Ok, confession time; I sort of have a wee bit of an obsession with animal shaped dolls at the moment, after seeing a vintage Peteena Poodle doll on a doll group and how well she mixed in with the other dolls. I’ve wanted a Peteena for ages, as I had my real little poodle for many years, however, I’ve never come across one at a price that was right (hopefully one will eventually come my way). The other day I even bought one of those weird looking My Little Pony Equestrian Girl dolls when I found her at the op shop for $1. So, in an effort to purge myself of this obsession, I’m writing about Enchantimals by Mattel.
Now, Enchantimals aren’t really my usual taste in dolls, but I found them quite cheap at a toy clearance centre a few months ago, so bought Bree Bunny and Twist and Danessa Deer and Spirit as I thought they’d be a cute edition to Easter and Christmas displays. Later, I bought Hixby Hedgehog and Pointer, just because it was unusual to see a male character in the line. I then put them away in the doll room, and didn’t get around to de-boxing them until today.
I really don’t know why I photographed Danessa with one arm out to her side. Ooops!
I don’t know a lot about these dolls except that they seemed to appear on toy shelves just as Monster High dolls were disappearing, and to me they seem like a weird hybrid of Monster/Ever After High and the old ‘Lemon-head’ versions of Barbie’s little sister, Kelly doll. They stand 15cm high – their bodies are roughly Kelly sized – but with slightly over-sized heads. Each one is painted to represent an animal, and they come with a cute little animal pal. I love a doll with brightly coloured hair, and these little girls have lovely coloured locks. A quick look at the website listed on the back of the pack reveals lots of little videos, some nicely animated and some featuring the actual dolls but with really annoying soundtracks comprised mostly of ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ and inane giggling. I have to say that the faces of the animated characters are much more appealing than the expressions of the actual dolls, and I wish more effort had been made to make the dolls look more like their cartoon counterparts (with the exception of Bree Bunny who looks slightly psychotic in the picture on her pack). Hixby doesn’t look at all like the cartoon character pictured on his pack, who is much cuter and well, animated.
Twist the bunny, Spirit the deer and Pointer the hedgehog all have little clips in their backs so they can be attached to the doll’s arm.
With the exception of Bree Bunny, the faces of the cartoon versions of the characters are much more appealing than the doll’s expressions.
All the dolls have moulded/painted on fashions as well as one or two fabric pieces. My girls each wear a skirt and a strip of fur fabric made into a shrug. Hixby wears a fur trimmed vest. Their shoes are removable and they all have cute, well detailed little feet. The girls have slightly arched feet allowing them to wear flats or heeled shoes but it means that unfortunately, the shoes aren’t interchangeable with Kelly dolls. The girls all seem to have the same head mould, their ears or antlers or whatever click into their heads. Hixby’s entire hair pate seems to be removable, making me wonder if there is or will be other male dolls in the line. Bree has a little bunny tail in her back too, and there seems to be at least four different arm moulds for the girls. The little critter companions are cute, their expressions are closer to the animations, and they all have a little clip in their backs allowing them to be attached to the arms of the dolls. The dolls were really easy to release from their packaging, held in only by a moulded plastic shell. I noticed this kind of packaging on a recent Barbie doll too. It’s great that Mattel has done away with all the ties and fasteners we’re used to, but it would be even better if they would do away with all the plastic.
Look carefully and you can see the gap between Hixby’s hair and head. His hair looks to be interchangeable. Bree has a cute little cotton-tail and the animal pals clip to the doll’s arm. Bree has one very strangely bent arm, there seems to be four different arm moulds.
It’s a shame these dolls aren’t poseable, you know how I love an articulated doll, but Bree Bunny will look great displayed with Ever After High’s Bunny Blanc at Easter and Danessa will keep Monster High’s Isi Dawndancer company at Christmas. And Hixby? Well, he’ll just have to curl up in a ball and try not to get prickly.
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