[personal profile] poniesandpatchies

A stock photo of an eighteen-inch-tall doll with curly black hair in pigtails and brown open-and-close eyes. She is wearing a long-sleeved white t-shirt, a fuzzy red sleeveless jacket,  a black skirt, white tights with black polka-dots, shiny black boots and thick black glasses.


(Thanks for the image desc, Darwin.



And now on to the review. Everybody say hi to Claudette. I was at Walmart today, and came across her. My mom described all the My Life As dolls in the aisle. (My Life As is a very unfortunate abbreviation, I think, because it shortens to MLA and anybody who's taken college courses knows what I mean.) But anyhow... Of all of them, Claudette here was the cutest. She's the "My Life As... Schoolgirl" and I named her Claudette after my grandpa who recently passsed.

Anyhow, I'm sure there're reviews of these out there somewhere, but I'm going to do one too. As usual, no pictures beyond that stock photo because I still suck at taking pictures of entire objects. But I can give you a review of how she feels and functions, at least.

Deboxing
This was a bit of a pain. The outer box comes off easily enough. The insert she's on just kind of slips out. But then we get to the twisty ties.

Twisty ties are usually not something I'm apt to complain about. Sometimes, especially if they're wire twisties, I find undoing them to be kind of therapeutic. It's my form of zen. I can sit, pay attention to whatever's on the TV or whatever music I'm listening to and just undo those all day. But not these.

For one, they're the paper type which I tend to strongly dislike. And all of them were twisted and looped around bits of cardboard. I'm not sure why, but the ones around her wrists were easier. I think maybe it's because they're smaller. But there were twist ties everywhere, around her neck, body, wrists and ankles, and I think even two around the toes of her boots. In fact, I'm sure of it. I managed to get two without having to resort to scissors. And I'm the person who can debox a Monster High doll without scissors, using just fingernails and occasionally teeth to bite through the little tack things that hold their heads in the box. But anyhow, with my mom helping, we managed to get her body out..... Only to realize her hair was also held to the box by strings. As my granny said, "Didn't want anyone stealing her did they?"

But finally, we managed to get her out of the box and I got a good feel... Ok. I know that sounds wrong, but I can't say I got a good look. :P

First Impressions
She's a pretty weighty doll. Not quite as substantial as Addy, who happens to be the only other similarly-sized, nonelectronic doll who I can compare her to, but almost. Her vest is about the most heavenly thing ever, and her boots remind me of nothing so much as galoshes. Don't ask me why! I don't know. Also, the whole vinyl torso/cloth belly thing is something I'm not yet used to. But it's not a bad thing exactly. Just different. And this means she can wear dresses with shoestring straps without the worry of arm cups showing. But enough of that. Now let's get into something a bit deeper, an indepth "look" at Claudette.

Hair
Claudette's hair seems, from what I can tell to be of a decently good quality. It's not textured like Addy's is, which I'd have preferred, I think, but at least it's not uberly silky either. Maybe I'm odd and being racist without meaning to be, someone please give me a smack-down if I am, but to me, doll hair should feel like the hair of the race the doll represents. I mean, I know that not all black people have the same hair texture, any more than all white people do, but it still seems like doll companies go to extremes with the hair of black dolls. I'm not sure if they do it with any other races, but I'd imagine they do. It's either the foofy Afro (which I have nooo problem whatsoever) like Claudette has, or it's that straight, silky, soft stuff that feels like someone relaxed it. Not saying black people can't relax their hair or anything, either. But I think that AG did it right with Addy.

So, Claudette's hair is up in two huge pompom pigtails. They are adorable. The texture of her hair isn't silky. It's not textured either, but it's not completely silky. It's kind of coarse. I wish I had another doll of this line, with another style of hair so I could make comparisons, but since I don't, I'll just say I approve of her hair. It's cute, and if you're careful with the curls, I'm thinking it should hold up pretty well. However, unfortunately, one of Claudette's curls got very badly stretched out in the box, so that it hung down a full foot below the other one, just stretching out, and my mom had to snip that one off for me. But beyond that, I haven't any complaints in the hair department.

Face

Claudette has a pretty face, at least as far as feeling goes. Her cheeks are plump. She has a little turned-up nose, and it feels like to me, and I could be entirely wrong, like she's making a kissy-face. Either way, it's not an expression I'm familiar with, and I can usually tell smiles, frowns and the like.

Body

Claudette, as I've said before, has a vinyl torso and cloth midsection. Her body is firmly stuffed but still huggable. Standard for the size. But these dolls are slimmer than AG dolls, and their arms and legs are made of softer vinyl, therefore making them pliable. I'm not sure even if they should be able to stand on their own, but mine seems not to be able to. If anyone has a My Life As doll and can make her stand on her own, let me know how?

Clothing
The outfit is adorable! That vest is fur. Fake fur, sure. BUT it's FUR. Fur is wonderful. I just want to pet it forever. It feels a lot like, as I told a friend a moment ago, like the high-pile bathroom rugs you see at placeslike Sears. I know, I know, comparing doll clothes to a rug isn't a good idea, but it's so so soft.

And those glasses. I love them. I'm pretty sure they're included to make her look studious. But I choose to think that Claudette has a visual impairment like I do. And even better, they fold, like glasses should! Also, they stay on her face without falling off with normal movement. A+

Overall, I'd give the outfit an A. Even the tights aren't bad. They seem to be of some sort of slippery material, not the stuff tights are typically made from. I'm not sure if they're the kind which will snag if you look at them wrong, so beware!

Shoes
I'm going to give this pair of shoes a D. They're pretty! That's the only reason they don't get an F. They are rubber boots with a slit up the back for easy slipping on and off. They remind me so much of galoshes or those rubber rain boots. I think the outfit would have looked better with a pair of saddle oxfords or something of the sort. But I'm not a fan of the shoes I've seen from this line. I have a pair of black Mary Janes that Rosalie, my Bitty Twin is wearing. The clothes quality is good. Not so much the shoes. They seem all to be either hard plastic or flimsy rubber or plastic. And maybe I'm spoiled by Addy's boots. Ha. But they're pretty, so like I said, a D.

Articulation
Articulation on these dolls is actually better than I expected. Like American Girls,they have five points of articulation, head, shoulders and hips. Unlike American Girl dolls, their heads will not only turn but will tilt side to side and up and down, so it is possible to make your doll ock her head curiously or have her look up at the sky.

Her arms pose easily, and I think she could actually hold some objects, just nothing too small. However, there seems to be no side-to-side movement on either arms or legs as there is with an A*G doll. Also, be aware those legs are on TIGHT. So if you want the doll to sit, you will have to fight with her to get it to happen for probably a while. In fact, I still haven't figured out how to get her to do it. Maybe I'm spoiled by Addy though. My Addy's legs are even probably a little loose.

Overall
This doll, I think, seems worth her price so far. She's a welcome addition to my gang. I'm just waiting patiently for the line to come out with extra outfits that aren't super girly, and I'd like more pants, please? Other than that though and the shoes and zip ties, I haven't any complaints. Welcome to the house, Claudette.
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