“ Manufacturer: Funtastic / Type: Doll „
I have a large toy-box in a spare bedroom at my home which is brimming with a whole host of toys to entertain and amuse my young nephew during our play-time together. In addition, I have two young nieces and a young (female) cousin who are regular visitors to my house. This means that I have to ensure that some of the toys I have in the toy-box are unisex and are suitable for both sexes, but also suitable for a range of ages. To buy a whole host of toys in these assorted ranges would no doubt cost me a small fortune, and so I will regularly snap up bargains in discounted stores, such as B&M, Poundland and via Tesco, using accumulated 'Clubcard' points to achieve discounts.
Whilst shopping in Poundland at the start of the year, I managed to pick up some toy cars that I knew would appeal to my nephew. At the same time, I spotted a small china tea set and a 'fashion doll' that were both priced at £1 each of course. I was pleased at being able to purchase three new additions to the toy-box at home for such a small sum of money, although each of the three items has had issues in terms of quality. This review outlines my experiences of the "Funtastic Fashion Doll."
The Funtastic dolls are still readily available in branches of Poundland (as @ October 2012), and although I believe the packaging has changed slightly, the actual dolls are identical to their previous versions as far as I can tell.
Boxed in a flimsy package with a see-through front, it is easy to see the doll contained in the box which may prove useful to allow the child to select which one she (or indeed he) wants to purchase, as the dolls are available wearing a variety of different outfits, although only one is supplied with her.
Our version - named Angel, by my niece (quite randomly!) - was supplied sporting a rather fetching purple shift dress, complete with polka dot detailing on the fabric. The fabric of the dress is extremely flimsy and it is not difficult to notice it's cheap appearance. Angel was wearing a pair of flimsy, plastic, pink shoes (high heels, I believe) when we first removed her from her cardboard prison, but these didn't stay on her plastic feet very well and they kept falling off. As there are two kiddies under the age of 3 who regularly play with the toys in our toy box, it felt safer just to discard the toy shoes altogether, and so they were thrown away long ago. A third and final accessory was supplied in Angel's box by way of a small plastic hairbrush, provided for combing her long brunette locks.
Combing Angel's hair using the brush provided is not particularly difficult, and my young niece will regularly undertake this task. The brush has proven to be sufficient for carrying out this task effectively. The doll's hair however is sadly not as robust, and we have noticed it 'breaking' easily during the brushing process. The hair also seems to matt quite easily and it feels slightly 'nylon-like' which probably doesn't help its lack of durability. The hair is not at all comparable to that of say, the Barbie dolls that are also in our toy-box, but for the £1 price tag that Angel carried, I didn't expect it to be.
The doll's dress has suffered pretty much no real damage in terms of wear and tear, and is still intact even though it has been removed and replaced several times from Angel's slender frame. We have some other doll's outfits in our toy box and my niece will often chose to change Angel into one of these, although they don't seem to fit her as well so I think perhaps her measurements are not quite up to that of her big-branded rivals. Although the quality of Angel's dress is extremely flimsy and cheap-looking, I feel that it has served its purpose rather well.
During the 'changing process' however, we will often stumble across Angel's biggest disadvantage; the sudden disappearance of one of her four limbs from its respective 'socket' on her slender body. This is by far the biggest let-down of the doll which would otherwise be a very agreeable item. The materials used in Angel's body are extremely thin when compared to her big-branded rivals and this, in my opinion, has meant that the doll has an overall flimsy feel to it which just can't withstand normal wear and tear during playtime. The plus side of the flimsier-than-average materials used in the doll's make up is that she feels much lighter than other dolls, perhaps making her an ideal travelling companion.
The problem first started out with Angel's left arm. Really any time that the doll was included in playtime, her arm would pop out of its socket. There was even a few occasions of her being retrieved from the toy-box in this unfortunate state, before playtime had even commenced! To be fair, the arm has always been easy enough to 'pop' back into the shoulder area, taking me a mere moment to correct this unfortunate impediment.
After a short time however, it was plain to see that this problem not only affected Angel's arm but both of her legs, with one or both of them frequently becoming 'loosened' from her body. Again, easy enough to replace, but not exactly ideal for a child's playtime and my niece became increasingly impatient with Angel's continuous limb displacements as time passed. Eventually, the other arm started to follow suit and now all four of Angel's limbs are affected by this unfortunate disadvantage.
