In the box
My little girl has been attending dance lessons over the last year, and it is safe to say she absolutely adores it. While looking through our new home bargains I came across this doll for just £9.99 and knew that she would love it. It is made by zapf creations so I was expecting good things from them as previous dolls have been enjoyed by my daughter. In the box you receive Jolina herself, a CD and a book. Jolina is a little larger than a Barbie. She is not large so that she would be difficult to carry around, or to move into different positions. Jolina is a very pretty doll, and when you first take her out of the box (which is a nightmare to do) her hair is done up in a lovely neat bun. The hair can be done up to however the little girl wants, and although my little girl found it a bit difficult she can style it herself. She has a full ballet costume on, so any little girl will recognise she is a dancer straight away. Her hands are pointed ready to be moved into elegant dance moves. Everything about her is so pretty and girly that she was an instant hit with my daughter.
Originally we thought the CD was DVD but on playing it we found it was actually 6 songs of music for the doll to perform ballet to. I think this is a lovely addition to the toy, and even though my daughter does not use it as much now she did use it at first it has still been well loved. She insisted on playing it over and over while she performed with the doll for the first few weeks. She was also very excited to have a book to teach the doll how to move. She did not notice it at first and after a few different positions she was at a loss for things to do next, so she loved that this book gave her different ideas. The thing I like about the book is it shows both ballet moves, but stretching and normal pose moves too. There is enough in there to keep my little girl happy when she is looking for something to do. It has become a little worn as it is just a booklet rather than a book so it is prone to ripping. It does show Jolina with a ballet bar, which of course my daughter also wanted but it does not seem to be available for purchase which is strange.
My little girl was keen to begin using her doll. At first she wasn't interested in making the doll dance; instead she was just happy to show her round the doll's house, as apparently this is where she would be living. Next my daughter noticed that this doll was a little different from others she owned. The arms, legs and knees all had joints in them. She could twist the hand round into different positions, and move the dolly around a lot more than her other dolls. In fact the whole doll has movable joints meaning she can move in any way you like. When I explained to her what the doll could do she was very excited. She started moving the doll into jumping positions, and generally just playing around with the doll. Then she started looking through the little booklet you receive with the doll, which shows a number of different ballet moves. She was so happy just moving the doll round and dancing with her. She thought it was amazing that she could bend and move nearly anyway she wanted her to be. She tried doing this with other dolls, but quickly learned it was because of the movable joints in the dolly that allowed her to move.
What I really like about this doll is it does not have to be used purely for dancing. My little girl has now named this her favourite doll, and she must go everywhere with us. She barley leaves my daughters side and can be used just as any other doll would. You can style the dolls hair but I have found that it has become a little mated. The constant brushing of the hair and my daughter styling it into different positions has shown. The hair net that originally came with the doll has snapped from being taken out so often, and as Jolina has a lot of hair it can be difficult for smaller hands to put it back in a neat bun. It is even difficult for me to do. You can also take the dolls ballerina costume off. It is fairly easy to do, but my little girl did need some help the few times. The shoes are a little annoying as the ribbon is just threaded through the pump rather than attached, and my little girl found these difficult to put back on correctly. It is very easy to move the doll into the different positions. She can bend in any way so with lots of practise my daughter has found she can put Jolina into lots of different ballet positions independently.
She is recommended from 3 years to 8 years which I do think is a fair age range. My little girl is four, and she has been able to use the doll without any problems. She did find a few things a little difficult, but after practise she is able to do them, so it would be challenging enough for children a few years older. I like that the child has to use their imagination to actually move the doll around. There are so many other dolls that you press a button and they dance, but this actually means more participation from the child and makes it more interesting for them. I was a little worried that with moving joints it could maybe pinch my daughter. They are all of course rounded, and there are no small gaps for little one to get caught in. This means my daughter can play with it without me worrying.
I would recommend this doll to any little girl. You do not need to love ballet for it to appeal, although this does help. Jolina can be used as a regular doll in my daughters doll's house, or being pushed in a pram but she has the added benefit of being fully bendable. The doll was not as large as I would have expected if I ordered online. Luckily I seen it in the shop and so knew what I was purchasing. For a retail price of £30 Jolina is only just bigger than a Barbie, so it seems a little expensive. As this doll was released a number of years ago it is often on sale and I picked ours up for just £10. It is also available on Amazon for £14 so do shop around to find it cheaper.
My daughter absolutely loved the advert for this doll, but as she is not three until April, I considered it too advanced for her, mainly because for £30.00, I would also have wanted her to be able to use the dance steps book and the CD.
However, her grandma, on seeing how she liked to dance to the advert, decided that she didn't mind spending £30.00 on it and bought it for her for Christmas.
I had read reviews on the product (when I had been thinking of buying it myself) and none were very good. Most of them were not particularly happy with the size of the doll and felt that the additional "dance book" was no more than a leaflet. I admit that these had put me off and therefore I was pleasantly suprised when we opened the box and found that Jolina was actually quite a sturdy doll.
She is approximately the same height as a barbie, maybe a little taller, but overall is much sturdier. Her hair is very long and tied back into a bun with a hair net (although this doesn't last long!) and she has completely posable jointed limbs (including her ankles and wrists), so that you can place her in any ballet pose. She is dressed in a pink all in one leggings ensemble, leg warmers, ballet shoes, a cardigan and a tutu. The items can be removed if required.
Also inside the box is the dance booklet and I this is a bit flimsy but does show all the relevant ballet poses. In addition a CD is included which to my daughters delight included the music from the advert, aswell as other classical tracks.
Although I didn't actually buy this myself, it does seem to be a well made product. My daughter doesn't play with it as an older child would, but she absolutely loves it to bits, and carried it around with her all day on Christmas Day, until she fell asleep with it under her arm!
Although she is much dearer than a barbie doll, I do feel that she is a good product.
My daughter at 3 years old loves ballet and anything to do with ballet so Jolina Ballerina appeared to be the perfect choice for a new doll for Christmas this year.
You can purchase Jolina Ballerina with a booklet and cd or you can pay 15.00 more to get Jolina Ballerina with the booklet, cd and a stage for her to perform on. We opted for the first option, Jolina with the booklet and cd.
Jolina is a lot smaller than we expected, I know she is advertised at 34cm tall but I really didn't consider her size until she arrived. Although she is small she is totally in proportion.
As with most things, she came with too much packaging but she was soon unwrapped. The booklet is something of a let down as it is more like a leaflet but the cd with ballet music is nice. Although I'm sure my daughter would have preferred a dvd for her and Jolina to dance along to together.
Jolina is very pretty, especially with her bun in and I feel the image used in the advertising material with her hair down really doesn't do her any justice at all. Her outfit is very pretty and pink but we've not experienced how easy or difficult it is to remove her clothes yet! It would be nice if other outfits such as a tutu became available in the future. Jolina Ballerina is a lot more flexible than I expected and can recreate ballet positions and is fun to play with but sometimes getting her arms and legs back into position is a little challenging for a 3 year old and requires parental help to avoid frustration !!
Although there are other ballerina dolls on the market, none come with the ability to recreate ballet moves like Jolina does. Furthermore, as with all Zapf products she is really well made and it would appear her joints will withstand lots of play.
Jolina is quite expensive for her size but she has been a success with our little girl and I'm sure other ballet loving little ones would adore her too.