Thirteen Wishes is phasing out in the shops now – even in the UK, TW dolls are often found at reduced prices. It seems everybody is anticipating the new releases. Shame they’re nowhere to be found here yet, not even online …
Anyway, I’ve been quite pleased with myself for sticking to my target dolls from this line (with one small exception). I’ve already featured Twyla and Freshwater Lagoona, who are my favourites from this wave. However, there were a few others I also decided I couldn’t be without, and here they are.
I love new characters and the genie concept was pretty good. I love the fact that Gigi seems to be modelled on a scorpion (like her pet, Sultan Swing), what with the scorpion-like spikes on her shoes and her epaulettes and the “armour-plated” ridges on her skin. I also really like her elongated, sharp-nailed hands, which remind me of the old black and white film “Nosferatu” … However, I was a bit disappointed that her colour scheme is yet another variation on blue and pink, albeit with a bit of black and orange thrown in – I would have much preferred a more fiery colour scheme. I know that this is playline, but come on. Her face is OK but a little too cartoony for me, and I don’t know what to make of her quizzical eyebrows. You’ve probably also noticed that I’ve made one other little change compared to the boxed version:
I really didn’t like her hair, either. I think the idea is a good one – rising in bubbles like magical puffs of smoke – but the execution of it really annoyed me. I have a thing about “invisible” visible bands, so I removed the top two sections (which I found, contained a little plastic gizmo to help them keep their shape) to leave her with a ponytail, then wrapped a twist of the orange part of her hair around the band to disguise it. I was prepared to straighten her ponytail, but it turned out nice and wavy so I left it.
I liked all the “Haunt the Casbah” dolls, but I limited myself to Frankie. She’s my favourite character and this version is a nicely original interpretation. I love her golden stitches and her outfit, which is a little fussy for my taste but still really very pretty. I like the fact that the gold jewellery is actually gold-coloured rather than yellow and plasticky. I particularly like her understated makeup, which is a change from her normal punk style. As you can see from the above close-up, my Frankie has a little factory flaw in the shape of a golden beauty spot on her cheek, right by her stitchmarks. Actually I quite like it!
My surprise doll from this line was Howleen. I had no intention of buying her until I saw her in the shops – even then, I hesitated. Howleen is a pretty character with a great sculpt and her outfit is well thought out, apart from the black woolen hat which I removed for these photos. However, what I really wanted from this line was a bit of variety. I loved Dance Class Howleen’s cute pink pigtails, but I was hoping that we’d get a new hair colour in each wave. Oh well, I think I’m probably in the minority with this as she’s still mostly going for higher than RRP online, but I managed to pick her up for a low price during a flash sale.
Overall, it’s been a good wave – the main problem as far as I’m concerned has been the quality control issues. Without exception, all these dolls suffer from problems with their joints, the worst one being Frankie whose lower arms tend to fall off when you try to pose them. There’s also a ridiculous amount of horrible hair glue used in the production of these dolls – imagine how many tonnes of the stuff it must have taken to produce them all! Gross … Still, producing one of the best-selling doll lines ever, and at a good price, is quite an undertaking, so maybe Mattel can be forgiven. I’ll forgive just that bit quicker if they sort out the release dates for the next wave in Europe, though …