Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Only Hearts Club doll "Olivia Hope."

Earlier this year, I bought a small lot of Only Hearts Club doll clothes from eBay, with the hope that they'd fit a very small bjd I own. Alas, no such luck, and the clothes went in to a ziplock bag and were set aside.

On Saturday I was in a Joann's (really, did I need a reason? I didn't think so), and noticed a few Only Hearts dolls in the red tag clearance bin. It occurred to me then that I still had that bag of clothes for these dolls. So I poked through available clearance items, and decided to take home an Olivia Hope.

Cute, yes? And her little dog, too!



I hadn't looked at these dolls too closely before, and was actually pleasantly surprised to realize they have inset eyes. No, really--look!

 Tiny little inset eyes and lovely face paint. I'm already pleased with my purchase. Now to get her out of the packaging....
 ....during which I had to trash the box to get to the threads holding her in. Well, three threads and one plastic tag, which did NOT want to come off or out, and resulted in her losing the tiniest bit of her very nice and thick rooted hair. Dammit.
 One of the lower threads didn't especially want to come off her calf, either, but I managed after some muted grumbling to pull it out without damage.
 She's extremely flexible, given that her plush body has a wire armature all through the limbs and torso, including her neck, so that she can look up--
or down, or all around...no, her head doesn't easily do a 360, which is just fine by me. Her vinyl head does move on the plush neck, but it's on there very tightly.
Her clothes are cute--note that little tie detail on the sleeves of her t-shirt and at the bottom of the vest. Very nice details, although--
 some of the fundamentals are lacking. The t-shirt's hem mysteriously stops and trails away about 3/4 of the way around, and the sleeve hems aren't finished.
 She does have underpants, but look at that inside-out unfinished seam. These were probably sewn directly to the doll, hence that seam, but it makes the underpants look half-diaper, half- panties.

Her clothes did come off fairly easily, although I had to snip a few more threads intended to keep her posed and the clothes attached. No damage, I'm pleased to say.
 Here's the required tag for the plush content and filling. That tag will be cut off. It's not huge, but it is big enough to be annoying when dressing her.
 But look at these stubs of feet! Not even any stitching to mimic toes, and they're tiny in proportion to the rest of her. She actually does look like her feet were cut off if the feet aren't firmly bent at the ankles.
But the girl can pose, all right. The ballerina line of these dolls take great advantage of it. Olivia Rose, however, is content today with a simple pirhouette. I did notice that though she's very posable, the poses don't hold tight, and kept drifting loose as the wire tried to return to the original pose.
The DISadvantage to the wire armature is that it's very easy to affect poses that people can't do without grave bodily injury, and then the wire is a bit kinked and doesn't quite go back to its former straightness. Twist her about at your own risk.

Little Dog Too (my name for him, I didn't see a name on the box) has a little bit of color on him, but I'm not sure if that's intentional, or bleed-off from the pink vest. Either way, it's very light, and I had trouble getting the camera to pick it up clearly.

Her shoes are cute--pink plastic boots with a sweater lining detail and teeny buckle (really just silver thread). They're open at the back, so they slipped on pretty easily.

Getting her clothes on her wasn't too much of a struggle, thanks to garments that open all the way down the back. I was thrilled, because I just don't know how I'd manage to re-dress her with that plush body.

I have to confess here that I have an aesthetic issue with that plush body. It just looks a bit weird, IMO, and makes her arms and limbs and neck look disproportionately large and hairy. Poor little fuzzy girl. The effect is pronounced when she's nude, but not as much when she's clothed.

I'm glad I bought her, however, because her face and hair are wonderful, I can live with the plush once she's dressed, and the available clothing is really nice. She'll probably end up as a doll belonging to one of the bigger other dolls, like my Dollmore Daish, Elizabeth. Olivia Rose is the right size for Elizabeth's hands, and I can bend her about to hold on to those hands.

I'm a bit concerned that it looked as though the line is discontinued (clearance, few updates on the website or Facebook page, etc), but I couldn't find any current info to either confirm or disconfirm.

Verdict: Good play value for the price, and lots of outfits available. Check the clearance aisles and eBay as well if you're interested, and Amazon.com has a number of the dolls available at reasonable prices.

