* Prices may differ from that shown
I have to admit I have never actually bought one of these, but this summer (if you can call it that) I must have won about 10 on the 2p machines in the arcades at Skegness.
The dolls are around 6cm tall, and are made of string wrapped around the basic shape of a body as far as I can tell. They come in several different designs and colours, such as ninjas, vampires, angels, bright pink ones, plain white ones etc. They tend to have different features such as eyes and mouths and items of clothing stuck on them too. I have had mine on my keys now for a few months and it is still intact, but it has got a bit grubby (its a white one) so Im going to remove it and throw it away soon. The strings seems to attract all kinds of dirt and dust. My housemate has gone through two on her keys already however as they keep unravelling, so watch out for this - if your going to buy one make sure the string is securely attached.
You can buy these in shops for anything between £2 and £6 depending on where you buy them from, at £2 or £3 they're reasonably priced but I would say spending £6 on one of these is simply extortionate. This would make a great little present or stocking filler for christmas for anyone who likes the gothic style or is into vampires and zombies or anything quirky. Im not a big fan myself, after seeing hundreds of them ni the Skegness 2p machines they have kind of lost their charm on me!
I'm a sucker for quirky objects, anything that is funky or a bit different seems to find its way into my house. I had spied the mini voodoo dolls on chains at a music festival but despite falling in love with them did not love the £6 price tag. Later in Blackpool one of the shops on the promenade was selling them for just a couple of quid each and I grabbed a few, one to keep for myself and a couple to give as gifts.
The voodoo dolls come in a number of designs, I have the little green monster and I bought my zombie obsessed daughter the ninja one. Mine is a simple green doll with features sewn on whilst my daughter's is more complex and comes with a cute little black costume and hood.
It's quite hard to describe the dolls, they are around 6 or so cm long and the outside at least is made of string which is wrapped right round the doll if that makes sense. All the features and any additional items of clothing are very firmly attached. After being used for over a year the dolls are completely intact with no damage but they are grubby and there is no way of giving them a proper wash.
Each doll comes presented on a simple card backing and each doll comes with a special power, for example my daughter's ninja is meant to help her cope with idiots without frustration and give her patience, I could say it isn't working very well but who knows how grumpy she would be without it! Other dolls give you confidence or peace and this is what makes them nice gifts for friends.
The dolls come with a strong chain on top of them which means they can be attached to your keys or bag or anywhere else. I would have preferred a traditional keyring because it is easier to use but that is a minor quibble.
I would not buy one of these dolls at full price but if you can find them cheaper then they are a fun little gift for yourself or others.
My friend always gets me out of the ordinary presents on birthdays or Christmas from home made piñatas to one of these cute voodoo key rings. I was more than happy when ripping apart the wrapping paper to reveal my voodoo doll. I was never a big key ring collector but my collection of keys only had a connector ring so was glad to add something fancy.
There are many different characters that these voodoo dolls can come in. Looking online now I can see pirates, cartoon characters, witches and even a Mr.T. I was given the ninja voodoo doll dressed in all black with just its beady eyes on show. The key ring attached to the head.
It fit well with my keys at first and didn't mind that it was two big to fit in my pocket as I could let it hang out to show my cool new toy off. However, it started to get annoying and eventually had to remove it and instead let in hang on the nail on the wall. It was a strange addition to the more arty collection I had hanging but i adored my little ninja and let it stay for a few months. After some time, passing people would take a look and have a fiddle and the string used for the ninjas clothes began to fall apart and am now left with a tattered version with bits of him missing. I still keep it as it was a gift though if it wasn't it would surely have been thrown out a while ago. I'm sure that if I had kept it on my keys for much longer the whole thing would have unravelled and can't say it was just this ninja doll that would have this problem.
Though I would recommend these dolls as a cute out of the ordinary gift, I wouldn't expect them to last very long if they do decide to use them as key rings. I'm sure they would be much better as something quirky to collect.
Somehow, I have ended up with more keys than the average jailer. I have two keys for home, three keys for my holiday home, two keys for my mum's house, a car key, a key for work, a key for a padlock and a key for the front door of the place I used to live. There's also two USB sticks, two mini-torches, a shamrock that has my name on, a Tesco clubcard, a boomerang, a Bagpuss keyring and another keyring with my name on (in case I forget after looking the first time, presumably). Attached to all this is a big long loop of ribbon to help me find them when they're in my bag, because the combined weight and inevitable pull of gravity tends to mean they sink to the bottom. To be honest, I don't understand people who just have a couple of keys and who put all their others on a separate keyring for use as needed. My keyring is a wonder of physics; a vortex that draws all keys to it and binds them together like the fabric of the universe. Which is a poetic way of saying that as long as a key is on my keyring, it will stay there forever. The minute, nay the second, it is removed, it is lost to me forever.
