Review: Coraline Bendy Doll in Star Spangled Sweater
Posted by Lindsay
We both enjoyed Coraline last year, (see review), but the merchandise was not terribly exciting. Overpriced PVC sets, mostly, and those were hard to find. For some reason, intellectual movies with stop motion really get shafted in the toy department. See also this year: The Fantastic Mr. Fox. One would almost think that toy companies only care about movies marketed to young boys... oh wait.
I liked the bendy Coraline fashion dolls, but they tended to be expensive as well, and I couldn't decide which one I wanted.
Enter the Amazon December Sales.
This one is the Comic-Con exclusive. There were several other versions with different outfits and face sculpts that were released in stores. Coraline stands about 7" tall.
Appearance and Construction: 8
Coraline suffers a bit from a trade-offs in design, for me. Overall, she looks good, but not perfect. It's a really great representation of what's on screen. The thin bendy body looks great for that. But it means she can't stand.
Her hair is translucent, which looks really good in some lights, and really weird on the top of her head, where you can see down into her brain (or at least where it should be).
I love this outfit. The star-spangled sweater is one of my favorite things she wore in the movie. But I'm not as keen on this face as I was on some of the ones that came with other outfits. More on that later.
Her hands come off if you pull, and her boot-feet feel like they do too, but already one boot is much looser than the other, which worries me a little.
Packaging and Accessories: -2
The package shows off the figure fairly well, even though this one's been knocking around warehouses for a while. You can see on the back the other versions of the doll, and it tells you a little about the movie.
Why the minus? Because apparently the other Coralines all come with a stand. Press releases from last year claim this one has a stand, but I see someone on Amazon also complaining about the missing piece. If any reader out there has a Comic-Con exclusive Coraline that came with a stand, please let me know, but I really don't think there was one in the box. And without a stand, she's relegated to limply leaning against things.
The costume is really nice, the stars look great, and the black corduroy pants are perfect. But I kind of resent that in order to get her costume off, you're going to have to pull off her hands and feet. I know there's no other way to get the look for this movie, but still. I would prefer if the costumes were interchangeable with the other dolls (with their different expressions), but since this one has boot-feet, and at least two of the others appear to have socks over actual feet, that doesn't seem to be likely. I only have this one, so if you know different, let me know.
Actually, you know what else? She should come with an accessory. The cat would be a nice choice, or her messenger bag, or the magic stone, or the doll, or a dancing mouse... There is so much fun stuff in the Coraline world that it's really ridiculous to give us nothing at this price point. And it's supposed to be a Comic-Con exclusive! Another demerit.
Play and Display: ---
The bendy body is again a mixed blessing here. She can't stand, but it looks okay, right? On the other hand, she also can't hold her arms over her head, or sit flat on the floor. It would have been nice to have shoulder/hip joints and bendy limbs, that might have given you the greatest range of positions. The ball joint at the neck, and cuts at wrists and boots, help make up for some of it, but I'm sorely tempted to give her a demerit here. However, she was able to do enough of what I asked with my trial poses to just squeak by.
I have to say a few words here about her head. She has a big crack under her faceplate, and it looks like the plate is removable.
I've read on the internet that it is removable, which allows you to change the direction of her eyes. That would be great, right? That would also be an easier way to put together your personal ideal Coraline; to match up the facial expression and outfit you like best, just change the faceplate. That would be worth a bonus.
What I can tell you is that I was able, after a lot of working, to get two of three pegs loose, knocked one eye out of alignment, and after a lot of fiddle with a toothpick was able to get her eyes back to normal. Some of these apparently have a loose faceplate, some don't. It's not something you can count on.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 6/10
In the end, I have to say that she's a perfectly fine movie collectible with a few glaring flaws in display options. She looks nice enough that I feel a bit bad about the score. Despite my personal opinion that some of the other versions of this doll have better, more expressive faces, this one is growing on me.
On the other hand, this doll is going for 20 dollars, and the other outfits are going for even more. We paid 10 during a sale on Amazon, and I think 10, or maybe up to 15, is fair for this doll, sans stand, accessories, or adequate articulation. Twenty I think is pushing it.
And I know that picture on the right makes her look great, and she is great - I do like her. But that cat came with a Nightmare Before Christmas Sally, and I'm using my hand to hold Coraline up just off camera. Just so you know.