This proves to me that the materials used in the doll's body are really sub-standard and below par, making the doll seem like a poor comparison to other, similar dolls in our toy-box. She really doesn't live up to these alternatives, although to be perfectly fair I hadn't expected her to, given she was so cheap to purchase.
I would be awarding this doll only one star if it wasn't for the fact that my niece STILL regularly seeks Angel out amongst the other dolls and toys contained in the toy-box. There is obviously still something greatly appealing about the doll for the child, and even though she will often 'tut-tut' at Angel's missing limbs, she still selects her to be included in her play. For this reason, I will award the doll three stars out of five, with this score taking into account the value price tag of the toy which makes it completely affordable, as well as the doll's obvious appeal.......... Where my niece is concerned, at least...
While shopping in B&M my daughter spotted the Barbie doll section and of course she was instantly drawn in. Sitting next to the usual Barbie dolls was this Fun tastic fashion and my daughter decided she wanted one. I tried to persuade her to get a real Barbie one as it was only a pound extra but she was having none of it and really wanted the cheaper version so we let her buy it.
It comes in similar packaging to the normal Barbie dolls and inside you will find one doll and a hair brush accessory to brush her hair which I think is what attracted my daughter to the product in the first place. The doll looks very pretty in a nice purple dress, matching plastic high heels and a head full of hair which can be brushed with the little hair brush provided.
We opened the doll in the car for her to play with on the half an hour journey home and this is where the problems began. By the time I had turned round after opening the doll my daughter was screaming because the leg had came off. This is when I got a closer inspection of the doll and found that although she was made out of plastic it was extremely thin especially around the joints where the legs were place in to the socket of the leg. As I tried to place the leg back in place, the top of the leg began to go back into place but because of the pressure I was applying to put the leg joint was collapsing inside the top of the leg meaning there was nothing to hold it in place. After lots of fiddling I was able to replace the leg back inside and my daughter began playing again.
After around five minutes my daughter became upset again and this time the arm had fell off and needed replaced. Again as the plastic is so thin at the top of the pulled of arm it was really difficult for me to get it to sit in place again and I was ready to chuck it but my daughter begged me not too as said she would be careful. This time it lasted a little longer and she was playing with it without moving its arms of legs and then the head popped off! I could not believe it and that was the final straw I chucked the doll away it was absolutely rubbish.
This doll is useless every single limb of the doll had been pulled off within an hour of play and it really was unusable. Every time my daughter tried to move the arms or leg rather than swinging in the socket it would fall out. There is no way any child could play with this without this happening as it is just so poorly made. Rather than large sturdy arms and legs you are supplied with really weak almost see through plastic that really cannot withhold any play. The hair brush faired a little better this is made of stronger plastic and has been kept by my daughter to use on her Barbie dolls as it is actually a really good accessory.
We paid £1.99 for this doll and it is certainly not worth it within two minutes of play it was broken and I should have taken it back then. It is suggested from three years plus which is a normal age range for similar dolls but because of the poor quality I would not recommend this to any child. If you are still interested in purchasing one of these dolls I noticed them in the pound shop as well as B&M and home bargains.
Funtastic Fashion Doll
One of my favourite shops has to be Pond Land with all the more expensive goods at the bargain price of £1.00 each. Unfortunately, not all the goods are even worth that. On my last trip to this store, I picked up a fashion doll, similar to a Barbie in looks, from the Funtastic childrens toy range. In the packaging it looked like a very similar version to Barbie, though looks can be deceiving. Once out of the flimsy packaging, it did not take more than 5 minutes before one arm had fallen off in play. Now it is usual for some rough play when you are talking about young children and their toys, though this arm fell off just as I was changing the clothes! It then took less than 15 minutes before the other arm joined it, and the two legs! Fitting them back on was a task within itself too as they just didn't seem to fit onto the body well at all!
The doll is made of a thin, breakable plastic which doesn't need much to put a hole in it. Another strong negative and another thing which is nothing like the actual Barbie Dolls.
