A few weeks ago I posted about the Ever After High Birthday Ball series of dolls and I’ve already picked up and reviewed both deluxe dolls, Cedar Wood and Rosabella Beauty. Now I’m working my way through the basic Birthday Ball dolls and first up is Duchess Swan.
I picked up Duchess first out of the three basic dolls (the other two being C.A. Cupid and Blondie Lockes) because I absolutely love lavender hair. However, another huge draw for me is that this series of dolls is scented, but now that I have Duchess in hand I realize that she is NOT scented. Yep, that’s right! She receives no magical pastry that makes her smell like 1980, she just smells like chemicals and plastic. I know the basic dolls are cheaper and more stripped down (scroll all the way down for a side-by-side comparison), but no scent? I am disappointed.
As for the hair it’s a beautiful color of lavender and very soft, though my girl’s hair got super dented by the box, and there was some fall out. Also the bottom of her hair is all different lengths, which looks cheap, and means that she didn’t get a proper hair cut before leaving the factory. Cedar’s hair was the same way, but Rosabella’s wasn’t; I think if the hair is straight they just leave it as it. Unlike the deluxe dolls there’s no tinsel, which some people will be happy about. I, for one, like the tinsel, so I wish Duchess had it too.
Duchess’ makeup is gray lavender around the eyes, black upper lashes, brown lower lashes, brown eyebrows, and pink lips with metallic silver shine spots. My Duchess has a paint issue on her right eyebrow (our left) with some smearing, but it’s hard to see in the picture. The body on mine has extremely stiff joints, but her arms can go flat against her sides, so that’s good.
Duchess’ Birthday Ball dress is one piece with a velcro closure. The dress has a scoop neck partially covered by her necklace. The colors are purple, lavender, and white with purple stitching. Unlike the other dolls there are no sleeves and no tulle accents. The dress has a feather-like pattern referencing Swan Lake. Originally, from the name, I thought Duchess was going to the the Duchess from Alice in Wonderland, but alas no.
For accessories Duchess has a silver chest plate style necklace with bow, a lavender bow headband, and a lavender present box purse with purple bow. The purse is similar to Cedar’s and, like Cedar’s, is hollow on the bottom. There is no paint on the accessories and her headband is significantly different from the promo photo. The promo photos, which, mind you, is what you order the doll based on, shows the headband as more elaborate and purple and white, not lavender. I did speculate that they would change the headband for production, and I was right. I like the redesign in general, but the bow really needs to be painted. Also, it would have been nice if the bow on Duchess’ necklace was painted like Cedar’s, but basic line is basic.
As anticipated there is no brush or stand included with this doll. Boo!
Duchess’ shoes were also changed from the promo photos, but in a good way. The wedge heel was painted white and I think it makes the shoes look much better. Even though she’s unscented I think her shoes give off a strong “cake” vibe. The ankle cuffs on the shoes are similar to Rosabella’s, but were made in a way where they aren’t getting stretched out, which I like. The shoes are her best accessory.
The art on the back of her box is cute, though it looks like all three basic dolls get the same box, which I’d expect from the basic line. There’s no story and no individualization.
To wrap up I’d like to do a deluxe (standard?) vs budget chart for the Ever After High Birthday Ball doll series.
Cost: Deluxe dolls $19.99 vs Basic dolls $14.99
Hair: Deluxe dolls have tinsel vs Basic dolls do not have tinsel
Doll: Deluxe dolls are scented vs Basic dolls are unscented
Clothes: Deluxe dolls have tulle accents vs Basic dolls have no tulle
Shoes: No difference
Accessories: Deluxe dolls have headband, necklace, purse, and individualized fourth accessory (belt, glasses) vs Basic dolls have headband, necklace, purse, but nothing else (the exception being C.A. Cupid’s wings)
Stand/Brush: Deluxe dolls have a brush and stand vs Basic dolls do not
Box: Deluxe dolls have a personalized box with story vs Basic dolls have a stock box that’s the same for all three dolls
Overall, I’m happy with Duchess Swan, but I wish that she was a deluxe release instead of a basic one. Purple or lavender is my favorite doll hair color (surprise, surprise) so I would love for her to have a stand, scent, tinsel, and more accessories. If you look at the chart above you get a lot more for the extra $5. Maybe the basic dolls have a higher profit margin?
What do you all think of Duchess Swan? Will you be picking up this Birthday Ball girl? If you already have her I would love to hear your thoughts, too. Let me know in the comments!