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Category Archives: Doll brands

Design a Friend Morning Suit

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Its wedding bells all over for the Chad Valley Design a Friend dolls, with a bridal dress, morning suit, bridesmaid dress and even a bridesmaid version of the little sister doll available. And I couldn’t resist such a smart suit for my boy dolls.

Harry in a suit

And here’s Harry looking very smart indeed!

The suit comprises dark grey long tailed jacket with a high collar, matching trousers and a one piece white shirt with attached pale grey waistcoast (vest for the US folk) along with a satin tie in a bright pink shade to match the wedding theme (the bridesmaid dresses are in pink and the bridal gown has pink accents).

Harry in his suit, back detail

Back detail of the jacket, which is very elegant.

Harry's suit - waistcoat detail

The waistcoat fastens with velcro, which is handy for getting access to the shirt front and collar to tie the tie and line it up neatly. The trousers fasten with velcro at the fly and lie nicely flat against the body.

Harry's suit - the shoes

To complete the look, a pair of black shiny lace up shoes is also supplied.

Harry's suit with little sister bridesmaid doll

And here’s Harry posing with the little sister bridesmaid doll (reviewed here) to show the full effect of the wedding party play options.

I’m impressed with the design and quality of this outfit, the fabric is heavy duty cotton with a nice sheen to it, the styling is excellent and fits nicely, although its a little loose on Harry (the Design a Friend Josh doll is rather more muscled). The shoes are also well-made and the overall effect is pretty darn elegant. Boy doll outfits are always harder to come by and this is great value too (there’s a suit available in the Carpatina range for more than twice the price, which also only really fits the slim Carpatina bodies). Well done Chad Valley and Argos!


Images of Aletta, Kidz n Cats Wunschpuppe

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Having reported about the latest Kidz n Cats Wunschpuppe here I’m pleased to say the dolls are finally available in various combinations of the three eye and hair colours possible. I think my favourite is the blonde hair with green eye version..

Kidz n Cats Aletta, blonde with green eyes

For lots of photos of the various dolls, info and links to the shop to buy your favourite version of Aletta please do visit the detailed post by Maxine at her My Doll Best Friend blog.

Image © My Doll Best Friend

Extra Special Dolls (formerly Dolls for Downs)

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Extra Special Dolls is the new name for the Dolls for Downs dolls, initially launched via a Kickstarter project that I posted about back in June last year, and again last November when the finished dolls were finally available.

I’m thrilled to see that Connie has a new website up and running with a proper shopping cart system and a whole range of dolls available – there are currently 17 girls and 9 boys, all of which use the same face mould, but with a wide range of skin tones, eye colours and hair choices, they truly are very individual dolls. Karen Scott has done a marvellous job with the sculpting, not only of the faces but the bodies and hands, “incorporating such beloved traits as the single palmar crease, the sandal gap toes, the tiny curved pinky finger, and adorable tummy.” as stated on the Extra Special Dolls website.

I think my favourite is still Hannah who was the first doll featured on Facebook and in various media..

Extra Special Doll Hannah

…but the little boy dolls are very appealing also, such as Matty.

Extra Special Doll Matty

The dolls are 18″ tall and made of vinyl, with glass eyes, nylon lashes and wigged hair. They are jointed at shoulder, hip and neck and are easily posed. The mouth is slightly open with teeth showing, giving a lovely childlike expression to the handpainted face which has the features typical of a Down’s Syndrome child.

Dolls are available with a chest scar (many children need heart surgery) for more authentic play, and as well as clothing the website features accessories for the dolls, which in future will include braces and feeding tubes to make a “just like me” doll possible.

Each doll arrives in the same meet outfit, the lovely pink set shown in the image above for the girls. They can share clothes with other 18″ dolls though with their slimmer vinyl bodies some AG clothes, as usual, are a little baggy, and shoes might be an issue depending on style.

Each doll costs $95 and the company does ship internationally, though you need to email for pricing details on that (I’m waiting to find out right now…)

I don’t think the photos at the official website really do the dolls justice, luckily other folk have been busy snapping away to give a real sense of these dolls – for a very detailed review with lots of lovely photos that will make you fall instantly in love with Grace, a redheaded Extra Special doll, visit this post at The ToyBox Philosopher, and also see her solution to out of control hair.

Another doll blogger has the very same doll and took a different approach to the curly hair problem.. again lots of photos and details to be found at Up To My Eyeballs in Dolls. And Karen Mom of Three (well known for her appearances on DollDiaries) has photos of Hannah here.

