Sculpting - ****
The three versions come with three very different head sculpts, each
reflecting a different emotion.
has a sly, sneaky look, like she just figured out how she's going to
bring Other Mother down. PJ's has an expression of happiness, with a
wide open smile, with nicely sculpted teeth and lips, and raised
eyebrows. Finally, Sweater has a slightly worried, unsure look, as
though she's seen something she's not too happy about.
expressions are nicely sculpted, with every aspect of the face - eyes,
mouth, eyebrows, and even the nose designed to emote the overall
They've used a blue translucent
plastic for her hair,
and it worked really well. It allows enough light to shine through to
give it a ethereal quality, but not enough to make her underlying skull
obvious. The fit between the hair and sculpt is nice and tight too,
with no gap to make it look wig-like.
tried swapping the heads, but the necks are a softer material than the
head, and therefore you can't do it without some form of external
assistance, like hot water. You might be able to remove the heads by
heating up the neck in this way, but I'd be careful.
important info for collectors is that these expressions WILL CHANGE
over the production run. I have no idea what the other expressions will
be, but there will be at least one, maybe more, running changes made.
If you pick up any of these and they have a completely different
expression, please let me know!
three have the same hand sculpts, with the right in a gesture pose and
the left designed to hold something. Unfortunately, there's nothing for
any of them to hold.
One aspect of the bendy body
nothing to do with articulation is its ability to match the source
material quite well in appearance. The stop motion bodies on screen
have this same sort of lank,
lithe look, so the simple, thin sculpted bendy bodies work
figures do not stand on their own, however, which is normally a huge
pet peeve of mine. However, the simple fact is that like the NMBC
figures, Coraline's on screen design doesn't lend itself to creating
any sort of figure or doll that could stand without some sort of
These are about 7" tall, making
them big enough to
look good on the shelf. They really are their own independent line, so
scale isn't much of an issue.
- a reader let me know that it IS possible to remove the face plate, or
at least one person has managed to do it without damaging the doll. I
don't know that this is intentional, but once you do the eyes can be
repositioned. You'd think if it was intentional, they'd mention it a
bit more (like, at all) on the package. I won't have a chance to test
it myself til tomorrow, but I'll update again then. However, remember
how easy the noses were to damage, so take care if you try it!
2 - I pulled pretty hard on the face plates on all three dolls, and
they didn't budge. I suspect you could get a small screwdriver in there
to get some more leverage, but these definitely aren't designed to come
off, so beware!
Paint - ***1/2
be thinking "Michael, what are you doing giving these such a high
score when it's obvious two of them have rubbed noses?" Well, that's
partly my fault.
The paint on two of the noses
did rub off AFTER
I had them out of the package, not before. So yes, I did the
damage...but I didn't do it in any obvious way. I didn't drop her, or
rub her face against any hard surface. In normal handling, somehow I
managed to damage two of the noses. While that IS my fault, I'm docking
them a half star here because the paint should be sturdy enough, even
on the sharply defined hard plastic nose, to withstand normal handling.
PJ did have get a rubbed nose...yet? No, but I had a different issue
with her that might not really be paint in the traditional sense, but
made the most sense to mention here. She has a bit of a googly right
eye that doesn't *quite* line up with her proper line of sight. I say
that this might not be a traditional paint issue because the eyes are
separate pieces from the head, and the problem might be in the
assembly, not the paint. But it made the most sense to me to included
as part of this score.
She also has a slight gloppiness
to the white of her teeth, but you have to examine them pretty closely
than these issues, the paint is excellent. The small freckles look
terrific, and the skin tone has just the right amount of blush. Her
eyes are clean and shiny, with a matte finish on the face to give it a
nice contrast. The translucent blue hair works really well, and even
the small dragonfly hair clip is nicely painted.
The coolest paint application is
the muddy boots on the Raincoat version, but I'll get to that more in
the Outfit section.
Articulation - ***
Generally, I'm not a huge fan of bendy figures. But in this context,
these actually work pretty well.
also key that their articulation does not solely come from their bendy
attributes. The neck has an excellent ball joint, that allows for a
great range of movement and plenty of Coraline personality. The head is
fairly heavy, but the joint is tight enough that it does not do the
She also has cut wrists and
ankles, with hard sculpted
hands and feet. This makes it much, much easier to get them in the
right pose, without messing around with the arms and legs. Twisting is
something that bendy appendages don't do particularly well, so it's a
relief that it's not necessary here.
