Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Zodiac MMGirls Part 1: Earth signs and overview



One beautiful day last November I was browsing the Fortune Days website to see what else they had come up with after my beloved MMGirls. I was very excited to see the entire first page of the MMGirl section was changed - all the dolls there had brown eyes and a zodiac theme! Now, the zodiac series is sold in every doll store but at that time I couldn't find anything about them except the one promo picture for each doll. The suspense was killing me, I knew I'd like them even without seeing the details so I emailed the manufacturer. They said the dolls were already available at their warehouse. About 40 messages later, my order of a full set was on its way.

It's quite unlike me to buy so many dolls at once and I almost gave up the idea several times during negotiations because of personal issues I was having. However, this was going to be the last addition to my collection (not counting gifts and really, really good offers on grail dolls) and going big was justifiable. I have to admit, waiting for a twelve doll package is a unique experience! They told me they'd debox the dolls to save on shipping but it was still impressive.



Four display boxes fit inside, each with three dolls. How huge would that have been if each doll were individually packed? Mind you, if you buy from a retail store this is not how they come, we agreed on space-saving packaging with the seller. These dolls are probably displayed similar to the regular MMGirls.


All the stands were at the top of the box in plastic bags.


Each doll was cocooned in tissue and bubble wrap with extra padding around the head.


As you can tell by the terrible lighting, I unpacked them all in one evening. I fancied the idea of opening one each month but I really hate leaving dolls in boxes, especially when they are swaddled like that! That's not good for the clothes and most of all, for my sanity!

I regrouped the dolls by elements and I'll review them all in four parts. Today we'll take a look at the Earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.


To see the body type and posing capabilities, check out my first FD review. Today I'll concentrate on what's different from the previous series, starting with the package.
At first I thought the boxes were the same as for other MMGirls, but they are a bit changed. At the very bottom of the front, there is the sign each doll represents.

"Cancer"

The back is different too, most notably the age limit is changed from 8 to 14 years, meaning these are collector dolls. Also, the text is in English this time.


The stands are different from the ones that came with earlier MMGirls. They are made of translucent white plastic and have four parts: the base, the pole and two leg grips. I hoped the discreet colour will make them more usable but unfortunately they are even worse than the pink ones.


The leg grips fit very snugly on the pole and offer zero posing variety. Besides, the poles are too long and can't be hidden under or near clothes.


I used an IT doll stand for most of the pictures. I wish they had used a saddle stand, not necessarily this fancy, but one that works!

Anyway, let's look at the dolls now. It was January when they arrived, so the first one to be photographed was Capricorn. Here she is with all the accessories:

This is the only photo I took with the original stand.
It took me forever to set it up and then it kept falling.

Each zodiac doll comes with a human sized necklace with the corresponding star sign and a sheet of four sign stickers. The owner has the option to glue a sticker to the doll's forehead.
The horns are soft stuffed fabric and attached to a stiff headband.


The cape is removable. It's a lined rectangle of fluffy fleece with a stud and a metal bow.


The sleeves are removable as well. They have pointy tips with pearly heart accents.


The whole outfit is made of a variety of fabrics. You can also get a glimpse of the shoes here. I didn't bother to photograph them, pretty much the whole series wears the same two styles of soft white Barbie shoes (with heels). They don't fit the flat feet and look ridiculous.


It seems to me the clothes and the shoes for these dolls are designed by two different teams, and the shoe team is either slacking or altogether inexistent. The outfits are pretty though, and very well made. All the edges are nicely finished and many parts are lined.


Due to so many removable parts, Capricorn's look is customizable. I like her with the cape, but without the horns. The hair is pretty messy, the fiber is very soft, but difficult to manage and there is no quick pre-photoshoot fix for it.


I also like the neckline of the dress under the cape. Check out all the different black fabrics!



Next up is Taurus. Besides the necklace and stickers, she comes with a metal horned skull hair accessory that I could not, for the life of me, get to stay on the head.


Her outfit is very interesting, but let's look at the face first. All the zodiac dolls have the exact same face, with the same brown inset eyes and applied eyelashes. Because Taurus doesn't have a fringe, it's easy to examine her features. She looks very different from the previous MMGirls and her neck seems shorter. Looking at the tiny promo photos at first, I thought only the eye colour was different.


I pulled Rose for comparison. Sure enough, Taurus has an entirely new sculpt! The head is bigger.


A little side note: it's not evident in photos, but I noticed Rose's plastic is a lot whiter than it used to be. It kinda looks green next to Taurus' fresh pink. Rose and Mandy have been on display for a few months only and it wasn't particularly sunny there. This makes me worry about the durability of these dolls. I'm now making sure no sun ray touches them at any time and we'll see what happens. So far, the discolouration is not critical.


I thought the zodiac girls might share a sculpt with the Oriental Charm princesses, who also have larger heads and brown eyes. Wrong again!


The difference is very obvious in profile. I'm sorry to say, the new sculpt is my least favourite out of the three. It's cute, but the head is too big for the neck and the features are more cartoonish.

Check out the lace necklace!

Strangely, I found the J-Doll sculpt to be the most similar in shape, if not size.



