Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Letter From America Quick Crappy Review: Disney Attractionistas Briar & Holly

Hey, welcome back to the Quick Crappy Reviews of Disney’s Attractionistas line, a series of Monster High inspired dolls sold only in Disney theme parks around the world and all based on an attraction at said parks, today’s stream of bullshit will actually be a quick crappy review, rather than just a crappy one, as this time we only have two girls to mumble about, both from the second wave of dolls that’ve been released.  

Quick recap of my overall feelings: they’re a little bit cheap looking and feeling but robust, they’re very tall (at 12”) and their articulation can be summed up as ‘Barbies with ball jointed legs’ so they’re not that posable. Each doll comes with a plastic hat and a plastic pet but no stand and as they cannot stand on their own enjoy eBaying some generic doll stands, I have, it was thrilling. Their basic premise is that a bunch of friends who all obsess/identify with a particular attraction (not that any real people do that says the man who spent hundreds of dollars on Haunted Mansion merchandise a very short while ago) went to Disneyland and wished on a star because it’s Disneyland and basically became living embodiments of their attraction of choice, I think, it’s a bit unclear.

We’ll start with Briar, named after the briar patch and representing racism Splash Mountain. Her box has the following to say about her (if I’ve read my piss-poor photographs right): Raised in the mountains, Briar grew up with a fond appreciation of fresh air, wide open spaces and endless adventures. She loves to explore the forests and lakes of her ‘home sweet home’ on foot and by canoe – with a song in her heart, a zip in her step and a smile along every mile. She and her pet fox Patch feel just as much at home on a lazy, peaceful river as they do barrelling down the rapids on their way to fun and excitement. That’s why the Splash Mountain attraction is Briar’s laughin’ place. She’s called Briar and the fox is named Patch, I like that, it’s crap but it pleased me inside. 

Briar’s the most boring looking of the girls, I don’t own Carrie because I don’t give a shit about the Fantasyland carousels but she’s at least a unique and interesting design, Briar’s just a cowgirl with a recurring bunny motif, she doesn’t even have a unique skin colour – how fitting. Actually let’s stick with that train of thought; shouldn’t they have made her Black? Even ignoring the unfortunately implications of having a film you can’t re-release for home viewing because you’re concerned about it being racist having a physical representation that’s white skinned, the Uncle Remus tales that Songs of the South and thus Splash Mountain are based on are tales from the Black population of the South of North America right? Br’er Rabbit would be a Black man if he was human so why is Briar the whitest Fashionista? Did they think it would be more racist if she was Black? Is it? Do I really just want her to be Black because cowgirls are even sexier when they’re Black cowgirls? Maybe. That’s a point, despite being the most boring looking, I do really find Briar quite attractive, more so than some of the more creatively designed girls, cowgirls just do it for me, as does pink hair and plats, she has all of this going for her. I also like that her satchel has a bluebird on it so she literally has a blue bird on her shoulder, but holy shit, far more importantly, Her hat works! That almost makes up for her less than inspiring design! Because a cowgirl needs a hat and more so a hat that stays on her bloody head, it seems odd to praise a hat for doing this, it’s main function, but after the wave one dolls and their various incompetent hats Briar’s cowgirl hat needs that praise – well done for staying on Briar’s head Briar’s hat, you win the hat award. Briar’s fox is big, heavy, good quality, well painted (actually paint apps on all these dolls are good) and adorable but the designers were aware that Br’er Fox was a villain right? And that they had a rabbit mould they could just have reused in grey? I applaud them not giving in to easy and cheap part reuse and I suppose it could have been worse: they could have given her a tar baby for a pet but still, fox = bad in this case. Did you guys get it mixed up with the one from The Fox and The Hound? Cos it really does look a lot like Todd.

Then there’s Holly, the first of the dolls I saw and the one that instantly convinced me I needed to own 95% of them. Holly represents the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the first attraction not based at a Magic Kingdom park to receive a doll, and her box says of her: Holly is a night owl – and so is her pet owl Terra. Her parents run an old hotel with endless staircases and mysterious hallways just waiting to be explored. Holly roams through the maze-like halls then she stays up until dawn watching vintage black and white through the blurry static filled screens of her old television set. (All of these movies seem to have a sense of glamour to them – even the scary ones, which are Holly’s favourites). It is fitting that her favourite Disney Parks attraction is at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Hey, her bio doesn’t mention the Tower of Terror by name! Anyway have you noticed how Briar and Holly have much better reasons for feeling an affinity for their attraction of choice? Briar’s reminded of her home and Holly’s from a hotelier family, the reasons in the previous review were pretty much ‘cos she’s loopy and British’, ‘cos she’s a Goth’ and um…cos she likes stealing shit to make jewellery? I don’t like Pearl’s bio.

I think me and Holly would get on really well, that might be a weird thing to think about a doll. Gracey is easily the design I find the most attractive and easily the best doll from the first wave but I think Holly is the best doll from the line so far, well her hat doesn’t work but in terms of design. Her outfit is gorgeous and a great choice, the Tower of Terror bellhop costume tweaked into a stylish coat and skirt roughly the same period as time when the movies she loves and the backstory of Tower of Terror come from, the grey skin tone is perfect for her (Gracey’s skin tone was perfect too, I forgot to put that) and she has really nice boots, sadly they’re a bit too big. I haven’t really brought up the characters faces because while they’re all unique sculpts and pretty well chosen they’re just not that worth talking about, they all have a generic happy smile except Grace’s slight hints of a smirk (and slight hints of Davina McCall) but Holly’s had a slightly different look to it, it looks like a face from an older time, from the golden age of Hollywood funnily enough and I like it a lot. Her hat fails, her hair is too big and starched so solid that you just can’t get to push on, it pops off like a hat shaped spring and can go fuck itself, Terra is awesome though. I guess an owl’s a good a choice as any, it’s creepy, it’s associated with the night and it’s not like Tower of Terror is filled with animal to choose, but Terra’s just a really nice cartoon owl, very Don Bluth in design and has it’s own little bellhop hat and as Grimm can confirm, hats make cartoon animals better.

Well that was quick, in conclusion Briar’s a lazy design but I find her very attractive, Holly’s a great design and I want to spend nights staying up with her and Gracey watching White Zombie and The Cat People and talking about how famous Hollywood actors died. To finish up I’d like to say that while writing this review I went upstairs to get a Milky Way, tripped up the stairs, landed on my shins, then slid back down  on my front, it’s not really relevant but OW!

Don't be a bitch Rochelle,
just because she's not official doesn't mean she isn't

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