Wednesday, November 10, 1999

Effenbee Brenda Starr Doll Review

Brenda Starr
© 1999 by Kathryn E. Darden and Marianne Smith.
If you have not ordered Brenda Starr yet, my advice is DON'T order the expensive LE. While the LE has a beautiful face, lovely hair and an intriguing gown, the vinyl did not have the porcelain appearance of Gene's  (it reminds me of a baby doll's vinyl), her limbs are not tight enough, and her arms and hands make her look ape like to me -- they are not dainty like Gene's. Her fingers made me think of stuffed sausages! For that reason, I put her black gloves on to hide those big hands. The gloves do help, but I am afraid they will stain. Of course, her cheaper vinyl may not absorb the dyes like Gene's would.
Brenda's shoes are beautiful to behold but they won't stay on her feet -- even with the NASTY STICKY STUFF they put inside the shoes to hold them on!
Then I put her on her stand. It is a fairly nice stand of a similar design to Julia's, but whereas Julia's stand holds her in place, Brenda looks awkward on hers and does not pose well. This is where tighter limbs might have helped, but Brenda just sort of hangs there.
All things considered, in my opinion the LE is NOT worth the money, perhaps not even worth the price of a new Gene. She is pretty with the gloves and hat, I do like the gown, her face and hair, and she is certainly not an ugly doll. I just think the price does not  reflect the quality I expected from Effenbee.

Kathryn, I disagree with you about this doll.  Yes, she is different from Gene.  Yes, her head is slightly too large for her body (not that much).  But I feel she is an absolutely beautiful doll.  Looking at her body undressed, it is quite evident that her sculptor, Sandra Bilotto, has a masters degree in Medical Sculpture from NYU's Medical School.  I certainly don't claim to be an expert, but I have never seen a doll as realistically sculpted as Brenda.  Looking at her back, I felt like I was looking at an actual woman's back in miniature.
She is virtually the same size as FM Diana, and, therefore, probably Julia as well.  I tried Diana's blue suit on her last night and it fit great, although I think Brenda's waist is a little smaller than Diana's.  Recently I read online that Tyler's dimensions are going to be the same as Julia's.  This would make a lot of dolls that could share clothes: Tyler, Julia, Diana, and Brenda.  Maybe Gene will end up the odd doll out.  All the other fashion dolls seem to be headed to 16" rather than 15.5" and with beautiful, but more realistic bodies than Gene, whose body is more of a fantasy body.  This really makes me anxious to see what Madame Alexander comes up with next year in a 16" fashion doll.
I do agree with you about the doll stand, though.  Brenda has the same type of stand as Julia.  These stands ruin the line of fitted clothes and make the dolls stand funny.  I intend to buy waist cincher stands for both Brenda and Julia.

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