Je suis prete. Est-ce que vous etes pret, aussi?
Let's start with a note: if you haven't read my previous post on Rochelle Goyle, you may want to begin there before reading this review. Less a review or character spotlight than simply a tribute, that previous write-up kind of explains my feelings on Rochelle. That is, it lays out just why I love this girl so much. It also helps explain why posting this review of Rochelle's new Scaris doll on this day specifically carries some personal importance for me -- today's my birthday! And there's no other doll I'd rather be discussing on my birthday than this so very lovely Rochelle.
Since I've already posted full box backs in my previous Scaris reviews, today I'll just post the bit at the bottom that focuses on Rochelle--
For Jinafire and Skelita this portion gave us the basic bio's on those new characters. We already know Rochelle so her box back simply sets up her Scaris storyline. Rochelle's sweet, romantic personality shines through, and we're even given a little creative writing with that snow globe metaphor. I like it! Rochelle's booklet differs from Jina's and Skelita's as well. No diary entries or sketches for Rochelle; instead it's more of a travelogue/photo album. Not much is revealed story-wise but we get some nice "slice of life" snapshots of her time in Scaris, in addition to some great artwork-
Anyone else feel this caption is a bit "promote-y"?
I spy a Catrine there!
Let's take a closer look at that chalk drawing--
More ooh's and ahh's, right?
With the party started proper, let's get into the review. Right up front it's hard not to compare Scaris Rochelle to her basic doll -- it seems that's always the case when you're faced with just the second doll of a character. There's only two, you gotta compare! Scaris Rochelle feels considerably different from her basic doll while remaining completely true to the character. She's stylish and dramatic, carrying on the established look and theme of her basic doll, while more or less expanding on it.
She has an elaborate faceup that somehow manages to outdo her basic doll in giving us some big, romantic eyes. The pink of her irises seems just a tad brighter, and unless I'm imagining things the eyes in general are a little bigger. She has very detailed eyeshadow -- a strip of light pink topped by a thin blue line. Above this is a thick layer of silver while above that is another strip of pink that goes to her brows. Under the eye is one slim layer of silver. Her mascara looks about the same as her basic doll's, although her eyebrows look a tad darker. Her lips are pink again, but this time much brighter. These truly are some big, detailed eyes. They're also incredibly expressive -- as I mentioned, very romantic.
Her hair is considerably different from her basic doll's, as well. This time it's very wavy, and her bangs have a massive curl in them. The pink and blue streaks seem more evenly mixed than they were on her basic, or at least they are compared to the basic I got, which had almost no blue at all. Although there's more blue than pink in her bangs, the rest of her hair shares the pink and blue love a bit more fairly. Her hair is really thick and the wave very pronounced, but I wouldn't exactly call it silky. That said, it holds it's shape well and looks very good. It's all pulled into a thick ponytail to her right in the back.
Scaris Rochelle wears a delicate pink and black slip dress. The black waistband makes it look like this is a two-piece outfit but nope, it's just one slim piece. The bodice has a print of pink and black that looks a bit like wrought iron. You'll also notice a little bit of light peach in there. A strip of pink lace runs vertically down the center and ends at the black waistband. The straps are simple black ribbon. The skirt has an interesting print in two shades of pink that look a bit like chalk rub. Over this is a black silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. It appears to be dripping some liquid off it, as if the tower was painted onto the skirt by hand (in which case - awesome.) I'm not usually a fan of such literal designs -- we know she's from Scaris, we know that's where the story takes place, do we really have to have the most obvious landmark splayed right across her skirt? That said, I like the overall style here, and the hint at DIY fashion in the dripping tower is definitely John approved.
Two of my very favorite things about this outfit take place from the knees down. First, Rochelle comes wearing tights of black and grey horizontal stripes. I love the colors and the texture is nice, too. It's a bit similar to the texture of her basic doll's short stockings. Plus I just love tights in general on dolls, so these get a huge thumbs-up from me. The second thing? The shoes, of course! These babies are just incredible -- pure pink heels made entirely of wrought iron-style detailing. They're just the one color, but who cares? They look amazing! Plus they utilize that wedge that connects to the front bottom of the shoe rather than the back that I love so much. I'm not sure an actual human could walk in these things, but damn if they don't look great on this doll!
My other very favorite thing about this outfit is happening on top of that pink and blue noggin -- Rochelle is wearing an honest to goodness pillbox hat! Color me impressed because this kind of vintage, sophisticated style is something I wouldn't have expected from MH. Sure, they're great at referencing several eras and styles, but a pillbox hat? Nice! It's flat, grey, and fronted by a little pink bow with a Fluer de Lis in the center. It has a tiny little notch on one side to slide her right ear into -- that's how it stays in place. Of course, Mattel has also plastic tagged it to her head, but the tags are hidden really well in the "seam" of the hat, and I have no intentions of removing it anyway. The pillbox hat is pure win. The only other accessories Rochelle wears are four bracelets on her left wrist -- two black, two teal. They're simple but add just a hint of "funk" to what could've otherwise been a somewhat stuffy outfit. To be honest I actually love this less-is-more approach to her accessories. Sometimes I feel these dolls are a bit too busy with their little extras and end up removing some of them. I don't have to worry about that here. Way to play the restraint card, Mattel! I like it!
Being a deluxe "travel doll", Rochelle of course includes a rolling suitcase instead of a purse. Hers is grey and features more of that wrought iron detailing on the front, including some that rises above the top of the case. It's rather stately in it's own fanciful way. A pink Fluer de Lis adorns the front, as well. The back includes some simpler detailing and another Fluer de Lis, this time grey. The handle is pink and molded to look like... wrought iron? I'm not sure, honestly. It looks kind of different from all the other iron detailing. It almost looks a bit like ivy, but it's too stylized and sharp for it to be. One thing I am fairly certain of is that this handle isn't retractable. It pops out of it's grooves fairly easily but then becomes all loose and clattery. If it is retractable I feel bad for Rochelle and the hell it's gonna give her while trying to navigate Charles De Gaulle. Yikes.
Overall grade: A I had very high expectations for this doll and they were pretty much all met. The only downside really is that her head has some movement limitations, similar to my basic Robecca, but not as bad. I love Scaris Rochelle's faceup, hair, and outfit. Her storyline sounds interesting and everything established with this doll feels true to the character. She's still a sweet, romantic girl, with a heart of stone that bleeds.
Jusqu'a la prochaine fois...