Knowing that I quite like keyrings and quirky things in general, my boyfriend got me this as a wee 'just because' present. I think he picked her up (that sounds very wrong, but we are still talking about the keyring) in the airport but I've seen them in shops throughout town so it shouldn't be hard to track one down.
As voodoo dolls go, she's quite small and yet quite big for a keyring, being the same size as my thumb but twice as broad. She's described as 'Venus' which equates to a doll made out of cord with black eyes, no nose or mouth and a really quite funky pink outfit. The semi-featureless face makes her sound a bit creepy, but actually she's really sweet and the kids I teach always want to see and hold her. She also has a little jingle bell on her head, which is handy for driving cats insane, as they can't figure out where the oh-so-alluring sound is coming from.
The card that she came on said that she watches over her friends' love lives (presumably using her teeny wee heart wand to zap them if they aren't being soppy enough) but I'm not sure how accurate this is. Certainly I haven't felt any urge to matchmake but maybe a doll so weeny just isn't able to overcome my natural 'can't be arsed' tendency.
She attaches to your keys by means of a loop and one of those bobbly chains, which I always break so I replaced it for a proper keyring. Truth be told, I didn't have high hopes for her staying intact as she's largely made of glued cord and fabric, and bigger keyrings like this tend not to last terribly well. Turned out that I underestimated the power of voodoo though, as she's still going strong and looks in much the same condition as the day I got her, despite being fussed over by numerous small children and being in and out of my handbag at least ten times a day.
I love my Mrs Voodoo and I think she'd make a great and unusual gift but it's worth bearing in mind that she wouldn't suit anyone who likes discreet keyrings, or who tends to stick their keys in a trouser pocket.
For christmas, my husband had bought me a keyring as a stocking filler. When i opened it, was slightly puzzled to read it was a voodoo doll and looked slightly strange in appearence to be fair. Once i had read the speil that came with the packaging, i realised why he had bought if for me " to ward away those who are trying to do harm". My own little protector for my pocket. I thought this was a lovely gesture and decided to look into these strange but affectionate keyrings a little further.
As it happens, on a recent trip to Alton towers, these keyrings were on sale in their gift shop, and i thought i would return the gift and buy one for my husband. His is pictured above and is called AKA-ONI. I will explain more in a short while.
These keyrings are not cheap. Not ones you will pick up in your local pound store, but cost £5.99 each. I have not seen these at any other price anywhere, You can pick these up online and in your local card stores such as Clintons or Birthdays. As you already know, i picked mine up oddly at Alton Towers!
These Voodoo dolls are made by John Hinde. You may have unknowingly seen other products by John Hinde in your card stores, such as the personalised mugs and juice bottles for your children that are brightly coloured with colourful names written in rubber around the sides. (hope you know what i am talking about). Anyway, the John Hinde group sell these products world wide and the voodoo dolls are a fairly recent addition to the range of products produced.
There are 72 different watchover dolls and each doll has its own 'power'. It is advised that this concept is for fun though and are not the serious concept of voodoo!!
The dolls come with minimal packaging, they are 'mounted' on a cardboard strip coloured brown with the 'watchover voodoo doll' logo in red and black at the top of the packaging. Below this, you will find your doll and underneath the doll, the powers that the doll possesses. For example, the Venus doll "will help other people fall in love and watchover their futures". The AKA-ONI doll that i had bought is "to kick start you life. Give you courage and confidence to get things done". Every one of these dolls, whether i feel they apply to me or not, have lovely meanings and i feel they would make great gifts for people close to you. They are certainly a little more interesting and different to the wallet and purse cards that have poems about friendship and 'lovely daughter' type spiels on them. These are a great conversation topic, and all powers of these dolls have good connotations, none are intended to be horrible in any way.
The hinde group state " Watchover voodoo is for fun and if by keeping one of these dolls with you it helps with any aspect of your life then it is a good thing". A great philosophy in my book!!
These dollsdo not claim to be toys and are in fact handmade. The dolls are approx 4 inches high and look like they are made of string. The AKA-ONI is red in colour, wearing a brown and black outfit. His eyes are black and the key ring holder is metal in composition. This could be used as a keyring or even hung somewhere such as in your car or from a bag. Mine is on my keys so that it goes everywhere with me!!
The heads of these dolls is considerably larger then their bodies, and they string is wrapped tightly around the whole doll. I have had mine since Christmas, and although a little grubby, this has all components intact and nothing has freyed or plucked, so great quality. My husband keeps his in his van and has had no issues either.
In conclusion, although not cheap, i think that this range is versatile and a great addition to your keys. These dolls are not the prettiest things to look at, but once you have read the meaning of your doll, you will find your doll will strangley grow on you. I think it is a little bundle of inspiration that makes me smile whenever i look at it.
5/5 from me!