13 May 2017

Disney Descendants - Neon Lights Ball 4 pack



This is a REALLY late review and i'm sorry about that. I kept meaning to write this up and edit the photos but it was during that real down spiral I had and I just couldn't face talking about dolls.

But i'm finally getting to it.

Going through my photos and reorganising my folders I realised I had all these pics and never actually got the review done. Oops?



Anyway,

Descendants i've spoken about before, Hasbro's first Disney line and still the only line they seem to be doing with proper articulation.
I enjoyed the first movie and there's a second one in the works, they aren't great but they're kids disney live action films, expecting them to be anything but a little cheesy and trite is unreasonable.
They're cute and enjoyable enough and the dolls are pretty nice so... eh.

Supposedly there's an animated web series as well but I haven't watched it.

However, I picked up this 4 pack really for one reason and one reason alone. It was £10 in Asda.
Yes. TEN pounds. For four dolls!?? Bargain of the year baby.

Now, I already own a Jay, a Carlos and this Freddie too, but my Carlos had wonky eyes and it bugged me and this Jay looked a bit more finished than my Disney store exclusive one.
From what I can figure it, Jay and Freddie both got releases almost identical in single packs while Carlos is similar but not quite the same as his other two dolls and Audrey is unique to this set.
I didn't like Audrey in the movie, she was a nasty entitled little cow. So I have trouble warming to her dolls. Also pink bletch.
But she has a kinda cute face and I do appreciate a darker skinned doll. Being the daughter of Sleeping Beauty and Disney you'd expect blonde white chick but nope, they bucked the cliche with this gal and I like that.

It's an interesting 4 pack when you think about it, because 1: it doesn't have any of the female protagonists in it and Carlos is the whitest character and he's supposedly mixed race.
I approve wholeheartedly of ethnic minority 4 packs oh yesss.
But it's an interesting change of pace to have the boy and the dark skinned girl as the duplicates who also got a regular single box release, Mal would have been more obvious.

Anyhoo.

Neon Lights is from the animated species or something. I think it was just an excuse to sell light up gimmicky dolls really. Evie and Mal got super overpriced dolls with lights in their torsos while we also got a line of single boxed characters in formal dresses and a second wave of signatures including a proper release of Jay (who previously was only available in a multipack or as a disney store exclusive)

I bought the two exclusive boys back when they were first released and reviewed them at the time:
here

It always bugged me that my Carlos had wonky eyes and Jay's outfit was pink and ugly as all hell.


The art on the back of the box is... not to my taste. I mean, it's not horrendously bad, the anatomy looks okay and all they just look... kinda ... bleh. The faces are so bland. Thankfully the dolls are much cuter than the artwork because yeesh.


Now I haven't seen the special, so i'm not sure why the boys aren't in formal wear but it is a bit disappointing these two always just get variations on the same getup. I'd love to see them in their sports outfits or their formal wear from the first movie.

I love that the way they're boxed makes Carlos look like a right lady's man. Jay's off to the side while two ladies dangle off Carlos' arms hahahaha.


They weren't actually that hard to open, a few ties to snip, a couple of head staples to clip and bam, done.
I like a nice easy to open box.

I'm not sure what the RRP on this set was, but I have seen them since in Asda priced at £20 and £29:99, so their pricing seems to fluctuate pretty wildly. Last time I went they still had loads but had put the prices up, which surprises me because you'd think at £10 they'd have sold out. Who doesn't buy dolls that are £2:50 each!? I mean damn, it's worth it just for the clothes at that price.


We'll look at Audrey first as she's the only one I don't already own another doll of.

She's got tanned brown skin, big brown eyes and brown curls with blonde streaks.
Her dress is quite simple, it's a sort of satiny fabric with a mesh top section and no underskirt. It's very basic, but it looks nice enough.


The dress is neon pink with purple and this... I dunno petal? drippy? whatever it is effect along the hemline and bodice. The top part of the dress is black mesh which lends a little modesty but also a little interest. there's a purple sash around the waist.

The whole garment is decently sewn but has no petticoats or anything under it. To me it just feels a bit unfinished. A little tulle under the skirt would have really helped I  think but she's a budget release so eh.


She has a lot of bracelets on, they're all pink and all connected together as one giant piece.
They're kinda 80s looking with their shear number.
A lot of the detail of them is lost in the mess of pink plastic though sadly. It's a shame because in multiple shades or with a few purple ones scattered in there it could look a lot more refined.


Finally she has a pair of crown shaped earrings which are inexplicably red. Why are they red? they go with literally NOTHING else! My mother always insisted red and pink don't go together and i've always been inclined to agree, especially not this orangey red against that very barbie pink shade.
It's jarring. Were they pink or purple they'd tie in, but nope, they're a weird orangey red colour and stick out like a sore thumb.
Fashion faux pas Audrey gal, hang your head in shame young lady.
Tisk.


