RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Fei Li

My Karito Kids Ling doll (2007)

The Girls, Tall to Small..

Posted on

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


Bree – from The Dolls House

Posted on

Portrait of Bree

This little lady is Bree, as glimpsed in the mystery girl post. She’s from The Dolls House, source of the gorgeous lilac dress featured previously, and home to the nifty wig store. The brand was launched in September 2012 by Sky, a mother of three who had always dreamed of her own range of dolls and clothing. The dolls themselves are based on photographs of one of her daughters when younger, and all three daughters were involved in designing the varied wardrobe of outfits currently on offer to reflect the fashions they enjoy wearing themselves. The original line-up of seven dolls has expanded to ten in total, with a range of skin and hair colours. I especially admire the fact that each doll can be “customised” by choosing the eye colour, currently blue, green, brown or hazel – Sky tells me she is the only UK doll supplier to offer this option currently, and was most helpful when I wanted Bree to have brown eyes. Her offical name is Amber, matching her hair colour nicely.

Bree's box

I usually comment on packaging and I  must say I’m impressed by the quality here. The doll arrived in a large brown cardboard box with the company name printed in red on the side, and within was the dark pink box you see above, with a card sleeve for added protection. The pink box itself is made of very heavy duty cardboard, of the kind you find used in gift boxes and some jewellery boxes: its clearly designed to be kept and re-used, being so sturdy.

Opening The Dolls House box

Opening the box, the doll is wrapped in a layer of printed tissue paper. Also included is a “birth certificate” to fill out with the chosen name and details, printed on quality card stock, which is a nice touch.

The Dolls House birth certificate

Bree revealed

And here she is – with her eyes shut, clearly travelling is tiring.. The doll isn’t fixed in place but fits snugly enough into the box for ties to be unnecessary.

Bree's hairnet

As mentioned when unboxing Maru and Fei Li, I’m pleased to report her hair was kept tidy for transport in a hairnet, so there were no tangles to deal with. This is such a simple but effective measure, its good to see it being adopted by more doll brands.

All the dolls are 18″ tall, and are cloth-bodied with jointed vinyl arms, legs and head. The body is quite firmly stuffed, so she has no problems standing up, and poses quite well, though obviously is more limited than the dolls with more joints.

Bree's original outfit

Each doll is named after a precious stone and comes in a “meet” outfit consisting of long pink tunic with patch pockets and The Dolls House embroidered on the front, violet leggings and the cutest pink shoes with ribbon detail. This is similar to the way the basic American Girl dolls arrive, and overall body size and shape is similar also. Here she is unclothed for comparison purposes:

Bree unclothed

You may have noticed that Bree is wearing glasses in some of these images – I was umm-ing and ah-ing over the dolls on offer from The Dolls House, as I don’t normally like soft bodied dolls, but it was a pic on the accessories page showing the Amber doll wearing the black rimmed glasses that swung it for me, and I think they really make her look cute.

Bree in original outfit plus glasses

The dolls have sleep eyes, that is, the kind that close when the doll is laid flat. I think this appeals to a younger child but its a nice feature to have and the eyes and sleep feature are well-made and open and close easily. The eyes are glass/plastic with actual lashes.

Sleep eyes - Bree

Sleep eyes with glasses - Bree

The hair on these dolls is one of their main features, long, thick and wavy. The rich auburn shade of Bree’s hair is especially appealing – I have a weakness for redheads – and as well as the fringe framing her face I like the way the hair is partly pulled back into a ponytail with the rest cascading in long curls down her back. The hair is not as silky as that on some brands, but is good quality and brushes and styles well. Rather than rooted, each doll’s hair is actually a wig, but it fits very well and also allows for a different wig to be bought and applied (as per my previous post on the matter), though I wouldn’t change Bree’s hair for the world.

Bree's hair

I had a wee windfall so as well as the doll I treated myself to a whole load of the fabulous outfits The Dolls House offers – even if you don’t buy one of the dolls I really do recommend the clothing, such attractive designs and well-made also. Here she is modelling a green dress with white shoes with a purple bow:

Bree in a green dress

The clothes are cut quite snugly for the doll’s figure, and this one was a bit tricky to put on; the green sash detail is a separate length of ribbon and really brings the design together. As could be seen in the post about the lilac dress from this company which my Kidz n Cats doll Helene adored wearing, the outfits fit other 18″ dolls very well. Here’s Grace, my Gotz Hannah, wearing the same green dress as above.

Grace in a green dress

No doubt upcoming posts will feature further The Dolls House outfits but I couldn’t resist some photos of Bree in her long blue satin ballgown, with lace detail, puff sleeves and a blue ribbon sash which again lifts the design without being too fussy. Her long hair works especially well with this outfit, quite the little princess to be sure!

Bree posing in her blue gown

Overall I am impressed with the quality and design of these dolls. They’re well-made, have cute faces, a wide range of hair/skin options so a child can find one that matches if desired, and the eye-colour option is a nice touch. With the increase in 18″ dolls available in the UK, as well as the growing availability of the American Girl dolls on this side of the Pond, The Dolls House range definitely hold their own and come highly recommended, especially with the range of outfits on offer. And despite being lower in price than my German-made dolls, Bree fits in well with the other girls.

