After removing her brown travel packaging, I was greeted by her beautifully illustrated and colourful box which shows her all packed and ready for her journey to my house!
The travel labels on her suitcase show that she has travelled to Australia, Canada, Paris, London (England) and New York, this is also referenced inside her leaflet which is tucked away inside the box, but I'll get to that later.
There is a beautiful illustration on the back of her box which depicts a serene pond and exotic birds, in the centre of the image there is a list of names, a thank you to the people who helped launch the doll during the Kickstarter campaign.
Both sides of the box are also beautifully decorated in the same watercolour style, the left side of the box, at the bottom (photograph above) states the artist who designed the box and I suspect the inner leaflet is Yelena Lamm.
The right side of the box depicts a woodland clearing with butterflies fluttering up the side and trees in the background, the design is such that it puts me in mind of jungle tropics, but could quite easily be a clearing in any wooded area, not just the tropics, it's kind of confusing but in a good way!
The top of the box doesn't look like much in the photograph above, but the artist in me finds it interesting so I've uploaded it anyway! The image is clouds against the sky, it makes me think of the vastness of this planet we live on and the fact that no matter how far you may travel across the world the same sky is above you at all times...
I don't know about you but I'm always interested in the bottom of boxes, jars, tins, packets, dishes etc, it's where most companies place important and sometimes interesting information and yet at the same time it's the one place they don't really expect anyone to look so more often than not most packaging design doesn't continue underneath the box.
In this case the dark blue tones from the bottom of the back and sides of the box is repeated below, along with contact and contact information and of course the obligatory warnings you find on any doll box...
You know the usual "Remove this that, something else before giving it to a child" - seriously, is anyone really that stupid that they don't think to do that?
On second thoughts don't answer that, I guess some people probably are!
The box is an unusual design, the front cover forms a flap which you open and discover more artwork and a little slot in which the informational leaflet is positioned.
Once you remove the leaflet you're confronted with another beautifully designed background, as you can see in the photograph below...
The front of the leaflet says "Hello" in several languages, below this it says "It was the adventure of a lifetime! I'd like to share some moments of my journey with you..."
I'll get to what's inside it soon, but first, I want to open up this second flap and show you Aranya herself!
And here she is!
She is secured to her box in two places - across the ankles and by the hair. As you can see her wrists are articulated as are her ankles, but the rest of her body is pretty basic, except of course for her body size.
Once you remove the doll from her bindings, you're left with this beautiful background against which she stood. Looking at the above photograph it may seem a bit weird how low down the holes for the bindings are but this is because unlike other fashion dolls who are normally secured by the neck and ankles amongst other places, Lammily is only secured at the ankles and by the hair, this will make more sense when you look at the next photograph...
There doesn't seem to be any reason to secure the doll's hair with plastic strips and thread apart from the fact that it is this section of the doll's hair which is secured to her packaging. The plastic strips alleviate any damage to her hair which may be caused by the ties, and the thread acts as a binder to hold the plastic strips into place, again cutting down on the possibility of damage to her hair.
This comes off very easily, it is sewn pretty loose so it could easily be removed by a child without the doll loosing any hair.
It's a great idea, I wish more companies would secure their dolls in this way.
The only issue I found with her bindings was that her ankle "skin" is quite soft and wasn't protected by any plastic strips etc and so when I removed the bindings from her ankles, I discovered a dent in one of them from where the tie was secured a little bit too tight, you can just see this in the photograph above and also on the other leg, which is shown in the photograph below.
It's a little annoying, but is easily covered up when she's wearing her leggings, as you shall see in a few pictures time...
But first I'm going to tell you more about that pamphlet that she came with, as I've already shown you the front cover and told you what's written on it, I see no point in repeating it here, so I'm going to skip right to page two and show you from there on...
Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that it is in "concertina style" not booklet, so you just keep folding out to reveal her story, then flip it over for the rest, anyway, here goes...
Page two concerns her recent travels in Canada, and as it's easily readable in the above photograph, I'll not repeat it here.
Pages 5 and 6 talk about her time in Paris, France: "In a bakery in Paris, I chatted with the owner and picked out a warm croissant and a scrumptious pain au chocolat."
Pages 7 and 8 are on the other side of the pamphlet and show Lammily's visit to New York...
"New York City was filled with bustling energy. As I found myself in Brooklyn Park, I stopped to help a man fix his bicycle."
Pages 9 and 10 show Lammily's visit to London, England where of course it's raining - why of course?
Well it's one of those sad stereotypes like "It always rains in England" or "British people have bad teeth" Don't get me started, I'm trying so hard not to get on an angry rant here...
Deep breath, anyhoo... She's in London, it's wet, she's happy about it, although judging by the illustration she's aged about 30 years, but I digress, here's what she has to say about the Capital of England ... "When it started pouring in London, I took it as a moment to break free rather than run away." On page 10 she continues " These seemingly small moments are the most memorable. And friends like you make these memories special. So, let's go forward! There is much more to discover and explore ... together."
