Monday, 18 February 2019

Lottie Doll Review

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Marianna received two Lottie dolls for Christmas/Birthday - Forest Friend and Birthday Girl - so here are my thoughts on them....

'Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You!'

Launched in August 2012, Arklu's Lottie has been one of the real success stories of the toy market. Although other brands - from Sindy to Lammily - have attempted to tap into the dissatisfaction with the outlandishly proportioned Bratz and Barbie, Lottie embraced a whole brand ethos backed up with the production quality to see the project through.

(On a side note, I find the market research behind it very interesting. Barbie was originally developed because the contemporary feedback said that kids were fed up of playing with dolls of babies and children, and instead wanted to act out being grown up. I don't know if the opposite reflects modern society's pressure to grow up quickly with the focus on social media, etc, or the contradictory trend of prolonged 'childhood' in terms of legal status and reliance on parental financial support, etc. Maybe I'm just overthinking it!)

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Anyway, looks wise, Lottie is reminiscent of Takara's modern day Licca-chan, though she stands a little shorter at 7.5" (18cm) to Licca's 8.3" (21cm). The line has quickly expanded to include friends like Mia, Sammi, and Finn too, rather than the usual route of siblings and boyfriend. You can also buy outfits, playsets, and pets for extra play value.

Lottie is designed to look like a nine-year-old girl, and her fashions reflect the brand's focus on 'wholesomeness', right down to the fact every doll ships with a pair of fabric knickers. Many of the ideas for new dolls and outfits come from customer suggestions, meaning she can be anything from a superhero to a gymnast to a regular kid on her way to Brownies, and the whole line buys into the #ToyLikeMe campaign. Wildlife Photographer Mia, for example, comes with a cochlear implant as an integral - yet incidental - part of the set.

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What I really like about Lottie is her earnestness. When Lottie takes up a hobby, be it fossil hunting or body boarding, she does it properly. No cheap pink plastic, and an actual effort to teach children about the field in question. Likewise, her clothing is well made and the doll itself is good quality, something particularly evident in the hair type and rooting pattern. I was also impressed to see that her legs are attached with ball and socket joints, so if rough play does see her lose a leg you can just pop it back into place.

Although her articulation is limited, with click knee joints and fixed arms, she can stand very well and is positively steady in shoes or boots. For the intended age range of 3 to 8, her mobility is just fine - and means less likelihood of broken joints or the slightly creepy quality of Licca's wired limbs. For collectors and older kids, you could easily (perhaps with a little judicious help from the nearest hairdryer!) rebody a Lottie head to an Obitsu or the more aesthetically pleasing Azone Pure Neemo S / XS body.

In summary, if you're buying for a kid, Lottie is a great choice. The dolls are well made, well thought out, and ready to withstand the life of a play doll. If you're a collector, Lottie has plenty of merit there too. Her face paint is clean and accurate, and her accessories are just darling - I'm already eyeing up her Campfire Fun and Canoe Adventure playsets with thoughts of Kenner's Steve Scout and pals...

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Lottie Range By Release Date:

LT002 Autumn Leaves Lottie.
 LT006 Branksea Festival Lottie.
 LT005 English Country Garden Lottie.
 LT001 Pony Flag Race Lottie.
 LT003 Snow Queen Lottie.
 LT004 Spring Celebration Ballet Lottie.
 LT010 Picnic Set.
 LT011 Biscuit the Beagle.
 LT021 Seren the Welsh Mountain Pony.
 LT024 Pony Flag Race Accessories.

 LT028 Butterfly Protector Lottie.
 LT026 Kawaii Karate Lottie.
 LT029 Light House Keeper Lottie.
 LT027 Pandora's Box Lottie.
 LT030 Pirate Queen Lottie.
 LT031 Robot Girl Lottie.
 LT032 Pandora the Persian Cat.
 LT033 Pirate Queen Accessory Set.
 LT034 Busy Lizzie the Robot.
 LT036 Raising the Bar.
 LT037 Sweet Dreams.
 LT038 Girls United.
 LT039 Body Boarder.
 LT040 Raspberry Ripple.
 LT044 Blue Velvet.

Lottie Doll Range

 LT053 Fossil Hunter Lottie.
 LT064 Kite Flyer Finn.
 LT055 Muddy Puddles Lottie.
 LT054 Pony Club Lottie.
 LT051 Rockabilly Lottie.
 LT058 School Days Lottie.
 LT052 Stargazer Lottie. (This was the very first doll in space!)
 LT045 Hair Care Set.
 LT046 Lottie Retail Floor Display.
 LT047 Lottie Retail Counter Display.
 LT056 Super Lottie.
 LT060 Flower Power.
 LT061 Scooter Set.
 LT062 Gone Fishing.
☆ Read the whole 2015 catalogue on Issuu.

 LT070 Always Artsy Lottie.
 LT066 Birthday Girl Sophia.
 LT084 Brownie Lottie.
 LT068 Forest Friend.
 LT083 Junior Reporter Sammi.
 LT082 Wildlife Photographer Mia.
 Royal Flower Girl Lottie.
 Kid Activist.
 Loyal Companion Finn.
 Pool Party.
 LT069 Saddle Up Outfit.
 LT074 Stables.
 LT078 Sirius the Welsh Mountain Pony.
 LT079 Bee Yourself Outfit.
 LT085 Brownie Outfit.
 LT086 Astro Adventures Outfit.
 LT089 Tree House.
 LT090 Brownie Campfire Fun.
 LT092 Brownie Canoe.
 Branksea United Outfit.
 Read the whole 2018 catalogue on Issuu.

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