Doll Review: Equestria Girls – Deluxe Rainbow Dash

Equestria Girls is a spin-off of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchise, in which the pony characters get transported to another dimension where they take on humanoid form.  This particular doll is the deluxe version of Rainbow Dash; right now the only characters widely available as deluxe dolls are Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, though I have also seen a Rarity and it’s likely the “Mane 6” will all eventually be available in a deluxe version.

My first impression upon seeing this toy in person was really ambivalent.  There were things I liked immediately, like the bright colors and multiple outfits and the fact that it’s a humanized Rainbow Dash, but the doll just does not look like an anthropomorphized pony at all; she looks more like a blue catgirl with a weirdly smushed face.

The sculpted designs on the earrings and bracelent are reminiscent of RD's pony cutie mark.

The sculpted designs on the earrings and bracelet resemble Dash’s pony cutie mark.

Anyway, the doll comes with a bunch of stuff – two dresses, armwarmers, two pairs of boots, translucent yellow plastic wings, a winged backpack, earrings, a bracelet, a brush, and a clip-in hair extension.

In the box, she’s wearing a sleeveless red dress with a rainbow-striped underskirt.  It’s cute enough, but the underskirt isn’t hemmed and that makes it look a little cheap.  Same goes for the rainbow armwarmers; I like that she has them, but they’re almost impossible to get back over her hands if you take them off, and the unhemmed edges seem like they’re going to get icky pretty fast.  The extra dress is fully hemmed, with the rainbow fabric on the sides and a royal blue in front and back, with a stripe of silver trim up the middle of the front.  This dress is much more in character for Rainbow Dash; it’s very sporty and bright and not overtly feminine.

The rainbow fabric has little ponies in the design. XD

The rainbow fabric has little ponies in the design. XD

RD peg legUnfortunately, the Equestria Girls dolls have peg feet very similar to Bratz, so Rainbow Dash can’t go barefoot since she has no feet.  Fortunately both pairs of boots are pretty cool-looking, and appropriate for the personality of the character. One pair of boots is black with hot-pink wings up the sides, and the other pair is the same blue as her sporty dress, with Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark on one of them.  There is some variation in the accessories’ colors for this doll; I’ve seen sets where the winged boots were red & silver, and the backpack is sometimes pink or blue.

RD backpackSpeaking of the backpack, it is my favorite accessory that comes with this doll.  It’s just so cute!  It’s made of soft rubber and the straps detach at the bottom, which makes it really easy to put the backpack on the doll.  The wings on the backpack are just big enough to be adorably visible from the front without getting in the way of her movement or her hair.  Her arm movement is a little bit limited because of the straps when she’s wearing the backpack, but not to a large degree.

RD wearing backpack

Articulation is a make-or-break thing with a doll for me, and one of the reasons I bought this Rainbow Dash is because it looked like she might have decent range of movement.  The “Basic” Equestria Girls dolls only have movement at neck, shoulders, and hips, but the deluxe dolls have articulation at neck, shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees.  The range of movement isn’t great, but it’s not bad either.

Rainbow Dash can bend her knees and elbows at a 90 degree angle, and both joints rotate 180 degrees:

RD kneesRD elbow rotatedRD elbow

Unfortunately Rainbow Dash’s arm doesn’t bend enough to let her reach her mouth – this is as close as she can get:

RD 005

She can’t quite do the splits, but she gives a good try:

RD 001RD 006

Another thing I’m ambivalent about on this doll is her hair.  She almost has the full spectrum of appropriate rainbow colors and they actually got the placement of the colors right for the character, but the ratio is weird and the rooting is… patchy.

For some reason, they gave the doll a huge swath of orange-red hair in front, instead of doing separate sections of red & orange, and there’s WAY too much red-orange and yellow; probably 75% of the hair is those two colors.

