By the time I found out about Connie and her mission she already had a doll artist on the case and she had a few pictures. I saw this one:
|totally stolen from google!|
I don't have Downs and nobody in my immediate family does either. So you might be asking yourself at this point why would I be interested in a doll that has Downs. Well there are two reasons; one that is pretty shallow and another that isn't! The first reason is that I like diversity in my doll collection and not only is that doll up there beautiful but I have nothing like her!
My other reason is a bit more complicated. Before I moved this summer, I worked for three years as a Special Education Paraeducator in Preschool. It was a job that I kind of fell into but that I loved. During that three years I worked closely with a lot of kids with a lot of needs including two little girls with Downs! Around the time I found these dolls I also knew for sure that I would be moving and that it would be my last year. Leaving was very hard and so I wanted one of these dolls as a reminder of three amazing years doing a job that I actually felt was important! So that is why I wanted one.
I preordered my doll in March and I chose Grace. I picked her because Grace is a very special name to me and she has my favorite hair (red) and eye (green) combination! So then I settled down to wait. While I waited Connie kept us updated though her Facebook. It was fascinating to see all the decisions and steps in making a new doll. It really gave me a whole new appreciation for how long and difficult the process is! I also found out about Kickstarter for the first time and supported them through that too. The wait to get Grace has not been boring!
Finally in November they were ready to ship. Now thanks to FedEx not being exactly reliable getting Grace once she was shipped took forever! FedEx held her in their warehouse here in the city that I live in for an entire week. So frustrating!! But finally she made it to her new home and today, in a post that is a LONG time coming, I'm going to share her with you!
The dolls are officially called Extra Special Dolls and I think it's so sweet that they put their sticker on the outside of the box! I love the logo.
I was honestly kind of nervous to open up the box. I had Grace built up so much in my mind that I was pretty afraid I would be disappointed. I wasn't!
|Those ribbons got recycled!|
She was tied into her box with white ribbons at her neck and ankles.
And her gorgeous hair was protected with a hairnet.
|Already loving that sweet little face.|
Finally I got to take the hair net off and.....
Before I went any further I decided that I had to do something about that. So committed a cardinal sin against doll kind. I brushed out her curls....
Her wig cap isn't covered by short hairs but it doesn't really need to be.
I did put her hair in pigtails so I could get some good shots of her with her hair out of the way.
|Her 'meet' outfit|
One thing that I really like about these dolls is that they are meant to be companions and therapy tools. So she comes with a very cute little outfit that has no velcro! To help kids learn everything buttons, ties, zips or buckles including her pink, fleece sweater.
Her sleeveless dress is made of cotton with a cute flower print. It is also decorated with a large fabric flower.
The fabric flower snaps on and off!
The dress is closed with a full sized zipper in the back.
It works beautifully!
Around her waist is a pink, fake leather belt that has a working buckle.
She also comes with a pair of very well made, little white ankle socks.
And a pair of pink canvas tennis-shoes!
Under all of that she has a pair of dark pink undies with white lace around the leg holes and waist.
Grace has five points of articulation.
She has a cute little tushy too!
She also has the most adorable belly button on a doll I've ever seen!
Because most children with Downs are taught sign language Grace's left hand is molded in the sign for "I love you."
|Please ignore my crazy dry hands!|
Her feet are just as detailed and well done. She has what's called sandal gap. A sandal gap is one of the soft markers for Downs and for my doll's purposes just means she has a space between her first and second toes.
The Extra Special Dolls logo is imprinted on the bottom of her right foot.
I still can't believe how detailed she is. It's not the big things that mark Grace as having Downs. It's all these little details. Like her lower set ears:
|Note those rosy red cheeks!|
Moving on! Her happy smile is wide with six teeth showing.
Grace has lovely dark green eyes with applied top and bottom lashes. Her eyes are so dark it's hard for me to get a clear picture of them but I think they are very realistic. I can't really even see her iris pattern!
Of course I wanted to compare her to my other large dolls.
|Ivy, Grace, Kohanna and Matilda|
Kohanna's clothing doesn't even come close to fitting and neither does Matilda's! Matilda is such a teeny little thing and Grace is very sturdy!
Before Grace arrived I decided that I wanted to buy her one outfit from each of my favorite off brands of doll clothes and try them on her for this review! She is a new doll from a new company and I thought it would be useful to see how different brands fit.
The OG dress is a bit loose around the waist but it fits well at her shoulders.
The My Life As pants were loose around the waist like Ivy's pants.
I think of all three brands the Springfield Collection fits Grace the best. In fact I went back out and got her a few more things from them!
Springfield Collection jeans fit like a dream around her waist!
I also tie-dyed her a Springfield Collection dress to match a headband I got as a Kickstarter reward!
We had a bit of sun last week so Grace and I decided to head outside and take a few extra pictures for this review. Honestly I had a hard time stopping. She's a very photogenic little lady!
|Grace watching the sunset|
|Grace in the yard|
|Sitting on the fence|
|Too warm for a jacket|
|Oh Grace loves this tree!|
|Quick outfit change and then back to the tree!|
|Glamor shot in the sun|
If you would like to purchase an extra special doll you can do so here. They currently have 18 girls and 9 boys but they are selling out fast! My favorite boy is Ian and I'm so tempted to get him but instead I'm going to be buying a doll (one with straight hair) to donate to someone else! They are currently $95 so very reasonable and I personally really enjoy supporting a mom's start-up company! Buying Grace has been a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I got her. She's a great addition to my collection.
Thank you all for being so patient. I know I've been hinting about Grace forever but I think she's totally worth the wait! I got some cute outfits for my dolls as gifts this year so I will be reviewing those soon. I hope you enjoyed this look at a brand new doll from a brand new company and I'll see you soon!