Saturday, February 1, 2014

Queens of Africa Dolls - Review


Queens of Africa dolls, Nneka, Wuraola, and Azeezah and issue one of Queens of Africa book

My three lovely Queens of Africa dolls arrived quickly from the United Kingdom by small packets delivery.

There is very little difference in Nneka and Wuraola's complexion, but Nneka is a shade lighter.
The dolls' lightweight boxes sustained crumpled-top and loose-cellophane damage during the small packets delivery, which did not include a protective box.  Bubble wrap and brown packaging paper were their only protection.  Reinforcement with a cardboard box or perhaps a cardboard liner could have cushioned some of the obvious bangs the dolls' boxes received during delivery. The dolls, however, withstood the turbulence.

I gingerly removed each from their boxes to give them a closer inspection.  Initially, I kept all attached to their inner liner. 

Each doll wears stud earrings that are not removable.  Nneka is the only one with a crown.  Their extra accessories include a doll stand, clutch, swimsuit, and hairbrush.  I was surprised by Nneka's extra dress (shown above wrapped in a plastic bag).

Nneka's extra shimmery red dress has a removable sash that reads:  Queen of Love.  Her red shoes and faux ruby studded crown will complement the dress.
Nneka's hair is styled in a low ponytail.  All have rooted hair, but it is not closely rooted.  Restyling the hair might be limited as a result.

Azeezah has the deepest complexion of the three.
Like Nneka, Azeezah has straight hair but the color and style are different.  Her black ponytail is worn high with a twisted top. It fishtails down as shown in the second image below.

The clear spot on Azeezah's hairline and face is glue that held her headwrap in place.  The use of glue was not necessary in my opinion.

Azeezah's top-rolled ponytail  that fish tails down is more visible in this picture.

Wuraola's curlier, auburn hair is in an upswept style underneath her headwrap.

Other Attributes
Proportions:  Head and body are proportional.  Someone asked if they suffer from BHS (big head syndrome).  No, they do not.
Height:  11-1/2 inches (but shorter than Artsy Fashionista -- see photo below).
Material:  Soft vinyl faces; rigid plastic body and arms, firm vinyl legs
Articulation:  The arms and legs move at the sockets; the knees click-bend; the waist twists and turns.
Feet:  Smaller than Artsy Fashionista's and probably smaller than most other Barbie feet.  In fact, Nneka's red shoes are too long for her, but they do not slip off.

***
I removed Nneka from her inner liner, undressed her (she has on white undies), and did a quick comparison with Artsy Fashionista.

Artsy's higher arch is responsible for her slightly taller height.



Artsy's feet are larger than Nneka's.  

Note the extra flap of vinyl on the sole of Nneka's foot that should not be there.

Nneka's breast area is larger, almost 6 inches, whereas Artsy measures 5-2/8 inches.

Clothing
 Nneka's dress is made of a cotton fabric.  The inner edges are not stitched under, otherwise it is well made.  Azeezha's dress and headwrap are made of a heavy African-print, cotton-type material.  Wuraola's emerald green dress has a matching headwrap. Both are made of synthetic silk-like heavyweight material.

Queens of Africa Issue One




Written and illustrated in the style of a comic book, the reader is introduced to younger versions of the girls who are best friends.  They attend Dreamland International School, "a unique school... that is the envy of all other schools in Lagos... The students of Dreamland International are taught to dream big and make their dreams come true.


"Wuraola Oluwadamilola is the third child of Mr and Mrs Oluwadamilola.  She is very brilliant, smart, and patient.

"Nneka Chukwuemeka is the only child of her parents... she is loving, cheerful, and caring... loves travelling and making friends.

"Azeezah Musa is the daughter of Dr and Dr (Mrs) Musa.  She is a very humble, respectful and peace loving girl.  She is also hardworking.

"They share their joyful and sad moments.  They are always together at school and spend their weekends and holidays in each others company.

By the end of the book, the girls are transformed into "the most beautiful and powerful queens."  As noted by her red shimmery dress with sash, Nneka becomes the Queen of Love.  The book informs that Azeezah becomes the Queen of Peace, and Wuraola, the Queen of Endurance. 

***

Overall, I am pleased with my regal-looking Queens of Africa Dolls and their book, which tells their delightful story as well as shares informative facts about the continent of Africa and specifically Nigeria.

Except for the raw edged stitching, the clothing is well made.  The swimsuit edges are stitched under.


I would have preferred reinforced small packet shipping to protect the dolls' boxes (even though it might have driven up the already high price of shipping from the UK to the US).  Stricter quality control on the China end where the dolls are manufactured needs to be enforced to eliminate vinyl nubs and other quality issues that originate there.


Closely rooted hair fibers, particularly for the dolls with straight hair will increase ways of styling and increase the customer base of those who prefer closely rooted hair.

For those interested in non-straight hairstyles, I was recently notified that braided hairstyles are available but at a higher price.

***

Additional Information from Back of Box
The following text is on the back of each doll's box:

WURAOLA:  means "Precious wealth"
Can be shortened to "WURA" or "RAOLA."
This is a "YORUBA" name from southern part of Nigeria.

AZEEZAH:  means "Esteemed"; this can be shortened to 'ZEZA."
This is a Muslim name and used commonly in the northern part of Nigeria
[amongst] the "HAUSA" who are predominantly Muslim dwellers.

NNEKA:  The meaning of this name is "Mother is superior," which is
"IBO" [Igbo] a language from the eastern area of Nigeria, where most of
the names are symbolic.

NIGERIA:  The largest and most populated black country in Africa and the world, situated at the tail end of the west African coast.
NIGERIA:  gained her independence from Britain on October 1st 1960.
NIGERIA:  is known for her rich culture and history.  Her women are also known for their beauty and high [sense] of fashion.

There are three main tribes in Nigeria.  They are Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo.
Wuraola represents Yoruba.
Azeezah represents Hausa.
Nneka represents Ibo.
Queens of Africa:  Facebook
Queens of Africa:  Website

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15 comments:

  1. First let me say.your dolls are beautiful! I love Azeezak's outfit the best. You're right about the glue! A small stitch would do the trick. I think because many manufacturers only considered their dolls "playline" the don't take the extra steps that would make their dolls hold up over time. That is is why the don't do better packaging and.shipping. I guess it saves them money. I don't know if you can tell them you are a collector and request batter packaging. I have seen that style face before but never on a click knee doll which was a surprise. Congrats on your new dolls!

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    1. Thanks, Ms. Leo. You are right. Most doll companies whose target market is children never even consider that adult collectors will buy their dolls. I don't mind the inexpensive packaging, but I do want whatever they are packaged in from the manufacturer to be intact when the doll arrives to me. It is a good idea to let merchants who are shipping to us know, whether it is an expensive doll or low end doll, that we want our dolls and their packaging to be pristine upon arrival.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I love the idea of the Queen of Africa dolls. I am going to order them. Question: Did they give a combine total for the shipping when you ordered all three dolls.

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    1. Hi MDW,

      The eBay seller does combine shipping when more than one doll is purchased. I had to ask her to do it for me because my initial invoice showed separate shipping for each doll, but it was done. I would also ask for reinforced packaging. Placing the dolls in a box is ideal, but if small packets shipping cannot be done in a box (and I think it can), the dolls' boxes should be reinforced with cardboard and not just wrapped in bubble wrap and brown paper. I have received other small packet packages from the UK that arrived in a box, so the seller should be able to use a box. I'd definitely request one.

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  3. All three dolls are gorgeous! I love the ideal that that included accessories as well. I do agree with you regarding the packaging, it should be able to withstand shipping. The comic book I mean "graphic novel" as my son calls them now explains the dolls rich history but it the message that the best. Mr. Okoya made it happen for his little girl and that is priceless. I hope my dolls get here soon.

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    1. Ahem... excuse my old school-ness. My grandson would probably refer to the Queens of Africa books as a graphic novel, too. I love the history about Nigerian it provides and the girls' individual and collective stories.

      I hope your doll arrives soon, too, Brini.

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  4. Thank you for this detailed review of these beautiful dolls! I love their clothing and head wraps. I like the hair on Azeezah, though I agree that the glue was unnecessary.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your deboxed dolls. It helps to see the dolls undressed.

    I also like the accompanying book idea.

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    1. Hi D7ana,

      I am glad you enjoyed the review.

      I love the accompanying books and other self-esteem building items in the Queens of Africa product line.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this, Debbie!

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  7. Hi, could you inform us on whether the packaging is a Nigerian base company?

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    1. I do not have information about the origin of the company that produces the packaging of the Queens of Africa dolls. The concept is Nigerian based and as far as I know the dolls are styled there. The dolls themselves are a product of China. You'll have to contact the makers of the dolls to find out about packaging origin.

      http://www.queensofafricadolls.com/

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!