“ Brand: Novi Stars / Type: Doll „
Novi Stars are a new range of dolls to recently hit the shelves. There are loads of different Novi Stars to choose from. My daughter (age 6) had her heart set on a Novi Stars doll called 'Anne Artic', after seeing it on an advert on television a couple of months ago. The Anne Artic doll is part of a fire and ice 'Invasion' range which consists of 2 dolls - Anne Artic (ice doll) and Ina Ferna (fire doll). Despite the heavy advertising of these particular dolls, I found them very hard to find (normal Novi Stars dolls are available at most toy shops etc). The only place I could find them was at Argos for £15.99 each. Whilst researching for this review I have discovered that they are also available at Smyths Toys, Littlewoods and Very.
The doll came packaged in a nicely decorated (or should I say ICELY decorated!) cardboard box with transparent plastic front. Printed on the back of the box is a fact file on Anne Artic, which was pretty fun to read with my daughter (but soon went in the bin!). As well as the doll you also get a small plastic hairbrush and a 'glow in the dark' stand.
The doll is very pretty, very detailed and very unusual. She's not your regular Barbie, that's for sure! Her whole body is transparent (plastic), except for her hands and feet which are blue. Her main feature and main selling point is her legs which are full of 'snow' (water and glitter). Her legs are like little snow globes, when you tip her up the snow flutters around inside her legs! It's not as spectacular as the advert makes out (when is it ever?) but my daughter really does like this aspect. Her head is larger than her body (and is heart shaped) which gives her real character. Her face is a blue and white colour. She has tiny blue lips, blue eyelids, dots for eyebrows, huge long glittery eyelashes and beautiful big eyes which have blue glitter inside them (there is also a small picture in the black of the eyes, I can't work out what the picture is. A snowflake perhaps?). Her hair is blue and white at the tips. Her hair is almost like candy floss and sticks upwards (like it's been hair sprayed to the max!), rather than flowing downwards. I quite like her hair because it doesn't get tangled (although it's beginning to look a bit ratty at the ends!). She also has ears and silver 'things' which poke out from her hair. She wears a little blue metallic dress with white fur trim (this can be removed by velcro around the back) and blue high heel shoes. The doll is quite small and petite. She's quite fragile and not the most robust doll that I've seen, although to her credit she hasn't broken yet! she stands at just 7 inches and is very thin too (just 1cm at her waist which is her smallest part!). At £15.00 I feel she is just a little overpriced, she isn't much bigger than my hand...
One thing which I really disliked about the doll is that my daughter soon managed to pull both of her arms off and couldn't get them back in. I did it but it took ages and was very fiddly (I doubt many children would be able to put the arms back in by themselves). It turns out that the arms have been designed to be removed to make it easier to undress/dress the doll. I personally think it would be better to design the clothes to easily be removed, rather than have limbs that come off the doll and are really fiddly and awkward to get back on. On the upside is that this has only happened a couple of times (I've also noticed that you don't even need to remove the arms to undress/dress the doll, it's easy enough, so a totally pointless and annoying 'feature' to have!).
Another downside is that the doll is awkward to put on the stand. There are holes in the stand to position the shoes inside, but my daughter finds it impossible to get her shoes in to the stand. She has always asked me to do it and even I find it very awkward! I have also noticed that she occasionally leans the doll against things to prop it up on to the stand, which defeats the whole object of the stand! The doll doesn't stand independently so you need to hold her or put her on the stand to keep her upright. The 'glow in the dark' aspect is good but not amazing. We were hoping that the stand would make the doll glow up in the dark, but it doesn't! I think the stand is a good idea though because this is the sort of doll that most children (and possibly adults) would be happy to put on display, to look at and adore!
We've had this doll for over a month now and although my daughter really loved her doll at first, I've noticed she doesn't really play with it much any more. I recently asked her if she still likes her doll and she told me she 'really' likes her. When I asked her why she doesn't play with her much, she just shrugged her shoulders. I think there is definitely a limited play aspect to this doll - her legs don't move or bend (her head does and her arms do but I think my daughter worries that the arms will come off!), she doesn't do anything, she's quite small etc. Her hair isn't even the right texture to use the brush provided! I think this doll definitely works better as a display doll rather than a toy. I cannot fault her look or the detail that's gone in to her, but she just isn't robust or exciting enough to make an amazing toy. I would recommend this doll as long as you know what you're getting - an unusually lovely looking doll and that's about it! I wouldn't recommend to children under 5 years.