This doll was supplied with one item of clothing - a thin dress and pair of shoes. The dress was already frayed even before we got it out of the packaging, though unfortunately this wasn't noticeable before we purchased it. The shoes did not want to fit properly on the dolls (now detached) feet either so what we were left with was a doll in five parts with no suitable clothes or shoes. I know £1.00 is not a lot, though you expect a little more than this for your money!
My advice is to stick with the real Barbie dolls. They may be a little more money though you know they will stay together and are safe for children. This fantastic doll is now safe...in the bin!
Funtastic Fashion Doll (and accessories)
My younger sister has many Barbie dolls, both newer versions and also my older versions (plus a couple of our mums very older versions!) so when my daughter and myself went up to see our mum, my daughter found them out and enjoyed playing with them so much I had the idea of getting her some Barbie dolls for her birthday. As my daughter is only two, though, I wanted to see what she was like with the dolls at home before spending a lot of money on them and when shopping she saw a cheaper version of these dolls in Pound Land. As the doll was only a pound I decided to give it a try. I also picked up a clothing accessory set for this doll complete with three extra outfits, again for a pound.
As the doll was only a pound, I knew that it would not be as good as Barbies, though I did hope that it would be good enough to withstand my two year old playing with it.
The doll came in a well presented, if not a little flimsy, see-through box complete with a small dog and one set of clothing which was already on the doll. My daughter couldn't wait to get the doll out and once we had unhooked the doll from the box, she immediately started taking the clothes off of it. What is it with young children loving dolls being without clothes?!
I'll say here that my daughter loves the doll she has named Barbie, though in my opinion, the phrase 'you get what you pay for' is certainly true. The doll is of much softer plastic than that of the Barbie doll and is easily dented with pressure. The dents do eventually puff back out though so it is not a huge problem. The biggest problem is that the legs and arms tend to fall off easily when dressing and undressing the doll. It could be that my daughter is too young for it, though to be honest, the legs fell off when I was dressing it too. At first it upset my daughter though now she enjoys taking the legless doll to daddy the doctor to fix! As the plastic is so thin, the doll is very light which is a good thing for a youngster.
There are a few different styles of this fantastic fashion doll, though this one has long brown hair which was originally tied in a pony tail with an elastic band which made it difficult to untie. Once we did this, the hair was a little matty and when brushing a dolls brush through it, some of the hair did come away, though this was only minimal. If pulling at the hair, it pretty much stays in place on the dolls head.
The doll came with a pair of trousers and crop top. I often wonder why dolls for young children are dressed in styles suited for older teenagers or even adults and am wary of exactly what clothes to allow for my daughters dolls so brought the additional clothes pack which included three lovely looking dresses; a long purple formal dress, a shorter pink dress and another purple and orange softer dress. The doll also came with a pair of pink shoes.
Immediately after getting the clothes out of the pack, it was plain to see that these clothes were very flimsy and made from a very thin material. The clothes were certainly no where near the condition that Barbie clothes are made, though again - you get what you pay for. The clothes are also very badly made and already the top has frayed beyond use and one of the dress straps has frayed right off - after only a week of having the doll. Two of the dresses are still in tact and do seem a little sturdier though only time will tell if these go the same way. Barbie doll clothes will fit this doll as it is the same size as most of the average Barbie dolls so that is another idea on clothing this doll.
The dog which is included in the main doll box is actually sturdier than the doll itself with a harder plastic and no parts which can fray or break.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked online to compare prices and came across one on ebay saying that it was a 'collectable' doll and up for a buy it now price of £25! Do not be taken in by this collectable business - this doll is simply a cheaper version of a Barbie doll and is worth no more than what I paid for it - £1.00 in the Pound Land. The durability is low and you seriously get what you pay for (unless you are silly and pay the £25 then you certainly do not get what you pay for!).
My daughter loves her first doll and loves taking it to meet my younger sisters dolls and I am glad that I got it her though will not be buying it again. I will certainly stick to Barbie Dolls in the future as this doll may look slightly like the Barbies my sister has, though it has low durability in both doll and clothes and proves frustrating when the limbs continuously fall off.
Do I recommend this doll?
You wont be wasting too much money if paying only £1.00 though really, save your money and go for the branded Barbie dolls - they are much safer and more durable.