Earlier in the week I won two Mattel Teen Trends dolls on eBay – and they arrived today!

Mattel produced these dolls from 2005 until 2007. There are four different girls available, plus a range of clothing and ‘Create a Closet’ sets (hats, shoes and storage items). The dolls and closet sets are still available new from both amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

The dolls were in their original boxes, which are large and sturdy and double as closets for their clothes and accessories.

I have the blonde Gabby, who wears cream calf-length trousers, a pink sleeveless t-shirt and a (rather old-fashioned looking) tweeky jacket with lacy trims. She is wearing black slip-on clog type shoes.

Kianna has long dark hair with light stripes in it. She wears a pink t-shirt and a black tracksuit with pink trim. She also has very nice puple lace-up boots.

The Doll’s Bodies

The dolls are 17 inches tall, so nearly half again the height of a Barbie, and just a little shorter than American Girl dolls. They look to be mid-teen aged to me. They have small breasts, flat feet and slight tummies which gives them a lovely realistic, youthful look compared to most fashion dolls.

They have 9 joints and an unusual amount of possible poses. Her head can move from side to side, plus up and down and leaning to one side.

Her arms swivel up and down, they are strung with elastic and have quite a bit of sideways play, making dressing much easier. The elbows are ball joints, so they can bend plus move from side to side and swivel. There is no wrist joint, which is a bit of a shame. The hands are quite large looking – I am tempted to paint their nails.

There is no waitst joint. The hips have strung joints and can swivel and have a little side-to-side give. Her knees are elasticated ball joints and can bend and have quite a bit of sideways movement too. Because of the elastication, they will only stay put to about 45 degrees of bend – the knees will bend right back (enough to kneel) but will spring open again once you let go. The ankles are unjointed. They have large, flat feet.

The Hair and Faces

I have seen a few mentions online that these dolls have problems with their hair. Mine both have very thick, fine hair which is about waist length and with a slightly layered cut. Kianna’s dark hair is beautifully soft and really nice to brush. Gabby’s blonde locks have the usual ‘wirey’ feel that most fashion doll hairs seem to develop after a while – particularly at the bottom. It does not feel any worse than the majority of Barbie dolls I have seen. The fact the hair is so thick means it feels better quality than most fashion dolls.

Gabby’s face is, in my opinion, slightly nicer than her sister’s because Kianna has very large, dark lips – certainly remeniscent of Bratz dolls (and not a look I really like). The eyes are nicely painted (Gabby’s blue, Kianna’s green) and do not have rooted eyelashes. Their ears are pierced though both of mine have lost their earrings.

The Clothes

Although they are a similar height, the dolls’ clothing is far more modern and ‘teen’ than American Girl clothes.

The clothes are of a similar quality to other Mattel dolls, though the larger scale means stitching and details look better and more delicate than on smaller dolls’ outfits. Kianna’s outfit features working zips on the top and trouser legs. I particularly like the dolls’ shoes which are very nicely molded and definitely far superior to anything I have seen on a Barbie or similar doll.

Obviously these dolls will not be able to wear any of the vast number of Barbie, Monster High, Bratz, Blythe and similar clothes. I do not have an American Girl to see whether their clothing would work, but I suspect that many would, simply because the dolls are so close in height.

The Accessories

The dolls’ boxes are very sturdy card and close with velcro. They double as storage boxes for a doll and her clothing etc. Each doll has a very different looking box. You can also buy “Create a Closet” accessory packs which go in the boxes to add shelves and other storage. I assume that these accessories can be usd by any of the dolls, as with the clothing.

My dolls do not have all their original accessories. Gabby has a nice pink hairbrush – which is far more realistic looking than any fashion doll brush I have seen before. She also has some sweet hair slides and a pink plastic handbag. Best of all is her big black handbag which is really impressive, and opens just like a real one. I really like this bag! Kianna has a pink plastic belt and a bag.

And Finally…

I am really pleased with my two new girls. I love the larger size which makes them feel nice and substantial to handle, dress and groom. I also like their unconventionally realistic look. These are not your normal ‘huge boobs and long legs’ type dolly.

They are quite expensive to buy new (over £30 each on Amazon in the UK) compared to many fashion dolls, though I do feel they are very good quality. Their large size means their clothing and accessories seem more detailed and better than those for smaller dolls, but the fact they are not compatible with the vast majority of existing doll’s clothes, furniture and other accessories does mean they are limited for play value.

Mattel Teen Trends dolls – a review

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