Her shoes are pink heels with big bows and beads on them. They're ornate, but daaaamn they're ugly shoes.
It doesn't help that Descendant girls have quite big feet so heels for them always look a bit well... wrong. I suspect they were designed for boots because their feet don't look so massive in boots but in heels they look oversized and when the heels are taken off they look like they belong to a girl with well... boat feet.

Doesn't help that I really don't much like pink, and man are these PINK. It's like just a big mass of pink pink and more pink and it hurts my eyes.
Maybe if the bows were purple? or black? or there was just a little painted detail to break up the PINKNESS.



Thankfully Audrey has quite a sweet face despite her questionable fashion taste.
She's very Disney Princess with those big brown doe eyes and a sweet friendly smiling mouth.
Her eyebrows are drawn in a slightly quizical expression, she looks worried or a little bewildered more than anything else to me.
Around her eyes she has pink eyeshadow and uh.. it's sort of a peachy colour on the lids themselves.
there's a blue shadow across her eyes to give the illusion of depth.

Her hair is a lovely rich reddish brown with blonde streaks that look quite natural in it. It's soft and nicely curled and tied in this weird sideish ponytail that doesn't quite manage to capture her artwork and animated design.

I don't like her outfit, I find it bland bordering on grossly Barbietastic, but she has a nice face and cool hair. She'll get redressed I think.

Quality wise, she's on par with the other Descendants i've handled. She has removable hands for easier dressing, jointed wrists, elbows and knees and while basic, all her outfit is finished properly with the hems all sewn.

Not a bad doll. 


Moving onto Freddie now. A doll I actually DO already own the single boxed version of.

I'm really curious about how much is different between the multipack and single pack versions.

Now the single pack Neon Lights Ball dolls retail for about £16, I got mine for £7 in Smyths' sale a while ago. So clearly if the singles are retailing for about £16, they must come with a bit more than the budget multipack doll right?


And it's true, the multipack doll is missing a few bits. Most obviously the necklace and handbag.

Let's look a bit closer.


Their hair and faces are pretty much identical, any differences can be put down to individual dolls rather than intentionally variations.
They both have a red tophat on a headband with green feathers coming out. They both have the same faceup and the same white and black hair in high pigtails. They also both have red hoop earrings.

Single pack Freddie has a necklace with these green diamonds hanging from it while multipack has no necklace at all.


The dresses are slightly different too. While Single Freddie's waist sash is wider and made up of two ribbons, multipack only has a single ribbon.
Her skirt isn't as ruffled up either.


Single Pack's shoes are black with a green section while multipack's shoes are the same mold, just in solid green.


Single pack's tophat is positioned so you can see her headband while multipack's is hidden under her hair but this might just be factory variation rather than set variation.


The little jackets are different too. Single Pack's has little purple ribbon detailing on the sleeves.


They are extremely similar, but I believe single pack's skin might be a touch darker. Again, that might just be regular variation.


The final difference is her right hand. Single Pack has a ring so there's a hole in her hand. Multipack doesn't have a ring, so her hand is hole free.


On the left, Single pack Freddie's stuff. Ring/bracelet, necklace, bag, jacket and dress. On the right, what comes with multipack Freddie. Just the dress and jacket.

Both dresses are lined with a sort of mesh stuff that makes them puff out into that tulip hemline.

All in all, you're not losing too much with this Freddie vs the other. The Neon Lights Ball single pack dolls don't come with stands or anything anyway, so you're paying for just a necklace, a ring and handbag. Hmmm, not sure it's worth it.


Jay... oh Jay... poor Jay. See, his original Disney Store doll really did get the short end of the stick. Somehow his red leather outfit was translated to this laughably pink ensemble with matching pink leather pants (WHY?) and no hat.
I found mine some jeans and a hat but there was no fixing that pink shirt. What were you guys thinking!??

His new doll is much nicer. His jeans aren't denim but they're made to look like it with all these buckles and straps and his shirt is RED! like it should have bloody been in the first place.

This is I believe the EXACT same Jay as you get in the single packs. Hasbro loves to just repackage identical dolls.


Anyway, I always thought Jay had a sweet face. He looks like Aladdin, which is funny as he's Jafar's kid (hmm Jafar, did you steal a kid?)

Multipack Jay has more peachy coloured lips which actually look more natural than Disney Store's pink lips.

I love his eyebrows heheh.
Seriously, he makes me think of the Aladdin animated series. I loved that show, I watched the hell out of it as a kid. Heck yeah.