L-R: Grace (Gotz Hannah), Bree, Katy (Gotz Hannah), Kidz n Cats Ariane

L-R: Grace (Gotz Hannah), Bree, Katy (Gotz Hannah), Kidz n Cats Ariane

On the website, Sky says:

“Ever since I was a young girl, I was always passionate about dolls. I can remember pending endless hours dressing them, playing with them, brushing their hair and even having meaningful conversations with them!”
I think the dolls she created will do an admirable job of passing that love and the hours of enjoyment to a new generation.
Bree in b&w

Leah – Gali Girls

Posted on

Portrait of Leah

As mentioned in a previous post, here is Leah, my Gali Girls doll. She came all the way from the US as my main birthday present in 2011, along with a range of outfits as I was really spoilt for choice on the website. She was my second 18″ doll but had rather fallen out of favour and has been boxed up in the cupboard for a while; I came across her while tidying the other day and decided she deserved an outing and a review post all of her own.

The Gali Girl doll range was launched in 2004, with a strong ethos that made them stand out from the general range of play dolls. As per the website:

“Gali Girls were created to give young Jewish girls an opportunity to incorporate positive values into their doll play. While the majority of dolls in today’s market focus on fashion, makeup and boyfriends, Gali Girls reinforce the positive values that have kept Jewish tradition alive and growing for over 5,000 years.

Gali Girl values represent kindness, respect, and honesty, to name a few. Gali Girl accessories create a connection between the contemporary Jewish girl and her heritage. Thus our motto: “Learn and play the Jewish way.”

The Gali Girls Jewish History Series captivates and educates the young reader about different Jewish communities throughout the ages and throughout the world. From Russia, to China, to Ethiopia, and beyond, each book tells the story of a young, brave Jewish girl, who overcomes the challenges she encounters by relying on Jewish values, Jewish community, and a very strong sense of self.”

There were various dolls in the original range, with different skin tones and hair colours, and this dark skinned or Sephardi doll joined the range a little later. As with American Girl dolls, the idea is for a youngster to identify with a doll that resembles her, for more authentic play, with a range of clothing and accessories to help with this. I don’t have many official outfits for my Kidz n Cats and Gotz dolls as they are quite pricey, so I was pleased to find the Gali Girls clothing was much more affordable.

The website also featured matching clothes for girls and dolls to wear, such as the historical Queen Esther costume, shown here in white and gold (and still available to buy).

Gali Girls Queen Esther costume for doll and girl

Leah is an 18″ soft bodied doll with jointed vinyl arms and legs and jointed head. She has dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes and nylon lashes, and is about the same size for clothes as an American Girl doll.  She arrived wearing a denim skirt with cotton broderie detailing to the hem, a white long sleeved t-shirt with a candle glow motif, white trainers and socks.

Leah posing in her arrival outfit

In the photo above she’s wearing the brown boots that came with the Shabbat outfit I got at the same time – brown suede skirt, pink top and the boots – I love the skirt especially, and the colours work really well against her colouring!

Leah's shabbat outfit

All the dolls also came with matching Magen-David bracelets for doll and owner, a birth certificate in Hebrew and English and a 10-piece wooden toy Shabbat set.  Beyond learning Bibilical Hebrew and reading the Bible I know very little about the Jewish faith so I’m not exactly sure what said Shabbat set involves (other than what can be inferred from candles and bread etc), but obviously it’s an ideal addition for the target audience.

Gali Girls wooden Shabbat kit

Leah has quite a firm body so stands up well (with something to lean on at least), and is in proportion. Several people have commented that the Gali Girl dolls look very similar to the My London Girl range, though having not seen a My London Girl doll other than in online images I wouldn’t like to say. Here’s our Gali doll sans clothing for possible comparison purposes to those dolls and to the AG range.

Leah unclothed

And another outfit – I had such fun dressing and undressing Leah in all the different clothes for this post. This gorgeous cream satin pyjama set, with camisole and wrap-over top with lace detail seems a little too large, it hangs quite loosely and is long in the leg. The fabric is high quality and the whole thing is very well-made, however. It strikes me as a rather decadent choice of evening wear for a modest girl but then most of my dolls prefer t-shirt and shorts to wear to bed!

Leah's satin pjs

Oddly enough it was one of the Gali Girl outfits that first led me to the the dolls themselves. While browsing the web I came across a photo of a Gotz Hannah doll wearing a lovely blue satin Chinese-style dress, which turned out to be from the Gali Girl range. I only intended to get that dress from the site but things got a little out of hand… Its still one of my favourite articles of clothing, here modelled by Fei Li. It fits really nicely, her added height makes little difference.

Fei Li in a Chinese-style dress

The dress was also available in other colours, I think the pink suits Leah best of all, its much longer on her of course, but also serves to demonstrate that varying heights and body shapes in dolls mean outfits can be shared as the dimensions sort of compensate for each other. That does make sense, promise!

