red slippes but that was a bit too much red for me so Breee is barefoot..

Portait of Bree in a kimono

Despite the really long hair on Bree, it goes into an updo beautifully too.

Katy in a flowey top with shorts

Barefeet seems the order of the day – this lace and flowers shorts set is just so cute, and fits Katy (Gotz Hannah) extremely well.

Grace & Katy in green and denim

Grace has already shown off this lovely green dress but she didn’t want to be left out – so summery, the both of them, last chance to wear light fabrics before autumn sets in and its time to pull out the woollies.

Maru in a grey dress with leggings

This tunic is actually a dress, but Maru is so tall it was a bit too short on her, works great as a long top over leggings, though, I think this is one of my favourites, and its good to have clothes that can be versatile, with a bit of thought.

Closer look at Maru's grey top

Its the attention to detail on the outfits that really makes them, the layering on the grey ruffle dress is simple and effective and the rose details at the neck lift it and accentuate the red contrast without being over the top.

Alice in Lilac

Now this delicate lilac dress should be familar, I posted about it previously with Helene modelling, looks great on any doll, no question! And yet again a barefoot theme.

Grace whispering with Katy

“Psst!” whispers Grace, “You should change into the pretty blue dress.. go on.. “

::Katy scampers off::

Helene modelling pyjamas with a little friend

Helene didn’t want to put her AG mini doll Julie down to show off the outfit properly – such cute white cotton pyjamas with the blue bows and gathered detail. The top is a bit big on a Kidz n Cats so I ended up putting a clip at the back to help it fit better.

Bree & Hellene

Ah, now we can see the outfit properly, plus Bree changed into the flowery top and shorts set Katy was wearing, and looks just as cute.

Closer look at Bree's flowered top

These will work really well as separates but the way the flower embroidery is repeated from the top onto the shorts is a nice touch, very fresh and cheery little outfit all told, white cotton and denim complement each other well, and the flowered sash and the pink ribbon neckline demonstrate yet again how small details can be so effective.

Katy in a satin blue party dress

Aha, that’s how Bree ended up in the shorts set, Katy changed into this gorgeous full length blue satin party dress, I love the lace and ribbon detail on this, she’s truly the belle of the ball.

Katy and Alice in their posh frocks

Actually, both Katy and Alice are the belles of the ball, beautiful colours and fabric choice on these gowns.

As should be obvious by now, all outfits are by The Dolls House, as are Bree’s white shoes with the pink bow detail.

Grace’s gold sandals are from the Argos Design a Friend range.

Maru & Friends to Make UK Debut

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Maru in orange

I adore the Maru & Friends dolls, especially Maru herself as in the post Unboxing Maru from a few months back. Up til now the dolls were only available either direct from the company in America or from the sole European distributor, Un Bonheur de Colibri in Belgium, as the dolls hadn’t gone through the EU specific toy safety standard tests required for them to be supplied to the UK and Europe.

Its just been reported by both My Doll Best Friend and Petalina that the dolls and clothing range are undergoing  testing and should be available to buy from both online shops in time for Christmas in the case of Maru, redhead Savannah and blonde Jamie, with the other dolls due in 2014.

I’m really excited to know that Diana Effner’s gorgeous little faces will be available to a wider market on this side of the Pond. I can definitely recommend the dolls in terms of appeal, design and quality.

To whet your appetite you can see the full range of dolls and outfits at the official Maru & Friends website.

When Harry Met Maru

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Maru is having her photo taken in a lovely white broderie dress to be featured on the blog, she feels so pretty:

Maru in white

“I love this dress, it makes me feel special,”she smiles

Meanwhile someone has noticed..

Harry & Jamie

“Psst, Jamie,” whispers Harry, “Who’s the girl in the white dress?”

“Oh, that’s Maru. She babysits for me and Alex sometimes.. Why?”

Harry just stares at Maru.

Maru & Harry Meet..

“Um, hi, ” stammers Harry. “I’m Harry!”

“Oh, um, nice to meet you Harry” Maru replies, thinking, ::he’s really cute, and those muscles, he looks my age too!::

Maru & Harry 2

::got to pluck up my courage:: thinks Harry.

