Top positive review
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Very Nice Doll compared to others, but wait 'til it's on sale
on December 28, 2011
I got a Calin doll for my niece for Christmas (she's age 18 mo.). I got this doll, the Classiques, for my 2 1/2 year old daughter. We also have 3 other Wal-Mart baby dolls that were gifts. Here's my comparison of the dolls.
The average (Wal-Mart) doll:
Is not so bad. However, cheaper dolls often have cloth bodies with a plastic face and painted-on eyes and they do something weird - like giggle maniacally or glow and play music or pee. I'm really not into dolls with batteries. The batteries eventually die, the cloth bodies can't be dressed, and kids quickly get tired of the 'features' the dolls have. A simple baby doll is best for play in the long haul.
The dolls that don't have bodies with their clothes sewn on often have all-plastic bodies. This make them hard to snuggle and awkward for kids to move them around. Their limbs don't 'give' at all without twisting them at different angles from the plastic torso. That means small kids have a hard time getting them into strollers, chairs, baby beds, etc. Mom/Dad/Caregiver often has to continually re-pose a plastic bodied doll to let the kid play with them. The average doll also rarely has nice, soft plastic, but hard stuff, instead, and they rarely have the open-shut eyes.
Pros for Corolle dolls:
* WEIGHT and SIZE: The Calin doll (not this one, the smaller one) is a little on the small side, but it's perfect for kids ages 1-3. My niece loved it, and actually the other niece stole the Calin and carried her around all Christmas morning. That doll was never left alone for very long. They are a great carrying size.
This one (the Classique) is a bit more what I'd consider classic baby-doll size. My 2.5 year old is a little tall, so this fits her well. She likes to carry it, but now wants a 'bee-yorn' (bjorn) to carry it in like her younger sister gets carried by mom.
On both, the bean-weighted bottom lets them sit nicely, and they have a nice heft to them. The cloth body allows for ease of moving the plastic limbs from sitting to lying down to cuddling, etc. My kid can play with this in a way the plastic-limbed or stiffer all-cloth-bodied babies wouldn't let her do.
* SMELL: They smell nice. They really do. My hubby often complains about smells on toys, but these he doesn't mind and the daughter loves the smell.
* QUALITY MATERIALS: The plastic is soft, yet durable. The cloth body is solid fabric also. Overall, very nicely made.
* STYLE/LOOK: Honestly, I find most baby-dolls a little creepy - even these are not immune to that. But they look baby-like enough that the girls in my life want to baby them (whereas, my old Cabbage Patch Dolls my daughter never wanted to baby them since they have more hair than she does), and yet they aren't SO life-like as to be uber-creepy or inappropriate (like with privates and all).
*PLAYTIME with DOLLY: Is good. My daughter has warmed to the doll the longer she's had it. She has cuddled it, told to she loves it - then gone and left it on the floor for days at a time. It wasn't her instant favorite, but when she feels like playing parent and going to the farmer's market with a baby in her plastic shopping cart, this is the doll she reaches for.
CONS OF COROLLE:
* PRICE: THIS would be my main 'meh' complaint about these dolls. They are not cheap. I got the Calin in an Amazon sale for $23 and the Classiques for $38. That seems a decent price for each. The default $40 and $60 retail is pretty steep, I think. Yes, they are nice dolls, but only if your kiddos are going to play with them a lot. For a 'oh, I ought to get the kids a good quality baby doll and maybe they'll use it' - look for a sale.
* CLOTHES: The quality of the clothes is okay, but they are hard to get on and off. Consequently, the kids stripped them off right away and the babies never wore anything ever again. My niece lost the Calin doll's hat within a matter of hours. My daughter immediately took off all the dolls clothes and carried her around naked. I gave some some newborn diapers that were left behind from her little sister's younger days, and those are what the baby wears. This means the baby's cloth body is always being seen. My daughter was a little annoyed by this, and wanted me to take off the "word shirt" (the body that has "Corolle" written all over it). Later, she wanted the clothes back ON, and, of course, she couldn't do it herself and needed help. Be prepared for mom/dad/caregiver to be putting the clothes on and off of this baby.
THINGS THAT ARE SO-SO:
* CARING-NESS (a word?): Some of the reviews of this doll make it sound like it will instantly transform kids into little mothers and fathers. Umm.... Not so much. My little girl is half girly, half tomboy. She's just as likely to run over this doll in her balance bike as she is to cuddle it. But I guess that's a good place to start to learn to be gentle to babies.
* THE BINKY: Many reviews claim the binky is a choking hazard. Honestly, it looks too big to be a choking hazard, but then again, I won't swear to that and risk being sued. I keep an eye on it around baby sister, but it truly looks to big to choke on. And though my 2.5 year old tried to suck on it once or twice, I really don't think she's about to swallow it. Just my 2 cents on that issue.
OVERALL: This is a very nice baby doll, as is the smaller Calin. My daughter really likes to play with her 'baby' when she's into doing 'I'm the mom' play. However, the clothes make it hard to dress and it's not cheap. And then again, she's just as likely to pull out a set of trains as this doll for playtime.
I would say this is a solid toy investment if you're looking for 1 good baby doll for you child. But see if you can get a sale item. Doesn't matter what the clothes are, since they'll go missing right away. For full price, however, only get it if your kid is REALLY into baby dolls.
Almost 2 months after Christmas, the dolly is starting to really grown on my 2.5 year old. She's named it, moved it into her bed each night, and it's become a part of her 'family' - the dolls she most loves. A few notes:
* TAKES TIME: It took time for my daughter to warm to the dolly. Thus, I stand by my earlier rating of 4 stars. It's a great doll, but the full cost is a little prohibitive for just testing the waters with dollies.
* TAKES A LITTLE MODELLING: I've done a lot of 'teaching' in play with the baby - how to diaper the baby, how to burp, etc. Otherwise, poor Mary (as she's been named), just got sat on or tossed in a corner.
* NEED ANOTHER! Little sis (5 mo.) loves this doll and longs to chew on her soft, vinyl hands and feet. I'm sure they feel great on sore gums, but it does make this a 'keep it away from sis' toy. When little sis is older and out of the teething phase, I will definitely be getting her a Corole dolly of her own.