Doll Review: Bratzillaz – Fianna Fins

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Fianna Fins is part of the Bratzillaz “Midnight Beach” line of dolls.  This was the second Bratzillaz line released, and it’s a more budget line than the signature or “Magic Night Out” dolls, with simpler outfits & hair and no stands.  The character line-up is the same as the core dolls, with the addition of Fianna; they seem to be adding a new character or two every time they put out a new line.  The Midnight Beach dolls all have bathing suits, sunglasses, and glow-in-the-dark skin (because apparently the Bratzillaz characters “glow in the moonlight.”  Ok).

fianna 003I’m really not into the Bratzillaz marketing and characterizations, but for the sake of it, Fianna Fins’ profile on the back of the box says that her magic power is controlling the weather (apparently in the webisode she has mind control powers!), her “witchmark” is a mermaid’s tail, her favorite class is meteorology, and she has a pet named Ripple.  The box art looks absolutely nothing like the doll or the webisode character; the drawing is actually kind of ugly.  Underneath Fianna’s profile, there are pictures of the other dolls in the line with their ugly-ass pets and an exhortation to “Collect us all!”

Speaking of collecting, Fianna is my sixth Bratzillaz doll, and it’s one I’ve been coveting for a while, as she’s very hard to find.  She seems to have been short-packed in all the cases, and the only reason I was able to get her at all is because I had a credit on amazon.com, and happened to catch her while she was in stock.  My other Braztillaz are signature Yasmina Clairvoya, signature Jade J’Adore, one of the 2-doll Switch-A-Witch sets, and Midnight Beach Sashabella Paws.misc 072

Despite having a handful of the dolls, I’m not a huge fan of the franchise overall (the sigs were purchased only because they were on deep clearance), but there is something compelling about them.  The inset eyes give them a spark of life that most fashion dolls are sorely lacking and they have a bit of a mischievous look to them that tickles me, and an almost twee kind of charm.  It’s also nice that somehow the Bratzillaz dolls all have quite different looks despite the fact that they are all the same head mold.

misc 099Unfortunately, the sculpting in this line leaves a lot to be desired.  The Bratzillaz head sculpt is pretty cute from the front (even if they are still a little too reminiscent of the puffy-lipped porn star look of the original Bratz for my taste); however, their profiles are really strange and inhuman.

The body shape is ok, and I love that Bratzillaz have jointed waists! However, the limbs aren’t much more than tapered cylinders and the hands are oddly flat and awkward-looking.  These dolls look much better fully clothed than they do nude.

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misc 060The functioning of the Bratzillaz’ joints is definitely adequate, but it’s far from perfect.  They have a good range of motion, almost comparable to Monster High dolls, but some of the Bratzillaz just feel a little cheap when you hold and pose them; this seems to be an issue with the Midnight Beach line in particular, probably because they are literally cheaper.

Fianna’s joints are ok, and she can bend a little more than 90 degrees on most of them and do the splits pretty well, but some of the joints do have messy plastic  – particularly the wrists, which makes them rather stiff – and the legs certainly leave a little to be desired since the knees don’t have any rotation, just a hinge joint, and they don’t bend as much as I’d like them to.  As fashion dolls go though, Bratzillaz are still one of the most poseable, and I’d probably be pretty thrilled with them if Monster High didn’t set the bar so high.

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Fianna’s hair looked a little iffy in the box and it’s still iffy now that she’s out, not smooth and pretty at all; the front section is (badly) crimped, and the rest of the hair is just thick and coarse.  I’m eager to see how it feels after a washing and straigtening; despite the fact that Fianna has no hairstyle to speak of, there’s a bunch of stiff gel that’s contributing to the hair’s ratty look. 

Her hair looks and feels thick at first glance, but the rooting is similar to a doll that has a factory ponytail – thick around the hairline and thin pretty much everywhere else, though there is a thicker-rooted strip at the crown of Fianna’s head.  Overall, the rooting is of middling quality; she looks just fine with her hair in the out-of-box style, but it may be slightly challenging to style her hair in other ways without exposing her scalp a bit.

fianna 006This doll comes with a metallic turquoise bikini top with a fish-scale print, and a matching 2-piece skirt that’s made to look like a mermaid tail.  Both top and skirt are accented with a red plastic starfish.  She also has sandals, a red bracelet, dark blue sunglasses, silver chandelier earrings, and the requisite tiny plastic witch hat.  She also has molded panties that are painted metallic turquoise to match the  strapless top; when her skirt is off she looks like she’s wearing a bikini – that was a great decision, because it makes her outfit so much more versatile.

misc 059The cross-hatched design on the hat actually seems appropriate for Fianna – it kinda looks like fishnet and she is supposed to be a mermaid and all.  I really wish they didn’t keep making the damn hats the exact color of the dolls’ hair though; it blends together too much, visually.

Despite the overall budget nature of this doll, some of her accessories are beautifully detailed.  The red bracelet and the starfishes on her clothes have wonderful texture and sculpted detail.  I will probably do a paint wash on them eventually, to made the detail stand out a bit more; it’s mostly lost on such tiny single-color items, especially in photos.

Fianna also has sculpted toenails that are just begging for a little polish.  Bratz/zillaz definitely cut corners on a lot of their sculpts, but there’s just enough cute little details to make me want to keep buying these particular dolls.

One of the gimmicks with the Midnight Beach line is that their skirts all convert into capes, because for some reason the Bratzillaz can’t go anywhere without a cape and a witch hat, hurr hurr.  It is only the white bottom part of Fianna’s skirt that turns into a cape; it’s attached to the blue skirt with plastic tabs, but if you cut those off it just secures around the doll’s legs (or neck, if you’re doing the cape thing) with velcro.

Personally, I hate this piece and will probably be throwing it away; the fabric feels cheap and gross, I think it looks dumb as a cape, and I hate how it restricts pretty much all movement of her legs (which, admittedly the blue skirt does too, but not as bad and at least that one looks cool).  It does kinda complete the mermaid look though, since it pretty effectively hides her feet and makes the skirt look more like a fish tail.

misc 096They should have packed the sunglasses separately instead of putting them on the doll in the box, because they hide the absolute best thing about this doll – her eyes!  Bratzillaz all have inset acrylic eyes, but Fianna’s are very different from the other Bratzillaz’; theirs are all mostly like human eyes, with a round pupil and iris.  But Fianna has night sky eyes – they’re glittery dark blue with a yellow star and crescent moon instead of pupil and iris; and they’re gorgeous.  They give her a really lovely, mysterious look, and they’re almost luminescent – they glimmer even in dim light.

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Something else I love about this doll is the colors; Fianna really does have a mermaid-y look to her with the Caribbean-colored long hair and lips, and she is one of the few Midnight Beach dolls that actually looks good with the glow-in-the-dark skin.  Her light blue hair and the yellow in her eyes & shoes nicely complement the greenish cast of the gitd plastic instead of clashing with it, like some of the other characters.  The red accessories also give a nice contrast to the overall blueblueblue of the doll.

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misc 102Glow in the dark skin is a feature you don’t often see on fashion dolls, and I think it’s pretty nifty.  When I tested out Fianna’s glow, I stuck her in a sunny window for maybe five minutes and when I brought her back into the room, she was visibly glowing already, even though the overhead light was on!  Very cool.

Not all of her was glowing the same amount; these dolls are made with two different kinds of plastic, and the parts of Fianna that are the softer material – head, lower legs, and hands – glow a lot more than the rest of her.  If she’s fully dressed though, the difference is much less apparent; in fact, the only place it really looks odd when she’s nude is at her knees.

It would be nice if at least some of her hair glowed, as well, ’cause she looks bald in the dark, but considering this is both Bratz and a budget line… oh well.  The glow also seems to fade quickly, but I didn’t sun her very long so that probably has a lot to do with how long she’ll glow.  I don’t have the patience to wait and test it.  I’m actually quite impressed with how much Fianna’s face, in particular, glows; it doesn’t show up well with my crappy camera, but it’s really bright!

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All in all, I am very happy to own this doll.  Her eyes are absolutely gorgeous, and the gimmicks that just seem kinda dumb on the other dolls in the line actually come together in a fantastic way on Fianna.  She’s a very unique and lovely doll overall, with a few overlookable flaws, and I’m so glad I had that Amazon credit at the right time to get her!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Yelinna
    Apr 04, 2015 @ 20:03:50

    The only one thing I could complain about the Bratz dolls is the face paint. I prefer MH dolls, they look more innocent and cute than Bratz.

    Reply

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