Head sculpt mystery aside, Taurus is a very pretty doll with a detailed outfit.


Trims and decorations are abundant. She has ruffled cuffs on each hand, arm and ankle.


A ruffled petticoat is sewn into the dress and she has panties underneath.


The only bug is at the waistband, it's too loose. I should fix that.


The outfit has only one stocking.


I like the fancy bow at the back.


The last doll for today is one of my favourites not just from this group, but of all 12.


Virgo has a lot of flowers everywhere. Some are on a lace headband...


...and some are in a woven basket. They are too big for scale, but I like them anyway and it's one of the best accessories. Capricorn's horns and Taurus' skull thing don't do anything for me, but the flower basket is a great prop to have in a doll household.


The only problem with the outfit is this last rose on the bodice. It's made of paper. Several other zodiac dolls have paper roses on their dresses. How does one wash it? Let's hope it doesn't come to that any time soon.


I really like this dress though. It has several layers made of different fabrics. I ruffled it a bit to show them all. By the way, Virgo's is the only dress that wrinkles that badly, I didn't iron it on purpose. Most of the fabrics in the other dolls' outfits are wrinkleproof (is this a word?)


I love everything about Virgo. I even think hers is the only face that looks perfect with the factory faceup. Since they are all identical, I'll try to give the others small changes, but I'll leave her untouched.
  

***
Bottom line: I like these dolls and I don't regret buying them. After the first MMGirls, I was ready for terrible shoes and stands but even so I thought they were worth the purchase. They could be great collector dolls if only these two problems were addressed, because most collectors don't want fixer-upper dolls. I also wish the heads were smaller and had some variation in the face paint. Making them different on my own will be quite an undertaking! 
I do like the outfits, the soft hair, the articulation and the inset eyes. Last but not least, my cats had a blast with the big box!


What do you think of this new series? Are you considering buying any of them or are the shoes a deal breaker? As there is not much information out there yet, I welcome all questions and musings in the comments :)

If you enjoyed this, check out my other reviews of dolls by Fortune Days:

  • Part two: Fire signs (to be added)
  • Part three: Air signs (to be added)
  • Part four: Water signs (to be added)


Blackkitty (^^)~

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Whoops, there we go again ^^')
      They have such sweet and innocent faces! S2 I'm quite impressed at how well done those outfits are. O__O Caprica is prettier than I first thought (love that cape), I just wish they had given her better horns (for her and Taurus, nicely sculpted plastic horns in dark colors would be a far better choice). Virgo is amazing, it's easy to understand why she is your favorite. The mint hair was a great touch to her pink romantic look, and even the shoes seem to work really well for her. It was a great buy, I can't wait to see more of the others, thanks for sharing them with us! :D

      And the kitties too seem to have approved it.. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Hi, thanks for your comment! Yes, I thought I'd hate Capricorn but she turned out very nice with all those different fabrics (also, the quality - they are better made than some high-end outfits I've seen). I don't care for horns in general, plastic or otherwise. Wait till you see Aries' horns with sheep ears, they are hilarious! Some of the dolls have great accessories though. Libra has the cutest mini scales. I have pictures for one more set, but I hope to do the remaining three soon now that we are getting more light.

      Oh, the cats loved the package, I'm afraid they'll start demanding huge boxes all the time now.

      Delete
  2. Wow, it must have been so awesome to unpack so many dolls all at once :-)! It's a lovely series of dolls!
    The outfits are cute, and the accessories too (the flower basket is too cute!!!).
    I look forward to the others!
    Ah, cardboard, the favorite toy of cats :-D!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, it was pretty ecstatic and the dolls are sort of collectible and very nice.

      Delete
  3. Thank you for sharing these with us! It's very nice to see different dolls. When I saw the first picture, I thought how much they resembled J-Dolls, although perhaps part of it is because Virgo's hair color and outfit kind of resemble one of the later J-Dolls. It sounds like the same manufacturer makes shoes for the MMGirls and J-Dolls, though. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, right, Virgo does look like a cross between Sunset Bd and Rue de Rivoli. I really really like her. The shoes seem to resemble Blythe and Bsrbie though, they aren't nearly as detailed as J-doll shoes. I'll have some more pictures of those in the next sets.

      Delete
    2. I was more referring to the fact that the shoes don't fit, and don't even seem to be made for the feet. J-Dolls have a habit of arriving with that type of shoe too: way too big, and many times the arch isn't even right. Otherwise you're right; the shoes do look kind of basic Barbie style. Or like the kinds you can by from China, six colors for five dollars or similar.

      Delete
  4. Something tells me, it was like Christmas, the day your new dolls were delivered. I don't think I could have waited to unpack each one, one month at a time, either. Altogether, the set is absolutely charming. And in spite of the little imperfections, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun tweaking each doll to your own liking! Always great to see a post from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, it was a glorious day! It took forever to arrange the purchase but then they shipped it with DHL and it arrived in like a week. I might have resisted opening them all at once if they had been packed for display. Some of them really surprised me. I'm dying to show off Scorpio, my favourite!

      Delete

Brighten up my day with your comment ;) It will mean a lot to me.
Open to anyone, including anonymous.