In the short span between 1987 – 1989, the card company known as American Greetings designed a cast of cutesy characters in a land ruled by the benevolent Lady Lovely Locks (or Dame Boucleline in some parts of Europe). You can see screenshots and old artwork by searching the full name, “Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails.” These Pixietails, as you will see, are the shining feature of this doll line. In the short-lived 20 episode cartoon, the Pixietails are the caretakers in the kingdom of Lady Lovely Locks (LLL for brevity). They are an assortment of magical animals (bunnies, birds, chipmunks, mice, etc) that can transform the world around them and beautify everything they see. Oh, did I mention they all have long, beautiful tails? There are turtle and fish Pixietails, and yes, they have beautiful tails too. Heh. The Pixietails also love beautiful hair and would be found nestled into Lady Lovely Locks’s blonde hair, or the manes of one of her maidens, CurlyCrown and FairHair. The franchise was aimed toward a young audience, using the characters as exposition for themes of kindness, gentleness, patience, and everything good. Not a bad role-model choice for young kids, and now as an adult I can further appreciate the morals they thumped over my head. 😉
Now we come to the character of this review, the infamous Duchess RavenWaves. She’s a nasty pre-teen. Well, actually she’s pretty mild by today’s standards, but in the 80’s she was a force not to be trifled with. Overcome by jealousy, selfishness, and an overall cold-heart, she fumes in her land of Tangleland. An ugly land in comparison to that of the LLL kingdom. Though RavenWaves is beautiful, she has an ugly heart, and thus the world around her reflects this aspect. As the main antagonist in this story, RavenWaves hopes to steal the magic from Lady Lovely Locks and take the land for herself! To do this, she will use her miniature henchmen, the Comb Gnomes (I love all the hair correlations)–like the Pixietails, but more malevolent in appearance. Nevertheless, RavenWaves is never successful in her schemes, but it sure is entertaining to watch.
Hair, face, & makeup:
Duchess RavenWaves’s face has a similar (maybe identical) mold to the other Lady Lovely Locks dolls. Not much to distinguish each doll when it comes to facial features. Ah, well, this line of dolls is not exactly made for older toy-lovers, but rather 6-9 year-old girls who like cherub-like doll faces. Since RavenWaves is the main villain who tries to foil Lady Lovely Locks, I always thought it funny that her doll face was so sweet and soft. Yeah, for the youngins it was necessary to create a non-threatening doll, but it is still humorous.
But for what they did create, the faces look clean and pretty. RavenWaves has a slight tan peach color (not ivory). She has two thin brown eyebrows set in a casual angle over her eyes. What, not an angry scowl? Oh fine, if they must… Her irises are light purple with lots of black eyelashes. And yep, her eyes have a soft and kind expression to match her placidly-shaped eyebrows. RavenWaves’s lips are a very odd color: bright peach? Mmm, I would have to describe that as garish. I’m also a little shocked they didn’t go to extra lengths to add blush. The doll’s face only remotely matches that of her character in the cartoon, but it’s not an entire miss either. The face is still overall reminiscent of the older RavenWaves character even without older features and an angry scowl. It’s a shame about that lipstick color though. Yeesh!
Duchess RavenWaves has rich long waves of raven black hair. Ohh, is that why they call her RavenWaves? I had no idea. Heh. It’s actually a soft black color, maybe even a tinge brown. Her hair is wonderfully full and reaches to just below her knees. Her bangs hold a tight curl superbly, even nearly 30 years after being manufactured! It is soft and easy to brush. For a nylon-like texture, it is actually very manageable.
RavenWaves has one of the best 80s doll dresses I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of doll fashions (such as the entire Jem and the Holograms wardrobe?). Her dress ranks high in the doll fashions I would personally love to cosplay. It may not be of the highest quality fashion like that of Monster High, but it’s aesthetically styling. It is also very accurate to the character in the animated series. Lots of colors and layering.
Starting at the top, her torso is covered in a base fabric of dark purple. The collar is trimmed in lace and has a slight iridescent shine. Cris-crossing over her shoulders to her waist are four shimmery blue ribbons, connecting at the satin blue ribbon around her waist.
The sleeves are made of a see-through chiffon-like material. A light pink fabric forms the first layer, then is covered by a dark purple layer. Neither fabrics have a finished or straight cut hem.
The bottom half of the her dress starts off with a satin-like base fabric of light purple. The ball-gown shaped skirt is layered on both sides by multiple colors of what I will call chiffon. In the foremost layer are three colors, light pink, light blue, and dark purple. Beneath these layers are yet more chiffon layers. This time the layers have embedded glitter! On the back side of the dress is a dark pink glitter layer, and in the front a light blue glitter layer. It’s an imaginatively-designed dress.
RavenWaves’s shoes are the same cut and design of all the Lady Lovely Locks dolls– simple flats with a flower embossed over the toes. And of course, the pearly purple color matches the color theme of the character. (As with Ever After High’s Raven Queen, “evil” characters like purple?)
Two pixietail-like creatures called “Comb Gnomes” come boxed with the RavenWave doll. (I love these hair references!) In the cartoon they are RavenWaves’s miniature henchmen who carry out her plans to ruin Lady Lovely Locks and take her kingdom. As far as I can tell, she comes with one pink and one purple Comb Gnome. They have mouse-like features, but with a more malevolent expression. They have big ears and a extra plume of hair coming from the top of their heads. I would say they represent their cartoony counterparts very accurately.
RavenWaves also comes packed with two wrist wraps officially called Comb Gnome Petals from which her horrible little mousey minions can grasp. The petals are hot pink and have a sparkly holographic pattern on the front/top side.
The last accessory is a purple pearly comb, the same mold as other LLL doll combs. It’s a clever mold really — the bunny’s hair is the length of the comb. A nice creation touch.
You’ll see a large number of LLL dolls have white spots and discoloration over the legs. The internet consensus seems to call this “Plastic Pox” or “Vinyl Disease”. It’s an unfortunate result of the material used in making the doll’s legs. I’ve heard that storing the dolls in humid conditions (like attics or outside storage units, even basements at times) can make the situation worse. And of course, old age factors in as well. But I have had older Barbies the same age as my LLL dolls, and they did not fall prey to Plastic Pox. Also, the LLL doll legs are made of a softer plastic material than the arms (in order to create extra points of clickable articulation), and yet the arms did not have any discoloration on my dolls. So, I generally conclude the plastic material used in making the legs is the culprit. It also feels like the legs have become stickier, a cruel fate of bendable plastic.
As for articulation, there would be seven points that I would count: two shoulder sockets, one neck joint, two hip pivots, and two clickable/bendable knees. There is not a high degree of articulation in the bendable knee, but it is nice that the designers thought to add them.
If interested in another raven beauty, check out Raven Queen of Ever After High.
And a special thank you to the following websites for providing official doll information long forgotten!: