Ghost of Christmas Presents – Novi Stars Curl and Coils

2 Feb

I really wanted to get all my Christmas presents posted about before the end of January, but I suppose I’m only a day late … my last two doll-related Christmas presents this year were the Curl and Coil Novi Stars Tilly Vision and Roe Botik.

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I am becoming increasingly fond of these little things. In a dollyverse currently packed with variations on a few popular themes, they have so many really original little touches. For example, its a brave move to make a fashion doll with very little in the way of actual fashion – Novis are often minimally dressed, and these two are no exception. We are all so used to clothes as a major focus point when looking at dolls and at first I found the Novi’s underdressed state kind of strange. But I’ve started to think, why not? Lets focus on something else for a change. And there’s a lot to focus on … for starters, their rather amazing hairstyles.

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The name “Curl and Coil” refers to a gimmick on these dolls – somewhere in that huge mass of wires, pipes and hair which cascades out of their heads there is a piece of string, and when this string is pulled, some of the wires and pipes curl up. This feature is hmm, OK, and it works, unlike some other instant-curl dolls I have encountered. But it sort of pales into insignificance next to the sheer fluorescent oddity of the hair itself, and the hairdressing possibilities it presents. I love the idea that a child’s experience with doll styling doesn’t have to begin and end with a brush. I also like the idea of a doll who actually starts off with crazy, tangled, messy hair instead of a sleek cascade which becomes increasingly ratted-up over time. My favourite thing about these dolls, however, is their accessories, especially these absolutely wonderful little hair clips:

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Designed to look like plug extensions, they work in two ways. There’s a slide underneath that would hold a small amount of hair and keep the clip in place, then on the top the plug itself can be used to hold more hair, which would then be secured by actually putting the plug in the socket. This has blown me away, what a lovely detail. The Novis also have nicely detailed, brightly coloured little shoes:

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And as if that wasn’t enough, they also come with futuristic robot pets. Roe’s pet, Circuit, kind of looks like a brightly coloured Alien of the kind made famous by Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver – he has a sleek head like a helmet and its kind of hard to make his features out. I preferred Tilly’s pet, Telepuppy, who is multi-faced (I also like the fact that his head actually revolves, rather than being fixed in place, to make the most of this feature):

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So far, so good. I’m afraid I don’t feel that any review of Novi Stars would be complete without a bit of a moan about the stiff limbs, which really limit the posing options of these dolls. I’ve got more used to it, but I still think that these dolls would be ruling the world if they had moveable knee, elbow and wrist joints – its such a missed opportunity, and if Mattel can do it for a reasonable price with Monster High I don’t know why MGA can’t do it with these ladies. Somebody pointed out that they could always be rebodied to Monster High bodies (as Tilly has a beautiful white face, I think that Catrine would probably be a good match, and pinkish Roe might be able to pull off a Draculaura body?). But there is so much cyborg detail on the bodies, it seems a shame to change them, so personally I will make do with the stiffness.

Really, that’s my only criticism. I was a bit worried that they might just look good in the box but I’ve found that I love these dolls more since I deboxed them and messed around with them, and I’m so pleased to have received them.

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