I scored a new doll a couple of weeks ago with free shipping and a percent off coupon, from the Tonner website. After a bit of debate, I decided to snap up one of Tonner's new City Girl dolls, Taxi Billy. All of the line are lovely, but I'm a sucker for dark haired dolls with green eyes. Plus, the black and yellow outfit looked a bit retro 80's to me, with the black tights, big sunglasses, and big black belt, so I gave in to my wave of nostalgia, and Taxi Billy was on her way to me!
After an agonizing wait for the UPS truck, she arrived yesterday! In my excitement to get a look at her, I failed to get "box opening" shots. She arrived in a clear tube with nice graphics on the cardboard she was tied to. She definitely was not going to shift during shipment! I opened the tube from the top, belatedly realizing I could have just opened the bottom with ease. That was me being too hasty, and not paying attention.
After spending several minutes detaching her hair, wrists, ankles, and pretty much every loose piece away from the packaging, and then a few more finding all the extra places her clothes and accessories were tacked down, she was finally out and ready to examine more closely. The doll is aimed at younger collectors, five and above, but an adult is definitely going to need to be the one to remove the doll from the package. As an adult, I did start feeling a bit "stabby" by the end of it all. The knit on the yellow tunic got pulled a bit by the plastic attachments, but not so much that I think it will be an issue. I would highly recommend any future buyers to be extra, extra careful and gentle when looking for, and removing, all the ties. Just when I thought I had them all, I'd find another. You really need to completely remove the doll's outfit first to make sure you find them all. I'm not sure I would classify this as a legitimate complaint on my part, because it definitely made certain the doll arrived safe and sound. I just got frustrated. I could see someone else being frustrated too, especially if this is an Xmas present, and you have an anxious new collector wanting their doll, and wanting her now.
Taxi Billy comes with awesome oversized sunglasses, big tote bag you could jam with lots of props, yellow tunic, big black belt, short jacket, black tights, and cute black boots. The yellow tunic closes in the back with Velcro, like you'd expect for a doll aimed at younger collectors. The boots are a little "sticky" getting on and off unless you hit just the right angle. That could cause frustration for younger hands, and even older ones, but it just takes practice. The short coat surprisingly is sewn shut, instead of closing with snaps or Velcro. You have to pull it down her shoulders, arms, and then off over her legs. I could see someone popping those stitches by accident, expecting the coat to open easily. I don't think that would cause any damage, but it could be a source of disappointment and frustration to a new collector. The coat not opening to allow easy removal is the only real issue I would say I have with the doll or her accessories.
Taxi Billy comes with white panties painted on. It's just another reminder that this isn't a doll targeted specifically for adult collectors. It doesn't bother me at all, and the paint shouldn't show through on any outfit I decide to put her in.
Taxi Billy is 15.75 inches tall according to the website, so she's very close to Ellowyne Wilde and other Tonner dolls, like Nu Mood Sydney. But Billy is definitely slimmer. Swapping clothes is possible, but it will take trial and error. I've already seen some Ellowyne dolls wearing the City Girl clothes, which doesn't surprise me. Shoes will definitely not be swappable, though. Billy has a very high arch, so if I want more shoes for her, it will be much less of a headache to just buy the other fashion packs.
Billy could easily be another muse for me, because she definitely looks good in some of my favorite colors, including purple. I put her into a hand knit sweater I made for Tonner's Antoinette, but it looks so good on Billy! With her black tights and black boots, it gave her a new outfit immediately. I have several knit fabrics that may become new tights for Billy, and lots of funky cotton prints she'd look lovely in.
For the retail price of $49.99, I think Taxi Billy is definitely worth it. Her outfit is great, with plenty of details, including the big glasses, bag, and boots. Her hair is thick, and easily takes a combing without strands coming loose. She is extremely posable, and her face screen is lovely. She's definitely not a doll you'd give to a child who is destructive to their toys for that price. But if you have a budding, younger collector in your life, especially one who is interested in (and maybe coveting) your own dolls, I would be buying one of the City Girls for them for a gift without hesitation. I like that the fashion packs available aren't that expensive. At least they are in a reasonable price range compared to the doll (as opposed to almost as much as the doll itself!). If the quality of the fashion packs are as good as the outfit on the doll, they'd be well worth the investment.
My doll budget probably won't allow me to get any of the other City Girl dolls, or fashion packs, anytime soon. But I will be keeping my eye on this line, and will definitely be enjoying the one I have. Other than the extra secure packaging that caused a couple of colorful metaphors by the end, and the surprise that the coat didn't open, City Girls Taxi Billy is a joy, and worth every penny. I would have paid full price for her without any regrets. (But coupon codes just increase the love!)
Be sure to check out all of the pictures of Taxi Billy in my Gallery!