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Another Doll Comparison!

Another doll comparison.

I did a comparison of 18 inch play dolls in August, here is a link

In that post I promised to review a few more doll brands. Sorry this has taken so long, life and work tend to get very busy!  I’ve finally had time to take photos and compare a few more brands. Enthusiasts of 18 inch dolls are very fortunate to have so many options.

Today I am comparing (from left to right in the photo below) a Walmart Positively Perfect Diva doll, Zair; a Modern Girl Lauren from Michaels Creatology line; an Alexis from Via E; a refurbished older Molly from Pleasant Company/American Girl and a Springfield doll, Olivia who has been given a haircut and is now Oliver at the request of my grandsons.

These are merely my opinions, I have not been compensated by, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies I mention.

Please note: it is important to realize there are variations from one doll to the next even within the same brand and model. Your experience may be very different than mine. It is entirely possible and even likely there are differences in individual dolls that are not addressed here.

Here’s our lineup today.

18 inch play

2nd doll comparison

First up is Zair. A Walmart Positively Perfect Diva doll retail $16.99

This doll has a beautiful face and a very cuddly body. She has painted on earrings, a somewhat unique feature in 18 inch play dolls.

Walmart doll


Height: Zair is just under 18 inches tall; 17 and 7/8 inches.Body Type/Face Mold: Zair has a beautiful face with a gentle, inquisitive expression. She has a soft, stuffed cloth body, a vinyl head and three quarter length vinyl legs and arms. The thighs and upper arms are cloth. Her hands and feet have nice definition and detailed toes and fingers. She is definitely the cuddliest of the dolls I am comparing today. Her cloth body is very snuggly and soft.She does share most clothing and shoes. However her body is so soft that some brands of doll pants and skirts squish her and make her look misshapen.
Hair/Wig: Her rooted hair is curly and full. It is soft and very beautiful. We have not brushed it and I doubt it would be a good idea. I think brushing her hair would cause it to frizz and tangle. This doll belonged to my daughter, her hair has been gently styled with barrettes, claw clips, hairbands and into one ponytail. It has held up well to gentle handling. Due to the rooting pattern, her scalp definitely will show if you try two ponytails, pigtails or some other styles. Her scalp is painted so that helps a bit when styling.
Eyes: She has pretty inset eyes. They are light brown with darker brown details. They do not open and close. Her lashes are merely painted on.
Coloring: Lovely. Her lip color is natural and attractive, her cheeks are just a tad too pink but perhaps she has been running. 🙂  She definitely has nice shading and depth of color. Her face paint is well done and simple. I think this is a face doll lovers will find appealing.
Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: Well, here is where Zair falls down on the job. Literally. She does not have any points of articulation. Her hands and legs cannot be turned, nor positioned without help. She cannot stand unassisted. She cannot sit unassisted. Her head is permanently tilted backward. She appears to be perpetually looking up. And her head cannot turn. I don’t know if all of these dolls have the same challenge or if our Zair’s neck zip tie is simply too tight.Clothing: Zair arrived in denim look pants and jacket, a polyester tank top and cloth shoes. Her outfit was fine, inside seams were not finished but it seems sturdy enough for play. Her shoe were neither attractive nor sturdy. They looked like booties and were fraying before we even unwrapped them.

Pros: She is a very sweet and cuddly doll, quite pretty and she has a unique face. The price is unbeatable and I think she is appealing.

Cons: Her inability to sit, stand or close her eyes makes her less “playable” and may limit her appeal to children. I have also heard that this line has been discontinued so Positively Perfect Diva dolls may be unavailable.

Doll compare 2


Next up is Lauren: A Modern Girl from Michael’s Creatology line. Retail Price $24.99

Doll compare 2


Height: Lauren is 17 3/8 inches tall. Considerably shorter than her listed height of 18 inches

Body Type/Face Mold: Her face is very cute. Lauren has a cloth body, articulated vinyl arms and legs. Her feet and hands are not as highly detailed as most other 18 inch play dolls I have seen. She is thinner, slighter than the other dolls I am reviewing. Some Springfield, American Girl, Madame Alexander clothes fit but many look a bit large or sloppy on her. She most easily shares clothes with the Adora doll from my last review who is also smaller.

Hair/Wig: She has rooted hair that feels soft and thick. The rooting pattern will allow her scalp to show with certain hairstyles. This is a common challenge with rooted dolls. Her hair is curly/wavy and a nice length. It tends to tangle even with gentle handling.

Eyes: She has open and close sleep eyes with firm, nylon eyelashes. They are a pretty shade of brown with some color  variation in the irises

Coloring: Her face paint is very subtle. She definitely does not look “made up”. A slight blush to her cheeks, light brown painted eyelashes and brows. Lip color is light.

Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: She can stand on her own but it takes a bit of balancing. Sitting is a challenge too, her legs are splayed and she easily topples over backwards. She nearly has to do the splits in order to sit on the floor. Her head is difficult to turn but seems to be loosening up with play.


Lauren Sitting

Clothing: She arrives in simple black leggings, a red tunic t shirt and red plastic Mary Jane shoes. The quality looks fine but there are no extras, no socks, no underwear. I should also mention that American Girl shoes don’t really fit her. You can get away with boots but not sandals, buckle shoes, etc. They fall off easily.

Pros: Great doll for the price. Lovely, sweet and entirely playable.

Cons: She is thin enough that some clothes and shoes can not be shared. Difficult to sit her on the floor. I’m not sure how durable her hair will be. She also came out of the box with several oily black marks on her (see below). They washed off with soap and water but I think they would have rubbed off on other things if the doll had been given to a child like that.