14 comments:

  1. I agree about the plus body. If it wasn't that somewhat fuzzy material it wouldn't be quite as bad. She looks like she's part muppet.

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  2. My solution would be to dress her in long pants and long sleeves, but I'm just funny that way. I stronly prefer to cover up the joints on my BJDs too! Desperate attempt at realism? Who can say?

    Anyway, Olivia is cute and so is LDT!

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  3. I used to have a bunch of these dolls when I was younger (they're probably still in my basement). I loved them SOOO much!!! The fuzzy muppetness never bothered me, but then again, I was like 7 years old.

    ~ Sophie ~

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  4. I'm very disappointed in the company. My mom picked up a collection of these dolls at Winners and my three girls love to play with them while at Nana's. My oldest sent off the info via snail mail to join their Only Hearts Club, which promised a package in return which has never arrived, 4-5 months later. Emails return 'permanent failure to delivery' and the voice mail is full. I agree that they are likely out of business, but why would the website still be up? Grrrrrr...
    ~mom to a disappointed-would-be-only-hearts-club-member.

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  5. I have three of these dolls and love them. However, it does seem that something is seriously wrong with the company. They don't reply to e-mail inquiries and the dolls have been increasingly difficult to find. Web stores I contacted about them don't reply to e-mail either. I'm through with OHC products.

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  6. Apparently, this company has been out of business for years, despite a website which remains online. Their phone number and email address are dead. I never received my membership kit either, and it was requested over a year ago. OHC is a family business and the owners of record are Malibu, CA millionaires. On general principles, these dishonest people should be reported to the FTC and BBB if anyone has time to do it.

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  7. A major toy retailer who sold a lot of OHC dolls recently said the company has literally disappeared. When they tried to order more product from them over two years ago, the entire office staff was gone. The retailer mentioned above doesn't know if OHC will reorganize and go back into business. Whatever they do, those crooks can count me out.

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  8. As a former employee I can tell all of you that as of Dec 2012 they were in business although I don't know for how long after that. They were nice people just not good business sense.

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  9. 10/11/2013 Former Employee - If they were in business until December 2012 it was only on paper. They shut down long before that. I bought three dolls and never got the free OHC membership kit requested several months before 12/2012. Email inquiries were never answered. As far as I'm concerned, they're crooks, not "nice people".

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  10. 9/27/2013 said the MIA company owners are Malibu, CA millionaires. If so, former employee 10/11's claim that they had no business sense isn't true. It appears thst they just took the OHC money and ran, leaving us ex-customers with fuzzy dolls, missing membership kits and a phony website which shouldn't be online.

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  11. interesting find because I did some small concerts in Malibu. One was one Valentine's Day 2004 and I called it "Only Hearts Club" and had my posters everywhere. I had done concerts on Valentine's in years before at House of Blues under the same band name: "Only Hearts Club". Wonder if they saw my poster and got the name from there? Does anyone know when the business started? Funny coincidence. www.terigarrisonmusic.com

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  12. interesting find because I did some small concerts in Malibu. One was one Valentine's Day 2004 and I called it "Only Hearts Club" and had my posters everywhere. I had done concerts on Valentine's in years before at House of Blues under the same band name: "Only Hearts Club". Wonder if they saw my poster and got the name from there? Does anyone know when the business started? Funny coincidence. www.terigarrisonmusic.com

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    Replies
    1. Unknown, I bought the first of 3 OHC dolls in 2011 or 2012, so it appears that you might have had the name first. If so, you might be able to sue the company owner for infringement. He's an extremely wealthy man named Simonian.

      Like other people commenting here, I never received the advertised OHC membership kit either. Company phones and e-mail were indeed disconnected. Fortunately, my dolls were bought early in the game before their quality went to the dogs as shown above.

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  13. Reportedly, defunct Only Hearts Club was owned by a socially prominent Malibu jet-setter named Leonard Simonian. He and his wife own other unrelated businesses now.

    To me, he's just another bottom feeder who stole honest people's money and ran. I never got my membership kit and all efforts to reach the company failed. It had been closed for years by the time the website was finally taken offline.

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