RD rootingThey’ve also given the dolls weird little long “ponytails” in the back, presumably as a nod to their actual pony tails; it looks really stupid though, and they didn’t even bother to do a little extra rooting to hide the bald patch it makes.  Luckily it’s easy to just pull that hair up into a ponytail with the rest and then cut off the extra length.  It would also be possible to use the included clip-in hair extension to root the bald patch in the back, if you want to keep the long “tail.”

The rest of the rooting is really hit or miss – some places it looks good, others it’s almost ridiculously thin, even for a doll w/ a factory ponytail.  The most obvious thin spot is the yellow right behind her bangs where the blue scalp is very visible through the hair; she really needs another line of rooting there.

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So, after taking the doll out of the box and redressing her and whatnot, the jury is still out for me; these dolls are a weird mix of awesome and terrible.

The worst things about this doll, to me, are:

  • Sculpting – very lazy head sculpt with no eye detail and really odd, bean-like shape – she doesn’t look anything like the wonderful box art, and resembles a catgirl far more than a pony.  The body is also pretty poorly sculpted, with very little shape to her limbs.
  • Hair- needs better rooting and more evenly divided colors.
  • Wings – they’re yellow… Rainbow Dash is blue.  Also, why the hell are they clear and sparkly?
  • Peg feet.
  • Overall aesthetic – tomboyish Rainbow Dash in dresses?  With red lipstick and eye makeup?  With pink accessories?  With high heels?  What?!

Now onto the positives:

  • Poseablilty –  not bad; she has a decent range of motion.  It’s also cool that her hands are not both in the same pose, and have some expressiveness to them.  I do wish she moved at the waist and had articulated wrists, but that would probably be asking for a lot from this line.
  • RD eyeEyes – The eye shape doesn’t look like Dash to me, but I do love that the glint in her eye is shaped like a lightning bolt, and she has her cutie mark under her eye (just wish it wasn’t the same eye that’s covered by her bangs..,).
  • Clothes – Two complete outfits, fuck yeah!  The two dresses are both pretty cute, and I like how sporty the blue one is.  They also fit like real clothes, instead of being skin-tight and scandalously short like a lot of doll clothes.
  • Character art – OMG so cute!  Still looks like a blue catgirl, but a freaking adorable, super fun one.
  • Deboxing – So easy!  No muss, no fuss – unlike Monster High or Bratzillaz, getting Dash out of the box was actually fun and I didn’t need scissors.

RD 038Even though I’m not into the My Little Pony Equestria Girls spin-off and don’t like a lot of things about these toys, I just couldn’t resist getting a Rainbow Dash doll once I saw it in person; the box art sucked me in, for one thing, and these dolls are screaming out for fixing to me.  I couldn’t just leave poor Rainbow Dash there looking like that.  Plus, I think she’ll fit in great with my Monster High crowd.

Speaking of which, here’s how Rainbow Dash compares, size wise, with my other fashion dolls; she’s on the small side:

RD 008a

RD in MH

The only other dolls I have with of a similar body size to the Equestria Girls are Monster High.  They can almost share clothes, but not quite.  The MH clothes are a bit too long for Rainbow Dash, but you could probably find some shirts & dresses that would work for her; it just has to have a high enough neckline to cover Dash’s molded underclothes.

Rainbow Dash’s clothes do not work on the regular-size Monster High dolls, only on the “little sister” MH body.  The blue dress actually fits pretty well and looks super cute.  The red one, however, is a little small and doesn’t velcro all the way, which leaves the doll’s buns exposed.

RD in Kidz shoesThe one benefit to the Equestria Girls having peg feet is that they can share shoes with both Bratz and Bratz Kidz.  The Kidz shoes look more appropriate to me, but both work fine.

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Well, it’s probably obvious that I’m not totally in love with the Equestria Girls Deluxe Rainbow Dash doll.  She has SO much potential though, and I am not sad at all that I have her.  What I’m really looking forward to is making her more Rainbow Dash-y – fixing her hair, painting details on her accessories, maybe doing a new faceup, and sewing her some new clothes (Gala dress!  EG sig outfit!  Quidditch uniform?  XD).

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