Leah in a pink Chinese-style dress

Actually, seeing her like this makes me realise she is quite a pretty doll so I think Leah will be spending time out and about with the gang for a while right now.

As I mentioned previously, the Gali Girls are no longer being produced and once the last few dolls, clothes and other things have been sold, that’s it. Leah is the only style of basic doll still for sale, so if you’ve fallen in love thanks to this review, hurry up and get one before its too late. As for me, I’ve grabbed the last few outfits to keep all my dolls happy with such creative and effective designs.

All kudos to Gali Girls owner and creator, Aliza Stein for providing me and many other people with hours of doll-related fun.

Leah in b&w

Maru and the Boys

Posted on

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

Fei Li – Karito Kids

Posted on

Portrait of Fei LI

I think every collector has a wishlist, and I’m no exception. There’s the joy of finding a new doll to dream about, the anticipation of being able to own it and in the case of the harder-to-find dolls, the thrill of the chase (or rather, the patience needed waiting for one to finally turn up followed by a swift flurry of activity and the counting of pennies for an unexpected purchase!).

This was the case with Karito Kids Ling, which was the first Asian doll I laid eyes on via an online article a couple of years ago. Karito Kids is a US company founded in 2007 producing a line of 5 dolls with an international flavour, Chinese, Mexican,African, Italian and an American (an Australian doll joined the range a little later). Each comes with a story book,  the concept being to “highlight the beauty of each ethnic group and depict modern-day life in each country and culture, showing the similarities shared by kids around the world,” according to the blurb printed on the box.  Each also has with its own code to enter into the Karito Kids website and donate 3% of the purchase price to the children’s charity, Plan. Karito, the helpful box goes on to explain, is from the Esperanto word meaning charity, love of one’s neighbour. Clearly a lot of thought went into the creation of these dolls and the aims of international understanding, so it was rather frustrating for me to find they were only being sold in the USA, with no international shipping!

Ebay again came up trumps with someone parting with their doll, bought in the US and brought back here to the UK, to loud cheers from me as soon as I spotted it for sale.

Fei Li box shot 1     Fei Li box shot 2

The colourful box with its information, and the doll revealed, held into her box with the usual annoying metal/plastic ties. As I noted with Maru, her hair is kept under control with a nifty hairnet, a feature I think more doll brands should adopt.

Fei Li with her hairnet

Ling, or rather Fei Li as I have renamed her, is my largest doll thus far standing at 22″tall. She is an unusual mixture of vinyl and soft-body – unlike the American Girl and similar mixed material dolls, her shoulders are vinyl as well as her arms, legs and head, leaving just her middle to be stuffed and soft, This is a good compromise, making her quite cuddly but also allowing her to wear sleeveless and strappy dresses and tops in a more attractive way than the AG dolls (I quite dislike the look of the cloth bodies with such outfits).

Her hair is long and black, very much Asian looking and quite fine, held back with a plait at either side. She has brown eyes and proper lashes, and at first glance quite unusual feaures, which I love the most as it gives her face real character – as I’ve said before I do have a soft spot for ethnic dolls as it seems to give the designers a real chance to be creative with their looks.

Fei Li close-up

Her outfit consists of a bright orange velour top, a short denim skirt, over white leggings, pink socks and long white lace-up boots with pink soles. The clothes are  good quality and fasten with the usual velcro, as do the boots. Despite the extra height, Fei Li can share clothes with the 18″ dolls, bearing in mind that like my Zwergnase doll Jessie she has longer legs so not everything will be the correct length.

Fei Li posing

She also comes with a book, which is worth mentioning in detail – its very high quality and written in a lively style, quite a gripping adventure with pandas in fact; the book that Maru arrived with was a sweet tale about her new life, but this story gives a real flavour of China, its language and culture. Each chapter is numbered in Chinese which is also a nice touch.  At the back is a scrap book of images and little snippets of related information, plus apparently there were further related treats on the official website (which no longer seems to exist, sadly).

Karito Kids Ling book  Karito KIds Ling book

Karito Kids book text

When I named her Fei Li I was very aware of the fact that Chinese names have meaning, and as said names are depicted by Chinese characters its a good idea to pick suitable ones. I had help in this from my Chinese friend Qi as my Mandarin knowledge is still pretty basic. Fei means “jade” (or kingfisher, perhaps) and Li here means “beautiful”. Quite a special name!

Fei Li in simplified Chinese characters

I’m over the moon to finally have found this doll, my favourite of the Karito Kids range, and she was definitely worth waiting for. Apparently the dolls are becoming harder to find in the US, and a newer range was produced of slightly lower quality and in different outfits, so I did well finding the original doll I fell in love with. I’m looking forward to trying her in various outfits and also doing some photos of her interacting with theother dolls, she rather towers over the Kidz n Cats and Gotz dolls but fits in nicely with Harry Potter, Maru and Jessie.

If I see any more in the range on Ebay I would seriouslyconsider them, especially the Mexican girl Pita. As it is I feel lucky to own Fei Li. Its great having so many different doll brands out there coming up with new and interesting ideas and realising them so well.

Fei Li in b&w