Why, SpartanNerd? Why? Why do you never cover girls toys?
Truthfully, because I didn’t play with them as a kid…I have a (nameless, shameless) brother who played with Barbie and My Little Pony as a kid. Mostly to disrobe and pull the hair out. (He had a problem with pulling his own hair out when he slept. So my parents tried this with some success.)
I’ll admit to playing with some She-Ra with my girl cousins.
I really don’t have anything against girls toys, though. I have been meaning to pick up a Monster High doll, which I find incredibly cool looking, but haven’t ever gotten around to it. Instead, I am going to test the waters a little bit with Strawberry Shortcake. She’s a good candidate because of her 1980’s nostalgia factor, for me anyways. I also have a side project that I need a small doll for, and this item was perfect.
I remember just a little bit about Strawberry Shortcake. It seems a lot of scented stickers and items like that were associated with her. I don’t remember if she had a cartoon, though.
So here’s the box.
Strawberry Shortcake came in this nice package. There is a large blister on the front allowing you to see the different accessories. The back shows off all three dolls in this line. However, didn’t I see an African American one at Toys-R-Us? (Incidentally, this is one of my cheapest toys, coming in at just over $11.00.) (I just net-checked. Evidently the African American character isn’t in the band, but exists.)
Removing the doll from the package, as well as the accessories…
There is quite a strawberry smell here! That smell is rubbing off on the SpartanNerd’s hands, though. And I suspect it isn’t “baked in” the plastic, like say, the smell in MOTUC Stinkor or Moss Man. This smell will likely fade with time. And that’s sort of sad, really. That is an “action feature” of this doll. You can see in the picture above that Sweet Beats comes with a guitar, oversized sunglasses, a comb, a soft-goods jacket, and a wireless mic.
The figure stands nicely on its own…that huge mop of hair causes a little bit of balance issues. This doll has only five moving joints: two shoulders on ball joints, two legs with back-and-forth only, and a rotating head.
Strawberry Shortcake’s skirt comes off, and surprise for the SpartanNerd, so do her shoes! You can see that the figure has painted leggings and a painted on glitter top. Sadly, where the skirt covers at the waistline is very unsightly paint-slop. Actually, it almost looks like the torso was meant to be two pieces, and maybe have a waist-swivel. If so, it was decided to glue these parts together. (Later, I also found the hair-bow to be removable.)
Here is Sweet Beats with all of her other accessories, besides the skirt. The jacket was tough to put on…You have to move the arms to where they point straight back, then put one hand into a sleeve, and then the other, and then move the whole jacket up the arms to the torso, fix the arms back, and then fuss with it to make it look right. I suppose good fine-motor skills work for little children. Also for the SpartanNerd. The guitar doesn’t have a removable strap, so in order to make Sweet Beats hold it, you have to put her feet into the strap and have the arms down by her side, then position the guitar how you want. (Her head is too big to put it on over the top.) Sweet beats can’t hold the guitar’s neck properly because she has no finger articulation or wrist articulation. Still, it looks cute. The mic stands on its own just fine. Mine is just a little bent, like some plastic on toys does. Still, it isn’t too bad. Finally, for me, the glasses have to go.
They cover her eyes, which I find to be one of the doll’s best features. Those glasses would be great if they had some kind of lenses, or even if they were just frames that fit over the eyes. That’s just my opinion, though.
Finally, the real feature of this doll. The hair.
That is quite a lot of hair! I spent some time combing it and playing with it…you really can’t do much with it. I tried making a pony tail or pigtails using rubber bands. Either I’m too manly, or the doll’s hair isn’t that style-a-ble. The hair is fun to play with though. (And now I’m thinking I might need to stop.)
I mentioned I had a project, and the hair has to do with that…Maybe I will get better at working it if I mess with it some more. Notable, you can’t see from my pictures, but right at her hairline is what appears to be a painted on headband. I believe this to be a device for concealing where the roots begin. Also, her scalp is painted red. This is why there is no caucasian color shining through. But I thought it a little disturbing the first time I realized it.
So what is the SpartanNerd’s rating of Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats Doll?
I found some good stuff and some bad stuff. I’m not sure I can hold this doll up to the standards of most of the other toys I have reviewed. Most of the stuff I review is for the collector’s market.
As a toy, Sweet Beats would be a great doll for a little girl to play with. (Or boy…) The hair is a big part of this toy. The guitar and mic add great style. And the ability to change its clothes and shoes with other dolls in the same line also adds to its play-ability.
The biggest problem was the jacket. Not easy to put on or take off. The paint is the second negative issue, with that strange situation at the waistline. And last I suppose is that the smell will almost certainly fade with time.
But I believe this to be a good durable toy for the young child’s market. I believe she could take a lot of abuse. I tried removing the arms, legs, and head. No luck there. I pulled the hair some, and some did come out. But not that easily. It is meant to last a good while.
For now I am going to give this doll, the very first doll I have ever reviewed mind you, a 3/5. There is no denying the cuteness of Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats. But she isn’t that playable for someone over the age of, say nine-years-old. She looks cute when posed in the limited posing you can get with her, and she has some customization options with the other dolls in the line with her. And maybe even with other lines of dolls. (I don’t know.)
SpartanNerd Rates Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Beats Doll 3/5. Do you agree or disagree, oh Hub-City Geeks? Let me know in the comments. And if you want to see more “girls toys” reviews from the SpartanNerd, let me know as well!