Liberation 61: Ily 4EVER Inspired by Ariel Doll

Full image: ily 4EVER inspired by Ariel

As you probably know, I’m a fan of Disney- their movies, their songs, and most importantly their dolls. Jakks Pacific started a line of 18 inch ‘inspired by’ 18 inch toddler dolls, before moving on to fashion dolls. If you’ve ever been to a Disney resort, you know that once you hit about 12 you can no longer dress as a character (to prevent visitors from being confused with staff). These fashion dolls, styled as ‘ily 4EVER’, are dressed in styles that clearly show their favorite characters but won’t get them stopped at the gate. JP is showing a lot of creativity with these dolls, which come in two general ‘types’ so far: dolls with extra mobility who come with a park-themed food item in their Mickey balloon, and less articulated girls with two outfits. The second wave of each style recently started to ship, and to my delight they followed up the Ariel and Ursula dolls with this awesome ‘Little Mermaid’ themed doll with inspiration from both characters! Of course I had to have her, even before I realized that this wave also features streaks of ‘fashion color’ hair for everyone.

Since they went to some effort to make these girls posable, I used a Mattel doll with the ‘Made to Move’ body. Ironically, neither of these bodies feature a waist joint, which used to be considered a basic requirement for fashion dolls. Both dolls feature ankle joints, although Ily’s feet are larger and thus she is better at standing on her own for brief periods of time. No shoe sharing for these girls! They both have double jointed knees, which I love. Ily isn’t nearly as posable as MtM, with only a single elbow joint and no swivel on the upper arms, thighs, or underbust, but she’s still a clear step above the lower mobility Mattel girls. Her torso is slightly fuller than Mattel, and more noticeably fuller in the arms and legs. The large head and short neck give her a sturdy but youthful look.

Front body comparison
Side body comparison
Back body comparison
Feet comparison

There are several different face sculpts for these girls, all of which are lovely. This run features insert eyes and fun face paint around their Disney theme. This girl has warm brown inset eyes with a large pupil under dramatic black brows, highlighted with pale purple shimmer eyeshadow and dramatic aqua liner. The seashell and sparkle design is silver. Her lips are a pale coral. I can’t tell if the purple on the upper and lower lips is supposed to be an accent or was a painting error. I feel like it must have been deliberate since she doesn’t have that color anywhere else, but it’s an unusual choice. Her black hair is in two elbow-length braided plaits, with a shoulder length fringe of purple hair on the sides.

Mermaid face paint

While she only comes with the one outfit, the pieces have a lot of fun details. The top is a simple cropped teddy, but with wide straps with sheer edging and a sheer ruffle on the bottom to give it some flair. The pants are a terrific textured black pleather with a purple and blue tentacle design that is also reminiscent of waves. They made the interesting design choice to give the impression of a wide waistband and fly, but they didn’t hem the bottom of the pants. Both pieces fasten in the back with velcro.

Original outfit

The outfit is topped off with an absolutely outstanding jacket. The bomber-style has square sewn on sequins of bright green that shift through blue and purple. All along the bottom edge are more sequins, sewn in deliberately curving strands that look like strands of seaweed hanging down. The inside of the jacket is black satin with a printed still from the film with Ariel and Ursula. The jacket has an absurdly large tag in the way, but I was able to trim it back considerably.

Jacket back
Jacket front
Jacket inside

My favorite thing about these dolls is the commitment to the theme, and the half-dozen accessories are no exception. Her shell purse matches Ariel’s ‘seashells’ in color and style- and has a very tiny charm that has an image of Ariel with Ursula overlapped. A true Disney girl, she comes with a pair of split Ariel/Ursula Mouse ears for her day at the park. She has a darling mermaid tail necklace. Her shoes are comfortable looking wedge slides with wave designs on the heel and scale designs on the strap. Her sunglasses have seashell shaped lenses that transition from pale purple to a watery teal. There is a plastic version of the classic ‘Mickey head’ balloon-in-balloon so popular at the park. Tucked inside the balloon is a random piece of park food- I got an adorable plate of Minnie-head waffles. There’s a little booklet as well that shows all of the possible food items.

Accessories picture 1
Seashell sunglasses
Purse charm
Balloon and mystery food

Although shoe sharing was a no-go, Ily can share clothes pretty well with Barbie. The jeans were a little snug to get over her hips, and she definitely won’t be doing calisthenics in them, but fit well enough. Barbie had no problem wearing Ily’s outfit

Clothes swap

Despite the plethora of clothing options on hand, I had picked up a Minnie Mouse themed outfit pack at the same time as this girl, and I had to try it out right away. The adorable t-shirt is printed with various Minnie heads paired with cheerful self-help phrases. The mix and match sweatshirt continues the feel-good theme with ‘Coffee and Kindness’ on the front and floral prints on the sleeves. The skirt is a black chiffon with white polka dots and Mickey heads. I really want to know what JP has against hemming- the skirt is also not hemmed at the bottom. Black and white sneakers finish off the look. For accessories, we get red cat-eye sunglasses, a frappe in a Minnie logo cup, a plate of macaroons, and a Minnie fashion magazine to read while we’re indulging.

Minnie t-shirt
Outfit and macaroons accessory.
Sweatshirt and coffee
Magazine cover
Magazine interior

If you are a Disney and a fashion doll fan, this whole line is just filled with must have looks to love. They are kind of like potato chips- you can’t have just one, you need a whole shelf.

Face: A-
Body: A
Hair: A-
Fabric: A
Style: A+
Execution: B+ (again, what’s with the hems?)
Accessories: A+
Outfit pack: A-
Overall: A-

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