Meet Josh, the first boy doll to be added to the Chad Valley Design a Friend range from Argos. According to the blurb in his box:
“DesignaFriend Boyfriend has been specially created to complement your stylish Designafriend doll. This very cool and trendy guy makes your two friends the perfect pair.”
He comes in a blue cardboard box, which is quite classy and means any boys wanting a doll won’t have to worry about pink packaging.
And here’s Josh half unwrapped from his tissue paper, and a close-up of him still in the box.
Josh arrives wearing a blue and yellow plaid cotton shirt, jeans and brown boots, he also comes with a more masculine bracelet with cord instead of chain for the owner to wear. He has brown plastic eyes, and brown wavy hair which needs a bit of ruffling to look modern and “trendy” instead of something in 1950s stylee (thinking cardi and pipe not Rebel Without A Cause here..)
The most surprising thing on removing him from the box for the first time was that unlike the Design a Friend girl dolls, which are soft bodied with vinyl arms and legs, he is all-vinyl. To begin with I wasn’t sure about this change, but then I half-undressed him and he’s got a decent set of abs on him for sure! Not sure whether the target audience is going to care about defined muscles but he stands up tall and firm where the soft-body dolls do not. He’s less posable however, his arms quite stiff because of this build factor.
It took a couple of days for me to be sure I actually liked this doll, his face is more mature than the other boy dolls I have and his outfit isn’t the best quality compared to the usual Design a Friend clothing. I did suspect part of the problem was the outfit so I re-dressed him and wow, what a difference.
Here he’s wearing rather formal trousers from Nellie Rose, over a Kidz n Cats shirt and an olive military jacket I just got from mydollboutique with boots from Nellie Rose and it adds a whole new dimension to this doll. He looks more sophisticated and certainly more expensive – and though I’ve kept the name Josh for him he looks rather posh to my eyes (mater wanted to name him Tarquin, don’t you know…). The outfit actually costs more than the doll so its not surprising it makes a difference, mind.
I can definitely recommend the Design a Friend “ideal boyfriend” but would suggest a wardrobe upgrade to make the most of him. I’m constantly impressed with this range, and look forward to seeing what else they come up with to expand the “lives” of the dolls.
Bree’s outfit: lacy tee and shorts outfit from The Dolls House.