Third is Alexis from Via E Retail $114.98

Alexis (Alex) is a very different type of play doll. As such, some of the comparisons aren’t really valid. I decided to include her anyway because it is nice to have options.

Height: Alex is 19 inches tall. She still works as a taller friend to other dolls in this class.

Body Type/Face Mold: Alex has a wide open grin and a delighted demeanor. This is fun while she is awake but a bit odd when she is sleeping. She has an all-vinyl body with several points of articulation.

Hair/Wig: She has soft rooted hair that is easy to comb. There is quite a lot of shading which makes a lovely overall color. The rooting pattern makes many hairstyles difficult because her scalp shows. Again, this is a common challenge with rooted dolls. I fully expect in in a doll that retails for $30 or less. I am unhappy with it in a doll that retails for over $100.

Eyes: She has lovely blue sleep eyes with firm, nylon eyelashes. They have depth and shading that is quite nice.

Coloring: her face paint is very well done, she looks healthy and cheerful.

Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: As mentioned earlier, Alex has jointed knees and elbows in addition to neck, shoulder and hip joints. It is the reason I purchased her. Theoretically the extra joints will allow some extra pose-ability. Unfortunatley, I find it difficult to get her to hold a pose. For instance, she has jointed elbows but her arms will not remain in a bent position. I can position her arms straight up or at her side but they will not remain in a partially raised position for more than a few seconds. Her knees are articulated but her knees pull the bottom portion of her legs sideways. This makes it difficult to stand or seat her. I cannot get her to remain seated with knees bent. When I place her in a chair, her legs stick straight out no matter how I try to bend them. She will stand on her own but only if she is carefully balanced, and only for a minute before her knee joints shift and she falls over. If I seat her on the floor, her knees begin pulling and her foot is lifted off the surface after a few minutes. I find these limitations frustrating as I am trying to pose her for photos. For the shot below, I focused the camera, set it right in front of the doll. Posed Alex, grabbed the camera and quickly took this photo.

By the time I replaced the lens cover and put the camera down, she was sitting like this. Her arms had dropped, her head and body had shifted forward and that wonky right foot lifted from the surface. The foot doesn’t do that as much if you turn it to the side. See her left foot below, it is still in position.

Clothing: High praise here. Alexis comes with a pink t-shirt with kitten graphic, denim skirt, pint underwear and fringed boots. Her clothing is well made, finished seams, lots of cute touches and it is sturdy. They are versatile mix and match pieces and seems like something a young girl would wear.

Pros: A very pretty doll, she can get wet but cleaning her afterwards requires some time and dedication. I think children will like her friendly expression.

Cons: Price. Her articulation doesn’t work as expected. I had hoped for a doll that would appear to be eating or drinking my Faux Real Food but Alex simply doesn’t work in that capacity. I won’t be keeping her as a shop model.

And last, Oliver. Formerly known as a Springfield Olivia. Retail Price $21.99

I purchased Olivia because my 3 year old grandson requested a boy doll. I had a 40% off coupon so I ordered Olivia figuring at that price I wouldn’t feel bad about cutting her hair and altering her. 🙂 This is her “after” shot. Presenting Oliver or Ron.

Doll compare 2


I find the factory coloring of most Springfield dolls a bit jarring. Olivia/Oliver received freckles and new face paint.  Originally her lips were a pretty shade of bright purple and her cheeks were very bright pink. I’ll add a stock photo of her at the end of the post since our doll has been modified.

Height: Oliver is 18 inches tall.

Body Type/Face Mold: He has a soft cloth body, vinyl head arms and legs. His feet are detailed and similarly sized to American Girl Dolls. I am not fond of the shape of their hands, they are longer and look a bit awkward.

Hair/Wig: Springfield dolls have soft rooted hair. It seems easy to comb and is a pretty color. The rooting pattern makes many hairstyles difficult because the scalp shows. Again, this is a common challenge for dolls with rooted hair.

Eyes: The sleep eyes are green and have very little color variation.  The metal in the eye mechanism has a tendency to show in some of these dolls. Some are more pronounced than others so check before you purchase.

Coloring: The doll we received had very, very bright face paint. The lip color was a vibrant shade of lavender and the cheeks were very bright pink. I forgot to take a photo before removing the face paint so I’ve added a stock photo. This doll’s coloring is much subtler.

Stock Olivia Photo

Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: Oliver stands easily and is sturdier on his feet than everyone except AG’s Molly. He sits fine, legs are splayed but he does not fall easily. 

Clothing: Olivia arrived in a cheap polyester shift. No socks, shoes, undies and the dress was very poor quality. If you are purchasing a Springfield doll you will probably want to sew or purchase other clothing for them. He easily wears American Girl size clothing. In the photos he is wearing a bitty twin outfit. The pants are much too short so we rolled them into shorts and the shoes are a snug fit but it was an easy way to get a boy outfit.

Pros: Readily available. Depending on where you shop, you can often purchase with a significant discount/coupon making them very affordable. A good choice for a first “kid-type-doll”

Cons: Metal eye rims and overly bright paint are not attractive. This is a doll it is better to choose in person.

I hope you found it helpful or informative. Share your thoughts on 17 to 22 inch play dolls. Who is your favorite? and Why?


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2 Responses to Another Doll Comparison!

  1. Dana August 19, 2017 at 11:45 AM #

    Found your post in August 2017. Thot I would mention my favorites are Gotz dolls.

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