Here's something I don't normally do in my posts...complain, yep that's right, I've found a doll I'm really not happy with, and here's why...
Whilst browsing in Ebay the other day, I found a listing for a very cheap doll, no bidders and ending in a few minutes, she had such a lovely face and made me think of Marilyn Monroe, so I decided I'd go for it and place a bid, even though the seller didn't give much other information on the doll, and as she was ending in a few minutes, I must confess I sped read the listing (Bad Herbie!) so I didn't even know who she was made by, not that it mattered to me as she was going to be customised away, she was boxed and arrived at my home really quickly, the problem came when I opened the box!
But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, this is what she looked like in the listing:
After I opened the package she came in, I was surprised to discover she was from Wilkinson's Play! line of toys, as I didn't even know it existed!
The doll comes in "Cheap & Cheerful" packaging, but the Artist in me actually likes the "paint - splats" on the box, which I think may actually be the "theme" that connects all Wilkinson's Play! Toy Range and helps you to differentiate between it and the "dearer items they may have on the shelves next to it or close by... I could be wrong of course, as I didn't even know they had their own range of toys, having only ever noticed the Brand Name ones when I've been in the toy section of my Local Wilkinson.
Otherwise, why would a standard Barbie Clone come in a box covered with paint splats if her outfit does not relate to an "Arty" theme? but I digress...
I began to wonder if she'd be any good for my custom idea, but I decided I was wrong in being so judgmental, considering, I hadn't even opened the box at the time, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to review this type of Barbie Clone while I had the chance.
Now I don't know about you, but I always open my doll boxes from the top, unless they have something ornate on top that I don't want to damage or have excessively sticky tape which will damage the box and leave an ugly mark, in those cases, I go straight to the bottom... In this case however, I wasn't particularly bothered about the box as it was the doll's face that most concerned me, so I opted for the top, which was sealed with a mall strip of sellotape.
I should point out here, that the box, was very low quality thinner in fact, than the cardboard a cereal box is made of, when I realised this, I must admit, I didn't really have high hopes for the doll inside, but I decided to be more optimistic as I was still hoping that my "Custom Marilyn" would be an easy re-dress, add beauty spot and re style the hair type of custom... but it was not to be!
From the seller's photo, I thought her hair was already styled in a very Marilyn-esque kind of way, but I discovered a few seconds later that her hair was on top of her hand in a "pony tail", I discovered this as I attempted to remove her from the box, and her head came off in my hand... yes really, it just popped right off her neck!!?
She wasn't held into the box by any extra packaging (I quite like that) so I just tipped the box upside down and let the rest of the doll fall into my lap, and Oh My God!
The neck is such a weird shape, but thankfully the hole in the head that corresponds to it, seems to be a "normal" shape and size.
The doll's body is made out of the flimsiness plastic and it's hollow too, so flimsy in fact, that when I tried to take her clothes off to look at her body properly it bent!
Her dress had not been hemmed at the bottom, and the material used has started to fray. Her underwear is cut jagged and again not hemmed and starting to fray.
I noticed that one of her feet was not inside one of the shoes correctly and her heel was sticking out over the top, so I tried to push the foot back into it...bad move as it turned out, as in trying to fit the shoe on, her heel squished inwards and is now pushed in and cannot be pulled back out, plus her leg bent so much that when I twisted it back in place, it left "stress-marks" on her legs!
While for me this is not such an issue as it was primarily her face I was interested in, and she does have a very pretty face, that I still believe is a perfect candidate for Marilyn Monroe.
But I was very offended by the quality of the rest of her, as her body is totally unusable for the purpose I bought her for and will need to be replaced.
I decided to do something I never do... I have written a letter to Wilko Stores complaining about the quality of the item, as I am unable to return it to the store as they state I can under their "Wilko Promise" on the back of the box.
I'm also offended that if this doll is as I suspect a "Pocket Money Toy" then some poor little girl may find she has wasted her money on what she thinks is a nice doll and turns out to be something that falls apart in her hands as she attempts to play with it, as this is certainly NOT a "Play Toy" in fact unless a little girl who has spent her money on this doll leaves her in her box and never attempts to take her out to play with, she will be very disappointed.
Likewise, if this is purchased as a present it will only lead to disappointment, and really should be avoided at all costs, unless you are only purchasing her for her head as the head quality is pretty standard for a clone doll!
In my letter, I have requested that Wilko, if they continue to stock this product, improve it's quality even if this means raising the product's price, as I reasoned in my letter "Most people, (even little girls) will not mind paying a few more pounds extra for an item that won't fall apart in their hands as they try to use it"!
After all, why should a Low Price automatically have to mean Low Quality?!