“Um, Maru?”

“Yes?”

“I just wanted to say..”

“Yes?”

Maru & Harry 3

“I think you’re lovely!” Harry manages, and blushes

“Oh… Oh, thankyou, Harry, that’s so sweet,” says Maru

“Do you.. do you want to go out? Um, somewhere. With me, I mean?” asks Harry

Maru smiles happily, “I like that idea.”

Maru & Harry 4

The Girls, Tall to Small..

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GIven that the standard size of the play dolls I love is technically 18″, there are of course variations, which isn’t always clear when showing the dolls by themselves, and a simple height reference given in a review post doesn’t give away much. The girls obliged me by lining up in order tall to short to demonstrate the different heights of:

Karito Kids (21″), Maru & Friends (20″), Zwergnase Junior (19″), Gotz Hannah (18″) and Kidz n Cats (18″).

Girl dolls, tall to small

They are, of course, Fei Li, Maru, Jessie, Katy and Helene.

And as they’re wearing their posh frocks, it was a good chance for a wee fashion show also!

Fei Li (21")

Fei Li wearing a Gali Girls asian-style dress, and satin slippers from My Doll Best Friend.

Maru (20")

Maru wearing a white broderie dress from My Doll Best Friend, boots by Maru & Friends

Jessie (19")

Jessie wearing a white frock with purple dots available from My Doll Best Friend, shoes and tights from other sources

Katy (18")

Katy wearing another fabulous Nellie Rose creation, a traditional Austrian dress, shoes by Gotz

Helene (18")

Helene in the luscious lilac party dress from The Dolls House, shoes from My Doll Best Friend

Let’s hear it for the girls!

Girl dolls in height order

Maru and the Boys

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Maru in a pink t-shirt with roses

Hello Maru, you look very pretty today

“Yes, its my new outfit, I love these pink roses!” Maru replies

Going somewhere special?

“Just babysitting…”

Alice & Maru in b&w

“Hey, its my turn to babysit,” complains Alice.

“She’s taking photos of us all, and I got here first!” comes the response.

Now, girls, there’ll be plenty of other chances – Alice, do you really want to keep those two rascals under control?

“Hmm, you might be right…” Alice agrees

Alex with Jamie in his pjs

“We’re not rascals!!” saysAlex, indignantly. “Look, Jamie’s in his pjs already!”

That’s very good Jamie. Maru, what story will you be telling them tonight?

“Its a secret! I’ll whisper it to him though..”

Maru whispering to Jamie

::much whispered discussion::

Something wrong?

“He doesn’t want to hear about the rainbow elephant, can you read us the story about Fei Li and the pandas please?” explains Maru

That’s a bit exciting for bedtime… oh, go on then. Where did we get to last time?

Karito KIds Ling book

Um, Alex?

“Huh? I mean, yes?”

You don’t look ready for bed yet..

Alex in a red check shirt

“Er.. I was helping Jamie? And I can’t undo these laces myself… Maru, can you help me?”

You do the innocent look very well there! I’ll believe you, thousands wouldn’t.

Wait a sec, why don’t you all pose for a photo and then you can get changed and have your story.

Maru and the boys

There we go. So cute!

“We’re not cute!! We’re boys, we don’t do cute!” grumbles Alex

“You can say I’m cute, I don’t mind” Jamie mumbles, blushing.

Jamie blushing

Maru giggles.

___

Jamie’s pyjamas, Alex’s shirt and Maru’s jeans all made by Nellie Rose

Alex’s jeans and boots part of a Kidz n Cats original outfit

Pink roses t-shirt from My Doll Best Friend

The gang’s (almost) all here

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Having done introductory posts for nearly all the dolls in my “gang” I thought I’d share this cool group photo I took the other day – absent are Héléne and Jamie as they were too busy giggling together in the other room to take part.

