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Who is Merida? She is a beautiful Princess from the Highlands of Scotland. In the 2012 Disney film Brave, we see her as quite the tom boy figure. She wants to explore, be adventurous and refuses to get married like her family want her to. She is so much different to other Disney princesses as she isn't looking for love, she doesn't get married or find the love of her life, and she isn't dressed in gorgeous dresses all the time. I loved this about her and was very excited for Hollie to see her film.
For Christmas 2012, my daughter Hollie received this Merida doll as a gift from a friend of mine. Hollie hadn't at that point seen the film but had seen the advert plenty of times and we ended up buying her some other Brave items too so she would become familiar with it. When we opened the box, out came Merida in a beautiful blue dress, a head band, a long gold belt which can clip on and off, blue sandals and a comb to brush her lovely long ginger curly locks.
The doll is made up like a Barbie doll is. Her legs and arms move up and down and she had the usual slim figure. The obvious difference between Merida and other princesses is that she had ginger curly hair. In the film, her hair is very frizzy and a bit tatty but the doll here looks nice and tidy so I don't think the depiction of her has been very true. I think the film also shows her to be just a teenager and this figure here is curvy, womanly and not really identifiable of being a teen.
Hollie is a tomboy and always wants to play with boys toys. When she opened her Merida doll on Christmas day, she wasn't so enthused by it because she doesn't know who she is or what she does. When she watched the film and saw Merida was a tom boy too and was playing with bows and arrows, riding a horse through scary woods and not being a "girly girl", Hollie soon became really interested in playing with her doll. She has a bullseye figure from Toy Story which is a horse, hollie will often use this horse as Merida's and play out her running around the room going on adventures.
It's really nice to see her being stimulated by a doll as she's not often bothered by them unless it's a boys toy. I have seen a real change in Hollie when playing with this doll and she can see that girls can be just as interested in dresses and dolls, yet still love being adventurous and wanting to play with all the boys toys. Hollie likes to take Merida's clothes off as her dress is only done up at the back with velcro and very easy to remove. She will pretend to wash them, put them back on her so she's ready to go exploring the deep dark woods under the dining table.
****Stimulation play and interest****
Some other parents would agree that at the age of 4, their children probably aren't as interested in "barbie" type dolls yet but I know that Hollie is definitely interested now. She's previously had a Rapunzel doll which now sees more light of day and will come out to play with Merida. This toy is aimed at children 3+ due to small parts, I definitely think from the age of 3 and up that children would be interested in playing with Merida.
These sort of dolls are there for the children to make their own fun with. They use their imaginations to create scenarios, adventures and different things for them and the dolls to do. Hollie hasn't got much of an attention span when it comes to toys and will often stop playing with things after around 5 minutes as she gets bored easily, but with Merida, she can do whatever she wishes with her and she has no instructions, no rules to follow and can be as creative as she wants. She will however sometimes ask fro the film to be on whilst she's playing with Merida so she can copy what's going on in the film with her own playing which she likes to do a lot.
I am very happy with this Merida doll that she got for Christmas. Hollie has become much more interactive with her toys and loves having no limits of what she can do or imagine up for her next adventure. This doll cost £12.99 at Christmas from Tesco and is now £17.00 from Tesco Direct. I have also seen other Merida dolls with different clothing or holding a bow and arrow. I'm glad Hollie didn't get the bow and arrow because it would be easily lost and tears would have been shed and rooms turned upside down to find it.
I give this doll 4/5 stars for being a great stimulating toy for Hollie to play with. It did however lose a star for not being as true to princess Merida as it could have been especially as it was made by Disney who made the character.
Thanks for reading my review