The rest of the body -
torso, arms, legs - is a softer rubber with wiring. It's a fairly thick
rubber, and the wires feel like they are quite sturdy. She can
certainly take a lot of poses, and she holds them without any trouble.
course, the only issue here is that with such tiny feet, a skinny body,
and such a large, heavy head, there's simply no way for her to stand
without the use of the included display stand. While you might have had
a chance at getting her to stand with a more traditionally articulated
body, I'm willing to trade that off for the greater flexibility of the
The Raincoat version can also
hid the stand pretty well under the coat, making it the most attractive
of the three on the shelf.
Accessories - PJ **; Raincoat,
three figures come with a small display stand. Since standing these
figures on their own is impossible, the display stands are a critical
are basic black, with no emblem or marking.
They are also a bit too big, and when the stand is shrunk down as short
as it will go, it's still above Coraline's waist. The loop is also on
the large size for her tiny bendy body. You might notice that the
Raincoat version looks best on the stand, and maintains the best pose.
That's due to two things - one, the coat helps hide the arm and keep
the figure in place, and two, there is actually a twisty tie around her
and the stand down lower, more around her waist. This twisty was on her
in the package, and I left it on because I thought it added some
fact, another display option is to make your own stand. Use a small
piece of wood for the base, drill a hole to accommodate a small metal
rod, and run that rod up through her paint leg on the PJ and Sweater
versions. If you don't want her to have one stiff leg and don't mind
seeing at least some of the small rod, just twisty tie the rod to the
figure up around her waist. Unlike the thick steel arm of the display
stand, a small twisty tie would fit easily under her sweater or PJ top.
PJ gets a little extra in
this category, because she comes with her blanket. It's made from a
soft material, but seems a bit thick for this scale.
Outfit - Raincoat, PJ
***1/2; Sweater ***
than go with completely sculpted bodies, these three use cloth 'soft
goods' outfits. If you don't collect 'dolls', then these probably
aren't for you.
The PJ version has the bright
orange polka dot
pajama top and bottom with the salmon colored socks. The top is held
together with a strip of Velcro down the front, but it also has the
faux buttons. The scale on the buttons seems pretty good - the style of
animation allows them to be a little oversized - but the Velcro strip
is a bit thick for such a thin costume. Of the three outfits, it does
the least for me.
The Seater outfit is probably -
yet seen the movie - going to be her most common look. The Velcro strip
is a bit thick here too, but because it's down the back, rather than
down the front, it's far less of an issue. Her jeans look great, and
even have back pockets sewn on with stitched designs. She is also
wearing socks, but these have the different colored toes, just like the
on screen version.
Finally, there's my favorite,
Again, the Velcro is a little too thick, but with the thicker slicker
it's less noticable. There's no shirt under the coat, and the coat is
big enough to hide the arm of the stand pretty well. It still poofs it
out a bit, but it's not too bad.
hood also has a Velcro strap in front, but is sewn to the coat so it
can't be entirely removed. She looks pretty good with the hood down or
She also is
wearing jeans, and some very well done rubber boots. The sculpt is
excellent, and they are made from a rubbery material that even feels
like real rubber rain boots. They are splashed with mud, which is
perfectly sculpted and painted around the sole. The mud-like paint wash
on the upper section of the boots is a *little* overdone, but
considering how well done the mud on the soles is, I can live with it.
Fun Factor - ***1/2
would actually make great kid's toys, although the odds of too many
kids getting their paws on them is pretty small. The clothes are
relatively easy to remove and replace, and the bendy bodies and solid
heads are very sturdy. Kids won't care all that much if a little paint
rubs off her nose, the one issue that I had. If you have a choice
between Bratz and Coraline, go with Coraline.
Value - **1/2
I picked them up for $39 for the set of
three, or $13 each. That's pretty much the going rate these days for
action figures in this scale, and particularly specialty market
products like this. With a score of **1/2 stars, the Value category is
a wash and has no effect either good or bad on my personal Overall.
Things To Watch Out For
Not too much. It might
be interesting to see how long the bend arms and legs last, but I'm not
going to stress test them for you. Hey, I like my little Coraline's too
much for that.