Images © Extra Special Dolls etc

Paola Reina – Las Reinas

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Las Reinas Mei

This lovely little lady is Mei, one of the gorgeous dolls in the Las Reinas (Queens) range by Spanish doll company Paola Reina.

Each doll in the range is 60cm tall, so a great deal larger than the Kidz n Cats, Gotz or indeed the Paola Reina Soy Tu range (which I posted about here). All Las Reinas dolls have articulating arms, legs, heads, and joints; their knees and elbows bend and their wrists and feet can turn. They are made from vanilla scented vinyl with rooted vinyl hair and have large eyes with lashes, which do not close.

Being so much larger, the dolls cannot share clothes with the 50cm/18″ dolls, but luckily the company produce a limited number of outfits sized for the dolls, all of which look to be of high quality.

Other Las Reinas dolls include Sandra:

Las Reinas Sandra

And Lidia..

Las Reinas Lidia

There’s a comprehensive review of one of the dolls, Marta, including photos of her with American Girl and Karito Kids dolls for size comparisons and a wealth of detail about the jointing and other aspects of these dolls over at The Toy Box Philosopher.

Las Reinas dolls and outfits are currently available in the UK at My Doll Best Friend.


All images ©Paola Reina

Our Generation Dolls – new to the UK

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Our Generation Dolls Montage

Great news, the US budget doll brand Our Generation sold in Target stores nationwide is coming to the UK. They were showcased at the recent London Toy Fair and garnered much interest from retailers here, for the dolls themselves but also the wide range of outfits, which are updated frequently, and the rather fabulous accessories including horses.

The dolls come in several styles and prices: the more basic ones have jointed arms and legs, soft bodies and sleep eyes, then the next level up is listed as “poseable”. Unlike the Kidz n Cats or Gotz jointed dolls, these do not have elbow and knee joints, rather seem to have wire within the vinyl allowing the arms and legs to bend, ideal for riding on one those horses. Another level up is the deluxe sets, which feature a poseable doll, a second outfit and a storybook. There are also dolls designed for hair play.

Our Generation Doll Ayla

This is Ayla, one of the basic dolls, but very attractive. The dolls come with a range of hair colours and styles, as well as eye colours, and pretty outfits, at a price (currently looking to be just under £40) that makes collecting several quite a reasonable proposition.

As far as the outfits are concerned there are basic and deluxe fashions – this purple party dress has rather caught my eye already.

Our Generation Party Whirl Deluxe Outfit

As for the horses, there seem to be large plastic horses to ride on, with suitable riding outfits for the doll to wear, plus other models with style-able hair, and also smaller horses, more like ponies, to be treated more as pets. Its not clear how many of these will be available in the UK but hopefully we will be spoilt for choice.

Our Generation Horse, Morgan

Oujr Generation Horse, boxed

Our Generation dolls also have bicycles and other play accessories, still no word on UK stocks of these but I’ll keep my eyes open!

You can check out the full range, past and present at the Our Generation website.

All images © Our Generation

Aletta – new Wunschpuppe from Kidz n Cats

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Following the success of their first customised doll Henriette in autumn 2013, Kidz n Cats have announced another doll, to be named Aletta. As with Henriette, customers can choose the eye colour (brown, blue or greenish) and whether the hair is blonde, light brown or dark brown.

Henriette sold out within days of launch, with a few dolls still to be found a week or so later if you didn’t mind being limited on what hair/eye combo was available, so be sure and order quickly.

Aletta has long straight hair pulled back on one side with a long narrow plait. She wears a pink dress and matching shoes. A limited edition white dress will also be available.



Images copyright Kids n Cats

Kidz n Cats Update

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With the problems last year in getting Kidz n Cats dolls, thanks to manufacturing and stocking issues, its good to hear they’re back on track. Over at Petalina there’s plenty of information and images of the new range of dolls due for 2014.

According to the post there:

There are 7 dolls carried over from previous collections with an additional 7 new dolls.

The carried over dolls are: Lena, Carlotta, Alister, Jakob, Grace, Sophie (now with blue eyes) and Laura

There are 7 new dolls, 5 of which will be available in March/April: Paulette, Princess in Pink, Julia, Teresa and Jolina

The remaining two dolls will be available in August/September: Miu and Jodie

Its good to know there will still be boy dolls in the range though I always hope there will be new ones, but still… Grace and Laura are two of my favourites, and I know they’ve been big sellers thus far. Looking at the images, Alister has the same outfit but possibly a different face mould? Its hard to tell. More info and images as they become available, in the meantime head over to Petalina to read the full post with images and further information, plus a heads-up on a new range of Kidz n Cats furniture due also.

Petalina: Kidz n Cats Update 2014