My Intro to My Twinn 23"
Meet Sian. She is a 23" My Twinn with the Danielle face mold. I saw her on eBay recently and decided I would finally try to get to know her "kind." She had one big thing going for her: the Danielle face. I think this is one of the cutest face sculpts ever made by My Twinn. And while I was never very fond of the 23" body type, I had to admit sometimes the poseability factor really impressed me. But it wasn't until she arrived a few days later that I realized how truly special these dolls really are.
I think the first thing that stood out to me was this doll's size. Something about that 23" dimension really gave her a commanding presence. She towered over my AGs like a queen, and she had weight and solidness to her I wasn't quite expecting.
Plus I was really impressed with the way she easily balanced, no matter if I posed her one way or another.
MY TWINN DOLLS CAN BALANCE BY THEIR HEEL
Originally I think it was something about the cloth shoulders and chest area that I never liked. It wasn't very graceful to me, and I admit these dolls' arms tend to hang a bit long at their sides unless their armature is bent and distorted at the shoulders to compensate.
But since I've had my Twinn girl, I've gotten pretty good at bending the arms in a way I think they must have meant to be bent originally, making them look much more natural (and leaving them only a bit on the long side). I do appreciate that the arms have to be a bit long to look normal when bending them upward, since they don't have the shoulder mobility we do. The longer arms just give them more versatility in posing, otherwise their hands would barelly reach the tops of their heads when raising them.
Probably the most striking thing about My Twinn is the detail and realism of their faces. Some people have cited the "uncanny valley" as being a problem with these dolls--the notion that they are too realistic for comfort, and I really do get the idea behind it: sometimes I'd like a bit more stylization myself.
Plus I haven't much cared for some of the face sculpts in the past, and I'm still debating my thoughts on a number of them. But for the most part, I really appreciate the unique, somewhat "eerie" realism they have. Some collectors primp and pamper these dolls like little living princesses, and when you see them in "full regalia," they can have quite an impact! That's when the uncanny realism works.
I've had a good look at the 18" versions of their face sculpts for comparison, but they really don't compare. I can see why so many were upset when My Twinn decided to abandon their 23" dolls in favor of the common 18-inch American Girl type body. For whatever reason, many of the face sculpts just did not translate that well into the smaller, simpler version. Part of it seems to be that the features were not proportionately shrunk, just rather "translated," and really losing something in the process. Some dolls don't even much resemble their 23" versions, and very few are nearly as pretty.
18" and 23" "ARIEL" SCULPT: THE SMALLER DOLLS LOSE SOME OF THE GRACE AND BEAUTY OF THE LARGER.
In some cases, the detailed features that looked so strikingly realistic and pretty in the larger dolls just look a bit weird on the simpler bodies, as if the heads have too much character for their own good. The sparking quality is flattened, and the dolls seem to be uncomfortably stuck somewhere between realism and stylization, never quite achieving either. And while some of the face molds can still certainly be called "cute," they really don't come near to the personality, individuality, and beauty of the 23" dolls.
23" MY TWINN
This is of course, just my opinion.
After I got Sian, I got the 23" bug and wanted to get more of the bigger Twinns, so next came Archer, a beautiful TLC caramel blonde with the Ariel face mold. I was surprised how much more elegant she seemed than my 18" Ariel. She had a lovely serenity in her face that her smaller counterpart didn't demonstrate. I Then I saw Twyla on eBay, a 23" Madison much in need of repair but oh-so-so lovely, My Twinns became My Tripplets. :) I'm looking forward to restoring them.
And now that I have gotten familiar with 23" My Twinn, I really can't say enough good things about them. They have much more personality than AG or other 18-inchers, many more face sculpts, and can express so much more subtlety of mood.
Actually, they are in a different category than 18" dolls like American Girl, so it really isn't fair to compare them. They are really just their own thing. Even their 18" doppelgangers are a different animal from them. I'm not even claiming the 23 inchers are "better" (and I'm sure many AG fans will tell me so too) but they are in no way lesser either, which is what I used to foolishly think. They are truly special, belonging to their own realm of "dolliciousness," even though those of us who were originally unbelievers needed to see them up close and personal before we noticed. :)
My "Twinns" are still in TLC mode. Forgive the lack of clothes, messy hair and faded scary eyes. They will be knockouts when they're done. ;)