Review: Curl ‘n Coil Tily Vizon – Novi Stars Doll (+ Novi Bodies Comparison)

PicMonkey CollageTily Vizon is one of two “Curl ‘N Coil” Novi Stars dolls.  The CnC dolls are different from the other Novis in a couple of respects, namely that they are robots/cyborgs and have cyber dreads with a curling gimmick, but the CnC’s are also differently sized than the other Novi dolls (being bigger than the basics and smaller than the Stellar Skinz).
The Curl n’ Coil dolls were one of the more recent waves of Novi Stars, which means that they did not make it into many stores, as far as I’m aware – they definitely were not on shelves here in Canada.  (She and Roe Botik are still for sale on Amazon, and are currently listed for less than the retail price that I paid.)  I bought Tily from Amazon about a year ago when I had an online credit, and I was super excited – I mean, c’mon, she’s a super cute cyberpunk cyborg alien doll with fantastic shoes and electrical plugs as hair!
Plus, from looking at pictures of Tily’s box, I had had high hopes that she would be more articulated than the other Novi dolls:
As you can clearly see, the prototype doll that is featured on the back of the box in multiple photos, and which is advertising the contents of the box, is fully articulated with elbow, wrist, and knee joints.  Holy crap, that’s awesome!!  Articulated Novi Stars, all my dreams are coming truuuuue!  …But the actual doll has none of those, and her arms and legs are all in straight, stiff positions which means that she looks good in one or two poses at most.  I should have known from other stock photos that the doll I’d be getting wouldn’t be so articulated, but hope springs eternal, I suppose.
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I had a hard time deciding which CnC doll to buy.  I really like Roe’s cyborg eye and green/black hair, and I like the translucent fleshy color of her skin – but in the end I chose Tily because her colors pop more and I’m a sucker for that, plus I figured if she wasn’t jointed the way I hoped she’d be, her design lent itself to being modded better than Roe’s.  Not to mention her shoes are so cute I can hardly stand it.  I like Tily’s stock photo in-box hairstyle better than Roe’s too, and even though I prefer the regular torso on Roe, Tily’s tv chest is still really unique and kitschy-cute.  There was also the consideration that if I ever wanted to rebody my CnC doll’s head, Tily’s would be easier to skin-tone match; although, with the popularity of pink dolls, maybe I was wrong there.
In retrospect, I am kinda wishing I’d gone with Roe – seeing them right next to each other is making me realize how much more appealing she is to me than Tily.  Oh well, hindsight and all that.
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The CnC dolls come in overlarge boxes, with the doll and all its accessories shown in a clear plastic bubble in the center, with the pet in it’s own bubble to the side; why the box extends so far out on the sides is beyond me.  Like I mentioned in the other Novi Stars post , they favor large shiny boxes that take up more shelf space than they need to, which is probably one of the things that contributed to the overall (apparent) failure of the line.
All that empty space!
The back of the box has the  same unappealing photos of the hair gimmick that are on the front, plus a photo of the whole doll next to her obnoxious bio, and there’s a picture in the bottom corner of Roe Botik, the other CnC doll.
The doll pictured on the box is not the doll that is in the box; obviously the extra joints are the big thing, but the hair is also a bit different, with two blue pieces plus a bunch of black cyberlox.  The silver robot parts on the doll are also a lot shinier in the box photo, and the skirt is slightly different, more like the character art on the front of the box.  These aren’t huge differences, and it’s common to see these kinds of changes when a toy goes from prototype to production, but taken together and with the photos of the better doll on the box, I’ve ended up feeling rather disappointed with Tily.
Of course she is really cute, as all the Novis are, with that adorable face, pointy ears, and the big sparkly doe eyes.  Her skin is matte white with pearly silver robot/cyborg parts.  It isn’t clear from any of the flavor text whether Tily is supposed to be an android that is fully robot or a cyborg that is partially living.  Her chest is a television (hence her ridiculous name), her neck and waist seem to be made mostly of cables, she has metal plates or parts on both arms and one thigh, and her left lower leg seems to be a pogo stick .  She has large, gear-shaped silver antennae.
Her eyes are sparkly turquoise with gears and hearts in the pupil, and she has the requisite long Novi eyelashes, coated with iridescent purple glitter.  Her eye makeup is is pale pink with a darker purple crease; her lips are light pink, and she has metallic lavender dots on her forehead that look like phillips head screws.  My doll also has two accidental black specks in the center of her face; hopefully those will come off with some solvent.
Tily’s hair is.. kind of a hot mess.  Most of her head is rooted with regular doll hair, in pink and black, but she also has 20 “hair tubes” that are mostly pink with a couple of dark browns, 4 silver “techno tubes” w/ pull strings, and 2 yellow spiral coils with electrical plugs on the ends.  Some of the tubes are styled into a kind of rockabilly-esque swirl on top of her head; the hair is supposed to be in a curl at the front but my doll’s is just kind of fluffed up and stuffed into the coiled tubes instead of being swirled with them, which kinda ruins the effect of the hairstyle in my opinion.
Tily is called a “curl ‘n coil” doll because you can pull on the white strings to make the silver “techno tubes” curl up:
As toy gimmicks go, this one is pretty underwhelming.  Why don’t all, or at least more, of the tubes have the pull and curl effect?  Only having four of them seems kinda stingy.  Also, I love the whole cyborg with cyberlox thing going on with this doll, but all of the hair stuff is a little bit long.  When the strings are pulled out to make the silver tubes curl up, they drag so much on the ground that it looks ridiculous.  {One other thing, which I know is pretty picky, is that I kinda hate the random couple of dark brown tubes – they should at least be black to match the hair; I’m also really sad that there aren’t any blue tubes like on the box photos.}
In the box, the hair was separated into two chunks so that all the tubes were visible from the front, and it was both sewn down and bunched with rubber bands:
The rubber bands creased/crushed all the cyberlox, which I don’t know how to fix:


I am also at a loss for how to style this doll; it’s funny since that’s supposed to be the whole point of the CnC Novis, but hairstyling has never been a forte of mine and this conglomeration of hair and not-hair is particularly intimidating to a novice like me, especially knowing that the tubes will get crushed if they’re squeezed too much by barrettes or hairbands.
The photos on the box aren’t exactly great inspiration either, but there are some cute stock images online with the CnC dolls showing off alternate hairstyles:
I’ll have to play around with Tily and see what I can come up with.
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Now, let’s look at Tily’s accessories.
First up, the shoes -Tily’s shoes are one of my favorite things about this doll; the details are fabulous!
There are a few little paint smudges, but otherwise these shoes are just perfect, and the colors are so fun!  Unfortunately, I can’t get the left shoe off of Tily’s foot – the shoes have to be pulled really hard to get them off but when I pull the left one, it feels like the silver pogo stick is going to break off where it meets her ankle.  This is kind of a big problem, because I really want my other Novis to be able to wear these amazing shoes (it’s one of the reasons I chose to buy this doll!), and I don’t want to have to break Tily’s leg just to get them off of her.  Some of the other Novi’s shoes have been difficult to remove, so the vigorous tugging is pretty par for the course, but on this doll it’s a real issue since she’s less sturdy than the others with that pogo stick leg.
Obviously Tily can’t wear regular clothes, what with having a big box as a torso, so her only article of clothing is her skirt.  It’s made of two layers – the bottom is a thick, transparent vinyl, and the top layer is made of unhemmed thin turquoise pvc with teardrop shaped cut-outs all the way around.  The skirt also has one of those thong strips like a lot of the Bratz skirts do, to keep it from riding up on the doll’s waist – this is a great feature, and I wish Mattel did that with their doll skirts.
The only other thing that Tily is wearing is a chunky metallic pink bracelet.  There was a piece of clear plastic between the bracelet and the doll’s arm when I deboxed her, but it still stained her wrist pink.  The bracelet was also incredibly hard to remove, as many of the Novi bracelets have been; I had to pull on it so hard that I was sure it would either break or scratch the plastic of the doll’s arm (it didn’t, thankfully).  That little bastard is going right in the garbage and I wish they hadn’t included it at all.  It doesn’t even look right on the doll; it’s far more metallic than her supposedly metal parts, and the color and shape don’t go with anything else about her.  It’s just a tiny bracelet though, so whatever.
The hair accessories that come with Tily are super cute – she and Roe both come with an adorable comb and two barrettes that are shaped like electrical outlets.
These barrettes may have factored into my purchase a little more than I might want to admit, which is funny because I don’t think I will actually get much use out of them.  They are just so freaking adorable and clever though. ^^  The design on the comb is fantastic too, though this is another piece that’s mostly useless; gears and screws and hearts and bows tho – it speaks to me on a spiritual level.
I can’t decide if her pet is kinda cute or hideous – the one tranquil face with the little hearts is really endearing though.  The head spins around so you can change the direction the different faces are pointing.
Don’t ask me why there’s a bathtub knob on its head; doesn’t seem very cyborgy high tech to me.
The stand that comes with this doll is an improvement over the other Novi Stars stands, even though at first glance it looks virtually identical. 
The way these stands work is really simple – the doll’s shoes sit snugly into the indentations, and that is what holds her up.  Unfortunately, on the first wave(s) of Novi Stars, the shoes don’t stay in very well and the dolls have a tendency to fall over.  Tily’s stand, however, has the addition of a peg in the center of each shoe’s indentation that corresponds to a hole in the sole of the shoe, and it is a surprisingly effective solution.
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I’m surprised by how different every wave of Novis was from the others.  I took out all my Novi Stars dolls and compared them – I have one from every line except the Super Novas – and they are pretty much all unique; Every one with jointed hips has a different type of joint:
The sparkly purple Ari Roma body has elastic hips, the others are all plastic joints.
…with a different level of articulation:
And they even have different arm sculpts:
The Stellar Skinz doll’s arms are the only ones that are not made to pop out for ease of dressing.
Even the hand shapes are different on each iteration; it’s interesting, I wonder why they didn’t just reuse the same molds.
The Novi Stars folks obviously made efforts with every new wave to improve their products, and with the later releases they started fixing many of the problems, like the stands and the articulation to some degree; they were apparently experimenting mad hatter handmade doll with different kinds of leg joints and from looking at the prototypes of the CnC dolls it looks like they wanted to give us more articulation, but…?
I just can’t get over being sad that the Novi Stars are done and gone now..  *sigh*  It would have been awesome to see this toy line succeed, or at least go a little further.  Novi Stars are great in so many ways, but even more, they had so much potential.
 
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Review: Curl ‘n Coil Tily Vizon – Novi Stars doll (+ Novi bodies comparison)

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