Emma, Reyna, Julia, Ana Ming and Isabella in a group shot
A relatively new entry into the quality,
all-vinyl play doll market is the Carpatina Dolls' Fantasy Adventure
collection. These dolls have been
shipping since July, 2002. The owner and
president of the company is Mihaela Hinkle and the company is based in
Nashua, NH. You can read a feature article about the debut of the doll line
based on an interview with Mihaela called "Carpatina
Dolls ~ A New Flight of Fancy".
The Fantasy Adventures dolls are slim, all-vinyl doll and they come with
an extensive line of fantasy-inspired and modern clothing and
accessories. Carpatina Dolls also carries a line of clothing that fits American Girl-size
dolls called the Girlfriends Collection. This collection features modern
clothing and some lovely and unique Medieval Princess gowns.
Mihaela worked at Just Pretend/iDolls.com/Kid
Galaxy where she designed for the Stardust Classics line, among others.
Mihaela is a native of Romania (hence the Carpathian Mountains appearing in
her logo) and has an interesting and colorful revolutionary past that you
A third doll, Emma, was introduced in 2003; she has red hair and green
eyes. Most recently
in 2006, a fourth doll, Ana Ming was added to the line. Ana Ming is Asian
and an entirely new face sculpt. Another version of the Asian doll is being
sold by Gali Girls -- she is a
Chinese-Jewish girl named Reyna and her adventures are described in a
book call "Reyna and the Jade Star". Reyna has bangs and comes in a
different fabric starter outfit.
Gali Girls Reyna and
Carpatina Ana Ming
dolls' faces are exceptionally beautiful and were sculpted by Vernon
Thornblad who also sculpted the faces of the
Stardust Classics dolls.
Mihaela wished the Carpatina Dolls to be essentially a continuation of the
Stardust Classics line and you can see the family resemblance between
Stardust Classics Alissa and Fantasy Adventures Julia in this picture. The
main difference in the face mold is in the mouth -- it has been softened and
rounded more. The eyes are also slightly more natural looking, in my opinion
giving Julia the look of Alissa's
prettier cousin. (Note that my Julia doll is a prototype doll and that her
vinyl is a little darker than that of the production dolls'.)
The photo on the right illustrates the similarity in
construction between the
Magic Attic Club, Carpatina
and Just Pretend dolls respectively (from
left to right they are Megan, Julia and Sydney). Carpatina Dolls and Just Pretend have identical bodies and are just slightly
longer in the torso than Magic Attic Club dolls.
The dolls share clothing
MAC dolls, including shoes. On the left is a picture of Julia wearing
the Magic Attic Club Members Only outfit.
The bodies are made of excellent-quality
vinyl and they are strung (each limb and the head
independently), they have sleep eyes
and the hair is a good-quality wig.
Like the Magic Attic characters, the Fantasy Adventures
girls go on exciting adventures. Instead of a magic mirror, these girls have
wonderful moonstone necklaces given to them by the Great-Aunt Cordelia. When
they put on the necklaces and make a heart-felt wish, they are transported
to distant places and times. You can buy your doll and your little girl
matching "moonstone" necklaces to act out the fantasy.
Mihaela's education and background is in
fashion design. This is evidenced by the beautiful clothing she has designed
for the dolls. Each outfit has special detailing like hand-applied glitter
on Isabella's fairy dress and wings, and diamond-like rhinestones on the trim
of Julia's Renaissance-inspired gown. They each have accessories available
including a headpiece, cape and wand.
Ana Ming was introduced with this lovely Yuan Dynasty
Princess gown. Additional gowns created with her in mind will be
available in the 2006 holiday catalog.
A fun and unique feature of Carpatina Dolls is the free
Club. Doll club members get a discount (currently 15%) off regularly
priced items; they are the first to learn about new products, including
Mihaela's excellent club-exclusive, one-of-a-kind and prototype outfits;
they can enter contests; they can discuss the dolls on the club's
YahooGroups message list, and so on. Here is a picture of my dolls
(including a West Coast Kids friend) wearing the 2003-2006 Club
Another wonderful feature of Carpatina Dolls is the
president. Mihaela actually consults and listens to her customers! We
asked repeatedly for an Asian doll and Ana Ming is the lovely result.
Wonderful dolls, wonderful costumes and a wonderful company. It doesn't
get any better than this!