The next two pages, when the leaflet is folded back up, form the front and back of the leaflet, I've already told you what is on the front, so here's what's on the back:
Under the heading "What's Next?" The first thing listed is "Name Me... make it official at lammily.com/passport."
Below this, it says: "Travel the World. Dress me up in fashions inspired by different countries at lammily.com/fashion/
The final item is: "Keep in touch" at lammily.com
And now it's time to whip her kit off and show you her nakie, then I'm going to dress her in her new outfit - Lammily Fashions "Rocking London Outfit", which arrived a day before she did!
Poor thing she looks a little embarrassed, I'm not that surprised after all she'd known me a matter of minutes before I stripped her of her clothes!
As you can see she has the same articulated ankles and wrists (the kind that go up and down, right to left) her knees and elbows bend and hold position in the same way Barbie and Pedigree Sindy do.
Hips, shoulders and head move the same way as a standard Barbie doll as well.
She doesn't have much of a waist line which is a shame, but I do love her sturdy frame and the weightiness of her, she is very well made and not at all flimsy.
I forgot to mention she has a maker's mark placed on her lower back, which you can see faintly in the above photograph, I'm sure this will be a useful I.D some day as if these dolls ever make it more widespread there is bound to be clones hitting the market not long afterwards!.
I'm sure in the hands of a child she would last a lot longer than your average fashion doll as her joints are also sturdy unlike a lot of other and more well known dolls.
Her travelling outfit is pretty basic, consisting of a pair of shorts, a shirt and a pair of trainers - No grundies - that girl goes commando!
But it is very well made, there are no frayed seams or loose threads like you find on many doll clothes, and is perfectly designed to not only fit her properly but also show off her unusual figure.
These three items don't seem like much but they do make a good starting block for a wardrobe, and can be added to a couple of pieces at a time, to make several different outfits.
They're also are a great place to start when designing clothes for her... If you have a pair of shorts, you can make long trousers, a skirt and underwear amongst other items. A shirt will help you design a pattern for a dress, t shirts and a coat.
If you combine both items you can make leotards and onsies...
The only thing that I find awkward is the shoes, as yet Lammily have still not offered footwear as a single purchase, and the only choices you get in each of the fashion packs are... A pair of plain black heels, a pair of plain white heels and a pair of black flats with red laces.
The Rocking London outfit I purchased at the same time as my doll includes a pair of plain black heels, packaged the set looks like this...
The back of the packaging shows how the doll will look when dressed in the complete outfit, and the right hand side of the packaging contains a number of facts about the Country or City the outfit is meant to depict.
The facts on the back of the Rocking London packaging are:
Big Ben is the name of the bell in the Elizabeth Tower often extended to refer to the clock and the tower.
London is the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times: in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
London is the first city in the world to have an underground subway system. It was also the first major railway to use electric traction.
Many famous people have lived and worked in London, including Sir Isaac (they spell it Isaak?) Newton, and Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, The Beatles and Pink Floyd to name but a few...
Once open, this is what you'll find inside...I know I've shown you this photograph before, but just to recap before I show you her all dressed up in her new togs
I tried everything on her at first, but didn't like how it looked so I fiddled about and decided that this is my favourite combination, I think she looks pretty cute, even if she's looking a bit miserable in it!
The only thing I'm not quite liking is the belt seems to be a little high and the sleeves aren't that long, but meh, I'm nitpicking really as I looked and looked at this outfit before I bought it so I was fully aware of these things before I purchased it!
Writing this post, I'm sure it will surprise you to learn (hahaha) I couldn't resist going back to the Lammily site and having a nose about at the Fashions on offer, I'm pretty sure the Scotland one wasn't there last time as I'd have most likely bought it for her instead or along with this one, so of course it's now on my Wishlist and a very likely purchase in the not too distant future...
The correct name for the outfit is "Scotland Adventure" and of course features tartan, I've told you about my dollies in tartan problem before right? anyway, it looks like this:
The set comes with a beautiful white Broderie Anglaise blouse, a pair of jeans, a beanie hat, some stupidly cute fingerless gloves a Tartan coat and a pair of flats (they could be brogues) with red laces... Just think of the mix and match fun I could have with that!
You can see the pattern of the blouse fabric better in the photograph below, it might be an idea to click on it, so you'll get an even bigger image...
She just looks so darn cute in that beanie, I think Aranya will look absolutely adorable, and why not seeing as the doll in the photograph above is her twin or however many she is!
Oh one more thing I forgot to mention, The doll's weight really helps to ground her, she doesn't need a stand to help her, which is great for setting up photographs.
Well, I'm off now,
Catch ya later!