In the interest of full disclosure, I received a Ryann Deluxe Doll from the Hot Locks collection. I did not receive any other form of compensation, and all thoughts are my own.
Last week, I received a package in the mail that included a brand new doll from Hot Locks to review, with a second included to give away. While I have a four year old daughter, she isn't really into dolls. In fact, I've seriously considered going through the baby dolls she does have and doing a purge. However, these seemed a little different - more "grown up" - so I decided to give it a try and see what she thought.
The Hot Locks dolls are a new line of four inch poseable dolls from Think Wow Toys. They are currently available only in Chicago and Phoenix, but they'll be launching nationwide this summer. Both Wal-Mart and Toys 'R Us will be carrying the line, and you can also buy them at those stores' online presence.
There are eight dolls - four standard and four deluxe, along with the cut and style salon and the braid and style salon. They aren't too expensive, at $7.99 for the standard dolls, $12.99 for the deluxe dolls, and $24.99 for a salon (which includes an exclusive doll not sold separately). Prices are quoted from my local store and may vary.
The dolls are not tarty (there are certain unnamed dolls that don't make it past the doors of my home), but they're funky and fun. They remind me of a modern day Punky Brewster. I love the bright colors and neat outfits they wear. They're vinyl, which means easy cleaning, and the hair is very soft and has yet to get tangled.
The standard dolls have fourteen inches of hair to brush and style, and they come with three barrettes and a styling comb. The Deluxe Dolls have an advertised twenty-eight inches of hair, and have a styling accessory in addition to the barrettes, plus a clip in barette with matching hair.
This is one of my few issues - and it's with the advertising only. When a company says twenty-eight inches of hair, that's impressive (and really, so is fourteen). I expect to see a twenty-eight inch long ponytail. I don't expect two fourteen inch ponytails. In my mind, that's still only fourteen inches of hair. However, this did not dismiss Little Miss's enjoyment of the doll whatsoever.
The barrette that clipped into Little Miss's hair was longer than her own hair (not that this is that difficult a feat, considering her hair doesn't grow at all), but it didn't stay in well. I had to modify it slightly to keep it from popping open immediately after placing it in her hair. She thought it was awfully cool to look just like her doll, though.
The Ryann doll comes with a flat iron that allows you to place gems into her hair. The gems have a Velcro bottom side, which is what allows them to stick. After some trial and error (there's no directions), I figured out how to insert the gems into the flat iron. However, the green button you need to depress to eject the gems from the flat iron into her hair was too difficult for Little Miss to do alone. In fact, it wasn't easy for me, either. However, we were able to get them to work - with a few fixable jams along the way - and the gems are still in Ryann's hair five days later, even after some exhuberant play. I was impressed by this!
Each of the dolls also has a personality that is featured in a Facebook like view on the back of the packaging. I think this is pretty cute, although Little Miss didn't really get it. Ryann, for example, is artistic and has a good sense of design. She's into tech gear and video games, and is (as I can see clearly by looking at her) influenced by Asian fashion. She likes to connect with people, too. I'm thinking that having some of this more sophisticated detail as part of the doll like, it may extend the age level that is interested in the toy beyond the very early elementary years. And anything that keeps my children playing with innocent toys longer, I appreciate.
Finally, we have a doll that Little Miss is interested in playing with. And yes, those baby dolls and their accessories are heading out the door. We'll be asking for more of these dolls and accessories for her birthday in August.
In addition to the Ryann doll that Little Miss rarely lets out of her sight now, I also have a Lily doll to give away. I will be mailing the doll directly, so US addresses only (and no PO boxes).
So. How do you win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Monday April 12 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me something new you learned from the Hot Locks website that I didn't mention in this review. If you don't do this one, no entries will count.
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for Tweeting this contest (leave a link to your tweet as your comment).
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly!