The Toy Box Philosopher
Reviews and opinions about dolls and doll-related toys.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
An 18″ My Twinn Face Mold Guide
I don’t know what it is about My Twinn, but they’re ridiculously good at sidetracking me. I had a completely different review planned for this weekend, but here I am writing about My Twinn again. This is actually more of a project than a review, though, so let me back up and explain.
The other day I got an email from AJ, admitting that she had been bitten by the My Twinn Adopt-a-Friend bug during the most recent $49 sale. Hearing about AJ’s experience in picking her new doll (which you can see on her blog ) sent me scurrying over to the My Twinn site myself. Before I knew it, I was back in my old habits –hunched over the computer, entrenched in the process of peering at tiny pictures, trying to find some treasures amidst about a thousand discounted Adopt-a-Friend dolls.
The most recent sale was for the newer, smaller, 18″ Adopt-a-Friend dolls, and I found the process of choosing one of these characters more difficult than it was for the older 23″ Friends. I think the biggest problem is that the facial features aren’t as distinct. I ended up spending most of my time just trying to identify the different face molds, which was really hard for me. I searched the internet looking for clues, and couldn’t find a single resource on these new faces–there certainly isn’t anything on the My Twinn site (there should be). So, for this post, I am going to share some of the faces I’ve deciphered, with the ardent hope that many of you will know more than I do, and will pitch in to fix any mistakes and help me create a complete, accurate resource.
18″ (left) and 23″ (right) My Twinn Katie faces.
To start, let me give you an overview of the 23″ My Twinn faces. The best source of information for these older dolls is the Westport Dolls website . It offers an incredible face mold reference with lots of large, beautiful pictures. In addition to providing this valuable resource (and lots of other information about My Twinn), Peggy of Westport Dolls is an extremely talented repaint artist.
My Twinn faces are traditionally identified with names given to them by the collecting community. Using the Westport site as a guide, I managed to identify all of the 23″ My Twinn faces that appear in my old 2004 catalogue (Peggy helped me with this–thank you, Peggy!):
These faces are (from top left to bottom right):
There are over 40 faces that have been used by My Twinn through the years, so the faces above are just a start. For example, not shown in the 2004 catalogue are:
Note: I could not have done this post without the help of linked pictures. The two sites I link frequently are Westport Dolls (mentioned above) and Dolleanne.com , which is my favorite site for purchasing wigs and eyelashes for My Twinn dolls. Many thanks to Peggy and LeAnne for their wonderful pictures!
Here are three more My Twinn faces that aren’t in the 2004 catalogue, but that I own and can show you personally:
Michelle (mine is a boy, “Mitch”):
23″ My Twinn with the “Michelle” face.
Mallory (one of Peggy’s gorgeous Denver era repaints):
23″ My Twinn with the “Mallory” face.
Look at her gorgeous, crystal-blue eyes and amazing eyebrows:
And Wilma (another one of Peggy’s wonderful repaints):
23″ My Twinn doll with the “Wilma” face.
Now, let’s start looking at the 18″ faces.
My system for organizing the faces was to pull thumbnails of the 18″ dolls from the My Twinn site and group them with other faces that I thought were the same. It was like a big game of matching and memory. Once I had a large, diverse group of pictures, I would try to figure out the name of the face.
I’ll show you three examples of each of the 18″ faces that I was able to isolate. I’m showing three versions because each face can look quite different with the various hairstyles, vinyl colors, and eye colors that are available. I’ll also pair each 18″ face with the 23″ face that I think it matches. Again, please step in and make corrections if you see mistakes.
Here we go!
And the 23″ version as a reminder:
Catherine seems to be a common, but less popular face. I think the face mold translated well into the smaller scale, though, and is easily recognizable.
18″ Rosemary dolls.
Rosemary is identifiable because of her bow-shaped upper lip and her round cheeks. The 18″ Rosemary’s cheeks look fuller, the lines around her mouth are more pronounced, and her eyes seem narrower on some of the dolls. I like the 23″ Rosemary, but the smaller version is not as appealing to me–the features look too pinched.
My 23″ Adopt-a-Friend doll that I named Hazel has the Rosemary face. She has gone to live elsewhere, but here’s her picture as a reminder:
23″ My Twinn doll with the “Rosemary” face.
This is the “Kate” face:
18″ Kate dolls.
Kate has a full, rounded lower lip, a slight smile, full cheeks, and close-set eyes. She has little bit of smugness in her expression that helps me identify her. The Kate face translated pretty well into the smaller scale, although I slightly prefer the larger version.
Here’s my 18″ doll with the Kate face. I call her Frances:
18″ My Twinn with the “Kate” face.
I also have a 23″ Denver era Kate that I rescued from eBay. She’s still got some battle scars from her previous life, but I re-wigged and re-lashed her and think she’s wonderful:
23″ My Twinn with the “Kate” face.
Here’s the “Madison” face mold:
18″ Madison dolls.
The Madison face has a very subtle smile with full cheeks and lines extending from the nose to the edges of the mouth. This is the face that my 18″ custom doll Annie has:
18″ My Twinn with the “Madison” face.
The Kate and Madison faces are quite similar, and as a result, my Annie and Frances make good twins:
Kate face (left) and Madison face (right).
Here’s an old picture of a 23″ Madison (a 23″My BFF doll), who never made it out of her box :
23″ My Twinn with the “Madison” face.
I think this face is “Danielle”:
18″ Danielle dolls.
This is the face I wanted for my custom doll, Annie, but I got Madison instead. Danielle has a shy smile with a relatively flat upper lip, a pouty lower lip and few facial lines. Her eyes are set quite far apart.
Assuming I have this identification correct, the 18″ Danielle doesn’t look much like the larger version. This is too bad because I think the Danielle face is my favorite out of all of them…at least in the larger scale. I have a gorgeous Denver era Danielle that I got from eBay for a very good price. I still call her Danielle because I love the name:
23″ My Twinn doll with the “Danielle” face.
Danielle has stunningly beautiful eyes:
Here is the “Denika” face:
18″ Denika dolls.
This face is very distinct in the 23″ scale. It has a big smile, a very large chin, pronounced smile lines around the mouth, symmetric eyes, and ears that stick out a bit. I haven’t seen one of the smaller versions of the Denika face in person, but the smile does not look as warm to me in pictures.
My 23″ Adopt-a-Friend ( Kalliope ) has the Denika face mold:
23″ My Twinn with the “Denika” face.
After some deliberation, I think this next face is different from the Denika mold. I’d love to know what you guys think. It’s very similar to Denika, and I had it grouped with these dolls at first, but if you look closely, I think the ears are closer to the head, the smile is slightly narrower, and the lower lip juts out more. Here’s Denika (left) and the new doll (right) side-by-side:
Given how small the pictures on the My Twinn site are, I guess it’s not so surprising that these two got grouped together as one face for a long time.
Could it be “Vanessa?”
18″ Vanessa dolls?
Here’s a reminder of what the larger Vanessa looks like–sorry I don’t have one for side-to-side comparison.
This face looks a lot like Wendi to me, too. In the smaller scale, I like this face even better than Denika, and will definitely be on the watch for it next time I’m browsing the 18″ My Twinn dolls.
18″ Theresa dolls.
She has a wry, asymmetrical smile that’s easy to pick out of the crowd in both size categories. This face mold looks a lot like ” Pearl ,” too, but I find Pearl’s expression slightly more serious.
18″ Berkeley dolls.
Not only do her fine features and wide-set almond eyes make Berkeley easy to identify in both sizes, but they make her one of my favorites. I like almost all of the dolls with this face, and I might like the smaller version of the face even more than I like the original. It’s very sweet and innocent. I had about four Berkeley dolls in my cart at one point during my last shopping adventure.
Here’s another link to a 23″ Helen if you want to double-check.
The full cheeks, close-set eyes, and little smirk fill this face with character. Since finding character faces was my primary goal this time around, I actually ended up purchasing a Helen doll.
Here’s my redheaded Helen, who I call Ramona:
18″ My Twinn with the Helen face.
Ramona’s hair is a darker red than Annie and Frances’ orange-red hair. It has lots of very dark lowlights mixed in.
I am not crazy about her bangs, but they hide the poorly-drawn eyelashes quite well!
Here’s Ramona’s face with a sock lifting the bangs out of the way:
18″ My Twinn with the “Helen” face…and wonky eyebrows.
This next face is called “Ariel”:
18″ Ariel dolls.
The Ariel face is easy to distinguish because of the lopsided mouth–it pulls down in the right corner and makes the doll look vulnerable and half-sad. It is not one of my favorite faces for some reason. In the small scale, I found this face easy to confuse with Danielle.
I think this face is “Lenora”:
18″ Lenora dolls.
This doll has a serene expression that I really like. It also seems to be a fairly versatile face, because the 18″ Lenoras were hard to group together–they can look quite different from one to the next. The redhead in the middle, above, was very tempting, but those blue eyes are just a little bright for my taste.
18″ Audrey dolls.
I am a little uncertain about this identification, mostly because the lopsided mouth seems more pronounced in the 18″ dolls than it does in the 23″ Audrey dolls I have seen. However, the narrow face and long distance between the mouth and nose seems right. In general, I like this face a lot but tend to get it confused with Mallory.
I love this face, and think it’s “Wendi:”
18″ Wendi dolls?
I didn’t even notice this face until late in my search. There aren’t very many dolls with this face mold, and their fine features can get lost in the mix. If I had bought another doll, it would have been the redhead in the middle. I think she’s beautiful!
18″ Cookie dolls.
Cookie isn’t in my older catalogue, either, but here’s another link to pictures of her.
I originally thought that this doll had the Caitie face (I often get the 23″ Caities and Cookies confused…), but Peggy came to my rescue. Cookie dolls have full cheeks and a slight smile on thick lips. Unlike Caitie, though, this face mold doesn’t look at all mad (Caitie has a bit of a temper). I like these small Cookie faces better than the larger ones. I’ve never given the 23″ Cookie dolls much attention, but the olive-skinned brunette with bangs on the far left, above, was one of my overall favorite 18″ dolls during my search.
This is “Cai”:
18″ Cai dolls.
The Cai face mold is relatively new (2008) and is another character face that I find very appealing…although not necessarily in the pictures, above! The thumbnails on the My Twinn website make most of these dolls look a little scary.
In person, I think this is one of the few cases where the 18″ face is more attractive than the 23″ face (you can see the 23″ face on the Westport Doll page ).
I also bought an 18″ Cai (the sale was one doll for $49, two dolls for $88…) whose name is Sabrina. She’s really wonderful:
Big hair, no pants.
I posed her without pants because that is how she arrived. Her pajama bottoms were in the box, but for some reason she chose not to wear them.
The presentation on some of the Adopt-a-Friends dolls isn’t great. They come with only a single ribbon around their necks to secure them, and are often rattling around in the box. If you want to purchase one of these dolls as a gift, I highly recommend de-boxing the doll to look it over and tidy it up (maybe put its clothes on?) before you give it away.
18″ My Twinn doll with the “Cai” face.
18″ Beth dolls.
And a link to a larger Beth .
The 23″ Beth’s face is very unique. Some of the smaller dolls capture enough detail to look like Beth (the middle doll, above, for example) but for others, I think the bright eyes and orange-toned makeup overwhelm the features and make Beth look generic. I like the well-painted 18″ Beth faces a lot, but find some of the others very odd.
18″ Emma dolls.
This was one of the harder faces to identify for me. The small Emma dolls seem to have very close-set eyes and more character in their smiles. I might even call them a little bit silly. The larger Emma isn’t at all silly. She looks calm and beautiful.
I’m not absolutely certain about this face, but when I look at one of the Emma dolls that was offered for sale through Westport Dolls last winter, I see a resemblance. If you want to see what I mean, that Emma is still viewable at the bottom of the page here .
I thought this was “Karen,” but I need help!:
Here’s a link to the 23″ Karen . A few people have said this isn’t Karen…so I want to change it, but I don’t have a better guess yet! Caitie was a suggestion, but the area above her mouth looks very different to me, and Caitie doesn’t have any smile lines. Please let me know what you think! I have never seen the 23″ Karen or Caitie in real life, so this is all guessing based on photographs.
Whoever she is, this is a cute, round, happy face. It didn’t stand out from the crowd right away, but after a while I got better at recognizing the slightly squinty left eye. This is endearing to me because I have a squinty left eye when I smile, too. After I noticed the eye, I got much better at finding more examples of this face–it’s very common.
I am told that there are “Kim” and “Lois” faces among the 18″ dolls, too, so I might have to go back and search for those faces. They were quite rare in the 23″ mix!
I really, really wish My Twinn would update their search feature so that the dolls could be filtered by face mold, but until they do that, perhaps this guide will save a few people some time in choosing their next doll.
Now that the work is done, I’ll share a few more pictures of my newest My Twinn girls:
Here, Sabrina is wearing a purple Journey Girls shirt, tweed My Salon Doll shorts and Extra Special Doll shoes. Ramona is wearing a striped Journey Girls shirt, green Journey Girl leggings and Maplelea sneakers.
And, here are a few pictures of the girls in natural light, starting with Ramona (the Helen face mold):
Notice all of the different shades of red in Ramona’s hair:
Ramona has “green/brown” eyes that are quite nice. These particular eyes are more green than brown, and look great against the forest backdrop.
Lots of glue residue, though.
Here’s Sabrina (the Cai face mold):
She looks smart and sassy.
She has pageant hair, but it’s better than Frances’ tangled mess of disorganized curls.
Sabrina has regular “brown” eyes. These don’t have a lot of visible detail (even in the sun) but they have enough color contrast to avoid being completely dull and flat.
Someone got a little carried away trimming her upper lashes, I think.
And last, here are a few pictures of Frances (the Kate face mold):
She also has green/brown eyes, but hers are not as vibrant as Sabrina’s. They look a little cloudy:
I am happy with my 18″ My Twinn custom doll, Annie, but I always assumed that she would be my only 18″ My Twinn. I have no interest in going through the customization process again, and even when the first 18″ Adopt-a-Friend dolls started to appear on the website, I wasn’t interested in purchasing one. They all looked similar to me, the painting seemed off on many of the dolls, and there just wasn’t much of a selection. This latest experience was much better, though. The sheer number of dolls made it possible to find more than six little faces that I would have happily added to my collection. My mission of choosing character faces this time was especially fun, and I am very happy with Ramona and Sabrina–they have tons of personality and no glaring flaws.
I have always appreciated the My Twinn face diversity, but as I worked on this project it struck me how truly unique this range of expressions is in the 18″ doll world. Given that the large face selection might be My Twinn’s biggest market advantage, it’s baffling to me that they make it so hard for shoppers to identify and select dolls with specific faces. I think they should update and expand their My BFF customization tool so that it offers the full range of faces.
I don’t know what it Alice in wonderland tattooed doll means that there are so many imperfect (rejected?) dolls in the 18″ Adopt-a-Friend section after such a short period of time in production, but if My Twinn keeps offering to sell these pre-made dolls for $44-50, I’ll keep going back for another look.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit An 18″ My Twinn Face Mold Guide