How can you not love that little face?
Meet Koda. He spent months on my dollie wishlist until the first of April or so when I finally decided it was time to try for him. I purchased him through http://www.dollfactorydirect.com, and there is something about the site that made me a little uneasy and worried that I might have been throwing my money down a rabbit hole. I can happily say his was not the case. A day or so after my purchase I recieved a shipping notification and my beautiful baby boy was on his way. Another hesitation of mine was due to an unfavorable review from http://wwww.toyboxphilosopher.com/2013/05/eurogirl-diana-collection-doll-by-doll.html in which the doll she reviewed (purchased from eBay, not DFD, iirc) had a strange reverse-mullet going on, and the hair couldn't be positioned any way other than in a ponytail. I'm also happy to report hat while Koda has one or two shortcomings as far as quality goes, on the whole he is very sturdy (but also soft and cuddly), and his appearance outshines the few problems he has.
Koda came wearing a traditional 长衫 (pronounced chang-shan). I'll interject here the bit of Chinese history I understand, but I don't have a degree in it, so don't like quote me. 长衫 literally translates to long shirt. This is the name for men's clothing only, whereas 汉服 (han-fu) refers to all clothing of the Han dynasty style. This style of clothing was worn for important functions and celebrations until the 1949 Communist revolution. Nowadays it has been brought back into (admittedly altered) style by Chinese-based companies such as Shanghai Tang (which is popular in Singapore and whose storefront occupies what is arguably one of the best locations down on Orchard). Basically this isn't an outfit Koda can go outside and play in. I'm afraid I'll snag he silky material for one, and for another he really just needs some play clothes. I'm not sure what size doll would be able to share clothes with him, as I don't own any others with his size or proportions. Most of my dolls near his size are female and are supposed to be pre-teen age.
The little details on his 长衫 are nice. The closing in the front is just for decoration and keeping with the traditional style. The back of the shirt has a large velcro strip along it's entire length.
He has tiny hands and little baby hand-dimples.
His hands are quite detailed, and realistic, and really cute.
As are his little feet.
Hee hee, little butt.
His back has little dimples...
And his front has little baby chubb. I didn't want to remove his pants for this review, because he is just a little baby, but he is unsexed. His legs also have lots of adorable baby chubb.
His eyes are a nice, warm color, and speckled in pattern.
Semi-profile... the depth and detail of his eyes are not easy to capture on camera because they are so dark.
Profile. You can see the baby chubb below his chin.
Cute little ears.
This is the only real problem with Koda. The rooting is a little thin on top.
But it stops halfway down his scalp. ._.
So long as it is brushed properly, it doesn't make a difference and cannot be seen, but it feels a bit like giving him a comb-over. Maybe his hair is sparse because he is a baby and it hasn't grown in yet? Yeah, that's it. The other minor odd thing about Koda is that he came to me smelling weird. After asking Emily, the toybox philosopher whether her Diana Collection doll came smelling weird, to which she responded no, I *think* it is/was supposed to be a baby-perfume/powder smell. However. For all I know Koda has been sitting on a shelf in Royal Palm Beach in his plastic baggie, marinating in weird baby smell since 1998. Or he could be fresh off the boat from the manufacturer in China. There is no way of knowing. He also didn't arrive in any sort of proper box. Inside the USPS (or was it FedEx?) box was a bunch of packing peanuts that exploded all over my room, and Koda inside a clear plastic bag. I don't remember cutting it open to get him out, but I might have. There was also a clear plastic band around his head to keep his hair from being messed up in shipping.
Pardon my makeupless teenage face. Koda is a cutie. When he arrived, he didn't come with a name, so I started calling him Baby Bear and Little Bear until my boyfriend said something about the Brother Bear movie in response to me talking about him, thus the name Koda. If I ever get a big brother for him, the name will obviously have to be Kenai, hehe.
In summary? Koda is a cutie and I love him. His vinyl(?) is really soft. There is a female version of this doll on the website, but she is currently sold out. The Doll Factory prides itself in having more affordable alternatives to American Girl dolls. In fact, a little research has shown that it is likely their most popular items for sale are clothing for 18" AG dolls at cut-rate prices. The problem with the prices being so low (Koda was $35, of which $8 was shipping, so... $27), is that it means they often cut corners, too, which impacts quality. If there is anything I've seen as a positive common trend in Diana Collection dolls (EuroGirls included), it is that they have wonderful face sculpts that are both expressive and adorable, very childlike. I think I had another point to make, but I've forgotten it and am now rambling.
Have a wonderful weekend!