Gang of Dolls

From left to right standing:

Grace (Gotz Hannah at the Ballet)

Katy (Gotz Hannah and her Dog 2010)

Maru (Maru & Friends)

Jessie (Zwergnase Junior Dorte)

Alex (Kidz n Cats Alister)

Seated:

Alice (Gotz Happy Kidz Emily 2012)

Ariane (Kidz n Cats)

Some of the clothes were made by Nellie Rose, exceptions being Ariane’s blue petal dress, Katy’s white broderie dress and the pink t-shirt that Maru is wearing which are all from My Doll Best Friend. Jessie’s outfit is from the Argos Design a Friend range, Alice’s dress was made by an Ebay designer and Alex is wearing the jeans, legwarmers and boots from his original outfit.

I think they look pretty good together, despite the varying looks of each brand they make a fun bunch of friends (and of course there was the usual argument about who got to wear what, all the girls reckon Ariane has hogged that lovely blue dress way too long by now!)

The gane in b&w

Unboxing Maru

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The other day I was delighted to receive a large and interesting box from Un Bonheur de Colibri, offical UK/EU stockists of Maru and Friends.

Maru and Friends dolls hail from Miami, Florida and are the brainchild of Maritza Gutierrez, with a range of five dolls and various outfits. Every doll comes with a storybook and the faces were lovingly designed by reknowned doll sculptor Dianna Effner. According to Maritza, each one “celebrates the beautiful attributes and culture of little girls.”

Maru herself is a little Latina girl who has come to America to start a new life in a new country.

Maru box  Maru box with tissue paper

In my parcel was a big orange box with cheerful cartoon images of Maru and a couple of friends, the equally orange tissue paper was pulled back to reveal..

Maru revealed

The first glimpse of Maru

Maru! Who looks absolutely gorgeous even tied in place for travel.

Before I discuss the doll herself I need to wax lyrical about the packaging, because the doll is held securely not with the annoying and fiddly to undo plastic coated wire ties you find holding Gotz and Kidz n Cats dolls in place but with simple lengths of white ribbon (padded with foam to prevent any damage to the vinyl). This is ingenious and much easier to remove, while still being a solid method of preventing movement.

Clever way of securing the doll in her box..

Clever way of securing the doll in her box..

Maru comes with her story book and a little matching handbag, and my parcel contained an extra surprise, Alexandra at Un Bonheur de Colibri had slipped in a little Moulin Roti dog as a friend for Maru, very thoughtful of her!

Maru in her box with handbag and storybook

Maru in her box with handbag and storybook

Having removed Maru from her packaging and taken off her hat to see her pretty face more clearly I noticed another brilliant idea – a hairnet keeping her hair sleek and tidy, too often dolls’ hair gets rather rumpled and tangled in transit so this is inspired.

This hainet works wonders at keeping the doll looking tidy

This hairnet works wonders at keeping the doll looking tidy

And here she finally is! Maru’s outfit consists of her short brown skirt with buckle, brown tights and boots, the very orange top and a stripey waistcoat as well as matching scarf and hat. She also wears little white knickers beneath it all. The quality of the clothes is excellent and they are very easy to take on and off, with buttons, press studs and velcro as applicable.

Full body shot of Maru in her original outfit

Full body shot of Maru in her original outfit

She is 20″ tall, so a little taller than the Gotz and Kidz n Cats ranges, but seems able to wear most clothes for dolls that size, though she has rather broader shoulders and a chunkier waist than Kidz n Cats, as well as longer legs than both brands of dolls, so I imagine not every outfit will fit perfectly. Her feet are much smaller however, luckily I ordered a pair of black Ugg boots until I can work out what other dolls have similar sized feet!

Maru is very posable, jointed at hips and shoulders and her head can move up and down as well as from side to side, allowing for a whole range of movement to give her life and personality. She has such an enchanting face, the eyes are beautifully done, a rich brown and the eyelashes are so delicate. Her hair is sleek and shiny and responds well to brushing.

Portrait of Maru

Portrait of Maru

All in all I’m delighted with Maru and can’t wait to take more photos of her in some different outfits.

All the Maru and Friends dolls are available in the US from the official Maru and Friends website, they also do international shipping (see webpage for contact details) or you can order direct from Un Bonheur de Colibri in Belgium, postage is very reasonable from the latter.

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