Most helpful positive review
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Just what my daughter wanted!
on January 8, 2014
My 12 year old daughter loves this doll. She's so happy with it and would give it 5 stars! I give it 4 stars, though, because the hair is as horrible as everyone says. My daughter heard that would be the case and was already resolved to just keeping the hat on. She likes it to poke out in the front, and that works well. The hair is nappy. It's rooting is obvious and spaced widely. This results in the spaces being "concealed" with the hair strands messily glued in rows up to the next row of follicles, with the excess length sticking out. So, it's terrible, but no surprise.
Based on the reviews, I also knew the breathing would sound weird. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone says. In fact, I don't know what all the fuss is about. It's really fine. With the Sophia doll, she "coos" about 6 times, then the breathing continues with no sound for a very long time. The cooing sounds more like mechanical breathing, but it doesn't last long. Once that sound stops, it's perfect. Maybe I'm not so picky about whether the breathing looks like it's coming from the diaphragm vs the chest, but it looks real, especially in clothes.
She wears newborn size clothes, but preemie might be a better fit. The diaper it comes with is stiff and weird, so get a real preemie diaper to impress your daughter. Her length is good (newborn sleeper fits just slightly loose). She only weighs 3.5lbs, so it would help to get additional weighted beads (find reborn doll parts), and insert them into her bottom seam.
She's very close to full-bodied. NICE SURPRISE! She has a VERY flexible vinyl, lifelike belly plate that is sewn into the fabric body. The arms & legs are basically full vinyl. The neck and shoulder/hip joints are fabric, therefore slightly floppy which adds to the realism. Her arms seem to be connected through the fabric body with a bendable metal rod because they move simultaneously. It's possible to get them to go in slightly different directions, though, especially when "sleeping" to keep them from springing back together. The rod must go all the way through the arms because the elbows can be bent slightly. The vinyl keeps them from completely straightening since it's molded. The legs do not have the rod in them, so although they bend, there's nothing to keep them in place unless you prop them up. There are skin dimples and creases on her arms and hands. She has a little french manicure, which is pretty, but the gloss seems weird on a baby. Her hands aren't as realistic as I'd like because you can easily see the webbing between the fingers. Also, there's a slightly glossy sheen, especially in the creases. Her feet are very long, so they fit newborn socks great. The toes are abnormally long and bent over, so they look weird to me. Just a preference, I guess. The feet look very real in socks, though. The feet and ankles are also filled with some sort of stiff beanbag material or sand-like substance, so they squish like real feet (except with a squeaky kind of feel like a balloon filled with sand).
The battery pack and breathing mechanism can be felt while holding the baby because the body is not overstuffed. This allows room for the chest to rise/fall, but it also may seem "baggy" under the belly plate. It's not uncomfortable, though.
The doll has proven to be sturdy, as her clothes are being changed constantly! The eyelashes are good. Her ears are cute. She looks very real at first glance. Even staring at her, she's very life-like, although you'd see she's a doll. A lot of adults have been a little creeped out by the realism. All of the children love how real she looks. Anyone passing by would definitely think this is a real baby. We are VERY happy with this purchase! The Ashton Drake website has a better price and a payment plan option. Also, I read the warranty/exchanges are no hassle with the Ashton Drake website. I wouldn't know, since we'll be keeping Sophia. :-)