The motto for the Smartees dolls is “Smart friends for smart girls.” It’s an ambitious premise, but I have to admit I like it. Rather than attempting to have one doll that is everything to everybody, Smartees has created an initial line of four dolls each with their own career and history. The dolls each come with an impressive array of accessories for their chosen career, as well as a slender book with a story of the doll helping someone (aimed at the 6-8 year old reader, by my guess). The dolls themselves are attractive and well made. To find out more, check out the Smartees web page, where you can view each of the dolls and even vote for the next Smartees doll. Edit: despite the glowing reviews, including from Oprah, the Smartees company only lasted a few years. The dolls can often still be found on reseller sites though.
A lot of things about this doll reminds me of Japanese fashion dolls. The golden hair is the fine, super shiny fibers used in Japan, and the skin is the same delicate pink color often used in those dolls. Her hair is cut in a classy chin-length bob with a rooted side part. Ashley has simply painted teal eyes. Her eyebrows are thin and straight. Her eyes have neutral shadow and her lips are a soft mauve. Her face is slightly rounder than most fashion dolls produced for the domestic market, which is also reminiscent of Japanese dolls. Her silver button earrings are removable.
Ashley is 11 inches tall. Her body sports a combination of features seen elsewhere. Her arms are fully jointed at shoulder and elbow, allowing a wide range of poses. The elbow joints are somewhat awkward looking (see photo below). She has a simple twist waist. Her legs have a slightly arched heel, similar to Teen Skipper’s, and have three sturdy clicks. Her feet are close enough in size that she can wear most Teen Skipper shoes and some Barbie shoes. Overall her proportions are similar to those of a Mattel doll, with slightly bigger hips and waist and a somewhat less pronounced chest. One word of warning: the shoes are banded on tightly, leaving marks on her ankles, so she should be deboxed right away!
Doll Scorecard Face: A Body: A Hair:A+ Overall: A
Overall, the clothing is of a very high quality. The sleeveless red blouse is made of a durable cotton knit and fastens in back with three snaps. The skirt and jacket are made of a thick, slightly stretchy fabric that gives the impression of a wool blend. The skirt fastens in back with a snap, but the jacket fastens with a strip of velcro. The jacket features some nice black button detailing. The finishing touches are black seamed stockings and some cute black pumps.
Outfit Scorecard Fabric: A+ Style: A Execution: A- (half a grade lost for partial velcro) Overall: A
To me, the best accessory was the incredibly detailed computer monitor. Not bad for something less than two inches wide! In addition, Ashley comes with an assortment of plastic reference books, file folders, and two little pens. There is also a briefcase that opens and closes, cute little brown glasses, and the tiniest cellular phone I’ve ever seen. She even gets a brush AND a comb! The enclosed book details “The Case of the Missing Backpack.” It also has a glossary of basic legal terms, a ‘resume’ that details the preparation Ashley did to become a lawyer, and two ‘diplomas’- a Smartees University Law degree for Ashley and a SU ‘Attorney in Training’ degree.
Accessories Scorecard Concept: A Style: A Playability: A Overall: A
I can’t think of a single real life place where this outfit could be worn, but it certainly looks fabulous on Ashley! She can wear this complete Fashion Avenue Trend City outfit, including the shoes. The oversized bag is even big enough for her to lug around all those law books!