One of my biggest gripes with Disney Store Jay was that they printed a cobra on the back of his shirt and then stuck a big ol' velcro opening over it. WHY!??
Multipack Jay's shirt opens at the front, which means an intact and better yet, actually coloured Cobra. YES.

and no baggy butt pants.


Seriously look at that ol' baggy butt. Yuck.


The sash around Jay's waist is actually a separate belt piece. His shirt opens up the front with an asymmetric flap.

His hat is thin stretchy lycra which looks weird, like he stole someone's pantyhose to make a hat. It also feels like it's too small. I don't like it. He's stealing other Jay's knitted hat.

Their shoes are a bit different too. Disney Store's shoes have a lot of paint detailing making them look scuffed and worn while multipacks are more simple and solid black.


His outfit is mostly printed detail but you know, I don't think I really mind. It's so vastly superior to his previous doll's outfit that i'll accept printed on zippers damnit. anything is better than those pink plether pants.


They still haven't given the boys joined wrists, which I think is silly. Removable hands makes dressing them easier damnit! This is the only reason they have articulated ankles, so it's easier to get pants on and off so why half arse it and not give them jointed wrists too?

The bodies are identical but multipack Jay has slightly higher printed eyebrows giving him a bit more of an eager sort of expression to me. And his hair is a different fiber.

Disney Store Jay's hair is thick, coarse nylon and while it's really long, it's horribly dry and not very pleasant to touch. it also kinks out wierdly.
Multipack Jay's hair is soft, shorter and falls more naturally.


The length difference is quite obvious.

Initially I thought i'd keep Disney Jay because longer hair yay, but it's so coarse and horrible to touch that in the end I decided multipack was going to be far superior in most every way.

It kinda annoys me though because when Disney exclusives were released the implication was it would be the ONLY way to get these two boys as dolls. Of course, it wasn't. Not long after Hasbro released a 4 pack with both boys included and this year we got a single packed Jay and then this 4 pack with them both again.
So much for exclusive huh?

I doubt i'd have bought Jay back then had I know we'd get a more movie accurate version later. I mean he wasn't an overly cheap doll and this multipack one just blows him out the water. Better outfit, better hair, everything.
Boo Disney Store, boo.


He gets the hat I found for Disney Jay though.


Muuuch better.

He's sorta piratey hehe.
Love him.


Now Carlos, who I knew I wanted the doll of at least because he had non wonky eyes.
My Carlos' eye wonk always made me sad because he was otherwise such a dang cute doll. But I had to display him with his head tilted because his eyes were misprinted.

Now being a molded hair doll there's not too much difference between these two. Slightly different expressions from the way their eyebrows are printed but that's about it.

Their outfits are VERY similar. Multipack hasn't got the jacket and his shirt has some printing on it that looks like it says uh.. 112? I dunno.

His other multipack doll had a similar shirt only in white.


Multipack Carlos has the same no wrist joint hands with molded on gloves, the exact same belt with animal tail attached too. Though only the one belt. Disney Store Carlos has two belts, a black one and a red one.

They even both have the little studded bracelet.


Multipack's shoes are shinier than Disney Store's but they're very similar with the black wash detail and molded socks.


Here's where it got interesting. See, Disney Store Carlos's shirt and pants were one piece, sewn together in the waist so I expected this multipack doll to be the same because you know, cheap.
But nope, he actually has separate shirt and pants.
Well, I know what pieces i'm keeping them huh?

You can see here on the left Disney Store's outfit. Jacket, one piece shirt/pants combo, boots, two belts, bracelet.
On the right, multipack's outfit.


And here's non wonked Carlos wearing a combination of both.

I'm much happier with this one's face, he has evenly printed eyes! YES!
and added bonus, separate pants and shirt! lol.


So here's the dolls i'm keeping.

The Audrey from the multipack (she's getting new clothes), the Jay wearing Disney Store's shoes and a replacement hat. Carlos wearing Disney Store's jacket and second belt. And single pack Freddie.

Not bad for a tenner. I got to replace fully a doll that had always disappointed me, traded up another and got a whole new doll too.

Final verdict?

It's actually a nice little multipack. If you don't already own the boys or this Freddie and want Audrey it could be worth picking up even for £20.
Near identical versions of Jay and Freddie are already available single packed and are about £16, so you'll save money getting them in the multipack instead and really only miss out on a necklace and bracelet.

As a set, it's basic but it's not "unfinished" feeling. Audrey sort of feels like the one who got the most budgetification which is odd as she's the doll unique to the set.
And even then, though her outfit is simple it doesn't feel quite as half done as some of the Mattel multipack dolls.

A solid 9 pantyhose hats out of 10.

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